Dec 20

Need a Place to Stay?

Travelling to a conference or a geek dinner? Low budget? Need a place to stay? Try canicrash, a wiki put together by Henriette Weber Anderson to share details of people who are willing to let their couch or spare room to bloggers.


for the travelling blogger ( the crasher):
– you get to stay a place for free ( or minor costs)
– you get to meet fellow bloggers and see the place from a local point of view.
– you might even make some friends!

for the person who lets his/her home on the roll ( the crashee):
– you get to met fellow bloggers
– somebody will do the same for you if you ask for it ( in my theory maybe not in real life. But it’s worth a try don’t you think?)
– maybe you will get gifts from strange countries.. nice one.
– you get to blog about another blogger staying with you

A useful resource to keep the costs down…just take note of the guidelines.

Dec 20

Choosing a phone

Somewhere out there, there has to be a website that offers exactly what I am after. Let me put in a list of requirements and it’ll give me a list of phones that have those features. I’m pretty sure that Nokia once had something like this, but now you can only compare phones for a couple of features at once. I don’t have time to trawl through lots of pages full of lists of features, not do I particularly want to go into a shop and face the sales guys without having a little understanding first. Too, too frustrating. Well, back to the review sites.

Dec 20

Viral Ads – VW lead the way

Bore Me are listing the top 10 viral downloads for the year, for both commercial ads and for more fun videos. Interestingly Volkswagon top both the polls. In the ads section, their Singin’ in the Rain mashup ad came out on top. The marketeers would be pleased with that result, but rather less pleased that in the general downloads the spoof VW ad about suicide bombers being contained by VW’s strength came out on top.

Dec 18

Technological awards

The Times does end of year ‘awards’ about technology-related things that it believes has bought in changes this year, including:

  • timeshifting music – podcasting
  • Artic Monkeys – the band that got to No 1 through downloads and word of mouth
  • timeshifting TV, making TV schedulers redundant
  • ‘citizen jounalism’ though ubiquitous cameraphones
  • Mark Russinovich, for ‘idling through his computer’s nether regions’ and finding Sony’s rootkit
  • RSS for improvong web delivery

    Blogs don’t get an award, not for a lack of revolution but because they are as core to a number of other things, such as providing a tool to support free speech in many countries

Dec 18

Christmas Carols

Rachel has an invitation to a Christmas Carol concert next Wednesday in Parliament Square. Get together to sing a whole bunch of songs but be aware of one thing – you run the risk of arrest.

Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005

Come along, it could be fun (as long as you’re not listening to my singing..I think I’ll be just humming given my ability to hit a note)

Dec 18

Snippets 18 Dec

I’ve got all these open tabs that I need to close…posting them is the best way.

Scott Adams wants to adopt – an embryo. Does not need a lot of space (keep. it in the freezer), cheap (no toys or clothes) and no issue with a terror toddler or a truculent teen. It may just catch on.

Seth Godin puts some thought into why companies should be on the web – or why not

Q: Should every business use the internet to communicate? What are the basics of an internet communications strategy? A: You should only use the internet if you want your communications to be FAST and you want to reach LARGE NUMBERS with no intermediaries. If you can’t handle that, though, you shouldn’t try.

The decision to use the web as a communications tool can be seen as an obvious one – yourcompetitiors are doing it, so you should. But like all methods – it needs thought and resources behind it. It’s should not be done just becuase it’s perceived as quick and simple, but because it is the right thing to do.

In the same vein, Market Sherpa has 5 steps for corporates who want to blog. Although it misses out Robert Scoble’s first preferred step – read blogs – it’s a pretty accurate representation of what has been going on in a company I know, looking at doing a blog. It’s not always possible to just do things, however good the idea. A corporate has politics and lots of statekholders whose needs have to be addressed.

I see Typepad was down for a loooonnnng time. Niall Kennedy has a great podcast/interview transcript with Anil Dash about what happened. Jay Allen says what most of the operational guys were probably thinking “I’m looking forward to never having another day like that for the rest of the time I work at Six Apart.” Technology is not a panacea, it always goes wrong at the worst time. I’m convinced that some of the applications I work on know when I’m going to give a demonstration – because that is when they break.

Sad to see that John Spencer has died at the young age of 58. One of my favourite actors in the West Wing

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a blog. After a week, it has one post and 258 comments.

Conferences: Mix06 looks like it would be an excuse to get to Vegas, a town that is on my list of places to visit at least once. I’m going to be in the US in March anyway, for SXSW. But it’s only going to happen if I get a very large windfall. The Future of Web Apps in London in Feb is far more in my price range.

Dec 18

Harry Potter at the movies

I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie yesterday. This is the first of the series that I have actually seen end to end, although I’ve probably seen all of the first one in dribs and frabs, and I quite enjoyed it. I’ve read all the books, which was just as well as the fim makes the assumption that you know the characters and the world and makes no time for introductions. The higher age rating was deserved, as it is a dark film but I think I enjoyed most the portrayal of the teenagers, with all the stupid behaviour that is so typical (“so, are you going to ask me to dance” “no”). That kep me laughing for most of the film. I enjoyed it enough to consider going to see the next one.

Dec 15

Encyclopediac Accuracy

The BBC are reporting a study looking at the accuracy of scientific articles on Wikipedia and the the Encyclopedia Britanica. In the articles examined, 8 serious errors were discovered, 4 in each of the sources.

In order to test its reliability, Nature conducted a peer review of scientific entries on Wikipedia and the well-established Encyclopedia Britannica.

The reviewers were asked to check for errors, but were not told about the source of the information.

“Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopedia,” reported Nature.

“But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.”

By focusing on the more scientific articles they appear to have avoided some of the more editorial inaccuracies about people and more recent events.

Dec 14

Germ and Squirrel Free

A couple of articles caugh tmy eye in today’s Evening Standard. The first is about c2c who have just announced a new service (although not, apparently, in the news section of their website). They are going to provide cough-free carriages for the next few months, to allow their commuters to stay germ free. If a traveller starts coughing they are supposed to leave the carriages.

In another story, a man named Tufty could do with a few doses of Panexa to encourge Excessive Floppy Tail Syndrome in the squirrels in his garden, as he has set up, to encourage the culling of grey squirrels which are perceived as a nuisance and a threat to the native red squirrels. Whilst suggesting that you avoid the brains, there are a few recipes that could provide alternatives to your normal Christmas fare and there are updated reports from the battlefronts; or you could go and comment on the forum. A growing, slightly worrying, campaign.

Dec 14

Web 2.0 Validator

Are you really getting into the Web 2.0 vibe? This fun Validator allows you to assess your choice of sites against the Web 2.0 meme. I currently score 9 out of 35, but figure that if I just link to the page, mention Dave Legg and Rocketboom, and refer to lots of cool words such as start-up, VCs , Rocketboom Not sure how accurate it is though, as I appear to be get a point for being web 3.0 and only scores 6 out of 35. Via Nancy

Dec 14

Flickring Expectations

Last night was another of the Christmas functions at work, this time with the IT function. After dressing up and loading onto a coach, we arrived at our venue for the night – the Hard Rock Cafe – to take part in plenty of food, drink and karaoke. Scattered around the venue were dressing up accessories, such as hats, funny glasses and wigs, plus lots of cameras.

The cameras were all going to be collected and processed, with the photos shared round the office. There were a fair number of personal cameras being used, including mine. However, unlike Saturday night’s geek dinner, very few of those photos will end up on Flickr. In the one’s that I’ve put up, the people in them know I blog, know I put photos online and were aware I would be doing that. Looking at the photos from Saturday, I’m in some from people I don’t know, who never asked permission – but nor would I epxect them to. You can see the same thing from the Les Blogs conference last week – plenty of photos, no disclaimers ever signed. So I’ve been thinking about the type of photos I publish and in what circumstances I put them on the web.

The first type is usually of complete strangers, from events around London or at festivals or get togethers. They’re never identified, but by being in a public place their pictures are open to be taken.

The second type is the semi-private/invitational event. And for me here it is down to expectations. The geekdinner was organised online and many/most of the participants appear to have blogs and Flickr accounts which are not necessarily anomynous. My expectation would be that the people attending understand that they may be photographed, or linked or, or mentioned in a post, even if I’ve never met them before. It is part of an unwritten contract that comes from attending such events. I perceive no such agreement at a work event – it’s far more a private function.

Dec 12

Panexa by MERD

Via Adrants, new drug has appeared on the market. Suitable for “patients experiencing one of the following disorders: metabolism, binocular vision, digestion (solid and liquid), circulation, menstruation, cognition, osculation, extremes of emotion.” Panexa has the following contraindications:

* PANEXA should not be used as a physical aid to set a broken bone, as in the case of a splint;
* PANEXA should not be used as a substitute for real human relationships; the tablets (and gel-coated caplets) are incapable of displaying any real emotion, and would prove to be dissatisfying friends or mates;
* PANEXA should not be used to soak up spills or remove stains. This is disrespectful to PANEXA;
* PANEXA should not be resold with the intent of generating a personal profit;
* PANEXA should not be used a form of motive transport, as it lacks the government regulated (US DOT 1445/88-4557) safety lights and reflectors;
* Women with uteruses should consider avoiding PANEXAor moving to a state or province where the concentration of PANEXA is lesser;
* Do not taunt PANEXA.

Posted in fun
Dec 12

Saturday Conversations

Saturday was a day of interesting conversations. In the afternoon, I met up with Tara and Suw and we talked about life , the universe and blogging. Some of the conversation got recorded…I’ll need to work out if I can afford the bribe for that not to be broadcast anytime soon ;o). After that, it was off to the Geek Dinner, for a lot more conversation and wine. Ian has a good roundup of the evening.

Dec 10

Riya Recognition

One of the good people I met in Paris was Tara Hunt, who is working with Ojos on Riya, a face recognition programme. This got some love from The Times on Wednesday. In conversation it was good to see that the company is trying to address privacy concerns, in that I may not want photos with myself in tagged with my identity. It was interesting to hear that many of the concerns that the company had received were from Europe, indicating a different perception of privacy.

Dec 10

Blogging for the older generation

One of women in my book club has a lot of stories to tell about internet dating and the small sideline job she does in selling sex toys to an older generation. We could be seeing a new entrant into the blogosphere in a month or so as she now seems keen to use the tools to connect with all these 50 and 60 year old women who need to know more about spicing up life and getting dates! Watch this space.