Jun 30

More Google stuff

They’ve been busy. Google have released 2 further applications this week. The first is Google video. THois has been coming for a while, as they have been requesting video submissions. Now they release a search method for them. Each video appears to have documented metadata and transcripts (as far as possible) which are searchable. To watch the videos you need to download a plug in (which has already been hacked).

On a more ‘traditional’ route, Google Print is also in beta. Google print searches the text of books that have been provided from publishers and libraries. In many cases, the search results link to online publishers/sellers. so you can purchase there and then.

Jun 30

Earth maps

I’ve been playing with NASA’s WorldWind for a while. It uses the LandSat images and Radar Topography to give you 3D images of the big features. The information is good, you can switch views with ease, but performance has always been a problem for me. I fail to finish most sessions as server connection usually drops. Now Google has bought out a similar service, using the Keyhole Satellite images. From first appearances, it appears to have less data than the NASA service, but functionality is very similar. Where it wins is with performance and ease of use. The interface for Google Earth is far more friendly, designed for a more massive audience than WorldWind, which definitely has a scientific focus. All I need now is more time to play…whilst waiting for Microsoft’s entry into this space.

Jun 27


Or Political Uncorrectness. In amongst stories about graffiti artists turned fashion designers and Porn Stars mkving into clothes modelling Adrants have a story about a new T-shirt company whose designs will probably shock anyone with an politically-correct streak. Read the Adrants story first – then go to the site.

Jun 25

Wiki trials

Last week LA Times stopped an experiment that had only been running for a few days – a wiki driven online editorial page which was meant to give its readers a voice and allow the paper to have some real community driven content. But the site quickly got vandalised and the paper pulled it down before the community could correct itself, leaving this message up:

Unfortunately, we have had to remove this feature, at least temporarily, because a few readers were flooding the site with inappropriate material.
Thanks and apologies to the thousands of people who logged on in the right spirit.

In many places, the LA Times attempts have been greeted with open arms as the ‘right’ thing to do in opening up its pages to reader contributions but a little surprised that a wiki was chosen. Wikis are notorious for the freedom they have, the freedom that can lead to random vandalism which can only be kept in check by the development of a community that self polices. The Observer, a newspaper that runs its own blog for reader contributions was not all surprised at the outcome.

But could it have worked? Ross Mayfield has published an open letter to the paper that covers some of the steps that may have ensured the continued existence of the wiki. Could these stpes have prevented the vandalism – no, you are always going to have people who enjoy doing such things and whose sense of netiquette is so stunted that they do not care about the consequences. But they could allow the community to do something and manage such vandalism if the LA Times opens their virtual doors again.

Update: Rafael Behr, who authored the Observer blog piece referred to above has a longer piece in the online paper

Jun 08


Nick Swann last night gave me his elevator pitch for a site he has just launched – www.connectviabooks.com. He did a great job against my constant heckling. He suggested I take a look at it and feed back any comments. Considering I’m in test mode at the moment and seem to spend a fair few hours picking holes in website design, content and functionality his suggestion was probably a bad idea. Feedback has been sent on the first set of pages, now into the site to try it out.

Jun 06


Amongst ICANNs preliminary approval of some new Top Level Domains, (.cat, .jobs, .mobi, .post, .travel), I think using .xxx for pornogrpahy sites is just wonderfully ironic.

May 27

Movie recommendations

In a similar way to Amzaon, Yahoo can now offer a personalised choice of movies based on you rating a selection. It presents you an initial list of 4 or 5, you rate them and then it provides a selection of other titles. You can request not to be shown titles again, or continually refine your choice by rating the movies as you see them. It’d not a new idea, however unlike Amazon (the only other similar system I;ve used) it also presents you with fils that are currently in the cinimas, not just those on DVD; even more interesting it links to those that are appearing on TV in the near future – but only if you have US TV.

Localising it to the UK would be good, but an even better next step would be to add it to the content available on My Yahoo – the only way I can find to link them is by adding the Film Guide as a favourite, so it’s listed next to Yahoo360. If you’re going for a portal – at least give me all the bits that I may want on one page – it may encourage me to use more than 3 elements! Via Hackling Netflix

May 22

And finally

Lot’s of stuff posted today. During the week I sometimes have less time than I would like to capture things. So today, I’ve been adding posts in-between all the housework. And now I have 2 final things.


Something brewing in the world of magazines..or is it. With a blog, a blogroll and a very big ad, what are they up to?

Petition to Ban the Internet

Via Trish Wilson, I see the United Confederation against the WWW (I’m guessing some American pressure group?) have launched a petition to get the internet banned from American homes.

On a web page.

All I can say, if you don’t like it – don’t look at it!

Update: as Trish commented in the comments – this is a hoax. So therefore sheds some light on my expectations (or UK reporting of) American pressure groups. It still sounds like something someone, somewhere would do. Like complaining aobout TV programmes – if you don’t like, don’t watch

May 22

Messengers converge

I see Yahoo have released a new beta of their Messenger. It’s integrated with Yahoo360, so that you can add blog entries directly to your Yahoo blog whilst chatting away without having to go to a browser.

May 22


aka as GTD Tiddlywiki, I just want to call it Tiddlywinks. A nice, all in one HTML file that is wiki-sh in nature but can be run from the desktop, for To do lists and any other kind of lists you want. It prints to small sizes, to allow easy to carry notes. For fans of GTD and Life hacks; my favourite source being 43 Folders, where tips are given to improve your life in small ways.