Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Facebook libel.

Interesting story.

A reminder to take care before creating false maicious profiles.

This story reminded me of the Fake Steve Jobs who alas is no longer with us.

On Researching Drunks in Cardiff

I live in Cardiff so it's always good to see the city of my birth in the news.

I walked sober through town last Tuesday afternoon.

It strikes me that further research is urgently needed to determine how it might be made possible for pedestrians to walk the length of Queen Street without :-

  • being hassled by professional charity collectors in tabards (I don't mean sellers of the Big Issue),
  • being presented with leaflets about Chinese medicine and all it's benefits,
  • being eyed up (and rejected) by women with clipboards undertaking market research,
  • being invited into a mobile phone shop by an adolescent in a suit,
  • being approached by a spiv in a suit wondering if I've had an accident worth taking to court,
  • being offered the opportunity of purchasing a guide to the Hare Krishna movement, 
  • being offered the opportunity to purchase one or all of a pair of designer sunglasses, a silk head scarf, my name displayed as a piece of bent wire, AA or RAC membership, a balloon on a stick, a temporary tattoo or a cuddly toy,  
  • running the risk of being run over by a cyclist.

None of those things happen to drunks.

Friday, July 18, 2008

On Cheating!


Now; if they can do it in sport (and it's taken them long enough), why can't we do it in education?

Monday, July 14, 2008

On Blogging.

Jorn Barger is one of the greats of the Internet. He introduced us to the phrase web log, which in turn became blog and he still lovingly produces Robot Wisdom the first link blog.

When I started to take an interest in blogs and the process of blogging I read Robot Wisdom diligently. It led me to corners of the web I barely knew existed. He introduced me to other link blogs, interesting photographs of space, reminded me of the genius that was James Joyce and rekindled my love of Kate Bush.

I was therefore interested to notice Rex at Fimoculous pointing to a post by Jorn in which he comments on observations made by Warren Ellis at The Patchwork Years

On the Patchwork Years Warren suggests

"That’s been the job of half the web, for the last several years — collating links from the other half of the web."

He continues

"The world does not need another linkblog. What is required, frankly, is what we’re supposed to call “content” these days. When I were a lad, back in the age of steam, we called this
“original material.”"

Jorn disagrees,

"in the blogosphere-to-come, everyone should put themselves out there
100%, linking everything they like, and subscribing only to those feeds
that match their own tastes best."

I'm with Jorn.

Only in Wales.

Having met this creature I can vouch for this story!

Friday, July 11, 2008

On Bras!

Forgive me but I have noticed that bras have been in the news this week!

First I read of Abbie Hawkins who discovered a bat in her bra, after wearing it for five hours!

Then I read of a facebook group called Busts 4 Justice!

I think I should join.

It seems that in Marks and Spencer DD bras are more expensive than bras for smaller busts.
An unfair tax on large busts says the founder of Busts for Justice.

M and S say larger bras require more material so are more expensive, maybe so, but why doesn't that logic apply to all articles of clothing?

Those of you interested in bras, might find this place of use.
It's a shop with virtual models to help the male of the species buy underwear for his loved one!

It's what the internet was invented for!

On Exams, Christopher Glamorganshire and blogging.

While reading Chris Cope's excellent "Dancing the Polka with Miss El Cajon" I have to confess that his observations about writing under exam conditions reminded me of something I have thought for a long time.

Students (and I was and am one) work all through the academic year using their desktop or laptop computers and then in examination rooms they are asked to write longhand.


During their course all submitted work has to be word processed and either printed or submitted electronically (or both), then in the exam they are asked to write longhand under extreme pressure.


During lectures those that take notes (and not many do) will write in longhand, copying down the thoughts of their lecturers; but note taking is not essay writing and to my mind provides little preparation for answering exam questions. In writing this post I am rather dependent upon my word processing skills, constantly changing the order of sentences, words and paragraphs. Word processing has changed the way that I work. The examination system used in Higher Education no longer reflects the way that we work in the real world. What are we to do?

Perhaps the time has come for word processing facilities to provided in examination rooms. Or is it time we reconsidered the role of the essay in examinations.
Either way something needs to be done.

Hidden away in the comments on Chris' blog an anonymous respondent asked about Christopher Glamorganshire which led me to this article.

It seems that an Assembly Government civil servant who lost his job for keeping a political blog has taken his case to an employment tribunal. It's likely that the case will hinge on whether or not his contract allowed for blogging.

Employers and employees will need to check their contracts and conditions of service.

Are you allowed to blog?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Digital Divide, what Digital Divide?

When some of us are still thinking about the digital divide in all it's many forms, it is somewhat refreshing to read a story like this one.

I don't suppose Cadwgan uses the internet.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

On "Big is Best"

Although it has been celebrated in many other places I have to point towards the new visual blog to be found on the site.

Called The Big Picture, it is truly truly brilliant.

Created by a genius called Alan Taylor, it provides really high quality large (990px) photographs, with minimal textual descriptions.

It is an awesome piece of work.

Go and look!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Two Google stories! Street View and YouTube

Yesterday while looking out of the bedroom window I saw a car drive past with what appeared to be a tripod on it's roof with camera's (?) pointing in all directions. In my head I thought ah a Google camera car. It has to be said that the car was travelling at speed, quite fast for the narrow quiet road on which I live, it's speed made me think that it couldn't have been a google surveyor but then today I read this.

"Google Street View" matches photographs to maps, providing a real 3D view of a location. If passers by or residents are in the street as the image is taken, they appear on the "Street View" display. In the States some individuals have complained about their presence and had their images removed or blurred, Google "has said it has begun to trial face blurring technology,
using an algorithm that detects human faces in photographs."

Here in the UK "Privacy International, a UK rights group, believes the technology breaks data protection laws."In our view they need a person's consent if they make use of a
person's face for commercial ends," said Simon Davis of the group.""

I wonder did they catch my face peering through the window?

The story makes my sighting of the strange camera car all the more interesting because the same news story includes this sentence. "Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started this week."

Coincidentally Google was in the news yesterday. A judge in the States has ruled that Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched a video on YouTube to Viacom. That's 12 terabytes of data! Apparently the viewing log will contain the log in ID of users, the computer IP address and details of the video clps watched.

Scarey stuff. Once Viacom have the data what will they do with it.

This court case raises once again all sorts of questions about the vast amounts of personal data held by social networking sites, ISPs, Google, etc.etc.

Big Brother has not gone away!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

On "How to Confuse an idiot".

Smile broadly.

I came across this via BuzzFeed.

It has no place on this blog, but it made me laugh (out loud).

Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Clive Sinclair and the Internet.

As a child I saved for ages to buy one of Sir Clive's famous calculators. As a teenager I was the proud owner of one of Sinclair's Spectrum computers; in fact it still sits in the attic.

So I guess he had quite an impact on my life.

But did you see or hear what he had to say yesterday about the internet?

"I don't use it myself directly," he said, explaining that as an inventor he tried to avoid "mechanical and technical things around me so they don't blur the mind".
Do you suppose the internet does blur the mind; or does it open it?
I think it's opened mine, but then I didn't invent a home computer, I just use one.

Powered by ScribeFire.