Driving through buildings …

August 26, 2008 at 7:51 pm (odds) (, , , , )

I’ve mentioned Google Sightseeing before, and its always interesting for a browse every now and again. Well, this article, is one of the weirdest yet – a building in Japan, where the highways people took out a lease on 3 floors so that they could run the road through it!

Wacky.

Kevin.

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Bill Bailey – Cockney Classics …

August 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm (music, odds) (, , , , , , )

I do so like Bill Bailey, he tends to really make me laugh. Something made me look him up on youtube today, and sure enough, all my favourites are there:

Of course, one of the nice things about looking up this sort of thing for a blog post, is that you find new ones.  I’d not seen the U2 one before.
He is one very clever and talented guy. I’d also really love to know where you get one of those MIDI Theremins!

Kevin.

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Identity Theft – who’s fault is it?

August 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm (security) (, , )

This is an interesting angle on the whole issue of identity theft.

Who is to blame? I like the bit where the bank says ‘they said they were you’ and Mr Colman replies ‘and you believed them?’

This sums up the issue for me.

Good stuff.

Kevin.

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The Muppet Matrix

August 16, 2008 at 9:13 pm (interesting, odds) (, , , , , )

I’ve seen loads of spoofs of major films. I particularly like some of the lego ones. However, I’ve probably just come across one of the funniest, The Muppet Matrix. This is a real classic. Almost as good as the ASCII art star wars saga

Kevin.

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Revels … and Internet Marketing

August 11, 2008 at 8:19 pm (interesting, internet, odds) (, , , , , , , )

We’ve just sat through the, quite entertaining, Revels Eviction website.  We dutifully sent the coffee creams to oblivion in various inventive ways …  Another interesting site is the natural confectionery company, who will send you a free bag of sweets, just for supplying an email and postal address (or would have done if they still had any).

Its interesting to see whole websites dedicated just to marketing a single product.  It doesn’t do anything useful, its just slightly entertaining, mentioned on the Revels packets themselves and gets you to think about the product.

Being of a generation that can remember when companies first started getting Internet connections, remembering a time when it was considered clever to guess website addresses (as being .com or .org or .co.uk as appropriate), and remembering when I first saw a URL on a TV ad (and it made me stop and take note in surprise), it is interesting to reflect on how far things have come.

Its also interesting to observe how the naming system of the Internet has been completely demolished.  Not due to hackers, but due to misuse, greed and the general ‘tragedy of the commons‘.  Originally, it was expected that someone like Mars, inc, would have mars.com (say) and then have subpages or subsites for specific products (e.g. http://www.revels.mars.com) or whatever. These days, you’ll probably get actual Internet sites for specific products (like the Revels one above) – or if the companies don’t have them thenselves, then they probably point to somewhere dodgy.

Well, it is probably about to get worse.  The people who run the Internet have started working out how to let people get their own top-level domain name.  So if you didn’t fancy mars(dot)com, you could buy (for a 6-figure sum) (dot)mars itself! I wonder how long it will be before B&Q (the owners of diy.com) buy http://www.diy.  Beginning of the end in my opinion.

Kevin.

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They caught me out! Grrr.

August 11, 2008 at 8:06 pm (internet, moan) (, , , )

I do pride myself on, generally, knowing what is sensible and what isn’t on the Internet. However, every so often something just catches you out no matter how careful you are.

Well, when I was about to login to write my post just now, I missed on the password and so got the usual ‘try again’ screen, but on that screen was an advert. And it was design exactly like a pop-up window. It asked me to fill in a survey. I didn’t want to (I don’t like surveys), so I clicked the ‘x’ in the top right corner (I never click buttons on these things, they could be programmed to do anything). Except this was a picture, with a link. I ended up at a dating site. So they caught me, because my attention was wandering and now I’m irritated.

This is why we have so many problems with spam, malware and so on still. The weakest link is always the bit between the chair and the keyboard, i.e. us. And people will exploit that endlessly, and always do. The main reason people keep sending out spam is because someone, somewhere, is clicking on the links and showing that a small number of people are still believing spam. It only has to be a very small fraction of a percent, but if sending a million emails is ‘free’ to you, 0.01% is still 100 people.

Making ads look like dialogues and pop ups is an oldee, but it obviously still works, even though its deception. Grrr.

Kevin.

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Six Degrees of Separation

August 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm (interesting, internet, odds) (, , )

For various reasons, this has been in the news again recently. The idea is that everyone is connected to everyone else by, on average, 6 links. There is some debate that this is just an academic urban myth though, but it is an idea that captures the imagination.

Someone even tried an experiment on facebook to see if they could get everyone on facebook to sign up to a group just from receiving invites from friends (so not necessarily proving 6-degrees, but showing that everyone is actually connected via a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend).

Whether its true or not, its all fascinating stuff and many people have had a tinker with the idea.

Kevin.

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