January 2007 Archives

January 31, 2007

The day Digg jumped the shark for me

Like all techie-minded web enthusiasts the emergence of Digg provided me with a new daily source of linkbait from the web, and the RSS feed has been a regular in my Firefox Live Bookmarks for a while. I can put up with the USA-centric commentary provided by the users. I can put up with the inevitable flame wars between the lead advocate fanboys of the Microsoft / Linux / Apple or the 360 / PS3 / Wii battles. I can...
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January 30, 2007

Google kills the political Googlebomb - well, unless you are French

Whilst there has been a lot of talk about it in search and tech circles, nobody in the mainstream press has picked up much yet on the fact that a few days ago Google announced that it had killed the "Googlebomb". Or, at least, in their own words minimized 'the impact of many Googlebombs'. One of the most enduringly popular posts on this site was about how people perceived the "Googlebomb" when searching for 'weapons of mass destruction' to have...
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January 29, 2007

The anonymous CD sleeves in 3's music download advertising campaign

I was on the top deck of a London bus last week, and noticed that all of the advertising space had been given over to promoting mobile network operator 3's music download store. They are advertising that the service has half a million tracks, and is, of course, open anywhere you can get a mobile signal, including the top deck of the bus itself. A couple of things struck me about the advert, which featured shelves and shelves of CD...
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January 25, 2007

DRM protecting me from playing my new video clips

This week one of the customer service team left a comment on one of my previous entries about having trouble buying digital music, which I thought was very pro-active customer service from them. I think it is a good thing for companies, especially those in the digital economy, to be looking at their online brand reputation, and where they feel it is necessary, passing comment. I mention this because I have had problems with another digital music purchase made via...
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January 24, 2007

Check-in credit card trauma with British Airways at Heathrow

Staying on a travel theme this week, since I am over in the UK for a few days, I noted James Cridland's post about the problems he had trying to make travel arrangements with a card that was due to expire in a little while. I had a similar problem last week when trying to travel. Having got to the UK, the first leg of my mad dash around the country involved flying from London Heathrow to Edinburgh with British...
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January 23, 2007

5 things you probably don't know about me...

...(unless you are my mum) I've been tagged directly by Dave, and indirectly on This Is Not My Country, so just imagine all the usual humbug about how I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing but... 1) I played the lead role in my school's annual production of Macbeth when I was an insecure troubled teenager. A couple of months spent brooding over the Scottish play at the age of 17 didn't really help to be honest. 2) I...
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January 22, 2007

You can't always trust a hotel reservation from Expedia in a crisis

One of the biggest stories in the UK last week was the weather on Thursday 18th, which caused havoc across the country. I was travelling with my wife during the day and got caught up in the chaos. I was going from Stonehaven to Oxenholme in the Lake District, and due to a 50mph speed restriction placed on trains, I arrived at my destination around 45 minutes late. I wasn't too bothered by that - better safe than sorry. My...
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January 18, 2007

My photos in The World & I Online gallery

I was recently contacted by the World & I Online, asking whether they could feature some of the pictures from my recent travels in their world gallery. This is a subscription based resource for teachers providing images from around the globe for use within classes. They approached me although the Creative Commons license terms I applied to the photographs do not quite match their intended use, and in this case I was happy to waive the Sharealike requirement. I am...
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January 17, 2007

Coverage of the Apple and Cisco iPhone trademark battle

Yesterday I wrote about the accessibility issue with Apple's newly announced "iPhone" product - and my concern that should many devices end up adopting their approach of a mobile phone without a tactile interface, usability for the large section of the population with some visual or motor impairment might be a problem. I also looked at the very vocal response of a section of the Apple fan community to the very suggestion that this might even be a question worth...
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January 16, 2007

iPhone and the blindness of the Apple fans

Well, it seemed churlish not to join in with virtually every other blog I read and not post something about the mobile phone / multimedia device you may have seen launched by Apple last week. I have to start by saying that I am intrigued by the user interface, and I'll be fascinated to hear about how people get on with it out in the wild. Rather than talk about the much-vaunted product itself, I wanted to look at a...
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January 15, 2007

Getting Sony's SonicStage for Christmas

Whilst it wasn't traditional link bait in the sense of trying to get something onto the front page of Digg, when my good friend Frankie recently wrote about his experience of using Sony's SonicStage software, he must have known that I wouldn't be able to resist responding. First off I must say I thought Frankie gave a very honest account of using and installing the software. He was using the CD supplied with the player to install it, so I...
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January 12, 2007

More politics over the BBC's political votes

Following the publicity that surrounded the Today programmes Christmas vote, and the suspicion that intense web activity by the Countryside Alliance had swung the result, another political BBC vote took a pre-emptive strike the other day. The Daily Politics is holding a vote to ask people who they think is their favourite post-war Prime Minister, and editor Jamie Donald wrote: "Anyone can vote anytime between now and Easter by visiting The Daily Politics website, and following the links. And as...
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January 11, 2007

Beckham goes to L.A. from Real Madrid - Someone at the BBC should head back to skool

This made me laugh today. In their rush to break the news that David Beckham has confirmed he will be leaving Madrid for L.A., someone at the Beeb didn't get their proof-reading right. Somebody clearly needs to 'wrok' on their spelling, rather than their football set pieces :-;...
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Five Years of Information Architecture in the Free Pint newsletter

Just before Christmas the Free Pint newsletter published an article by Karen Loasby, Information Architecture Team Lead at the BBC's new-fangled sounding Future Media and Technology department. Karen is one of the people who I most miss working with on a day-to-day basis. The article surveys the last five years of development in the field of Information Architecture, from a situation where people were only just getting to grips with some of the key concepts involved, to today, where user-led...
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January 10, 2007

Sony loses DRM court case in France over the Sony Connect store

There has been a dribble of coverage recently that Sony has lost a court case in France over the inclusion of DRM restrictions with content downloaded from the Sony Connect store. The verdict was apparently delivered on December 15th, but only just seems to be making news following an announcement by the group taking the action, the Union Federale des Consommateurs - Que Choisir. Sony themselves have so far declined to comment as far as I can tell. The case...
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January 9, 2007

Today and the Hunting ban repeal vote

Being a behind-the-scenes veteran of several BBC Today programme online votes, I've been watching with interest from the continent as the saga of this year's vote has unfolded. For those not in the know, listeners voted overwhelmingly to repeal the law that attempts to ban hunting with hounds, and on air the programme suggested there was something "suspicious" about the outcome. Even paragon of virtue Ann Widdecombe was quoted as suggesting "We did hesitate on the panel to put this...
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January 7, 2007

The new UK digital singles chart tries to avoid the old hype

Today marks a significant milestone in the history of the British singles chart, as when on Sunday afternoon the BBC counts down the Top 40 it will be the first time that downloads and physical singles will be competing on an equal footing. For me it is a bit like coming full circle, as it means that one of my projects, the Sony Connect digital music store, is now a proper "chart return store", just like the record shop in...
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January 5, 2007

"Church and blur" on Druid Street

I noticed that on Wednesday one of my Flickr photos - Church and blur - was reproduced on the rather enigmatic Druid Street site. It is a picture, I believe, of a French church taken when I was on a school trip there back in the 1980s. It was one of a whole wallet of photographs that my parents recently found, which were taken by me between the ages of 9 and 13. Funnily enough, having posted them on Flickr,...
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January 4, 2007

Not so bright marketing from Bright Eyes

Yesterday I came across what I thought was some pretty poor online marketing for the band "Bright Eyes". I'd read some favourable comments about them recently, and so went to visit their homepage. I got greeted by an opening splash screen that wanted to harvest my email address before I could get into the site. I wasn't actually particularly lured in by the promise of a new streamed track, I just wanted to find out something about the band. I...
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January 3, 2007

A happy new year in 2007? Don't count on it

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