Monday, September 18, 2006

I've moved

For no other reason that I wanted to try Wordpress ...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Making some coin Vs Crazy idealism

"There is still a part of me that remembers when nobody on the Internet was "doing it for the money" - and everything was free. Crazy idealists twhere are you all now?" - Lucasdigital 13/09/2006
This post from LucasDigital on Flickr really has me thinking. On one hand I dislike the BBC using Flickr as a free source of photographs, but on the other hand, I love they way Google, Flickr and a whole slew of other companies offer their API's for free to the rest of the internet. I really am chuffed for Mark, and the fact that his pictures were chosen. The fact that the photographs are taken by an individual, and the API's are released by large corporations makes no difference, nor does the fact that one is a photograph, and one is an API giving access to data of one sort or another. Is it the fact that one is a large corporation giving away it's API to the little man, and the other is a little man's (sorry Mark, just a turn of phrase :-) ) content being used by a large corporation for their own gain. The photographer in me says "I've taken the time and effort to take these photos, why shouldn't I get paid for them?", but the web developer in me thinks what if Google, or Yahoo, or Flickr took that attitude?, but back to the point of making money ... when you get to the nub of things, all these fantastic idealistic companies with their API's do it for one thing. They let you and I have free access to their API's and webservices so that they can make money. Even if an API is just a crude tool to give the company some exposure, you can bet it was cheaper to develop the API or service than it would have been to employ some PR company to get the same exposure the API gives them, the tools that people build on top of these services also drive people to the site, and toward the product that they have to pay for, or adverts that the company earns revenue from. So you see at the end of the day, the modern day idealists, in it for kicks and the buzz are just the same as everyone else, they want their dollar. What the BBC is doing is exploiting the good will and the free manpower that sites such as Flickr offer, and then use this to drive people to their site, where they may buy the latest Postman Pat comic, Tweenies roadshow tickets, or Only Fools and Horses DVD. It's not crowdsourcing, it's exploiting the fact that everyone wants their "ooh! I'm on the BBC" 15 minutes of fame.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Links for 21/07/2006

A video special this week ... Buz Albrin gives some chin music to a crazy conspiracy theorist. So nearly an entry for the Darwin Awards

Is this the secret to better education?

Tell kids learning is like smoking crack?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Next time you get cought mapping in the office ...

... simply say that your creating powerful solutions fuelled by your superconcious. Ok, so the article has a slight crackpot bent to it, but what he's saying does have some merit.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Back from my holiday

No whinging or cartoon for this post, just a quick update on my jollies, it's mainly for relatives who didn't come with us ... We went to stay in a tiny Village called Ebberston, in between Pickering & Scarborough on the A170. I went with the in-laws and my family for a weeks "rest", and while there wasn't much resting, it was a great week away. Nemo On the Sunday we went to the Sea life Center in Scarborough, and while Matthew is still a bit young to appreciate it, the rest of us thought it was great. You can click on any of these photo's to see more. We saw the penguins being fed, and Matthew was convinced they were all Pingu. The sealions were a little dissapointing, and didn't really do much other than lie there, Matthew thought they were boring, and so did I. The sharks were better though, we got o watch them being fed, basically this guy skewered fish heads on a cane and stuck them in the water for the sharks to eat, that was pretty cool. I have a massive lump on my head after whacking it taking this photo of a jellyfish, the tank was above me, and as I stood up, something distracted me, and I forgot about the huge, water filled perspex tank above my head. It's fair to say that it hurt a little. On the way to Scarborough, we noticed a Point to Point meeting in a nearby village, Vicky's cousin usually visits these when they're in the North, and sure enough he was going to be at this one too, so we took the opportunity to go and meet him, and his family. I came away with 12 quid on the last race, and a few good photos too, Matthew had a whale of a time, saying Hello to all the horses & dogs. He didn't win any money though. Vicky's cousin takes photo's at these Point to Point meetings and makes them available to buy on his website A prett tiring day all in all, but Matthew still wanted to go swimming when we got back, he's really happy in the water, and doesn't need to cling to either of us. He's got arm bands and can really move when he wants to. We went swimming almost every day, Matthew loved the bubbles in the jaquizzi, and nearly fell asleep on Grandpa's knee. On Tuesday we took a train ride from Pickering up to Goathland, which is where the tv series Heartbeat is filmed apparantly. This was the only day that we had any problems with the weather, it chucked it down as soon as we finished lunch. I did manage to pick up some walking boots which will come in handy. WhitbyWednesday we had a trip up to Whitby, the day started off bloody miserable, and I had the strongest cup of tea for lunch, it almost stripped the enamel off my teeth. However, after lunch the weather cleared up, and I was able to get photo's like this!! We had a wander round Whitby for a while, had a look round a ship called The Grand Turk, it's been used in the TV series Hornblower and Longitude When we got to the beach, Matthew said "hello!" to the horses (donkeys) but refused to ride on them, he didn't like it at all, and after laughing nervously, decided he wanted to get off. Despite our best efforts he would only manage a few steps before wanting to get off again. Gandma bought him a bucket & spade, which Jon made full use of, and he (Matthew that is, not Jon) thought the sea was one massive puddle to be splashed in, until it started chasing him up the beach and he couldn't outrun it. What you lookin' at?On Thursday we found a farm where Matthew could go and meet some animals, he loves places like that. It was a little dissapointing though, only having 1 barn with animals, no horses or cows, and the hatchery was shut because of "bird flu scares" All in all we had a great holiday, and it's good to be back at work for a rest!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Links for w/e 14th April 2006

Some crazy machines on display here, fascinating stuff. The Sheffield Flickr group have a new blog. Are you too rich for free email services? Then why not buy one of the exclusive accounts at only $399 a month. As we all know "The Internet is for Porn"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cute kittens are not as stupid as they sound.

It's about time someone came up with a new way of recognising that someone is human, and not just another script trying to register on your phpNuke website, I mean what the fuck is this supposed to say? You may have already seen this, but the guys at have come up with a novel way to both check that the user is human and also female (or a Python developer) Now it might look like a ridiculous idea at first, but when you think about it it's not as daft as it first appears. At least with this method you don't have to try and decypher random letters from some garbled image, it much easier & quicker to see 3 cats in amongst squirrels, weasels & beavers, so it saves the user time. You could also customise it to say pick 3 company logos from random images in your product catalogue, or why not have it dislay 3 images of the sites author amongst historical figures? The act of having to actually click on the images too is another barrier to scripts, until this method becomes more widespread at least, then it's back to the drawing board trying to keep 1 step ahead of the spammers.