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Thursday, November 30, 2006

In it to win it

LEWIS client F-Secure is asking readers of its blog to vote on its new set of laptop stickers.

Get stuck in now by casting your vote.

But let's all please try stay away from 'Where is this kernel-land? Is it close to Lapland?', eh? I'm not sure the world is ready for that level of hilarity...

Also posted on LEWIS 360.

Trigger hippy

It's worth following the thread of conversation here regarding Jackie Danicki's alleged assault on the London Underground. Stuart makes a good point that a LOT of bloggers are posting images of a person that needs to remain innocent until proven guilty.

Has everyone got carried away here at the slight scent of blog scandal, or are we well within our rights to leap to the defence of a blogger - and therefore friend - using the only tools we've got?


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just one of the 1.3 million

At last, someone has made a sensible point about regulation in the blogosphere.

From the BBC today:
Press Complaints Commission director Tim Toulmin said he opposed government regulation of the internet, saying it should a place "in which views bloom".

But unless there was a voluntary code of conduct there would be no form of redress for people angered at content.

Good work fella.

And that comment looks particularly sensible when you look at the quote from Alastair Campbell at the end of the article. "Some of the most offensive stuff" comes from blogs, does it Alastair?

Maybe you're right... But your comments still echo a worrying lack of nuance in the general public's understanding of the medium. Doesn't most of the most offensive stuff come from people's mouths?

Or am I over-complicating the matter?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


To celebrate my reinstatement on Technorati (I've been very out of the loop for three months), here is a link to my favourite post ever from Loic. Enjoy.


Don't have nightmares

Using the Internet for good, not evil, is to be commended.

Let's find the freak who assaulted Jackie Danicki.

Thanks for your help.

(Via Drew.)

Three heads are better than one

Why would wonderful blog Boing Boing feel the need to tell PR types to stop emailing them suggestions for their site? In bold?

My first reaction was to pity the editors at Boing Boing for having to deal with a load of PR people desperately emailing them dumbass press releases about their client's latest rubbish product in the vain hope of 'coverage'.

But that was the blogger in me talking.

Then I thought about the poor PR types. Most of the media relations people I know are only really just working out their key blogger contacts. Yes, some are more behind than others, but PR is currently one of the blogosphere's main supporters. They are even happy to give free stuff away (like mobile phones) in the hope of 'coverage'. Why publicly berate them just for doing what they do best? In bold?

But that was the PR person in me talking.

Then I thought 'Hang on a minute'. These bloggers have found themselves at the helm of an online magazine. These writers are reporting fact, swaying opinion and entertaining the masses. When a blog gets as big as Boing Boing, it's made the jump from pet project to broadcast medium. This is a position of great power. And as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. So if Boing Boing thinks it's OK to post glib remarks about PRs - in bold - it's wrong. All that is doing is showing that it's a fledgling in the big wide world of publishing. Editors need PR, and PR needs publications to survive. I suspect they don't complain when they get free stuff. This is just another case of a blog that's got too big for its boots.

That was the journalist in me talking. I will only be listening to him from now on.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sprint posting

I've been down in the LEWIS Media Centre blogging 'live' the LEWIS Industry Forum 2006.

It was a mad hour of typing and scanning the web for images to go with the posts. I'm exhausted now. Perhaps I'm too old to blog.

You can read my posts at LEWIS 360.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

They're made out of meat

For Drew and everyone that hasn't seen this...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Sony crisis shockwave

Sony has launched the 'world's lightest notebook PC'. But this CNN article doesn't seem too bothered about that. After an initial flurry of stats, the third paragraph drags the story right back to what seems to have only slightly tarred Apple, Toshiba et al's reputation - the 'exploding batteries' saga.

By the end, we're back to the story. But paragraph 3 and 4? You just can't miss them.

What will Sony do next to renew confidence? The world's largest LCD TV? The world's coolest MP3 player? The world's most expensive robot dog?

Or will the world's fastest games console be enough to divert attention away from the crisis?

Let's just hope they don't explode.

Also published on LEWIS 360

Friday, November 03, 2006

OS mashes-up maps

Some words just don't go together. 'Fashion sandals'. 'Racing pigeon'. 'Modern jazz'. 'Express queue'.

These are contradictions, bordering on the oxymoronic.

So when Ordnance Survey - a company so steeped in geographical and geological expertise that not having a beard and a personal subscription to Geotimes is banned by its HR department* - announces it's getting involved in mash-ups, I nearly jumped out of my fashion sandals.

The Ordnance Survey 'OpenSpace' project will begin with a limited three-month experiment with 12 developers using a new Java API (application programming interface, for those of you without a beard) to create mashed-up applications using OS data.

The idea is to mimic the success of Google Maps in becoming a reasonably standard standard for online mapping. After all, letting any old publisher access your data in an integration-friendly way is a great way of upping your profile.

While Ordnance Survey and the crazy world of Web 2.0 seem to be at odds with one another, this announcement is great news for the citizens of the planet. I can't be the only one who's been sat somewhere on Earth (in my case, Battersea) wondering why the hell the map I'd printed off Google Maps is bearing no resemblance to the layout of the streets in front of me. Is that too much to ask?

But Google don't really care that I'm stranded in South West London by their rubbish mapping, because they're too busy fiddling about with other, more trendy things like YouTube and JotSpot.

The friendly chaps over at Ordnance Survey, however, would rather have their collection of modern jazz CDs set on fire than let me lose my way. They are the old guard of mapping - from a time when maps were maps and explorers relentlessly charted the globe armed with a sexton, a compass and a pencil just to see who could make more detailed schematics of the Isle of Wight.

Ordnance Survey's entrance into the online mapping arena will hopefully mean that the other providers pull their finger out and improve the quality of online mapping. After all, in Web 2.0 world, mapping is a killer app.

Now let's see if the experts can force Google into making a killer map.

* Not true, obviously

Also published on LEWIS 360.