Go to blog home page

Archive for May, 2006

By

May 31st, 2006

Snakes on a plane

Snakes on a plane

The blogosphere is buzzing about a blockbuster movie due out this summer in the US, called ‘Snakes on a plane‘. How can you not love a film with that title? It’s even got Samuel L Jackson in it.

The film attracted attention the moment its working title (now, also its final title) was known, including a popular unofficial blog. Word is that scenes were re-shot for the movie to incorporate ideas floated on the blog. The blog is credited as the source of the immortal line ‘I want these [expletive deleted] snakes, off this [expletive deleted] plane’, which any Samuel L Jackson fans will be able to fully understand.

With audiences already howling at the trailer, the film promises to be the funniest non-comedy film ever made.

Here’s a soundbite from the film, courtesy of the official site…

And another…

We can’t believe he’s saying that either.

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snakes on a plane

 

By

May 26th, 2006

"It could be made into a monster, if we all pull together as a team"

"It could be made into a monster, if we all pull together as a team"

There’s currently a huge amount of bobbins being spouted online about Web 2.0 services and the impact they could have on the online world as we know it. This is a crying shame because there are lot more people out there working on projects that cut straight to the guts of the concept – collaborative creativity.

A lot of very worthy, practical and educational sites can be built along these principles, all user-driven points of presence hosting communities working towards a common goal. But as with the static content-driven web, there remains plenty of scope for superficially frivolous sites that conceal a serious demonstration of adaptable technology.

My own personal favourite of the moment is The Global Mosaic from The Broth team. This simplistic shared art project belies some super-slick collaborative programming.

Please let us know your favourite examples of websites that stand as Web 2.0 showcases. We love sharing, we do…

tags: | |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on "It could be made into a monster, if we all pull together as a team"

 

By

May 25th, 2006

Card scammers attack spammers

Card scammers attack spammers

Criminals who trade in stolen credit card data are starting to rip off spammers, according to The Register. Card scammers sign up as affiliates and earn commission for generating sales. Only they’re not sending spam to create sales, they’re plugging in stolen credit card data. That means they waltz off with the goods and the commission while the evil spam sponsors face a high level of charge-backs and fraud investigations. Few people will shed any tears for the spammers, whose greed has destroyed email as a communication medium and made it inconvenient and unreliable for most people.

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Card scammers attack spammers

 

By

May 23rd, 2006

It's out of this world…

It's out of this world…

Ever wanted to be in two places at once? Well, the latest initiative in virtual gaming allows you to do just that! Interscope Records has partnered with Web Community start up Doppelganger to launch a virtual nightclub called the Pussycat Lounge, where visitors create customised digital images of themselves, called avatars, and use them to navigate the various rooms of the nightclub. Visitors can also interact with other guests by using the integrated AOL Instant Messenger application to chat, punctuated with pre-programmed gestures and dance moves for their avatar. Not only does this virtual world allow you to interact socially, but visitors are subjected to a type of virtual marketing. The lounge features are used as a storefront where visitors will soon be able to spend real cash to buy artist T-shirts to add to their avatar, or buy the real shirt for themselves. A virtual spending spree… it sounds fantastic!

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It's out of this world…

 

By

May 19th, 2006

NASA sends woman to bed for three months

NASA sends woman to bed for three months

According to the Guardian, a woman is recovering after taking part in a NASA experiment that involved her staying in bed for three months. That means she’s been lying around since before Easter – since March in fact (if the report of the experiment finishing is timely).

The experiment is supposed to simulate the physical sensation of being weightless, and perhaps also the tedium of being in a confined space with limited entertainment options. Still, that leaves plenty of time to write a blog.

NASA encouraged her to set goals. What would you choose? Would you learn a language, or write a novel? Would you study psychology or learn to sing? You’re facing the world’s leading scientists, part of the same organisation that in its distant past achieved the incredible and put men on the moon. And you say: “I aim to complete another foot each day of a cash till receipt roll that I want to cover with doodles.” Genius.

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on NASA sends woman to bed for three months

 

By

May 16th, 2006

Up from the depths, thirty storeys high! Breathing fire, its head in the sky – Mozilla!

Up from the depths, thirty storeys high! Breathing fire, its head in the sky – Mozilla!

Which flavour of browser are you using to read our blog today? According to the latest figures from analysts at OneStat.com there’s now an 11.79 per cent chance that it’s Mozilla Firefox (which, incidentally, is also the browser I’m using to post this entry).

Firefox is gaining in popularity every day, while Internet Explorer is suffering from the extensive gaps between revisions Microsoft chooses to bestow on its users. Of course, it remains to be seen just how fickle us Firefox fans will be when IE 7 hits at the end of the year (Vista delays permitting), complete with tabbed browsing and numerous other frills ‘borrowed’ from open source developers.

OneStat.com does concede that IE continues to dominate overall, with 85.17 per cent of the global market in May, shrinking by 0.65 percent since January (source: ZDNet UK). Firefox support has swollen by 0.56 per cent over the same period. Firefox 2.0 is currently in Alpha 2 release with a final version expected in the Autumn, sneaking a significant jumpstart on IE 7.

So, do you stick by your chosen breed of Windows browser through thick and thin? Or are you happy to chop and change from IE to its rivals as the feature set lead changes hands?

Please share your tales of loyalty and betrayal with us all!

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Up from the depths, thirty storeys high! Breathing fire, its head in the sky – Mozilla!

 

By

May 12th, 2006

Top searches deliver dangerous websites

Top searches deliver dangerous websites

New research claims that 64% of the sites returned by search engines when asked for ‘free screensavers’ are dangerous. Two researchers studied the top results for 1,394 popular keywords across five leading search engines to assess the risk of spyware, adware and viruses at these sites. The riskiest sites are those that offer software for download – not surprisingly, because the easiest way to spread malware is to pretend it’s something else and let people install it on their own computers.

As with most survey stories, there are some funny statistics in play – either in the survey itself or in how it’s being reported. Apparently, 4-6% of sites returned across all searches were dangerous. Americans carry out 6 billion searches a month. Therefore, the authors conclude, there are 285 million clicks on dangerous sites a month. The flaw in this logic is that the 6 billion searches aren’t all on those top keywords. The long tail of diverse people searching for stuff nobody else cares about probably totals more searches than those who keep searching for Paris Hilton and Chantelle, where all the malware is likely to be targeted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top searches deliver dangerous websites

 

By

May 11th, 2006

Google's new toy: Google Trends

Google's new toy: Google Trends

Google’s launched four new products, of which the most interesting is Google Trends. This enables you to enter keywords and see how the number of searches for them has changed over time. It puts flags against peaks and troughs with links to relevant news stories.

But the graph doesn’t have a scale, making it largely meaningless. Compare this graph of Radiohead vs Pet Shop Boys, which tells us Radiohead is much more popular, with this graph that tells you that they’re both small beer compared to Pink Floyd.

The problem is that there’s no scale shown. So while we can tell that Radiohead is perhaps ten times more popular than the Pet Shop Boys at times, we can’t tell if that’s 90 people who are more interested in the band, or 9000. The scale changed on the second graph too, making it even harder to get meaningful data from the graph (see how Radiohead and the Pet Shop Boys look much closer together now).

Google Trends is an interesting visual interface, but it seems to lack the rigour required to really help with Google’s mission to organise the world’s information. It’s still much more of a toy than a tool.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Google's new toy: Google Trends

 

By

May 11th, 2006

Web 2.0 forever blowing bubbles, or fit to burst?

Web 2.0 forever blowing bubbles, or fit to burst?

Web 2.0 was the buzz phrase on every exhibitor and delegate’s lips at this week’s Internet World show in London’s Earls Court 2 conference hall.

Big cheeses from E-consultancy, Yahoo!, and The Times built their keynote speeches around the advent of the user-centric internet on the opening day, while execs and VPs from the likes of eBay, MSN, Lastminute, Conde Nast and EMAP all confronted issues of marketing and content creation “for a 21st century audience” as the week unfolded.

But will Web 2.0 become a more mature, robust marketplace for entrepreneurs and purely online businesses than good ol’ Web 1.0, or will a naive trust in the global public’s ability to come together as an abiding community prove its downfall once again?

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle explores the various loopholes already being exploited in our next generation internet for financial gain, and asks the question – will the bubble burst again?

What do you think? Please let us know.

tags:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Web 2.0 forever blowing bubbles, or fit to burst?

 

By

May 9th, 2006

Robo-Tentacle will destroy us all! Aaarrghhh!

Robo-Tentacle will destroy us all! Aaarrghhh!

The New Scientist has a report on a robotic tentacle which, although claimed to be designed for the benefit of mankind, is almost certain to break free from its programming and run amok, destroying all humans in its path.

tags: |

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Robo-Tentacle will destroy us all! Aaarrghhh!

 

By

May 5th, 2006

New video shows Saturn's moon landing

New video shows Saturn's moon landing

NASA has published a video showing what its Huygens probe saw as it landed on Titan, Saturn’s moon. The video shows the most distant touchdown ever made of Earth technology. It’s partly simulated, but is based on footage sent back by the probe. There’s a nice bit at the start of the film that shows you the Sun and Earth and pans out to show Saturn, showing clearly just how far away it is. Amazing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New video shows Saturn's moon landing

 

By

May 3rd, 2006

New trojan steals virtual cash

New trojan steals virtual cash

According to Information Week, a new trojan is on the loose that attempts to steal user credentials for online game World of Warcraft. Using a user’s stolen identity details, criminals will be able to log in to a user’s account, take control of their virtual possessions and sell them on for real cash. Paying real money for virtual goods in the game is officially banned by the game’s maker Blizzard, but it still takes place on unofficial websites.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New trojan steals virtual cash