Google Redesign part Two

Turns out my post in January about Google sporting a new look was based on reality after all. My spotter Nick wasn’t just tripping 🙂

If you check out Google.com today, it looks slightly different!

Also, have a look at Google labs. They have two brand new features there that look like they have huge potential. I’m particularly interested in the personalised search tool.

It’s Summer time

Never mind the longer days, the daisies in the park, the slightly warmer weather, the impending doom of British Summer Time, or anything like that. I just heard the first ice cream van drive by. It’s officially Summer.

OnMatrix

Simon has a damning review of OnMatrix. Unfortunately it looks like he isn’t able to get $204 refunded, under their 30-day money back guarantee. The lack of customer support, particularly with hosting companies, is sometimes quite dire. This is usually the consequence of cheap hosting prices though, but surely they can’t be doing their company image any good?

Blogtalk Submission

Thank you for submitting your proposal. It will be reviewed by our jury 
and you will be informed about acceptance in time.
[...]

Am 16.03.2004 um 04:30 schrieb Sven Latham: > Please find attached my submission for the Blogtalk 2.0 Call For > Proposals, entitled "Encouraging Metadata in Weblogs: The Benefits, > Consequences and Challenges".

Fingers crossed…

Family Antics

I have a very old Apple ][e computer, complete with retina-burning monochrome monitor and three large boxes which accept 5-1/4 inch disks.

I am throwing it away.

My Dad: "Are you sure you want to throw this computer away?"
Me: "Yep. It was made in 1979 so isn’t really much use to me any more"
My Dad: "Oh…. but can’t I use it to go on the Internet?"

D’you the Apple ][e has an ‘Integer card’ (optional extra) that lets it deal with integers far more efficiently than was generally possible.I don’t quite understand the technical detail. All I did know was that I couldn’t play some games on it asa kid because I didn’t own said card.

Blogtalk Conference

I’m thinking of going to the Blogtalk conference in Vienna in July.

Not only am I thinking of going, I’m thinking of submitting a paper. Something about Blogwise and my pushing for metadata support in blogs I think.

In most ways, I’d love for the paper to be accepted. It’d be an amazing experience, a great way to meet people, and a very cool and impressive stamp on my CV. However, I am incredibly nervous about it too, although I’ve been told I do public speaking (in lectures) very well and don’t look nervous. I think they were just being nice…

Whether my paper gets accepted or not, I think I’m going to go. It’ll be a fab time. However, I have no idea how to book a flight, what ‘things’ I need to do, get and be aware of (air tax, insurance, etc.) – this’d be my first time on a plane, as well as my first time abroad!

Anyway, it’s in July. I better book soon. The cheap airport booking services are already showing full planes (or I’m misinterpreting them), and I imagine hotels in Vienna are quite hard to get.

The other problem is the price. The conference itself is a great price, but flights are 150 UKP and up (about $250?) from Southampton, and travelling to Gatwick is hardly worth the reduced price.

Chalkhill Lives

Chalkhill Lives is a soap opera based around Chalkhill, a clever little pseudonym for Paulsgrove, which is an area of Portsmouth, which is just up the road from me :-). ‘Chalkhill’ refers to the chalk quarries on Portsdown hill just north of the city.

The programme is online, and it’s not as bad as I thought, although most of the interest comes from watching the video and thinking ‘I know that’ or ‘I drive through there weekly…’

Mobile Phone Antics

http://psiloc.com/?id=prod&nrp=44

MiniGPS is a nice little tool for the Series 60 phones, that is able to tell which phone network node you’re connected to, and fires events accordingly.

For example if I’m at University I can tell the phone to switch to silent whenever I connect to the local node, and to go back to normal when I’m out.

In fact, the University campus is covered by at least three nodes. Fortunately MiniGPS lets you create groups, and have the events fired upon entry or exit of one of the group nodes.

At the moment I’ve programmed the phone to go silent whenever I am on University campus, switch to a subtle ringtone when I’m at home, and have a very loud ringtone when I’m on the M27 motorway.

You can also do a few other things: set the background image, show an alert box, or send an SMS.

I’d quite like to see a cheaper notification method though. It’d be nice to be able to ping a website somewhere with GPRS. That would allow those of us inclined to do so to get our blogs to say "I’m in Southampton" (or more serious work-based locating) – it at least opens the possibilities up a little.

Simon Kittle has also found some mobile locating tools, although they are all pull-based (ie. website polls phone networks on request) rather than push.

MiniGPS has a 21 day trial, and costs 14.95 EUR