Thursday, June 29, 2006

The price of fame...

A moving plea from Rachel from north London: Journalists please read: "now hundreds of journalists from all over the world wanting to speak to survivors, and most of them seem to be trying to do so via me. I am sorry, but I can't help"

The problem is that Rachel is torn between two worlds none of which featured in her life plan. On the hand she wants to get justice in the form of a public enquiry into the causes of the London underground bombings and the other to lead a quiet life away from the ordeal of being in the carriage which was bombed and also away from the terrible rape ordeal which she went through before the 7th July. Her problem is that she writes so well, combining all the best parts of blogging a real story written with passion.

Hopfully her life will quieten down soon.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Jones in 1881

An excellent and fun tool from the Centre for Advanced Spacial Analysis enabling you to check the distribution of your surname in the UK (excluding Ireland) for the years 1881 and 1998. The map is for Jones in 1881
Purple areas are the highest concentrations (then red > orange >yellow > white)

Friday, June 23, 2006

BBC Radio 4 - Open Country - 9 August 2003

BBC Radio 4 - Open Country - 9 August 2003: "Richard learns that watercress contains more Vitamin C than fresh oranges and more calcium that cow's milk." and thats after visting the wild swimming website

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Music Industry is Battling Illegal Downloading by Suing Music Fans.

The Music Industry is Battling Illegal Downloading by Suing Music Fans.

An excellent petition that I can encourage you to sign. Yes a record company company AGAINST suing its fans for downloading music

Who would have thought.....

Amazing to find this on an official McDonalds blog:-
  • Accelerating beef production was raising the levels of greenhouse-gas CO2 considerably, through burning of forest and pastureland, for example.
  • Ever-increasing transport needs were also generating more CO2.
  • The ever-more-numerous cows were generating many millions more tons of methane, a greenhouse gas dozens of times more powerful than CO2.
  • The production of animal feed in the Amazon was deforesting one of the primary sources of CO2 absorption.
  • These activities were cueing the simulation of other industries too, leading to more gas production there as well."
Maybe the USA is waking up at last. The above was part of a speech by Andrew Shimery-Wolf, Director, McDonald's Interactive and relates to a simulation game McDonalds were playing.

So maybe David Morris and Helen Steel will get a huge payout from McDonalds for forewarning them about all of this in the McLibel case.

Monday, June 19, 2006

UK Government IT spending

Extracted from questions asked by Chris Huhne and published on They work for you
Latest figures 2005

Ministry of Transport 244,500,000
Defence 547,672,000 (operating costs) plus 134,466,000 (additions)
Northern Ireland 10,724,000
Dept Culture Media and Sport 64,600,000
Welsh office 176,161.40 (Thats for less than 3m people ie 60 per person on IT alone!)
International Development have no clue as to what they spend
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over the last five years is 478,245,262. including 180 million contract with Global Crossing (Note: Global Crossings UK turnover was only 239m)
Duchy of Lancaster 35,756,263
Treasury 3,087,000
Deputy Prime Ministers office 18,108,962
National health service trust expenditure 130,037,000 (But apparently the new programme will be 12.4 billion over 10 years, or 206 per person)

That little lot is 1,284,600,277 or about 21 per person in the UK and remember thats just IT expenditure!

And who some of the money went too...
Cabinet Office
Contractor name Total recorded expenditure 's ()
Computacenter 83,969,515
Hewlett-Packard 55,535,729
Atos 40,701,106
Cable and Wireless 26,554,274
Electronic Data Systems 23,952,188

IT expenditure at the Deputy Prime Officer

Chris Huhne recently asked the government for details of IT expenditure at the Deputy Prime Ministers office since 2002 and Department for Communities and Local Government since 2006.
The answer is :-
Financial year Expenditure ()
2002-03 26,748,425
2003-04 20,913,037
2004-05 16,815,471
2005-06 18,108,962

and this lovely bit "There is no central record of project Executives, their expertise and qualifications;"

So Ellee Mr Milibands 40,000 seems to be chicken feed compared to this lot! Chris has also been after the other departments as well - be interesting to add them all up!


Just invited today to try the latest in online web creation pages at Wetpaint. It transpires that it is just a hosted wiki site, cant see that it contains a blog as well, hard to see how this moves the game along at all. As for competing with MySpace well!

The page I have started to create is here seems to offer less than the Google pagemanager software, the page I created on that software is here

Frank'n Stein frozen moment

Frank'n Stein frozen moment
Originally uploaded by geofones.
Emily came across this site today detailing some of the history of the Fiendish feet yogurt pots. These were conceived and developed by her mum, Jacqueline O'Neill, in the period 1988/89 just before she left Swindon.

I've hung onto this promotional pot which was also developed by Jacqueline to give out to supermarket buyers a nice touch was the tasting spoon.

Unfortunately after she left St Ivel to have Emily. St Ivel decided in their wisdom to hopelessly devalue the concept and change it to Fiendish Faces.

Here is a promotional set of 4 pots (still with the foil seals). They are:-
Rattle 'n' Roll Chocolate flavour.
Spooky Wooky Banana flavour.
Frank 'n' Stein Rasberry flavour.
Fangs a lot Strawberry flavour.

Fathers three are we...

fathers three are we
Originally uploaded by geofones.
Here I am - three generations of fathers yesterday:-
From left to right....
Peter, first child in1948 (Linda my first wife)
Me, first child 1975 (Nick)
Nick, first child 2005 (Isla)
I like the height progression over the generations. big thanks to Linda for organising the day and doing the cooking!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Myspace statistics

Marketwatch have just released this "The social networking
phenomenon also continued its stratospheric ascent, as reached new
heights with 50 million visitors in May
[2006]" that is virtually the equivalent of the whole UK population visiting the site in one month!

Youtube is ramping up as well " nearly doubled its
traffic from April, reaching 12.6 million visitors.
" It will be interesting to see when starts to appear in the ratings.

Bonus link: You tube dominates video search

More with nice graphs here

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Jeff Pulver Blog: The Internet Tax May Be Creeping Up on Us in the Guise of Imposing the Universal Service Fund on Internet-delivered Voice Applic

The Jeff Pulver Blog: The Internet Tax May Be Creeping Up on Us in the Guise of Imposing the Universal Service Fund on Internet-delivered Voice Applications: "The voice application riding on the broadband network is being asked to be the application subject to paying into the Universal Service Fund"

Just love this "The voice application riding on the broadband network" those good old telecomm operators must turn in their graves on that statement. Wonder what Doc Searls thinks about that

Gaping Void Mug shot

Gaping Void Mug shot
Originally uploaded by geofones.
Hughs mug finally arrived from cafepress today (article number 60517719 - (all though a search on cafepress denies its existence!) it was ordered on 3rd June so not bad delivery from the USA

Really quite amazing that Hugh set up the online shop from scratch in about 5mins on his laptop in the hotel lounge at Copenhagen.

Not so rare - Face Blindness

Interesting site (run by UCL and Harvard) that I came across through Mind Hacks today dealing with Prosopagnosia or face blindness. Results they have produced show that it can affect 2% of the population

This is something that I can certainly relate too "One of the telltale signs of prosopagnosia is great reliance on non-facial information such as hair, gait, clothing, voice, and other
and as anyone who has sat through a film with me can attest "they have trouble following the plot of television shows and movies, because they cannot keep track of the identity of the characters".

What is interesting is that researchers can now access a much wider range of research subjects than in the past by using sites such as their one, rather than only using people who had suffered some traumatic event, which is not true in my case (as far as I am aware!)

I filled in their form will be interesting to see what happens.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Scoble happy - Bill looking glum

Never realized that Bill Gates would be so crestfallen on the news of Scoble leaving.

So Robert could become a millionaire! According to this story Podtech was valued at $10m a few months ago and coupled with this story "Furrier said. Part of the investment is giving Scoble a significant equity stake of the, which received a $5.5 million round of
funding in March. Furrier and employees still own more than 50 percent of the startup, "
To me a significant stake has to be a few percent so when Bill gets his cheque book out in a few months Robert could walk out with a few million - maybe enough to buy a house. No wonder Bill is looking so unhappy.

Great news that they are setting on Maryam as well. Well done to Robert & Maryam couldnt happen to a better duo.

Thanks to Halley for the BBC link

Ellee Scribble's....

Ellee has taken on board Orya's new company Scribble and published a press release here. Orya is a Ruby on Rails guy who I convinced to come to the Our Social World conference last year.

It will be interesting to see how the concept of internet ordered handwritten greeting cards takes off. I'm sure Ellee will be able to get the press release into some prime spots.

More on Scoble & Podtech

According to Dan Farber at ZDNet "Furrier (Podtech CEO) said. Part of the investment is giving Scoble a significant equity stake of the" which is good news indeed if my previous post proves correct.

Good take on the story by Doc Searls here. and he links to my previous post :-)


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scoble to Podtech & Podtech to Microsoft?

Great news about Robert Scoble leaving Microsoft to join a start up podcasting outfit Podtech, yep the news crashed their servers! Podtech recently received Series A $5.5million in financing

Its funny, I was only talking to Doc Searls at Reboot saying that I was sure that Robert was about to pack his bags just from the tone of his recent postings.

My bet is that Microsoft will buy Podtech up and get Scoble back into Microsoft. This time at a much higher level in the organisation. Lets hope he's savvy enough to have stiched up a good stock deal with Podtech. Remember you heard it here first :-)

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Paradigm Shift Blog Archive Small Companies & Google Adsense is the future

The Paradigm Shift Blog Archive Small Companies & Google Adsense is the future: "Small Companies & Google Adsense is the future"

Pretty awesome stuff this. Marcus Frind who set up and runs, on his own, the free dating site Plenty of Fish has a piccy of his cheque for two months worth of clicks from Google and its for 991,733 Canadian dollars or 480,561 pounds thats around 8000 pounds a day! His main cost is the hosting charges at 6,500 pounds a month. Wow.
I wonder if the mobsters will now start to blackmail him like with Alex Tew

Maya Lotan and Urbanseeder at Reboot8

Maya gave one of the most interesting talks at Reboot8. she described the experimental work she had been doing at Urbanseeder. the very apt talk title was 2 shots of flirting a shot of fashion and a twist of fate. Her website is at Urbanseeder

She compared her site to current online dating services.
Current >>> Urbanseeder
immediacy versus delay
formal vs ambigous
profiling vs mystery
isolated vs integral

Technology makes mistakes so minimize its role. Lure the hunters into your territory add joint junctions and twist fate to create 'accidental'encounters.

Create familar strangers less than saying can I have your number more hope to see you around.

All done by handing out seeds - unique patterns than can be matched later.
Currently sheis trialing at a university. Will be interesting to see if it reaches the mainstream.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cambridge Evening News -

Ellee and I have managed to get another article in the Cambridge Evening News. This weeks one deals with the lawyers at Mills and Reeve and their Naked Law blog. This time it has appeared directly on their website as well as in the print edition. Pity they have screwed up all the url's by suffixing them with a /p

Never mind we are slowly getting there with them.

Yahoo! Site Explorer Results for

Interesting new Yahoo feature for checking out your web site. For my main site here its currently showing that I have 751 pages with 1,579 inbound links. pretty amazing really.
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