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Monday, May 28, 2007
  Wisdom of Crowds

Wisdom of Crowds, originally uploaded by new folder.

I'm waiting for a copy of James Surowiecki's 'The Wisdom of Crowds' to arrive from Amazon (is their free delivery option deliberately slow?). Surowiecki explores the theory that large groups of people of people are smarter than an elite few.

After Michael Vaughan's century for England I might cancel the order.

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  Cilla Black on walk of fame

Cilla Black on walk of fame, originally uploaded by new folder.

If you're going to create a walk of fame you need a plan for how to maintain it.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
  Public urinal

Please piss here, originally uploaded by new folder.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007
  London Land Grab
London Land Grab
It's not often you find anything of interest in The Independent's internet coverage (today's feature was the typically challenging - 'Why are sites so poor?'), but their round-up of googlemaps included this fundraising site from Capital Radio.

London Land Grab encourages site visitors to buy London landmarks ranging from shops and pubs for a fiver to parks and stadia for £50 a go. It's a great, simple idea and clicking round on the map shows that plenty of people have bought their spot.

What does your money go to?

* £5 will pay for a young carer to go the cinema/pantomime/London Aquarium etc etc
* £15 will pay for a child to have a present this Christmas
* £25 will pay for a music therapist to work with terminally-ill children in hospital
* £30 will pay for 200 young victim of crime leaflets to be printed
* £50 will pay for 2 hours of sessional counselling for a child affected by bereavement
* £100 will pay for a specially-trained clown doctor to pay a visit to sick children in hospital

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
  Tanzania National Park and Harry Belafonte's daughter
I'm sure Alta Vista were doing this 10 years ago, Google developed Google Trends today by adding Hot Trends, with a top 100 for any particular day. These aren't the top 100 search terms today, they are the search terms whose occurence has increased most compared to their usual occurence.

Google Hot Trends

Most are hard to understand but there is a Google group dedicated to trying to explain them.

Judging by the speed that Google indexes blog posts (a couple of hours usually) you could gain a lot of traffic by following this each day.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007
  Sixth over, England's second innings


When the Guardian introduced it's over by over coverage of test cricket a couple of years ago it was a great innovation, their sports desk providing an irreverent running commmentary on the match for deskbound office workers.

Everyone does it now and it's all got a bit formulaic - journalist jokes about his hangover, bores from the City email with which pub they're off to, someone emails to say they used to play in the same team as one of the cricketers and they were crap...

I thought I'd put together a round-up of all the different ways to follow a cricket match online but I realised that with the crappy urls they all use the links would be out of date in 24 hours.

So here's one over, the sixth of England's second innings against the West Indies this morning, from several different perspectives.

BBC Online

1301: A bit of Gayle before lunch - I reckon there's plenty of ladies out there who'd like some of that. Plenty of turn for Gayle a and his final ball turns past Cook's outside edge -but England are in tact at lunch. Don't go flicking... 8-0


Daily Telegraph

Over 6. Bowler: Chris Gayle. England: 8/0(rr 1.33)
Runs 0.

* 5.6 Gayle to Cook. Off break length ball, outside off stump on the front foot, left for no runs. Like Panesar in the previous innings, Gayle is getting some turn.

* 5.5 Gayle to Cook. Off break length ball, outside off stump on the front foot, left to wicketkeeper for no runs, fielded by Ramdin.

* 5.4 Gayle to Cook. Off break length ball, outside off stump on the front foot, left for no runs.

* 5.3 Gayle to Cook. Off break length ball, outside off stump on the front foot, left for no runs.

* 5.2 Gayle to Cook. Off break length ball, outside off stump on the front foot, left to wicketkeeper for no runs, fielded by Ramdin.

* 5.1 Gayle to Cook. Off break back of a length, outside off stump on the back foot defending, to short extra cover for no runs.


Times Online

England 8-0 (Strauss 6, Cook 1) Overs: 6

Chris Gayle bowls the last over before lunch, and serves up a maiden. England go in with a lead of 124, but they'll be wanting to crack on this afternoon. I suspect Ramnaresh Sarwan's men will be very content with their display so far today. Join me shortly to see how they fare.


The Guardian

6th over: England 8-0 (Strauss 6 Cook 1) Sarwan throws the ball to Crystal Gayle for an over before lunch. "To be fair to the BLF," begins Andy Bradshaw, "their rule changes are nowhere near as silly as the ICC's "Supersub" brainfart they had in 2005." And that gag has neatly filled in the six balls that take us up to lunch. There was nary a run scored off them. Right, I'm scurrying down the ladder and back to the turf beneath to scout out a chip shop that'll provide me with enough saveloys to keep me steaming through the afternoon. In St John's Wood? I'll be lucky eh? See you shortly.


Cricinfo

And that's lunch
5.6 Gayle to Cook, no run, excellent ball to finish the session, spinning away sharply from Cook who survives
5.5 Gayle to Cook, no run, Cook takes a step down the pitch before padding it away
5.4 Gayle to Cook, no run, tighter line, very well bowled in fact and Cook ignores it
5.3 Gayle to Cook, no run, ooh big turn from Gayle here, but too wide of the off stump
More "oohs" from Ramdin
5.2 Gayle to Cook, no run, left alone outside off this time
Ramdin makes a noise
5.1 Gayle to Cook, no run, just on off stump and he comes forward to defend
Around the wicket

Right, not long til lunch. I am absolutely starving, too. Chris Gayle removes his cap and he's on for the last over of the session

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  Una White, Name in Lights, Birmingham
Una White, Name in Lights, Birmingham
Name in Lights, Birmingham, originally uploaded by new folder.

Name in Lights is an installation by artist Joshua Sofaer for the Fierce Festival in Birmingham. The public were invited to nominate someone to have their name prominently displayed in Chamberlain Square, mimicking the Hollywood sign.

CJ White nominated her mother, Una White:

'My beautiful mother displayed strength and determination depicted in her journey through the 1960’s from Jamaica to England. She represented, cultivated and encapsulated the spirit of life in her heart and this conveyed to other people of all ages and races. She was very altruistic in her nature and for over 30 years worked as a devoted nurse caring for the sick and the severely mentally disabled.

It would therefore be very apt that 10 years after her death that her name should have the opportunity to light the skylines of Birmingham and would be the epitome of hope, faith, overcoming adversity, effervescent and cultural unity.

My mother was a role model to her daughters and her grandchildren too. Her sprit and faith lives on within us and the memories of her beautiful smile continue to shine everlasting in our personal journeys and her lasting footprint continues to guide us.'


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Saturday, May 19, 2007
  Break in the clouds

Break in the clouds, originally uploaded by new folder.

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  Separation, Erwin Olaf
An image from 'Separation', copyright Erwin Olaf

Image from 'Separation', copyright Erwin Olaf.

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Friday, May 18, 2007
  Smithsonian Institute on Flickr
I've been wondering who will be the first major institution to upload their collections to Flickr and the answer is the Smithsonian Institute. Sort of.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007
  Vauxhall Road pubs
Experiment using slideshow from Slide.

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  Breathtaking advertising

Watching the advertising task on The Apprentice last night reminded me of this advert for Liverpool's Capital of Culture year. The more I look at the advert the less I understand what the copy is trying to say.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
  Flickr and Yahoo maps improve Liverpool photography
Liverpool city centre


Not sure if this is just Liverpool or the UK/Europe as a whole but Yahoo maps has added much greater photography detail for Liverpool. Yahoo maps is used by Flickr for geolocation and the previous lack of detail has been frustrating. There is now photography to the greatest zoom level, where previously it stopped at level 4/5.

It's also interesting that, in view of Liverpool Vision's misguided whingeing about Google Earth images being out of date, the new Yahoo photography looks very recent. The image above shows the Liverpool One development, including the recently completed car park. Just out of picture above is the sunken ferry landing stage...

The map view has also been improved, although it still shows a non-existent park off Liverpool's Hope Street.

Rodney Park, Liverpool

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
  Knight Street, Liverpool

Knight Street, Liverpool, originally uploaded by new folder.

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  Siren, Ray Lee, Futuresonic 2007

Visiting Victoria Baths in Manchester on Friday as part of Futuresonic 2007 we saw Ray Lee installing his sound installation Siren. An empty swimming pool was filled with a group of tripods with rotating arms, both ends of each arm transmitting a droning noise. Returning on Saturday for the performance, Victoria Baths was pretty busy with people sitting round the edge of pool and inside it.

It was a great performance. Ray Lee and his assistant wearing identical suits and turning each tripod in motion separately. I was expecting something a lot louder but the noise was really melodic.

More photos of the Siren installation at Flickr.

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  Seth Godin on misusing Google Analytics
I love Google Analytics but I only use a tiny percentage of what it offers. Seth Godin echoes someone else's comment to me today, saying that
if you don't understand how to do goal tracking and funnel analysis, don't use Analytics until you do.


I'm not sure (I think I get a lot out of the application already - analysing trends, user navigation, referrals, client browser environment), but I'll look into how to apply goal tracking and funnel analysis to non-commercial websites.

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  Flickrvision - live photos on a world map
Flickrvision - live photos on a world map
Fantastic, I've been waiting for this ever since I heard about Twittervision. The same developer, Dave Troy, has done the same thing with Flickrvision. Photos uploaded to Flickr with geodata are displayed live on a googlemap generated map of the world. I could watch this stuff for hours.

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Monday, May 14, 2007
  'Silicon Remembers Carbon', David Rokeby, FACT
'Silicon Remembers Carbon', David Rokeby
Oblivious, originally uploaded by new folder.

The current exhibition at FACT is 'Silicon Remembers Carbon' from David Rokeby.

Gallery one, 'Seen' - four video screens showing the same shot of the Piazza San Marco in Venice in four different ways. The moving elements of the main shot are removed and layered into the three other screens - excellent.

Gallery one, 'n-Cha(n)t - a dark room with hanging video screens showing ears. Speak into the microphones and the ears appear to hear you and respond with some nonsense - couldn't work it out.

Gallery two, 'Giver of Names' - stick random objects (the usual colourful toys, etc) in front of a camera which then applies words to them - dull

Gallery two, 'Taken' - split screen showing footage of gallery visitors, sometimes the camera picks one person out and applies random word to them. Actions are looped out of synch on the other screen - fun.

Media lounge, 'Very nervous system' - one of those installations where you move around and set off sounds.

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  nowpublic.com and flickr
nowpublic.com
I've never noticed nowpublic.com before. It's a crowd-sourced news website, drawing together photos, videos and citizen journalism.

I received an email from them asking permission to use a photo of Margaret Thatcher from the new folder Flickr stream. Giving them permission was an easy automated setup and the photo now accompanies this story on Tony Blair.

The integration with Flickr works really well. My only concerns would be that, although credit and privacy permissions are migrated across from Flickr, there is no link back to the original photo and nowpublic users seem to have the ability to download a full-size original (something that is blocked on the new folder flickr account).

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Thursday, May 10, 2007
  Futuresonic 2007 Google Map
Futuresonic 2007 map
Thought I'd have a quick try at using Google's new My Maps feature, a much simplified way of creating your own google maps. I've created this map of Futuresonic 2007 venues. It's the venues only pinpointed onto a map, there's no attempt to provide any listings with it.

It was pretty easy to create (although it seemed to forget half the information I'd inputted at one point) and with a little more time adding the listings information and hyperlinks wouldn't have been difficult.

Searching for the venues themselves it was interesting how few have them had registered their location with Google. This is straightforward and free to do (there's a link to 'add my business information' on Google Maps) and as map links are shown above normal results it's an easy way to get to the top of search engine results pages.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
  Fierce Festival 2007 and Google Calendar
This year's Fierce Festival begins in Birmingham next weekend, although tomorrow morning should hopefully see the Sky Orchestra providing a spectacular precursor.

Birmingham Fierce Festival 2007

During last year's Liverpool Biennial, I experimented with using Google Maps to provide an alternative presentation format to tradition listings. Since then, I've started using Google Calendar as my online diary and thought that I'd put the Fierce Festival listings into this format.

The listings were all taken from the excellent official festival website, where the listings are provided in a nice and accessible linear format (I wouldn't have even bothered trying if I had to fight my way through some of the database solutions you see implemented on many cultural listings websites..).

Importing the listings into Google Calendar allows me to see all the one-off events (I didn't include exhibitions that repeat over several days) in my own diary format. Anyone can view the calendar online here (I don't like the default layout, it's too cluttered, but I can't see how to change that), but it is most useful for anyone who already uses Google Calendar, with the ability to import either the whole calendar or one-off events into your own diary.

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  Definitive contemporary design, Liverpool
Definitive furniture design, Liverpool
New website for Definitive, Liverpool, specialists in 'the design and supply of accessories, furnishing and complete interior refurbishments'.

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