My Wobbly Weblog

There has been a lot of press coverage relating to potential infringements of individuals’ privacy following the launch of Google Street View.  So far, this is only available in the US, but it is due to be launched in other European countries and Google camera cars have been seen in the UK.  I would be concerned, as many are, that face blurring technology is not enough to disguise people and that it would be possible to identify individuals despite these measures.  Also, I’d be concerned that Google may continue to hold images with the faces of passers by/number plates etc. unblurred, or would at least hold these images for a limited period until the face blurring technology can be applied.    This would be a particular concern for people who have a good reason to keep their location secret, for example people who have fled a violent relationship or witnesses to violent crimes.  As Google has already discovered, the whole project is a potential minefield!  I imagine that groups such as Liberty would also be concerned about Street View, though a quick look at their website hasn’t uncovered anything on this.  It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, particularly if there are further legal actions against Google.

Well it is, so there!

I love Google Maps!  I’ve already had a play around with this in the past, but hadn’t had a good look at our house in Honley.  Looking at it now I’ve realised that this photo was taken ages ago as the extension isn’t shown and that was built (by the previous occupants) in 2004!  So the photo must be at least 5 years old, which surprised me, I would have thought that Google would update more regularly than that, but I suppose the world is a big place!  Here’s the link if you want to have a look.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hd9+6es&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=18.388688,37.617188&ie=UTF8&ll=53.597241,-1.800116&spn=0.001081,0.002296&t=h&z=19&iwloc=addr

I seem to have hit a bad time for viewing Google Moon, Mars etc. – I waited a while and nothing happened, but I will try again another time.  Also, Google Maps didn’t like me asking for directions from Huddersfield to Madrid, but did later allow me to ask how to get from Honley to Cheadle Hulme in Stockport (where my parents live).  Google Maps reckoned it would take roughly 52 minutes which is pretty accurate, snow and fog permitting.

I found an interesting article about a British lesbian couple, Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, both academics.  They were married in British Columbia, Canada in 2003 shortly after the marriage of same sex couples became legal there.  On returning to the UK, they were surprised to find that their marriage had no legal status!  Two years later, when the Civil Partnerships Act was passed, their marriage was automatically recognised as a civil partnership, but still not as a full marriage.  They have launched a test case in the British Courts to try and get their marriage recognised as such, but have so far been unsuccessful, their case having been rejected by the High Court in 2006.

The page on Wikipedia includes details of both women’s careers and publications and a link to their campaign website.

The news story which caught my eye was the one about Sark, which has just held its first ever democratic elections, ending centuries of feudal rule.  Apparently the inhabitants of Sark were quite happy to continue living in what was effectively a dictatorship, but those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels went and forced them to start holding elections.

I was surprised how different the results were depending on what type of search I did on Technorati.  Most of the blogs I found on Huddersfield were (predictably?) about either football or beer.  In many cases I couldn’t tell what the Huddersfield connection was at all, maybe there was just some passing reference to Huddersfield in a long-ago post.  Technorati Search definitely provided the best results.  I thought that the tag search should be pretty reliable, but I got some very odd results with it.

My favourite bit was the “Top 100 Blogs” in Blogger Central, where I came across some great Blogs including Boing Boing, which claims to be the most popular Blog in the world, and Lifehacker which I had heard of but never taken time to look at before.

Technorati is obviously one of the best places to go to find blogs and I would use it again, but in my experience you need to be prepared to wade through lots of dross to find high quality blogs.

I like the idea behind del.icio.us and can see how it works for some people but the fact is I don’t have enough favourite sites to make full use of it!  I can see the advantage of having your favourites stored in a “mobile” format so that you can access them wherever you are working, but again I don’t think realistically that I would make enough use of this. 

I think I would use del.icio.us more as part of a search strategy if I were looking for a “hard to find” website for a particular project or enquiry.  I enjoyed searching for sites on del.icio.us and then checking out the other sites bookmarked by those people – I can see myself using this as a 2nd port of call after Google.

I have a history of signing up to news services on various topics and vowing to read them regularly and keep up to date, then gradually getting out of the habit of checking them and eventually chucking them altogether.  So I wasn’t that keen on investigating RSS feeds, to be honest, because I had a sinking feeling that this would lead to more good intentions which would quickly come to nothing.  Maybe that will be the case, but it’s still been fun looking at Bloglines and Google Mail and setting up some feeds.  I had no idea there were so many out there!

I already had a Bloglines account, so have just added a few feeds to that.  I set up a Google Reader account too and found searching for feeds much easier here than on Bloglines.  I think that the search engine is just better than the Bloglines one – I ran some of the same searches in both readers and found that better results came up in Google.  I also had a look at Topix.net and thought it was good if you were looking for suggestions (the front page has links to lots of feeds on different subjects) but again the search engine for feeds wasn’t very good.

Anyway, I now have a selection of general news, professional and interest feeds set up (e.g. parenting ones) and I will try to keep up to date with them, honest!

I think these are fab and would really like to try more of these tools out properly but not much time now.  My favourites so far are the colour pickr and the montager (though you do have to squint a bit to see what the images really are).  I like the fact that when you hover over individual small pictures in a montager image, you can see a small popup of that image – you could look at one of these for hours!

I’ve really enjoyed this week of 25 things and will definitely use my Flickr account more and upload some of our billions of photos to share with people, as well as have a further play with mashups.  My main frustration this week is that there is a lot to explore with Flickr and it’s been a busy week so I haven’t managed to spend as long on it as I would have liked.


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  • Lynn Barrett: Hi Kate We have a meeting next week to bring the whole thing to a close so I'm catching up with the finishers! I'm glad you enjoyed it - I certainly
  • ukemee: I'm finding extra stuff out about podcasts all the time. UCB blog told me about Guardian stuff and now I can catch up with the Archers as well. Excell
  • librao: I wish them luck, however I think it unlikely to succeed in court for the simple reason that whilst a Civil Partnership confers all the legal rights t