Category Archives: Technology

Google – not so good at responding to street view privacy concerns

Google street view is incredible, amazing for directions giving you vivid detail of streets. They have got themselves in a few problems recently though. One of the drawbacks of street view is if your car happens to be outside your house – it can be seen in all its glory – number plate and all. Google  promises that:

We have developed cutting-edge face and license plate blurring technology that is applied to all Street View images. This means that if one of our images contains an identifiable face (for example that of a passer-by on the sidewalk) or an identifiable license plate, our technology will automatically blur it out, meaning that the individual or the vehicle cannot be identified. If our detectors missed something, you can easily let us know.

The last sentence refers to the ‘report a problem’ link in the photo where you can ask them to blur a number plate, or even remove your car. Which is what I did several months, or even a year ago when I noticed my number plate clearly visible outside one of my further residences.

The only problem being Google did absolutely nothing about it. Number plate on my and a couple of other cars clearly visible, but blurred on some other cars in the street. Come on Google – get your act together!. I was told at the time they would sort it – foolishly I believed them and didn’t check back until this weekend. So now I’m waiting to see how long it takes them to respond this time… May be worth checking out your addresses.


The internet as a force for change?

I’ve been reading ‘Here Comes Everybody’ by Clay Shirky. It’s a fascinating analysis of how change can happen when people come together, and how the internet can remove the obstacles to collective action. It’s full of fascinating stories examples from the formation and growth of Voice of the Faithfulflash mobbing as political action in Belarus and the campaigns against airlines and banks. It made me wonder how many of us engage in action on the internet – so here’s a poll and we’ll see how engaged my 4 readers are:

I have seen the future, and it is 3D

u23dI went to see U23D last night, not quite sure what to expect. After trailing my jaw in through the door after the cinema informed us that tickets were £10 ‘because it was 3D’ we collected our glasses and fell into our seats thinking ‘this better be good’.

I’ve never been to an imax before so this was my first 3D experience. It was pretty amazing, once you got use to the weird feeling of the glasses, I was finding it hard not to clap, sing and join in as it felt just like i was there. The clarity was increidble. Bono’s hand and Adam Clayton’s guitar head coming out of the screen at you is a slightly odd experience. The shots that captured it best were of the drum kit, the crowd bouncing and the view from the stage.

I have to agree with the belfast beard though that it brought back to me just how U2’s more recent songs just don’t compare to the epics that are ‘Pride’, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, Sunday, Bloody Sunday’ or my all time favourite U2 song ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’ with its screaming angry guitars .

The depth perception was incredible, I’m looking forward to see how this makes it into mainstream film-making.

small, black and beautiful

Yes I have crossed to the dark side. Zoomie please don’t kill me. I have entered ipod land. It just looks so nice. What did disturb me was that of its 30GB, well actually 27, I have already filled 14GB with music and a podcast frenzy. That’s over 9 days solid of audio. Being a bit of a geek I was listening to some interesting stuff from Harvard Business Review – stay with me, and stop snoring, about the need for rest and healthy balance to life which stirred up some memories of one of my colleagues frightening me during the week by quoting something I said back at me (from something I did on sabbathing) which nicely tied in to my first ever visit to a book launch from the Shep on rediscovering Sabbath (no free books though). One of those dirty words that makes me think of people with placards and all the things I wasn’t allowed to do on Sundays. So I’ve been thinking about sabbathing as a concept of something good and beautiful – even more so than the little black ipod. More soon…