Stupid Dog

I first saw this a few years ago but it is still hilarious. The dog seems to think his own leg is another dog trying to steal his bone. There is no end to the fun you can find on YouTube.

More Flickr Woes

Dump Your Pen Friend
Originally uploaded by sesh00

I, like many of my friend, have recently joined facebook. Unlike Flickr it has drawn in a lot of people who are not normally of the technical persuasion. They think it is great to upload pictures usually of some drunken night where the participants look a little worse for wear. I recently noted to a friend that I like the tutu she was wore out one night. The only problem was I wasn’t there and I saw the picture from a non-mutual friend that tagged the image on her facebook wall. She was a little surprised and didn’t know that people could do that, but in this case it was innocent enough.

Like the early days of e-mail, i.e. when regular punters started using it (not the techie weirdos that usually play nice when it comes to computers) there were many stories of people hitting reply all instead of reply and the embarrassment that ensued from some off colour humour reaching the wrong person or persons. Over time the netiquette of e-mail has settled down and there are now less of these reply-all stories as people have learned either the hard way or some horror story.

The new netiquette comes to taking and posting photograph of other people to the internet. The examples are beginning to rack up. Just this week Virgin mobile in Australia have found themselves sued by a Texas family after their 16 year daughter, Alison Chang, was featured in a ad campaign. Virgin used an image that was uploaded Alison’s youth counselor that was released under creative commons. As a result of her image being they are seeking damages :

Claiming it caused their teenage daughter grief and humiliation by plastering her photo on billboards and website advertisements without consent

The technical legal details are abound. They correctly used the image under creative commons however they did not have a model release for for the feature participant. In the past it was usually the photographer that took care of this, but he/she was also a professional who living was selling of said photographs.

However while Virgin might find themselves on the wrong end of this one and will hopefully learn from it. I think the blame also reside with the person who uploaded the photograph, the youth counselor, Justin Wong. Blinding uploading pictures of other people without their permission is going to cause a lot of problems. Just because you don’t mind having your life laid bare on the internet for all the world to see doesn’t mean every body else feels that way.

As a result of cases like this and other emergent problems, I have been trying to educate friends and show them when and how they are leaking information that probably wouldn’t prefer. Also as a Flickr pro user I have marked all pictures containing people as visible to family and friend only, it is a shame that only flickr users can only be marked as family or friend.

It is a shame that Alison picture was used in that way by Virgin, I don’t think it was with malice just as a bit of a laugh and I hope that when she matures a bit she’ll find out that there are plenty of worse things in life. She may even be able to ride out the noterity, maybe she should take some notes from Britney Spears defender Chris Crocker, who went from been slagged off one day for his over the top YouTube video to been given his own MTV reality TV show.

Bike Hack

I found this image over on Wired. An interesting upgrade to a bike to allow for greater carrying capacity. I can’t imagine this hopping curbs too well though. This has got face plant written all over it.

I love living in Bondi – now with even more bikinis!

Sydney Bondi
Originally uploaded by duncanleyburn

I live pretty close to Bondi Beach. Any morning that I cycle into work I usually take a leisurely cycle down the promenade. A week doesn’t go by when there is some thing mad going on. Yesterday morning I was treated to the Guinness record attempt at the largest bikini shoot.

It is still a bit early in the year for the beach but it was quite a sight seeing hundreds of girls running around in their bikinis. Credit goes to who ever arranged this, I know how long it takes to get one girl ready, can you imagine how hard it is to co-ordinate and get 1100 of them ready? There was an extra level of High Maintenance in the air on Bondi Beach and fake tan. However it certainly beats getting up on an September morning in Dublin and putting on your wets to cycle to work.

Check out the aquabumps web site for a few more up close and personal pictures.

wey-hey I got the new iPod nano but …

Sync in Progress
Originally uploaded by Andrew*

I was quite surprised to find the new iPod nano 3G along with the rename iPod classic was available in Australia 2 days after Steve Jobs announced it (it was Wednesday in San Fran, but Thursday in Oz). I through pure power of will alone resisted the temptation to buy it then and there, my facade broke by Tuesday and like the iPod whore I am I ordered one online and it arrived yesterday, which was Friday.

First off it looks great and I have shown it to a good few cynical engineers that are known of their skepticism for geeky gadgets, but even they were impressed.

However I have already ran into two problems. Firstly after I loaded up my default playlists and then disconnected from the computer the nano would freeze. It appeared to be some thing to do with the new cover flow application trying to arrange the images. After a few resets of the nano it started to play ball. However any time I disconnected from the PC it would start freezing again. Then this morning when I connected to iTunes it informed me that there is a 1.01 firmware upgrade (bare in mind this device was only release 9 days earlier ) after I updated the firmware the problem seems to have gone away. I have done a search on a 1.01 firmware for the apple nano 3G and can’t get any details on what was fixed so I can only assume that the cover flow issue I was seeing.

Problem number 2, I hate iTunes, I’ve run it on I don’t know how many machines and I find it clunky, buggy and I have successfully crashed many times. I especially don’t like the way it doesn’t dynamically track a folder that has been added to a library. It should be removing files that are no longer present and adding new files (which is usually just me moving files around as I catalog them) which it doesn’t. Winamp I find is a lot better for this and I have been using it for my iPod video for a while. However when I plugged in the new nano, winamp recognised the nano alright, and I copied over playlists. However when I ejected the nano and started trying to browse the music, nothing. I found that strange and didn’t think too much about it.

Then I find the internet alive this morning with the linux community finding the same problem, “iPods reengineered to block synching with Linux“, I’m guessing this is the same problem I’m seeing in winamp. This is a surprise. After Steve Jobs writes his magical letter coming out against DRM to find that they are employing DRM tatic to stop 3rd party apps from downloading to new iPods. Hopefully people can find a way to circumvent this. Apparently the DRM tactic uses SHA-1 hashes to maintain it’s database tables, SHA-1 has been proven to be breakable and maybe that can be exploited (though currently to achieve a successful collision is considered within reach of massive distributed Internet search).

With all that said, I can’t wait to see the iPod touch once it comes out at the end of the month.

D’Officials – No Hoodies!

In Ireland there are two constructs, “The Man” and “A boy”, that are used by parents to corral their kids in. “A boy” is usually a person that got himself injured doing something stupid and is used as a warning to other kids, “A boy broke his legs climbing over those rocks”, or “A boy almost had his finger cut off climbing in that window”. (There is a window in the primary school of Dungeagan in Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry and I was that boy that people get warned about).

“The Man” however is the marginally empowered person that flexed it when ever he can. You meet them all the time when you go through metal detectors in airports and they take away nail clippers, or the security guards that tell you you can’t take pictures of a building. The comedian’s John Kenny and Pat Shortt, also know as D’Unbelievables, capture the phenomenon excellently at the start of the performance on D’Video :

I was reminded of “The Man” while reading Bruce Schneier blog, where in the UK a four year old girl was asked to remove her hoodie for vague “security” reasons:

“She had her hood up on her cardigan, a young lad came across and asked her to take her hood down because of security.”

When Ms Lewis learned what had happened, she spoke to the worker. She said: “He said ‘It’s policy, they don’t allow any hoodies in there.'”

While it would be great in society to slap these upside the head and tell them to stop acting the maggot that usually doesn’t help so we’ll always be stuck with them. Here’s another example of “The Man” from Father Ted :

No Surprises – A day in the Apple

are you a phoner or a podder?
Originally uploaded by nobihaya

Apple have introduced their new line of ‘pods. The high points are a red iPod shuffle (cool), a fatter but shorter iPod nano (smaller?), a stripped down iPhone that is now being called iPod touch with the iPod classic pulling up the rear.

What is interesting, but expected, is the deployment of iPods with WiFi capabilities, with some of the patents that were floating around this is no suprise, but now that it is is moving into the wild it will be very interesting to see what happens next.

As an addendum to the Apple announcement/release I have been running a WiFi enabled phone for 2 months, and war driving like crazy. I live is a fair sized city, Sydney, Australia, WiFi spots, free and paid are few and far between. San Fran may be a different beast in the geeky nerd world but the may be a hole in deployment possibilities on the WiFi front.


iPod Video
Originally uploaded by Alexandre Van de Sande

Apparently science has caught up with me. At last there is a study that connects attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in teenagers with watching too much TV as a child. I think this is crap, I watched tonnes of TV as a kid and it never … Oh look a squirrel.. hee hee hee!

spock – Strike 1

I have been keeping an eye on the people search website spock for a while. It being part of the new wave of web 2.0 projects that is trying to tie down peoples online identities with there real life carbon based fat asses. Their goal is to index people from various source on the Internet including LinkedIn, XING, Myspace, Friendster and Wikipedia.

While they have said they are committed to the privacy of their users, I was surprised to receive an e-mail from them this morning, one of the first I have received since I signed up at their website. This is the body of the e-mail :


As one of Spock’s newest users, I wanted to let you know about a cool search on Spock.

You can find out who Spock users think should be the top results for fun searches like Arrested for Drunk Driving.

Log onto Spock and check it out!

Have Fun!
The Spock Team

Now am I the only person that think it strange the one of the first communiques highlights such an invasion of privacy, drink driving while frowned upon is probably something that people would like to keep to them selves. While this search may be possible, for an emergent company like spock I would have thought they would stick with the warm and fuzzy functionality that is possible. A bit like the way bitTorrent is always sold as having legitimate applications (which it does, I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 using it) the bulk of the applications would be considered illegitimate (That is an argument for the courts and the ISPs).

spock isn’t the only website getting in on the web 2.0 ability to connect with the real world. Another website to keep an eye on includes the sexual relationship database :

In an effort to better understand society’s interconnected nature, this database was created to serve as a repository for information regarding the sexual histories of individuals, across the world and throughout time.

which allows people to assign former sexual partners to any name they can find, though I am convinced that this is a hoax, though the company behind the website, world health optimization management or W.H.O.M. (?), only returns 4 hits on google… If it isn’t a hoax it will more than likely get spammed out of existence by warring teenagers making up who had sex with who (even though none of them are).

And finally polar rose, which I have covered before, that is developing facial image search technology so that individuals can be found all over the Internet. They however have been quite for a while and I’m still waiting to see the bulk of their work.

BitTorrent is evil – Obviously, I saw it in FF4

I have never been a great fan of the Fantastic Four, the recent movies haven’t been great entries into the super hero genre, but were at least successful enough to spawn one sequel.

As a movie property 20th Century Fox and Marvel have obviously lost billions through people downloading the movies using bitTorrent. Just this week the most recent movie in the franchise, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, has entered the top ten of Most Popular DVDrips on Bit-Torrent. So to stem this evil it has fallen to the comic book to present a social commentary on the perils and possible uses of such a vile technology as bitTorrent.

The picture to the right is taken from Fantastic Four Issue #549. In ways even I can’t understand evil master mind, the Wizard, managed to clone bad guy Klaw using an audio file that he downloaded from bitTorrent. I may not be up on my super hero world view any more, but it does prove, incontrovertibly, that bitTorrent is evil. Here endth the heavy handed lesson kids, stay in school.

What is unclear is what did all those other people who were downloading the same file that gave the Wizard such a fantastic upload speed.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for posting this.