Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa Google

After beefing off about Google in my last post, I have to get down on my knees to thank it for its data policies during this Christmas season.

This morning, I discovered that the blog, Sooz Nooz, appended to my main website, had disappeared. Aghast, I checked the files on the server. They had gone. The admin files were still there but the entries and the photos had disappeared.

Now whether this was down to a server error, lax site security on my part, or a hack attack, I still don't know at this point.

It's a bit of a grind, but I can restore the templates and the CSS. It was the entries that I had lost. Of course, I hadn't backed up. BIG mistake.

But Google had. I have recovered all of the entries thanks to Google's inestimable thoroughness in caching the pages that it has crawled. Sooz Nooz disappeared at some time between 23rd December when it last cached the site, and today.

And I have recovered the changes that I had made to the source code in the sidebar.

The other Christmas present from Google was for my son George. He had received 3 Warhammer games as presents. When he loaded the first one, it froze in the DVD tray because it had detected emulation software on his PC which he uses to mount a virtual drive with the game software.

Half an hour of Googling brought him the solution. By downloading Demon Tools and a patch, he's been able to install and play these games without problem.

'What,' he said, 'would I have done without Google on Christmas Day?'

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Peeved with Google

Google data servers don't just sit there you know. They busy around tidying up links and reclaiming spare space.

I had evidence of that this morning.

Three days ago, I uploaded my Christmas photo album to picasaweb. Picasa on my computer had seemed a bit jittery and before I knew it, I had two Christmas albums uploaded, one of which was superfluous to requirements.

So I deleted it.

The correct Christmas album had the index title of 200602. I circulated my Round Robin Christmas greeting by email with a link to that album.

This morning, shock horror, when I was checking the link to copy the url to someone else, I got the dreaded 404 error page.

What had happened? Software on the server had discovered that the first album had been deleted. That would probably mean that the link was deleted, but the album was still taking up valuable space somewhere. Efficient housekeeping not only deleted the link, and the space that the album was occupying, it ALSO changed the link to the REAL Christmas album.

Should any of my friends and acquaintances want to review those photos, and click on the link that I sent, all that they will get is Error 404.

I'm not going to re-circulate the link to friends. That leaves egg on my face, but I have had to edit the blog entry previous to this one to correct the links and references.

Hey Google! What about a redirect?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Greetings

Best wishes for the season to you all, and may you have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Review the Hutton year at my Picasa album

Monday, December 11, 2006

Egyptian police brutality 1

I had a mild confrontation with a group of zealous Muslim ladies a couple of months ago, who seemed not to want to know about the nasty things that go on in Islamic countries.

This was because I had relayed to them posts from Egyptian bloggers reported via Global Voices Online, of attacks on women in the streets of Cairo at Eid al Fitr. The police had simply stood by. Even men out with their families were hard pressed to protect their womenfolk. Shopkeepers had to rescue the women. Read about this and watch a video showing 200 odd men chasing two women.

This morning, thanks to Global Voices online, I happened across some YouTube videos which actually reveal something of what goes on in Egypt. This particular example shows an Egyptian policeman slapping a prisoner repeatedly across the face.

You'll find more examples in the News and Blogs category at YouTube.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Geotagging in Flickr

While checking out photos that I took last Friday of Loughborough Christmas market, I discovered that I already had two other sets of photos on my SD card.

Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to reset the camera after taking the previous set, which had been of barcodes on boxes of Canon photographic equipment -- it's a long story -- so my photos of the market are very poor quality.

I'd taken the set before that while taking a tricyle ride across Garendon Estate from Shepshed to Loughborough in September. The estate has planning permission for new housing to virtually connect Loughborough to Shepshed. All the time that I have lived here, I have never realised that this tractable route to Morrisons had existed, and now I shall lose it.

Probably not the route, which is an established cycle path, but the open countryside.

I upload most of my photos to Flickr these days. Why bother building your own web gallery when Flickr does it for you AND provides a built-in network which people can search to find you? PLUS, Flickr gets high Alexa rankings, showing that it's much more likely that you will get an audience for your work.

Having chosen the photos and worked them up a bit where necessary, I uploaded them.

At which point I discovered that Flickr has introduced geo-tagging. Er? Well, you find the location on the world map where you took your photos, you drag them to the location, and hey presto, anyone looking for photos there will likely see your photos.

It was fast, which was welcome to me after the long delays that I STILL get logging into Yahoo! email.

And there weren't many other photos on the map that I could see, so perhaps I am a pioneer.

The only thing, I think wistfully, is that the largest scales on the map invite individual tags for each photo, since each is taken in a slightly different place. That would mean carrying a universal GPS with you to identify each photo's location.

It's too much Man. So perhaps camera manufacturers should do the job for the lazy photographer, and incorporate that information with each photo.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Why I created yet ANOTHER blog

I have far too many blogs.

And I wouldn't have set this one up except that my poor friend Phillip Stallwood got saddled with emails that should really have come to me.

So finally, and at last, anyone who wants to riposte at my cryptic comments on various Blogspots can come here.

My personal blog, which has been neglected for a while, is at The Kitchen Drawer.

My 'professional' news blog is at Sooz Nooz.

And my professional interest blog is at newsbriefsOman.

Oh yes, and you can also see some of my travel videos at The G&T Travel Vlog.