Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Captcha smaptcha...

My vote for the best dysfunctional captcha ever. There are a few others on this site, but this one blends the worst of everything.

Know Braille? Yeah if you do you're probably not too visually gifted and of course you can't feel the pixels on your monitor... The person who thought of this is brilliant...

Monday, 30 July 2007

Simone You Rock!

Just saw that I have a link back from Simone's site, which is totally rockin', and I appreciate it. Simone also built and operates the Enjoy Perth site where you can read all about new exciting and interesting events coming up in Perth and get to know the real Perth goings-on.

If you would like a link to your site please let me know, I'm working on a bit of local link love things, am researching a way I can differentiate blogs based on a person's location, among other things. This will take time, for the moment I'm making my blogroll serve as a place to keep most of the blogs I come across not only Perth ones.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Weird News - Still Going Strong

Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird is great fun, and has now been around forever, and - wonder of wonders - is still updated faithfully every Sunday. If it had an RSS feed I'd like it even more, but I think the Web 1.0 ness of the site is one of the refreshing things about it, it's something you do, a weekly ceremony, pilgrimage to all that's weird in the world this week.

And in a nod to Kay (excellent find, totally rocks!) here's some CDs I WILL be buying, because - hey! - pirates RAWK! And Pirate Metal rawks even moah!


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Jelly Lenses For Mobile Phones

Fun for everyone! I was recently in a Red Dot store and came across a display holding those blister card displays with these "Jelly Lenses" on them.

xx

The photos above were taken with my mobile phone, first one with no additional lens, and it shows two of what you get after opening your $4.99 blister pack. BTW Kudos to the Jelly Lens people, these are slide-apart packages not the kind you need a chainsaw and sledge hamemr to get into the pack. Well done!

Once you open the package, you have a lens body which is colour coded, i.e. the wide angles are all yellow, close-up lenses are all orange, etc. The lens has a small keeper cap covering the camera end of the lens, and no lens cap or anything for the business end.

The camera end has a ring of that sticky silicon gel on it, the kind they make those stretchy sticky toys out of, and it's as sensitive to dust and dirt as those sticky toys. The keeper cap is presumably meant to keep the sticky stuff sticky, but has a tendency to fall off which is why I keep them in a breast pocket or somewhere that will tend to keep the lids on.

I imagine that if it loses stickiness a gentle wipe with a detergent and water soaked cloth should make the stickiness come back.

The lenses are attached to a small curly lanyard with a wrist-strap loop at one end so that, presumably, they can be attached to your phone to be ever at hand. In practice, though, that means the keeper cap will invariably detach and then the gel will get really dirty really quickly.

In use - the second shot was taken with the purported close-up lens but it's very hard to work out the focus on this lens hence the shot is blurry, the phone body was supported during the shot.

The third shot and the shot below were taken with the wide angle (fisheye) lens and it shows quite acceptable effect, in a Lomograph kind of way. Hey, these are $5 lenses after all!



Worst problem is that unless you can get the jelly lens very close the the camera lens they are a touch small and you will get vignetting (seeing the lens body in the corners of the shot) and that is that, you have to deal with it the lenses only come in that tiny size. I would have paid a dollar more to have a larger aperture but there you go.

Lenses come in macro, wide angle, and a variety of effects such as stretch, starburst, etc, and at $5 each you can have a good collection of the little suckers quite cheaply. I found mine at Red Dot as I mentioned, you will probably find them at other outlets and if you mention them and this article to your mobile phone or camera shop no doubt they can get them in.


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Thursday, 26 July 2007

Profilactic.com - Funny Name, Neat Features!

Profilactic.com is a lifestream/mashup site but it looks to me like it's gaining traction so keep an eye on it! Aside from the sheer number of social sites it allows one to keep track of (not facebook yet - get onto it profilactics!) it also allows adding 'static' sites and RSS feeds, and it already knows about pownce and twitter and jaiku.

It lets people stalk you with impunity, and a fair bit of accuracy. I'm going to add a few Google Maps to it and invite everyone to my place. (And stick the pin into a pesky neighbours home instead of mine... hehehe... Hey that could be the new cyber-revenge, who knows?)

I was actually surprised at the number of sites they already have in place, and I believe they are adding more as they get hold of feed URLs etc. I was even more surprised to see my 43things, having forgotten about that particular account. I'm also aware that there have to be several hundred other sites that they don't yet have but quite frankly it's been a while since I used my PBwiki for anything other than work notes.

All in all Profilactic gets a thimbs up, and one thumbs down - I didn't find anywhere to customise the appearance of the mashup page, and that is a must - as it is the page is big, ugly, and needs some CSS love...

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

John's Little Stumble

I like this, it sends out a powerful message to the Australian public:

What's the moral of this story kiddies? Mobile phones are dangerous! Especially in the hands of self-preoccupied prats!

Monday, 23 July 2007

AWAs Are NOT AOK. But You Knew That Already.

There's an ad circulating on TV, in which some woman stares straight down the barrel directly into your eyes, and tells you that the new Industrial Relations laws do not leave workers unprotected, there is a body to "look after" the workers, and an Ombudman, no less. She looks so effing butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth honest that you begin to think that maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Then you read articles such as this one and you know it's just more government bullshit... And why is this? Well, to begin with, the tone of the (very expensive, paid for with our taxes which just quietly are also not fair, far from it) commercial suggests that all employers know that the the Government Workplace watchdog is not to be trifled with.

(Brief article synopsis: Boy notices that his AWA seems to be a little bit unfair, takes it home to his parents before signing. Father is a Union official, has trouble understanding the AWA but sees that in addition to signing for ony 75% of the wage he's entitled to, the lad is also being asked to sign a five year agreement, and various other things. Boy asks for the AWA to be amended and is refused the job.)

So yeah, it sure looks like this particular employer was trembling in their office in total fear, doesn't it? No, they just wrote the AWA as biased as they wanted, knowing they had two aces up their sleeve. One, the average kid (and the parents, remember this was a union official who understands doublespeak) hasn't got a clue and will happily sign such a document.

Not being in any position to take the document home to their parents most of the time, what makes us think these exploited kids will get permission to take the AWA to the Ombudsman?

And therein lies the second point: Has this young guy got his job at a fair rate of pay? No he does not. The employer's attitude is "you don't like it, we'll find a hundred others who'll be dopes and just sign."

Overcoming that is gonna take changes in the education curriculum, such as taking classes in Your Rights 101 and DoubleSpeak 2.2 before letting the kids loose on the workplace. And as the state of our education system shows, the government is actively aware that a dumb population is a placid population...

So - if you're a parent, *insist* that your child brings home the AWA before signing it. If necessary go with your child, and insist. Read it carefully, and if anything is slightly amiss-looking or not clear, USE the Workplace Ombudsman, recoup some of your tax that they've spent on the advertising! And if a place has unfair AWAs, become an activist, let others know, boycott the place, write to your member for parliament and to all the newspapers!

I have said in the past, if you let people get away with stuff like this, they will get away with it, and get worse. That goes for unfair employers as much as it goes for unfair government. Do help keep your government honest by doing these things. One day it will result in a much fairer Australia!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Hotwired - the life beyond wired.

Besides this "twitter telepathy" that develops after a while, there are a few other consequences of highly wired life that many people are not quite getting yet. We who are hotwired [tm Teddlesruss dat who!] have developed something else that most muggles only dream about: We have become somewhat omniscient.

Where other people are seeing the newscasts once or twice a day and reading their papers, we're there. I can be sitting at coffee and get a twitter SMS (aka a "tweet") telling me that the Mitchell Freeway has just had one direction closed due to an accident and so I'll go home along another route. Do that with your newspaper!

My Google Calendar can reach me with my appointments by SMS, almost anytime anywhere. No hot synching with Outlook or messing about with bluetooth or usb cables. Do that with your diary!

And thanks to some clever work with various RSS tolls, my posting this article will result in a quick tweet being sent to the entire Twitterverse. Do that with your letter to the editor!

Apropos of which, I read about the cold snap on our Australian east coast and see it on the news and that tends to make it just that - interesting news. But when I'm chatting to my friends on Twitter and Facebook and getting their brief twittergrams about how unusual that is, that is what drives it home.

These are people whose daily lives I've grown to know and appreciate. When six people from the same state say how unusual the weather is, I know it's more than just news - it's changing their lives, and by extension, mine.

When I combine that with my RSS reader articles, my reading on other people's blogs (see the sidebar of this blog for a cross-section of my blog roll, yes it's extensive but I like this kind of news feeding,) and the TV and newspaper news, I can see a LOT more than the specialist journalist or forecaster focusing on their particular area of expertise.

And it pays off in all sorts of ways. Latest news around the world? Delivered to my cell phone. All day. (And all night if I didn't set up my feeds to not bother me at night. But that's only a personal preference. Some people sleep with their megawiredness - I couldn't, not that the idea isn't attractive sometimes.) Latest sofware, gadgets, breaking news? Got it covered.

One of my payoffs was the Body Friendly Zen Cookbook, which is my diet that was all I used to reverse impending prostate cancer. It's been over two years now and so far no signs of recurrence, and my actual diet has changed to a very healthy one ideed.

So there are all sorts of things that makes being hotwired for as much of the day as possible a benefit. But I also think the reason for the success of sites such as Twitter and Facebook is more than that, it's the fact that they are fitted with a tap, and you can drink your fill or ration it to a few drops a day.

Me, I'm going back to lolcats now, kthxbye!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Manual Method Maps

Years ago, (and three of my closest friends will bear me out on this) I had a dream to link an address repository to Google Maps. Back then, Google Maps was not quite up to the task as I couldn't add stickpins to it.

I've noticed how so many Google apps are improving over the moon, (Google Documents & Spreadsheets is pretty slick with the new interface, for example, and Google Calendar has adopted some reminder capabilities which have made it my #1 calendar app now,) so I went back to Google Maps and let me tell you I'm impressed there too! So much so that I've now applied my years old idea to the TEdADDRESSES address book.

Okay it's manual for the moment but I can see that I only need to find a developer that wants to make a simple mashup and this can become automated, as I add an address it will let me find the right spot and link back from the address book entry to a Google Map. For now it's all a manual operation involving lots of cut and paste so entries will take me time to get converted.

For now, if an address has a "GOOGLE MAP" link in the entry, I've found it for you and marked it up. And that's cool because, well - because it's just cool...

Friday, 13 July 2007

Wasn't going to but I will

After feeling decidedly unwell for the last few days - probably a legacy of too much socialising and thus picking up a community-acquired flu virus - I've decided I'm up to sitting at the keyboard and the kitchen bench for an extended period again.

I don't regret the kitchen experience one little bit as it gave me my own version of chimichurri which I put to good use in building a green TEdICHURRI [tm] Chicken Casserole which by the way is a very robust flavoured meal suitable for a real South American menu, without being hot spicy.

It was also a very nice meal to have a verdelho wine with. Yep, that is my next project - to get back to editing together the media I have from last weekend's Wine & Food Festival and hopefully get a blog post up before next year's Festival...

Sunday, 8 July 2007

End Of The Weekend

A perfectly good weekend, gone. Gone, but won't be forgotten nor was it wasted. Saturday was one of those days that only come along once each winter, with blue skies, golden sun, and almost mid 20's temperatures. Yesterday was rainy but we need that water, and it was not a horrible cold rain either - I rode home in it and it was almost warm.

But the weekend started on Friday evening at the WA Wine & Food Festival. What a very very impressive event! I've put down my first impressions of the evening in a TEdREVIEW article and then had a great idea - I emailed the organisers and asked if I could come back on another day for photos and notes and whatever else I might find. And to my great surprise, I was accepted!

After four hours more spent wandering around the various shopfronts and stalls and displays I returned home yesterday afternoon (in the warm rain) laden down with brochures and coupons to give away, and several hundred megs (I am not kidding here) of images, audio grabs, and notes.

Over the rest of this week I'll be putting together articles on the things I managed to check out this time, and possibly my first podcast out of all the grabs and bites.

And now it's time to see if I can ride to work without freezing up into an icicle.... (Monday has dawned quitecold and crisp, which are the worst conditions aside from actual rain for riding... C'est la vie...)

Pownce - My Vote Apparently Is In

Just realised that the only reason I used Pownce was because it hadn't been blocked at work last week so I checked it from time to time.

This weekend I've checked sporadically from home but felt not the least bit compelled to write anything. In the same space of time I've sent half a hundred tweets though.

So apparently it's official, Pownce just isn't working for me. Dissection, please:

Web client app is s-l-o-w. I'm on a POS laptop to begin with and it barely copes with multiple tabs in FireFox let alone huge Ajax apps. (Or whatever Pownce has.) So it locks up the laptop on me from time to time, takes ages to refresh, and because my broadband is really not all that hot, it (worst of all) loses my last.fm buffer.

AIR is not a common platform. And the Pownce app is kind of buggy, kind of flaky, and doesn't do most of the things I can do (albeit very slowly!) in the web client app.

Pownce people are nice, and it's good to have a file/link/calendar sharing system built in to share stuff with them. But that shouldn't be Pownce's only feature.

Groups. Now that's a nice feature. I can group friends into (say) geographical locations, and interest groups, and even (shudder) work related peeps. But that's all I could do. Literally. Every time I tried to create a new group after that, nothing. Delete my work related peepsand I can create a new group again. The bloody thing has a limit of three groups!

Which brings me to my last reason for going off Pownce. Response time, peoples! They have response millenia! I asked about the groups thing days ago, still waiting for a response. I found a few other things, gave them a compliment on some things I liked, and made a few suggestions. The night I joined Pownce. I'm still waiting...

Pownce will have to hand over development to some other company or team at some stage. They certainly don't appear to be coping now. And only if the next (or revised, or fired up withnew enthusiasm) dev team are prepared todo a few hard yards and make the changes in code, functionality, and attitude, will Pownce ever get to where it should be.

Are you listening Pownce? We would really like the following:

  • Light fast web client.
  • .NET or Java PC client.
  • More groups.
  • RSS feeds. Come on, the one thing Jaiku had over Twitter was the lifestreaming capability, and that *nearly* got Jaiku off the ground! And you've left it out!
I know there were more requests, too.
  • A block setting for shutting out dickheads.
  • Umm in groups view, a bit more information on friends, like location. The most basic - and most useful - classification of my friends isn't based on their names, it's either based on what's in their bio, or in their location info.
  • More groups. Honestly!
  • Let us make our themes.

Worth A Repost - After Almost 11 Years

Forwarded message:
>From xxxx@bxxxt Thu Oct 17 19:20:53 1996
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 07:17:22 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199610171117.haa09767@xxxxxxxx>
X-Sender: x@xxxx
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Lams
Subject: Cybersex

For anyone that has spent just a few too many hours in #hotsex on IRC...

Online computer users often engage in what is affectionately known as "cybersex". Often the fantasies typed into keyboards and shared through Internet phone lines get pretty raunchy. However, as you'll see below, one of the two cyber-surfers in the following transcript of an online
chat doesn't seem to quite get the point of cyber sex. Then again, maybe he does...

Wellhung: Hello, Sweetheart. What do you look like?
Sweetheart: I am wearing a red silk blouse, a miniskirt and high heels. I work out every day, I'm toned and perfect. My measurements are 36-24-36. What do you look like?
Wellhung: I'm 6'3" and about 250 pounds.I wear glasses and I have on a pair of blue sweat pants I just bought from Walmart. I'm also wearing a T-shirt with a few spots of barbecue sauce on it from dinner...it smells funny.

Sweetheart: I want you.Would you like to screw me?
Wellhung: OK
Sweetheart: We're in my bedroom.There's soft music playing on the stereo and candles on my dresser and night table.I'm looking up into your eyes, smiling. My hand works its way down to your crotch and begins to fondle your huge, swelling bulge.
Wellhung: I'm gulping, I'm beginning to sweat.
Sweetheart: I'm pulling up your shirt and kissing your chest.
Wellhung: Now I'm unbuttoning your blouse. My hands are trembling.
Sweetheart: I'm moaning softly.
Wellhung: I'm taking hold of your blouse and sliding it off slowly.
Sweetheart: I'm throwing my head back in pleasure.The cool silk slides off my warm skin. I'm rubbing your bulge faster, pulling and rubbing.

Wellhung: My hand suddenly jerks spastically and accidentally rips a hole in your blouse. I'm sorry.
Sweetheart: That's OK, it wasn't really too expensive.
Wellhung: I'll pay for it.
Sweetheart: Don't worry about it. I'm wearing a lacy black bra. My soft breasts are rising and falling, as I breath harder and harder.
Wellhung: I'm fumbling with the clasp on your bra.I think it's stuck. Do you have any scissors?
Sweetheart: I take your hand and kiss it softly.I'm reaching back undoing the clasp. The bra slides off my body. The air caresses my breasts. My nipples are erect for you.

Wellhung: How did you do that? I'm picking up the bra and inspecting the clasp.
Sweetheart: I'm arching my back. Oh baby. I just want to feel your tongue all over me.
Wellhung: I'm dropping the bra. Now I'm licking your, you know, breasts. They're neat!
Sweetheart: I'm running my fingers through your hair. Now I'm nibbling your ear.
Wellhung: I suddenly sneeze. Your breasts are covered with spit and phlegm.
Sweetheart: What?
Wellhung: I'm so sorry. Really.
Sweetheart: I'm wiping your phlegm off my breasts with the remains of my blouse.
Wellhung: I'm taking the sopping wet blouse from you. I drop it with a plop.
Sweetheart: OK. I'm pulling your sweat pants down and rubbing your hard tool.
Wellhung: I'm screaming like a woman. Your hands are cold! Yeeee!

Sweetheart: I'm pulling up my miniskirt. Take off my panties.
Wellhung: I'm pulling off your panties. My tongue is going all over, in and out nibbling on you...umm... wait a minute.
Sweetheart: What's the matter?
Wellhung: I've got a pubic hair caught in my throat. I'm choking.
Sweetheart: Are you OK?
Wellhung: I'm having a coughing fit. I'm turning all red.
Sweetheart: Can I help?
Wellhung: I'm running to the kitchen, choking wildly. I'm fumbling through the cabinets, looking for a cup. Where do you keep your cups?
Sweetheart: In the cabinet to the right of the sink.
Wellhung: I'm drinking a cup of water. There, that's better.
Sweetheart: Come back to me, lover.

Wellhung: I'm washing the cup now.
Sweetheart: I'm on the bed arching for you.
Wellhung: I'm drying the cup. Now I'm putting it back in the cabinet. And now I'm walking back to the bedroom. Wait, it's dark, I'm lost. Where's the bedroom?
Sweetheart: Last door on the left at the end of the hall.
Wellhung: I found it.
Sweetheart: I'm tuggin' off your pants. I'm moaning. I want you so badly.
Wellhung: Me too.
Sweetheart: Your pants are off. I kiss you passionately-our naked bodies pressing each other.
Wellhung: Your face is pushing my glasses into my face. It hurts.
Sweetheart: Why don't you take off your glasses?
Wellhung: OK, but I can't see very well without them. I place the glasses on the night table.
Sweetheart: I'm bending over the bed. Give it to me, baby!
Wellhung: I have to pee. I'm fumbling my way blindly across the room and toward the bathroom.
Sweetheart: Hurry back, lover.

Wellhung: I find the bathroom and it's dark. I'm feeling around for the toilet. I lift the lid.
Sweetheart: I'm waiting eagerly for your return.
Wellhung: I'm done going. I'm feeling around for the flush handle, but I can't find it. Uh-oh!
Sweetheart: What's the matter now?
Wellhung: I've realized that I've peed into your laundry hamper. Sorry again. I'm walking back to the bedroom now, blindly feeling my way.
Sweetheart: Mmm, yes. Come on.
Wellhung: OK, now I'm going to put my...you know ...thing...in your...you know...woman's thing.
Sweetheart: Yes! Do it, baby! Do it!
Wellhung: I'm touching your smooth butt. It feels so nice. I kiss your neck. Umm, I'm having a little trouble here.

Sweetheart: I'm moving my ass back and forth, moaning. I can't stand it another second! Slide in! Screw me now!
Wellhung: I'm flaccid.
Sweetheart: What?
Wellhung: I'm limp. I can't sustain an erection.
Sweetheart: I'm standing up and turning around; an incredulous look on my face.
Wellhung: I'm shrugging with a sad look on my face, my weiner all floppy. I'm going to get my glasses and see what's wrong.
Sweetheart: No, never mind. I'm getting dressed. I'm putting on my underwear. Now I'm putting on my wet nasty blouse.
Wellhung: No wait! Now I'm squinting, trying to find the night table. I'm feeling along the dresser, knocking over cans of hair spray, picture frames and your candles.
Sweetheart: I'm buttoning my blouse. Now I'm putting on my shoes.
Wellhung: I've found my glasses. I'm putting them on. My God! One of our candles fell on the curtain. The curtain is on fire! I'm pointing at it, a shocked look on my face.
Sweetheart: Go to hell. I'm logging off, you loser!
Wellhung: Now the carpet is on fire! Oh noooo!
Sweetheart:
______________________________________________________________

Error, no keyboard - press F1 to continue.
_____________________________________________________________

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Revising Helium

I posted about Helium a little while ago, and also posted to Helium. My evaluation is that maybe it should have been called hot air, not helium, after all.

Okay it's a great idea, to get the greatest minds (???) of our millenium together in one Olympian Institute of Learning - but then you have to provide something. I don't know what - otherwise I'd be doing it, obvy - but Helium needs a hook.

It's not the payment. I've had five articles there for about a week and have earned 6c. Glad I'm not relying on this income for a living otherwise I'd be living in the proverbial cardbox by the side of the road, eating gravel.

But, because of the focus the site seems to have on debate, there's not much that I'd go to it for if I wanted to learn anything user-contributed. I have Wikipedia for that. (Yeah yeah I know, I know - now get over it and use an ounce of commonsense, don't place your entire 1 vs 100 trust in it and you'll live...)

Debate though, is what makes Helium less of an attraction to me. You'd think that debate would eventually sift every item, provide authoritative information on each topic. But it doesn't, what it does is create a community of people bickering at each other and trying at all costs to win a debate...

Also, I like to write articles where the debate is in the comments, or on twitter, or (much pref) IRL over a coffee or a glass of fine cab merlot and a cheese platter. The articles are my understanding of the world around me, and no amount of debate is going to change that. But - and there's the rub - if you want to write then there are only two avenues open to you, write an article on a fresh topic which will eventually get picked up into a debate, or write an article in an existing debate.

If I could just read instead of having to rate, I'd probably like their methodology a lot better. But here comes the other downside - if it's a worthwhile topic then it's already become a debate. If it's a hot debate then it might have 45 or more articles, written in styles from grade school to thesis. And at the end of it all I can only trust the mob, or make up my own mind, and get to have to read through all those articles to do so... It's a bit like the old saw about "give a man a watch and he'llalways know what time it is. Give him two and he'll never be certain..." only Helium is giving me 50 watches to choose from.

That's why I think the Helium balloon is gonna bust unless they come up with a better format...

She Just Knows It's Time

This little old lady calls 000. When the operator answers, she yells, "Help, send the police to my house right away. There's a Labor politician on my front lawn and he's playing with himself.

"What?" the operator exclaimed.

"I said there is a damn Labor pollie on my lawn playing with himself; I don't know him and I'm afraid! Please send the police!" the little old lady repeated.

"Well, now, how do you know he's Labor?"

"Because if he was a Liberal, he'd be screwing somebody!"

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Social Networks And History

What works and why and for whom, too. What powers social networking communities is the people, firstly, yes. But what powers those people is what SN does for them. Our earliest SN was probably when two Neanderthals first sat around a fire together and realised that - and here's the crux - artificially creating a community around some facility was in a way very stimulating and interesting.

You got something out of the SN: something your brain labelled as friends even if the word wasn't there yet, security of knowing you weren't alone, and warmth and safety. A cave or a cluster of people was the first thing we built SN infrastructure out of, and the first thing that came with that was rules. You couldn't just be yourself, becuase in order to enjoy the group - and later, fire - there had to be precedence, seniority, certain things were probably made taboo in pretty quick order.

Those early SNs shaped a lot of our behaviour. Over the millenia the idea of SN was refined and revised, shaped and fitted. One thing about SNs and humans - society is most definitely a thing the members constructed as they went along. They used the latest high tech available to them and each one was used for a mini social reformation.

With communication, you can make one connection (pardon the pun) right away. Please look at telephone networks and then the BBS scene that was built on top of that. Telephone technology itself prevents large scale SN because it's designed to extract dollars, not be all it can be. The BBS systems that were built on top of the telephone network, they began the SN revolution which we're now approaching. Unsurprisingly, not that many BBSs ever made much money... The rule is that the more free something is of economic constraint, the more likely it is to push the boundaries of SN.

Internet, reasonable network speeds, and then the revolutions like IRC, ICQ, Messengere, Jeff Pulver's first voice messenger and the SIP phone and VoIP, they are creating new SN's every day, as someone else comes up with yet another application for the technology that no-one would have dreamed possible a few years back.

Quite a few years ago I was dreaming of an application that you could phone or access on the web, tell it what you were looking for, and get instructions to all locations in your locality where that item could be found. It fell down because voice recognition technology wasn't up to it, and to some degree it still isn't because I was aiming for a "voice library" of words and their meanings, and that meant that you could also use the technology to speak your request in one language, have it translated into speech in another language, and delivered to a recipient wherever the item you were looking for could be found.

The point is that four years ago I got blank stares and head-shakes, this year every second business has Automatic Voice Recognition voice menu systems installed, and next year those AVR's will be smart enough to understand multiple languages and adjust themselves accordingly. Technologies like web, machine translation, telephone services, and AVR are converging and the results are immediately seen. And these are applications that are designed to make money, so wait until this technology convergence is once again taken back to the open source community.

In the same way, the instant messenger and chat programs are evolving and being converged with various networks now, and pretty soon there will be a new bunch of killer apps for SN that will blindside most of us. One mashup that springs immediately to mind is to converge Twitter and Pownce - I have the same username on both, and while I like the ability to send files and events that Pownce has I find that lack of a mobile interface is restrictive after the freedom I had with Twitter to roam the streets and keep in touch with my SN.

Different applications are aimed at different target demographics. Sometimes you're in demographic A, sometimes in demographic L. And in the same way, there won't be a "Jaiku killer" or a "Twitter killer" or a "Pownce killer" app out there, there will be apps to suit different needs, and there will be mashups between those.

The point is that social networking is a very human thing, other species are social and gregarious but only we go around creating tools to help us collaborate and network.

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