I Bin Mostly 2

This week, I bin mostly...

  • Appreciating:
This is one of those ideas that falls very solidly into the category 'why didn't I think of that?' Even if I did, I wouldn't have been able to realise it, but maybe, just maybe, I could have convinced some artists to do it for me and then made lots of money out of it. Anyway... some very clever crazy person has taken the scribbled imaginings of children and turned them into works of art. The best thing about them is that you* get the feeling that the results are exactly what the kids would have drawn in the first place had they been endowed with unnatural artistic talents from an early age.

  • Stalking:
Latitude is one of Google's mobile offerings, and it deals largely in location- based applications. The most basic end of what Latitude does is telling you where you are when you open up Google maps on your mobile (or on your igoogle page). It goes beyond this, though, with other features including an ability to post Buzz based on your current location (I use it to post mini 'reviews' a fair bit when I'm visiting pubs and restaurants), but the feature I've been trying to play with this week is Location Alerts: When you have a few friends in your Latitude list and Google's got a handle on the places you end up in as part of your routine, it'll start to let you know (by email and/or SMS) if and when you and a friend end up geographically close at an unusual time or in an unusual place.
Now, I know a lot of people will have privacy issues with this (as do I), but the geek in me was interested enough to find out more. As with most Google products, you have a high level of control over all of your information, including who you share that information with and to what level. For example, I can share my accurate street-level location info with my good mate Sam, whilst allowing my boss, Gene, to see only my city-level location. If a dodgy looking bloke called Darth happens to request my location data, I can deny him anything at all. As a further example, in the widget above, you should be able to see where I am in the world at the moment (or at least very recently), but only to a 'city' level.
If you have any kind of geek-streak in you and you own some breed of smartphone, this is worth having a play with.

  • Failing:
This is a regularly updated sharer of fail (and some win) from around the world (though, as may be expected, largely America). If you don't know what 'fail' and 'win' are in webternet lingo the best thing you can do is click on that link and take a look. If you don't get it, you never will.
Some of it isn't safe for work or children, but then again I doubt any of it will get you in to too much trouble with your spouse, mother or IT technician once you've demonstrated the concept of the site.

  • Losing:
No, not really. The only reliable way to lose 10lb in one week is to cut a limb off, and I don't think that counts. I've seen this ad (or ones like it) popping up all over the place, but particularly on Facebook. Surely hosting ads like these is irresponsible? Not only will some people suffer the loss of unnecessary money by falling for these, but depending on the methods suggested once they've got your cash (assuming they do anything other than take the money and run), people may actually cause themselves damage.
Or maybe people should just put more effort into not being so gullible. That way, ads for things like this just wouldn't make any money.

  • Asking:
This is one of those sites that is as good as the people who are using it. The premise is simple: some people ask questions, others answer them. In order to do this you sign up and choose a few specialist subjects. Then, when someone asks a question that the Aardvark technology thinks you might be able to answer, it forwards it to you. You answer if you can, if not you pass and it moves on to someone else. If you ask a question it's sent to someone who might know the answer, and hopefully they'll send you a decent response. You can decide how the questions reach you: you can go to the site and answer questions there; you can be emailed with relevant questions; or you can even give them the details of various IM platforms and they'll send questions that you can answer through these.
The site's very much in its infancy, I feel, but I love the concept. I'm particularly impressed by the ingenuity of utilising IM (including MSN messenger and Google Talk). It will need high quality users if it is to receive high quality questions and provide high quality answers, so sign up and add your expertise!

* Well, I do at least.


  1. I lost 10lb in a week once, but it was the result of pushing another human being out into the world!!

  2. Yes, yes, that would do it too. I wouldn't recommend it as a regime, as such, though.


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