Monday, December 31, 2007

Scientists with time and money to spare

Scientists have created a Hebrew bible the size of a grain of sugar.
Not only have they created this nano bible, they are now working on applications by which they may magnify it 10,000 times so people can look at it displayed on a wall.

Why shrink it just to enlarge it? Why not leave it the way it was?

Do scientists have nothing better to do?
Are the worlds ills all cured? Is peace achieved? Is the environment healthy?

And what if someone sneezes on the nano bible?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The ugly world of website comment

How come, as one who adores reading diary blogs, I cannot bring myself to do anything quite so straightforward?
I suppose this is a "comment" blog. I only blog when something gets up my nose.
Six months later, I am still wishing that it was smoke getting up my nose.
How tragic.
Oh, why can't being a non-smoker be easier?

For the last few months, I've been sidetracked into blogging for my newspaper's website.
It is a pretty unrewarding business.
There is a very different demographic going to those commercial sites - and it contains some rather ugly individuals who take the invitation to "comment" on stories as an opportunity to leap, in ill-educated English, into vicious personal attacks.
They misread the copy, misinterpret or perhaps don't read at all, since a few of them simply seem to want to talk about my photograph.
Most common comments are in the vein of "get off your high horse lady - X is a lot better than you are - go back to writing cookery books".

I am sure these people would not speak to one in the flesh in this manner.
It seems that the anonymity of the Internet is an enabler for sour, angry, frustrated and, dare I say it, pretty stupid people to hit rock bottom and be their true selves.
Cowardly, crude and venomous.

So, it is generally an unpleasant experience to log in to moderate the comments on the newspaper blog.

But, my compensation lies in the fact that these uglies are not as anonymous as they may think. Their email addresses may be private from the website readership but they are not concealed from the website administrators. So, guess what? I know who they are!

Oh, my, and wouldn't their employers be appalled at the sort of grotesque things their staff members are sending out online during the course of their working hours?

Aren't they lucky that I am not as vindictive and cruel as they are?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Googling up the dregs

Somewhere along the line, a mob of tatty exploitationist amateur hour sods has totally screwed up the business of Google search.

These are the phoneys who leapt into what they assumed would be a zillion dollar business of rallying businesses to register on listing sites. Heaven knows what they charged them but, presumably, part of the deal was that they would buy priority listings for the listings with search engines. This all worked. Really badly. It has turned into an alienating mess which makes one shake one's head in despair and go back to the old phone book. Google has been nobbled by business listers.

I was searching for gelato manufacturers today.
Usually, doing a pure information search, one surfs quite neatly into news, web and blog data.
Search for something with a commercial edge and one comes up against the conmen who gave birth to these dire listings.
My suspicion, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that these sods ran around and rustled up the businesses, charged like wounded bulls, set up the sites - then took the money and retired.

All of us who know anything about the Internet know that it is an ongoing concern.
Data must be entered and updated. Websites must be maintained.
Things change. Things go out of date.

This is what happens with these assorted business listings. They are ad hoc. They are half out of date. And a lot of them are so badly programmed that they can't even sort themselves out into what purports to be categories.

These business listings, however, continue to claim priority on the Google spiders. Have they paid for these rankings? I guess so because there they are dominating the search results. One wades through them in pathetic hope that one may find what one seeks.

It is not to be.
One just finds more lists - often with maps. Gee.

Oh yes, the wide boys found themselves are chink of opportunity, made their money and ran - leaving chaos.

I liken it to tag graffiti scrawled all over a very fine and valuable edifice.