Google Calendar takes maintenance break

Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 3:39 | Posted in google, internet | 2 Comments

Google Calendar is going to have a maintenance break tonight. According to Google, the window of the maintenance upgrade will be between 1500 GMT today and 0400 GMT tomorrow. Not all users will be effected. Those that do, are going to “have trouble accessing their Google Calendars for a short period of time, generally less than 5-10 minutes each”.

I have some reminders scheduled during the time of the maintenance. I had better remind myself in advance that I may not be reminded.


		
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DSC00121.JPG

Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 1:22 | Posted in google, internet | Leave a comment
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Peter writes about searching pictures through Google’s image search. He notes that entering any random search argument may produce results with the file name matching with the search argument but also pictures where the search argument is not directly related to the file name. If you search for Larko, you get a number of pictures with the file name larko.jpg but also many pictures with a somewhat loose connection to “larko”.

The picture above has the file name “peatalenin3.jpg” but it is returned by Google for a search of “larko” because I am the author of the picture and it appears in many of my blog posts. On the other hand, this and this picture both have the file name larko.jpg but I have no idea why. This goes to show how surprising results even a targeted Google image search can return.

Peter also writes about millions of images returned by a Google search with standard file names suggested by software of digital cameras and other image editing hard- and software. A search for a common file name, such as DSC00121.JPG returns around 4000 links. Among them are very different pictures, like this one or this one or something like this.

Watching pictures like that through a Google search makes one feel like peeking into somebody’s private photo album. One would think that they would have changed the file name into something more likely to be searched if they really wanted it to be found. But it is right there in the web for anybody to be seen. That is, the private story behind a file named DSC00121.JPG.

Malformed or illegal

Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 19:46 | Posted in Blogosphere, google, internet, Web tools | 2 Comments

According to Google I have approached their server with bad intentions. I have had my client issue a request which is either “malformed” or “illegal”. Shame on me!

What did I do to provoke such anger? I was just trying to post a comment to a blog hosted by Blogger.com.

Smart and not so smart people

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 5:38 | Posted in google, internet, Legal, Media, youtube | 2 Comments

Jeff Jarvis is less than impressed with the arguments in Viacom’s lawsuit against Google and YouTube he has so far seen. Suing them for one billion dollars may look like a smart thing to do if you are the one to sue. The other end of the correspondence may have a reason to believe it is outright stupid:

Viacom complains about YouTube but, in truth, they’re complaining about their own viewers. They whine about theft but, in fact, they’re whining about recommendation, about their audience finding them more audience. Viacom is trying, singlehandedly, to turn the TV industry into the music industry. They are trying to spread stupid.

Jeff also brings an example of another sort of approach to copyrighted material in YouTube:

At last week’s Online Publishers Association, Betsy Morgan of CBSNews.com, said that when an infringing clip goes up on YouTube, they take it down and then replace it with a noninfringing, official copy, which has the added benefit of enabling the conversation to cluster around one rather than many copies of the same event. That’s smart. I guess when Viacom and CBS split up, CBS got the IQ.

Indeed, that is a good observation. Some people are smart while others are not. At the end of the day, stupid businesses usually have to leave the market with their tail between legs. At least if a critical mass of customers are less stupid.

via Jari Lindholm

Dynamic blogrolls

Friday, February 23, 2007 at 8:51 | Posted in Blogosphere, google, languages, rss feeds | 3 Comments

Inspired by the dynamic blogroll of Mein Parteibuch, I have deleted my old static blogroll and replaced it with a number of dynamic rolls. There are altogether five blogrolls divided by language. The languages are English, German, Finnish, Estonian and Scandinavian (that is Swedish, Norwegian and Danish in one roll).

The technical solution is very simple. For a while ago, I transfered all my RSS subscriptions from Bloglines to Google Reader where I sorted the subscriptions to folders based on the language of the blog. I then made the folders public whereby a public page was created on each of the folders. Those pages generate RSS feeds of their own and the blogrolls are based on those feeds.

Since I made some rearrangements among my subscriptions, some of the rolls may momentarily display a lot of posts from one single blog but as soon as new posts appear in the subscribed blogs, things should more or less automatically settle to normal. That is, each blogroll should display 10 most recent posts of the blogs concerned. So basically, whoever makes posts most frequently, has their site linked most often from my blogs.

At the moment my English and Finnish blogs display all of the five dynamic blogrolls while my Swedish blog shows the Scandinavian and English feeds. I have for the time being not included this feature in my Estonian blog, nor its mirror site because I am considering to make some more profound changes in those sites. It would make sense to do all of the work at the same time.

My thanks to Marcel for this great idea. So if you do not like it, all protests should be addressed to him but I am happy to receive any positive comments. Nah, of course I was kidding, all feedback is appriciated.

Edit: The rolls are now displayed in the Estonian blog(s).

Go shopping with Google

Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 16:44 | Posted in google, India | Leave a comment

GigaOM went to a mall in Delhi and was surprised to see a Google stand in the middle of the mall. Apparently, the purpose of this Google kiosk is to promote the brand. It is a part of Google’s promotion campaign in India.

This sounds a bit odd for a devoted G person like myself. I have heard that there is supposed to be one or two persons left in the Universe who still use the services of MSN or Yahoo. Apparently, both of them live in India.

via Robitaille

No idea

Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 4:24 | Posted in google, Not serious | 4 Comments
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Now, this blog is not a question and answer column but sometimes you can’t help at least trying to provide an answer to a direct question. Every web site gets its share of visitors from Google search arguments that the site does not cover as such. A moment ago somebody entered this blog googling for:

does george bush have a drinking problem

You ask, I answer: I have no idea, dear. 😛

Not a chance

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 18:51 | Posted in google, Not serious, Personal | 2 Comments
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It is sometimes fun to detetct what sort of search strings people type in to Google to find their way to my blog. This was among them today:

Maul halten Larko

Not a fat chance that I would comply. 😛

Google bomb collection

Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 17:05 | Posted in Blogosphere, google, internet, Not serious | Leave a comment

I wrote and posted a Google bomb collection to serve as a reminder for myself and a suggestive source for anybody who might feel like having some fun by manipulating Google. The links displayed are Google bombs I and others have created.

It is not a comprehensive collection. I just wrote it relying on my notoriously bad memory. It is more than likely that I forgot some essential bombs which is why suggestions are welcomed. If I find that the suggested link should become a Google bomb, I will add it to the page. If, however, I think it contradicts my understanding of good taste or ethics, I am going to delete the comment. After all, it is my site.

Let us help them out!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 22:37 | Posted in google, Not serious, youtube | 4 Comments

For the last couple of weeks YouTube says that I am their 999.999th visitor. This must mean that nobody else has visited the site during these weeks.

Come on, folks! Let us help them out and visit the site. Or else Google will probably close down YouTube because they can not make enough revenue on me. 😛

Will Google deliver?

Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 19:16 | Posted in google, Not serious | Leave a comment
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I am anxious to see if Google is going to deliver the good weather they promised a moment ago. This is what my local weather man says at this moment:

It says 5,7 degrees Celsius, mostly cloudy with occasional rain showers. Looking out through my window, I can confirm that this matches with the reality.

However, a moment ago I visited my personalized Google home page. There was a box that promised to show my local weather if I entered my postal code in it. I had my doubts but decided to take my chances. Maybe I would get better weather from Google. And this is what the big G returned:

I could be expecting temperatures between 74 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, which should be between 23 and 29 Celsius. I could also expect partly cloudy weather with a humidity of 52 %.

Google seems to be under the impression that I live in San Jose, Puerto Rico. That would also explain why my Google home page language was automatically changed from Finnish to English right after the weather forecast. I am glad it was not Spanish because I am not very fluent in Spanish.

So I am going to look for my summer clothes and prepare for the nice weather that Google promised to deliver. They are going to deliver, I take it?

Freedom of speech beats personal rights

Friday, November 17, 2006 at 12:38 | Posted in Freedom of speech, google, Not serious | 5 Comments
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Thomas has evaluated the importance of the German terms for freedom of speech and personal rights in a Google fight. Much to amusement of the blogging community, freedom of speech scores higher. The difference is much clearer if you put the English terms against each other.

Any conclusions to be drawn about this? Sure, freedom of speech seems to be a more important value in the English speaking World than in the German language room. Just as I have been trying to explain.

Googling job applicants illegal in Finland

Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 18:44 | Posted in Finland, google, internet, Legal | 3 Comments

Reijo Aarnio, the Data Protection Ombudsman in Finland, has ruled that employers must seek consent of a job applicant if they want to search backround information about them through the search engines of the internet. Googling a job applicant without the person’s consent could prompt a fine. Mr. Aarnio points out that there are problems with realiability of the information found in the Internet.

I do understand the ombudsman’s concern about reliability per se. I could make a bogus post about somebody who might later be confronted with it in a job interview. But that would surely be something that the person in question could address by asking me to change or remove the untrue statements. In worse case they could even sue me. But that concern would hardly justify a general ban on using search engines for collecting information.

I wonder how this case landed in the ombudsman’s desk in the first place. If I were an employer considering to hire somebody, I would probably not tell them that I googled them, especially not if I were to risk getting fined. Which makes this sort of regulations unenforcable.

On the other hand, if googling were officially allowed, the employer would be more likely to ask the applicant whether information found in the web was true or not. That would no doubt be in the interest of both parties. If this ruling will stand, employers would probably google their applicants anyway. They would just need to quote some other reason for not hiring the person.

Yet another attempt to regulate the unregulable, thereby causing more new problems than solving existing ones.

The word has it

Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 5:22 | Posted in censorship, Freedom of speech, google, internet | Leave a comment
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There is a rumour circulating in the web, which I am so far unable to confirm, that Google would be considering to close down an unspecified number of Orkut communities on request of the Brazilian government. The communities conserned are allegedly connected with drug trafficing and terrorism. Google is reported to be considering circumstancial evidence on the allegations provided by the Brazilian government.

If this rumour proves out to be correct, it may cause quite a lot of noise among Brazilian Internet users. Orkut is said to have about eight million users in Brazil which is almost one third of all web users in Brazil. The total number of users was 25,9 million in 2005, according to CIA’s World Fact Book.

Let us keep an eye on this one.

My new calendar as a glossary

Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 0:34 | Posted in google, internet, Personal | Leave a comment
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As I am experiencing severe problems with my old junk pile, also known as a computer, I am not going to be able to cover all events in my blogs that I would otherwise write about. So as not to let the topics go wasted, I opened a public calendar where I am posting short notices about forthcoming events, both private and those of a more general nature. I may write about some of those events in the blogs as well but more probably not.

Since it is another Google calendar, it will serve me as a reminder as well. If I find the reminder feature useful, I may continue to post to the calendar even after the couple of weeks that I expect it to take to be able to return to my normal web presence.

All of the calendar entries are public and subscribable. If you click on the event on the month or agenda view you are able to see all of the event details. There is also a handy button to add the event into your own Google calendar if you have one. If you do not have a Google account, just let me know and I’ll send you an invitation to Gmail.

If you want to bookmark the calender the URL is http://www.larko.org/world And never mind the url that you will see in your browser’s address line because that may change in the future. The domain URL will, however, work as long as I have the domain.

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