Everything is bigger in Texas – even the spider WEBs

One enormous spider WEB (650Ft) has been reported in Lake Tawakoni state park in Texas, US.  Apparently the work of millions of tiny spiders (should we be thankful that this was not *one big spider* !!) getting together and possibly starting from a central point and working out.  Social CobWeb has been used to describe this, maybe google will sue  🙂

News link is here


Simpsons meet StarWars – parody

A shameless parody by Rich Cando — very good and damn funny too !!!

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The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

The name, the tunes, the attitude …. what more do you need. Presenting: The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

XP Powertoys (MSVDM) and Office 2007

I am a fan of the XP PowerToys and find the Virtual Desktop Manager (MSVDM) a very useful addon.  MSVDM allows you to have 4 separate desktops; including individual wallpaper and start bars, allowing the user to organise their busy desktops.  The whole thing is controlled via shortcut keys or menus and includes an over view shot to help find windows you may have misplaced.  May not be a eye popping as Beryl on Linux, but its still a good tool on XP.

However, I have found an interesting (annoying bug) when you use this with Access 2007 or Excel 2007 in that when the desktop with either application looses focus the ribbon bar disappears when you switch back to that desktop.  I have tested this with other Office 2007 applications but Access and Excel seem to be the only ones with the issue, which in itself is very strange.  The application and any work is still loaded but not very useful without any menus or icons !!

Has anyone else noticed this?

Still testing so will post more if anything else comes to light.

I agree that it is not a particularly common set up, (XP + Office 2007 + MSVDM) but it is starting to get annoying and I would rather not have to sacrifice MSVDM.

Let your bluetooth device find Facebook friends

Using bluetooth and Facebook technology researchers at Bath University have designed a way to build new friendship networks.  By installing a Facebook app called Cityware users can track real world encounters via their bluetooth devices.  It appears to be part of a wider project backed by Nokia, HP Labs and Vodaphone.

The system works with 4 parts, firstly a Facebook account then Cityware application followed by your bluetooth devices and then the Cityware nodes.  These nodes have only currently been installed in Bath, University College London, the University of California in San Diego, with more nodes going online in Sweden, Hong Kong and Sydney.

These nodes (computers) scan for bluetooth enabled devices and send that data back to the Cityware servers to compare the unique bluetooth IDs against known Facebook accounts.  The next time you access Facebook you will be shown other users that your device detected.

Cityware state that “The node sits in the environment and records everyone’s unique Bluetooth ID. Cityware itself doesn’t know your name, or who you are.”, Dr Kostakos, research associate at the University of Bath.

Dr Kostakos makes some other very interesting comments, “Networks are everywhere – social and digital.  The really nice thing about Bluetooth is that when you are walking down the street, although you are not talking to anyone, your Bluetooth device can be talking to other devices.”

“Most people you bump into or see regularly have made information about themselves available publicly online.  But the Internet is such a big place that it’s difficult to find contextual information about who someone is, where they are etc.”

The tool lets find out if any of the people you bump into is a Cityware user and has a Facebook profile, in which case you can choose to add that person to your friend list.

Thinking about this started to give me a headache, I mean having my Bluetooth device allow other people to find me just seemed so un-nerving.  Similarly the thought that really, your locations could be recorded on a server somewhere was also a bit disconcerting.  However, regardless of how we choose to meet a new friend or a familiar stranger is having your bluetooth device do the introdcution any more dangerous than exchanging details the old fasion way?  Probably not and it could be argued that it was in some ways safer.  It will be very interesting to watch this technology develop over time but at the moment my Bluetooth is still OFF. 

The original article can be found on the BBC WEB site here

Test Shows 41% Of Facebook Users Expose Themselves To Strangers

However interesting this post is about the ease at which some people will part with personal information in the social networking community of Facebook (and no doubt alternative sites) the title alone is worth a mention  😀

Nokia and Matsushita to replace mobile phone batteries

Nokia is offering to replace up to 46 million batteries for their mobile phones due to reports of overheating while charging. 

From the WEB site

“This is a product advisory for the Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. This product advisory does not apply to any other Nokia battery.”

There have apparently been very few cases of reported problems however more info and a product guide can be found here

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