The Google Social Graph API

From the site blurb:  “With so many websites to join, users must decide where to invest significant time in adding their same connections over and over. For developers, this means it is difficult to build successful web applications that hinge upon a critical mass of users for content and interaction. With the Social Graph API, developers can now utilize public connections their users have already created in other web services. It makes information about public connections between people easily available and useful.”  Watch the video too – more info here

Real life test of Internet banking security

I have just read with some interest and quiet amusement that UK TV presenter, author and newspaper columnist Jeremy Clarkson has lost money after publishing his bank account details in the UK national press.  Story goes that he was commenting on the loss of 25 million people’s data on two government CDs which had gone missing, here, apparently writing that:

“All you’ll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out. Honestly, I’ve never known such a palaver about nothing,” he told readers.

So, he published is own account details and how to find his address.

What happened?

Well, someone has since opened a direct debit for £500 from his account and into the account of the charity, Diabetes UK.  Seems the bank can’t tell him who did it due to the Data Protection Act and cannot prevent it happening again.

My quiet amassment is not that it happened to him but that someone followed this through and highlighted what can happen when you are haphazard with personal details and set yourself up for a fall.  Whether this was a direct result of an anonymous reader getting hold of the details or a close friend “playing a joke” the punishment is fitting. 

Good charitable cause, I hope the direct debit stays !!!

Original BBC report.

Voice of the London Underground sacked for blogging funny fake announcement audio

The woman who reads the London Underground “next stop” announcements has apparently been sacked for keeping a blog in which she would record funny fake announcments, like “Residents of London are reminded that there are other places in Britain outside your stinking shithole of a city, and if you removed your heads from your arses for just a couple of minutes, you may realise that the M25 is not the edge of the Earth”

BOOMP3 has catpured the MP3s here

Her blog can be found here

Wine experts mistake dyed white wine as red wine

I, like the next person perhaps, enjoy a glass of wine and I know what I like and that for me it is very subjective and truely personal choice.  This article however shows that even wine experts are have these constraints when choosing wine, which is perhaps not at all surprising, however so much for objectivity.  Its a piece about wine tasting and perhaps the sceince of the expert opinion, but what seems more interesting are the comments.

Most ludicrous laws in the UK

Among the most ridiculous laws listed by UKTV Gold were:

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)
  • It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down (7%)
  • Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)
  • In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants (4%)
  • The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)
  • It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)
  • As posted on the BBC WEB site after a survey was conducted on the cable TV channel UKTV GOLD

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    Online couple cheated WITH EACH OTHER !!! is carrying a story about a married couple who ended up dating each other through an online chat room.  “Sweetie” and “Prince of Joy” spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles.  Apparently the truth emerged when the two turned up for a date and are now getting divorced after each accusing the other of being unfaithful.

    “I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage. How right that turned out to be,” Sana, 27, said.
    Adnan, 32, said: “I still find it hard to believe that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years”.


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    Visual search tool

    oSkope is a neat little visual search tool which will allow you to search and organise items from various sources, such as ebay, flickr, youtube etc.  The results are presented in an intuative way and you can arrange them in a number of ways such as a graph, a stack, a pile or as a list.  I like the stack as it feels like you are browsing through photographs of things.  Very nice and worthwhile service.