Cool, Fab, gear?

Can’t help thinking that the interweb has got it a bit wrong on google gears (the offline/online storage tool, that will for example download all you feeds in Google Reader to read when offline) – they all love it. But most of the praise in the blogs, Ben Metcalfe etc., has come from people who think it will be so useful when they’re “on a plane to speak at a conference”.

To be honest, how often do you have a computer, time to use it, and no web? I have computer at work, one at home, I have a laptop – but I don’t use it while travelling (you try on the bus, or while driving).

It’s clever, but a niche product that is being hyped far too much. Of course, someone could always come up with something better to use it for.


up yer Brum – it’s Digg for Brum

up yer Brum is my latest project, the idea originally was simply a sort of ‘Brum Blogs’ aggregator, but it’s got a lot more complicated. The front page shows items on the web (technorati, dell.icio.us, flickr, youtube )tagged ‘upyerbrum’ – as well as the most popular links already submitted – and lets people vote on them or submit them to the ‘digg’ part of the site.

It uses Pligg, an open source digg clone, Magpie RSS as well as some nice php and css that I’ve got to grips with specially for this project. I really hope that it’ll take off, although the ‘launch’ is making me a bit nervous – I think it’s the thing that I’ve invested most time in for ages.

Try it, carefully now…

up yer Brum :: promoting the best of Birmingham on the web


the blogging virus

I don’t seem to be able to stop blogging. Not much here, I grant, but there’s the B:INS blog (which has really been running in one form or another for about 4 years), The Kitten Channel (which is mostly pictures of kittens), and a new one which I’m not going to link to until it fills up a bit.

Add in a couple more that I contribute to, a few freelance articles here and there, my Flickr pics, my del.icio.us-ing, the odd Digg – I’ve a horrible feeling that I barely have a thought that I don’t write down (well type).

Is this healthy, I don’t know.


My A – Z

JB Birmingham Street Atlas : Originally uploaded by bounder. See it in all it’s glory here

I’ve always thought that roads, like music, crystallize memories. I can’t listen to Oasis’ ‘stop crying your heart out’ without shedding a tear, purely because it was used in the closing credits after England got knocked out of a World Cup not because it’s lumpen rubbish.

The original idea was this (was before the invention of digital photography); I’d get up very early one Sunday morning and nick the actual signs. They are very difficult to remove, however, and I’m not Banksy or Tracey Emin (or even Bill Drummond) and I doubt the Highways Agency would see the art.

I’m not saying why I picked these particular roads, or where they are – you can guess if you like. I had to make a cut off somewhere, it was odd deciding what memories were important enough to make it. I purposely didn’t just do ‘every street I’ve lived in’, what was too simple. Nothing at all happened in at least one of the roads, it’s just the name.

It was actually quite an emotional experience in a couple of places (not to mention dangerous when standing in the middle of the Pershore Rd to get ‘just the right angle’).

See it as a flickr set.

There might be a follow up – I’ve already been thinking of ‘every pub I’ve ever been in’, or ‘every‘ church I’ve ever been in’.

As for the street atlas thing – I’d like other people to have a go.