Gravatars, Pirates and Clickjacking

Interesting links:

  1. If you don’t know what a Gravatar is, find out at Keys Corner.  I haven’t activated them on this site (yet), but do use them on new sites that I install.
  2. Swedish courts are going to decide whether it is an infringement of Copyright to tell other people where files that are in themselves infringements can be downloaded.  Will this have a knock-on effect for people who include YouTube videos on their site, that are also potentially copyrighted and have been uploaded illegally?
  3. I new word in the world of IT vocabulary: Clickjacking.  Find out what that is at TheRegister.

.earth and .moon?

Have you ever wondered which top-level domain another planet would have if it were to be collonised?  Or, for that matter, does the International Space Station have one?

Would all domain names get longer, to become eg. www.cymeradwyo.net.earth?

To be honest, that probably not the World’s biggest problem at the moment, but if it was there would be one problem that would have to be solved first.  How do you get the internet protocols to work over large distances?

With large, I mean L A R G E – light years, for example.

At the moment, if you send an e-mail around the globe, say from the UK to Australia, then it is broken up into small chunks called “packets” and routed between various internet nodes to get there.  Not all of the message necessary goes the same way, the packets are put back together in the right order when they arrive.

Of course, this all happens very fast and you probably don’t even notice it.  But with larger distances you might still be waiting for one part to arrive.

This problem has, apparently, now been solved – as the BBC News website reported.  It all sounds very simple, storing the data until the next node can be contacted.  But it does present us with two rather important questions:

– how much data is a node likely to have to store?

– if that is the future, what do internet nodes do at the moment if they cannot relay the data?  Do they just throw it away?

How I use Google Maps

It was this article in the Telegraph that got me thinking about the way in which I use Google Maps.
The article itself is actually about Google Earth – a programme that can be installed on a computer to view Google’s aerial photos of the World.  I first came into contact with it a few years ago on a customer’s computer, but I have, as yet, never installed it on a computer of my own.  Instead, I use Google Maps.
Now, I am aware that Google Earth offers more features, such as being able to tilt the map and get a sort of 3D representation of the area that I am viewing, but for my daily purposes the Maps version is sufficient.
So how do I use it?  Well, the most obvious way is to look up addresses on the maps.  Whenever I have a new address to go to (usually to visit a new customer) then I look it up on Google Maps.  Knowing the area so well, that is usually sufficient for me to know where a particular street is.  Otherwise, I can print off the map of the area around the street that I have to go to, and that will normally be enough.
But if I don’t know the area that I am going to at all, such as some areas of Frankfurt, then will often take a look at the aerial view to see what the roads there are like.  For example, are there parking spaces near where I going to?  It can also be helpful to zoom in the road markings to see if there are any “no left turn” type of junctions on my route.
However, there are many more features to Google Maps that I occasionally use.  There is the ability to view photos that have been taken by other people at specific locations on the maps, so it is interesting to see pictures of places that I have visited, sometimes many years ago.  Of course, I can also look at places that I hear or read about, but will probably never get the chance to visit, such as Tristan da Cuhna in the South Atlantic.
Recently Google have been adding their “Street View” feature to a number of places that I have been to, most recently I was able to look at areas of Madrid that I visited in April.
Finally, there is a more serious side to how I use Google Maps.  Not only can I embed maps in blog posts to show where a particular place is that I have written about, but I can also place advertising on the map for the customers who’s websites I either create or optimise.
All in all, I may not be addicted to Google Maps as the Telegraph article suggested, but I certainly make good use of it.

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