More TV media whorage

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday August 24 @ 4:39 pm

It’s been another busy day of media appearances on the subject of Google. No sooner has the rights issue news died down, the launch of Google Talk has got all the mainstream news services interested.

This morning was spent doing a live piece for the BBC World Service business news, and a segment for their Europe Today programme.

This evening, I will be doing BBC News 24 at 8.30pm UK time.

Google launches Google Talk

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday August 24 @ 4:33 pm

Google finally announced one of the worst-kept secrets of the year – its move into instant messaging.

Google Talk, a free IM and voice telephony client is still very much a work-in-progress. Text IM is basic but very functional (no graphical smiley icons, no font control and other fancy features now considered standard on other platforms), while the free voice calling (only between Google Talk users, no dialling out to landlines – yet) uses the same audio codec as Skype’s client.

Users will need a Gmail account, as Google Talk shares login authentication with Gmail, as well as checking your Gmail account for new messages (replacing Gmail Notifier).

The Google Talk client is for Windows XP/2000 only. Thankfully, the Google Talk service is based on the open source Jabber platform, so Mac users can use the latest verison of iChat to connect to the service, and numerous third party solutions such as Trillian Pro are supported.

Early days, but the initial playing I have done is encouraging.

It’s TV time again

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday August 23 @ 9:00 am

If anyone has access to Sky or Cable (sorry, not carried on Freeview), I’ll be appearing live on CNBC Europe at around 10.30am UK time this morning to discuss Google’s plans to raise $4bn to spend on new business acquisitions and a space hopper.

CNBC Europe is carried on Sky Digital channel 510, Telewest channel 613 and NTL channel 124.

OFFICIAL: My life is on a par with hardcore porn!

Posted by Chris Green on Monday August 22 @ 4:55 pm

Yep, it is true. Thanks to a handy web site I have just discovered, my life has been given a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rating of R18:

My life has been rated:
Click to find out your rating!
See what your rating is!
Created by bart666

To quote the BBFC: The R18 category is a special and legally restricted classification primarily for explicit videos of consenting sex between adults. Such videos may be supplied to adults only in licensed sex shops, of which there are currently about 90 in the UK.

Looks like I am living up to my International Playboy tagline afterall!

Good news on the Flickr iPhoto plugin

Posted by Chris Green on Monday August 22 @ 1:49 am

Just got a reply to my email from the author of the Flickr iPhoto plugin:

Hi Chris,

You can be sure that I’m working on support for the new auth scheme right now. I had an incident of bad timing with another project I was working on 🙂


So as you can see, it is coming. Great news indeed!

One week to go until Frightfest

Posted by Chris Green on Friday August 19 @ 6:24 pm

Frightfest - 26-29 August 2005 at the Odeon West End -

Well there is just seven days to go until Frightfest.

I’m all set – I have our weekend passes, I have plans in place for a slap-up Chinese meal at some stage over the four-day period, as well as options for eating on the run between movies. I have purchased a new small bag for carrying my junk around in (so I won’t need a big ruck sack or messenger bag), I have been down to the cinema and picked up a couple of the 60-page Frightfest brochures (and thus I have the inside info on every film and short screening over the duration of the festival) and I’ve ordered a copy of the DVD version of Night of the Living Dead, which I’m going to get signed by George Romero the director.

In short – I can’t wait!

Yahoo ID merging breaks iPhoto plugin….

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday August 16 @ 10:12 pm

…but the Windows Publish to Web feature still works!

This is because the Windows Publish to Web hack uses the new style API embedded authentication (whereby it registers itself as a pre-authenticated external app that can tap straight into your Flickr space), unlike the iPhoto plugin which uses more conventional username and password login, and thus can’t currently handle the new yahoo ID format for logging in.

I have emailed the author of the iPhoto plugin asking if and when he plans to update his excellent app. More news when I get it.

The Yahooification of Flickr has begun

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday August 16 @ 7:13 pm

Interesting news today on the Flickr blog, the announcement that you can now use your Yahoo ID to log into Flickr.

While this represents the beginning of what will no doubt be a far greater Yahoo makeover of Flickr in the coming months, this is one change that is indeed welcome – anything that means I have one less username and login to remember can only be a good thing.

We now hope and prey that Yahoo doesn’t screw Flickr up in the same way it did eGroups!

Podcasting – we are getting closer

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday August 16 @ 12:19 am

I did some podcast testing this evening, in between researching several things for next year’s US holiday – currently researching car hire charges, and options for touring Napa and Sonoma Valley that won’t involve me driving (so I can drink).

Had a play with the Maplin stereo condenser mic, and was rather impressed. The quality was far better than the price suggested it would be. Also had a play with GarageBand – I think I am going to have a lot of fun making jingles using the voice effects within Apple’s superb mixing and recording tool. And also gave the Creative USB sound card a run-out in conjunction with the Compaq laptop. This too was very encouraging, especially as the Compaq lappy and the Creative USB sound card are set to form the bulk of my mobile podcasting kit.

But the big question remains when – when will we do the first podcast for VNU? Chances are I’ll do a couple of one-offs for first in order to debug things and get my style sorted, most likely using material from the PDC conference in early September. But the big one will be the Podcasting and Portable Media Expo taking place in Ontario, California in November.

The plan is to podcast the podcasting conference. Not only is it a novel idea, but also it makes sense for us to do it as a one-off, especially if it all goes horribly wrong. Of course, if all goes well, which it will, then it’ll be the first of a regular run of podcasts, branded under one of the VNU magazine or web brands.

If only all web applications were so easy to upgrade….

Posted by Chris Green on Monday August 15 @ 4:04 pm

I am pleased to announce that I have upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, without breaking the site!

This is now the second time I have updated the WordPress installati0n myself, rather than wait for my web host to update their Fantastico set-up (which in turn would then update my install in a handy one-click fashion).

I have to say, given my experienced with PHP-based web apps, this was an absolute breeze! No scary PHP script or permision errors or anything, you just nuke everything except your database, content folder and config file, copy in the new version of WordPress (taking care not to overwrite the content folder), run an upgrade script which seems to do very little very quickly, and you are done.

Already, there are one or two nice little additions that I have spotted – such as the ‘Save and continue editing’ button when editing pages.

Keep up the good work WordPress team.

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