Monday, 5 December 2011

Google+: You better read the Terms of Service!

Young boy (10) lost access to his 2 years old Gmail account after signing for Google+, pretty scary:
Google made my son cry

Friday, 2 December 2011

Why emails are not replied?

Wonder why your email is not replied? Have a look at this Diagramm!

Update on Google's personalized search

This is an update on the previous Personalization Secret Article. There is a nice explanation how the personalized search works and more importantly a link to the instructions how to turn it off.

Yet somehow regrettably the "turn off Web History" leads to the more brutally called "Deleting Web History" page. With the warning that "Deleting Web History from your Google Account will erase all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future"! So think twice!

And when you are really sure, click the gear icon at the top of the page. A try shows that the gear icon actually does not work from that page. But don't give up so quickly! Keep trying other buttons next to the icon and behold - clicking your name does indeed open a menu with "Account settings". Which leads to the page slightly differently entitled "Account overview", where you don't see any "Products" as per instructions, but with minimum guesswork you figure out that now the "Products" are called "Services". Which has indeed a link to Web history with the scary option to remove it all, once and forever!

But ... never give up! A careful look at the top of the Web history page reveals a "Pause" button. Great - now we give it a try! So let's google "Italy"! And then do it in the separate browser - Safari when signed off. What do we see?

The first links to the Wikipedia page are identical. But the second are not! The signed in page gives "Map of Italy" whereas the unsigned Safari - "Italy Travel Information and Travel Guide" both from Lonely planet. Which one is more relevant? I'd the say the second one on Safari where I am logged out. If I were looking for the map of Italy, I'd enter it that way. Further going down reveals that both searches on "Italy" are not at all identical despite of the Web History being paused. And moreover, switching back the History on does not seem to produce any changes!

Try it yourself and enjoy ;)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

On Mathematical Education, Information Flow and High Fliers

I recently gave a talk at our Schools Open Day, after which a prospective Maths student approached me. She said she was at the top of her Maths class but never was encouraged to do any better and the class was too slow and boring for her. Also she's never heard of Mathematical Competitions

There was no High Performance Maths class (like German Leistungskurs) in her school and moreover, there seem to be no Maths Specialized Schools in Dublin! Even better - Wikipedia's Site for Specialized School mentions only Soviet Union and Post-Soviet States! There is also UK terminology Specialist School including Mathematics and Computing College  which seem to restrict only to England. The UK (but not the Soviet) page links also to the US unexpected terminology Magnet School.  

Then I talked to a colleague who confirmed that Irish Schools don't seem to cater to "High Fliers". If that is true, the so popular criticism like here comes at no surprise.

Monday, 14 November 2011

On Perfect Dogs, Lost Keys and Outdated Technologies

Problem to solve: Carrying multiple keys and worrying about losing them

What was the door opening technology last century?
- Using the key!
And what is it now?
- Still the same :(
Is it going to be the same 10 years from now?
- I hope not!

I live in a well protected place. You need to pass through 2 gates and 1 door to enter the block, not counting my own door. How many keys do I need to carry at all times?
- Right - 4!
- Plus 3 keys from work!
- Plus 3 keys for my scooter!
- 4+3+3=10 if my maths is right. :)

Sounds familiar? Plus losing any of the keys is not fun. Having to wait on a dead holiday for someone to come to unlock your door is not fun too. Having to sleep under the bridge neither.

Wouldn't our life be so much nicer if various doors would simply recognize us without demanding for keys? And the "technology" is actually there! I call it the "perfect dog"!

So what is the perfect dog? It is the dog that barks strictly at everyone except you and your friends, guest or whoever is included in the "authorized circle"! You don't need any key! Nor any code! Isn't it exactly what we are looking for? Perfect keyless and codeless recognition!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Facebook and Google / Secret Revealed

A truly interesting video by Eli Pariser about recent personalization trends in internet. "There is no standard Google any more ... different people get different things!" Unfortunately it seems we are not informed about these personalization settings. Is this the direction of personalization that we want?