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Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Source: my-trivia.net

Well this post marks the last of my mandated #wedm class blog posts. It’s been a blast. Please check in here every now and then as i will still blog periodically about things that i love / annoy me about the interwebs. Let me leave you with a list of things i have learned during this assignment.

1. I am hopeless at blogging every week. I would love to be a paid blogger or writer but i need some serious discipline knocked into me before i can achieve that!

2. People do a lot of dumb shit on the internet. It annoys me.

3. There are a lot of untapped resources out there – in this class i have learned all about Google Reader, Tumblr, Creative Commons, and what the hell Guilds are in WOW

4. There is a lot more to procrastination than FailBlog. Thank you lovely classmates for sharing your top hits!

5. QR codes are really awesome and could be used for an infinite number of things! For those who don’t know what they are, download a QR code reader on your phone or computer. A good list is available here. Now you are ready. Run around and find a code. If you don’t know where to start, try the second last page of The Age. Using the software you have downloaded and scan the code. Voila! You have a live link open on your phone! This software is starting to get very popular in advertising campaigns and you can often spot barcodes included on bus shelter advertisements. Most recently i saw one on the temporary wall of a new development on Swanston St in Carlton. Google has also made it easy to create your own using their shortener goo.gl and adding .qr. Brilliant.

The first person to read this code and tell me where it leads wins love and affection!

And my final thought:

34 more awesome 404 error messages can be found here.

Over and out (for now)

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Source: google.com

Not long ago i wrote about the art of Google cooking, so this week i thought i would examine another Google phenomena: Google medicine. The internet is a magical beast, one can only imagine what people did in the days before the internet when they had a nasty rash or wanted to know the quickest way to get rid of a pimple. These days you just plug-in your ailment, or list of symptoms into Google and off you go, thousands of experts from around the world at your finger tips, eager to answer your embarrassing question or to cure you.

For doctors, Google self diagnosis and the easy access to millions of different home remedies pose a huge problem for patient care and the risk of misdiagnosis. Google runny nose or cough and the internet throws up hundreds of different diagnostic possibilities. Whilst it might save a short trip to your local GP, it is entirely possible that fatal illnesses may not get picked up early enough because of it. This Adelaide Adviser article quotes various medical experts preaching caution. In the general theme that i have running on this blog, really, if you’re that stupid to use solely Google as your doctor, then you deserve all you get!

Source: google.com

In fact Google itself is onto this trend and is developing ways to cash in. A few months back i met a Google employee in a bar a Rome (no seriously!) and aside from quizzing him about whether Google was indeed one giant adult’s playground (it is and yes, you end up taking it for granted!), i also learned all about Google’s project to map the flow of flu outbreaks. How? Well Google has developing an algorithm which plots every-time someone plugs in a flu related question and puts your search on a map. Google Flu Trends “uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity”. Visitors to the site can plot flu outbreaks by country as well as download world flu activity.

As well as being oh so slightly Orwellian, i also tend to think it could be inaccurate. Take for example the bird flu outbreak. Was there anyone in the world not Googling bird flu? I am not alone in this concern, judging by this article published by cnet, CBS”s news site. Google answers this question, explaining that it has compared its results to more traditional means of flu monitoring and found them to be relatively accurate. Regardless, Google is one smart company and at their fingertips is the information big pharmaceuticals would love to get their hands on. It will be interesting to see how this tool is used in the future. For now, i am off to Google the strange spot that appeared on my foot this morning.

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Source: madsilence.wordpress.com

So far i have blogged about at least two of my passions in life – politics and art. This week I am dedicating my post to a third passion, food! As someone who is not very organised, i often find myself staring at a half empty pantry trying to figure out what the hell i can pull together that will taste half decent and have some kind of nutritional value. As a student, like most of us, i became deft a testing out new flavour combinations (please never ever let anyone convince you to combine hokkien noodles with sweet corn and ricotta cheese!) Thankfully for my poor body, we now have the internet and millions of experts and foodies around the world to tap into. I am now a keen proponent of Google Cooking.

Google Cooking is a basic concept, you simply type in the ingredients you do have at your disposal, Google does its thing and up pops a selection of recipes featuring the ingredients. Unfortunately, Google Cooking is not my invention, according to The Washington Post, the term was actually coined by Judy Hourihan, a former Massachusetts software engineer, who is said to have invented the phenomenon in 2001 with salmon and Swiss chard.

Source: google.com

 

The Washington Post quotes some interesting stats on cooking, quoting 33 million visits to culinary-related Web sites in September 2005 (according to comScore Media Metrix) I would imagine five years on, those figures are a lot larger! The Post are not the only news source not the only one interested in this new way of cooking. The Guardian trialled dinner a la Google with a combination of salmon, cabbage, bacon, leeks and cumin, raving of the success, raving “half an hour later and the fridge was empty, there were bite marks on the plates and my wife wanted to know where this sudden facility for good food had come from.”

Source: mysupermarket.co.uk

The problem i have found with Google Cooking is that it relies on you having a fairly well stocked basic pantry. A quick test with the limited food in my fridge – leeks, tasty cheese and ham elicits recipes including leek, ham and cheese cabbage rolls from Foodland Ontario; Ham and leek gratin from The Dog’s Breakfast and Versatile leek and cheese quiche from Epricurian Table. As you can see from all these recipes, they rely on you having cabbage, potatoes and eggs sitting there ready to use. I also learned that a brand, aptly named Bachelors makes a ‘Cheese, Leek and Ham’ flavoured Pasta ‘N’ Sauce.

Research Buzz’s Cookin’ with Google has a few tips that might assist you in your Google Cooking foray:

* Try searching for both items plural and singular. Searching for avocado apple gives very different results from avocados apples.

* Sometimes if you enter too many items you’ll narrow down your search too much. Try starting your search with just two or three ingredients.

* Try tossing in a cooking-related word, like broil or sautee. Conversely if you want to avoid certain words you can also exclude them; try excluding words like fry or lard.

Good luck!

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