Google Australia Puts People on the Map, Nice.

Damn Google being able to use their own technology to be able to do something really really cool.

Google Australia is celebrating Australia Day 2007 by photographing Sydney Harbour from the air, and we want to make sure as many of us as possible squeeze into the picture.So when you see the Google branded plane flying overhead this January 26th, hoist a sign, arrange your family into a fun formation or just get a bunch of friends together to wave.

Google Rocks Australia Day 2007

Thanks to Knotty for the email tip.

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Better than Tufte

Everyone always bangs on about Tufte and his books about displaying information. And yes, they’re very nice books. But I’ve got a new heroine: Jessica Hagy and her Indexed blog.

Never have so few well-chosen lines on so few index cards said so much.

I felt embarrassed and happy at the same time laughing out loud at graphs :-)

via The Guardian Guide a few weeks ago (I only unearthed my scribble about it today…)

Second Life Sex, Get it Here…

Yuk. I just looked at my stats. And it turns out that the Google search term that brings most people to my blog is…

“Second Life Sex”

Damn, I’ve just realised that by even writing the term again, I’ve probably increased my google ranking. I’m not sure how happy I am being on the virtual sex tourist trail. Mind you I suppose it’s better than last year when the top Google search was ‘Making Crack’.

WikiHow Wow

Do you want to see the real face of user generated content?

Or at least what happens when you open a geeky Wiki to the world. Well, you end up with…

All this and more at WikiHow.com – completely bloody essential reading, obviously.

via: Lifehacker

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Blog Recruitment Rules, OK…

Buzz and me with our new ‘mystery’ creative director

A follow up to the Poke Seeking Creative Director post…

In short, rather than doing normal job advertising, or going through recruitment consultants, I wrote a ‘job ad’, then Nik and I put it on our blogs to see what would happen. Well guess what happened? Lots of interesting people got in touch…

We’ve had a great time meeting a range of brilliant people. Some who we’re speaking to about other jobs. Some we’re talking about collaborating with. And with others we just had a nice chat and collectively decided that it was nice to meet up, but the timing and opportunity wasn’t quite right just now.

The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from this though is about interestingness. We’ve done an extensive study and found that the applicants who’ve come through our blogs have been 34% more interesting than candidates who come through other means. Thus demonstrating that it’s not just bloggers who are attempting to be interesting, blog readers have an inherent interestingness too. Which is nice!

Oh, and we did find one in the end. But you’ll have to wait a little while before it’s all made official (you can almost see him above). Awesome!

(Plus, blog hook-ups also brought the lovely Asi to Poke too – which is a double tick for blogs as unofficial recruitment devices that get you great people).

Google Maps Adventure Game for Penguin

Malice Box

If you’re into adventure type games. Or just want to win some great prizes. Or are a real nerd and want to see how we’ve used Google Maps as part of our quest interface. Head over to MaliceBoxQuest.com, something Poke have put together for Penguin to promote the launch of a new mystic-thriller book called, strangely enough, The Malice Box.

Tom and Cookie, two of the other Poke folk who worked on the game have also written bits about it on their blogs. In fact I think Cookie sums it all up rather well:

The book is a bit like the Da Vinci Code – a dude runs about the place, solving puzzles and saving the world…For the online game we created, you get to navigate the globe using Google maps. Basically you solve puzzles, guess locations of ‘Red Gold’ on the map and win prizes. Go check it out and play the game and at www.maliceboxquest.com/

Oh, and if you’ve been paying attention this is the game that I was trying to find a scriptwriter for ages ago! And thanks to some helpful blog readers we eventually found Tim Wright, who was great to work with. Hooray for blogs!

Wii Gets You Fit – It’s Official

Absolutely awesome. I was waiting for someone to come out with the ‘Wii can get you fitter‘ story, but I had no idea it’d be done so brilliantly thoroughly.

Results: It works!

With no other changes in habits a drop in weight, a drop in body fat index, smaller waistline and resting heart-rate were all achieved.

Found via Ant’s del.ico.us links (visit his blog here).

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Venice Project Becomes Joost

The project formerly known as The Venice Project has now turned into Joost. It’s the latest venture from the guys behind Skype and in a nutshell it hopes to do to television what Skype did to telephones. As they put it: ‘taking the best of TV and mixing it with the best of the Internet’. It’s all based on peer-to-peer technologies (don’t forget these are also the same guys who developed Kazaa – one of the best early p2p applications). I don’t have any idea how they’re hoping to deal with copyright issues, but I’m sure they do…

It’s in ‘invite only’ beta phase. I’m in the beta testing program, but it’s PC only at the moment. So I’ve not really had a chance to play with it.

Wikipedia describes it thusly.

Here’s a couple of useful videos:

This is how it looks when it’s working (pretty slick):

Here’s an (audio only) interview with Janus Friis one of the founders:

I really don’t like the design of their website though. It looks like they’ve tried to progress the 2.0 aesthetic but I don’t think it quite hits the mark…