web

Show us a better way

The UK Government's Power of Information Task Force have created a public competition to produce mashups of government and public data. The site Show us a better way offers a £20,000 prize fund to further develop the winning entry.

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Flickr Mashups

Flickr is a popular photography site. Its webservice interface has lead to a number of mashups using its content:

  • Tag Galaxy produces a galaxy of the nearest tags to the tag entered.
  • Retrievr search flickr by sketching.
  • Clockr displays a clock of flickr digits.
  • Fastr a fickr guessing game.

Social Networking for Travellers

I've just read an interesting article in the Guardian in which the travel journalist Emily Baker puts some social networking sites for tourists through their paces: Going local. She gives a run-down of the social networking sites at the end of the article, here is some of it:

For meeting someone on a flight

Flock a threat to IE

I read in the news today that Microsoft has made a beta release of Internet Explorer 8.  They also announced that the new browser works better with web applications like Facebook as well as fully conforming to web standards by passing the ACID tests.  This quick release has people thinking that Firefox is posing a threat to Internet Explorer's market share.  But it may be that the two browsers are beginning to notice Flock

Photosynth: navigating through online photos

An amazing demonstration of a technology under development that promises to, not only identify similar images, but piece them together like a jigsaw. Each photograph (or image) is stitched together to form a seamless image, which can be navigated in a very natural way.

P2P Lending: the next killer web-application?

The new kid on the block, which must have a number of banks wondering, is money lending sites--- otherwise known as peer-to-peer lending. These sites put people who want to borrow money in touch with people who have money to lend. These sites score the borrowers using the traditional credit scoring techniques and this is used to indicate the risk to the lenders who might lend money.

In the end the borrower gets the money they want a loan at a good rate and the borrower gets a good rate of return: often much better than a bank.

Peer-to-peer Business and the importance of relationships

Things have changed a not over the last few years. Once the net, was the preserve of the few. Talking about servers, hosts and site, let alone html or mail, was unusual. It looks like we are entering a new generation of technology, that isn't lost on the technologists. Some like Thomas W Malone or MIT believe that the current communications revolution is going to change the world as much as mass literacy. His research predicts the future of work is one where more business is done Peer-to-Peer.
What is interesting about his view is he likens it to what has happened in government, as communication has improved less social stratification is needed.

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The Web2.0: is it hype?

For me what is happening with JavaScript and XML is very interesting. The metaphor of the browser back-button is breaking. The central pane of the browser is becoming more versatile.

To some AJAX might be all hype. I have to say that as a language JavaScript isn't much to write home about, and as a platform the web varies from browser to browser. But having been watching web technology now for a good ten years, it really seems like there is a shift going on now. Not everyone agrees I had the opportunity to chat to some that were developing some of this technology the other day, and it surprised me that they disliked the idea of Web2.0, or Web2--- they couldn't put their finger on what amounted to: to them it was hype. They'd always done it. That perhaps is the point, they grew up with it, are part of it and are making Web2.0 a reality.

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Faster Firefox

As it would happen, Firefox isn't really tuned for broadband. It is possible to tune your browser so it moves quicker: Make Firefox Faster.

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SVG and Firefox 1.5

Almost silently apple and mozilla have added a new tag to html. It's buried somewhere in the small print of the mozilla website, in a few lines suggesting that the support for web-standards has improved. This though should represent a significant challenge to Microsoft who are now playing catch-up. If the hype is to be believed then this represent a real alternative to flash with by using the SVG technology and JavaScript. This represent's the beginning of a richer web content, sure flash has been there but there is definitely a point where you have to make a choice of placing something in flash or on the page. Tighter integration of the dynamic content with the page should create a more seamless experience. All open standards as well.