When Google gets it wrong

Today, I couldn’t be bothered to dig into my bookmarks and find the link for the online version of the magazine of JLSS – The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.
So I asked Google to find me it, by cunningly searching for the terms “JLSS” and “magazine”. I’d say that’s a pretty clear search: two words, both of which are correct.

But no: Google knows better.

I’m not actually wanting to look at a recent article on Agency Worker Regulations.
Actually, what Google knows I’m really looking for is sites about JLS, the boy band.

Obviously, me putting in the actual words that I want to look for just isn’t accurate enough, as after being presented with a screen of nonsense about disturbingly flexible young boys in tight t-shirts, I then have to click again to correct the search. Which actually was correct when I originally input it.

Google, I am NOT thick, and I do NOT want to have to see JLS!

Calendar juggling – Thing 8

Righty, we’re on to organising tools then, and this one is Google Calendar.

Now I have to say, I’m not going to be doing this Thing, for various reasons. Mainly, I don’t really have a need for it in my life.

Work
I have a personal work calendar, as does my boss. We can both access each others calendars when needed, and see what each person is up to – this is useful if my boss is unavailable and people want to check with me whether they could schedule a meeting with her, or when she has a gap in her day. Our calendars allow us to easily book meeting rooms in our firm, and keep track of events and plans.
This is the only calendar I have any need to share the information on with anyone, and this is already possible.

We also don’t need to publicise anything to our users: we’re here during core service hours, and sometimes beyond, and if either one of us is not at their desk (holidays etc) we put up signs on our monitors, put on out of office emails, and generally make it clear that the other member of staff will deal with enquiries at that time.

Personal
My brother at one point tried to schedule my trip with him around New Zealand using Google Calendar. We quickly gave up, as I was never in a Google account to see his changes, so he’d have to email me on my normal email to tell me to log in to another email account to look at something he could have just told me by email in the first place….if you don’t use Google as your email service provider, it’s just a hassle rather than a help.
For other personal planning, I use the calendar in my phone, and a paper version, although I’ve not used that much in the last year. I need to get back into that habit, as when my current phone gets replaced, my last two years of activity will get vaporised – not good if I’m trying to keep track of what talks I’ve been to, what events I’ve attended, and use these for my Revalidation submission!

Other reasons
I tend not to want to trust to much of my online life to any one service (for good reason), so I try and keep things reasonably separate. Since I have multiple email accounts, and multiple Gmail/Google accounts (work-related or personal ones), then for this to be useful for me I would have to be consistently using just one single account, and be logged into it at all times. And that’s not going to happen. So for now, Google Calendar isn’t a tool I feel I need.

Open University course for librarians

As mentioned in CILIP Gazette…or Update (my memory sucks!) the Open University has launched a new course for “information professionals”: “The Evolving Information Professional: challenges in a digital world” is an online course,. available to begin studying at any time.

The blurb says:

This course is for information professionals – librarians, archivists, information and knowledge managers – looking to keep up to date with modern technologies, sources of information and today’s users.

It is for those in the profession who wish to stay relevant in this fast-changing world of information, find out how other information services are facing the challenge and consider ways of proving their worth in the Google age. Among all the issues that the course covers, you will be given the opportunity to reflect on the possible consequences for your service of a new generation of ‘Homo zappien’ users, try out games developed for library users and archivists and consider the implications of the 7 Ps for marketing your service.

All looks very interesting…but in general terms. And I can’t really see myself paying almost £500 for that level of general interest. It may be more useful for public /academic librarians, or anyone who has to deal with a regularly changing group of users.

When they invent a course that includes dealing with lawyers and their….’foibles’, then I’ll be there in a flash! 🙂

Google StreetView – coming to a city near you…or Edinburgh

So, last week, there I was, slumped in a bus seat with a vacant look (as usual), when I spotted something odd coming out of a side street.
A wee black car…with a huge pole on top, covered with cameras.
Now, it’s coming up for Festival season in Edinburgh, when all sorts of strangeness occurs on a regular basis, and therefore such randomness would blend right in, but this was a tad too early.
Aha – it turned a corner, and I clocked the discrete little Google StreetView logo on its side.
Since then, I know it’s been into the cul-de-sac where I live (but not got my flat as it’s on the wrong side to be seen from the street), and continues to travel through Edinburgh.

Now, I know there’s debate over privacy issues (which, to be honest, I think are hugely overblown by the paranoid), but I personally think it’s kinda cool!
The usefulness of a walk-through map of a city, with actual images of the physical, ‘real’ landmarks and what they look like far outweighs the possibility of someone, somewhere being spotted doing something they shouldn’t be doing, or being somewhere they shouldn’t be.

So, when they launch it for Edinburgh, I’ll be the one with the disturbingly red hair on the top deck of the number 25 on Leith Walk….with the blurred out face 😀

Google and Firefox – saving the world, one phishing site at a time

So, I logged out of my internet banking service, and got a ‘stop’ icon on the right hand side of my toolbar, and a pop up box telling me that the site was a suspected web forgery. I was given the options of reading more, leaving the page – “Get me out of here!”, “Ignore this warning”, and “This isn’t a web forgery”. Since I’d just logged out of the secure area, I was pretty sure that it wasn’t a phishing site, so decided to use the final option. This allowed me to submit a report anonymously, detailing why I didn’t think it was a phishing page.

So I did.
And this is the report I got back:

Google

Google Safe Browsing for Firefox BETA

Report Sent

Thanks for sending a report to Google. Now that you’ve done your good deed for the day, feel free to:

1. Take a second to rejoice merrily for doing your part in making the web a safer place.

2. Call/email/write to a neighbor/friend/relative and tell them what phishing is and how they can protect themselves.

3. Check out other extensions for Firefox from Google.

4. Spread the love by joining the Spread Firefox community.

I’m going to go for option 1. Feel my merry rejoicing!! 🙂

I think this will probably be a good thing – after all, I would have no idea who to report a phishing site to if I found one, and this way, I should be protected if I stumble across one, with a clear process for getting a wrongly identified site removed from the list.
I also like the fact that it’s not forcing you to leave a site – it allows you the option of continuing with what you were doing, instead of treating you like a child and enforcing its guidance…

Google Librarian Central

Link from Library Stuff

I have to confess to removing GLC from my Bloglines subscriptions late last year. Not only was it not being updated, but it went through a phase of having all its old entries appearing as new entries, repeatedly, and this went on for days. In the end, I got so irritated with it I removed it.

It did seem very odd that it stopped, with a promise of a return after the Summer, and no update posts since, even if just to say that they might have decided against continuing the blog. I found it often had useful tips, even for non public / school librarians, which it seems to be mainly aimed at.

Hopefully they really do like librarians, and will be back at some point…but if it’s in the Spring, just in time to warm up for the American library conferences, I have to admit, I’ll be giving in to my lurking cynicism!