Thursday, 24 September 2009
Could Google Sidewiki be a bad thing?

Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you've probably heard of Google Sidewiki already. The latest add-on to Googles' toolbar that enables you to comment on any webpage you visit. Any comments you make are shared with the rest of the world and that's probably where the problem begins, Google's toolbar is probably one of the most popular toolbars in the world. Almost everyone I know has it installed so they can see the Google Page Rank of pages or to use some of the other features it gives such as enhanced in page searching. Naturally everyone who uses the Page Rank is now able to see the Sidewiki as though it was a part of every website you visit. A part of a website that the website owner has no direct control over.creepy?

My first example of this was going onto CNN's website and seeing a comment on Google Sidewiki saying they preferred the BBC. The comment has now been removed, which seemed to happen quite swiftly after I tweeted about it. Google provide a content policy guide on Swidewiki, however I have been unable to find anything on on what to do about inappropriate content posted about your site on Sidewiki if you are the website owner. Take this one step further imagine an online retailer who has comments posted by one disgruntled customer on how they would never use them again. That one entry would probably cost that business heavily in income, even if there was truth to what was being said all online retailers have bad experiences every now and again where they were unable to help the customer or one fell through their customer service web. But saying that Sidewiki could also be a force for good, imagine someone being conned by a fake website setup to sell fake goods? What would be a better way of informing people, than by writing a note on Google Sidewiki?

posted on Thursday, 24 September 2009 21:52:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Those were the harrowing words I read in today's Evening Standard in an article about the French police clearing the "Jungle" camp near Calais. Those words hammered home just how desperate migrants are to get into the UK. This immediately got me thinking why don't they want to stay in France instead of the UK? Or any of the other countries on their way to the UK?

Having watched UK Borderforce a show on Sky 1 that follows immigration offices catching illegal immigrants or stopping them before they come into the UK at Calais. The reasons they give for coming to the UK are quite interesting, some of them are

  • Coming to the UK for free education
  • Some believe they will get free housing
  • Free health care
  • To marry someone in the UK and raise a family
  • To join family (sometimes distant) already in the UK

But why don't they do these thing in France? Well some of the reasons range from France not being as soft a touch as the UK, the immigrants speak English and therefore naturally want to settle in the UK. Another interesting fact is that the French do have a problem with immigration but these are from ex French colonies where people generally speak French as a second language, they know how the systems work in France and take advantage of it as people who know the system in the UK.

Deporting illegal immigrants is difficult many of them know that as long as they don't carry a passport its practically impossible for them to be deported, however they are not allowed to work. Its a catch situation which the government sought to solve with biometric id cards. The idea is to receive the benefits of "Club Britain" you need a membership card that entitles you to all the club has to offer. Because of wide spread outrage at the id card scheme the government decided to reverse the trend giving immigrants biometric id cards. Even if they did lose the cards their biometric information makes them identifiable to the system once again, hence making them deportable once they had over stayed their welcome.

It seems a vast majority of illegal immigrant based on the above appear to be economic migrants, they are after the ideal life, a better standard of living and a shield against poverty. Reducing this trend can only be done by not making services in the UK as accessible but most importantly helping to improve conditions in countries most illegal immigrants come from. You now start entering a fight against world poverty and we know just how successful that has been in the developing world. What if the old colonial powers started colonising parts of Africa again taking over war torn countries without governments and started making safe haven countries for immigrants, with economic havens, well conditioned and more free from corruption, building these countries up again and then calling elections for them to be handed to a locally formed government. Could it work?

posted on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 22:20:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]