Archive for October, 2009

Google’s StreetView

Monday, October 26th, 2009

If you haven’t tried out Google’s StreetView I think you’re really missing out on something. But that said, the product is not without controversy. I’ll get to that in a minute but first here’s your basic guide to seeing the application in action.

In your web browser go to Type your address, or any address and city in the box and then click the “search maps” button to the right. A map will appear with the location you requested and a red pushpin marks the exact location you requested.

Click once on the pushpin and a small box will appear. In addition to some options you will see a small photo of the location. (NB: Not all locations are available just yet). Click on the picture or the Street View text under the picture and voila! You be shown an actual picture of the location. And you can move the picture around by dragging your mouse around the picture.

Now this is quite cool to be sure. But some people are troubled by these views. And the jury is still out on the whole “invasion of privacy” thing. I’m not touching that aspect just yet but here’s what I saw as a humourous side to all this.

I was having coffee the other night at you typical local “one on every corner” coffee store. Two thirty-something couples were seated next to me. Here’s the conversation I couldn’t help but overhear:

Guy #1 – “Google has this great application called StreetView. You can actually see a picture of your house or any other location: Here, check it out…”

He whips out his iPhone and demonstrates. All are amazed, ofcourse, except one of the women who says:

“Well, I typed in my home address and looked at the picture and honestly… I wish they would have told me that they were going to photograph the street because our driveway was full of construction material and the house just doesn’t look good.”

Where’s My Towel?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

I try to workout every day before going to the office. I get to the fitness club real early and workout with a personal trainer or, if left to my own devices, I swim.

In addition to providing an excellent facility, our club is very generous and trustworthy. I know this because we have no limit on the number of towels we can use during our time there. Some clubs, my friends tell me, only issue you two towels when you enter and that’s it – making it really difficult to get another towel. At those clubs it’s almost a question of locking down your towels.

But I’m lucky. If I want a towel with me on the gym floor to absorb my schvitz – no problem. When I swim I can take a towel or two with me to the pool. And if I want a towel to gently wipe away my tears after hearing the current stock market results from the talking head on the lounge TV – no problem!

So explain this to me… Why after a great shower does my towel go missing? I know that I hung it on hook #4 (they number the towel hooks at our gym – that’s class). Why would it not be there for me?

I guess for some people it’s too far to the towel distribution shelf.

Cell Phone Users Walk in Circles

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

I have been observing cell phone users – and who hasn’t? But this is only the beginning… I have a long list of cell phone burtches and kvetch’s. There are a million cell phone stories in the big city and this is just one of them.

Have you ever watched someone talking on a cell phone? I mean really watched. They don’t stand still! Well, some do and others just walk as they talk with that determined “get out of my way” look. But most pace back and forth in a predefined “land grab” of their own – oblivious to the world around them. And some even walk in circles, reversing their direction like clockwork.

Stay clear – which is hard to do – because these people haven’t filed a flight plan. They pace back and forth and side to side. And watch out for that empty hand of theirs, it could suddenly shoot out and up with no warning as they try to emphasize something to the recipient on the other end.

So pacers, circlers and walkers why not try sitting down, standing against a wall or leaning against a post and carry on your conversation out of harms way?