E-tales: Conchords get their Google on

A WEEK OF IT

Conchords get their Google on

Grammy Award-winning Kiwi comedy-music duo Flight of the Conchords, who, our e-tale contributor assures me, are beloved of the geeky crowd, are off to entertain the Google guys later this month, at the Google I/O conference being held in San Francisco.

The hot gig crowns a great year so far for Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, who bill themselves as “formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”.

On February 10, the band won the Grammy for best comedy album. On February 13, Wellingtonians were treated to the first post-Grammy concert, at a freebie show held at small, alternative Wellington video store Aro Video.

The Google gig is the band’s second big IT show. They performed at the Utah-held Omniture Web Analytics Conference in March.

Go boys!

Eight-letter diet

Although Windows long ago gave up restricting file names to eight letters, it seems old habits die hard for some.

A recent Wellington Govis (Government Information Systems) mini-conference saw four streams crammed into just one day and all were advertised in eight-letter shorthand. There was the Information Management (infoman) stream and the Enterprise Architecture (entarch) stream. Our e-taler got all whimsical at this point and started toying with the idea of an ICT comic-strip featuring hero InfoMan battling the Entarch, a sinister alien bent on ruling Earth’s computer systems.

There was also Our Place in Space, the geo-spatial information stream, which was rather unfortunately abbreviated to “opis”. Mind you, there was a barbecue with drinks laid on the night before, so perhaps this was an accurate description after all.

Something wikied this way comes

“To google” is now recognised as a verb, which led one of our e-tales to ponder when “to wiki” might make it into the dictionary.

What set him thinking was a recent invitation from the Ministry of Economic Development for the public to “wiki” on the subject of government’s draft Digital Strategy 2.0. The MED has set up a wiki site to allow contributors to edit and comment on the draft strategy.

There’s also the rather clumsy “wikiing”, but this gets a mere 5,000 hits, which is nothing in Google terms. So, it seems “to wiki” is creeping into the English language. It has a long way to go, but the MED is definitely in the vanguard.

Peter Gabriel’s website goes AWOL

E-tales has never been totally comfortable with the idea of turning over personal data to the local — or non-local — datacentre. It seems this reluctance may well be justified, especially if you have any sort of public profile. One of our e-talers pointed us to a recent story about iconic musician Peter Gabriel’s website being compromised after the web server hosting it was stolen from his ISP’s datacentre.

Apparently, this isn’t a one-off, but one of a series high-profile equipment thefts over the past year, which have included armed robberies, according to news-site Slashdot. While it’s still true that those of us without a public profile can, to some extent, rely on anonymity to protect our publicly-held data, stories of thieves cutting through reinforced walls with power-saws to take web servers from unattended datacentres don’t inspire much confidence.

The automated, unmanned datacentre might save on staff costs, but at what cost?

Dirty, dirty

No, no, we don’t mean porn; we mean keyboards. Apparently, they’re absolutely filthy and, as we start the flu season, E-tales is in public-service mode — following a story on the Ananova news website, saying the average keyboard is dirtier than a toilet seat.

British consumer group Which? checked the 33 keyboards in its London office and found four were health hazards and one was so bad it had to be quarantined — it had five times more bugs than a toilet seat tested at the same time.

E-tales was never keen on hot-desking, and, apparently, such is a great way to pass on bugs. Which reminds E-tales’ editor that, having coughed all over her usually pristine keyboard recently, she’d better get out the disinfectant bottle.

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Tags Googlegovisflight of the conchords

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