Sunday, 22 February 2015

A new dimension

This blog being what it is, I couldn't let this go without some kind of comment.

Google have rendered Merseyside in 3d. Well not quite all of it, but an awful lot of it. From Garston and Speke in South Liverpool, right up to Crosby. From pastoral Gayton, right down on the South West corner of Wirral, right across to the industrial estates of Knowsley and Kirby. Anywhere they've surveyed recently, which doesn't cover where I am now. No doubt it will soon enough.

The level of detail is remarkable, as is it's ability to render itself very quickly. Having a cooked PC and a fast internet connection no doubt helps. Must give it a try on my old laptop.

The generated landscape is both obviously artificial, and instantly recognisable to anyone familiar to the area.

We were wondering how they did it. It seems probable that they're using aerial photographs (presumably they've had drones or light aircraft going around for the last few months)

This means it doesn't do things that have underneaths very well. By way of example, here are two views of the three main football stadia...

First of all, Prenton Park.

Then Goodison Park

Then Anfield

All fine and dandy.

But here's how it looks from inside.

Prenton Park:



Not quite there is it? Just a squared off compromise using local colours.

Still, it's rather impressive to be able to see my local turf as an abstract 3 dimensional sandbox, where I can wander at will.

I've read that this is just the beginning, and Google will be rolling this out far more extensively in the future.

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

minds eye

Picture a terrorist.

What you see depends upon context of course. If you're over a certain age, and you live in the British Isles, or Spain, you might have in mind someone in paramilitary garb, planting nail bombs in the litterbins of London and Madrid.

But it's more likely that you pictured someone with a beard and a Koran.

This certainly is what you get when you do a google image search for "terrorist"

What brought this to mind was a post I read somewhere. The poster had arrived at a UK airport, and was dismayed to find the person manning the security checkpoint was a Muslim.

"I had an altercation with a bloke at Luton airport going through security who quite frankly looked like he could have been a member of Isis , why is it in England we employ people on security and passport control who look far more likely to be a terrorist than any normal person ??? ....anyway apparently I had committed the cardinal sin of having a re sealable plastic bag that was bigger than the dimension allowed.....had I wanted to blow up the plane however...looking at the state of him I am sure that would have been fine." 

Standard issue bigotry of course, but it did get me wondering.

Google images is a repository not just of image data but of cultural prejudice. The link above makes that very clear.

So what else could I look for?

Well how about "Rapist"?

The most obvious defining feature of a rapist is facial hair. Well, being male then having facial hair. A high proportion of black people in there too. Obviously, black males with facial hair should not be allowed to take jobs where they could end up alone with other people. Like Driving Instructor for example.


Paedophiles are almost without exception male, white, middle aged, connected in some way to show business, and have odd hairstyles.

Women, such as "Gemma", "Lisa", "Sarah", "Tanya" etc. generally don't wear much in the way of clothing. They can also be found pouting provocatively while leaning forwards to show off their heaving bosoms to best effect.

Anyway, back to terrorism. It's surprisingly difficult to define. I found a good article about it here:

Well worth a read.

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Vote Whigs!

Don't vote for those newfangled labour party splitters. You're just wasting your vote and ensuring the tories get in again.

- Paul, february 1902

Now where did I park my DeLorean?

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