One of my favourite bands is chamber music trio featuring a Cello, a Double Bass and a Beat Boxer on Flute.  I first discovered the band when I watched a video on YouTube that had gone viral of the flutist from this band playing the theme from the popular computer game Super Mario Brothers whilst simultaneously beat boxing.  After looking further, I discovered his band which was named Project.  Having watched a few modern takes on some classical pieces I was hooked and immediately downloaded their album entitled Brooklyn.

The video currently sits with a view count of over 22 million.

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to take a look for other albums by Project and after purchasing the only other full album I could find, iTunes gave me a suggestion that I buy a third by a band called “Project Trio.”  I was a little confused as it appeared that this was the same band with a new name.

I performed a quick search on Google for “Project Trio” the top result was for their website which confirmed to me that this was indeed the same band, complete with a listing for the Brooklyn album only now stating that it was by Project Trio.

Project Trio gave a link to their Twitter profile that I could follow and after doing so, I decided to write a quick tweet asking them about the name change.

@thePROJECTTrio When did you guys change your name? Trying to decide if I should change your name from Project to Project Trio in iTunes.

The original Brooklyn Album still shows the original band name on its cover.

After downloading their albums I was wondering if I should simply change the name of all three albums’ artists in my iTunes library to read “Project Trio” as I often enjoy listening to an entire artist’s discography in order of album release.

When I woke up this morning, Project Trio had replied to my tweet explaining that the name change actually came from something that as a computer scientist, I was already very familiar with.

@wormholer693 We are officially PROJECT Trio. Changed it about a year and a half ago. PT is way more google searchable!

I had been pondering whether the band had had a reshuffle or perhaps felt their name wasn’t descriptive enough, it had crossed my mind that the name Project had clashed with somebody’s copyright but the entire thing came down to SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation is the act of refactoring code and page content on a website so that it can be found easily in web searches.  Often I have found myself investigating what would be the best name for a web project so as to make sure that it could be found easily online.  How many other things could you be meaning if you do a web search for the word twitter?  If you think of a nice catchy name that you know will bring your project out on top on Google, you have a better chance of getting your brand out there.

I had not actually considered how this might affect projects that are not necessarily web based.  Bands have, in the past, not had to think of how well their band’s name could be searched because the World Wide Web didn’t influence our lives so much.  This meant that we would get some really strange names popping up for bands that would be a nightmare to search for.

I find it really interesting to see how people are now thinking of SEO when not even working on a web project anymore.  It’s interesting to see that Project Trio felt they required a name change to work in our new web based world.

Indeed, a search for “Project” on Google places the band on the second page of listings compared to “Project Trio” which returns the band as the top result.

I wonder how many more non-web-based ventures out there have picked their names based entirely on how well a search for them would appear online.

You can find out more about Project Trio by clicking here.

Google Plus One LogoSo Google Plus has recently launched. This is basically Google’s take on Facebook, it’s designed from the foundations around the concept of privacy in a way that actually makes it part of its normal usage. No more worrying about statuses that you’d rather your parents not see.

In similar fashion to Facebook’s Like buttons, +1 is the term for Google and I have conceded into adding a +1 button to my blog’s pages, you can see it at the top along with the equivalent Facebook and Twitter buttons. But in what way have I conceded?

Well, as we’ve discussed before, I use Google Apps. This means that my domain name, andybarratt.co.uk has its MX records pointing at Google. So I have Gmail but my email address doesn’t end with gmail.com, it ends with andybarratt.co.uk. I also have my calendar and contacts on Google so by using this email address on my iPhone or on my Android phone, I have everything synced up (for free I might add, hint hint Apple).

But here’s the thing, we can easily agree that Google Apps users are among the most loyal Google customers, many of us are in fact paying for the premium services that Google offers, yet Google never includes us in their beta tests. Surely loyal customers like us should be the first people to be included, not the last. I want very much to be able to use Google Plus but I can’t get near it, even if you invite me, I can not get in.

Google promise to be bringing Apps users access soon and I suspect this is true but it’s easy to be wary. After all, Google Buzz was never offered to us in the end and the same promise was given there too.

So I have a confession to make, yes, I have added a +1 button to these pages but, I have not tested it. For all I know, it simply does not work.

XKCD comic about Google Plus

XKCD's take on Google Plus

 

My name is Andrew Paul Barratt, I’m a student of Applied Computing at The University of Dundee and on the 21st of May 2011, I tweeted the identity of a man who has a super-injunction to hide the fact that he had an affair as Ryan Giggs.

Tweet: -cough cough- Imogen Thomas -cough cough- affair -cough cough- Ryan Giggs -cough cough- Screw your injunction! -cough cough splutter-

There exists a paradox in the campaigns for internet freedom, the campaign to protect the privacy of ourselves and others online and the campaign to be able to say anything about what we want, who we want and how we want. I say this to show that we recognise that respect for privacy is of great importance however, the use of this to put limits of our freedom of speech is a place where the line must be drawn.

In the United Kingdom, an injunction can be sought after by those wishing to keep matters of their personal life private by denying the press from publishing details of said matters. A super-injunction is much the same but goes one step further in that it denies the press from making public the fact that an injunction even exists.

Recently, Ryan Giggs, a footballer who has played for Wales and been honoured as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE), claimed a super-injunction to hide the fact that he had an affair with ex Big Brother Housemate, Imogen Thomas.

After his name, previously known only as CBT, was leaked on Twitter, calls for prosecution were made, igniting a rampage of rebellion with thousands of people, including myself, tweeting and retweeting Giggs’ name again and again.

On the 23rd of May, at least 75,000 had published his name and Member of Parliament (MP) John Hemming stood in the house during discussion on privacy orders and named the footballer, thus using his parliamentary privilege to break the court order. It’s worth noting that parliament is always broadcast live on dedicated national television channel, BBC Parliament.

Mr Hemming asked whether it was right to carry on supporting injunctions that it was clear that the population of the United Kingdom had no support for, referring to them as “a law that clearly does not have public consent.”

And so the key point was addressed, in a democratic country, where the government that makes the laws is chosen by its people, how can a law that goes against our freedom of speech have ever been allowed to exist? I for one, will not support it.

Today, the 25th of May 2011, Twitter’s European boss, Tony Wang announced that they would hand over the names of all those who had revealed Ryan Giggs’ affair and that all of them would be on their own to defend themselves, “whether that is a motion to quash the order or to oppose it or do a number of other things to defend themselves.”

Well my decision is to oppose it. I will not delete what I tweeted and I will not be made silent. It is our freedom of speech and it is my right to defend it. Injunctions that deny our right to say what we like are, in my opinion, illegal and I will campaign to see an end to them.

Today I ran into my brother and Chris McNicholl in Dundee’s City Centre. Chris was showing off his tweeting park bench, a seat that litterally tweets when you sit on it.

Combining two cameras, one built into the seat facing the forward and another looking at the bench from a distance, the TweetingSeat posts images of your experience when taking the weight off your feet. I was lucky enough to bag an interview with Chris which you can watch below.