Wednesday, September 05, 2007

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The online brand of you

I was chatting to a high-profile Dubai media professional the other day and his name popped into my head while I was carrying out some web work later that day.

As I often do, I checked the availability of his name as a dot com domain. (For example: for George Hopkin). The geek in me insists I do this quite often for people I meet!

The media professional in question has a reasonably rare surname but very common first name, so I was surprised to find that '' was available. I mentioned this in passing to him, but he wasn't impressed.

"What do I need that for?" he asked. "I don't write poetry and I'm not that big a fan of any pop bands."

The implication being that '' is only good for angst-ridden teenagers who want to put their dreary diaries online for friends and family to read (or not).

But think about it: your name is your own personal brand. People are 'Googling' you all the time, believe me, and if you want to retain control over the information found when they carry out this search, storing it at '' is a terrific idea.

Those who are members of online business networks such as and are already convinced of the benefits of putting their information 'out there'. And take a look at the runaway success of - the next generation of kids will never know a time when having personal info online felt a bit creepy.

And that dreary online diary for the benefit of friends and family? Well, that sounds very much like a blog, and blogs have evolved into a fantastic (and cheap) marketing and communications tool for CEOs. So even if you don't feel like blogging about pop bands and poetry, you can still put a blog to good business use.

It won't stop there either. Personal podcasts (essentially audio diaries) are growing in popularity and video is also creeping into the mix. To see this in action take a look at (which I predict will get snapped up by a major player like Google in the near future).

So consider checking if '' is available. If it is, consider securing it - don't forget there are almost certainly other people out there with the same name, so if you don't do it, someone else will!

And if it is available and you do secure it, a blog (call it an 'online journal' if the word blog makes you wince) might help find you your next big business contact, contract or job.

The Dubai media professional was right about one thing, though. We can all probably do without hearing more bad poetry.

Some useful links:

Check if is available:
Start a blog:
"Broadcast yourself":

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Friday, March 03, 2006

NASA mission detects significant Antarctic ice mass loss

Scientists were able to conduct the first-ever gravity survey of the entire Antarctic ice sheet using data from the joint NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). This comprehensive study found the ice sheet's mass has decreased significantly from 2002 to 2005.

Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder, conducted the study. They demonstrated for the first time that Antarctica's ice sheet lost a significant amount of mass since the launch of GRACE in 2002. The estimated mass loss was enough to raise global sea level about 1.2 millimeters (0.05 inches) during the survey period; about 13 percent of the overall observed sea level rise for the same period. The researchers found Antarctica's ice sheet decreased by 152 (plus or minus 80) cubic kilometers of ice annually between April 2002 and August 2005.

That is about how much water the United States consumes in three months (a cubic kilometer is one trillion liters; approximately 264 billion gallons of water). This represents a change of about 0.4 millimeters (.016 inches) per year to global sea level rise. Most of the mass loss came from the West Antarctic ice sheet.

"Antarctica is Earth's largest reservoir of fresh water," Velicogna said. "The GRACE mission is unique in its ability to measure mass changes directly for entire ice sheets and can determine how Earth's mass distribution changes over time. Because ice sheets are a large source of uncertainties in projections of sea level change, this represents a very important step toward more accurate prediction, and has important societal and economic impacts. As more GRACE data become available, it will become feasible to search for longer-term changes in the rate of Antarctic mass loss," she said.

Source: NASA

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

UAE joins the space race

This is just round the corner from me (kind of), so I'll be keeping tabs on this. And it's tagged 'Odd' until we see some form of honest-to-goodness work on this project.

Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced today its plans to develop a commercial spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah (the UAE), with plans to expand globally. Other potential spaceport locations include Asia, specifically Singapore, and North America.

The total estimated cost of the global spaceport development project is at least $265 million (USD) and will be funded by various parties, along with shared investments by Space Adventures and the government of Ras Al-Khaimah.

The company, which organized orbital flights for all of the world's private space explorers, also announces that His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi of Ras Al-Khaimah, along with the UAE Department of Civilian Aviation, have granted clearance to operate suborbital spaceflights in their air space.

The UAE spaceport, planned to be located less than an hour drive from Dubai, already has commitments for $30 million (USD).

Source: Space Adventures

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Hear this, young yobs

A gadget emitting a high pitched noise that can only be heard by youngsters is being used in the fight against surly teenagers.

Source: ITN

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Google stepping out into the 'real world'

Google may already be dominant on the web but now it is stretching its wings to the physical world as well. Google Space, at Terminal One of London's Heathrow airport, will allow people to log onto the net and check e-mail while they wait for flights.

Source: BBC

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Asteroid collision: Bruce Willis out of a job

Two Nasa astronauts say they have devised a plan to stop an asteroid potentially colliding with Earth. The US spacemen Edward Lu and Stanley Love propose sending up a huge rocket to "tow" away any such objects. Their vehicle would simply hover over the asteroid and use gravity as a "towline" to move it out of danger.

Source: BBC

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Whale-eating zombie sea worms from the deep

A new species of marine worm that lives off whale bones on the sea floor has been described by scientists.

The creature was found on a minke carcass in relatively shallow water close to Tjarno Marine Laboratory on the Swedish coast.

Such "zombie worms", as they are often called, are known from the deep waters of the Pacific but their presence in the North Sea is a major surprise.

Source: BBC.

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