In the Schmidthouse, the Queen, Paul Chambers and others

One is on Facebook
David Icke’s lizard family are creeping onto Facebook. First we had George Bush, memoir Decision Points, available now, £25.00 from all good retailers and £1.00 from all good retailers six months in the future. Now the Queen has found time in between cutting ribbons and counting her jewels to update her very own fan page. She got a BlackBerry back in July so we’re surprised it’s taken her so long to twig.

It only took a day before the world got involved. Within 24 hours, 150,000 people “liked” the British Monarchy page. While The Guardian is quoted as saying the page sparked a “monarchy debate” the reality is the chance to spam HRH was too much to resist. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “Spamming is a common problem on Facebook.”

The Hindustan Times was more keen to quote disgruntled Facebookers. “The uglys [sic] day out,” it reported user Silas Headbanger as saying.

Another, not quoted by either paper, said: “R.I.P Freddie Mercury”.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is 84 years old.

It’s Internet Week Europe
This week was Internet Week Europe, a festival for Europe’s digital industries to schmooze, booze and sometimes snooze through a series of events, parties and debates. We went to The Webby Debates where The Guardian and the Financial Times agreed that Apple is wonderful.

TechEye met an intern who was, mainly, transporting Internet Week banners on the tube and writing names down on a bit of paper. All good experience for the working world.

Skype handed out free wi-fi across the country as long as you could find an access point. We tried it, it worked. There will be pictures from the party at the Internet Week website here. Blink and you’ll miss it! Internet Week Europe finished today. 

Rarer earths: China throws toys out of pram
Rare earths are the essential bits and pieces, which must be mined for, that go into all manner of electronic devices from hard disks to cars. China has decided that its
 current monopoly is very worth holding onto if it doesn’t want to lose out in the long term, and why not?

After all, “after the late Chinese patriarch Deng Xiaoping famously stated, “the Middle East has oil, and China has rare earths” in 1992, China has not only remained the world’s largest REO producer, but has also successfully moved its manufacturers up the supply chain. Since 1990, domestic consumption of REO for high value-added product manufacturing in China has increased at a 13% annual rate, reaching 73,000 tonnes in 2009,” says The Asia Times.

But China’s dominance and continued embargo is “causing a dramatic spike in the price of materials, which is expected to lead to a jump in high-tech product prices before settling down in a few years,” says CNETSwings and roundabouts, this economy stuff.

Along with the worried West and concerned German chancellor Angela Merkel, who admitted there’s a looming crisis if nothing is done, should be reassured by efforts being made in Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia to mine for rare earths.

South Korea’s potential stock was found with impeccable timing and will prompt something of a gold rush, writes TechEye’s Matthew Finnegan

Do’s & Don’ts: How to use social media tastefully at a funeral

The fluffy Mashable advises on how to tweet at weddings. TechEye advises how to tweet at funerals, like “make sure to select a dead-pan chief tweeter who will undertake all the solemn tweeting responsibilities of the day… give the person a title such as “Tweeter of Honour,” or “grave Twit”and other tips here

‘Kin ‘ell, it’s Kinect
Kinect has officially landed in the United Kingdom. It’s an even more diverse way to make a complete and utter prat of yourself in front of the telly – more exhaustive in the bizarre movements it requests than the Wii. The only way to be more of a prat in front of your telly is to play Call of Duty with a headset, or engage with the reprehensible 
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. 

Microsoft’s annoyed already. Late last week, open source advocates at Adafruit Industries said they’d pay six monkeys or $3,000 to the first hacker who successfully breaks open the Kinect driver. Hector Martin, involved with iPhone Dev Team and with colleagues at Team Twiizers, claimed the bounty when he uploaded his own open source take on Kinect software along with documentation.

Microsoft is agitated because it seems to think it still owns its products after they’ve been sold on. Redmond is welcome to our old Windows 95 and 98 starter discs which have caused us endless pain. 

But it has been revealed today that Microsoft has backed down on legal threats. “There are two reasons for the possible back-down,” writes ZDNet. “Microsoft lawyers recognized it has no legal case against Martin, who made no changes to the hardware,” or “Microsoft marketers realized that the drivers might, in the end, be a gold mine for Microsoft.”

Microsoft’s public facing image is supposed to be very much pro open sauce. So it will be glad to learn that Adafruit donated an additional $2,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Mud sticks to Adobe as Apple behaves cruelly over Flash
Flash! Bang! Wallop. Adobe is terribly, terribly upset about Apple. The folk in the Walled Garden last week alleged that having Flash installed on your notebook reduces battery life considerably.  Adobe is hurt, quite hurt. From being a close ally of the Apple camp it now finds itself completely out in the cold, as far Steve Jobs is concerned.  Adobe says Apple is being economical with the actuality, here.

In the Schmidthouse: Google Street View Snafu continues
The UK sent technologically incapable representatives from the Information Commissioner’s Office to Google’s London base in Victoria to check out the data packets it nicked. It’s a total blunder, Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch told us.

And the FTC completely u-turned on its policy by letting Google off the hook – as we pointed out here, other companies have been brought to book for less But the Federal Communications Commission in the United States has decided it’s worth looking into after all despite the FTC’s ruling.

Google is “mortified” that it collected emails and passwords. We don’t buy it, for a company that has its own patrol cars with armed guards circling company headquarters according to a North American source that lives just down the road.

*EyeSee Eric Schmidt, of Google, is a stand up comedian. Here are snippets from some of his best routines:

“Street View, we drive exactly once… so, you can just move, right??????”

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place!!!!!!!”

“We know where you are, we know where you’ve been, we can more or less know what you’re thinking about!!!!!!!”

“What’s the deal with White House food!?!?!?!?”

CNN reports Michele Ellison, of the FCC, saying: “Last month, Google disclosed that its Street View cars collected passwords, e-mails and other personal information wirelessly from unsuspecting people across the country. The Enforcement Bureau is looking into whether these actions violate the Communications Act.”

Twitter Joke Trial appeal rejected
We’re not sure if many of our friends across the pond are familiar with the sad tale of Paul Chambers, who posted something on Twitter about exploding Robin Hood Airport because the flights were so crap. He said: “You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” and got sent to court as well.

This week saw the trial for his appeal. It was rejected, with a judge saying Chambers was an unimpressive witness. She was baffled about Chambers’ claims that the message was innocent. It was an “obviously menacing” message. She said that any “ordinary person” that read the message would have been alarmed. It suggests to us that she thought the joke was crap.

The Twitter mob’s gone crazy with the ruling. Some suggest it is a further erosion of civil liberties in the UK and the ruling goes against any shred of common sense the United Kingdom may have been clinging onto. Today, thousands posted Chambers’ original tweet in protest with the #iamspartacus hashtag. Here is Robin Hood Airport.

Celebrity twitterer and British media obsession @StephenFry has offered to pay all of Chambers’ fine and legal costs – £3,600 ish – says The Telegraph. “My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I’ll pay,” he said.


*Coalition reviewing intellectual property no coincidence with Google in pocket 

*FAST says judicial review of Digital Economy Act is “fig leaf” for ISP agenda 

*Geeks put cities on the map, from Silicon Valley to Alley and London’s East End 

*Tetris helps fight post traumatic stress disorder 

*Intel is bananas for losing Apple 

*Amazon defends paedophile literature, removes paedophile literature 

TechEye Bible Reading
This week’s bible reading is from Ye Booke of the Open Sauce.


A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” – Jonathan Swift

It is a spring of unrequited love” – Sky news presenter about libs, labs, and cons

Beijing has the buildings, we have the furniture” – Taiwanese government executive

I don’t think anyone should write their autobiography until after they’re dead” – Samuel Goldwyn

Shakespeare destroyed the English language” – George Gurdjieff Twitter

All stories come true in the end” – Douglas Hayward

And more at our quotes engine

Tedious PR headlines of the week

“Novell introduces ZENworks 11, the industry’s first unified endpoint management solution”

“Game Changing Recruitment Site Shuns Resumes”


“Share your Data, Share your Style – the eNAU608 DVD Writer with Customisable Covers”