Dune eat your heart out...

Brian RuncimanErsatz galactic cultures, how you are known online and Google's universe domination plan...

Are Google trying to conquer the universe? The domain names they've been buying would suggest a disturbing long term plan.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/24/google_domains/

Among the variety of dot com names they have commandeered are Google mercury, Google universe and Google religion. Google hubris anyone?

Whilst on the subject of names, the New Scientist tech blog has run a story on how revealing personal email addresses can be.

http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/mg19826535.500-how-an-email-address-can-reveal-your-character.html?feedId=tech_rss20

'Think twice about the email address you pick: it may speak volumes about your personality,' they say.

'Mitja Back and colleagues at the University of Leipzig in Germany asked a panel of 100 students to guess the personalities of 600 teenagers simply by looking at their email addresses.

'The panels' guesses agreed most with a personality survey the teenagers had completed when it came to qualities like openness, conscientiousness and narcissism, and diverged most on the trait of extroversion.'

So what does minordeity@bcs.org say about me...?

Whilst we are outside the realms of normality - ever wanted your own solar system? This is a new wiki style website for science fiction geeks, where yo can buy a solar system for around $12 and play out your Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fantasies.

There's a button marked 'Beam me' which will take you to a new place instantly. When you get there you can use a local galactic view window to see where you are. Which is, of course, a view of a field of stars with an arrow pointing at one non-descript dot marked 'you are here'.

Useful.

Nevertheless you can create entire civilations if you: 1. Have the cash. 2. Have the time. 3. Have the imagination.

Dune, eat your heart out. http://www.galaxiki.org/

Also a little note on the BCS IT awards - they are open for business. 'Interesting' entries from last time include a new form of estate agency, a couple of online funeral services (not sure how that works) and, among the winners, a project that transformed the MOT system.

Actually, ironic tone notwithstanding, there were some very useful and clever things going on last year - so check out the website and please enter if you have been involved in something worthwhile. www.bcs.org/itawards

All this and more is discussed in oddIT episode 36... check it out at www.bcs.org/podcasts

Enjoy.

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About the author

Brian is Head of Content at BCS and blogs about the Institute’s role in making IT good for society, historical developments in computing, the implications of CS research and more.

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