Monthly Archives: February, 2009


In general, browsing the web with Flash disabled makes for a more pleasant experience and saves a lot of horsepower on your machine. But it’s a pain switching it on and off for those few sites where it’s important.

ClickToFlash is a WebKit plugin which provides a convenient solution for Safari users. Flash content is replaced with a shaded image saying ‘Flash’. If you click on it, the Flash is loaded and plays, and you can right-click to whitelist a site so that their content always works.

There are, apparently, still a few rough edges, but I’m going to try it for a while and see how it goes.

Misquoting the bard

Thought for the day.

All the world’s a toolbox,
And all the men and women merely pliers.

Hudson Tribute

I can think of few greater honours one could achieve in this life than to be celebrated in a song by Garrison Keillor. Here’s a little ditty he wrote last month about the crew of the Hudson River plane crash.

From the News from Lake Wobegon podcast.

Bright lights, big city

Fleet St and St Paul’s Cathedral tonight.

So terribly Cambridge

Leaving a college late last night… passed a girl talking on her phone… “Oh… Psalms are my faves…”



Part of a ceiling at Newton Hall, near Cambridge.

Ambient social networking

Most of you will know by now that my company, Camvine, makes a particularly cunning lightweight digital signage system – that’s ‘screens on walls’ – which we call CODA.

One of the fun things about CODA is that it’s entirely web-based, and can link to other internet-based sources of data. This month, on the camvine Twitter feed, we’re going to be posting one example per day of fun and interesting things you can do with CODA.

The first one, appropriately, was a little PHP script that would allow you to display your Twitter feed on a CODA screen. This is an example, by the way, of what makes these social networks work for me. I don’t have to keep going back to their web pages or run lots of applications that get buried on my desktop. Amidst various newspaper front pages, weather forecasts, recent photos, my CODA screen also shows me my friends’ blogs, my Twitter and Facebook feeds, my diary and the company calendar… and I notice them when I walk past the screen to get a coffee, for example. it’s almost a way of picking up on the activities of your social world out of your peripheral vision.

I think this needs a name. I’m calling it ambient social networking.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser