Do you remember those “I’ve got good news and bad news jokes”? The ones that went something like “The good news is I got a new toy train for Christmas, the bad news is I have to wait until next year for the track”.
Not the height of sophisticated humour, I’ll grant you. But today I’ve got good news and bad news for you (and later on, some slightly old news).
The good news? Well, Google have come up with a clever addition to their maps app. I use google maps a lot – to plan a route when I’m going somewhere new, as a sat-nav while I drive there and sometimes just to look around an area to see what it’s like.
What they’ve added is a system that can show you on the map what it’s going to be like trying to find parking in that particular place. It puts a little “P” and a word like “limited” next to it on the screen.
So if it’s going to be hard, you might know to allow more time so you can find somewhere… or decide to go on the train or simply park a bit further away and walk.
Quite nifty if you’re visiting a town or city you’ve never visited before – I can see this being quite helpful.
The bad news is it’s only available in the USA for now, and even then only in certain parts of it.
So why am I telling you about it? Well, there are a few people in the USA who read this, even though most readers are in the UK (plus we have readers in Australia, Spain, Africa and pretty much everywhere else!)
But mainly I’m mentioning it because they said it’s only in the USA “for now” – in the past when they’ve done that it hasn’t taken long before the feature gets rolled out to other countries, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you suddenly spot a little red P on the map with a word next to it saying how easy it is to finding parking – maybe in a month or two.
Worth knowing what it is when it appears!
Data Privacy Day
I said I had some slightly old news – well, last Saturday was Data Privacy day (or Data protection day as some people call it).
The aim of it is to “raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices”.
It’s a good idea, I suppose, though having so many days for this and that always leaves me a bit confused (my favourite, though, is talk like a pirate day).
And the problem is it’s all very well “raising awareness” of privacy – I suppose it is a good thing if people know there’s an issue. But it doesn’t help unless you actually know a bit more about what happens to your data, why it matters, whether you’re happy with that and what you can do about it.
Of course, if you want to know that, then you know where to turn. And in fact our new book Privacy: Truth and Lies – The Truth About Privacy in the Modern World and How it Affects Your Life (whether you know it or not) should arrive in stock today (I’m eagerly looking out of the window every so often looking for the lorry – though it’s perhaps a bit early in the morning to expect them to arrive all the way from Newcastle).
So if you haven’t ordered a copy yet and you don’t know why you should be concerned about privacy… or you do worry about what could be done with some of the information about you if it fell into the wrong hands… or you’re just curious what all the fuss is about…
…then you’d best read what I’ve got to say about it here.