Saturday, 15 August 2009

Caffeine - New Google Search

Google's new search is now available - nicknamed Caffeine - at Looks the same but should provide more current listings.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

TwitterPlan - get Lewisham local planning updates on Twitter

TwitterPlan lets you get local planning applications sent directly to you via a Twitter DM (direct message). You need to be on Twitter, then just click on the link below and follow the instructions.

You can specify your street, neighbourhood (up to 800m), or a wider area (up to 2,000m).

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

New Google products

Google have launched 2 new experimental products that change the way you can search for images and news.

Google News Timeline
A web application that organizes information chronologically. Google News Timeline allows users to view news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and more on a zoomable, graphical timeline.

Google Similar Images
Search for images using pictures rather than words. Similar images helps you narrow your search by finding images that are visually similar to an existing result.

You can keep up to date with these and similar developments through the Google Labs site and their RSS feed -

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Database State report

'Database State' is a report written by FIPR for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust on the failings of public-sector IT in Britain, and how to fix them.

"In recent years, the Government has built or extended many central databases that hold information on every aspect of our lives, from health and education to welfare, law-enforcement and tax. This 'Transformational Government' programme was supposed to make public services better or cheaper, but it has been repeatedly challenged by controversies over effectiveness, privacy, legality and cost. The report charts these databases, creating the most comprehensive map so far of what has become Britain's 'Database State'. All of these systems had a rationale and purpose. But this report shows how, in too many cases, the public are neither served nor protected by the increasingly complex and intrusive holdings of personal information invading every aspect of our lives."

From the Foundation for Information Policy Research

Friday, 3 April 2009

Websites for children must register their moderators, says new law

Organisations with interactive websites likely to be used mainly by children must ensure that staff moderating the sites are not barred from working with children from October.

It will be a criminal offence for an organisation to knowingly employ a barred person for a regulated role, such as moderating children's sites. The Government is changing the way that it controls who has access to children and vulnerable adults and new laws take effect on 12th October. Those make the moderation of online services such as bulletin boards a regulated activity.

That means that anyone on the list of people banned from working with children will also be banned from moderating online services that are likely to be accessed and used by children. The same is true of people on the list relating to vulnerable adults in connection with online services likely to be used by vulnerable adults.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act was introduced in 2006 and has been modified by a commencement order which expands it to include some online services as regulated activities, meaning that they cannot be performed by anyone on the list of banned people.The new law includes as a regulated activity "moderating a public interactive communication service which is likely to be used wholly or mainly by children".

This is from Read more here

Saturday, 7 March 2009

British Library: Online Courses on Intellectual Property

The British Library Business & IP Centre has developed three free courses on intellectual property. The courses are totally free, easy to access, and being on-line they don’t require people to come to the Library. On the contrary, they might well be completed from home or from a local library.

BL have asked us to help promote them, so try these links -

"If you have an idea that you are looking to commercialise, these free courses from the British Library will help you understand how to protect your idea and how it might be developed.
The courses are designed with a customisable structure, so that you can both start from scratch or directly get to the specific areas you are interested in.

Course One: Basics of Intellectual Property Protection Find out all about patents, trade marks, copyright and registered designs in detail.
Course Two: Searching the Databases Discover whether your idea is original by learning how to do searches on different databases.
Course Three: Analysing the Markets Gain the skills you need to establish whether there is a commercial market for your idea.

Now you can grasp this complex subject using a simple step-by-step approach that takes you from the basic facts through to interactive exercises and sections such as "What Do You Do?" and "Ask the Experts".

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Westminster Libraries on YouTube

Shows what can be done

UK Trains on Twitter

Disruption alerts for UK train services by Twitter, supported by Created by Ben Smith

Inspired by this tweet from MP Tom Watson and enabled - in part - by BBC Backstage's travel feeds, this prototype service:

Tweets disruption alerts for 25 UK train operators (for all services or by operator).
Gathers 'crowd-sourced' disruption alerts from users and re-distributes them [more details].
[NEW] Collects questions, complaints or praise for rail operators [more details].

To get started register for a Twitter account and follow one or more of these accounts:

@uktrains - Alerts for services from all 25 companies below.

For alerts limited to the operators that interest you, follow individual rail operator(s) from the list below:

@uktr_arrivawale - Arriva Trains Wales
@uktr_c2c - c2c
@uktr_cc - CrossCountry
@uktr_chiltern - Chiltern Railways
@uktr_eastanglia - National Express East Anglia
@uktr_eastcoast - National Express East Coast
@uktr_eastmid - East Midlands Trains
@uktr_firstcc - First Capital Connect
@uktr_firstgw - First Great Western
@uktr_gatwickexp - Gatwick Express
@uktr_grandcent - Grand Central Trains
@uktr_heathrowco - Heathrow Connect
@uktr_heathrowex - Heathrow Express
@uktr_hulltrains - Hull Trains
@uktr_islandline - Island Line
@uktr_londonmid - London Midland
@uktr_londonover - London Overground
@uktr_merseyrail - Merseyrail
@uktr_northern - Northern Rail
@uktr_scotrail - First ScotRail
@uktr_southeast - Southeastern Railway
@uktr_southern - Southern
@uktr_southwest - South West Trains
@uktr_transpenex - TransPennine Express
@uktr_virgin - Virgin Trains

Visit Ben Smith's Uk Train wiki at for more information

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Which constituency is that in?

A useful little gadget that takes the pain out of looking up constituencies - it takes a list of postcodes, and returns details of the constituencies for each one: Which constituency is that in?

Powered by TheyWorkForYou, this hosted version limits you to batches of 25; if you want to grab the code and host it yourself with your own API key, it’s free for anyone to use.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Lewisham Council tweets

Lewisham Council is on Twitter.

You can sign up to follow their tweets at

Follow that Councillor!

‘Cllr Tweeps’ is a website that lists the UK’s twittering councillors so that residents can track down their elected member, follow their messages and tweet with them.

Cllr James Cousins, of Wandsworth council, who helped to set up the site, said it was inspired by Tweetminister – a directory of all MPs who have Twitter accounts

The website is politically independent aiming to help councillors engage and communicate with their communities. So far Cllr Tweeps has confirmed that there are 88 councillors from 68 councils who currently have Twitter accounts – but the figure is constantly rising. So far there are 2 listed for Lewisham.

To visit the website see

Monday, 2 February 2009

Severe weather and Lewisham

The heavy snow and severe weather has had an impact on services in Lewisham and we are unable to open all of our libraries today.

Wavelengths, Forest Hill, Torridon Road, Sydenham and Catford Libraries are all expected to open this morning until 1.00pm. All of our other libraries, including Lewisham and the Open Learning Centre will be closed.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and plan to resume normal service as soon as possible.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Digital Britain - the interim report

The Government has been outlining its plans for UK’s digital transition - "to secure Britain’s place at the forefront of the global digital economy". The interim report contains more than 20 recommendations, including specific proposals on:

  • next generation networks

  • universal access to broadband

  • the creation of a second public service provider of scale

  • the modernisation of wireless radio spectrum holdings

  • a digital future for radio

  • a new deal for digital content rights

  • enhancing the digital delivery of public services