The Arctic Circle moves South

We’re back home again in Edinburgh after five days away in London. Yesterday, we were walking around Hyde Park in shirts and light jackets (a bit chilly, but very pleasant nevertheless). Tonight, on our taxi ride back from the airport, it was snowing.

More about our time in London soon.

Hey! Where did my data go?

Hey! Where did my data go?

I logged in this morning to write a little bit, and found that the stuff I’d written on Monday had disappeared! I know I didn’t delete the entry myself and I’m fairly sure that Abi would have told me if she had. That pretty much leaves EZPublishing in the picture: this is what would happen if they restored the database to a previous state (for whatever reason). If they did, they never told me about it.

Fortunately, Opera (the web browser I use) has a better caching facility than Internet Explorer. (Yet another reason to use Opera, in addition to my five main ones.) And because I’d viewed my Monday page after I’d submitted it, I was able to retrieve a copy of the text I’d written.

Note to self: improve the backup capabilities of the sunpig data. Write a script to extract the data, compress it, and email a copy somewhere.

So on to what I was going to write about in the first place: B’s cognitive development.

I remember learning about this in my child development classes at teacher training college. For example, newborns have no concept of “permancence”. If you hide an object, the baby will think it is gone. And B illustrates this marvellously!

A couple of years ago, sent me a plastic thermos mug as a Christmas present. (We were buying a lot of books on-line at the time…) It has become my regular drinking vessel, and now B is taking an interest in it as well. He sees me lifting it up to my mouth, and so he now wants to grab hold of it, too. He takes it in both hands and gnaws on the rim. (It’s quite funny to see.)

But when he gets bored with just chewing on it, he starts batting it around. Because the mug doesn’t have a handle, it rolls very easily on the floor, and B chases after it with great enthusiasm. Until he pushes it too far, and it rolls under the skirts of the sofa. At which point, it’s gone! He doesn’t realize it’s just hidden from his sight, so he doesn’t try to reach after it. To his brain, the mug has just vanished, and so he has to go find another toy instead.

If he’s really lucky, mommy or daddy will reach under the sofa and get it back for him. And when he sees that the cup is back again, his face lights up with joy!

This also means that whenever one of us leaves the room, B thinks we’ve gone, too. He is starting to get the idea that Abi and I are permanent fixtures, and that even when we go away, we do come back, but it’s not all there yet. I don’t know at what point the game of “peekaboo” will become fun for him, rather than merely confusing. But I’ll write about it as soon as I know… 🙂

Google is at it again

Google is at it again. Not only do they now allow you to search for images on the web (rather than just for web sites), they have also built in a map locator, and a telephone number lookup.

If you go to Google, and type in something that looks like an address, e.g. 1 Market Street, San Francisco, California, it will recognize this as a street name, and show you links to maps of the surrounding area at the top of the page.

Likewise, if you type in a telephone number (including the area code), it will give you the name and address of the person this phone number belongs to.

As usual, Google is quietly upgrading the web, without making a big song and dance over it. Why do this without a big marketing push? Probably because the Google brand stands for a tacit assumption of competence. They don’t get in your face: they just let you do what you want, quickly and efficiently.

I like that.

Note to writers: If you don’t use Epinions for three months, they’ll delete your user account, and all the reviews you’ve written. They don’t send you an email notifying you that your account is about to be terminated, either. So if you’ve written anything for them (or for any other web publication, for that matter), make sure you keep a backup copy of your own. You never know when it might vanish forever. (Grumble.)