August 3rd, 2007


Suspicious substance advertising

I am intrigued to discover that the Metropolitan Police are advertising on Google Adwords under the term 'peroxide'.Google peroxide, and you get this ad from the Met:

"Peroxide Suspect it? Report it. Call the Anti-terrorist Hotline."

(the way this works is that the Met will be paying Google a certain amount per click for every person that clicks on the ad)

??? It seems a strangely untargeted way of getting the anti-terrorism message across. Surely you would get an awful lot of hairdressers and amateur chemists for every terrorist...?

Of course, I couldn't resist then googling a whole series of explosive keywords (gelignite, home made bomb, how to make bombs, how to make car bombs, ammonium nitrate, fertilizer bombs, sulphuric acid), but I was unable to find any further Met advertising. Perhaps my knowledge of the chemistry of mayhem is lacking.
  • Current Mood
    curious intrigued

Technology: not quite as clever as it thinks.

I've been really dubious about the much talked up technology which pinpoints a user's location from an IP address for many years (it has got better, to be fair). I just don't see how it could work, without all sorts of information that isn't in the public domain being released by a load of independent private companies without the user's permission in a dubiously-legal kind of way.

So, I was pleased to see my suspicions confirmed by this :

It thinks I'm between Cambridge and Ipswich. Now I am intrigued as to why. I'm not there, my ISP isn't there, and last time I spoke to them, the routing for my account was done from near Reading. So, what is it there in the East that it's picking up? I'd love to know.

It did get my country right, which is an improvement over my Claranet days when checkers of this kind always insisted that I must be in Germany.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious