Greg Gannicott’s Blog


Idea: A Phone that Warns you of Scam Calls

Posted in Technology by Greg Gannicott on May 15, 2009
Tags: , , ,

If I ever get a call from a number I don’t recognise, using the browser on my mobile I’ll often perform a search on Google and nine times out of ten there is a post which states its a scam (also nine times out of ten its the first result in Google that tells me this).

This happened earlier today with the number ‘02920 359001’, and sure enough it appears to be a scam.

This made me think: wouldn’t it be neat if my phone did this for me whenever a number not in my address book calls me? If it comes up as a scam, then it would note it on screen. Given the speed in which it can get this information (at current mobile connection speeds), it might be that the information may only be available when you check your missed calls, but that’s better than nothing.

Whenever I do one of these Google searches it usually points to a user generated site, so a wiki of sorts would be an ideal host of this information. Obviously, in order for the phone to be able to access this information, an API should be written so phone developers can easily access the information.

The next obvious step then is for a tool such as Google Voice (which sadly isn’t available in the UK) to offer the option to outright block such calls coming through (much like gmail blocks a massive amount of spam mail). If such a block takes place, an SMS/Email/Tweet/etc would be sent to you to say that a call has been blocked. You are then free to act on it as you please.

The possible downside to this idea is the fact the public control the data which blocks calls. That obviously leaves the door open to abuse. The ideallist inside me though believes this wouldn’t be a large issue.

I’d be curious to know whether an app could be written for one of the more modern smart phones out there (eg. iPhone, an android based device or the new Palm Pre) to perform this. Do developers have such access to those phones?

A Wiki for Set Lists

Posted in Music,Technology by Greg Gannicott on April 16, 2008
Tags: , , , , , ,

At the end of my Elbow Set List post, I mentioned the idea of having a wiki for people to submit set lists for gigs. I assume such a site doesn’t exist as whenever I search for set lists I’ve never come across a site that is dedicated to the task. If I do find the set list I’m after, they usually show up on forums (if I’m lucky).

I mentioned in the post that it would be a tough task for anyone to create a wiki based set list site, as it would require a large number users to get anything useful going which would attract others to use and grow it.

After I wrote that post I gave it a little more thought. I took the theoretical site a step further. If you were to have a site dedicated to set lists submitted by fans you had just as well allow users to submit reviews for the gig as well – the two types of data are natural partners. I pretty much instantly dismissed that idea though on the grounds that last.fm already takes care of providing a means for fans to post reviews regarding gigs. What’s more, it’s got a pretty comprehensive list of gigs for that to run off of ……

Have you filled in the dots yet? Last.fm would be a great place to hold set lists! All the required supporting data is in place, its got a large user base and it already encourages users to update data on the site, whether that’s via a wiki, posting a journal or through other means. All it would take would be for the developers at last.fm to add a section for set lists to their page designed to document gigs and hopefully from their users will take control and populate the lists after the gigs.

The data itself has niche appeal, so all the more reason for piggy backing it on to something with large appeal: last.fm