All The Family Huddled Around A Glowing Laptop

The times when the kids were growing up it was a tradition to have the laptop on and the Northern Hemisphere family watch as the presents are open. A lot has changed since this photo in 2017, the kids are young adults, my Dad is in a home, the Swedish side aren't allowed to travel to Wales due to COVID, and I won't be around the kids this Christmas Day. It's not so much the change, the kids were always gonna move on and with the divorce new rituals have been created. It's more that it's happened in 3 years, 2017 seems both a long long way away (as does January, remember then?), and yet close enough to touch. Whatever your routines are be prepared to change them, but keep the rituals . 

Shared Contacts - Google (who else) may scratch my last online itch

As you may (should!) know I've been running my life online* for quite some time now. I've had very little issues finding services** that will gladly take my info and store it for me, letting me share, combine and generally do wonderful things with MY content. I've had a few changes of services but generally I've been lucky and it's all been extremely stable - mostly because the services I've tended to use have ended up being bought out by the big girls.

However, I have had one gripe about the whole online malarkey that's never been sorted - centralised contact list.

Every service I use expects me to import all my contacts (names, emails generally) so that I can then use them to share, collaborate and all that good stuff. I have a copy (or cut down version of) of my contacts in Facebook,, Google Apps, Yahoo!, Flickr ... basically everything has a set of 'your friends/contacts/people/buddies" ... and it's bloody annoying.

Having said that, I have integrated my Gmail contacts with Skype!

All it takes is one change with someones job and I have a potential nightmare keeping it all up t date.

But, this gives my heart: Google Apps launches shared address book

It may not solve the issue straight away as it's aimed at the Google Apps suite (my Vista story) but at least Google are thinking about it and are moving (sloooowly) in the right direction.

* the electronic 'life', not the real actual, useful one
** 'services' - dunno what else to call them,- Web apps?