What is the imdb party game?

A Shot, Anyone?

I played this game yesterday night at a party and thought it was worth writing up because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’ll have to credit either Mike, Karolina,  Steve or Sharon for the party game.

The game works like this…

  1. Everybody sits in a circle with their mobile phones. One player  (the loser from the last round) picks a film from imdb.com. announces the film title and year to the circle.
  2. Everybody else types the predicted imdb rating of the film announced into their calculator app or write it down on paper.
  3. Once everybody (except the player who announced the film) is done, rating predictions are revealed to everybody around the group
  4. Highest and lowest are noted and the player who announced the film reads out the actual imdb rating.
  5. The player with the furthest rating from the imdb rating loses and needs to drink a shot of vodka. The loosing player then goes on to pick the next film in the next round.

Other rules…

  • Cheating by looking up the imdb rating is punishable by a double shot of vodka.
  • Players can challenge the player who announced the film title if its too obscure. That player must read out a description and the top actors in the film. If nobody recognises the top actors, another film must be picked.
  • If there is a draw of any kind, the players in the draw have to guess the rating of a sequel or prequel. If there is no such thing, a related film must be found.

Variations…

  • While people choose their rating, the film picker can read out the first public review, a quote or piece of trivia. Film covers can be shown of theme music played.
  • Vodka can be substituted for any other spirit or any other forfeit

My 5 years since party speech

Thanks to Josh for recorded my slightly drunken speech at my 5 years since BBQ/party.

I wish I’d thought about it as there would be some stuff about the secret of luck, self confidence, pushing boundaries and breaking social norms.

Thank you to everybody who turned up and made it up to Manchester. It was a blast and I’m so humbled how many people made it, even for a short while.

Thank you all again!!!!

The right to delete in online dating

Delete billboard by Ji Lee

You know how I’m very interested in the ethical dimension of  services and data. Data portability is something I have a long history with and alongside that, there is related idea of having access to delete.

Of course this can be very controversial like the much talked about, right to be forgotten.

Its intriguing to look at the online dating world where data is thrown about with little regard for the users.

Turns out, there are many people who think deleting a dating app from your phone is the same as deleting your profile – but it isn’t.

Dating apps and online dating sites make it kind of tricky to get rid of you altogether – after all, they attract people (and investors) based on user numbers, so they are not motivated to make it obvious how to delete your account.

Okcupid plays by the rules while eHarmony requires a web action and then a email to confirm. Hinge a mobile dating app, requires you to use a desktop browser before you can delete it the account on your mobile via uninstalling the app.

With Tinder, I disconnected my Facebook account from Tinder meaning the account will be rejected by Facebook if it was started again. Its not elegant but saves me having to install Tinder again. I kind of refuse to install it again.

Makes you wonder how many loops some of the other dating sites and apps will make you jump through…?

Cubic food, yes please

Taken from lernertandsander.com/cubes

When I saw the picture of cubicfood I instantly had to click and learn more.

The foods we eat come in all shapes and sizes, but something beautiful happens if you cut it all down to size — literally. Design studio Lernert & Sander did just that to make the remarkable piece of art above, which was commissioned by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant last year for a feature on the nation’s eating habits.

There is something quite lovely about cubic food arranged in such a way. But I’m less interested in the arrangement and  wondering what its like to eat and build dishes of common meals as cubes?

Cutting down food down to the same basic shape brings something quite special to it, like the eating of sushi maybe?

 

 

Enviable things about online dating

ber-antem

Online site reviews wrote a piece titled, 4 truths about online dating you have to accept. It well worth reading and the basic list is …

  1. Eventually you will run into someone you know.
  2. You will be ghosted.
  3. Photos will lie.
  4. A 99% match could be meaningless.

I tend to agree but I would add…

  • You will be misunderstood and even blocked, for something which seems trivial
    It happens, people misread something or misunderstand the context and before you know it, the response is frosty or returned with a block. This also leads to ghosting…
  • You will be stood up
    Dates… where do I even start, I could do a enviable sublist about this alone. Its going to happen, you will be stood up and theres no point getting angry about it, its part of single dating life.
  • It will be attracted to somebody far away
    You edit your filters to only include people so far away and then somebody you think is local pops up in the search. Maybe they are visiting friends,  living locally for a short while or just about to leave the area. It will happen at some point, how you deal with it is the question.
  • You will come across women doing gang signs or men with their tops off in photos
    Self explanatory I think? Of course if you are a woman or a gay man, expect dick pics at some point too…

5 years ago, I was discharged from hospital

Ah the end is just the beginning

GREAT NEWS!   Ian was discharged from the hospital this afternoon!  He is going to Bristol for a while to recouperate with his family and asks that people leave off contacting him directly for a bit as he’s got a month’s worth of email/messages to get through already and his phone is playing up at the moment.  He hopes to be back to his usual online presence soon, but for now just wants to relax and enjoy being ‘on the outside’.  As always, thanks for all your messages and kind words, and you are welcome to continue leaving messages in the guestbook here.

Ian and his mum have made a formal complaint to the hospital today, and Ian wrote the following about his experience last night around 10pm:

Yes 5 years ago I was discharged from Salford Hope hospital. It was quite a ordeal the last part of my recover in the hospital. I would say this is where things went wrong, as you can read in my complaint.

The first thing I did when I left?

My mortgage adviser (Billie) came to my flat with the papers to sign. She was amazing and honestly without her persistence, I most likely would have lost my great apartment at Islington Wharf.

Then I slept and disappeared down to my parents place for a week!

Of course my thank you  and thank you 2 posts capture my state/thoughts of amazement living through something most don’t. No need to do a bad version of timehop anymore.

I’ll be celebrating with friends and family this weekend… Thank you everybody! These two tweets really got me…

Oh and I had a totally surprise to see my my email I sent (I forgot many things around that time) to the UK Wired after seeing their top 100 UK people earlier in the year.

What happens when your dog is no longer serviceable?

Aibo meets Nabaztag: first meeting

The Aibo went the way of the Nabaztag

When Rob told me about Sony shutting down the last one of its service centre for Aibo robotic dogs, I instantly thought about the consequences of a locked down iot device. This is going to be bad

Back in 1999, Sony released a robotic dog called Aibo, a canine companion that didn’t crap everywhere and only ate electricity. It sold pretty well — 150,000 units, despite the $2,000 price tag. Some owners became remarkably attached, which makes it even more sad that Sony has stopped repairing Aibo. Slowly but surely, they’re all dying.

It was bad in my mind but then I watched the NYtimes video and remembered how the Japanese think of most things having a soul/spirit of some kind.

The New York Times has recorded the plight of current-day Aibo owners in a completely heartbreaking video. They interviewed a series of owners, whose Aibos are a central part of their lives, but are slowly having to come to the fact that their dogs have a life expectancy.

What you are left with is something which is kind of heart breaking to watch. Seriously, especially having experience the culture first hand, I can just imagine. I liked my Aibo but nothing like the Japanese love theirs.

Still remember the first time I saw a Aibo in real life. It was at the ICA in London and some guy kicked it off the stage to the outrage of half the audience. Just to make a point about humans attaching human emotion to artificial objects or robots. Fascinating in the face of UK remake of Humans on Channel4.

See a future in Dot Everybody…?

Following Paula Le Dieu’s talk at OpenTech 2015, I looked into the dotEverybody.org.uk.

We have an opportunity to make Britain brilliant at digital. We’ve been going too slow, being too incremental – in skills, in infrastructure, in public services. We need to be bolder.

A new institution could be the catalyst we need to shape the world we want to live in and Britain’s role in that world. Today, we’re letting big commercial technology platforms shape much of our digital lives, dominating the debate about everything from online privacy to how we build smart cities.

fact, I probably wouldn’t call it an institution at all. This is no normal public body. It’s time to balance the world of dot com so let’s create DOT EVERYONE.

I was impressed with the scope of the ambition. The Richard Dimbleby Lecture is a great starting point, just the audience alone was equally impressive with some seriously smart people including Tony Ageh, Tom Loosemore, Matthew Postgate all in the crowd along side the director general and many others. But its worth  reading the transcript, reading huffpost and watching the lost lecture which digs into the earlier thoughts including a mention of knowle-west in Bristol. Likewise the parliament speech is also worth watching.

Its strange that I heard about dot everybody and some how overlooked it, rather than having a proper look at it. They certainly are saying the right things…

Tim Berners-Lee started thinking about this with his recent Web We Want campaign.

Here’s a specific example: we wouldn’t make policy decisions about health care matters without consulting doctors and medical ethicists. According to the same logic, we shouldn’t make privacy and data policy without consulting technologists and encryption experts. The Snowden revelations and subsequent tribunal this year found that up to 2013, GCHQ had been undermining encryption and bulk collecting our data. Whatever you think about the effectiveness of executive oversight, everyone agrees that the legislation governing our data is woefully inadequate.

Right now, many of the people responsible for renewing that legislation don’t have all the technical knowledge required to do the best job possible. Surely this has to change.

There is no shortage of other issues to be explored.

Do children need different rights online?

What are the implications of wearable technology? Of an internet embedded in devices in your home?

How do we make sure that ‘smart cities’ are projects for the public good not just private profit?

How should we prepare for the so called “second machine age” and the increasing use of robots?

How do we protect against increasing cybercrime?

I believe we should make sure that the original promises of the internet – openness, transparency, freedom and universality – are a national asset, as integral to our soft power as the Queen, singing superstar Adele, JK Rowling, Shakespeare, or dare I say it on this channel, Downton Abbey.

Of course, the cynical could say well thats nice but wheres the action?

Like the Open rights group in 2005, things need time to grow and mature. You also need to be there at the conception of the idea and be willing to shape it, not just sit there and watch it fall over. This is why I sign and put money towards the pledge at the Change.org site.

I want to see this happen very soon, and I’m happy to pay a little to insure it happens for sure.

The ragged state of dyslexic help in Manchester

Skies above Manchester

I hadn’t heard of Ragged talks but I was convinced to go as there was a talk about Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia.

Ragged events are about getting together in social spaces, putting our feet up, breaking bread, and enjoying learning something new.

I like to think of Ragged talks as something between BarCamp and Tedx. Its certainly not as grand as a Tedx but much more pulled together by the community like a Barcamp. Their ethics and guidelines are well thought out too. But its single track and can be about anything interesting, theres also food and its free just like a barcamp.

I skipped Technights to attend Ragged talks and the two talks were certainly interesting.

Roger Broadbent gave the first talk – Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia. It was shocking to hear how bad Manchester is for dyslexia support. It all seems to come from one man who use to be at the top…

A Labour MP has claimed dyslexia is a myth invented by education chiefs to cover up poor teaching (BBC 2009).

Backbencher Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley, describes the condition as a “cruel fiction” that should be consigned to the “dustbin of history”.

He believes the reason many children cannot read and write properly is that the wrong teaching methods are used.

But Charity Dyslexia Action said the condition was “very real” to the 6m people in the UK affected by it.

Writing in a column for the website Manchester Confidential, Mr Stringer said millions of pounds were being wasted on specialist teaching for what he called a “false” condition.

Also in the Guardian (2009). Shocking stuff, and it seems to have caused a chilling effect on Manchester schools and support. Of course theres many people trying to reverse (small and large) this but I haven’t seen this level of ignorance in a long long time.

The second talk was about slow TV its story and its surprises… or as I prefer it ambient TV. I have heard of it and saw some of views following the BBC’s attempt at slow TV.

Surprisingly, it was quite interesting and started thinking about links to Perceptive Media. Quote of the night come from Tim Prevett while explaining why slow TV works….

Silence is better than bullshit

I enjoyed the Ragged talks and may end up doing a talk if they allow me. Always good to go new places and try new things, there seems to be a ton of events in Manchester to discover.

OpenTech 2015 leaves a lot to think about

OpenTech is a one day conference which I last attended back in 2006 I think. Now in its 10th year, its still a place for the tech focused  culture to be heavily debated.

OpenTech has 3 tracks of talks from people who put themselves forward beforehand. I had thought about doing so but missed the deadline for expression of interest. I learned that I should have done so anyway, as quite a few people dropped out.

Regardless of the drop outs, the conference talk quality was high. Here’s the ones which really spoke volumes to me.

Opentech 2015

The Open Rights Group 10 years on…

I was always looking forward to this one, especially because it was 10 years since a bunch of smart people got together to discuss the idea of why there was no EFF for the UK. In that room somebody pledged to pay 5 pounds a month to something like the EFF. Others followed suit and with  Suw Charman Anderson (whom I’ve not seen in ages) taking up the reins of what ever it was going to be. The Open rights group was born and fostered into the world.

It was great to step back through the history of the Open Rights Group and think about the next 10 years (my question). I had hoped Becky, Danny and Cory might have been there too but alas it was great to see everybody else.

Opentech 2015

Privacy: I do not think that word means what you think it means – Kat Matfield

This was enlightening talk in a string of talks about privacy. It was refreshing to have the view of everyday people on privacy. Especially the idea of peak page padlock aka security theatre, which she explained was a kind of dark pattern. She didn’t get a easy ride with the questioning afterwards about the sample size and how scientific the tests were but it didn’t matter, it was fascinating regardless.

Opentech 2015
The state of the network address – Bill Thompson

What can I say about Bills talk? Well it was great. So much was covered but I loved the idea of…

IP, therefore I connect

Human values in the technology was heavily discussed along with doing the right thing and building systems/frameworks to encourage the best of these values.

Bill outlined a couple scenarios which he uses to illustrate human values. Hearing them made it very clear whats at stake.
Use of personal data for children and young adults who are still finding there way, experimenting with their identity and learning what makes them tick. These years are hugely transformative and can be easily warped by requiring students to submit work through facebook or the rest of a religious family seeing recommendations for atheist documentary’s. Each thing is well meaning but damaging as a consequence.

I don’t know what my parents would have made of me taking out books from the library about drugs. I was curious and as a result learned so much about them that I pretty much embarrassed teachers and friends with my knowledge of drugs. I also never took them as a result of my knowledge. If this was 20yrs later and my parents were getting recommendations based on my book renting it would be a very different conversation!

Ethics and human values need to exist in the systems & algorithms we create. Its beyond a nice thing to do, its essential. Bill highlighted the conflict in the way most startups are funded. He pointed out public organisations like the BBC to develop new models for the public good.

Everything ran nicely into Gavin Starks talk which followed about the state of data and data as infrastructure.

Let’s redecentralize — Irina Bolychevski

I didn’t really recognise redecentralise till Irina started listing the sites which they had listed on there Github repo. At that moment I started thinking this sounds similar to something I blogged about a while ago... and I wasn’t wrong.

Opentech 2015
A mobile web of apps and documents – Adewale Oshineye

I think Adewale is great (no kick for the amount of times I have quoted him even). He thinks long and hard about subjects and I quite enjoy the challenging discussions we end up having when we have time. It was in the last session about decentralisation, that I even quoted him in my question to Irina.

People’s enthusiasm for federated decentralised $WHATEVER seems inversely proportional to the practicality of their plan for achieving it

It was great to hear Adewale on stage. I wasn’t quite sure where he was going at the very start of the talk, when he started asking what the web was but before long it all came clear when he revealed the slightly surprising fact that the biggest mobile user agent is Facebook. Aka people viewing the web through the Facebook app more than any other mobile device or app.

He then talked about Javascript only sites (ones which don’t even deliver a page unless you have JS enabled), apps containing URX’s, The Chrome and Safari tab feature. Pintrest got a bit of kicking for their aggressive stance to use their app over accessing by a browser or any other way.

But its the question Adewale left us which was the kicker….

Is this still the web?

A bit of a debate kicked off but unfortunately there wasn’t much time left to really get into it. However the question still remains and got me thinking, about what I hold dear about the web. Maybe I’m romanticising the history of the web? But I don’t think so… I honestly think theres something important about the open web through open platforms.

Thinking about it now, listening to Brian Chirls earlier in the week talk about WebVR starter kit and the things he did to make sure VR isn’t just for the rich elites but also for the children who might be able to afford a cheap android phone for VR viewing. But its not about consuming! They should be able to create their own VR, like when we used view source to understand how the web worked. Even on a super locked down library PC.

I know there is something essential about using accessing the web from a browser. It might be the shift from consumer to author but I haven’t quite condensed it down to a paragraph yet, I’m sure to tell Adewale when I next see him next.

Opentech 2015
dotEveryone by Paula Le Dieu

I was lucky that the order on the website stayed the same, as I left track 3 with Adewale on the top floor to catch Paula Le Dieu sitting on the stage. As I walked down to the front, she was talking about how things like the Open Rights Group and BBC Backstage were launched 10 years ago and most stood the test of time. I know Paula wasn’t singling me or anybody out (she later pointed out the BBC creative archive project was ended a few years previous to the end of BBC Backstage) I just happened to walk in right on cue. I wanted to clear things up anyway in my question. Some people later asked me what was BBC Backstage, which goes to show.

DotEveryone was a interguing talk and although not a lot was given away. Paula did mention 3 points of focus.

  1. Internet connectivity – Net neutrality?
  2. Diversity in Tech – There was a talk about being female on the internet earlier
  3. New Business models – Very fitting with Bills State of the internet address)

I’ll certainly be looking more into doteveryone.

It was a good conference and it was great having the ODI sponsoring and supporting it. Keep wondering if we could something similar in Manchester, especially with lots of people interested in the effect of tech culture.

#MancQS What to do with all that data? Monday 6th July

BBC Dashboard

The theme for the July Quantified Self Manchester is What to do with all that QS data?

Talks are welcomed around this including.

• What do you do with the data?

• How do you import/export your data?

• What are data dashboards?

• Which data dashboard are worth using?

• What other uses of your data are there?

Be a great time to come along, meet other self trackers and discover whats possible with quantified data.

Japanese culture conflicted

Ariana Miyamoto Eletta Miss Giappone Ma Scoppia La Polemica Perchè Di Colore "Non è pura

From the BBC

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Ariana Miyamoto has become the first bi-racial woman to be crowned Miss Japan.

The question of whether a person of mixed race should be eligible to win the competition has since provoked a heated argument on social media,

Oh I can so believe the kind of comments Ariana is getting. Japanese culture is so future focused in some things and ever so in the past for others. I understand the history of Japan, but I can’t help but say its 2015!

I honestly can’t imagine how bad the Japanese view on mix race relationships…  Hopefully this will start to sway things.

When 6 wasn’t enough, theres Sense 8

One gunshot, one death, one moment out of time that irrevocably links eight minds in disparate parts of the world, putting them in each other’s lives, each other’s secrets, and in terrible danger. Ordinary people suddenly reborn as “Sensates.”

Cloud Atlas was great but few people got it and watched it. The Wachowskis undetermined have put together a fascinating TV series for Netflix called Sense8.

Its almost like 6 connected peoples stories over 3hours wasn’t enough… So they went for 8 hyper-connected stories told over 12 hours.

By all counts the reviews are reasonable good and I’m enjoying it so far (on ep2).

5 years ago, The best Hello world message

While on the mend, I finally wrote my first blog to the world via dictation to my family. I remember saying the words with tears in my eyes. Of course it had to be Hello World, as there was nothing more fitting. The joke about hospital food was my injection of humour, although I have to say the hospital kitchen/restaurant really looked after me while I was there. I was given quite plain food but they kept checking about my allergies all the time. Actually far more than the doctors (as you will see in the next week)

It was great being able to talk again although I still have the trach scar, which will never go away now. I couldn’t explain how much the cards and comments meant to me and my family. I was kind of overwhelmed to know I had touched so many peoples lives and they in turned felt it was worth reaching back.

I was looking forward to moving out of ICU because this about the time when I started really getting better really fast. It was like my body was just repairing its self at a rate the hospital had never seen before. Amazing when you consider the life expectancy of people who have bleed on the brain

If subarachnoid hemorrhage from aneurysm, about 50% die within the first few days in hospital. If intracranial bleed, with/without stroke, the death rate within year one approaches 60%. Figures have remained constant for years.

I am one of the very few lucky ones and believe me don’t I know it, and there is no way I will forget it


 

[Message below was dictated by Ian this evening, no internet connection in hospital]

Ian says:

‘Hello world!  Thank you very much for taking the time to find out how I am doing.  I am doing okay.  I am still in hospital, but making a positive recovery.  Thank you to everybody who has written to me and my family and thanks for writing such amazing things.

The trach tube is out and I can speak again.  The feeding tube is also out.  I had solid food for the first time yesterday–it was horrible!  Of course it was hospital food.

Thank you for all the messages to my family.  I’m on the way to recovery.’

[Ian is due to be moved out of ICU and on to the ward as soon as a bed becomes available.]


Ian is continuing to do well and they are hoping to move him out of ICU and on to the ward soon (possibly this weekend).  He was a bit tired today and slept more, but he did spend most of yesterday out of bed and sitting up.

Ian’s flatmate Tim brought his laptop in for him, but there is not a wireless connection to use so Ian will not be online yet.

Unfortunately Ian missed some visitors today because he was sleeping.  For anyone else who is visiting, please be aware you might not get to see him if he is tired, but we do appreciate you coming to visit!

They hope to put some sort of valve into the trach tube that will make it possible for Ian to speak, but I am not sure when they’ll do this.


At the moment Ian is still in the ICU.  They had thought they were going to move him to the H.D. unit, but there wasn’t a bed available, so for now the plan is for him to stay in ICU until he is ready to move to the ward.

Ian is ready to have visitors now, but in ICU this is limited to two people at a time.  If you want to come visit, please leave a message in the guestbook letting us know what day and time you plan to come (and please leave a contact number in case we need to reach you).  Visiting hours are from 1pm-9pm daily.  They are quite strict about what can be brought into the ICU due to infection control.

Ian still cannot talk due to the trach tube so it can be difficult to communicate with him.  He is finding it frustrating, but appreciates visitors coming as he is getting bored.

Google reaches deeply into the app data

There is something special about the experience of Google now and now something extremely magical about Google now on tap.

I’ve just gotten a chance to play around with an early build of Now on Tap, Google’s wild new feature that, in essence, does Google searches inside apps automatically. It works like this: when you’re in an app — any app — you hold down the home button. Android then figures out what is on the screen and does a Google Now search against it. A Now search is slightly different from your usual Google search, because it brings back cards that are full of structured data and actions, not just a list of links.

When I first watched the keynote, I thought of the Tim Burners-Lee Semantic Web vision (paid pdf only now).

The real power of the Semantic Web will be realized when people create many programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs. The effectiveness of such software agents will increase exponentially as more machine-readable Web content and automated services (including other agents) become available.

Its not the semantic web thats for sure, the problem is that its amazing and the user experience is magical but its all within Googles own stack. This rather bothers (even) me for many of the ethics of data reasons. I’m sure app developers may be a little miffed too?

Following my thought, Wired had a intriguing headline Google’s Ingenious Plan to Make Apps Obsolete.

What makes Google Now’s pull away from apps even more compelling is that it was joined at I/O by a series of gentle pushes in the same direction. Google’s doing everything it can to get us all back to the web.

Now if I think the Wired piece is interesting but they are shouting down from the wrong tree. Google are climbing another tree somewhere else. Ok enough with the analogies what do I mean?

If I saw Google on tap working in the browser instead of on top of apps I would be extremely impressed and be really making solid ties between Tim Berners-Lee’s agents in the semantic web. But instead we are left with something slightly disappointing, like a parlour trick of sorts.

Don’t get me wrong its impressive but its not the big deal which I first thought it was. I’m sure the Chrome team are already working on ways to surface semi structured data to Google now, and when they do… wow!

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer