I think I saw you on Tinder?

Tinder costume

To be honest its happened a few times, not just tinder but other virtual places like my experience with TV and dating.

It could be awkward for many. But to be honest for myself, as I’m deadly truthful its doesn’t come as a shock that it is.. really me.

The last time this happened was at FutureEverything’s opening party. Unfortunately I was rushing off, so the women in question said hi and pointed out our friend in common.

Other people have come up on dating sites and I have recognised them and learned a tiny bit more about them. Of course no names… But people from work and other places. The tricky part is pretending they didn’t come up and saying nothing?

Some of them have lied about different things like height, age, where they work, etc. A couple I have spoke to and asked them why they feel the need to tell little and not so little while lies? My thoughts is something to do with a mix of social pressures and self-esteem issues. Its a shame really.

The tainted eyes of the beholder

GeekGirlCon_2013 132

At breakfast today with Chris and Kat, we were talking about previous people we’ve been out with and the question of chemistry. I mentioned the eye of the beholder and how everyone has a different things they like. Therefore the chemistry is going to be different too.

Kat agreed and gave a great example, which I hadn’t ever thought about.

Do you think people who you found attractive become almost ugly at certain times? Like if they cheat on you…?

And she makes a great point. Perception is a interesting thing. Someone which seems great, then becomes tainted because of their actions. And I think Tainted is the right word too, because it becomes impossible to see them as attractive again ever after. No matter what people say or think.

Freemium dating gone horrifically wrong

Online Dating for Bears

Lunch time at work is a interesting experience. Somehow we got into a discussion about online dating and Elizabeth asked me what kind of sites I’m on, out of curiosity. I mentioned I only do free dating sites and before you knew it we were on to a discussion about freenium dating sites vs paid sites.

The logic seems to conclude that a paid for sites would attract a better match, however in my own experience this is not true. Actually the opposite seems to apply, with the tricks the paid for dating sites pull on you. But we started wondering… If you were really evil or lack in moral judgment, what kind of things would you do?

Here’s some suggestions,

  1. Default all profiles would be ugly (there was a suggestion of green on brown with comic sans) unless you pay for colour changes and font faces changes.
    There would be a charge for every character over 320 characters (it was suggested 140 actually). Bit like plenty of fish’s extended profile.
  2. Depending on the time of the month certain words would cost less and more. Of course there would be a algorithm working out the most likely used words in profiles. But the cost would be reversed, as to charge the most for those words in their prime like selfie. Likewise Phrases go down in price depending on over use of the word across the site.
  3. There would only be allowed one photo like eBay use to have. More photos can be added at a cost of course. Oh and the one photo would be restricted to 256 colours and a size of 640×480. If you need colour, you can choose a animal photo which best represents you. One photo to impress… make it a good one.
  4. Messages can only be accessed on the site or the application. There will be strict limits of 10 meg storages and of course all messages will be monitored and fiddled with. So there will be no swearing, rude or lude content (lots of dating sites do this to kill off email and phone number exchange in messages). It would also have the right to change words and sentences to aid with communication. Well I say aid but expect all type of nonsense and mucking around.
  5. All messages will start at 200 characters maximum and grow by 10 characters based on the messages exchange. You
  6. Matching algorithms will be switch depending on paid membership. If you want the super-dooper algorithm you got to pay. And remember you have no idea how good it is till you try it out, at which you are offered the mega search for another upgrade in membership… Of course this time it includes advance options, thankfully. Okcupid already has multiple methods/algorithms for search and some are only accessible to paid members.
  7. Conditions for using the site is allowing the site to have access to your Facebook account. Not just for authentication but so it can read and write to your friends. If you want to stop the spamming, you need to pay for the yearly membership. Remember when Plaxo and many others did this to convince your friends to join?
  8. Don’t even get me started on adverts, you never seen adverts like this before, well maybe. Not only will you see them on the site, but also in your facebook timeline because you allowed us to do so, duhhh stupid…! Of course we could hijacking your cookies for even more fun, unless you pay the subscription money but that would be so… wrong!
  9. Feeling the pitch when it comes to the matches, well don’t worry most of them will be automated bots sent to lure you into paying even more or at least another few months of subscription. Hummm where did I hear this before?
  10. Of course our starred profiles will be ranked highly and you will need to digg through those before you get to the cheapskates. As a free user, you will have to do this with no sort and no option of how many users per page. Good luck with that…
  11. Did I forget to say, how our search doesn’t work correctly for free users. You will have to search through male and female users from all over the world till we can find a way to fix it. Of course paid users get access to the beta server which does support these (some people say) essential things.
  12. Random username allocation. Don’t like your username which was randomly given to you? Well if you pay the money, you can change it. Don’t pay, and you will have to put up with snugglemuffin666 or even snddjoidjidb81.

I could go on but frankly you go the picture. Some sounds a little crazy while others you may recognise from being on paid for dating sites. Free dating sites are rarer than they should be, but the freemium sites are going to be the next big thing. Don’t believe me? Look at Tinder.

Targeted for being connected?

E3 2006 090

Little news which slipped under the radar in the UK was Kevin Rose the guy from Diggnation, founder of Digg and now one of the people involved in Google Ventures. Was targeted by a number of protesters over the anti-tech tensions in San Francisco.

The Digg founder said the protesters raised a banner reading “Kevin Rose Parasite” and handed out pamphlets to his neighbors that read, in part: “Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco. The start-ups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscapes of San Francisco and Oakland.”

The rapid growth of the local tech sector has sparked a series of protests in recent months, as concerns grow over economic inequality, evictions and neighborhood gentrification.

Gentrification… its that word again. Remember when I wrote about gentrification in a post a while ago?

Of course its bad Kevin was targeted, but the protesters certainly picked the wrong person.  Having dropped out of education at college age, he worked his way into the tech scene by appearing on TV and clawing his way up the ladder before taking the risk with a few initiative’s.

The irony of the protests wasn’t lost, as Kevin pointed it out for them shooting on Google phones.

Maybe its time to refresh the post which still isn’t up at Singleblackmale. This seems like a good opportunity to give more emphases to my point about the rich, educated and connected

They are feared, with their weird glasses geeky, electric cars and new data ethic. They use cafes as workplaces, bars to conduct meetings and workplaces to “chillax”. They don’t believe in business hierarchies and believe you can quantify everything from relationships to sex…

Highlights of FutureEverything 2014

Future Everything 2014

Another year another good Future Everything festival. It seemed to fly by so quickly and partly because I was roped into the Radio 4 Character invasion day and Vision 2022,thanks for the tweet Julius. So although I was back and forth between different conferences, I did get to soak up some of the good events at Future Everything.

Future Everything 2014

Adrian Hon

Adrian was also involved in the character invasion day and his book History of the Future in 100 Objects made up part of the festival. I have to admit everytime I hear Adrian talk, he spurs a number of ideas and thought. Such a smart guy and plenty of interesting thoughts. My evernote was overflowing from the conversation with him.

Future Everything 2014

Anab Jain

I had not really come across Superflux but Anab delivered a stellar keynote in place of Anthony Dunne. Not only did she talk about the serious disconnect between what Snowden uncovered. But she also touched heavily on privacy, social compliance and the invisible war over autonomy. Not only a great keynote (which I can’t believe  was all last minute) but she also delivered a good fireside chat just like Adrian Hon did.

Future Everything 2014

New shape of things panel

I just got back from Future 2022 and caught the tail end of the new shapes panel. Its always impressive to see people you know very well talking on a panel. Dan W, Tom Armitage, Alexandra DS and Claire Red moderating. Wish I could have heard the whole thing but it was full of interesting discussion about the nature of the maker scene to the unnecessary maker projects going through kickstarter recently. It was certainly one of the better panels I’ve heard in a while.

Future Everything 2014

Liam Young

Liam’s talk was certainly interesting but the sync from the laptop caused the output to fail a lot and sometimes go out of sync.

Future everything had a lot of potential but for me didn’t quite pull through mainly because of my own hectic schedule. Must remember to give it more time in the future. Well worth attending and still very reasonably priced.

The Uhura Deathstrike mix

Uhura Deathstrike mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

This is a special mix… It was requested by Oli Wood the approachable geek, as he wanted something for his new car which he would be picking up from North Wales somewhere and driving back to Newcastle. I created a mix straight away but wasn’t happy with the overall tune selection, so created another one the night after. This is that mix. Enjoy it Oli, and make sure you have it nice and loud!

  1. Sinister – Airbase
  2. Smack – Simon Patterson
  3. Sister sister – Sister Bliss
  4. Peace – Yves Deruyter
  5. Take me away (into the night) – 4 Strings
  6. Megalodon – Dash Berlin
  7. GamesMaster (matt darey 2003 mix) – Lost Tribe
  8. Time (sean tyas remix) – Paul Webster feat. Angelic Amanda
  9. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  10. We are one – Dave 202
  11. Brush strokes – Simon Patterson
  12. Intuition – Marninx pres Ecco
  13. Beautiful thing (photon project remix) – Andain
  14. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat. Einat

Dating, Lies and Algorithms the conference talk?

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Thayer is a wonderful woman and when she emailed me asking if I would talk at her conference, The Best of British. I thought for about 2mins before agreeing.

I’m going to do something to connect some of the thinking I’ve had about algorithms and dating. Into a unique one time talk. Never to be repeated I can say… Exclusive! So go support.

“Support you say?”

What makes this conference special is its going to be funded by kickstarter…. I know how crazy is that? Confirm speakers include…

    • Alice Taylor, MakieLab, London
    • Chris Thorpe, I Can Make, Oxford
    • Matthew Somerville, mySociety (& many other great things), Birmingham
    • Mazz Mosley, freelance technologist, previously a tech lead @ GDS, Leighton Buzzard
    • Ian Forrester, BBC R&D, Manchester
    • Dan Fairs, SecondSync, Bristol
    • Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computing Science, Cardiff Metropolitan University
    • Priya Prakash, Founder, Design for Social Change, London

 

Well Thayer is the Prime, so trust in her we do.

Eich steps down from Mozilla

MozFest

Most of us asked for Brendan Eich to step down and today he finally did

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

This has been a long running battle with people from different sides weighing in… But frankly if the Director General of the BBC, not only felt this way but actively tried to stop Gay people getting married. I would end up leaving. Some views are so too out of step with modern reality. He may be great at everything else he does but this for me is a breaker.

Equality isn’t something we should be wishing for, we should be actively be seeking.

I know Mozilla will bounce back from this and find a better CEO who is modern in thinking and values. Looking forward to going to Mozfest again now.

OkCupid protest for equal marrage rights…

Okcupid protest for equal gay rights

Good on OkCupid! Text reads…

Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.

Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.

Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.

If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.

However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:

Rollercoasters the safest moment of impeding doom

On the eve of me riding the smiler at Alton Towers, I saw this video and thought absolutely! That massive rush of adrenaline I get when riding roller-coasters is so great. Its really makes you feel so alive,  because as they say… Nothing makes you feel more live that being so close to that moment of impeding doom but without over stepping the mark…

Can explicit big data replace implicit chemistry?

20130101 Experimenting with a Lott's Chemistry Set c.1956

I’m happy to say the BBC News business section has a piece which I found via ZoeIs big data dating the key to long-lasting romance? Of course I have many thoughts about this whole piece including the memory that I still need to read Love in the Time of Algorithms.

Dating agencies like OKCupid, Match.com – which acquired OKCupid in 2011 for $50m (£30m) – eHarmony and many others, amass this data by making users answer questions about themselves when they sign up.

Some agencies ask as many as 400 questions, and the answers are fed in to large data repositories. Match.com estimates that it has more than 70 terabytes (70,000 gigabytes) of data about its customers.

Applying big data analytics to these treasure troves of information is helping the agencies provide better matches for their customers. And more satisfied customers mean bigger profits.

US internet dating revenues top $2bn (£1.2bn) annually, according to research company IBISWorld. Just under one in 10 of all American adults have tried it.

Just look at those numbers! 1.2bn a year and 70 Terabytes of data plus its growing all the time! You can just imagine the shareholders hovering up the profits… However this is all explicit data, stuff you got to type in. Stuff that people tell porkies about, specially when having to fill in 400 questions…!

Dr Zhao’s algorithm can then suggest potential partners in the same way websites like Amazon or Netflix recommend products or movies, based on the behaviour of other customers who have bought the same products, or enjoyed the same films.

The facebook angle is good and recognised by the likes of Tindr and Grindr. Collaborative filtering of people implicit actions is good but its still not the missing element, aka chemistry.

We already know there is something to the theory that opposites attract. How does this work when your algorithm is based on matching? You almost need a inverse of that but you need to understand human needs and wants, and thats not as simple as copying what we do. Its the whole don’t do what I say and don’t do what I do problem? Imagine somewhere someone is looking at this thing in a totally different way, via a different lens. Because frankly I think all the explicit and implicit data in the world won’t describe why people get together. It looks to be unquantifiable and thats quite surprising from someone like me.

I love this game… Volleyball

If you don’t already know, I love Volleyball and have played it from a really early age in Bristol. Unfortunately when I moved to London, I couldn’t find anywhere to play and frankly I gave up Volleyball and Basketball to get serious about my studies and career.

However when I moved to Manchester, I seeked out Volleyball and was rewarded with lots of opportunities to play at different levels. Right now I play in 2 teams and play 3 times a week, and I love it. But what really got me going Sunday was playing in a tournament with a great team.

Nothing better than feeling your up against the best and feeling you may actually have the skills, knowledge and wisdom to beat them.
Yok are a very good team and maybe the best at the tournament, but we gave them a proper scare. First game we won by 2 points, Second game we lost by 3 and the Last game we lost by 1 point. It was a nail biter and amazing to be on court hustling for every ball. This is why I love this game!

Moss side mens did very well to almost beat Yok and enter the final stages but you got to give it up to the Moss side womens for beating all the other women and being champions on the day. Well deserved win and who knows next time the men including myself, will be along side the women holding the other side of the cup.

Geek history worth keeping

Early in the evening

While talking to Martin, Sam, Chris and others over the last few weeks. I have been thinking how things have been forgotten.

The history of geek culture seems to get forgotten too often. Recently a discussion about the tech community in Manchester with Martin raised a bunch of questions in my mind.

How much of geek history is still available now? What do I mean?

Great people have said….

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

And to be honest I’m seeing the same thing over and over again in the limited time I’ve been around the geek scene. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing necessarily wrong with this… But no one seems to be documenting the past… Which seems crazy with the amount of social media or in the past user generated content created. But the issue seems to be putting it all together. For example if you search geekdinners on my blog, theres quite a few posts. But its a mishmash of stuff. Look for the same on Flickr (assuming you knew flickr was where most geeks uploaded stuff in the past and flickr had not gone dark) and you get a mishmash again. If your smart you might try the clusters and find the London geekdinners.

Geekdinners.com is actual up for sale at $2.5k. But this isn’t so much my point. In the past we would write blog posts about events (don’t get me started on the blogging) but this is a bit like throwing a pound in a tip jar. Whats need is something to aggregate the blogs, tweets, photos, videos, etc together. Tell the whole story in long form. This is what me and Martin were discussing, and the natural place seems to be wikipedia and archive.org.

I had a discussion recently with Tom Morris who is very knowledgeable about wikipedia. I was discussing the recent addition of a page about myself. But it got me thinking Wikipedia is a great place for the type of thing I was hinting at before.

So I’m going to start filling in pages on Geekdinner, LondonGeekdinners, BarCampLondon, BarCampManchester, Geekup and Over the Air. Hopefully people who go on to write pages about Technights, Social Media Cafe, Tuttleclub, etc will link and reference. Then we can start to trace back events and community efforts. Give attribution where its well deserved and encourage more people to get more involved in shaping the future of geek culture.

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer