International Blogday

So its international Blog Day according to the site (which is currently down, db issues with WordPress). But the idea is to link to 5 other blogs which you feel others should discover. So here's my little list.

  • Electro^plankton

    because real people interests are diverse according this excellent blog. I love it because its like coolhunting and we make money not art but they only post on the best niche stuff.

  • Torrentfreak

    Now he's started podcasting, I've come to realise how much of a freak this guy really is. But he certainly has the lowdown on Bit torrent, P2P and other darknet information.

  • Read/Write web

    Great site and yes I know its quite poplar already but worth mentioning for those who may not know it.

  • Schneier on security

    I don't know what to say about Bruce, but him blogging about stories he reads is very engaging reading.

  • Jon's Radio

    Yes another blog which has got a large readership but tends to get left out of most developers subscriptions. I like reading Jon Udell because he does the simple things with simple tools. I guess from my stand point he's the ideal developer.

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Geeky week and ever so geeky weekend

BarCampLondon

Yesterday (tuesday) was the very successful girlgeekdinner which was great as usual (pictures here and here). I recorded the talk and will upload it to archive.org tonight, so keep an eye on this url. The quality isn't great because it was so dark and I hadn't played with the best settings yet.

Friday looks to be a busy day but will be a quieter geekdinner with Ben Metcalfe, which is maybe a good thing because of course the rest of the weekend is BarCampLondon.

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Windows Media DRM cracked, no one cares?

DRM

Well I've just installed Napster and tried out the Fairuse4WM application. I'm pleased to say it worked for me just fine. But you know what, browsing through Napster's quite small catalogue of dance music, I've quickly come to the conclusion that Cory and Derek are correct

Last night, I got a tip that the WM DRM was cracked; Endadget has now confirmed that the tool exists and works. While interesting news, it's rather irrelevant to online media services using WM DRM. Most users won't care about these decryption tools, not because the DRM is 'consumer-friendly,' but rather because there are already easily-accessible alternatives for acquiring unencrypted copies of practically any song or movie. Thus, users already could readily get around the DRM's unfriendly limits, without any actual decryption tool.

Its actually getting really tired thinking about new tunes to download. See, unlike a torrent site or something like last.fm, there's no creditable community recommendations. The Amazon like recommendations are ok but not actually very useful when finding new music because there based totally on artists. Anyways, the fact remains that Windows play for sure DRM is broken and easily taken apart. This in my mind is still quite amazing and proves that – #59, DRM does not work because the customer/user has the key, cipher and ciphertext in the player. Now Napster, MSN music, etc with there all you can eat pricing are the playing grounds of everyone with a little knowledge.

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Flickr releases maps for photos

Flickr Maps for London

There's some debate if this is geotagging or geo anything so I've used maps for now. Found via Digg, Thomas Hawk has a nice review of the new mapping feature in Flickr.

I have to say its pretty neat and works even better than Frappr at the moment. Although I'm wondering open this data is? For example will I be able to take the geo data out of Flickr once I've arranged all my pictures so nicely on the map? And if so, how? But for right now, London is looking a little bare at the moment so go add pictures! Look out for the lack of mapping from Yahoo maps outside northern america.

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The portrait of a south london racist

Pissed fools

Miles paints a picture of a South London racist which it too good to miss.

A hazard of living in South London is racists in the neighbourhood. The recent press hysteria about new EU entrants and “Islamic fanatics” has given the racists license to start expressing their hateful prejudices in public once again. After years of public disapproval of racism, these scum have clearly been waiting for the opportunity to spout their worthless opinions – and our wonderful politicians and business leaders have just given them the green light…

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When’s the xbox 360 going to be hacked?

Xbmc 1.1

Not the DVD firmware hack or even the HD/Memory card reading, I'm talling about the (proper) run unsigned code type of hack. I said it would be done within a year. Well theres about 2 months left now. The amount of HD content on my network is growing and I got nothing except my workstation to play it all back on. Plus the Xbox Media Centre has pushed the Pentium 3 733mhz chip to its absolute limit now and the Xbox 360 simply isn't up to scratch for media playback sorry.

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Tech Crunch UK launches

Tech Crunch UK

So at long last Tech Crunch UK opens its doors to the public. This may serve as a great place to finally aggregate all of whats going on in the UK in one place. For example here is the events page. Its very London focused at the moment but I'm sure that will slowly change. Theres tons of stuff happening in Brighton, Ireland and it would seem Glasgow. Anyway, one to subscribe to and keep an eye on.

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Senior Producer at backstage.bbc.co.uk

So before the modern equivalent of the rumour mills start rolling (maybe blogs or more like myspace and bebo). I'd like to let you all know that I've been offered the position of Senior producer of backstage.bbc.co.uk and of course I have accepted it. This does mean crossing London everyday (SE18 – Woolwich Aresenal to W12 – White City and back everyday) but this also means my main job is to open up the BBC a little more everyday. What more can you ask for? I already have plans in my head for increasing the profile of backstage and of course providing more public feeds and apis. There's also lots of areas where backstage could go which hasn't been visited yet. So don't worry folks I'm on the case with fresh thoughts and enthusiasm like you've never seen before. But to start off, we need to work out the details such as a start date, etc. Hey and theres the first british barcamp and geekdinner's to be arranged. Talking of which… if anyone knows a place where we could hold a geekdinner in Brighton on the 9th September please do let me know.

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The US on the UK Grime Scene

I would never have thought I would be linking to a BBC blog but this short piece from some American show (which was uploaded to YouTube) is a interesting look at the UK Grime scene. Oh did I mention Mistajam now has a BBC Blog? I'm aware of the grime scene but stay well clear because I'm not the biggest fan of this type of music. But I do respect where this is coming from, even if its lost its way a little. There is a really good point made about the true differences of UK and US hiphop culture. People don't have 23 inch rims on there cars and wear diamonds simply because they can't afford it and they would be robbed. Yep, I'm certainly hearing that. I wouldn't even pull my ipaq on the train ride into peckham sometimes.

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Steal this film – thePirateBay movie

I wish, mine would download at 2.5meg a second!

Quoting from Torrent Freak

Steal this film is a series of documentaries about filesharing, and p2p networks. The first part is about the Piratebay, and their vision on the things that went down the end of May.

Steal this film has full details and a selection of torrent which can be used to download it in ipod, dvd and quicktime formats. I'm sure someone will transcode it into divx, xvid, mpeg4, etc soon.

In other Bittorrent news, Disney's very senior Anne Sweeney admits to downloading pirated desperate housewives. Yes and it turns out that, at that point she realised that she was also competing with Digital pirates. Oh did I mention there is a new version of Azureus too? Yum, yum!

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Log Me In Buys Hamachi

Hamachi in action

Applied Networking is acquired by LogMeIn, Inc. Which means Hamachi is now owned by LogMeIn. Geez oh great, I thought. Now my light VPN solution is now owned, great better start looking at other VPN solutions again. The problem is that no one seems to have covered all the security bases, technology and made it so easy that even my parents can use it. Yep I installed on there newly broadband connected machine so I can VNC over VPN in and update stuff. Anyway if anyone can suggest something as lightweight and simple as Hamachi please let me know.

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Kevin Anderson joins the Guardian

Kevin and Suw

At long last, I can blog that Kevin Anderson our very forward thinking Worldservice journalist is leaving for a brand new position that he helped create.

This is probably the worst kept secret, which is why I'm a journalist and not a member of the intelligence services, but I can finally announce that I'm under new ownership. After almost eight years with the BBC, I'm joining the Guardian as their Head of Blogging and Interaction.

Head of Blogging and Interaction for the Guardian, is certainly a step on from the BBC World have your say programme. Its going to be a shame, Kevin worked so hard to get the BBC blogging and became a very good voice for genuine and authentic conversation with our audience. Anyway, I really wish him so much luck with his new position. I'm expecting big things from Kevin, and I might actually start reading the Guardian more in the future.

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Done the impossible – Firefly/Serenity Documentary

Done the impossible DVD

Adam Baldwin hosts the telling of this vivid Browncoat story that features interviews with Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly and Serenity, the cast, crew, and most importantly the fans themselves.

The story chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of the cult TV show “Firefly” as told from the perspective of the fans who helped save it. In this documentary, fans of the movie and TV series explain what inspired them to become passionate about Firefly, to help save Firefly, attend shindigs, participate in message boards, donate to charities, and become Serenity extras. They talk about the many ways that Firefly has affected their lives. Cast and crew also share humorous and insightful experiences with the fans.

Did I mention you can also download the documentary off torrent sites legally. Its been released under a creative commons licence so download and watch it to your hearts content. Cleverly there using it as a promotional tool for the actual DVD, and honestly I've bought the firefly DVD already and am planning to get Serentiy on DVD. I'll certainly get this on DVD too. If this goes towards a 2nd film or season then great. Oh I couldn't help post up this part which came in the info file.

[Why Release a "Free" version]

Great question, two answers.

1. We philosophically agree with the concepts of Creative Commons. In our opinion, the modern state of copyright is counter productive to creativity and free culture. It puts unnatural restraints on “fair use”, hinders the creative process and has fundamentally destroyed an entire industry before it was even born. Just think of the amazing products, enhancements, embellishments and re-mixes to creative works that could be built with today's technology and talents. But because modern copyrights are so restrictive, nobody dares do anything that *might* infringe on somebody's oh so holy copyright. Thus, we have chosen to not go down that road with our documentary. Enjoy it, share it, re-mix it all you like, just be sure to follow the license below. But remember, producing this documentary was not cheap, so please support the creators of the documentary and it's soundtrack by purchasing the full DVD and soundtrack at:

http://www.DoneTheImpossible.com

(or just send us some money via PayPal: jeremy@neish.com, we won't mind…)

2. This release is a preemptive strike. Somebody would have released our documentary via P2P (bittorrent, etc) anyway. By releasing it ourselves, we at least have control over the quality and exact content. Basically the documentary becomes a marketing tool for the full DVD with all of it's extensive special feature described above.

If you purchased our DVD and are feeling a bit slighted by this “free” release, we understand. But remember, somebody else would have released it anyway, so why not us? And remember your DVD contains much more than this P2P release of the documentary.

The P2P release of Done the Impossible was originally released on LegalTorrents.com, please respect copyrights, even if you don't fully agree with the current implementation.

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Language support in RSS readers slowly getting better?

Real right to left support in greatnews

real right to left support in greatnews rss reader. At long last the rss readers are starting to do right to left languages correctly now.

How can I tell? The position of the unread items. Yes its kind of weird, you would think things would be directly mirrored. But nope, see the issue is that the farsi text is unicode encoded right to left, while the numbers and brackets are left to right. When you put the two together like that on the same line then read it left to right. Things get a little messy.

Oh the feed in question… www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/persian/atom.xml. Which I modified from the standard Moveable type template.

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