Roll on BarCampLondon6 on March 28th

Its really good to see a bunch of BarCamp Participations taking the future realms of BarCamp. Simon Wilison must have had a hand in the Guardian hosting the event at there new swanky offices near Kings Cross. Other people involve include Emma Persky, Caz Mockett, Tom Morris, Dirk Ginader, Leeky and others.

The London BarCamp is over the weekend of 28th and 29th March which is yes a overnight BarCamp (good to see because the temptation is to go with the easier route of split 2 days). BBC Backstage is one of the sponsors along with some company called Yahoo. The tickets are due to arrive mid month and be given out in waves to ensure they are given to many new people. From my understanding were talking about somewhere between 100-150 tickets, so its going to be a very hot ticket. There is a mailing list for people who want to know when the next lot of tickets will be, so sign up now if you don't want to miss out.

I love the new logo by the way… really well thought out…

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Lost is back…

Desmond

I'm loving Lost again (not that I really fell out of love with it unlike others), thank you Damon Lindelof and JJ Abrams for constructing a complex puzzle which you actually have to watch from the start to the end (although Lostpedia is useful) and requires brain power to follow. Thanks for not wimping out with some lame story to cover the complexity of Time Travel and the nature of the known universe. Thank you very much and I look forward to the next 31 episodes.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Good Advice for Switchers

Ubuntu install

Via Technometria, I would suggest that if you swap Mac for Ubuntu, you've got some very solid advice.

Todd Ogasawara has some good advice for Mac Switchers that might keep you from lamenting your move. I switched in 2002 but had never really been a Windows user (Sun mostly) and I knew Unix cold, so switching wasn't such a big deal for me. But if you've been a long time Windows user and think a Mac might be fun, read Todd's advice first. I love number two:

2. If you do go cold turkey, don't drag your wife, girlfriend, significant other, parents, child, best friend along for the ride until you begin get comfortable with Mac OS X yourself.

From A Brief Guide for Mac Switchers/Try-ers
Referenced Wed Jan 07 2009 07:32:21 GMT-0700 (MST)

Wait until they ask. That's the best way. And they will ask if they see you having fun on your new Mac.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Werewolf night: Werewolves 3 : Villagers 1

Not a great turn out for the first Manchester chapter of Werewolf, lots of people cancelled and the Gaza protest almost made the whole night a fruitless experience. However by 7:30pm (hour later that planned) we had enough people to play and we were off. Here's some pictures from the last game which also happen to be the only game the villagers won out of the four played. And only think that happened because we introduced the healer to give the werewolves more to worry about. I'm planning the next one for about 3 weeks time now, if your interested look out for announcements on twitter and upcoming. I also expect we may try setting up a game using multiple cameras, as all the video footage I've found for werewolf has been shaky hand stuff. I'm sure with a fish eye lens in the middle of the circle we could recording some amazing footage.

Werewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in Manchester

Werewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in Manchester

Werewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in Manchester

Werewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in Manchester

Werewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in ManchesterWerewolf in Manchester

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Protestors in BBC Manchester lobby

I twittered this about 6hours ago – bbc manchester attack from gaza protesters. very loud and won't leave. So here's some of what was going on during that tweet and the retweets. Some video but nothing seems to play the audio because the whole thing was captured on my work mobile phone. Then there's a few photos I snapped with the same phone. I did record a much high rez video but haven't uploaded it yet because I was in a rush trying to get everything sorted for Werewolf.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Colbert is really upset people remixed

Of course he's not, not only has his interview with Lessig been remixed 100's of times but also its been heard by 10000's of people. There all over the place and yet it still grows…


Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

RSS-powered desktop solutions

RSS-powered Windows 7 desktop slideshows

Part of the new theme file specifications in Windows 7 is the ability to specify a RSS feed as the source of slideshow images. To put this to the test, I created three themes that source images from the RSS feeds of various Flickr users’ who make available the original high-resolution photos to the public. If you have a copy of Windows 7 handy, feel free to download these and play along.

I've been informed this isn't unique to Windows 7 but I got to say its pretty cool. I'd like to see a lot more RSS powered things on the desktop. For example I still don't understand why there's very few RSS screensavers specially on Linux. Long Zheng does mention this but quotes a quite boring example of the background changing depending on the weather outside. I'd like to more of the social networking rss/attention pushed into the desktop. On Linux when the screen is locked, people can leave a message but imagine being able to leave a message for those around your computer using your own lifestream feed. Tie it your Brightkite or Fire eagle and you could give a estimate of how long your'll be till your back. Combining your personal informatics (credit to Tom Coates and Matt Jones, but I still don't like the phrase much) and maybe your computer could suggest which project you should work on based on how much work you've done previously from a data sensor service like Rescuetime. It could even suggest you take a break.

Although OSX and Windows seem to have gotten a head on this march so far, I expect the FOSS operating systems to really steal the day because of the diversity of developers and different versions.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Hearing the Bristolian accent in Skins

Pandora

Yes I know Skins is made for 30 somethings who want to believe a teenagers life in 2009 is just like this. But you know what I kind of like it. Part of my enjoyment is it being set in Bristol and boy oh boy those 'cut your throat down after a bottle of cider at chasers' accents. Yes there really rough and some very ropey but they do remind me of home, specially now living in Manchester.

What I love about the Bristolian dialect is the interesting usage of words such as.

  • A'write me Lover.
  • Right you are my love.
  • Gurt lush
  • Smittin

There's a shop in Bristol where you can buy T-shirts with the interesting phrases on it. Actually looking at Wikipedia.

A dialect of English is spoken by some Bristol inhabitants, known colloquially as Bristolian, or even more colloquially as “Bristle” or “Brizzle”. Bristol is the only large English city with a rhotic accent, in which the r in words like car is pronounced. The unusual feature of this dialect, unique to Bristol, is the Bristol L (or terminal L), in which an L sound is appended to words that end in an 'a' or 'o'.Thus “area” becomes “areal”, etc. This is believed to be how the city's name evolved from Brycgstow to have a final 'L' sound: Bristol. Further Bristolian linguistic features are the addition of a superfluous “to” in questions relating to direction or orientation (a feature also common to the coastal towns of South Wales), or using “to” instead of “at”; and using male pronouns “he”, “him” instead of “it”. For example, “Where's that?” would be phrased as “Where's he to?”, a structure exported to Newfoundland English.

Stanley Ellis, a dialect researcher, found that many of the dialect words in the Filton area were linked to work in the aerospace industry. He described this as “a cranky, crazy, crab-apple tree of language and with the sharpest, juiciest flavour that I've heard for a long time”

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

3gig of mobile data, thanks Orange

HTC Touch HD

My bill came through from Orange just recently, I expected it to be very high because I had used it over Christmas and New Years pretty much non-stop while in Bristol. Most of the usage was using the phone as a modem for my laptop and of course microblogging from the phone its self. Anyway, bill came in at about 50 pounds which is quite a bit but not the amount I was expecting. What I found interesting was the Summary's for December.

Talk Summary: 80:08 (I get 100mins free)
Text Summary: 148 (I get 500 per month for free)
Data Summary: 2741.6411 (yes almost 3gig of mobile data)

Next month my 18 month contract comes to a end, and although I'd love to have the Android phone, I don't want to switch network to do so. Tmobile do have a simular data plan as Orange (I currently pay 6 pounds a month for unlimited evening and weekend data) but I think I have my head set on the rather big but futuristic HTC Touch HD. The only thing it doesn't support is a flash for the 5mpx camera and a large internal storage drive. But seriously thats being very picky.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Xbox 360 AV woes

xbox 360 back

I bought a Xbox 360 on Friday night, it was my treat for being good and saving up over Christmas and New Years. Anyway, when I was in the shop in Leeds, they had one 2nd hand for 129 pounds with a 20gig hard drive and wireless controller. Now to be fair that was a hell of a lot cheaper that CEX's 130 pounds for the same without a harddrive of any kind. The only thing about the option was the lack of a HDMI port, it was strictly Component only. So I had to move up to the next option which was a brand new Xbox 360 with 60gig harddrive, wireless controller and HDMI. Looking back for the extra 30 pounds it was more a better deal that the 129 pound one. I didn't get any games because I knew the games I really wanted to play were online, namely RezHD and Geomentry Wars.

So why the need for HDMI, well on my current setup I have a Samsung LCD with lots of HDMI ports free and only one component input which is used by the old Xbox (which I still use for a backup when the Linux PC box does odd things – if you like XBMC avoid upgrading up to ubuntu 8.10). So using the HDMI is good but the dolby digital audio which is passed over the HDMI cable isn't then passed through the TV's optical output. So now I got digital stereo sound instead of the full dolby digital surround. The AV cable that comes with the Xbox 360 does have a optical out but of course, Microsoft decided to put the HDMI cable slot directly under the AV slot which means you can plug both in at the same time! No I just learned I will need to buy another AV cable for the ability to listen to dolby digital surround and watch using the HDMI cable.

I hope this might be the last thing I'll need to buy for the Xbox 360 for a while, as I'm saving for a replacement home cinema amp. A new amp would also solve all my component and HDMI audio problems. Currently my Sherwood Newcastle R725 receiver only supports analogue composite for all video switching. Yep not even S-video input is supported because its pretty much 12 plus years old. The only reason I still use it is because it a great power amp (100watts per channel) when plugged into the Technics SH-AC500D DD/DTS Decoder. Unfortually even the pre-amp/decoder's digital inputs were all used up before the Xbox 360 was bought. Time to buy a new cinema amp me thinks.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Werewolf night: The Manchester chapter starts up

Playing Werewolf

So I'm officially starting up the Manchester Chapter of the Werewolf gamers fans. Not much more to say except all the details are on Upcoming.org.

If you don't know what Werewolf the game is… Think of it as a Social Game of Deception, Paranoia, and Mob Rule.

Its a social mind game for 8-25 players, in which a vengeful group of villagers must figure out who among them is secretly a werewolf (before it’s too late…) Each “night” the werewolves eat a villager, and each “day” the surviving villagers attempt to rid the town of werewolves by lynching one of their own.

Werewolf is a game that takes place in a small village which is haunted by werewolves. Each player is secretly assigned a role – Werewolf, Villager, or Seer (a special Villager). There is also a Moderator player who controls the flow of the game. The game alternates between night and day phases. At night, the Werewolves secretly choose a Villager to kill. Also, the Seer (if still alive) asks whether another player is a Werewolf or not. During the day, the Villager who was killed is revealed and is out of the game. The remaining Villagers then vote on the player they suspect is a Werewolf. That player reveals his/her role and is out of the game. Werewolves win when there are an equal number of Villagers and Werewolves. Villagers win when they have killed all Werewolves.

If you want to know more check out these rules here.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Lessig vs Colbert the remixes

Thanks to Glyn for notifying me about Lawerence Lessig on the Colbert Report. As usual Steven Colbert takes the comical opposite view to pick some fun at his guest. What's so interesting about this time is, Colbert tells the audience not to remix (also the name of Lessig's new book) any of his works including the show there on now.

“Never. ever. ever. take anything of mine and remix it! For instance, I will be very angry if anyone takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat, and it starts showing up in clubs across America.”

Obviously the opposite has happened (and Steven knew this was going to happen of course) and now there's all types of audio and video remixes of that segment. I wouldn't be surprised if it started showing up all over the west world Steven. (which would be great advertising for not only lessig's new book but also the colbert report of course)

Remix COLBERT/lessig project, has really blown up and now there's a contest here and video remixes appear on youtube. I was even tempted to do my own remix, but its late now and I got a lot on tomorrow. So maybe over the next few days I'll drop a remix track.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]