Tag Archives: meme

Memetic Ripples

Wispers

I recently did a 1min talk (well it turned into 90secs, but I wasn’t counting) on Memetics and a quick snap shot of what it is in theory. I didn’t do the best of jobs in the short while I had but its something I’m really interested in…

In the short… from wikipedia

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins‘ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer.

The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a “unit of culture” (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is “hosted” in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen—when adopting the intentional stance—as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme’s success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.

Its a general theory and honestly a really interesting one to think about when thinking about influence, the attention economy, globalisation and our global network. Also really fun to think and understand the  perfect conditions. Who makes for a good host, who holds back the meme spread and why? Is there a link between openess and sharing of memes/ideas/thoughts?

I have Dave, Miles and a few others for putting a name to the thing I was always fascinated with. Sarah studied disease outbreaks for the health protection agency (HPA) and remember the errly similar process of counting numbers as they grow massive very quickly. Network effects slightly excites and marvel me… Maybe a job in advertising awaits?

Anyway, I like systems and things which foster sharing. This is why I like Schemier and as I only recently discovered Google ripples. This I must have missed somewhere on my travels.

Fascinating how certain ideas spread eh?

Maybe you too, might be interested in Memetic theory?

A Perceptive on storytelling

As most of you know BBC R&D have a demo of Perceptive Media which we’ve shown a few places including the EBU in Copenhagen. Its been a hidden gem for a long while and its been amazing to see what people have had to say about the concept of perceptive media. Specially liked the two Brits sitting on the sofa talking about it.

We’re really hoping as many people will enjoy it and give their honest feedback to us (good and bad). But its not just the individual  feedback we would like to research, its the interconnected stories of how people tell others about it and how they explain it to each other…

How memes spread has always been high on my list of loves and to be honest should be high on the BBC’s research lists (if its not already?) In actual fact there is something about how memes spread and attribution which I think is very interesting and could be a new business model into the future.

Anyway… expect much more about Perceptive Media on the BBC R&D blog this month. In actual fact if you want to be first hear it and respond directly to people behind it like myself, the script writer, actress, coders, etc… Then you should make your way to the next Social Media Manchester.

I was reading about the domino effect on my Kindle via Instapaper the other day on the London Tube prompted after reading this tearjerker story. This bit really got into stuck in my throat, further proving that I’m just a sucker and massive romantic…

At the end was this bit…

Here’s the power of a story: someone hands me one, like a gift (I imagine it wrapped in shiny paper with the bow, the handmade letterpress card, the whole nine yards), and in that gift, I find parts of myself that have been missing, parts of our world that I never imagined, and aspects of this life that I’m challenged to further examine. Then—and this is the important part, the money shot, if you will—I take that gift and share it. In my own writing, sure, but the kind of sharing I’m talking about here is the domino effect: how I hear/watch/read a story, and then tell everybody and their mother about it, and then they tell everybody and their mother, and somewhere in that long line of people is someone who, at this exact point in their life, needed its message more than we’ll ever know.

The power of a story indeed…

You could look at this as a example of why Perceptive media isn’t going to work but actually I disagree. Someone (out there) has written a story which perfectly suits the medium but they don’t know it yet.

Some interesting trends…

Internet Fundamentals

The ever lasting effect of the Internet on Television, or as I call it the TV post Internet.

See Eric Schmidt’s Edinburgh Festival Keynote which can be read in full on PaidContent.

Kids need licence to tinker

The concept and idea of a BBC Micro for the 21st Century, which some are saying could be the Raspberry Pi.

Been thinking about this stuff deeply recently for work and what I’ll be doing in the near future… You might be interested in some of the Top10’s I’ve been creating on top10.co

Future Everything: If you don’t design the future someone else will…

The Future Everything conference was great this year… The line up was a mixed bag of speakers, which kept me guessing…

As mentioned in the post before, I took notes on my kindle. Here are the ones I highly recommend

Our global urban future

No picture but a great talk about.

The ‘internet of things’, refers to the technical and cultural shift as society moves to a 24/7 form of computing in which every device is ‘always on’, and every device is connected in some way to the internet. However, many versions of this notion rely upon one significant premise: that the thing remains in existence.

Future Everything

Our global urban future

Cities are often said to be humanity’s greatest creation.  It is in cities that most wealth is created and destroyed and it is from cities that most human creations and social innovations flow.

This presentation was a excellent look at our future in a world of cities. Its weird that even with all the disadvantages of living close together, nature tends to prefer cooperative emergent properties. Two examples which were given was the Ant hill and the Beehive. Interestingly productivity decreases with colony size but somehow it works, in actual fact as a city doubles its economic productivity per capita increases by 15%. Jane Jacobs was bounded about quite a bit, with the notion that cities simply amplify interaction including the 16% increase in violent crime.

But Revolutions always happen in cities because groups of people expect better. Finally there was lots to think about in regards to the general speed of cities. Its almost like the gravitational effect of larger objects on smaller objects. There’s more to do and see, so it feels like things are much quicker.

Really got me thinking how I can’t really imagine living anywhere else.

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Meg Pickard and Dan Catt explore some of the ways that attention and social patterns influence the way we discover, consume and curate content online.

Its so strange, I’ve never formally met Meg Pickard but have occupied the same space virtually and physically many times. Her and Dan ran through a bunch of thoughts which although not new to me, kind of crystallised a lot of them.

Generally…

  • Editors bring the authority
  • Friends bring the relevance
  • Robots bring the interestingness
  • Strangers bring the serendipity

However there was lots of discussion about gaming these patterns. All very interesting, specially with the context that Dan Catt use to work on Flickr.

New Games For New Cities

New Games For New Cities

Against the background hum of continuous technological change, contemporary urban life has undergone lasting and undeniable changes. Our views on public space, civic engagement and what it means to live well in a city have changed accordingly. Various types of organizations seek to influence urban life for the good of society, for their own interest or a combination of both. At the same time, games and play have started to break out of the traditional frame of the video screen. On the one hand, this has given us all kinds of interesting experiments in pervasive, urban and alternate reality gaming. On the other hand, more recently, it has given rise to a program of playful persuasive technology now commonly know as gamification.

Kars started his presentation with the simple question. Should kids grow up with Lego or Starwars figures? The point was about constructive vs surface play. The point was about open ended play, and was played out through out his talk. He felt unplanned playtime for us all was becoming less and less, it was time to return to the Adventure playground.

And I got to agree… Actually my question was about the bunch of skateboarders who use the steps near my flat as a place to challenge each other. Some people really hate them being there although they never actually interfere with people walking by. ISIS also stuck up signs saying no skateboarding which of course hasn’t stopped them. There simply taking advantage of the constructs of our cities, just like the rise of free running. Unscripted play makes our cities fun and a joy to be in, maybe our cities and lives are too structured right now? Serendipity is fun.

Kars called Gamification motivated play and he’s not actually wrong. Its certainly a canny observation which I hadn’t actually thought about before. There’s certainly a rush to inject gamification into almost anything recently. The warning was against shallow play like coke points. Ending with the point I’ve heard many times…

You do not play a gamificated system it plays you…

Where The Robots Work

Where the robots work

For centuries we’ve built our cities around ourselves, and our needs. As our prosthetics have advanced, they’ve shifted according to the needs of automobiles and electricity, but we have remained at the centre. Now, the city is reconfiguring itself around the network in subtle and intriguing ways.

James did a great job explaining how we’ve build places where the robots work. He started off with a picture of a robot jockey and how it was used to replace small children riding on camel’s backs. And somewhere got on how Amazon’s warehouses are optimised for robots over people and how the roumba and neato cleaning robots are like inviting a alien into your living room.

BillT

Leave no-one behind

Bill will provide a unique coda to the 2011 edition of FutureEverything, reflecting on the themes explored throughout the conference as well as his own perspectives on areas of the future that hold promise. 

We are increasingly establishing a culture where information has become the modern era’s defining quality. As humanity’s transactions are increasingly articulated and mediated in digital forms, what becomes of those that lack the access or literacy to participate in those transactions? Indeed, is such a civilisation a better civilisation?

Bill Thompson’s "keynote like" presentation was fantastic. He talked about the revolution of tools. Tools that fundamentally change us, change the way we perceive our reality. There was a revolution through literacy century’s ago and it fundamentally changed the way our brains work.

Its hard to do it much justice in written form but I was literally punching the sky inside my mind while he spoke out to the slightly skeptical crowd. I kind of wished it was recorded…

He ended the presentation with a slide saying "if you don’t design the future someone else will…"

The point was Digital Culture is now the dominate culture now. "We won! Digital Culture won…" Thinking digitally is fundamental and analogue thinking is on its way out, like it or not.

A strangely inspiring and excellent talk…

Continue reading

Know your meme public message broadcast

I love know your meme and have been catching up with the episodes I’ve missed for a while but I love this almost like a public service message episode which is attached to downfall.

In response to Constantin’s attempted takedown of these satirical videos, the Institute for Internet Studies offers this helpful public service announcement explaining how to dispute a wrongful copyright claim on the grounds of Fair Use.

Geeks talk sexy…. *new date* (now on the 19th November)

Excellent photo by hoyvinmayvin – cc: by-nc-sa

Sex and geeks don’t fit together or compute, most would say. However the truth may be the total opposite.

This quarter we take a brave step into the explicit adult world of sex, lies and alternative lifestyles by following the geek world underground.

Join us on the wild ride in to the unknown, in a series of open talks and discussions. Next stop sexy town.

The event is free to attend, but you MUST BE OVER 18.

We have a new date for geeks talk sexy, so don’t miss out, sign up now!!!

My lifestreaming dating idea realised for anyone to take on

People ask me why would I choose to open my ideas to the world, for anyone to take and make money on. For example mydreamscape.org.

But the way I see it is, I’m very unlikely to dedicate 10 years of my life to one idea, grow it and nurture it through all the stages of making it successful. I actually put this to Richard St John a while ago at TedXSheffield, because I was really interested in what he thought of those like myself who don’t necessarily want to be successful (as such). He cleverly turned the question around and said actually what i’m actually after is success in the idea or the meme. Ideally I would have a team of people and certain people would make there job to take an idea forward for the sake of the team.

But back to the point…

I’ve been sitting on the same principle idea for a long time to do with online dating. It was actually the wider part of what I presentation at Ignite Leeds.

I’ve stated before that some of the largest benefits we will see from creating and maintaining our Lifestreams will be the services created on the backbone of that data. We are starting to see the first big service phenomenon from that coming in the way of content readers that are built specifically for us based on the data shared by our social graph.

Early on when I first started writing about Lifestreaming I gave thought to services that could be built off of the data and one of the first that came to mind was a dating site. In fact I had multiple interviews at a top dating site a few years ago that was very interested in my knowledge and thoughts around Lifestreaming data. I didn’t get the job, but I still felt that Lifestreaming data would at some point help power the matchmaking process. Well apparently a new dating service called Wings feels the same way.

Wings has taken a unique and interesting approach when it comes to dating. They figured that instead of creating a site from scratch that people need to join, they’d just tap into the 500+ Million Facebook users and build a dating app within their eco-system. The innovation doesn’t stop there as when you join there is no super long, multi-page questionnaire. After joining the service will analyze your Facebook data and let you also connect your Netflix, Pandora, Last.fm, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts to help paint a picture of who you are. I feel this is a much better way to build a profile for someone. Instead of a static survey filled out and frozen in time, your profile is dynamic based on the data collected on a daily basis.

This is the crux of my idea.

One of the most frustrating things about online dating is the lack of portability but also having to fill in those bloody profile statements or questions. So if you could leverage your lifestream instead to teach the system about who you really are. Then you might actually get better results. This would/could also cut down on Spam and more interestingly the lies people tell in online dating.

I thought about using the same principle as in APML to mark up whats important in peoples lives. Now what I realize is this can be better done with a “like” button or “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” So if you don’t want your drunken pictures from last night on your dating profile, you can vote it down or bury it all together.

When you interfere with the stream, the engine would mark the item up in a way to say it was interfered with. So it discourages you from simply removing all the bad crap from your stream and painting a perfect picture of yourself. The more you do it, the more it indicates the changes.

So why did I not post this on my blog earlier?

Well I thought the notion of a lifestream was still a very alpha geek thing (still do) and most people only have a couple of services they sign up to (and therefore can make use of). Remember if you don’t use the services then theres no way of the engine being able to work out what you like.

I’m also unsure if revealing your impact across the web will certainly generate better matches. Someone (wish I could remember who) said the thing about the profile is its your best foot forward (the best bits of you). Letting people know about you straight away is a massive risk that lots of people wouldn’t want to take.

However, I’ve noticed more and more, people linking to different parts of there impact across the web. For example in my okcupid profile I have a link to my blog, my last fm profile, my flickr and my twitter stream. And i’m not the only one, quite a few people have links to there last fm or/and flickr. Some even go as far as to link to there facebook (rather them that me).

OkCupid does a interesting thing when your replying to someone, it pulls out things you both like, so for example…

I think you both like cooking, films, poker, fight club, and donnie darko.

You can pretty much look at my blog, my delicious, my last.fm, etc to determine the similar things. So ultimately its about gathering the data with the permission of the user to build up a profile of that person, which they can use to tell others about themselves. Its quite a long shot but I thought it was too early. It would only work with certain public people like for example Tara Hunt (I actually did try and send her a email explain the idea a while ago)

Its all about dataportability

Up till I saw Wings and the blog post about it, the closest thing I’d seen to my idea was a weird site called Gelato which went half way but not the whole way. Gelato allowed you to put in parts of your lifestream but it doesn’t build a profile around it. Instead it supports openid, facebookconnect and a few other authentication methods.

I’m still looking forward to joining a site where the email system isn’t some propriety crap and the instant messaging system is even worst. I get the whole anonymity thing, but this can be solved by passing messages back and forth to a 3rd party (aka the company who is running the site). Using this method almost anything could be used including Twitter, Xmpp, etc. Wings is a facebook app which I guess is a interesting solution, although being a facebook app winds me up no end and the fact its only for an American audience also winds me up no end.

Wings on facebook

So is the idea dead? Not exactly, Wings is still a poor dating experience and doesn’t rely enough on the data which it has. You have to confirm a lot of things and to be frank, it really needs to be as enjoyable as Okcupid for me to really be interested. (In actual fact while were letting the cat out of the bag), I was going to build a dating site off the back of Storytlr before they stopped it and went open source. Everyone would be able to put in there streams and you would be able to identify people who were matches via a mechanism like dr foxxy.

What I’m saying is the concept is still sound (I think) but the actual implementation is terrible and I don’t think putting it inside of facebook actually works or does it any favors. So I look forward to seeing more sites based on our lifestreams…

Geeks talk sexy….

Geeks talk sexy

Excellent photo by hoyvinmayvin – cc: by-nc-sa

Sex and geeks don’t fit together or compute, most would say. However the truth may be the total opposite.

This quarter we take a brave step into the explicit adult world of sex, lies and alternative lifestyles by following the geek world underground.

Join us on the wild ride in to the unknown, in a series of open talks and discussions. Next stop sexy town.

The event is free to attend, but you MUST BE OVER 18.

Not many people know but every once in a while I do a talk at BarCamps titled “Sex.” I usually do it to be slightly controversial and to bring a certain edge to the talks which can be far too technical for some.

I’ve had mixed success, I think the funniest session was at BarCampLiverpool while the most serious was at BarCampLondon7. (Not sure what that says about the cities)

However while talking one night in the Northern Quarter with Samantha and Joshi about BarCampManchester3 and my plans to do another one. I mentioned the sex talks I’ve done previously and that meme must have stuck in Samantha’s head (I need to get better at doing that). She had a word with Hwa Young Jung over at Madlab (Manchester’s digital laboratory) and bish bosh boof we have a new series of talks and discussions planned for the next few months.

Of course we’re also after knowledgeable and thought provoking guests for the future, so if that interest you, give us a message on twitter.

mydreamscape presentated at social media cafe manchester

Chi-chi Ekweozor (@realfreshtv) has written up my scramble thoughts and presentation about mydreamscape.org up on her blog.

I am amazed at how much detail she got down in the session, its a perfect account of what was said and by who. Her hand must have been going into over drive!

A couple of people ask great questions about privacy and how easy the network will be to spam.

The points raised range from deciding to keep users anonymous to encourage people to share their dreams in detail to wondering how to stop the spammer that ‘keeps dreaming about ‘Coca-cola’ or Justin Bieber(!)

Adrian Slatcher (@adrianslatcher on Twitter) from Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA), added some fine observations about dreams being non-linear.

Some people make associations in dreams based on colour, so called ‘colour dreams’. There are also ‘anxiety’ dreams. There is a very strong metaphysical element to dreams.

Adrian went on to add that this ‘crowd-sourced’ emotional categorisation of dreams: ‘anxiety = red’, ‘peace = green’ etc lends itself to making such a social network a very useful psychoanalysis tool.

She also detailed a great conversation we had afterwards with Josh (@technicalfault) about a killer mobile app for mydreamscape

In a conversation with Ian and Social Media Cafe co-organiser Josh (@technicalfault) after his talk, we discussed what I think is the killer application for such a project: a mobile phone app that combines access with the social network with a dream diary linked to the phone’s alarm clock.

As soon as you wake up, you are prompted to record your dream into a ‘What did you dream today?’ interface rather like Twitter’s early ‘What are you doing?’ question.

Different media types could be introduced later on so people would eventually make voice or video recordings of their dreams. That would rock.

I love the idea of asking the question, “what did you dream today?” or even “what did you dream last night?” Its a very catchy punchline and sums up the project nicely. The Flickr of dreams say one thing but “what did you dream today?” says something very different.

The point keeps coming up, why not make a facebook application? And finally I had a reply

People have suggested Ian should implement the idea as a Facebook app. He’s not particularly keen on this, preferring the Flickr model as “Flickr never exposes private stuff.”

Facebook’s EULA makes mydreamscape unworkable or at least cuts right into the users privicy which would make trusting the system almost impossible. Flickr have a good model as they never expose users private data and never will. Hence “the flickr of dreams” tag line.

I’ve presented at barcampmanchester3 and now at Social Media cafe manchester and each time I’ve had a positive response, but raised many more questions. Some of those question have been useful but none have been no this is a terriable idea. In actually fact I’ve picked up a few people who really want to get involved along the way. Each person has offered some advice and some more passion into the general idea. I think my next step is to do a map for the idea (a masssive A0 sheet of endless paper with information about the idea and details which I currently have in tomboynotes). I can then publish the map and make it even easier for people to develop the idea themsleves. Its also handy to have everything on one sheet, so I can put everything in context. This presentation isn’t really explaining the idea very well and does a bit of deservice to the underlying idea. I really hope to change for something better soon. But for now it explains the concept enough…

.

Welcome to mydreamscape.org

a inception poster

I love Inception, there’s no doubt about that….

But what really got me going was the idea of dreams.

So here’s the background

Everyone has dreams but up till now dreams have been very personal. People have them and talk about them all the time to there close friends but up till now its not been something you share socially. Well I say that but actually people do share aspects of there dreams. For example

janeygw‎: @MetsThrifty Are you serious? omg I had such horrid dreams last night too

Clodyyyy‎: You wish you can record your dreams and then watch them later. #DamnItsTrue

collinbeballin‎: I have had so many bad dreams tonight that they have left me praying. And thats some real shit.

PatRobeck1ofHis‎: Goodnight, my friends. Dream good dreams!

ohhdarylann‎: if love is a way out, then please let me in. don’t start, darling, don’t you turn my nightmares into dreams once again

stephalicious‎: Just had a dream @natbat had taken up smoking and I threatened to tell @simonw if she didn’t stop 0_o

Natbat‎: Woke at 5am with panicked dreams. can’t sleep. wonder if I should just get up and have breakfast now. hungry

…. lots more on twitter people talking about there dreams on blogs.

So we share aspects of them with friends, family and even total strangers.

The concept

mydreamscape.org to become the flickr of dreams.

Make dreams social with controls so only certain people can see the parts you don’t want to disclose. Use social tagging to add relevance and additional metadata to the dreams.

The concept in more words

Why not have a place where you can share your aspects of your dreams with other people and of course perform analysis on your dreams?

When I say aspects of your dreams, I mean just that. You should be able to add levels of privacy around aspects of your dream. Bit like how flickr.com only shows you certain photos if your a friend or family. I expect this would be quite difficult to do but it should give you the option of defining certain aspects which are public, private and of course who can see that. Hey would you want your girlfriend to find out you have dreams about a ex-girlfriend every night?

So I expect the gui for that would generate some special but simple xml (I’m thinking about using a subset of XML encryption to hide the information in plain sight) . I imagine it would look something like the modern editors such as Etherpad (colored text to indicate who can see what) but there would be levels of access to tied to the information.

Etherpad

dreams tend to have some sort of structure but its not very defined but there’s no doubt that you can say this is how it started (even if it’s just I’m in a room with no windows) and a middle (a woman talks to me in french which I seem to be able to understand) and a end (she gets up and leaves through a wall, leaving me in the room alone, then I wake up). It may not be clear how you got there or even how it ultimately ends but you could just say I don’t remember to that section.

Obviously there will be the ability to run your dreams through a dictionary of sorts (this may cost) so you can work out what your dream is about. But on top of that there will be tags/keywords will link you to other people’s dreams. So if your dream is about falling off a building, you can see who else has similar dream or even the same dream? Maybe you might find people who are having the same dream but with a unique twist. Heck, you might even find people who are in your dream who happen to be having the same dream! Of course Locations can also be tagged using geo locations, so you can see who else has been having a dream around a certain location. I’d also like to include Times, so you can say if it was night or day. Also people, so you can say I had a dream and he or she was in it. There may be others but that will do for now.

This is really interesting information but when socially put together across many people you got something extra special. Not only can you see trends across dreams but you can also spot how memes start to spread and where they end up.

The other part of this is the ability to write comments or add annotations to your dreams. So certain people (definable list) can add tags or link to other stuff. For example a dream about identity thief might lead back to the new itv tv series “identity” which you might have forgotten about but your friends remember you watched a couple of days ago. A dream about running down endless stairs could be the result of watching inception and thinking/dreaming about the architects role. Basically you can have many people adding analysis to your dream instead of just one so called expert. In actual fact your friends may know you better and where aspects of your dreams come from.

I expect we’ll make the data freely available in the same way Okcupid.com makes stats about its users available.

Hows it going to make money?

  • Pro users – Selling access to the dream dictionary (PRO users) which won’t be a static thing, it will change based on what people say about there dreams. There may also be a limit on how many dreams we hold unless your a pro user which means its endless. Maybe also only pro users can tag other people dreams?
  • Advertising – If your not a pro user, you will get adverts next to the dream your reading. We can also add advertising to the aggregated pages like the one for falling (which I expect will be quite popular)
  • Trending – Although the data will be freely available, there will be different resolutions on the dream data. So if you pay you can get much richer data (obviously depending on the users preferences). I imagine you would be able to work out how many European citizens are dreaming about a certain delegate just before an election. Not only that but if those dreams or positive or negative.
  • Product and locational placements – Maybe a lot of people are dreaming about a certain location or a certain product. If you own that location or product you may want to own that page and make it more like yours? So for example http://www.mydreamscape.org/items/buzzlightyear/ – could be a page about buzzlight year in dreams and have images and links to the item its self. This would also be true of locations too for example http://www.mydreamscape.org/location/europe/london/thamesbarrier – would obviously link to the Thames barrier in London with information taken from Wikipedia.org and other open sources. The information architecture of exactly how this would this work needs to be sorted out.

A Totem

How am I going to build this?

Well I’m not sure. I’ve been looking at things like drupal and existing services such as Facebook to see if I can adapt there system to this purpose. But it looks like it requires some serious development as there some key elements which need work. However I expect once I post this, entry people might think wow nice idea, its got legs I might be interested in either…

  1. Getting involved, so we got a team of people interested
  2. Recommend some software or a service to set it up
  3. Steal the idea and build there own version (fine, but you must give me attribution)
  4. Steal the idea and have me help out on the build process (theres a whole lot more to this idea that what I described above, ask me if you want to know more)
  5. Build a plugin for another service which could supports this

The final word

There are some elements to this idea which may not work such as will people remember there dreams, will be willing to share them, etc but honestly I think its a killer of an idea and deserves to be built. You can just imagine what a resource it could turn out to be… and imagine this scenario…

“you were dreaming about me, but I was also dreaming about you. On the same bloody night? What are the chances of that?”

That would be amazing.

dreams are still very much a unknown or under-tapped process. We all have them even if we don’t always remember them. dream diaries, etc are good but what benefits could come to a dreamers dreams if there crowd-sourced or social? There is a lot of metadata we could add to our dreams, if we had the chance. We could start to really understand our dreams a lot better through the social network of our friends, families or strangers. Heck even if all else fails, it may get people thinking about dreams a lot more and considering what they can do with them. Be it control there dreams or as far as even sharing dreams.

mydreamscape.org and mydreamscape.com could be the start of something massive, remember where you first read about it first…

So who wants to help me make it happen?

8 Random Facts About Me (tagging meme)

Somethinkodd Diabolo

James Cridland tagged me in the blogging meme by the same name. Yes its been a while but I've been pretty busy with lots of other stuff. Unlike James I know what a meme is and I like the idea of memetics, which I first heard via Susan Blackmore. Anyway I'm sure James actually does know what a meme is and its on with the rules.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
  1. My first computer was a Commodore 16

    Not a Commodore 64 or 128, 16 as in 16k of total memory. My father bought the C16 for me when I was about 7 and I loved it. I use to play games then started to get into basic programming. I still remember the weird rounded tape cassette recorder thing and the blocky as hell graphics.
  2. I have worked in some odd places including… Equinox Discotheque in Leicester Square

    I was between jobs and I only lasted 3 weeks before quiting. I learned how to pour drinks correctly and how to make a lot of cocktails. I was only paid 3.70 a hour because you were expected to make a ton of money in tips. This only worked well if you were a attractive woman. The best tips I got in one night was 20 pounds while my female equivilents were getting upwards of 100 pounds a night!
  3. I use to have hypersomnolence and now sleep Apnea

    This is a sleep disorder where I pause snoring and breathing during the night. This makes sleeping difficult and a couple of the side-effects are loud sleeping, morning headaches (like being hangover), trouble concentrating, decreased sex drive forgetfulness, nocturia, etc, etc. Now you can see why working later in the day works better for me. I have also had surgery to try and correct it but its had little to no effect. Most people think its down to weight but actually I've had this since I was really young and thin. I even know people who are very fit who have this same problem, you can imagine its a problem for the partner who thinks your dying while you sleep.
  4. I'm a Diabolist

    Whats a diabolo? Well it actually means the devil with two sticks but really its a Chinese Yo-Yo. It looks like a egg cup with a string and sticks. Anyway, I learned how to do the Yo-Yo during the coke-cola yo-yo days and got fed up because everyone had them and everyone knew how to do most of the limited tricks. So I picked up on this thing called a wow ball. It turns out the wow ball was a cheap version of a diabolo and before long I was doing most of the same tricks with a full size diabolo. When I was younger, I use to enter competitions at holiday camps and have won a couple of times including a few holidays. I'm going to start putting up videos of me doing the diabolo on to videojug or more likely sclipo, so look out for it. Although thediabolo.com might have beaten me to it (I love that light path idea).
  5. I can skateboard and rollerblade

    Yes believe it or not. I can skateboard and I use to skateboard to work and college everyday. Roughly 5+ miles a day. Could I do any tricks? Well basic jumps and thats about it. By the way I can also rollerblade ok.
  6. I think I can ski but have never tried it on snow

    Yes its odd eh? I can actually ski but I've only ski'ed on dry slopes and grass. Grass skiing is pretty cool but those boots are damm heavy.
  7. I don't know popular music

    I don't know my led zepplin from my rolling stones. Seriously I don't know much about rock or pop music. When I was young I use to listen to dance music and hiphop. I was deep in to my dance music too, I stopped listening to radio when GWR changed there policy to no rap, less chat (thanks Miles for the correction). This meant the end of Sandy Martin's disco tracking and no more dance music on local radio. Radio 1 was interesting to me but I only listen to pete tong when I was older. I was never into the MTV actually I turned my back on it and The Box because it had no rave music. I did for a while check out that show after the Fresh Prince on BBC 2, the one with Normski (good on the BBC for taking a risk with such a show, maybe this lead the way towards 1xtra?) and I was a avid watcher of the Hitman and Her (check out the episode where pete and michaela go to Eclipse in Covertry!) and after it BPM (which I can't find anywhere). I went to clubs and raves alot, the magazines I read were eternity and knowledge, the music I listened to was rave. I just didn't have the time for other music because rave culture was so involving.
  8. I have never taken any drugs stronger that caffeine and I don't like Beer

    As you can see above, I was well into the rave and dance culture, but never ever took any class A, B or C drugs. Hell I didn't even drink beer. So although I was surrounded by drug taking I never got involved. It was strange because I educated myself about drugs at a early age and while the press was having a field day about evil ravers and dealers following the Leah Betts death I was seeing strange through the bull. Although I could see ecstasy wasn't this evil drug, I just wasn't interested in taking it because for me life was wild and weird enough, plus I just loved the music. About Beer. I bought them for friends when I was younger simply because I looked old enough to pass for 18 when I was 13 (yes I was bad). So I always got a taste of their beers. I never liked it and trust me I've tried loads of beers. I even last week tried white or wheat beer, which I thought was nasty. Once when I was at a holiday camp, I bought a tray full of drinks for a group of new friends and the security guard tapped me on the back and asked if I was buying drinks for underage teenagers? I being a little shocked that he had not guessed I was also underage answered no its all for me. So he stood there for about 10mins while I slowly drank most of the drink! That was the first time I had tasted Bitter and boy oh boy was I almost sick. Beer tastes like crap to me, I don't get why people like it? The only beer I like is Ginger Beer.

I'm nominating…. (without checking to see if they have done this already)

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APML as a lightweight Microformat?

My Ubuntu install is working again thanks to Jon Callas from PGP. So I can finally bring you this entry from the Airplane trip 2 days ago.

I've not blogged much of BarCampBrighton, but sitting on this flight to Boston with 2.5 hours of battery life left (54%) I'm now reflecting on a couple of my sessions

The first one was titled as Facebook is Dead, which I later changed to social network killer – reclaim your attention. The whole thing presentation went through reasons and technologies which mean the dead end, locked in social networks no needed to exist. However Jeremy Keith and Tantek had covered most of my points about Microformats and OpenID in a previous session so I skipped most of that stuff and got on to the juicy part about lifestreams and attention profiles. In a quick look, I showed off APML and suggested ways you could do FOAF+APML together to build up everything you needed for open social networking (as aposed to locked in like Linkedin and Facebook style). Oh also while on the differences I made it clear that social media sites like Flickr, Delicious, Bliptv, etc were not included in the locked in category and then started to rip the living piss out of Quechup.com (no link for this nasty social network). I think I put the slide up and asked How dumb do you have to be?. Anyway I'm going off topic here.

So many people are throwing APML around but as Jeremy Keith would say, it looks like a technology looking for a solution. So I came up with some perfect examples of APML including my killer which I thought would also attract the bigger audience who don't care about the technology of it.

First example : Tape it off the internet.com. If you join tape it off the internet.com or tioti it will ask you again and again and again… what shows you like and do you also like these shows? Now this is fine but its tiresome although you can type in your shows and hope it finds them. But what you can't do very well is give shows a certain weighting. So for example I love lost and heroes but have also started watching the new prision break 3rd season although yes its jumped the shark years ago. Now I would like to indicate that although I watch it, I'm not really that much into it. Then I also want to be able to show my friends and maybe get less matches based on this preference. Whats evern better is if I can say I really dislike something. Right now you can give it one star or not add it but what incase I want to say, I watched that show and I bloody hate it? In APML you can set a negative value to things as you'll see later. In actual fact Tioti is going to support APML in the future so that battle is done already.

Second example : Dating sites. This I thought was my killer one but maybe not? So if you join a dating site you build this profile of you and sometimes that involves answering questions and filling in a profile of who yougr looking for as such. This is usually quite detailed stuff and time sucking stuff. So imagine what happens when your friend invites you to a new dating site where he or she have previously had a positive experience. Yep fill in the forms again and indicate your preferences again. Now with APML its robust enough to maybe describe a lot of what your saying in your description and profile. You should be able to log in with your Open ID which could link to your FOAF and APML too. And because you have the concept of personas in Open ID, you could select different FOAF and APML files for those who like to have different profile. Tantek who was in the room when this was announced pretty much slammed APML but liked my example and so suggested I check out some of things people have been doing with tagging their preferences. So I did and although quite robust I had that problem of setting amounts.

So for example if I tagged this quote below you will see I've choosen to tag certain words. But there's no indication of first, if there just tags (yes some class could be added to make it clear that these tags apply to me but in what way?) and secondly what in case I tag flying and writing? How would you know I much prefer the later?

Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends.

In APML you can add values and that makes a huge difference. But maybe there is a way to have a lighter version of APML which is a microformat, so people can play with it right now.

third example : Targeted advertising So as you read before, Facebook are using your data to advertise at you. Here's the full thing.

Next year, Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends — even if the user hasn't explicitly expressed interest in a given topic. Facebook could then target ads accordingly.


While Facebook plans to protect its users' privacy and possibly give them an option to keep certain information completely private, some Facebook users might rebel against the use of their personal information for the company's gain.


And the perceptions that targeted ads create can be as much of a problem as the reality. “Most people don't realize how targeting works; it becomes so good that even though it's anonymous, you feel like they know you,” says Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Publicis Groupe-owned consulting firm Denuo Group. However, he says Facebook needs to be careful in implementing any targeted ad system, lest loyal users “find it creepy.”

Chris Saad, is right to ask the question if users will put up with it. Also just making things private isn't the answer. What in case I had kids but didn't want to see adverts for nappies and babyware? I could hide that stuff but actually don't mind telling the world that I had kids, I just don't want the adverts. In APML i could specify my distaste and give it a nasty negative value which would indicate that I never want to see Nappies or Babyware ever. Of course Facebook or Google could over ride my APML but I wouldn't be happy, and they should be looking at my positive APML stuff anyway. I mean there's more chance I'll click a link saying latest Orange SPV phone here that latest Babyware or even in reality Latest iPhone offer for O2. And this is the killer thing, anyone who knows me will know that, even a browse of my blog will tell you this but to have it in machine readable form in APML has got be final straw. On my blog my APML is linked and its public. I'm saying advertise to me if your high on my interest list. Orange should be banging my door down every time I say I'm looking for a new phone but there not wise to all this yet. Google and Facebook are.

Forth and Fifth examples : LastFM and Preferences. By now you should have got the main points and can see how having a APML output of your favorate tunes in Lastfm could be useful. One example I didn't think about at the time was moving between media players. I moved from iTunes to Winamp to Madman to Amarok. There was no way to take the ratings I had build up for my music collection but now I should be able to look at lastfm and pull out decent enough scores. On the preference front, APML could be used for more that just internet applications. So yes if Amarok supported APML that would be amazing. I'm actually looking into this because Amarok keeps a rating of all music based on how many times you heard it and how much you scored it. It also keeps this information is a SQLlite DB and the rating range is between 0 and 100 which makes it easy to put into APML. Yep I might need some help from some Perl or Python people soon. Although I've learned Gnome has its own scripting language like how Applescript works for OSX. So I might be able to pull something off that way.

Right so what happens next? First up, I'm going to standardise some way of linking FOAF, OPML, OpenID and APML together. I expect I'll keep this very simple using the link element in (x)HTML or somehow combine this into a Hcard profile. Next up a APML microformat or APML lite for sure. I'll try it as I've been studying the others and the general methology of Microformats and I think it could be done. So I'll suggest it and draw up how it works and submit it for lots of review. I'm now exploring how to get APML out of Amarok and RSS Owl. If anyone wants to help with these, give me a shout. APML is awesome and I know everyones waiting for a 1.0 release (including Tioti, Google, Bloglines) but honestly give it a try now you won't regret it.

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My Media Consumption Diet

So Improbulus tagged me for this social meme a while back but I didn't actually notice. The meme was started by Jeremiah Owyang who is also in the Media 2.0 group along with myself. Anyway from the man himself…

I’m hoping to start this meme, that others will join in and share their media consumption diet, in hopes, that we’ll start to learn how they get information or be entertained. I’ve sort of mixed up mediums, and media types, but after some thought, that’s the best way to organize it.

 

Improbulus also asks the tricky question about what is media anyway which I may get into later in this post.

Web: I get all my news from the web, mainly I read news via Greatnews my personal RSS reader, anything I miss tends to get come via email links from friends. I am currently subscribed to over 300 feeds you can check them all out here because I sync with Bloglines. Obviously I keep my private RSS feeds to my personal RSS reader. I did consider switching over to Google Reader with its offline ability but what tends to happen is when I'm offline and looking at my RSS feeds I can read through 1000's of items in a couple of hours. Google Reader with Gears only stores about 1000 max and isn't as flexable as GreatNews.

As you can see in my subscriptions I have many different folders.

  • Cubicgarden – feeds related to myself, this includes my personal lifestream.
  • Design – is a mixture of inspirational feeds with design feeds
  • Development – use to be development blogs but this got a little strained with the design and xml development folders
  • Education – feeds related to educational blogging, I use to have lots more in this about 3 years ago
  • Events – this was my way of keeping a track of what was going on socially but this has been replaced with ical feeds in Outlook 2007, soon to be Plaxo 3.0
  • Friends – Feeds from my friends, I'm trying to update this one regularly but I don't add everyone unless I think there blog is useful
  • Fun – Uhhhhh what do you think?
  • Gaming – This isn't just gaming, but ARG and hardware type stuff
  • General News – This is where stuff like Boingboing, Slashdot, Digg, techmem, etc go.
  • Interest – bit of a misc folder, which I hope to move in the future
  • Internet Law – This is where my copyright, DRM, Creative Commons, type feeds go
  • Lifehacks – This is one is useful but I tend to review it once every month
  • Media – This is where all my lost feeds go, in the future I'll start adding Bit Torrent feeds and other media related feeds
  • Podcasts – I'm planning to move all these feeds out of here in the future but the idea was to have all my podcast feeds in one folder. This is simply not practical because many people attach enclosures willy nilly now.
  • SmartComms – This was going to be a mix of mobile phone type stuff and human social networking type feeds.
  • Tracking – This was always going to be a place for temporary feeds like ebay searches and offers, etc
  • Watched projects – These are feeds for projects, startups, etc. This folder is very useful for keeping an eye on projects which I may have forgotten over some time
  • XML development – this is where my xml and semantic web type feeds go, in the future I'll start mixing regular development with this folder

You will notice in my feeds I don't subscribe to feeds from mainstream media including believe it or not the BBC. I tend read BBC news in Twitter right now but don't follow any other except sometimes the Guardian's technology and game blogs.

Another different thing about my media consumption when it comes to news is Particls. Particls is a personal desktop attention engine. Its seriously amazing and changed the way I read my news. I tend to use it at work a lot just to keep an eye on whats going on during the day. Its alerted me to many things which were related. Its also been useful for sending people upto the minute information.Its a couple of steps beyond a RSS reader and I'm honestly very impressed with it. I would like to see it on Linux but I'm going to try virtualising it with VMware or Xen in the near future.

Right backing out of news. I use Firefox for everything except really really dodgy sites. Opera is reserved for those sites because of the ability to turn off Java, Javascript, etc in a second. However I do tend to browse the web with Javascript and Flash turned off using a combination of Flashblock and No-Script extensions. I use Tabs a lot and once in a while will del.icio.us my spare tabs. I don't use startpages because I use load previous tabs. I use a Dell PC laptop for most of my browsing. I never use IE7 unless its for Automatic updates and will unlikely install any other browser except Opera (yeah forget about it Safari).

Communication - I own a cracking little phone, Orange SPV M700. It has everything including Wifi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and 3G. I use it a lot for mapping now I have GPS and iGo. I wish I could mount the phone to my scooter so I could use it even more but generally I do walk around new cities with my phone in my hand. Yes its a Windows Mobile 5 phone but honestly I like it. I choose the phone with no keyboard because I own a Bluetooth keyboard and I can type very fast on the on-screen keyboard.

I hate using my phone for making calls but I do mainly using my new Stereo Bluetooth headphones from itech. I don't own a Mpeg3 player, I did in the past but saw earlier on that I could use my phone for music and more often podcasts.

I email a lot and use Thunderbird 2.0 as my main mail client of choice. I have to use Outlook 2003 at work because the BBC uses exchange mail servers. I hate outlook 2003 for email, specially when I've got Outlook 2007 on my laptop. I own a ton of email accounts which I've setup on cubicgarden.com as my way of dealing with spam. I also own about 3 gmail accounts as backup and one hotpop account for unsecure mails. Yes I've setup the others with SSL and TLS using Thunderbird, so no one can snoop on my mail while on a shared wireless point.

To combat spam, like mentioned before I use multiple accounts with different levels of use. I do have a spam system on the mail server and did have a greylisting system a while ago thanks to Miles and Mark. But generally I find the multiple accounts work well and Thunderbird''s spam filter works enough for me to work on email without too many problems,

I do use instant messenging a lot and use Twitter via IM a lot. I use Pigeon (previously called Gaim) and then connect to 4 different networks (Jabber, AIM, Yahoo, MSN). More and more I'm dropping MSN and would like to drop the others except Jabber. This is becoming easier thanks to Google. I also love the idea of im on the phone but recently its been hard to find a im client for the windows mobile platform which doesn't charge a stupid a mount of money. So in the mid term I'm using tinytwitter a java application with twitter as my substute for mobile im.

I do have email on my phone too but just plain old IMAP and POP. No Push email for me. I do however have a work phone (nokia N80) which really sucks and makes for a bad 3G modem for my laptop.

Music and Podcasts : My phone currently syncs with Winamp and I have 2gig of space to fill up every day. I tend to fill up my phone with new podcasts once a week. I do listen to music, but generally its mixed together already. I simply don't buy music because the music I listen to is so expensive and tends to be hard to find. So instead I use a bit torrent site called Trancetraffic.com to get mixes from the likes of Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, etc. I do download singles too for my own remixes but if I was to take up djing a little more seriously would start buying the tunes from somewhere. What Trancetraffic does which all the online stores miss is have a community of active users who you can see what they have downloaded. So I can see how many people have downloaded a tune or through the seeds, etc how  Also if your in any douht the trancetraffic community upload trance packs and uses the forums. So you can really get a clue about which tunes are hot and which

ones are not.

I do have a Last.FM account which was adopted from audioscobbler before it. I tend to only use it to track what I'm listening to and maybe sometimes for a couple of recommendations but generally Trancetraffic does a better job. I don't use Pandora and only listen to streaming radio statio

ns ckground music. I love soma.fm and di.fm for streaming radio.

 

I use Azureus for downloading all bit torrent stuff, which will make sense when you check out the TV section.

On the podcast front I use Juice to download all my podcasts. Thankfully juice supports remote opml files, so I point it at the same opml file as my bloglines account. Juice then downloads any enclosures from any of my 300+ feeds. This might sound over kill but it means I never miss any enclosures ever.Both Azureus and Juice are running on a ubuntu desktop machine under my desk, whcih I treat like a home server. I then use Synctoy on my laptop to sync my music and podcasts across to my laptop everyday.

TV : I don't watch tradional tv but I watch lots of TV shows. What does this mean? Well I don't actually turn on the TV and watch whatever is on. I also don't own a PVR or DVR device so don't actually record anything. I don't watch live TV because I have no reason to do so. Yes I download every single TV show I watch.

I use TV RSS in Azureus to do all my bit torrent downloading. Currently I use a combination of  ShareTV.org, NewTorrents, UKNova and Mininova for all my TV downloading. Some would say my TV viewing is strange at best and are quick to point out the off the schedule nature my activities. Personally being off the schedule is a good thing and this is really on demand. I tend to watch a combination of UK stuff like Doctor Who, Jekyll, etc with American stuff like Lost, Heroes, etc.

The way I actually watch most of the shows is via a 32 inch wide screen TV set and a hacked xbox. The Xbox is running unsigned code by a community project called Xbox Media Centre. The purpose of the hacked xbox running xbox media centre means I can play anything I download on my large screen. In the past I have hooked up my computer to the TV but generally having a computer in the same room as the TV kinda sucks unless you live in a small apartment of course. The xbox isn't exactly beautiful but its small and quiet. It means I can access all the media on my network including podcasts, music, pictures, etc.

I do own a Freeview box (free to air digital tv) and a Ondigital box (same but much older) but they rarely get turned on. And they certainly get no action since the ariel fell down off our roof.

Pictures : So we currently own 2 cameras, not including our mobile phones. One is a Canon 6 megapixal point and shoot (like DLR style) and the other is the Sanyo HD1. Me and Sarah over time have built up quite a few gigabytes of pictures. Every trip or event adds a little more. I tend to store everything and only upload the best ones to Flickr.com.

Recently I've been very slack with Flickr because I'm not naming or adding lots of meta-data to my pictures. This also applied to the files on the server. I hope one day to sort out my collections, sets and geodata. Getting that data back on to the server is another question.

Movies : I sometimes watch films in the cinema, sometimes I download the film and watch it while working away doing something else. It really depends on what film and what mood i'm in. For example just recently I watched Sicko in a cinema after deciding to help micheal moore in his efforts to wake up america to the joys of universial health care. I'll maybe go home (i'm on a plane flying between Exeter and London right now) and download it for my friends who maybe won't watch it otherwise. Being July 4th now too, I did promise to go watch Die Hard 4.0 tonight with a friend but we shall see how jet lagged I am. Generally Die Hard would be a film I would normally download.

DVD rentals I use to do via Amazon a long time ago and before that Blockbusters. I've not rented a DVD in about 2-3 years now.

Gaming : My only contract with gaming right now is the 1up Show podcast which is excellent because it focuses on gaming culture instead of doing long boring reviews. I always feel energized after watching it but I can't afford a next generation console, plus. I'm also not interested in the Xbox 360 because it can't play unsigned code – aka no xbmc! The playstation 3 looks good but at 480 pounds much for me plus I don't see where a Blu-Ray or even HD DVD player would fit into my media consumption diet? The Wii is my next choice but I'm not going to order one quite yet, although I have a wiimote for something else already.

Books : I tend to buy quite a few books because I like to lend them to people who maybe don't like to read on screen. For example I bought the Cluetrain Manifesto in book form so I could lend it to my friend Carl. He still has it but hey it was worth it becuase he wouldn't have read it online. I tried to read at night but it doesn't work for me because I fall a sleep quickly and am usually near a machine I can read the RSS off. I also have a hard time reading a book because of the line lengths and size of the text. It just doesn't quite gel with me. So I could easily sit down and read a PDF on my phone quicker that a actual book. I would love to have a real ebook reader but I can't afford such luxuaries, although I was considering using my old tabletpc as one. I'm a odd guy, I don't really read fiction that much any more, I tend to prefer the visual feedback of TV and Film.

Magazines : I only buy magazines .net and wired when I'm getting on a plane where I can't open my laptop till I'm all the way up in the air.

More to come….

Right my turn to tag some people.

Tom Morris, Miles Metcalfe, Duncan Barnes, Black belt jones and Phil Windley

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The end of screensavers?

Widgets everywhere

Something I picked up somewhere today. The concept of a screensaver is quite simple.

A screensaver is a computer program originally designed to conserve the image quality of computer displays by blanking the screen or filling them with moving images or patterns when the computers are not in use. Today, screensavers are primarily used for entertainment or security purposes.

So with all the best screensavers now being RSS or internet connected and widget engines being common on desktops now. Doesn't it make sense to do away with screensavers and go for a special widget mode. For example it would be really cool if instead of going to a screensaver, the computer simply moved all the windows and applications back and showed the desktop and an array of widgets. Like most widget engines, it could dull the background so you avoid the burn-in effect. I'm also thinking the widgets in that mode would be either be locked or ones which are informational only. So you can't bypass security through a widget. Anyway it was just a thought….

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