Tag Archives: techgrumps

Join Techgrumps now…

We need your rants
With the 50th edition of the ever-so popular (Popular with 2 or 3 people at least) #Techgrumps podcast coming up, and it being the holiday season, we will be recording two or three special editions with as many new ranters as we can think of. Like YOU! If you have nothing much to say, but can whine on a bit under the influence of too much caffeine, you too can join this most illustrious cast. And yes, that is Comic Sans in the speech bubble. Angry now? Rant with us!Remember, techgrumps is a family (Family of feral polecats) show, so use age appropriate language…

Let us know which dates & times works for you (add your twitter name to the doodle) and we’ll be in touch…

Techgrumps live! from VivID Lounge

We (me, josh and nathan rae) did our first live Techgrumps on Sunday 20th November… Live from VivID Lounge

Its also a Manchester only affair, as you’d expect with it being LIVE… Ian,Josh and guest Nathan eat breakfast while waxing lyrical… about exploring Sci-Fi elitism and a concept to replace the Royal Mail with UAVs all live on Sunday 20th November…

You can download it in Mpeg3 or Ogg Vorbis

Securebook update adds real Social Steganography

After all the comments and blog posts about secure book, rob best added real steganography to Securebook.

I paid the money for the full version and will be posting some secret messages to my flickr and twitter friends in the near future.

Its clearly amazing how this project has progressed and I’m really happy to have had a tiny helping hand in making this what it has become. Now I need to run this pass some to the guys at work to see what they think. But in the mean time Rob really needs to get this in front of Schneier and Steve Gibson on the security end  and Danah Boyd and Stowe Boyd on the social tip.

I’m wondering if there is a interesting tie up with Google plus’s automatic uploading of photos and securebook’s social steganography? On #Techgrumps it was already mentioned that this would be great for those taking and sharing sensitive photos if there camera was later seized. Not only would your photos be online straight away, but they would also include hidden and secret information which you could only see if your a friend.

Women at a overnight barcamp?

Suzanne Valadon Blogging, after Lautrec

Everytime we’ve tried to accommodate woman at previous BarCamp, we’ve been told “don’t treat us any different.”

It wasn’t till BarCampManchester2 when Lucy really made her feelings known about woman staying over night at a BarCamp. Up till that point it hasn’t really been a problem, but the idea of staying over seemed so shocking that even I was surprised. Fast forward to this month and Samantha convinces me that having a contact for woman to get in touch to ask questions about staying over makes sense to me. To be fair I didn’t take much convincing, it made sense to me for capturing a new groups of woman who might be put off

However in Techgrumps 39 last night, Iris seems pretty upset about the idea of woman staying over night at a event with men. It might have been her lack of experience ever going to a barcamp or the bad description we explained the concept of barcamp with… But then Samantha send me the recent blog post of Tim Oreilly.

We’ve been contacted recently about issues of sexual harassment at technical conferences, including at Oscon, which starts tomorrow in Portland. At O’Reilly we take those issues very seriously. While we’re still trying to understand exactly what might have happened at Oscon or other O’Reilly conferences in the past, it’s become clear that this is a real, long-standing issue in the technical community. And we do know this: we don’t condone harassment or offensive behavior, at our conferences or anywhere. It’s counter to our company values. More importantly, it’s counter to our values as human beings.

I’m starting to wonder if I was too easy going about this all, and actually I’ve just been lucky that nothing like this has ever happened while I’ve arranged things.

BarCampMediaCity has some fantastic facilities including multiple toilets, changing rooms and even showers. It would be a real shame if people didn’t take full advantage.

Hacking together my digital artifacts with a wifi picture frame

My Wifi UPnP digital picture frame

For a long time now

I’ve been thinking about the problem of digital artifacts in a physical world. I remember clearly, a fantastic conversation I had with the amazing Jas Dhaliwal about this exact subject when he was up in Manchester recently.

He was looking through my book collection and DVD collection and we got talking about how most of the books on my shelf I’ve never actual read through. Not because I don’t read but because of my dyslexia and I far prefer to read digital books. Which begs the question, what am I doing with a ton of interesting books? Why don’t I just get rid of them and buy the digital equivalents?

Well two reasons…

  1. Physical artefacts are much easier to lend to people and much more likely to be taken seriously by friends currently.
  2. Physical artefacts are easier, cheaper and better suited for display.  And I want to display who I am through my choices of the media I buy (rightly or wrongly*)
* Now you could have a massive debate about should you be defined by the things you own or what but… frankly this isn’t the time do that.
As Jas said in the latest techgrumps, its all about the digital artefacts representing you… And with that all in mind, I bought a wifi enabled picture frame for a very good price at my local Currys outlet store.
I bought one before but it was crap because it couldn’t connect to anything on my local network, just remote services. However this one does have the advantage of Universal Plug n Play, which raises it above most of the wifi enabled picture frames.
I complained on the same techgrumps podcast that I couldn’t get anything to talk to it but I finally used Ushare and bingo everything started working. So right now, I got the plan to either,
  1. Install Ushare on my xbmc box so I can share movie fan art and titles from XBMC
  2. Setup a rsync between my xbmc box and my server (already running uShare)
  3. Move the xbmc database to my server which has the benefit of a shared library system.
  4. Investigate the built in xbmc UPnP server
Either way, it looks like I’ll be keeping the photo frame strictly for the purpose of replacing my digital film collection with something an analogue artefact. This is also where a large scale eink display would be ideal.
I’ll post something along these lines on the XBMC forums to see what people think. Maybe they might even be able to help, the recent fan art stuff certainly will help too

Forgetting history

Xerox Parc Mouse

One of the things I’m hoping to do a lot more of in the future is working with the hackers of our generation and understand how what there doing now to scratch there own itches will expand to the mainstream. Anyway interestingly I was having a discussion with a guy from my circus workshop class (yeah another day I’ll explain) and he was saying why he liked Apple. One of his reasons was that Apple created the Mouse and that Apple create the best Keyboards and Mice.

I was totally shocked!

Now to be fair he was only 19 but still… one look at the Xerox Parc page on wikipedia page.

Most of these developments were included in the Alto, which added the now familiar SRI-developed mouse unifying into a single model most aspects of now-standard personal computer use.

Shock horror, apple did not develop the mouse. They may have borrowed/stolen the idea once Steve Jobs saw it but it wasn’t developed by them.

Anyway the point is theres a lot of this going around. We cover this on the latest Techgrumps, people ignoring or dismissing the rich history which sits behind most of the things we take for granted.

My good friend Miles use to talk a lot about the fact most blogs would only go surface deep however the blog does make a great place to dispense information. Don’t get me wrong there are some really great blogs with well thought out posts but maybe there isn’t enough?

Techgrumps – Angry people going on about technology

Microphone

I’ve been taking part in a new podcast for a while now. Its called Techgrumps and is basiclly a couple of us (@tommorris, @nicferrier and myself) ranting on about the bad side of technology and the internet.

@Abizer was kind enough to write the first review on the itunes music store.

Three guys who rant about computer technology. Pro Open Web, pro Open Source; Java, Scala, Ruby, Python. Not too hot on Apple and certainly not fans of “New Media”. They don’t sound like fans of non-technical computer users either. I see them as vertex on a triangle formed with the Angry Mac B******s and Leo Laporte’s podcasts. They’ll cling on to their command lines like a hipster hugs his iPhone.

If you’re an Apple fanboy, or someone who does little more than use their computer for FaceBook and Twitter then this podcast isn’t for you.

If you have opinions, and like listening to or talking with people who have different opinions – and you aren’t embarrassed to be caught swearing to yourself on public transport while listening to podcasts on public transport – then this is worth a subscription.

They aren’t always right (well, in not my opinion anyway) but they at least try to come to their conclusions with reasoned (and expletive seasoned) arguments. And it helps that they are technically proficient so these aren’t baseless discussions. But they are always entertaining. If you can get past the parts where you want to scream, there is plenty to be learned from them as well.

I see it more as the ruder and British version of Crankygeeks and Leo Laporte’s Twit podcast. I’m not so sure about us hanging to our command lines but you get the general idea. Its very rude with lots of swearing or explicit language. No one and no topics are taboo for us on techgrumps.

Our podcast isn’t very professional, in actual fact its not meant to be, we deliberately choose the low-tech approach to podcasting, hopefully encouraging others to either join us or setup there own.

I said a while ago at a barcamp and a social media cafe manchester, that there were not enough amateur British Podcasts. I know theres the BBC podcasts and the Guardian podcasts which both have got a lot of success in this area but theres nothing like TwiT or Revision3′s series of video podcasts. We need more podcasts like Techgrumps and I’m glad to say that we have in our own unique way convinced @cbetta and @thehodge to setup there own podcast called Padaddicts (not pdaaddicts as I first saw and called it).

If we can get more british podcasts then thats a good thing! Why not setup your own?!

Why I Turned In My iPhone and Went Android

Louis Grey, A large fan of Apple just turned his back on Apple, why? Well thats best explained by him. But there’s some real good points which I also made in a recent episode of TechGrumps.

For me, more than the over-used phrase of "open", the promise of true multitasking, and the platform’s integration with Google Apps, was one word – "Choice". Choice of handsets. Choice of carriers. Choice of manufacturers. Second behind the word choice has to be "Momentum". I can see that Android has momentum in terms of improved quality, in terms of the number of devices sold and users, and yes, applications, which are growing in quantity, soon to be followed by quality. I really do believe that if Android does not already have a market share lead over Apple yet in this discussion, they soon will. It is inevitable. The growth in the number of handsets, carriers and users will drive more developers to the platform, and the holdouts who are not there will eventually make the move. And yes, third is "Cloud" – the idea that I don’t need to be tied to my desktop computer to manage data on the phone, but instead, the phone is built to tap into data stored on the Web. Fourth is "Capability". The Android platform, as the Droid commercials offer, simply does more. The power of the mobile hotspot cannot be understated, and the iPhone is a zero there.

Agreed.