Another Honda Silverwing but in Blue

Honda Silverwing 600

Finally part-exchanged my Honda Silverwing 600 which I have had for 13 years for another newer model Honda Silverwing 600 (600cc with ABS). Its a great bike and although I looked for other higher CC maxi-scooters, but decided the Silverwing still has the edge on price, reliability and years on the market. I test rode the Honda NC700D Integra (700cc) and BMW C 650 GT (650cc); but decided the Integra along with a motorbike, lacked everyday storage; the BMW was too expensive with few on the 2nd hand market.

I been to many places on the old Honda Silverwing but it was old and I’ve been told multiple times its going to start costing more to fix than to get another one.

Pretty happy with the bike so far, especially since my old Givi top box, fits the rack and I replaced the horrible Givi black box (one for ebay I think). That and I’m having to work out the fitted alarm which didn’t come with instructions but I found online easily enough.

Just a shame the weather has been so rubbish this weekend, at least tomorrow I get to ride work on it.

Patterson’s panic attack is the 89th most listened to Techtrance mix

panicattack mixcloudI will be honest and say this surprised me in my email recently. Originally I got a email saying Patterson’s panic attack mix was the 95th most listened to mix in the tech trance chart but at the time of wring this, its now 89th. I think this might actually be the first time one of my mixes has ranked in the Mixcloud charts, that or the chart feature is still kind of new.

Of course you can help by listening to it and sharing

Are you happy with the state of the mainstream net?

Pirate Markets & Guerrilla Libraries, with Balázs Bodó

I was listening to the Steal this show podcast season 2 episode 8 with Balázs Bodó and Jamie King. They were talking about how we have kind of gotten use to the way the net is and they are wondering where the innovation is coming from or going to.

It tweaked my interest as I have always got a interest in technology uses for legal and illegal purposes. Its that classic cat/cops and mouse/robbers scenario, I’m not saying technology is neutral, but the same technology can be used to liberate and enslave. I thought it might be nice to share some of the stuff I’ve got in my tabs/task list to look at…

Most of the good stuff I’ve recently been looking at is all about privacy and security, which has required me to get a lot more serious about my digital keys.

  • Asemica
    I have always been interested in Steganography, especially in clear view where you wouldn’t normally expect it. Securebook always interested me and I’m slightly responsible for inspiring the developer of that. But its not been update in a while and I always thought why can’t I use something else to generate the text required in a way which is clearly still readable?
    Because of this I’ve been looking for something like Asemica.
  • Zeronet
    I was originally looking at Zeronet for my decentralised dating idea but have always been interested in things like freenet from a long long way back. Its pretty neat and certainly ticks all the buzz words but has a solid idea built on open tech.
  • Keybase
    I can’t quite work this one out but I signed up to the alpha and have been trying it out for the last few months at least. I haven’t sent any GPG messages yet but getting my head around it all. The keybase file system is much more like a distributed dropbox and it doesn’t take a lot of thinking to imagine the possibilities.
  • ZeroTier
    This is what I’m using as a VPN for all my devices and its quite simple but effective. Its quite neat as it works like Hamachi and I have configured my server at home to bridge networks, allowing me to access my 1gig connection in the UK from anywhere. I haven’t played with accessing other networks yet but its in my tasklist to bounce around the world if needed.
  • TOR (the onion router)
    Does this one really need any explaining? So many people instantly think of the dark web and buying drugs, porn or worst. Well theres a lot more to the dark web than this and I’m seeing some seriously credible technology solutions built on top of TOR. Of course TOR project really lend its self to huge amounts of data bandwidth, but have you recently looked at the TOR Stem or TOR messenger?
    Theres other things I’ve seen which I’d rather not talk about which does the connection over TOR then switches to IPv6 afterwards for the bulk bandwidth.
  • Signal
    Remember that instant messenger system Snowdon used? Well its end to end encrypted messaging by open whisper systems and theres apps for most platforms including Linux and Android. Its pretty neat but if used in a careless way can’t really help you much. Some would say whats the point now Facebook/Whatsapp are doing the same? Well actually they are using Open whisper’s library, so clearly superior.
    Signal is starting to get a lot of people now and although it won’t be as popular as whatsapp, facebook messenger or even google allo; its pretty neat and bots are coming.
    I’d like to see shared identities, so both my mobile phone numbers (work & personal) combined. I could choose to message from either of them but also see both. A master identity of some kind?
  • Bitmask
    Encrypted VPN and Email, looking at it I thought it was a bit too good to be true. So I checked out and found its actually an implementation of the LEAP Encryption Access Project, which had a number of interesting projects including TorBirdy (TOR+Mozilla Thunderbird).

Less about privacy and security but still on my task list

Plex and Emby
Streaming your own media anywhere and everywhere is very attractive especially when you have a fast home connection. I have Plex installed but I’m certainly looking at Emby which seems to be the new kid on the block. Looking at it, Emby might play nicer with things like Kodi & VPNs maybe?

There’s many things out there if your curious and look around for better; for example I have on my task list hacking my Chromecast, which I seen someone has put the Plex client on a chromecast, got screen mirroring without wifi and even a DNLA client. Lets not forget EZcast and Miracast alternatives.

 

 

 

Patterson’s panic attack mix

Evil Children
Different kind of mix this time… I decided seeing how I enjoy Simon Patterson’s tunes quite a bit, especially Brush Strokes and White of her eyes. Its time for a bit of mega-mix using his tunes. Someone said to me listening to his tunes is like the perfect driving or running music, as it feels very pacey.

I imagined running like zombies run, then stopping to catching my breath with some chilled tunes.

However Mixcloud has warned me,

You have 5 or more tracks by the same artist. This upload may be disabled for listeners in the following countries: USA

Well that Copyright and DRM for you. I scratched the edge and now can feel some of the pain. So I got around the problem by renaming Simon Patterson to a few other names.

Here’s the proper playlist, enjoy!

  1. F16 – Simon Patterson
  2. Panic Attack – Simon Patterson
  3. White of Her eyes – Simon Patterson
  4. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  5. Us – Simon Patterson
  6. Prosac – Dj Tomcraft
  7. No one ever dreams – Astral projection
  8. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  9. Circles – Robert Nickson
  10. Adagio for Strings – Dj Tiesto

Dyslexics thriving in the workplace

Reading the Dyslexic Advantage
Quite a few people have said good things to me since I posted about reading the dyslexic advantage. On Saturday I finished the whole book and although there are so many great sections the last one had so much to talk/blog about

The last section which is all about work, and so very fitting…

For individuals with dyslexia, good-fitting jobs have several common features. First, they engage strengths and avoid weaknesses. As we’ve discussed, many individuals with dyslexia excel in big-picture reasoning, or the ability to see the overall features, “contours,” or implications of objects or ideas. The occupation or position in which they best display this ability depends upon which MIND strengths they possess, but as a general rule, jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well stress problem solving, troubleshooting, fixing things, coming up with new ideas, thinking about what’s missing or not being addressed, or telling stories (e.g., sales, counseling, coaching, advertising, entrepreneurship).
[…]
In contrast, individuals with dyslexia often struggle with fine-detail processing, mastering routine procedures to the point of automaticity, or rote memory. As a result, they often find that jobs that stress repetition, efficiency, consistency, attention to details, use of procedures, application of fixed rules, or routine processing tasks (especially clerical tasks that involve the manipulation and use of written symbols) are a poor fit.

I can’t tell you the cognitive pain of repetition, I find it super uncomfortable and far prefer the new and unknown. My mind wonders and before long I’m innovating my way out of doing the task as is. Better way to spend my cognitive surplus?

After choosing a job that seems to be a good fit, individuals with dyslexia should work hard to optimize that job environment by being proactive in pursuing opportunities, self-advocating with supervisors and co-workers, building partnerships, pursuing leadership opportunities, and using technologies to maximize their productivity.
Many individuals with dyslexia are especially good at spotting opportunities that others have missed and then aggressively and proactively taking advantage of those opportunities. Professor Julie Logan cited this ability as one of the most common characteristics she’s observed in the dyslexic entrepreneurs she’s studied.
We’ve also observed this ability in many of the individuals with dyslexia we’ve interviewed—and not just in business. Astrophysicist Matt Schneps told us, “One thing I’m very proud of is that I’m very good at taking advantage of opportunities. If I see something I think is useful for me, I think about how I can make the most of it and take advantage of that.” Because of this ability (and strong self-advocacy skills like those we’ll discuss later), Matt has been able to enjoy four entirely different careers over the past thirty years, all with the same employer.

Making and taking those opportunities is a big thing, which I’m certainly hard-wired for. Most people take and give out business cards as a brush off but I take them seriously. I do like to meet or follow up, see if theres a chance for collaboration. I’m also generally interested in the person and if I can connect them with someone else I might know.

A second key feature of jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well is that they engage interests. While everyone works better on tasks they find interesting and enjoyable, individuals with dyslexia are often especially dependent upon interest to produce their best efforts. In contrast, when tasks fail to engage their interest, they often struggle to perform well and remain focused. This is largely because many of the rote or automatic skills needed to perform routine tasks require more focused attention for individuals with dyslexia. This need for heightened attention can be difficult to sustain unless there are things about the job that are especially interesting. When work heightens interest and mood, dyslexics typically respond with greater creativity and performance.

Absolutely, like most people I assume but I guess I actively find my mind drifting away to more interesting things. Focus is difficult when not in my wider area of interest. I mean I’m curious about lots of things, so its really got to be something poor/bad for me.

A third key feature of jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well is that they focus on results rather than on methods. Many of our interviewees mentioned that they often perform tasks in unconventional ways—frequently of their own devising. For example, more than half told us that they solved math problems differently from how they were taught by using unconventional methods that made more sense to them.

This is something I’ve known for a long while, I can’t help but find alternative ways to do things. This is why if you tell me a task without the bigger context/picture I find it frustrating as hell. I’m always thinking about the final impact not the individual steps to get there. Those are just details to me. Reminds me of Do you have humility, a sense of craft and can you hustle?

Jobs that allow flexibility can open the door to success for dyslexics. It’s often while devising new methods for routine tasks that dyslexics come up with innovative approaches that save time, effort, and expense and improve outcomes for everyone.
[…]
There is evidence that this kind of flexibility is often more easily found in positions very near the top or the bottom of the structures of large organizations but in shorter supply in the middle. Professor Julie Logan has found that although many large corporations have CEOs with dyslexia, fewer than 1 percent of middle managers in such firms are dyslexic.

Now this is very interesting detail… Be interesting to look into the stats for the BBC via the BBC’s Neurodiversity project.

Some large companies, like his former employer Intel, manage to maintain their flexible attitudes despite their size. Douglas Merrill also told us that supporting this diversity in thinking styles was one of his primary goals as chief information officer at Google. Douglas worked hard to give employees the greatest possible flexibility in choosing the work habits and technologies that allowed them to be their most productive. When a company shows this kind of flexibility, it’s likely to be a good fit for individuals with dyslexia. Of course, there’s no employer that can provide more flexibility than oneself, which is one reason why so many dyslexics start their own businesses.

And theres a long long list of successful dyslexic entrepreneurs. Interestingly the guardian piece pretty much says the same thing as I read in the dyslexic advantage.

Its a great book, I do wish it was more dyslexic friendly to read but the content is certainly incredible.

DJ Hackday has been cancelled…

Paul Devro

Unfortunately the DJ Hackday which was meant to happen on 13, 14, 15th January in Manchester has been cancelled. Its a little heart breaking but myself and Simon always knew if things were not setup before December, it would be buried in the festival holidays.

Don’t worry we still have plans to move forward with a hackday in the same venue (MMU Shed).

Thanks to everyone who took an interest, we haven’t forgotten you and we’ll be back in touch once we got another solid date. Don’t forget if you would be interested in being involved in the organisation of the event, get in touch.

Till then keep an eye on DJHackday.com, the hashtag #djhack and our lanyrd event.

Reading the dyslexic advantage at last

The Dyslexic Advantage
At long last I started reading or rather listening to The dyslexic advantage. I’m totally blown away by what I’ve been reading. I mean I knew most of this but the science behind it and how it can be a super power; has literally shocked and moved me. I have written about my own dyslexic a few times including in everyday life, in the media and my thoughts about how it may affects relationships.

From the very start the book sets its agenda, to look at dyslexia strengths and less about its weaknesses…

Most books on dyslexia focus on problems with reading and spelling. While these problems are extremely important, they’re not the only—or even the most important—things that individuals with dyslexia find critical for their growth, learning, and success.
As experts in neuroscience and learning disabilities, we’ve worked with hundreds of individuals with dyslexia and their families. In the process we’ve found that individuals with dyslexia often share a broad range of important cognitive features. Some of these features are learning or processing challenges—like difficulties with reading and spelling, rote math, working memory, or visual and auditory function. But others are important strengths, abilities, and talents; gifts we call the dyslexic advantage. While these features differ somewhat from person to person, they also form recognizable patterns—just as the different musical works of Mozart are distinguishable yet recognizably the work of the same composer.

Theres many paragraphs but I wanted to share some of the key ones I’ve read so far. The whole book focuses on M.I.N.D strengths, which are the 4 key strengths dyslexics share or in parts.

I personally have a strong amount of all 4. They are not saying its only dyslexics which have them but much more likely and much more strongly. Think of them like the Big 5 personality traits rather than Myers-Briggs types.

  • M-Strength for Material Reasoning, which is primarily reasoning about the position, form, and movement of objects 3D space
  • I-Strengths for Interconnected Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to spot, understand, and reason about connections and relationships (e.g., analogies, metaphors, systems, patterns)
  • N-Strengths for Narrative Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to reason using fragments of memory formed from past personal experience (i.e., using cases, examples, and simulations rather than abstract reasoning from principles)
  • D-Strengths for Dynamic Reasoning, which is the ability to accurately predict using patterns derived through experience the future or the unwitnessed past

The I, N & D Strengths are very much a key part of me (M too, but maybe a little less so). I always seen the world in one massively connected ecosystem. Everything is connected and its hard trying to explain to others how it all meshes together.

Patterns are observed and seem to stick in my mind. They seem to exist as a narrative or at least are stronger as narrative. This is extremely useful when finding my way places again unfolds as a narrative rather than a map or directions.

For dyslexic brains, excellent function typically means traits like the ability to see the gist or essence of things or to spot the larger context behind a given situation or idea; multidimensionality of perspective; the ability to see new, unusual, or distant connections; inferential reasoning and ambiguity detection; the ability to recombine things in novel ways and a general inventiveness; and greater mindfulness and intentionality during tasks that others take for granted.
Nondyslexic brains often excel at applying rules and procedures in an expert and efficient manner. Dyslexic brains often excel at finding “best fits” or at ad hoc problem solving.

I hadn’t really thought about it this way but makes so much sense. Maybe this is why Art just makes sense for me. Its also clear a gist, conversation, sentence or just a word can spring tons of connected thoughts. For example the idea of “local evil” which was a title for a event had my mind cycling for weeks.

The cluetrain manifesto is another example, from the 95 rules I could almost tell the thesis as a complete narrative without reading any of them. My favourite being #7 Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

The power of Interconnected reasoning lies in its ability to link all of an individual’s knowledge, ideas, and mental approaches into an integrated conceptual matrix. This integrated matrix is incredibly powerful because it allows objects of thought to be approached from many different angles, levels, and perspectives, so they can be seen in new ways, related to other phenomena, and understood in a larger context. The three core skills, or I-strengths, that help form this conceptual matrix are the abilities to detect relationships between different objects of thought, the ability to shift perspectives or approaches, and the ability to reason using a global or top-down perspective.

Can’t tell you how useful this is, its sometimes hard when explaining to others different angles or the bigger picture. Maybe this is why the end of interstellar just made such sense and I actually use it in a few presentations.

Variations not versions
While talking about D-strengths and the incredible power of insight, this point was made.

“Given a problem and an hour to solve it, we typically spend the first three minutes intuiting the answer, then spend the other fifty-seven backtracking . . . to check our results through data collection and deductive logic.” According to Sarah, this intuitive approach “functions in leaps rather than by neatly ratcheting intervals” and is “less lineal than iterative or circular.”
This intuitive approach—used very heavily by individuals with dyslexia who excel in Dynamic and Narrative reasoning—can be very powerful, but it does present a problem: when viewed from the outside it can look an awful lot like goofing off.

Absolutely… Its always painful to backtrack and explain the leaps in thinking. I know its a important part of the scientific process but it doesn’t stop it being not the way our minds are wired.

To be honest, I felt like its not just the education system which is trying to kick this out of us but also society. Partly if you look at the systems which surround us and who is writing them.

One day at work she was standing by her office window staring serenely out at the mountains while trying to let her mind “ease itself around a problem.” Her CFO walked by her door, looked in, and saw one of “his people” staring out the window, so he snapped at her to get back to work. Sarah calmly replied, “You work in your way, I’ll work in mine. Now stop interrupting me.” Sarah later wrote of this episode, “What this CFO didn’t know was that staring into space is precisely how we work. It is our capacity to throw our brains into neutral and let connections assemble . . . that makes it possible for us to see connections that others can’t. We relax into the work.”

I can’t tell you the disbelieve some people have around me working in the northern quarter. The different buzzy environment completely changes the way I think, like staring out the window or being less focused.

This need for patient reflection can also create enormous problems at school, where time for reflection is in critically short supply. Try convincing a teacher that staring out the window is how you work best or that “getting busy” means you’ll get less done. Yet this passive and reflective approach really is a valid problem-solving method, and there’s plenty of scientific evidence to support its validity and effectiveness. In the research literature, this method of problem solving is referred to as insight.

Absolutely… Says it all! Always said hours does not equal effort. I’m personally more effective late at night, when I’m in a more relaxed state and have room/space to think wider and larger. There was a period when I found it hard to sleep because my mind just buzzed away.

Although insight-based problem solving is very powerful, because much of its connection-making process takes place outside the person’s conscious awareness, it can often seem second-rate, mystical, shoddy, or even slightly disreputable. But there’s an observable neurological mechanism underlying insight that’s been well worked out over the last decade by researchers.

Yes insight is always seen as hooky, non-scientific or a joke. There is a large section debunking insight as this but its well worth a blog post on its own. But I think this is a fitting end to insight discussion.

…As teachers, parents, co-workers, and bosses, we need to be watchful for individuals who frequently reach the right results through insight, and when we find them we need to treat their different reasoning style with the seriousness it deserves. Not all staring out the window is productive reasoning, but quite a lot is; and it’s important to understand that some people—including many of the most creative—really do need to “relax into their work.”

I haven’t even finished the Dyslexic advantage but I’m already raving about the book. Its clarified many things and given much more fuel for the things I kind of knew was true but found hard to explain. Gaining deductive logic or insight about my insight (ha!)

This is the kind of book with some tweaking could be a very powerful book for young dyslexic children growing up. Its a little inaccessible but the audio book is great and having both really works.

Dark and disturbing on Berlin’s ring the mix

I made reference to a mix I did while in Berlin’s S-bahn ring line (like the old circle line in London). Its also quite a dark mix and you can get a sense of the tunes which made up the shorter mix.

Its a long mix and lasts about 96mins or through 37.5 kms. The mix is a little rough in parts due to shifting positions and moving for people to get on and off. I took the ring from Prenzlauer Allee clockwise (S41).

  1. Flash (timo maas remix) – Green Velvet
  2. Riff – Sander Van Doorn
  3. Energy Flash – Joey Beltram
  4. My Beat (Ambassador remix) – Blaze
  5. Intruder – Armin vs Mike
  6. One night in New York city (chris liebing mix) – The Horrorist
  7. One for you – Oliver klien
  8. Dj culture – Joey beltram
  9. Jelly Tracks (Rippin and Drippin) – Oliver Klein
  10. My Beat (Jan Driver mix) – Blaze
  11. Nasty (Electric mix) – Re Locate Vs Jonas Steur
  12. Grasshopper (raw version) – Sander Van Doorn
  13. Interstate Emperors – Jeffed
  14. The Redlight (album version) – Green Velvet
  15. Blood Angels (chris liebing mix) –  John Startlight
  16. Nackling (tomcraft mix) – Duse
  17. Paperjet – John Tejada
  18. Red Purple – Thomas Schumacher
  19. Ubik (the break) – Timo Maas
  20. Rage Chemistry (Cold Blank’s WMC 2013 Mashup) – Knife Party vs Svidden
  21. Switch (oliver klein & peter jürgens remix) – Beckers
  22. Watch Out (lee coombs back to the phuture remix) – Ferry Corsten

Gaming with Graphene in Place of Guns will Save the World

Remember the last emerging tech event with Erik Lehmann from the game changer movement.

I’m extremely happy to be a small part of his journey with Graphene in Manchester. Nice Tedx talk and hopefully many more people will see it and get involved.

Android eink reader wish-list complete?

Energy Pro HD 6 vs Amazon kindle paperwhite 2

I remembered the blog I wrote over 5 years ago!

In a few things I’d like to see on my Kindle

I’ve gotten into this lovely routine where I have Calibre automatically turns my subscriptions into ebooks for me and then I connect my Kindle to the USB to automatically sync the items. Then I sit in a nice coffee/tea shop reading my google reader unread subscriptions, readitlater, instapaper, etc. With the experimental webkit browser any links I want to check out, I can check them out using the cafe’s public wifi. The only issue is I really want some way of bookmarking with delicious or even readitlater the important stuff that I read.

This is a while ago and of course I switched from instapaper to wallabag. Then installing the actual app on the android tablet completely changes everything. Of course if Google reader still existed I’d install that, but I’m using Greader pro, which does similar with the standard android intent menu. Also added Diigo to replace delicious bookmarks.

I don’t know if you can add bookmarklets to the experimental webkit browser but that would be ideal.

My other alternative is some kind of note taking app on the kindle its self. I know you can add annotations to books but it seems getting them off isn’t as straight forward as it should be. Although I love just being able to read stuff on the kindle screen, I wouldn’t mind some blogging app. The keyboard is not bad and being able to draft up a blog entry would be great, specially when you google reader on the device its self. I’m also wondering if I can make use of Conduit again to do some transferring of notes, like I had planned for my Sony Ereader.

I have simplenote installed on the tablet, but also google tasks. The keyboard isnt bad so typing a blog post might not be ideal but I can start drafting one. Once again as I’m using the actual android app and they all have their own syncing mechanism when theres connectivity.

So in ideally I’d like to see a full blogging app, a browser with bookmarklets and Ideally a evernote client.

I can draft a blog with simplenote, save bookmarks and links via diigo and store notes in google tasks & simplenote.

Its all good, well almost

Of course now I’d like Bluetooth for access to a physical keyboard and maybe speakers/headphones and some tweaks to the software, especially around the previous/next buttons. Ideally USB C over Micro USB and although I have seen one OS update already; I’m still interested to see what happens if they upgrade to Android 5+. Material design seems very incompatible with the current generation of eink/epaper screens unfortunately.

Shenanigans in Bucharest

Stay wild stylised

You’re in a bar in Bucharest during the summer, its about midnight and you can’t speak Romanian. The bar is quiet enough but outside in the smoking area its pretty busy.

Shenanigans in Bucharest

At the bar you spot a man with a dummy leg in his back pack. Its hardly discreet, as its sticking out the top like a beacon. I imagine most would note it and carry on drinking, like everyone else.

Of course thats not me, my curiousity is peaking and I strike up a conversation in english with the man.

Shenanigans in Bucharest

We talk about the leg and why? I mean why go to a club with one dummy leg. Why only one? These are the questions in my head. Turns out he’s a local artist and the bar tender also knows him. We have a good natter, his english is good and the bar tender’s english is perfect.

Shenanigans in Bucharest

During the conversation (about 20mins) and drinks, the artist drew me a doodle on the back of my bar reicipt. Something that will stick in my mind when ever I think about Bucharest again.

Its the little things which make life fancinating and wonderful, you just need to engage.

If you look up shenanigans, its defined as…

Secret or dishonest activity or manoeuvring.
Silly or high-spirited behaviour; mischief.

I don’t see it like that at all… Stay wild!

The effect of spotify on music generally

Dear musicians who make £0.0033 per stream on our utopian music platform
Dear musicians who make £0.0033 per stream on our utopian music platform, haha, hahahaha – Spotify. Thanks, 2016 we made lots of money via Jason Lytle

It was Mike who sent me a link to this classic piece of culture jamming seen in Bristol. Of course it’s not by Spotify, but they (whoever is responsible for this work of genius) went as far as to use their logo and typeface.

It was only less than 24 hours previously at my new years eve party, when a couple of people wanted to control the music playing. I know wanting to control the music isn’t anything new; but I’m finding people are assuming the music is from Spotify.

Before the holidays, I was at a party where the music was chosen by people typing names into a laptop connected to the sound system. As you can imagine, people would select a few tunes and queue them up. Then someone else would come over and select more. Some  would then shift around the playlist to move their tunes to the top, etc. It was a bit of mess with different people deleting other people’s selected tunes and others hogging the playlist. The inner DJ in me, choose to turn my back on everything and ignore the chaos.

The mindset has changed and although I love what Pacemaker are doing. I do slighly wonder about the future of mixed music. Theres a sense of instant gratification in playing track after track in a playlist and bumping things up and off the list, rather than trusting a mix to take you on a great journey. Maybe this is why I never use spotify and use mixcloud more? Delayed gratification is something which seemed to go right out the door with the increase in blood alcohol levels

Of course this is absolutely nothing compared to whats happening with the artists of course. Which leads right back around to the culture jamming in Bristol. Like Uber, the big behemoths across the sharing economy (if thats what we are to call it) are most likely to feel pressure in the long run from more humane practices such as Juno. Or at least I certainly see becoming true…

What if Spotifiy was a Coop?
Seen this during the mozretreat at BetaHaus, Berlin

There is a blog draft which I’ve had saved about the state of business now and into the future. Its big and likely needs slicing into smaller blogs but cooperatives are certainly a big part of it.

Ben pulled me up on this recently surround Evernote

Ian, are you against these companies making money/turning a profit? I’m curious how you otherwise see them paying for both the innovation and the on-going costs of running the service?

I replied without the links (but now I can finally put them in)…

No I’m not against that Ben Metcalfe, I’m in favour of up front telling people up front what they are getting into. You have to be honest and say EULAs are a joke no one reads except myself and a few others.

I’m also not a fan of massive endless profits growth which ends up ruining the companies…like Twitter, Pebble, Evernote, etc, etc. I see it over and over again and I think the likes of the media are also part of the problemhuge valuations attracting/temping more startups to get involved.

Its a mess and killing the long term sustainability of a exciting future.

This starts to summarize some of the main points of the longer blog post…

It’s routine, not time, that makes you old?

It’s routine, not time, that makes you old says Janet Street-Porter

I have tried to get into a routine for many years, but its just not worked for me. Maybe it just isn’t me or I think the whole thing is a little dull, incompatable with my life outlook and unconventional thinking.

My mum was reading a story in the daily mail about Janet Street-Porter and how shes do her own thing and ignoring what society thinks. She even mentions the F word, familiarity

Familiarity extends to so many aspects of our lives, from choosing the same telly dramas, playing the same old CDs we bought years ago, and going to the same shops for food and even clothes.

Another reason why routine is so attractive is that we worry life will not come up to expectations. Why go out and meet new people (always a frightening experience) when we’ve got a full complement of old pals already?

Only by taking a deep breath and talking to a stranger do you give yourself the chance to find out something new. Of course, you can chat on social media, but the physical experience is the most rewarding.

I have had similar conversations with multiple people about this type of thing, and always walk away thinking routine is quite corrosive. I understand its harder once you have a family but its worth doing and maintining as you get older, as Janet makes clear.

 

Replacing Evernote with …?

Dead evernote

I’ve been slowly replacing lots of the apps I’ve used in the past. I already wrote a few posts about it. But the big one is replacing Evernote. Now I’m not jumping on the bandwagon but frankly its always drove me a little nuts the lack of linux support. Especially with frameworks like Electron. Its a bit of kick in the teeth and although their webapp has gotten much better, the lack of offline support makes it a killer for everyday use. Yes there is Nevernote, which become Nixnote but Java!

So I tried switching to something else. I landed on Simplenote as its got clients for every platform and it actually syncs across them all like Evernote. This I thought was perfect then somewhere between deciding to move and actually exporting my data out of evernote (thanks to Wine – Windows emulator for Linux); Simplenote removed (?) the ability to import data from evernote exports. Yes I could do some horrible automation but it would be a real pain.

To my mind, their is two parts. The syncing part and the editing part. Most of the note taking apps seem to combine both parts. This is why I liked Tomboy notes but the client was poor.

So I’m looked for something which seperates both parts and can be replaced easlily enough (open enough to do this too). It also needs clients for Linux and Android (web would be a plus). Attachments, encryption, dataportability, etc are high on my list. These are quite different from what Tom is looking for I feel. For example I never used the evernote clipper and have other native solutions for that.

I found these and might give them a try…

  • Laverna needs a Android client, which they are working on. Uses Dropbox or something else for syncing.
  • Standard notes also needs a Android client before I use it, uses a opensource server to sync but its very early days. Although its interesting to hear the developers thoughts on Evernote. Thats a whole lot of puff but standard note does look promising.
  • Turtl has all the clients I need but uses its own sync server, however its opensource and I can later run my own (noticed theres a docker image). I’m currently trying this one out and its working quite well, but I’m still waiting for inport support of my evernote data.

I also found while browsing around Tagspaces, which isn’t stictly a note taking app but has potential to be so much more. Clients for every platform, opensource and can be selfhosted or synced via dropbox, etc.

Sure to update people once I find something which can replace evernote.

 

How to copy contacts from Windows phone to Android, without going crazy

Nokia Lumia 635 and HTC Desire 635

Short answer: Setup a Microsoft Outlook account on the windows phone, sync everything to it then export a CSV of all the contacts on a laptop. Login to your Google account on the laptop and import them all. Sync that google account with the Android phone.

My painful experience

My dad has had a Nokia Lumia 635 for a while (over a year). He wanted to upgrade his ageing Nokia and went into Carphone warehouse to get a upgrade. The sales person must have rubbed their hands (I felt they took advantage of my dad saying he wanted a Nokia) and sold him a Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone on it. I was pretty pissed about this because my dad already has a google account, chromebook and my mum has this and a Samsung android phone.

On Boxing day we went back and looked into buying him out of his contract. This was fine and he choose a HTC desire 626 as it had a big screen and didn’t cost anything to his contract. After taking it home, I set it up for him and boy did the fun start.

Some quick things… I’m running Ubuntu on a laptop, my parents have a chromebook, we all have google accounts and we now all have android phones. My parents are not technical and mainly use text and voice. They have broadband with wifi in the house plus a chromecast I bought a few years ago. The Nokia couldn’t connect to any wifi unless it was open with no security/encryption (I tried many ways to get this working but it seems to be a common fault, which requires a total wipe!)

Nokia Lumia 635

I plugged the Nokia into my Ubuntu laptop then copied everything off it I could see. Then copied it to the HTC phone, I also turned off my WPA security on my Nexus 5x phone to allow the Nokia to actually connect to the internet without using my dads low 4g data usage. Then setup his google account which I set to sync everything. When trying to sync contact information with the google account nothing would sync. I had my laptop open with the google account so I could see what was syncing and what wasn’t. I tried forcing the sync and Windows phone kept forcing me to sync with Outlook.com. In the end I setup a temporary outlook account and synced everything with that. I could see things syncing correctly on my laptop screen.

I thought with both accounts on the Windows phone it would now sync but no. So I had to export the lot out of Outlook.com on the laptop as a CSV file then import them into the google account via my laptop. Once syncing, I could setup the google account on the Android phone and everything was good except Gmail automatically creates a group for the imported contacts which I had to delete but keep the contacts.

HTC Desire 820_11

Once that was done, I forced a system update and greeted with the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) upgrade, meaning my mums new phone and dads phones are very similar making the learning experience a little easier between both my parents.

Ultimately I was quite shocked how difficult a simple thing task was. I mean dataportability should be simple and at one point I was going to give up and get my dad to write out all the contacts to a new his new phone. It wasn’t helped by not having wifi access on the Nokia. I did try Bluetooth and sending contacts as emails but nothing quite worked.

I hope this helps others as I was tearing my hair out to get such a simple thing working. No wonder Nokia has dumped Windows mobile and gone Android.