ipod white headphones dead giveaway

This is one of those things which dont translate well to europe. In Apples grand plan to be different, they made the design of the ipod mainly white. Unfortually this is a dead giveaway that your sporting one of the hottest gear of this year. Pefect victim, some would say…
Anyway I've been going on about it for ages, but would anyone listen? No… till now.

In america the fashion seems to be more about showing off your goods, while in europe you do that and your not going to have it much longer. Perfect point to Dave in regards to our talk about where you put your mobile phone. Note the Ericsson P900 is also hot pickings for thieves, luckly they have normal-ish headphones.

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Playstation Emulator for the PocketPC

FPSE arm edition

During one of my wonders around the internet, i came across a video which claimed to be a Playstation One emulator for PocketPCs. I kind of dismissed it because I was busy. But I just check out the video and I'm amazed. It doesnt store the Rom on a large CF or SD card, it doesnt even involve remove bits from the orginal rom. No you use Wireless to transfer the rom bits needed. Wow!

Not tried it out yet, but going to try it someday soon

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How do you post via XMLRPC?

How on earth do you setup a page to post over XMLRPC using the Apache XMLRPC classes?

Miles found me this page but I swear, I can not get it to work at all. Anyway I tried to adopt the blojsom admin edit plugin to fit the purpose but still cant get that working either. So I'm stuck now…

Been doing more research into the whole problem.
apache xml-rpc metaWeblog api

Miles solves it…
Variables needed for it work, title, description, category. Stick these in html form elements with a form method=”post”, action=”thexmlrpc.jsp” and submit button and your away. Oh dont forget the Apache XMLRPC classes.

<%@ page import="org.apache.xmlrpc.*,
< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"? >
< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd" >
< html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" xml:lang="en" >
< head >
< title >Blogging using XMLRPC from a JSP based webclient< /title >
< /head >

<% // Grab the variables from the form before. String title = request.getParameter("title"); String description = request.getParameter("description"); String category = request.getParameter("category"); String blogServer = "http://something/blojsom/xmlrpc/blog"; // This is crap as we should really not use a hard-coded path //String errorUrl = "http://a/url/that/you/post/from"; // Slightly less crap... String errorUrl = request.getHeader("Referer"); Vector params=null; if ((title == null) || (title.length() < 1)) { response.sendRedirect(response.encodeRedirectURL(errorUrl )); } if ((description == null) || (description.length() < 1)) { response.sendRedirect(response.encodeRedirectURL( errorUrl )); } if ((category == null) || (category.length() < 1)) { response.sendRedirect(response.encodeRedirectURL( errorUrl )); } // Create XML RPC Client object XmlRpcClient xmlrpc=new XmlRpcClient(blogServer); Hashtable structContents=new Hashtable(); structContents.put("category", category); structContents.put("title", title); structContents.put("description", description); Boolean Booly = new Boolean(true); params=new Vector(); // Dummy for blojsom params.add("1"); params.add("username"); params.add("password"); params.add(structContents); // Publish this post params.add(Booly); String created = (String)xmlrpc.execute("metaWeblog.newPost",params); out.println("< p >This is the result: " + created + ".< /p >");
out.println("< p >This is the title: " + title + ".< /p >");
out.println("< p >This is the description: " + description + ".< /p >");
out.println("< p >This is the category: " + category + ".< /p >");
< /body >
< /html >

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WTF : WTF’s The Future

WTF Event I attended yesterday, very good. Heres a load of links… Will write stuff around them over the course of the day.

Networked PVRs
Walked directly into the event with dave and started listening to a guy talking about the same idea as this Electronic programming guide for radios. His idea the Frequency clock seems pretty good and stood up to general questioning. I did ask about metadata which the whole system seemed to rely on alot. And yes he had thought quite hard about the issue, not sure he'd though too much about how producers would actual input the data. Some guy mentioned karmadownload which he runs. A lady from the BBC mentioned wrn.

The future of music, its digital because its remixable…
http://www.guerrillanews.com and


One Voice
At this point the whole event moved next door to the vertigo lounge. The choices of dicussions i cant exactly remember, but one was WTF's the future of wiki's. People talked about changing the world through wikis but its not happening. What can be done about it? And I was kind of keeping my mouth quite till Oliver Bradley outlined his idea. His idea takes the best parts of wikis and blogs. Then arranges them using lots of almost semantic technology to create a ground-up emergance aware system.
The semantic nature of well structured blogs or even better semantic blogs, could be systemanticly put closer together. So in Oliver's example he wanted to be able to see blogs which were physically and topic closer to his. I had to jump in and say at long last a idea which is possible and wouldnt require huge resources. I did show quite a few people the geourl stuff and wish I'd showed the London transport blog map too.
But these were only a step in the long path towards semantic blogs. The more metadata and semantic meaning you add to the blog, the easier it is for pools of blogs to be aggergated together for a long or short of period of time. And the author doesnt have to be involved in that at all. Oliver pointed out when he googles for a topic he usually gets about handful of related blogs, wouldnt it be nice if all those blogs got aggergated into one for the very short period of the search? Yes indeed, all google would need to do is know what rss is, and understand what a topic is made up of. Not impossible I would say, actually pretty trivial to do by google, and would give them even power than other search engines. Not to say all the web and others couldnt do the same, but the method they all use to decide whats a topic would become secret and the one which does that the best will be king of this area. I can just imagine google doing a good job because they own blogger and have already started using the AtomAPI.

But back to the event, unfortually it seemed the comments got taken as an attack on wiki's. So there was lots of talk about wikis vs blogs or collaboration vs personal publishing. And I felt the point was missed that these aggeragted blogs could be turned into a wiki. So all the subjects or topics were pulled from elsewhere and then edited and commented on using a wiki type interface. To me it makes no difference Blojsom as always had a wiki plugin built in, just not sure anyones done anything with it and/or if its survived the multiple user version of blojsom2?

More to come….

http://www.kendra.org.uk/ and http://jena.hpl.hp.com:3030/blojsom-hp/blog/ and http://webservices.xml.com/pub/a/ws/2003/04/15/semanticblog.html and http://www.google.com/search?q=semantic+blogging&sourceid=opera&num=50&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 and http://rdfweb.org/

Lots of crossover with my own ideas…

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Microsoft bringing Smart to the pocket

What is the difference between the Smartphone and a PocketPC? Then you could ask whats the difference between a PocketPC and a TabletPC?

But seriously back to the first question, whats the difference between a smartphone and pocketpc? I only ask because Microsoft have just released there second edition of Windows Mobile 2003, Released Pocket streets for the Smartphone platform and have disclosed details about a new software development platform which allows you to write for the Xbox, PocketPC, Smartphone and Windows. The lines are getting very blury… This maybe not the best time to own all 3 of them.

The major feature in Mobile 2003 is the VGA screen resolution for PocketPCs and QVGA for Smartphones. So this means the next lot of phones will have the same resolution as my current PocketPC. The WPA support, if i'm thinking correctly will be good if it finally supports 802.1x TTLS natively, rather than through another crappy client. But I'm not sure I'm thinking along the same lines. Would like to see the same Internet Explorer for Smartphones used in PocketPCs. If your site uses frames, then it wont show – excellent, that will teach those old style web designers. Which reminds me I still havent done my CSS media = phone/palmtop test yet. Still a real pain that explorer shows all css, which isnt made for small screens.
Voice dialing including voice tags would be great for the Smartphone AS IS PROMISED in the Orange Manual. Still cant work out if its a fcuk-up or just feature which was promised and not delivered on.

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Casting away

Spent some time today working out icecast to see if it is possible to do a live stream for my copyright vs community lectures. The first one starts this Thursday. I was worried because it seemed like the icecast server would'nt respond to anything. Then I though about shoutcast, and quickly realised that it needs a client/source. In shoutcast it latchs onto winamp using a plugin. So there must be something like that for icecast? Well I was right…

3rd Party Applications – I'm using Oddcast which does a excellent job right inside winamp. Theres also lots of nice tools for streaming under the tool directory. So it looks like I will setup a internal feed using icecast and mp3 using my laptop as a client and some other bigger machine as the server, if I can get dave or miles to install icecast? Maybe theres a case to install a client on the streaming mac powerbook? Should be ok for a ogg vorbis and mp3 stream for the big stallman lecture in may and just mp3 internal for Thursday.

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Orange finally get around to it

Orange logo

About 2 months after the Dutch and 2 weeks after the French. UK finally get an update for the SPV E200. Finally I will beable to use my SPV as a bluetooth modem. Whoo, a reason to use bluetooth again. Downloading update as posting.

You can improve the performance of your SPV E200 by downloading a new ROM Code Upgrade. This will give you the following benefits:

* Longer battery life which significantly improves standby time so that you can use your E200 much longer.

* Improved sound quality from the loudspeaker, earphones, and microphone so that you can hear and be heard more clearly.

* Improved Bluetooth support so that many more Bluetooth devices now work.

Upgraded, took me ages and thought my SPV was dead a couple of time… More about it after I get to sleep.

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Velocity and Servlets

Still trying to get my head around Velocity and its amazing possibilites. Specially when considering joining velocity with cocoon. It shoud mean I can tap into some nice jar files for example reading icals, pdfs and images. Then turning them into some kind simple tree structure for cocoon to consume happly.

As most of my students keep on bugging about teaching PHP. I will kind of explain why VM or Velocity is the way forward and ever so different from JSP and PHP. Actually no need, its all done for me. Velocity Design. JSP vs VM, explains really well. Still cant find anything about L though. On the otherside its well worth checking out Java servlets, its the reason why I keep recommending Java servers to people. Resin, Jetty, Jboss and Tomcat in that order… Well worth reading the story behind Jboss, I dont agree with alot of it but its an interesting read anyway if quite long. Also come on guys theres a reason why Sun, IBM, Netscape, ATG, Apache, etc support Java servlets…

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I’m off to work at the BBC

Yes yesterday I was offered a great job at BBC World Service and of course I took it. So I will be leaving Ravensbourne College behind for now, but I will still be hopefully involved with the Interaction design course even if its just regular checkups on students. I was also offered another position today, but for BBCi's iCan which I had to turned down.

Just wanted to say thanks to all which made my 5 years in Ravensbourne College enjoyable, challenging and interesting.

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Digital mixing is different not better or worst

If I hear one more person say, digital mixing is cheating, i'm going to scream.
Its all different, or at least it should be different. Why? surely its just mixing with another media nothing exactly special?

Wrong! The media is the message… Seriously digital mixing isnt ment to be about copying vinyl mixing. In this post – a way not to do digital mixing I start to lay into the hercules audio dj console. But start to lay off when I mention the fact you could use the midi and digital inputs and outputs, could easily be used for something different and richer than vinyl mixing.
And this is where I will start my voyage into the future world of digital mixing.

I use Atomixmp3 2.2 but it wasnt always the case. I use to use Virtual turntables and before that vinyl. Virtual turntables died a pretty nasty death when its author didnt keep up development. But even then there was debate about auto beatmatching and scratching, and to tell the truth I got involved and never really think about the wider issues at all. However I'm seeing more djs and groups using computers in there sets. Most tend to go with applications like Propellerhead's Reason, and I love reason alot. But have you tried using reason in real time over a 2hour set? Boy oh boy its hard work. So what am I suggesting, more on interfaces soon, till then check out my previous – disagreement [Digital mixing != Vinyl mixing].

But back to Reason. Propellerhead sell not only reason but also Rebirth which I love as much as my Moog appilcation. And Recycle which takes looping to another level, well same level as Acid really. But its interface isnt made for real time use. Just like reason really… But as said before more about this soon, read this beforehand.

The software professionals are using the full apps because they contain key features like midi, hi quality sound, unlimited levels of soundscaping, unlimited effects and instruments. Now why would you want these things? Well if you think like a normal vinyl dj then anything above the cuts is cheating or not worth bothering with? Saying that many djs have wanted to dj with 3 or more decks, well i think about mixing with 5 and more tracks now. But that aside, what would these features bring to digital mixing? Well let me tell you first up, these would make digital mixing something very different, but on with the show.

Networked music

The problem with mixing to more than one version of atomixmp3 is that it breaks the auto beatmatching feature in half. You can match the same bpm but not the beat easily. For that you need a external mixer with monitor to put the mix back in place. Sorry but I thought we'd pass that ages ago. In atomixmp3 you can see a visual waveform of the music playing, so there is no need for headphones, specially when you know the track inside out. So realisticly it is possible to do a whole set listening to the main club output, aka dancing along with the clubbers. If that doesnt put digital mixing far off from vinyl mixing, i will find you something else which will do, give me time… Back to midi, using midi it should be possible to perfectly sync one atomixmp3 with another one, even if there on different machines. Now this relys on Atomixmp3 giving off a sync beat like you hearing when messing with midi for the first time. The sync beat keeps everything in time, and will adjust for any changes, just what is needed for mixing, wouldnt you agree? Now to take advantage, why limit ourselves to a midi cable? If the broadcasts are in something simple like SIP, SOAP, XMPP or even XMLRPC. It would be possible to do live sync mixing over any ip network. Say a Local area network, wireless, usb, firewire or even bluetooth. And like the midi in, out and thru connection theres no reason why there cant be a whole range of device or computers picking up and adjusting the sync track. Obvioulsy the sync track is just that and wont broadcast actual music, just the beat, bpm, pitches, etc. Maybe it will be possible to broadcast lots more like the tracks queued up and playing?

At which point we got something totally different from most vinyl djs, yes the aspect of collabration and team play. Common in groups but not in djs. Could that be because most djs like designers are so ego driven? I play the music, people come to see me? Who knows, but with these technologies its possible to do a mix from anywhere, even the dance floor…

Freedom of movement

Forever djs have stood in front of the clubbers or there fans behind the decks. Why? is it really all about security or does some of it have something to do with the ego of djs? who knows, rare cases have I seen the dj on the floor level of clubbers and if so there still usually in front. However I spent a little time in berlin last year, and went to a club opposite the universal building just on the east side across the river. And in the club on the bottom floor along side the great view of the universal building the dj was on a 10cm tall stand and right in the middle of the dance floor. So clubbers were surrounding the dj. Its pretty awesome to see, but doesnt work well because of the old legacy vinyl problems. First one, vinyl jumps, when someone hits the decks or surface on which the decks sit. So many times a slightly off balance clubber would hit lowish wall and make the record skip. Then the dj needed monitors, so if you were close to the booth, you could hear the slight delay from the PA system. its a pain in the arse for sure. Now if it was digital mixing all those problems would be solved. On top of that, there would be little need for a booth at all. Basiclly the digital dj only needs a power cable and a audio cable. Digital output in optical or coxial makes the cable small and good quality enough.

But hey dont be silly, what about wireless? If you setup a audio server on the laptop or device its possible to stream the music from the laptop/dj server to the client which would be the PA system. Now I'm not suggesting using 802.11b as its doesnt hold enough bandwidth for a consistant large stream, but 802.11g would work and lets not wipe out custom frequences. Ultimatly I believe UWB would be better in such an environment as a noisy, sweaty club. But imagine the possiblies once the dj is cut from the cables, as there no reason to have a light laptop really, so a laptop with extra large batteries means nothing really. Nothing stopping you from having a laptop with extra long storage batteries which could last 5 or more hours. There would be no need to have the screen brightness high, and atomixmp3 doesnt use up as much processing power as you may imagine. The server shouldnt either really, done tests with shoutcast server and atomixmp3 over a 802.11b network using my tablet pc in tablet mode and using the pen. And it lasts around 2 hours without killing the battery dead. A decent Athlon XP or Pentium 4 machine should beable to handle multistate atomixmp3 on batteries, as mine doesnt.

Changing the Interface

A move away from standing behind some decks or messing with the trackpad is so needed. I've had enough of looking out on to a crowded dance floor and thinking I wish I was there and here. Surely there is a way of having a good old dance and mix the music? Well I swear we need to look towards the live performance of people like MICHEL WAISVISZ. I've already done a huge post about him.
I love what you can do with a couple of laptop screens but the actual controls on screen are far too small to do a live performance. One of the interfaces I actually like is the dance dance revolution one. Now I'm not suggesting dance dance revolution should be the interface for digital mixing, just that its kind of neat how you have the interface ontop of the quickly moving backdrop. All perfectly watchable from a far.

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BBC Three: Dead Man Walking

Matthew Collins next to the Thames, Docklands

Watching this well made and captivating documentary about Racism in the UK. Wish I'd made a copy of the programme now. Its truly haunting to see how the BNP have changed there image and used clever propaganda to gain support in critical areas where the local community are split.

Mon 15 Mar at 01:55 on BBC Three

Ten years ago, 21 year-old Matthew Collins fled the country, a wanted man. As a far right activist, he'd witnessed the formation of the terror group Combat 18, and been involved in some violent attacks on innocent people. But there was something about Matthew that his friends didn't know. He'd become an informer, working against them from the inside. Eventually his evidence led to convictions and he was forced to flee Britain for Australia at short notice.

But Matthew Collins isn't hiding any more. Now he's come back to face the demons he left behind and rebuild his life in Britain. Dead Man Walking charts Matthew's return journey as he tries to find out what's changed on the far right since he left a decade ago and prepares to face the race hate groups from the outside this time.

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KnoppMyth, making it easy

I'm going to sort out my Linux box with MythTV sometime this weekend. Spent too much time looking at other posts yesterday night. I looked at my blog where it all started yesterday which passed me on to PVRBlog. Where I see theres a Knoppix cd with MythTV. So i can test out my hardware and make sure it works with MythTV before messing with my debian setup. Other links useful for my experiment into mythTV, mysettop box, Install guides for Linux PVRs and PVR Hardware database. MythTV on the Xbox?

Ok been trying to install MythTV with the Knoppix CD for the last 4-5hours now. Already had my first Kernal Panic simular to Mac OSX. And I'm reinstalling once again for the 4th time. I think my Hard drives are screwed, but I dont fancy swapping hard drives at this time in the morning.

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