Wikimedia’s Jimmy Wales

Just come out of presentation with Jimmy Wales the co-founder of Wikipedia. And I'm very impressed by what else wikimedia offers. I cant/wont go too much into some of the questions and answers were exchanged during the talk but I was planning on getting a copy of the presentation in video form but I dont think I could really upload it to due to some of the questions. I did ask about the link up with wikimedia commons and And got a reasonable answer about the fact that the media uploaded would be all based around the wiki's. So you wouldnt get your general photos uploaded and stored. However it raised the question if Jimmy had ever met Brewster Kahle? And believe it or not, they have never met! Oh my! Anyway, theres a meetup with Jimmy this Friday, so I'm going to cancel my 2600 meetup and go to this instead.

Everyone knows I hate haxor scraping page style method, so I'm trying to find ways to get content from Wikipedia without scraping. I looked at the page source and theres a link to a creative commons licence but doesnt seem to go anywhere.
< link title="Creative Commons" type="application/rdf+xml" href=" /w/wiki.phtml?title=Internet&action=creativecommons" rel="meta" />. As I'm thinking theres lots of taste metadata here. For example check out this page and the almost restful url – I mean god this is damm useful metadata! enough said….

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SVG UK User and Developers group

I first heard about the SVG group here. And decided I should go for sure, as I've not been involved with SVG for a while now but am still a large supporter. The group was a interesting mix, but still mainly acdemia and developers. Theres was one guy called Paul who was a designer/artist who I had a good chat with afterwards. I recomended reading Harry and Dave's Dissertations as there right up his street. I also suggested to Jan-Klaas of vectoreal who was showing encrypted content inside SVG. He should consider looking at XML Encryption standard because a killer application would beable to pass a SVG around to anyone with encrypted content. Then for different groups to beable decrypt different parts of the same SVG. Think of it like the Rubik's Magic Rings where with the correct process you can get a different model/picture that others. I remember it took me hours to work out how to get a 3D construction. Anyway, it was a shame Mark Birbeck from did not attend because I was interested in seeing formsplayer 2 working. Pn the plus side, I think SVGOpen 2005 is looking and sounding great. Plus its only in the netherlands so I'm thinking it would make a nice holiday as Sarahs never been to the netherlands and I have not been for 5 years now. The prices also seem very reasonable for a 4 day conference and if I do decide to submit a paper (which I am considering) its even cheaper. Thinking of doing my idea about dynamicly changing content based on external feeds. Think 10×10 and your close.

Some thoughts afterwards. Most of the Vodafone live phones come with SVG as standard now. Just because SVG is XML, doesnt mean you shouldnt forgot the metadata. Adobe Illustrator CS has support for Adobe's XMP metadata, but even putting in rdf dublin core is a good idea. Worth reading – From hypertext to Datument.

At long last there is stable support for native SVG in Mozilla, so its really starting to happen. And talking about Mozilla…
I need to check out XUL and XBL. I remember looking at XUL along time ago when Mozilla was still in point release. Now it seems pretty darn good and easy to write. I see it as a useful way to combine different webservices into an application. For example I could use the api with cocoon server to pass data back and forth into the XUL interface and on to other apps. The example I saw on Friday took content from a xml file processed it and transformed it into a svg all inside the XUL interface. Ok and another thing I learned about. XBL – A way to bind xml languages together. Its like using CSS almost in XHTML but actually does away with complex namespaces issues? But XBL raises many questions. Whats the difference between XBL and namespaces in the practical sense? and whats sXBL?

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Podcasting on the BBC culture show tonight…

A quick reminder of a programme being shown today at 7pm on BBC2.

Finally, if you havent yet heard of podcasting, you soon will. It's the latest new trick on the internet and it has the potential to shake up the way we listen to radio. You can hear about it first on tonight's Culture Show, BBC2 at 7pm, or 8pm in Scotland.
Best wishes
The Culture Show team.

According to Adam Curry's podcast yesterday (Wednesday). They have cut the segment down from 9mins to 6mins, which is pain, but what can you do? Anyhow I will reserve judgement till after the broadcast. Oh and if you miss it tonight, you can watch it here soon afterwards?

Ok I missed half of the culture show due to a late train from London Bridge but those great Engadget guys put up a torrent file for the mpeg4 version. So I was able to watch the whole lot again. First thoughts, it wasnt that bad. They didnt actually show much of how Adam does it but thats cool, it wouldnt make the best TV for the general public. 7mins and a couple of seconds gave enough time to talk to UK podcasters and chat with Adam Curry. Actually it was kinda of slick, and up there with the quality of usual BBC programming. However, i have complaints.
The first guys introduction sucked, very boring and I would have been deeply worried it was going to be like that through-out if I never saw the rest first. The graphic podcasting thingy was pretty good, and I'm wondering where they got that from? I was tempted to take a screen shot. I also didnt like the fact it was all focused around the ipod, even though zina and adam curry did mention mp3players and 3g mobile phones. The emphase that this is all very camp and amateur was kinda of offensive I felt, I mean would you call webtalk radio or engadget amateur? I also thought there was no mention about Dave Winer who also helped kick off podcasting. On the whole it wasnt at all bad and did more good for getting the name around that anything – thumbs up to the culture show guys for a good segment. I just hope it works well with my presentation in two weeks time, when I talk to worldservice about podcasting…

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Tell me something, would you be interested in doing a monthly podcast?

I'm asking this question to a few people I'm friends with, who are also in the industry. The idea being to do a monthly or two monthly podcast about subjects which affect the industry. Yes it sounds like the gillmor gang, and I'll make no excuses for that – its very good format. Anyway, its been in mind for a while now. The setting has to be around a bar or pub table with a laptop recording via a simple microphone. Or could even be after a dinner or something? Format has to be about a hour no more really. I'm hinting towards live and direct rather than edited. But I think i need to just do it and see what happens. Maybe who knows I can rope some majors into the mix? Like some London alpha bloggers or something? Right now the list of people who have agreed to do it stands at 3 including myself. Comment if your really interested in a English Gillmor Gang. Hey just a thought, maybe I could build a meetup around this? Hummmm…..

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Worldservice feeds, the word is out there now

At long last I decided to send the email which I had been storing in my draft for the last 2 months. Since we started syndicating RSS 1.0, I had thought about sending out the email to the alpha bloggers and getting the word out to the bloggerosphere that way. Now its starting to happen.

I got a email back from David Weinberger, saying wow! Thanks (I blogged it.).
One from Dave Winer saying,

RSS 2.0 actually does have an item-level pubDate element.

Anyway, glad to see you getting into syndication in all those languages.

In reply to Dave I wrote.

We were comparing RSS 0.91 against RSS 1.0 because are currently syndicating RSS 0.91 and we didn’t want to just follow there lead.

RSS 2.0 was talked about too, but we felt that RSS 1.0 with its RDF base was more suited for us, as we could convert 1.0 to 2.0 without loosing any data. With that in mind, we are able to bring in RSS 2.0 at any point in the future.

I'm honestly just glad we are able to syndicate in so many languages, and hope this encourages others (small and large) to publish multiple language rss. As RSS should not be tied to Latin based languages.

I also recieved a very thought provoking reply from Bob DuCharme.

Very cool, congratulations, and cheers for going with RSS 1.0.

Once enough stories accumulate, would the new entries be bumping the old ones out of the feed files, as most do, or are there any ideas about making archives of the entries available? I've ranted a bit about how archived RSS from anyone would be a tremendous contribution to a semantic web, while I still can't see any use cases for transient RSS in a semantic web. (Useful nevertheless, obviously, but just not in any semantic web contexts.)

Honestly, I replied. I have never really thought about archiving RSS. At the moment we do not archive our indexes for worldservice sites. That may change, but its a very interesting thought none the less.

And of course, I got some nice emails back from BBC staff who saw David Weinberger's blog saying great work. I'm hoping to send another one out to boingboing, ntk, slashdot, theregister, etc once we get our help pages up and running. But before that I will keep a track of what happens in the bloggerosphere using my uncrafted rss feeds from Daypop and Feedster. At the moment its a bit of echo chamber.

I wont talk about why we choose RSS 1.0 over RSS 2.0 right now, but this is a interesting view on the debate. By the way, please check out the RSS feeds which are, lets say full of metadata. For example here is the caribbean feed.

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BBC backstage + Web 2.0 = BBC online 2.0?

At long last its ok to write my feelings about what is going on in the bbc recently. Well first up the context. The BBC is commited to public support, innovation and driving the need for digital takeup in the areas of Broadband (online), Digital Radio and Digital TV. Great, but what does that actually mean?

Well I wont explorer too deeply into the BBC response to the Graf report, but one of the many projects is one called BBC Backstage.

The BBC will support social innovation by encouraging users’ efforts to build sitesand projects that meet their needs and those of their communities. Where market impact considerations allow, BBC management will provide access to core infrastructure applications, like the postcoder database at the heart of iCan, which can in turn become the core of new social applications created by our users, for our users. This is exemplified through plans for Backstage, a public site for the BBC’s in-house development teams to share development plans with their peers and audiences. In a similar way to Google’s Labs test-site, this will be a place to demonstrate work in progress, share expertise and invite contributions and collaboration with expert users. The BBC will also be committed to using open standards that will enable users to find and repurpose BBC content in more flexible ways.

Yes think about it like Google labs and your almost on the right track. Unlike google labs, we may expose data which will relate to the people more than google. Things like Search, Postcodes, Weather, News, Listener data, Geography data, TV listings, etc, etc. The applications, services, etc which are built upon our data from the public will not be hosted on our servers. Not to say that BBC employee's wont try things out internally and expose them externally. But the emphases is on explosing the underline data through webservices or simple API's. Or we are asking in return is to keep it non-commercial, tell us about the service, application, etc and add some kind of attribution to the BBC and BBC backstage. Simple!

This goes deeper into the BBC that you may at first think. For example since I've been working for the BBC it has been very cagey about releasing information about planned projects. And of course understandably, no companys wants to see the latest plans taken and modified by others in the same industry. But you have to ask who are BBC's rivials? Specially in the online space, who? Any how google, flickr, yahoo, microsoft, etc all seem to manage to deliver enough content to know whats going on pass the press release but not critical plans. This almost transparency is what the BBC is starting to adopt now instead of just talking about it.

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Really Simple Mobile Surfing

RSS is changing how people surf the Web — and it could bring the mobile Internet into the mainstream, too.

At long last someone is talking some sense. Carlo Longino lays it down straight in his post titled Really Simple Mobile Surfing. RSS is simply great for mobile devices and the only problem now is developing rss readers which make the process of subscribing and updating easy and painless. For now I'm sticking with reading RSS on my PocketPC but I do have a RSS reader on my Smartphone too.

Found a nice link when checking out the story about AOL working on a mobile RSS reader. RSS2WAP which might be a good option for those without Java, Symbian or the compact dot net framework? But it gets better…
After many times talking about how the mobile phone is ideal for podcasting and listening to music. I'm to hear the following in the same entry.

Things don't have to be limited to just text, either — RSS already supports images, and other enclosures, like audio and video, currently giving rise to the podcasting phenomenon. RSS could deliver video content across 3G networks, and even on slower ones by pre-loading content in the background or during off hours.

Bang right on the money! A viable business model for the mobile providers, but acceptably open for the grassroots, opensource, public to get a shout in? I'm happy, I dont see why AOL getting in first has anything to do with this?

Lisa sent me a while ago a link about 24 on 3G mobile devices. And I was thinking, this is novel but I'm not totally convinced. Now Podcasting it the mobile device instead of streaming would not make much sense to a mobile provider but it makes tons of sense to the rest of us.

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Xbmc 1.1 cold feature freeze is over

The feature freeze looks to be over for the xbox media centre team. Recently there seems to lots of changes around the core featues of plaing media.

First up, Apple Browser is now Fixed using a version 4 python script. For those who are unsure of what this is, please check out the screen shot which should make some sense of my futher descrption. Using AQT Browser, it is possible to browse Apple's movie trailer site and stream the trailer straight to the xbox. Its simple and very effective for watching the latest trailes. In the future, I'm sure other sites like will also be treated to the same type of browsing method.

AQT browser in action

I made the choice along time ago to replace evoX which is the default mod dashboard with xbmc its self, and its doing a very good job. I only have to turn the xbox on and I know I can hit my browser to play music without turning on the TV. But there are things which need to be changed. The filemanager is one of those things. In xbmc 1.0 and betas, it was ok. But if you wanted to really copy something to HD quickly, you were always better off using another application as the button control in xbmc was awarked at best. Now things have improved, xbmc users will see the screenshot and know exactly what I mean.

the new filemanager in xbmc 1.1

The most exciting feature for me is the new and improved Xlink client which was always a poor relation to the full client on a pc. Now you can do so much more…

Amongst many new features, it has a voice chat function (using Team-Avalaunch's port of SPEEX). Players can use voice chat within XBMC to communicate directly or chat in “groups” with other players on XBOX's and PCs that also support XLink Kai.
Auto-Play from harddrive, Kai Toast notifications, My Avatar, network status dialogs, plus a number of bug-fixes.

XBMC now supports private arenas, creating arenas, avatars, invites and lots of other KaiUI features. XBMC is also your friend if you intend to use a Linux-router like the WRT54G to run your Kai Engine – you could get a really nice setup, with XBMC and kaid – so no computer would be needed

Kai Toast feature in action

Other things to mention on this sleepless night. Theres a super sweet skin from which produced the orginal project mayhem skin. But honestly version 2 of the skin is slick. Theres a really nice skin and general shake up in the webfront end gui. Its now using CSS instead of insane Tables and Frames. I have not yet tried it on my PocketPC, but it should fair better than the old web front end, which has silly amounts of javascript to really trip up the pocketpc. Talking about using the phone as a remote control, it would be interesting to see if it works on my smartphone too? Generally, xbmc 1.1 is a good upgrade and worthy of the effort. Now if only I could turn the xbox on remotely, embrace the bittorrent and podcasting scene…
Lots of screenshots of new features.

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BBC finally tries out Podcasting

It started with a in our time email on a internal discussion board.

We're now offering you the chance to download each edition of In Our
Time, on a trial basis, for 7 days after broadcast. Each edition will
be available soon after broadcast.

The mp3 file can be used on portable players, such as iPods, or you
can just listen to it on your computer.

To download on a PC – right click below, and 'Save Target As' and to
download on a Mac – control button and click.
Follow this link to give us your reactions to this trial

Download in our time

After my email a discussion broke out about podcasting in the BBC.

Do Radio 4 have a RSS feed? This would be the perfect chance to try podcasting with BBC content. I could imagine pushing the audio with the best comments from the debate page in a RSS feed.

(Just in case you do not know what podcasting is, please refer to this piece from the New York times – New Food for IPods: Audio by Subscription –

Broadcasting is what we the BBC, do best…

Ian Forrester | BBC World Service [New Media Software Engineer]

And it all ended with the Radio and Music interactive team doing the clearing work and creating a Podcast for the series. I'm not claiming credit for the podcast, as its a general idea most of the BBC employee's are looking at. But I'm so happy to see something like podcasting happening (or at least being tested), and at such speed for a large company like the BBC. Matt Webb has the same kind of information on his weblog, damm you matt for being able to weblog what you work on… If only I could do the same. Anyway please give your reactions and feedback on this page. By the way, heres a test RSS 1.0 file using RDF enclosures. Please comment if your podcasting app works with it.

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The Amazon theatre

Portrait with minnie driver

Interesting thing amazon seem to be doing on there site. Amazon theatre is basiclly a way of showing off small 5min post-independant films by large names. I heard nothing about it in the blogsphere, but I personally think its just interesting that Amazon is doing this, what is the business model? Maybe it drive traffic to amazon or they can sell extra books off the back of them? who knows, but the short films business is dominated by ifilm and I wonder what they make of the whole thing?

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BBC Scotland at bloggercon 3

Ok so I was listening to a podcast from IT conversations titled Newbies and about 50:20 in [clip with Julie] Julie from BBC Scotland Interactive takes the microphone as a crowd member. Where she talks about Island blogging. This took me by suprised because I was waiting for the 354 Bus and just never thought I would hear any one from BBC at bloggercon. Anyway what else took me by suprise.

She talks about the custom built system for blogging and the frustration with the system. And I'm glad shes very honest about it. It now allows me to vent my pain using and looking at the system for Worldservice. Thats no longer a secret too, because Julie also mentions Worldservice are looking at bring blogging to other parts of the world. Its very interesting Julie thinks other BBC blogs are not blogs because they do not allow for comments, trackbacks, etc. I would agree totally with that point.

I dont feel I am out of line saying that the scottish blogging system is not good. I understand they were under tons of pressure to roll something out for the residents of North Argyll and the experience was more important than the tool. But there moving into stage 2 now, they (we) really need to consider a professional tool. I'm in favoring Blojsom because I can make it work really nicely with our worldservice content management system. But honestly, as long as it can do things like multiple user, multiple blog, external access via xmlrpc, rss/atom. Then were moving in the right direction.
I'm feeling the need to sort out blojsom at work so we can at least get into a decent dialogue going about what we really need…

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Podcasting on BBC2 sometime soon?

Group of trendy people standing around with the culture show brand above

I'm hearing on the Daily Source code from Adam Curry that the BBC are doing a feature on Podcasting with him in his Amsterdam castle. Its meant to appear on a show called the culture show. But I cant see anything about it on the site. Oh well at least theres a real stream for watching if I miss it on the TV. Thinking of writing a email to the person producing the show and asking for more details… The abuse of being of a BBC employee.

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Cubicgarden needs to be fixed

Pink Flower close up

I have recieved emails and im's from people asking why comments are not working? I honestly dont know but I am investigating the issue. Seems only my blog is affected no one elses. Which is good news, but its going to take me sometime to work out whats happening and fix. I'm apologetic for those who lost there comments recently…

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