Are you a self described geek?

…well do you? Why not? Is it because you failed the Geek test or more likely because you dont like the idea of being a geek? Wikipedia takes the sci-fi route but could it be the mainstream view of geeks which is putting you off? There was a short piece in the telegraph recently, which was sent to me by Birch about the fact that the UK Sci-fi Channel now has more Female viewers than Male. Ann McMeekin's quote is perfect if you swap sci-fi for geek, or even nerd, or even techie.

People have an impression of sci-fi fans being small men who sit in the dark watching Star Trek but it's not like that now

Will this perception change? knowing the mainstream media, not anytime soon. But it is certain that the old boys club of geek culture is being slowly taken apart, and I for one think its a good thing. The other day Sarah made a comment to me while I was watching Rocketboom which just celebrated its 1st year anniversary (26th October, which is also shared with me and sarah's anniversary too). Its great to see you watching a great looking geek girl for once. After a brief discussion about what exactly she meant, I got it. Its true all the geek media I watch tends to have a strong male lead and if there are any women at all, there role is usually irrelevent or very small. And shes right, Geek culture is still mainly run by white males. Take for example Nerd TV which still has no female interview after its 8th show now. To be fair Anina is next on the list but shes the only one, not even Molly or Meg Hourihan is on there.

  • Macintosh OS programmer Andy Hertzfeld (9/6)
  • PayPal co-founder Max Levchin (9/13)
  • Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy (9/20)
  • Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (9/27)
  • Internet publisher Tim O'Reilly (10/4)
  • Father of RSS Dave Winer (10/11)
  • Autodesk co-founder Dan Drake (10/19)
  • Intel Capital co-founder Avram Miller (10/28)
  • Anina the WAP Queen
  • Computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart
  • Former Lotus chief scientist Jerry Kaplan
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak
  • Former Apple chief scientist Larry Tesler
  • Google CEO Eric Schmidt
  • The father of Linux, Linus Torvalds
  • TCP/IP inventor Bob Kahn

Yes I know theres many cultural and social reasons for this but you have to wonder how much things have changed. lets not get started on the different cultures and race point of view either, NPR has a few podcasts about this but its American focused, Reversing Technology's Racial Divide and Black Students and the Future of Technology.

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Tape it off the Internet, no really do!

Thanks to a comment by Duncan in my kill TV post a while ago, I've now checked out Tape it off the internet.com. Although its not actually a web 2.0 application or social tool yet. Its got a lot of potential as idea at least.

They seem to have a lot of the simple things right, for example there is a post about why recommendations could be important when you drop off the schedule. There right, when you drop off, you end up relying much more on friends recommendations and what people and things around you say. So for example me and sarah have become big fans of Firefly and Serenity, browncoats some would say. The reason I engaged with Firefly and the movie serenity was a couple of things. My friend doug, a lot of blogs about the treatment Firefly got from Fox and what tipped the balance a Wired article. I was recommended Lost by my buddy Waheed and Prision Break from Tom but another way I gage interesting shows is by torrents which have lots of downloaders times by the time it was published. Some Torrent sites make this easy to sort by, others dont. It would be nice to have a webapi for these things sometimes.

But back to tape it off the internet, another thing which made me shake my head in agreement is the friends x episode tracker. Its best explained in the post.

Let us take the problem outlined below, that of different friends of yours not all being on the same episode of a show, making conversation about said show… delicate to say the least, lest you drop a clanger of a spoiler.

Seriously this happens all the time, i usually have to ask what episode someone is on before talking about it. Lost is a nightmare right now because a ton of people are on the UK series which I believe is coming to the end of series 1 soon. A couple of friends have seen the whole series 1 but not started on 2, and then about 3 people I know are fully up with ep5 of series 2.

So guys behind the idea, when's the vaporware going into Permanent BETA with a Open API, tagging and tons of Ajax? hehe…

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Using Microformats in blog entries

I'm going to start using Microformats a lot more from now on forward. I've setup Wbloggar with a load of custom tags and hope to use them when blogging. I want to use it as a experiment to see how practical it is to use Microformats in everyday life. I even looked back into XFN, for describing relationships. I'll come back to how well it goes, but I'm considering using ecto instead as I heard it can have scripts which mean I could put in a real form instead of just code.

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The perfect working environment?

Following on from the last entry about Paul Graham's talk at OScon 2005. I wanted to talk about the working environment part of his talk.

Not only is Paul so deadly right but it leaves you with a taste of wanting something much better for yourself. I have to share my thoughts about some of these.

Working time. My goodness, the dream of a 24 hour culture is never going to happen, at least this side of the pond and this current generation. Current business makes it impossible to work if you decide to work during the night. And I dont mean one off's, I mean regularly. Don't get me wrong, if your working with other people a compromise should be sought but quite a few times during a development life cycle you could do with just working when you feel the need to finish the task. My most productive time is from late evening to the early hours of the morning (currently 4:30am BST). Although this can have a effect on other aspects of life but its a matter of balance. If I was to go to work right now, I could. But if I didn't show up the next day and said I worked on the project, well I douht that would go down well. Some would say its unrealistic but actually its not as unrealistic as it may seem. For example if me and Sarah were to having kids, maybe working overnight might become a useful option.

Actually working. Paul talks about a state of pretending to work. Although I work hard, sometimes I just want to relax my mind and think about the task at hand in my head without forcing my head into the problem. I find if you step away and put your head somewhere else for a bit, it comes to you a lot easier. Putting my head somewhere else could be watching a film, listening to music or podcasts, etc. From the outside it certainly looks like your just goofing off not really working. I mean how do you prove your working? By how much lines of code you cut today? How many CVS edits and check in's? I believe in my work place at least theres a level of trust which allows us to be slightly flexible with our time but generally if your not in a meeting or away for the day you should be in the office working. Which leads nicely on to tools.

Tools for the job. During summer in Ravensbourne I would take my laptop outside and work on a bench because it was too hot inside and it felt more practical cranking up the aircon. There was wireless and I had a laptop which I could use. Sometimes nights I would work till the moon and stars would come out because I was so engaged in my work. Obvioulsy I'm not suggesting I should just be allowed to sit on a public bench everyday, but sometimes the fresh air and sunshine does wonders for problem solving. Having a desktop, propitery cms's, database connections, no remote email, etc really limits how far you can go. Having a slightly locked down desktop doesn't help either but having my own laptop means I can try stuff out and maybe even mess with code in a safe sandboxed environment. One of the funniest things I see everyday is the designers computers setup. They usually have a PC and a Mac setup which means they end up with two mice and two keyboards. At home I use to have that same problem, but I bought myself a KVM and used Synergy2 when I was using my laptop a lot. I'm sure if they had the same setup at home, they would do something about it.

Working on things you love. This is a very tricky subject for anyone. Yes I know Google have that 20/80 thing which is great but its slightly impractical for a publicly funded company like the BBC. But it doesn't have to be the google model, I've heard of company's which allow for elective time. So you can help out on the forums twice a month for a day, help teach a new skill to others, or help develop something for the team or office. basically its like volunteer your skills to do other things which may give you a break or new love. The BBC has a longer term scheme called attachments which places you in another department for up to 6 months. Its a good scheme and gives you real time to do something else.

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The striking differences of pro-amateurs and professionals marketplaces

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My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?

I heard this absolutely amazing talk today via IT Conversations. Paul Graham last year upset a lot of people with his comments about Microsoft and Java in his hilarious Great Hackers at OScon 2004 which can still be found here on IT Conversations. But this time he turns his targets at the tradition workplace, professionalism and big business in the OScon 2005 keynote.

I wont go into details because I couldn't express the way Paul puts over the points in his own unique way. Here's the Blurb from IT Conversations.

Paul Graham, popular author and Lisp programmer, discusses what business can learn from open source. According to him, it's not about Linux or Firefox, but the forces that produced them. He delves into the reasons why open source is able to produce better software, why traditional workplaces are actually harmful to productivity and the reason why professionalism is overrated.

Paul takes blogging as an analogy and explains how the phenomenon is actually very similar to the open source movement. Both show that amateurs often surpass professionals in what they choose to do, because they love what they are doing. He also points out that in the age of the Internet, which has made collaboration extremely easy, large corporations find it difficult to compete with software produced by a bunch of inspired hackers. Paul also takes a dig at workplaces as we know them and illustrates how the most productive phase of any company is when it is still a startup.

I've always thought about blogs and opensource being quite similar in terms of there backgrounds, attitudes and coverage but nowhere at the level of Paul. I mean think about for one moment. Mainstream business has been talking about open source for a long time but and sees it as a treat to some of there propitery ways but tend to poke at it with a stick and not really adopt the open source methology. This statement can almost be put directly on the mainstream medias view of blogs. They poke around with it but not really adopt the methologies behind it.

Paul makes such good references to the false ceiling of professionalism and amateurism. He made a comment about the fact that the word amateur has been changed from its original meaning. So I had a little look around and he's right. From wikipedia's entry on amateur

The word amateur has at least two connotations. In the first, more widely used manner, it means someone performing some task without pay, in contrast to a “professional” who would be paid for the same task. In this sense, labeling someone an “amateur” can have a negative connotation. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball or football would not be regarded as having ability on par with professional athletes in those sports.

Where this can be interesting is in the case of the Olympic Games. Most Olympic events required that the athletes be amateurs, or non-professionals. To receive pay to perform the sport could have disqualified an athlete from an event, as in the case of Jim Thorpe. Such regulations are now nonexistent for all Olympic sports with the exception of boxing.

Also in the areas of computer programming and open source, as well as astronomy and ornithology, many amateurs make very meaningful contributions equivalent to or exceeding those of the professionals. To many, description as an amateur is losing its negative meaning, and actually carries a badge of honor.

The other, perhaps somewhat obsolescent usage, stems from the French form of the Latin root of the word meaning a “lover of”. (See amateurism.) In this sense, retaining its French inflexion (“am-a-tEUR”), an amateur may be as competent as a paid professional, yet is motivated by a love or passion for the activity, like a connoisseur. In the 17th and 18th centuries virtuoso had similar connotations of passionate involvement.

Indeed, another thriving example of such work is Amateur Dramatics – whether plays or musical theater. Often performed to high standards (but lacking the budgets of the professional West End theatre/Broadway theatreversions) and with an intense passion for the scene.

It has been suggested that the crude, all or nothing categories of professional or amateur should be reconsidered. A historical shift is occurring with the rise of Pro-Ams, a new category of people that are pursuing amateur activities to professional standards.

This is a sticking point for a lot of the opposition to many things, and thinking about it more. Its got to me too. For example, recently I was pulled into a heated battle about the quality of content in blogs. The other parties were saying the writing was not professional enough. Now instead of outlining examples of brilliant writing like Paul Ford's Ftrain. I should have said no, on a whole its amateur writing but thats no reflection on the quality. I was drawn into a debate about professionalism without me realizing. Miles said something profound about my blog the other day, which relates so well to this and I only just saw the link. Obviously this is me power phrasing – I read your blog because its your thoughts and ideas not some wannabe wank wanting to play by the mainstream rules. And he's right, I dont want my blog to be in the Technorati top 100. I dont care that my blog is worth nothing to the mainstream media, its not the rules I'm playing by sorry.

Cluetrain #81 : Have you noticed that, in itself, money is kind of one-dimensional and boring? What else can we talk about?

Cluetrain #88 : We have better things to do than worry about whether you'll change in time to get our business. Business is only a part of our lives. It seems to be all of yours. Think about it: who needs whom?

Amateursation (is there such a word?) once removed from its below professional setting, its really easy to reclaim back the word as its what drives the long tail of Internet content. But more interestingly is the Pro-amateur word which I would categories some of the podcasts I hear and watch as. For example, IT conversations is a pro-am of podcasting. Its content is not broad like mainstream media, it sticks to a niche audience and adopts all the values and spirit of the amateur marketplace. Likewise the Rev3 guys are certainly the Pro-am of the videoblogging. I cant quite put my finger on it but Digital Life TV feels closer to mainstream media than Systm.Maybe thats why I end up skipping some parts?

I'm not quite done with Paul Graham yet….

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Moving house at long last.

In less than 2 weeks, me and Sarah will have bought and moved into our first house. This has been one of the most stressful times I've ever experienced. But I still highly recommend Shared Ownership to first time buyers living and buying in England.

In total me and Sarah have spent roughly just over 2500 pounds in solicitors fees, house deposit, mortgage arrangements, etc to secure the house from viewing to exchanging contracts. Not bad if you consider stamp duty alone could have cost us 1500 pounds plus if the house was not in Woolwich. Our solicitors Barnes Morley were pretty good. There online transaction checker was good but slow to update, I dont think its really integrated into there way of working yet. But the emails back and forth were always answered quickly and fully at stupid times of the day (for me answering emails at 7-8am would be a nightmare come true). Even when we asked the most simple and basic questions, our solicitor totally understood and made it as clear as possible for us first time buyers.

So from Novemeber its goodbye leafy Beckenham and hello urban Woolwich. Some of the things to look forward to is the near future for Woolwich. The Woolwich Arsenal DLR which has started work already and is due to end in 2009 will provide a train link straight into Bank DLR/Tube station. Then we have the olympics in the east end of London in 2012 which will include the woolwich area. I think there's some river things planned for charlton and greewich which is the next areas along. And the last thing which is also going on is the Thames gateway scheme, which includes a bridge a little bit down the road in Thamesmead and a whole host of other projects.

So all together, theres quite a lot of things going on in the area and us buying a place there might have been a really good idea for the future.

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I’m feeling better thanks…

hope you feel well card

If you dont know I've been kidnapped by my blog just recently. But seriously I had a operation and was told to stay at home and away from people, air con, smoke, steam and extreme heat for at least 2 weeks. So i've been reading lots of blogs, while listening to tons of podcasts (including this amazing one by Paul Graham about Blogs, Opensource and the workplace, which I'm going to blog soon) and of course checking out some of the best iptv offerings. It was kind of ideal being off in bed with my laptop while Pop!tech was streamed live over last weekend. Anyhow thanks to everyone who emailed, im'ed and texted me. I'm fine just getting headaches now and then. Thanks for the Donuts World Service New media, me and Sarah enjoyed them and there going to last us about a week.

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Sunshine, wireless and holiday geeks camps

A long long time ago I went on a geeky holiday in Ibiza. It was my second time on the island and its was just after I finished my Interactive design BA at Ravensbourne, so I was in need for a break away after the years of stress. The holiday was simply a very last minute cheap package holiday costing 40 pounds a person for 2 weeks which included flights and 3 star hotel. Because I could not get someone else to come with me on such short notice (next day), I had to pay a single suppliment fee of 30 pounds. But 70 pounds for 2 weeks away in the hills of Ibiza wasnt bad at all.

Anyway, I took my laptop with me and spent most of the holiday working on cubicgarden.com (should have just setup a blog all that time ago) and learning more XML technologies like Xlink. And although it was very geeky, it was kinda of nice because some of the people in the same hotel were from the IT field and didnt really think of it being super strange me sitting at the outside hotel bar with my laptop drinking and messing with CSS.

I had thought about running a couple of holidays along this same type of idea, geek holidays or something. But never found the time. Well I'm starting to think its a idea maybe worth revisiting with all the BarCamp, FooCamp, etc Camp's going on. Yes I know most people go away to get away from it all but theres a small but long tail of people which dont see it holidays like that, me included. Geek Dinners is another one of those things which should not make much sense on paper but it does in reality. The key thing in all these things is getting like socially minded people in to a venue and providing aspects of the tradional experience and there lifestyle. So in the camps you still got tents, fields and nature. But you've also got electricity, wireless and computers.

This isnt that new however, there's a camp event which has been running for years which I keep wanting to go to but keep forgetting (need to actually add it to my calendar or todo list one day). Its called What the Hack? and involves people coming together for a hacker event in the middle of a grassy field. I always thought about what the hack, as the Burning man for geeks and hackers. I can imagine something just like what the hack? but for bloggers, geeks, techies, etc?

The question remains if I can convince Sarah to come to such a holiday? I mean she loves camping but I think this would not count as “real camping” for her. Our friends in Sweden already offered us a relaxing holiday in a place they have in Gotland? They said theres no electricity and no internet access at all. I thought they were winding me up, but no they were serious. Now I know some of you will say it sounds so nice, walks in the forest, no electricity, candle lights etc. And I would agree for a couple of days at most, but a week plus? It sounds as scary as going to Sarah's grandparents house in the middle of no where illinois and having no mobile phone signal of any kind.

A lot of you maybe shaking your heads, but I know a few of you are thinking this is a little consistant with what you see in a holiday too. Hey and don't forget theres already holidays and camps for clubbers, trekies, blues fans, etc. A geek one strikes me as a really good idea.

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Does presentation matter in a world of RSS?

So Ben Metcalfe asks the question Does presentation matter anymore? This is exactly what me, Miles, Harry and Dave talked about one night over dinner. Honestly I think it does but as Ben identifies its moved around the chain now. If we take it that RSS has a huge audience and that its not changed a lot from its current form (aka no JS, CSS, Ajax, etc in RSS or ATOM) for a moment. The presentation shifts to feed promotion and the news reader style. For example Great News which I'm using for my desktop aggregator supports CSS and I can actually define a style sheet per feed if I want to. This was useful today when Google news was delivering me all the WorldService and ArabicTV stories, as I could use the brief stylesheet to show a lot of entries on one screen. While I use the readability stylesheet for reading Ben's blog and most of RSS content.

But it goes deeper than that, design isnt just about presentation. A designer should have a hand in the structured elements of the RSS feed, the useability of how its pushed and pulled around the internet and the accessability of the feed and its content. Its what I prefer to call the whole process the Flow of the content. Its part of what I do and I feel its part of the emerging role for new media designers. I mean is it too much to ask for a designer to build a client side XSL page for a RSS feed?

Just stepping away from the world of huge RSS audiences now. There something which smart designers understand well. The media, there designing for. web media isnt print media. Sounds obvious, but were talking about the vision for how the site should look and work being thrown out the window. I'm not talking about just browser quirks, screen resoultions and font size differents. I'm talking about the range of toolbars, extensions and the like which deconstruct the website beyond the control of the tightest web designer. Then if you go down the Greasemonkey path, you have something where you can actually share your deconstructions. Smart designers understand and embrace this and actually push for CSS driven sites to make this even easier. There are a few even testing the waters with Client side XSL transformations for all content with CSS for style.

I've included a screenshot of how I currently see BBC news story pages and how its meant to look. I custom built this simple script because it makes loading up bbc news stories from my RSS reader quicker and is easier to read for myself. Others would disagree, but then I would suggest you write your own greasemonkey script.

So back to the question, yes presentation does matter and the role of a designer is very important but like everything, roles shift with the times and media. Branding is another issue which I wont go into right now either…

I found this great little post about WIndows Longhorn/Vista's redline designs. Ryan suggests Redlines are a throw back to another generation of design, and I have to agree. Dactylx asks this question in the comments
I'm down with that idea, but then how do you as a designer communicate how the design should be rendered to a developer? What can we use to replace the redlines? and Ryan replies with a slightly optimistic but good answer.

Here is the first step. Do not separate the teams. There should be no technical team and design team working separately (on different floors or on different continents). They should sit right next to each other and *understand* the problem just as great as the designers. Design is manifested in code, so if the coders don't understand, then the product is inevitable to fail.

I'm once again in total agreement, in my experience the best projects are always when everyone is involved in the problem. Not passed around like a rugby ball on a winters day.

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AvantGo finally supports RSS

So funny, I've been hearing rumours about AvantGo supporting RSS like Russell has for quite some time too. Like him I was told not to blog it but I'm sure it wasnt the same person or group of people. Even without the heads-up, it was certain that AvantGo would have to do something at some point to stay relevent with the huge demand for RSS content on mobile devices. Is it enough to make me switch back to using AvantGo over PocketRSS? No. But is it good enough to recommend to others? Your damm right…

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World Service cuts run deep

I wrote a nice long piece about the worldservice language services closures and Arabic TV. But somewhere along the line it got deleted by myself. I really need to invest in some decent Blogging software because using a Bookmarklet is not good when your writing a long entry. Anyhow, I'm not going to repeat or remember the entry. Plus it was timed just after the press officially found out about the cuts, while this obvioulsy isnt. Here's the main points of the day.

  • Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai language services will end by March 2006
  • There will be more investment in developing New Media
  • Increased funding for global FM distribution
  • Extra marketing for the other 33 languages services
  • Modernising bureaus in priority markets
  • Further exploring of TV service partnerships within other languages and countries

And here's the front of BBC news at 1pm today.

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Finding RachelC and my own blog mistakes

I just spent about 10+ mins looking for a decent picture of Rachel Clarke. I want to remember what she looked like as I spoke to 2 women at the last geek dinner with the name Rachel, no offense Rachel I'm pretty sure I remember you but wanted to be sure. So I looked through her flickr stream and blog and the best I could do was this picture. But just above it was a blog entry (dont worry it all relates) about mistakes bloggers make by Jakob Nielsen (I stopped subscribing to his alert boxes since I learned about RSS, and Jakob still has no RSS! Crazy but true).

  1. No Author biography – Yep I'm now going to sort that out. Its one of those things I've been thining about and i'm going to link to my o'reilly profile tonight
  2. No Author Photo – Dont worry the profile has my photo and I use the same photo across all my social networks
  3. Nondescript Posting Titles – I'm not so bad about this. I sometimes do get quite abstract with the titles.
  4. Links don't say where they go – no i'm really good about this and I use to add more titles for addional info.
  5. Classic Hits buried – right hand nav is very clutterd but the posts are quite clean and I tend to only to the key things.
  6. The Calandar is the only Navigation – Nope got, tags, rss and the post amounts
  7. Irregular Posting Frequency – No problem there, think the longest I've left the blog unposted is a week and a bit, if i'm holiday I will say so
  8. Mixing Topics – I'm not buying this for my blog so much. I mix topics but the categories can help somewhat.
  9. Forgettting I write for my Future Boss – Oh no, I know for well I'm writing for my next boss, no problem there.
  10. Having a Domain Name owned by a blog service – Indeed, cubicgarden.com is mine and mine for ever!

So back to RachelC and number 2. Rachel says this,

No Author Photo. mmmm – not sure if I want one of those. I'm one of the people in the photo a few posts down and I'm occasionally in my own photos on Flickr. Otherwise – I'll think about this.

Well sorry to tell you Rachel, I looked through your flickr pictures and tags and couldnt find one of you at all. Dont take this to heart (take this whole blog entry with a little tongue and cheek on my behalf), its been great looking through your stuff online and its made it clear to myself what I need to do for my own profile online. I'll see you at the next geekdinner Rachel.

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The game: Lost

Riven screenshot

I was listening to the excellent Pop!Tech live stream over the weekend and one of the things I heard which I need to blog at least was the thought by (i'm sure) Edward Castronova that Lost takes most of its queues and ideas from games? The example he gave was the trend setting Myst and Riven games. And honestly when he said that I instantly started thinking about screenshots like this type of thing. But Edward was more getting at the depth and interactivity (yes you heard me right) than anything else. One of the points included the numbers which keep appearing throughout the series, something which encorages extra thought and people to do things like this and this. This type of behavour tends to be more common with games. When IT Conversations puts the audio online I'll put a link to it and it will all make a hell lot more sense, than me trying to do it from memory.

Without indulging my Lost thoughts, I find this all pretty interesting when you read Lost Boy's blog post about Lost: the game. The linkage between games and lost is all there and when you think about it more it makes more and more sense.

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PIM Overview please enable URL’s

PIM Overview

Quick thought, I was messing around today looking at new widgets for Konfabulator for my laptop and workstation computers. I havent really messed with Konfabulator since Yahoo! bought it, I just simply downloaded the updates and kept all my old widgets the same. Anyhow, I had a good look through them today and found this really nice one by Yahoo called PIM Overview.widget. What it does is look at your Outlook or Ical file and displays the data as a Windows mobile type today screen. This is great if your running Outlook as it just picks up the outlook pst file and goes from there. If your using ical you need to point to a place where the ical files actually exist. Luckly I've been playing with Mozilla Sunbird, so I was able to point to somewhere on the local machine.

But what I dont get is, why is there no option to look at a remote calendar? A simple URL out to Eventful or even Upcoming.org would be so useful to people who dont use Outlook and may not use a application as such. This would make so much sense for Yahoo! as Konfabulator is now a Yahoo application and Upcoming.org is a Yahoo! service. I mean what more of a reason do you need Yahoo? Hell, I might even try doing it myself, I've been meaning to build and hack a few widgets for a while.

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Should we kill TV but keep the shows?

So I was almost done with my RSS aggregator for the night when I read Jon's entry titled I Watch Shows, Not Tv. As I was reading through, I was in total agreement with Jon. Some choice quotes which made me laugh.

The medium had become totally uninteresting to me. Reality Tv was everywhere, sitcoms sucked, and ads were worse.

Enter Bittorrent, Hd rips, and RSS. Ever since I set up my system, not only do I watched more shows, but I watch a LOT of shows. I probably have at least 10 shows I watch weekly without missing a beat. But not only do I get to watch them at my own convenience

The only television I watch is the television I watch. That makes sense, I swear. When I’m done with a show. That’s it. I don’t flip to the next channel to see what else is on. I finish and move onto another project. Just sitting in front of your Tv leads to watching Hugh Hefner’s Whores jumping around pretending they have enough content to constitute television. I’d rather sit down catch 42 minutes of Lost or 28 minutes of Curb and be happy.

Totally! I have a very simlar setup to Jon, xbox media centre and all. And he's so right, me and Sarah watch a lot of shows including Lost series 2, Prison Break, Daily Show, etc, etc. When I was in hospital recently, the lovely nurse asked if I wanted the TV on, and without thinking I replied “No, I don't watch TV.” Bang just like that without thinking about it, then I realised what I just said. Honestly me and Sarah turn on the TV for the BBC news 10min update at about 8am in the morning then we turn off and listen to the slashdot review podcast if there is time. When we get back in the evening, we may turn on Channel4 news for 1 hour and maybe once in a while leave it on and watch grand designs or something like that afterwards. But usually we turn off have dinner together and maybe put on a show or listen to a podcast while we catch up with news, emails, etc. Even with the daily show on more4 every day now, Sarah's not interested because shes use to timeshifting it. She does'nt like the idea of turning on the daily show at 8:30pm every day and sitting in front of the TV.
Hey and why would we? With TV RSS we can store them and watch a whole load together with friends on a weekend or watch it the week after if we choose to.

Moving on, I read the related link and found the tons of comments mainly in agreement.

But I say all this and I know something doesnt quite fit.
I've heard about studies in the BBC which went down this route of the show being more important that the channel and TV its self. But these studies say when that is the case, people look for brands they can trust. Channels are a odd thing, if you live in the UK, you may think of BBC one as generally massmarket but higher class than ITV (my view not the BBC's view), BBC two more documentary's and nature programmes but still some comedies and mass market contnet. BBC Three, for people 35 and younger, somewhat like BBC two but with lots of comedies and reality tv. BBC four, highbrow documentary's and some news.
People use these types of thoughts to decide what channel they should wait on or check out. Remove the channel and people try and cling on to many other things like brand to tell them more about the programmes and there expected audience.

So although I'm with you Jon, I need to err on the side of caution because people need to make money without killing the distribution method (as they do now). Itunes video is a good move away from tv and towards shows and programmes.

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