Body Hackingwith Quinn Norton

Body Hacking
Quinn Norton, Reporter, Wired New

Quinn talks frankly about her rare stone/magnet finger experience. The wrap for the rare stone broke and her body started to attack the rare stone and left over bits of iron. When trying to pull out the iron bits, it broke into pieces and made its self impossible to remove. After a few months, the pieces formed back together because their magnets. And was finally removed. But there is a good chance, there are still bits left and so Quinn can never be scanned.

Taking control of our own bodies. Lasik surgery is the only body modification which is widely accepted.

Vaccination makes us a super human being, whats a enhancement and whats a treatment? steroids bad lasik good.

Social acceptance is the problem but unlike previous generations we only have a decade at most to get use to the idea.

Rights to your own body? Rights to Medical records, procedures, social trangression, the myth of self and compliance to self and arbitary access to pharma. This is a mess and getting worst. What happens to home made hospital rooms? these have been found already. Post human medical tourism calls in the idea of ethics. If your country doesn't do it, go somewhere which will. The pirate bay of body hacking? People want advantages.

2 Choices – Non medical markets for body hacking or backroom modifications? Also what counts as being Human?

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Emerging Technologies from IBM : Koala

Emerging Technologies from IBM Almaden Research Center–Koala & Spintronics
Tessa Lau, Research Staff Member, IBM Almaden Research Center
Kevin Roche, Advisory Engineer/Scientist, IBM Almaden Research Center

Koala Technology allows you to automate web interactivity scripts to log into sites, fill in forms aka do repeative tasks. This means you can finally automate stuff online. Tessa suggested using it for scraping websites, automated changes like your skype location.

I'm thinking this is a killer application for pipelines if you can automate this stuff.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Sufficiently Advanced Magic

Sufficiently Advanced Magic
Seth Raphael, MIT Media Lab

The difference between magic and science? Science is about giving away the secrets to so we can improve it. A long time ago Magic was Technology and now recently its been magic vs technology. Denouncing the value of magic is worrying. The point of this conference is that our technology is like magic now.

The history of magic

Religon, science and magic were combined and demostrated by sharmans. Scientific projects became magic tricks like in the prestage. Then Religon split from the magic in the bible. Then split between magic and science with alcalaum. Science branches off into Chemistry. Was Robert-Houdin a hacker? He was a clock maker and built the orange tree trick which is seen in the illustionist. He also built Automatas

Chess and the Turk. The Turk could play real chess and beat people. Whats the difference between that and Deepblue which beat Garry Kasparov? The Turk was a real person not a machine. Elektro was built by the westinghouse company as a robot of the future but was a remote controlled robot not real. Mr Electricty was very alien to people at the time but now we tamed electricty. Magic invited Cinema because they were trying to do ghost like effects.

Current day magic. Punchcard tricks. Marco Tempest is doing video online on You tube. Magications being using RFIDs for ages. Decks of card, tables, the whole lot.

And now some technology tricks

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The Core of Fun with Raph Koster

The Core of Fun
Raph Koster, President, Areae, Inc.

Things which work have a underling structure. Structure is deep but fractal, it breaks down into many levels. Raph uses jazz and blues music to demonstrate deep structure. Songs are made up of songs, games are made up of games.

Fun is a chemical response, we are all drug pushers.

4 Types of fun

  • hard – Solving hard puzzles and challenges
  • easy –
  • visceral – Roller coaster type fun
  • social –  Gloating

Magic Ingredients

  • Where?
  • When?
  • How?
  • What?
  • With?
  • For?
  • Few?
  • Phooey – Failure (fun comes from learning)

Much more at

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The Coming Age of Magic by Mike Kuniavsky

The Coming Age of Magic Mike Kuniavsky, Co-founder and Principal, ThingM

So generally a good talk but the best ubiquitous computing/ambient intellengance objects are magic like devices. Magic as a metaphor for ubiquitiy.

  • Nabaztag as a enchanted rabbit
  • Ambient devices globe as a crystal ball
  • Wonds already exist – Nintendo Wii anyone. Sony has a patent on a wond type of device for gaming.

Good magic should not cripple or hide its power. It should be open and adaptable.

Someone made the point that magic is rare and you had a hierarchy of wizards. Mike makes the point that magic wasn't democratised and this is the time for that to happen.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

When Unlimited does not mean unlimited

When your a UK ISP like Demon advertising to the public. The advert above for 8meg business enabled broadband at 24.99 pounds a month is exactly what I have had for the last 3 plus years. When Broadband first came out, Demon offered only one option of 512k broadband at 24.99, then has upgrades came along they split the line up into a cheaper 19.99 a month one which had no access to things like Newsgroups or static IPs. Fine I thought, Home Office is good for me, I don't mind pay extra for some of the above. However, when 8meg Broadband came along Demon changed the AUP. There was no mention of a limit on Broadband download use or anything till they changed it. Now it reads.

The THUS FUP* applies to Demon Home 8000 and Demon Home Office 8000 Broadband and variants of these products Customers only.

It is in place to ensure that THUS can continue to provide an acceptable standard of service in terms of download speeds, to the vast majority of our customers.

THUS will continually measure the performance of our broadband network and take steps to restrict the download speeds of very heavy users during peak periods, should their activities significantly contribute towards the risk of reduced speeds being experienced by the majority of our broadband customers. The peak period is 9am to 10pm .

All users will be monitored on a continuous basis. Only customers that consistently download exceptionally large amounts of data over a rolling 30 day period will be affected by the THUS FUP. THUS expects that less than 1% of its Demon Home 8000 and Demon Home Office 8000 customers will be affected by the THUS FUP. Any Customers who are affected will be notified if their speed is being restricted.

Speed restrictions will only apply during peak periods. Should a Customer's usage return to acceptable levels, adjudged on a rolling 30 day period, speed restrictions will be removed.

Now bearing in mind I've been with Demon for 13 years in some kind of form, you can understand why I'm pretty pissed off. Also you don't get a warning letter, they just do it and send out a letter. The letter which I don't have right now but keep meaning to type out (although we did read it out on geek and geekhag podcast number 6). In the letter they say the limits which are not specified in the above AUP are 50gig for home users and 60gig for home office users. I went over by 4.85gig at 64.85gig last month. So the upshot of all of this is that me and Sarah have been restricted to 128k broadband between 9am – 10pm every night. This wasn't so bad at the start because it only applied to weekdays. But then it changed to weekends too. I asked Demon many times to prove what they were saying by giving me a breakdown of the traffic but they never did (I'm going to leave out the many nasty stories of talking to Demon Customer Services – I hope to record them one day soon, when i get back from the states) So in the end I got the number for Demon Customer Care Support (yes there different and UK based) from the ADSL guide forums (you need to be logged on) which is 08000279190 for anyone who actually wants to cancel there account with Demon and get the MAC code so they can move somewhere.

But this is the problem, almost every ISP now has a AUP but their not being upfront about the actual limits and they still advertising as unlimited. Two ISPs which I was considering are pretty upfront about everything is Zen Internet and UK Freesoftware network.

So anyway, I'm obviously not the only person to have this trouble. Glyn pointed me to a register post about the same issue and a nice link to an e-petition about ISPs using the word unlimited in all advertising.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Insist that OFCOM and the ASA stop Broadband Providers  advertising 'unlimited' services that are in fact limited in the small print or by un-defined fair use policies

So far 2,427 people have signed up including myself. The petition is open till June 10th, so I would get signing soon. As for now, when I get back from the states, I'll be switching to UK Free software network which don't packetshape or restrict beyond whats been described up front on the site. Now if only others would do the same.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Opening Keynotes on Monday evening

Tim O'reilly live

So after a brief talk by Rael Dornfest, We're into Tim's talk. He's doing his radar talk but not using his usual quote. This time he uses the pulling your weight quote. Then talks about hackers pre-production and pre-business. Mentions Snowboards, makers, Chumby and quick to produce hardware. Didn't know O'reilly was an invester in the Chumby. Made in came up because theres lots of parts being made and others creating interesting bikes. Tim calls it opensource for hardware. Then points to a few talks like Matt Webb's and Adam Greenfield's talks. Moving on Tim brings up the Digg model for threads – The future of manufacturing? Maybe but Tim did say something interesting about how you can make only the right amount of things. So labor costs and environment costs can be calculated a lot better.

The future of Attention. The attention recorder comes up but Tim talks about how people are putting out more details about themselves and shows off Twitter and Twitter vision. No one knows why its interesting it just is – promiscuous attention. Talks about Jyko? Looks like twitter. Tim says something is bubbling up here which he can't put his finger on quite yet.

Web 2.0 and Wall Street? Tim talks about Cathy Sierra and how the stalker has kept her away from the conference. Good on you Tim. transparency. Now hes talking about Limewire and Limebrokerage. Now prediction markets in inkling markets, just in time for a quick plug for the new magazine release 2.0.

Right now Peter Rip's: Web 2.0 over and out. Tim talks about what different about web 2.0. What Distinguishes Web 2.0 Uses System that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. Tim now brings up a screenshot of Aljazeera  and the page translated by Google. And makes the point that translations haven't got better, there's just more data to parse. Brings up Freebase then wonders where is the web 2.0 for credit cards and address books? Wesabe and Mint come up, how do we harness collective intellegence into old economies like banks and building socities.

Finally he ends up talking about online and offline and Adobe Apollo for about one minute.

Good talk Tim

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Live and direct from the Emerging Technology Conference 2007

Etech schwag

So when I bought my Dell laptop with the extended battery, I was thinking about conferences where theres usually very little power. So now I'm at Emerging Tech or Etech2007. I'm thinking I should really take advantage and try live blogging from the conference. Now don't expect beautifully written notes like Rachel Clarke (who does a awesome job of note taking). Mine are going to be rough and ready. I also tend to writedownthings which are totally new or very interesting to myself, so if your after actual conference news, this isn't going to be the place for that.

So whats happened so far? Well besides going out clubbing on Saturday night (yes Sarah is certainly not pleased with the photos either and Ben thought these were the tame ones, and that I actually had more). Getting my conference pass early and meeting up with Noor and Tom Loosemore yesterday inthe Hyatt,Honestly not much else has happened. I did go for a walk down to the bay/docks part and took loads of pictures. And was tempted to go looking for the FreETech unconference thing and somewhere to rent motorcycles but decided against it all. The Etech2007wiki isa little quiet at the moment except Phil Windley has posted up his notes and I'm staying off the IRC backchannel for now.

The social events are pretty much sorted out already. Monday (today) theres a load of special sessions including ones from Tim O'reilly and Rael Dornfest. Tuesday is the EFF pioneer awards, Wednesday theres the MakeFest and yes Werewolf afterwards. Thursday night theres some unofficial get togethers. Depending on how many people are left over on Thursday, I might throw a backstage werewolf social event because frankly 2 hours of werewolf isn't enough for us English.

Anyway, there's not much more to say right now. I'm going to charge my laptop and cameras up now. Go find some late lunch then head down to the Hyatt for the rest of the day. Oh my hotel – The Bristol Hotel is about 12mins walk from the Hyatt and is ever so cooler that those stuffy boring roomsin theHyatt. I'll take some photos of my room tonight but its nice and big, reliable free wireless through-out the hotel including the rooms, restaurant and lobby. If you don't have wireless they also supply ethernet connections free of charge and if all else fails you can request a modem (this is what the lobby staff were telling me). Oh just to note, there is no block ports and you can skype, vpn and use bit torrent without a problem. I bet Tom Coateswisheshe was here. There's also a 7-11 which is open 24hours a day everyday just around the corner along with wendys and some other stuff. Horton Plaza is the odd shopping mall and I'm only a short walk from the lively streets of 4th, 5th and 6th streets (gaslamp area).

Can anyone tell me why my GPS on my new M700 phone doesn't work here? I'm on Cigualar while here and yes some guy in the bar on Saturday did ask if my phone was the iphone – which i was not pleased about. He saw me wondering around using Google maps with my finger and must have assumed I was on a iphone or something.

meta-technorati-tags=etech07, etech, mobile, iphone, m700, san diego, werewolf, conference, sessions

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

My first night in California

Yes there real lady

So what would do after a 10 hour flight to San Francisco then a transfer to San Diego 3 hours straight afterwards? Easy, go clubbing right? What? Don't tell me you would crash at your hotel, moaning about Jetlag!

Well I hit the streets of San Diego look for the low down on the city. By talking to bouncers you can find out everything you need including places to avoid and places to go at certain times. In the end I settled at a Bar called Henry's Pub (5th and Market street). It was playing a mixture of music including some quite funky house. Anyway I got talking to one of the bouncers (sorry forgothisname) and before long I ended up talking to a bunch of women who seemed to adore my accent although not exactly what they had expected in the middle of San Diego.

What was weird about chatting with these women was first there lack of maturity. Some of them were older than myself but acted more like teenagers that women. I gaged from a couple of them that they were all from a catholic school which kept them till they were 21! Most of the fake hair group were nurses and one of them was a teacher for high school (secondary school). There was also lots of talk about fakeness. They explained how in LA lots of women are completely fake and in San Diego its not likethat, bara few clubs outside of the market street area.There was also this odd look when I said I was going to San Francisco later in the trip. A couple of the women, talked about how there were lots of gays there. I found this very odd, and would say how there were a lot of gays everywhere including London just to freak them out a little. After to speak to one of more on this topic, I wouldn't say they were exactly homophobic, just slightly ignorantt because they were going by what they had seen on TV not reallife. Butwhat do you expect being locked up in a religious school till 21. The same women (the teacher) then mentioned she was a science teacher in biology. I had to ask about the whole evolution thing. She said her school was quite progressive and didn't band evolution but they've also allowed creativism into the classroom which in her mind was screwing everything up. It was odd because she was quite religious, like shetold meshe had only slept with one guy and that was her to be husband on the night of their engagement. So I'd assumed she might go for the whole intellngent design stuff. Just before we finished our conversation she mentioned how America is a new nation and will make lots of mistakes but it will get better.

Generally the women I spoke to were quite progressive and although somewhat religiouss, only about things like sex before marriage. The guys on the other hand were, well lets say not so progressive. No one I spoke to supported Bush but I certainly didn'tt want to push it.

So yeah good night had, didn't get back till about 2:30am (all bars and clubs shut at 1:30am in San Diego by the way) mainly because I walked the wrong way and decided to look for late night food. I think tonight I'll take it a little easier as its the day before Etech. But hey my Jet lag is gone now.

meta-technorati-tags=san diego, clubbing, america, women, bars, drink

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

A review of Belle and Herbs in Newcastle

Belle and Herbs cafe

Belle and Herbs has been recommended by Meri, Elly, Gareth and Molly. So I checked it out with Meri and Elly when I was down in Newcastle the other day for the Backstage University tour. Its got a strange 60's vibe to it allwith odd shaped chairs and tables dotted around. The menu is used in the myspace page for the cafe. But once the smoothie comes out, you know your in for a treat. I ordered the berry which was Cranberry and something else. It was certainly lush and I had it not been for the size of the glasses, I would have ordered another one. Then the breakfast came out… I think I ordered the American.

American breakfast for myself

  • 2x Hashbrowns
  • 2x Bacon
  • 3xSausagess
  • 2x Fried eggs
  • 4x thick as a piece of toast pancakes
  • 2x pieces of toast

Yes seriously I couldn't manage it all although it was flipping awesome. I'll certainly be back one day soon. If your ever in Newcastle and can get to Heaton which is east Newcastle then go to Belle and Herbs. Its fantastic value for money and great tasting food, Thanks to Meri and Elly for the morning breakfast there, it was great.

meta-technorati-tags=breakfast, belleandherbs, belle and herbs, newcastle, heaton

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

So busy and tired recently…

I have not blogged for quite a while. This is down to a few things.

  1. Ecto is simply doing my head in, as it keeps loosing draft entries and screwing up on the spellchecker. I paid for the software and I'm back to using W.blogger again.
  2. I have been out and about across the England and Scotland recently. I have actually been to more places up north that ever before. My Flickr account is full of pictures from different places. I also need to find the time to sort out all my pictures.
  3. Wireless has been patchy in some places and after a day of working and night of socialising, I actually do need to grab some sleep.
  4. When I'm at home, i've been preparing to go somewhere else the next day or so and the broadband has simply been a nightmare due to Demon's restrictions (more about this later).
  5. Last of all, when I do find the time to blog, the blog is down because Resin has shut its self down on the server. I then spend a little bit of time trying to work out what the problem is instead of blogging. This has been a real pain and I know your as pissed off as myself about this. I'm totally lost why after months of perfect service, why this has just started happening.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Giving F.A.C.T the finger

Priacy joke poster

There’s nothing I hate more than sitting down for a film at a cinema only to have that horrendous F.A.C.T. screen come up to threaten me about what could happen to me if I take a photograph or record the film. Thank you for threatening me right after I’ve bought a ticket and sat down to watch a film and RE-FUCKIN’-LAX for goodness’ sake!

I'm just loving the post Aral post about F.A.C.T and Pete's comment in the same blog post. Here's some quotes.

FACT do a hugely important job in fighting the perpetrators of IP and copyright theft crimes, and these ads are a necessary evil. There are people out there – many of them on this blog apparently that seem to think that its ok to download or purchase DVD’s from unofficial sources. The plain fact is IT’S ILLEGAL. Ok so you know that … but amazingly enough there are people out there who dont know this. Its is these people that the ads are aimed at. Come on it’s only a couple of minutes and hardly worth loosinganysleep over. Just ignore it for f**ks sake … concentrate on your bag of pop-corn or something if t bothers you that much. It really isn’t that bigger deal.

How different is it realy from the speed signs by the side of the motorway – we all KNOW what the limit is… but people need reminding from time to time

– Pete from F.A.C.T

How would you like it if you had to sit through “just a couple of minutes” of video telling you that stealing food is illegal (hey, IT’S ILLEGAL) every time to opened your fridge? How about a message about how stealing music is illegal (hey, IT’S ILLEGAL) every time you started up iTunes. Come on man, it’s just a few minutes, don’t be so anal about it! Oh yeah, and you’d probably love sitting through two minutes of a message telling you that copying other people’s work is illegal every time you start up MicrosoftWord(hey, IT’S ILLEGAL). In fact, if you actually believe what you’re saying you shouldn’t mind sitting through two minutes of legal lecture whenever you start *any* software application that deals with data or IP (which is, pretty much, any software application.) Would even you — a “paid up member of FACT” stand for this? If not, how hypocritical of you.

– Aral

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Practical attention thoughts

I was reading Tom Morris thoughts about attention. First up I thought damm I missed another Beers and Innovations (I actually need to pay attention to the upcoming events calendar in Outlook more often). But more deeply Tom's thoughts about some attention bundler.

I've just installed the Attention Trust tracker in Firefox, which is churning out (not particularly well-formed) XML of everything I browse (there is a button to toggle if I don't want it to record my clickstream).

It would be trivially easy to write an attention tracker which would turn this XML file in to RSS, OPML, RDF etc. I'm excited by the new features in XSLT 2.0 that allow grouping (xsl:for-each-group).

An application I'm thinking of building would be called my “attention bundler”. What it would do is take everything I've been browsing, pull other data that I've been producing (,, Flickr, my blog etc.), mix it all up, produce some interesting results and upload them. It'd be a desktop application – perhaps just a button on my Dock which I could hit from time to time and all sorts of magic would happen.

Is this too geeky? Of course. But that's one way in which we can research how others can use it. We piece together geeky stuff, then test it out, and if we like it, make user-friendly versions of it.

I've been tempted to install the attention tracker too but I use Touchstone which doesn't exactly do the same thing (small picture attention) but kind of does (larger picture attention). One of the biggest things I like about Touchstone is the APML file which gets created. Its an aggregate of your attention instead of a log of your attention which isn't so useful. It also creates a RSS which is uploaded every hour or so to the internet(known as the pebble output adapter). I don't know how the relevencey and attention engine is working but its finding some good stuff and highlighting it to me.

However I wouldn't mind if Touchstone or something else could read my user generated feeds (couldn't think of a better name) as Implicit Concepts. Using a attention bundler it would be trivial to pull in all my user generated feeds and then do some transforming so they were put into the APML file which Touchstone uses. So simple if I got time I might have to set it up as a local cocoon pipeline. I would prefer to do this remotelyonmy server but getting the server to effectively pick up my local APML file and write it back is not trivial. If Touchstone could remotely read and update a APML file it would be much easier. (any thoughts Chris Saad?) Ether way, it would be cool to just build a prototype to get a feel how hard it would be to write, I could certainly do some local syncing to Jungledisk and Jungledisk will sync it to Amazon S3 a bit later.

Time to crank open Synctoy then.

One last word of caution about Attention. This time from the backstage presentation. The attention engines around me are so good at filtering out stuff I'm not interested in, that I didn't know about a major train crash till someone told me about it a couple of days afterwards as I was getting on a train. Epic is here? Funny enough, I found out more about the football and world events by my taxi rides recently that anything else. Is that a good thing or bad,hummm don't know.

meta-technorati-tags=epic, attention2.0, attention, apml, attentiontrust, touchstone, epic2015, xml

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Out of nowhere comes the Orange SPV M700

Orange SPV M700

Been considering my next phone again. My current SPV M600 is great but there are a couple of things which I would like to change.

  • The lack of 3G is a killer now I have applications like Google Maps on my phone
  • The TI 200mhz processor is good for most things but running something like Skype is a real killer and tends to lock up the phone while making a call
  • The camera is reasonable but nothing special, also the lack of flash is a pain at night
  • Java isn't great

So I started hearing some rumours about the natrual upgrade path, the Orange SPV M700. The major difference is 3G (UMTS) support and GPS. It also has a new Samsung Chip which runs at 400mhz which means Skype will run smoothly. They have moved over to MiniSD instead of SD which is acceptable but a small pain. It also comes with Windows Mobile 5 instead of 6 which is interesting.

The thing which puts me off is the colour. There is a black version but I hear the paint job is not great and can chip off overtime. The White one doesn't have the chip problem but its shiny white! Geez, maybe I should get it and spray it myself?

meta-technorati-tags=orangespv, mobile, phone, orange, m700, 3g

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The full stack and it works

I was reading Antoine Quint about his speaking engagements and saw he will be talking at Xtech 2007 too. Putting SVG and CDF to Use in an Internet Desktop Application sounds interesting enough, but then he goes into detail.

The goal of this talk is to present how client-side XML technologies (SVG, (X)HTML, XUL, CSS, RDF, DOM and ECMAScript) were put to use to create a killer, multi-platform desktop application built around the Internet allowing television-watching via peer-to-peer networks: The Venice Project. The main points of this presentation will be to illustrate how the various XML grammars were put to use for different tasks, all within a unified XML presentation layer:

  • SVG, DOM and ECMAScript for finely tuned, animated and highly interactive user interfaces that scale gracefully to any resolution and screen aspect ratio
  • HTML, XUL and CSS for flexible control of the display of text content coming from remote data sources
  • RDF, SPARQL and remote requests for data retrieval

The common thread within this talk will be to show as well that this technology mix is directly applicable within browser-based Web 2.0 applications as well.

Holly crap, Joost not only uses XUL but also SVG (only learned that 5 days ago) and RDF technologies. All I can say is Wow! Now I'm very impressed. This is a real good example of how standard technologies not only work together but interop with each other, nicely.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]