Young people fcuking … its that good!

I bet that title attracted your attention? But your mistaken, I've not suddenly decided to talk about my personal life. Instead its the title of a frankly amazing film which I watched and am now recommending to all my friends.

Its a comedy centred around five different couples and one night (obviously not at the same time, you dirty minded people) Nope its basically five stories (from wikipedia).

  • The Best Friends – Matt and Kristen decide to become friends with benefits, but discover romantic feelings for each other exist
  • The Couple – Husband and wife Andrew and Abby choose to celebrate
    his birthday, only to find that their love life was worse than they
  • The Exes – Mia and Eric meet up for a one-off after having broken up some time back.
  • The First Date – Jamie brings her womanizing date Ken back to her apartment.
  • The Roommates – Gord, his girlfriend Inez and his roommate Dave.
    Gord invites Dave to make love to his girlfriend while Gord watches.

The problem with this film is that the name, young people fucking or ypf. People instantly think its a porn film or going to be tacky and crap. Its neither and good fun. Seek this film out if you can. Its unfortunately only available in America and Canada, but of course there's other ways to seek it out.

Actually I was making this point to a work friend the other day. She was asking about the economics of media if people are downloading content for free. Anyway, after a bunch links (including the government study that the biggest downloaders pay more for media) I made the point that Hollywood alone is putting out up to 60 movies a day and there is no way anyone one person could watch all those movies. Ok I didn't pay to watch YPF but if I could buy it on DVD now, I would. I also would have happily paid to watch this at the cinema. Actually to be honest if they brought this out in the cinema, I would watch it again with friends. Oh to note, I spend more money on going to the local cinema (the lovely 16 screen AMC in deansgate) every month that some people spend on DVDs and the cinema in a year! So that study really makes sense to me.

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Yet another campaign for a english (silicon valley) techhub

So I started to write a comment to this TechCrunchUK blog post. But decided it was worth writing a blog post instead.

So a quick overview of the blog post. Mike Butcher went to Dublin to check out Digital Hub which is funded by the Irish government. He then launches into a pled for the same thing in the UK. He names it the Techhub and starts to say it should be based in London.

But I think it ought to be in London. Why? Simple really. Money, access and the networks inside London. Startups can make use of the amazing access to the wealth of mentoring, venture capital and talent here. I know there is an argument for creating other centres around the UK. But the classic clustering effect created by Silicon Valley would be replicated by concentrating efforts on one geographical area.

Yawn! I've heard it all before, and to be frank its getting a little tired. What is it with people and big shiny shiny central locations? What would this all achieve? Remember the dome people dummys! What about all the other simular activities going on all across the country? Liverpool where I was tonight has something like this, Manchester already has the MDDA and is working with many others on Media City UK, even Bristol now has the iShed project which i'm hearing so much about. Yeah forget all those, lets build another one bigger that everyone elses. Also what is the need to duplicate Silicon Valley in the UK? We should be building on our strengths and building the next, not a copy of the past.

What really gets me is, what is techcrunchuk going to do to make this all happen? Seriously, what practically are they going to do?

I was talking to the people at Geekup Liverpool today and explaining how Geekdinners changed over time and how it was different from other events in London at the time. The point I was making, was that when I first moved to London, I got fed up of the events I was going to. So I did something about it. I made something happen. I mean for example, the Techcrunch tours, what happened to those? What came out of them? Anyway, Mike jokes at the end…

This is going to require people from government to get involved. I may even have to kidnap Boris Johnson and hold him to ransom.

I'm not advocating kidnap, but hell if you could get some action by fingering through that massive contact list you must have and pulling some strings to get something done. Then great do it. But till then, I don't really want to hear anything more about techhub. Support whats currently going on across the country before thinking up yet another version of the same.

Rant over….sorry mike but its frustrating to see what people are doing across the UK and your advocating something which doesn't seem to help them or the industry in a meaningful way.

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Look out twitter friends, I’m now watching…

So finally I've found a Twitter client for my phone which I'm actually happy with. This means I'll be watching twitter a lot more that I use to. To tell the truth I use to only really read the direct messages. Why? Well when I first started using Twitter they had a IM bot, so I could work and watch the conversations. But that went away. I do sometimes use a twitter client on the desktop but generally I have my IM windows open for Ping.FM, Jaiku and AzureusBot.

So anyway, with ceTwit now installed on my phone and running smoothly with updates every 20mins. I'm going to be across twitter a lot more that I was before. What's also great is ceTwit now supports Ping.FM, so I can update all my status from one client and keep an eye on people are talking about.

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Services shutdown, a call for dataportability

I've seen a couple of things recently which has had me screaming data portability.

Yahoo is going to shutdown its DRM licence servers, so if you've bought DRM music from the Yahoo store its going to stop working soon. This already follows the shut down of the unlimited music store a while ago. When MSN did this a while ago they at least switched on another load of servers and promise to keep them running till 2011. Without going into the whole DRM is a stupid idea and killing music debate data portability wise, the only way to get your LEGALLY purchased content to play on your computer in the future is to burn it to a Audio CD and then rip them. For people who have seen my dataportability talk, I have a slide (44) I use to talk about what happens when services shutdown. Well everyone laughs when i talk about one by one transfering images from a online service, well imagine burning 100's of albums to audio cd just so you can rip them again into a free or open format. This is insane and should not be tollerented by people who paid for music. Oh a quick plug, if your affected by this whole thing, give the open rights group a shout.

Its not just Yahoo at it, AOL have also decided to suspend some of their services and give their (in some cases – paying) customers a dilemma over getting there data back. Xdrive, AOL Pictures and Bluestring. There in talks about selling the services and if not AOL have said they will consider burning CDs and DVDs for its customers or allow them to transfer to other services. It will be interested to see if it allows access to other rival services.

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Mainstream media still doesn’t get geek culture

I can't believe I'm defending a line of people about to buy the iphone 3g, but the reporter in this video sums up the general stinking attitude the mainstream media has for geek culture. It stinks and I'm glad someone asked called the reporter out on how childish his questioning and reason for being there was. It would be great to have something which re-addresses the balance but without going all play-school. News night for geeks?

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BitTorrent users are not second class citizens

Comcast is facing a nationwide class action lawsuit for cutting off the BitTorrent traffic of their subscribers. The lawsuit aims to stop the misleading advertising used by Comcast, and to compensate BitTorrent users for the disruption to their service.

Two weeks ago, the FCC announced that it will order Comcast to stop interfering with BitTorrent traffic. FCC chairman said that Comcast slows down BitTorrent users independent of the amount of traffic they use, and that the company failed to communicate their network management practices to their consumers.

The ISPs in the UK should take note and quake in there boots, I'm sure if I had kept my Demon logs I could prove Demon started doing odd things to bit torrent traffic.

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In Fusion, a little gem in the pleasure beach

While on holiday in Blackpool I found myself riding in fusion twenty times through-out the day. Don't get me wrong, there are other good rides in Blackpool pleasure beach but the Pepsi Max Big One was closed due to the high winds, The Iru-bru Revolution is too short and is a poor relation to the classic Thunderlooper. Space invader 2 was also closed but the big dipper, Avalanche and steeplechase did both give me a suprise. But not really enough to want to queue up again. The queue times after 5pm got as low as 5mins and after 6pm you could wait one turn and jump on again. The night got even better with the find of the Ridge Racer 2 arcade going for 30p a credit at the south pier. Now thats what I call a holiday.

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The Pacemaker is more than a match for the ipodmixer

Saw this article in the independent the other day, although its dated back to June it was in my aggregator for so long. Hopefully my python based APML project might help with this in the future. Anyway I think its a fair article pointing out the weaknesses of using the pacemaker being battery life and flat out snobbery. Actually on that I found this forum which I was dying to reply to, but couldn't be arse'd to convince these bunch of morons otherwise. Anyhow, here's some nice quotes from the independent article…

“We could see young, affluent consumers becoming more proactive with media, making their own music, film and editorial,” Sars says. “We saw the door of portability kicked down by the iPod, which taught consumers that you can take all your music everywhere. We wanted to move both things a step further.”

The idea of sharing, whether it's in the pub, on the beach, at a club or online, was the driving force of the project,” Sars says. “If you have a party at home and everyone loves the music, you can take the music you've mixed, save it on the device, then upload it to the online community via Pacemaker Editor. Then you can just email everyone and tell them, 'Here's my music from Friday night.'”

“We are not out to substitute professional DJing,” Sars says. “We're coming to the market with a complementary product, a new way of viewing music. It's about having a go anywhere, anytime. Genre doesn't matter – just mash it up. If you look at the fresh, intelligent young generation of people today, that's how they view media. You don't have to follow one genre; as long as you love it and go for it, you can be totally unafraid.”

I've been doing a lot of mixes and I actually need to upload them. Including a mix from the south pier of blackpool one late night. I can't believe I was djing in cold winds till gone 11pm. Crazy eh? Some people did come up and ask about the weird device I was playing with and I would explain and actually quite a few people were interested. But some loser said I should check out the ipodmixer. So I did and I think he totally missed the point of the pacemaker.

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Blackberry Thunder, so what?

Blackberry Thunder

So I've said nothing about the iphone 3g launch but mainly because I don't really care except to see how cheap I can pick up a old iphone for on ebay (they would make nice ebook readers I've been thinking). But according to some this thing above is meant to be Blackberry's answer to the iphone. What a joke! Its also worth noting it has almost the exact same features as the M700 (pictured below).

However I'm interested that the general shape of originally the SPV M500 (not the iphone) and its successors including the Touch and M700. Looks to be the industry standard now. Before the M500, I believe it was all about the flip, the slide or the candy bar. Now its about the slate and everyone's got one.

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No choice but learn Python…

Browse Book
Learning Python

I was reading about the guy who started the Specto project and started reading through his blog. I came across this blog post mentioning how it all started out of frustrating because there was a lack of interest for person tracking system like Specto turned out to be.

I do want to spend sometime learning Python for this exact reason, theres a small tiny apps which I want to write to speed up/improve a task or too on my machine. But I'm not sure where to start and I'm starting to think I should just use Flex/Air as i can do that much quicker.Yes its bad news but what other alternatives are there for a non-progrmmer like myself? I had hoped Konfabulator might have offered a simlar thing but the linux alernatives are all writtern in Python anyway (screenlets, gdesklets, etc). Then my favorate application which i have yet to play with deeply Conduit is also written in Python and its add on are also in Python. And last of all the xbox media centre uses python for its scripting. So it time to get serious, and to be fair I did say I was going to start learning python in my new year resoultions.

So first point of call, what editor? I only got attached to XMLspy ages ago for writing large dense XSL and XSDs. So I can change easy enough. I thought I'd ask Mr Python, Simon Wilison but looking at his blog he was undecided in 2003 and who knows what he's using now (i did twitter too).

Jedit was in the comments and was one of the first I looked at. It runs on everything Java does, is GPL and support Python along with XSLT too. What also tops it off for me is Robin McKinnon uses it (i actually remember him showing me this). So I'm giving it a try and pull up some Python hello world type stuff to play with. I left the O'reilly Python book at home but when I get back I'll have a look through that. If you know anywhere else I should be looking, shout. I've not forgotten Uche's 4Suite.

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Well I had to go somewhere for my holiday

Central Pier

I did say I wanted a beach holiday a while back and I wanted it to be pretty cheap… So Blackpool it is… Hey and perfect timing, for rain, rain and more rain. Does not matter, hotel has free wifi, the rollercoasters are all running and I got myself an extended weekend. So having just booked the whole thing 5 mins ago (yes its 7am now) I'll sleep, wake up, pack and jump on the scooter. I don't expect to do much more that walk on the beach, check out the rollercoasters and head into the arcades. Maybe I might find some of the classics and end up spending my pocket money on Ridge Racer like I use to when I would spend some time in Weston Super-Mare (the blackpool of the south west don't you know?). Well what ever I do its going to be relaxing…

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The Definitive History Of UK Dance Music?

Radio 2's Dance Season

Ok I should I really be pointing my finger at another part of the BBC? Yes because they will never learn if someone does not say something, even if its going to be a moan and groan.

BBC Radio 2 have been running a season of programming around dance music, so I checked it out and was for most of it pretty happy with what I heard. I mean these guys went way back, back to the northern soul, disco and casino era. It was good to hear this because all the other documentatries about dance music have made it out like it totally came from America and we just adopted it. Nope you can certainly see how everything was being put in place including the soul weekenders. Anyway slowly we get into the warehouse scene and lots of talk about where the music was coming from. At once again for the first time, finally we hear it wasn't just from a bunch of djs going to Ibiza and trying to create the same vibe in England. So I'm thinking wow, this might actually live up to the name of The Definitive History Of UK Dance Music. Then we hit 88 and 89…

Things get a little hazy in the reporting and acid house is mentioned but not as much as I thought they would have. Hey at least they played Acid Trax by Phuture (the first acid record). The reporting picks up again and there on the ball again about things like the free parties, criminal justice bill, etc. But 1993 comes and there is a mention that hardcore split into many genres but you know what. Happy Hardcore never gets mentioned!

Instead theres lots of talk about Jungle, Garage (funny enough not much about Drum & Bass). And on the other side lots of talk about House, Progressive House and techno but once again nothing about Happy Hardcore. You could say they tried to mix it in with techno but Carl Cox and Derek May doesn't play happy hardcore and would be the wrong people to talk about it. Thinking about it Gabba and European Techno influenced music (think TTF, Scott Brown, Bass Generator), didn't get a mention either, which is strange because it seemed so popular up in Scotland with massive rave events like Rezerection. Actually from the Rez website.

New Years Eve 1993 proved to be a watershed event for Rezerection, as 1994 saw the demise for the traditional London style breakbeat sound favoured by the regular Rez DJs like Grooverider, SS and Seduction. The new Rez sound was heavily influenced by the Dutch and German hardcore scenes and the likes of Westbam, Tanith, Dye Witness and GTO took over from Grooverider, SS and N-Joi as hard trance, bouncy techno and gabba dominated the Scottish scene.

Like I said its more a moan and groan than anything, but I remember growing not listening to BBC Radio 1 for this almost exact reason. There was no place for happy hardcore on radio 1. It was rejected then because it was seen as cheesy, too happy, etc. And obviously thats has carried on through because never mentioned in this definitive history of dance music…! I was also going to make the point that Trance also got very little attention in the documentary. I'm not sure why, but at least it got mentioned and I guess Underworld, Sasha, etc are pretty close to trance.

Anyway so in wrapping up the whole documentary, they talked about things like UK only music like Grime, Big Beat (chemical beats or punk house), Bassline, etc. But once again no mention of Happy Hardcore's split into Freeform Hardcore, Hard Dance (or Future Dance) and NuEnergy which are all uniquely british.

Don't get me wrong, I don't know too much about music genres but when it comes to Happy Hardcore, I know what I'm talking about even if I'm a trance head nowadays. It was left out of this documentary and never talked about, shame on you Radio 2!

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The 3rd Olympic ring (black) is now safe on my bookshelf

Thanks to everyone who was involved in getting this lost (now found) ring. Its sits proudly on top of my bookshelf in the centre of the room. Getting the ring required quite a few people and Tim was the one finally who convinced the woman in the gallery to give it up. I got a small video of the moment Tim came back with the 3rd ring. We were in the great little cafe next door love saves the day. We also went for a couple drink afterwards where we spent a lot of time looking at the esperanto, some mad/eccentric lady (who's meant to be well known in the northern quarter) started to help. Its really the amazing thing about ARGs you can get dragged into it and you maybe do a part and leave again or get really interested and end up playing along. Having the ring sitting there in the middle of the room and knowing there is only 4 more in the world its hard not to keep being involved. Thanks Tobin and Nicole, Tim and Simon, Davemee and the Unfiction forum.

Yes I did do a dance in front of the gallery afterwards with the ring, but the woman was on the phone so she didn't see me I think.

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