So if you cast your memories back a while ago, I tried to help out some friends by getting the lost ring from a gallery in Manchester's trendy northern quarter. The woman wasn't happy with the fact that I was on the phone and didn't look the part when picking up the ring. So she emailed and phoned someone to find out if it was ok. It wasn't, so we had to send someone else in the next day to do the deeds. That was all caught on camera later but here's the transcript of the discussion between PMs (Puppetmasters) James Tinsley and Jan McGonigal, after I had gone into the gallery and was waiting next door for the final word.
Maybe if there was no glass box, maybe I should have done what other groups did, snatch and run. Then again, we wanted the box it came in too. Plus I did say the passphase correctly!
The good news is that there is activity showing at Jaiku after months and months of it just ticking over. There are now unlimited invites, so if your after one, ping me a email or pm on twitter with your email address. Oh the same goes for Boxee which has recently been updated (more about that another day).
I can't help but wonder if jaiku left it too late to be a dominate player in the microblogging world? I mean there is no douht that being based on jabber/xmpp/messaging, makes it stronger, scalable, more robust, cleverer and mobile/im happy. But with the jaiku team split up and googlified it was just ticking over while others started to get there platforms together.
I've mentioned before indenti.ca and the software which drives it laconi.ca. As Leo Lapour pointed out in a interview, the ability to have both local and remote communities is a killer feature. Local as in the twit army server and remote as in you can pull your profile from any other laconi.ca install and messages can flow across servers in a federated fashion. I mean thats powerful and honestly think companies must be crazy to use something like twitter or even jaiku over something they can host themselves and still be part of a much wider community. For example, BBC Switch (BBC teens) could now host there own microblogging service which has strict guidelines over language and subject matter but take advantage of the ability to use your profile from another community site running laconi.ca. Maybe this might not be right for teens but someone could also switch a config setting and not allow outside messaging inwards or the other way. The option is in the hoster's hands.
Maybe i'm wrong, but if I was Orange or another mobile phone operator. I would have laconi.ca hosted and be actively throwing them support, money, anything to get it up to speed. I would also be developing software for my latest phones which use our install of laconi.ca from default. I mean the only off putting thing for mobile operators is this could eat right into there Sms/texting cashcows. But if they expect to build a future on sms/text, there sadly mistaken. Imagine if they came up with some killer software too, what would that do at Jaiku? Once the xmpp work is done to laconi.ca there will be little difference between the two (only the rss lifestreaming stuff really). I guess the smart move would be for Jaiku to open up and allow interactions between the two platforms? Jyri care to comment???
I love the idea of Freebase, even Tim O'reilly was upbeat about the project when it first launched over a year ago. But this video of a project called Parallax by freebase is simply amazing. It looks closer to the semantic web than almost anything else I've seen. Theres so much going on in this area now, you have things like DBpedia, Freebase, Musicbrainz, last.fm, etc, etc… Then lots of Linking data projects using foaf, atom, rdfa, etc, etc. W3C and other standard bodies working on things like RulesML, APML, etc, etc. And there's even stuff you can run yourself like the many Semantic Wikis and Blogs which are starting to popup. There's some real progress being made, the semantic web is closer that we think…
Over the last few months I've been taking pictures of interesting things on my camera phone (HTC Kaiser). The camera is actually pretty good but lacks a flash for all round use. Anyway, he's the selection…
I love seaside towns like Blackpool. They always have the best arcades and they never get rid of the old ones. So I found Ridge Racer full scale (good but slow) then Ridge Racer 2 (faster graphics and remixed sound track, much more techno)
Going back and forth between London and Manchester late night I see some interesting sights in Euston and Piccadilly stations. Usually drunk people doing stupid things. But this time I was passing the screenis in Euston and I noticed the Hamachi windows gui running. Closer shots show there using a secured hamachi network to control the advertising across a 3g link. This shows two things, Hamachi is good enough for commercial setups and can operate on adhoc low speed connections.
This is how I got my beanbag back from Mashed 08. Yes it does look like my scooter has a huge ass on the top of it. I was getting lots of people waving and honking there horns as I rode from Piccadilly to my flat.
Things to come records seem to be doing everything correctly, there a model for other record labels. There linking to everything which is related to them and it would seem replying when possible. There making there live performances available online when possible or linking to fans recordings. There also providing remix kits of quite a few of there artists tunes and encoraging people to remix them and post them back under a creative commons licence. A shop selling there own music in 320k Mpeg3 (no DRM) along with other things like tshits, etc. A news blog with photos (using flickr) and video (using blip.tv) sections of previous events. Encoraging people to get involved in creating electronic music through raw sound and fx kits which you can download and use to make your own music.
Refreshing to see and i'm actually considering buying some there stuff because it all sounds like the type of music I enjoy, I wouldn't mind hearing more from simlar artists and hell there doing such a good job. I mean the only thing they don't have is a twitter account for each artist (*grin*).
So I thought I'd do a test tonight to taste the difference between rare and well done steaks. I use to a long time ago always ask for my steaks to be well done when asked but slowly over the years started asking for quite well done, then rare to medium then medium and sometimes now just medium-rare. So I thought hey lets actually do a taste test. I did errr on putting up the pictures because I know so many of friends are veggies and even when sitting at the same dinner table as them, I will ask if they don't mind if I order my meat medium-rare (what a nice guy I am right?)
So whats the verdict? Well I think this picture says it all. The steak was exactly the same cut and from the same package (bought at Sainsburys) but one cooked for 3mins each side and the other one 7mins each side. The rare steak was juicy and much nicer to eat. Yes hardly scientific but I can confirm I prefer them rare or medium-rare, but I was shocked at the difference in size.
So it was the 18th Gay pride in Manchester this weekend and I had planned to be Dorset but my plans fell through at the last minute. I had already turned down the two parties I was asked to go to in London (thanks Nicole and JC), so I was pretty free. Anyway I was hanging around sackfield garden reading my book and I started doing some mixing with the pacemaker against the loud music. Some guys spied the pacemaker and started asking me about it. Before you know it was djing at a house party in the northern quarter with about 40 people. It was pretty cool and I got two sets off (I charged my pacemaker in between, althought I think it could have managed without it, can't beat USB charging).
It was one of those unique experiences which happen and don't really think about too much. It was a party and I was having fun. Didn't really get chatting with too many people, but it seemed like a lot of people were in town for the gay pride weekend. The only person who seemed to live in Manchester was the host and she wasn't very happy about the music. But most of the others enjoyed it, specially the trance set. Later in the evening, I toned it down and went all down and dirty with some progressive trance and lots of electro dance. I think the playlist speaks for its self really but the tunes which got people going the most was the Josh wink remix and the horrorist which if you've never heard this tune, you've got to hear! Its so wrong on so many levels but so great. (Funny enough, I found my mix on the Horrorist site).
Some guy I spoke to said my dj name was crap and I should come up with something
new and exciting to go with the pacemaker. The best they could come up
with was Dj Pace.
I recorded both sets using the pacemaker's internal recorder, so I could upload them later. The party did have a name funny enough, but it was something obscure and sounded like progression. So thats where the name comes from.
captures the loneliness of the fake
“human” environment quite well. no
matter how many bars and cinemas they plonk
in here, i can't see it become the bustling
central location that the planners seem to
have in mind. then again, they also never
really got the idea of planning for actual
people…in this case, for instance, where's
the benches? these empty spaces seem
positively hostile to people sitting down and
relaxing. ah well…
Yep it is a shame. It could be a lovely space. Maybe a market, benches, who knows what. In Bristol there's a area like this called lloyds (its in front of the lloyds building on the docks). Almost exactly the same but its used for lots of great things as its a perfect outdoor amphitheatre for a lot of people. Looking at the plans for mediacityuk there will be a couple of spaces like this but right now its pretty dead around the lowry centres.
My old college Ravensbourne annouced its plan to move to North Greenwich about 5 years ago. And at the same time they talked about lovely human spaces where people could hang out and enjoy such things as free wifi while sipping a triple skinny mocha frappachino. Well its happening but I'm not seeing the lovely human spaces yet. Actually if you walk away from the dome, theres a great little pub in the middle of the peninsula which has a green park next to it and lots of benches around. I've spent many a sunday afternoon there. Its a combination of the man made and natrual, and it just works.
I'm on the edge of ordering 2 flash based camcorders for our team. Like all things in the BBC, we have to justify why were spending money on these cameras over other cameras we may already have access to. So why would we choose to buy flash based camcorders over miniDV or even DVCam/DVCpro. Well he're some public justification.
DV Tapes/technology is very old hat, painful and time consuming. The file sizes generated by the DV codec video and audio are stupid, there too big and problemanic for editing footage meant for the web, sharing and generally anything not for broadcast. DV relies on hardware which understands it and without it – its just a pain to use. Its not even like working with Mpeg2 which is more efficient (higher resolution at much lowe bit rates) or Mpeg4 which is extremely efficient. I mean a consistent 25mbit/sec no matter what is happening in the scene is pretty insane.
Some of you maybe saying but its huge file sizes for quality reasons. Well i'm not buying it sorry. DV is not a lossless format its based on DCT compression just like JPEG!
So a camcorder which doesn't use DV compression or/and tapes? DVD-RAM and DVD-R camcorders fell out with the general public years ago. HDD camcorders seemed like a good idea but for the most part they record to DV or Mpeg2. No its 2008, the big kid on the block is Mpeg4 and now with the h.264 codec you can quality which puts the pro DV stuff to shame. Yes it requires higher processing power but nothing a dualcore processor could not handle. The advantage is once your done editing, you just need to get the correct size, bitrate and framerate. No transcoding across formats needed.
So with that in mind, if the camera also supported Mpeg4, you could shoot, edit and upload in a matter of minutes rather that hours. Also the equipment is much smaller and portable. No more looking for a 6 to 4 DV cable and having to record it all in real time to a computer and huge drive.
Flash is the way forward and things are getting better and better.
I remember the first time I heard about a flash based camcorder (i'm pretty sure it was the worlds first) Panasonic Dsnap SDAV10. It could shoot 320×240 at 15 frames of second but a rare thing for the time, shoot as long as you had space on the card. It was amazing for its time (late 2002). The SD-AV20 and AV30 improved on the quality but Sanyo hit the market with there Xacti range of camcorders which shot up to VGA quality (640×480). They became the ones to get for the longest time, they even hit the market with the very first flash based HD camcorder. Since then there have been 1080p flash based records, upgrade of codec to h.264 at higher bit rates and serious challenges from Canon, Panasonic (3CCDs), JVC, Samsung and even Sony (which seems to be best you can buy right now).
Some people have been talking about the Flip, don't get me wrong it was a consideration but its too low quality and for the same price you can pick up a decent Sanyo Xacti C6 or even the Toshiba Camileo Pro
Rain uploaded videos from the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, which is exactly the justification for the flash based cameras. We do a lot of this type of interviews and I expect we'll be doing more in the future. We need to be able to edit quickly and upload files quickly. We also need to keep a reasonable quality version for future use, but it doesn't need to be huge files or tapes. I remember at Thinking digital I was able to record and copy files off the camera within the 2 min break between speakers and upload the footage to the web while the next speaker was talking. This meant by the time the conference was over, I was also done. No having to go back to the hotel to edit the footage or digitise huge files. I've also been thinking about paying Blip.tv to put a preroll (top) and outroll (tail) of the backstage logo sequence on all footage we upload. Which means we won't need to do much editing of the footage ever again. Makes sense right?
Flash camcorders are great and are really worth considering if your shooting for web content. Just make sure you get one which does capture to standard formats like Mpeg4 or Mpeg2. Avoid the cameras which shoot straight to Flash (swf) or even divx. They maybe great but a pain to edit. Also make sure you can read the flash card directly, aka can you eject the SD card and put it into a computer and read the files? If not run away! Most of the flash camcorders support USB connections but you should be able to swap cards around and read the data. Look for things like microphone inputs, stand mount and audio output which can be useful. For example my HD1 won't let you plug in a power cable and stand at the same time unless you use a special mount. I would also pick the biggest filming rez, because you can always squeeze a 1080p picture down to a nice SD broadcast quality picture IMHO. Lastly get backup batteries, the cameras eat power specially when using the higher rez's.
Its quite a long discussion but lots of lovely information about why Evan started Laconica and some of the changes he's planning for the project. I was a little shocked to find laconica isn't based on a messaging protocal but theres plan a foot to change towards that. Installing Lasconi.ca could do with being a little easier though. Some features include a Twitter compatible API, Tags, Feditaration, Jaiku like replies, FOAF, OpenAuth. Actually I missed Dan Brickleys blog post about it.
In a world where Twitter is falling apart (don't get me wrong I love twitter but whens the im bot coming back and then the total removal of the SMS service for the UK and parts of Europe), Jaiku seems to be stalled and going no where thanks to Google buying most of the developers up. And the rest of the copiers are copying the twitter silo to the pixel. Its great to have Ping.FM and Identi.ca busting these silos. I love the company name – controlyourself.ca by the way.
My parents visited the flat in Manchester the other day, one of their comments was about the massive amounts of technology there was in the flat. I think it was the very first time they had ever seen my LCD TV and I guess it can seem a little dominating when your use to much smaller. Anyway that and people asking me how I do certain things, prompted me to quickly sketch this up in my favourite drawing app inkscape.
If I had thought about it a little more, I would have included where the FM transmitters are, as they allow me to walk in and out of the shower listening to the same thing as before. I've been less successful with a bluetooth audio network but do have bluetooth on every single machine except the smoothwall box and I own a bluetooth ghetto blaster thing which is useful when I walk in to the house listening to something interesting on the phone, using bluetooth headphones. Then want to switch to the speakers while cooking.
Some things about the setup which people might be interested in. I use to have a 24 port 3com switch to do all the network switching but I found with the 2 wifi access points I had enough network points to do everything i needed. I then replaced the smoothwall box with a solid state ADSL2 router and that also comes with 4 ports and wireless. So I got super strong coverages across the flat and a 100meg network link backbone. I do still use the Xbox (console) for any films which have AC3 sound, currently my replacement xbox (cleverly named xbox) doesn't support AC3 passthrough (Once I change the soundcard, that will all change). I got Ubuntu automaticlly logging in and booting up Xbmc right now, but I'm tempted to switch it to Boxee.
Some people might say why have I got Electrix and Stratrix? Well Electrix is a 1.4ghz AMD under-clocked to 1ghz with one 40gig HD, 1gig of memory and thats about it. Its my download and playback music in the bedroom computer. It hardly uses its internal HD, instead everything is on the NAS. If I could run this machine off Flash memory I would, because its meant to use a small amount of power. Its fitted with a 250watt power supply and I'm on the look out for 200 or less ATX power for it. I do have a fan on it, but I hope to one day have the guts to take it off and run it just off a huge heatsink and nothing else.
If FreeNas had Podcast download support and real bittorrent support which included time-throttling and RSS filtered downloads. I would switch off Electrix straight away and use that. I had even considered using boxee's download manager or installing Azureus and gPodder on Xbox so I wouldn't need the extra box, but it just wouldn't work.
Stratirx on the other hand is a modern-ish PC, 2.8ghz AMD processor with 1gig memory and 250gig HD, big graphics card, etc. Its doesn't really get turned on much because its been replaced by my laptop really. But if I was to do any video editing or anything like that, I would use this machine.
Honestly it all sounds complex but the thing to remember is that this whole setup is across 3 rooms and everything makes logical sense when you see it in context.
So I'm on a couple of dating sites, no shame in this. There usually a good way to meet new people from totally different werks of life. Anyway I've noticed out of the two sites I'm on, one is full of spammers and the other there are almost none. What's strange is the one which is free (okcupid) is spam free and the other one (speeddater) which actually costs is spam heaven. Now to be honest I didn't really choose speeddater, it was attached to the speeddating events. But what kills me is how stupid the spam gets. Like I said a while ago about ebay, I'm outting all dirty spammers by posting their emails and email contents online for others to read and for google to index for others who might be tricked into their scams. I regularlly get 1-3 emails a day, I generally send back a stock reply saying.
Sorry I have to do this but please reply if your a real person and not a dirty spammer
Here's some of the replies and stupid emails I recieve.
From Sandraratrue (i mean come on!)
I dnt understand wat u mean
Email from Hellen_jennile (very odd name)
Hi thanks for the mail and am very soory to get back to you very late it
was due to my job.. i will like to know more about you and you can
meet me on yahoo messanger email@example.com…Hope
to chat you soon.and i will like to tell you that am not that kind of
people am a real and god fearing lady.
This one kills me everytime, this time from Tracy2008200
How are you doing ? I was on this site trying to look at profiles
before i found your profile interesting . You sound so nice and i
will be happy to get along with you ) I think we have alot in
common if you are interested kindly give me a chance to get to
know you. I am a single dad of a Son *john*4years old .I live in
Alabama. I just think i will give it a try maybe i could find a
friend then see what happen. Can i be your friend?..I am easy to
get along with also a simple man. I own a house and i live alone
with Son and my pets . I lost my wife in unto Accident 3years ago.
Its a long story . I am willing to get along with you. Can you
give a chance so that we can get to know more about each other .
If you are interested please send me an IM or send..If you are
interested please send me an send me an message to my e.mail
Hope to hear back from you.
From Irino4ka (who interestingly cancelled _his_ profile today)
Hello not the familiar friend!!!
I the lonely girl from Russia, wish to find lonely beloved, is
not simple for games, and for serious attitudes.
There are interested persons, write to me I shall answer
without a delay. Beforehand I thank for your time given for me.
P.S. I write from the Internet – cafe, therefore I have inquiry
Please write to me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Russian lady, this time olhakiska
My name is Olga. I am interested in acquaintance with you. I am
interesting woman with good character, sense of humor, opens in
dialogue. I love to bring happiness to people, and the best thing I
need in this life is the happy smile of my Beloved man. I want to love
and to be loved. Tell more about a place where do you live. I will
look forward to hearing from you.
You can write me: email@example.com
Have a good day.
Last one for today, Sallyisloving
I'm Sally, i seem to be new to this online thing.if you go thru my profile it would tell you
more about me..You seem to be very interesting..I'm seeking a relationship..Are
you?..Here is my email… firstname.lastname@example.org ,email me bcos i feel on email is
better than on here bcos its a more easier and better way to communicate… or you can
im me or add me on msn messenger …I would be waiting to hear from you as soon as
Someone asked in the comments for a screenshot of my ubuntu desktop. So here you go, one with quite a few applications open on just one of the workscreens. I usually keep about 5 workscreens and when everything is clear it looks like this. The background picture comes from Flickr which I slightly modified with permission from the creator.
Frankly this picture sums up the first game of werewolf, which surprise surprise we didn't finish. Although to be fair we did get in some cracking games the next day in the lobby. A very good one where me and Gemma killed off the village in no time, and the other where it came down to 3 people and I could have saved the game for another round by healing myself. But instead I choose to heal who I trusted and I ended up healing the werewolf while I got killed off.
I switched to Ubuntu ages ago on my Dell XPS 1210 laptop. But I did go down the route of dual booting at first. Soon after I stopped using Windows for everything except virtualdj which simply would not work emulated or virtualised under Ubuntu. Then a while back I found my 120gig hard drive getting quite full (unknown to me that I was backing up to the same hard drive at the time) so I deleted the c:/windows and c:/program files directories. I had changed my /home/ian directory to map directly on top of c:/document and settings/ian forrester/my documents/, so if I did boot into windows every document and media file would be accessible to me under Windows XP/Vista. So for about year I've been walking around and using the laptop with a small ext3 partition and a huge ntfs partition.
Everythings been great, but I sometimes noticed my laptop getting slow and sometimes hanging. I looked into it and it came down to two things. One Flash is still badly written for gnu/Linux and kills the browser if loading a large video or attempting to use the webcam. But this seems to only effect the browser environment, so sometimes I need to force kill firefox. Number two is Fuse/3g, which allows Unix operating systems to read and write ntfs formatted file systems. This was great at the start but I noticed Fuse will be eating all my CPU resources. So I put out a pled for somes software like Partition Magic which can convert a drive not just format. Some advice came back, but generally people said copy the whole drive somewhere then format it and put it back.
So today I did using a spare 100gig hard drive and the Ubuntu live CD. It all went to plan but a couple of points to remember! Chmod all the files to match nobody:nobody so later on you can access the files and change the mod to yourself. As default Fuse makes files on a ntfs disk root:root. This is fine till you move them to a ext3 disk and those permissions take affect for real. Also check the boot flag is assigned to the correct drive.
So now with NTFS gone, its goodbye Windows for good now.