Photos of my new flat at Islington Wharf

The view from my new flat

So this is the view I’ll be seeing a lot more of in the very near future. It is the view looking northward across the Ancoats, i mean new islington area which I learned on Saturday use to be the home of the italians who moved to Manchester in the early 20th century. Of course I’m nice and high in the islington wharf block of apartments. I would have like to have been on the other side but it was an extra £10k to be on the south side with a balcony. Hey at least I get to see the Manchester City stadium (sport city) and the rest of new islington including the planned beach which meant to be put in just next to Chips (the two tone block of apartments in the middle of the picture).

So to go with the floor to ceiling windows, is two bedrooms a nice large lounge with kitchen and two bathrooms. There’s also a huge community garden for everyone in the building. I took advantage of the governement scheme which is now ending this weekend. Basically its a interest free loan for 30% of the property while you put in 65% in a mortgage and 5% via a deposit. Its a good deal because the loan is interest free for 5 years then you can either pay it back via the sale of the flat or pay it back slowly at a low interest rate.

I get the keys on Thursday, so only a week now and everything seems to be swimming along nicely. Thanks in part to my sister (Sharon) and Billie Wilde (my estate agent and mortgage advisor). Billie kept trying to get hold of me on my mobile phone but couldn’t get through due to #mybrushwithdeath. So in the end my sister picked up the call and got back to Billie with the bad news about me being in hospital with the bleed on the brain. Billie informed everyone involved and held the mortgage for as long as she could.

When I was well enough to continue the flat buying process she came to my house with everything to sign before I went to Bristol. If Billie and Sharon had not done what they had, I would have lost the flat for sure or at least the mortgage which would have been a real lost. So thank you to both of them, I’m very happy to pay the small fee to Billie because she really did over and above what she needed, to make sure I got the mortgage and ultimately the flat. And of my sister for being my caring sister. I owe you one, hope you enjoy the flip camera I bought you.

Crowd sourced a mix

Its started when dirtySi said about getting some new trance and I was already buying some from audiojelly. Anyway he thought about doing a crowd sourced mix by opening it up to people online to set the playlist. I later thought it would be good if we use the same playlist to do similar mixes.

Yep, crowd source a set list, hours mix, around 10-15 songs – but we get to swap in a favorite and decide the order.

So it started… dj cubicgarden and dirtysi are now taking requests. Try and make it trance rather that generic house or some other genre. Actually it might be worth me or si post our tracks. If someone can suggest somewhere that would be great.

For all the important things in life?

There is this really annoying advert on ITV2 (don’t ask why I watch it, Judge Judy is just too addictive). It starts by saying

“for all the important things in life, glamour, scandal and vip’s – there is itv2”

What!? WTF!? Really? ITV2, surely not? important things in life? Someone’s priorities are well out of whack.

It is worrying this type of disillusion. Without heading into a class battle I do somewhat worry about those who go on shows like Jeremy Kyle and make it there life to know what Peter Andre or Katie and Alex are up to.

I’m not saying we should all watch daily politics, news night or even PM’s question time. There is a balance and it strikes me ITV2 is a trap. A trap of rubbish programming and dead beat programmes, worst of the worst.

Enough said really.

Data portability in dating, we can only hope

From OnlineDatingPost

Speaking of sharing, Twitpic Blocks Posterous’ Import Tool; Out Come The Lawyers. Data portability isn’t something discussed in the dating industry very often in public. Dating sites sell profiles up and down the river every day, but that’s a big shhhh! topic. Everywhere else, data portability is the topic of the moment, and will be for many quarters to come.

While I’m glad the message is getting through, without some standards like APML your not going to see any portability in the dating field. Even who is one of the enlighten sites doesn’t have support for Openid, Oauth or anything like that. Supporting profile and data sharing or portability is going to be a major stumbling block for any dating site, simply because the revenue models rely upon data being held, locked down and processed by the company. This doesn’t fit with data portability right now.

Once they work out they can track people around the web using cookies and other techniques (which I assume will make there searches stronger and there for make for better matches) I’m sure you will start to see they at least providing openid if not oauth between partner sites.

Peering into the science of dreams with inception

Found on twitter via @girlonetrack and ultimately @rowanNS, the science of dreams.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a dream snatcher. He’s an industrial spy, who steals secrets when his victims are at their most defenceless: when they are asleep, and dreaming. But he has an even rarer ability, that of inception. He can plant an idea in someone’s sleeping mind, and watch it grow and take root in reality. "The most resilient parasite is an idea," he says.

Inception is a complex sci-fi thriller that lies somewhere between a James Bond film and The Matrix. Many of the film’s themes are often covered in New Scientist, so we have assembled a spoiler-free guide to the science of the movie, and all you need to know about dreams and the unconscious mind.

I can’t really get enough of inception(currently number 3 in imdb’s top 250 films of all time.) Its such a great film, not only because of the great action sequences but because of the whole premise. I love the idea of entering the dream state of someone else.

The film somewhat reminds me of the Cell but its a lot more clever than the cell. It also has a lot of notions which make sense, such as the memetics stance.

What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.

or even

The seed that we planted in this man’s mind, may come to define him, may come to become him.

Anyway I still find the dream world fascinating and i’m surprised how many people can’t direct there dreams. Things like changing there dreams or continue there dreams the next night can be learned an come in very useful.

I’m considering writing a story or even a script about dreams based on inception.

The pulse of a nation mix – Hospital mix

The pulse of a nation mix by cubicgarden

I had a listen to all of my mixes I recorded while in Hospital, and this is certainly the best mix of them all.

This one is certainly the best sounding of the bunch which includes the the amazing recover mix, the outta of hope mix and of course the pulse of a nation mix. Its a good length too at almost a hour long. The mixing isn’t perfect but its good enough for a listen. The choice of tunes is also good, a nice upbeat selection, I must have had a good day the day I recorded this mix. As always enjoy it… oh an you can directly download this mix using this link.

  1. By your side (martin roth remix) – the thrillseekers feat gina do
  2. Strange bends (kyau vs albert) – Sebastian Sand
  3. Grooveline (matt darey) – Blockster
  4. dark side of the moon (marc van linden remix) – Ernesto vs Bastian
  5. Intution (martin roth remix) – Marninx pres ecco
  6. the truth (david west remix) – Headstrong feat Tiff Lacey
  7. Circa Forever (R.E.mix) – Rapid eye
  8. The wave (svenson & gielen remix) – cosmic gate
  9. a new dawn (virtual vault remix) – steve forte rio
  10. So much – Vince Nysse
  11. Ultracurve – cosmic gate

One of the mixes while I was in Hospital – outta of hope mix

The outta of hope mix by cubicgarden

I had a listen to most of my mixes I recorded while in Hospital, and there some good stuff there. Its going to take a while to recover and make them decent for sharing because sometimes I had the cross fader in the wrong position which is a shame or forgot to do something equally silly. Anyway here’s a nice short one to kick us off. As always enjoy…

  1. Above the sky – Airwave
  2. Cafe del Mar (Marco V remix) – Energy 52
  3. Are you fine – Kyan vs Albert
  4. Sincere (pulser remix) – Firewall
  5. Language (santiago nino dub tech mix) – Hammer and Bennett
  6. Shadow World – Thomas Brozwaer
  7. Lately (Riley & durrant mix) – Airbiscuit
  8. She wants him – Moussa Clarke & Terrafunka
  9. Into Something – Richard durand
  10. The Blizzard (Monogato’s Filth Remix) – Kalopsia
  11. Gamesmaster (matt darey 1999 remix) – Lost Tribe

Media Guardian’s top 100 so far…

Like the Wired 100 I really don’t see the point in these top 100’s they seem to serve the purpose of making people feel underwhelmed and under appreciated. Either way the Media Guardian’s 100 at least has a better scope of what people are doing all over the country including the north.

At the time of writing only 100-60 was available.

Excellent to see Herb Kim (new entry) at number 83. Someone is obviously reading wired magazine and taking note of the feedback. and our own Peter Salmon director of BBC North at number 84. Noel Clarke at number 81 is a interesting decision, I would personally put him higher because his films have been such a inspiration over the years. Really showing what street life is like without going up its own ass.

It is a shame to see Stephen Fry going from 45 to 64 but to be fair he’s been rather quiet recently. But what the hell is Big Brother doing in the chart at number 100? I thought the top 100 was about people not shows or formats?

Orange Wednesdays saves Cinema?

I’ve been going to the cinema quite a lot recently, further proving that file sharers are truly film lovers an will pay for convenience and the film industry should consider this. So far I’ve been to the cinema 4 times in the last 2 weeks. I even bought Empire magazine while waiting in Manchester Hospital for my physical therapy session

Anyway, I went to the cinema today and it was packed. Compare this to Tuesday and even Thursday last week, where it was very quiet.

It got me thinking about the effect of Orange Wednesday.

It seems a lot of people are waiting to Wednesday to go to the cinema which makes sense with it being two for one.

Obviously it was setup with the major cinema chains because Wednesday is officially the last day of the cinema week, so anything to get people in on the last day makes a lot of sense. The weird thing is that a phone company would do this, specially with everything the cinema chains have tried to get people in. Everything they have tried from offering one pound tickets on cinema day to playing computer games on the massive screens.

Orange Wednesdays certainly nets the cinemas a huge amount of money and I wonder how they compare to Saturdays and even Sundays. There’s little secret that the cinemas make almost all there money on Food and drink, the money for films actually mainly go back to the distributor and studio depending on the popularity of the film. Something like 4,3,2,1 which I saw on Monday will typically take all the box office money in the first 2-3 weeks. Something like the dark knight or even avatar will have a longer period set on its return. Maybe even up to 8 or even 10 weeks for a high ranking blockbuster. Which means cinema usually try and hold a film as long as they can or have many theatres as possible (hence things like the 16 screen AMC multiplex in Manchester, my local cinema). Obviously on the flip side they also try and get rid of the films that don’t do so well for them too, quickly.

You could say Orange Wednesdays was a early Four Square or Gowall type system, its just a shame the cinemas are only just catching on to the potential of loyalty schemes. How good would it have been if you could have a home cinema and got points or even prizes if you visited others? Heck they could have bluetooth access points in the box office area where they could do a whole bunch of things.

Orange Wednesday is a very clever concept, and if you look beyond the silly ads you might find its the saver of modern cinema.

Google App Inventor, excellent stuff

Google have really hit it out of the park this time. Google App Inventor (sign up page) allows almost anyone to build a Android application using a simple interface. Now don’t get me wrong, the interface is pretty nasty but heck Google are democratization app development and in my book thats great news for content producers or just people with good ideas and a little time.

This all flies in the face of Apple’s restrictive SLA which prevents apps being made with a application on another system.

I look forward to seeing what other democratization google does in the near future, but boy do google need some good designers, because this looks pretty ugly. Hopefully that won’t put people off. Maybe Google should get Adobe involved in this one?

Why I Turned In My iPhone and Went Android

Louis Grey, A large fan of Apple just turned his back on Apple, why? Well thats best explained by him. But there’s some real good points which I also made in a recent episode of TechGrumps.

For me, more than the over-used phrase of "open", the promise of true multitasking, and the platform’s integration with Google Apps, was one word – "Choice". Choice of handsets. Choice of carriers. Choice of manufacturers. Second behind the word choice has to be "Momentum". I can see that Android has momentum in terms of improved quality, in terms of the number of devices sold and users, and yes, applications, which are growing in quantity, soon to be followed by quality. I really do believe that if Android does not already have a market share lead over Apple yet in this discussion, they soon will. It is inevitable. The growth in the number of handsets, carriers and users will drive more developers to the platform, and the holdouts who are not there will eventually make the move. And yes, third is "Cloud" – the idea that I don’t need to be tied to my desktop computer to manage data on the phone, but instead, the phone is built to tap into data stored on the Web. Fourth is "Capability". The Android platform, as the Droid commercials offer, simply does more. The power of the mobile hotspot cannot be understated, and the iPhone is a zero there.


Why not use Cat5 in your home cinema setup?

Hd baseT

We’ve been lied to. When everyone started introducing HD Televisions there was a new interconnect to get use. That interconnect or port was HDMI. We were told that HDMI was the only connection able to handle all that bandwidth needed for a 1080p signal. Others said rubbish, whats wrong with dv, ethernet and even optical.

Well its stuck we’re not using Hdmi on most things but theres a new challenger and its very familiar.

HdbaseT is a new internet connect standard and as you guessed its based on Ethernet which will make a lot of people happy. Yes you can use your standard Cat5e or Cat6 cables. Not only that, theres a whole range of other extra tricks which come with HdbaseT, but how does it compare to the others types?


HDMI 1.4a


DisplayPort 1.2

HDBaseT 1.0

Uncompressed Video/Audio



21.6 Gbps
(17Gbps data)

(can scale to 20Gbps)

Max Passive Cable Length



15m for 5Gbps
3m for 5-21.6Gbps

(plus 8x multiple hops)

Cable type





Connector type





Charging power






100 Mbps



100 Mbps
(can scale to Gigabit)

Daisy chainable






Heck No



(can use existing wiring)






Networking methods


Daisy & Star

Daisy & Star

Daisy & Star
(with extended-range)

Power over ethernet, yes believe it or not but they will be able to supply not only data but also power over eithernet/hdbaseT, up to 100watts which is enough to power a 37inch tv. And the cable does not have to be Shielded which is great news for all those people who have laid ethernet in the walls of there house. Imagine running your whole TV off only one cable and nothing else…

Control signals allow remote controls to control anything on that network. And when we say network we mean just that. Switches or hubs can be used to connect devices and route signals around the network. This is like Samsung’s Anynet+ and other systems which allow you to control other related devices over a special cable. Instead of it a special magical cable, a cat5/6 cable will do the same trick.

This might sound a little pie in the sky but in actual fact its a standard and its been accepted by LG, Sony, Samsung and others. HdbaseT 1.0 specification is finished and ready to be used. There already working on the 2.0 spec now which will support up to 10.2gig a second through put. Theres also talk about using wireless too…

I look forward to seeing Hdmi going away and ethernet taking the position it once had.