Thinking Digital 2011: Touching the emotions

May is a strange time… It seems to be the start of a series of conferences in the North of England including Future Everything. In this case it was time to head up to Newcastle/Gateshead for the inspiring and always fantastic Thinking Digital conference.

Herb Kim

Like Future Everything, I missed last year due to the bleed on the brain. Herb Kim last year gave me a shout out, live on stage (of course I wasn’t there) but this year he did the same in between a couple of speakers. It was very touching and later on Adrian pointed out that there was something in the conference booklet too. So thank you again to Thinking Digital and Herb Kim.

Generally the conference was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, lots of people I kind of remember and lots of people who remember me from previous years. It was very noticeable to me, how badly I forgot peoples names but hey I have a great excuse… 🙂 It was also great seeing Marissa Mulvena, Kate Norman and Emilia Flockhart along side all the other lovely people.

The Workshop – The Practice of Happiness – Bobby Paterson

Happiest

I attended and enjoyed the practice of happiness with Bobby. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. Bobby ran through a whole lot of inspirational books that he had read and would recommend.

Its fair to say it was a decent summary without touching any of the religious or overall self help stuff. Bobby quoted Jim Rohn saying Happiness is not a accident nor is it something you aspire to, its actually something you design or even architect. Quite fitting with the talk from Bill Thompson at Future Everything about designing your future.

Some interesting facts. We have roughly 60,000 thoughts a day and 95% of them are the same as yesterday and 80% of those are negative in nature.

Then following that Bobby directed the questioning to work. Does your companies attitudes and values align with your own personal values? Luckily I would say indeed it does. He then went on to talk about Tony Heish from Zappos as a great example of what can be done in work. Bobby also hit the point about being more transparent and what that could mean for happiness.

He then talked about the social network (aptly named happie.st) he was setting up off the back of his research into happiness. There’s 7 happy habits as Bobby called them running through the network. Those habits are…

  • Wisdom
  • Gratitude
  • Getting Active
  • Journaling
  • Eating Healthy
  • Mantra
  • Meditation

To be honest and I did say this to Bobby, its a nice idea but I’m concerned about the social networking aspect of it. I think for it to be truly useful it needs to be more fluid than yet another social network. I understand there’s the ability to send stuff into other social networks but honestly its needs to be something more transparent. I was thinking about a microformat for wellbeing and good habits could be interesting. Of course Bobby could keep the social network too, but aggregate stuff outside of it.

Highly valued characters

End of the day, it was a good talk and I am intrigued specially with my own shift (still not sure how I feel about this movie) or lifestyle change.

And that was just the workshop…

The conference was even more fantastic. Like Future Everything I’ll just run through the highlights of the conference but I wanted to also wanted to discuss a few of the conference things. You can think of it as feedback to the Thinking Digital committee.

  • I loved the idea of having a smoke machine go off when the speaker went well over the time. It was used a bit at the start but I didn’t see it again. What happened there?
  • I really wanted to ask questions, but there was never a chance. According to Jas, something changed in 2010 and so there was no more questions. Anyway, no worries, I got to speak to everyone afterwards.
  • It wasn’t just me who had a quite sore behind from the seats in the conference venue. Could really have done with a pillow or something. Not a big problem because there were the right amount of breaks and even better they were just about the right length.
  • The meals were pretty good, very healthy but I wouldn’t have minded a little more variety. Good idea having bags which you can shift around with and having the sweets upstairs.
  • The Wifi was a problem but got better, I do wish there wasn’t the webpage authentication because its a real pain on a non-laptop device like my kindle.
  • Power wasn’t a problem for me because I was on the Kindle, but I heard a few people say they wished there was a secure place to charge laptops between sessions.
  • The dinners are still excellent in Thinking Digital. The combination of food and drink means everyone stays till the very end and goes no where. Don’t ever loose that part of thinking digital.

Right time for the best talks of the conference

Erin McKean from Wordnik

Erin McKean

Erin McKean likes to call herself a Dictionary Evangelist. She is the CEO of the new online dictionary Wordnik and prior to that she was the Editor in Chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary. She is the author of ‘Weird and Wonderful Words’, ‘More Weird and Wonderful Words’, ‘Totally Weird and Wonderful Words’, and ‘That’s Amore’ (also about words).

Erin from Wordnik gave a great presentation about building the largest Dictionary. The presentation was pretty straight forward but fascinating. The new developer API sounds like tons of fun.

Wordnik fits really well with my thoughts around the way language evolves at a fascinating pace. Hopefully we can help Wordnik in some way in the near future.

Conrad Wolfram, Wolfram Research

Conrad Wolfram

Conrad Wolfram is European founder and CEO of Wolfram Research and its worldwide strategic director. Since 1988, the Wolfram group has built the Mathematica computational software and since 2009, the spin-off Wolfram|Alpha knowledge engine.

Another great talk with some useful examples on demonstration.wolfram.com. Interestingly Wolfram have launched a computational document format (CDF)

CDF—the computable document format—is a way that we’ll be releasing soon of very easily creating dynamic, interactive, documents that immediately build on all the algorithms and automation that we’ve been setting up in Mathematica for the past 24 years.

I assumed it would be XML based but its unfortunately not. Anyhow, the reason seems to be sound due in part to the Mathematica engine being embedded in part in the document.

Sam Martin, Manspaces

Thinking Digital - Sam Martin

Author Sam Martin shares photos of a quirky world hobby that’s trending with the XY set: the “manspace.” (They’re custom-built hangouts where a man can claim a bit of his own territory to work, relax, be himself.) Grab a cold one and enjoy.

Just as Herb Kim said in his intro, you kind of don’t really want to like the talk but honestly it was an insight into how people get away and use there own spaces. Some would have liked to ask questions about the notion that its man spaces instead of just work spaces? Oh well I guess they could twitter him, if they were that upset. Good talk and plenty to think about

Nancy Duarte, Duarte Design

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte is one of the world’s foremost authorities on presentation development and design. She is the founder of Duarte Design, who specialise in presentation mastery and visual communications. Duarte design is also one of Silicon Valley’s most successful and largest woman-owned businesses.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Nancy at the speakers Dinner before the conference and I was already a fan when we talked about Prezi (which Matthew Postgate used in his presentation and I’ve written about before) and she said it can be useful in a very small number of cases but generally it distracts from the core messages and the flow of the presentation. And after listening to her talk, shes totally right, can you ever imagine Steve Jobs or Martin Luther King, using Prezi? Not a chance in hell…

The analysis of the flow of the best presentations is killer information. Once you know and understand it, its really obvious but very powerful. Thank you Nancy… I’ll hopefully improve my presentations forever more.

Dr Vincent W. Li, Angiogenesis Foundation

Thinking Digital - Vincent Li

Li tackles a common denominator of disease called angiogenesis, or new blood vessel growth. He created the Foundation in 1994 and currently oversees the Eat to Defeat initiative and ENABLE project, a global system that integrates patients, medical experts and healthcare professionals and democratises the spread and implementation of knowledge about angiogenesis-based medicines, diet and lifestyle.

Vincent gave an emotional but very smart talk about the research he and his brother have been working on. Angiogenesis is the process of growing new blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels. This process is also how tumors go from dormant to a state of malignant. Some foods can give the effect of a Angiogenesis inhibitor or Anti-Angiogenesis.

Yes if you understood correctly (videos should helps), we might be able to prevent Cancer by eating more of certain types of food. Which types of food, I bet your wondering? Which ones? Well here’s the full list and I’ve picked out the surprising ones…

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Maple Syrup

But its not just cancer… Angiogenesis is a major factor in other medical conditions such as Obesity and Stress.

Its a lot to take in at first and to be fair I really need to do some more research into these claims but honestly if eating more fruit and vegetables helps to defeat cancer and other problems, then I’m there. I’ve already made huge changes in my lifestyle, if this works or even if it doesn’t I’ll certainly be stacking up my shopping trolley with more things from the list.

I did get a chance to talk to Vincent about the whole thing and he was very open to hearing the good and negative comments. The problem seems to be the lack of a clinical/scientific trial over a wide group of people. He said they have trials over 100,000 people but they were not clinical due to the nature of the subject. It was expressed that trying to do a mass clinical/scientific trial would never really be achievable because there’s far too many factors to consider.

Its important to remember this is all preventive not a cure.

Anyway… Something to check out for sure.

Mary Anne Hobbs, XFM

Thinking Digital - Mary Ann Hobbs

I have to admit I had not heard any of the back story of why she had left the BBC, and she wasn’t actually on the schedule but with all the craziness of the ash cloud and speakers stranded in different locations. Herb convinced her to stand in for someone else and tell her side of the story.

The interview was done by herb and felt like he had planned it from the very start. Very professional but with hints of friendliness. It was a excellent interview and one of those pinnacle moments in Thinking Digital which defines the 2011 conference…

The Others

Thinking Digital - Tom Scott

Its also worth mentioning Steven Bathiche, Walter de Brouwer, Paul Smith, Matthew Postgate, Carlos Ulloa, Casper Berry, Tan Lee, Gred Leonhard, Jer Thorp, Atau Tanaka, Heather Knight, Ewan McIntosh and finally Tom Scott. All added equally good talks and worth mentioning. Musical interludes by Badaia was certainly interesting but after the 3rd time got a little tiresome.

Would I say Thinking Digital 2011 was better that 2009? Well I would say they were about the same, both had tiny things you could groan about but on the whole they were amazing and a truly inspiring.

Excellent work again, Herb and the Thinking Digital team, can’t wait for 2012…

Annotating Thinking Digital my forthoughts and aftermath

My experiments/hacking with the kindle has lead me to this point.

I’m on my way to thinking digital in Gateshead/Newcastle and with the kindle in my jacket pocket and I’m wondering how this whole thing would work. It seems likely that Amazon never really intended for there software to be used in this way and so there will be a massive delay in sharing notes during a conference. But in actual fact, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

When I though about using the kindle for notes, I didn’t want some sudo realtime thing. There’s already plenty of those type of systems. In actual fact just being able to write my own short notes and then share them was good enough. But if I can make some of those notes sharable then even better. Of course if someone else wants to share there notes with me, then cool beans but when I tend to write notes, they tend to only really make sense to the mind of a dyslexic designer/developer (oh thats me).

I guess part of the experiment is working out if;

  1. Is it possible to share notes in a conference setting
  2. How long are the updates between writing it, etc?
  3. How is the kindle going to separate private notes from public notes?
  4. Does it make sense in a conference like thinking digital?

Continue readingAnnotating Thinking Digital my forthoughts and aftermath

Thinking Digital conference Kindle test1

Thinking Digital Conference Schedule on a Kindle

For those who have been interested in my kindle hacking/project. I’m happy to say the Thinking Digital conference schedule is now up on the Amazon Kindle store.

I might need to do some tweaking and yes it doesn’t look the best but remember it is a hack test and we can clean up the schedule next time for sure.

The first thing you will notice is the schedule actually costs money to download. £0.70 in the UK. The reason for this was down to Amazon. They charge a minimum fee of £0.99 to store and share the book over Amazon’s Whispernet. Although I think this is a bit of a rip off, specially because thinking digital already have a PDF version which they host on there own site, its not bad if this experiment does actually work. And heck, conference organizers could use it to make a little extra too I guess.

The Tweet URLs now seem to resolve to the book ok, which is a promising sign that my conclusions are actually correct.

So next step is to tell Herb Kim about the ebook and add notes next week at Thinking Digital. Hopefully I can pursued a couple of people to add notes too, so we can test the collaborative feature out. If you want to be part of that test, give me a shout… It should work on any device which runs the Kindle software.

Beyond HD: 8K Super Hi-Vision

People have a hard time understanding what I do… But to be honest I have a harder time explaining what I do but usually I explain I work for BBC Research & Developement, that usually gets either a oh ok I didn’t know the BBC had a R&D department, oh so your like a TV researcher? or finally whats R&D?

Usually by the time we get to the 1st one, (I didn’t know the BBC had a R&D department) I spin off a load of examples of what kind of things R&D has been instrumentally involved in the past. One of the many examples is Freeview HD and Freesat HD. So usually we get around to the question, so whats next?

I usually have to caveat this prediction with this is just looking at Screen technology and not much else. Super Hi-Vision which is a area of work BBC R&D and Japan’s NHK have been working together on…

Well finally Sharp just built a 85inch LCD TV to display Super Hi-Vision signals.

While Japan’s NHK has been working on the successor to HDTV, Super Hi-Vision, for years, there haven’t been any direct-view HDTVs capable of showing its full 7,680 x 4,320 pixel resolution until this prototype unveiled today by Sharp. Its 103 pixels per inch may be just a fraction of those found in some of the pocket displays we’ve seen at SID this week, but that’s still far more than the 36ppi of a 60-inch 1080p HDTV. If estimates are correct, we’ll still be waiting until around 2020 for that 33MP video and 22.2 channel sound to actually be broadcast, although there’s a possibility of some demonstrations happening during the 2012 Olympics.

Google IO 2011… My thoughts

Google 2011

About a year ago, I woke up in hospital and I asked my boss Adrian, "What did Google launch at Google IO 2010?"

Yeah crazy times but its weirdly true, maybe its all consistent with my memory of a series of dreams being in a Google run Hospital…

Anyhow, this year I was happily alive to be able to experience 2011’s Google IO (from the stream of course)

These are the highlights I saw…

Future Everything: If you don’t design the future someone else will…

The Future Everything conference was great this year… The line up was a mixed bag of speakers, which kept me guessing…

As mentioned in the post before, I took notes on my kindle. Here are the ones I highly recommend

Our global urban future

No picture but a great talk about.

The ‘internet of things’, refers to the technical and cultural shift as society moves to a 24/7 form of computing in which every device is ‘always on’, and every device is connected in some way to the internet. However, many versions of this notion rely upon one significant premise: that the thing remains in existence.

Future Everything

Our global urban future

Cities are often said to be humanity’s greatest creation.  It is in cities that most wealth is created and destroyed and it is from cities that most human creations and social innovations flow.

This presentation was a excellent look at our future in a world of cities. Its weird that even with all the disadvantages of living close together, nature tends to prefer cooperative emergent properties. Two examples which were given was the Ant hill and the Beehive. Interestingly productivity decreases with colony size but somehow it works, in actual fact as a city doubles its economic productivity per capita increases by 15%. Jane Jacobs was bounded about quite a bit, with the notion that cities simply amplify interaction including the 16% increase in violent crime.

But Revolutions always happen in cities because groups of people expect better. Finally there was lots to think about in regards to the general speed of cities. Its almost like the gravitational effect of larger objects on smaller objects. There’s more to do and see, so it feels like things are much quicker.

Really got me thinking how I can’t really imagine living anywhere else.

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Meg Pickard and Dan Catt explore some of the ways that attention and social patterns influence the way we discover, consume and curate content online.

Its so strange, I’ve never formally met Meg Pickard but have occupied the same space virtually and physically many times. Her and Dan ran through a bunch of thoughts which although not new to me, kind of crystallised a lot of them.

Generally…

  • Editors bring the authority
  • Friends bring the relevance
  • Robots bring the interestingness
  • Strangers bring the serendipity

However there was lots of discussion about gaming these patterns. All very interesting, specially with the context that Dan Catt use to work on Flickr.

New Games For New Cities

New Games For New Cities

Against the background hum of continuous technological change, contemporary urban life has undergone lasting and undeniable changes. Our views on public space, civic engagement and what it means to live well in a city have changed accordingly. Various types of organizations seek to influence urban life for the good of society, for their own interest or a combination of both. At the same time, games and play have started to break out of the traditional frame of the video screen. On the one hand, this has given us all kinds of interesting experiments in pervasive, urban and alternate reality gaming. On the other hand, more recently, it has given rise to a program of playful persuasive technology now commonly know as gamification.

Kars started his presentation with the simple question. Should kids grow up with Lego or Starwars figures? The point was about constructive vs surface play. The point was about open ended play, and was played out through out his talk. He felt unplanned playtime for us all was becoming less and less, it was time to return to the Adventure playground.

And I got to agree… Actually my question was about the bunch of skateboarders who use the steps near my flat as a place to challenge each other. Some people really hate them being there although they never actually interfere with people walking by. ISIS also stuck up signs saying no skateboarding which of course hasn’t stopped them. There simply taking advantage of the constructs of our cities, just like the rise of free running. Unscripted play makes our cities fun and a joy to be in, maybe our cities and lives are too structured right now? Serendipity is fun.

Kars called Gamification motivated play and he’s not actually wrong. Its certainly a canny observation which I hadn’t actually thought about before. There’s certainly a rush to inject gamification into almost anything recently. The warning was against shallow play like coke points. Ending with the point I’ve heard many times…

You do not play a gamificated system it plays you…

Where The Robots Work

Where the robots work

For centuries we’ve built our cities around ourselves, and our needs. As our prosthetics have advanced, they’ve shifted according to the needs of automobiles and electricity, but we have remained at the centre. Now, the city is reconfiguring itself around the network in subtle and intriguing ways.

James did a great job explaining how we’ve build places where the robots work. He started off with a picture of a robot jockey and how it was used to replace small children riding on camel’s backs. And somewhere got on how Amazon’s warehouses are optimised for robots over people and how the roumba and neato cleaning robots are like inviting a alien into your living room.

BillT

Leave no-one behind

Bill will provide a unique coda to the 2011 edition of FutureEverything, reflecting on the themes explored throughout the conference as well as his own perspectives on areas of the future that hold promise. 

We are increasingly establishing a culture where information has become the modern era’s defining quality. As humanity’s transactions are increasingly articulated and mediated in digital forms, what becomes of those that lack the access or literacy to participate in those transactions? Indeed, is such a civilisation a better civilisation?

Bill Thompson’s "keynote like" presentation was fantastic. He talked about the revolution of tools. Tools that fundamentally change us, change the way we perceive our reality. There was a revolution through literacy century’s ago and it fundamentally changed the way our brains work.

Its hard to do it much justice in written form but I was literally punching the sky inside my mind while he spoke out to the slightly skeptical crowd. I kind of wished it was recorded…

He ended the presentation with a slide saying "if you don’t design the future someone else will…"

The point was Digital Culture is now the dominate culture now. "We won! Digital Culture won…" Thinking digitally is fundamental and analogue thinking is on its way out, like it or not.

A strangely inspiring and excellent talk…

Continue readingFuture Everything: If you don’t design the future someone else will…

One year on from my brush with death

Get well cards from 2010

It seems only yesterday when I was totally stressed out about the closure of BBC Backstage, trying to help Future Everything, buying my first flat on my own and goodness knows what else…

I assume this time last year is about the time Adrian got the call saying I didn’t have mengentis, instead I had a massive bleed on the brain and they were going to operate straight away, could he contact my parents.

It still makes me very sad that I put everyone through everything but then again I really wasn’t to know. The bleed was caused by having high blood pressure and although my size doesn’t help, its also in my family genes. Both my mum and dad have high blood pressure and to be honest I’d never really thought to ask them about it. Ever since, I’ve asked them all types of questions…

In my flat, I have had all the cards I received during my time in hospital up. It reminds me what happened and how I need to move forward. My parents would rather I had taken them down but I did say I would keep them up for a year then put them away for safe keeping. This is exactly why I’m writing this post I guess.

I know I’m one of the luckiest people on this planet. To survive a bleed on the brain (Angiogram) is one thing but to be able to walk away with little permanent damage is just something else altogether. I’m not one for religion but as my parents say, god must have been looking down on me that day.

Get well cards from 2010

The blow by blow

Over the next week the story of last year becomes a lot clearer in part due to my caringbridge site/blog, which was setup by my ex-wife Sarah, who at the time I was not on speaking terms with at all.

Ian had been feeling very unwell, and his flatmate and his boss convinced him to go to the hospital to get checked out. We were called on Monday 17th May and told Ian was in hospital. Originally they suspected meningitis. However, all we know at the moment is that he had a bleed on his brain. He had surgery that day to put a drain in and has been heavily sedated in the ICU at Salford Royal (aka Hope Hospital).

It all felt like a lot longer, it almost felt like I was in hospital months, but I guess thats the powerful drugs effecting my judgment and memory. I assume looking at the dates I was only in ICU for about 2 weeks.

I do remember this moment

I spent most of the afternoon and evening with Ian today. They have taken him off the medication that was keeping him asleep and his condition is fair. He’s opened his eyes and is able to communicate with me by nodding. He is still on the ventilator but he is starting to breathe naturally. They want to keep the ventilator in for the moment in case he isn’t responding properly.

He had tears in his eyes while I was reading all the get well messages to him. So far he will only open his eyes when I ask him to, but he will not do it for the nurses.

I could hear my mum calling my name… And I woke up in a strange place mainly of white. My mum, dad and sister were standing over me. My mum asked do I know where I am? I shook my head and she said hospital. They read out a few messages I had gotten and I fell a sleep with tears in my eyes.

The next day (Saturday)… I remember slightly more.

Ian wanted to know what happened as he cannot remember falling ill; his sister has explained it to him. He then wanted to know what the doctors said so I’ve told him about having the bleed on his brain. He was listening and nodding to say he understood.

By Monday my mum certainly knew me very well because she wrote about my recovery, she did say to me later in the year that she knew I wasn’t going to be physically disabled because my legs and arms kept moving now and then while I was under…

I still feel very confident that Ian is going to make a full recovery. Today he smiled and squeezed my hand, and he laughed when we told him a joke. He knows where he is and recognises his family.

He is still quite tired and drowsy, but I am reading him your get well messages when he is awake enough to listen. Alvin and I had no idea how well known Ian is until we saw the messages coming from all over the world.

Yes I certainly remember trying to stay awake and learn more about what was going on around me but struggling to stay awake even during guest visiting hours.

I am staying at Ian’s flat in Manchester and am pleased that I have figured out how to turn on his television!

Good for my mum… I kind of forgot how alien it must have been for her, shes so use to just turning on the TV and sound coming out. While I had it setup so all the sound on the TV is muted and comes out to the cinema amp instead. Luckily I changed the Sherwood amp to the Onyko amp sometime before otherwise it would have been impossible to work out.

Tuesday, and I’m wondering about Google IO 2010 and was in tears to hear about what Jeremy Keith did for me

I held up some of his cards and messages for him to read. Ian wrote on a piece of paper asking for an article about Google, and one had been sent to him so he got to read it (thanks to the sender!).

The doctors are hoping to to take him off the ventilator again tomorrow and see how his breathing is doing.

On Wednesday Ant/Adrian posted this blog post on the Backstage blog. While Thursday…

Ian’s ventilator was removed again this morning. To avoid having the ventilator back in, he has had a tracheotomy to help him breathe. This is just a temporary measure until his breathing is stabilised. The drain has been removed from his head, so now it is just the feeding tube in his nose.

I remember the tracheotomy, in actual fact I’ve still a year later got the scar from where the hole in my throat was. The Feeding tube in my nose was very strange. I remember when the nurses would change the feeding stuff to something sweeter and my nose would almost tingle as it slowly got pumped down the back of my nose.

By that weekend (last weekend of May)… I think Ross and Carly came up to see me and my mum wrote this.

Ian’s dad, sister and I have been back in Manchester with him since yesterday afternoon.

The trach tube had to be resited and Ian is still having some ventilation through that just until his breathing improves. They are reducing use of it and he is mostly breathing on his own.

Ian’s sister has been reading him messages from the guestbook which are much appreciated. However, at the moment we would still like visitors to be limited to family. Ian is having ups and downs in his recovery, but on the whole is improving. We want to make sure he rests and does not get frustrated with not being able to speak (this is temporary due to the trach tube). He is communicating with us by blinking, nodding and occasionally writing, and he does understand everything that is going on.

The messages and cards were overwhelming… They really helped me. I remember thinking I can’t believe the amount of peoples lives I’ve touched. Not being able to speak was a nightmare… my sister (bless her) came up with a system for communicating but what she missed was the fact it was based on speaking language and so required far too much effort to make it useful. My frustration was clear but I was able to somewhat laugh with Ross and Carly.

I’ll leave the walk down memory lane there for now… but its worth poping along to Thank you part 1 and Thank you part 2 which cover my thoughts and thank you’s when I left Hospital.

Time to pack away the cards

Life goes on

Now one year on, my life has totally changed around. I’m doing a lot less but also going deeper in certain areas. I’ve decided to leave the open data movement to its own momentum. I’m now full of creative ideas which I keep writing down in Evernote for future use. Some of those ideas are to do with the BBC and some to do with other aspects of my life like djing. I’m also less likely to hold on to them, which fits nicely with my need to use less brain cycles.

I’m living much more of my life publicly, trying to hold back requires effort and brain cycles so unless there’s a very good reason, I tend to share it. I’m also less guarded with information about myself, heck I’ll pretty much tell anyone about my experience with the bleed.

I also have a total new appreciation of our brains and the system which keeps it ticking over. I’ve of course taken advantage of mine to trick it into thinking giving blood and injections are not as bad as they should/could be via hypnosis. Also a better understanding of the need to stay fit, healthy and have a very positive outlook. I really hate to see life being thrown away, even more so than before.

Generally my brush with death has changed me in many positive ways and I never want to end up back where I was. Although I’m thinking about popping back into the hospital to see some of the nurses to see if the changes I complained about have actually happened or not… But thats for another blog post later in June.

Its certainly time to stop the thread. Archive and move on but never ever forget…

A new/different way to collaborate at conferences

Future Everything notes on my kindle

Been thinking for a while about the way I take notes…

I tend to write down short lines of text which tend to make sense to myself only, but I’ve been thinking for a while do I really need my laptop to take notes? Specially since my main laptop battery fails after about 5mins of use (my own fault for buying it cheap on ebay I guess) and my backup battery lasts 20mins maximum.

Here’s my options I’ve been thinking…

  • Use my laptop, bite the bullet and buy yet another laptop, then use Evernote or Tomboynotes
  • Leave my laptop at home, rely on my Android phone. Maybe even buy a spare battery, so I can run it at full power (wifi, bluetooth, etc) all day
  • Leave my laptop at home, rely on my Android phone and work out how to use my bluetooth keyboard with Android. Still need to think about battery however
  • Use my Kindle, which has pretty much endless battery battery and a physical keyboard

Of course I used my Kindle

Kindle powered

The thought was Amazon added a feature which allows you to add notes to a ebook and share it with other people using the Kindle or Kindle reader. The notes are accessible on the web but theres a problem. The problem is Amazon notes only really work as expected with documents on the Kindle store. This means although I am able to add notes to a PDF of the Future Everything conference. First its a bit crap because its a PDF and secondarily I can’t share the notes publicly very easily (its worth noting Calibre does allow you to pull the notes off the Kindle).

Generally the keyboard on the Kindle is ok, nothing compared to my bluetooth keyboard but slightly better that the onscreen keyboard on my phone. The symbols option is a pain but because I’m writing rough notes, it doesn’t matter so much.

Future Everything notes on my kindle

I also had a little bit of a panic when it seemed like most of my notes had gone. But it seems to be a way the Kindle shows the notes. In the end I was able to bring them all back (well they hadn’t actually gone anywhere). I was writing one set of notes per speaker but you can do more, making it possible to tweet/share the notes too which I might do more of next time.

In the picture above you can just about see the little numbers which are the different notes. The Kindle software assigns a number but it might do something different

So where from now…?

Well the Thinking Digital Conference is in less that two weeks, so I’m gearing up for doing the same with this wonderful conference but…

  1. I’m going to get the conference schedule in a non-PDF format from Herb Kim
  2. I’m going to try and get the schedule posted on Amazon’s Kindle Store, so when I share the notes. The actual document will be partly available instead of the usual message about it being a personal document.

If this works well, I’ll try collaborate editing with someone else in future but also if this does actually work, it will be a really nice way to collaboratively edit notes at a conference and I can certainly see it taking off in the future. Specially if as I suspect you can annotate and collaborate on notes on many different platforms and devices together.

I’m surprised no one else has thought about doing the same really, or maybe its just not possible?

Opinionated software

It is opinionated vision-driven software

37signals say Agnostic software is bull

Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it’s arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible.

We think that’s bullshit. The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they’re not just looking for features, they’re looking for an approach. They’re looking for a vision. Decide what your vision is and run with it.

To be honest I’d never really heard the term till David Eastman said it on Techgrumps recently

We were using it in the context of Ubuntu 11.04 but it equally applies to iOS and many other operating systems and software.

Is it a good thing or bad thing? Hard to say, but to be honest I’ve not really seen much advantages to opinionated software right now…

Flirting versus pick-up. Where to begin?

Buyin the game

Since the moment the concept of doing a flirting and pickup workshop was kicked about, there’s been a silent backlash from different quarters… One of the people most vocal has been @Maznu who’s been writing about the whole thing on Twitter quite a bit. In actual fact, we’ve been going back and forth for a few nights on twitter. But Maz also wrote on Simon Carters blog and my own. After reading her (I’m assume shes a she) reply I had to blockquote it as its a very well executed argument, and crystallizes a lot of what I don’t like about the game and pickup.

I’m in two minds because I feel Simon Lumb might have been unfairly singled out by people like Maz, when actually he’s a nice guy who happened to dabble with pickup a while ago. Then again, Maz kind of covers that too. Anyway, he’s the comment with my thoughts between

…First I suppose I ought to outline what I believe these two things are.

Flirting: to deliver a compliment to somebody in a way that says, “out of all the people right here right now, I’ve noticed you, there’s something special about you, and maybe we should talk a little longer.” Flirting is something that anyone can do regardless of the nature of the “attraction”: gay guys flirt with girls (who they have no intention of taking to bed), and vice-versa. I flirt with friends, lovers, former lovers, would-like-to-be lovers, people I am not attracted to, anybody. It’s a “compliment++”: it doesn’t mean “I want to have sex with you” (though there can be that connotation). From what I’ve read of Nicole’s presentations, and her website, I think she’d agree with me.

Yes I think Nicole would be in total agreement…

Pick-up: by the definitions of The Game (the book), this is all about steering conversation and interaction with someone as quickly as possible from initial meeting to sex. Don’t get me wrong: I have absolutely no problem with promiscuity. I have no problem with “one night stands”. You and I and Simon and Ian and whoever are quite welcome to shag whoever they want… but there has to be respect and honour.

On respect: The Game (or rather the book “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists”) is about a short-cut. Using techniques such as NLP, reframes and others, the goal is to proceed from initial encounter through seduction to sex in a swift manner. And the people that Strauss writes about in The Game seem to have a secondary goal: validation amongst their peers. This is where The Game falls down for me utterly, and where my offence at Sexy Geeks’ “Flirting Workshop” (as originally advertised) stems from.

Its worth mentioning Simon Lumb did email me after we posted the description for the event and say he wasn’t really happy with the description. Without getting semantical, the description was written by myself with another guy in mind. Originally it was meant to be Simon and Andy but Andy had to drop out at the last moment and so Simon inherited what was planned by Andy. Now to be fair, if Simon had been a little more in touch he could have crafted the session a bit more, but I had to go with what I had on the table, which was mainly Andy’s plan.

Although it hurts me to say, I think your right short cutting people with NLP techniques does bother me greatly, specially when there not shared in a open way. Its gives one person the upper hand and thats not good in my book. Dare I say a lack of respect. But I have to say, Simon’s really not like this.

The pick-up seems (to me) to be more about the PUA’s “self esteem” than something which, frankly, is more equal. The result is that many will see the PUA as sexist, misogynistic, etc. Personally I don’t differentiate on gender, so I just see this smarting of lack of respect: it’s about using someone. I always feel that you should party company with someone — be it saying goodbye or ending a relationship — leaving the other person in a “better state” than when you found them. Pick-Ups don’t achieve this; but further, the behaviour of Strauss and his peers actually distances them from the female company they seek. Theirs becomes a completely male-dominated society: they only ever seem to earn or seek respect from their fellow PUAs. Therefore I find their approach to be completely incompatible with the sort of thing I thought “Sexy Geeks Manchester” is about, namely “helping make good relationships”).

I was once called a misogynist because I didn’t act like most guys with a bunch of (lets say) lovely girls. They expected me to try my luck and I wasn’t having any of it (I think this is about the time when I discovered the Rules). They were the centre of most guys attention at the time and place but not mine. They later concluded that I wasn’t gay, married or in a relationship so I must hate woman. Simply because I exercised control over my feelings and sexual organs.

I guess I’m saying in that example is woman can be equally bad at making the opposite sex feel crap. Not that this equals or squares things off. Just a thought that I imagine a lot of guys may have come cross and so they turn to things like the Game to help them get the upper hand. This is the reason why I bought it up to start with.

On confidence: personally I believe that the attribute of people that is most commonly “attractive” is confidence. Unfortunately we are all too easily fooled by bravado, mistake it for confidence, and realise this about our new boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/etc too late. Bravado is covering up an insecurity with a projection of confidence, and a lot of PUA techniques seem to be about doing just this. Sadly, as a “self help book”, The Game doesn’t really address the underlying confidence problems. The educated reader might do that themselves — I hope Simon was one! — but what The Game teaches strikes me to be more about “casting a glamour” rather than self-improvement. The strange and subtle thing about confidence is that confident people don’t usually appear confident… because they don’t need to!

Ok you got me… I think your right on this one. Me and other pickup artists (certainly not Simon) have debated this to death. And your right the projection of confidence aka Bravado bugs me greatly. You need to be comfortable in your own skin, if your not no matter what front you put on it, it will still be there when you look in the mirror tomorrow morning. I think Simon’s confidence may have took a serious knock back in 2002 (is when he said it might have been) but I can’t help but imagine what he was like before I met him. I’m sure he was always a nice guy with a passion for games.

I did say to Andy a while back when we were planning the workshop that I’ve always been happy to talk to the opposite sex. It just wasn’t a big deal… This is part of the reason why I find it hard to understand the need to put on a game face or bravado. I am who I am and if you don’t like it, well tough… 🙂

I also wonder about casting a glamour, I mean at what point do you have to give up the bravado and get real? First date, 2nd date, after meeting the parents, after meeting the friends? When your engaged, when your married or maybe even when your dead? If its not really you, then why bother? Is that other person worth that much trouble? Surely doing this must cause massive problems down the line.

But perhaps the PUAs you had speak at Sexy Geeks weren’t “bad” PUAs. You talk of a heart-warming story. I can fully get behind anybody who is pushing through a self-esteem problem, as your speaker Simon says he was after a horrible break-up. Unfortunately I have several questions, or perhaps hesitations, about this. For instance: “Simon talked about it and suggested he also doesn’t really like it but sees what its trying to do,” but in my book if you don’t like it, then why are you doing it? “Finally Simon talked about moving away from the pickup artist title”: is that because he internalised sufficient PU techniques till they became instinctive, or does he now have qualms with the ethics of “picking-up”? While the “lessons learned” by PUAs might be similar to those things that help with flirting (be yourself, confidence, etc), I think context is key: respect is earned not just from what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it.

I have no answers for you on this one… Only Simon could really tell you whats in his head (besides Halo and Djing). I would only suggest that maybe internalising pickup techniques could be handy in certain suitations like interviews for jobs. I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to using NLP techniques in interviews and to be fair I’ve only been turned down for one or two jobs in my life when I’ve gotten past the CV/application stage.

We can moralise the PU techniques as “ice-breakers” and say “they just help level the playing field” or “but I have low self-esteem, I need something that works.” But at the same time, the presenters at your talk were labelling themselves as “pick-up artists” — to speak of someone as “wingman” very much suggests a PUA lifestyle as per Strauss’ initial meeting with Mystery — and this comes with trappings and potential anti-feminist connotations. Perhaps they would protest, “We’re pickup artists, but we’re nice people! We don’t exploit women!” — but I have trouble believing that, because I can’t imagine someone using that “negative” label in such a manner. Maybe I have it wrong, maybe Chris and Ian are reclaiming the words “pickup artist” in the way that some of us are reclaiming the word “slut”, but if so, that hasn’t come across at all in any of the blog posts I’ve read about their talk; and it’s not part of a wider movement that I’m aware of either.

Yes I think Simon might be in a bit of hard place due to myself again. The description was hard to write and was written in a rush without talking to Simon (he was busy at the time) and once again he did ask me to change it, as he wasn’t happy or even comfortable with pickup artist (I kept because I couldn’t really think of another term).

I would also add Simon is the only person who would not admit to being a pickup artist in the past (I only found out because Andy let slip one day). Maybe there is a fear of the pickup artist stigma but Simon (and total respect to him) did it anyway with a slight push from me.

So generally I think Simon has never really been comfortable with the idea that he might be a pickup artist as such (sure he’s the only one who knows). No one’s certainly try to reclaim the word, although I did try and reclaim “serial dater” away from a player to someone who just goes dating a lot…

Yes, there is a place for discussing these “chat-up techniques” and debating them. I think this is a very interesting topic, and attitudes such as The Rules and The Game should be discussed.

To be honest, I was planning to do “The Rules” at some point in the next geeks talk sexy season because just like “The Game” (and your so right grouping them together). I did allude to it in geeks talk sexy part 2 but the whole debate got hijacked by the notion of the game as so many people hadn’t heard of it.

However, I still feel very strongly that the billing of “Flirting Workshop” alongside “Pickup Techniques” did a disservice to what I believe you’ve been trying to do with Sexy Geeks Manchester. All your speakers up till now had been about forming relationships in which equality, fairness, happiness, passion and fun are a huge part; and some of the “types” of relationships discussed have been quite diverse. I wasn’t there, I might not be reading well enough between the lines, and for these reasons and more perhaps it’s not my place to be so offended…

I totally understand the outrage but also I have to be honest, I’m balancing freedom of information / open information (because I still believe people should know about this stuff) with my distaste of it. The Flirting workshop was always on the cards from the start but after the outrage of geeks talk sexy 2, I decided to push this into the limelight.

As I said on the techgrumps podcast, I’m taking a anthropological view on it all. Its like being Louis theroux I imagine. Never was I promoting the pickup lifestyle, but I do think people should be informed so they can make there own decision without social bias.

As Simon said, some people take this knowledge and use it for there own means, screwing over most of the people around them. Others (like myself and I would suggest Simon) take it and use positively to help people around them and improve relationships. I will admit not only have I read the game, the rules but also as Simon said Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” and one of my favorites Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Although not dealing with relationships exactly, there also a source of NLP and other techniques. But likewise I’m choosy when I use these techniques and I find them handy for protection when your being social engineered by someone else.

What bugs me is the tons and tons of books and articles on Sudo-NLP techniques which I’ve witnessed in the dark corners of the internet. Anyone who thinks the game is shocking should have a look down the Piratebay’s top 100 ebooks.

  • How to analyze people on sight?
  • How to blow her mind in bed?
  • The Game
  • The body langauge rules: A Savvy Guide to Understanding Who’s Flirting, Who’s Faking, and Who’s Really Interested?

If we don’t cover these type of things, people who might lack the social skills seeking a way to understand the whole process better. I’d much rather someone learn about it in this way that from sudo crappy shadowy book, tutorial, etc…

but I think this combination overstepped a line of taste, somewhere. As I said in my first tweet, “what next? someone talking about The Rules to Geek Girls Manchester?” — and that is still how I feel. Interesting material, but somehow — to me — it seemed the wrong combination of time and place for it.

First up I wouldn’t do the Rules to just girl geeks, it would be open to everyone because it would be interesting for men to know too.

Maybe we did overstep the mark, but to be honest I was planning to push back on Simons talk but it totally surprised me, as it was enlightened and not like some of the other people I know who use the term pickup artist as a proud badge. Geeks talk sexy was always going to be touchy for different people. We’ve had people moan at us about our binary notion of relationships, our over indulgence (there word not mine) in non-monogamy and finally our look at the art of pickup (can’t find a better word)… Locking pickup and flirting together might not have been the best idea but I got to say everyone walked away from the event positive.

Maybe Maz, Josh and others would have felt different if they had come on the workshop.

We are all ears for the next season of geeks talk sexy… I look forward to the feedback…

Geeks talk sexy: The flirt and pickup workshop

I was always nervous about the concept of doing a Geeks talk sexy workshop. However I pushed on with the help of Hwayoung Jung and Simon Carter.

The Concept was simple, take a bunch of geeks on one of Nicole’s Flirt and Walk tours in Manchester instead of London. But then afterwards have a couple of pickup artists talk to the group and maybe take them out.

After finally getting everyone on board (we had to switch from 2 pickup artists to 1 due to scheduling) the day finally came. The number of places also filled up at the end. We quickly filled to 12 people on the day before and unfortunately we had turn people away via the eventbrite signup. In the end we ended up with about 10 people through out the whole workshop.

It started in Madlab at 6pm, once people started turning up Nicole greeted them on the ground floor. Everyone sat around wondering what they had signed up to but we keyed them into the schedule for the evening and made people comfortable, before jumping into the first task/workshop as they walked up to the top floor of Madlab.

Nicole in her most charming way, ran a few workshops upstairs including staring at a person, sitting next to you. The idea was to get people thinking about body language. A nice little debate started up about length of time to stare at someone, depending on city and area. The suggestion was that if you stare at someone for 2 secs in London, you might end up getting your head kicked in. While in outer Manchester, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.

Geeks talk sexy flirting workshop

After a few more exercises, it was time for the walkabout. On the way down to the Cooperative supermarket (just off market street, near the Arndale shopping centre) we were told to meet eye contact with people on the street and maybe even wink at one or two of them. I don’t believe anyone achieved the wink but catching people glances seemed to work, specially when a smile was added.

The shopping market task was to strike up a conversation with people in the store as you shopped (or at least made it look like you were shopping). There was extra bonus points if it was someone you fancied. So with that I personally took to the isles looking for the tea & coffee section, logic being you could easily ask someone for there advice on teas and coffees, plus you may get some nice ladies hanging out there or something (made sense in my head). In the end I got talking to a lovely blonde girl of about 25 in the beer, wine and spirits isle. I asked her about the beer she was buying and admitted my hate for beer but the need to buy some for a friends party today (little white lie). She wasn’t very talkative but I kept pushing and backed off at maybe just the right moment.

Geeks talk sexy flirting workshop

Others in the group tried at the Cooperative and the Tesco Metro just down the street. There was a lack of the general public but the task came to a end in the cooperative when security had a word with one of the guys and suggested they would be calling the police if they didn’t leave the store. I was in Tesco at the time, so I came back to find most people standing outside cooperative with the security and a manager standing close to the door way.

It was obviously time to move on, and share stories in a bar over drinks. That was the end of the Flirt club section of the evening. Now was the pickup section with Simon.

After a little while, we enter the photographic studios of Amir Shah, who kindly let us use them for the workshop. Everyone gathered around a table and Simon stood up and gave a really interesting talk about the game and how/why he got into it…

Geeks talk sexy workshop

Simon was frank, honest and open when he talked about a relationship which went very bad and how he had to pick himself up. For him the book the game is nothing more that a self help book. He used it to pick himself up and better himself. Not by abusing his new found confidence but by finding himself. It sounds all very zen/new age but actually its quite touching. In actual fact I’ve found quite a few touching stories in the process of doing geeks talk sexy, including the story of Chris and Simon Carter. At that point I realised I was treating Simon like all the others I’ve known who had read the game, but in actual fact he was different.

Had I been too monochrome about people who read the game? I mean I had read the game too, many years ago and choose not to follow it or practice many of its techniques. Its possible (small chance I know 🙂 that someone else (Simon in this case) had come to a similar conclusion?

In the Q&A which followed, lots of techniques were explored including the highly controversial technique the Neg. Simon talked about it and suggested he also doesn’t really like it but sees what its trying to do. He made a lot of good points about self confidence and meeting your own personal potential. Also a lot of things Nicole talked about fitted really well with Simon’s points.

Finally Simon talked about moving away from the pickup artist title. Like a Limitless which came out just recently, the ability was just part of him now. He was no longer acting and doing, it was just part of his personality now. And it shows… When I first was clued into the fact Simon was involved in pickup, I didn’t really believe it. I just thought that was his personality but then again, I’ve only known Simon for about 4 years and had very limited contact with him at that. I can hardly blame him for wanting to move on from pickup (maybe this is why he was so frustrated with the workshop description and title) There’s been a lot of negativity about the pickup aspect from many corners but Simon’s advice was consistent with my own and Nicole’s. It mainly boils down to,

  • Be yourself
  • Feel confident within yourself
  • Don’t put people on a pedestals
  • Treat people as people
  • Your time is important
  • Be the best that you can be

Mid flow

Before long our time was up and that was the end of Geeks talk sexy season 1. Although we had to change things on the run up to the workshop, it all worked out really well. The people who signed up were willing to push there own boundaries and accept they might need a little help in this area. As Simon said, no one really teaches you how to talk to potential love interests, its just something which your left to figure out by yourself… This also use to be the case for sex, but now there’s reasonable sex education in school… Not that I’m suggesting they should teach this in school but imagine the benefits if they did?

(Btw, its worth listening to this Techgrumps #29 where in the last 3rd, I discuss the Geeks talk sexy workshop and some of the insights and feedback I got from it.)

Geeks talk sexy has been a remarkable series and has expanded by own knowledge and experience. Hopefully its also done the same for other people. I certainly think there will be a second season, and maybe we’ll run the geek speed dating event and of course the flirt and pickup workshop again.

Thanks once again to Nicole, Simon, Amir, Hwayoung, Simon, Samantha and everyone who’s taken a interest in geeks talks sexy, its been one heck of a ride….

The Batman Complex

If only… But what a amazing piece of work by a fan.

And so, as promised, this is the follow up to the teaser. Here we have a full length (well, a bit longer than the norm, but hey, what can you do…hahaha) theatrical trailer that delves a little deeper into the story behind The Batman Complex. As explained in the teaser, the gist of the idea revolves around a few fun topics, mainly the whole “what is real?” train of thought, and also every fans desire, deep down or upfront, to be Batman at least once in their lives. LOL. And so, I tried to craft a story where we see what happens when someone takes their dream of being Batman a little bit too far. An idea, after all, is a truly resilient parasite. 😉

While some of it is still left a bit ambiguous (both unintentionally and intentionally – while there’s only so much that can be strung together, I often like to leave a little bit open so as to see what fellow fans are able to imagine/create), I believe it offers a bit more than the teaser. As you might be able to tell, the theatrical trailer takes on less of a “horror” vibe than the teaser. For this extended look, I wanted to focus more on the character aspects (and a bit of the tragedy as well), and attempt to move past the initial shock of the psychological twist. One aspect I tried to hint at was the paralleling descent of both Bruce and Cobb. As Cobb and the team go deeper into Bruce’s mind, they start to encounter the truly dark issues that his subconscious houses. As a result, Cobb himself gets caught up in the obsession of all that lingers in the mind of a Batman. There are a couple fun things in there that are best left to surprise, but all in all, I’m relatively happy with how it turned out. It’s fairly fast paced and doesn’t leave much room to breath, which helps amplify the tension I think. But that’s just me. I hope it works just as well as the teaser did.

As for the future of the project, I’m not sure what’s next. I don’t think I’ll do a second theatrical trailer. Maybe a couple of TV spots, but other than that, I think I’ll let this one remain as it is. We’ll see. Perhaps I’ll be further inspired by some other ideas that’ll come to me in a dream… 😉

The Wired UK top 100 in 2011

Wired UK's Top 100

I had a slight heads up about the Wired top 100 for 2011 from people around the web. And to be fair there were some surprises… First surprise is the people who dropped off the list this year. People who I know like Erik Huggers, Peter Molyneux, JP Rangaswami, Tom Loosemore, Matt Locke and Anthony Rose. However I have to say there maybe right in this case… I’ve not really heard anything they’ve been up to for a while.

However some things I still don’t understand… How did Ashley Highfield dropped to 14 but Microsoft’s UK profile has really come on leaps and bounds from last year… Jonathan Ive at 7, well what can I say… except its maybe very debatable how much link he has to the UK? Except maybe a British accent. Rory Cellan-Jones number 40, really? Mike Butcher at 25, well I guess he’s been on the scene for long enough but I do fear once again the Wired London bias is at fault again here?

One great turn around is the introduction of Herb Kim at number 74. I’m still convinced that if he was doing the exact same thing in London, he would be up at least another 40 positions but don’t even get me started on how many people from the North, Midlands or even the West are on the chart. I understand there will be a bias because London attracts a lot of people into its region but obviously Wired isn’t really working on finding the people doing the creative work outside the South East. And I guess you could argue why should they? I would explain why they should but to be fair, popularity contests are so last year 🙂 And even David Rowan says…

This can never be a scientific exercise — but we are trying to be as open in our selection criteria as we can, and to consult widely among people who know the Wired world.

Wired UK, you are at risk of making yourself less relevant thats all I’m going to say…

At last the balance of woman in the top 100 have gotten much better. Joanna Shields tops the list at number 1. Also great to see Clare Reddington from Bristol’s iShed at 73 although shes down from 55.

One last surprise, Dan Heaf at 94 as director at BBC worldwide? When did this happen? I must have been away when that email went around, good to see him back at the BBC and in a great position.

The White Space Conflict mix

  1. Dark side of the sun – Rory Gallagher
  2. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna Nalick
  3. Wonder of life (F&W remix) – Tukan Light
  4. The strings that bind us – Arnej
  5. Please save me (Push remix) – Sunscreem vs Push
  6. Everythings been Written – 8 Wonders
  7. Gouryella – Gouryella
  8. Unexpectation (Dengavs Manus mix) – Vengeance
  9. The Truth (David West Remix) – Handstrong feat Tiff Lacey
  10. Language (Santiago Nino Dub tech mix) – Hammer and Bennett
  11. Nothing else matters – Max Graham feat Ana Criado
  12. 1999 (Gouryella mix) – Binary Finary
  13. Constellation (John O’Callaghan remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  14. Invisible Touch (Ferry Corsten’s Touch) – Bohina

Another new mix by myself, once again recorded via the analogue input in my laptop because the pacemaker’s own recording system is still screwy for myself. In actual fact I did record the mix twice at the same time, once on the pacemaker and again on my laptop. One sounded far better that the other as you would imagine. In actual fact I’m very tempted to upload the busted pacemaker mix, so people can hear the screwy recording but I’ll have to make it clear on another site (maybe archive.org) what its up there to do.

The mix is recorded while relaxing one day recently in my house. So there’s few mistakes, unlike when I’m attempting to mix while walking the streets of Manchester or heading down the wrong way in Irlam….

I’m tempted to upload this to soundcloud too, even though I somewhat dissed soundcloud for its lack of mix support. But the ability to download and licence the track is killer and mixcloud seem not bothered about ever supporting downloads of the mix. Meaning a whole group of people never listen to the mix because frankly who wants to listen to a mix on there browser? Even with the nice fuctionality they have around tracklistings and all that… Its still flash and worst still its mobile flash and once again Flash kind of sucks even on Android…

I a while ago suggested to Mixcloud the concept of mobile playlists tailored for Mixes, but they didn’t really see the point. But recently I suggested the same thing to Dirty Si and he was a lot more receptive to the concept. Right now when I do a mix, I tend to create a piece of metadata to go with the mix. The NFO file (yep straight out of the darknet) contains the playlist order and any other metadata I feel is required. I would use PLS, M3U or even XSPLIF but I’ve just done something to scratch my own itch. I might switch to using XSPLIF with a namespace for my own metadata and add the SMIL namespace. There’s a whole bunch of hacking which needs to be done in this area…