Steve Jobs steps down

Steve Jobs talks about the iTunes Movie Rental stuff...

People have been asking me, what do I feel about Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO of Apple.

The markets have already spoken… But to be honest, I do wish him well although I talk smack about him and Apple all the time. For Apple, I do think the real test will be 2-4 years down the line when the current crop of products and services are a little old or long in the tooth.

The problem with having a leader dishing out his wisdom from on high, means when their gone (in what ever way) the single vision is lost or not communicated in the same way. And frankly I don’t think anyone will be able to follow Steve Jobs into the void.

Of course I don’t want to speak too ill of the sick but I’m really hoping Tim Cook can bring a little more openness to Apples future. Under Steve Jobs it was just never going to happen.

They say when you get older you become more conservative than before, maybe this sums up Apple’s recent moves to control and conquer?

Feed your Kindle for free


Still loving my Kindle specially now I can use my phone as a Wifi hotspot/Mifi. I’m usually tweeting something I’ve read on the way to work. I’ve described my kindle ecosystem but recently I’m starting to notice more services supporting the Kindle, here’s the better one…

Cold Climate tweeted me this… Kindle It lets you send articles you find on the web to your Kindle or other e-reader for easy reading. It is being developed as part of the Five Filters project to promote independent, non-corporate media.

Its pretty nice, specially the Android App which is handy for on the go sending. I’ve used send to Kindle in the past but to be honest I hardly need to send from my HTC Desire to the Kindle. Maybe when I get a Tablet, it might be different.

But I’ve started using NewstoEbook which is great perfect for myself because I use Google Reader for quite a bit of my news. The problem I had was that the subscriptions were quite large and calibre would do its thing and collect them all up to a certain point and then time out. Meaning I would only get the first lot of subscriptions. Even if it did, the file size of the final ebook would be too big to send via email to the Kindle.

News to Ebook is great but I’m trying to find a way to automate the whole process… It seems tricky because of the need to automate the Oauth part and select the subscription to make the ebook from.

My only negative comment is when it creates the ebooks, it doesn’t generate index correctly, so you can’t browse the ebook like most other ebooks. Hopefully the author can solve this problem by updating the script, engine, etc which generates the ebooks.

I love MCR, jumping on the bandwagon?

The Cooperative really loves Manchester

Since the English Riots there’s been a campaign which I believe started on Twitter and Facebook by Manchester City Council, to kick start Manchester day. But recently big business has jumped on board.

I’m not saying its all bad. For example Co-operative put up a massive poster recently with a few delays.

But I’m not certain everything I’ve seen is a good idea… Most businesses are simply hanging up posters but without calling out certain company’s, there’s some who are simply cashing in on this… Then again what’s new?

How I work…

Ian @ BarcampLondon5 - Day 1

A survey went around R&D today and after answering all the questions there was a blank area for other comments…

I’m sure I haven’t thought of all the weird software/network combinations that are in use. Please use this box to add any info you think I need to know.

To which I wrote

I have machines on multiple networks…

One on the R&D network,
One on the BBC internal network
One on the plain Internet.

I tend to keep the BBC internal one (running Windows 7 – which I have Admin rights) at work because its useless outside the BBC due to the constraints placed on it.
The R&D one has two profiles on it. One profile is setup for the R&D network and the other is setup to use the plain internet wifi. This means I don’t need to carry around multiple machines just one and user switch profile on Ubuntu 11.04.

The software I use is Thunderbird for email mainly on the R&D network because Evolution (my usual mail client) doesn’t support Socks5 proxies. I tried to get Evolution working because I really wanted to get the BBC network/Exchange calendar working in Evolution but it wouldn’t work without root access!

Its important to have a plain internet connection because I tend to work at home and from different places. The Webmail without the SecureID pass has made life a lot easier but I really would like to have some kind of 2 step authentication. I’ve enabled it for my Google Mail account for example.

I tend to send emails for calendar requests to my gmail, just so I can sync my Google Calendar with my BBC calendar. Google Calendar Sync seems to fail maybe because I have too many items or it might be the two step authentication? End of the day its not as reliable as send it to my gmail.

Its interesting because things are really starting to change and it starts with the change of outlook on the systems people use and work with everyday. Gone are the days of strict control of the employees machines… This surely has to be a good thing?

On your first date? The man must pay?

::Throughout life you will meet one person who is like no other,,, ::

I was in a meeting today with 3 female collages (I won’t say which ones for now) about BarCampMediaCity and somewhere along the conversation we got talking about my love life… don’t ask me how we got there but something happened…

One of the ladies said something about first dates and I replied saying I’ve got some crazy experiences over the last few years I’ve been dating. We had a brief chat and somewhere along the conversation she said something which I had to unpick.

It came about that she believed that on the first date, men should always pay for the meal.

I was shocked! Like totally dumbfounded…

So shocked I had to pose the question on twitter… a few people replied including my sister and very good friend.

I can’t believe in 2011 we still have these old fashioned views. I was under the illusion that woman had moved on and wasn’t buying all this chauvinistic crap. I was also under the illusion that insisting to pay for the whole dinner put the woman in a difficult position, like you owe the man something.

It turns out I might have been wrong all this time.

But to be honest, I say rubbish… This sounds like something straight out of the rules.

I might be wrong but I certainly like to think the woman I go out with are not bound by such frankly stupid ideology. Its 2011 for goodness sake! I can make a lady feel better in much better ways than paying for her meal. I mean, come on… Is she meant to be grateful that I unimaginatively paid for her meal instead of something creative and from the soul?

Just because I don’t pay for the whole meal doesn’t mean I’m not into you, maybe I respect you so much that I’m not going to undermine you by paying for the whole bill. I understand you have a great job and would like to share the bill with me also out of respect…

Maybe in there lies my problem, I show too much respect for woman and I should also adopt this chauvinistic take? To be fair its worked for lots of my other friends but I deep down like to think the woman who I end up growing old with (in the end) is smart enough to see through this crap and is happy to take her own path and make her up her own mind. Not be pressured by this old fashioned legacy…

What do other people think? Should I cover the costs of all the dates I go on? It certainly will restrict how many dates I will go (time to loose the serial dater tag then) on in the future if so…

Lastly this is certainly something for the 2nd season of geeks talk sexy… Maybe its time to start thinking about it

Continue readingOn your first date? The man must pay?

TV Tracking done correctly

TV tracking with

At last the almost perfect TV tracker has been realised by the guys behind

I say almost perfect because it doesn’t seem to support the social aspect of what tioti was planning. isn’t far off and i’m not totally sure if it doesn’t have it yet. I don’t have any friends on yet, so that might be the thing holding it all back. Time to ping my friends, I think.

The other thing which I think is a little painful is having to select that you watched previous episodes. You could assume that if I watched episode 3 of season 4 of Breakin Bad. It could assume I’d seen the previous ones but then again I guess it would be wrong to assume.

Anyhow, its excellent to see this being developed in the background and xbmc getting really into the quantified self movement

Full TV tracker with

Starkey and his insane and racist ranting

I’ve not really said much about the English Riots but I almost missed my friends wedding due to the riots, so I wasn’t best pleased anyway. I saw some crazy sites from my flat which overlooks quite a bit of Manchester and a retail park which included a JD sports.

The media reaction was insane, almost as insane as the actual riots… But on my way back from London from my friends lovely wedding, I saw a message from my ex-wife saying I had missed the outrage of David Starkey on BBC’s Newsnight. I didn’t think much about it but just before we recorded Sunday nights Techgrumps, Tom send me a link to the actual section of Newsnight. I’ve included the youtube link just in case the video goes away on the BBC site.

What I saw had me spitting blood for minutes…

Historian David Starkey has told BBC’s Newsnight ”the whites have become black” in a discussion on the England riots with author and broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell and the author of Chavs, Owen Jones.

He also hit out at what he called the ”destructive, nihilistic gangster culture” which he said ”has become the fashion.”

I hardly ever use the word racist but I really can’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Shocking absolute shocking… if it was me, I’d say he was inducing racism and he deserves the dressing down he’s getting.

I called him something very nasty on techgrumps but you know what although I don’t really like using the word because I know it really really upsets certain people, I can’t think of a stronger word to sum up my thoughts…

How dare he, this is the type of comments I expect from someone very ignorant and uneducated in a pub somewhere not from an educated man. As one of the other more sane guests said, it never going to useful to do the whole us and them thing but seriously when he started to quote from Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, I literally had to pause the stream. Then he went on make these absurd (even for a drunken and uneducated) statements…

“What has happened is that the substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion,”

“Black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language, which is wholly false, which is this Jamaican patois that has intruded in England. This is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.”

I think someone said it somewhere but there’s no doubt, race relations have been set back all thanks to this ****!

Unofficial BarCampMediaCity interview

I’m interviewed on the unofficial MediaCityblog today for BarCampMediaCity.

Here’s a slice of the action…

Next month will see Media City host it’s first ‘Bar Camp’ – an informal conference with discussions, demos and activities all organised by the attendees.

BarCampMediaCityUK will take place at BBC North on the 17th and 18th September, and is the brainchild of Ian Forrester, Senior Producer at BBC R&D.

We caught up with Ian to find out exactly what a Bar Camp is, and what people can expect from BarCampMediaCityUK….

Q. In a nutshell, what is a ‘Bar Camp’?
A: BarCamp is an international set of user-created conferences (or also known as unconferences). They are open, participatory events and the content of is provided by the people who make the event. Everyone helps shape the event and make it a special event.

Q. What kind of activities and sessions do you expect will be taking place at BarCampMediaCityUK?
A: The nature of BarCamp is that anything can be discussed. People can give a presentation, lead an open talk, give a workshop or tutorial, almost anything goes within the allocated session time.

In the past there has been talks about how to mix the perfect cocktail, how to ride a segway, what is openness, how to inspire your employees to more practical things like a debate different modern programming languages, making use of twitter for marketing, working from home more effectively, etc, etc.

You can read more at the unofficial mediacityblog

Android on your laptop

Android on x86

Iris Todorovic showed me her netbook and I was interested in the fact it had Android on it along side Ubuntu. It was Android Donut (or 1.6) so a very early version of Android, plus it was a Intel ATOM CPU. So I got thinking surely someones ported Android to a x86 / AMD64 processor architecture and made it work on a standard PC?

And I wasn’t wrong…

This is a project to port Android open source project to x86 platform, formerly known as “patch hosting for android x86 support“. The original plan is to host different patches for android x86 support from open source community. A few months after we created the project, we found out that we could do much more than just hosting patches. So we decide to create our code base to provide support on different x86 platforms, and set up a git server to host it.

Excellent, I’ll be giving it a try…

The end of #Startupbar, for now…

Startup flyer 1 at Arcadia BarStartup bar AB RemixStartup flyer 3

It started so well but ended quickly when one of the 4 owners of Arcadia bar decided to give it up… Unforgeable we’ve were talking to the owner who decided to pack it in…

So that means no more lovely ladies doing there make up as they start there friday nights… (you got to love Creative Commons licensed images on Flickr) I’m sure they will be back in the future…

Now the future of Startup bar is in doubt but fear not, its not over… We’ll be looking for a new venue to host Startupbar… Till then you can sign up to the growing community on Facebook.

O2 tries to muscle in on Orange Wednesdays?

Has anyone else noticed how mobile network O2 are trying to muscle there way in on Orange Wednesdays and in actual fact setup there own groupon thing?

What is Priority Moments?
Priority Moments is an innovative location based mobile service that takes Priority to O2 customers by serving up nearby exclusive offers and experiences from brands they love. Available to O2 customers around the UK, Priority Moments makes location-based offers useful, relevant and mainstream for the first time.

O2 tried many times to offer tickets to gigs, etc in the past but nothing has stuck or had the disruptive effect of Orange Wednesdays. I now know people who stay with Orange simply because of Orange Wednesdays.

O2’s list of discounts and offers (priorities as they call it) is pretty impressive but is too lengthy… The thing they don’t get about Orange Wednesdays, is that, its exactly that… Orange Wednesdays. For example on O2 you get this from the Odeon. Half price adult & teenager tickets (Sun – Thurs). Well thats the same as you get from Orange really. Sunday – Thursday is interesting because Sundays are still popular and Thursdays are usually when the previews show. However thanks to Orange Wednesdays, thats bouncing back and forth between Wednesdays and Fridays depending on the distributor.

All the other offers and theres a lot of them, puts 02 in the Groupon & Living social fields for sure. Lots of useful discounts but no real focus, and to be fair focus of attention is maybe what is needed. Orange should stick to there guns.