Coffee shop culture clash

Coffee from North Tea Power

I wrote a while ago about working most Fridays from coffee shops in the northern quarter of Manchester instead of working out of my home.

However someone at work pointed me to this blog post from a guy who is complaining about people treating coffee shops like there personal offices.

Dickheads with cups of coffee so dry they were probably ordered three hours ago. Dickheads reading the tea leaves in their empty glasses. Dickheads with just some free water.

Dickheads with absolutely no sign of having consumed anything except some three-week old canned tomato soup stains on their emo punk pop hip hop band t-shirts, the ones that proved they were at that concert nobody else gave a shit about.

One of them even had the pierced balls to get a banana out of this bag and proceeded to eat it as he scribed the novel he’s never going to publish, looking at his Samsung Galaxy III—iPhones are so passé—at the same time.

And here I was, (delicious) coffee in hand, waiting for my sandwich, with nowhere to eat it. And I wasn’t alone—there were two more people like me. While I waited, three more people came in, and, after looking around fruitlessly for five minutes, left without ever touching ass to chair. I didn’t need telepathic powers to read their minds. DICKHEADS.

To be honest I found the whole thing pretty funny but I do get what he sometimes means. I personally buy and spend too much money at coffee shops including FYG, North Tea Power and Vivid Lounge. So I would agree with all the points the writer makes…

  1. Buy at least a coffee. Don’t just go ahead and sit there with your computer. If you do the latter, I hope your genitals drop rotten into the toilet bowl one day.
  2. When you are done with your coffee—it’s ok, take your time, as long as you do it at some reasonable pace—you can stay around for five minutes. Perhaps ten. Then leave.
  3. If you want to stay longer, buy another coffee. A pastry would be fine too. Perhaps a sandwich. Anything. Whatever. But keep buying things. This is the rent you pay. It’s much less than getting your own office. Or a real apartment.

However I still don’t like places which go out of there way to restrict laptop users.

In Manchester when I first arrived, Teacup and Drip Coffee was a great place to enjoy a chat, read and catch up with some work. Now they both seemed to turn hostile on computer users by taping up plug sockets, messing with the wifi and general snobbery of laptop users. In Teacup you need to be shown a place which makes it too formal for my own liking. But fear not others have stepped in to fill the void.

Interestingly North Tea Power not only fills the void but takes customer service to another level, really encouraging laptop users… Love those guys!

Terms and Cons


Not written about TOS DR or Terms of Service Didn’t read.

I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web.  We aim to fix that.

ToS;DR aims at creating a transparent and peer-reviewed process to rate and analyse Terms of Service and Privacy Policies in order to create a rating from Class A to Class E.

A long time ago while the Data Portability group was in full swing, we talked about doing something very much like TOS DR but the issues of trying to get a unified system across all End User Licence Agreements (EULA’s) seemed like a total nightmare. The suggestion was to use a traffic light system to alert people of the bogus stuff ahead of time. This also meant it wouldn’t replace the EULA, it would just highlight some of the questionable stuff.

In the end it was far enough off the main focus of the group to make it a that would be nice rather than essential. Its a shame but it was the right decision for the time.

Hope the TOSDR guys get as popular as Creative Commons and team up with the likes of the plain english campaign.

To be honest if I had more time and wasn’t already doing lots of other stuff, I might be tempted to join in and help where I can.

UKNova without Torrents

UKNova has always been a interesting place for a clue about the future (specially when they use to share the data of how many people were downloading what, and from which country). Its existed way before bbc iplayer, 4od and all the ondemand services we all use now. It also has a very interesting stance on what content it does allow to be shared. But despite all that, they have always been on the wrong side of the fence for many in the industry.

UKNova is being forced to change. We have been issued with a “cease and desist” order by FACT (The Federation Against Copyright Theft).

Despite our efforts to cooperate with the UK media companies, FACT have stated: “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless it can be proven that explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content has been obtained”.

Whilst we believe that they are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this. Therefore we have no other option but to close down the trackers. It has not been an easy decision to take, but it is apparently our only option.

The argument by FACT sounds wrong too from what I know about UK copyright law but would I state my flat on it? Not a chance… I expect moving to Magnet links won’t help their dilemma either? Such a shame and a great loss, people will just seek their TV from elsewhere now, somewhere with less rules.

I remember UKnova was once asked to come into the BBC to meet content producers and defend their position as part of a BBC Backstage outreach (one of many engagement with the darknet/undernet, etc). The guys behind UKnova at the time were scared of arrest but they did come in and that discussion was one of the best discussions I’d seen. Thanks to Jem Stone and Ben Metcalfe for setting that up by the way…

Remember what I said about chilling effects?

Torrrentfreak just published about it before I did as I wasnt’ sure if I should, so I left it in the drafts for 12hours… thanks Mark Boas.

Apple vs Samsung, consumers lose…


Apple have won their case against Samsung…

A US court has ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn (£665m) in damages after upholding allegations that several Samsung devices had infringed Apple’s intellectual property, including design patents and some functionality.

Samsung has promised to appeal against the decision describing it as “a loss for the American consumer”.

I can only say, the consumer will lose out in Steve Jobs legacy to take down Google

The chilling effect will be felt…


A win for openness

Android on a Camera

This camera by Nikon is a win for openness, google and of course android

The first mainstream digital camera to be powered by Google’s Android system has been released by Nikon. The Japanese company’s point-and-shoot Coolpix S800c model is being marketed as a “social imaging device”. Demand for compact cameras has suffered because of the rise of smartphones.

Is it ugly? Maybe a little…

Is it fascinating and a wonderful combination? Yes…

Google always wanted Android everywhere and it started happening a while ago. Now this is just a logical extension of where digital cameras may go. Instead of some crazy proprietary embedded operating system, why not Android?

Is federated microblogging this easy?

everything you need for decentralised Twitter?

I’m wondering if I should bite the bullet and install these alpha and beta plugins under In my mind it seems what you need for a federated/distributed blogging system is just a few plugins away?

OStatus for WordPress turns your blog into a federated social network. This means you can share and talk to everyone using the OStatus protocol, including users of and

WhisperFollow turns your wordpress blog into a federated social web client.
In it’s current form it aggregates RSS feeds in a page on your blog called “following” which it creates.
The links it aggregates are the ones from your blogroll with rss feed data.

And many more…

These would be a good time to have a duplicate setup of to test these and many more plug-ins out on..

The web of playful things

WIYB with Moleskine from Ka Tat Chan in Hongkong

If your like me, you may look at something like ioT and wonder what on earth does that stand for? Internet of Things…

From a far it looks like one of those buzz terms like Ajax and Web 2.0 became. Heck you might even find some crappy videos trying to explain what it is from a view.

If you break it down Internet of Things is simply networked physical things or simply NT? So we already know everything will have a IPv6 address in the next decade or so and frankly this is the very start of it. I quite like Dundee’s Jon Rogers (@ileddigital) physical apps and of course the physical apps store.

I’m very sure that networked things will be the next massive growth economy. You won’t be able to buy a thing without it being able to network in some way or another.

Here’s some justification…

  1. The other day I was trying to convince someone that IoT or networked things was going to be the next fronter for developers. I did a bad job trying to explain why she should consider it (although to be fair it was very late in the day for such a dramatic change, I admitted). Although very familiar with makerfaire and the maker audience, I was making the point that its not about that. The languages developers are using will power a good part of the networked things. Yes that means your TV, radio, speakers, pen (dare I say it) Fridge will one day have Python bindings or a RESTful API (hopefully not JSON). Programmers and developers once enjoyed the fact the computer was under their control. Now the real world is up for grabs!
  2. Yesterday I was listening to Tech News Today and heard a discussion about Yammer’s CEO forecasting the end of silicon valley. Although I don’t think he’s right and what he was saying did sound like crap, there is certainly a shift towards more hardware innovation. The presenters pick up on this in this 5min discussion which I clipped and put on Soundcloud.
    This is one of the points I’ll be making in the my Perceptive Media talk at Canvas Conf in September
  3. Manchester’s digital scene has for the longest time lived in the shadow of London’s digital scene but something a rumbling and I personally feel the impact of things like Madlab, Fablab, DIYBio, etc, etc… will kickstart companies and startups which hack reality rather than whats on screen. Networked things will be a big part of this. BBC R&D also will be a part of this and we’re already in talks around our unique iot event called playful iot futures… Hope to have much more to say about it soon…

Social dating grows…?

Online Dating Insider had a post about a new generation of Social dating sites…

Social dating, you’re either building a social dating site, you’re on a social dating site, or you don’t know what it means and don’t care.

The friends of friends effect is pretty powerful and to be honest the generation behind me are already using Facebook for social dating. Which begs the question what do the likes of social dating sites such as TheCompleteMe and LikeBright. Bring to the already crowded party?

Olympics woman’s football: Canada vs Team USA

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

Congrats to the Woman’s Team of USA, as they won the London 2012 Olympics football.

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

I had the pleasure of watching Canada vs Team USA in Manchester Utd’s Old Trafford stadium.

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

Thrilling game ended in the last minute of extra time 4 goals to 3.

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

I was cheering for Canada but what surprised me was how dirty this football match was. Quite a few tackles were missed and I’m really surprised no one got sent off.

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

It was a excellent experience and I finally got a chance to see Old Trafford from the inside. Good stuff for £20 and a seat with no leg room. Really felt like London 2012 Olympics was a good thing that day…

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Jon Udell asks, where have all the bloggers gone?

Good question… I do tweet more than I blog, thats very true.

I have Published 2,559 blogs (not including this one) and Tweeted29,087 (not including this one) but there not really comparable in my mind. Not simply because of the length but the detail and thought which goes into them plus its MINE. Of course you can crosspost which I do sometimes, and like Jon I’m choosy when I do.

It’s not just about short-form versus long-form, though. Facebook and Google+ are now hosting conversations that would formerly have happened on — or across — blogs. Keystrokes that would have been routed to our personal clouds are instead landing in those other clouds.

I’d rather route all my output through my personal cloud and then, if/when/as appropriate, syndicate pieces of it to other clouds including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. A few weeks back, WordPress’s Stephane Daury reminded me that I can:

@judell: since your blog is on (our very own) @wordpressdotcom, you can setup the publicize option to push your posts:

I replied that I knew about that but preferred to crosspost manually.

More interestingly is Jon’s thoughts on how to make our own space/cloud better and more central.

  • Different messages to each foreign cloud. Because headlines often need to be audience-specific.
  • Private to my personal cloud, public to foreign clouds. Because the public persona I shape on my blog serves different purposes than the ones I project to foreign clouds. Much of what I say in those other places doesn’t rise to the level of a public blog entry, but I’d still like to route that stuff through my personal cloud so I can centrally control/monitor/archive it.
  • Federate the interaction siloes. Because now I can’t easily follow or respond to commentary directed to my blog echoes in foreign clouds. Or, again, centrally control/monitor/archive that stuff.

I’m currently using Disqus to mix twitter and facebook comments in with my blog but it feels very clunky. Ideally you want something more distributed like I’ve been banging on about for a while.

Out, back and beyond mixes

Its another one of those pacemaker mixes which I’m specially enjoyed doing…

There’s some real classic tunes and plenty of catchy anthems to get you up and dancing or deep into that code if your doing so.

This time it comes into versions, the standard and the extended version. The versions do have slight different bpm and is a little faster and heavier in the extended version, rather than just cut differently.

Out back and beyond mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

  1. The Truth (David West Remix) – Headstrong feat. Tiff Lacey
  2. Wonder of life (f & w remix) – tukan
  3. Grooveline (Matt Darey Remix) – Blockster
  4. Louder – Jose Amnesia feat Jennifer Rene
  5. Lotus – Shogun
  6. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi Feat. Einat
  7. Constellation (John’O Callaghan Remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  8. Surrender (Sneijder Vs John O’Callaghan Remix) – Full Tilt Feat Deirdre Mclaughlin
  9. Intution (Martin Roth mix) – Marninx vs Ecco
  10. Sinster – Airbase
  11. Shadow world – Thomas Bronzwaer
  12. Nothing else matters – Max Graham feat Ana Criado
  13. Breeze – Ferrin and Low
  14. Out of the blue (2010 remix) – System F
  15. Everything’s been written – 8 Wonders
    -<Extended mix>-
  16. Resurrection (Paul Oakenfold Full On Fluoro Remix) – Planet Perfecto Knights
  17. Skyfire – Shogun
  18. 1998 (Alex M.O.R.P.H remix) – Binary Finary

Ultra High Definition Olympics

BBC Super HiVision showcase in Bradford

I had the pleasure to experience the BBC Ultra hight definition and NHK’s Super Hi-Vision again today.

There has been enough wrote about about Super Hi-Vision on the R&D Blog but I wanted to give my view on it.

16 times the density of 1080p, and it looks like it. Each clip we saw was crisp and full of depth. Interestingly on the depth side is the lack of need for 3D. The actual density seems to increase the illusion of depth a lot. Unlike that crappy add-on 3D effect you see too much of, it feels completely natural. Well I guess it would feel totally natural as it as such….?

BBC Super HiVision showcase in Bradford

22.2 channels of 3D surround sound, yes it felt and sounded amazing. People will say it sounded loud but the reason it sounds loud is because if you go to the real thing (like I went to the womans semi-final football a couple days ago) then it is loud around you. It feels like your in the Olympic stadium in London.

BBC Super HiVision showcase in Bradford

The clips we saw was the opening of the London 2012 Olympics (parts cut together). The mens 100 meters final and some cycling events from the velodrome. Each one had plenty to see and watch. Not only could you see the audience but you could see which camera phone they were using to take pictures! During the 100meters I watched to see where that bottle got thrown from, and although I didn’t see exactly the person. I saw a number of potential people who it could have come from. Thats how rich the density of the picture. Likewise I was able to hear the chain of the bikes as they switched into high gear. Clapping from the crowd urged you to look around to check if someone in the audience was actual clapping as it sounded like it.

The swing of the camera wasn’t too bad but I can imagine it being pretty intense if it swings and pans too much.  The framerate was great and made everything look super real (as said almost 3D like)

BBC Super HiVision showcase in Bradford

Its fascinating and if you can experience it, do go you won’t be disappointed. Its still going on daily till the end of the London 2012 Olympics. What you waiting for…?

I wish Google Now was my phone’s default homescreen

Edd Dumbill talks about Google Now and how he uses it. Just as I thought its a very useful thing to have.

…After some weeks of use, I wish Google Now was my phone’s default homescreen. I’d happily swipe left or right to get to my apps such as email or games, but I more often search than not. The ambient information is a useful start, and I hope will get better over time.

Google Now as a home page would be great, but imagine Google Now as a alarm clock… Now we’re cooking with fire…

Jamaica’s bolt wins gold on the eve of its 50th Anniversary

Jamaican Sunset

The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt wins on the very eve of Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence from Great Britain. Seemed very fitting for Bolt to not just win the men’s 100 meters but for his running partner to Yohan “beast” Blake to come second for silver. It could only have gotten better if Asafa Powell had gotten bronze.

Every Jamaican I know must have been watching that race and must have been ever-so proud of Bolt and Blake.

The party started early… 50 years!

London 2012 Olympics

I got to say I’m really surprised how good the London Olympics has turned out. Charlie Brooker wrote this up in the Guardian recently which I can understand.

I’m finding the Olympics hypnotically watchable, partly because the BBC’s coverage is so crisp and comprehensive and informative and useable, and isn’t jammed full of brand names and commercials. And it’s partly because … well … look, I don’t know.

Like Charlie, I was hearing all these crazy stories about Locog wiping out anything which even smells like the Olympics. Then the London 2012 Olympics actually opened with that simply amazing opening ceremony which NBC screwed up for many of my American friends. I watched it the day afterwards in full using the BBC’s total coverage and I was blown away. There was something very British about this Olympics. From the opening to the music used in Beach Volleyball.

At the time of writing, the running-and-jumping stuff has begun in earnest; the sheer physical agony of which I can personally relate to thanks to hours spent playing Track and Field in the 80s. No reason to believe this won’t become another time sponge. So yes, thanks, Olympics, for confounding my inner cynic, and not being awful. And for, I suppose, on balance, I admit, I confess, in a whisper – actually being quite good.

Theres lots more I can say about the Olympics but generally its been impressive and I’m looking forward to seeing the woman’s semi-final of the football at Old Trafford tomorrow. Shame it doesn’t include Team GB but I’ve decided to back Canada over Team USA.

Really hope in 3-4 weeks time I’ll still be as impressed after the end of the Para-olympics. The lasting legacy is a big question but right now its looking pretty good…