Mozilla Explains: Dating apps, AI and collaborative filtering

Ann Marie Carrothers from Mozilla is absolutely right, its something I have mentioned many times and recently decided enough is enough. Weirdly I have never had the discussion with Ann-Marie in person?

I avoid all dating apps and services which don’t allow me to search my own way through the people. I’m so sick of the systems forcing one way of interacting usually the tinder swiping.

For example OKCupid on the mobile app won’t allow you to search for people who use geeks in there profile. I can hear people say, “why on earth would you want this?!”

Uniqueness!

I’m personally not interested in generic people, I’m after unique people.

Uniquness in dating

Instead of searching through millions of profiles, why not cut through noise by finding someone who cares enough to add it to their profile? For example geek with my other filters in the website (like gender, age, distance, etc) got down to two women.

Uniquness in dating

My search for feminism got down to one woman.

Its not for everyone but thats fine, because the notion of swiping left and right looking at profile pictures isn’t for everybody either.

Embedded Inequality in the vaccine development process

I knew it was bad, but Vox spell out the embedded inequality. Remember for all the people being vaccinated in one country, it will never be over till most of the world is vaccinated. Vaccine nationalism needs to end!

In related news I got my call up for the vaccine… I was thinking it would be interesting if there was a system like the OLPC (remember that?) get one, donate one. I know it wouldn’t scale but it would at least focus us away from vaccine nationalism.

https://mas.to/@cubicgarden/106137630859489518

QNAP ransomware attack

Its the first time I have owned a NAS when a big ransomware attack is underway. Its clear QNAP haven’t done enough and learned about this a 5 days ago via bleeping computer.

I am very aware of ransomware attacks on standard computers and keep the firmware and software up to date when I see the updates. Its clear the notification of updates could be more viable, as its not that often I’m logged into the NAS. I have email and push on but I’d like to see more options on this front.

Bleeping computer has the full details of what you need to look out for and what you should do if you are being attacked.

Chilli Chocolate showdown: Carolina reaper vs Instant regret

Carolina Repear vs Instant Regret chocolates
Its the Chilli-chocolate-faceoff

I said I would film a video of me eating the some of the hottest chilli chocolate. So here is the video complete with my nose slightly running from the chilli. Not so pretty.

With some further time, I decided Instant regret was pretty horrible chocolate and I actually had some more Carolina reaper to try and remove the taste of instant regret. It just didn’t have anything about it, maybe a hint of chocolate which disappeared quickly and you are left savoring chilli. Not exactly what you want to savor…

Another thing I didn’t get around to saying on the camera was the chilli was quite different like the difference between Tabsasco and Sriracha. I guess thats due to the different chillis which are used.

If you want something which will make you have some regret, then look no further than instant regret. However if you want something which actually tastes good then Carolina reaper is calling your name.

Where I’m reading information about allergies and the vaccines

Covid19 vaccine

I have mentioned a few times previously about allergies and covid19 vaccines. A few people have asked me about my sources, so I’d thought I’d share the biggest ones.

Anaphylaxis.org.uk’s Covid19 vaccine update is a good overview and not too difficult to understand. The site is gear for people with severe allergies for many things including different vaccines.

The NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service is a very technical detailed site including the exact ingredients and some terms I needed to be looked up. But it cuts straight through the noise.

Hope these are useful to people too.

Jury convicts Derek Chauvin of all charges for the murder of George Floyd

#Black Lives Matter and thankfully today accountability started. There is a long journey ahead as lets be very clear, there is a very long journey ahead to over throw systematic racism in policing and justice.

New Thinking for the New Generation

Edward Bono's New thinking book

There is a book I have from a long time ago, New Thinking for the New Millennium by by Edward de Bono.

I never fully read it but I liked the name and liked the concept, plus I did read a couple of his other books in the past. Recently I have been thinking about the critical narratives in this space right now.

Theres a bunch of podcasts and projects related to the books too, for example Yancey Strickler’s ideaspace, which funny enough had Kate Raworth and Mariana Mazzucato as guests. The new thinking isn’t quite right because this all goes beyond thinking and more into doing. Kate and the doughnut economics in Amsterdam. Doughnut economics is also mentioned as a big driver for the post growth entrepreneurship. Listening to Mariana and Yancey’s books, I can’t help but point at the BBC R&D Human Values work.

I’m sure there are many more but these seem to be the ones many people have read at least 2 or more. It was something I noticed while watching the chatter and the sessions during the publicspaces conference and some key sessions at the Mozilla festival.

Want to re-watch a session from the publicspaces conference, or the whole conference? They are all uploaded here: https://vimeo.com/publicspaces. If you got a Mozfest 2021 pass? You can still catch all those sessions you missed for a few more weeks.

Excessive energy drink use, symptoms include…

Caffeine under a microscope
What Caffeine looks like under a microscope

There was a time when I would consume upwards of 5-14 cans of redbull every night on a weekend, while going out clubbing and raving. So many I would add Tabasco sauce to slow me down if I was in a bar not a rave (imagine trying to smuggle in Tabasco sauce into a rave!). At the time there was no sugar free redbull and I was aware of the threat of diabetes.

I never touched any illegal drugs although I was surrounded by them, nope my drug of choice was caffeine (it was useful for those 12 hour raves, although I was wide-awake on the coach home when most were coming down). In retrospect maybe I would have been off with ecstasy (I half joke) Reading about the student who had heart failure from excessive drinking of energy drinks, I got away lightly, even with my brush with death.

For two years, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks a day, according to the BMJ Case Report. He spent 58 days in hospital, including the intensive care unit which he described as “traumatising”. Before the hospital admission, he suffered with shortness of breath and weight loss for four months.

Doctors treating him considered a number of diagnoses, but concluded: “Energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity was felt to be the most likely cause.” An organ transplant was considered after tests revealed both his heart and kidneys had failed – with the kidney failure linked to a long-standing but previously undiagnosed condition.

Glad you asked about racial injustice

Last year Vox was hitting it out the park with their videos related to black lives matter in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and too many other black people.

Glad you asked series 2, is a series worth watching for many reasons no matter who you are.

It starts with How Racist Am I (somewhat of a unconscious bias), next stop Are We Automating Racism? Looking at the huge problem of algorithmic bias. Then Does My Neighborhood Determine My Future? and Is Meritocracy a Myth? before ending with Is Racism Making People Sick?

Its a compelling set of well produced videos, which drive home the points in a clear but real way. Yes its all American but very worthy of your time.

Weather is strange mix

Rain storm over east manchester

What a pacemaker mix, quite mix of tunes from previous mixes with some new ones. All with a changeable pace throughout.

I do love this one which was done during a period during April in Manchester with snow, rain and hot sun over a period of days. Weather is strange just like the choppy nature of this mix.

Listen to it on mixcloud here and enjoy!

  1. Sunset (Bird of prey) – Fatboy Slim
  2. Go (Extended mix) – Protoculture
  3. Running up the hill (Jermone isma-ae bootleg mix) – Placebo
  4. Prosac – Tomcraft
  5. Wrist block (Joey Beltram remix) – Side four
  6. Wilde (Extended mix) – Jermone isma-ae & Alastor
  7. Follow me (Jermone isma-ae extended remix) – Jam Spoon
  8. Ecstasy – Eddie Makrabi featuring Einat
  9. Outlaw (Extended mix) – Fatum
  10. Sequence (Extended mix) – Estiva
  11. Tears (Protoculture remix) – Dakota
  12. Alastor & Rue (Jerome Isma-Ae untethered remix) – Progressive Astronaut
  13. Sunrise – Marninx pres Ecco
  14. Tomahawk (Extended mix) – Maarten de Jong
  15. The pride in your eyes (Martin Roth remix) – Tillmann Uhrmacher

My hope for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is put on hold it seems

My hopes of getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the UK seems to be on hold. Like the AstraZeneca vaccine, there have been a very very tiny amount of blood-clots which are not clear are caused by the vaccine or are coincidental.

Every life is important and blood clots can be lethal, however we got to look at the statistical amount of risk. I’m personally still keen to take the J&J vaccine over the others right now.

The universal remote I have owned for 15 years

Philips universal remote

I heard the news Logitech are not making or selling Harmony remotes anymore, it made me reflect on my own remote which I can’t really believe I have owned for over 15 years. The Philips SHU 5170, its not a Harmony as I always wanted one but couldn’t justify the price back then.

Its good news Logitech are supporting the remotes for as long as people are using them. Might be time to snag a Harmony before its too late?

17 years at the BBC

Ian PORTRAIT at work

I never thought I would stay at the BBC so long but today its been 17 years.

I have talked many times how little the BBC impacted in my young life as a young black man in inner city Bristol, immersed in the underground rave scene. So won’t drag that up again, except to say that drive to change the BBC is still very much there.

What keeps me going? Being in a the research and development department is key for me. Its fitting with my personality and my ambitions for a better world. A world where public service can be the viable alternative to the surveillance capitalism and government surveillance. We need different models to keep each one honest, accountable and transparent.

Working with personal data stores, human values, decentralised protocols/systems, in a collaborative manor with the likes of Publicspaces, Mozilla, Nesta, universities like Lancaster, Nottingham, etc. Keeps me excited.

So here’s to another year, maybe one day it will be 20?

Recycling plastic by the numbers

2 years ago in my new year 2020 resolutions, I mentioned this one… Be even more aware of the environment and what I can do to help

A friend asked what did I actually do?

One of the things I did do was get the bottom of my own recycling system. The biggest mystery was always plastic. I did know the number didn’t mean how many times its been recycled but wasn’t sure what it actually meant for my own recycling. So I did some research

Plastic recycling

From my research, in Manchester plastic types 1 (PET)  & 2 (HDPE) are easily recycled. Everything else is a pain in the ass and can’t be taken from the usual council recycling pickup. I know type 4 (LDPE) and 5 (PP) can be recycled but its got to be taken to a specialist place.

I find myself now inspecting the plastic before buying it now which is a good thing. For example I didn’t know my grapes container is type 1 (PET) can be recycled but my Greek yogurt type 4 (PP) can not. Weirdly enough others like Yeo Valley use type 2 (HDPE). So guess which one I changed to a while ago.

However I got to mention the specialist recycling like Terracycle. I bought this Carex 1L refill pack, which is better than buying more plastic pumps (yes its not as good as soap but its not a bad solution). The Carex comes in a plastic bag which fills 4x pumps. But the bag can only be recycled at Terracycle centres. The nearest one for me is just under 20mins away by motorbike. Of course I’m saving them up so next time I head that way, I can recycle them all and anything else all at the same time.

I ordered my first take away in a long time, yesterday and it came in type 6 (PS) containers. Of course I can reuse them again and again but I was surprised.

Doing research into plastic recycling, really has been an eye opener.

No mushy middle for Ben & Jerrys

At the intersection of activism and confectionary delight is none other than Ben & Jerry’s. The company has stood up for everything from climate change to same sex marriage to Black lives matter and defunding the police. And in June 2020, the brand took a bold stance against white supremacy, proving that in business, silence is no longer an option.

Ben & Jerry have been consistently amazing with their support for many things from climate change to systematic racism. I do wish more companies would learn from them examples. It can easily dismissed as PR in glance but their consistently is the key.

The continuous ability to be better is something which I see is missing in many places. The status-quo must be challenged and Ben & Jerrys are all about this.