Google maps bias

Gmaps Eco route

I really like Google maps and used it since 2005. I means whats not to like from offline support to step by step directions.

However… driving directions which most people use a lot has bias.

I drive around on a maxi-scooter (600cc Silverwing) with a headset in my helmet. I can not see my phone while driving around and rely on google maps to tell me where to go (only if I don’t know where I am going).

There are some annoyances which I have mentioned elsewhere, but yesterday while trying to drive to a friends house via the Pennines it became super clear some of the bias of google maps. Bias towards car drivers who care about fuel and not the wellbeing of the driver.

  • Google maps really needs the option to drive via A roads and B roads (only if essential). The fastest route always takes you technically faster route, down country lanes. The route gmaps took me on yesterday, was full of country lanes and one of them was water logged. Fine for a SUV or big car but not for a 2 wheel scooter.
  • The above might seem quite scooter focused but as my partner pointed out on a journey to Bournemouth this year. She would rather had taken a A road most of the way instead of the headache of navigating country roads for over an hour. I had hoped eco drive would solve this but nope.
  • Another one from my partner but makes sense for motorbikes too. When Gmaps finds a quicker route, there should be an option to set the default to the original route unless you press the screen. Its really frustrating to have it change the route without being able to see what’s changed.
  • Likewise this is useful for car drivers who don’t want to press the screen in the middle of driving.
  • The stops option is useful for the route but when you reach the stop, it doesn’t continue on to the next stop automatically unless you press the screen. This means you can plot the perfect route but then need to press the screen each time. This should be a preference option again.
  • I once drove down to Bristol and Gmaps just stopped talking to me. Usually if this happens, it means keep going. However when it goes quiet due to a bug/error theres no way to know, especially on a motorway. Maybe a small beep every set minutes would be most useful.
  • It would be great if Gmaps on mobile used some of the contextual data. For example Gmaps could understand if I’m on a motorbike oppose to a car. The time of day to pick routes with street lights. Weather conditions could be useful to avoid flood risk roads. Of course these can adjusted in the preferences, otherwise they could be annoying for some drivers.

I’m sure there are many more but this are ones which come to mind since yesterday. Its clear google maps isn’t ideal for non screen viewing.

Adding activitypub or switching to peertube?

Mixcloud warning: You've reached your limit for published shows

In my latest mix the interdimensional transmission mix, I went to mixcloud to find, I’ve reached my limit for published shows. So been thinking about what mixcloud does do for me. Mainly distribution and a bit of charting.

On the distribution side, it seems like the fediverse could easily do a better job. Originally I would love to use funkwhale but from previous experience it doesn’t really support mixes well compared to single tunes. Which is why I setup my own webmixgarden.

Currently I’m using a static site generator (pubili) which is great because I could add webmonitisation. Although I’m wondering if I should switch to one which supports activitypub? However I feel there is a way which combines both and its likely another platform on the fediverse? I can’t be the only one who is putting out mixes right?

I tooted and had some suggestions. But decided to look at peertube to see if that could work. After finding a instance, which had rules which worked for what I was doing. I starter experimenting here but i’m waiting for my mix to be moderated (its a one man instance, so expect it might take some time). If things work out I might just install peertube on my server.

Update

My mix is now up on peertube via rankett.net, thats the big news.
However I wanted to talk through what happened.

William who runs the rankett instance of peertube messaged me via email asking about copyright details of the mix. This was a surprise because we are all use to faceless entities moderating via machine learning.  We had a little chat over email and I explained what I was doing and shared this blog post. Happy with the explanation, my mix was unblacklisted and its now available for all to play.

I’m currently looking at ways to add chapters markers to the mix, by slightly abusing the captions feature. I can’t really see another way to do it.

Another update

LPS messaged me on mastodon and pointing out a undocumented feature of peertube.

I can easily add time points in the description and with the correct formatting will automatically turn into jump points into the mix.

Adding jump points in peertube

We also talked about setting up peertube using yunohost, which I’m already using. So theres little excuse now for me to just set it up one day soon.

Don’t miss out: Mozilla Festival 2023’s call for proposals ends 16 Dec

Ian Quote text “I appreciate that Mozilla runs the festival in the open. It’s transparency to the tenth degree. I really appreciate that they’re trying this stuff, seeing where it goes, and kind of always in this constant cycle of, “Let’s try this, see how it goes. Let’s build on it or decide if it’s not for us.” Feedback is quick and used well”Its a tricky one to remember because of the changes over the last few years but the Mozilla Festival will be back in March 2023 as a virtual festival complete with a number of in person events during the same year.

Because of the March virtual festival, the call for proposals is live and waiting.

I’m thinking about 2 or 3 proposals right now.

  1. The public service internet
  2. Design a client to take full advantage of the fediverse
  3. Rethinking how we match people for the benefit of all

Sure more will come along but the community spotlight around transparency has me thinking even more, how these can benefit from transparency.

Founder Member of the Responsible Tech Collective – Interview

EMF Camp complete with Lasers
The bright future for the public service internet?

Following the talk I did at the Bright Ideas recently.

I also recently spoke with the Responsible Tech Collective, which is mainly out of Manchester.

The collective is a community of cross-sector organisations and community representatives, working to (first) establish Greater Manchester as an equitable, inclusive and sustainable examplar for responsible tech, through putting people first in its creation.

The collective has been one of those interesting groups which has been doing a lot around what I’m calling the public service internet ecosystem. Another group out of Manchester is Open Data Manchester.

You can read the whole piece on Medium below.

View at Medium.com

Its a good read and I especially like how it links different pieces of work together. Mainly the Adaptive podcasting, Personal Data Stores and Living room of the future in with the ethos of a Public Service Internet. The list of podcasts was a surprise question and hopefully will be of interest to others.

This all reminds me clearly why I moved to Manchester.

My talk at the Bright ideas gathering

I have been pretty busy recently and had not as much time to do much blogging. To be fair my mastodon microblogging has increased quite a bit, can’t think why…

During the busy last few months, I gave a talk at Durham’s Bright ideas gathering. It was a really good event which felt like a TEDx with a number of different topics and speakers.

Originally I was going to give a talk about the recently launched Adaptive podcasting but gave it more context with why its a important project. Along the way we stop at the big changes coming to the BBC looking at my own personal view of moving to Manchester.

Thank to Herb and the team which delivered another excellent conference even in the middle of train strikes.

I shared the slides on slideshare (which is still a thing it seems)

 

Adaptive podcasting is public and you can get it now

Adaptive podcasting header
Last week BBC R&D launched the Adaptive podcasting ecosystem upon the world. There is a blog post to get you started if you want to dive straight in.
The Adaptive podcasting ecosystem is a combination of parts.

Screen shot of the Adaptive app/player

With the Android app/player you can listen to adaptive podcasts. With the app/player installed, you can load and listen to your own made podcasts. There is of course RSS support, providing the ability to load in a series of adaptive podcasts (replacing the default feed from BBC R&D).

With access to the web editor on BBC Makerbox, you can visually create adaptive podcasts in a few minutes. Its node like interface is running completely client side, meaning there is no server side processing. Just like the app/player, which does zero server callbacks to the BBC. Pure Javascript/HTML/CSS.

Example of the web  editor

If you find the web editor not advanced/in-depth enough for you, there is the XML specification which is based on SMIL. As the code can be written or even generated. We even considered other editors like audacity.
With all 3, you have pretty much everything you need to get going, plus there is documentation gdoc and more information about the ecosystem here on github.
One of the most important parts is the community of practice around adaptive podcasting. Both on BBC Makerbox and Storytellers United. Also through research, I can see the podcast industry are very active and I was right with podnews, the podcast namespace, etc all throwing ideas around. Even the podfather added a comment.
I have written about Adaptive/Perceptive podcasting previously across my blog and talked about it at Mozfest 2021, for the Bristol Watershed and of course for the EBU. There is also an interview I did a couple weeks ago before the launch for podland, which is worth listening to with much more detail.
But I wanted to thank all the people who helped in making this go from the Perceptive Radio to Adaptive Podcasting. So far I started a github page but will write the history of how this happened when I got more time. Partly because its a interesting story but also because it demonstrates the power of collaboration, relationships, communities and the messy timeline of innovation.

Illustrations for my book: AI or not to AI?

Black man and White woman in AI drawn picture

Some of you might know I have been writing a book about my dating experiences.

Its moving along thanks to some great friends who have done such a great job editing, structuring and shaping the book. But one thing I turned my attention to a while ago, is the illustrations.

I did pay for an artist out of my own money but wasn’t quite happy with every single illustration for each chapter, so only had about half done. The rest I’m talking to another artist about but recently been quite impressed with the AI art generators like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, Nightcafe.

The generated works are strange and abstract enough to fit with what I’m looking for in the book. Not only that, the ownership and copyright seems to be working out (from what I read using DALL-E 2).

(c) Copyright. OpenAI will not assert copyright over Content generated by the API for you or your end users.

I certainly seen the AI bias in some of the images generated. For example if I don’t say what gender or race the person is, the AI defaults to male and white. Its only when I deliberately say Black male / female it then switches. I would also say the images of black women are not as fully thought out as white women. Because I’m generating pictures of dating, it always defaults to straight dating unless I add something to the query. Likewise the women are always thin never curvy unless specified. Actually a few times, I got women who were pregnant. Of course every single time I make a query, it takes credit (money) making it costly to really test its bias, sure someones already on this.

The big question I have is, if I was to use DALL-E for illustrations in my book, what would that say or mean for my stance around AI, bias and data use? To be honest, I’m actually thinking about generating the front & back covers in full colour, rather than the in book illustrations.

Maybe I should be less worried about this? Or even better I was thinking about ways to not just make clear it’s AI generated but show the process of selection or something similar?

Thoughts?

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (June 2022)

Digital Literacy for Seniors

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed reading how Paypal wrote the crypto playbook, seeing the incredible insecurity of smart locks,  and is Bluesky going anywhere soon?

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this with the FT mentioning Mastodon, The right to repair research and the Lumous system identifying all those hidden camera in hotels.


Our password-less future is one step closer

Ian thinks: Everyone is throwing their weight behind FIDO and its looks extremely useful. Finally something which is user friendly, easy to use and secure.

Can you really trust that mental health app?

Ian thinks: Mozilla’s research into those apps many people used during the pandemic and varies lockdowns is simply a horror story. There has to be a better solution which doesn’t rely on misplaced trust?

Period tracking apps are tracking you

Ian thinks: On a similar note to the previous one, the consumer reports article is full of very useful tips to protect you. These are good for almost every single app I would say.

Dove uses deep fakes to really tell the story

Ian thinks: Dove’s self esteem project is consistently doing great things for society. Deep faked mothers talking to their daughters while sitting next to their real mothers is just incredible and so well thought out.

Proton taking on Google with a privacy edge

Ian thinks: Andy Yen Proton’s CEO gave a talk in the European Parliament hinting at this announcement. Taking on Google with a non surveillance business model is intriguing as scale isn’t as critical for success?

The time is now says PublicSpaces

Ian thinks: The Dutch collation, Publicspaces had their 2nd conference in May and a good number of the English language sessions are well worth your time. Always challenging and full of good threads to tug on.

Literacy, the forgotten side of our digital world

Ian thinks: This is a sobering and some what recently forgotten side of the digital revolution. If left to market forces, I can’t see things getting any better. Only a public service internet can really make the difference.

Regulating Algorithms?

Ian thinks: Although the register adds a level of snark to the idea, there is something which does speak true. Regulating algorithms could really provide a level of trust, comfort and agency which just doesn’t exist right now.

Education to promote agency?

Ian thinks: I love these projects explaining and educating diverse communities to take control of the technologies to avoid being the disadvantaged by them.

Learning the lessons of the past for the future of the internet

Ian thinks: In the middle of the hype, there is very little looking back and learning the lessons of previous generations. Dare I say it, those who don’t learn their history are doomed to repeat it.


Find the archive here

WebMix: Webmonetization + Dj mixes for the next internet

Mark and Ian at Mozfest 2018

While recovering from Covid, I got a little time to finally sort out the WebMix idea which I also wrote up for Mozfest earlier in the year.

With the incredible and generous help of Mark Boas of Hyperaudio, I was able to use Hyperaudio lite to make clearly mark up a list of tunes in a DJ mix. Its what I’ve been looking to do for ages to move away from Mixcloud,

My finally setup was something I was playing with for ages but mainly via a self installed wordpress on my raspberrypi. I found problems when installing hyperaudio and in the end decided to go with a static website. I choose Publii as it had a linux client and I could just write the HTML easily (so many use markdown and other things, which would have made working with hyperaudio more difficult than it needs to be)

With the site creation out the way, I needed somewhere to host it.

Originally I was going to use Yunohost but I couldn’t find a simple webserver to just host the static files, instead I found a proxy server, which points at my NAS, which is running a very simple webserver. Of course the NAS has plenty of space, its also where the mixes sit, has a excellent redundancy and backup system.

The result of the experiment all sits here – https://cubicgarden.info/mixes

Digital Italics WebMix

The core part of WebMix (as I’m calling it) sits in hyperaudio’s transcript and webmontization support.

Hacking hyperaudio’s transcripts

Originally I always saw Hyperaudio for its ability to tie a knot between the written word and the audio (& video). It wasn’t till I saw a demo of the WebMon functionality is when I understood it could be the thing I need for DJ mixes.

With correctly written HTML, I can tell Hyperaudio what it should do, and with Mark’s help we had a prototype up and running.

Here is an example of the code from the quiver in the underground mix.

<li class="active" data-wm="$ilp.uphold.com/B69UrXkYeQPr">
<span data-m="0">Activator, I know you can (That kid chris mix) - Whatever girl</span></li>
<li data-wm="$ilp.uphold.com/3h66mKZLrgQZ"><span data-m="127000">Air traffic (Erik De Koning remix) - Three drives</span></li>
<li data-wm="$ilp.uphold.com/B69UrXkYeQPr"><span data-m="445000">Chinook - Markus Schulz pres. Dakota</span></li>
<li data-wm="$ilp.uphold.com/3h66mKZLrgQZ"><span data-m="632000">Opium (Quivver remix) - Jerome Isma-Ae &amp; Alastor</span></li>

Each tune has a time configured using the attribute data-m, this is  in milliseconds. As I have all the data in the old CUE files I created a long time ago. Mark helped me out with a nice script which saved me manually copying and pasting. (I also considered writing a XSLT to do the conversion). In between sleeping and relaxing with Covid, I got a number of mixes up, changed the theming and finally got to grips with the static file uploading process, and the results you can see on the site.

Current webmix site

Payment and royalties

You will also notice each tune/list item also has data=”wm” attribute with a $ilp (payment pointers). Currently they are pointing to myself and Mark Boas. Obviously I would change them to the payment pointers of the artists/producers/djs involved but I don’t know any which have them so far. Which leads nicely on to the next challenge for WebMix.

I did/do have a plan to do a mix with dance music from artists which have payment providers but that is still in the pipeline. Along side this, myself and Mark thought about some kind of database/airtable/spreadsheet/etc with payment pointers crossed linked to their discogs profile.

WebMix active on my site

Maybe this is something which could be done in the next grant for the web call for participation?

Back to the current experiment, here is Opium (Quivver Remix) – Jerome Isma-Ae Alastor. You could imagine one payment provider decided between all involved which could be used to pay for each time its played on the site. (I am very aware this is very simplex and the royalties of music is a total nightmare!) but the point of the payment pointer is to hide the complexity behind one simple payment pointer, how its divided afterwards is up to each of the parties involved. I’m imagining a management agent, organisation or even dare I say it DAO; responsible for the payment pointer. There’s already things like revshare, which means you can have multiple people/entities behind the payment pointer and theres interest in this space. Long tail economics certainly could benefit here.

Anyway its a long complex area which I’m best staying out of…?

The main point is its all working and expect more updates soon… I know Mark has other ideas, while I still need to get older mixes up. I also would like to tie the whole thing to something federated or at very least setup a activity-pub feed.

Maybe I should be more ill more often?

Mozilla/BBC Ethical Dilemma Cafe Manchester

Ethical Dilemma Cafe Manchester through the window

The Ethical Dilemma Cafe Manchester happened last week on Tuesday 26-Wednesday 27th April. It was quite something to build, prepare and experience.

Building on the ethical dilemma cafe in Mozfest 2014, we took the idea into a real working cafe complete with the public coming and going, but experiencing the dilemma.

When I say the dilemma, what do I mean? In 2014…

The café offered popcorn, juice, and smoothies not found anywhere else at the festival, but to enter the café, you had to cross a boundary that required a ridiculous data user agreement. As part of this agreement, your personal information would be plastered through the festival’s halls hours later. This experience was about getting out of a chair and experiencing the dilemma in a real, tangible way. Would you read the agreement in order to obtain a glass of juice? Ignore the agreement and quench your thirst in ignorant bliss? Or read the agreement and walk away, and try to find snacks elsewhere because the agreement was unacceptable?

While in 2022 with the changes in how mobile phones are less leaky about data and a ton of frankly new challenges (some are explored in our virtual mozfest 2022 session), we decided to explore both the QR code and personal data sharing problems.

People scanned a QR code, signed up to a fake cafe ordering system with their email or social media login. After that, they are forced to answer a question before being presented with a QR code which can be scanned for a hot drink (or looking at the very very long receipt, cold drinks). If you went for a second, third, etc drink you will get more and much more personal questions. We had 5 levels of questions and the single 5th question was deeply personal. Is the coffee really worth it

The Digital Skills Education did a very nice video explaining the concept in a short video.

Sometimes almost by random, the QR code would switch to a public rick roll (making clear you should be careful what you scan) but most of the time you get the webapp which will use any data used.

The biggest output being the questions and answers on a screen right on the cafe bar. Of course there were some intriguing answers to our questions.

I’m still wondering who wrote the answer with my name in it?

Coffee with strings screen in cafe
What do you value in a friendship? When Ian Forrester gives chocolate 😉

The Dilemma is just the start, as there was a whole number of talks, workshops and exhibits/interventions.

The reverse metaverse in action

On the exhibits end we had everything from the human values postcards by BBC R&D and is everybody happy by Open Data Manchester to Presence robots (reverse metaverse) to the Caravan of the future.

ICO talk designing the internet for children

Talks included Designing the Internet for Children with the ICO, Keeping Trusted News Safe Online with BBC R&D, Trustworthy AI – what do we mean when we say with Mozilla.

Northumblia workshop

Talks were kept to 15mins as it went out to the whole cafe and people were encouraged to take a table to keep the conversation going afterwards. In typical Mozfest style.

ICO workshop

Finally the workshops included Materialising the Immaterial with Northumbria University, Designing the Internet for Children with the ICO, Why might you personalise your news with BBC R&D, Common Voice / Contribute-a-ton with Mozilla.

On the first day we went long with our partners Open Data Manchester as we hosted their first meetup since the start of the pandemic. Mozilla’s VP Bob added a excellent talk to the meetup which was very well received.

Open Data Manchester meetup in the Ethical Dilemma Cafe

In the usual Mozfest style there was plenty of great moments for example when the traffic warden came to check out the Caravan of the Future.

The Caravan of the future attracts a traffic warden

There was plenty of interest in the reverse metaverse (presence bots), which was one of the projects which run through out the 2 days. Like the original ethical dilemma cafe, we wanted to expose people to work in progress rather than a museum, where everything is perfectly working. When they worked it really worked well.

The reverse metaverse

To get a real sense of the reverse metaverse / presence bot, I recorded Jasmine for a short while with a remote person.

The number of algorithm bias projects was also of much interest including  The Shape of Trust, The Entoptic field camera and Does it really understand me?

Does it understand me?

Does it understand me, is a speech to text system trained using the similar/same algorithms as the Amazon Alexa. It was so weird to see how when it got the wrong word, it guessed with something so strange. Like Deliveroo and Kindle?

Having the public come into the space was a positive, as many of the regulars popped in and end up going to a workshop or checking out a few of the interventions. Even better was having the staff of the feel good cafe joining in and enjoying the event. There’s a few times, when I overheard people asking what was going on and then the staff suggesting checking out the loom, human values postcards, etc.

The concept really came together well over the two days. Its something which will come back in other forms. Keep an eye out for future iterations of the ethical dilemma cafe soon.

Coffee and Dilemmas in Manchester

Massive thanks to everyone involved in the Ethical Dilemma Cafe, so many people from the Mozilla Foundation, who took over a hotel in the northern quarter (it was so strange seeing people I usually see on Zoom or in London only 10mins away from my home), all the partners who took a leap of faith with the concept bringing their research and passion to the cafe. The cafe and the amazing woman (can’t remember her name) who really went with the concept. All the people who helped promote it and encourage others to join us over the 2 days. My colleagues who pulled out a number of stops to make things like the coffee with strings, reverse metaverse bots, etc. All amazing along with the talks and workshops, which nicely fitted with our partners. Thanks to the security guard who worked 2 full days and his presence was just right. Finally thank you to all the people who traveled sometimes from quite far to make the event, because without you there would be no ethical dilemma cafe.

There is likely people I have forgotten and I have deliberately not named anyone in-case I miss anyone by name. But I thank everybody especially Sarah, Lucie, Jasmine, Marc, Henry, Iain, Julian, Sam, Laura, Paul, Jesse, Bob, Steph, Lianne, Jimmy, Bill, Zach, Michael, Juliet, Georgina, Todd, Charlie, etc.

Mozilla/BBC Ethical Dilemma Cafe Manchester opens 26-27th April (tickets are available now!)

Book your tickets for the Ethical Dilemma Cafe 2022 (Manchester)

March has been so busy and I really enjoyed the start of the month at the Mozilla Festival 2022 virtual (which reminds me I must write that up, maybe in my new conference new style as suggested by Bill Thompson).

However as previously mentioned a slice of the Mozilla Festival is coming to Manchester (not London!) in the form of a fringe partner event.

More information will be revealed but you can now book tickets to guarantee your time in the cafe. Simply click register for ticket.
We are limiting the numbers for the safety and comfort of everybody including the volunteers and staff. We will also follow the government guidance on Covid19.

Ethical dilemma cafe 2014

Don’t forget to check out #mozfestedc (Mozilla Festival Ethical Dilemma Cafe) for more announcements.

Remember a healthy internet means a healthy society and a healthy you.

Surely sludge = friction?

While hearing Cass Sunstein talk about his new book Sludge, I thought surely this is fiction?

Not knocking it, I’m already known for saying friction can be a good thing.

One of the things I really like about the design guidance is the time to stop. A lot of the time we rush design in a frictionless way but we need to deliberately add friction.

Ian Forrester speaking at the ICO Privacy by Design 2021 conference

The ethical dilemma cafe is back for 2022 and its coming to Manchester in April

EULA on the entrance to the cafe

The ethical dilemma cafe in 2014 really shook up the already amazing Mozilla Festival. The walls have eyes went on to be nominated for a design award, for years afterwards the festival embraced playful interventions and its still something people talk about.

In the background there has been talk about what would the ethical dilemma cafe look like in 2020? By the time me and Jasmine talked about it here, there was enough momentum between Mozilla’s internet health report and BBC R&D’s research into the public service internet, to really make it happen.

With Mozilla Festival currently mainly virtual, it was a good time to try a more distributed festival. Hence why not run the ethical dilemma cafe locally in Manchester, in a real cafe with real hot drinks and with the  general public too? Heck yes!

Ethical dilemma cafe 2022 fringe event
In 2014 we worried about hidden microphones, secret cameras and toys with prying eyes. We asked for off buttons, clearer privacy terms and control over our own data. What has changed since then? Are our worries still valid? What are the new areas of concern? Or are we just more accepting of relinquishing control?

Last last week it was announced along side the complete schedule for the 2022 festival.

In 2014 we worried about hidden microphones, secret cameras and toys with prying eyes. We asked for off buttons, clearer privacy terms and control over our own data. What has changed since then? Are our worries still valid? What are the new areas of concern? Or are we just more accepting of relinquishing control?

The Ethical Dilemma Cafe is a relaxing space to grab a free coffee and meet fellow festival participants. However there is a catch!

You will have the opportunity to let your personal data take you on a journey through a space full of wonder and intrigue, where you will uncover the power of data and algorithms and how they shape your world, whether you’re aware of it or not. But nothing in this world is for free, the dilemma you face is your willingness to cross the threshold and be complicit in the interpretation of how your data defines you and your community, in perpetuity.

This year the Cafe will show you how your data is reflecting your identity in the digital world. How measurement, categorisation, and labelling of humans by machines determines the barriers and privilege you experience. It will prompt you to question if the established metrics are measuring the right things, at an appropriate granularity and how their influence touches your online and offline experiences.

If you are local to Manchester, join us from April 25-26 2022

If you are local to Manchester or can travel from around the UK, you don’t want to miss this 2 day event. Put it in your calendar now, Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th April.

Get your Mozilla Festival tickets now, and look out for much more details in the coming months.

My weird lucid dream: Google’s relaunch into tablets?

Old trational Japanese house

I had a strange dream last night… No not that kind of a dream!

I have been doing a number of sleeping/dreaming tests during the pandemic including trying build back up my ability to lucid dream.

With that, I had quite a amazing one last night (Wednesday 2nd Feb 2022)

I lucid dreamed I was seeing the Google’s new attempt at the tablet market. It was different size tablets, from 7inches to 13inches. I assume it might have been the news about root access to the remarkable 2 earlier the same day, which got me thinking. The noteworthy part of the dream was the sales room was in a traditional Japanese wooden house (complete opposite of  apple’s white and glass stores) a distance from the centre of town, surrounded by lots grass and water. Plus the tablets were housed in wood rather than plastic or metal.

There were many pastel colours from yellow, purple, red,  greens, browns and blacks. The tablets were quite thin but comfortable to hold. The tablet supported both finger control and a thin pen like stylus. The screen had some different kind of technology, like colour ink but a more vivid.  I expected to see a new futuristic version of Android to be installed on picking one up. But instead was greeted with Fuchsia.

Other features? Multiple day battery, Google tensor chip, light to carry, usual wireless connections including bluetooth, wifi, nfc, 5g but no cameras and not waterproof only dust proof. All for 349 pounds?

Later the same day I heard the news story that Google is rethinking tablets again. Honestly had no idea but I don’t think for how great the tablets were I was dreaming, google is going to do wood tablets… or will they *wink*

The Metaverse* vs The Public Service Internet, coming to Mozfest in March

Metaverse vs Public Service InternetOver the last few months theres been a ton of interest in the metaverse, we all know why. Its been annoying seeing people wooing over something which others have started building decades earlier.

Off the back of the hype for the corporate metaverse (I really want to separate the hard work others have done/doing from what the likes of Facebook/Meta are attempting to do – aka take it over for their own benefit). I started to explore the corporate metaverse in a blog and previous to that the parallels with digital and physical spaces.

Metaverse

This got me thinking about the values and ethics which make the public service internet so important and so different from the corporate metaverse. But rather than think it out myself alone, I wrote a proposal for Mozfest 2022 to explore this in a discussion with a number of people. Evaluating emerging technology to understand its benefits and its problem. To hopefully shape the technology for the benefit of the public and society, is the goal of the session.

I’m extremely proud to say it was accepted and in March this year, I will lead the session sketching out the stark differences.

I almost want to add Web3 to the line up, but I believe there will be plenty to cover just in the metaverse alone.

Want to be at the session? Grab a early bird ticket before they go! You can also volunteer to help make the whole festival amazing.