Imagine kinetic powered LED diabolo?

I head about, a football which during the day can be used like a football and then at night used as a light.

I have always liked the idea of kinetic energy and always wanted things like kinetic energy watches. However the light ball really got me thinking about the LED lights on my Diabolo.

Kinetic energy on a diabolo is not a problem, so some of it could really be used for something else, like to keep a LED kit going almost endlessly?

I thought this must be done right? But from what I can find there are no LED kits or Diabolos which actually use kinetic energy at all. I did find a yoyo which doubles as a charger for your phone. If you know of one, do let me know as I’m considering prototyping one out of a kinetic wheel or something else.

Of course not as noble as the light ball but could be interesting?

Go watch: Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

Everything everywhere all at once
Everything everywhere all at once, on the IMAX screen and opened by the directors

I had the absolute joy and pleasure of watching Everything, Everywhere, All at once preview at the IMAX in Leicester Square. Finally after much delay, although it officially comes to the UK May 13th.

There is so much I can say about the film but I gave it 8/10 because its truly incredible. Not only is the multiverse and quantum science really interesting in it, not only is the film a genuinely different from everything out there, heartfelt (Its super touching in parts) but also funny as hell (absolutely hysterical in parts, and doesn’t take its self too seriously).

I’d love to talk about it but don’t want to spoil it.

Honestly go watch it on the biggest screen you can! Watching it in the IMAX (it was formatted for IMAX) in row C (I know it was insane but fitting for the insanity which was unfolding) it was just full on!

You might also note in the picture above both directors opened the preview, which was a total shock because I knew the BFI IMAX in Waterloo had a Q&A with the director’s (the Daniels) but this was a big surprise!

Those Manchester advertising screens, need to standby at night

Manchester's advertising screens have a standby problem?
Left and middle is with the backlight on an right is one of the only ones with the backlight off. (heck it could be broken?)

I previously wrote about the advertising screens Manchester Council has deployed in the middle of pavements and walking spaces. The backlash was swift but things have settled down again now the screens are in place.

What I found strange about them, is they don’t seem to suspend. Or at least thats what I thought till I finally saw a few at night with no backlight. However most of the ones I see at night have the screen on but with nothing showing. The glow of a LCD screen with black screen is easily spotted at night.

I can’t help but think what a waste of electricity and certainly renews my thoughts about eink/epaper screens for advertising. Which funny enough BMW revealed their color changing concept car. Likely one of the biggest eink displays I have seen in a long while.

I saw in the Guardian on Sunday,

Manchester electronic ad boards each use electricity of three households.Freedom of information request shows screens that earn council rent of £2.4m a year consume more than 11,000kWh annually.

Well that really puts my thoughts about the lack of standby/suspend really into context. And I had no idea some were monitoring the environment too!

22 are able to monitor pedestrian footfall and air quality – something the council says will only be used internally to inform policy.

Used internally? I very much doubt it. Remember the advertising bins in London?

The Matrix Resurrections official trailer released

Its here and it looks incredible. If you want the inside track, this one covers every bit after the trailer.

I also quite liked the Perceptive Media piece of the teaser-teaser trailer. Good use of  time (something which requires no permissions and quite easy to so things with). Its also worth noting it wasn’t just the time but also shots based on when you choose to watch the red pill and blue pill teaser-teasers trailers.

Can’t wait to see it but might have to wait to watch it on the cinema screen because my parents internet isn’t going to cut it over the festive holidays.

Watch the social dilemma for free on youtube now

Youtube’s algorithm highlighted to me that the Social Dilemma is available in full. I thought it was another upload by someone but noticed the uploader was Netflix.

It looks like they are sharing the whole thing for free till the end of September.

The social dilemma

Although I wasn’t glowing about the documentary and think there is better, I did give it some credit later. Ultimately the message is important and something I wish more people would watch and understand. Its actually weird watching it knowing what happened with Trump and the Capital hill riots.

It wasn’t long ago when I tried to suggest to some people the effort of using Facebook was part of the problem. The very notion of using something else more suitable for the job, rather than a social network which has its own agenda behind it was not a welcomed suggestion.

Some of the most uncomfortable films you can watch part 2

Flashback of a fool

A while ago I wrote a blog about the most uncomfortable films I have seen, which I can only watch once a year at most.

These are some of the most unconformable films I’ve seen recently… The kind of films where you can’t move from your seat afterwards or when you do, you feel like having a shower straight afterwards.

  1. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

  2. Requiem for a Dream
    The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger.

  3. Shame
    In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction is disrupted when his sister Sissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.

  4. Irréversible
    Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

  5. Trust
    A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.

  6. Hard Candy
    A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a pedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him.

I wrote that a while ago and I have more films to add that list. Films which I can not watch more than once a year because they are psychologically too heavy to take in one year.  You can see themes which are uncomfortable (drugs/rape/abuse/etc)

Heavy
Drug-dealer Sev and his equally broken girlfriend Maddie accept a risky deal from an old childhood friend, setting off an irreversible chain of events.

Swallow
Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife, finds herself increasingly compelled to consume dangerous objects. As her husband and his family tighten their control over her life, she must confront the dark secret behind her new obsession.

Pieces of a woman
When a young mother’s home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.

Flashbacks of a fool
An aging Hollywood star, Joe Scott, lives a life of narcissistic hedonism, observed by his laconic personal assistant, Ophelia. The death of his childhood best friend, Boots, takes our protagonist, and the movie, into an extended flashback to a sea-side town in 1970’s Britain.

Selling Isobel/Apartment 407
A thriller based on true events, featuring the real victim in true life playing the main charter. It’s about a woman who got locked in, drugged, held against her will and sold to numerous men for 3 days in an apartment in central London. It’s a film about her fight for survival all the way to the gruesome end.

I didn’t know the main actor played herself and I can’t even imagine the impact of this. Truly horrific but also must be watched for its absolute importance.

Tell me who I am

And there are two film documentaries I have to add to the list, although I could add more.

Tell me who I am
Alex trusts his twin, Marcus, to tell him about his past after he loses his memory. But Marcus is hiding a dark family secret.

Rewind
Digging through the vast collection of his father’s home videos, a young man reconstructs the unthinkable story of his boyhood and exposes vile abuse passed through generations.

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.

One of the most shocking Catfish episodes I seen…

Catfish Season 8 ep 32
Its all smiles now, but you just wait…

Its one of my guilty pleasure Catfish, I have seen it all over the 8 seasons but this one had me shouting no, no, NO!

Catfish Season 8 episode 32: Paul & Caitea

Paul met Caitea on Xbox and fell madly in love, but one day Caitea just disappeared! A decade later, Nev and Kamie help Paul find his first love. But what they find is one of the most shocking reveals in catfish history!

I seen a lot of them but there was something completely screwed up about this episode. Really screwed.

Kamie preys for some sainity
Kamie can’t believe what shes seeing and preys for sanity
Spoiler!

Between the fact Caitea’s mum was seducing someone 16 on the internet (although they say in that state its ok? Really?
The fact she was taking nude pictures off her own daughters phone and share it online with total strangers
The fact she did this for years!

I’m not the only one, its been talked about quite a bit including this youtuber who pretty much says it how I feel about it.

I understand the mum has gone through therapy but there is something which put a horrible taste in my mouth. More than the fights, devious trickery, ransoms, etc.

Although I know Catfish is somewhat setup for TV, this one is beyond the pale. What a season finale…

Replacing Mixcloud with Funkwhale

Funkwhale mixes

For a long while I have been threatening to leave Mixcloud in favour of hosting my own mixes. I looked around and thought funkwhale looks great as its a federated network for music. With some help from JonT, I started to scrape the metadata I stupidly forgot to keep for myself.

I installed Funkwhale on the Yunoserver but spent too much time trying to work out how to mount my NAS on the Yunoserver. I gave Navidrome but  decided it wasn’t right as there was no way to listen without logging in, so went back to Funkwhale and got things up and running.

Seems Funkwhale might not be the best solution for the mixes, plus the developer is looking for new maintainers recently. Its really setup for single tracks not mixes. I could upload mixes but my plan to use cue files, won’t work. The only place to put playlists is in the comments. I also need to do more digging as I can’t change the year of the mixes. More importantly, the public sharing is a bit broken for me. You should be able to listen to the radio but its not working for me

Funkwhale profile

As I get my head around it all but you can subscribe via RSS and if you’re using Mastodon or other fediverse applications, you can subscribe to this account: @digitalitalicmixes@mixes.cubicgarden.info.

Enjoy, I’m one step closer to self hosting my mixes.

Worth watching: Death to 2020

Death to 2020

Death to 2020 was hysterical on so many levels, this missed out on my list of things you missed out on by a day or two.

I think of it like Screenwipe (if you haven’t seen the antiviral wipe, I highly recommend it) with black mirror budget and mockery running through it all.

Although very much around America and part of the UK, there is key issues are there. , , , #vote2020, #RuthBaderGinsburg, , , , , etc, etc.

Good work and something to laugh at while we head into 2021.

Small axe: Mangrove nine

Snakk axe

I heard the true story of the Mangrove Nine but to see it play out over a 2 hour TV show is just amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect but with the great director Steve McQueen, I had a sneaky suspicion it was going to be (8/10) great. Its almost so great to see UK black history on the screen, as its usually displaced by American black history.

Really looking forward to the other episodes.

Give the social dilemma some credit

There is a scene in the social dilemma which is quite impactful.

A character looks at her social media feed in the bathroom alone, she sighs and turns looks in to a mirror trying to understand the negative reaction shes getting. While she looked at her self a tear runs down her face.

The social dilemma

Its something easily overlooked but pretty powerful, I have to say watching it again.

The/our social dilemma documentary

The social dilemma

I just watched the social dilemma.

I have to say its actually very well produced and gets the points across in a way which I feel might actually cause some thought. We have heard this before in many different places but I liked the family story which gave it some well needed context. Although it does go maybe a bit too far in the story. Heck I was wondering if the son was about to get himself a gun…

My only really issue is its very American focused except Myanmar which received a short segment. The insiders don’t reflect the diversity of wider society but of course that speaks volume. But Cathy O’Neil said it best,

Do we really want to hand this problem over to technologists who helped create this problem?

Unfortunately that kind includes the well meaning Tristan Harris and many others on the documentary. Its interesting who isn’t in the documentary, such as people like Douglas Rushkoff, Doc Searls, Clay Shirky, etc.

Is it the business model, is it the economic model, shareholder value, lack of governmental pressure, legal regulation, monopolistic practices, undemocratic markets? Or is it actually a bit of all of them?

So its a 7/10 its good but I feel After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020) has the edge.

I guess the biggest question is what happens next? Will people actually act after seeing the documentary? Thats the big question.

Little note: I enjoyed the older sister reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism on the sofa. I didn’t spot Cathy’s Weapons of math destruction and there was attribution to Natasha Schüll’s Addicted by design

The Future of Media with the Firestarter

Future insiders with Cathy Hackl

Future insiders with Cathy Hackl, was one of the last podcasts I did over the summer. Cathy Hackl I met a few years ago while in Belgium during Fuel 2018.

We chatted and shared many experiences including some of the diversity & inclusion in the industry. She was friendly and full of interesting thoughts about the future. I honestly warmed to her warm personality and it helped with Cathy being from a Lantio background when talking about D&I. It was also very clear Cathy was on her way upwards, her background working with the likes of Oculus, HTC Vive and Magic leap was just the start.

We stayed in touch and when I heard Cathy was setting up her own podcast I thought I need to subscribe. It wasn’t that long after Cathy got in touch and asked if I’d like to be guest on the show. Of course I agreed.

Massive thanks to Cathy for having me on as a guest, we certainly could have spoke for much longer. Hopefully this may happen much sooner than we think…?

If you are looking for the RSS feed its here.

I can’t tell you how much the firestarter title has gotten me places a producer couldn’t touch.