The best leaders take off their masks

I always like the Big Think videos. This one speaks so much to what I live by…

  • Take off the mask
  • Embrace your imperfections
  • Perfect the craft
  • Be prepared to ask for help
  • Be prepared to learn and grow over time.

Simple things which make such a difference.

Wishes for a better e-reading experience

Likebook mars ebook reader

I was listening/reading My wish for a better device for reading and enjoying books. I found it a interesting read with some good points

I’ve been thinking that I don’t want to settle with a simple e-reader anymore. I want more. I want an all-new gadget that’s dedicated to enhancing my reading experience.

This is why I ended up buying the Likebook Mars. It was time for something new which was a pleasure to read. Especially since the latest update which dropped a few days ago.

I understand that among the things that make an e-reader so successful is the e-ink display. But the Kindle also works well because its a less distracting device. But even then I’ve often found myself holding my Kindle in one hand and checking my smartphone notifications in the other.

This is something I imagine lots of people struggle with. Having a Android device in your hand is tricky because the temptation is to put a lot of apps on the device and make it a duplicate of the phone. But it simply doesn’t make sense to put a lot of the apps on the ereader. Try scrolling through a twitter feed on a e-ink screen is just painful. However respect to anyone who wants to give it a try for what ever reason.

Instead of limiting the capabilities of the device to make it free from distractions, we can choose our own distractions, ones that will keep us engaged with the device. Imagine an iPad with a dedicated reading mode, as part of the Screen Time feature, where you could turn off all distractions, and focus on reading. Or the device could have a “Reading Mode” where you could add reading and productivity apps…

Ideally the device would be capable of both an eink and LCD screen. This is why I found the Yota phone interesting and  although Goodereader wasn’t quite right about the trend for eink phones. It still could be a future trend with colour eink getting really good too.  Reading mode could simply be an adjustment rather than a mode. For example the Lenovo Thinkpad plus has a eink display on the lid.

…or a redesigned version of Goodreads, where you could engage with the community, and celebrate reading. If you wanted to take a break from reading a book, instead of checking your Facebook or Instagram, you could read articles or update your Goodreads. So you’d still have access to distractions, just better distractions.I want someone to redesign Spotify as a reading app, right now.

The idea of a goodreads or spotifiy for ereading can easily be dismissed but its actually important.

Once you get into the world of ereaders with standard android apps, you get the diversity of experiments and applications. Yes you can have your Amazon Kindle app on a android ereader but thats just the start. Its time for a better way to not just read but annotate, share and remix. The modes should work smoothly but due to the silo mentality of the different services we can’t rely on any changes from them. Why would Amazon do anything but the minimum for android devices?

While we already have subscription models for reading books and articles, and are listening to audiobooks, no one seems to be fighting Amazon or Apple for a share of the market. Maybe reading isn’t as big a market as music, or television, or even gaming. Or maybe the big players are not ready to look in this direction, yet. This could be about the size of the market, the potential for growth and a largely Amazon-dominated marketplace.

This is a market which could do with some changes but it will come from the smaller players. The same way authors like Cory Doctorow convinced his publisher to support some Creative commons versions of his books.

Unlock the ebooks and see things change I and others have been saying for a long long while. Its something which the author Sumit never actual mentions. Its the one thing which underpins everything he wishes for.

I was once at the World book fair for Oreilly’s Tools of change conference. One of the sessions I went to was about ebooks and their locked down DRM containers. In short DRM is a major killer and won’t get the creativity till its  restrictions are changed. There was so much hate given to Amazon for this reason.

Its clear DRM holds back so much of what ebooks could be and that effects the devices, the systems and ultimately the experience.

Well worth watching: The Boys TV series

The Seven from the boys

I just started watching the Boys and I got to say its right on point. This review sums it up.

For me the whole series is a total and effective satire that lets us see what would become of the world if fiction becomes reality: heroes lose interest in saving the world (or take advantage of its status), are forced to do things that are not right, to follow the company’s own interests and do not go out to end the crime if they are not followed by a camera that captures each of their movements, even though they are always transmitting that image of exemplary citizen when in fact they are greedy and treat their fans badly.

It’s also chilling to know that people in power act as judges and executioners to decide what crimes are profitable and what millions of dollars they rent their superheroes to other cities so they can be safe. The precision in the denunciation of The Boys is one of its strongest points since satire towards these characters is not new, but combining it with the theme of corporate America and wild capitalism gives it a clear differential touch.

The series is a total hit and is perfectly developed, to the point of making it impossible to miss because chapter by chapter the anguish increases. So if you have free time, I strongly recommend you to watch this satirical series.

I’d echo the last paragraph, I’m surprised I haven’t heard about it before. Its a very different show from the Watchmen but full of interesting points on society and couture.

The best films of 2018 and 2019 you may have missed

I meant to publish this list of great films you may have missed in 2018, but never did. So instead I’ve edited the draft and included the best films of 2019 you may have missed too. Enjoy!

2018

Spiderman into the spiderverse


Fantastic take on spider-man which includes some cutting edge graphics combined with a great soundtrack and a clever plot line which keeps you going. The diversity really shines what different people from different backgrounds could do together.

The Mule


I got to say I didn’t want to really like this one but Eastwood is great as that guy love to hate. His interactions with others is something which you can’t help but question; but with an understanding of why.

Boy Erased


Its a story which is shocking to the core and although like many think this couldn’t happen in this day in age; this story makes it super clear we are very wrong. Shocking and done tastefully.

The Hate U Give


There is something about this film which says “oh its one of those films for minorities.” But it escapes the stereotypes and manages to paint the tricky relationships between races in America very well. Well worth watching for a slightly deeper message.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer


Its cheaply put together and feels like a TV movie (it might be) but the impact of the America’s biggest serial killer is lost when you first met the man involved. Over the course of movie it hits you wants really going on. Quite a shocking story, worth watching especially if its remade my someone else in the future.

Unsane

Never want to spoil movies, but I’d say Soderbergh pulls off this thriller/horror in fine style. The plot is simple but the acting pulls the boot strings up tight. I’m not a fan of horror but this was smart and very watchable if mindbinding at the same time.

2019

The best of enemies


Quite an incredible story about how two people of different backgrounds can agree to disagree when it comes to their child but end up being best of friends in the end. Well worth watching, especially looking at the current state of the world. Watch to the very end for a treat!

The public


This is not a great film but its an important film to watch. A film which really talks to the human value work  and movement. The plots is slow but settles in for the long journey focused on the people and the interactions between people and corporate interests.

Selling Isobel


This is a truly horrific true story which at the very start the real women behind it said thank you for watching. Being tricked into sex slavery isn’t a light topic but a very important one.  I didn’t realise till my partner pointed it out, the woman in the sex slavery is played by the same woman who it happened to! I was completely blown away! Unbelievable and something I could only watch once a year. Just like the public an important film to watch!

Untouchable


Following selling isobel, a documentary about the start of the movement with Weinsten. It really shines a light on the horrific abuses of power. Its really puts into perspective everything which has gone on to date and could easily be updated with more in the future.

The room


I would class this as something  like inception and a few films I have mentioned in previous editions of films you missed. Its a simple plot point, a room which gives you what you ask for. But the fall out is pretty well thought out. I certainly would have liked another 20mins of film to really dig into the mind bending inception.

Shadow of the moon


This gritty story about a serial killer is well told and you can’t help but feel wrapped up in the detective story as the drama unfolds over time. The story is paced perfectly with surprises and dead ends along way.

I am mother


The word mother conjures up many visions but a robot isn’t generally one of them. This movie centers its sights right at that point. Its a slow film but it really forces you to either side of the coin. You think its going one way then it goes another way. Its hard to decide how you feel at the end.

Chemical Brothers: My first concert?

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Thinking back, I don’t think I have ever been to a concert for popular music with a single group; I was explaining to my partner the other day while walking to the Manchester Arena.

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I have been to many raves, club nights, festivals but not really a concert unless it was classical music or something like a opera. I might be wrong because I saw Portishead in Ashton Court, Bristol a long time ago but I think it was alongside other arenas.

Chemical brothers may have been my first music concert, and it was very cool. Although others disagree.

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I was interesting to see how the music and visuals were custom set for the chemical brothers. I imagine this is what something like Armin only is like. But to be fair Gareth Emery’s Lazerface looks amazing for this exact reason.

My booklist challenge

Every once in a while you get some viral challenge, where you have to tag someone else in. Its a little annoying but I thought this might be interesting. From a friend on Facebook…

I have accepted a challenge to post seven books I love, one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews, just covers. Each day I will ask a friend to take up the challenge. Let’s promote literacy and create a book list!

Tagged in ianforrester

I just seen this and I’m more than a few days late… As I only ever use Facebook for signing up to my volleyball team events and the monthly occasional post of the public service internet notes. I pretty much missed it and very unlikely to post anything daily. I decided to do the challenge on my own blog.

So here is my booklist with books which were pivotal…

SundayRebeccas world

MondayFree culture

TuesdayStrange attrators

WednesdayUncertain vision

ThursdayMindbenders

FridayDesign for community

SaturdayThe dyslexic advanage

 

The smart home needs a narrative

living room of the future

I was reading this post and was thinking living room of the future in my head.

So I get why Google has backed off the smart home moniker and instead begun labeling the connected home as “helpful.” It needs to dial back expectations to something it can deliver. That’s likely to consist of an assistant pulling in device data so it can remind you to lock your front door when you go to bed, or lowering the heat when you leave your home so as to save on electricity. Even things like Amazon’s Guard, which listens for glass breaking to determine if a burglar has broken in, is only of minimal interest to consumers.

Because while these are nice functions, they are not glitzy functions. And they are not going to persuade people concerned about privacy, longevity, added complexity, security, or costs to shell out for connected devices. Another good example of this ambivalence to the smart home could be seen on a panel about smart TVs, connected displays and voice. The panel featured executives from Warner Media and Fox representing the content business. Neither of them were able to offer a compelling reason for being at a show all about the IoT other than wanting to make it easy for people to access content around the house, in their car, and on their phone.

I’ve felt this lack of creativity for a while. Everyone who has been watching this space has. Maybe it’s because the first decade of the smart home has been such a messy free-for-all and we need some space to clean things up, lower expectations, and focus on making devices and integrations usable

That lack of creativity is felt everytime I look at the new silos which are being built. The whole thing is being driven in the wrong direction and ultimately into the ever so cold arms of surveillance capitalism.

Its currently difficult to imagine IOT without some kind of service which is either monetizing or hoovering up data. But its exactly that which holds everything back?

Facial recognition technology stealing our feelings

Stealing ur feelings

I really loved do not track, and was happy to see Stealing Ur Feelings.

Stealing Ur Feelings is an augmented reality experience that reveals how your favorite apps can use facial emotion recognition technology to make decisions about your life, promote inequalities, and even destabilize American democracy. Using the AI techniques described in corporate patents, Stealing Ur Feelings learns your deepest secrets just by analyzing your face.

It narrowly missed out on November’s public service internet notes.

On the hunt for new headphones (Help?)

Bose Soundlink on ear headphones

I have been trying to replace my Bose Soundlink headphones for a long while. I bought them in Tokyo for a good price back in 2014 and although they are great the battery on them has given up completely; plus there seems to be no real way to replace it?

Its frustrating having full functioning headphones except battery life is zero. But its even more frustrating knowing how much I paid for them, even with the exchange rate discount. But then add the fact my phone doesn’t actually have a headphone port anymore!

So I have been looking for headphones to replace what I currently have but I realise there are things which I really need in headphones.

  • Standard audio jack – Not just for when the battery is low/dead, so I can also connect to my Pacemaker on the go.
  • Foldable – I usually carry everything in a laptop bag and most things are flat. If it doesn’t fold in some way its going to be a pain to carry around. My Bose fold on the band but the type where speakers fold in are still good for me too.
  • On ear – The only headphones I can live with day in day out. The ones you put over your ears make my ears hot and sweaty. The ones you put in your ears are awful and always end up coated in wax after use (keeping it real).
  • Multipoint support – I finally found out what this was called when a bluetooth device can connect to 2 or more devices at once. Its pretty essential for me to be honest.
  • Micro USB or USB C charging – I’m kind of done with proprietary chargers. When going on holiday for work or pleasure I take my USB power hub which charges everything including phones, laptop, watch, ring, etc. USB is a must and I know most do of course.
  • Replaceable battery – I add this after my experience of the Bose’s but its wish more than essential. I’d at least like some ability to take it apart. This is why the Pacemaker device is still going over 10 years later.
  • Good price – I won’t lie, I’d be happy with a price under £100 but I am asking for a lot. I certainly won’t be paying about £200 again.

So far I have bought two headphones from Amazon…

Protein Earmuff,Hi-Fi Stereo Headset f

This was seriously awful, cheap and tacky. Multipoint was pretty bad. On top of this the band was so tight, you could only really wear it for a short while before you felt the life being squeezed out of your head.

Phiaton BT 390 Black Wireless On-ear Headphones with Mic

I liked these and price was pretty great however the micro-USB cable for analogue audio was a bit crappy. It didn’t seem easily changeable and meant carrying it around all the time. But I liked the design and fit. However while in London, they just died. They had to go back…

I considered the BT350 instead of the BT390 but I can’t see much advantage over it except its not all plastic and noise cancelling (which I don’t care about).

So this is where I am now… Any suggestions are welcomed if it fits with the above list.

Beautiful Shots from The Matrix

The Matrix, agent smith

I was reminded how beautiful the cinematography is of the original Matrix film, by film school rejects.

Hoping for a better 4th film

 

BBC R&D: We do things differently!

We do things differently at BBC Research & Development. We’re curious and bold with a collective passion for making positive change. We’re inclusive and diverse – as well as collaborative and open by nature.

Quite a different view on the place I work daily, BBC R&D. Vicky did a amazing job creating a fresh and challenging video. You can see why the last post about Brexit is a difficult one to write/imagine

The backstreets of madrid mix

Backstreets of Madrid

Following the Madrid after the sun drops mix, I was messing around with the Pacemaker on a very hot night so went for a walk to get fizzy water. I came across some… lets say interesting streets… I recorded a mix that night and it was alright but the 2nd half got pretty sketchy, maybe something to do with heat and drink. So I removed the last half and saved the first part for your listening pleasure. Its also lots of tech trance with Sander Van Doorn and Mauro Picotto appearing in the line up.

Enjoy!

  1. Airforce one (igor S mix) – igor s
  2. The Oblivious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  3. Amino Acids – Tau-Rine
  4. Blood Angels (Chris Liebing mix) – John Startlight
  5. DJ Culture (Joey Beltram remix) – Kevin Saunderson & Joey Beltram
  6. Daisy – Sander Van Doorn
  7. Ninety – Sander Van Doorn
  8. Iguana (Arabesque mix) – Mauro Picotto
  9. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  10. Pulsar (letters mix) – Mauro Picotto
  11. Shnorkel (Dousk Exclusive Gems remix) – Miki Litvak & Ido Ophir
  12. Bubbly – Sebastien Leger
  13. Timeloop – Oliver Klein

Update Backstreets of Madrid hit a high of 92nd in the Tech Trance chart

Backstreets of Madrid in the techtrance chart

Danger in the Hague mix

Danger in the Hauge mix.jpg

About a month ago I went to the Hague for the first time. The journey included a flight to Amsterdam then a train to the Hague. It was a lovely place and of course I had my pacemaker device for the journey.

Quite a interesting mix going very trancy near the end, with some of my favourite tunes.

Enjoy the mix

  1. Super Cool – Tempo Giusto & Jace Headland
  2. Capoeira (Maori remix) – Maori
  3. Rewind (Mikkas remix) – Emma Hewitt
  4. Dalmatia – Estiva
  5. Nitric (Division One remix) – Hybrid system
  6. Running up the hill (Jerome isma-Ae Bootleg) – Placebo
  7. Hidden light – M6 and Klauss Goulart
  8. Drive – Abstract vision
  9. Tears (Protoculture remix) – Markus Schulz presents Dakota
  10. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  11. Homeward – Ferry Corsten
  12. We are one (instrumental mix) – Dave 202
  13. Carabella (Galen Behr versus Orjan Neilsen remix) – Galen Behr versus Hydroid

Update Danger in the Hague mix has hit 81st in the Tech Trance chart

Danger in the Hague mix 81st in the techtrance chart

Seinfeld is 30 years old today

55L82Jyp59C9jzsaL1gBECrop37 I can’t believe Seinfeld is 30 years old

Found via Vox

Seinfeld, one of the most successful TV shows ever made, turns 30 on July 5, 2019. Its pilot, “The Seinfeld Chronicles,” aired that evening in 1989, but the show wouldn’t return for nearly a full year

One of the classic episodes is (of course) the Soup Nazi

Julius Amedume’s award winning Rattlesnakes

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I heard today Julius a friend from University who I always knew was super talented and would make waves in the near future. Won 2 awards for his new film Rattlesnakes.

  • The ScreenNation Independent Sprit Film Production Award at the 14th Screen Nation Film and Television Awards in London.
  • Winner of the 2019 Pan African Film Audience Award.

RATTLESNAKES by Julius Amedume from Julius Amedume on Vimeo.

There’s a showing and Q&A with Julius (work permitting) at the BFI Southbank, London in August. Really hoping to be there…