Bitten by a dog in a hotel!

Dog

My partner was bitten by a dog in a hotel (the dark horse pub) when we rented a room in Bristol.

It sounds nuts or like there more to the story but its pretty much that.

Here’s my review on Googlemaps and here’s my partners review on tripadvisor

We stayed in the hotel part of the pub, which is upstairs overnight. While climbing the stairs trying to get into the hotel part with a member of staff. A white dog aggressively barked at us from a fenced area. The fencing wasn’t strong enough and on exiting the hotel room chased us out of the pub on the first night. We came back later that night with no problem except dog poo everywhere! Really hard to see in the midnight light.

In the morning the dog went straight for my partners ankle, when she woke up early and decided to get some fresh air. It was not tentative and both fangs went in. I seen the bite mark and shes got multiple photos.

I personally didn’t feel safe before and when I found out wanted out straight away. My partner knowing I was terrified of dogs, choose not to tell me till we were clear of the whole place.

The response from the hotel/pub owner was a joke and its been horrible trying to get hold of them, They took the full money and only offering 25% off our next stay! Thats it for being bitten!

Next stay?!

I say never and they are bloody lucky I wasn’t bitten because I would have called the police and the dog would be put down. The dog poo irresponsible, being chased by a dog is irresponsible but being bitten is totally unacceptable and dangerous!

The thing you have to remember is this was a hotel, we paid money for and we were guests. I don’t care if the pub is dog friendly, you can’t have dangerous dogs running around lose biting guests. I say guests because although my partner was first to be bitten, the same dog a few weeks before had attempted to bite someone else. Here’s a review from Susan from bookings.com

Very noisy, steep stairs to sleeping areas, ear plugs supplied by Pub because of noise. Noisy main road. Small dog tried to bite my Husband on the leg when we went to leave. Dog poo on wooden veranda.

Its a matter of time. Avoid the dark horse pub hotel!

Going to Indieweb Camp Berlin 2019?

Ian Forrester
Ian Forrester
:
RSVP yes
to Indieweb Camp Berlin

 

I am!

Just RSVP’ed (did it via this post and via a webform) to IndieWebCamp Berlin. Its the first one I’ve been to and I have massive professional and personal interest in Indieweb technologies. Its such a big thing I added it to my new years resolutions.

Explore the future of decentralised and distributed systems
This one is a combination of 2 of my  previous resolutions. Exploring the future of online dating with decentralise more. So more mastodon and more exploring Indie web technologies like Bridgy and Kinds. I’ve been really interested in these things for a long while.

Theres a whole bunch of interesting technologies I’ve been keeping an eye on, but never really had the time to spend really looking in-depth.

3 parties in a week, and all for 40

40th Birthday

My parents asked me what I want to do for my birthday late last year. They were thinking I could do a big party in Bristol. But I suggested why not have three of them instead?

Each party/bash representing a section of my life so far.

  • Bristol (0-19)
  • London (19-28)
  • Manchester (28-40)

40 years of opioninated conversation and living life to the maximum

Of course my parents thought it was too much, but I was certain it was a good idea and I could do it.

Happy to say I was right. I had planned to put in sometime at the theme parks of England (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool) but due to half-term decided I’d better not because I would end up in queues (Love the European theme parks for this). Plus I decided I could fit everything around work (or work around everything). I won’t lie, I would have been absolutely exhausted if I did!

Manchester party

So it happened and I was blown away by the friends and family who attended but also helped make the whole thing happen. Couldn’t have done it all without them! Thanks to everyone who came, gave their time, cards (I got so many cards I had to shift them around the flat) and even gifts. Also thanks for all the people who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it for different reasons.

Thank you to everyone again! 40 started with a bang, look out for 50 – ha!

The s*** storm which is Brexit

There is a really good opinion piece I read recently in open democracy from a leave voter. Who although holds on to her believes why she voted to leave but can’t bear to see the massive s*** storm which is about to tear the United Kingdom (ha!) apart.

The economic arguments for Brexit have been destroyed by a series of shattering blows

Take the deal, or maybe its pride which stops the UK from doing so?

So I argue, as a Brexiteer, that we need to take a long deep breath. We need to swallow our pride, and think again. Maybe it means rethinking the Brexit decision altogether.

Certainly it means a delay when we can think about it all in a period of calm. Europe is offering us this opportunity. President Tusk is ready to offer a year’s extension. I say: grab it with both hands.

I’ve been thinking for a long while its time to stop this craziness with a 2nd vote but those who voted leave will cry fowl or say we have undermined democracy. However deep down I think there are some critical reasons why this must happen…

The author pretty much writes the reasons in her post.

  1. Independence is it really worth the battle?

I respect those who say yes, all this is worth it to pursue a dream of independence. It is a noble dream. I share it. It is founded on Britain’s historic role as a proud nation that has repeatedly fought for freedom and liberty. I, too, am conscious of our magnificent history. In the 18th century we stood against the Bourbon dream of European hegemony. We liberated Europe from the Napoleonic domination of continental Europe at the start of the 19th century. And faced up to Nazi Germany in 1940.

But this is not 1939 or the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. History gets made and remade all the time. The European Union is not a dictatorship, as contemptuous of national identity as Napoleonic France. Nor can it be compared to Nazi Germany – a foolish analogy which has become an ugly cliché and displays an unforgivable failure to understand the true horror of recent European history. Nor is it any longer a socialist project as envisaged by Jacques Delors, let alone an evil empire, as some have characterised it.

Of course our looming privations and national isolation would be thoroughly worthwhile if we were confronting such a continental menace. Let others call us ridiculous: we would have a duty to stand alone. But is such language appropriate in a century when all our EU partners are democracies, and none poses the remotest threat of taking up arms against us? Donald Tusk, who will lead the EU heads of government when they meet next week to decide Britain’s future inside the union, is not Hindenberg. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is a genial, shrewd elderly man who (like me) enjoys the occasional drink.

I readily accept that the European Union is a dysfunctional body beset by all manner of problems. But the lesson of the last two years is that we are much better off working inside the EU (where we are greatly respected; it was British civil servants, remember, who wrote the rules of the single market) for reform and not as a hostile neighbour.

2. Will there be a United Kingdom left?

Moreover, there is a second reason for why I have changed my mind. The threat to the United Kingdom. This hits me like a massive punch in the stomach. When I cast my vote in 2016 I believed that the European Union was, if anything, a threat to our own union…

Like almost everybody else I underestimated the importance of the Good Friday Agreement

But I did not foresee that Brexit would threaten the continued existence of our kingdom as a union. I reckoned without the separatists within our nation who would push us apart, and seize on Brexit (as the Scottish nationalists are doing) as a reason to break up.

3. The vote was illegally and heavily manipulated – FACT

My third unhappiness concerns the integrity of some leading Brexiteers. We are learning more and more about the deceit and illegal tactics which accompanied the Leave campaign. Late last month, on a busy news day, Vote Leave dropped its appeal against a £61,000 fine for electoral offences committed during the referendum.

Allegations of illegal overspending are deeply worrying. Britain’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, fined Leave. EU and Eldon Insurance, an insurance company run by Leave’s Arron Banks, a total of £120,000 for breaking electoral marketing laws. The National Crime Agency is still investigating suspicions of criminal offences committed by the unofficial Brexit campaign during the referendum. Banks’ alleged links to Russian money are even more worrying. There have not yet been serious enough attempts to answer these questions.

Everyday I can’t watch the news to see the s*** storm getting darker and darker. I’m sure in many years things will get better but I currently estimate it will be 15-20 years.

How many black UK podcasts hosts are there?

The Black Detour

I was having a chat with someone (don’t have his card to hand) during a event in Salford University. We were talking about the perceptive podcasts application and podcasting industry in general. I was talking about how podcasting is/should/could be a different medium. There is still the opportunity to do new and interesting things with the format which suit/challenge the audience.

This lead into a discussion about diversity and how the established people are never going to be that interested. We zeroed in on ethic diversity

What we need is more diversity and new voices; not just in front of the microphone but as producers.“I power-phrase him saying.

This headed to towards a long discussion about how many black podcasts we have heard? I instantly talked about…

Then he dropped the bombshell, “what about the UK?

I found it very difficult to name any off the top of my head, so decided to asked the twit/fed-verse

A few people got back to me and I thought I’d share…

Then I found, podcasts in color which lists podcasts from people of colour (because actually its not about just one race). Its hard to work out which ones are UK but I found these.

There are many more but they don’t seem to be updated recently.

So the short answer is yes there are UK black podcasts but not as many as I would have liked. I’m planning to go back through this list and resources to find new podcasts to subscribe to.

podcasts in color

Interestingly James from podcast news pointed me at a piece of news about diversity in podcasts.

Dane Cardiel from Simplecast is “working closely with Dan and Jared on an initiative collecting input from podcasters of colour for the 2nd Annual Podcasters of Colour Networking Event at Podcast Movement 2019.” If you’re a podcaster of colour interested in participating in discussions later this month, here’s a form to fill in.

I missed my chance but good to know others are thinking about similar things.

On turning 40…

40 years of opinionated conversation and living life to the maximum

Soon I will turn 40. Most people fear or can’t imagine ever getting to 40 but I’m much less worried about that. I kind of feel young and although there are noticeable changes like grey hair in my facial hair, creaky knees and a noticeable lack of excess energy.

Regardless I’m still playing Volleyball regularly and trying a few other things including trying Basketball again (that was hard work!). My eye sight is incredible and off the charts for my age, I have been told.

Its funny how the things you do when you are young persist into older age. For example I can still be found with my diabolo on warm days or during the Manchester firejam. Still riding my skateboard when going short distances and considered getting rollerblades again. Convinced this is the future of transport and feel lucky to learned this when young.

My routine is still organised chaos but…  I like it that way and to be fair an ordinary life doesn’t interest me but its tricky as unconventional life isn’t always easy. Especially with a partner, but we manage by sharing calendars.

The only strange thing for me is being at the BBC for coming up to 15 years! I joined just after my birthday. I still feel quite young even with all the younger people I work with.

The 40th is usually a big one and as usual I decided to do something different for it. I decided to do 3 party’s, each one representing the three different cities/eras of my life so far.

  • Bristol (0-19)
  • London (19-28)
  • Manchester (29-40)

I had planned to fit theme park trips to Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Blackpool pleasure beach too. But frankly it was too much and with the Easter holidays it meant the parks would likely be packed with kids also trying to get on the rides.

Without a doubt, 40 is going to be fun!

IBM DIF project removes my flickr urls


Hopefully the final follow up from my post about facial recognitions dirty little secret millions of online photos scraped without consent. and the update.

Thank you for your prompt response. We confirm that we have deleted from the DiF dataset all the URLs linked to your Flickr ID and associated annotations. We have also deleted your Flickr ID from our records. IBM will require our research partners to comply with your deletion request and provide IBM with confirmation of compliance.

Best regards,

IBM Research DiF team

End of the matter, although part of me wants to contact everybody in the photos and tell them what happened. Not sure what that would achieve however?

Airbnb Has a Hidden-Camera Problem – You telling me?

Airbnb monitoring warning
You would never guess it was a listening device from the picture

I was reading a piece in the Atlantic about Airbnb and the camera problem.

Of course this has super relevance to me after my experience of a Airbnb in Barcelona last year.

Airbnb’s rules allow cameras outdoors and in living rooms and common areas, but never in bathrooms or anywhere guests plan to sleep, including rooms with foldout beds. Starting in early 2018, Airbnb added another layer of disclosure: If hosts indicate they have cameras anywhere on their property, guests receive a pop-up informing them where the cameras are located and where they are aimed. To book the property, the guests must click “agree,” indicating that they’re aware of the cameras and consent to being filmed.

I do find it really interesting because Airbnb class listening devices such as Amazon Alexa as cameras too. I did think this would be very difficult to police. The transparency is welcomed, as before you had to search pictures for anything which looked suspicious.

In January, Bigham discovered cameras in his rental that he says were never disclosed. After he reached out to the Trust & Safety team, representatives told him he and his family had in fact consented to the cameras because they were visibly displayed in photos on the listing. After Bigham’s blog post on the ordeal went viral, Airbnb apologized and refunded his money.

But Bigham says customer-service representatives for Airbnb twice sided against him before reversing their original decision, and only after his blog post was widely shared online.

“No one really seems to know what they’re doing,” Bigham said in an email. “And it seems like it’s only going to get worse.”

In a statement, Airbnb said: “We have apologized to Mr. Bigham and fully refunded him for his stay. We require hosts to clearly disclose any security cameras in writing on their listings and we have strict standards governing surveillance devices in listings. This host has been removed from our community.”

As usual the public stink causes Airbnb to actually do something. I wonder how many complaints get shoved under the carpet?

Google starts transcribing podcasts?

Android police podcats transcribed

Google is finally transcribing some podcasts… It made sense a long time ago and its happening for real. No april fools.

Google Podcasts is now automatically generating transcripts of episodes and is using them as metadata to help listeners search for shows, even if they don’t know the title or when it was published.

Its a shame its only for use in Google podcasts, but I guess nothing is free when it comes to tech corps.  I remember thinking Google was going to start doing this when Google talked about podcasts, and what a time to start doing it I guess?

But there are questions about which podcasts are transcribed, is there a waitlist, how do you opt out and of course horrible errors from an automated process.

I decided to get the Motiv Ring

Oura Ring vs Motiv Ring

I have been considering something else to help track different activities, since I lost the Mi Band 1. The pebble smartwatch is great for this but there is no way I can wear it while playing volleyball. I also found using gadgetbridge more painful than it needed to be.

While keeping my eyes open for alternatives, I seen Oura but not the Motiv. After reading about it against the Oura and then further reviews. I decided its worth trying. FIDO and 2FA swung it for me, so put down the money and bought one. I’m looking forward to giving it a proper review once I get it and try syncing data, etc. Hopefully its more spa proof than the pebble.

Waking up to the fire, Zucked…

Its been interesting to hear and read about Roger McNamee and his new book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

I’ve listened to a few podcasts with him talking away and I find it insightful.

I took him talking with a massive bucket of salt being a investor in Facebook in the past and even now. To be fair I heard about Roger before in previous articles such as An Apology for the Internet — From the Architects Who Built It, The Ugly Unethical Underside of Silicon Valley and Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who benefited from hugely profitable investments in Google and Facebook, has grown disenchanted with both companies, arguing that their early missions have been distorted by the fortunes they have been able to earn through advertising.

He identifies the advent of the smartphone as a turning point, raising the stakes in an arms race for people’s attention. “Facebook and Google assert with merit that they are giving users what they want,” McNamee says. “The same can be said about tobacco companies and drug dealers.”

That would be a remarkable assertion for any early investor in Silicon Valley’s most profitable behemoths. But McNamee, 61, is more than an arms-length money man. Once an adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, 10 years ago McNamee introduced the Facebook CEO to his friend, Sheryl Sandberg, then a Google executive who had overseen the company’s advertising efforts. Sandberg, of course, became chief operating officer at Facebook, transforming the social network into another advertising heavyweight.

McNamee chooses his words carefully. “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences,” he says. “The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”

Thanks to Herb who recommended links to me.

Updated….

I knew I heard him 3 times in recent times and thanks to Eastmad for reminding me he was on Team Human too. I actually recommended him to Herb.

https://twitter.com/cubicgarden/status/1108643229833015302

IBM Dif project returns the full list of photos scraped without consent

Then I got a further 2 replies from IBM. One of them is IBM asking if I want my GDPR data for everything regarding IBM? But the 2nd one is from IBM Diversity in faces project.
Thank you for your response and for providing your Flickr ID. We located 207 URLs in the DiF dataset that are associated with your Flickr ID. Per your request, the list of the 207 URLs is attached to this email (in the file called urls_it.txt). The URLs link to public Flickr images.
For clarity, the DiF dataset is a research initiative, and not a commercial application and it does not contain the images themselves, but URLs such as the ones in the attachment.
Let us know if you would like us to remove these URLs and associated annotations from the DiF dataset. If so, we will confirm when this process has been completed and your Flickr ID has been removed from our records.
Best regards,
IBM Research DiF Team

So I looked up how to Wget all the pictures from the text file they supplied. and downloaded the lot, so I can get a sense of which photos were public/private and if the licence was a conflict. I think hiding behind the notion of the link is a little cheeky but theres so much discussion about hyperlinking to material.

Most of the photos are indeed public but there are a few which I can’t find in a public image search. If they are private, then somethings wrong and I’ll be beating IBM over the head with it.

Is everything public on social media fair game?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/xdxd_vs_xdxd/6829374609/

Of course I would say not exactly, especially in the face of the  IBM’s Diversity in Faces project which I wrote about here and got a initial reply here. But its a interesting question which prompts the post, scientists like me are studying your tweets are you ok with that?

“Public” is the magic word when it comes to research ethics. “But the data is already public.” That was the response from Harvard researchers in 2008, when they released a data set of college students’ Facebook profiles, and from Danish researchers in 2016, when they released a data set scraped from OKCupid. The regulatory bodies that oversee research ethics (like institutional review boards at U.S. universities) usually don’t consider “public” data to be under their purview. Many researchers see these review boards as the arbiters of what’s ethical; if it’s not something that the boards care about, then it can’t be unethical, right?

Whether the data is public or not is important for ethical decision-making — in fact, it’s necessary.

There is a old-school hacker thing, that anything public is public and if you don’t want it public don’t put it online. But to be fair that idealistic view before the likes of cloud services broke the notion badly.

However there is a question for research which upholds its self above the likes of commercial companies.  I know being in the research field myself, research and the ethics boards are really strict with this all. To be fair I’m glad of this because I’ve seen too many bad uses of public data including semi-public (dating site data for example) and heck private data!

As researchers, we have a responsibility to acknowledge that factors like the type of data, the creator of that data, and our intended use for the data are important when it comes to using public information. These factors must inform the decisions we make about whether and how to collect data and to report findings. I hope the work that my collaborators and I are doing will help to inform best practices, so that, in the end, we can continue to contribute great science to the world while also respecting the people who share their data with us every day.

Absolutely!

Now can some tell IBM this too?

Tokyo always looks incredible

Tokyo always looks incredible, except when you have a dirty lens

Davide Sasso's picture of tokyo in the rsain

From Creative boom

In his series, Tokyo Dream Distance, Davide Sasso wandered the streets of Tokyo at night, capturing the neon-lit streets, reflected in the rain.s

Inspired by his favourite films – Blade Runner, Akira and Enter the Void – as well as video games like Final Fantasy VII and Snatcher, these photographs are seductive, nostalgic yet manage to capture the modern vibrancy of the world’s largest city.

The pictures are stunning and well worth looking have a look at. But I have to say and no disrespect to Davide, Tokyo just looks incredible at night full stop. Its a shame my lens on my camera wasn’t clean as theres lots of smear marks in my photos.

Smuged Tokyo street

Reply from IBM about my online photos scraped without consent

Diversity in Faces(DiF)

Following my post about facial recognitions dirty little secret millions of online photos scraped without consent. I got a reply from Flickr and IBM’s Diversity in Faces project.
First Flickr’s automated email…

Hi ian,

Thanks for reaching out to us!

We’ve received your message and will be responding as quickly as possible. In the meantime, do visit the Flickr Help Forum and our Help Center as the answer to your question may be found there.

We look forward to connecting and will be in touch soon.

Cheerfully,
The Flickr Team

Already Pro? Then expect a response shortly, because you are already in our VIP queue! (Make sure to write to us using the email address on your Pro account.)

Dear Ian,
Thank you for your email.
The Diversity in Faces (DiF) project, referenced in your request below, is a non-commercial, research initiative. The DiF dataset includes a list of URLs (but not the images themselves), linking to publicly available images on Flickr under certain creative commons licenses, along with associated annotations. We have taken great care to ensure that the DiF dataset does not include Flickr IDs or any other Flickr identifiers of individuals.
In order to respond to your request, we will need to locate the URLs in the DiF dataset that are linked to your Flickr ID (if any). To do this, we will need your Flickr ID, along with your express consent to use it for the sole purpose of locating such URLs and responding to your request.  Separately, if you would like us to, we can remove any URLs of images linked to your Flickr ID from the DiF dataset.  Please confirm this by reply.
After conducting our search, we will delete your Flickr ID from our records, and if you so request, we will also remove any URLs and associated annotations from the DiF dataset connected to your Flickr ID. We will confirm when this process has been completed.
With respect to your request to access your personal data processed by IBM outside the DiF project, you will be contacted separately by the IBM Data Subject Rights Operations Team (Email at ibm.com) to proceed with your request.
Let us know if you have any questions or how we can further assist you with your request.
IBM Research DiF Team