Chris moneymaker wins poker world series

Dave, alerted me to the fact that this years poker world series was won by a guy who regularly played poker on the internet. He had hardly played in real life and entered the world series only because he won a internet tournment which had cost him 40 dollars. So yeah from 40 to 2,500,000 dollars aint bad for the american bank accountant.

Some links dave sent me,, google search for chris moneymaker and this months wired's magazine A piece of the action

The greater question I guess is how much is poker reading and how much is reading players? Most poker players upto now subscribe to reading players and cards second. What does Moneymaker's success say about this? Maybe poker is all about rounders after all.

Some interesting links I picked up about stratergy using computer ai.
The New Card Shark and
The University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group and there Java Poker Client for Windows and for Linux/OSX

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Phrack is back

Man I feel so lame sometimes, there is so much to read online and I dont ever have the time to sit and read it. I thought having a personal aggerator would be a good way of filtering the noise. And it is but I'm finding so much I cant run through it because there not rss feeds.

Now my solution to this problem is using cocoon's aggerator generator, I can grab a html page, tidy it into xhtml and extract the bits needed for a valid rss feed. And I can see it working, but its alot of hardwork for a simple job.
_life is ment to be hard_ says me.

Anyway the sites I would start off with, phrack and ntk.

If you dont know phrack, then your've never heard of 2600 or anything like that, its time to learn. It describes its self as 'a Hacker magazine by the community, for the community' and yep they've been there since the mid 80's believe it or not. I still remember getting there txt files from bbs's and ftps on my old st. Anyway they always have the fresh news of exploits and hacks, all rounded up in a humourous not too serious container. Its spot on, trust me.

Anyway, they have put all there archives and all new issues online in grabble txt files within logical folders. Even though everything is in txt i should beable to do simple aggeration like pulling all the txt files together into one large one. Perfect for reading on my ipaq.

NTK is a odd one, I like it but I dont. There content is great and so fresh, but there style and presentation is enough to put me off from reading it regularly. Anyway Dave usually tells me all I _need to know_ from NTK. Hehe.

But anyway, yes I like your content and I want to represent it in something less html and more xml based so the presentation is very seperate from the content.

Now one of the things I could do is grab there main pages and tidy it then turn it into rss. But have you seen the mess which is there pages? Yuk, span elements everywhere. Oh well at least its not like there menus which are full of dont tags.

Anyway, if I get time I may write the xsl to do the transformations, sure others would be interested.

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Open source really pays

So where did it all start?

Well we needed a blogger app for staff and students to blog from anywhere in the college. And our college has the additional problems of using mac as well as pcs and laptops not only desktops.

So how would we do this? Well I evaluated many blogger apps but they were either too complex or not cross platform. But yes there was one which was simple and cross platform. Chronicle lite

Anyway theres major problems with the graphics display on mac osx, so much of a problem I sent Paul a screenshot of the problem.
Paul replied that he had no mac to test on and that he wouldnt support the mac because of that. Oh, were a little stuck then?

Not if we send him a mac complete with osx! Yes thats right, we are going to send Paul a mac so he can fix the problem and maybe do some of the things we want to include into clite. Obviously because clite is opensource, everything we suggest for development will be open to everyone. Its a odd sitution because everyone wins. Paul gets a new mac, we get unlimited licences of software which does what we want and everyone else can use the same software with or without modifications. Yep the only people loosing out are those who charge for software. It really does pay to go opensource

And in the spirit of opensource, I will now be plugging clite and its development when ever i can. lol.

Oh and here's Pauls wishlist if anyone else feels the need to help him out.

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Flash mobbing

Heard about flash mobbing a while back but knew of it as flocking smart.What ever the hell you call it, its finally come to the UK. Hurahhh.

Heres a story, Cities on 'flash mob' hitlist from the BBC
And they provides some good links in related section.
London Mob,
Warren Ellis' weblog ,
Cheese Bikini,

Its kinda of like meetup
with no reason. Cant see it lasting too long once you get thousands of people going to one place, then the police get called and people get arrested. Blah blah blah… Of course it will go underground again, like most things.

Its already happening actually.

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What is kinship?

I asked miles, about kinship and he wrote me a fantastic email back explaining not only what it was but its relationship with ontologies, etc. I hope miles you didnt mind me blogging it

> I came across the term at that thing on Wednesday.
> And started wondering how this relates to semantics? For example
> wouldnt social organization just be another ontology?

Your man at the mobile ponytail conference seems to be using “kinship” as a buzzword – it's characteristic of designers to strip language of meaning in pursuit of trendiness /images/emoticons/happy.gif

Is social organisation an ontology? Hmm.

It seems to me there are two (or maybe more, but I will consider two) kinds of ontology: constructed ontologies, and natural ontologies. Natural ontologies are wired into the human brain, and are presumably evolved classificatory mechanisms.

Natural ontologies are those expressed by children, or culturally universal. For example, children have no difficulty distinguishing the animate from the inanimate, or the dead from the living from the never alive. To a certain extent, natural ontologies overlap with culturally approved constructed ontologies, and contribute directly to epistemology.

Constructed ontologies require a more “sophisticated” view of the world. For example, children may not be able to make the same kinds of distinctions between sanity and insanity that adults are able to, and, therefore, are ontologically blind to a classification system that distinguishes the rational from the irrational.

In the wacky, wacky world of computer science, an “ontology” (and I presume this is where you came across the word) it the relationship amongst objects you have to tell a computer to make it seem like it understands constructed or natural ontologies. For example, you would need to tell a computer the relationship between “hardcore” and “porn” so that a search containing those two terms as positive assertions didn't return results about building materials or music. So, in the computer sense of things, kinship is an ontology that is, a manifest describing the relationships amongst blood relatives.

But outside of computer science, kinship precedes ontology. That is, we have no reason to suspect that ants or bees have the concept of ontology, but, clearly, their social actions are constrained by kinship. This is because kinship isn't written in the genes (in people, natural ontology is written in the genes, or at least, in the expression of the genes), it _is_ the genes. Kinship is the measure of shared genetic material (your kin share your genes, and the closer your kin, the more genes they share). So, kinship is not imposed on living matter through intellect or instinct – it is a fact of living matter.

Kinship is only distantly related to social organisation (though many primitive” societies are organised along kin lines) in human beings. We do not form organised collectives because we are related, but because we are able to articulate common purpose at a “higher” level.Bees and ants do what they do because the others in their colony are their sisters: this is not what guides our social collectives. At best, ontology can only apply to social organisation at a meta-level (classifying the terms we use for social organisation is an ontology).

Please note this was slightly edited.

I have little to say in return for now, except this is a great starting point and it may be very relvent for work in the future. Now if only I could find a visual topic map editor.

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Got this email from Dave today

If you are tired up creating mail accounts anonymously only to have an
access to a website, here's a nice solution. Just give a mail address
of the form “” and you'll get the access codes
easily at /images/emoticons/wink.gif That address is only for
receiving and it's up for three days. Everybody else can read mails
sent to that address. Go there and see what kind of mail has got /images/emoticons/happy.gif

And boy oh boy was I impressed by the simple solution to junk email this is. My only hope is that it wont get flooded with use that they will have to take it down or charge for it. Also had a good read of the authors thoughts on mailinator at his own blog.
Also the FAQ blog cover everything you ntk about the service.

Been reading through his other blogs too and they seem kinda interesting. Might add him to my feeds, if i can find his rss link.

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I was meant to be learning Python while on my holidays but that plan got slightly disrupted with crazy nights out on the town in Manchester and long sleeps to recover. No worries, I guess its what I should be doing on holiday anyway. However in between all the crazy nights, I did manage to start to jiggle things around on a couple of domains I own.

I recently switched over the commenting system within my blog to Disqus. The main reason is because lots of people comment elsewhere on my blog entries and I wanted to find a way to aggregate them and reply to them sensibly. Disqus also has a import and export ability which will be useful for when I do finally move my blog to wordpress.

As many of you might have seen, a while back I made a static summary page about myself on After a while it refreshes and send you to the blog url. Some people have asked me how to avoid the landing page (as such). Simple just type or even Most modern browsers will autotype in previous locations you've been to, so you don't need to type the lot. However this is a temporary solution. I originally wanted to install Sweetcron at, so people could see what else I get up to elsewhere online. But then I found Storytlr which allows you to semi-host a lifestream under your own url. Friend feed and tublr get a mentioned a lot in this space but to be honest storytlr was ideal. So you can get to that stream by now going to Enjoy…

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Give it to the children

I went to this thing yesterday with Dave and SarahK. It was better than I expected and hosted at the design council, Convert Garden. The title was – Understanding the future of mobile devices, which instantly rings alarm bells in my head.

It was my first time to this event, so I was a little uneasy about the format of the meeting (as such), not enough questions from the floor for my liking and no real debate. But I was attracted to the event my friend dmarks and by the listings of previous meetings, also on the website.

The key points for me were Joe Odukoya's talk, which was a round up of different technologies and when were expecting to see them become common place. I did question the lack of discovery in his chart but mainly to start a debate, which didnt work. But yeah over all good simple and entertaining presentation. Just the kinda person I would invite to talk in college. Maybe just maybe?
One of the suprising things for me was the fact eastern markets prefer cables, hence why bluetooth, wifi and even infra red were not common place. Scarey! Also he pointed out the America market is run by the corps while the european market is run by consumers, hence why wireless instant messaging will be more popular here than wireless email or push to talk.

Ok till then I was ok with everything, then this guy Dr Simon Roberts does his presentation.
He presented the idea of bottom up content rather than top down – yes because we havent heard that before. But then he went off on how the early adopters are to blame for a lot the issues with mobile technology. I was like what the fcuk! Anyway, it didnt take long for people to challenge him and a guy from IDEO said the most sensible thing of the night. Give the technology to the kids and they will do something different. The point he was putting across was the fact technology when it first comes out is expensive, yes of course the early adopters will be a certain group. Make it cheap and afforable and give it away and you will see a new group of early adopters doing different things.
Early adoption isnt bad, just in its current state only a few can be the adopters.
However Simon did bring up some good points and a subject I've never heard of before. Kinship? – I tapped down, The study of linkage, Relationship of people and content.
And i was wondering how sematics and otologies fits into this?
Also he had some good quotes including this one. We use people to find content, we use conent to find people
and this European have a fear of falling. Eastern Asians have a playful nature.

Remind myself to get there early next time and get a seat in the crowd rather than the edge. Will be going to the next event for sure…

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Designer rooms

Smartmobs found another good link. And brings back the issue of collabration spaces. Well for me it has.
Great stuff from Carnegie Mellon University all the same

But as usual a few things,
The Barn records TWI and allows people to jump to those points like chapters of a meeting. But someone has to hit a button? Why? Wouldnt it be a better idea if the system realised this was a TWI or at least a chapter point rather than someone out of character hitting a button?

Why does a person have to login if there wearing RFID tags? Surely the rfid tags would be part of larger system in the business? Simular to the way most employees have swipe cards.

The all important question is then, what is the meeting stored in? That is crutical to the whole system. Can I extract bits out of it, can I only watch one person or a group of people, can I get a highlight of the TWI's, etc, etc.

I wrote a schema for meeting minutes in my college and its going to be put into use very soon. But it was made for conversion afterwards, so I never interfere with the note taker. I did think about a app which could be built which would guide or assist the note taker though the process of writing structured meeting notes. The notes would then be added to the background information like who attened, the time and date, etc to make structured meeting minutes.
Even thought something like a tablet pc would be the perfect tool for such a thing. But I know how much people love to write on paper – maybe that OCR plugin would be useful david after all.

Anyway, i'm going off topic here.
I do think CMU are doing a good job, but I'm more interesting in keeping it real and would like to see more work done in the area of assisting current methods of recording meetings and collabration sessions.

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