Help in seeking the Sundia LED kit battery

Jamming with a LED diabolo - Photo credit Ian Wilson

Daylight is drawing in earlier and earlier every day and because of that, lights are extremely useful when using the Diabolo during dusk. Not only that, it looks frankly amazing. It also means the monthly Firejam in Castlefield bowl has started up again.

Dusting off my LEDs and adding them to the Diabolo again. However there is a problem. I am pretty much in love with Sundia Diabolos and the battery in my Sundia LED kit is pretty much dead. Can I get another one? Not a chance, its sold out everywhere it seems.

Sundia Diabolo LED kit uncovered

After unscrewing the LED kit, I noticed a small rechargeable battery like the Pacemaker one. Currently it all works when plugged into MiniUSB (bottom left), which clearly suggests the battery isn’t holding any power anymore. So I  decided to look into getting a replacement battery because its worked so well for my Pacemaker device and I’m about to do similar for my pebble smart watches.

However I can not find the battery type or anything about it. I assume its a 3.7V tiny lipo Li Polymer rechargeable battery with a connector but I can’t confirm this at all. Both sides of the battery have no details except a slightly faded Sundia wording. I also don’t see anything on the circuit board but I’m sure someone reading knows or can help me.

The circuit board details

I think this might do the job but anyone who can point me would be massively useful.

Paypal goes crypto

Use Paypal to buy Crypto We all knew it was coming but it feels so strange seeing Paypal supporting Crypto. Especially certain ones over others.

Confirming crypto in Paypal

At least there is more terms and conditions before you can actually buy.

Buying etherum in PaypalActually buying some Ethereum is pretty straight forward. You can pick anything linked to Paypal including your credit and debit cards (which is slightly troubling).

Having bought a little bit, it seems to be stuck in Paypal. I couldn’t find any wallet address or a way to send the bought funds to other own crypto wallets. Maybe that might come but I doubt it.

 

If I only knew it was called Parallel play

Parallel play in a coffee shop

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

For the longest time, I have felt slightly guilty when sitting with someone I know but kinda ignoring them while I do something else.

Its something I have apologized a lot for in the past. However it wasn’t till Hannah shared a NYTimes piece which pointed to a social state we currently only apply to children. That social state is called parallel play, and it comes with a massive amount of benefits for both adults.

For adults, what makes parallel play different than two people ignoring each other in the same room is a secure foundation underpinning their relationship, explained Dr. Amir Levine, a psychiatrist and co-author of “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — And Keep — Love.” “Parallel play is one of the hallmarks of secure relationships, but it has to be done right,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s all about availability. If you know that the other person is available and that, if you need them, they will pay attention to you, then you feel secure.”

Not sure why I felt so guilty about it before, maybe I could track it down to previous relationships (which might not have been as secure). It all made sense in my head but I started confirming everything was ok then feeling guilty?

However I certainly down for much more parallel play and the guilt is gone now.

Remember those books?

Design is about removing friction?
I was reminded of a number of design books I read when in College and University. They were held up as the way to do good design. Its something I did explore at UCD gathering last year.

Remember…

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Hooked by Nir Eyal

Made to stick by Chip Heath, Dan Heath (although this isn’t what I remember it to be)

Even reading the titles now makes it very clear how much things have changed.

A giant adventure in Ireland mix

Northern Ireland coast I got away for the first time during the pandemic. It was an adventure taken on my motorcycle. I of course took the pacemaker device out for the first time in a long time, so I did a mix while in hotel rooms. I did start a mix with key parts of the journey but it was long and didn’t really work together. Instead I took the Ireland part and skipped a few tunes to make this frankly great mix. Its quite different starting with some classic Orbital and ending at Home. Along the path, there’s lots of new tunes which I haven’t used before. What I like about this mix is the gel of the tunes and mixing.  I also quite like the vocals in the mix which add something special to the whole thing.

Enjoy the mix, which is a new entry in journey with pacemaker mixes on my mini mixcloud (where you can hear it at super high quality and download it.

  1. Belfast – Orbital
  2. Eye – Ma5Haria
  3. Suru (Martin Roth Nu-Style remix) – Super8 & Tab
  4. Pǝsnɟuoɔ (Confused) – Laurent Garnier
  5. A break in the clouds (Main mix) – Holden
  6. Chordplay – Oliver Smith
  7. Are you one of us (Cabriolet Paris remix) – Kyau & Albert
  8. Dust in the wind – Arnej
  9. Laguna – Protoculture
  10. Polarize (Second sine remix) – Snejider
  11. Avenue (Club mix) – Paul Van Dyk
  12. Floyd (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  13. Home (Cosmic gate remix) – Paul Van Dyk Feat. Johnny Mcdaid

Updated on Sunday 26th September, a giant adventure in Ireland is now number 98th in the tech trance chart.

Mixcloud chart

My experience: Sept 20 years later

Airplane window view

9/11/2001 has a strange feeling for me. It was a sad time seeing so many people die or badly affected by terrorism.

I had started working in the university I went to for my undergraduate degree (Ravensbourne). I remember a colleague telling me a plane had hit the twin towers and by the time I got to the TVs in the reception area, the 2nd one had hit. Quite a lot of people watched as the first tower collapsed.

It was completely unreal and sad to see.


There is something which did happen in the weeks later, still in September into early October.

I had finished my degree and 6 years of education, so I really needed a proper break. For a while after 9/11, most of the flights were grounded just in-case. Then in Europe the airspaces opened up again. Needing the break I booked a holiday. I looked around and found some incredible deals, because no one was flying.

The holiday deal I went for was 2 weeks in the hills of San Antonio (Ibiza) self catering complete with flights from either London Heathrow or Gatwick. The total cost was 30 pounds to me, it was 20 pounds per person but I needed to pay a single supplement fee of 10 pounds to my ticket (of course I didn’t grumble). I did ask friends if they wanted to come with me but no one wanted to go (heck I even offered to pay for their ticket holiday), as I said no one was flying anywhere. Partly due to fear, jobs, etc…

My parents tried to convince me not to go but I needed the break so badly and was going regardless.

Ibiza for a total of £30 was incredible and was massively different to when I went in 1998 (thats a story in its self). Yes I needed to walk into the town but it wasn’t too far and it was the first time I started taking my laptop on holiday. I remember working on my new website cubicgarden.com next to the pool and at the outdoor bar, hotel wifi wasn’t really common then but I made do as most of the stuff was local web development.

I did a lot of things including going clubbing a lot but it was all locals which was actually very cool. I had gotten use to clubbing with locals and not speaking the language while in Berlin, so I was fine with everything. It was great without those annoying reps and endless drunken people stumbling around the streets. I hadn’t really got into drinking or cocktails at that point of my life and looking back now a lot happened in the years following including going to America a lot.

In one picture: The internet now and into the future

Breath in and out the internet

I have to give credit to Bill Thompson for his thoughts around the public service internet. In one of our conversations Bill suggested a need for a picture to sum up the internet now and where we are going.

It feels like two pictures, but images can be powerful and stoke up vivid responses in the mind. Its a challenge I have been thinking about quite a bit and put it on the Publicspaces international matrix chat (#PublicSpacesInt:matrix.org).

Challenge for you all… If there was one picture which would sum up the state of the internet now, what would it be? Also what picture would sum up the internet if things go the way you would like what would it be?

Theres been a few entries but my favorite so far has been Erik who posted the one above.

This image would probably sum up my ideal internet as a magical portal to empower yourself with all the knowledge, and a connection to all the people in the world.

Others saw this as a way of breathing new life into the internet. While I started thinking about modifying the picture into something with multiple people breathing life into the internet (closer to this in nature). I like this image but don’t like the fact shes looking at her phone, likewise this image is striking but hands behind her back feels less participatory that where I think we are going. This is better but needs multiple people working together.

Like my colleagues in BBC R&D looking to change the way AI and Machine learning are displayed in the general media. I think I might take it upon myself to craft something using inkscape/glimpse and lots of creative commons media. Just something which speaks closer to what I think I’m going for when I talk about public service internet.

Love to know what others come up with?

Moving from Goodreads to Bookwyrm

BookWyrm

I have expressed my annoyance of Goodreads along with so many others. When I read this piece about Bookwyrm, I pretty much moved instantly.

Good to see Data-portability working as it should. About 2mins to export my reading lists and books out of Goodreads and then about 3mins to pick an instance of Bookwyrm and setup an account, then about 5mins to import the books and lists.

Great stuff!

My motorcycle holiday, circling the Isle of man

My journey map

I am back from the holiday circling the Isle of Man. It was a scary at first but a incredible journey. Its these type of things which really challenge you and makes you realize you can do so much more.

There is a lot to this journey which I’ll add more to once I sort out pictures, videos, etc. But generally I wanted to start the blog and see what I can add later (any suggestions are welcomed)

To answer my own points…

  • Its right at that place where I’m slightly scared and excited at the same time. Its been a while

the causeway coastal route

it was amazing and although quite scary at points, its made me want to do more traveling by scooter. There were moments when you remember the corners have no barrier especially on the causeway coastal route down from the Causeway to Belfast. Amazing path but also needs to be treated with caution.

Coastal road

In the end I got off the causeway coastal route at Larne only because it was getting dark and actually cold. The path is amazing full of spots to stop and even sit on the beach. With more time I would likely have stopped but the time was moving towards darkness and I certainly didn’t fancy the causeway coastal route in the darkness.

Mourne Mountains path

Going back on myself at Newcastle to ride through the Mourne Mountains was incredible, so quiet and I did consider doing the whole loop around.

Mountain ride

I did go to the giant causeway but it was fully booked, I really should have booked it soon as I knew but I’ll be back

  • I get to visit a new country

Sign for Derry

I have never been to Northern Ireland and always wanted to check it out. Although its part of the UK, its quite different and I found Belfast very different from other cities in the UK. Those motorways felt like something out of Ridge Racer. I will have to go back without the scooter to check out the scene within the city including the many museums.

I did get to Derry and saw some of the incredible wall art but didn’t get a chance to snap any while riding, I generally turn my GoPro off while in most built up areas. I certainly like to do a tour of the wall art next time.

  • I get to drive in Europe at long last

Ok yes Ireland is left hand drive, but technically I did drive in Europe and kind of forgot to take a picture of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (which if you have been paying attention doesn’t exist for good reason) but I was expecting something saying you have crossed over. On this note I did take my passport and driving license but never once showed it or was asked for it.

  • I do it all without flying, although I do wonder if the scooter’s overall carbon footprint is so great or not

I could work it all out but haven’t tried yet. In total I did 826.4 miles from home to home over 5 days, stopped for fuel 9 times but sometimes to just to top up the tank just in-case. In total I spent about 60 pounds on fuel but the price varied a lot between countries and where I was (motorway vs city)

Here is the full details, after the fold…

Continue readingMy motorcycle holiday, circling the Isle of man

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Sept 2021)

Metaverse

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the lack of coverage for facebook whistleblower sophie zhang, thinking about those batteries and yet another data breach.

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 seeing twitter crop bias bug bounty, the discussion about removing the landline and the social dilemma free on youtube for a month.


Tech Crunch gets on the moving train

Ian thinks: Reading this, I can’t really take Techcrunch seriously, because for every one of these startups focused on privacy and security. Theres at least 20 more startups covered the opposite. Maybe its just me?

Envisioning the future of social media

Ian thinks: This interview with Ethan Zuckerman is full of some great points to get you thinking, I find it hard to disagree with Ethan especially around using affordances and setting up small town based on Mastodon.

Values not eyeballs please

Ian thinks: Its always interesting to hear from experts in the space, on the work you are involved in. Its a really good read especially if you haven’t come across the Human Values, which also has new podcast interviews.

Apple cares about your privacy?

Ian thinks: I do find it so ironic, Apple making a song a dance about their privacy changes but their own browser Safari, not including any strong level of privacy? Of course Apple are in privacy hot water for much more too.

What is really behind Only Fans new policy? and its Uturn?

Ian thinks: There is a important question about the platform and who has influence over the platform. As this twitter thread says, you really need to think about the platform & infrastructure,

The dystopia which is the metaverse

Ian thinks: There is so much talk about the metaverse but few looking at the privacy, security, infrastructure and trust within this space. Till then I can’t help but think Vice is kind of right.

Its started with a MP3 player

Ian thinks: Dan Hon’s rant starts with a want and spans the internet media ecosystem, pointing out so many of the problems we all know too well.

Blackhat & Defcon happened, here’s the scary flaws

Ian thinks: I always love seeing what comes out of these security events. You can also watch the full videos from Blackhat and Defcon online here.

Web Monetization showcase

Ian thinks:The webmon showcase is a nice summary of some of the projects which came out of the Grant for the web initiative

Mozilla thumbs down Facebooks claims about Ad Observer

Ian thinks: Its so interesting to see Facebook’s concerns around Ad observer squashed in one post by the privacy first Mozilla. This is deeply concerning behavior, what is Facebook worried about?


Find the archive here

Circling the Isle of man without touching it

Common travel area by scooter map
About 600 miles of traveling

I mentioned traveling the common travel area as a holiday and I decided it needed to happen. Especially since the weather is actually going to be pretty good throughout the whole holiday (even in Northern Ireland)

I decided to do the loop in an anti-clockwise way because I wanted to visit Northern Ireland when the weather was at its best.

My Honda silverwing ready to go

So why…?

  1. Its right at that place where I’m slightly scared and excited at the same time. Its been a while
  2. I get to visit a new country
  3. I get to drive in Europe at long last
  4. I do it all without flying, although I do wonder if the scooter’s overall carbon footprint is so great or not

Good enough reasons for a holiday  I think

Maybe I’ll one day actually ride the scooter around the Isle of Man in my own TT

Traveling the common travel area by scooter?

Common travel area by scooter map
About 600 miles of traveling

Originally I booked a holiday in Portugal as a personal incentive for having the Covid19 vaccine. However during Euro 2021, Portugal was moved from the Green countries to the Amber countries. Although double jabbed, I made a call once I finally understood what I would need to do in regards to tests and finally cancelled the trip (the incentive worked, I could cancel most of it and I am generally trying to fly less).

However I still have the time off and started thinking what I could do with the time which is different from my usual days?

This is when I thought, I have never been to Northern Ireland and wanted to visit the giants causeway. While looking around at ferry’s trying to avoid going into Ireland I found out there is no tests to enter Ireland/Europe as its now part of the common travel area.

Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

I’ve been thinking what if I travel from Manchester, England to Hollyhead, North Wales, get the ferry across to Dublin, Ireland. Travel up to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Then get a ferry across to Cairnryan, Scotland then travel back to Manchester, England! One massive loop. Going to all of the United Kingdom and a part of Europe on my scooter?

My Honda silverwing ready to go

This would knock the long running new years resolution to drive in Europe and also kinda visit a new country.

Its also going to be social distanced if I’m riding my scooter most of the time. Perfect pandemic holiday eh?

Its about 600 miles of travel and two ferries crossings but I think with good weather its possible with a few stops in hotels and with friends.

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.

This is no longer, just some dating yarns

Myself working in a coffee shop
Working away in Ezra & Gil coffee shop

You might be wondering whats happened to the book I’ve been writing: The fictional dating book. You might remember in my new years resolution I had planned to get it done by next year. Of course this is an aim rather than a absolute deadline.

This is whats happened so far…

  • I wrote a bunch of interesting dates down (only the ones which were memorable because something note worth happened, this is no judgement – but we all got dates when you can’t believe that happened)
  • Hannah approached me after a presentation about the future of dating. Hannah took my very rough drafts, rewrote them and turned them into actual stories (I can’t tell you how much hard work Hannah put into this)
  • We went back and forth for a while but got to a place where it was making a really good read. Totally blew me away when I read (listened to) the whole thing in one single night.
  • We looked for someone with fresh eyes to read the book and make comments and edits. Valeska agreed and has done a great job.
  • I am currently going through Valeska’s comments and suggestions (there is a lot of them). Shes also echoed Hannah’s thoughts for more clear structure too.
  • I have also looked around for an illustrator for the chapters and sections. I may have found someone really good for this.

The current book overview
The current book overview, running from front to back cover

So that’s where we are now. 8 core sections with 2-4 stories and a introduction and conclusion for each. 34000+ words and 94 pages (if they are standard A4 and JB6 format?). Originally I was planning to self-publish through Amazon, its something I have done previously with a ebook for thinking digital as a test. but multiple people have convinced me I should share a few chapters or a section with a book publishers. Who knows what might happen? Speaking to a few printer friends and there were good offers to print off a small run of about 25 full bounded books. So who knows at the very least I will have a book and ebook.

The biggest question is what is the book, whats the elevator pitch for the book? This is a very good question and one both Hannah and Valeska have asked me over and over again.

I have described it as a modern take on Adrian Moles diary but its certainly evolved a lot and includes so much more about myself within the book. Even which category would you find the book, is a tricky question. Its mainly fiction (informed by experience), part non-fiction, slightly political and touch of self-help.

Personally I am excited but also a little concerned. Its one thing to write a blog about these things but for it be published is something else. Of course its the work of fiction, which I don’t personally read that much (last fiction book I read was a Cory Doctorow book), making things even stranger.

I’ll also be retiring datingyarns.com for now, which had a couple of my own stories on there. I won’t take them down because the ones in the book are a million times better and who knows I may use the site to promote the book in the near future. Although the book is no longer just dating yarns…

I was always scared of tresor mix

Tresor I had the absolute joy to see Laurent Garnier at the Manchester International festival recently (July 2021). During his video there was lots of references to different things in his career including Manchester and also Berlin. There was a distinct moment when I turned to my sister and whispered, I have been to many clubs in Berlin during the first 15 years of the fall of the Berlin wall, but Tresor scared me and I never went because of the fear. I had heard too many stories of this hard techno/gabba club and the crazy things which could happen in the darkness of the disused bank vaults. Do I regret not going? A bit, but it was genuinely a little scary especially with me not speaking German. Maybe this is why Victoria resonated with me. Its certainly a stronger almost techno mix with no let up in pace and heavy beats. Look out for the Acid Trax! Its a classic killer! Imagine dancing in a vault in the dark to the raw sounds of the TB 303!

Enjoy the mix, which is another entry in the locked down, mixing out album of mixes. Also linked on my DJ blog.

  1. Acid drops – Meanwhile, back in communist Russia
  2. M.I.L.F – Laurent Garnier
  3. Trick – Carlo Ruetz
  4. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  5. Beat (Da Boxx) – Laurent Garnier
  6. Energy Flash – Joey Beltram
  7. Acid Trax (album version) – Phuture
  8. System hack – Carlo Ruetz
  9. Intruder – Armin van Buuren vs M.I.K.E
  10. Shnorkel – Miki Latvak & Ido Ophir
  11. Pǝsnɟuoɔ (Confused) – Laurent Garnier
  12. Rheinkraft – Oliver Klein
  13. Subrasumstimulation (Johnson mix) – Oliver Lieb
  14. Interstate Emperors – Jeffed

Wednesday 18th August

Its been a while but getting some good responses to this mix.

57th in the global tech trance charts

There should be a digital public bench here

Nurse on the wall of the Northern Quarter
Public wall space given over for public wall art in the Northern Quarter

I recently went on a Manchester International Festival tour with the amazing Skyliner (Hayley Flynn). One of them was centered around the history of Manchester’s Northern Quarter (meant to be the Eastside). It was a very good tour but I could tell there was much more Skyliner wanted to talk about in the short amount of time of the tour. Lucky for me, I had booked myself the week afterwards on another tour, There Was a Bench Here Once 

Join us on a search for lost public spaces: places where we could once have sat, pondered and watched the world, vanished benches and much-missed opportunities to interact with the streets around us. Visiting sites where we could once idle and dwell, we’ll talk about the importance of those spaces between places, drawing on the works of urbanists William H Whyte and Jane Jacobs to discover the importance of streetlife as we discover what and who you could once have seen and met at city-centre locations across history.

Its was great tour, where I learned about a space which is Salford’s Green Gate square (the Piccadilly Gardens of Salford). Its a really nice public space but not very inviting although everything is there including good seating, a large open space, fountains and even views of the river (although the river irwell not exactly picturesque at that point)

Greengate square fountains
Salford’s green gate square

The tour went into the Northern Quarter and Piccadilly looking at the lack of public benches and questioning why policy and politics has caused this. The  tour ended at the most advanced public bus stop in the country – Paton Street.

During the tour, I got talking with Skyliner, She asked me about what I do at the BBC on the first tour but on the second one, I could truly talk about what I do in reflection to what she does.

I do what you do but in the digital space. I am fighting for public spaces in the digital world. Fighting for the public benches, library’s and parks where you can relax without requiring payment, personal identification, etc.

We had a good but short discussion about this on the tour, I would love to have a longer conversation with Skyliner about this all. About a week later I had a very similar discussion with good friend Architect Jane, while walking around the old BBC Manchester site now called Circle Square. The Circle Square is private land, just like Skyliner mentioned when talking about Peel’s Media City UK. The impact of private and public spaces is fascinating but also on the flip side really awful if in the words of Skyliner. What you are doing can be easily lumped into the anti-social behavior box and you are moved on with little to no review. For example sleeping on a public bench would be pushed under this broad definition. Under private space all bets are completely off, as 2 black men found out while waiting for their friend in a starbucks cafe in America.

The problem with Starbucks (I mentioned to Jane, as we looked at the awful and good architecture choices in Circle Square) is its attempt to be a pseudo public space with its community noticeboard and policy of join us, kickback and enjoy time here? (I use to work at Starbucks a long time ago and we use to have a older homeless woman come into the shop about a hour before closing time, very rarely did we ever ask her to leave as the conflict of Starbucks policy was interesting)
…pseudo I believe is the perfect word here.

Not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham. almost, approaching, or trying to be.

Good use of green blending the space
Interesting use of green blending in a quiet corner of the circle square development. But is it public or private space?

You see the exact same thing happening in the digital space too. From women breast feeding there babies on facebook to twitter blocking accounts for misunderstandings (to be clear I’m not talking about Trump because what he did was stoke fires, promoted hatred is actually illegal).

This got me thinking there are clear parallels between the physical and digital worlds, especially around public spaces. I also think those parallels are really useful to explain to different people why these things are of absolute importance. (I wonder what are the dark patterns of the physical & digital world?)

I have to give credit to many including FutureEverything, Waag, Ethan Zuckerman, Eli Parser’s newpublic, DotEveryone, which does a reasonable job linking the physical and digital aspects of public life. Its all strange because I was recently pointed to this piece which is a summary of this policy paper.

Its strikes me in America, there is a lot of pressure to work along the big tech corps like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. While in Europe there is more of an apatite to build alternatives, rather than position those public spaces them within private lands (thinking about the Starbucks example earlier).

In the ideal world, it would work but we know it doesn’t. Skyliner’s tour makes this super clear. I’m of course not disparaging the efforts to carve out digital public spaces within private digital spaces.

What is the public bench in the digital space? Does it actually exist? Can it exist and whats the norms that surround it?

 Empty Bench during Dusk

I for one believe in public spaces and will continue to create those very important public benches.

 

Fixing the pebble buttons by leaning on the community

My Pebble with Sugru

I am still holding on to my pebble 2 smartwatches, although I have said in my new years resolutions. I was going to find an alternative to the pebble watch.

I still haven’t found anything. I had hoped the new Android Wear 3.0 and the Fitbit buy might have done something positive in this space. However its not happening.

There was a study I took part in recently from Dr. Susan Lechelt of Edinburgh University about IOT & connected devices after they become non-supported, unusable, broken, etc. Of course I won’t go into details but through-out the study it made me revisit my ongoing task to fix the pebble smartwatch.

Broken pebble 2 smart watches

The pebble community is incredible, you only have to look at rebble to see how amazing. iFix it came up with guides to fix most of the most common problems including my pebble 2 button failures. So with this, I finally decided to skip the 3D print your own buttons which I had planned once I get back into work and bought them at Shapeways.

Pebble 2 and new buttons

After ordering 2 buttons and identifying two of my pebble 2 watches really just need new buttons, I’m ready to go this weekend – or maybe one of these weekends in summer.

Looking forward to extending the life of the pebble smartwatch like how I have extended the life of my Pacemaker device way beyond its limitations.

Its too hot to work in my flat

I have said my piece about Islington Wharf multiple times including recently in a piece for the Sunday Times (!).

I usually disappear to a coffee shop in Manchester, but I didn’t want to risk going out on Freedom day (if I could say it with a super ironic voice I would). Especially just a head of my 2nd Covid19 vaccine. I know so many people are so looking forward to not wearing a mask, social distancing, etc but I’m still carrying my mask and using it when going into places or walking around Islington Wharf.

Interestingly, I found my mask so much more breathable in the heat than the surgical mask I had to wear when getting the 2nd jab. Once again I had the power of music (Binary Finary’s 1998 this time) and Anbesol to thank for a good experience.

Isolation in the fast lane mix

Diabolo tricks in the garden

After a week or so in isolation although negative throughout, I turned to the Pacemaker device for a new mix. Something different from my usual progressive trance style. There’s some tunes I’ve been playing out recently mixed with some classic trance, all at a slightly uplifted 133-134 bpm. Listen out for the Armin van buuren mashup of Eat Sleep Rave repeat drumming through Grotesque.

Enjoy the mix, which is another entry in the locked down, mixing out album of mixes.

  1. Mezzanine – Gareth Emery
  2. Go Fast! – Organ Nilsen
  3. Invasion (ASOT 550 Anthem) – W&W
  4. Strange Bends (Kyau & Albert remix) – Sebastian Sand
  5. Go (Extended mix) – Protoculture
  6. Made of love (Extended mix) – Ferry Corsten feat Betsie Larkin
  7. The system – Inertia
  8. Take everything (Extended mix) – Emma Hewitt
  9. Floyd (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  10. Halcyon (Alex M.O.R.P.H remix) – Andy Moor
  11. Eat sleep rave repeat vs Crushed vs No good (Armin van buuren mashup) – Cosmic gate & Mark Sixma vs. Fatboy slim
  12. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H

Toxic masculinity at a level I can’t comprehend

Man with wheeled suitcase

A few things have based through my wallabag/read it later which has sadly surprised and sometimes shocked me. I doubt few wouldn’t (but sadly I know there will be a few who are not)

I read about the Mystery of wheelie suitcase (how gender stereotypes held back history of invention) in the Guardian and couldn’t but could believe it.

Why have some brilliant innovations – from rolling luggage to electric cars – taken so long to come to market? Macho culture has a lot to answer for

Ok it was in the past but as the piece says at the end…

Today, less than 1% of UK venture capital goes to all-female teams. Among the very few women who do get funded, a very large majority are white. Of course, venture capital isn’t everything – there are other ways to fund and scale innovation – but the fact that men, more or less, have a monopoly is certainly a symptom of an economy where women’s ideas are not heard.

So lets be honest little has changed, if you haven’t been paying attention.

Talking about history I found Do NOT Pass GO! with Tim Harford, super enlightening.

Lizzie J. Magie (played by Helena Bonham Carter) should be celebrated as the inventor of what would become Monopoly – but her role in creating the smash hit board game was cynically ignored, even though she had a patent.
Discrimination has marred the careers of many inventors and shut others out from the innovation economy entirely. Could crediting forgotten figures such as Lizzie Magie help address continuing disparities in the patenting of new inventions?

Coming back to this decade, this Vice piece titled Anti feminist gen-z boys who hate women, had so much in it I was sadly disappointed. I always hoped the next generation would learn the mistakes the previous had made. Of course as a whole things are getting better, its just disappointing to read.

Half of young men in the UK now believe that feminism has “gone too far and makes it harder for men to succeed”. These are the results of a significant study published in July 2020 by anti-extremism charity HOPE not Hate. The study, Young People in the Time of COVID-19, surveyed 2,076 16- to 24-year-olds on their ideological beliefs.

Then when you think its can’t get worst.

This totally shocked me. I discovered it via A.M. Darke’s fairly intelligent machine learning. It was one of the examples and I wondered what on earth is septic masculinity? I clicked and was horrified at how awful and low some parts of masculinity has gone. Warning its not nice at all.

Welcome to the Manchester high line

Manchester castlefield viaduct

The news broke a while ago about turning the Castlefield Viaduct into its own High line public garden.

Its a great idea and to be honest I wondered for almost decade why it had not happened already. The disused bridge was growing wild for a long time but was far enough away from the train and tram bridge to cause no problems. Even getting on to the bridge was pretty simple except the artificial barrier blocking the way.

Castlefield is a good place to be when its sunny in Manchester and the planned garden is going to be quite something and I’m just glad its going to be public not some private space for footballers and the wealthy.

Playing by the rules in a pandemic

NHS Track and trace app telling me to self-isolate for 8 days
I am very much looking forward to Breakfast on Sunday morning

For the last 5 days I have been self isolating due to coming in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid19. It was a team mate during outdoor Volleyball on Wednesday last week, so the risk was low especially because I was using hand sanitizer and still avoid touching my face, etc.

We only found out on Thursday they were positive and then on Saturday I got the NHS track & trace notification, ironically just after coming back from Moss side Volleyball.

I have been using the rapid testing for Covid for a long while every 3-4 days and logging my negative tests results with the NHS. Regardless, I’ve been self-isolating and happy the weather hasn’t been so hot making working from home bearable.

The thing I have found (lets say) interesting is, my phone with the Contact tracing/Track and Trace app was on while in the park playing (in my bag on the ground). While other players did not, although we all knew the person had tested positive. Long story short, the NHS finally got in touch and told the rest of the team to self-isolate but a good 3 days later. The others only needed to isolate for 5 days instead of my 8 days. It makes sense but…

…I find it interesting and reminds me of the DRM discussion of how DRM only effects those who play by the rules.

The basic problem is that DRM is trying to keep honest people honest

Before you message me about the difficulty of epidemiology. I know I know, trust me I know!

This is also not judgement/shade on my fellow volleyball players. Someone from a coffee shop messaged a friend I was with, saying a staff member had tested positive. My friend decided to self-isolate while I decided not to because I hadn’t gotten a alert from the NHS (yes I do check in on the app every single time). If I had, I would have self-isolated like my friend, while still doing my rapid tests every 3-4 days.

I just find it all interesting, the judgement calls and personal decisions made during a pandemic.

Its only 30mins before I’m free to go

Self isolation ends soon

Hooray! I have big plans starting with Brunch and maybe a trip to Toolstation to get some bits for my new wifi changes. Exciting eh?!

One of my favorite diabolo tricks recently

The long sequence for this is a hand grind to spinning top to vertex whip to vertex to vertex suicide to vertex around the legs and above. Quite a mouthful?

Although things are opening up in the UK, I’m still in the garden doing the Diabolo when ever I can.

The moves are getting more dangerous based around what I can do with a vertex. There is a lot more that I can do for example I haven’t really got into vertex genocides yet, for the diabolo to leave the string in the middle of a vertex seems insane. But to be fair I remember when I first tried to whip a vertex diabolo. Its easier when doing the spinning top to be honest.

Diabolo vertex spinning top

One trick I’m turning my head to is the infinite suicide. I’m just not getting it and its frankly annoying me. Especially as you have to start slowly making sequences or combinations interesting.

Meet the author event: Ethics in Tech with Mozilla

Meet the authors of the ethical dilemma cafe

I’m very happy to be asked by Mozilla to be a featured author for an upcoming “Meet The Author” MozFest session on ethics in tech in a post-pandemic world.

Airing your dirty data at Mozfest
Airing your dirty data at Mozfest (2014)

Myself and Jasmine will have a open Q&A LIVE on Wednesday June 23 from 11am ET/4pm BST/5pm CEST, as we discuss the MozFest Ethical dilemma cafe (2014) and post-pandemic ethics in tech.

The cafe listening to your chatter
The cafe listening to your chatter in exchange for free goods

Its going to be an engaging conversation and your input will make the conversation that much more interesting.

You can sign up and join us here.

Dynamic diabolo pictures at dusk

I have been filming my diabolo tricks since the very start of the pandemic. Every once in a while I stop on a frame and just think wow that looks so great. Today at dusk while doing a new trick – Spinning top to vertex whip to vertex suicide to vertex around the legs.

Nothing better than filming this at dusk.

This is the Islington Wharf update you have been waiting for

Double rainbow in Islington Wharf

For many years I have written about the problems at Islington Wharf. Part of the reason for writing about these flats is to force some change in my way, while others try other things. A lot of people don’t like its all out there for all to read but frankly its been out there for over a decade. The most important thing is to get the latent defects fixed to the comfort of all the people like myself who bought or are renting. Its been way too long!

Following on from this large post and the last post. Things have changed again…

The temporary aircon solution

…This time for last time hopefully

Waterside places came to the Islington Wharf committee with a proposal after the last one with Laing O’Rourke which was awful didn’t pass. It took some time but after the meeting in April, we were all ecstatic. The next day a email was to everybody

In short all the work which was planned with Laing O’Rourke would go ahead but with Morgan Sindall Construction. They will not use the garden as their workers yard instead use part of the old central retail park and phase 4 space, which is next door. They will do all the latent defect work in 18months instead of 2 years and the best part is they are going to replace all the glass, not stick a film to the outside. The cost of this all to the residents? Zero! Yes no cost. Lets be frank Islington Wharf has a ton of glass, so this is no cheap operation but was always needed. It would likely be easier if done years ago because now phase 2 & 3 makes access much more tricky.

Islington Wharf
Imagine replacing all that glass

Now you can see why we were ecstatic! This is a massive win and I find myself very fortune I am in the position where this is a option when so many flat owners are having to pay to replace their cladding.

The next part is to get agreement from all the flat owners they will allow access. As you can imagine with support from the committee and mailshots, emails, fb, etc. We have pretty much everybody in agreement. Although some haven’t replied back, likely forcing Waterside places to consider legal action to gain access.

Heat check while working
28c while working away with two fans and window wide open

This is most likely the last summer of heat (hopefully), which would be great as I’m experiencing 28c heat while working at home and its 24c outside.

Once things get going, I’ll start updating the older blogs as I do get the occasional press attention, which was the point of writing.

Update (Monday 14th June)

I was prompted to wrote this blog just after being interviewed by the Times journalist Emanuele. I had meant to write it for a long while but being interviewed pushed me to do, mainly to set the record straight and give a fair update of where we are now. I see the article went live in the Sunday Times thanks to a friend’s mum.

Although not quite what I said, its mainly there and glad the last part was included about the developer (Waterside places) agreeing to fix the latent defects.

Photo in the Manchester Evening News

Manchester City stadium with Lasers

This photo ended up in the Manchester Evening News, of course they didn’t tell me and it took a google alert to notify me.

Not that I really cared too much but Chelsea won, so there was no light show afterwards.

Life and joy in metropolis mix

Manchester City stadium with Lasers
Nice of Manchester City stadium to put on a light display for my latest mix

A mix with pace and some great old and new tunes. Its short and sweet but packs a punch. Recorded as the UK opens up after its third lockdown. The cases have dropped and the vaccination is going strong. You can get a real sense of the joy in peoples faces and living in the city is once again a great place to be, no matter what Anne Clark says.

Enjoy the mix, which is another entry in the locked down, mixing out album of mixes. You can also now listen to it at its original high quality and advert free on my personal mix site.

  1. Sleeper in Metropolis (Club mix) – Anne Clark
  2. Untenthered (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Alastor & RUE
  3. Love Stimulation (PvD Love club mix) – Humate
  4. The Descent – Protoculture
  5. Silence (Jerome Isma-Ae Extended remix) – D-Nox and Baya featuring Lenn V
  6. Groteseque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  7. Go (Extended mix) – Protoculure
  8. Shnorkel – Miki Litvak & Ido Ophir
  9. Wrist block (Joey Beltram remix) – Side Four
  10. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  11. 1998 (Gouryella remix) – Binary Finary
  12. Freedom (Extended remix) – ARTY v Muvy

2 jabs and a blood test

My vaccination card, lidocaine cream and headphones

Its clear 2021, is going to be the year of 2 covid19 jabs and a blood test. 2 more jabs that I would expect and 3 more than I would actually like. Certainly not a good year for me, someone with a extreme needlephobia.

The one thing which clearly has changed is using lidocaine cream. Its a real game changer for myself. I’m not saying it makes things easier but the instant pain of the prick is less intense, making it less likely for me to react.

1 jab to go…!

Plotting and harvesting Chia cryptocurrancy for a more green crypto future?

My Chia farming setup

I have admit over the last 2 months I setup a cryptocurrancy rig in my flat. Now when most people think about cryptocurrancy they think of bitcoin and the absolute insane amount of power going into mining bitcoins. This is why when I saw Bram Cohen (creator of BitTorrent) talk about creating something different (proof of space+time) I was always interested. To be fair I since BitTorrent I’ve been watching what he’s been up to, Bram is just one of those serial entrepreneur I keep an eye on.

After hearing about Chia, I downloaded the Linux app and got it up and running on a old laptop I use for bits and bobs. I would have used one of my my Raspberry PIs if I had Ubuntu installed. I plugged in a external USB to SATA SSD which I was using to run my old Dell XPS13 work laptop, when the internal drive got screwed up. Then plugged in a old USB to SATA caddy/docking bay with one of my old 2TB mechanical hard drives from my old server (pre NAS).

My Chia plot

Then left it plotting and harvesting my 1 single plot for a month or so.

At the time, the estimated time to win a Chia was 8 months. As I had the laptop on doing other things all the time, it wasn’t a big deal for me. Actually removing my server and replacing it with the NAS, 2x Raspberry Pis and this laptop  is actually less electricity than my single home made server with 7 drives and 4 fans. I hear most of you say wtf! I do have a lot of devices on in my flat and my electricity is high compared to typical single person but everything else (heating, water, etc) is low.

It was about 4-5 weeks when I was telling someone about Chia and noticed I had harvested 2 chia’s unbeknownst to me. To be clear I have 1 single 100gig plot and although I tried setting up 2 plots afterwards in parallel, I decided it was too much for my old laptop’s little quad core CPU and switched back to a single 100gig plot again (to be clear its more the parallel part which was the problem and CPU is only really used)

Chia CPU and Memory load in Htop

With all this in mind, I was introduced to the Reddit subthread for Chia, where I saw people building massive rigs to plot and harvest. Its quite insane and then hearing how Chia is being blamed for shortages in HDDs and SSDs. Of course why most people are interested in Chia (including myself) is the proof of space & time rather than proof of work. This realistically could be far more sustainable than proof of work models like Bitcoin. I say “could” because seeing these massive rigs seems to throw oil over the notion of Chia’s green attributes.

Although its tempted to add some more plots, I’m not going to change my setup because its sustainable for me. Little has changed on my network or on my physical desk. Getting in early was something very good but I got lucky with 2 Chia already.

Yesterday a friend mentioned Elon had tweeted about Tesla not taking Bitcoin for their electric cars.

I can’t say anything profound about Chia except I’m more than interested because its not just a speculated currency like Bitcoin. Although the price is super surprising for a new cryptocurrency. I said similar about Ethereum because of the smart contracts, NFTs and other things. The currency side is only slightly interesting while things like ChiaLisp for Identity spikes my interest.