Martha (Hayley Atwell) and Ash (Domhnall Gleeson) are a young couple who move to a remote cottage, where Ash’s parents used to live. Ash is a big user of social media, tapping away on his phone, just a bit too much. Martha doesn’t really mind, she loves him and they’re looking forward to their new life together. The day after the move, Ash is killed, returning the hire van. At the funeral, Sarah (Sinead Matthews), a friend of Martha’s, tells her about a new service that lets you stay in touch with the deceased. By using all his past online communications and social media profiles, a new ‘Ash’ can be created – disarmingly ‘real’ and a help to a grieving partner. Martha is disgusted by the concept and wants nothing to do with it. Martha decides to stay in the cottage, despite her sister, Naomi (Claire Keelen), being worried about her isolation. Then one morning Martha receives an email from ‘Ash’. Sarah has signed her up. Martha is furious and deletes the message. But then she discovers she is pregnant and in a confused and lonely state Martha decides to talk to ‘him’.
*Spoilers ahead, you were warned*
Excellent episode which involves a woman losing her partner. A friend sets up her with a special system which takes all the public data of that person and generates a avatar of the data. So all those public tweets, flickr pictures, etc. First it emulates the voice and then it starts to emulates other aspects. In the end the woman is lured into levelling up to a physical avatar.
While it seems somewhat insane… Its not as far future as you may think.
When I first started watching it, I instantly thought about Weavrs…
Weavrs are your alter egos crafted from the threads of the social web.
Imagine Weavrs + Google Now…! Yes be afraid, be very afraid… You think sleeping with your partner as weavr is bad, wait till you point it at someone eles’s weavr! Or worst pointing it at yourself! Scary and freaky stuff!
My experience with Ecstasy is not like you would imagine.
I have never ever taken Ecstasy or for that fact taken any other illegal drugs. Even though I was surrounded by the ecstasy filled rave scene. Me personally I was very much into the music and the experience of dancing in time with people of all cultures and backgrounds. However I won’t be lie and say I never noticed the amount of drugs going around. In actual fact I have some interesting experiences off the back of ecstasy.
Nearly half a million people are believed to take the Class A drug ecstasy every year in Britain and the country was dubbed the ‘drug-taking capital of Europe’ in a recent EU Drugs Agency report.
Now, in a UK television first, two live programmes will follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study.
Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen, the programmes aim to cut through the emotional debate surrounding the issue and accurately inform the public about the effects and potential risks of MDMA.
When I was in school, I had strongly held believes that Ecstasy should be decriminalised and even legalised for many reasons. Most of it is about getting drugs out of the drug dealers hands. But even more to get a base-level quality. Ecstasy use to be cut with all types of crap including brick dust, ketamine, asprin, sugar, etc, etc. So what your buying could be anything. In the past there was rumours of Ecstasy being sold with a coat of LSD. End of the day, you had no idea.
You could say I’m a total hypocrite because I’ve never taken it and never will. But I’d suggest that I can have an opinion and I’ve seen more that enough use in my time.
In times when I rubbed up against ecstasy use. I’ve never seen anyone die, I have seen some admitted to hospital to have there stomach pumped however, I remember spending time in First Aid with a asthmatic attack talking with a girl who had eaten 11 ecstasy pills (of course who knows what were in them) but she was chatting away and hugging people while chewing her lips off. Not a good thing but certainly not what the war on drugs wants you to see and think.
If you don’t know it, its basically… A bunch of people follow a chosen person for a week and help solve there problems.
People with life-changing decisions to make – from ‘should I give up the family business?’ to ‘should I have a gastric band fitted?’ or ‘should I consider fostering?’ – are followed around by 50 strangers for a week. These strangers must then agree on a decision and deliver their verdict on the path to take. For the person with the dilemma the process is emotional, sometimes difficult and often eye-opening. And the audience holding this enormous responsibility have to navigate through layers of heartache, resistance and personal revelations, as well as the nights out, kitchens and cramped offices of the people they’re trying to help.
Although I’ve not quite watched the first one yet… It strikes me as odd because frankly…
I know this requires a level of transparency and openness which most people are not willing to disclose but personally I’ve had very good things happen from being so open and asking questions of strangers…
There is one sequence in the last episode of Black Mirror, which you got me really thinking (bear in mind there is tons of interesting subjects matters explored in the show)…
A long while ago I coined the term Intrusive TV for a technology which later got renamed to Perceptive Media. Without going into any detail, this is what I’m worried may happen if certain aspects of the technology behind Perceptive Media is taken to its extremes.
Without any details, you can still certainly get a feel for how scary a future were heading towards…
Hopefully YouTube/Google won’t take it down straight away… But if so, watch the whole thing and about 40mins in look out for the sequence when there’s not enough credit to skip or change anything. You will know which bit when you see it…
Oh no… within a few moments I got a email…
Your video, Intrusive TV?, may have content that is owned or licensed by Channel 4.
Derren Brown isn’t a household name outside the UK, no idea why… but he recently did a excellent show in the conclusion to his experiments series…
In the show he slowly convinces a town that a statute in a local public garden it might be lucky. Through a series of other activities and press attention, people start touching the statute more and more over the months. But where it gets interesting is when he tries to find a person who by the end of the show will bet a huge amount of money on a roll of a dice. So convinced he might just be lucky.
What Derren is proving is the power of the mind… Something I’ve seen long understood from my time in hospital and afterwards. To be honest it was one of Derren’s best ever shows and something I love about his style… Unravelling some of the more complex mysteries of life.
If you take the opportunities you will make more human connections, gain more experience and feel more lucky… (Roughly)
Its something I’ve become very versed in recently.
Opportunities are there for the taking… When you understand this, your world is your oyster.
I was trying to explain this blog entry on the train to Tim Waters who I hopefully didn’t bore to death between Liverpool and Manchester. I used the tale of the Japanese lady on the train story to explain taking opportunities. Its very easy to just stick your headphones in your ears and ignore the world of opportunities which are served up to us everyday… I personally don’t put my earphones in my ears when going to work till I get out the front door of the apartment I live in. Why? Because I’ve had some fascinating conversations in the lift with people (yes and some of them are lovely woman).
For example once I got in the lift and the lift went up a few floors and stopped. Doors open and a woman gets in wearing PJ’s and fluffy sleepers.
It could have been easy to ignore her and stare at the glossy silver lift doors but instead, I couldn’t help myself. “So, sleepers…?” *big grin*. She smiled and said “…well you know their all the rage now…”
There’s plenty more I can say about this but seeing how I’ve had this blog entry open for a good few weeks, I think its best ended with a vague reference to social objects mixed with opportunities…
Maybe luck actually feels like the richness of life…?
A long time ago Channel4 posted a contest based around writing a play. Having never written a play before me and Sarah (my exwife) went about writing a play based around the interactions of people via social technologies.
The concept was simple, people interacted on stage in different ways, you could see what there really thinking about or mean via a large screen above them. Honestly quite a bit of the influence from my end came from the very early project by Jun Group called Welcome to the scene. (a candidate for something to re-look at me thinks)
I was intrigued when I read about textuality in my cousins movie collection of course in XBMC.
Now to be fair it only managed 3.4 stars out of 10 on IMDB so its not exactly inception but its worth watching to see how the concept we came to was executed by others. If I had the time and resources I would like to still see it as a play.
It was actually proposed to the contact theatre as their young and talented improv artists could maybe do something quite amazing with it, but I’ve never really picked up on it.
INST MSGS is a web anthology series that dramatizes social media. Based on everything from submitted instant message conversations to found Craigslists ads, INST MSGS shines a satirical light on modern (mis) communication.
In this brand new series Mary Portas has changed sides. Rather than helping businesses to maximise profits, she’s now championing the shopper, and battling to get Britain’s biggest chains to put customers first.
Mary believes that Britain is cowering under a cloud of poor customer service and that we’ve never had it so bad. By using the stealth weapon of secret shopping, she exposes shoddy customer service and uses the evidence to give company bosses a wake-up call. And, with the help of her covert cameras, she’s planning to start a retail revolution.
Customer service is indeed a sham in the UK. Everything has been pushed aside for higher profit. Theres a great scene where Mary is talking to the head of pilot in front of the owner of leon. He gives all the reasons why he felt everything was going well and they didn’t need to change. Of course all the reasons were to do with expansion and profit, customer service was never mentioned in anyway.
Its intriguing because theres so many elements we’ve learned from the online world via things like the cluetrain manifesto at play. In actual fact the real world can learn a lot from the online world.
Customer is king, how sad we are for not punishing them who forget this.
Since I’ve been at home recovering from my brush with death. I’ve started watching a lot more TV. This has been a bit of shock for people that know me. He’s the ones I watch the most, weirdly there mainly Channel4.
I love this series, its very simple. Take 4/5 strangers then every night a guest cooks for the rest of the group in there home. At the end of the evening, the guests mark the food and dining experience out of 10. At the end of the week we see who has the highest score and that person gets the prize fund of £1000.
The concept is so simple and works for strangers, celebs, sports stars, almost anyone. I’ve even heard that some of my friends have done a personal come dine with me with other friends. Although I got to say thats got to be one of the quickest ways to loose friends and cause massive rows.
The best part of come dine with me has to be the voice over which points how nutty the guests are. Its cheap throw away television but cleverly put together
This is a brand new series from Channel4, its only on episode 3 but I got to say its had me in stitches, mainly because the characters are simply crazy and I also know people who actually talk and interact in the same way. The South London urban accent and setting makes the whole thing even more funny. Specially since I spent a good few years there myself.
I’ve included a clip at the very top of the post, if you don’t get the humor maybe its just not for you.
22 boxes, no one knows whats in the box. The player picks a box and picks off boxes till there is only two boxes left. Hopefully the player has picked a box with a quarter of million inside and opens it to find it. The external force is the banker which changes everything.
I first thought the banker would simply offer offers which were the average of whats left in the boxes, but thats not the case. In actual fact its a bit of a poker game, if the banker thinks the player will go on and believes in the box, the banker will offer higher amounts to put the player off. If the player seems shaky and a little nervous, the banker will put in slightly lower offers, hoping the player will go for it. So theres a bit of interaction from a far.
The game’s deceptively simple format has attracted attention from mathematicians, statisticians, and economists as a study of decision making under risk: It is an excellent instructive example of the application of utility theory.
In 2004, a team of economists played a scaled-down version of the game with 84 participants and compared the results with the expected utility hypothesis. The study received a great deal of media attention, appearing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal on January 12, 2006 as well as being featured on National Public Radio in the United States on March 3, 2006.
So its the game strategy which interest me about the gameshow.
I may also have a member of my family going on deal or no deal in the near future, so I’ll be filling them in on all the strategy behind the game.
There is something about fonejacker which is pretty cool. I was thinking would they ever let such a show go out on national tv (non subscription cable or sat) in america? Are we teaching our children how to fonejack? Maybe but better that robbing top boxes off scooters.
If you have no idea what i'm talking about check out these youtubevideos ripped from the show.
One of the best features of Bit Torrent and UK nova is when it pulls up gems from TV's past. Someone posted up the first season of Desmonds which is a classic Channel4 TV programme from the late 80's. Its amazing to watch now and I can't believe I had all but forgot about it till last weekend. Sarah's having a hard time understanding the mixture of accents on the show but finds it funny watching me crack up. The poster wrote this about the posting.
It was as late as 1989 that a British sitcom which focussed on the life of a black British family finally became mainstream viewing. It was worth the wait. Desmond's was not tokenism: this was a funny and warm show, with a strong cast and all the traditional sitcom ingredients, but with a solid anchor in the lives of those it portrayed.
Unlike The Cosby Show (to which Desmond's is often compared), St Lucia-born writer Trix Worrell set the series in a working class area of South London's Peckham. Desmond and wife Shirley are first generation migrants from Guyana who have set up their own barber's shop. They live upstairs, along with two of their teenaged children, Sean and Gloria and spend their days serving customers and enjoying the company of the regulars, including Ram John Holder as Porkpie, Christopher Asante as eternal student Matthew and their BUPPY son, Michael.
Watch for a young Domonic Keating, who is introduced later in the first series, now famous for his role as Malcolm Reed in Star Trek – Enterprise. He wasn't particularly natural in Desmond's (and isn't in Enterprise either), but he does possess a lovely pair of cheekbones.
The show ended after the sixth series, with the untimely death of Norman Beaton. With quality writing and lovingly observed characters, you'll enjoy the warm, fuzzy glow that the show imparts.
What ever your view of Bit torrent, this has got to be seen a really good example of that long tail. So far its been downloaded almost 170 times and there are currently 44 seeders and about 3 leechers. Sharing Desmonds with a community of people means it will never be lost or locked up in a valut somewhere. Showing Sarah Desmonds was a interesting experience.But its also certainly something I would love to share with my kids when there old enough. And if CD/DVD doesn't pack up I should be able to still play back un-drm'ed media from 2006. If worst comes to worst and CD/DVD does pack up, I'm sure the 170+ people who have nabbed it will be happy to share it in the future.
So my own view is that its not bad, its got some funny scenarios but I don't see how there going to keep it up for more than 6 episodes which would be fine. There's quite a lot of taking the piss out of geeks, nerds and IT staff generally but to be fair this also applies to the non IT Staff trying to use computers (like the boss who thinks his computer is now voice controlled). Its certainly more mainstream than I expected which in this show is actually a good thing because its very accessable, even if it reforces the very obvious stereotypes. The IT Crowd feels really British, I can see why it got a bad review generally. The laughter track seems like a typical shown to a audience affair rather than American canned. For those interested in watching it on TV, its on Friday on Channel4. Expect it to be bit torrented everywhere really soon. By the way, I'm currently downloading Beauty and the geeks which Sheila recommended.