Slack, dataportability done right?

Slack… love it hate it, its seems to be going everywhere…

We recently had to move slacks for reasons not worth mentioning. I was pretty impressed as one of the founders of the data portability group way back, how easy it was to export one slack into another slack. If only more services would take note!

I found the story of slack so reminiscence of Flickr’s inception via game never ending.

Flickr was famously developed as a side feature for the MMO Game Neverendingthat Butterfield was developing with his then-wife Caterina Fake and the rest of their company, Ludicorp. The team realized that the photo-sharing aspect of the game could be spun off into its own service.

Always reminds me of sitting in the audience at the doors of perception 6 in Amsterdam when Stuwart Butterfield talked about the concept and plans.

My photo used in Seattle and Ride Sharing article

Uber Lux in Amsterdam

Ben Metcalfe sent me a link to my photo which was used in a article about ride sharing in Seattle. from when I used Uber in Amsterdam,. Of course theres no problem with it because I mark most of my photos creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharealike.

Google photos vs Flickr Pro for my image backup

Speeding car

It all started when I came back from Tokyo to find my Spideroak storage full. I decided a terabyte of photos which are hardly private in a super secure storage is a little crazy and its time to put them somewhere else so I can make use of the secure storage better.

Originally I did look at using Amazon Glacier but quickly found out that its really not for general use in any shape. I looked at trove again to find trovebox has been shutdown…  but there is a Github community project for those wanting to keep developing.

We’ll be shutting down the hosted Trovebox service on March 31, 2015. We may extend this deadline to help accomodate customers to obtain archives of their photos.

A few of my friends said why don’t I use Flickr, especially since I’m already a pro member and have been since 2004!

I thought about it, because I tend to use Flickr to only upload photos I actively want to share rather than a place to upload all my photos. Basically I never really trust the privacy options and only upload things which I’m happy being public. It was time to trust Flickr’s privacy model but to be fair I’m still only uploading stuff which it doesn’t matter too much if its public.

Started doing that then Google announced at IO 2015, a revamped photo service with unlimited storage (if you are happy with them converting them down a bit).

This has got me wondering, if I should switch?

Flickr Pro is $ 24.99 a year but Google is $1.99 a month for 100gig,

Economically it makes sense to stay with Flickr as its unlimited even on high resolution photos and I have most of my good photos already there (incumbency advantage). But the google space purchase would only be used for photos over 2048x2048px big. Which I guess is quite a few as I switched to 5mpx and above very early on . I guess there’s the option of trusting googles image compression. I guess having the extra space in google drive would be useful but its not a big deal yet.

I’m going to keep uploading the photos and let google photo shake out a little. When the next year of Flickr comes up, I’ll decide then. Even made a google task to remind me. Hopefully there will be flickr to google drive exports or I’ll have gigabit internet and can upload the lot super fast.

Getty pictures go non-commercial but there is a downside

Although I welcome Getty opening up there picture archive for us bloggers to use. However there are concerns or downsides…

  • This isn’t creative commons licensed, Attribution-Noncommercial NoDerivitives would have been good enough but Getty wanted to add additional conditions.
  • All the images are available via an IFRAME tag. And I thought Flickr’s embed was bad!
  • Reading the terms of conditions… They reserve the right to do what they like within that IFrame including as you imagine, advertising…

Be-careful out there people…

Following on… Juliapowles on Twitter mentioned this to me. As Dr. Adam D. Kline says later, the first comment says it all. And it really does sum it all up…

As someone who has grown old and weary fighting Getty’s ‘licence first and clear the rights later, if at all’ business model on behalf of impecunious photographers it is difficult to view this development with unalloyed enthusiasm

Linked data on youtube?

Triples on youtube?

I thought I’d try writing some RDF/Turtle as I see it on youtube.

<http://youtu.be/jP6kzKygaOs>
dc:title "Jason Silva on London Real talks about Vanilla Sky";
dc:publisher "London Real";
dc:subject [
  dc:subject "Vanilla Sky"
  dc:type "Film" imdb:homepage <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259711/>
  tmdb:homepage <http://www.themoviedb.org/movie/1903-vanilla-sky>
  ]
cities:city "London".

Kind of reminds me of when people started hacking Triples into Flickr by using Machine tags. Still its interesting to see Youtube adding the ability to add a triple in a nice clean way (if its a well used ontology of course)

My highlights of Thinking Digital 2013

Herb Kim gets TDC13 underway

Herb Kim the founder and creator of the Thinking Digital conference.

This is my usual best of Thinking Digital… Bear in mind I missed half the conference as noted here.

Julian Treasure got us thinking about our hearing and how important it is. I specially liked two statements he made. Sound has a impact on cognition and don’t architects have ears? He pointed to some very nice spaces with apple styled touches. The kind of place most people would agree is nice but once he mentioned the amount of sound bouncing around the surfaces and reflecting off the floor, it was a different matter.

Maggie Philbin is one of those people who you grew up with on screen and she had become a geek hero of many men in the UK. The Tomorrow’s world presenter talked about technology for a bit then got around to her main points about the lack of diversity. Something about hearing it from Maggie really laid it out for lots of people. I had the pleasure of seeing Maggie giving the Perceptive Radio a once over too. What a woman!

Maria Giudice

Maria Giudice was a interesting lady with an interesting story to tell but what I really took away was her DEO idea (Design Executive Officer). She correctly pointed out CEO’s mainly don’t have the background of designers and those who do, generally break through because they are natural disruptor, people centric, intuitive, imaginative, etc. She had a DEO toolkit which included…

  1. Change mindsets about design, Design = change and change leads to radical change
  2. Focus on people and relationships
  3. Think we not me, collaboration is the name of the game
  4. Champion creative culture, Write on the wall make it a creative space
  5. Iterate and change, be open to change
  6. Be true to yourself

I guess if I wanted to know more… I would have to buy the book which is coming out soon…

Aza Raskin
Aza Raskin I have had the pleasure of meeting before years ago when he was working with Mozilla. Then I also got to eat dinner with him during the first night with others. Aza is one of those people who you can’t help but like. It was a really interesting time chatting with him too because his company Jawbone had just bought Body Media for 100million. Aza had no problem with talking about such things and was happy to talk about the quantified self elements of Jawbone including the wrist band Jawbone up. It was even more interesting to me after just been at the Quantified Self europe conference a week before.

Aza’s main point was about Design being the art of turning constraints into solutions. But are we actually asking the right questions? Do we even really understand the problem were solving?

Lots of food for thought… And I’d love to know more about the Jawbone hack!

Sugata Mitra
Sugata Mitra is always impressive and was one of my highlights of last year but with New Zealand teachers Jo Fothergill & Tara Taylor-Jorgensen who had flown 1000’s of miles to come talk at Thinking Digital the talks were even more epic. You can’t help but feel the educational system will be fine when he talks. I also had the joy of hooking up Jo and Tara with mr whirl wind Alan O’Donohoe before they flew back to New Zealand. Chance and opportunity came together at just the right moment I think.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes on reflection was maybe the best talk of the conference.

On New Years Day 2009 Graham Hughes, set off on an epic journey from his hometown of Liverpool. He wanted to show that the world is ‘not some big, scary place, but in fact full of people who wanted to help you.’ He used buses, taxis, trains and his own two feet to travel 160,000 miles, 201 countries in exactly 1,426 days – all on a shoestring of just $100 a week.

I’m not usually the biggest fan of the talks about the amazing things people have done but there was something extra special about Graham. He was just a everyday  Jo. He made it into every single country on planet earth without flying not even once. Such a epic story and the story was told so well with some incredible sub-stories, when the videos come out for Thinking Digital 2013, you must see this video. Epic and so down to earth. I also like to think I helped him with an introduction to someone I know at YouTube. I believe his storys are good enough to make him a bit of internet superstar, hopefully the youtube connection will be the start of it. Actually I need to check in and see if anything happened?

Jack Andraka
Jack Andraka I didnt’ quite get at first but as he told his story how he applied his mindset to the problem of pancreatic cancer, after losing a family friend to it. Using just Google he researched a new pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and potentially almost 100% accurate. He’s only 17, openly gay and already been described as the Alan Turing of our age. His talk was exactly what you would imagine from a 17 year old guy. All over the place but understanding the gravitas of what he was explaining you couldn’t help but feel how epic his journey has been. I really wished I had stopped and chatted to him in the hotel the next day, could have called a taxi and still have made the train.

Tom Scott burns his top to make a serious point

Tom Scott… What can I say. A talk you can only really do once and once only. Fire and Tom’s hoody, heck what more can you ask for? No but seriously Tom delves into the idea of archiving our memories. This is something I tried to do a while with my old phone. Memories are funny things, and they certainly make you pause for thought. I for example have my yellow Brazil football top, I’m surpised it even fits from 1998! The same year I went to Ibiza and go that crazy Brazil haircut. Maybe I should set fire to it too?

Aral Balkan

I already talked about Aral Balkin in a previous blog but he was rather good even if I disagreed with a lot of what he was saying. Well rehearsed and cleverly put together for the maximum effect each time. I won’t take that away from Aral, well done.

Also worth mentioning…

Chris Thorpe

Rachel Armstrong

Chris Thorpe and Rachel Armstrong for expanding our minds further than I could maybe take at that moment. My notes are pretty flat but I remember being slightly moved by what they were saying.

Alexa Meade

And finally, Alexa Meade for simply stunning pieces of art which I had only seen once or twice. Important never to forget the impact art can have in a new medium. Painting directly on to people is something very special and the time and dedication really impressed me. She was such a lovely lady too. I don’t know if I would ever let anyone paint on top of me. The feeling of uncleanliness would maybe drive me slowly nutty.

Another great Thinking Digital conference, I just wish I had seen more of the first day…

Post Pam Warhurst to Wikipedia

Pam Warhurst

I received this in my Flickr Mail the other day…

Have you thought about uploading one of your Pam Warhurst pictures to Wikipedia? Her profile (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Warhurst) doesn’t have one and I think www.flickr.com/photos/37421747@N00/7323713702 would be a good fit.

FYI: I am publishing a quote using this picture, credited, on Feb. 27 on my blog yahooeysblog.wordpress.com/

Must have been a slight mistake because looking for the quote I had to do a tag search for Pamela Warhurst. Finally I found this page. Right day wrong month.

“There’s so many people that don’t really recognize a vegetable unless it’s in a bit of plastic with an instruction packet on the top.” — Pamela WarhurstHow we can eat our landscapes

To be honest I’d love to have one of my pictures used for the wikipedia entry but its a real pain uploading to wikipedia when you forgot the account details (*smile*). So once I sort out the login, I’ll make the changes to Pamela’s entry. May have to do the same for a few other people…

Done….

Bring your own bucket of photos

A little break from perceptive media, but don’t worry it will be back once we have something solid in that area.

I was intrigued to see two things happen one after another. I’ll have to store this one under the decentralised magic or something.

First Tim sends me a tweet about OpenPhoto which is a decentralised flickr (my words not theres)

The inception of OpenPhoto was a desire to liberate our photos and take back control. Like you, our photos are the most valuable digital files we have. Also like you, we’ve used Flickr, Picasa and Smugmug and wound up with our photos scattered across numerous sites on the web.

So I signed up and will be looking to move my pictures from Flickr to OpenPhoto when the flickr subscription runs out in May. Which reminds me I need to download all my photos using this lovely app on Ubuntu. It requires you to bring your own bucket or storage system. So right now you can either use Amazon S3 or Dropbox

Then almost like magic, Dropbox quietly announced they were doing Google+ like automatic upload of photos to your dropbox account.

Even though the holidays have passed, we’re really stoked to give you guys one more present — a new experimental release! Under the wrapping you’ll find a bunch of new toys, including a brand new Camera Upload feature. Here are the release notes:

• Automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan

Together you have a complete solution to sidestep Google’s Picassa, Flickr’s reach and all other solutions. I just hope some of Flickr’s magic has rubbed off on OpenPhoto, as a decentralised Flickr is no easy feat. And I have to wonder how they stay sustainable if the money is going to Dropbox and Amazon.

Update – If OpenPhoto and SpiderOak would work together, I wouldn’t have to move anything at all. Although I’m wondering how permissions work? Wouldn’t want to just hand over my Spideroak authentication, as it has lots of my private backups. However its worth noting SpiderOak does support dropbox-like shares and Oauth, so that could work…

BBC Backstage in the guardian again

So now the ebook is out there, this pretty much spells the end of the BBC Backstage project. The backstage site & blog will go into a deep freeze so none of the links will be broken. It was interesting to read the Guardian wrap up of backstage, there was some good quotes from our interview way back in December 2010. But what got me was after a while was the slideshow from Rainycat. She was so good at documenting things. Of course afterwards I spent about a hour or so going through my own photos tagged bbc backstage.

I’ll say it again, BBC Backstage was an amazing project to be part of and even run. Not just the big stuff but also the small stuff. The good times (the many events we did, the prototypes and finally getting our own backstage playground servers off the ground) and the times when I thought I might be sacked (such as undermining the podcast trial by launching our own using blip.tv or crossing the hacker/BBC divide by sympathising with the DRM protests).

Its been simply incredible and looking back through the pictures, I see a lot of really happy people. Theres no doubt I’ll be chasing the high of working on backstage for quite some time to come. I think I remember a conversation I had with Rain after her attachment came to an end.

"Working for the BBC should be that way, and anything we can do to make that happen is always a good thing."

As always thanks for tags hackers of the new world, hopefully what we do next will be even more exciting that backstage ever would have been.

Discovering lovely workplaces

The old twitter offices

I had message on my flickr mail today. The subject read awesome workplaces. I though it may have been spam at first but I checked it out.

Dear Ian,

I found some great pictures of the Citizen Space workplace here: http://www.officedesigngallery.com/template_permalink.asp?id=154#comments

I would really like to add these pictures to my website: WOVOX.com.

WOVOX is a free and open platform for anyone to show and find workplaces. We want to help people find the workplace of their dreams more easily, but also learn from others and find inspiration for their own workplace.

There is room for credits and a link back to your website or social media profile. Your pictures will be available under an attribute & share alike creative commons license.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,

Arjen Hoekstra

I totally forgot about the pictures I took of the CitizenSpace, the old twitter offices (see the photo above – yes that how twitter use to look back in 2006ish) and the creative commons office, all in San Francisco. I’ve lot loads more which I forgot about. Good thing about flickr keeping all these photos and of course the creative commons license which is a sign that I’m willing to share.

Wovox.com actually looks pretty sweet. The ethos seems pretty well thought out too. For example heres a bit from the user guideline page.

Authenticity! Better show a few things with spirit than a lot of stuff without depth. A mobile phone pic in the heat of the moment is worth much more than a non-descript €1000 pose shot.

Plus its really good seeing Creative Commons licenses being baked in from day one rather that being an after thought (i’m looking at you mixcloud.com crew).

Seeing all these work places in one place, has somewhat inspired me. I hope to add the BBC media city office to the mix in the near future, it will be interesting to see how it grows as we get more people too.

Facebook for my old crusty photo collections

Me and the wowball

Most people know how much I really hate Facebook, although in the last few months I’ve slightly warmed to it for certain things.

Recently I scanned all my old negatives into jpgs, and I’m not sure what to do with them?

Normally I would upload them to Flickr.com like most of my photos but to be honest I only upload the best of my shots to flickr.com (even though I have a pro account and I have done for the last 4+ years). It just didn’t make sense to upload the old crusty scanned pictures to flickr.com. So I had a think and decided that the best place to publicly put them is on Facebook. Yes the EULA still really bugs me and It probably means Facebook now owns my photos but heck, there so old and crusty, that I don’t really care. Better online somewhere that lost in negative form forever?

On the upside, most of the photos are from when I was in school, so most of the people in the photos will be on facebook too. This means they can tag the photos to death and write stupid comments which make youtube comments look like degree essays in comparison. Oh and of course there will be the crazy (its taking over the web like crazy) "I like this" button for those who can’t be bother to say anything meaningful… (Geez I’m so snotty about facebook, I should really stop being so darn negative about it)

I also reckon theres roughly about 300 of them once you take out some of the duplicates (I did the scanning over a few days and didn’t really do a good job of splitting the done and to do piles, so shoot me). No one really wants to see my photostream full of old crusty photos for almost 300 photos… Heck not even I want to see that. So I’ll use facebook as I’ve been using it previously, a massive dumping ground for publicly available data. I’ve marked the photos as public, so it will be interesting to see what that means in the great scheme of things.

I’m aware there is some facebook event later today but I doubt its anything which will change my view on facebook or using it.

So old friends of mine, do check out the tip of the iceberg collection i’ve uploaded so far under school days (I was tempted to write skool daze but I don’t want to encourage the super lameness which comes with facebook stuff). I’ll upload the rest once Facebook stops telling me to update my flash player or I can be bothered to deal with the crappy html uploader.

Oh yeah I’m aware that this does get fed into facebook via rss. So no offense meant to my lovely facebook friends… Actually screw it. Isn’t all this so AOL 2.0???? What did you all think about me making it public instead of just my little network? Whooo the public Internet is so scary 🙂

Dream recording device possible, better get mydreamscape.org up

Go Deeper

My boss Adrian sent me a very interesting tweet which linked to a article on bbc news from Nature.

Dream recording device ‘possible’ researcher claims

Writing in the journal Nature, scientists say they have developed a system capable of recording higher level brain activity.

"We would like to read people’s dreams," says the lead scientist Dr Moran Cerf.

The aim is not to interlope, but to extend our understanding of how and why people dream.

Theres some interesting parts to the article including this one.

"There’s no clear answer as to why humans dream," according to Dr Cerf. "And one of the questions we would like to answer is when do we actually create this dream?" Dr Cerf makes his bold claim based on an initial study which he says suggests that the activity of individual brain cells, or neurons, are associated with specific objects or concepts.

He found, for example, that when a volunteer was thinking of Marilyn Monroe, a particular neuron lit up. By showing volunteers a series of images, Dr Cerf and his colleagues were able to identify neurons for a wide range of objects and concepts – which they used to build up a database for each patient. These included Bill and Hilary Clinton, the Eiffel Tower and celebrities. So by observing which brain cell lit up and when, Dr Cerf says he was effectively able to "read the subjects’ minds".

I’m really interested in this stuff too. My thought is somewhat consistent with the memetics theory.

A meme, analogous to a gene, is an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour (etc.) which is "hosted" in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen memetically as a meme reproducing itself. As with genetics, particularly under Dawkins’s interpretation, a meme’s success may be due its contribution to the effectiveness of its host (i.e., a the meme is a useful, beneficial idea), or may be "selfish", in which case it could be considered a "virus of the mind."

Anyway, before I drop into the theory behind dream science and how one method is maybe better that the other… Some people have wondered whats happened to mydreamscape.org?

Well at the moment I’m running a modified version of Status.net (open microblogging system) in the backend. I’ve decided that after watching the Social network (the facebook movie) its maybe more important that I get something up even if it doesn’t have all the functionality that I described or would want in the previous blog post or the slideshow. So right now I’m taking the advice from Imran Ali and dropped the ability to hide stuff (levels).

On the system side, I’m ummming and errrring between a few options…

  1. Ideally I would have the framework which runs Flickr (hopefully Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are listening) and I would adapt it to mydreamscape.org.
  2. Second ideal option I would use Diaspora once its publicly available. I’m watching it with quite keen interest.
  3. Thirdly I would use W3c’s Anotea server if I can actually work out how to install it. That would mean you would need to download some browsers extras to comment, collaborate and annotate other peoples dreams. But then you would have a robust annotation system instead of just comments.
  4. I’ve consider using a standard solution like drupal and even alfresco to do the bulk of the work. In actual fact I’m very interested in Drupal because I spotted the Drupal Social Network Framework (unfortunately it seems very early days).
  5. Using microblogging platform Status.net, Blojsom or WordPress with maybe Anotea as a kicker for real annotations.
  6. Write something custom…

In addition I’ve started writing my own dreams down in an app called Rednotebook which is an example of the kind of app I would like to attached to mydreamscape. Maybe once things are up and running I could modify the source code to include sync with mydreamscape.org or something…

I also have something big up my sleeve for mydreamscape.org and its founded on Ludicorp’s original idea for Flickr (Game Never Ending). Have a guess what it is…

mydreamscape presentated at social media cafe manchester

Chi-chi Ekweozor (@realfreshtv) has written up my scramble thoughts and presentation about mydreamscape.org up on her blog.

I am amazed at how much detail she got down in the session, its a perfect account of what was said and by who. Her hand must have been going into over drive!

A couple of people ask great questions about privacy and how easy the network will be to spam.

The points raised range from deciding to keep users anonymous to encourage people to share their dreams in detail to wondering how to stop the spammer that ‘keeps dreaming about ‘Coca-cola’ or Justin Bieber(!)

Adrian Slatcher (@adrianslatcher on Twitter) from Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA), added some fine observations about dreams being non-linear.

Some people make associations in dreams based on colour, so called ‘colour dreams’. There are also ‘anxiety’ dreams. There is a very strong metaphysical element to dreams.

Adrian went on to add that this ‘crowd-sourced’ emotional categorisation of dreams: ‘anxiety = red’, ‘peace = green’ etc lends itself to making such a social network a very useful psychoanalysis tool.

She also detailed a great conversation we had afterwards with Josh (@technicalfault) about a killer mobile app for mydreamscape

In a conversation with Ian and Social Media Cafe co-organiser Josh (@technicalfault) after his talk, we discussed what I think is the killer application for such a project: a mobile phone app that combines access with the social network with a dream diary linked to the phone’s alarm clock.

As soon as you wake up, you are prompted to record your dream into a ‘What did you dream today?’ interface rather like Twitter’s early ‘What are you doing?’ question.

Different media types could be introduced later on so people would eventually make voice or video recordings of their dreams. That would rock.

I love the idea of asking the question, “what did you dream today?” or even “what did you dream last night?” Its a very catchy punchline and sums up the project nicely. The Flickr of dreams say one thing but “what did you dream today?” says something very different.

The point keeps coming up, why not make a facebook application? And finally I had a reply

People have suggested Ian should implement the idea as a Facebook app. He’s not particularly keen on this, preferring the Flickr model as “Flickr never exposes private stuff.”

Facebook’s EULA makes mydreamscape unworkable or at least cuts right into the users privicy which would make trusting the system almost impossible. Flickr have a good model as they never expose users private data and never will. Hence “the flickr of dreams” tag line.

I’ve presented at barcampmanchester3 and now at Social Media cafe manchester and each time I’ve had a positive response, but raised many more questions. Some of those question have been useful but none have been no this is a terriable idea. In actually fact I’ve picked up a few people who really want to get involved along the way. Each person has offered some advice and some more passion into the general idea. I think my next step is to do a map for the idea (a masssive A0 sheet of endless paper with information about the idea and details which I currently have in tomboynotes). I can then publish the map and make it even easier for people to develop the idea themsleves. Its also handy to have everything on one sheet, so I can put everything in context. This presentation isn’t really explaining the idea very well and does a bit of deservice to the underlying idea. I really hope to change for something better soon. But for now it explains the concept enough…

.

Plumbing for the next web at Xtech 2007

I have uploaded my presentation, pipelines: plumbing for the next web fresh from the first day of Xtech 2007 today to Slideshare.

The general view is that the presentation went down well and made sense. However I think people really wanted to see something which worked instead of slideware.

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