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…

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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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London Werewolf Cards?

This was one of those what the f*ck moments. Found on Kid666

There was a lot of Werewolf playing at BarCampLondon2 as one would expect. There was also some talk of starting a Flickr group with CC licences. These could then be printed to Moo cards.
While I know some people want to do illustrated or CGI graphics I dont have any of those skills. I do however have a lot of imagination. In that spirit I decided some of our favourite British web-tech celebrities should be turned into Werewolf cards. My suggestions are:

  • Werewolves
  • Jeremy Keith
  • Andy Budd
  • Tom Coates
  • Seer
  • Mark Norm Francis
  • Villagers
  • Simon Willison
  • Ian Forrestor

Who else should be on there where? And does anyone have the photoshop skills to make this happen? Write me!

I would do it this way.

  • Werewolves
  • Jeremy Keith
  • Andy Budd
  • Tom Coates
  • Mark Norm Francis
  • Seer
  • Ian Forrestor
  • Healer
  • Natalie
  • Villagers
  • Sheila Thomson
  • Steve Marshal
  • Simon Willison
  • Kapowaz
  • Tom Morris

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Yahoo are at it again…

I think it was about a year ago when Yahoo tried to sweet talk everyone who used Flickr into upgrading to a Yahoo ID. Old Skool flickr members revolted and staged a large protest. Well its happening again, I wonder if there will be a large protest again? I just received this email from Yahoo.

Dear Old Skool Account-Holding Flickr Member,

On March 15th we'll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We're making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in — like the mobile site at m.flickr.com or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at: http://go.yahoo.com.

95% of your fellow Flickrites already use this system and their experience is just the same as yours is now, except they sign in on a different page. It's easy to switch: it takes about a minute if you already have a Yahoo! ID and about five minutes if you don't.

You can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you'll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, start at this page:

http://flickr.com/account/associate/

Nothing else on your account or experience of Flickr changes: you can continue to have your FlickrMail and notifications sent to any email address at any domain and your screenname will remain the same.

Complete details and answers to most common questions are available here: http://flickr.com/help/signin/

Thanks for your patience and understanding – and even bigger thanks for your continued support of Flickr: if you're reading this, you've been around for a while and that means a lot to us!

Warmest regards,

– The Flickreenos

So as Neil and others have pointed out, the Yahoo/Flickr protest is back and this time Yahoo don't seem to be rolling over. So whats my beef with Yahoo? Well let me tell you in a couple of points.

  • I bloody paid for 2 years of Flickr not Yahoo.
  • My Yahoo ID is something completely different and getting ianforrester or anything close is going to impossible (trust me I tried)
  • I don't want my non-commercial licensed photos involved in Yahoo's promotional warez.
  • Sorry but I preferred to have my own ID not linked to Yahoo, simple.
  • Why on earth does Yahoo want to know Birthday and Postcode? Is this needed just to share pictures?

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What my wonderful wife bought me for Christmas

Flickr Canon Powershot S3 IS

Yep for all the overtime she's been doing since the outbreak, she decided to buy me a Canon Powershot S3 IS today. This is also a good segway into the Flickr camera data pool which I've been meaning to blog about for flipping ages.

Here's all the cameras I currently own.

The Coolpix will soon be Sarahs and I'll start only using the HD1 for filming and quick shots. So far I'm totally in love with the Canon Powershot.

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OS X Atmosphere Concept done with Flickr and clever scripting

OSX Atmosphere Concept

I wish I had a XML desktop. Why? Well I really want to do some of things which can be easily done online, with my desktop machine too. Kind of application development using web technologies. Yes it would be slower that writing in C++ or something like that, but it would mean more people could write stuff for there machines. So whats prompted this observation? Well I'm already thinking about this for my Xtech Proposal (which I should be working on instead of blogging) plus I saw the OSX atmosphere concept on electro plankton just recently.

So what I'm thinking is this is kind of possible using a weather feed or api and Flickr pictures. Obviously I've not seen the application running but the general idea of what the wather is like outside on your desktop is very achiveable. RSS Screensavers currently are pretty lame, for example my current favorate displays the headlines and a random picture from the local machine. But it will also display markup as actual non escaped markup, yeah sucks when you get a feed with pictures. You would have thought it would be clever enough to display that picture or something. I mean imagine subscribing to a feed like engadget or gizmodo which are heavy with high quality images. The experience would be a lot different.

But back to the XML desktop idea, yes Vista with XAML looks/sounds like what I'm after but knowing Microsoft its not going to live up to the promises. Geez this is certainly geting close to my proposal but wouldn't it be great to have read only (at the moment) XML feeds for commonly used APIs on your own machine? Its kind of like a widget engine and how they make common desktop api's available for use. Well extend that out so you don't have to build just widgets. I know for a fact this has security and privicy implications but say we could find a way through those very serious concerns? Wouldn't that be fantastic?

Update: It looks Adobe'e Apollo could be the solution to this? Thanks Gareth for the heads up on this. I started think about Apollo a lot more while reading the PDF and thought of the parallels between it, Xulrunner and a widget engine. And came up with this matrix.

Internet Application matrix

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BBC issues recently

BBC TV Centre

The BBC has been getting quite a lot of attention recently. I obviously can't say anything from a BBC perpective only my own personal view. So in lawyer speak, these are the views of myself and myself alone. They are not the and should not be taken as the official view of the BBC.

So the first and most public is the announcement about the Memo of Understanding with Microsoft. Via Slashdot

Microsoft has signed a memorandum of understanding with the BBC for 'strategic partnerships' in the development of next-generation digital broadcasting techniques. They are also speaking to other companies such as Real and Linden Labs. Windows Media Centre platform, Windows Live Messenger application and the Xbox 360 console have all been suggested as potential gateways for BBC content. It is unclear how this impacts on existing BBC research projects such as Dirac, although it is understood that the BBC would face heavy criticism if its content was only available via Microsoft products.

Slashdot has lots of critism and we didn't get a glowing review in the Guardian either. Dave's been sending me updates from the Free Software foundation UK list but Miles outlays a view point which I think quite a few people have (I assumed this was ok to publish miles?).

Any technology alliance the BBC enters into with a commercial software and DRM vendor should explicitly define open standards and open content. At the present time, where DRM implementations are not interoperable because of commercial competition in the DRM market, and software vendors' desire to dominate that market, producing proprietary and DRMed content locks the partnership in, and locks consumers in. Whilst it may be legitimate for a company to do this, a broadcaster that is funded by a mandatory public subscription (the license fee), and which has, in effect, as a direct result, a quasi-monopoly, should not abuse its position, and shaft a public which has no choice.

The cynic in me believes broadcasters are doing this on purpose – because they want “IP TV” to fail so they can prolong their existing business models.

Certainly these are very strong words.

And on to the other issue… Thanks to Bahi for this heads up. There's been talk about the BBC ripping off Flickr photographs. Ripping off and Scandal are very strong words indeed but if you do actually follow the Scotland Flickr discussion. The bit which got everyones backs up, lies in this part of what the editor of BBC Scotland says.

I wondered if anyone would be willing to give me advance permission to use their pictures as and when the need arises? We'd still always send you a message telling you we'd used a picture and we'd credit you in the alt tag (and possibly the caption as well).

All I can say is this was always going to be a difficult thing to explain.

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Moo’s Flickr minicards

Paul Hammonds cards

Found via Ben Hammersley's blog

Moo.com's Flickr Minicards service has launched and lordy is it good. Get up to a 100 of your Flickr images on the front of business cards, for $20? 10 free for all Flickr Pro users?

Free did you say? Yes and you know what its better that free? Free delivery to the UK too. I've already ordered my cards and if there any good I might just go for a 100. I've been looking for something different to my normal BBC business card for a while now. Oh they have a Flickr pool if your interested in seeing more.

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Flickr reaches 250,000,000 photos

Found via BoingBoing

On February 15, 2006 I discovered that the photo sharing site Flickr had reached 100 million hosted photos. Today (September 22 2006) at 11.18 PM CET, only seven months later, Flickr passed the quarter billion mark – 250 million photos.

It maybe that Flickr is doesn't have the number of people that Yahoo Photos might do, but I very much douht that the quality and quanity of photos is anywhere near flickr. I do wonder the percentage which are creative commons licenced however.

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Flickr releases maps for photos

Flickr Maps for London

There's some debate if this is geotagging or geo anything so I've used maps for now. Found via Digg, Thomas Hawk has a nice review of the new mapping feature in Flickr.

I have to say its pretty neat and works even better than Frappr at the moment. Although I'm wondering open this data is? For example will I be able to take the geo data out of Flickr once I've arranged all my pictures so nicely on the map? And if so, how? But for right now, London is looking a little bare at the moment so go add pictures! Look out for the lack of mapping from Yahoo maps outside northern america.

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London geekdinner’s the most popular geekdinners?

London geekdinner top of flickr clusters

I spent a lot of time on Flickr this week, something to do with our BBC awayday presentation. Anyway I was amazed at the quality and quantity of photos. The longtail effect can easily be witnessed on Flickr. But something struck me while looking for pictures of geeks. First if you do search for the tag geek in the cluster format, you will notice Londongeekdinner is 3rd on the right and theres a selection of pictures from the last few dinners. But also if you search for geekdinner, London is 1st. So if you do the maths, according to Flickr's engine. London has the most popular geekdinners in the world?

Looking at Google, the same is also the case. Amsterdam gets a mention at 3rd spot and Denmark gets 5th place. Although Google still thinks I'm searching for gardiner. Google's blog search for geekdinner echo's pretty much what the regular search has. Theres actually quite a few pointers to this blog in the top 10 list. What I find funny at the moment is the lack of American geekdinners, so I thought I'd try searching in Technorati. And believe it or not, only a single geekdinner from north america came up in the top 20 results. The Sussex geekdinner came up first with talk about Amsterdam and other European countries not far behind that. Singapore was also mentioned a few times, which is great to see.

So it looks like London is the popular geekdinner destination right now. I'm expecting this will contuine with some of the great events being aranged in June by myself and July/August by Sarah Blow of Girlgeekdinners. Oh on a side point if you try searching for girl geekdinner in anything, you always find links back to the London Girl geekdinners. There doesn't seem to be any other part of the world doing girl geekdinners.

Talking about Geekdinners the interviews from the last geekdinner are now up on Archive.org. There all in Xvid format for now, but licenced under a share-a-like licence so your welcome to re-encode them.

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