Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

I kickstarted Clubbed a while ago, and a few days ago I got my copy in the post. Now its got a proud spot on my bookshelf.

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

Of course its not just about the Hacienda but lots of famous UK clubs and dance nights. Its a beautifully designed booked which reflects the graphic design of the era.

Clubbed: a visual history of UK club culture

Very happy to be a backer along so many others.

Clubbed: a kickstarted visual history of UK club culture

It was Tom Morris who first pointed me towards this kickstarter project for a visual history of UK club culture.

The shots look so good and its a great thing to have captured, I wish there was one for the early UK rave culture too but I’ve pledged as I’d love to have this in my book collection.

Pebble 2 first thoughts

Pebble 2.0
I kickstarted the Pebble smartwatch 2.0, it was my first kickstarter backing.

Previously I’ve not been keen on the kickstarter EULA but this time I decided the balance was worth the flip. I had hoped to have it sooner but while I was in Berlin, it came.

Opening the package it was clear they had really thought about the unboxing experience and it was simple and quick. So quick I actually switched watches in less than 30mins.
Pebble 2.0
I opted for the Pebble 2.0 not the Pebble time 2.0 because I didn’t really see the benefit of colour epaper in a smartwatch. The first thing which struck me was the sheer thinness of the watch. Its like twice the thinness and about the same lighter. Its about the size of those calculator watches you use to get/are retro cool now. Its also fast, everything feels snappy compared to the Pebble 1.0. No idea how many apps will run side by side but I suspect its many more.

The feature I looked forward to using was the voice reply, and it works pretty well. Its not exactly what you can do while on a scooter at lights but its good enough. The Pebble health stuff is good too but I haven’t really explored it much since I just ditched my Fitbit for a Xiaomi mi band with magnet waist clip, actually works better than the fitbit clip when playing volleyball. If I could use the Pebble while playing Volleyball, I would of course.

Pebble 2.0

Right now, I decided to see how I felt about the rubber strap, instead of the strap I bought from Tokyo. I quite like the fact its the same size as the previous pebble making them easily interchangeable.

So far the only downside I have found is the battery seems to take longer to charge but it also lasts longer unless you have the heart rate thing on. Also I noticed the timeline doesn’t seem to go into the past anymore, which is a shame. But generally most of these things are tiny issues.

So far I’m still very glad I stuck with Pebble. A lot of friends who bought Android Wear and Apple Watches have given up on them. The Pebble is a ideal smartwatch and the 2nd edition really puts it closer to the standard watches.

The biggest question is what to do with my old one?

Travelstarter: Nice mission terrible name

I first saw Travel starter via Cristiano Betta

A crowdfunding startup for travelers wanting to support the place they are visiting? Sounded too good to be true… But I was impressed with I saw.

TravelStarter is a new way to travel by supporting local tourism and saving money at the same time. It’s easy – you pick your next destination, select your favorite project or reward, and we take care of the rest.

Although I can’t really see it taking off, I think its a really nice idea. For example a friend of mine, went to Goa for a month. She loved it so much that the family she stayed with, she regularly still checks in on them and I think sends them small gifts every now and then. With something like travelstarter, she could help,  encourage others and work towards a better village as a whole.

It wouldn’t really work too well for myself because I tend to head to cities and places which are not really in dire need of external help. Then again it might be interesting to hear about some of the local projects and communities before and after I travel.

It feels like a good idea but not something which I expect VC’s will go for? Terrible name too…

Dating, Lies and Algorithms the conference talk?

IMG_0928.JPG

Thayer is a wonderful woman and when she emailed me asking if I would talk at her conference, The Best of British. I thought for about 2mins before agreeing.

I’m going to do something to connect some of the thinking I’ve had about algorithms and dating. Into a unique one time talk. Never to be repeated I can say… Exclusive! So go support.

“Support you say?”

What makes this conference special is its going to be funded by kickstarter…. I know how crazy is that? Confirm speakers include…

    • Alice Taylor, MakieLab, London
    • Chris Thorpe, I Can Make, Oxford
    • Matthew Somerville, mySociety (& many other great things), Birmingham
    • Mazz Mosley, freelance technologist, previously a tech lead @ GDS, Leighton Buzzard
    • Ian Forrester, BBC R&D, Manchester
    • Dan Fairs, SecondSync, Bristol
    • Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computing Science, Cardiff Metropolitan University
    • Priya Prakash, Founder, Design for Social Change, London

 

Well Thayer is the Prime, so trust in her we do.

Pacemaker is Paradigm shifting?

pacemaker_sonar_june_2007_07

I was explaining to someone over twitter about the Pacemaker device since I was using it at the Future Media North Christmas Party. They were interested in buying some dj kit and was seeking advice from myself and Simon Lumb.

I know the pacemaker device (as its now called) isn’t coming back because frankly there wasn’t enough demand but that shouldn’t affect how ground breaking of a device it was/is. I would go almost as far as to say it was a paradigm shift in djing and mixing. No other device before it had attempted to cater for a niche like djs before and with something so bold.

I was thinking about this when my sister laid claim to my all but dormant BlackBerry Playbook which the pacemaker guys got me. Even the pacemaker guys will be first to admit the tablet isn’t a great platform for djing. Maybe I could push them to say the original vision was compromised when moving to the tablet, but its a compromise which has kept them in the game.

pacemaker_sonar_june_2007_06

The Pacemaker device was mind blowing, I would suggest almost paradigm shifting.

Everything up to that moment was aping vinyl and then some guys came along and built something which was so radical I can only suggest it was like a paradigm shift in djing. There hasn’t been such a major shift in the way you dj since direct drive turntables.
Not only that the mission was always the democratisation of djing, such a fine and impressive goal.

Of course thats my view, many would disagree? One of the best quotes I heard before I ordered my own over 5 years ago.

I wanted a PlayStation Portable for music” – Jonas Norberg

The Pacemaker in use

Never forgotten and I still use my every few weeks, in fact because of it I now buy more music legally than I had before (at least till when I was buying vinyl). What I’m wondering is if this might be a good time to do some crowd funding? A kickstarter would be easy for these guys because they have a good track record and certainly know what there doing to a certain point. I don’t know if I would pay through the nose again for a pacemaker but I’m seriously thinking about buying another one on ebay just in-case my one goes wrong in some way.