Lazyweb: Kinetic powered LED Diabolo

I have been thinking a lot, regarding the idea about kinetic powered LED diabolos,

A while ago I bought some inline skate wheels and they work exactly how I thought. However trying to attach them to the diabolo is more tricky that I thought.

Really I need to sit in a hackspace and just go at it for a day or so.

LED diabolo plan

In my head there are two ways to go about this.

  1. The standard diabolo route with a spinning axle.
    I could extend the diabolo axle and attach the inline wheel loose to the outside. In theory, the diabolo would spin as one piece and the loose inline wheel which has a bit of weight would generally spin far less than the diabolo axle. With this, the dynamo will light the wheel. Of course this might not work.
  2. The geared diabolo route with a static axle.
    This one is much more complex but a geared or bearing diabolo gets incredible speeds because the axle has a bearing within it. The big question is to either extend the bearing out to the inline wheel or add a bearings to the inline wheel’s dynamo?
    I also been wondering if the cups could be used to hold the inline wheel?

Ultimately it seems all possible but it just needs time. I write this encouraging others to give it a try. Maybe I’ll get some time off and get myself down to Hackspace Manchester (hacman) or DoES in Liverpool?

Someone tell me the physics don’t work one way or another, heck tell me how it could actually work…

Love Linux but sometimes…


Sometimes I come across simple things which just need someone to think about it from a user point of view.

One such example is adjusting the sensitivity on my XPS 13 trackpad. The XPS 13 has a widescreen trackpad which is good (although I do miss the Thinkpad pointer) but the right hand tends to hover around the edge, as there isn’t much room to rest my hand due to the keyboard and trackpad. The solution is to adjust the sensentivity of the trackpad, so I get less hover mistakes trigger from my thumb. Simple!

On my ubuntu setup, the trackpad driver is called synaptics and it can be configured anyway you like. Except to do so, you need to mess with the terminal and maybe even log out and in for the changes to stick.

If I was doing one #lazyweb request, it would be to automaticlly create a gui/wrapper for terminal operations like changing your mouse settings.

Where to go in Iceland?


Its partly might own fault, I knew I was going to Iceland at some point but never really looked into where to go? I mainly think about finally seeing the northern lights but what else should I be doing? I’ve been looking into a bit on and off but not really spent the time working out what I should be doing when not looking into the night sky.

I’m staying in Reykjavik in a lovely Airbnb loft and I’ll be seeing Brian Suda a for a few days at least. But which other places should I be seeing?

You have to remember I won’t be driving, so reliant on local buses and I’m not super great at the outdoors as the week afterwards will make clear. Theres a ton of tours to different places but over the week, I’m wondering which ones are must sees and when in Reykjavik, where should I eat and drink? Don’t forget I have those allergies.

Take this as a bit of a lazyweb or crowd sourcing, love to get peoples thoughts; but its got to be soon as I’m off soon.


Think IOT + Trakt + Shazam for video

Here’s one for anybody to take on…

Imagine a device like Amazon’s echo which ambiently shares what you are watching and also at what point…

It would operate similar to Trakt.TV’s live progress but rather than be constrained to an online web service, it would be a physical connected thing (IoT) which uses acoustic fingerprint technology similar to Shazam to automatically recognise what you are watching and where you currently are.

This is essential as on-demand viewing is changing the way we watch and consume media. This similar in concept to BBC prototype the Olinda. Think trakt crossed with Shazam and Olinda.

Whipclip reminded me of this, but I have been using Yatse with  Kodi or the Chromecast to share the shows I’m currently watching.  But I’d like to share the part of the video I’m watching really… This causes some issue with spoilers, but that could be worked out if you knew the episode and position of the person who is looking.

Lazyweb… make it be!


Uber for public transport…?


Chris writes

…there’s been lots of innovation around the open data of public transport, but not of public transport itself – where are the startups aiming to disrupt First and Stagecoach?)

When I first heard it I thought well that can’t work but the more and more I think about it. It certainly can with the right data access.

I want to go to MediaCity, I’m walking in the right direction from Piccadilly and the app knows where I’m going because its in my calendar. Rather than show me a load of options, it should show me the public transport which I could catch to head the right way. As I keep walking the options change as I walk near a tram stop, a new option is highlighted but its going to cost me more and I’ll have to change more. The option goes away as the tram pulls way, leaving me with the option to wait for the next one or walk around the corner for the bus. Its easy to imagine, so why has it not happened?

As Chris indicated earlier in the post. Google now, could do a lot of this. But it strikes me as something you use in passing rather than spend lots of time looking at. The bulk of such a thing might rely on Googlemaps?

What ever happens, it will be powered by people like Opendata Manchester. Lazyweb make it so…!

Imagine Uber for Hugs

sometimes, a hug is all what we need

Not sure where alexis lloyd heard it from but I love the concept… and could easily team up with the free hugs campaign.

Imagine watching your hug coming in on google maps, 5mins, 2mins, 1min… text comes in saying your hug is waiting outside the door for you… You could rate the hugs and get a nice description of the hugger before hand.

If I understand correctly, the engine which drives Uber is already being used elsewhere and could be re-purposed for many things including hugs.

Maybe thats what the world needs right now? Lazyweb make it so?

Tagging which way? How about my way?

Story telling fest

Looking though my to read at somepoint in the future tagged catagory in Great News I found this useful summary of the problem with tagging online at the moment. Tag formats: Can’t we all just get along? covers the main tagging applications online and shows the confusion between spaced keywords and the comma seperated method.

So where do I fall on this issue? Well although I use Flickr and almost everyday, I think they could both do benefit from using commas to seperate tags. All the latest services which I've used which support tagging have used commas because they make a lot more sense. As Victor says in the comments,

commas are faster than quotes.

as i see it (in my own experience) tags can be annoying if you don’t really care about them when you have to enter them. Usually you care about them later on, when you cannot find what you’re looking for. but they’re still a(nother) time-consuming task.

i’d use fast, thus i’d use commas.

The only thing which puts me off commas is the language issue, which is that some languages use commas for other things. There was a suggestion to use semicolon but I feel that would go down like a listening to your ipod in a church service. Other solutions which I've seen around the web include autosensing spaces or commas and the Amazon box model type thing. Which I personally think sucks because it takes too long to fill them in. I wonder why no ones written a greasemonkey script to allow people to pick a method which will be translated across all tagging services. So I can type commas into Flickr and it just translates it into spaces for me. Yeah its very lazyweb stuff. But as FataL points out, this can't be that hard.

Computer now smart enough to parse them all:
south asia, africa = [south asia] [africa]
“south asia” africa = [south asia] [africa]
‘south asia’ africa = [south asia] [africa]
(south asia) africa = [south asia] [africa]
south asia – africa = [south asia] [africa]
It’s not so hard to program all this I believe.

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