The time traveling web


I read about W3C’s project Memento a while ago but its become a reality recently.

The Memento protocol is a straightforward extension of HTTP that adds a time dimension to the Web. It supports integrating live web resources, resources in versioning systems, and archived resources in web archives into an interoperable, distributed, machine-accessible versioning system for the entire web. W3C finds Memento work with online reversion history extremely useful for the Web in general and practical application on its own standards to be able to illustrate how they evolve over time

Its smart, simple and great because it works on top of http, instead of creating a whole different way of doing the same thing.

I can already imagine memento powered twitter service or memento powered BBC redux service.

Take back your lunches


How long do you take for lunch?

Personally, I take a full hour…

I consciously take my full hour or sometimes a little more, to balance the amount of time I sometimes work (I quantify my work time with hamster time tracker, so know how much time I have worked)

I very rarely eat at my desk, although many of my colleagues do it regularly. To be fair I have mentioned eating at the kitchen table (we have communal kitchen tables on each floor) but they always blame meetings or not enough time.

Take Back Your Lunch. In the best of worlds, that’s something we all ought to do every day. At the very least, I want to urge you to take back your lunch on Wednesday, and then on every Wednesday this summer, wherever you are. To find out where people will be gathering – or if you’d like to organize a Take Back Your Lunch Meetup in your city or town

Sounds good to me, reminds me of some of the early breakfast meetups there use to be in London.

When not to pay as you go…


Ziferblat opens on Edge Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, I guess its so new that its not even on the website it seems.

I’ve heard of ziferblat from London. To be honest I’m not big fan of pay as you go services, especially when it comes to things I treat like leisure time.

So why am I not so keen?

I like to relax, I find the idea of paying for time to access a space or time a little upsetting and stressful. Life is busy enough, why put a clock against the time you want to enjoy and remember?

Having a time limit induces a state (trance) which is not consistent with relaxing and pleasure. The kind of things we associate with leisure or social time. How many times have you booked a restaurant and they have given you a set time and you thought that’s fine? To be honest the only places which I know does this and gets away with it is the all you can eat buffet places! 2hrs to stuff you’re face and then walk/roll out. Do you ever feel happy once you come out of these places? I doubt it!

How very apt to compare the all you can eat buffet places to the pay as you go model. I’m not saying ziferblat is necessary a all you can eat buffet, but I would say it could encourage overindulgence and  selfishness.

I mean you are paying by the minute, so better make sure you get what you need. Screw everybody else, where’s my coffee? What I have to wait for the toilet, don’t they know who I am?

Some things take time and time is there to be enjoyed… Some of you will say, ian’s gone off the deep end but I’ll leave you with a quote…

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
Steve Jobs

Poor Si Lumb almost got it in the neck from me… Little reminder about Phoneshop’s view on Pay as you Go!

Gradually and then suddenly

Love this piece from seth godin on the way we look at the present. Found via martin rue

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers become unentranced. We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit. Profit covers many sins. Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the support is gone, so is the profit. Suddenly, apparently quite suddenly, it all falls apart.

It didn’t happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly.

The flipside works the same way. Trust is earned, value is delivered, concepts are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset, but none of it seems to be paying off. Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works, but we too often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part. The media writes about suddenly, we notice suddenly, we talk about suddenly.

Gradually and suddenly, all part of the present. But as Seth points out only suddenly gets the attention.

If I could get a pound for every time someone says to me, so what do we get out of it? They want a sudden effect not a gradual effect. Long lasting things take time.

Today we had a meeting with some lovely women from Abandon Normal Devices. They were recommended to us by someone I had met when I met a more formal meeting with guy who had come to the Quantified Self Manchester group (next meet-up is tomorrow by the way). Ok thats pretty crazy to follow but the point is, its a gradual thing which unfolds, grows and morphs into something special. Gradually and then Suddenly…

About time, chick-flick with a big message

About Time

I watched About time which is self described as being from the creator of Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four weddings and a Funeral.

The tagline is: A new funny film about love. With a bit of time travel. And you know what kind of a sucker I am for Time Travel, but I wasn’t convinced till I read a brief review.

There must be a reason for its 7.8 imdb rating. Well this sums it up

The main reason I’m writing this review is due to the fact that most of the negative reviewers on IMDb seem to have missed the point of this film entirely. I’m not going to go into much detail as I think the film speaks for itself (and I hate it when people put spoilers in their reviews).

It’s not a romantic comedy as most would have you believe. It’s a comedy/drama that revolves around the relationship between a father and son. The romantic themes are just a small part of this great film.

Once you stop thinking of it as a rom-com you will see the brilliance of it all. It’s not the greatest film of all time, it’s not the prettiest, the funniest or the best written.

What it is is a heartfelt tale of a father/son relationship. The time travel elements are just a plot device, the romance, just a plot device. It’s laugh out loud funny in spots and tear-jerking in others. It’s well written, but still light and breezy when it needs to be.

Look past the surface of this film and feel the emotion that these fine actors bring to the screen. Let go and just enjoy it for what it is.

And that person was right. The time traveling part was interesting but then a certain thing happens and your questioning what you would do. But the things which are really noteworthy for me is the message about life and the relationship with his father in the later parts of the film.

There’s a couple great quotes in the film and here’s one near the end…

Tim: We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.

Time is like the Temperature?

I’ve been thinking about some of the mystery of the mind, specially since I started my quest to explore ideas and memes with after my own bleed on the brain back in May 2010.

I started thinking temperature is quite similar to time?

  • Time is different for everyone, try getting people to tell the time without a clock
  • Temperature feels different for everyone
  • Time has a man made scale
  • Temperature has a man made scale
  • Time goes slow when your having fun
  • Temperature feels suitable (hot or cold) when your having fun
  • Everyone has a preferred temperature
  • Everyone has a preferred time
  • There are places in the universe we can’t really go due to temperature extremes
  • There are places in the universe we can’t really go due to time extremes

Ok maybe its not a perfect match… but you get the general gist…

Having a nightmare day and its only 9:20am

It started at 6:20am when I woke up in a panic. I had not actually received the confirmation number for my train tickets to Birmingham today. Why was I going to Birmingham? Well back tracking a bit, I had heard about the citizen journalism conference a while ago but couldn't really justify paying for it and taking the time off. However, on Tuesday 23rd I got a email in my spam box from Paul Bradshaw. The start went exactly like this…

I am writing to invite you to the 'Citizen Journalism' conference this Friday, 26th January 2007. This one day event in Birmingham's Custard Factory will provide an important opportunity for those who work in the news industry, academics and citizen journalists to create a network of those working within the field, and discuss the issues involved. As one of the country's foremost bloggers we would be honoured if you would like to attend this event as a non-paying guest.

Ok so I'm thinking they must have the wrong guy. doesn't even make the top 10000 in Technorati (but to be fair I've had problems with Technorati for a while now). Although I did make it into the Top 500 feedster bloggers in late 2005. But honestly I don't see how the thoughts and ideas of dyslexic, designer/developer can be of that much interest. Saying all
that, I got to say its quite good to think of myself as a Z level celeb in the blogosphere. Anyway you look at it, I'm still glowing after reading that email and thought I'd better make a effort go along.

And this is where things started to go wrong. On Wednesday I booked the tickets for the train on the BBC's internal train service (supplied by the trainline for business) and I waited a bit for the confirmation email but was so busy I forgot about it and ended up going home without checking again. But I noticed there were a couple of unread items on my phone which is automatically synced with Outlook. So I just assumed those emails could have been the conformation number. Boy was I wrong. It turned out to be
two emails about the future of webapps which is now sold out (whole different story).

On Thursday I was out of the office and busy during the night at the Rights will make you rich and Boagworld meetup, so didn't get a chance to do anything due to having to get up really early the next day. Anyway, so today I logged on to my email remotely from home and checked my email for anything from the trainline. Of course there was nothing. So I attempted to book another ticket from London Euston to Birmingham and back again. The system was having none of it. I tried for like 20mins, even tried booking
single tickets but it just wasn't going to be. Tried phoning our BBC Trainiline helpdesk and the trainline directly but all I got was call back at 8am. Well I would if I didn't have to catch a train at 8:10am. So in the end I logged out and had to signup with the plain consumer facing Trainline website myself and fork it all out on my own credit card. Luckly it worked but I couldn't book tickets for the morning because you can't buy tickets 2hrs before the train leaves. So by the time all this happened and I
quickly jumped in the shower, it was 7:30am and I still had to unlock the scooter and go to euston.

I was already up against it and the traffic along commercial road was stupid and not going anywhere soon. But I did manage to get to Kings Cross at 8:10am which meant I missed the train but could get the next one ok. By the time I found where I could park my scooter (right out side the station actually) it was 8:30 and after getting my ticket (38 pounds for a single to Birmingham) I thought I'd quickly grab some food from Marks and Spencers because I hadn't eaten well yesterday and didn't have any breakfast.
Well you can guess what happened when I got to the platform. Yep wave goodbye to the train. They had cancelled the train at 8:43 and told everyone going that way to get on the earlier 8:40. I think its at that point I thought things couldn't get much worst and I thought well I got to at least write a blog entry about this day I'm having.

Well in the last sting of the tail, my ticket I bought was a super saver which is not valid for travel before 9:45am. The next train (which I'm currently sitting on) was at 9:10am but I didn't know about the super saver till 9:05am. So I ended up having to pay extra money to make up the fair difference (a extra 25 pounds). And to finally to top off everything my power socket is dodgy so it sometimes cuts out plus there is zero wireless! Not even a costly one. I haven't hooked up phones for dial up access yet
with my new laptop and I can't remember the long modem query string for Orange let alone O2.

Anyway, I'm sure the conference will be good and I got molly's birthday bender tonight so i'm sure this morning won't set the tone for the rest of the day.

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On work and life balance

Me and Sarah

Its funny I was reading through Furrygoat the other day, I found this very interesting entry but now I can't actually find it on the live site. I can only assume, it was removed. But its honestly too good to not blog. If I'm asked to remove it, then fair enough but till then…He's the entry titled Work life Balance.

Or lack thereof. And the worst part is that I've come to the realization that I have absolutely no one to blame besides myself.
It sucks – almost every day I go in to the office at 6am and work until 5, then I'm back on email at 8:30 until I go to bed. I check email all weekend long (which, when driving really pisses the wife off) due to the 'convience' of a smartphone. And to top it off, due to my obessive nature, I've realized that in many ways my work defines me. I am no longer the adventurer who went to Everest or the diver that went to Belize to scuba in the barrier reefs, I'm just a software engineer.
Sure, we've been in a super hard push the last few weeks (which is always tiring), but I've been wondering what's it for? In the end, we basically put pixels on a screen. You write code today and in a few years it's gone (unless it's 'Notepad' – that code seems to stick around forever).
After this push, I think I'm going to go back to having 'regular' hours of 8-4. Perhaps I'll start hitting the gym again in the mornings and enforce a 'hard stop' at 4. No more email at night. Liz, Tyler and our new son deserve that. *I* deserve that.

Being married myself and look forward to a kid at some point within the next 5 years, I think about the balance of professional and personal life (i hate to seperate them like that, but it will work for now). Me and Sarah were watching a Panorama documentary about the right time for a baby. I'll say little more, but its all about women choosing to work longer and not have babies till very late, sometimes too late. Its all stuff we've heard before, the middle classes waiting long and having less babies, while the lower class are have lots of babies. Nothing new here but interesting anyway.

But back to now, that work life balance is hard to get right. I'm always readjusting depending on events and how happy Sarah is. Its important and I don't have a rule or any wisdom to give in this area except to say its damm important. Those who get it wrong really risk screwing up more that they can ever imagine.

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The serious side of pledgebank

Sipesiyoza preparing for finals

I've been aware of pledgebank for a while now and its seems like a really good idea. First through this one about setting up a EFF for the UK. But just recently I was asked if I would pledge to the global mentoring pledge.

I will mentor a minimum of two people in the developing world in the area of my skills base and expertise (media, communications, broadcasting , democratic media building, participatory media, community video). I will do this for free for a minimum of six months (in my free time). The mentoring will be in person or via email/skype and the mentoring connections will be established by a website and database that I am willing to take responsibility for creating but only if 250 other people will mentor a minimum of two people in their skills.

My first thoughts was to add my support to the 108 people who have already pledged. But then I stepped back and started really considering what this means in time, effort and self management. And in the end opted to sit it out. Its a huge commitment and I would really hate to let other people down because I could'nt spare the time to do this correctly. See thats the thing too, if I was going to pledge to do this, it would need to be done correctly and faithfully. I certainlly should not enter into a pledge like this lightly, not that I'm saying anyone else is. But good on Lucy for setting this up and props to Tom Steinberg for its inspiration in setting up Pledge bank. Who knows maybe now I'm subscribed to the RSS, maybe I might find something which I will pledge.

I hope Pledgebank links to details of how pledges go once they go live. As I would like to keep an eye on how Lucy's Pledge progresses.

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