Another busy month or so

Its going to be another busy month or so…

Tomorrow we start to Build a healthy public service internet in the first forum during Mozfest weekend. This will be further explored at Mozfest in the decentralised space on Saturday afternoon.

Not long afterwards I’ll be going to Skopje along the same lines as last year when I was in Sarajevo. This time we have the results of last years workshop, the living room of the future.

Then Berlin for Most wanted music with a adaptive narrative conference talk more focused on audio than video and our first perceptive podcasting workshop. Now this exciting but scary as its completely beta and being developed right now.

I’m back in Berlin not long afterwards for a look at object based media and how machine learning can work together for the future of storytelling, quite similar to TOA 17 but more exploring and more I can talk about now compared to then.

Finally wrapping up with a critical panel discussion titled New platforms, new ways of storytelling at the future of the book in London. I expect a few things I said at Oreilly’s Tools of Change in 2012 are still very relevant. But also Perceptive podcasting will be much more mature by then.

All exciting but quite a bit in one go…

The future of personal transportation?

Bucharest tech week expo - future of travel

I had the joy of going to Bucharest as part of Techweek there. It was quite something and I honestly was caught totally unaware of how different from my previous experiences in eastern europe it was. The weather was wonderful and hot and I pretty much walked around with my swingblade trainers. My only complaint was having to give 1 star to a uber driver for a crazy ride.

While at Bucharest Techweek, there was a expo which showcased some of the latest consumer technology. It was very popular and for good reason. There was a lot of personal transportation technology. Everything from hoverboards & segways to electric assisted cycles & electric cars.

Bucharest tech week expo - future of travel

I hoped the electric skateboard would be great but it really sucked. It was more like a long board with little flexability you get with skateboards. I also tried one of those hoverboards and that thing with one big wheel and you sit on.

I spent a lot of time on a segway, something I haven’t done since BarCampLondon3 at Google’s headquarters in London Victoria many years ago.

Bucharest tech week expo - future of travel

But quickly moved from one with handle bars to one with the handle bar replaced with a thing between your legs. I’m happy to say I never crashed or fell off once. I actually got so comfortable with it that I started doing videos riding around the expo on it.

Such a shame you can’t legally ride these things around in the UK, you can actually buy it though; and not as bad as I first thought too. I mean expensive but not the 3k I guessed.

Why Kate needs a little Culture Shock

The BBC Radio 4 Listening project

Been thinking hard about where I need to take Kate

I’m struggling a bit as she is very adaptable so everything bar a weekend in Tokyo or New York will put her out of her comfort zone.

I happen to come across this piece from thought catalog, 8 Reasons Why ‘Culture Shock’ Can Change Your Life For The Better.

We’ve all experienced ‘culture shock’ at one point in our lives. When we travel to a new country or study abroad or move for work. While the early stages of culture shock can be very irritating and slightly depressing, once you get past the initial shock and adjust to the new culture, you will realize that culture shock actually made you grow more as a person and changed your life for the better.

The key points for me are…

  • It makes you a stronger person
  • It makes you more confident
  • You meet a lot of new people
  • It evokes inspiration
  • It gives you free education
  • You will eventually know who you are and what you want

This is when I started thinking its not about scaring the living day lights out of her, but rather inducing a level of culture shock and that doesn’t have to be just for her. It can be a shared “culture shock” experience.

So with this in mind, I started thinking about places I’m planning on going this year… I still dread to think what Kate has planned for me, but shes been taunting me over direct message Twitter…

Time to up my game…

Tokyo awaits

Japanese Shopping Alley

I said in my new years resolutions I was going to Tokyo.

  • Go to a new part of the world
    I’m scoping Tokyo and think I got the flight sorted, some friends who maybe interested and I’m looking at Airbnb for somewhere to stay. My cousin has mentioned eastern europe is cool…  regardless, I got to try going somewhere new and further east

So I have looked at the best times to go and I’m the very edge of booking the flights. Found some great flights for about £500. But I’m a little stuck when it comes to the hotel/airbnb.

Its not the cost, its more if I’m going alone or with somebody else?

I have had a few offers but nothing has stuck yet,  So I guess this is a open call for anybody who would like to join me or has advice on where I should stay or go. Wikitravel and a host of recommended books have been useful.

I will visit other parts of Japan but Tokyo is my main destination, we all know how much I love cities.

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…

Ride down to Bristol via Snowdonia

At end of my journey

In a previous post I talked about driving to Bristol via Snowdonia. Well I’m happy to say I made it! Yeh me! 400+ miles completed.

I know most of you are saying, so what? But I have never driven so far on my Silverwing scooter before. I use to drive between London and Bristol on the A4 when I moved to London and it use to be a very long trip (4hours). Main reason it took so long is because I was on a 125cc scooter and it was going flat out most of the journey. I couldn’t use the motorway with my L plates and 125cc bike. Such a journey I would need to nap for a hour or so straight away afterwards!

I recorded the journey using my tracks as usual but unfortunately turned it off when stopping at Aberystwyth. I also forgot to turn it on a couple times, hence some small gaps in the journey.

Here is my ride from Manchester to Liverpool to Llandidno to Llarwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog to Barmouth to Dolgellau to Machynlleth to Aberystwyth. Blaenau was impressive, I wished my camera still had enough battery because you swing around a mountain down a beautiful valley into this clearing. The clearing is a mine site with a village in the middle. Barmouth was a mistake because when looking at google maps, I thought the line across the river was a public bridge but it was actually a train bridge. I actually thought I missed it but ended up going back on myself towards Dolgellau. I did stop at Llandidno and try and go around the Great Orme (the wrong way it seems). I also tried to pay at the mersey tunnel but realised it was free for bikes.

Then I stayed at the Queensbridge hotel on the seafront where I got told I was being moving to the Four Seasons in town. Didn’t really matter because it was pretty much the same.

After a sleep and breakfast I headed out again. From Aberystwyth to Rhayader to Talgarth to Abergavenny to Newport to Bristol. The travel across the 2nd seven bridge cross was free, and I somewhat forgot this. Also got stuck in a bit of traffic around Newport and Bullth Wells due to the Royal Wales festival.

The camera clamp actually held all the way through the journey, I was very impressive and thought it was bound to fall off somepoint.

I think I might have connected the two parts together using Google Maps Engine. I tried to do it with a non-native XML editor but KML is a odd format which I don’t really get the schema.

So having that ride under my belt and the weather looking to hold while I drive back. I may avoid Birmingham and the Motorway to drive up through Wales again.

Who knows… Maybe I’ll drive down again and Ireland is calling me too. I always knew the Honda Silverwing was a touring scooter being the little sibling of the Honda Goldwing.

Traveling on public transport in London

Theres something about public transport which I like. Ah yes the ability to sit down and read and listen without too much interuption. I swear I'm pretty much going through my whole 240+ RSS feed subscriptions in one journey too and from work. So yeah pretty much within 2hrs I'm able to tag all the interesting entries which I wish to read or look at later.

Its not only my RSS which I'm able to go through much quicker now. I have actually added more podcasts to my subscription because I'm going through them pretty quickly now.

As a lot of you know I've now moved to Woolwich and that means I need to get a totally different train into London now a days. I was, still am (will always be) nervious of reading my aggregator via my laptop on the train. People get mugged for a lot less and I've been pretty lucky so far. I get some really weird looks and I cant work out if its either my Firefox Tshirt or the laptop? Now I know the social enginnering tshirt would certainly cause a second glance but I cant work out if its just that sly glance of I know that logo, I use that browser at home too or more what the heck is he doing on a train to dartford with a laptop? Who knows? Interesttingly on the way to work this week me and Dave were talking about taking apart BBC's unencypted Digital TV signals and the licence which this can be done under, yeah usual geeky culture politics stuff that we tend to talk about. When this women (cant remember her name right now) stopped us and asked if we had heard of Creative Commons. Honestly me and Dave gave each other a double look (like you only see in Cartoons) and said yes, absolutly! During the course of the conversation which went from Greenwich to London Bridge we touched on Boingboing, gaming, Licencing and a few more things. I did give her my business card before she ran off into the crowd of people pushing there way to work. Although Sarah wasnt that pleased about that. She has not emailed me yet, but it was great to have a geeky conversation on the train.

I did have another conversation with some stranger on the train this week but it was very very odd and maybe not worth getting into.

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