Its been 11 years since I’ve been blogging my new years resolutions and I’m still going.
- Head further a field with the scooter
Missed this last year, so its time for a ride into Europe hopefully before the UK leaves Europe! I have plans to stay with a friend in Rotterdam then drive around and maybe into Belgium & Germany for some coasting.
- Ride a roller coaster in yet another country
Very fitting with the previous one but if not, I like the idea of checking out more theme parks in Europe especially after the huge success of 2018.
- Look after myself better
I generally look after myself but its time to be thoughtful and conscious about this all. I’m getting older and should really spend more time thinking about myself with an eye on the future.
- Spend more time in the UK
Ok the last year I spent a lot of time outside the UK. On rough count I hit about 12 weeks this year outside the North of England alone (but I do go to Bristol and London quite a bit). I can’t believe I took almost 30 different flights this year! Although I love it and take care of myself, I have to admit thats a lot. So I’m going to try staying closer to home for this year.
- Enter the bake off at work
My work place does regular bake off’s and the theme sometimes is something interesting which I could do bake/cook around. So I’ve challenged myself to join one of the bake offs this year
- Explore more about the brain using neuroscience
I do want to explore around this but now I binned off Funzing recently, so need to look a little wider. Maybe setup some search filters, keep an eye on eventbrite and meetups.
- Do more with my Estonian e-residency
As said in my review of last year, I have a task to extend my e-residency card to 5 years which I need to do ASAP, likely in the next few weeks. After that I also have a task to look into self-signing using my Estonian e-residency.
- Explore the future of decentralised and distributed systems
This one is a combination of 2 of my previous resolutions. Exploring the future of online dating with decentralise more. So more mastodon and more exploring Indie web technologies like Bridgy and Kinds. I’ve been really interested in these things for a long while.
- Make some changes to the flat
Its been a while and although I made some great changes to the living room, its time to focus on the bedrooms. I can’t believe I got a configurable IKEA desk from over 18 years ago, which needs to be replaced as it’s too big and I hardly use it now. I’d like to get the server in a better position and remove some tired furniture.
- Host film nights and more dinner parties at mine
I have a task to sort out my current projector or get a new one (this is looking more likely, any hints on cheap long throw projectors is welcomed). I already have a 130inch projector screen but it needs to go back to IKEA as the mechanism is broken. Once this is all done, then it makes total sense to host film nights.
On top of this, its been a while since I had a party at mine, so maybe I’m moving from party to dinner parties?
- Work on the dating book
I have been working on a book around my dating experience for a long time and its about time I just got it written. Especially since Hannah offered her copy editing skills to help make it a real book. So far its been great I need to write more
- Be a stronger advocate for Team Human
This is a follow-up to previous years. The podcast I listen to Team Human is a celebration of ourselves as people (messy, diverse, etc) not robots (perfect, tireless, etc). This has importance for the problems we are all facing around diversity and inclusion. It also ties into the mental health epidemic we are seeing too. My recent addition to the inclusive top 100; is perfect timing?
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.
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.
Very happy to be a backer along so many others.
Remember ages ago when a slice of me and Kate’s conversation for the listening project ended up on BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio 4? There was much more to the whole conversation and you can understand how I ended up ruff camping on a Irish cliff face in a camper van.
It will be forever in the National Archives for generations to hear.
The Listening Project conversations collectively form a picture of our lives and relationships today. Recordings were made by BBC producers of people sharing an intimate conversation, lasting up to an hour and on a topic of the speakers’ choice.
Kate and Ian have been friends since 2007. They met when Ian moved to Manchester from London. They talk about the benefits of travelling and the differences in what they want from a holiday – Ian likes the big city buzz whereas Kate prefers the quiet of the countryside. They discuss Airbnb, a home rental website that Ian uses to rent out his home. They also talk about the differences and similarities in their personalities.
Interesting blog from the Estonia E-residents team.
Its been 3 years since the scheme launched and nearly 30,000 people from 139 countries signed up. I only signed up earlier this year but still love the idea and keeping an eye on what else I can do with a EU state backed identity.
Estonia launched it’s e-Residency programme three years ago tomorrow so that anyone on Earth could apply for a secure government-backed digital identity and gain access to our e-services.
Understandably, no one was entirely sure back then who would actually sign up and why. Many of the first e-residents were simply excited to join our borderless digital nation and had no plans to use their digital ID cards.
What interests me is the classification of the people who signed up.
- Digital nomads
- Entrepreneurs who want EU access
- Entrepreneurs within the EU
- Entrepreneurs facing Brexit
- Startup entrepreneurs
- Freelancers from emerging markets
- Blockchain entrepreneurs
I’m more a Digital nomad facing Brexit I guess.
Due to rapid advances in digital technology and more flexible working cultures, a rapidly increasing number of people are choosing to live as ‘digital nomads’ because they can work anywhere there’s an internet connection.
There’s been a sharp rise in applications from the UK since the country voted to leave the European Union. Many British entrepreneurs discover e-Residency while searching for a way to ‘stay in the EU’, but soon discover that the benefits of e-Residency are bigger than Brexit as it can often enable them to more easily conduct business globally.
if you want to understand why America is so divided don’t talk about Republicans and Democrats or red states and blue states read the story the city mouse and the country mouse currently being sold under the new titled what happened but the original was about two mice who learn that you’re either one of the other city or country and the same really could be said for America when you fly over it you don’t see red states and blue states you see vast stretches of land where there’s nothing and then every once in a while a city.
In a year where you can’t help but rather it wasn’t, the snoopers bill was passed into UK law. The government has been trying to put this through for a long while and although there were changes, its still really bad. Dare I say chilling effect.
The Bill will mean the police and intelligence agencies have unprecedented powers to surveil our private communications and Internet activity, whether or not we are suspected of a crime. Theresa May has finally got her snoopers’ charter and democracy in the UK is the worse for it.
Manchester is running Afrofutures next weekend…
Afro Futures UK, a collective of researchers, artists, programmers and activists exploring new ways of examining blackness and futurism. We are hosting an FREE all day Afrofuturist Conference and Exhibition on 10th October 2015 at MADLAB with a special rosta of speakers and workshops from the USA, Europe Africa and the UK.
I love dimsum, but I always worry whats inside… luckily this is going to change… real soon
Sarah sent me a link to the new Food Standards Agency’s changes. From December 2014, all food businesses will need to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in food sold or provided by them.
There are 14 major allergens which need to be declared:
Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), barley, rye and oats
Crustaceans like prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish etc.
Nuts namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew,
Macadamia or Queensland nut.
Sulphur dioxide or sulphites (where added and is >10mg/kg in the finished product. Often found in dried fruit and wine)
Molluscs like clams, scallops, squid, mussels, oysters and snails etc.
How great will this be… another nice solution to add to the allergy cards.
I have been looking into the health care data sharing thing in the UK a while ago but to be honest got distracted by the mass surveillance uncovering from Edward Snowden’s leaks. Luckily the Open Rights Group is keeping their watchful eyes on this issue along with many others.
I’m still making up my mind and reading about the positives and negatives, to see if I should opt out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a public person for many things but certain things I like to keep private. I’m still learning more but I had planned to join one of the Open Right Group’s mass opt out meetups to understand a little more.
We’re a very small group of volunteers who think it should be very easy for people to opt out of the new NHS care.data centralised database of medical records. Unless you opt out now, care.data will soon store the medical records of everyone in England, yours included, in one giant database. Our confidential health information will then be shared with companies and other public bodies.
What we know for certain is that the NHS hasn’t made it easy for you to exercise your right to opt out. We think this really isn’t wise. The NHS leaflet explaining care.data says you should ‘let your GP know’ if you want to opt out. But GP surgeries are busy. If you ring up wanting to opt out they’ll ask you to write to them instead. That’s fair enough – their priority is treating the sick. It’s 2014. The NHS really should have made it easy to opt out via the web.
And thats the point really… Choice! It should be a educated choice not forced upon us.
As I weigh everything up, you can opt out really quickly using Stefan’s service and the envelope below. As Tim would say, Amazeballs…
If there is something I would like to see regulated in some way, it would be online dating…
Panorama exposes the tricks of the UK’s online dating industry, worth millions of pounds a year. Reporter Fiona Walker investigates how some unscrupulous dating websites are preying on those looking for love and searching for their perfect partner. She reveals a world where millions of photos and private details are taken from social media sites without people’s consent and reused to set up fake profiles of imaginary potential partners to tempt the lovelorn. Celebrities, politicians and even children are among those whose personal information has been targeted. Whistleblowers reveal how they create fake profiles and adopt multiple personas to reel in those looking for love – all to boost profits.
How about the bogus matching claims, The Major private data sharing including HIV and STD Statuses of Customers, The crazy amount of trolling on dating sites, The nasty online scams which come around all the time, Warning users that some members might actually be murders, the catfishers and finally something which is too wrong I can’t even bring myself to describe how and what it is… 🙁
Once again… I say NEVER pay for online dating because these techniques are too common in the murky dark world of paid online dating…
Today’s guest post is from a writer from across the pond. I’m sure he thinks Americans are <redacted>, so be sure to prove him wrong by showing him some love in the comment section below. LOL! Welcome today’s post from Ian Forrester. Enjoy!
I live in Manchester, no not Manchester Alabama, Georgia or anywhere in the states. Manchester in the United Kingdom or England. Yes, SBM has gone slightly international but fear not the reason why I talk about Manchester is to give some context.
Manchester is famous for many things but two lesser known facts are:
- It contains the second biggest group of singles in the UK outside London; and
- It’s extremely gay friendly.
Now I’m not gay or even bi-sexual but dare I say it, some of my friends are gay (which isn’t saying much living in Manchester). A trip to the coffee shop or a bar is full of surprises. Who has not heard of the likes of Grindr? Grindr is/was extremely popular with the urban single gay males and it seems highly effective in meeting other people.
You could see this as a digital wingman of sorts or a step on the way towards a technology assisted dating/hookup depending on what you’re actually after. Before you get on your high horse, suck in your gut and say, “So sad some people need this…” Just two things to remember:
- My gay friends have lots of fun with it (maybe the way dating should be – sort of fun); and
- Is this much different than the data and algorithms of online dating?
A little bit of help can go a long way and fellas there is nothing wrong with a little assistance once in a while (now breath out and say it with me).
If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where’s the heterosexual version?
…I then go on to discuss if proximity based dating is a real thing and has anyone got stories which they can share in the comments.
SBM nicely clean up my grammar and spelling, but generally the words are my own and there will be more guest posts to come.
I saw this while waiting in line at Booths today… and thought
The cord cutting group think is starting to take root… Of course i’d advise against it 🙂
Interesting to see the whole cord cutting thing is starting to come out into the mainstream.
As an early adopter this isn’t really news and many years ago I was doing this but of course paying the TV Licence. Because of the TV licence covers more than just the TV. Regardless, at least 90% of the media I watch on my TV screen is on demand. Live content is rare and if it is, its the backchannel of twitter which encourages me to even think about going for live media.
The BBC has been the market leader for building new relationships and services with creative’s from every sector. Be it the early ground breaking Backstage initiative for technology engineers.
Shes right and it does beg the question, why is there no more BBC Backstage?
I thought this was covered in the BBC Backstage ebook which was put together by the lovely Suw. But it looks like I may have been slightly mistaken. On top of this, I keep making reference to this blog post which I never seem to quite finish. So enough, its finished and out there for all to read…
First misconception: The BBC never shutdown BBC Backstage
Actually I did… When I first mentioned the possibility of closing down BBC Backstage to Adrian (my manager) he thought I had totally lost it. I remember a meeting with Adrian and Matthew (head of R&D) where I talked about shutting it down and I gave my reasoning which made soften the blow a little. I had thought long and hard about leaving BBC Backstage and passing it on to someone else younger and full of energy (I even had a number of names put forward to consider). But it didn’t make sense.
The problems with Backstage were not about who was running it but more about what was happening around it (as we will see in number 4)
Second misconception: The BBC sits on a ton of data.
The core of BBC Backstage was the backstage license which is founded on non-commercial reuse of data. This gave backstage the license to go around the BBC educating/persuading/convincing stakeholders about the benefits of open data at a time when data wasn’t a big thing. The problem is the data wasn’t ours. For example the Met Office would make the weather data available to the BBC under strict licensing. Deals were done for non-commercial use and it was always neigh impossible to reverse a deal without effecting the production side of the things.
Lots of people imagine most of Backstage was hacks. In actual fact lots of it was people experimenting.
Third misconception: Developers found new business models
This backs off the non-commercial problem. Because everything was under the non-commercial license, when things like the Apple App Store came along and offered developers clear ways to make money from their work. We had to shut down a lot of prototypes and tell people not to use BBC backstage data in there apps.
This was actually a issue from early on when Google Adsense, offered developers a nice way to make a small amount of money based on numbers of people who came to the site. It was argued that if developers made enough money to just cover the hosting of the prototype, we could turn a blind eye to. This wasn’t sustainable as it kept coming back to bite every once in a while. But it wasn’t till the App stores when the number of prototypes and services wanting to go commercial blew up.
Once developers learned it was actually against the terms and conditions, they naturally moved on to other platforms. We did talk to BBC Worldwide many times about working together but it just wasn’t to be.
Forth misconception: The Open Data Revolution passed it by
Backstage had a hand in getting this revolution going in the UK and beyond. 7 years later, we had influenced everyone from other companies to the government. We were there right at the start of this revolution and fundamentally changed the BBC’s thinking about data. However it was clear this was just the start and as a part of BBC R&D, it was right to move on and have the same impact in another emerging area. The developer network part of Backstage was tricky to balance with the push to drive forward.
We did think about splitting it off and working in partnership with others who were later to the scene but it just didn’t quite happen and in the era of cost cutting and doing the things which really have an impact for our audiences it was harder to justify.
Fifth misconception: It was all about DRM and the BBC wanted rid
Looking at the mailing list, its easy to imagine it being all about DRM and not a lot else. But in actual fact while the DRM debates rages on, there were lots of people creating and making lots of prototypes. Lots of them were documented on the website but there were some which were so illegal there was no way I could put them anywhere public. Those were more of a look what we could do…
Even though they were much more black/grey around the licensing terms, they drove the imagination and clearly got a number of us thinking what if…? One such example is the widely talked about blast from the past called Panadora PVR (now called Promise.TV) which lead to Tom Loosemore’s talk at Etech 2007, the Edinburgh TV unfestival and the building of the infamous BBC Redux.
The BBC gained a lot from having the debate and being rather open about it all.
Sixth misconception: There was no money or love for BBC Backstage
This is somewhat true and false. Yes it became more difficult to justify and we had gone through quite a difficult patch, while losing some key people to project. On top of that we had a new head of Future Media (Erik Huggers), moved into BBC R&D and was shifting the project up to the north of England to fit in with BBC’s increasing push to solve the London and South East bias.
Everything was changing and everytime we took BBC Backstage in a different direction, there was push back from the dedicated community. To me this is the way of the world (forever changing) but it certainly makes funding such projects difficult when you want a 3-5 year plan.
There was much love for BBC Backstage from Future Media and other departments in the BBC, there was lots of talk about setting up other Backstages in different areas as a outreach project alone it hit audiences the BBC was not so good at having conversations with. The formula was repeatable but should it be? We could have done Mashed all over the UK but was that a good idea? I certainly didn’t think so and ultimately my thoughts about driving forward were correct.
Seventh misconception: We ran out of steam
Ok this might be true to a certain extent. But not from the lack of trying… You only have to look at the new things I’ve been working on since, including Channelography, Perceptive Media, etc. There is still fire in myself and I still have a lot to give… During that time, I will admit I was well over worked and I was being contacted by many people on the off chance just because I was out in the open. This certainly slowed down daily looking through BBC emails. Hence why I now have a another BBC email.
Ultimately I want to thank everyone who has been involved in BBC Backstage in the past (too many to name). The decision was made under a ton of stress on my part but I felt I was making the correct decision for everyone including the founders, the BBC and the community. Then and even now. I mean can you imagine BBC Backstage in 2013!?
Things need to end (such as BBC Backstage, Innovation Labs, etc) for others to spark, grow and mature like BBC Connected Studio.