I love Rollercoaster’s and there is there is a lot terminology, this is a good summary for those who may not know but always wondered..
The virtual public space is like the park?
Eli Pariser posted a fascinating piece in Wired magazine just recently.
“We need public spaces, built in the spirit of Walt Whitman, that allow us to gather, communicate, and share in something bigger than ourselves.
As we head into the most consequential, contentious election in our history, it’s time to fix some of the structural problems that led us to this moment. Let’s face it: Our digital public sphere has been failing for some time. Technologies designed to connect us have instead inflamed our arguments and torn our social fabric.
Eli goes on to talk about public spaces using the analogy of public parks rather than private gardens. This is something which many has talked about and we had planned to build at Mozilla Festival the year we built the connected library.
Now, accelerated by the pandemic, we spend much of our time living and conversing with others in a different location: digital space. But social media and messaging platforms weren’t designed to serve as public spaces. They were designed to monetize attention.
Much of our communal life now unfolds in digital spaces that feel public but are not. When technologists refer to platforms like Facebook and Twitter as “walled gardens”—environments where the corporate owner has total control—they’re literally referring to those same private pleasure gardens that Whitman was reacting to. And while Facebook and Twitter may be open to all, as in those gardens, their owners determine the rules.
I like the points made why venture backed platforms (private gardens) are awful public spaces. In short I see it like this…
On Growth. I was listening to Team Human with Marina Gorbis & Douglas Rushkoff with a strong statement of scale is the enemy of humanity. On friction parks are messy because they are used by different people in different ways Private/walled gardens are predestine, they have house rules. These rules are set by the owner. Public parks are owned by the public and there is a democratic way to set the ground rules.
I found the post is clever to call out public institutes like libraries, schools, etc. My only issue is this is all very american, which has its own unique cultural differences.
Ironically the physical public spaces talked about in the article are under massive threat. For example I live in central Manchester and I’m lucky to have a good size community garden but there is also two large spaces within 2 mins walk from me. Ok the central retail park isn’t really a park but currently being used a covid19 testing space and the other one is the New Islington green which is currently under treat to be built on.
If we haven’t learned anything about the natural/physical environment, I wonder what hope we may have for the digital world? Oh and I found the Guardian opinion piece quite good too.
All complex ecosystem have parasites… including Airbnb
…The trick is to not let them take over. Something Airbnb needs to think a lot more about!
I stumbled across a huge Airbnb scam that’s taking over London, this story is everywhere but it was Si Lumb who first sent me the link.
After reading the massive long piece I was quite shocked at how elaborate the scam was. I won’t spoil it but its bad then it gets worst still.
Here’s a few choice quotes…
On Airbnb, it turns out, scams aren’t just the preserve of lone chancers. As the short-term rental goldrush gathers pace, Airbnb empires are being rapidly scaled and monetised, with professional operators creating scores of fake accounts, fake listings and fake reviews to run rings around Airbnb, local law enforcement and the guests who place their trust in the platform. Reviews from guests paint a grim picture of people who have been tricked into staying in accommodation with blocked drains, broken fixtures and fittings, filthy floors, dirty bed linen – or, in some cases, accommodation that they simply did not book.
This very much reminds me of when I stayed in Iceland and the host moved me to the basement so he could get another Airbnb in! My experience of Airbnb in Tokyo was awful but at least the host wasn’t lying to my actual face.
All of these accounts are essentially one person, or at least one company. And yet they have all passed Airbnb’s account verification and safety processes, with most supplying government identification, selfies, email addresses and phone numbers. Two of these accounts, though, are more closely connected than the rest: Leon and Robert Lusso Management. And that’s because they both used to be called Christian.
Seen this many times on Airbnb, this is why I always look through the reviews of the hosts for patterns. Its the same way reviews on most sites you have to check for scams.
I noticed from my experience as a host (super host even), lots of guests don’t do the research. Don’t get me wrong, the scams are elaborate but few read the reviews and ask the right questions of the host.
According to Inside Airbnb, a service that scrapes Airbnb to shine a light on the platform’s impact on cities around the world, there are an estimated 36,964 listings on Airbnb in London that are listed by a host with at least one other listing. While Airbnb presents itself as a sharing economy company, the business of hosting is becoming increasingly systemised and professionalised, with critics arguing that businesses are able to make huge sums of money at the expense of local residents who are unable to access properties locked away by the short-term rental gold rush.
So what, if anything, can be done about it? To date, attempts to adequately regulate and police Airbnb listings have been spasmodic at best, leading to a patchwork of confusing, siloed approaches. In December 2019, more concerted regulation efforts were dealt a blow when the European Court of Justice ruled that Airbnb was an “information society service”, not a real estate agency. Such rulings mean that cities must continue to act alone – with mixed success.
Really interesting to look at inside Airbnb as a host in Manchester. But its clear councils can’t keep up with the Airbnb (gravy) train and the scammers know this too well. Could Airbnb do more stop this? Yes a bit but honestly…
Wired Live: Why We Need to Talk More About Mental Health
When rapper Professor Green was a kid, the word ‘mental’ was chucked about carelessly – but the phrase ‘mental health’ was something he never heard mentioned. When he was 24, his dad took his own life – and there began a course towards greater self-awareness about mental illness and understanding of the need to talk about mental suffering collectively. He speaks to journalist Stephen Armstrong about his work since then, and why things still aren’t getting better.
I found this really good and refreshing to hear. I know very little about Professor Green but its really good to hear his thoughts, in this short wired live interview.
Another facepalm: UK porn block
Nice video by Wired magazine on the endless problems of the proposed UK porn block. As the Open rights group says… what could possibly go wrong?
China goes for a nosedive?
On reading about China’s social credit score… My mind instantly thought about Black Mirrors S3 ep1 Nose Dive.
social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism. The goal is to nudge people toward behaviors ranging from energy conservation to obedience to the Party
Zhima credit, well I guess at least its more transparent than the scores mainly hidden by the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, etc. Although most are being more open about the scores now.
China now has social credit scores that help determine your place in society. Is this the future? Our great new @wired cover story: https://t.co/vCjXhUubbQ pic.twitter.com/QoiKcYBLO1
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) December 14, 2017
Black lives matter
Thanks to Anna who pointed me at the protest/march in Manchester for all the black people who have died in Ferguson, from police brutality over the years. It comes right after I wrote my own blog post about Ferguson following the guys on singleblackmale.
Its been 20 years since I took part in a protest, I decided after the crazy stuff which happened during the Criminal Justice Bill protests. I was done, especially watching how the whole thing got co-opt by others for their own reasons
It was amazing, the organiser put it on Facebook as a open event and within 2 days, 300+ people had signed up. Its a true testament of what can be achieved with emergence and what a great reason to bring people together.
I got to St Peters Square where the protest/march started about 12:10. There were about 80-100 people hanging around. White Tshirts with victims names on them and signs with a number of different phrases on them. A few really great chosen speakers spoke and then we were off. We marched around Albert Square (where the Christmas Markets are, I think originally we were going to march through them but as I suggested security made it clear they don’t want us) down Princess street up Portland Street along China town and on to Piccadilly Gardens.
Once at Piccadilly Gardens, the microphone was thrown open to anybody who wanted to talk about Ferguson. It started well with a number of speakers including myself. However once again other organisations used the opportunity to co-opt the event to their own ends. It was shocking and at some points! It was shameful as the best intentions were rocked. Theres a rant on the facebook event thread which is full of fire but there are bits I do agree with…
…It really hurt to see the organisers visibly upset by the end. This is what happens when a group of concerned individuals take the initiative to organise a purely grass roots event unaffiliated to any groups, only for groups and parties to greedily swoop down on it and ruthlessly exploit it like vultures. Shame on you! This event was about Mike Brown and every other black victim of police violence, past present and future. NOT about your group…
Shame indeed, there was quite a few times when I thought about just going home, heck I had somewhere else (Sunday dinner at Jasmine’s) I needed to be. But this was important and I wanted to hear it through.
I did bump into a old friend and we got talking about what had happened and what we should take from it. I mentioned Ambient Belonging which recently came back up from a wired piece about a possible reason why women are not taking up roles in computer science. Ambient belonging I have never mentioned before on my blog although I heard it first in the video I linked to.
On the slight run back to the flat, I got thinking about Umair Haque’s Whats it means to change the world rant and how critical it is to have diversity in tech sector. Ayesha Mittal and Naomi Nao Mi were able to organise using widely available services but could there be a startup which would make it even easier and better at prolonging the relationship beyond the one event? Or a better question who is working on systems and use-cases for them? I bet you Google, Facebook and the rest of the stacks certainly are not.
So I am glad I went out, even while I wasn’t really 100%. There was no police involvement, no trouble makers, no big opposition from Manchester’s Sunday shoppers. It was however, upsetting to see things co-opted as the young people just wanted to express themselves, their thoughts on whats going on and pay tribute in their own way… The Ego of the organisations which tried to take over, was shocking and I’m glad they got the cold shoulder for their lack of respect in something more of a remembrance than protest. For example the socialist worker setup a stand at St Peters even when told to go away.
Ferguson has America corruption all over it and something we all need to tackle black, white, green… but today wasn’t about that… It was remembrance of the many who have lost their lives for their skin colour and the voices of the next generation. Why would you ever want to silence them?
Its wired, tired and expired time
In the wired magazine style, these are the things I’m thinking about and I’m not. Its not meant to be serious, just a bit of fun! (Honestly!)
Not done one of these since 2004!
The Wired UK top 100 in 2011
I had a slight heads up about the Wired top 100 for 2011 from people around the web. And to be fair there were some surprises… First surprise is the people who dropped off the list this year. People who I know like Erik Huggers, Peter Molyneux, JP Rangaswami, Tom Loosemore, Matt Locke and Anthony Rose. However I have to say there maybe right in this case… I’ve not really heard anything they’ve been up to for a while.
However some things I still don’t understand… How did Ashley Highfield dropped to 14 but Microsoft’s UK profile has really come on leaps and bounds from last year… Jonathan Ive at 7, well what can I say… except its maybe very debatable how much link he has to the UK? Except maybe a British accent. Rory Cellan-Jones number 40, really? Mike Butcher at 25, well I guess he’s been on the scene for long enough but I do fear once again the Wired London bias is at fault again here?
One great turn around is the introduction of Herb Kim at number 74. I’m still convinced that if he was doing the exact same thing in London, he would be up at least another 40 positions but don’t even get me started on how many people from the North, Midlands or even the West are on the chart. I understand there will be a bias because London attracts a lot of people into its region but obviously Wired isn’t really working on finding the people doing the creative work outside the South East. And I guess you could argue why should they? I would explain why they should but to be fair, popularity contests are so last year 🙂 And even David Rowan says…
This can never be a scientific exercise — but we are trying to be as open in our selection criteria as we can, and to consult widely among people who know the Wired world.
Wired UK, you are at risk of making yourself less relevant thats all I’m going to say…
At last the balance of woman in the top 100 have gotten much better. Joanna Shields tops the list at number 1. Also great to see Clare Reddington from Bristol’s iShed at 73 although shes down from 55.
One last surprise, Dan Heaf at 94 as director at BBC worldwide? When did this happen? I must have been away when that email went around, good to see him back at the BBC and in a great position.
Ok I was never going to be happy reading the Wired top 100
The Wired 100: Positions 10 to 1
The Wired 100: Positions 11 to 50
The Wired 100: Positions 50 to 100
But I almost threw my ereader across the hotel restaurant table this morning when I read through the wired 100 list.
Who are the influential people in the digital economy who can make things happen? Who are the designers, innovators, investors and creatives with the power to touch the rest of us?
I later in the day showed Sheila and she counted how many woman had made the list. Not many as you can imagine but I noticed something even more alarming. There are no woman in the top 10 at all. Its not till you get to 11 which Martha Lane Fox occupies before you start to a lot more woman.
I was also trying to work out the bias toward the South East of the country (aka London). Don’t get me wrong a lot of the firms are based in London or the South East, so it makes sense but I’m having a really hard time working out any Northern entries which are not games related. This tells me that Wired magazine needs to spend more time looking at the rest of the country for those pockets of innovation.
One person who I was certainly would be in the list was Herb Kim.
Not only is this guy CEO of the hugely successful Codeworks, the mastermind behind the closest thing to TED and Pop!Tech we got in the UK, Thinking Digital but he was the driving force behind the collaboration of TEDxNorth. He also took up the challenge and did all this in the North east, which if you believe some people is only known for Games, coalmines and football. The guy from Brooklyn has done some amazing things and can usually be found either in the company of some of the greatest thinkers, in a TED conference or zipping back and forth between Liverpool and Newcastle.
The fact he’s not even on the list is shameful, he should be floating around the 25 marker for sure. Wired editors are certainly overpromote alot of no-hoper in this list. I won’t say there names but theres a lot of people who have gotten into positions which are high but not really done much. In my book thats no good. You can be the head of whatever but if your just riding out time, you shouldn’t be on this list. There’s plenty of people who deserve to be on the list and are not.
What happened to Escape Magazine?
From Magazine Forum,
Dennis Publishing, 1996-?
Short-lived title from Maxim publisher Dennis aiming to explore the World-Wide Web. The first issue was withdrawn for legal reasons. Jennifer Aniston was on the cover.
It was T3 crossed with Loaded, and maybe a too ahead of its time. Now you could do a whole video podcast in the style of Escape magazine, specially with the youtube and Facebook always a place for somekind of monthly excitement. Heck if you throw in the maturity in gaming and you got something quite cutting. There’s no doubt it was a lads mag but I always felt there was more to it than just the pretty lady on the front cover. It at the time was talking about the culture of electronics and culture of the internet, when dot net was still trying to hook people up using AOL cds.
Well I’m weirdly happy to say I found all the issues at my parents house recently, and going by the lack of any details online, I’m sure they will sell for a good amount to some collector. Of course if you’d like to get in on the action a head of time, drop me a email. I’d also like to scan every page one day in the future, so there is a digital copy online somewhere, because right now there seems to be nothing at all. Not even enough details to be clear that it does actually exist (remind me to add a entry to wikipedia one day).
Computer science has an image problem
John White, CEO and executive director of the computing trade group, says fewer students are studying computer science in college , and too many tech jobs are going unfilled, because young people don't have an accurate picture of the computer scientist.
Hummm, I wonder why? Could it be anything to do with stuff like this?
I was reading wired on the plane to Dublin today and came across a rather amusing piece about different types of geeks. It had a range of geek stereotypes including the Fanboy (1), the gadget guy (4), the gamer (3) and the hacker (5). What was interesting was the other two, the music geek (2) and the otaku (6). These two are usually forgotten when it comes to geek types, and it was interesting to see Wired magazine made them women.
When I was Futuresonic over the weekend, I certainly met quite a few women who could be loosly termed as Otaku geeks. They even had the super coloured hair and well interesting clothing to go with it. But what I wonder is where is the Dj geek? Designer geek? Movie geek? Mobile phone geek? (which I would argue, isn't the same as gadget guy). Anyway, its all stereotypes and not real. We're all a combination and we all wear better clothes and don't look like we just left college. Embrace your geekness…
Over doing the caffeine
Ok I have to be honest and say when I first heard this story I laughed and said 7 double expresso's is nothing.
A teenager was taken to hospital after overdosing on espresso coffee.
Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family's sandwich shop.
Now to be fair it was a teenage girl who 17 and shes maybe not use to drinking a lot of coffee anyway. But I got to say when I worked in Starbucks in Victoria. I use to drink about 4-5 double expresso's a shift. But then again I was also drinking about 4-6 cans of redbull on a weekend too.
I found this great site about caffeine via DL.TV a while back. Death by Caffeine allows you to put in your current weight and it will work out how much cups of coffee, tea, insert name of energy drink here it will take to kill you. This might sound all in bad taste following this teenagers near death experience but you got to look on the light side. Oh and drink less caffeine.
Some slighly shocking findings.
It would take over 200 cans of redbull to kill me by caffeine alone but only 150 expresso's. Actually a double shot of Starbucks Coffee has double the caffeine of Redbull when you look at it per ounce and a expresso 5 times more.
At the top end of the list is Fixx Energy which has 500mg (85ml per 100ml) of caffeine in a bottle, which just beats a Starbucks Grande Coffee which has 372mg but 79mg per 100ml. But if your deadly serious about your caffeine in take you need to look at the pills and mints. No-Doz, Maximum Strength and Dexatrim has 200mg per pill! No wonder I was still very wired at 8am in the morning after going out clubbing when I was younger. Luckly I never experienced what Jasmine did.
Last nights geekdinner with Chris Anderson
Well I'm still pretty speechless about yesterday's Geekdinner with Chris Anderson. Not only was it the most popular geekdinner I've done to date (between 80-90 people came along, not including the @media social) but it was also the most stressful in a good way. Before I go into details, I would like to say thank you to Dr Jo Twist, Rina Gill, Nizam Shaikh and of course Chris Anderson.
What made the geekdinner stressful was the amount of time between announcement of the event and the actual event, which was a total of 7 days. I found a venue the Bottlescrue on Holburn Viaduct which allowed me to have the back room free on a Friday night. The room held about 40-50 people maximum, but there was space outside of the room for overspill. This was great because according to the signups on Wednesday it looked like we may get about 35 people. (The maths I usually do according to most other geekdinners I've done is, take the signup half them and add a few more.) Well this time my maths was badly wrong. Almost everyone who signed up, came along and then some. So we quickly ran out of food. So half way through the night just before Chris talked, I pleaded with the manager to buy more food. And in the end all the extra cash went straight back into more food. Honestly, ask Nizam, we bought everything they had. Nothing was left after the geekdinner, no chips, no pittabread, no crisps, no nothing. So big cheers to the Bottlescrue for doing everything they could and coping under the massive pressure. I'm sure there profits for the night went through the roof. I'm also glad I didn't have to run to tesco and buy tons of stuff.
The only other negative for the night which was also related to the huge crowd of people who turned up, was the move to outside. Outside was fantatstic and the London summer air was warm and inviting. But it also meant traffic and noise from the street. When it came time for Chris to talk, he was always fighting against the background noise of the street and general bar area. I positioned him where I thought it might be best, aka noise behind the crowd but there were so many people it was hard for Chris to shout that loud. I'm very sorry to everyone who were around the fringes who found it very hard to hear him. If we were inside it would be very different and usually at geekdinners, I have a microphone and PA system setup. Oh and for the record, I did try and rent one from work, but they wouldn't let me take it out of the building. So I might have to invest a cheap one from ebay or something.
Ok finally on to the positive and frankly amazing night of fun the geekdinner was yesterday. Chris was on top form, I was worried because Rina did say he had just done 3 talks that day and was slightly tired but was very much up for the geekdinner. Actually talking to Chris briefly, he said he was actually look forward to the geekdinner more than anything else, simply because it was his type of thing. Who could say no to Beer, food and good conversation in a nice London bar during Summer? Anyway he was a little concerned about projecting his voice when he finally got to the venue but was happy to hang out and speak to people after a 45min Q and A. So while the food was being consumed quickly, I hit two glass bottles together and got the talk going.
Now I didn't record the whole thing but Kosso did. So as soon as he uploads the video, I'll link to it. I did however start to record the question and answers. And will have them up soon. As usual there are tons of photos by myself being uploaded to Flickr using the tags londongeekdinner and geekdinner.
I was highly impressed with the amount of new people who turned up and I have to say the percentage of women to men wasn't that bad either.
Thanks again to everyone who came, I'm planning the next one with someone from Amazon for late July. So keep your eyes on the geekdinner site for announcements.
. There a quarter of the size and encoded in Mpeg4. Quicktime and VLC will play it back no real problem.
Chris Anderson on the Long Tail – 4meg
Chirs Anderson starting the question and answers – 31.8meg
Chris Anderson on Net Netrality – 13.7meg