The truth behind the UK’s biggest recycling myths

recycle symbol

Wired magazine have a piece about the myths of recycling in the UK. Quite a interesting reading, as a lot of the truths behind the myths are quite surprising.

Receipts are recyclable – False

The UK still hands out 11 billion receipts every year, and around 50 per cent of these – printed on shiny, thermal paper – are not recyclable. This is because they’re composed of more than one material and contain a combination of potentially harmful BPA and BPS chemicals. If they were recycled, these chemicals would be released into the environment. So, always put these in regular waste.

This one surprised me a lot because I’ve been known to shred all my receipts and then throw the lot in paper recycling. Won’t be doing that any more!

10 years of data surveillance challenge

So many people are doing the Facebook 10 year challenge and I’m so happy to see the Wired’s piece asking the question of what Facebook could be doing with the photos.

Of course some people think its all blown out of proportion, cue Jeff Jarvis on Twit recently. As Leo says at the end of the clip, Facebook and others will lie and claim one thing, but from past experience we have caught them lying.

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.

 

Quantified self will change the way we tell stories

Adrian Hon

Was first alerted to Adrian Hon’s post when Laura tweeted me about my photo being used by Wired Magazine. I shot it Thinking Digital 2012 and really happy to see them getting some great reuse.

The article is Wearable tech can change the way we tell stories By Olivia Solon and yes they can use the photo as she respected the creative commons licence (see the attribution link at the bottom).

However more interesting is the article its self…

“As we start getting more data, optimising how we make an impact is possible,” Hon said. One example of this is Six to Start’s Zombie Run fitness app, which uses GPS and accelerometers to generate a dynamic story where you are running away from zombies. “We always think about the medium when we are telling the stories.”

I put all these wearables in the quantified self field, something I’m deeply interested in for multiple reasons including Perceptive Media and personal improvement. Adrian is correct, don’t make the mistake of falling into the trap of “thats a game, thats narrative” its all a blur and the best experiences are… I will admit we have had some great conversations about Perceptive Media in the past and I look forward to more of them in the future.

Talking of which, I’ll be at the Quantified self European conference this year hopefully (need to book a ticket). Part of my new going to conferences on the edge where the real interesting things happen.

The Wired UK top 100 in 2011

Wired UK's Top 100

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

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.

Werewolf: Extra Materials

To be fair to Wired magazine, they did a good piece about Werewolf in the most recent UK wired. I never expected so many pages dedicated to the game which some call the modern social crack. There’s also a huge sum of the variations of werewolf on the Wired site too.

Here’s a couple of the ones not even I’ve heard about…

The Fool: The player who gets this card immediately reveals himself to all the other players as “the village fool/idiot”. He does not speak again for the rest of the game and can’t focus enough to join any debates or lead any suspicions. He watches mutely, helplessly. At the beginning of each new day, while he is alive, he may reassign his vote to another villager by pointing – that newly entrusted voter might be an innocent villager or a werewolf in disguise. If the Fool or the Moderator should forget to reassign his vote, his vote remains with the prior assignee. (So if a prior assignee is a werewolf, it is to the werewolf’s advantage NOT to remind the Fool or Moderator to reassign the vote.)  In his confusion, the Fool wears a ring of garlic around his neck, thinking it will repel the werewolves – when in fact, garlic is used to repel vampires. (If the vampire character is in play, of course, this garlic will protect him.) As a variation, in an attempt to control an unruly villager that speaks out too much or speaks when dead, the Moderator may instantly assign that unruly villager to be the village fool, either immediately during that game or in the next game if that player is already dead.

Not so sure about this one, but we’ve had newbies act the fool before, shouting out or making it too damm obvious what player they are.

The Coroner: Often, there is confusion in the village as to a cause of death or what just happened the night before. With certain character combinations the actual happenings just can’t be deduced – with certainty. As long as the Coroner is alive, the Moderator explains the causes of death and the nighttime happenings. The Coroner, however, does not actually play an active part in the game. Once the Coroner is out of the game, the remaining villagers must deduce everything themselves without any help from the Moderator.

This might be useful for some games instead of relying on the moderator, whos actually not meant to say anything in this issue

The Grave-Robbing Thief (created by Viki Kind, Ed You and our “Uber” Werewolf players): In this variation the Thief is still offered two other villager cards on the first night. If both cards are werewolf cards, he must chose one and become a werewolf. Otherwise, he may refuse both identities and wait till another night in the game to steal the identity of a newly dead villager on the first night following that villager’s death. In this variation the Moderator will ask every night if the Grave-Robbing Thief wants to steal someone else’s identity, fully reactivating that stolen identity and character. Example: if the dead Witch’s identity were stolen and reactivated, both of the Witch’s potions would be renewed as well. A dead werewolf identity may also be stolen and reactivated. The Moderator will have to again announce any activities of the newly stolen and reactivated identity and character.

I had a idea like this a while ago but never really played it out, oh well. I think its good but makes the game quite complex for newbies. You’d only want to play this with pros.

Theres lots more characters but to be fair a lot of them cause the moderator a lot of headache, make the game too complex or too random to get a balanced result to either side.  I tried doing the probability maths a while back and got very confused, but I bet if you could do the maths behind it, you will find a lot the extra characters screw up the game for the werewolves or villagers. The standard pack of villagers, seer, healer and werewolves  seems to be about right.

Last nights geekdinner with Chris Anderson

 Chris talking to Dedrie, Rachel and Chris

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.

The videos from yesterday are now up.. There a quarter of the size and encoded in Mpeg4. Quicktime and VLC will play it back no real problem.

Chris talks about wired's advertising problem
Chris Anderson on the Long Tail – 4meg

Ask the first question
Chirs Anderson starting the question and answers – 31.8meg

Chris disagrees on Net Netrailty
Chris Anderson on Net Netrality – 13.7meg

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Geekdinner with Chris Anderson – Today Friday 7th 2006

Me recording Chris at the BBC

After a weeks worth of promoting, the Longtail geekdinner with Chris Anderson is today. Funny enough, it may turn out to be one of the most popular geekdinner's we have done for a while now. The sign up looks like we may get close to the Dave Shea geekdinner which was limited by the venue more that anything else. I actually thought it would be a low sign up because Chris has been talking all over London the last few days. But then I saw this from Beers and Innovations Dedrie.

In addition to press interviews and the like, Google, The Economist, Reuters, IPPR, Amazon and the BBC have internal events with Mr A in the Greater London Area. All corporations (IPPR excepted) that produce and / or aggregate content, all looking to engage with a thinker and perhaps emerge from the meeting with a light dusting of Long Tail magic on their staff, processes and strategy.

For the rest of us outside the corporate walls, there’s a Geek Dinner this Friday 7th July at which Chris will also speak and partake in a Q&A with the crowd. To attend you just need to add your comment here.

If it’s anything like the last Geek Dinner I went to (which featured Marc Canter as guest) – this could be a better chance to get past the basics and really get the synapses firing than more high-profile public events.

The key part is the last part. See Chris won't have the chance to simply do his presentation again. There will be no projector or laptop, just geeks. This is certainly a chance to really get geeky and discuss the long tail at a level which you may not get anywhere else. To be honest, geekdinner is a great example of the longtail. Its very niche and wouldn't work as a mass market type of thing. This is what I don't get when people write to me and suggest that geekdinner could be something bigger that it is now.

Back to tonight. I've finally worked out all the details.

When: Friday 7th July 2006 (today)
Where: The Bottlescrue
53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
Nearest Underground: City Thameslink (Holburn Viaduct) or Chancery Lane Station
Time: 18:30 – 23:00
Special Guest: Chris Anderson
Cost: 5 pounds (Final price)

Hope to see you all there…

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The next geekdinner with Chris ‘Longtail’ Anderson

The long tail

The next geekdinner will be on Friday 7th July 2006 with the Chris “the long tail” Anderson. If your not familar with the long tail, please do check out The Long Tail, in a nutshell which covers everything in excellent detail.

Chris Anderson is the current editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, which has been around before many of us were tangled up in the web. Chris first coined the phrase “The Long Tail” in the 2004 Wired article by the same name. And has expanded his thoughts into a book titled The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (2006). Which you can buy on Amazon or any other good book seller. Before Wired he worked at The Economist, in London, Hong Kong and New York, where he launched there coverage of the internet, while Technology Editor.

Chris will talk about the big-picture consequence of the long tail and detail how our economy and culture is shifting from mass markets to million of niches. He will happily debate about the effect of the technologies that have made it easier for consumers to find and buy niche products, thanks to the “infinite shelf-space effect.” And touch on new distribution mechanisms, from digital downloading to peer-to-peer markets, that break through the bottlenecks of broadcast and traditional bricks and mortar retail.

Certainly not to be missed.
The venue is still to be confirmed, but the date will certainly be Friday July 7thThe venue will be The Bottlescrue, 53-60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD.. Maybe Chris will even sign or give away a couple of his new books? Don't forget to sign up on the geekdinner site

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