New reading

  • Kobot: “News on interaction design, HCI, mobile internet, robots, and much more.”
  • Standanddeliver:

    “Meanwhile, a lot of other music lovers have subsequently started to come to their senses, realising that there is more to recorded music than just the music: there is also the packaging, and the sentimental value invested in it. While Japan has begun to reissue CDs in miniature replica album sleeves, complete with facsimile inner sleeves and posters, there are people who are keen to just own their favourite records again, with the cover art and sleevenotes they don’t have to go blind trying to enjoy, and – if pressed to admit it – the ‘warm’ sound.”

Location, location, location



  • In-Duce: Mogi, item hunt

    “What makes the game so exciting to me?

    • It uses the GPS in my phone, and that’s so cool.
    • It maps a virtual data layer onto Japan and brings a fresh new way to look at my map of Tokyo.
    • All the trips I make in the city are now randomized, as I will often divert a few hundred meters to go and collect an object around me. I get a chance to discover parts of the city that I ignored, a motivation to check out that parallel street I never took.

    You can try out Mogi’s web interface here, using username and passwd combo of “test, test” [Via many-2-many]

  • Heathcote says “Annotate the planet” with his geowanking meets Jet-Set Radio Future pirate RFID-spraycan crews: “rdf as barcodes, and geowarchalking”
  • Technology for strangers: from the wonderfully-unorthdox Angermann2

Which leads me to one of my current (many) disillusionments (is this a word?) hungover from EtCon – since when does all this social software stuff have to be about bleedin’ friends? What about cooperation between strangers…

Oh, Auntie…

Via 2lmc, The beeb announced they are going to do their (pseudo?) p2p time-shifting media player using Microsoft DRM (at a meeting for designers…).

I sigh – Slashdot, predictably goes bonkers.

If you have a tolerance for /. you can find some nuggets in there like this one, which makes a good point about a public corporation that sets great store by it’s perception as a ‘trusted brand’ but seems to have little trust in its users:

Why consider all the Internet users/customers as thiefs? [sic] Imagine a shop where you are systematically checked walking out, will you come back?

and this one

…there’s a much deeper issue here. The BBC has been in existence for most of the 20th century and their archive includes a very detailed log of global history throughout that time as well as entertainment programs. The value of that archive cannot be underestimated as a historical, social and political eductaional resource for future generations – therefore, if it is to be “opened to the public” then it must be done so in a manner independent of DRM enforced by an American software company! Otherwise, the public ends up paying Microsoft to access information that should be accessible to all, no matter whether they can afford to pay MS for a DRM license.

…the core issue here is maintaining the right to free information. Just as anyone (in the UK at least) can stroll into a public library and have free access to important historical books, the factual BBC archive must be handled in a similar fashion, even to the point where there’s a PC in every library to be able to get to that archive also.

Sigh. I guess they could spend some of that post-Hutton goodwill.
UPDATE: to the second quote from /., Tomski points out that he’s conflating the iMP with the creative archive, which will be DRM-free and be as close to a creative commons as possible. Fair enough. Still not sure about Tom’s assertion that “Of course the iMP will have DRM”

Grey Tuesday: talking all that jazz

as in…

“you said it wasn’t art, so now we’re gonna rip you apart”

Unless you read this with a feedreader, I guess with my design I’m already in by default. Has anyone created a snapshot gallery of grey tuesday sites around the web? Matt Haughey is right – The Grey Album is one of the best bits of hiphop in years.

One of my favourite groups, The Avalanches create incredibly rich and dense sampled soundscapes. The legal constraints they came up against in the release of “Since I left you” mean we will never get to hear what they consider their best stuff…

“as word spread about The Avalanches, they found themselves in some surprising conundrums.

“I think if we thought it would be so widely listened to, we wouldn’t have sampled some of the things we did,” Chater says laughing.

Oddly enough, the roadblocks to sample clearances didn’t include Madonna, who allowed the group her first legal sample in the form of the bassline from “Holiday,” but rather from other, seemingly innocuous sources.

“It was frustrating when Rogers and Hammerstein were like, ‘You can’t use their stuff, you have to take it off the record,'” Chater says disappointedly. “There’s lots of stuff that didn’t make it. There’s a much longer version of the album that we’ve got that no one will ever hear.”

What a shame.

“Mixing Pop(3) and politics, he asks me what the use is…”

“I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses”
~ Apologies to Billy Bragg.

As a response to the Digital Fundraising Democracy Teach-In at EtCon, and in particular the ludicrous 45 minutes in granted to “Emerging Democracy Worldwide”; Tom Steinberg is staging a UK-flavoured Digital Democracy session at ConConUK:

“Tom mySociety Steinberg is organising a UK digital democracy teach-in (think My Society, iCan, Fax Your MP, Vox Politics and Up My Street).”

Hopefully, Rod/the YourParty folk and some of those blogging MPs might also show up…?

I wish that someone from Estonia had been invited to the fun in San Diego.

“President Meri — who answers his own e-mail and can be reached at — has even grander plans for In 1997, he helped establish the Tiger Leap Foundation, an organization that united the Ministry of Education with Estonia’s computer sector in an effort to have one computer in place for every 20 pupils in Estonian schools. That goal was reached this year, and now Meri wants to create ‘a virtual government’ that would greatly downsize the state apparatus, replacing bureaucrats with online government services.”

Perhaps if there had been more than 45 minutes for the rest of the world.

Moreover – where was Dr. Gøtze, or the UK’s own professor of digital democracy, Stephen Coleman, from The Oxford Internet Institute??!??!? They are joint-authors, of, a spin on Puttnam’s “Bowling Alone” cited famously as an influence by the founder of

At a time where wars are being fought in the cause of “installing democracy” worldwide, one might think digital democracy – somewhat advanced in places other than just the USA – might be afforded a worldwide examination by O’Reilly.

Ah well… Thank goodness for ConConUK.

It’s like Billy says:

“If no one seems to understand
Start your own revolution and cut out the middlemaaan

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

In a perfect world we’d all sing in tune
But this is reality so give me some roooom

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

So join the struggle while you may
The Revolution is just a T-shirt awaaaay

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards