Jun 27

P2P loses

The US Supreme Court vote unaminously against Grokster and Streamcast with a ruling that means P2P software developers can be held liable for users actions. Via The Register, CNN, BBC and loads of other places.

Jun 17

Mini Avatars

Browsing feeds today, I see that Microsoft are working to develop their own version of BitTorrent, with a codename of Avalanche. This appears to be currently a research project, with no immediate plans to commercialise it.

The other interesting story was internet ‘Teleporting’, where cameras would capture the motion at one end of the connections and material at the other end would arrange itself to provide a 3D likeness of the object, allowing a better representaiton of talking to the other person.

So I was wondering what happens if you put these two together? Will you get lots of little 3D models that will grow bigger. Will each one only get a little bit of the message and they have to all be combined.

It’s late. It’ Friday. It’s been a hard week and my brain is acting funny. Roll on the weekend.

Jun 14

Positive Action

In the UK, the Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is launching a scheme to get more women working in technology and comouting. The embarassingly named Computer Club for Girls (the name is probably a barrier in itself) is being rolled out across England to give “girls the chance to take part in a wide range of computer-based activities, from designing their own celebrity posters to creating a fashion show or mixing music”. SO hopefully in 5-10 years time we’ll have more women that can be asked to speak at the various conferences. From the BBC

Jun 06

New Tablet

Despite having the new laptop for nearly a week, I’ve not had much chance to do much with it as not been able to set it up correctly. I’ve been out and about late, so have not had internet access (whilst awake enough!) If I was one to name my PCs I’d call it Kitty, or something like that – my mother booted it up and the first thing she said was it purred; the fan is the first thing that kicks off when starting it. So it’s been updated with all the patches and I’ve been installing software. I worked out the licensing on MS Office allows me to to load on both desktop and laptop, so went to find the CDs – and found that for some reason I have 3 copies of Word. No idea where I got them from, but don’t think I need to worry about running out of copies.

Now the appropriate software is there, I can start to give it a test run in Copenhagen at Reboot later in the week.

May 31

Software is Politics

CIO Today has a report about the spread of Linux and other open source software in developing countries, especially those whose politics are lean towards socialism, as “they see software development as community building and a way keep money in the country”. There seems to be two perspectives to the choice, the first being political and the second cost.

May 31

More to go

Following on from films to go, Mcdonald’s are now looking at doing music and photos to go. I agree with Engadget’s commenters – how long before they get covered in all sorts of crap. Bu there would be a market, I can see it used by people who own MP3 players and cameras but don’t own PCs; surprisingly I know a few.

May 26

Can I have this film to go?

Via Om Malik I see that DVDStation are going to offer kiosk downloads of films and other content, direct onto your portable media carrier, in a variety of flavours. If they are doing deals with major studios, then DRM will be leading the way, but I see one vision of the future – media more and more just on tap. Wonder who’ll be first to do it over here?

May 25

Ad avoidance

In my general reluctance to watch TV ads, I use Tivo. A lot. And now even my preference to fast forward through the breaks is under threat. Adrants is reporting that tests are underway for ‘fast-forward’ ads, in order to “provide viewers with better advertising” involving “the consumer even when they are in avoidance mode”. Ad agencies – please just stop. LEt me choose what to watch. Make a good ad, attract people to it. Don’t force them on me.

May 22

Keep it simple

I don’t really use a mobile phone too much; it’s provided, and paid for, by my employer and is really a basic model from Nokia whose only real functions are texting and calls. So I look at the ever increasing market of phones that do everything and wish I could get mine updated (and I could go and get my own phone, but I’ve got other things to spend my money on when I have a phone that works). But not everyone wants the gadgets and gizmos. Vodaphone are launching 2 new models that are very simple – calls and texts only – in response to customer calls. (via BBC). I agree with this – sometimes all you will ever need is the ability to make calls

May 21


The BBC have finally discovered Flickr….got reported on its Click Online programme this morning. They compared it to the social network sites that ‘were so popular last year’! Of course, the BBC have to say: “People put all sorts up on these pages, so obviously discretion should be used when surfing with minors.” Here and everywehre else. At least they have the view that you are surfing with minors instead of minors being perfectly cabable of surfing on their own

May 20

The genie’s not getting back in its bottle

have an extremely interesting article about downloading TV programmes. It references Battlestar Galactica, which aired in the UK 3 months before the US. The programme had been captured and loaded up on the web within a few hours of being broadcast, where many US-based viewers would download. According to the rhetoric from the entertainment industry, this should have damaged the US viewing figures? Not at all:

While you might assume the SciFi Channel saw a significant drop-off in viewership as a result of this piracy, it appears to have had the reverse effect: the series is so good that the few tens of thousands of people who watched downloaded versions told their friends to tune in on January 14th, and see for themselves.

The BBC may have been subject to a similar effect after the first episode of Doctor Who got leaked; the first screening drew far higher figures than was expected.

But media companies continue to try and clamp down on this, tying things up with DRM and lawsuits. Control is the aim, with content only allowed to be experienced in the way the controllers want it to be – offical channels, this edit, this way only of seeing or hearing. No creativity allowed here, at least not by anyone who does not attmept to joint he club. So the crackdown on filesharing sites, or on the technology that allows the files to spread. It’s an arms race…and the entertainment companies are not sure of a victory.

The BBC have 2 stories about how the genie is still out, roaming out of its bottle and never looking like it will go back in. The first is of a predictable example – The Revenge of the Sith has and is available on the internet for download. It appears that this is a leak from Lucasfilm, not a copy taken from a screening.

The second is less predictable – the pirated streaming of football games. There’s a strange situation (to me anyway) of football matches not been shown live on TV on a Saturday afternoon, because it may harm attendence figures. So they are recorded and shown later. But they are often shown live abroad. Some enterprising fans capture the overseas feed and stream it live across the web for people to watch – and charge for the priveledge. The FA and Premier League have been shutting down sites that offer the stream but are now talkign about lawsuits. I think they’re missing a trick – people are willing to pay for this, so why not join in and offer it? But then again they would be guaranteed the £1.5bn in revenue from broadcasting rights.

As Mindjack suggestes, there’s no going back – we need to work witht he technology and not against it.

Update: I write that, and then I find this from Wired – the ‘personalisation’ of DVDs. So, you buy a DVD, you get fingerprinted at the store and an RFID tag is updated, and then going forward only you can unlock the content via a player which accepts the same kind of identification. So no lending it out to friends, so watching ti anywhere else except on a player that reads the tag, no inheriting you fathers wnormous collection of DVDs inthe futur – once you’re gone, no-one else can touch them!

May 14


More fun stuff with Flickrand GoogleMaps. Dan Catt on geobloggers is providing an interface place Flickr place images on Google maps, using appropriate tags, along with lattitude nad longitude. And to save the effort of trying to work out the lat/long and then adding the tags yourself to Flickr, Steeve has written a GreaseMonkey Script, the wonderful Firefox extension, to automate adding the tags.

May 09

Army of Zombies

What does this say about Telewest customers? The BBC are reporting that nearly 1 million Telewest addresses have been blacklisted as the many of their customer machines have been utilised by spammers. Telewest are reported to be helping the customers gain back control of their machines.