Wednesday Oct 17, 2007

Random thoughts on Alec Muffett's "IT Futurology and the Terabyte iPod"

Alec MuffettHaving watched Alec Muffett's talk on "IT Futurology and the Terabyte iPod" I had some random thoughts wandering about my mind awaiting some annealing process. Until that occurs, here they are in raw form ...

BBC Radio 4's "The Material World" had a feature which implied massive and permanent data:

I was also struck by the iPod 'cloud' idea and how important it would be to have established standards to access the cloud. Also, would it be just one cloud? Bittorrent? Or GEROS? Or Web 3.0?

Currently much of my non-home directory objects are scattered about the Internet. I have blog entries in, photos in Photobox and Flickr, personal data in Facebook, etc etc. These all suffer to a greater or less extent to that 'what if' scenario of wanting your data back. If there were multiple clouds, could I migrate those objects from one cloud to another?

A long wished for dream-organiser for is me is something that allowed arbitrary links. Everything is an object and you can arbitrarily link them. That would be perfect with the cloud backend as my RSS blog object would simply list blog entry objects that themselves include other objects such as photos.

What use a home directory? Mostly preferences these days - could be another set of objects in the cloud of course.

Finally, two of the TED talks are about which writes software to mine the public databases for statistics related to world poverty, health and so on and then provide meaningful data. It set me wondering about the intersection (if any) between the iPod cloud or personal objects and large databases.


Can I resist mentioning the network is the computer? Apparently not :-)

Monday Jan 08, 2007

The "Five Things" meme finally reaches me

As a measure of my lack of connectedness in the universe the "Five Things" meme has only just reached me. The only saving grace is that Wikipedia is yet to have an article on it :-)

I was tagged by Chris Beal and am wondering who is left on the planet not yet tagged.

So, in the spirit of the meme, here's five things you may not already know about me:

  1. I was filmed around 1980 for the BBC Wales television production of "The Life and Times of David Lloyd George" where as a skinny little lad I sat on the bar in a mocked up Irish bar singing "Believe me if all those endearing young charms". I can still remember the words and song. I was left on the cutting room floor but despite my lack of appearance I was still paid when it was sold to other countries. If I recall correctly I had one cheque for 96p and another for 8p - I should find them and frame them.
  2. I trained as a BBC engineer alongside Kate Bellingham who IIRC was known as Dilly at the time. Great company and fond memories of my time at Wood Norton.
  3. I'm short sighted in my left eye and long sighted in my right.
  4. I grew up near Cardiff in South Wales but, according to friends, have no trace of a Welsh accent. Sadly I failed Welsh at O-level. Twice. With a D, then an E. I'm obviously not cut out for languages.
  5. I was married in 2000 in a very beautiful medieval Italian town called Genazzano. Lots of friends and family came out for a two week holiday where we stayed in a tumble-down villa, self-catered from the local markets and enjoyed the sunshine, scenery, food, wine and company.

So now, who shall I tag? How about Stace?

Monday Mar 13, 2006

On the road to Abilene, Calvetti and other (poor) group decisions

And thinking of psychometric testing, I was reminded of a course I attended run by Laree Kiely. The course was on "Influencing" and it looks something like this Leading through Influence document.

It was also where I did the DiSC test.

It was a fascinating course and including two examples of bad group descision making, somewhat akin to GroupThink. Till now I've not found many good references to the cases but I recently found:

  • The Abilene paradox
    Where a group get so caught up in the grand plan that they fail to recognise its failings.
  • The Calvetti Exercise (page 4 of the PDF)
    Where individuals in a group make their minds up too early and it becomes impossible for them to change their position.

Fascinating stuff, and reminds me of a chapter in James Surowiecki's Wisdom of Crowds where he discusses NASA's failure to prevent the Columbia shuttle disaster.

LinkedIn? There's a lot of it about ...

I'm seeing quite a few LinkedIn invitations flying around at the moment. Possibly due to a number recent staff movements. Not having updated my LinkedIn entry for ages (or ever used it) it seemed a good time to revisit it.

My personal LinkedIn URL is .

I'm somewhat vague as to how LinkedIn gets used but I'm working on the basis that the only people I should be linked to directly are those I know well and would most likely recommend or at the very least introduce to others.

Tuesday May 24, 2005

Clay Shirky on why ontology is overrated

Very interesting article on why our traditional classification schemes don't translate well to the Internet and how the apparent use of 'random' tags by the general public leads to a more meaningful web.

Examples of tagging in action are Flickr and Technorati.





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