Saturday, 28 March 2009

Earth Hour

Don't forget, you lights should be off at 8:30. It's fantastic with just candles. I might do this more often

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Useful, cool or just big brother?

I have always blogged about Location based services and how powerful and useful they are in the private and public worlds. I spend a lot of time defending LBS against what I called the "Luddite Lobby". I often got quite animated about it, and things like "mobile e-mail ruined my life" made my blood boil. The debate has hotted up with Google's Street View albeit at a slight tangent.

Once again, my initial reaction was to tell them all (the Luddites) to go and live an an island with only sheep for company. I've seen Street View in the States for some time now and loved it. However, now I see it in a place where I work, and can see into the living rooms of people I know, I am more forgiving and accepting of a debate. Although my opinion hasn't changed, I have to accept that their fears are legitimate and should be taken seriously.

I still think that most of these fears are born out of films and books about governments watching our every move and repressing our "civil liberties". If only people could be more "civil" then maybe I would have listened more! They're driven by fiction, not the reality. However, the fear or worry, however you want to put it, is still real. What we need are clear defined boundaries and complete transparency when it comes to revenue, data holdings, ownership and use. We need to ensure this code is clearly identified and communicated to everyone.

Once the boundaries are there and we all know what's what, then we can all enjoy the benefits of Location Based Services without fear. This type of technology should not be repressed through something as avoidable as ignorance. When the line is crossed, we can then react appropriately.

Of course we all hold the ultimate OFF button! And until "they" implant a microchip into my body, I will exercise my rights on my terms.

Written and submitted from the mobile

Sunday, 15 March 2009


I love this. It very much follows on from my post about surface computing ("It drives me Mad!!") where we are trying to get away from this insular computer environment. We want our computers to be invisible, and we want to use them without detaching from the real world like we have to at the moment. Both "Siftables" and "Surface Computing" do this to some extent.

My first thought when watching this video was "so what!". Then i realised how important this was when we see the toddler using Siftables as bricks, the child creating a story and the adult using it for word games and to make music. It's not about the computer anymore. David Merrill is absolutely on the button when he talks about making computers fit our lives, our physiology and our psyche.

Computing is really on the cusp of a monumental organic change....or even, in homage to the great Darwin, an evolutionary change.