The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It – or ubiquity

Wired’s Article is interesting as it acknowledges we’re about to enter the ubiquitous computing age.

We won’t care much about the computer devices themselves since we’ll be more focused on the world of information

Our interactions with computers is about to change. We already flick between maybe 3 or 4 different computers throughout the day. Laptop to Phone, to iPad, to desktop PC all the time consuming the same information (Twitter, Facebook whatever) just on different OS’s different platforms each becoming less relevant to the us as the information we’re trying to consume.

The interesting piece now will be what other shapes and forms can computers morph into to allow us to consume the information?

do you need a blog anymore?

I started this blog back in June 2003, so almost 10 years ago now, but back then there wasn’t a Facebook or a Twitter, I think there was a Flickr as I recall linking photo’s to this site pretty early on.

Nowadays, I seem to be spending my time reading posts via RSS (that killed off visiting blogs) and chatting via Twitter (that’s reduced comments/conversations on blogs).

A few days back I found myself thinking about the web back in late nighties. I felt something was missing, the app based internet has dulled the excitement of the internet.

The excitement of finding new websites, watching people build more and more interesting sites in innovative ways has gone. There’s a small buzz finding a new app that does something funky, but it’s not the same as finding a website listing all the secret codes for a gadget.

So those days have gone and I miss it, I miss visiting peoples web pages, I miss seeing people create things and share their passion on their site.

Today that passion is still there, it’s not gone away, it’s just that you don’t read about it on their site, it’s via twitter, an article in Greader, I think the internet has become too clean, too uniform, too sterile even, I loved the quirkiness, the bad selection of font colours.

Maybe the it’s because back then, the web seemed closer to the technology that made it work, you had to understand FTP, be able to write/edit HTTP by hand. You were closer to  internet. Today it’s all disconnected, a user had now clue of FTP, yes it’s easier, but it’s just not the same.

So that’s my excuse for not posting here as much as I used too, I’m elsewhere.

Bring back the text based frequently ‘under construction’ web please!

PS. I’m off to find a retro theme for this site.

still no LoveFilm on Boxee

We’ve had the Boxee for over a year now and it’s had it’s issue in use, which included the old wireless router not able to stream data fast enough and needing to be replaced with a new Wireless N router.

But now it”s connected to this new network it’s been flawless. iPlayer works like a dream on it and 4OD also works via the browser pretty well as well. So time-shifting TV is pretty easy and reliable now, which is great.

But what’s not working so well is the films, streaming them from the USB HD connected to the router works fine, but it’s the hassle of getting the disks there in the first place is the problem. Ripping some of my DVD’s has been easy, some have had their chapters muddled up in some attempt to prevent copying and others refused to rip at all.

So this is where LoveFilm streaming comes in, I currently have a LoveFilm account and get 2 DVD’s a month, but would happily swap it for streaming on demand to the Boxee and cut out the ripping.

There’s various upsides to a streaming service too, no more back ups, no more worrying about how long the USB HD will last. Music has already reached this position with Spotify which is on Boxee, I wonder when Boxee will get it fixed?

Google offers drag-and-drop App Inventor for Kids!

Google have launched tools to allow the creation of simple apps for Android devices, they’re not available just yet though, they are still in private beta. There are already several “it’s not going to produce much of value” posts our there, take this one from the Guardian.

Personally, having just spend the past three years learning to code for various platforms (including iOS), it is easy to be skeptical over these short cuts to writing applications

But I think they are missing the point, this is for children or young adults at least. It’s about getting kids interesting in Android, using Android and building apps that they may use, but it’s looking to the future.

I also agree that the next amazing twitter app will not emerge from this tool, but the person who develops that app, may have grown up on this, cut his or her teeth so to speak on it.

The form which allows you to register interest, is littered with references to education, Google’s aim is getting Android in to schools and used by kids as they grow up. Apple already does this it already offers free lessons for several of it’s apps for 8 to 10 year olds over the summer vacation, i.e. it’s starting the early.

To be honest, I’m keen to have a go, I haven’t done any programming since Uni and a bit of small talk on my IBM graduate training program, that’s it. But what I’m most keen to do is let my 6 year old daughter loose on it. She can use MS Paint, MS Word and do some interesting things, so I’m sure it won’t take her too long to pick this up.

The cat video might also spark a bit of interest, for the cat alone, but it’s about what she and kids her age will do with this. It gives them tools to make things not just out of paper and cello tape but allows them to make usable (if basic) software, that’s what this is about sparking an interest in the developers and entrepreneurs of the future.

Getting Google Buzz posts into Twitter

I’ve noticed a pick up in the use of Google Buzz and there are some great example of conversations like the good old days of Jaiku. As it stands you can pull posts from twitter into Buzz, but not from Buzz into Twitter. There are now a couple of tools to help you do this, buzz2twitter and buzzcantweet.

I’ve now tried both of these service and both failed to work for me, you might have noticed a couple of dull buzz tweets yesterday to see if it worked and nothing. So I hunted around and found another way to do it and here it is;

1) Launch into a tab, which will redirect to your profile.
2) Copy your profile URL (e.g. “”) either your name or profile number, doesn’t seem to matter.
3) launch in a new tab and sign in with your Gmail account
4) Paste your profile URL under ‘Burn a feed’ right this instant
5) Click on next and then click Skip directly to feed management
6) Select the Publicize tab on the top of the page
7) Select the Socialize tab on the left (about half way down)
8.) Select Add a Twitter Account
9) Sign in to Twitter and click Allow to allow Feedburner to post
10) Change Post Content to “Body Only” (important!)
11) Select the Activate option and that’s it.

it’s based on Unni’s comment on Louis Gray’s post

Just check the feed that it shows your last 5 or so buzz’s and you’re good to go. I think it’s pretty quick to update, the only downside is it won’t let you (or I can’t find how to do it) add your codes, otherwise works a treat.

Touiteur, maybe the best Android Twitter app

If’ your running with an Android device and are a twitter user then check out Touiteur (it’s twitter pronounced with a french accent). I’ve been a user of Twidroyd (formerly Twidroid), Seesmic, HTC Peep, Twicca (and a horrid looking one that lasted just a few minutes, but it’s name alludes me) for a day and this beats all of them in terms of looks and functionality.

The official twitter app, isn’t really a power user app, it’s away into twitter for the first time for people, who move onto the apps mentioned here.

The look and feel of Touiteur is nice, ie, dark with light font. The inclusion of threaded conversations is one of my fav features, when you go to the replies tab, it shows underneath the replies to the previous tweets all as part of that conversation, nice.

The widgets are pretty neat too, tap the corner of the widget to refresh, or leave it and it’ll refresh every 20 seconds.  There’s maybe not as much in the settings as say twidroyd and I miss the hit the bar to jump to the top of seesmic, but otherwise, it’s my new best twitter app.

I’m still looking for some of these to add in Google Buzz for instance, but they are coming on huge leaps and bounds, Gravity for S60 is still probably leader of the pack, but Touiteur is as good as it get’s on Android.

Spotify and Uncut Magazine, painless discovery

For those who follow me on Twitter will have noticed I paid a visit to the “sloany pony” on Wednesday evening to visit an old University pal who works for IPC. We had a great time over some nice beer catching up and discussing amongst other things social media, radio6 and it’s plight. The reason it was so interesting I was able to see the other side of the story, the ‘dead tree’ people’s side.

Anyway, a great evening during which I was given some sheets of dead tree (sorry Chris!) in the form of Uncut magazine. During the conversation we’d talked about music and how I’d shifted away from buying CD’s to renting my music from Spotify and that as a result I’d started to listen to much more music and to bands I’d have never have bought. Chris confessed to buying music purely on the cover, which is a risky business, but with Spotify (there are others of course) that cost of discovery is almost zero. I listed bands such as ‘the xx’, ‘two door cinema club’ that I’d probably never would have found or enjoyed if I’d have had to take a risk and pay 9.99 for.

So I’m home now and have Uncut in front of me and I’m dropping the 4 star album reviews into Spotify and happily checking out the albums at almost no cost to me. Most of the time, I’ll listen for a few weeks, get bored of it and move on. However, there are some albums that are just too good to rent and I’ll buy them for keeps.

Maybe they should bundle a subscription of Spotify when you subscribe to Uncut, surely doable, and cheaper than sending out those CD’s stuck to the cover and an easier way to get more people listening to more good music…I’ve discovered Lissie in the last 5 minutes..awesome.

Social Computing; enabling the conversation

The Orange Live event had several really great keynote’s with a particular highlight being Peter Sondargaard. A common theme through the keynotes was Social Computing and engaging with both customers and also generation Y as they enter the workforce. As a result Sondargaard pointed out, if you have any policy to block access to sites that encourage the conversation then you need to remove them pretty quickly.

So this almost constant mention of social computing and the importance of the conversation inspired some people to come along and check out the social media team at the event and find out what was happening and how. Several customers called in and asked to speak to people who could help them engage with their customers and we were more than willing to help. We also had a participant who owned the communication channel between his business and his top 35 customers and asked if we could help him engage and take the communication with his top customers to a new level, exciting stuff.

I’m sure we could learn more about social computing and having the 10 external bloggers who’ve links to initiatives such as Amplified, Organic and Media Aces it certainly helped me to expand my horizons as to what can be achieved and how. Maybe next year one of the breakout sessions will be social computing and we’ll get a chance to take the time to explain directly to the Execs present exactly what we’re doing at Orange Business, if you can’t wait till then get in touch or simply leave a comment.