Posted by sh1mmer on Aug 6, 2007 in London Events
The BCS‘s Internet Specialist Group are looking for people to contribute. I like the BCS and I think they do good work, but there aren’t too many people from the web community there.
It seems like the kinds of people who go to SXSW and FOWA are not the same people who are BCS members. This is an opportunity missed.
I’ve been voted onto the committee of the Internet Specialist Group as events co-ordinator. I’m looking for speakers (please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions or offers) that will help to bring these two groups together. I think it’s essential that the new media crowd start talking to old business.
Update: I forgot to mention, you may not know but you can get your BCS written off against your tax. If you work in a Computing field it’s essentially free to be a member and you get some letters after your name.
new media, british computing society, bcs, internet specialist group, london events, events
Posted by sh1mmer on Jun 17, 2007 in London Events
Wow. I’m beat.
Hackday was fantastic. Other people I’m sure are going to comment on the hacks and the band and other things. The range and breadth of the people who came, was fabulous. They provided a wash of skills ideas and talent. I think while Yahoo and the BBC organised it, it was the people who came who really made it. Thanks to everyone involved, especially understanding that there is only so much organisers can do to deal with crazy lightening strikes.
What I thought was awesome was the buy in from Yahoo. I’ve never seen so many senior people in one place. How often do hackers, even inside Yahoo, get to talk to a billionaire like David Filo? The only thing that got me a bit upset was the wireless. It was mostly ok, but certainly not flawless. The BT engineers themselves were really helpful, but it annoys me that a gig like this isn’t totally routine to the point of it never going wrong. The problem that the Carson summit had became notorious. Why is decent networking so hard? One suggest someone made to me, was start with ethernet on desk and the add wifi. Convenience built on top of reliability.
bbc, yahoo, hackday, davidfilo, bt, britishtelecom, wifi, londonevents, conference
Posted by sh1mmer on Jun 12, 2007 in London Events
So there was a geek dinner tonight with Jyri from Jaiku. I have to say it was a very different crowd from normal, if there is such a thing for geek dinners. Maybe it’s just regulars plus transients interested in the speaker.
Anyway Jyri is a great speaker, very smart and funny. His thoughts on Web 2.0 were fascinating. Hey talks about how community web sites are built around something. A lot of people talk about connecting users, Jyri talks about connecting users through something. He gave examples, mySpace has music, LinkedIn has jobs, Flickr has photos, YouTube has videos, &c. It’s a very important concept I think.
Jason Calacanis showed his insight and asked what the object was with “tweets” or “jaiks” (is that the right verbification I wonder). This sparked a discussion with the audience. Someone noted (Tom Morris I think) that both services are used like the early days of blogging before the advent of blog articles. I found that very interesting, it’s almost as if these micro messages are back to basics.
I really recommend seeing Jyri speak if you ever get a chance. He’s a really nice guy and very approachable to chat to as well. There were a couple of people recording/podcasting and I look forward to seeing those when they come out. I’ll also link them here.
web20, jyriengestrom, jyri, jaiku, twitter, jasoncalacanis, tommorris, londonevents, geekdinner, londongeekdinner
Posted by sh1mmer on Jun 5, 2007 in Accessibility
, London Events
Shawn is in town for @media. She presented for the RNIB about the updates to WCAG 2. It was a really great talk. There were masses of questions. Stu recorded it all, so the podcast will appear. I have about 40 minutes of video which starts late and gets choppy towards the end, but I’ll post it here soon anyway.
Good to see some well known accessibility faces there as well as a lot of unknown ones. I now have a copy of Shawn’s book Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design. I’d already seen the online edition and it seems really awesome. It’s different from most accessibility books in that it’s not wedged full of code.
Well done all involved for another good accessibility night.
rnib, shawnlawtonhenry, stucolville, accessibility
Posted by sh1mmer on May 30, 2007 in London Events
Neil and I went to Dorkbot last night. I love Dorkbot but I haven’t been to one in about 8 months. We arrived at a smarter venue than the previous ones I’ve been to. They were having it in an art space near in the East End. We got collared by some from the art space who collected our email addresses (puzzling me) and directed to an art opening on the wrong floor.
After a lot of perplexed wandering around and amusement at some slightly trite banksy-a-likes Neil suggested we try the other floors. We finally found Dorkbot in time to see a presentation by Der_T on building home-grown multi-touch consoles. How very on vogue considering the Microsoft announcement (also on Mac Daily, Daniela Barbosa, Engadget). It was really interesting to see people hack this stuff up. I’d love to see some schematics in the wild from these efforts.
Mike “Dr High Voltage” then did a quick and dirty demo of demo of some kind of flying machine made of tin-foil and other household items. I have some very sucky photos, so I’m going to wait and post my video. He pointed out the experiment was totally useless for anything practical but it was a lot of fun. Of course being Mike it was also very high powered. He explained how we could do this at home by taking apart a monitor for the power supply (yes that’s the kind with massive warning yellow stickers on it).
Finally there was a nice open dork on using an audio jacks port services to allow you to rendering applications to a spectrum analyser to do fun things. The demo was a pretty visualiser that split up and image and did gravitational effects with the tiles. Pretty cool.
Links to the stuff going that happened are available on the Dorkbot London #48 event pagge.
Updated: I’ve published a video of Mike’s Spaceship Dork.
dorkbot, art, geek, dorkbotlondon,dorkbotlondon48, londonevents, drhighvoltage, multitouch
Posted by sh1mmer on May 9, 2007 in London Events
Posted by sh1mmer on Apr 11, 2007 in London Events
Following on from yesterday’s interview I’d like to highlight something. The former comedian, and now just generally pissed off, Mark Thomas is organising a day of demos a week on Saturday about the need to apply for a permit to demonstrate within a mile of parliament with permission from the Police. Not having a permit is illegal under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
This law does not only stop you from demonstrating against only parliament but, anything. You couldn’t hold and NUT strike without permission. It’s one of those anti-terror laws that’s there to protect us, apparently.
I can only lend my support to what he is doing. I may be apply for a demo permit if I can find the time, but if you live in London this would be a different way to spend a Saturday in the cause of good.
demonstration, markthomas, socpa
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 17, 2007 in London Events
Tom Morris did a great presentation on how to use eRDF to markup Semantic Web in a Microformats kinda way. I’m going to see if I can steal his code example and add it to this post later.
Update! Tom has added his slides on Semantic Web:
A Quick But Detailed Introduction. I love the eRDF examples. Microformats eat your heart out.
Dave Verwer did a great presentation on using a greasemonkey script to act as an accessibility aide. By altering the way forms and the focused element is rendered he hoped to improve help usability for some user groups. His presentation led to a great discussion, and people were really interested in creating a library of scripts which could address specific users needs. I look forward to helping with that.
More thoughts on what’s going on later.
Posted by sh1mmer on Jan 23, 2007 in London Events
I signed up for BarCampLondon2 yesterday. Yet when I checked my mail this morning I had an email from Bethen. Bethen seems to work for a company called Octane PR who, unsurprisingly, represent BT. Bethen reminded me that the details of the event had been updated and maybe I wanted to check the page.
This maybe doesn’t sound too bad, until you realise that I never signed up with this email address, as far as I know it isn’t really listed any place any more. If that wasn’t a bit annoying at the bottom of the email was a “News Alert” :
January 23, 2007
BT BACKS INNOVATION BY SPONSORING BARCAMP LONDON
As part of its commitment to driving innovation in technology at every level, BT has announced it’s the lead sponsor of BarCamp London 2007.
The event, which will be held at BT Centre, London, on February 17 and 18, 2007, is the second to be held in London and is part of a worldwide programme of conferences that includes Los Angeles, Montreal and Seoul.
BarCamp London brings together the UK’s technology community to share ideas and learn about technology in an open environment. These include attendees from design, usability, marketing/PR, digital agency work and venture capital backgrounds, as well as developers and programmers.
The BarCamp rules are very clear and create an environment where there are no spectators, only participants: everyone who attends is expected to present, give a demo, lead a session or support the event in some way. This helps to get everyone involved, but also creates more of a community atmosphere. First time attendees have to make a presentation or lead a discussion.
Gavin Patterson, group managing director consumer at BT Retail said: “As a company, we’re driving innovation in the technology sector, both for businesses and consumers. BarCamp is at the heart of this and brings together some of the most talented people in the industry, creating an environment where they can share, discuss and develop the latest technology and services, which is why we’re sponsoring the latest event in London.”
Obviously, I work for Yahoo! who hosted the last BarCampLondon. However, I don’t remember us making such a fuss about it. We were part of the write up in .net magazine, which was nice but I thought we let the event take it’s course. BT have already upset me with this, I really hope they don’t try and stamp any more corporateness on the event. I’ve been to a few BT hosted events which have been fine, so fingers crossed.
And, if it is just me not seeing Yahoo’s own PR machine, let me know. I do care if I’m wrong, I work for them, they don’t own me.
barcamp, barcamplondon, barcamplondon2, londonevents