CES and catching up

So I did not really have time to keep up with all the news from CES this year given everything else going on right now. I did cover it as a journo once and it was at the same time the most amazing but most exhausting job I ever did. I did some incredible interviews but lost about a stone.

Thankfully Darren Waters, technology editor for BBC News online has this nice little CES in 3 minutes video, and there are plenty of other video reports on that page which have helped me realise I didn’t really miss much this year.

haha! enjoy.

Lily Allen’s embeddable widget

Lily Allen has a new chat show coming soon the BBC Three and it is attempting to do things differently in the spirit of Lily’s love of social networking.

The website is going to iterate as the show gets closer, and it has released an embeddable dynamic widget so that social networkers can stick it on their profile pages. This means they will always get the latest videos, and they will be able to vote on which bands should feature on the show each week. There is also a production blog, and of course Lily has her own Myspace presence.

Now, I would love to show it embedded here but for some reason the code won’t let me. It only seems to want to display the terms and conditions. I shall have to figure that one out. But go check it out for yourself.

It follows the philosophy of being where people are, so having takeaway content at its heart is key.

Facebook and me getting booted out

So Facebook and I might be over. Really over. I am currently engaged in an email “discussion” with them about their attitude to online identities which I consider naive and not very well thought through.*

They disabled my account two weeks ago because I was not using my “real name”. Apparently. Although who made them the all-seeing, truth knowing entity who can decide what a “real name” is and what is not, I have no idea. The email address I signed up with does not tell them what my real name is, nor does any other information I gave them when I registered. I only give over that info online a) when I am buying something or b) when I am writing as a journalist.

Anyhoo. It all started when my profile page was borked for about a week. It happened suddenly after adding an application. No idea which one did it, but I could see and do everything else: update my status, participate, play Scrabulous, add my Three Little Words and so on.

I just could not see my profile page. I ummed and ahhed about emailing them because I knew they might have an issue with my online handle (which is not this one, but is my original one from c. 1994).

I eventually caved in and emailed them. Sure enough, the reply mentioned nothing about what the problem was, just that they had disabled my account. “Fake names are a violation of our Terms of Use”, they proclaimed. It is not a fake name, I argued, but my online persona.

I can detail our argument when I am not so tired and angry. But here is an abstract of my response:

This is not a fake name. This is my online handle/identity. I completed my Doctorate in online communities, young people and identity in 2000 and believe we have the right to present ourselves in different contexts – on and offline – in ways of our choosing. Choice is the key here. Most will choose to represent themselves with their real names, others will not. I know several people in the public eye who are given this choice by Facebook.

my point there was why are they so arbitrary about this? At what point do you have to “become” a brand? What about pen names as someone pointed out to me?

and so on. Anyway, this is now an important point of principle about the blurring line and choice of who and how you are in public, in private, and in that liminal space online. What I have realised however is: I really don’t need Facebook and they certainly don’t need me. And I am blogging again. That’s got to be a good thing right?! ;0)

*We have already seen Facebook make several booboos around this in its very short life. Like this. Oh and let’s not forget this. Ahh the follies of youth.

Seesmic, my new addiction.

Happy New Year (Hogmanay!!) all you people.

Damn you Seesmic. My latest obsession. It is pre-Alpha release and thanks (I think) to Dotben for sending me the invite. There are two very good reasons why I should not be on there but I won’t share them with you here.

It is basically micro-video-blogging. It is instantaneous, easy, compelling, addictive, fun, performative, playful, personal, public, easy, welcoming. It is essentially video banter and if I worked from home I would never get anything done.

It makes me feel a lot more connected and closer to people than Twitter or anything else. The Seesmic team – based in SF – also do neat little edits, shows, of the best of the last 24 hours (see the NY one above) which I like. This is something I think is really needed. It adds an extra incentive to participate for some too, I imagine. Makes it somehow even more personal.

Oh, I have also been chucked out of Facebook. More on that later, which is why I have been in search of a replacement. I really should get some kind of hobby which does not include sitting in front of screen doing really quite daft things until the wee small hours.


Concerted effort

OK, so I would say I am coming out of what I am going to call my “transitional period” and I am going to make a concerted effort to blog again, as I should be doing. I miss it.

I have been using the internet like some sort of plaything for a few months and I am not feeling connected to it in the same way as a result. Weirdly. That ends today.

Now I just have to find some interesting things to blog about hehe. In the meantime, check out these pics of flying cats from Junku, my favourite Flickr cat person.

Paris and Leno interview

I know, I know, it’s been too long. But Facebook, iilwy, and Twitter antics have pwned my blogging.

But I saw this, and I thought of you. Although if “you” are American, you have no doubt seen this. But I am not. Heh.

Zimmer rock

Just watched the very end of the Great Granny Chart Invasion on BBC Two. Looked good. Caught the whole My Generation cover and video by The Zimmers. Great stuff. Go grans hehe. Geriatric1927 should do his own video repsonse cover now (on YouTube). Heh.

Found this clip on YouTube – not on the BBC channel – which I think might be semi-official: it links to their myspace anyway.

Just returned to a cold, wet, miserable London after a very nice wekend in the countryside with family. Sister nearly went into labour. Heh. Surrounded by silage and prams. And lots of shopping.

Born in 1970s Norway?

I just joined the “Unlike 99.9% of the Facebook population, I was born in the 70s” network”, only to find that once you get past page 1 or 2 of the profiles, everyone seems to be from Norway? Wasgoingon?

Flirt in 23 characters. (That *was* 23 characters!)

So I have been having some free fun on iilwy. That’s I’m In Like With You. It is a kind of social network but you make contact by playing games with each other, which basically amounts to Q&As thrown at each other in 23 characters.

It’s a competition, a chase, a game – where you make up the rules of attraction, and you choose the winner. And if you’re playing someone else’s game, send charming messages, photos and video their way – and then bid to show you’re really interested. You have a limited number of points, so the more you bid, the more you’re in like. When the game is over, one lucky winner is chosen. Only then can you trade messages.

It fun! I have a fine collection on my “watch” list. Leave a comment if you want an invite – I think I still have some left.

Cat lovers’ indulgence

Cat lovers indulge yourselves: lolcats2. And make your own.

Flickr and censorship?

So there seems to be a reet ole storm brewing over on Flickr. Yahoo has been accused of taking down or “censoring” people’s photos and comments after protests over an Icelandic single mum, artist’s photos being ripped off. Complicated.

But check out this post from the CEO of Zoomr…(Via Spin on Twitter)

Widget worlds

Now I am getting more and more convinced* by those who proclaim that this year will indeed be the year of the widget, if this is true. According to TechCrunch, MySpace may be about to snap up a young widget outfit called Flextor which lets people create their own blog badges, if you like, out of their stuff – photos, images, video etc. Sounds like some fun.

Has quite a girlie appeal I feel… Which isn’t always a bad thing btw!

* I keep coming across people talking about them, as well as seeing cool stuff on other people’s blogs.

Alien not sea monster?

Er…. people in the Pacific Ocean somewhere are puzzling over this giant slab of rotting meat on the beach. A whale? A giant sea turtle… ?

OR AN ALIEN!!* Well just look at it! As if it just fell out the sky and *splat*.

* It also vaguely resembles what our roast chicken looks like when done in the microwave.

Games consoles in pictures

What a great pictoral history of videogames. Not much in the way of handhelds, but very interesting nonetheless.

My parents bought us an Atari with Pong and other games to help me exercise my lazy eyes. Loved it. Via Boing Boing.

Funny bunny Pulp Fiction (in 30 seconds)

Brilliant Pulp Fiction in 30 seconds enacted by bunnies. As the title of this blog post suggests.

Like it a lot and would be the kind of thing I would devour on my mobile I suspect. Via Sofia on Twitter.

Goody bag update

Er, supplementary blog post to below’s entry…

Hmm… So on closer inspection, I realise that my Firebox goody bag might have been pre-packed as a “female”version. Perhaps. Not sure. But given the demographics of Firebox, I would hazard a guess that they would not put face cream, hair stuff, a pocket vibrator, and a calendar of Despair* in every goody bag.

Now I like lotions and potions just as much as the next girl. But if I am therefore missing out on some other cool topy or summit, reserved for the lads, I wanna know! If not, then that’s cool too.
At least I have my unisex Playdoh and Jelly Beans!!

*Very apropos.

Firebox and Mind Candy – rockin!

I just came back, not at all drunk, (seriously – I drank 4 glasses of free wine and don’t feel AT ALL pissed. Really.) with goody bag in hand, from the Ignite Firebox party. I was informed that it had “something special in it (innit?) for the ladies” or something to that effect by the lovely PR gals. But I had no idea until I looked at it on the bus.*

Gosh what a lovely goody bag- air stuff, Stuff, T3, Perplex City cards.** Annnd a Magic Bullet (um – couldn’t find a link to it on Firebox?) and a naughty catalogue! Hehehe. Nice. Just what I need.
Met some good people tonight. Feel rather daft that I did not know or clicked before now that Michael Smith, CEO of Mind Candy (makers of Perspex – rather, Perplex City) also set up Firebox. I have met him at a couple of, well let’s say something silly like web 3.0 type gatherings, over the last year. I like the company’s thinking a lot.

I am in fact quite a loyal and long-time customer of theirs – as in Firebox. They now beat iwantoneofthose.com for me in terms of where I turn first to get those gifts for difficult people and those who you don’t really know very well, but who you feel you should “gift”.

Now I feel even more loyalty to Firebox in a way, because I like what Mind Candy does a lot.
Now, where did that goody bag go…

*Why is it you never see a taxi when you actually make a decision to spoil yourself by getting a taxi instead of the bus??

*Or, Perspex City which I always call it completely accidentally a lot of the time.

Lol Trek

This made me chuckle muchly. (via Crys through Skype).

It takes the notion of LOL cats – a meme that has cat lovers and others spilling their milk rofl – to where no man has gone before. See also the Twitter fan wiki for more lolcat fun.*

Live Grenades poses the question we have all been dying to ask:

While this is nice and all, I quickly realized that there are no long-form lolcat works. The closest is Spatch’s wonderful Cat Town, and it’s only a relative to lolcats. That set my fevered brain to spinning: what would a lolcat story look like? What if lolcats had a TV channel? What kind of shows would be on it?

And this is it, a la Star Trek. Pure genius!

*Just seen Crys’ Twitter about lolgeeks!

Minisode classics

Liking the idea of these minisodes. Especially of the shows we used to all know and love – the TV that takes you back to when you have just had a bath, and you are in your jammies, and allowed to stay up to watch the programme as a treat. Like Mash – I only have to hear the theme tune, and I am right back there.

Anyway, these could potentially be real fun snacky treats, and could also help give the impression you sound like you know all there is to know about a classic series. How many times have you had those “remember that episode” conversations. Now you could graze them all in the time it takes to make a coffee (with our posh machine anyway). Kinda like that Star Wars redit fans did of the Phantom Menace, the Phantom Edit. Cut out all the crap bits, or stuff you don’t really need, and keep the rest. And even better, btw, is the hint of a recognition here that these edits could officially be done by the fans themselves.

It’s just editing. Our people are really having fun with this. We’re not overthinking the process. You could almost look at this and say a group of college kids put this together.

Topshop and podcast irritations

I just had my usual email newsletter from TopShop – you never know what you don’t actually need – and was interested to see the Kate Moss collection preview. UK papers, and especially our great-for-toilet-reading magazines such as Heat, have been full of “exclusive” previews of the clothes. This is the line she has famously “helped to design”.*

Anyway, the point is, there was a link to a video podcast of what looked like Kate talking/modelling the gear. But when you get to the page you have no option to download or subscribe to the podcast unless you have an iPod. ie it just automatically launches iTunes. It is as if they don’t know care that anything else exists. Or else they assume that the people they appeal to, who like fashion, have an iPod as a rite of passage.

Just ticks me off. I don’t have a video iPod, but I have an Archos. And I would quite like to see it please. I am sure I can eventually find the feed by subscribing to it via iTunes, but that is not quite the point now is it?

*She has pulled out stuff from her wardrobe and said “do that”.

Second Life and “TV”

So I was going to give a quick Second Life news update, but have been aware for quite some time that this is a futile effort – although the media frenzy around SL has died down somewhat. All the big media wigs are most likely sitting down in important meetings trying to figure out what to do in 3D immersive spaces.

It is much more effective to keep up with the news via something like World of SL or SLCN. While I was on the latter, I stumbled upon this titbit about an in-world “TV” network which has set up to challenge residents to make their own shows.

I think there is indeed a gap in the market for this kind of thing, and the people themselves will make the cream rise to the top, and start gathering around common points and people of interest. I can’t wait for proper shared “TV” playlists. This kind of content is something that I would probably like to watch through Joost. Except, it would have to be an aggregated set of shows – a network – which included machinima programming from all immersive spaces – 2 and 3D. Granted, a lot of shows might be a bit shit, but then so were most podcasts when they started a few years’ ago. But a deal through Joost could be about a premium, best of content offering, as decided by all of us first – around the web.

Anyway, here is what SLCN says about the venture:

In the coming months SLCN will become the, “voice of SL” the group says. The programming will come from residents and encompass all different areas and cultures. It will be a way of showing the real world what SL is and what the people of SL are all about. The idea behind SLCN is to open up the world of television and put it in the hands of everyone within SL.

They add that it means that anyone who has an “idea, a pitch or talent or anyone who thinks they can”, can. Now all I need is some imgination and decent computer.

Harry Potter trailer, books.. long hot summer!

Just seen the new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix trailer through the very useful Viral Video Chart. The seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is out on 21 July btw (just pre-ordered mine and one for my sister, then bought another book on gaming while I was there – jings I am such a sucker). More on the ever faithful Leaky Cauldron. The writers on that site must be like 57 now. While you are there, take a look at the “avatar” book covers there designed by fans (I think).

Went to Viral Video Chart just to check out something for work purposes and have now spent quite a long time there.

Speaking of long times. Been bery naughty blogger haven’t I! Need to reboot my mojo.

Magic MIT brush

I was trying to describe this project from MIT researcher Kimiko Ryokai to friends last night. I found the video on YouTube, of course, so thought I would share it again.

Otters holding hands

This is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time. Even those with concrete hearts will like it. And it is not even cat-related.

Low tech hi tech

Loving this low tech hi tech. I want one. heh.

Real-time comedy

I am liking the Twitter comedy emerging (Twitterdy?)*. Kind of like stand up for the digital mobs.

*Just found this one too – The Hoff – heheh

News on Twitter

I am all for news feeds on Twitter and find them useful. But I don’t especially find an alert with no actual content in it useful really.


So this is a photo of Kosso’s feet with rum punch, the sunset and the Caribbean ocean.

If you clicked on the photo about 10 minutes ago, you would have noticed a Flickr “user”, who has uploaded one photo, has added a note directly linking to a holiday site. At least I think it is, because I don’t want to go there and give them my hit.* It could well be something totally innocent. But I hope Yahoo gets any smart ideas about doing this with ads. I feel jacked. It might be a great little service for someone, but not me.

*By blogging about this, I wondered if they would probably get loads of bloomin’ hits so I have now removed the link.


“Five years from now a social networking site without a 3D universe will look like a dinosaur.”
– Mark Kern, president of Red 5 Studios.