I'm leaving on a jet plane.

On Saturday I'm going away for three weeks to the Sri Lankan office and I am going to be going portable.My new one is in for repairs.... my old one is dead.... but my very old laptop still lives

This very old laptop is a beast. A juggernaught of sloth. When I got it it was the bees knees of "Desktop replacements". Its an AJP something or other....

Its big. Its slow. Its broken. It has heritage. No other device on the planet has that much connection to me. It stinks.

I probably wont take it.....

For the first time I am going to take everything on a USB key ring cloned onto an SD card in my wallet. Encrypted with our own software and buzzing with stuff. I'm writing this on the Keyring now.

In addition to this, today I squeezed 25cl of SPF 40 sunblock into an old hair "magic" pump dispsenser of J's. I have KING OF SHAVES shaving foam in tiny bottle - its not that great, but its small.

Roadwired case for the Tech. The works. Today, I had to buy a suitcase. I came back with a suitcase that could contain a small pony.

Here is a pic of it.

Data Inside the Outside House

I had to ring up my Home PPC support company today, and the guy was fantastic. He answered my questions and was really helpful.


7 hours later I get an email from the same company asking me to take part in an online survey about their customer service, and I thought, yes, I will. I don’t normally.

There was a link to the company's website. I clicked. There was a question.

I answered it. There was another. Again... and again. After about ten I started to think that I was glad I had been honest all the way, or else it just would be a waste of my time. It was a weird notion I hadn't had before. To place value in the data you give someone else online.

And so with a renewed interest, I clicked on. 4 radio buttons. Each one:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

So there is no room for indecision. I wasn’t sure what they would do with this data.

  • Churn it through some queries and turn my answers into a dot on a board room graph that gets 30 seconds of look-see.
  • Or would they tailor their emails at me more successfully in the future.
  • If I log into their website will it be slightly different for me than for someone else who answered the poll
  • Or something real smart.

Whatever it was, I hoped it wasn’t evil, and I pressed on through the mire.

The questions starting getting weird:

"We trust you as a customer when you are on the phone to us:"

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

I mean, I'm not sure how to answer that. Do they?

Why should they trust me, they don't know me.

If they did trust me, actually, I am not sure I would trust them. So I don't know if I agree or disagree, I genuinely am unsure.

But they force you to answer. To continue , you must choose.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

I answered, I can't remember which. Click..click...

... and then as the questions rolled ever onwards, as my concentration was prodded from every angle, I started to dislike them. I felt they were wasting my time. That they really didn't need to know any of this to make my life better or theirs.

It was just collecting data for the sake of collecting data. Which is great, but not when it wastes human time.

Harvest my data,
But don't waste my time.
Reserve us our privacy,
When you data-mine.

Trying out Performancing

Just installed the perfromancing plugin for Firefox. And this is the first post on it. If tou can read this it works and it works well.

Only problem I can see with it is the lack of spell checker. Thats more a problem with me.

Kimya Dawson

This song is I just heard. It brings tears to my eyes. Its by somone called Kimya Dawson who Is in a band I have heard of, Moldy Peaches.

Not as Cheery as The Jackson 5, but im guessing less paedophiles were used in the making of this track:p

A Just and Fair Digital Society

I have long held the view that the claim that "piracy is theft" is based upon a mistaken view of the connection between the how the physical and the digital relate to each other. (I wrote this post on it and have contriobuted to this forum post.)

In a nutshell I think that:

• Piracy of the digital reduces to the unauthorised duplication of information.
• Information is not an object nor does it have any properties shared with objects.
• Theft is the unauthorised acquisition of an object.
• Unauthorised duplication is not theft.

The claim that piracy IS theft and that pirates should be criminalised has two bastions in its support:

The first is the companies who rely on the physical control of information for profit.
These are industries that have to either adapt or die. They just won't be around in ten or twenty years' time unless they do.

The second are people who haven’t really thought about the issues enough so this is for them…

Fundamental Tenets of a Just and Fair Digital Society

I believe that future generations will see our current media and information laws as like window tax. I'm talking here about the tax levied on houses in old Europe, not anything to do with Der Family Gates. The fact that an individuals who copy a CD or a movie can now be sent to prison in some countries will make us look like idiots in years to come. And it is idiotic.

We should be talking about the piracy = theft issue any more than we should be campaigning to end window tax.

What we should be asking is, for example, how will people deal with issues around information morality/ legality in 200 years' time?

Surely it would be arrogant of us to expect our current approach to persist two centuries on? That's a very long time for such a legal stasis to persist.

Of course the system will change. Of course my great-grandkids won't go to jail for unauthorised copying.

What we should be discussing is, in 200 years time, what kind of key principles to do with information and ownership will be in place?

Here is my attempt to supply some core principles of a fair and just digital society:

Fundamental Tenets

  1. All authors/companies are entitled to ask for whatever reward they wish for their work or service.
  2. No person or group can make money from anyone else's work without permission.
  3. It is never illegal to possesses or share information that you could otherwise buy.

Their effects would be, for example:

• Authors and publishers etc. could use DRM as much as they want. If it gets broken that’s their problem.
• If I download a DRMed movie, I can't give it to "you just like that" – one of us would have to break the DRM, which is an effort, but not illegal.
• If anyone tries to make money from selling your band's song, then they can be sued.
• If a 30 second snip from your TV shows is played on another TV show you get paid.
• If a radio station in South Africa plays your song, you get paid.
• People can pirate your software, reverse engineer it, release open source versions its up to you to keep innovating faster than the duplicators, provide support, training etc.

Bye Bye Writely Baby Bye Bye

I have had an affair with Writely. For a time it was beautiful. She seemed so good.

Writely, the online word processor.

I have been using it 3 months. We have been using in in-house and with clients. It held our company todoque and still does.

The problem is that it seems to have slowed down. I don't know if it has slowed down. Or if systems seem slower after use and familiarisation. But its slow now.

Right now I am using word again for all notes and mails and posts and things. The time to do is less, even with words sluggish start-up.

I can be writing in Writely in just a few sessions and MS Word in much longer but in the end, word is more productive.

The Collaborative aspect of Writely is excellent. It has really sophisticated document version control (It seems based in a page-line as a database-item principle).

I love the fact you can have all your documents accessible anywhere with internet.

It is too slow. Sluggish. Slothfull.

Eyeos, a case in point.

So I have just found what I guess is the closest thing to Foldera. (See previous post). Its called Eyos and you can see it here http://www.eyeos.net/

It looks great and the functionality looks really finely tuned too. But, its too slow. Just the speed of getting the data across the web (even though its pretty efficient using, I guess Ajax) means that we cant have the software response we want.

I think what we need for such systems is have the web interface and then an "at work" or "at home" interface that is fast and real time, unlike the marginally but signifigantly slower web service interfaces.

Webstat Revelations: is Foldera Vapourware?

So, I was just looking at the webstats for this blog. And I noticed 3 things:

  1. My Dad looks like he has stopped reading it.
  2. There seem to be some regularish readers now.
  3. By far most of my hits came from a post I did about Foldera a few weeks ago. They all came from this page.

A Foldera Era Maybe Isn't Nearer

  1. So someone in Foldera has made a logo for this very Blog (as in hand made) and put it up on ther Foldera site..
  2. Richard Lusk, the CEO of Foldera has left a comment on this Blog in my first post about Foldra.
  3. But, after over a zillion emails to various addresses I still cant get on the beta.
  4. If you Google search Foldera you get about 175,000 entries. If you search the actual news, you get less than 20. Is that significant?
  5. I keep pretty abreast of the tech scene, The first mention of Foldera was that it had 750 k subscribers. It surprised me think that "I hadn’t heard of it".

    I am starting to sniff the vapour of the underwear here.

Foldera seems like it is a consistent, commutative, collaborative combination of :

Hamchi +Writeley+Google Calander + Gmail + Project +Outlook + MSN

I don’t think you need to know anything about tech to know that whatever those things above are, the sum is, BIG.

Its that kind of leap and bound that if they are pulling it of with the kind of quality that we expect of software today, it is going to be truly huge.

Is it vapourware? Answers on a postcard please.


I am having an interesting chat in this formum thread right now:


Battle of the Gadget Technologies

In the battle of the PDA, Media Player, Phone and Camera I think the victor will be the camera. For it to advance will require physical changes (lenses, flashes, zoom…) whereas for the others the changes will largely be in sw and computation. So the camera needs all the space to advance competetivly. So the camera will form the baseline form factor.

I would like all of these in a pen. Not just a biro. A nice pen. That records my handwriting.

So, a Pen that has:

  1. A sooth constant flow of deep black ink.
  2. An MP3 player
  3. A radio
  4. An "any medium" handwriting recognition system that stores text as both image, vector and ASCII.
  5. Full bluetooth.
  6. A Phone that Records sound at the tip and plays it at the thumb-end, or plays it via a bluetooth in hear speaker.
  7. It can record voice dictation a ladragon dictate.
  8. A fully liquid (OLED) suface that can display text and images on the surface of the pen.
  9. An Eraser

Word Up!

I have ranted about Gmails brilliance. And writley and foldera and site advisor and portable apps etc etc

But this is surely the most acute, and yet bouncy, injection of idea into system:


(Seen in PopBitch. If you dont get PopBitch, you should. Its the only email that regularaly makes me laugh.)

Have you ever blown up a balloon until it has burst?

I haven't. But I asked J to. She tried. She took it to the edge and then, as she tried to recover her lungs, it burst in her hand.

My Love Of Tech

My Love Of Tech

I love tech. I really do. I was sitting here writing something for work and it struck me how much I love tech.

I really think that most people don’t get this. None of my family do, a few of my friends do and some folk I know from the internet or pod casts do. Well this post is for those of you who don’t love the tech. I am not criticising you or judging you, even though probably think I am a nerd or geek (terms that some people now find complimentary).

My love affair with tech began in 1980 when on holiday in Hong Kong. I spent my holiday spending money on this Casio calculator/ alarm clock /stop watch and….. “tell you the day of your birthday on any year back to 1901” functions that I wish PDAs and phones had built in today.

The calculator was the absolute business in terms of what it could do for an 11 year old boy who was really bad at maths. This was until the ZX81 came out and, for Christmas in 1982, I got one. Then I was really hooked.

I loved then and I love still the way technology can give you more time and freedom and challenge than its absence.

This one goes out to my wife....

An Ode To Tech

You can be beautiful. The way you make see.

Tech is not body
Tech is not soul.

Tech is things and systems that can help you.
Tech is funk.
Your life better. Easier. More interesting.

The way you can know the answer without remembering.

I look at the tech in my world.

I see extension. Limb. Faculty.

Good tech stays good for an age.

Fades but is respected always.

Bad tech dissolves, if it even starts.

There is an efficiency to tech and its propagation.

This inhenent efficiency enforces quality and value.

Is this the same with cars or ready meals?

Tech is not the application of technology, it is the technology.

The Foldera is about to Erupt!

I don’t know if this is it but something like this is the future. Foldera is a centralised web service that manages everything. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have dreamed about something like this. (I mean, Proqualia/Hubnexus were pretty much what Foldera looks like its going to be.)

400,000 people have signed up. I am waiting to get on the beta. I suggest you do to.

I, in terms of information, action and computing, I want everything, whenever and always. Will Foldera do this?