AI (that’s Artificial Intelligence – I have to be clear here as I live in a farming community and conversations have been known to take a strange turn) is a flavour of the moment and is riding high on the arm-waving curve of the hype cycle. We’ve been here before though – as a notion, AI has been through more loops of the hype cycle than most technologies, with successive waves of mutually reinforcing innovation and fiction conspiring to promise more than contemporary understanding could deliver.
The Greek ‘deal’ is nothing of the sort. It is instead a self-defeating mockery of both the principles and grand vision that founded the EU. As such, it is no more than vindictive and short-sighted retribution for perceived (and, to be fair, actual) past misdemeanours of the Greek government and people. Just how can driving an already broke nation further into indenture, debt and recession do anything other than feed a cycle of recession driving greater debt and, in turn, ever-deeper recession?
I’ve just installed a doorbell. “Well, whoop-de-do” I hear you mutter. But bear with me – there’s a sort of a point to this.
It’s a Thing – a Skybell – and it’s connected to the Internet, ostensibly to potentially do useful stuff. Does that though automatically make it part of the buzz of the twenty-teens, the Internet of Things?
Having had a good whinge about the issues with our interaction with content and the services that deliver it, I’ll now try turning the argument around to ask, “What else could our media experiences be like?“. Continue reading “Failing the Future Part II: The What of the Why” »
I’ve just had a bit of a customer experience, and one which I suspect is desperately familiar, despite our world (if you’d believe the proclamations of manufactures and service providers) being one of instant gratification, of always-on content and of seamless service and device integration. Continue reading “Failing the Future Part I: The Incoherence of Experience” »
Rewind: Sixteen years or so ago, I was interested in how we use software to help us solve the compound, iterative and ever-changing problems we face every day: juggling complex trip schedules, working out where we need to be and when to co-ordinate with our friends or colleagues and, of course, how we find out about stuff that we’d want if only we knew to ask for it. I’m still thinking about it.
Today is the storm before the calm: the final frantic lobbying and bellowing before we pause overnight, then descending en masse to the polling stations on the morrow. So time for a little final reflective anticipation…
This blog is in the process of being migrated, after a long period of neglect – a task akin to the move of a million Wildebeeste across the Serengeti, but without the crowd-wisdom of the Gnus – from a distinctly olde worlde co-located server running my own software mashup, which it’s been doing faithfully and reliably for the last nine years, to a very modern cloud instance running WordPress. As is often the case with such things, the new system lacks much of the functionality I built in all that time ago, so please bear with me whilst I finish moving blogs, papers and images over. In the meantime, if you’d like to get in touch or make large donations, please contact me.
There’s an hilarious letter doing the rounds at the moment, purportedly from Stanley Kubrick to MGM. Unfortunately, it’s a fake. But, if you want a real example of how to write to a studio executive, here’s a copy of a fax that Douglas Adams sent to David Vogel of Sony, at a particularly fraught time during our negotiations over the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie. I can personally attest to the veracity of this piece.
This, by the way, is published in The Salmon of Doubt, the final compendium of Douglas’ unfinished works, half-works, nearly-works and random musings.
One news headline in particular caught my eye today, and it wasn’t the usual “Man Weds Goat” stuff, but one headed, “BBC and ISPs Clash Over iPlayer“, wherein I read with increasing disbelief the words of Simon Gunter of Tiscali, a well-known and largely unremarkable trans-national ISP. After reading same, I found myself provoked, stirred and in a state of generalised arghness. So the following may contain traces of rant.