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.
That’s two in one day: Anthony Minghella this morning and Sir Arthur C Clarke this evening. Two great people whose respective talents have entertained and inspired different but overlapping generations, with Anthony Minghella leaving us, far far too soon and Sir Arthur after a good innings and a long life. The quality of the rest of our lives has just dropped a tad. Continue reading Sir Arthur C Clarke. 12 December 1917-19 March 2008
I’m not entirely displeased to announce that Two Worlds is a winner of the 2008 BBC Innovation Labs competition. This is the BBC’s now annual round of looking to the outside world to solicit new technology and service ideas that will help it fulfill its multiple media brief, to engage more effectively with its audiences and to extend the reach of that engagement into a wider demographic. Or something like that. Continue reading The Power of Spontaneity…
Here’s a little history: in the early nineties, much of my consultancy work orbited (often eccentrically) around a binary model: the development of new technologies and helping clients to understand how those technologies could help their businesses and to work out how and when to jump in. It still does. Continue reading Hype, Reality and Expectation
“Wildlife Management in East Africa – Is There a Future?” by Dr Richard Leakey
Date: Thursday 15 March 2007, 7:30pm
Venue: The Royal Geographic Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
Price: £12.00 – You’ll find more information and ticket information here. Continue reading The Fifth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture
I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been waiting a long, long time. In fact ever since I first cabled my Apple Newton to my Nokia phone and managed to get a feeble-but-exciting GSM data signal from within the bunker of the Palais de Congres in Cannes (it was a very very tedious conference session). And that was fifteen years after my first mobile computing experience – an only approximately luggable Texas Instruments thermal printer terminal with a built-in acoustic coupler: the first mobile combo device. Continue reading First Impressions: Apple iPhone