As most of my work is invention, organisation and strategy, I don’t do a lot of tech work these days but I’ve been running this blog for fifteen years, so the archived tech, news and other ramblings are archived here.

Backwards to the Future

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.

Sir Arthur C Clarke. 12 December 1917-19 March 2008

Sir Arthur C ClarkeThat’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

The Power of Spontaneity…

BBC-logo-tmI’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…

The Fifth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture

“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

First Impressions: Apple iPhone

iphoneI’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

Northern Lights

When you’re in the business of developing and promoting ubiquitous communications and interaction, it’s something of an axiom that, as long as there are good virtual and physical communication links, it should be possible to live and work pretty much anywhere you choose. There’s also a time to put your own money where your mouth is. So that’s what we’ve done: after a couple of years of hunting high and low in and around some rather wonderful parts of the world, we’ve now moved both selves and Two Worlds to a 200-year-old farmhouse in the unbelievably beautiful Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Continue reading Northern Lights

Russian Leapfrog

Russia is a fascinating market: The “triple whammy” of rapidly rising wealth, a high degree of urbanisation (73% of the population live in cities) and the rapid rollout of next-generation network technologies means that the market for broadband delivery of digital media is set to explode (and that’s before factoring in those long Russian Winter nights). Continue reading Russian Leapfrog

Sustainable Arm-Waving

I can bore for Europe on the subject of sustainability in modern living. Which doesn’t mean I’m especially good at it (yet), simply that I talk and write about it a deal whilst slowly changing my own lifestyle to something a little more exemplary. So I’m pleased to say that I’ve been invited by the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission (The government’s sustainable development watchdog) to join the Sustainable Development Panel, providing debate and feedback on the need and/or effectiveness of policies that affect the environment and our part in it.

BlueGlobe: Making a Difference

I’ve spent most of the last few years consulting in the areas of dynamic and emergent knowledge systems, interaction and communication. That encompasses everything from arm-waving vision generation through strategy development to procurement, configuration and training. And, where I couldn’t badger someone else into doing it, the coding too. Much of the work has been based around the Ubiquity principles of trusted collaborative interaction mediated by the core tetrad of association, value, knowledge and identity. That’s a very useful model, but one that is oft easier to communicate when a specific example is used: starting with the original architecture and roadmap for h2g2, I’ve also been using a slightly hypothetical scenario of creating a collaborative knowledge-centred community around communicating a global issue, one which brought together organisations, communities and individuals of many different types around knowledge related to a need that had a universal context: in subject, location, time and intent. That’s generally worked well for me and my clients.

But now it’s time to put my money (what there is of it) where my mouth is: to create just such a service, in an area I feel passionately about – maintaining the richness and diversity of culture and life on our planet in the face of human activity driving fundamental changes to the world’s climate, at a rate which looks to exceed the ability of ourselves and other species to adapt. It’s also one which brings together my alternate lives as biologist, computer scientist and social entrepreneur: Full circle into the future.

So here’s BlueGlobe ( – a placeholder for the start of an intelligent, emergent online service designed to bring together the core constituencies of Climate Change: Businesses, governments, scientists, the media, educators and individuals and communities. It’s very early days yet – I’ve managed to accumulate a wonderful team of thinker-doers and we’re getting stuff together as fast as resources permit. Although if I have to spend very much longer training a Bayesian RSS filter NOT to tag anything that mentions Al Gore as Irrelevant, I may live to regret it. So please take a wander over there and sign yourself up for news of developments as they happen – it won’t be long.

Apotheosis of the PowerBook

The MacBook Pro is a very cool, very fast and very shiny computer. But, as of now, largely pointless for me: until such time as core applications for the photographer and image munger are released as Universal Binaries, I’d simply be paying more for a machine that ran Photoshop and its ilk more slowly than my existing machine (under the Rosetta emulation environment), and which wouldn’t run some plug-ins at all. Unless I was using Aperture as the heart of my workflow (which I can’t, due to its current, “limitations” in RAW conversion), the only benefit would be that the Finder, email and text editor would run ludicrously fast (and they’re fine already). The first generation MacBook Pro has also taken some backward steps in its specification that smack of a rush to market.

Continue reading Apotheosis of the PowerBook