An update on me

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A couple of big things to mention:

  • My job is going very well. I finished the three weeks of training and have been taking calls for a week and a half now. If you can’t remember, it’s working as a technical support agent for BT Business Broadband (situated in Dundee’s 80s futurist themed Technology Park). works in the building right next to mine (Visual Sciences) and sometimes gets on the same bus. Taking calls seems to be getting easier by the day as we take in all the possible solutions for the problems that come up and as we learn our way around all the different systems we use. The best part of the job is some of the weird calls you get, but I’ll save those for a later post.
  • I’ve moved into a flat of my own. It’s a fair sized room with quite a high ceiling in a bed-sit, which has two other guys in it already. It’s £150 a month which is pretty cool, and my parents were kind enough to help me by painting it pure white so it’s got a nice clean feel to it now. I’m planning to have a small flat warming do next Saturday evening, but as I’ve never thrown any kind of gathering before, I’m not entirely sure how I to organise it, especially as there isn’t really anywhere else people can go in the flat other than the room. Ah well.

A couple of smaller things to mention

  • If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve set-up a Movable Type blog (here). It utilizes a plug-in to crosspost all the entries I make there to my LiveJournal account. Benefits are that I now have full entry RSS 1, RSS 2 and Atom post syndication (not available to free users on LiveJournal), access to site stats and referrers, and total control over the blog layout (sod LiveJournal’s overly complex S2 theme system).
  • Stream all available songs by Peaches and similar artists.

Traditional journalism, meet the internet

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Former Campaign Manager for Howard Dean, Joe Trippi, made a speech at O’Reilly‘s recent Emerging Technology Conference. He talked about how the Internet (specifically blogging and social tools) will be the a revolution for politics as it allows for a freer debate on the issues than the mass media would allow (or could manage), how they used it to engage new activists and get “200,000 … signed up in over 1000 cities and towns” and raise $45 million — “more than any Democrat in history has raised, including Bill Clinton as sitting President”, but how the “media’s portrayal out of context” managed to damage the campaign. A stream of the speech, along with links to the notes of several bloggers, can be found here.

Well, you’ll never guess what happened next! Mass-media organisation Reuters comes out with an article which spins the whole speech around, claiming that Joe talked about how the Internet “Failed Dean in Crunch“. Techdirt has all of the details, but while the poster there says “I’m not one who believes that bloggers are a ‘threat’ to journalism”, I think the point of this is that online blogging and social networking tools were able to provide points of view to the public other than those of a supposedly reputable mainstream source (plus provide a forum for people to debate these views), and show that the mainstream source was blatantly wrong. That is the threat that bloggers and social tools pose to traditional journalism; not extinction, as centralised news sources have many advantages over ‘distributed journalism’, but a requirement for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as readers (and viewers) are basically going to make up their own minds and walk away. As Joe Trippi said, “This couldn’t have happened earlier. The Internet wasn’t mature enough. The tools weren’t there in 2000.” This is only the beginning as the Internet still has a lot of maturing to do.

P.S. On a related matter; Salon.com asks the question “Is there an echo in here?“, to which Mark Pilgrim gives a resounding answer.

Is it me or…

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You know that Coors light TV advert, yeah? The one where there’s a load of people dancing in some kind of wintry mountainous area, then the DJ turns up the sound system’s volume, causing an avalanche, which then turns into a gentle snowfall? Is it me or is the DJ none other than Mr. Richard D James? Can anyone confirm or deny this for me please? Thanks.

Wireless USB

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I have a whole smorgasbord or technology links to post, but I’ll spread them over three or four posts to ease up on the linkage.

Wireless USB – this is looking like being what Bluetooth wasn’t, i.e., successful. WUSB is basically USB2 plus the absolutely amazing technology of Ultra Wideband (which Robert X. Cringely titled the potential 100 Mile-Per-Gallon Carburettor of the computer world). It does 480 Mbps up to about 4 meters and 110 Mbps up to 10 meters, with the potential for future speeds of 1 Gbps or more. Check this excellent introduction to Wireless USB (which contains some snazzy diagrams to explain the possibilities). The link rich Daily Wireless posted about this last week (“UWB/USB Group Formed“) and again today (“Wireless USB Expected Soon“).