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Archive for January, 2008

Dataportability.org video

January 16, 2008 Leave a comment

I can’t recall how many people have asked me to discuss my thoughts on dataportability over the last fortnight, but it’s a lot.

Here’s a great video courtesy of Smashcut Media. Which even our board could understand.

DataPortability – Connect, Control, Share, Remix from Smashcut Media on Vimeo.

Thanks guys

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Google, Facebook and Plaxo join Dataportability.org

January 10, 2008 1 comment

Great news from our expanding Dataportability.org group with Joseph Smarr (Plaxo), Brad Fitzpatrick (Google) and Benjamin Ling (Facebook) joining the DataPortability Workgroup.

There’s been a whole lot of press about it, who can all write better than me, so here is a collection of some of the more interesting commentary that I’ve seen:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/08/this-day-will-be-remembered-facebook-google-and-plaxo-join-the-dataportability-workgroup
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/goog-fb-data.php
http://www.sixapart.com/about/news/2008/01/looking_through.html

So why is significant? Firstly, these people are not just individuals but actually representing their respective companies. Secondly, two of the larger consumer service companies are embracing open standards that will allow others to innovate and interoperate with one another (unlike the wall-gardened approach currently seen by the social networks).

Yes, there are privacy concerns and a very considered approach needs to be taken before the press repurpose fact for page impressions and scare consumers about what is really been shared.

No doubt some of the other large tech companies are either actively pursuing this, or at the very least, closely monitoring the group but we’ll just enjoy this press release for now.

** On a personal note, big congratulations should go out to Chris Saad and Faraday Media. It’s quite an achievement for a small company based in Australia to get these heavy weights to sit up and take notice. Just by seeing how much he hassles me to do something shows me how much work goes on in the background to kick these things off.

Silverlight for the Olympics

January 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Just when we were all pondering if the great technology behind Silverlight was going to die before it had begun, Billy Gates pulls another rabbit out of the bag.

For those who don’t know, Microsoft have teamed up again with NBC to build the Olympics site.

To see Bill’s presentation check out http://www.microsoft.com/events/executives/billgates.mspx
(click on one of the CES streams, NBC Olympics details begin at 35 minutes 50 seconds)

This really is a masterstroke and couldn’t be better timed. Silverlight 2.0 will have already been released along with the developer tools and it’ll have a little time to mature (or release patches at least). People will be willing to make the all important plugin download due to it being the Olympics and well, you can hardly get any better content to show off your wares.

Looks like I’m going to have to keep up my New Years resolution and build that Silverlight app, before NBC do!

** Fingers crossed, they do a really good implementation **

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,

Walking the X-Files

January 7, 2008 2 comments

We have a bit of a family of geeks. I work for a Microsoft company, my father for HP and my brother writing books for IBM. Out of the family my bro (a.k.a Mouse) would certainly be the Uber Geek.

To celebrate this and the upcoming X-Files movie, he has to decided to watch every episodes of the the X-Files whilst battling the flab living in North Carolina.

Check it out: http://walkingthexfiles.blogspot.com/

The challenge: Watch all 202 X-Files episodes while walking on a treadmill.
The duration: Jan 1 – July 25 2008 (in time for the X-Files 2 movie premier).
The question: Can watching the entire X-Files series actually be good for my health?

Categories: General Tags:

BBC Beta

January 3, 2008 1 comment

I’ve seen surprisingly little commentary on the BBC beta so I thought i’d share my 5 cents (plus broadband costs) on the matter. The User Experience guy at the Beeb also blogged about his thoughts http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2007/12/a_lick_of_paint_for_the_bbc_ho.html.

What I like…
Design: the layout is clean with a nice size font
Header: a page header is surprisingly difficult and I think this is a good implementation of a friendly clean header.
Clock: The clock brings back a lot of nostalgia from when I was a kid and i love it.

What I don’t like…
Personalisation: I would have hoped the BBC would have moved on from their focus groups and did some true user testing. From our experience of Optus Zoo and Live.com people say they want it but rarely change the settings and if they do often don’t change it. It fails to recognise when something is important.

For example, I’m not interested in Tennis so I wouldn’t choose it in my preferences however I am interested for two weeks a year when Wimbledon is on. Result, great content is hidden and the site can often look shallow (something the BBC is certainly not!)

Learned behaviour alongside story/page importance is the way forward for personalisation not manually set which takes the BBC a step back a couple of years. This is a real shame as the BBC should be driving the industry forward which it has both the position and resources to do so.

Richard Titus if you’re listening, check out things like APML and maybe look at revisiting it on phase 2 of the launch.

Categories: apml, Web Design Tags: , ,

Scrum Excel template

January 2, 2008 4 comments

The day after boxing day (black-eye day?) I opened my News project plan only to find it corrupted beyond repair. After a little crying I scoured the web to find a decent spreadsheet I could use for my projects and came across this scrum template from Sysopendigia. 

I’ve played around with it for a few days now and found it to be brilliant for what I need, even creating my task slips to put on the whiteboard for our Daily Scrum meetings. 

For other templates check out: http://www.odd-e.com/home_page/html_files/bl_example.html