Friday, December 19, 2008 - The zooming presentation editor

Some of you will know that I've been on the Beta for Prezi over the last 6 months (formerly 'ZuiPrezi' for Zooming User Interface) and have been mightily impressed. You may also know that I have a bit of an issue with PowerPoint as a presentation tool - it simply hasn't moved on since the old days of using Show production tools such as Concord, its simply added more ways to make presentations look crap. I spent a good 18 months designing a new presentation tool with Stephen Bradley designing a writing a new tool for TEAM Allied (owners of Pickfords in the UK) and whilst it was/is great with lots of innovative features, commercial drivers prevented us from allowing the project to fulfill its full potential.

Prezi on the other hand, has the content and navigation elements that simply blow an audience away, and an iterface which means you can actual interact with the show, using it as an in situ notpad among other things.

Have a peek at a show I put together recently for my new company - IDT - it takes a while to load, but have a play with the arrows in the bottom-right corner.

Monday, December 15, 2008

iPhone video

myspacedvd to ipod video convertertalkingphoto, dvd to psp convertertalkingphoto, dvd to zunetalking photo album

As my Jailbroken iPhone supports video ringtones using the excellent MiVTone I thought I'd play with another little toy.

Since discovering the Elf Yourself site a couple of years ago, I've had a bit of a fascination with these things, and I have been playing with the frankly superb TalkingPhoto site. Downloading to iPhone video (without paying $59) is my next mission.

While you are here, pass your mouse over the video!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

iPhone Linux

Need a small, portable LINUX machine for carry-around firewalling, mailserver etc? click here :-)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Top Geek

HAK5 is Top Gear for Geeks. Top Geeks, if you will.

There are loads of 'Dudes' and 'AAAAwwwwwww-some' shouts, but as far as far as Geekdom goes, its pretty damn fun actually.
The Latest edition outlines Web-controlled USB Missile Launchers (with Lasers!)

Beers, C++ references, and even Geek Girlz....WebTV don't get much better in my opinion!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bild turns to the public for photos

Following a lively discussion in the Forum of Flickr's Brighton group, I spotted this article about the German Newspaper 'Bild', who are recruiting Reader-Reporters by selling wee Digi-Cameras on the cheap.

I've mentioned Scoopt before, which is a great idea (some would say exploitative, but not I) but this initiative is a step further, and probably does as much to cement readership as it does to gather content. It'll be interesting to see if the pure quantity of stuff being submitted dilutes Bild's content quality in any way, but as I don't speak/read German, and I don't read newspapers, I'm unlikely to find out!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A fine solution for the British Economy

Following the shock news that, according to the Government, the UK (and everywhere except Somalia) is entering a massive recession because we all borrowed too much to keep our kids happy, the Government has announced its solution.

It is to borrow on an unprecedented scale, to fund tax cuts to keeps its electorate happy. Brilliant.

I reckon what we need is a war, so we can all be jolly grateful for the little we can steal/barter/grow until such time as we all realise how silly we've been (or there is a change of Government).

For those who are fuming at the last statement, perhaps you should grow a 'humour' and be educated by the ramblings of The Daily Mash ;-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another good night for iBBC

Yet another triumph for the Licence Fee tonight, with Gideon Coe's show consisting of just the most sublime mix of music (sic) and a live set by The Charlatans that blew me away.

For those that don't know (just a few) we in the UK have a licence fee levied upon everybody that owns a television.  I won't go into the wrinkles of who pays what for their TV's/Computers in any particular household, suffice to say that most of the properties in the UK pay £139.50 per year (only £47 if the set is black&white!) and in return, the BBC can operate without adverts.

(Apart from annoyingly long ones for their own programmes).

There is a certain portion of the UK population (usually just the newspapers actually) that would like the BBC to start playing adverts, thus negating the need for a licence fee.

Well, go to Gideon's home page and listen again to one of the shows that take your fancy; you won't be disappointed, and to my mind, it more than justifies the framework that allows un-interrupted music of the calibre to be found on that list.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One for Frasch...

One for Frasch - who has introduced me to some great sites in our time. Although the is well known and oft visited, it's evil (corporate) twin is every bit as amusing in places.

Just so you know, Frasch battles the spam at TEAM's centre for anti-spam excellence (he is known as C.A.S.E Manager) which is based in a hollowed-out South Seas Island, firewalled by killer dolphins and gentically engineered Counter-Strike enthusiasts armed with REAL guns and shields of invincibility. And having read this, he has probably dashed off to begin creating his own 3d Counter-Strike map of this very place.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gun-toting Americanian

So whats worse than voting in a complete idiot to the White House (apart from cheating to do so of course)?


Credit to Aussie John for the pic.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My last LHC mention, probably

Best and last LHC quote of the day from the BBC website, originally quoted (I think) by Prof. Brian Cox, ex keyboard player with D'Ream.

"After the minor controversy about David Kings remarks on Monday morning about the value of CERN, we note that CERN costs quite literally peanuts: UK taxpayers spend 80M quid per year at CERN, whilst in 2006 (the last year for which we could find figures) we spent 120M quid on peanuts."

By the way, do your homework on the LHC (in case you haven't been keeping up with the hype) and then search for "The Genuine Particle" on the BBC iPlayer (if you are in an area that can receive the interwb signal from Aunty) otherwise BitTorrent it...

Large Hadron Collider

People of have fallen into our trap, now


The Hollingsworth family eagerly anticipate the first proper experiment using CERN's Large Hadron Collider (it has already been turned on, see here).
We're all VERY confident that all will go well, and happily, we are all actually interested in whats going on!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Over Forty

So Forty saw a couple of minor changes for me.

I changed job
(well overdue, and as liberating as I had been telling everyone ELSE it should be)

I changed attitude
(not much, but little steps....)

and I changed life-partners.
I didn't change life-partners in a 'Dave' way (I'm afraid I had to tell Dave, that after 25 years, there's no getting away from the fact that I am actually a Straight man, I'm sorry, that's just how it is.)

My 'girlfriend' and I decided to make it official, and we married on 20-08-2008.

Now most of you will only remember me as loved-up with Anna Moore, the feisty, sweary, lovely heap of woman that I have been with since 1991, but I have to tell you, she has landed herself with a man with history.

in the next post, I'll make a small, and inaccurate, and woefully deficient list, which will attempt to thank the people that have brushed past me and left me with some of their magic.

Oh god.

I sound like Celine Dion.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just as a test, I'm playing with Tumblr for a while. It appears quicker and easier than Blogger (maybe because there are less options!) so I'll be posting there for a while, I reccommend you try it for a bit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kills Life and Money

Say what you like about EasyJet, but they have never dumped me at the wrong airport (Heathrow)  3 hours late, 50 miles from my car, and approximately 10 minutes after the last train has pulled out of the station. KLM? They just did....bastards.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You can't make this stuff up!

So I get on a train after the lovely Sean drops me at East Croydon (bless him and all his progeny) and head for Brighton. I arrive with forty-twelve thousand other people (haven't they got work in the morning dammit, what are they all doing out so late?!) and head toward the Cab rank.

A short wait, and I jump into a random and non-descript Nissan or something, and we head off towards home. Now I like chatting with cab drivers, if they have a view (on anything) it is often different from my own, or at least, from a different perspective, and it's rare these days (you know, the days without a 'local' pub and a circle acquaintances drawn from varied work/life backgrounds) that I get exposed to opinions and observations that are far from my own comfortable middle-class inspired surroundings. (Note to grand-children reading this in 50+ years time : variety is the spice of life and cross cultural/class/attitude interactions are most definitely recommended)

So in my ideal cab driver, I enjoy finding a like-minded soul who, whilst has different likes and dislikes from I, can articulate opinions that extend beyond the 'hang 'em high, this generation don't know they're born, blame the bloody government' standard. Tonight was one such encounter, and we discussed many subjects in my short (but Brighton-ly expensive) ride home from the station. Arriving outside my door, the venerable cabby enquired, "you're not Ben, are you?"

Answering in the affermative, I continued by enquiring, "Yeah, are you still reading my book?".

The random cabby reached under his passenger seat and produced the book I had lent him (in a rather 'merry' state, you may know the " MUST read this, its marvellous" state....?) displaying the bookmark placed about 50% of the way through the 600+ page tomb.

"You cant have it back yet though..." he said, " a mate in another Cab wants to borrow it after me".

Now Brighton has (at 2001) over 249,000+ people living in it, so I wouldn't like to calculate the chances of any particular person, getting in a particular cab, and the driver recognising his passenger out of x thousand of other passengers he has had in the intervening 9 months. But I bet they're quite large.

The lesson I take from this wee diatribe? Never underestimate how much a small act, can impact the rest of the world.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I hate getting distracted

So I'm sitting unwinding tonight, tweaking a blog-post I've been playing-with over the last month or so (fav. albums..I know, who hasn't seen the 'ultimate list', but I figure I have to do one officially). For some background music, I flick to youtube and pick one of the bands I'm writing about (Adams and the Ants).
I start to thinking : youtube is a time machine.

Stay with me here....I, like many others, dangled a microphone in front of the TV speaker (a single, oval piece of iron and cardboard buried behind teak veneer and 5mm of Pledge) in a vain effort to re-listen to a garbled, white-noise flooded mimed rendition of this weeks top tune.

Youtube allows you to see those people playing in early videos, and on fantastic TV shows like The Old Grey Whistle Test'(a show that was always on too late for me to stay up for, and video-recording technology was still several years away from being discovered on a non-officially recognised Alien saucer in Roswell...)

For example, if you thought Devo was a crass late-seventies joke band, take a peek at 'punk-lite' Devo playing 'Uncontrollable Urge'

Now. . It won't make sense otherwise....

Now that will ONLY have been seen by people my Mothers age (probably, ish) and yet it could prove to certain (not mine or yours...)14 year-olds that music DIDN't start with Snoop Dogg, Guns 'n' Roses or even Kylie (but she HAS been going forever, honestly, look at how WELL she's aged, of course, she had that awful thing, you know, the front of Heya magazine where she wasn't wearing makeup, and after all who can blame her, what with that shit of a boyfriend fucking-off with that skinny bird, you know, looks like Courtney Cox after an acid bath...)

Have a search for 'TOTP' and the year you left 'TOTP 1984'

*Links* - some good vide...
Wall of Voodoo - Back in Flesh
Adam and the Ants - Never trust a man (with egg on his face)
Adam and the Ants - The Idea
Kid Koala - Moon River (Look especially for about halfway through, when he starts re-writing the whole song!)
Dave Gilmour & Robert Wyatt - Comfortably Numb

That should get you started!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Flickr Fun

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from benhollingsworth tagged with bj_friend_tag_test_01. Make your own badge here.

I was tickled a couple of years ago when I spotted an active photo-frame (you know, little LCD screens that you can load pictures onto) that had WiFi and a Flickr tag interrogator built-in (This is an example...)

Usually, these devices come with god-awful frames that you simply have to suffer, just so you can have the funky Tech, you must have seen them? Anyway, the groovy thing about this particular model was that
a) It connected to your home WiFi so you didn't need to pull them off the wall to reload the wee SD chips with pics.
b) it could connect to Flickr and display pictures that had ben tagged with a particular word or phrase.

Well, it got me thinking (eventually) about making sure that all my 1200 pictures on Flickr were tagged in such a way that it I wanted one of these frames to display JUST the pictures I posted, I could simply get it to look for a single, (probably) unique ID.

"Why?" I hear you ask...well for example, if I wanted to buy the venerable parents an iFrame (I'm sure that name has gone already!) I could actually CONTROL which pictures they saw, simply by adding or changing tags on pictures. But then, other friends or family could (for example) download a screensaver that looks only for a particular Flickr tag, and view these pictures too.

I have decided to take this idea a step forward, and propose the following:
1) I will tag all interesting pictures that contain friends or families, with the word 'bj_friend_tag_test_01'
2) you (yes, YOU) can tag your own pictures with the same word(bj_friend_tag_test_01) so that my screensaver shows them, randomly and surprisingly.
3) You can download a screensaver or iTunes visualiser, or add an application to your Facebook, or any number of other funky Flickr-enabled applications, and tell it to look for the tag 'bj_friend_tag test_01'. See pictures as I or other friends posty them! he very fastest way is to search Flickr for all paictures with this tag and display them as a slideshow. That would be complicated if I hadn't done the hard work for you... just click here!

I will update this post over the next week or so to include links to applications etc that will do just this...keep coming back!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Train haiku

"The line that is closed
And that has no drinks trolley
Is a useless line"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pandora closes borders...

For once, it appears that the rest of the world has issues that America has (kinda) solved. Whilst I have not looked deeply into the licensing problems occuring around the world, this letter seems to explain many of the pertinent bullets...

"hi, it's Tim,

This is an email I hoped I would never have to send.

As you probably know, in July of 2007 we had to block usage of Pandora outside the U.S. because of the lack of a viable license structure for Internet radio streaming in other countries. It was a terrible day. We did however hold out some hope that a solution might exist for the UK, so we left it unblocked as we worked diligently with the rights organizations to negotiate an economically workable license fee. After over a year of trying, this has proved impossible. Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US.

Based upon the IP address from which you recently visited Pandora, it appears that you are listening from the UK. If you are, in fact, listening from the US, and are denied access from Pandora on or after January 15th please contact Pandora Support:

It continues to astound me and the rest of the team here that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music. I don't often say such things, but the course being charted by the labels and publishers and their representative organizations is nothing short of disastrous for artists whom they purport to represent - and by that I mean both well known and indie artists. The only consequence of failing to support companies like Pandora that are attempting to build a sustainable radio business for the future will be the continued explosion of piracy, the continued constriction of opportunities for working musicians, and a worsening drought of new music for fans. As a former working musician myself, I find it very troubling.

We have been told to sign these totally unworkable license rates or switch off, that is what we are doing. Streaming illegally is just not in our DNA, and we have to take the threats of legal action seriously. Lest you think this is solely an international problem, you should know that we are also fighting for our survival here in the US, in the face of a crushing increase in web radio royalty rates, which if left unchanged, would mean the end of Pandora.

We know what an epicenter of musical creativity and fan support the UK has always been, which makes the prospect of not being able to launch there and having to block our first listeners all the more upsetting for us.

We know there is a lot of support from listeners and artists in the UK for Pandora and remain hopeful that at some point we'll get beyond this. We're going to keep fighting for a fair and workable rate structure that will allow us to bring Pandora back to you. We'll be sure to let you know if Pandora becomes available in the UK. There may well come a day when we need to make a direct appeal for your support to move for governmental intervention as we have in the US. In the meantime, we have no choice but to turn off service to the UK.

Pandora will stop streaming to the UK as of January 15th, 2008.

Again, on behalf of all of us at Pandora, I'm very, very sorry. "

Although services like FineTune are still running, (and in many ways I believe FineTune to be superior to Pandora), I find it disgusting that the Record Distro companies can sit trying to figure out the best way to continue their strangle-hold on the industry, but are still happy to screw the public's enjoyment while doing it.