Serendipity 2.0: going fulltime on Dopplr

April 27th, 2007  |  Published in misc

For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a new project in my spare time. Dopplr is a social network for frequent travellers, designed to increase the amount of serendipity in the world. It lets you share your travel plans with your trusted fellow travellers, and uses them to find the coincidences, near-misses and surprises. Maps, mobile, timelines, feeds, calendars: you can have the information pretty much any way you want it.

Dopplr’s still invite only, but there’s a good chance you know someone with an account by now. We’ll be issuing new invite tokens from time to time, so keep an eye out. There are some screenshots on Flickr, and alpha travellers Stowe Boyd and Roo Reynolds have written some illuminating reviews. I’ll be at XTech in Paris in May (don’t forget, online registration closes soon) so track me down and I’ll give you a demo.

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A Second Life teaser

November 12th, 2006  |  Published in misc

This month my freelance work takes me to Nature Publishing Group to work on a new scientific project in Second Life. We’re not quite ready to talk about what we’re doing yet, but I’m so pleased with a bit of work in progress that I thought I’d put a teaser up here.

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Extended trip to San Francisco

August 6th, 2006  |  Published in misc

The nice people at O’Reilly invited me to Foo Camp this year. On August 24th I’ll be packing up my bags and leaving Amsterdam for sunny California.

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Annotated source code for Second Life flickr screen

June 19th, 2006  |  Published in misc

I’ve had quite a few requests for the source code of the Flickr screen for Second Life that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Here’s the code, annotated with links to the Second Life coding wiki and a few notes.

I’m only publishing the LSL code, because the serverside code isn’t very interesting and does pretty much exactly what it says in the previous post. If you want to run your own flickr screen, the URLs in the code below should work just as well for your objects as they do for mine. If you have problems, let me know. I reserve the right to switch off the code if the traffic gets too high, but I’ll post here if I have to do that.

UPDATE: Sorry, but I no longer have the server capacity to run the backend for this service. I’m told that new features in the Second Life Viewer mean that you can achieve the same thing now with Shared Media.

The code uses SL’s streaming media feature to load the jpeg into a texture. This comes with a number of restrictions: ‘You are allowed one movie (or “media” resource) per land parcel. The movie will be played by replacing a texture on an object with the movie. Users will only see the movie when they are standing on your land parcel. Otherwise they will see the static texture. Script functions only work for objects owned by the land owner or deeded to the group that owns the land. (Remember to set asset permissions on your script and object as well as sharing it with the group!)’. I’m hoping for much better media support than this in future Second Life versions. Read the rest of this entry »

This is what happens next

December 8th, 2005  |  Published in misc

The coding’s done on version 1.0 of the BBC Programme Catalogue and I’ve handed it over to the BBC for testing and deployment. Now I’m going snowboarding. I’ll be living in Morzine in the French Alps until the end of the winter.

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What happens next?

July 12th, 2005  |  Published in misc

I’m very excited. At the end of September I’ll be leaving the BBC after more than four years of productive and fascinating work with digital television, radio and the internet.

I’ll be sad to leave the company of so many informed, intelligent and engaging colleagues (to link just three), and more than anything I will miss my team. Paul Clifford, Matt Patterson and Matthew Wood are three of the most talented individuals I’ve ever worked with.

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Work at the BBC (again)

August 23rd, 2004  |  Published in misc

There was a programmer’s job being advertised at BBC Radio and Music Interactive in London, in the team where I work. It involves data munging XML, digital radio and other interesting technologies, and involves programming in Python, Perl or Java. Applications have now closed.

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Revoking a GPG key

January 18th, 2004  |  Published in misc

A couple of months ago, I lost my lovely laptop in a burglary. This weekend, Edd reminded me that my GPG private key was on the machine, so I performed the necessary rituals to revoke it. I found the documentation on this a little sparse, so here are the steps I took.

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On the sudden lack of momentum

February 26th, 2003  |  Published in misc

Just when I’d got into a regular rhythm of posting new stuff to this site at least once a week, my laptop died. For the last year or so I’ve stopped using desktop machines, partly prompted by the arrival of cheap wireless networking. A good laptop and a number of built-for-purpose servers (mp3 jukebox, network gateway and webserver, etc) have suited me very well.

I’ve blatted my savings and ordered a shiny new replacement, but until that arrives I won’t be able to properly finish any of the code I’ve been working on. I’m looking forward to posting a new RDF scutter based on an updated version of the foaftool code posted here a few weeks ago.