Video of a lightning-talk on my Second Life work for Nature

December 9th, 2006  |  Published in Uncategorized

Last month I went along to the Google Open Source Jam in London. It was a very entertaining evening with a great crowd. At the last minute I decided to give a quick show-and-tell on the work in progress at Nature.

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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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Coming in to land

October 9th, 2006  |  Published in events

It’s nearly time to return to London for a pause and a stretch. Since I quit my job at the BBC almost exactly a year ago, I’ve spent 4 months snowboarding, attended 6 conferences and spoken at 3 (LIFT06, ETech, SXSW, XTech, Railsconf and Foocamp), worked on at least 5 freelance contracts, lived in 3 different countries (France, Holland and the USA) and spent time in at least 5 others (Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Finland). I’ve travelled more than 40,000 miles by air, taken a flight every 2 weeks on average, and probably met more people in one year than in all the previous years of my life put together.

Although it’s no substitute for simply avoiding wasteful airtravel, after doing the calculations for this post I paid for a 15,000 lbs CO2 carbon offset from TerraPass.

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Talk in Helsinki this week: the Open Data Movement

August 13th, 2006  |  Published in events

UPDATE: video from the talk, expertly shot by Jyri Engestrom, is now available.

I’m heading to Helsinki in a few days for the next Thinglink workshop. My lovely hosts Ulla-Maaria and Jyri have organised a chance for me to give an Aula talk on “the Open Data Movement”. I’m honoured to be part of a series that has included Ben Cerveny, Henry Jenkins, Joi Ito and Lawrence Lessig.

Here’s the invitation:

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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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Using Omnigraffle to visualise Rails model associations

August 2nd, 2006  |  Published in rails  |  1 Comment

This week I’m doing some Rails consulting work for a company that’s already developed and deployed a major application. Getting to know a new codebase takes a little time and every diagram or visualisation helps. To help me understand their ActiveRecord model relationships, I knocked together a quick script to scan the associations between models and output it in the Graphviz DOT format.

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My first week with Thinglink

July 23rd, 2006  |  Published in metadata

The first Thinglink technical workshop took place in Amsterdam this month. Ulla-Maaria Mutanen and I spent an incredibly productive week at the Mediamatic offices thrashing out ideas that will form a Thinglink technical whitepaper over the next few months.

I’d like to highlight two things in particular that came out of this activity.

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My hack discussed on BBC Radio

July 14th, 2006  |  Published in Uncategorized

Thanks to Tristan for pointing out a little snippet on the Phill Jupitus 6Music Breakfast Show this week. The Internet’s Dave Green talked a bit about my hack as part of his “zomg teh internets!” section.

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RailsConf 2006 is over

June 25th, 2006  |  Published in events

RailsConf wrapped up this afternoon and I’m heading back to reality. Before I fly home to Amsterdam, I’m staying one night in actual downtown Chicago. It’s a great relief after so many nights in O’Hare Airportsville. Luckily the quality of the conference made up for the terrible location.

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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 »