I remember what the future was like…

It was the 90’s and I was just hearing about this whole Internet thingy. I worked on an industrial estate at the end of the Fenchurch Street (train) line in Essex.  We still had a computer that took 5¼” floppy disks and the new Windows machine was solely for the Director.

My knowledge of “the net” came from William Gibson, .NET Magazine and a book called Virtual Reality by Howard Rheingold.  Mr. Rheingold’s book become something I read, and shared with friends.  This was what was going to happen!  It was filled with descriptions of old arcade games that emulated motorcycle rides through to teledildonics.

After getting a PC and connecting to “the net” (which really was more frustration than excitement at the start) things didn’t quite pan out the way I foresaw them.

I looked for that book recently, just to re-visit some of the ideas, but found it was one I left behind when we moved to the US.  But as chance would have it I ended up connecting with Mr. Rheingold (virtually) the very next day.  As I fired up Miro, there he was.  A featured channel – vlogging about the social media classroom.

I recommend subscribing through Miro or the RSS feed to see why he’s starting this classroom and the tools he’s included in it.

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Ma.gnolia goes open source…

Great news from Larry and the gang over at Ma.gnolia.

Today at Gnomedex they announced M2, a project to completely re-write ma.gnolia from the ground up and making it an open source project which means it “can be downloaded to remix and run as your own”.

Ma.gnolia has been the keeper of my social bookmarks for sometime now, and I had the opportunity meet Larry and Todd at SXSW last year.

I’m excited about this because they have always had an eye to what’s happening on the web (OpenID etc.) and being one of the first responders.

It's all about sharing your content…

With the rumor mill humming with “all-you-can-hear iTunes for $130” I think NPR’s announcement slipped under my radar.

NPR has implemented an API which will give you access to audio, text and images from their archive, dating back to 1995. Now a fair bit is still off-limits (Fresh Air, Radio Labs) probably due to it being owned by sources other than NPR, this is still a great for the web-troika crowd, where aggregation is the big thing.

  • Companies could search and re-publish stories that mention them
  • Organizations and causes have access to a wealth of relevant content that can be served up through widgets
  • Individuals could create their own RSS feeds

They seem to have some documentation covering their own NPRML, but they can also return RSS, JSON, etc.  I’m looking forward to some of this great content resurfacing in the most unlikely of places.

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Lost tapes of the Dr Who composer

Delia Derbyshire was the person that actually played the original Dr Who theme and now they’ve found recordings of other music she made whilst at the BBC. This includes a dance track 20 years ahead of it’s time! What better person to interview about this than Paul Hartnoll of Orbital.Can’t wait until more of her recordings are made public.Shared with Flock – The Social Web Browserhttp://flock.com

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What my son will never see…

We’ve just taken ownership of Julie’s “new car”. It’s a 2005 Saturn and one thing we noticed was there was no cigarette lighter. Something I had taken for granted in every car I’ve really been in, even though I don’t smoke.

This got me thinking – what items would my son, now 4 years old, never experience in his day-to-day life that I took for granted.

So I started this list. Anyone have anything else?

  • car cigarette lighters
  • audio tapes
  • video tapes
  • rotary phones (and possibly land lines too)
  • TV static (all TV’s are due to go digital in 2009)
  • longwave radio