Archive for January, 2016

One type of 21st century workplace

January 26, 2016

Also on the BBC’s tech pages recently was this account of people’s homes being used by freelancers as workplaces.  While the premise seems to be that there is scope for renting out an empty home during the day, if you watch the video report the cases depicted seem to be examples where the occupier of the home is around while freelancers are using it.  In any case, it’s an interesting reflection on the changing barriers between work and home and on the sort of spaces in which people find it convenient to work.


Mining data for musical tastes

January 26, 2016

This exercise carried out by the BBC is an interesting indication of how data can be used.  It’s based on musical preferences, which are of course easily measurable given that downloading from the Internet has for many become the default channel for listening to recorded music.  And in this case it’s based on use of the music recognition app Shazam, and I would speculate that using data collected through Spotify or iTunes might throw up somewhat different results.  Intriguingly, London’s musical twin city is Kaiapoi in New Zealand (pop around 10,000).  It’s a pity that for London at least the BBC’s data wasn’t able to identify musical tastes associated with particular areas and to generate more specific twin cities for these.

The ultimate elevator pitch

January 26, 2016

It’s been a few months since this entertaining item was published by the Guardian over the summer, but while I’m in the mood for blog posting I thought I’d put up a link to it.  I’ve been fascinated by Paternoster lifts since using one in the now-demolished GEC Marconi building at Borehamwood many years ago.  I’m amused to read about the idea of recording a podcast within the time that it takes to complete a circuit: surely the ultimate challenge in terms of getting an idea across rapidly

An innovation network in action

January 22, 2016

News that  GAVI (the global vaccine alliance) is supporting development of an Ebola vaccine is noteworthy because GAVI consitutes an example of an innovation network.  It brings together a number of different players in the field of pharmaceuticals and public health and its partnership model is at the core of its activities, recognising that in this field there are many different organisations which make different contributions.

Retro no more

January 22, 2016

A few years ago I blogged about Friends Reunited (one of a fair number of online services past and present that I’ve personally never joined) as a ‘retro social network‘. Now it’s being closed entirely, an example of how something which was once popular can disappear completely, and an opportunity to wonder what sort of value first ITV, and then D C Thomson, gained from the network while they owned it.  The founders are still planning new social networks, but they are looking to enter a much more crowded market so I wonder how successful they will be.