Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Adobe have launched their version of Weinre, the tool that allows you to refresh and debug iOS and Android browser views from your desktop computer.
Friday, December 11th, 2009
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at Refresh Belfast. I enjoy any opportunity to geek out about building Huffduffer in front of a captive audience. This captive audience seemed to actually enjoy it. It seems like Belfast has a pretty vibrant geek scene.
It was my first time being in Northern Ireland, which is somewhat shameful given that I grew up in Ireland. Belfast felt a little strange to me; an equal split of where I grew up (Ireland) and I where I live now (England). But mostly, it has a character all its own.
Andy took great care of me while I was in town, showing me the sights. We took a black cab tour ‘round the city. The historical part of the tour was informative and the political part was …um… interesting.
Do you want to get out and take pictures? asked the cab driver. Somehow, taking snapshots on Shankhill Road just didn’t sit right with me. It’s not exactly ancient history. It reminded me of when I was last in Berlin where tourists now have the opportunity to have their picture taken with a fake East German border guard. I didn’t take any pictures of the murals.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not waxing nostalgic. I’ll take present-day slightly tacky tourism over the utterly tacky violence of the past.
Still… to the woman sitting next to me on the flight home, carrying a bodhrán emblazoned with the faces of the hunger strikers: lady, that is socially unacceptable on so many levels.
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
The Scenius of Brighton
It seems like Brighton has a high scenius level.
There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why Brighton should be a geekier place than any other UK town. Sure, we could retroactively discover geographical or social conditions that favour Brighton but I think the truth is that it’s just a large-scale Schelling point.
And it’s not just a geek thing either. The music scene in Brighton is maintaining its reputation, although the scene is somewhat lessened by the recent demise of The Gilded Palace of Sin.
Occasionally, the worlds of geekiness and music mesh to form a glorious venn diagram of fun. The £5 App Musical Christmas Special was one such scenius supercollider. It featured free booze, live music from 100 Robots, and many tales of hackery including a demo of the absolutely wonderful Therething from Toby Cole of Build Brighton, one of the many Brighton geek institutions.
Lest I become too comfortable in my Brighton hive, I’m off to explore another geek scene tomorrow. I’m going over to Belfast to meet the geeks of N’orn Ireland. I’ll be speaking at Refresh Belfast about personal projects in general and the building of Huffduffer in particular. I’m looking forward to it. If you’re in the area, come along and say hello.
Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Flung and refreshed
In amongst all of these tourist activities I enjoyed the geeky goodness of The Highland Fling followed by Refresh Edinburgh. Both were nice intimate gatherings. Both were also recorded for future podcasting. In the meantime, here are some of the presentation slides:
Thursday, March 1st, 2007
Gareth has mashed up Google Maps with meatspace geek gatherings in the UK.
Sunday, November 19th, 2006
The conference has now drawn to a close. It’s been a funny little event. It started off looking like it might be your typical formal, somewhat stiff hotel-based mini-conference. But then it also had an ad-hoc grassroots feeling to it, too. On the one hand, there were good facilities provided (Wifi, power sockets, etc.), but on the other hand, it felt like it was kind of self-organising. The organisers took a very hands-off approach, which generally worked fine although there were times when a little more guidance would have been good.
This was the first Refresh Orlando conference so I guess it’s still finding its feet. I suspect any future events will be more clearly geared towards being either more structured and slick, or go the other direction and become more like a Barcamp.
The nice thing about this conference was its intimacy. Like Barcamp, there was a limited number of people (between fifty and sixty) gathered together in the same place for a couple of days. The crowd was smart, eager, and relatively diverse (for a Web conference). As always, it was the conversations that were had after the presentations were done that really made the trip worthwhile. That’s where I usually find most of my inspiration and this time was no exception. Impromptu geek lunches and dinners were the order of the day.
Now it’s time for me to leave the sunshine state. I’ll be catching a flight back to Gatwick later today. I’ve met some great people — some for the first time, some with the pleasure of reunion — and I’ve topped up my creative juices nicely. Time to get back to work.
Friday, November 17th, 2006
Day two of Refresh Orlando kicked off with a talk by yours truly on microformats. I think it went pretty well. I made sure to allow time for some questions and some great questions were asked. I hope I managed to answer them okay.
I put together a list of resources that gathers together a lot of the tools and implementations that I talked about. The whole thing has been recorded (touch wood) so I’ll be sure to create a transcript of the audio once it becomes available. Then you’ll be able to hear how I managed to squeeze in the word “crunk” at the behest of Jina.
I don’t know why I should be accommodating to her. She’s the one responsible for my ritual humiliation last night.
A very large crowd of us descended on a Japanese restaurant. At one point, Andy turned to me and said, “By the way, if anything happens to you tonight, it’s not my fault.” My suspicions were immediately aroused but after a while, I forgot about the strange remark.
Sushi was consumed. Conversations were had. Then the drumming started, the costumes appeared and the singing started. “Oh”, I thought, “it’s somebody’s birthda… waitaminute!”
Needless to say, it wasn’t actually my birthday but Jina thought it would be amusing to watch me endure the birthday ritual. I spent the rest of the evening — at Howl At The Moon — trying to get revenge but she remains resolutely impervious to shame or humiliation. All I ended up doing was staying out too late in a noisy bar the night before giving a presentation first thing in the morning.
On the plus side, I got a nice card out of the whole thing.
Thursday, November 16th, 2006
Or Land O
The Refresh ‘06 conference is underway here in Orlando, Florida.
I flew in with Andy, Paul on Monday (and boy are my arms.., etc.). The next day, we went on a pilgrimage to the Universal Studios theme parks. Seeing as we’re a bunch of big girl’s blouses, we steered clear of the scary rides like The Hulk but we did enjoy the cool simulations, especially the immersive three-dimensional Spiderman experience. This must be a pretty good time of year to visit. There weren’t any big crowds and we never had to wait too long for a ride.
XMLHttpRequest, but time was of the essence.
With that out of the way, the socialising could begin earnest. The geeks began to arrive from all corners of the country. Now those geeks are gathered together in a room listening to words of wisdom from the speakers.
The WiFi is kind of flaky so I may not be able to upload any pictures to Flickr just yet, but there are plenty of power strips which is always a good sign.