Archives for July 2009
This summer the North of England plays host to one of the most respected events in the world in everyone of its major cities. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
TEDx North goes one step further by combination of 5 different TEDx events, one after another so people can enjoy TED for longer.
- TEDxLiverpool - 7th August 2009
- TEDxLeeds - 10th September 2009
- TEDxSheffield - 16th September 2009
- TEDxNewcastle - 30th September 2009
- TEDxManchester - 2nd October 2009
Each event will have excellent live speakers and previous TEDtalks. They promise to bring you a taste of TED without the huge cost and long waiting list.
I'm happy to say the BBC's famous Studio 7 will also host TEDxManchester on the 2nd October. We have room for 100's of people, so it should be one of the biggest events and a great end to the series of collaborative events.
Fear not you guys wondering about TEDx in the south, midlands, scotland or the rest of the world. There are lots of upcoming ones on the TEDx site.
So don't forget to sign up early and we'll hopefully see you soon,
You can now get R&D TV on Bit Torrent using Vuze's HD Network.
The 30min versions are the only version available and the asset bundle is still for now available on the ftp site. But look out in episode 3 there will be more focus on the assets and what you can do with them.
Don't forget to vote for the episodes as you watch them using Vuze.
Dr Ian McDonald, Development Producer at BBC Learning attended OpenTech09 and has written a nice review of the event from his view. As usual you can comment below or even trackback to this blog post.
The Open Tech conference combined activists, journalists, and geeks who want to change the world. It was informal, cheap, in my former student union, and last Saturday. Many people there were opening up public data and turning it into useful applications. And there was as much social engineering as computer programming.
Speakers from inside and outside government talked about freeing up data so we can do interesting things with them. Journalist Heather Brooke described how she had hammered away at Freedom of Information (FoI) requests for MP's expenses until one civil servant became so horrified by the cover-up that he leaked the lot to the Daily Telegraph.
In a meeting room which used to be a balcony for watching concerts, two civil servants talked about their efforts to release information. Richard Stirling hoped Innovate would "turn into BBC Backstage for government". John Sheridan from the Office of Public Sector Information asked the audience to build things like Schools Map which demonstrated the need for data, saying that "compelling examples are the things which make public services better ... simply by sharing the public information". He looked forward to taking data which were already on .gov.uk websites and releasing in more open formats, saving you the trouble of screenscraping. He hoped that the involvement of Tim Berners-Lee would encourage more linked data. Rufus Pollock urged them to release the data raw, without waiting to mark it up as linked data or RDFa. The Digital Britain report was presented in parody.
Some projects were about making existing things easier instead of building new websites. William Perrin's Talk About Local chose not to build a social network site for local communities, and instead help people use the leading blogging and social network sites. Corinne Pritchard's Simply Understand translates official documents into simpler English.
There was a bit of greek pride too. Bill Thompson called for new MPs to be offered a computer programming course as part of their induction, the better to understand how the digital world works. Ben Goldacre praised the science coverage by specialist bloggers as superior to much published journalism.
But geek culture, even in the middle of saving the world, seemed very male. Males who were washed and scrubbed, in ironed shirts of T-shirts of reasonably coruscating wit, outnumbered women nine to one. The Women in Technology session started with jokes about queues being outside the men's loos instead, and ended brainstorming role-models for the next Ada Lovelace Day. Just as the men from Whitehall want examples to show the strength of mashups, Kathryn Corrick wanted some living examples for the next generation of Rain Ashfords.
It was an interesting Saturday.
You might also want to see:
- Some of the talks have videos and slideshows on the OpenTech website
- Channel 4's 4ip and the Guardian Open Platform, who were both at Open Tech
- Accounts of Open Tech by Chris Boyle, Corrine Pritchard, and Judith Townend (focussing on Women in Technlogy)
- Martin Rosembaum's BBC Open Secrets Blog about the Freedon of Information
If you want to find out more, we recommend you have a look at the Glow website, and if you are of a technical persuasion perhaps even download the library it and have a play. Whatever you think, we welcome your feedback.