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5 Most Interesting Stories from the Fortnight

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Ian McDonald Ian McDonald | 18:00 UK time, Friday, 22 July 2011

Laura Kuenssberg outside 10 Downing Street

Laura Kuenssberg is taking her 65,000 Twitter followers with her as she moves from the BBC to ITV

  1. The fortnight began with a detailed account of redesigning the World Service websites for the new Global Experience Language from Tammy Gur. Because I was lucky enough to work with Tammy on a previous World Service redesign, I know well how each website is built for the output and audience of that service - and will admit to a little envy of Johnny Holland Magazine's scoop.

    The post gives a more general view than Kutlu Canliogu's excellent post about typography, but not quite as general as the Gelled blog about the BBC's "Global Experience Language" design framework.

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  3. BBC News announced updated social media guidance on Friday 15th, drawing a clear line around offical BBC twitter accounts (which are prefixed with "BBC" and stick to a journalist's beat ).

    For example, Philippa Thomas's twitter account, which includes her personal observations, changed from @BBCPhilippaT to @PhilippaNews; and when @BBCLauraK took her 65,000 followers to @ITVLauraK, new chief political correspondent Norman Smith became @BBCNormanS.

    The guidance arrived 16 hours too late to make it into Jem Stone's quick history of the BBC and social media.
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  5. The mobile mapping experiment which BBC News began on Monday 18th has taken off with 36,000 Android users downloading the application by the Friday. This project aims to crowdsource the mobile network strength around the UK, discovering the hotspots and the notspots.
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  7. On Thursday 21st, Research and Development announced the results of Musical Moods - after 15,000 people listened to 56,000 theme tunes, they discovered how much they could tell about the genre and contents of a show from the music.

    Surprsingly, they found that they do not always go together:
    Total Wipeout is a program about people falling into water and yet it appears to have a serious theme tune to those who don’t recognize the theme.
    The intention is to help folk search the archive; to enable our search engine to listen to a programme and index the mood minute by minute.
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  9. Today Friday, Justin Mitchell at BBC R&D explained how they were slipping a broadcast signal designed for cars and mobiles (DVB-T2-Lite) into the gaps in the Freeview High Definition signal (DVB-T2).

    This is important not just because of the areas of poor bandwidth the mobile mapping experiment is looking into, but - says James Cridland - 3G bandwidth is too expensive for even casual radio listening.

    The DVB-T2 signal comes with gaps called "Future Extension Frames", included in the standard as a future-proofing contingency, and the new DVB-T2-Lite profile uses those Future Extension Frames. This fortnight engineers put a test transmitter on the roof of BBC R&D London, just across the road from BBC News, testing out the new standard in practice. Find out how DVB-T2-Lite works at the Research and Development blog.
Graph of interlocking blue and yellow waveforms.

Oscilloscope showing how the mobile signal (blue) fits into the "future extension frames" or gaps in the Freeview HD signal (yellow)

Ian McDonald is the Content Producer, BBC Internet Blog

One word edit on 2nd August 2011 to describe the updated social media guidance as simply that.

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