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Prototyping Weeknotes #35 (08/10/10)

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Paul Tweedy | 14:35 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

An exciting start to the week as we welcome someone new into the team - Joanne, our new senior interaction designer. She'll be sitting with Vicky and Theo and helping out on the user experience and interaction design side of our work. All of the above have had an intense week as our new Second Screen prototype reaches its user testing phase.

George and I spend Monday finishing our interviewing and collating our notes together from the past few days. On Wednesday, Tris, Sean, Chris N and myself sit down and get into some detailed speccing & planning about the Big Data project, which is fruitful. There's much more to do, but we eke out a direction and a few initial tasks and spikes to delve into, around Map/Reduce engines and cloud hosting.

Chris N spends most of the week writing up the current state of the mobile marker tracking prototype, and working with colleagues over in our South Lab on calibrating the camera of our Nexus One phone. It doesn't go brilliantly so there's more work to do here. Meanwhile, towards the end of the week he's started looking into the Eucalyptus platform as the basis of architecting the Big Data project. He's cleared out and dedicated a whole Blade server for this research, which is something we've never done before.

When not battling with Internet radios, Mark is hard at work on his AudioSync research piece, and now has it supporting audio identification as well as synching. Chris B gets busy with the Universal Control API client code and integrates it into our iPad digital programme guide app – which means it can now change channels on our prototype YouView (ex-Canvas) set-top-box.

There's a lot of buzz at the moment about advanced audio processing capabilities being developed in the latest browsers, and many of the engineering team attend an internal W3C Audio Incubator Group lunchtime lecture on this and come back very enthused.

On Thursday morning, it's our team's workplan review with the controller of R&D, which we've all put a lot of work into over the last few weeks. Sam's involved in a final P2P-Next push to enable the transition of TV from live to on-demand, mostly involving arcane MPEG-7 tech. Chris B attends an interesting presentation by our colleagues in Journalism about the development of the BBC News mobile apps.

Dom, George and myself do some scoping and shaping of an upcoming metadata project that's got me (in particular) fired up. Finally the Second Screen user testing completes in the evening - Vicky reports that it went very well indeed.

On Friday there's a lunchtime talk given by Molly Holzschlag on the future of the web and HTML5,  which Sam goes along to. By now I'm feeling a bit jealous about all these cool talks that my team go along to and vow to make the time to attend some myself! After our recent open-sourcing of our Twitter link tracking code, Tris notices that our friends over in the FM&T Frameworks team are also releasing some interesting stuff to Github. Very cool..

And with that, I spend the afternoon reviewing this week's progress, writing the weeknotes and at a meeting with Chris G about our future workplace & accommodation needs. What better way to end the week?

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