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Prototyping Weeknotes #82

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Barbara Zambrini | 09:50 UK time, Monday, 24 October 2011

It has been already over a month since Barbara joined the team and feels ready to give it a go at writing weeknotes – with an Italian flavour ;-) This week everybody has been really busy while munching on the sweets Joanne brought back from her trip to Mexico, apparently they have free Wifi and electric socket points in outdoor spaces. At our R&D North Lab there were some interesting discussions on background research for an audio recognition interface between Vicky, Penny and Max.

Olivier has been busy at Paris Web where he gave a talk on the BBC's adoption of open linked data principles and technologies (similar to the one he has given a few times to internal BBC audiences). His favourite session of the conference was “Using neurosciences in digital design” by Marc Van Rymenant. He also found very interesting the talk by Andreas Bovens from Opera on viewports and media queries for multi-screen / responsive designs. He also mentioned a really nice slide set from Precious on patterns for multi-screen strategies: http://slidesha.re/kiip5y

Generally, Paris Web this year seemed a great conference on web tech, ux and best practices. Not as cutting edge/academic as, say, the WWW conferences, but one of the best audiences I've seen, eager to learn and share.

At our Lab, Chris L. and Yves have been continuing their work on the ABC-IP project looking at automatic segmentation of audio based on the semantic tags extracted from the speech-to-text system Yves built. Interestingly, Yves has found 'Enhanced Topic Vector Space Model', which could be used to formally describe work done on the ABC-IP. Roderick has been working on implementing a message queue system for processing all the ABC-IP data on the cloud, experimenting a bit with rabbitMQ and pika. Metabroadcast (our partner on the ABC-IP project) demonstrated on Wednesday their exciting new prototype driven by our automatically extracted tags and tags aggregated from /programmes.


The final phase of the Limo project is moving at a good pace with Andrew quietly working on his desk trying to compile firefox and ffmpeg. He also had a go at making Chris L's "wherabouts" app like a bit fancier. Chris noted that it's a bit like this situation: http://xkcd.com/303/.

Chris Needham has been juggling work on LIMO and writing initial our initial technical requirements for the FI-Content. His bedtime reading this week was a 200+ page ‘high level description’ FI-infrastructure technical document.

The FI-Content project kicked off its next phase having reflected on the first iteration of use cases testing. Vicky, Joanne, Barbara, Pete and Chris Needham had lengthy discussions on use cases research across all partners and identified key areas of research for our team to concentrate on. Barbara and Joanne have looked at relevant research done and worked on starting to consolidate our research questions into one key theme around user data ownership and control.

On Thursday Joanne went to R&D North Lab with Yves, Vicky and George to meet people from an interesting company's R&D team. George enjoyed a good curry on the journey back from Manchester. On Wednesday night, George spoke about R&D at an evening/ pub event called Hacks and HackersSlides are here.

His hectic week ended with telcos on Friday morning followed by a meeting with representatives of German broadcasters in the afternoon to talk about how we do R&D.

With the exception of attending a briefing on The Internet of Things, Tristan has been busy looking at the best solution to include alerts on the Programme List and working with Dan, Pete and Theo on the simplest way to send reminders a few minutes before a programme using direct message on Twitter. Pete and Laura have started working on UI wireframes for it. Please take the survey Tristan and Vicky have prepared [http://bit.ly/qXRm9A] if you have used The Programme List [http://proglist.prototyping.bbc.co.uk], it'll help us design the next stage.

Sean has also been mapping out the frames of reference for the multiplicity of timelines that need to be considered when talking about synchronization with live streaming or ondemand media. He implemented some last minute changes to the RadioTAG spec and then rushed to get an express passport just in time to go to the GStreamer conference in Prague today.

Kat wrote a RadioTAG blog post after seeing the final debrief by Sparkler about the audience research. She has been also working with Theo, Vicky and Liz on analysing the findings from user research they conducted few weeks earlier for the Following the News project. They are all working hard in preparing a final research report for the Following the News project. Theo gave a compelling presentation on Thursday to the rest of the team on the extensive work done on this project.

Ciao for now :-)


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