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IRFS Weeknotes #121

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Tristan Ferne | 16:10 UK time, Friday, 24 August 2012

This is the 121st issue of weeknotes from R&D's Internet Research & Future Services team where we write about the progress of our projects to give you some insight into what goes on in just one part of R&D (see other posts in this blog and our website for our other work).

First, there's an opening in our team for a senior Ruby engineer with experience of team leadership and knowledge of speech recognition, audio analysis, streaming A/v, machine learning or search technologies. If you're interested, or know someone who might be, then you can find out more and apply here or get in touch at irfs@bbc.co.uk.

There's lots of activity on Thursday morning when I start writing these notes; there's an engineering team meeting, Sean is hosting a RadioDNS workshop on authentication and synchronisation with reps from the EBU and Frontier Silicon , we're meeting the University of Lancaster to talk about their TV testbed and there's our regular team demo session. Unfortunately the last three events are all at the same time, so the team splits. Though I note that Chris Needham seems to go to all of them. And after all that Graham Klyne drops in to demo his parent-and-child RepRaps, "humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine".

Graham's RepRap printer

On projects:

For FI-Content, Joanne is developing the materials for the ethnographic study of authentication in everyday life. There'll be a diary study and a series of paper-based tasks for the participants. Dan's working on the egBox TV prototype. He spent the week working with Andrews W&N to rewrite the user flow for the TV-TAG feature and begin to implement the new TV UI design. They also worked through some issues on the smart remote app. Chris Needham is continuing the build of the authentication part.

Chris Newell has been studying privacy and security issues in the ViSTA-TV project. Libby drafted and committed a rough and ready N-Screen style drag and drop interface to egBox and wrote up the intro to the project on the blog.

Duncan has implemented a faceted search for the World Service prototype. The team talk about how we're going to maintain and run the prototype and today they're discussing what they can add to the homepage to give it a makeover before we invite a larger panel of users to the prototype. On the research side, Chris L is looking at automatic programme segmentation based on the speaker detection process Yves has already developed. The aim is to see if we can detect cohesive segments of programmes, such as an interview with a guest, using just information about the speakers and when they are talking.

Rob reports that the Snippets team have been developing the next stage of functionality for the gridview tool, working out plans for 'Snippets for Radio' and fixing security bugs. The two new members of the team, James and Chris, have been getting up to speed with the systems and helping with the planning.

Libby sent round her radiotag twitter bot to be tested, then spent time bug-fixing it and now has to make a decision about one bot or two. I've been working with Yves and Chris L on a new project submission; shaping the idea, writing it down and speaking to potential partners. Finally, cakenotes. On Monday there were some biscuits from Spain from Joanne. On Thursday there was some leftover fruit, though I'm not sure that counts.

Links of the week:

Adam Curtis argues TV needs new tools to tell its stories

This RWW piece on topic pages and the need for real narrative-building in addition to topic aggregation struck a chord

A whole exhibition of 3Dprinters

This week's prize for weeknotes contributions

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