Archives for February 2011

~ Until next week...

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Jamillah Knowles | 14:31 UK time, Monday, 28 February 2011

Hi all,

As tweeted a little earlier, I have been under the weather and unable to bring Outriders to you this week. But this does not mean I have stopped keeping an eye out on what people are up to online of course - it just means you will have to wait until next week for another podcast or radio episode.

In the mean time a couple of things to catch up on.

Congratulations to the delightfully mad Joseph Tame on completing the Tokyo Marathon and indeed streaming, tweeting and speaking English and Japanese all the way around. A triumph of home made rig creation, incomprehensible stamina and a back up team that must be worth its weight in gold. Well done all round!

Also - it's nearly March 1st - which might mean some digital white rabbits, but also means that the Reorbit project is about to hit 'Go!'. You might remember Dawn Danby telling me about the twitter streams that will describe literary, historical and famous voices into our online lives. Well, those accounts are prepped and ready so you should be able to follow the online updates of actors playing Syliva Plath, Keith Moon and even Roald Dahl's BFG. I'm looking forward to the latter to see how he will be delivering dreams to us online.

As a brief look ahead - I should be bringing you some voices from the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas in a couple of weeks. It's the 25th anniversary so I'm going to find out what makes it such a big deal on the digital calendar.

Of course if you would like to forward questions, let me know about something online that lights your fire or indeed update me with news of your digital goings on, then I am delighted to hear from you. You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, join the Facebook group by searching for Outriders or tweet at me BBC_Outriders.

Yours in recovery,

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

Hats and hackers

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Jamillah Knowles | 15:54 UK time, Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hello Outriders,



This week on the Outriders podcast we have a long chat with Kevin Poulsen about his new book Kingpin. The story follows the work of grey-hat hacker Max Butler, also known as Max Vision, through the world of hacking for good into profit based dealing of credit card dealing.

The book shows a change in the atmosphere of hacking from a bedroom activity based on curiosity and technical know-how to a darker and sometimes violent business. Kevin talks us through those changes and how law enforcement officers manage to penetrate the circles of those involved.

Kevin Poulsen has his own experience with hacking of course and discusses how “hacking” is now so diverse in it’s definition that it is not easy to use it as a blanket term. He also indulges us with a brief look at how hackers are portrayed in film adaptations that include their varied skills.

Kingpin reads like a thriller based on actual events and shows great depth of understanding for the craft as well as the people who were eventually caught and paid for their actions.

Kevin is a senior editor at, running the Threat Level blog as well as holding a reputation as a great investigative reporter covering cyber-crime in its many forms.

The book is out now for those who are curious to learn how their information could end up with people willing to trade that data for money.

As usual you can tell us more about what you have been creating or indeed what you have found online that you think we should know more about. Email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, send word to us on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders or search for Outriders on Facebook where you can join our discussions.


Until next week! ~ Jamillah.

Histories, stories and current tales

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Jamillah Knowles | 10:59 UK time, Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Hello Outriders,

We had a busy week on the Outriders podcast - so much so, that three of us put it together.



First up Andrew Back has been to a meeting of the Open Source Hardware User Group. He caught up with people who were speaking at the event which looked at education and was based at the BBC this time. Creators of the Domesday Project, BBC Computer Literacy and Arduino described how we can learn from past experience when it comes to matching technologies with teaching.


Following this, Mark Spoffoth of newly app-launched LoveFresh made us all hungry by talking about his obsession with fresh food and relationships with producers. Do you know where you can get produce from a farmer locally? LoveFresh may be able to help.





Friend of Outriders, Joseph Tame returns to us - this time with a new challenge. You may recall that last time he was headed up Mount Fuji with plans to live stream the experience via his phones. This time - he's taking us all with him online as he takes on the Tokyo Marathon. Slightly mad, I'm sure you will agree - but the sort of mad that we love on Outriders.




Last but never least Original Outrider Chris Vallance also joined us this week, he's been chatting to author Nick Harkaway - creator of the City of Urm. If you can imagine a place made up of the tweets of different writers - you'd be heading in the right direction to find others who inhabit this fantastic city.


Remember, if there is a site that you would like to know more about, or if you are making something cool related to the web, then do let us know. You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, send a tweet on Twitter or search for Outriders on Facebook and catch up with the updates in your newsfeed.




Until next week!

~ Jamillah

Outriders and Egypt

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Jamillah Knowles | 12:47 UK time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Hi all,

This week on the Outriders podcast we take a look at the ways in which online communites put their skills to good use when it came to getting messages in and out of Egypt.


Rebecca MacKinnon is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and Co-founder of Global Voices online. She explained the ehtical issues associated with global communications and how the companies involved may want to think about the protection of staff, signals and human rights.



The ways in which people can change their methods of communication may be myriad, but they might also depend on the knowlege of those who understand slightly older technologies. The Telecomix group of activists worked hard to open lines of communication via fax, dial-up modem and even ham radio for Egypt. One of their agents, Stephan Urbach kindly took a moment to explain how we should get to know our technologies.



When a signal can be established and people have the opportunity to speak, the technologies around the internet are certainly useful. However, not all messages are easy to understand, especially if you do not speak the same language. Brian Conley of Small World News noted the Speak to Tweet service broadcasting comments and reports out of Egypt and identified another way in which Arabic speakers around the world could help to get voices heard. He explained how volunteers around the globe made sure people could read translations in Chinese, Albanian, English and other languages.

That's all we had time for again this week, but as usual, you can help us out by letting me know what lights your fire online. You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, send a Tweet or search for Outriders on Facebook and join in with our weekly updates.



Until next week!
~ Jamillah

Tracked, televised, taught and trained

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Jamillah Knowles | 10:29 UK time, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hi all!

This week on Outriders we have more mixed treats on the podcast from choices in tracking, a place for kids and schools, a new show for makers and the wisdom of the World of Warcraft raiders.



First up, Alex Fowler Global Privacy and Public Policy Leader at Mozilla explains "Do not track" and why we may choose to stop advertisers aiming their targeted adverts at us.





Becky Stern tells us all about the brand new Make Live show online - streaming over the web to share makers' tales and good examples. Definitely one to watch when it happens or indeed on their archive.




Thanks this week to Rebecca Mullen for writing in about CyberBuddies. Rebecca won a competition to put her ICT teaching skills with junior school kids to the test and create an arena for learning and fun that is safe.




Last but not least - ever wonder what the World of Warcrafters mean when they say they are going raiding? Ladan Cockshut is a Wow player and raider and she is studying that activity specifically for her Phd at Durham University. Thanks to Mark Ward of the BBC Technology pages for this one. You can read more about the topic via Mark's report for BBC News.


That's all for this week - but as usual, keep 'em coming and be sure to let me know what has been clicking with you online. You can email me at outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, search for Outriders on Facebook for updates or send a little tweet to me on twitter where we are BBC_Outriders.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

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