Archives for September 2011

Digital relaxation

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Jamillah Knowles | 12:10 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast we have digital links through more relaxing pursuits. From visiting a museum or art gallery through watching movies or a series to simply reading a book, there are ways in which our experiences can be enhanced with a little digital magic.



If you are interested in history anywhere, then you might be interested in LODLAM too. LODLAM is Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums. Imagine the world of history all linked up? Amazing!
I spoke to Mia Ridge who is currently a Phd student in Digital Humanities in the Department of History at the Open University and she explained more about LODLAM, what it can do and how we might be able to help us understand and work with global archives and more.
If you would like to attend the forthcoming LODLAM meeting in London - you can find all the details here.




Relaxing in a museum and art gallery is one way to expand your thinking and of course when it comes to relaxing, there's nothing quite like escaping within the pages of a book - paper, digital or otherwise.
But, do you find it hard to pick a new book? Well Booklamp aim to help. Based on the bookgenome project, which tries to break books down to their essential features, Booklamp hopes to help you pick that next unputdownable read. Chris Vallance had a chat with Aaron Stanton about Booklamp.



On my pursuit of things to do to relax - I thought about how much I love watching movies. Now, being strapped to a computer monitor of some sort or another for most of my time, it would not come as a surprise that this is often the way that I consume film. Now of course, those who are impatient with television or cinematic schedules can view on demand and even better - indie film makers are creating their work and releasing entire series online! How exciting!


But how does this work when in comparison with traditional film making methods and indeed - can you really earn a living?

Lucky for us, Outiders listener Armless Phelan on Twitter said " Would you be interested in interviewing a web series creator for your show? "
The answer was "Of course!" This is why we ask you each week to point us at curious things!



As a result I had a chat with Avi Glijanksy creator of the web series Cupid & Eros. I asked Avi to tell me about how he came to do this and what it takes to produce high quality web series for mass consumption. Of course Avi's series is lots of fun to watch, please note that it also contains some grown up language so it might not be one for our very young Outriders.

Avi has also very kindly shared a list of some of his favourites and other web series that we might like to watch too. "I'm not the only web series creator online," he pointed out. So if you would like to explore further here's a few tips from Mr Cupid and Eros himself.

Avi says -
"I tried to give you a mix of true indies and some of the digital studio backed ones as well. Although, even "studio backed" in this context is a real far cry from what you'd typically think of as being industry supported.

The Guild
"Felicia' Day's show about MMORPG players. In a lot of ways its success is the bar by which web series are judged. It went from being a true indie to being sponsored by Microsoft and in this seasons it's had cameos buy Nathan Fillion, Brent Spinner and Neil Gaiman!"

Vampire Zombie Werewolf
"One of my favorite shows... so much so that I stalked the creators so they'd act in Silver Lake Badminton and Adventurers club. A parody of hollywood, our current obsession with vampires, and web series all rolled into one." (Contains some strong language in context - JK)

"A sci-fi comedy, about a man sent to mars for the sake of reality TV. Sadly, the creators have decided they can't keep the show going, but what's there is worth checking out a season."

Aiden 5
"A very cool sci-fi show about a detective trying to solve the murder of one of his own clones (see, told you it was sci-fi). What really makes this show stand out is its look, a combo of actors and hand drawn, almost comic book like backgrounds."

Anyone But Me
"A teen soap, but one that has gotten acclaim for dealing frankly with family, the aftermath of 911 and sexuality (when we meet the main character she's in a relationship with another girl). Created by professional TV writers Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward during the 2008 Writers Strike."

Out With Dad
"An indie series out of Canada that is about a teen girl who comes out to her father and how they navigate their relationship after she does. Another great example of the web being a place for stories and communities that traditional media shy away from."

Journey Quest
"There's a lot web series that are spoofs on RPGs or just fantasy in general. Journey Quest happens to be my favorite." (You can pick up Journey Quest on Youtube if you cannot access the Hulu player - JK)

"This show is structured as a series of interconnected (some more so than others) vignettes about people dealing with the realities of life in the current economic downturn."

"Last but not least, let me suggest as great place for people to go and see what's out there. Many of the shows above, as well as mine have presence here. Blip carries all sorts of stuff, scripted and un scripted, and their focus is on high production value. No LOL cats here ...unless the story dictates.

... that was probably more than you wanted or needed... but I figured I might as well give you some stuff to choose from. Avi"

Thanks Avi! Plenty to be cracking on with there whether you are looking for something to watch or if you are thinking of making a series yourself. Lots of inspiration.

It's been great getting tips and advice from listeners this week.

If there is a topic that you would like to explore or a web site you'd like to know more about - then I bet you know what to do. Also if you are creating something, I'd love to hear about it.

You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, give me a nudge on Twitter at @BBC_Outriders, or search for Outriders on Facebook page to find our page there.




Until next week!


More friends electric!

Jamillah Knowles | 14:18 UK time, Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hello Outriders!



On the on the podcast this week - old time (and just plain old - he says...) Outrider Chris Vallance came in off the subs bench to host the programme this week. What a great selection - and some funny "artist's impressions in audio" he came up with. I am very grateful to him for covering so beautifully while I have been away. Thanks Chris!




We've spoken about the Tales of Things project before on Outriders. Andrew Hudson-Smith gave us an update on how the project's going now that it's been running for a while, and spoke about some of the exciting work being undertaken by the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis.




Chatbots have been in the news recently. Chris spoke to Michael Mauldin who has had a long interest in computers that can interact with natural language. As well as a computer scientist and founder of Lycos, Michael's the man who coined the phrase "chatterbot". Now retired he told Chris about some of the early chatbots and the state of current research.



And Chris dropped by YouTube's Creator Camp. YouTube's Sarah Mormino explained the idea behind the camp, and Chris spoke with film maker and musician James Provan creator of some rather popular videos about pancakes and other things.



Thanks again to Chris Vallance for so ably geeking out in my absence. The good news is that he has even more to share with us next week and I'll be back holding the reins with some more interesting internet items.

If you would like to draw our attention to web-related things, then please do not hesitate to drop us a line!

You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, tweet at us on Twitter @BBC_Outriders or come and join the Facebook group for further weekly updates.



Until next week!

~ Jamillah


Protecting the vulnerable online

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Jamillah Knowles | 04:40 UK time, Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hello Outriders!



This week on the podcast we've been talking about the unethical web and how to protect vulnerable groups in society.





First up, Andrew Gregson outlined the Unethical Social Web and why it is important to take a closer look at how people use the web for darker reasons.





Also on the show, how using mobile web can be good for the protection of immigrant sex workers in the UK. Alexandra Joensson is a media practitioner who is working with others so that people in the sex industry can better communicate in different languages on a secure network with X Msg.




Last but not least, Sameer Padania joined me for a discussion about how mobile video online is changing the field of human rights. A new report entitled, Cameras Everywhere, takes a closer look at the role of video in bearing witness in cases regarding human rights.


Exciting news for next week. I'm handing over the keys and leaving Outriders in the capable hands of one of our founders - Chris Vallance. I'm looking forward to what he has for us too!

In the mean time if there is a project you are working on or something online that you would like to know more about, then drop a line and let us know.

You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, give me a nudge on Twitter at @BBC_Outriders, or search for Outriders on Facebook page to find our page there.




~ Jamillah




Colossus re-creator, visual tweets and coding together

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Jamillah Knowles | 07:54 UK time, Thursday, 8 September 2011

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast we pay tribute to Tony Sale, find out what it's like on Tweeter Street and learn more about Russia and the USA working together in code.

Tony Sale with his robot George. Photo courtesy of Andy Clark at TNMOC.














With sadness this week we mark the passing of Tony sale. He was the co founding trustee of the National Museum of Computing, the visionary that rebuilt the Colossus computer and an inspiring engineer who pushed to share his knowledge and delight at working in the field.



Andy Clark, the Chairman of trustees at the national museum of computing at Bletchley Park shared his favourite memories of a man who had the know-how and the right attitude to inspire us all. If you met Tony and would like to share your memories, the National Museum of Computing as a page where you can add them.


Also this week, we head out onto the streets to find out how to capture a tweet on location. A hat-tip to Richard Moynihan for this link. Michael Hughes is the creator of Tweeter Street. It's a project where interesting tweets are turned into beautiful portraits. Find out on the podcast how people react and the problems he ran into with a car full of snakes.




Last but not least, Emily Parker a member of the policy planning staff at the US Department of State took time out to explain how Russia and the USA are putting their skills together in a live "codeathon". We can suggest the problems to solve as the Code4Country teams work to address challenges in open governance.



That's all we have for this week. In the mean time you can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, give me a nudge on Twitter at @BBC_Outriders, or search for Outriders on Facebook page to find our page there.




Until next week!


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