IRFS Weeknotes #159
These are weekly notes from the Internet Research & Future Services team in BBC R&D where we share what we do. We work in the open, using technology and design to make new things on the internet. You can follow us on Twitter at @bbcirfs.
This week, we've been winning a competition, doing preliminary technical work on VistaTV's Infinite Trailers, working on MediaScape, our new project about connected devices for HTML5, and preparing for FI2's Open Call.
Yves has been in Sydney at the International Semantic Web Conference (IWSC), doing a total of five(!) presentations. Yves says: "The Semantic Music and Media (SMAM) workshop we organised on Monday was very good, the keynote for the Consuming Linked Data (COLD) workshop on Tuesday went very well (slides and notes are available). I contributed to an industry panel with IBM and Yahoo! and organised by Fujitsu. Then 3.5 hours of non-stop demo for our Semantic Web Challenge entry (the World Service Archive) on Wednesday." After that he presented the world service paper, which is on the website. And played guitar at the conference dinner with Dave de Roure on bass. Phew. Anyway it was all worth it, because World Service not only made it as a finalist but won, with Yves receiving the rather splendid cheque you see at the top of this page on behalf of the entire World Service Archive project team. Congratulations :-)
Also on the World Service Archive project, Tom has been pushing speaker identity and match data into elasticsearch, to speed up the "find the name of this speaker" and "find all speakers with this name" operations. Meanwhile, Jana was an invited speaker at the mediaEval benchmarking workshop talking about the human annotations and automatically generated metadata we now have available for future research.
For FI-Content 2, Barbara has been preparing a presentation for a workshop on the Open Call (described in last weeks weeknotes) for the workshop on it at NEM this week, plus preparing for the sessions she's chairing at the plenary meeting of FI2. She held the first Cookfellas Club lunch on Thursday in honour of Chris Finch, who is sadly leaving us to work for the Guardian. Chris himself has been solving TweetOWL problems for AndrewN, vastly speeding up printing for TweetOWL v2.
AndrewN, Ant, Gareth and Thomas have been finishing off their technical investigations for VistaTV. Andrew's been looking into using iPlayer for a new version of our 'Infinite Trailers' prototype and similar, and finding it works really well, as well as looking how simple pairing might work between two web browser pages. Ant had a look at Chromecast for prototyping second screen experiences and was very impressed. His attempts to find a way for us to use iPlayer consistently on various Android devices were thwarted by the removal of flash from Android, which means that an application has to be installed to play iPlayer content, so we can't easily make prototypes.
Gareth found a load of data sources we could use to make a second screen application more interesting, whether that's providing related information about a programme, or interesting ways of deciding what to watch (e.g. what's popular right this minute?). Thomas had a good experience experimenting with TAL, a framework from our colleagues in TV and Mobile Platforms. He's been using it in a browser but it could also be deployed to smart TVs.
All this work on VistaTV is going to help us prepare for related work in our newly-started MediaScape project as well: MediaScape is an EU-funded project to prototype and standardise additions to HTML5 for connected devices - particularly discovery, pairing, authenticating and synchronising media with other media, text, audio etc. There's a nice big overlap with Radiodan and potentially our EgBox TV prototyping platform on the implementation side, but the bulk of the work will be around protocols and standardisation. We also have a bunch of work to do to start with around deciding on the specific scenarios we're interested in, like these Vicky Buser created for NoTube:
ChrisG, Theo and I have all been thinking about different aspects of this this week, while Chris Needham has started thinking about our technical work on device discovery and pairing, and looking at current W3C activity in this area, including some very nice usecases from the Media API Group. He also found time to present Snippets waveforms to Chris Pike from the R&D audio research team and talking with him about the Web Audio API.
In Radiodan news, Dan and AndrewN paired up on Radiodan v2, refactoring some code to use Promises, and AndrewN has also put some of the lovely postcards made by the XML Summer School participants up on the office wall.
From Chris Needham: Chris Lowis' Web Audio Weekly newsletter