Archives for January 2012

Our internet and the law

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Jamillah Knowles | 08:12 UK time, Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast we look at some of the problems netizens are facing when it comes to access and sharing online. SOPA, the stop online piracy act and PIPA - protect IP bills have been making headlines from the United States, where the bills were designed and all over the web where protesters showed that they did not want this sort of legislation to be passed.

It's a tricky topic as there are many protesters raising their voices against the laws and there are plenty of people who support these ideas too.

Indian internet

Along with these headlines about legislation in America, there are many other places around the world that are debating how best to manage a population that has an increasing presence on the internet.

In India, a court case is continuing that may affect how social networking websites work. Not in relation to copyright material, but as a reaction to offensive content being spread and shared.

So, what do they mean by offensive content and who are the big names in this case?

Friend of Outriders, Nishant Shah, is the Co-Founder and director of research at the Bangalore based Centre for Internet and Society, he explained the case and more about the effects of a possible outcome.

The case continues and no doubt we'll be following along to find out how our Indian outriders may be affected.

Last week also saw a huge story of the web as content sharing website Megaupload was taken down and the site's owners were charged with copyright violation.

As a response, the loose network of hackers and activists known as Anonymous activated their own take down campaign, targeting the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Upload down

Many users of the MegaUpload site watched countless hours of video posted by other people with accounts on the site, copyright or otherwise, but the shut down does not just mean that people are no longer able to watch videos, it also means that people who had put files on that site, are currently unable to access them.

One such customer is Jay Springett, who is a technology consultant, photographer and musician. I asked him how he came to use the site and if he had heard anything about getting his files back.

Well, we hope that Jay does get his raw files back and I grateful to him for talking to us about his experience - it's good to have a reminder about our information and files online. Take care of what you own and think twice about the reliability of the cloud. Though you may never be in this situation - and we hope this is the case, it's always a very good idea to keep copies of your own files, you never know what might be ahead as the internet changes.

Well, thanks to our guests as ever and of course you too can share your internet adventures or experiments with electrical things. Drop me a line at outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, tweet at me on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders or search for Outriders on Facebook and Google+ to add us to your feed.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

Gaming, thinking and filing

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Jamillah Knowles | 18:11 UK time, Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Hello Outriders!

We're back and this week on the podcast I have a nice way to get out of an old habit for the new year, a deeper look into gaming and inspiration from a coder who is half my age or less.

Youth - coming for you with their innnovation

To begin with, we meet the young and hard-working. Cameron Cohen is thirteen years old and he makes iPhone apps. He's been donating money from his profits to his local children's hospital. I spoke to Cameron two years ago when he started his work and it was wonderful to catch up and find out more about what he has learned. So, what were you doing at his age? I doubt so many of us manage to be quite so accomplished.


Stop spamming yourself

New Year is usually a time where we try to kick old habits. You may have made and already broken your New Year's day resolutions, but this is no reason to give up and you can always try something new as we get further into 2012.

One of my particular bad habits is a form of spamming myself. From my phone or mobile device I often end up emailing a link to myself to dig up later. This of course ensures that I have an inbox that even the best filing clerk would blanch at and that I have trouble getting through it all.

It looks as though I am not the only one. Josh Gross is the chap behind Hopper - which is something that may help to save me from the habit of spamming myself. Josh explained how and why he chose to build the drag and drop or cut and paste application.


Game theory

When you last sat down for a session with your gaming console or when you were idly playing a round of a casual mobile distraction, how deeply did you think about your actions?

I would guess maybe not too much as gaming is often a nice light way to pass the time. However, if you're not into thinking hard about gaming, then rest assured that there is a group of people who are doing this for you with some surprising and very interesting results.

Dr Olli Leino is an assistant professor at the city University of Hong Kong school of creative media where he teaches games studies and new media theory. He explained the Game Philosophy Initiative and we talked more about the organisation's forthcoming event.

Hands up if you wish that the philosophy of gaming was available as a course when you were at University?

Yeah, thought so.

Well, that's all we have time for this week, but of course on the various and assorted channels, you can get in touch about pretty much anything electrical or web related that you like.

What would you like to hear more about? Are you creating something that we should know about? Or would you like to comment on the subjects that we discuss?

If so, then get in touch, you can email me at outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, tweet at me on twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders or search for Outriders on Facebook to add our notes to your feed. You can even follow us while we explore Google plus too - so there's no excuse for not saying hello.

Until next week! ~ Jamillah

Jan 3 2012: Seafaring, hacking and creating worlds

Jamillah Knowles | 01:54 UK time, Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hello Outriders!

Happy New Year to all of you.

This week on the podcast we have some varied places for technological innovation, from the celebrated gathering in Germany, to a seafaring alternative and architectural virtual spaces.

First up we visited with Frank Reiger, official spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin and Nick Farr, accountant, activist and hacker as both were at the annual Chaos Computer Congress. It's a gathering to discuss, debate and present new technologies and geek culture that has been running for 28 years. (So you can look up past tweets on the conference on Twitter by searching for #28c3 for notes, videos and updates.)

Thanks to both Frank and Nick who must have been exhausted by the end of the conference when I spoke to them but they also managed to do a great job of summarising the event and discussing their highlights for the year.

Of course now we are in a fresh new year, you may be thinking about launching that start up or working with our friends in Silicon Valley. Well, if you're not a US National, then working in the States when it comes to technology might be part of your considerations.

Luckily it's something the Blueseed are also thinking about. They're a startup incubator with a very interesting approach to working in the Valley, they're proposing a large ship, anchored off the coast of San Francisco where you could meet your investors and companies while staying off shore.

Dan Dascalescu is the company CIO explained how this would all work and how the project is already being fondly called "The Geek Boat".

Also this week I had the opportunity to talk with Sahar Fikouhi. Now, most Outriding listeners will be familiar with AR or Augmented reality. More commonly you can experience it with a smart phone app that lets you see through your camera with an overlay of data - images, animations or sometimes mapped information.

Sahar has pushed this technology in a different direction and scale, associating it with architecture and gaming to create an augmented world that you can play through physically. The extraordinary videos online show how Sahar's unique work not only changes the way we can see things but also how we might move through a virtual space.

Well after that worldly and other-worldly wonder around, we're taking a break next week but soon after we'll resume a normal service into the new year.

In the meantime, I'm always around to check your messages and updates. If there is something you want to talk about or if you're working on an Outriding project, then let me know

You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, send a tweet and say hello at @BBC_Outriders, or find us on Facebook by searching for Outriders when you can get an alert in your feed each week.

Until next time!
~ Jamillah

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