Archives for March 2012

Summits, science and podcast addiction

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Jamillah Knowles | 08:07 UK time, Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Hello Outriders!

This past week for the podcast I have been crazy busy poking around events. Monday saw the London Web Summit take place, Thursday the Mozilla Foundation opened its London Moz space for collaborative working and just this past Sunday Startup Weekend saw 130 people get together and create products in only 54 hours. I’ve also been finding out what a podcast addict does and how science can be helped along by everyone.

Mike Butcher

The London Web Summit was a gathering of online minds talking about our digital issues, some launched fantastic new products, others networked to find new contacts. It was a big event with so many people and so much happening that I sought out Mike Butcher, the TechCrunch European editor to explain what was going on.

David Shing

The nice thing about large events like this is that you get to meet extraordinary people and discover new roles in web society. Are you familiar with any Digital Prophets? I had no idea there was such a thing, so I naturally had to have a chat with David Shing who is AOL’s digital prophet and ask him - “A what?”

Petrie Dish

This week I also learned about PetriDish. It’s a crowd funding system where areas of research can be helped along by the public. There are many topics to choose from and Matt Salzberg is the founder and CEO of Petri and he explained how it all works.

Leigh Barlow

Possibly our most impressive guest this week is addicted to sound. Leigh Barlow is a self confessed podcast addict. Don’t believe me? Wait until you hear how many hours of audio that means. I noted that Leigh was tweeting his podcast discoveries so I asked him to tell us a little more about his habit.

That’s all for this week but in the meantime you can tweet at me on Twitter @BBC_Outriders or find us on Facebook and by searching for Outridersand add us to your feed.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

Online history, Silicon UK and Flossie

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Jamillah Knowles | 09:42 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week I learned about a fantastic history portal, Chris Vallance has been touring Silicon UK and I made a new friend called Flossie.

My Century

Reading history is naturally an interesting pursuit. Going to the museum means that we can also explore evidence of times gone by, curated by experts. But in one lifetime alone, so much can change that we can in fact become curators ourselves.

Veli Radev used to be a BBC journalist and is now an interpreter and video producer. He also runs a website called He told me more about how his passion and experience became a valuable online archive.

Chris Vallance

In a letter leaked last month, Vince Cable, the business secretary, urged the Prime Minister to do more to boost Britain’s technology industry. So, with the budget this week, how can the UK recreate some of the success of the giants of silicon valley? Chris Vallance has been visiting some of the places in the UK that have been dubbed "silicon" to find out what business people there think.


If you’re fond of your software being free and open source and you want to support women in technology, then the Flossie conference might be for you. It’s coming up in May and Anna Morris who is a free software foundation Europe fellow and founding member of Flossie and she told me all about it.

All that remains then is for me to encourage you all to get in touch let me know about what’s been floating your digital boats. You can reach me via the usual social media outlets. Tweet at me on twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders, or have a little search for Outriders on Google+ and Facebook and say hello!

Until next week! ~ Jamillah

A tiny, intelligent set up

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Jamillah Knowles | 11:11 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast I have been finding out about games designed by artificial intelligence, a world of cute that is about to cross over from the virtual space and what the pro’s use to do what they do.

Games designers work hard to hone their skills in game play, graphics, game theory and so much more in order to create something that is engaging and more importantly, that will sell well. But are there parts of that process that could be handed over to a different intelligence?

Michael Cook

Just to reassure everyone, we’re not calling on the end of jobs for games makers, but, some very interesting work about game design has come from recent Artificial intelligence research by Michael Cook, a Phd student at the computational creativity group at Imperial College London and he makes software that designs video games. So, I asked him - who or what is Angelina?

A hat tip to our friend Wagner James Au and his wonderful New World Notes website for a tale of cute overload spilling out from the virtual world into the real world. A tiny creature take over is about to happen as the animals of Raglan Shire are heading over from their usual habitat and into our everyday lives.

TiniesDo not adjust your set, we’ve not become Book at Bedtime, but there are stories to be told and a couple of extraordinary and creative people who are used to making wonderful things in virtual spaces are now working on creating something for everyone. Wynx and Zane, as they are known online, are the creators of the Tinies - coming to a part of the real world near you.


We’ve heard here on Outriders that many great projects and ideas are developed along side people’s day jobs or in their spare time. Our next guest is a web developer at Flickr - the photo sharing site, but as if that is not enough, he also runs a neat site where he asks people to describe what they use to do what they do.

The set up is where all sorts of people describe their took kit and Daniel is the man who asks the questions...except for now, where I get to ask them...and so I started by asking him to describe The Set Up.

Daniel was dreadfully modest there in our interview but if you pop by his site, you can nose around the set ups of people including novelist Charlie Stoss, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor and original Macintosh developer Andy Hertzfeld with many other brilliant people. It’s a simple idea, beautifully executed.

That's all for this week but as ever our digital doors are always open. I’d especially like to hear this week if you are celebrating or did celebrate Pi - day - that’s on the 14th of the 3rd of you’re a bit less nerdy than we are.

You can drop me a line on most social networks. Find us on Facebook and Google+ as Outriders or come and say hello on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

Opening data & opening the mind

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Jamillah Knowles | 15:28 UK time, Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Hello Outriders.

This week we have three women in tech who are about to tell us about open data, opening an account on Pinterest and opening the mind to electronic friends.

Kat Braybrook


First up, an event worth waiting for. Kat Braybrooke is the community coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation and the London based coordinator of the Open Knowledge festival which is going to be in Helsinki in September.


Another event for you all to look forward to - this time in the UK, in Liverpool. Gislaine Boddington is the creative director of Body Data Space, based in the Tech City part of East London.

Body>Data>Space is a design collective that works with the body and data in both virtual and physical space.

Last but not least for this week - let's put to rest the interest in Pinterest.

We know the site is not exactly box fresh. It's a place where you can create a virtual pin-board for images and video on the web.

From that alone it might not sound like the wildest place on the web but it has attracted millions of users all curating their own galleries and sharing images that link to sites you may have missed on
your web travels.

Naturally as it also shares images, there have been questions about copyright too.

Lynn Bruning

Lynn Bruning is a friend of Outriders who makes extraordinary e-textiles and also uses Pinterest. She recently wrote a guide to protecting your own images as well as having some fun with the service, so I asked her what all the fuss is about.

For more Outriders interaction, you can of course find us in various social spaces. Tweet at me on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders, find us on Facebook, or if Google plus is your thing, you can also search for Outriders there and drop me a line.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

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