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Prototyping Weeknotes #22 (09/07/10)

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George Wright George Wright | 14:06 UK time, Saturday, 10 July 2010


We discuss exactly what we're going to build for RadioDNS, the hardest bit looks to be the DNS parts and we've got a couple of options for that. Duncan and Tristan head over to W12 to meet Jigna and scope out the TV Power Meter project for an energy meter display for IP-connected set-top boxes. Looks pretty straightforward, Duncan will be doing all the development work, Tristan is just helping out on the scoping.

Theo's storyboarding some of the key journeys in Digital Friendship to work out how best to communicate the concepts. The mind-reading headset arrives. I'm in Paris for a couple of days on EU meetings, which begin well. Chris G is pleased because his weekly operations call is over in 5 minutes - result! Mark conducted some research into smartphone API support for RDS data - his conclusion: not good.


It's Vicky's first day back after her hols, catching up on work and prioritization meetings. Marc G from the BBC's Vision team came in to talk to us about second screen work. Duncan demoed the Digital Friendship project and we got some insightful feedback from Marc, and from people from Radio 1. Zeitgeist is working again, Sean's been working really hard and has rewritten the ingest in Ruby, we've dropped Scala, and it's now surviving connectivity problems (which we're still mysteriously having). Tristan "encourages" Theo to finish the blog post.  We need to have a couple of workshops on our next projects in the areas of Mythology and Second Screen. Tristan has another meeting to finish the day -  Second Screens and IP-connected set-top boxes. My meeting in Paris concludes with good outcomes for research and collaboration. Chris N and Mark start work on our RadioDNS project, beginning by setting up a test RadioVIS server, initially showing static content. Mark gets inducted into the wonderful world of Subversion to track code on projects.


I'm back in the office after my Paris trip - sadly spending most of my time on telcos or meetings. Tristan and others are a little stuck on the TV Power Meter project - waiting on a STB and an account on the appropriate API. RadioDNS seems to be progressing smoothly. Sam and Sean are scoping out an initial iteration for SyncTV. Intense and productive idea development workshop around Mythology over lunchtime. We're using a new approach for this project, and it takes some getting used to, but seems to produce some good questions and next steps. Vicky and Tristan are finalising job descriptions for some new roles in our team. Mark's off to Centre House to meet Nick Wells, leader of the BBC's Distribution Core Technologies team.


Vicky and Tristan go to meet some academics from Goldsmiths and have an interesting discussions about artefacts, sociology, connected TVs and accessibility. They were excited to meet Goldsmiths to get an understanding of the scope of their research interests, and identify interesting cross overs between our work and theirs. Vicky's keen to make a return visit - especially to Bill Gaver in the Design department. After some routine meetings in W12, along with a fairly technical discussion about routing networks into our office, Chris G and I go to Bush House to meet senior World Service people to work up an idea for collaboration. Brendan from Technology Transfer in R&D visits to get an overview of our projects and talk about how we can work more closely. Theo and Duncan have also been in W12 showing the Mythology Engine to some colleagues from the Vision Technology team. Mark's induction fun continues - today it's battling with his Forge key, ssh-keygen and wiki setup. Sam's been working on P2P-Next - testing and commenting on Wikipedia implementation of our core code, VOD metadata ingest and some financial reporting.


Duncan has his XMPP 2nd screen remote working nicely - not only changing channel but also returning feedback to the second screen which is great. Richard Salmon from the Screen section of BBC R&D comes to deliver an interesting lecture on how displays work and colour gamuts - a highlight for some of us being the news that TV drama tests the black capability of screens better than other genres - who knew?  Chris N and Mark are requesting creation of DNS entries from R&D syadmins for our test RadioDNS services. Sam and Sean are looking at a project from colleagues in R&D - SyncTV. It has an impressive range of HTTP services - they have a useful discussion of use cases, and DVB-IP bridge code is expected Monday. We've finally got access to the TV Power Meter API and the set-top box documentation so Duncan can start properly on the feasibility work. Theo and Tristan have kicked the Zeitgeist blog post into shape. Fingers crossed for a launch on Monday. I'm in W12 again, for R&D meetings followed by a discussion about the W3C. Back into the office to dump my laptop, then a quick beer with the team, than home.


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