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IRFS Weeknotes #132

Libby Miller | 17:03 UK time, Monday, 28 January 2013

I've been reading "KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money" this weekend, so weeknotes are about our forays into Ideaspace to bring back the most exotic ideas, and our continuing mission to make them reality.

Olivier's been finding inspiration at the News Connected Studio and having his mind blown and mingling with the community at the wonderful (and last!) New Adventures in Web Design conference.

We had an enthusiastic contingent at the iPlayer Connected Studio too, where Denise, Jana and Sam's mood metadata formed the basis of two pitches and the Snippets team pitched a number of product ideas.

Vicky and Jasmine have been planning for the next expeditions, making a short video pitch and application to the Nesta Digital Makers Fund. George pitched FI-Content phase 2 to the commission, and on Thursday we got the splendid news that our proposal was being funded.

In between planning the next World Service Archive prototype sprints, Tristan has been experimenting with generative logos:

Generative Logos by Tristan

Meanwhile, in the 'making ideas reality' department, ChrisL and Dan have moved the World Service Archive search from Solr to Elastic Search. From Chris: "We did this primarily due to Elastic Search's support for nested documents which match our use of tags for episodes and our desire to include user votes on tags to influence ranking in the search engine. A neat side-effect has been easier faceting and cleaner integration into our Rails app thanks to the Tire gem".

Pete has been preparing materials and organising informal user testing to help clarify the UX thinking around search, and Yves has been creating a service extracting named entities from web pages, using the same disambiguation algorithm as used in our tool for automatically tagging speech audio.

Chris Needham and AndrewN have been working on the R&D website. Chris has been implementing the new blog, which is built using Locomotive CMS. Andrew spent a lot of time listening to the sound of the site (what a lovely thought) to fix accessibility issues with its structure.

Chris Newell added an embedded web server to the ViSTA-TV stream engine for monitoring and demonstration purposes. He says: "I chose Webbit, built on Netty, because it supports server-side events and Web Sockets - ideal for delivering our live data and results to browsers."

Rob reports that "Snippets finally went live with its new transcode formats. This should make programme makers lives easier by offering a range of smaller file sized files perfect for rough cuts when you're on a slow network. In addition we've gone live with our audio-only transcodes which allows Radio producers to easily create Snips from TV shows for broadcast use. Quite a few shows on Radio 1 are already using Snippets as a way to talk about last night's TV, so we're pleased to offer this new functionality." James, meanwhile, has been working on evaluating new tools for extracting information from radio programme archive material, and spent a little bit of time on a prototype application to extract locations from topics extracted from subtitle data.

Contributing back to the idea commons were Jana, preparing of datasets (TV programmes plus metadata) to share with universities for research collaborations; Olivier, who is speaking at a workshop on open data and APIs on the 29th of Jan, and co-presenting a talk on web audio at the AES "audio for games" conference in early February; and me: I'm on a panel on Tuesday at Digital Bristol Week, and Theo and I will be demoing some of our prototypes there.

Links for the week, both from Olivier:



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