This is the blog of Ant Miller, senior research manager and dilettante geek at large at the BBC.
I wail moan and cuss about the challenges and fun to be found here.
These are my personal opinions, and not those of my employer. Or anyone else here for that matter.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A new laptop

As I sit listening to 'Sailing by', that peerless intro to the shipping forcast, I am pondering my next procurement. I am going to get a non-desktopped latop. That is to say, a work laptop that isn't nailed to the BBC's rather restrictive standard config. I get the standard config thing (though I've long argued we should run at least two standards- getting everyone from the high end off line editor to the PA to the DG to use the same standard of software set up and support seems to a fool like me to be positively perverse), but I want to run very graphics intensive immersive stuff, so I'm looking for something with a bit of umph.

Turns out there's a lot of umph around these days. Options are:
Alienware- Hi Def native, massive storage and savage video set up, but AMD processors
Sony- great for playing DVDs, but a bit dissapointing otherwise- qua the ar31
Toshiba- beast and very very very old fashioned looking
HP- nothing that good yet in the UK- but the US and japan are getting these very nice pavillion 9500 machines.
Dell- Well there's a couple of options here- the outrageous 2010 (which really needs a team of sherpas to carry) or the very very powerful glow in the dark 1710 - except someone else at work already has one, and if part of the point of this is comparing different stuff, then perhaps I shpould get different stuff!?
Partial edit done at half nine at ally pally

Thing is though there's so many groovy new things on the horizon, or just a cintilla over it- 8 series nVidia cards, solid state disks, hi def 19 inch screens with LED lights. I feel like a kid in a sweet shop, next door to a bigger better sweet shop that'll be opening next week!

Friday, June 08, 2007


Yesterday marked the first meeting of the L10 group that I was invited to. L10, or Life plus 10 (I prefer L10, 'cos life plus ten sounds a bit too much like a gaol sentence for child murder, license fee evasion or copyright infringement or something) is a small, informal, off the books, black ops directorate of the BBC's technology division, like Alias except without a Jenifer Garner. Um though actualy we do. And we do have both an Arvin Sloan and a Jack Bristow. And somethig of a surfiet of Marshals. Oops, there, just blown the plausible deniability.

Anyroad up, we sit around, try and figure out what the world will be like ten or fifteen years hence, and determine how, why or whether the BBC fits into it at all. Sit around was what we did this time. But I hope there will be some standing up too. And waving of arms a la Peter Snow. I really enjoyed it- I got to make completely unattributed Plato quotes and throw up some half boiled social psychology ideas about the nature of communities and society and why people starting uni use facebook (it's cos they are scared and positive vetting of your mates online is cheaper and easier than getting utterly shit faced every night for three months so you just don't care). Ah, the old days.....

Now why am I blogging this? Well I just do don't I. I blog and blog and blog and do all our dirty washing in public, and you can all see it. Both of you. So howabout some feedback. How about all you teeming hordes of BBC-ophiles drop me some sparkling feedback on just where you see the world being in 2022?! Why not point out just how hideouly irrelevant the BBC will be, or alternatively how Ofcom and the BBC trust will have seen the light, and turned over to the BBC an exponentialy growing license fee that we can collect worldwide from a fleet of black helicopters, and any and all dabbling in communications by the publicly owned institutions of europe chall be controlled, edited and ultimately owned by the uber BBC! mwahahahaha. Or you know. Not.

I may yet float the occasional flight of fancy here on this very blog, in part to garner your feedback, but mostly to scare my bosses silly that any of my out of the box radical nonsense is leaking into the public domain.

P.S. I once tried to think inside the box. Sadly I become rather flatulent whilst thinking hard, and so almost suffocated.

P.P.S. I really wanted to come up with a cool logo for L10 based upon the Lagrange points idea, but apparently there are only five lagrange points in a two body gravitic system, and in a three body system the maths aren't do able within the lifetime of the universe. So it would be a random scribble. Which I quite like too.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More DRM CPCM banter

Just posted to this article on Artthreat- with a bit off luck this may keep the cpcm drm thing buzzing along- for the record I'm not trying to kill it outright- if it works, if it does what people want (all people, creators and consumers and all of us in between) then it would be a good thing, but I think it needs and active debate to thrash out the pros and cons, and not just a bandwagon flight from the horrors of DRM as everyone fall over themselves in Apple, EMI and Macca's wakes.