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.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Monday after Mashed


This is a tough blog to write- for the last two days I have been immersed in yet another epic hacking fest, and this time I took rockets! Sadly I don't have very many great photo's, you can find hundreds here though.

Highlights:
  • Social Flight Simulator- a tremendous, multi hack team effort, given inspirational leadership by Ewan Spence, a man for whom the word eccentric might have been invented (though if it had, it'd be spelt with at least half a dozen markup characters!). I had a brilliant flight up from Darwin to Tokyo with the very excellent Michael Sparkes. Michael turns out to be an exceptionally good pilot an gave us a tremendous flypast of Mt Fuji!
  • Meatspace GPS Tron Bikes- Tristan Roddis of Cog Apps (a brighton outfit i've been aware of, and slightly in awe of for a while) had a great game with GPS phones, google earth and walky talkies. It was a hoot, exhausting and buggy- just what Mashed is all about!
  • IBM Power managment games things- can't remember what they were actually calling this, but it was brilliant games driven approach to using data out of power usage monitors.
  • BBC Subtitles- at last, after an unfortunate loss of access to the subtitles on our own shows (we outsourced this work, so now have to pay extra if we want to do anything with this utterly invaluable additional metadata- DOH!) someone hacked an OCR driven XML creator for these, then integrated it into REDUX (if you have to ask....). Out of the back of that dozens of hacks were started at around seven on Saturday night, and a fair few, including an amazing translator, made it though to final submission.
  • Pie. Great pie. Thankyou Matt Locke and Channel Four for great pie.

Not only all this great geekery, but I also got to catch up once more with Craig and Josette from o'Reilly, Glyn from ORG, and Nick Radlo. Pamela Clark from Nasa was a facinating person to meet, and we chatted for ages about research analogies, institutional cultures of innovation and cuttlefish skin. Thanks to Matt Locke not only for the pies but also for the lift back to Brighton- Matt is a luminary in this world- franky if he offered me a couple of hours to chat about the BBC, innovation culture and continental philosophy in a skip full of rubbish I'd take it in a femto second- to give a lift home too was generosity itself.

1 comment:

Richard in Lesotho said...

Ant -- Sorry to miss mash this time around. I was looking forward to seeing if I could stay awake -- but instead was at a conf in Berne. Very interesting to see how subtitles had to be hacked, in order to be hacked. People wouldn't believe how awkward it is to get simple BBC data, from inside the BBC.
Typo: dilettante
Regards, Richard