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.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meanwhile, Back at the BBC...

Vegas is behind me (best place for it) and I'm writing this from the most wonderfully hospitable coop project cum hostel in San Francisco, but that's not what this is about! While I swan about on jollies my esteemed colleagues Rowena Goldman and Brendan Crowther are putting together a fantastic showcase of research for tomorrow.

The BBC and the AHRC have been co funding a swathe of research projects looking at all manner of areas: community, learning journeys, accessibility, fan behaviour, user generated content and virtual worlds. Mondays event is being promoted on their blog here. There may even be a couple of tickets left so take a look if you're interested (you should be!).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blah Vegas

Perhaps it's because I've spent most of the last week in a trade show in a collosal exhibition hall, and only really seen that and the hotel I'm staying in (the perfectly civilised and quiet Marriott Fairfield Inn) but I am very underwhelmed by Vegas. Today, rather than take the excellent advice of many good friends, I decided to explore 'the Strip'- not a good idea.

I grew up just down the road from Blackpool, and though in terms of scale and expense, this place is an utterly different order of magnitude, they are essentially of a piece. The best of Vegas has fabulous design, lustrous materials, impeccable service and quality- but it's all product, and built to squeeze the marks just as much as the 'kiss me quick' hats on the Golden Mile. And believe me, they squeeze them hard- drinks are typically $10, shows run to $100 per seat, and everyone wants big tips and will tell you so(including the surly and frankly rubbish taxi drivers).

I'll come back if the opportunity arrises- the NAB show really is an excellent showcase for the broadcast industry and I wish I'd been able to get away from our busy stand to see more of the conference. Our trip out this time was focussed on the AVATAR-m project, the one I posted about a few weeks ago. We had two complete stacks running, demonstrating archive management linked into edit capability (getting that running was a close run thing!) and at the show we got a great response, with interest from a wide range of potential users and development partners.

Next time though, if I have any time away from the show at all, I'll head for the hills.

P.S. Rob is doing really well- we're all hoping for the very best, and signs so far are promising. I'm really looking forward to getting back and seeing how he's getting on to be honest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A couple of requests

Tough one to write this, but I think it needs doing. Over a year ago Rowan, my wonderful wife, was in a bicycle accident and broke her jaw really badly- I feel woozy just thinking of the pain she endured so magnificently, and I'm so grateful to fate, the universe and everything, that she has made such a great recovery. Her cycle helmet saved her life, and for that I am grateful more than words can say.

Last week a very very good friend of mine took a tumble and wasn't wearing a helmet, and we're all now praying, hoping, making secret desperate deals with the fates in the profound wish that he makes it back to us from his current unconcious state. To be honest I didn't know how lucky we'd been until this weekend just gone. Rob's family, his partner, her family, all of Rob's friends and colleagues, we are just distraught with concern for our dear friend, and I know that if it hadn't been for Rowan's bike helmet I'd have been going through the same or worse eighteen months ago.

If you can spare a moment for Rob and Sarah in your thoughts I know they'd appreciate all the positivity you can spare- he's a strong guy, with a tremendous love for life and we're sure he'll make it back, but he's definately been up to the edge with this one.

And please, wear a helmet next time you're out on your bike, skateboard or blades or whatever. Please.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

My Perfect Moleskine

Thanks to @Nachojammers, my good friend of manchester and sussex uni days, I have been pointed at the Moleskine site, which is ace. And it turns out my dream format (Quadrille, psuedo A5 portrait) does in fact exist, in spite of me never having found it in Foyles or Pen to Paper(where I always seem to go Moleskine hunting).

Squared Notebook - Large

Yay! Whoot etc.