Tuesday, January 29, 2008

fashion diffusion

the web is to diverse and decentralised to really see much in the way of diffusion - in fact, the thing that makes the web (2.0, and all, facebook, myspace etc) is the opportunity it gives to the bottom dwellers on the long tail

but eurostar between London St Pancras and Gare Du Nord, Paris, is certainly causing rapid diffusion of culture - last nite i bumped into some folks I know in London getting on to the 7pm to paris - I didn't recognize them, there were so chic and cool and frenchified

on arriving at 10.20 pm in paris and getting on to a train on the RER B, I was dismayed by the grottiness - just like 1960s suburban railways in England, I thought

You win some, you lose some...

Friday, January 04, 2008

more on flocking helicopters

i just bought some picoo helicopters - really cool things for about 15 bucks a piece - fly like an arrow ....very nice. but here's the thing - for the price of a US airforce UAV, I could buy about 1Million of these things - now, imagine they can flock, and have a decent payload - could we organise some sort of mesh of them with a web/weave suspended above them (e.g. have a fixed spoke through ythe spindle to the rotors, and rest something on there -??

with enough of them, we could construct a dynamic carpet, possibly with enough lift (even with person standing above blocking some of the air in from above (could we arrange some to come in from the side?) so that we would have a flying carpet...

can you imagine how cool this woould be - ? how much cooler, say, than a flying saucer?

you could dress up as aladin, and fly over persia (if you were some megalomanic UK or US general).....or just have a LOT of fun in parties:)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Pong of Pingsta

i just got 13 (yes 13) new year invitations to join pingsta this morning. This is a record - its a record with a scratch. what a pain - social networks are anathema to a sane existence. The Snark is a Boojum

faecbook=usenet+graphical sugar coating

so i've been social networking - i admit it - i've got acounts on half a dozen ,and have tried lots of the fancy applications (e..g compare the length of your )

about 10 years ago (or more) I tried a different experiment - i tried to read the last ten posts on all of the usenet newsgroups (a.k.a. bulletin boards_ that were live at UCL at the time - and then respond meaningfully to at least 1 message per board, in a 24 hour period. I got a lot of flames. Nevertheless, the experiment worked, and I have never read or contributed to a bboard knowingly since (oh, sure some email lists are also mirrored on newsgroups - that doesnt count)

Not only is the signal to noise on news (and facebook) very very bad - the interrupt rate just for meta-data is completely insane - noone could seriously have a RL and take part in more than a modicum of things in these spaces. Basically, though, the main conclusion I Have is that facebook (and all the others) add very little to Usenet beyond a fancy Graphical User Interface (a bit like
the web didn't add a whole lot to the Internet except nice brosers, at least until the advent of search engines)

For budding entrepreneurs out there then, what is the "search engine" killer app for social networking sites??? it aint obvious. of course we already have nearly unbrearable amounts of advertising:)

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home