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I'm so sorry

May. 15th, 2008 | 11:00 am

Livejournal has treated me kindly for the past few years but it is now time to move on, so this blog has a new home...

http://helenium.wordpress.com/

It looks a bit shoddy at the moment, I haven't had time to make it pretty and tidy it up. But from now on I'll be posting over there instead. Apologies to anyone this inconveniences, but LJ was driving me slightly mad. I want to add fun stuff to my blog layout, and LJ was holding back my dreams of sparkly wonder.

I'll be adding things like my Last FM feed into the new blog, so at least now you can all take the piss out of me for the amount of Girls Aloud I listen to.

Farewell LiveJournal and farewell the wonderful world of LiveJournal McFly Slash Fic.
x

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John Malkovich script project

Apr. 17th, 2008 | 11:39 am

One of the first pieces of work that I got stuck into on arriving at Dare last year was the lovely script project for Sony Vaio with John Malkovich. John wrote the first scene to a story and each month he asked writers to complete the next scene. A winner was chosen in month and the story progressed from there. The final script is finished and is really rather wonderful. It'll now be made into short film animation and I've just seen the first character images. I love them, especially the mother and the contortionist. I can't wait to see the final film and to send it to all the winners from each stage of the project.

The final script can be seen here




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Clever Lego video

Apr. 11th, 2008 | 11:35 am

I have no idea how this works, but it is beautiful. Apparently Lego use it at point of sale in some stores. I'd probably wet myself there and then if I saw this in a store. God, I love Lego.

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Blackberries

Apr. 10th, 2008 | 01:56 pm

Almost a year ago I was stupid enough to get the LG Prada phone. Simply because it was pretty. 9 months later and I've had enough of the bugs, the rubbish keypad, the make up smears it attracts and the fact that it only rings three times before going to answer phone, no matter how much I fiddle about with the settings.

I'm thinking that the next phone should be a blackberry, though I was put off by how very very boring they are to look at. Why blackberries need to look like remote controls is still a mystery to me. On my lunchtime stumble around the internet I found my saving grace - a place that paints your blackberry.

With any luck, come summer, I'll be sporting this super babe of a phone. yum yum.


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McFly toothtunes

Apr. 7th, 2008 | 01:54 pm

Oh my word. McFly toothbrushes just spotted over at Popjustice. I want this toothbrush. It plays the sound through your teeth! I need this in my life.  A trip to Argos on my way home is now planned into the day. Oh I can't wait.

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(no subject)

Apr. 7th, 2008 | 12:36 pm

Things I discovered this weekend:

Nice food + booze + Son Of Rambow = naps in the cinema

Brockwell Park + tennis rackets = Chris getting thrashed by Helen

Good butchers + nice lamb = great curry and falling asleep by 10pm

Snow on Brockwell Park + a nice cafe = a wonderful fry up on Sunday morning watching people play in the park

Spitalfields Market + Helen = empty wallet. Oops.

Torchwood + deaths = trying to hide crying from Chris

David Tennant + anything = bliss.

xx
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Design London

Apr. 3rd, 2008 | 11:13 am

Staring at PowerPoint for 10 hours a day can leave even the bravest soul feeling uninspired. In a bid to make sure I don't go mad by the time summer is out I've signed up to rather a few lectures, talks, conferences, seminars etc over the coming weeks.

Last night I headed over to Imperial to attend 'Web 3.0: Materializing the conceptual worlds of the mind'. A title which would doubtlessly confuse my mother.

The whole idea of the night was to look at the  convergence of virtual worlds, cinema and architecture; looking at where web 3.0 could head now that film and architecture are becoming increasingly digital dependent. Or 'cyber', as BBC Breakfast would say.

The first speaker was Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Chairman Emeritus IBM Academy of Science. He's a bit clever. He talked through the advancements in virtual worlds, with an obvious heavy emphasis on Second Life. He started by explaining how we've been stuck in a rut when it comes to graphical representation of data and navigation in technology. Decades after computers were introduced and we still rely on buttons that say 'click here'. He defined Web 3.0 as "highly visual, real time and immersive" and so spawning a whole new way in which we use the internet. He broke virtual worlds down as serving 3 purposes:
  1. Education and training; IBM already does a lot of this, they give lectures within Second Life and hold meetings there too. Apparently it gives a greater level of engagement above your standard conference call (rather obvious), mainly because people hang around and chat after the meeting. He also talked about training emergency services within Second Life, which I rather like as an idea.
  2. Process rehearsal, management and operations; testing prototypes within virtual worlds and so increasing the time it takes to go to marketing with a product. This could also include testing of buildings before they're built in the real world. If only they'd had this chance when they built Oxford Circus tube station.
  3. Marketing and sales; the tricky one. Selling stuff within virtual worlds, allowing people to test and, to some extent, feel products before purchase. I like the idea of creating a different environment for product sales though, if you're selling antiques why not create a virtual 18th century house for people to walk around in?
The second speaker was John Maybury, a film director of some prominence, though I'd never seen anything he's done. Saying that, the last film I saw was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I'm hardly knowledgeable when it comes to cinema. John wasn't great. His talk was basically "I'm old enough to remember Super 8 cameras, now I use digital and CGI. Isn't that great?"

Last up was Nigel Coates, an architect with a penchant for creating houses that look like giant ceramic elephants. His talk was great had it been about architecture, I was genuinely impressed with his designs, I'd happily live in a house that looked like a giant cotton reel. But, like John before him, Nigel failed to contextualize his work within the Web 3.0 discussion. Yes, he can design stuff in 3D; and yes, we should be creating more wacky designs; but i think it would have been more interesting to see how the virtual world should merge into new builds, rather than just seeing it as a testing ground. he touched on it briefly by showing an old man accessing virtual porn at home. You saw muff. Blimey.

I'm not sure that the evening has re-awakened my love for Second Life, I'm afraid that died about six months ago when I got fed up with vast, empty lands that take ages to load and inevitably crash my computer. I might revisit again at the weekend, if I can tear myself away from Zoo Tycoon, of course.



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Friend Feed for bands

Apr. 1st, 2008 | 04:18 pm

I've just been sat in a meeting about media spend. Zzz... My mind was wandering rather a lot. I got to thinking about a music version of Friend Feed or indeed if Friend Feed supports artist updates. I've only been using it for a couple of days, so this may all be pointless if I can go ahead and set up artist updates right now. Oh well. I'll carry on typing anyway.

I want something that aggregates all the content from my favourite artists' different pages as well as chatter online about the artists:
  • Kylie added photos to her Facebook page
  • Klaxons added a video to their MySpace page
  • Popjustice wrote about the new Girls Aloud single
  • Kelly Clarkson tickets have gone on sale at aloud.com
  • Sophie (a fan) uploaded her Justin Timberlake tour photos to the Justin Timberlake Facebook page
  • Dougie McFly wrote on the official McFly blog
  • PJ Harvey twittered
Of course, you'd have sliders for preferences on what you want to see more or less of from each page and each artist. So if the Klaxons tour videos were great and Justin Timberlake is an amazing blogger you could opt to be notified more often about these.

I might play around with Friend Feed and see if I can set something similar up.
x

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Wikipedia visits higher than MySpace or official pages for bands

Mar. 31st, 2008 | 12:39 pm

I'm going through my backlog of emails this morning. How fun. I found an article from last week on Mashable about how web users go to Wikipedia pages for bands more than they do MySpace pages or dedicated sites. Apparently it's by a 2:1 ratio, which is rather a lot really.

Of course, and as the article mentions, it's easier to get info quickly from a wikipedia page - it's all on one page and arranged nicely with no snazzy colours and bad design messing life up. But for me the main reason I use Wikipedia over MySpace is simply that I can never find anything on MySpace. Their search function is utterly terrible. When looking for specific pages on MySpace I often navigate out of MySpace, onto Google and type in something like 'Post Office MySpace' (they have a MySpace page, you know, it's rather good).

Though interestingly MySpace say they have over 3 million artists on the network, with Wikipedia only claiming tens of thousands. Could this be because artist pages on Wikipedia are so very difficult to set up? I tried it once for the marching band and quickly gave up when I hit a zillion dead ends. I wonder if when they make this easier and allow track streaming we might see this ratio go nearer to the 10000:1 mark...
x

p.s. if anyone does know how to set up a wikipedia artist page then do let me know!
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Maybe Gordon Brown will now implement a law that makes everyone eat cheesecake for breakfast

Mar. 28th, 2008 | 03:57 pm



This is rather a weird email to receive; usually I hear tales about the government tracking people from friends who watch too much TV rather than an email from Number 10 telling me that they are indeed following me.

But this week Downing Street launched their own twitter account (http://twitter.com/DowningStreet). It's rather nice really, the tone is very laid back and not just a stream of manifesto ideas. It tracks the PM's day as well as accounts of press briefings. I'd like a bit more editorial within the posts, rather than just a link to their press page for the latest updates but I guess it's easier to sum up your plans for lunch in 140 characters than it is to describe a political ideology.

Maybe this should start a new way of coming up with political ideas. If you can't describe it in less than 140 characters then it shouldn't be allowed. It'd make life a lot more simple.


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