Your Social Graph Is Autistic

Much has been made of social graphs as filters for discovering new content, to the extent that many are now challenging the view that a social filter is even remotely indicative of interest – "…who you know doesn't always translate into what you like" I'm not convinced that there's such a thing as an "interest […]

Uniqlo Calendar…


Advocating for a .leeds domain

In late June, I wrote to the CEO and CIO of Leeds City Council, advocating that the city should invest in the creation of a top-level domain for Leeds. There’s nothing particularly sensitive or confidential, so I thought I’d share the letter publicly and whether it’s an idea that resonates with the city’s other residents… […]

Longevity, Life Services and the Cloud

At Orange, my R&D group oriented its work around the notion of “life services” in which customers would find daily utility. As the web approaches its 7000th day, life services have come to mean something very different to me… October 1999: I signed up for a Hotmail account in order to use MSN Messenger. January […]

Shamim Arra {1939 – 2011}

Last Saturday morning, I awoke to the heartbreaking news that my aunty Shamim, had passed away suddenly in Karachi. Amongst our extended family, my parents – two of the eldest – are seen as role models to their siblings and cousins. But Aunty Shamim was where my mother, her first cousin, looked for her own inspiration; […]

Textual Healing & Meaning Mining

What could you do with an archive of every text and photo message you'd sent or received between April 2008 and December 2010? This is the question I've been asking myself since O2 closed its Bluebook service, allowing users to export their data for posterity. The data is a prosaic 2.6MB package of XML documents, […]

Countering The Machines Of Loving Grace

"It's not the effect of technology on society, on economics, on religion, on war, on culture – etcetera – on art, it's that everything now is existing in technology as the new host of life. It's the price we pay for the pursuit of our technological happiness…" Godfrey Reggio, director of Naqoyqatsi The recent broadcast of […]

Exporting the FUTR to fix the present…

Last September, at a meeting of the National Media Museum's Internet Gallery advisory board, Drew Hemment asked me to develop the 2011 conference programme for FutureEverything. I played hard to get, but in honesty, I was flattered that Drew appreciated my work. Just last week we finalised this year's programme, a programme that without Greg Povey's […]


I rarely watch much TV, but last Thursday I serendipitously flipped on the chattering cyclops to see a heartwarming episode of BBC's DIY SOS, focussing on the renovation of a young family's home in Haydock. What was striking this family's surrounding community, was not simply the degree to which neighbours, tradesmen and acquaintances freely contributed their […]

OLPC’s Real Legacy

This week's announcement that OLPC's conceptual XO-3 tablet computer design would launch late this year, brings the OLPC initiative full circle. It's original vision inadvertently ignited the netbook market for lo-fi, connected computers which in turn begat Chrome OS and iPad, culminating in OLPC's closing the loop with its own tablet. Ironically, the original XO-1 was at times more […]