Monthly Archives: March 2014

Flush 12 – Secret Agent! on whose side?

It’s time to share another article in the excellent Flush magazine. As usual my collection of words and ideas have been massively enhanced by great layout and bing in the company of other fantastic articles and features, thankyou @tweetthefashion. This issue I decided to explore the world of hacking, surveillance and counter measures, encryption and t-shirts. The title “Secret Agent, on whose side?” will be familiar to many people but particularly a few old collegues where it became a bit of a mantra at work. It applied to most situations where things went wrong, usually when some sales or management over commitment made us wonder whose side they were on as we cleaned up the mess 🙂
The recent revelations about the mass government data collection may seem a shock to many but the battle for information and the counter measures around it in recent modern technology show us the trajectory this was on. This includes fictional spies like James Bond of course 🙂
I was trying to strike a balance of information, historical information that may be of interest and moderate outrage at the escalation.
The article is on page 108 thru 115.
The direct link is here which should take you right to the page.
The embedded issue on issuu is below.

Check out the entire magazine though including the fantastic front cover. I will let you discover that 🙂

Got back home to some amazing news. Oculus to Facebook :)

I am just about coming around from a superb trip to the US with my Choi Kwang Do family. We took a flight to Orlando, then drove 500 miles in 2 cars up to Atlanta, Georgia. The HQ of CKD. Whilst there several of the group graded for belts, a black belt and 2 coloured belts. Also the founders of the Hampshire group of schools Mr Derek Bicknell and his son Mr Liam Bicknell graded (for 2 days ) with Grand Master Choi and achieved their 4th Degree blackbelt in CKD. A very fine achievement.
Most of the time I spent at HQ, training and helping out. It is a great time to just concentrate on the art not worry about the outside world.

I did take a trip with some of our group to the aquarium and I also spent some time with an old friend from Atlanta who very kindly took me skeet and target shooting out on the wilds near Alabama for the full redneck experience. Including firing a very loud M1 rifle.

Once the training was done we then drove 500 miles back to Tampa where we attended the 27th anniversary of Choi Kwang Do at a seminar.

So I was almost completely immersed in CKD and less in tech. However… I did speak to some people about the kinect and how that could help training and I also explored making videos on the fly. I had made some using the iMovie trailer wizard before but I attempted a couple of live ones. The first was when I took a break from driving and made this.

The second was attempting to document the aquarium experience. Atlanta aquarium provides very fast wifi which make a lot of sense so we can all share things as we are doing them. This was the result.

The wifi at the seminar let me capture and publish straight to youtube too, such as Miss Cullen’s shield attack which she gained a great 3rd place and a handshake from Grand Master Choi.

I had videos all the demo teams too, I was about to upload them when I realised that they are all performed to music that probably would get flagged by the google bot and get takedown orders on them. So that requires a bit more editing not on the iPhone 🙂
On getting back and feeling enthused by jet lagged I was pleasantly surprised to find that Facebook was buying Oculus Rift the VR headset. Now I understand the notion that a big company has just bought out something slightly cool because it was not mainstream but as a metaverse evangelist and as part of this industry I think it is very good news. That combined with Sony’s Morpheus headset and the potential combination of Google Glass and Google Tango means we have a resurgence in the very thing that people keep asking if its dead. Virtual worlds. Headsets provide another way to interact with 3d content. It may not be to everyone’s taste, there is a barrier to entry. However big tech firms showing an interest again will push things forward back up the good side of the hype curve.
Issues of identity, of immersive design, integration with existing data. New ways to explore how we communicate as humans all get brought to the fore. It will give another generation a chance to push things forward. I am of course happy to help anyone get to grips with the changes this will bring. I have been in this virtual space quite a while now, though there are other pioneers that were there before too.
So bring it on 🙂 It would be amazing to be up close and personal with digital renditions of all the wonderful Choi Kwang Do experts in an immersive 3d environment too. There are of course slight practical issues of wiring getting in the way, but it would be possible to get a complete perspective of the art from the view of a grandmaster captured digitally. Not to replace the real physical thing, but it would be great to feel that peace and excitement of the Atlanta HQ from here 🙂

Proper parcel tracking – interlink and tep

With my impending US road trip with my fellow Choi Kwang Do students and teachers I thought I best ensure I had internet connectivity on the road.

Whilst lots of hotels etc have wireless I wanted a roaming device for the long car journey. Recently my backup global roaming data service (aboradband) ceased to operate.
Instead I decided to rent a Tep Wireless device. This gives a data plan and a wireless/cellular device with a variety of tariffs.
You can pick these up at the airport if you are flying from Heathrow, but I am going from Gatwick. So instead I needed to order a home delivery.
Now home delivery is getting better, but usually we only get to know roughly the day something will arrive. Tep said that it would be 2-3 days before travel. I had not heard anything this morning (I fly thursday). I checked my spam filter and sure enough there was a very cool link to the tracking service. (I am not blaming Tep for my spam filter 🙂 )
The email said that I could track the parcel but also gave me a 1 hour window for the delivery. This is fantastic. Right at the moment the van is just down the road and the parcel is on its way.
I will post a review of the service once the trip is over, or whilst on the trip. However this is a very good start. Well done interlink for having proper tracking on parcels. Now I wonder if my baggage will get the same service 🙂

Google Project Tango

If you have aver looked at anything in the emerging technology world you may not have spotted how Google have gathered some of the best minds in the business to create this fantastic project.
A phone, a handheld object that has a complete sense of the environment it is in. Seeing the depth and the 3d nature of the world, not just GPS which only tells you where you are.
It is going to be fascinating to see what else can be done with this. I am really blown away by how cool this is, and the people involved are names that I have a great deal of respect for too which makes me even more excited. Johnny Lee did some fantastic work with the wiimote a few years back (2008!)

Anyway check out Project Tango and ponder the blended reality future this gives us.