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April 20, 2014

London Calling

What’s in a (generic top level domain) name?

gtld-worldMany London Calling readers may recall that while at Kred, I was involved with their generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) strategy around the three domains .CEO,.Kred and .Best.

I already have andrewgrill.ceo thanks to the generosity of the dotCEO team.

I can’t do much with this domain as I have no idea how to access the settings and add my email etc – so it will stay as an “about.me” page until I figure out how to do this.

Being the early adopter, I thought I would purchase a brand new gTLD to go through the process of grabbing one of these domains.


Introducing Alt.pics

I decided to take a new .PICS domain name to promote my picture site.

A few years ago I decided to abandon the public photo sharing services in favour of my own. The full reasons for this move I have outlined here.

I wanted to grab social.pics to complement my social business blog at social.bz, but was beaten by someone in the US.

How a $1 pen allows you to game the gTLD system


Kevin Murphy over at DomainIncite has shed some more light on how a US intellectual property lawyer has trademarked “social”, using a tenuous link to a pen company in Switzerland to be able to grab gTLDs such as .social.

The $1 pen above allows a Beverley Hills law firm to claim that they own the trademark “social” and hence may have the opportunity to stop anyone requesting a .social domain from registering it, under the trademark clearinghouse mechanism from ICANN.

This is a pretty cunning tactic, and in my case stopped me from being able to register and use social.pics.

Presumably they are going to sell this on as there is nothing at this domain yet.

My 2nd preference was going to be tweet.pics, but when I went to register this at my registrar gandi.net I was hit with a strong warning that this was a trademark held by Twitter and that I would have to acknowledge that I had the right to use this domain.

Not wanting to be sued by Twitter (I’ve seen what happens at close hand while at Kred), I settled on alt.pics.

Why “alt”?

  1. New generic TLDs can be a minimum of 3 characters, so this is the shortest .pics name I can get
  • ALT – short for Alternative – my pictures site is for an alternative view on things – not just pretty tourist shots, but also funny signs, and things I see that are of interest as I travel around the world speaking about Social Business for IBM.

  • The ALT key is on pretty much every keyboard and I thought that ALT would be a good way to brand my picture site.

  • The other reason I grabbed alt.pics is that I wanted to experiment with these new gTLDs to see what the adoption was like.

    In the mainstream media here in the UK, dotLondon has been given a huge promotion.

    Recently the London Evening Standard proudly announced their use of standard.london – thus helping promote the new domain to Londoners.


    London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson also promoted the dotLondon domain in a full page ad. It should be noted that the Mayor indirectly owns the .London domain through London & Partners.


    Back in November 2013, the Standard breathlessly reported that “thousands of firms” were in a “stampede” to buy a .London domain.


    What I have seen however is just a new crop of “domainers” grab all the best domains, leaving the general public and companies with an interest in these new domains to fight over what’s left.

    Will you be getting a new top level domain?  Have a look at the options using the search tool at gandi.net and please go and have a look at my new picture domain at alt.pics.

    If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

    To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

    You may also like ...

by Andrew Grill at April 20, 2014 07:33 AM

April 17, 2014

Cloud Four Blog

An Event Apart 2014

Speaking at An Event Apart is intimidating. Last year, I was privileged to speak twice, and I was terrified each time.

While I thought I gave a good talk both times, I realized after my first talk that I had misjudged the audience. I feared I had whiffed on my only chance to speak and wouldn’t be invited back.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight when Eric and Jeffrey asked me back this year. I swore that this year I would nail it.

What I learned last year was that people come to AEA expecting not only to be wowed by fantastic speakers, but also to take home a tangible things that they can implement.

So I put together a presentation called Mobile First Responsive Design. We know that over 90% of responsive designs are built poorly. This talk teaches you how to build in a responsible manner.

I presented the talk for the first time at AEA Atlanta. It is always difficult to judge your own talks, but based on the feedback from attendees, I think it worked. At minimum, I know people went home with a long list of things that they could do immediately.

I’m giving this presentation two more times. Once next month at AEA San Diego and in October at AEA Orlando.

I’m really proud of the way the talk has come together. I’d love it if you could join me at one of the two AEAs that I’m going to be speaking at.

But even if you can’t make it to San Diego or Orlando, An Event Apart puts on one of the best conferences in our industry. You should attend. And if you do, use ‘AEAGRIG’ on checkout to receive $100 off the price.

That discount code applies for all of the 2014 events—even the ones I’m not speaking at.

I hope to see you in San Diego or Orlando!

by Jason Grigsby at April 17, 2014 10:07 PM

April 16, 2014

MobileMonday London

Mobile Miscellany, 16th April 2014, Contribute to Developer Economics report, get down to a new type of hackathon, final chance to win a Nokia Lumia

In this miscellany: contribute to the Developer Economics report, get down to a new type of hackathon, final chance to win a Nokia Lumia.

Contribute to the 7th edition of the Developer Economics report 

We're always very keen to support this initiative, because it's a major contribution to understanding the ever-developing state of the mobile marketplace. Have a look, for example, at the 6th edition from earlier this year.

Gathering the information for this requires our input ... so, follow the link and tell our friends over at Vision Mobile stuff like ...
  • What's your take on the latest trends in app development
  • Which platform(s) should you choose to make money in today's competitive market
  • Which is the right revenue model for your apps 
  • What tools you are using
Have your say, make your contribution! That link again: http://bit.ly/1kq8WvF

Win a free place to DevLab LIVE, 9-11th May

A 3-day event bringing innovators from the startup, digital and developer communities together with big brands to build amazing solutions to real business challenges.

At Level 39 down at Canary Wharf - the event will kick off with a day of inspiring talks and workshops, followed by a two day hackathon and a big party on Friday night!

First two to get in touch with us at contact@mobilemonday.org.uk get the free places! More here.

Blackberry 10 - The Future for Developers, from 5pm on 10th June in London 

FREE to attend, you will hear all about BlackBerry 10 - update on the latest release of the OS, focus on some of the compelling features that developers can leverage when creating their apps, tools and SDKs, open and cross-platform mobile development & how to deploy within the Enterprise. Register here.

And it's last chance saloon to win a Nokia Lumia c/o Microsoft

The Microsoft UK Developer team are looking to get closer to you, so if you fill out their survey, you will have the chance to win the Nokia phone and all entrants get a free eBook sharing what Microsoft Research knows about human communications. It’s all here.

We will be in touch soon with details on our next event ... have a great bank holiday weekend.

by Jo Rabin (noreply@blogger.com) at April 16, 2014 01:48 PM

April 15, 2014

mobiForge blog

Touch-friendly Drag and Drop

In this article we explore some touch-friendly drag and drop implementations. In particular we'll be looking at DOM and canvas-based drag and drop approaches. We'll also build on some of the things we learned in previous HTML5 articles on mobiForge.

read more

by ruadhan at April 15, 2014 08:24 PM

Open Gardens

Seeking feedback – Learning to code workshops using a new technique

Hello all!

We are launching a series of workshops based on a new technique we have been developing and I seek your feedback

Here is the outline:
As a professional who is a non-programmer: Do you think that gaining an appreciation of software development would help your career goals?

Today, senior management and professionals are increasingly required to have a basic appreciation of software design and how software works ‘under the hood’.

Such skills could often make the difference to your role within and beyond your company.

Gaining an appreciation of Software design often translates to gaining some working experience of programming or coding.

However this requirement has three hurdles:
1) You already have too much on your plate and are very busy

2) You don’t actually want to build an app, website or master writing code and

3) Your motivation to attend a course is low because of the above

Nevertheless you do want to get a detailed appreciation of Programming and the development process whilst not compromising your existing deadlines

So, here is what we are testing

If you can read and you can think – you can code

Feyncode – created by Feynlabs – is an approach for rapidly gaining a detailed appreciation of Programming and Computer Science.

We believe: “If you can read and you can think – you can code” and whilst everyone will learn to code, not everyone will use Coding in their day to day work.

Feyncode appeals to wide variety of professionals within a range of disciplines including directors, senior and divisional management, VP’s, heads of departments, leaders and team leaders in marketing, sales, legal, finance, support, HR, logistics and general management.
Feynlabs is a UK company which focuses on the accelerated learning of Programming and Computer Science. Based on a set of new learning techniques we have been testing; feyncode is a new approach to gain a detailed appreciation of many aspects of computer science and programming.

Feyncode comprises of an introductory face-to-face session followed by an online course and a book which is tailored to the learners’ objectives.

This investment could help you leapfrog your career and gain key skills which have a lasting impact

Can you improve IQ test scores?









If you understand how an IQ test works you will understand our approach.
On your first attempt at an IQ test, you may not do well but IQ tests are really all about understanding a pattern to solve questions.

Once you have done several and learnt a set of techniques – you can perform well in the test.

We believe learning to code is the same.

feyncode is a technique to teach programming by understanding common patterns in coding.

feyncode emphasizes reading code and solving problems using code.

By repeatedly reading code, reasoning and guessing responses, seeing implementations, the learner starts to see a pattern in code and in problem solving using Programming.

We focus on three common languages Python, JavaScript and C and by extension also cover these platforms Django, node.js, Phone Gap, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Objective C, Processing

At the end of the course you will not be a programmer but you will understand how to read and appreciate the black art of software development. You will be able to interpret code and determine the implications at a systems level

This will help you make better strategic and management decisions

Coaching and Programming

The foundations of our method also depend on applying ideas developed for Coaching to the realm of Programming.











Various techniques are being tried out in the market including; Online forums, MOOCs, video training and intensive residential courses but these are adaptations of historical techniques and focus on becoming a programmer.

Our approach is inspired from a discipline normally associated with High performance sports /endurance skills coaching.

In this context, when we say ‘coaching’ it does not refer to the typical NLP coach rather, we mean the Olympic level performance coaches / techniques.

Over the last year and a half, we have been improving these methods with students and teachers in UK, USA and Holland.

We have worked with more than 400 teachers, schools and a wide range of students.

And we hope these insights can make a difference to your career

In London, Miami and a few other cities – we are testing these ideas in limited trials

So, here is a summary:

Format: Introductory Face to face session and three months online

Designed for non-programmer professionals who want to get an appreciation of software development and leverage their career goals

Based on accelerated learning

Limited trials – so if interested, please signup below

A small fee (probably around $199 for the entire course – online and offline)

Certificate of completion


Please contact us at info@feynlabs.com if you want to participate

Images – shuterstock

by ajit at April 15, 2014 02:32 PM

April 14, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Some Thoughts on Paid Peering, Who Pays Whom and Why

In a previous post I've given an introduction to the different kind of interconnections between different networks that form the Internet: Transit, Peering and Paid Peering. In this post I'd like to put down my notes on Paid Peering and who pays whom for what:

Paid Peering is used, for example, between access networks and content delivery networks or the content companies themselves, with the content side paying the access networks for the privilege to connect directly. From what I can tell, content providers used to pay content distribution networks such as Akamai to store their content closer to the subscribers and to deliver it from there. In turn Akamai paid for peering to the access networks. At some point some content providers started to build their own distribution networks and hence wanted to directly peer with access networks. In some cases they got this peering for free, especially from smaller access network providers because they could not risk not offering the content to their subscribers. Also, free peering to the content provider was/is probably be cheaper for them then to get this data over a Transit link for which they have to pay.

The balance of power is different though when a larger access network operator comes into play as they argue that the content provider should pay for the peering as that was also the way it was done before when a content distribution network was between them and the content. The prime reason given for this is that they have to invest in their own network to transport the rising amount of video content and hence should be reimbursed by the content companies. The interesting part is the discrepancy to the small access network operators which seem to do just fine without this cross financing. In other words, paid peering between access network operator and content company is an interesting way to create monopolies that can be exploited when it comes to content heavy applications.

Due to this it is easy to confuse paid peering and network neutrality as is frequently done in the press. Net neutrality requires all packets to be forwarded with equal priority while paid peering regulates who pays whom for a connection. In other words, an access network operator can be as network neutral as it wants and still get money from the content provider via paid peering.

For those who want to follow this train of thought I can recommend Dean Bubley's recent blog post on why 'AT&T's shrill anti-neutrality stance is dangerous'.

by mobilesociety at April 14, 2014 04:34 PM

Were My Raspberry Servers Heartbleed Vulnerable?

Last week, I patched my Raspberry Pi based web servers in a hurry to make sure they are not vulnerable to a Heartbleed attack anymore. I decided to do this quickly as a check of the Openssl library on my servers showed that a vulnerable version was installed. What I couldn't check at the time was if my web servers actually used the library for SSL encryption. I only later discovered that there were tools available to do just that but by then my servers were already patched. So after returning home from a business trip I decided that I wanted to know.

I frequently create full backups of my servers which is pretty simple with Raspberry Pis as SD cards are used as storage medium. These can be cloned to a backup file and restored to a SD card later on with a simple 'dd' command. As expected the installation was vulnerable to Heartbleed. The whole exercise took less than 30 minutes of which 20 minutes were spent by waiting for the dd command to finish the restore to the SD card. Pretty cool timing for making a full server restore.

by mobilesociety at April 14, 2014 04:34 PM

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art

Single-Field Credit Card Input Pattern

Single Credit Card Input Demo

Forms suck. And they especially suck on mobile devices.

Luke Wroblewski has been talking for a long while now about how input masks make form entry a lot less painful for people. He recently highlighted Square Wallet‘s clever single-field credit card capture pattern.

The post referenced a phenomenal port of Square’s native app behavior for the Web by Zachary Forrest (@zdfs).

Zachary’s excellent work was just what I needed to get started creating the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s donation form (as part of our open redesign of their site). I ended up tinkering with Zachary’s initial script a bit and made a few alterations:

  • Made the area a bit more fat-finger-friendly
  • Added support for semantic form markup like legend and label, so that if the environment doesn’t cut the mustard, you can still provide users with a totally accessible, more traditional form experience.
  • Replaced the bitmap credit card icons with these wonderful SVG credit card icons from The Honest Ape. I ran them through Grumpicon so they appear as inline data URIs with PNG fallbacks for unsupported browsers.
  • Added an additional instruction message below the field to provide additional messaging to the user. As much as I love this pattern as-is, I’m worried some folks might be confused/overwhelmed by all this shifting around. So I added a place to provide additional instructions to help users along as they fill out their credit card info.

You can get my take on this pattern on Github, view a demo, or see it in action on our project’s prototype.


I want to give a massive thank you to Zachary Forrest for putting together such a great script. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking the entire donate experience over the course of the project, so if you’d like to contribute to the project we’d really appreciate it!

by Brad Frost at April 14, 2014 03:12 PM


Stop calling yourselves “creatives”.

I recently read about a mother who is able to stretch a $14,000 annual income to feed and clothe her family. That, ladies and gentlemen, is creative. Your fucking banner ad campaign is not.

Every person on earth has a tremendous capacity for creativity. The world needs more people to feel empowered to have original thoughts and put them out into the world. Using “creative” as a noun to describe a class of people perpetuates the false notion that some people have it and others don’t. It’s condescending and discouraging.

Now, I understand some people make their living by flexing their creative muscles, and I think that’s amazing. But please don’t call yourselves “creatives”.

What should you call yourself instead? I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll figure something out. After all, you’re creative.

by Brad Frost at April 14, 2014 01:17 PM


EU Horizon-2020 research and innovation program and Japan-EU Science and Technology cooperation

Horizon2020 is the world’s largest research program, undertaken by the European Union, and it is open to cooperation with researchers from all countries including Japan. Actually, the EU strongly encourages participation from Japan: Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, pointed out that currently […]

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at April 14, 2014 05:37 AM

London Calling

IBM’s new TV commercials made with IBMers

made-with-ibm-squareFollowing on from my previous post about the new “Made with IBM” TV spots shown during the US Masters, you can now view all of the spots on YouTube.

A number of publications have profiled the new spots such as the New York Times, Forbes, and AdAge.

The 1:19 spot below sets up the series well.

What is truly interesting about the 60 or so TV spots generated, is the use of IBM’s own employees for many of the commercials.

the-social-employee-coverAs Cheryl and Mark Burgess pointed out in their excellent book “The Social Employee“, IBM absolutely lives its brand through its people, affectionately called “IBMers”.

At a keynote speech IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations in March 2013, Host Jim Owens asked Ginni “Does IBM, do you believe have a culture that truly differentiates itself from other companies either in a technology space of more broadly?”

The question and Ginni’s answer can be seen at the 47:24 mark on the video below, which talks about how IBMers are different and how IBMers aspire to live the IBM values.

As a celebration of the 17 IBMers that appeared in TV spots during the new “Made with IBM” campaign, presented below are their spots, along with the names of the IBMers featured. If I have missed any off, I was going from the playlist of TV spots on YouTube and will add to the list as I find more.

No. 2 Recipes made with IBM Watson featuring IBMer Mahmoud Naghshineh

No. 8 Collaboration made with social
 featuring IBMer Andrew Grill

No. 10 Presence made with mobile
 featuring IBMer Mylissa Tsai

No. 11 New markets made with cloud
featuring IBMer Cleveland Bonner

No. 12 Delivery made with cloud
featuring IBMer Tom Ward

No. 15 Apps made with data
 featuring IBMer Chris Galante

No. 19 Electronic Medical Records in the Cloud
featuring IBMer Adam Kocoloski

No. 22 Reach made with mobile
featuring IBMer Chris Galante

No. 23 Green eMotion: Road trips made with cloud
 featuring IBMer Gerhard Baum

No. 26 Innovation made with cloud
featuring IBMer Jason McGee

No. 28 Influence made with social
featuring IBMer Renee Ducre

I’ve met Renee on a number of occasions and it is great that she has voiced this particular TV spot as she is passionate about social business.

No. 30 Security made with data
featuring IBMer Caleb Barlow

No. 31 A world made with data
featuring IBMer Megan Daniels

No. 38 Engagement made with mobile
 featuring IBMer Hayley Caslin

No. 40 Advantage made with data
featuring IBMer John Cohn

No. 51 Gamers made with Cloud
featuring IBMer Lance Crosby

No. 62 Disruptive innovation made with IBM Watson
featuring IBMer Mike Barborak

No. 65 Influence made with social
featuring IBMer Katie Keating

Katie is another IBMer passionate about social business.

If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

You may also like ...

by Andrew Grill at April 14, 2014 05:06 AM

April 13, 2014

Open Gardens

Book review – The Curiosity Cycle by Jonathan Mugan











It’s a pleasure to review The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

This is an important book because the ideas presented here span multiple domains and the author brings a unique perspective from his own experience.

Curiosity Cycle is about preparing your child for the ongoing technological explosion.

The book’s goal is to make children lifelong learners through fostering a sense of internally driven curiosity (hence the Curiosity Cycle)

The author proposes that the Curiosity Cycle is a learning process that consists of building and testing individual models – which will be an ongoing process for every child

The Curiosity Cycle builds on the idea of ‘incomplete models’ i.e. the idea that an incorrect or incomplete models is better than no model at all – as long as the process of creating,  assimilating and validating models i.e. the curiosity cycle is inculcated in a child. The curiosity cycle thus helps prepare children to live in a world of the future in which computers will have a profound effect on every aspect of society

The book is based on the author’s personal experience on how to build smart robots by enabling them to learn about the world in the same way human children do

The book develops the concepts for the Curiosity Cycle and then applies these ideas to a range of disciplines like history, science and mathematics. The objective is: curiosity leads a child to ask the right questions and to make inferences beyond knowledge already given. This helps the child to handle unexpected situations – and in the future with a world dominated by rapid technological change – there will be many such situations

Finally, the author believes that the future population will be divided between consumers and creators (of ideas/content/technology etc). Thus, the Curiosity Cycle is a powerful tool for a child growing up now.

These are powerful concepts and they also resonate with my own work at Feynlabs

I have also used the idea of incomplete models with Rumsfeld’s analogy (known –unknowns) and also the idea of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments ex Schrodinger’s cat) – for example – “What would a computer see? And Why?” i.e. how would the world look like to a computer

As a parent, I have also been deeply interested in my own son’s learning. Back in Jan 2009 – I blogged this – Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped .. and this Of typewriters and murder
geekdad has a great review also HERE and like that review – I also agree that the Curiosity Cycle is a must read book!

The book link again is: The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

by ajit at April 13, 2014 10:07 PM

April 12, 2014

Open Gardens

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode)

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode).  Sign up for latest updates. HERE


by ajit at April 12, 2014 05:54 PM

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

What If the NSA Did NOT Know Of Heartbleed?

The last couple of days of security news has been interesting to say the least. Heartblead has become a headline even in non-tech circles. Now that it has been established how dangerous the bug is, how simple it is to weaponize it and how easy it is to find in the code that is publicly available, a facet of the discussion focuses on whether the NSA (and other spy agencies) have known about it and for how long. Unsurprisingly the NSA denies prior knowledge and as unsurprisingly there are only few who believe them.

What I find interesting in the discussion is, that nobody has asked so far what it would mean if the NSA really didn't know about Heatbleed!?

I would assume that with a budget of billions of dollars annually they must have hoards of programs who's only job it is to find weaknesses in open source code that is publicly available by nature. In other words they must have stumbled over it unless they are totally incompetent. This is nothing that hid deep deep inside the code, this bug is so obvious to someone specifically looking for weaknesses in code that this must have been an instant find.

So the NSA is damned one way or the other. If they did find the bug, did not report and then lied about it, they put everyone at risk even their own industry because it is absolutely obvious that this but is easy to find for other spy agencies as well. And if they didn't find it on the other hand, as they claim, one has to wonder what they spend all those billions of dollars on annually...

by mobilesociety at April 12, 2014 07:06 AM

April 09, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

My Raspberry Pi Servers and Heartbleed

Unless you've been living behind the moon in the past 24 hours you've probably heard about 'Heartbleed', the latest and greatest secure http vulnerability that Bruce Schneier gives it an 11 on a scale from 1 to 10. Indeed, it's as bad as it can get.

As I have a number of (Debian based) Raspberry Pi servers on which I host my Owncloud, Selfoss and a couple of other things I was of also affected and scrambled to get my shields back up. Fortunately the guys at Raspberry reacted quickly and offered the SSL fix in the Raspian repository quickly. Once that was done I got a new SSL certificate for my domain name, distributed it to my servers and then updated all my passwords used on those systems. Two hours later... and I'm done.

And here's two quotes from Bruce's blog that make quite clear of how bad the situation really is:

"At this point, the odds are close to one that every target has had its private keys extracted by multiple intelligence agencies."


"The real question is whether or not someone deliberately inserted this bug into OpenSSL"

I'm looking forward to the investigation who's responsible for the bug. As 'libssl' is open source it should be possible to find out who modified that piece of code in 2011.

by mobilesociety at April 09, 2014 11:06 PM

London Calling

Collaboration made with social – new IBM TV campaign – #MadewithIBM

made-with-ibm-squareI can finally announce the “secret project” I have been involved with over the past couple of months.

This week during the Masters Golf in the US, IBM (my employer) is launching a new TV campaign called “Made with IBM”.

You can read more about the campaign in an article from the New York Times.

“To introduce a new campaign, “Made with IBM,” the company dispatched three filmmakers to 17 countries to document its technology in action. About half of the spots, which are 30 or 60 seconds long, feature businesses, public agencies and other IBM customers.”

My contribution can be seen below, and I even get a name-check.

I love the ending and my daughter Madeleine wants to know what happened to the big chair at the end.

Some may have noticed I was hinting about my involvement with the campaign on twitter over the last few weeks – while in Austin at SXSW when I recorded 2 hours of video interviews, then a couple of weeks ago when I was recording the voiceover that appears on the video in London.

With all that content, who knows where I might turn up next ;-).

Having only just celebrated my first 6 months with IBM this week, I was very humbled that they asked me to take part in this new and very public TV campaign.

The strap line for my vignette is “Collaboration made with social. Made with IBM”.


The campaign highlights other IBMers, Customers and IBM technologies in the multiple TV spots and is the next phase of @SmarterPlanet campaign that IBM has been running for some years now.

More videos can be seen on the dedicated site ibm.com/madewithibm and also on the IBM YouTube channel.

IBM’s CMO Jon Iwata also has a great blog post about the reasoning behind the campaign, as well as a making-of video – embedded below.

Apparently I was one of just 20 IBMers who appear in the spots – must be my Aussie accent they liked.

The NYT article also talks about the process that Ogilvy and IBM used to shoot and edit the ads.

Jeremy Kuhn, a global group account director at Ogilvy, said that the campaign about IBM technology relied, appropriately enough, on IBM technology, namely Aspera, software for large file transfers that allowed hours of video to be transferred quickly.

“Traditionally when the footage is shot, you wait for the team to come back to load it all in to begin editing, but we had something like 13 different shoots between the three main crews and if we waited until everyone got back to New York, we never would have made the Masters in time,” Mr. Kuhn said. “We were reliant on Aspera, an IBM technology, to do that, so this very production was kind of a case study.”

If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

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by Andrew Grill at April 09, 2014 09:30 PM

Wap Review

How To Hide the Opera Mini 8 Virtual Keypad On Samsung, LG and Other Touchscreen Phones

Opera Mini 8 With Virtual Keypad Opera Mini 8 Without Virtual Keypad

When the Java ME version of the Opera Mini Browser is running on many touch screen phones, an unnecessary virtual keypad appears at the bottom of the screen (image above left). The keypad wastes space, looks ugly and isn't needed with touch aware apps like Opera Mini. The keypad is not part of Opera Mini. It's something your phone adds because it doesn't recognize that Opera Mini is optimized for touch.

There are several ways to get rid of the virtual keypad so your Opera Mini looks like the right hand image above.

I. By using the phone's menu

Some phones have a menu option for getting rid of the keypad. I've only seen it on Samsungs but it may be an option on other brands as well.

  • Open the folder or menu where you launch Opera Mini. On my Samsung Wave it's called "Games and more".
  • Look for and tap a button named  "Options", "Menu" or something similar or has an icon that looks like a menu, stack of papers or three dots. On the Wave it's  the middle button with the three dots in the left hand screenshot below.
  • In the Options menu (image below, center) look for and tap a button labeled "Use virtual keypad"
  • On the next screen tap the check mark next to Opera Mini (image below, right) to remove it and then tap the Save button. Now launch Opera Mini and the virtual keypad should be gone

Samsung Wave - Options Menu Samsung Wave - Use Virtual Keyboard Menu

If your phone doesn't have a menu option to remove the keypad continue reading to see if Opera Mini has a fix for your phone.

II. By using an official version of Mini customized for your phone to remove the virtual keypad.

If Opera recognizes and officially supports your phone it should deliver a modified version of Opera Mini that has code telling your phone to remove the keypad.  Opera can only recognize your phone if you download Mini from m.opera.com using the phone's built-in browser.  If you download Opera Mini from an unofficial source or downloaded it with your PC and copied to the phone using Bluetooth or a cable you have a generic version that's not optimized for your phone.

If you download Mini from m.opera.com with your phone's built-in browser and you still get the virtual keypad, let Opera know so they can fix it in a future release. File a bug report at mini.bugs.opera.com. Also visit m.opera.com/detect with your phone's built-in browser and fill in the form listing the phone make and model.

If you still have the virtual keypad after downloading from m.opera.com with your phone browser and you don't want to wait for Opera to get around to fixing it, which can take months, it's easy to fix it yourself. Read on for instructions.

III. By modifying the Opera Mini jad file to remove the virtual keypad

You will need a PC, some patience and the ability to follow directions to modify Opera Mini. If you lack any of those or want someone else to do the work, skip to the end of this post for a link to an already modified version of Opera Mini.

Obtain an official copy of the Opera Mini jad file. You can download the unsigned versions of Opera Mini directly to your PC from www.opera.com/mobile/download/versions/

The trouble with unsigned apps is that on most phones you will get annoying pop-up messages asking you to allow Opera Mini to connect. On some phones you only get one pop-up when you first start Opera Mini but on others you get pop-ups every time you click a link which makes Opera Mini almost unusable. A few phones won't allow unsigned apps to connect at all.

Opera will only let you download the signed versions of Opera Mini using a mobile browser. So to download the signed jad file to a PC we have to fool the Opera site into thinking we are using a mobile browser. The easiest way to do that is with the Firefox browser and the User Agent Switcher extension.

  • Launch the Firefox browser
  • Click the Tools menu and Add-on > Extensions. Search for "User Agent Switcher"
  • Install the User Agent Switcher extension by chrispederick
  • Restart Firefox
  • Open the Tools Menu and choose "Default User Agent > Edit User Agents"
  • Click the "New" button and Choose "New User Agent"
  • Enter "Mobile User Agent" in the "Description" field
  • In the User Agent field, enter you phone's built-in browser's  user agent. You can find it by visiting ua.yeswap.com with the phone browser which lets you email your browser's user agent and other headers to yourself.
  • Blank out all the other fields, press the OK button to save.
  • Go to the Tools Menu  and choose "Default User Agent >"Mobile User Agent"
  • Go to m.opera.com using the Firefox browser
  • Click "Other Download Options"
  • Click "Select Code-Signing Certificate" under "Options for Opera Mini 7.1:" (or under "Options for Opera Mini 4.5:" if you prefer that version)
  • Click "All Certificates" (works on most phones. If it doesn't on yours try repeating this process with one of the other signed options)
  • Click "Download Opera Mini 7.1 (or 4.5)" and save the file (named mini.jad) somewhere where you can find it later
  • Open the downloaded mini.jad with a text editor or Windows Wordpad
  • Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste in the following lines:

MIDlet-Touch-Support: true
UseNativeTextButtons: hide
ReverseSoftkeys: hide
UseNativeCommands: hide
Navi-Key-Hidden: true
Nokia-MIDlet-On-Screen-Keypad: no
MIDlet-ScreenMode: ROTATE
MIDlet-Landscape-Support: true
LGE-MIDlet-Width: 240
LGE-MIDlet-Height: 400
LGE-MIDlet-On-Screen-Keypad: no
LGE-MIDlet-Display-Mode: both

Upload the file to Dropbox.com or another file sharing service that is easy to use in your phone browser. Click here to get a free 2GB Dropbox account (by using this referral link I get an extra 250 MB of storage in my Dropbox which I thank you for).

Visit Dropbox with your phone browser and click the modified mini.jad link to download it on your phone.

If that didn't work or you don't have a PC or are just in a hurry, here's are links my modified signed jad files for various Opera Mini versions:

Updated 8-Apr-2014 with new signing certificates as the ones had expired: Opera Mini 8.0, released 12-Mar-2014,  is the latest "full" version of Opera Mini. Changes in this release include:

  • A new minimalist "flat" design
  • Night Mode
  • You can now adjust image quality on the data savings page
  • Private mode

Here's a modified version without the virtual keypad

http://wapreview.com/dwnld/mini8t.jad or http://is.gd/mini8t

Updated 8-Apr-2014 with new signing certificates as the ones had expired: Opera Mini 4.5, which was released 6-Aug-2013, is latest "lite" version of Opera Mini for phones with limited memory Here's a modified version without the virtual keypad

http://wapreview.com/dwnld/mini45.jad or http://is.gd/mini45t

Older Versions:

Update 6-Apr-2014: The certificates have expired on all the files below. It's not possible to update for me certificates on these files. They will give an error installing. On some phones it may be possible to install these apps by temporarily setting the phone's date back to 2/1/2013 or earlier. After the app installs you can (and should) set the phone's date back to the current date and the app will stil work.

Updated 25-Jan-2012: Here's a modified version of the Opera Mini 6.5:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/mini.jad or http://is.gd/mini65

Updated 7-Jun-2012:  Here's a modified version of the Opera Mini 7.0:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/mini7.jad or http://is.gd/mini7

Updated 20-Sept-2012: If you get out of memory errors installing Opera Mini 7, here's the smaller but less capable Opera Mini 4.4.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/mini44.jad or http://is.gd/mini44

Updated 26-Nov-2012:  Here's a modified version of Opera Mini 7.1:

http://wapreview.com/dwnld/mini71.jad or http://is.gd/mini71t

Click any of the above links in your phone browser to install Opera Mini 4.4, 4.5 or 7.0, 7.1 or 8.0 with the virtual keypad disabled.Creative Commons License WAPReview.com Some rights reserved.

by Dennis Bournique at April 09, 2014 04:28 AM

April 08, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Race To Sleep

I'm not actually sure who coined the term 'Race to Sleep' but I seem to hear it more often these days.

The idea behind it is to speed up an operation to be able to go into a very low power sleep state quicker after the operation at the expense of a higher peak power requirement during the operation itself. When 'Race to Sleep' works the overall energy required for the the faster execution + longer sleep time (as a reward) is lower compared to a previous architecture in which the operation took longer with less peak power drawn but a shorter sleep time. The 'operation' can be just about anything: Raw computing power, more complexity to speed up data transmission, GPU power, etc.

Does this really work in practice or is it just a myth? It seems it can work and AnandTech wrote a very detailed post on this phenomenon comparing power consumption for the same operations between a mobile device and its successor version. Have a look here for the details.

But at the end of the post he also notes that in practice, the gain when for example downloading and rendering a web page faster with higher power requirements and then make up for it by being in a sleep state for a longer time than before may be eaten quickly by users browsing the web more quickly because pages are loaded more quickly and thus they can start scrolling earlier.

So perhaps 'Race to Sleep' is most effective when a task that is sped up does not result in extra power expenditure later on due to the user being able to interact with a device even more quickly than before.

by mobilesociety at April 08, 2014 05:25 PM

April 07, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

The Joy Of Open Source: You Can Fix It Yourself

Over the past months I've learnt a lot about Apache, PHP and MySQL in my spare time as I wanted to implement a database application with a web front end for my own purposes. While the effort would have probably been too high just for this, I was additionally motivated by the fact that learning about these tools also gives me a deeper understanding of how web based services work under the hood.

Databases have always been my weak point as I had little use for them so far. After my project I have gained a much better understanding about MySQL and SQLite and feel comfortable working with them. What a nice side effect.

And in addition, the knowledge gained helps me to better understand, debug and fix issues of open source web based applications I am using on a regular basis. A practical example is Selfoss, my RSS aggregator of choice I've been using ever since Google decided to shut down their RSS reader product last year. While I am more than happy with it, the feed update procedure stops working every couple of months for a while. When it happened again recently I dug a bit deeper with the knowledge I have gained and found out that the root cause were links to non-existing web pages that the update process tried to use. Failing to load these pages resulted in an abort of the update process. A few lines of code and the issue was fixed.

I guess it's time to learn about 'git' now so I can not only fix the issue locally and report it to the developer but also supply a fix for it and potentially further features I'm developing for it. Open source at its best!

by mobilesociety at April 07, 2014 05:08 PM