Don't worry, this post about rowing won't be as long as the last one.
Rowed 2000m this morning (as I do most mornings these days), which pushes my weekly average from 1st September to 31st March above 5000m/week. Which was my goal for this winter! Achieved a whole two days early.
I haven't decided whether to have a new goal for the summer. I might see how much rowing I get done in April, and if it isn't enough then maybe I'll set some targets.
Over a year ago now, I spent some time playing around with some code to scrape the events pages of local venues and build up an RSS feed of what was on. The idea was that I wouldn't keep missing gigs. However, I didn't get it working well enough to release, and haven't had time to play with it further since.
The other day, I discovered Upcoming.org. Admittedly, it doesn't do the scraping of existing websites, it relies on the users entering events; but that's largely to be expected, scraping the websites was the bit I was having most trouble with :-)
The "consuming" events side of things is very cool though - you can see your own events, events being attended by your friends, or events for your area (or Metro, as Upcoming calls them). For example, here's the page with all the events in Cambridge.
Even better (at least, it is once you've gotten into RSS feeds, which you really should...), you can get an RSS feed of events so you don't have to keep checking the website for new stuff. Or there's an iCal feed which you can use on a Mac (I think, not having one myself :-) or with a calendar program like Sunbird to have the events show up in your calendar.
The only problem now is getting enough people to start putting events into the Cambridge bit so I find out what's happening, although I see that Damien has at least been adding the Broken Family Band gigs...
Gated Communities, mp3 blogs and the Future of the Social Internet is an interesting essay speculating on how the copyright clampdown could just send mp3 blogs semi-underground, where some network of trust is built up before access is granted.
I think we'll see this more and more as the Internet evolves; the continued increase in abuse of the public sections of the internet (comment and trackback spam being an example particularly close to my heart...) will force most of our participation at (rather than just consumption of) other peoples' sites to require some level of authentication.
The challenge in all this will be how to manage this digital identity. I don't want to have to go through some sign-up procedure for every blog I want to leave a comment on, and I'm not sure I'd trust any commercial organization to be in charge of my identity. There is work going on to come up with standards or protocols to govern distributed authentication and identity, but I've lost the link to them.
The upside is that once this stuff is worked out, it will allow us finer control over our privacy - allowing us to share more at the same time as sharing less: for example, I'd be able to open up my music collection easily to all of my friends and could similarly restrict access to my photos to just friends, or friends-of-friends.
(via Troubled Diva)
Note: Updated to add the text which was truncated in the del.icio.us description for the "Reinventing radio" link
Fresh from this year's "Which Decade Is Top For Pops" campaign, Mike over at Troubled Diva has decided to host a virtual disco in aid of Comic Relief. For each track added to the playlist, he'll donate a pound for Red Nose Day.
Music related... For charity... How could I refuse? After some deliberation, and some listening to potential tracks this morning, I'm going to add Ask Me (Re-worked by Danny Krivit) by Ecstacy, Passion & Pain.
Just back from a meeting at my business bank, Lloyds TSB. No, nothing worrying, just a surprisingly refreshing chat about pensions and the like - they didn't try to sell me anything, in fact, given my current lack of income they just recommended my calling back in a few months when things are more settled.
Anyway, the meeting was at the Gonville Place branch, which I think is a "business centre" rather than a normal branch. It's a while since I was last there, and I was impressed by the makeover the place has had in the interim: a receptionist to greet you on arrival, then a nicely appointed waiting area surrounded by an assortment of meeting rooms. The seating in the waiting area is all comfortable easy chairs, there's a TV showing BBC News 24, newspapers and business books are available to leaf through (or borrow, in the case of the books), and there's a machine which makes a reasonable attempt at a cup of coffee (although still not a patch on the stuff I'd had to leave in the pot at home)
The important point, and the reason I'm writing an "ooh, isn't the branch nice" post, is that the meeting rooms are available for business customers to use to meet clients. Apparently, I can just phone up and book a room, for free. I don't have any clients to meet just at the minute, but if I did, the facilities there are much more business-like than my dining room. A nice idea from a bank for once!