Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Padded cell?

Padded cell?, originally uploaded by epredator.

In preparing for our guests on new years eve I decided to test out the stack of single and double airbeds we have once and for all. So the spare room is now a natural selection experiment in deflation, or a padded cell. The predlets could not resist bouncing around in there. I managed to escape but cant help feeling a full padded room mught be a good diversionin the near future :)

***Update the results of the overnight test. 3 single beds 2 very flat, 1 nearly (would be with someone sleeping on it, 2 large doubles all fine and a-ok. I thought you needed to know :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

wii family ski

wii family ski, originally uploaded by epredator.

I finally got a wii fit, having missed the release due to some other cool xbox games at the time. Then they wer in short supply, but elemming and the predlets got me on for xmas this year. Wii fit itself is very good, though it said I was old and fat. However the other games I got family ski and shaun white snowboardingmake calf aching good use of the board. It rell is a great piece of kit.
So here I am on my xmas skiing holiday. Who knew us alien hunters could carve turns too?

Guitar Hero, rockband and quest for fame - Rock and Roll!

Why blog about things? Well a while back I blogged about both guitar hero and rockband and how much I enjoyed and remembered the original that I played way back called quest for fame with Aerosmith in it on the PC.
Not that post just sort of sat around, but when Hiawatha Bray was doing a piece for the Boston Globe he googled quest for fame and found me as a fan.
So we had a chat about it, its a tiny quote, on page 2 but I can now say I am in an ariticle with the father of all guitar hero games (in my eyes) Mike Fritz and also the father of blues Mr B.B King.
I first mentioned it on eightbar back in early 2007 then relinked to the flow of things here
It was a little confusing when I was contacted as it was not clear initially if it was my Companies involvment or my personal oppinion that was needed. Once we cleared that up, it was just me enthusing (as per usual) then we were good to talk :)
I am glad this has got picked up QFF needs its recognition in the timeline.
Lets Rock!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Xbox style

Christmas Xbox style, originally uploaded by epredator.

The new 360 dashboard has a cute snowglobe that randomly adds friend in with you. It also, if you wait a while, sees all the friends do a stadium wave. Nice touch.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

PS3 home - I want green hair!

PS3 home, originally uploaded by epredator.

Why the heck can I not have green hair in PS3 home or 360. Very odd, feel discriminated against!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Commiserations to Mike Golding sailing Ecover

Its not often I do yachting news on this blog!
I heard today from predlet 1.0 that Mike Golding's Ecover yacht mast had broken when he was leading in the Vendee Globe round the world yacht race. Mrs epred a.k.a elemming knows Mike's wife.
As there was a school connection they all got given this cardboard make-a-yacht so we made it tonight to commiserate.
Ecover flat pack
Ecover assembled

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Traffic Lights, obey?

This story struck me as some sort of variant on a fable, or observation on the wider picture in life. I often refer to things being fractal ideas. The amount of detail in the minutia is the same as the amount of detail in the "big picture" and you have to be able to flow between the two to make sensible judgements, not just focus on one element. Other call it system thinking.
Today I arrived at a set of temporary traffic lights, with some unattended roadworks on a back road. The idea was they created one way traffic and alternated between each direction. A good idea given one side of the road was a giant hole. However, the traffic lights had got stuck, they were on red both directions. This of course leads to two queues of traffic. In reality though it leads to 2 cars facing each other each making a decision about what to do next, the rest of the people are just bystanders as a moral dilema occurs. The rule is, you dont shoot through a red light. Its clear, its obvious, its even measurable. We can even automate the catching of people who shoot red lights with cameras and sensors. There was no such policing in this case. So just how long do we all sit there before someone realizes the instrumentation for the rule is broken?
Clearly shooting the red light is wrong, getting out and turning the lights off, fixing them etc. is tampering, doing a u-turn to avoid the lights is a possibility, or just sit....wait....hope it sorts itself out.
I would love to have a psychological profile of people done in these minor situations. The go for it driver, decides enough it enough, and then a few more follow them through. Or the driver in the queue who realizes they cant wait for the one at the front to come to the right conclusion and incents the one on from to move, lights flashing or just overtaking the laggard and leading the way anyway.
Of course there is a counter argument, if they all shoot the light then no one gets anywhere. That I guess it what happens when leaders clash and wars start.
In the end of course sense prevailed and a flow of self organized sorting out occured, small groups led by one leader go, then someone falters, and the next group is led forth from the other direction.
It feels like this is how innovation happens. People generally follow, there is a way to do things, but each person will have a limit, a point at which they can say nope, we need to do it this way.
That is of course how wars stop too.
As a mental excercise what do you do in the stand off traffic light dilemma?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seven things you dont know about me?

LPT has tagged me in a meme of seven things you dont know about fillin name here.
This of course is hard to do as I am so public (sometimes too public) about who I am and what I do as part of the great experiment.
However lets have a go.
1. I was a consumer champion at the age of 10. My evel kneival character that rode the gyro wind up motorcycle had all the metal bendy bits in his arms and legs break. Whilst that may be true to life, it made the toy rubbish. So I wrote a letter, and they sent me a new Evel. I also collected enough tokens for a free cowboy "little big man" when I was about 8 I think. It arrived, saddle and all. Yet there was no horse in the range at all to buy to go with it. I complained, and they sent me a horse from another toy range.
2. I invented optic fibre christmas trees. When I was about 10 again, I saw one of those lovely lights all optic fibre and bristling as a sphere. Well, I thought woulfnt it make sense to mould that into an xmas tree. Drew a picture. Left it at that. About 5 years later I saw some in the shop and though drat, I really must follow things up
3. When I was 9 I out a message in a glass bottle, a corona bottle and threw it into the sea. It had some information, address, name, some puzzles and ideas in it. When I was 13 I got written to by someone who had found it. Volker Brendall was the name. Unfortunately I did not write back enough. I should have followed up on that serendipity. (just changed number 3 BTW from a very boring one)
4. I have 3 nipples, though the third one is more like a small spot, rather than a full on james bond scaramanger. Just a doctor explained it once doing an exam.
5. I will eat all food, not that squeamish, but I draw the line at dessiccated coconut, its like crunching gravel on Michael Bentines Potty Time.
6. When I grew up I wanted to be a film stuntman. That was way before seeing Fall Guy. I saw a programme about Yakuma Canute in Stage Coach and thought that was awesome. Probably why I am so willing to take risks and get beaten up :)
7. I used to really like going beach fishing back in Norfolk as a kid. In particular I liked doing long casts. The Yarmout cast in particular is tricky as you swing the line backwards over your head whilst facing away from the see. Its risky as get it wrong and you get the weights and hook in your face. It was great fun.

So thats me, I am sure there are some more lovely insights into who I am and why I am.

For not I have to pass it on to seven people
Roo Reynolds, Rob Smart, Darren Shaw, Michael Ackerbauer. Andy Piper, Jim Purbrick, Patchouli Woollahra

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Duck @70

Duck @70, originally uploaded by epredator.

My dad, epred snr is 70 tomorrow. As he is visiting we had a pre-birthday party, tomorrow we go to that there nodnol.
Sainsbury's do a great whole cripy aromatic duck, so that was tonights meals. YUM!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Xmas Hamper

Xmas Hamper, originally uploaded by epredator.

We won a hamper at the school xmas fair. It was a little awkward as I dropped predlet 1.0 off at school to have to carry a huge box of smelly soap back to the car. A fellow dad, you know who you are, suggested all my wifely xmas gift presents were sorted if only I kept quiet. Doh!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Funding, Future, Corporate Life

As many of you know I currently work for IBM(have done for 18 years). I have since 2006 been driving forward the ideas and needs for everyone (us, customers, competitors, family, friends) to get involved in both virtual worlds. This made me a metaverse evangelist, and I still am. I have also for many years been exploring the impact of social media both inside and outside of the company.
The explosion in virtual world interest led one part of IBM, and one particular visionary to invest in my time. This was a complicated arrangement. I work for IBM UK at Hursley Labs in a cost recovery group. People often assume a corporate is a thing, a single structure with single decisions points. It is really a collection, an eco system of small units, many of them effectively vying for contracts with one another to deliver things to customers.
I effectively had a short term contract from a part of the US company to pay for my time to be a metaverse evangelist both inside and outside the company. It was originally a year, but ended up being 2 1/2.
That internal contract finishes, but I am still an IBM UK employee in cost recovery with a services group.
Ideally I would have like some other funding, contract, role or project to be able to simply pay for my time in one lump sum so I could continue my evangelizing with one less thing to worry about. I have not been focussed on me and my career though as this is about all of us and about the industry.
It is not the case for most people to be funded in this wat, and I have been incredibly lucky to have been able to push this and pursue it for this long.
I wanted to let people know that this is more about my personal situation than any plan or direction that may be inferred. I knew that come jan 1st when I may end up doing something completely different during the day to pay the bills for my department that I would not be able to officially attend the various events and share my thoughts as I have been doing.
It also indicates that we may well have moved past the need for pure evangelizing as so many people now get the basics. I will still be pushing and publishing thoughts and ideas, and going back into skunkwork mode.
I have learned a lot about who I am the past few years and what I can do. How to bring people along on a journey and dare I say it lead. Finding a career role somewhere to play to those strengths will take a little time, I am but a humble techie after all ;)
Evangelizing is a complicated thing to explain to people, it is not a department thing, it is something that spreads across lots of interactions with lots of people. It is by its very nature self destroying.
So, the future for virtual worlds, well they are not going away are they! There is a demand for secure behind the firewall enterprise level communications far in excess of simple IM and phone. There is still a huge cultural change, that may mean than evangelist roles become more obvious to more organizations for the next waves of disruption.
So no one panic :) It's just where the world is at the moment and this is all much bigger than one individual. I am still committed to this, as far as I can tell so is everyone else, but change is good.

Clients always wrong?

Clients Desparado, originally uploaded by epredator.

I have watched the film desparado a good few times, its one of my top 10. Its funny, action packed and very well made. I tried taking a snap of the TV with my x1 of the sight over the door of the door as a bad guy is sent flying. Firstly its a funny sign :) secondly it now looks like a shot from a video game doesnt it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

epredator little big planet style

Once I realized you could stick stickers on sackboy the eightbar epredator sack boy was born

Classic Rock island

Linkin Park playing, originally uploaded by epredator.

I was about to put some music on at home when I noticed the the Classic Rock island near my own islands seemed to have quite a crowd. So whilst working at home, usually having some music on, I thought I would send myslef along to the club and see what was happening. The music playing was awesome. DJ Ryleigh Shippe was selecting some awesome tunes to have on.
I enevn arrived at the time when a favourite form Guitar Hero World Tour was playing.
It is on in the background on the other machine, so i can get on with work, but still be ambiently connected to some fellow Rock fans.
Anyway, on with the work, sorting out some more speaking engagements, the future of virtual worlds, biz opportunities, but with epredator potato rocking out on the other screen and me engergized by real music.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Play by mail financial governance

In a conversation with Loudmouthman on twitter I happened to tweet this.

epredator: @loudmouthman seems international finance is a play by mail chess game, when the rest of us are instantly adjusting in an online fragfest.

It seemed worth saving, and as it turns out is pretty much the sentiment Malcom Gladwell just used on BBC interview I had on in the background. i.e. government decisions are reactive and slow paced in an environment when financial trades are instant.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Elephant and mixing desk

Elephant and mixing desk, originally uploaded by epredator.

Now there is something you dont see everyday, an elephant and a mixing desk, however they were at the imperial war museum in manchester when I presented all things metaverse, eightbar and leadership yesterday.
The one day I did not use the slide with the eating the IT elephant book on it, the one day I had an elephant with me. Doh!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In book number 6, this time marketing 2.0 and Wimbledon and Second Life

My copy of Sandy Carter's all encompasing book "The New Language of Marketing 2.0" arrived, and Wimbledon in SL is in it :) So thats book number 6 to add to the previous ones that I know of.
Time to rest.

Marketing 2.0

Yay for epredator

Guitar hero world tour Epredator

You see unlike the new console avatars guitar hero world tour (and rockband) let me have my green spikey hair that I resort too when I absolutely positively cannot have my sci fi predator mask.
Yes that is another 8bar tattoo I am sporting

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Epredator Xbox NXE Style

Epredator Xbox NXE Style, originally uploaded by epredator.

The 360 update has arrived, we have a shiny new avatar makeover. A slight fail for me in that there is no green hair! What on earth is that all about.
So they are looking good, not quite a customizable as the wii mii's but the interface looks very pleasing, and there are some interesting new features to play with.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well done monthy python

Monty Python have embraced youtube, published content and engaged with us all :) brilliant.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


rock, originally uploaded by epredator.

this was a little odd, but having blasted around on guitar hero world tour i popped to the shop to get bread and milk. Even better than that i could not resist buying rock magazine. most mags are usually edge or 360 or at a push a car mag. with my guitar restrung, guitar hero in my head i just had to grab a mag with keef on the front and a story about the return of guns n roses.

Friday, November 14, 2008

guitar hero world tour

guitar hero world tour, originally uploaded by epredator.

Assembled, photographed (a bit blurred, getting used the x1). Still its here. So quick donation to children in need and then onto our own show. Lets rock

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Patent 3rd Plateau

Patent 3rd Plateau, originally uploaded by epredator.

Yet more plaques. This time recognition of having a stack of patents filed for IBM. I wont explain the points system, but this is based on getting things in, filed and past the legal crew.
Ignore the fact it says November 2007 at the bottom :)

Another patent issued

Another patent filed, originally uploaded by epredator.

I do a fair few patent disclosures at IBM. Some of them get filed, but after a few years some get issued. You then get a plaque of the patent (or part of it). Its usually so long ago, and in such obscure legalize that its hard to remember what the original idea was.
This one arrived today, and, not being able to read chinese it has made it my most unusual work plaque.

Monday, November 10, 2008

life at the moment

life at the moment, originally uploaded by epredator.

The things other than family and food occupying my time. Including Rockband in the background

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 - Got one

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, originally uploaded by epredator.

I popped along to the sony ericsson superstore in London high street kensington. They had loads in stock and as the phone is unlocked they can sell it on any network, so I changed networks too, to see if I get better coverage.
Its very cool so far, as it has a stylus you can doodle and write on it like a palm used to, or drag and point with a finger.
I am just working out how to go from nokia to windows contacts. Not obvious of course, but lets see.
So the next few days I will work out what it does and share.
At the moment I love it, even if it is windows :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Is it really so hard to get a mobile phone?

So my n95 contract is up. I have a PAC code (to transfer my number to another provider. I still want to get the Sony Xperia X1 but still having been "released" on 30th September it is nowhere with any of the providers.
Vodafone here sent me a few emails to tell me that the X1 was available, but then when ordering it online having completed all the forms I got a page saying "sorry out of stock". So a new customer, invited by an email campaign, filling in lots of bits including the number transfer code, then gets told ooops sorry. A slight fail methinks.
Whilst in town I decided to go into the many mobile shops that intersperse the starbucks and macdonald on our hight streets. The vodafone shop was less than helpful, I heard them convincing another customer to buy something else. Mainly because they did not have even a static model of the x1 in the shop.
Then in carphonewarehouse they had an x1 model with prices and plans, but admitted when asked they had never had any in yet. (Where are they all then?)
So I wandered into t-mobile (who I am an existing customer with), they had a real functioning google G1 phone. I asked if they had any in stock, yes, they had one. So I thought, what the heck, it does not shoot video but it would be fun.
I was told the price plan, free with a £40 month plan. great. I then asked as an existing customer how would that work. To my surprise the shop assistant had a sharp intake of breath. Nope as an upgrade you have to buy the phone £500 or I was offered to be able to cancel my current contract, take out a new one and lose my number. So I cant just pay the saem and upgrade and be retained as a valued customer? erm no accroding to the shop guy.
That's customer service!
So, I would love to sign up to a new contract, pay the money and get the kit, but it seems that both as a new customer and an existing one the things I need are really not that important to these companies.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin 1.0 to 2.0

Pumpkin 1.0, originally uploaded by epredator.

Predlet 1.0 drew her ideal pumpkin face and then we carved it out. No idea why we do this, we never did pumpkins when I was a lad.
Pumpkin 2.0

Nowhere near as good as this predator one sent to me by lots of people recently :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bafta and me

Bafta and me, originally uploaded by epredator.

I went to a games industry biz fair today in London. I was a guest of Bafta doing some advice clinics for some willing volunteers. Not being mainstream games industry, but being close related this was very interesting.
I also really enjoyed the lower floor with some awesome early views of games that have not hit the shelves yet including the mighty little big planet. W00t
Still I got to talk on so many subjects, corporate life, web 2.0, public life, coding, social implications etc. It was great to meet so many cool people, and I got on the same bill as Jon Hare and with a bafta statue near by

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No strings attached

No strings attached, originally uploaded by epredator.

I finally got around to putting some new strings on my old electric guitar. I bought this strat-alike when I started working as an industrial trainee at IBM in 1988. I have never been very good, atleast at rythm and chords, but I love the blues scale and just freeforming around to find that blue feeling that resonates deep into your soul.
Since the whole guitar hero/rockband thing I have felt the urge to restring and have anotehr tinker with it. Having old strings from atleast 10 years ago does make it tricky. The course layer of rust and oxidized layer basically hurts like hell if you try and slide or bend the strings.
So I said to myself, time to start again. Ordered some strings from amazon and whilst elemming was out tonight and the predlets in bed I gave it a go.
I managed to restring, retune and have enough of a go to make myself start to feel the potential again. My amp was a little unhappy some contacts inside being a bit messed I think.
Still its done, and if I keep the strings shinyby playing then that will be very cool indeed.
Restringing guitar
Now all I have to do is work my soft tipped fingers back into the caloused state again. I remember the blisters and the pain, but when you want to play the blues it sure helps :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roo on Watchdog

Roo on Watchdog, originally uploaded by nol.

Nick managed to capture this interesting moment of Roo's move into the world of television. That BBC move was always going to lead to this

Monday, October 13, 2008

New phone please.... Experia X1?

My N95 phone contract has expired. That is clearly no secret as I seem to have constant "helpful" phone calls from people in all sorts of weird and wonderful sales organizations that want to move me places. Of course non of these are really worth talking to as I like to pick and choose the tech. it is my job after all. The balances of minutes and texts pale into insignifance when compared to the needs for a good data deal.
Anwyay, I dont think i will wait around for the Google G1 phone. Though I love it's Augmented reality potential as seen in some of the videos showing google streetmap.
I pretty much decided I wanted to move off Nokia. The new N96 is the same as the N95 and i have loved using it, but I need new toys.
An iphone is the obvious choice, but we have one in the house.
So I saw the sony experia X1 and liked the look, the adverts even and the funnyviral ads and videos, the engagement with the web community, they are even on twitter. All good ticks in boxes, to see what has swayed my buying choice.
Also it shipped on 30th September, something Sony Ericcson are very proud of. The trouble is, its not available yet in any of the mobile providers. They seem to be happy to sit on stock, to wait a bit. Bascially this make a mockery of SE releasing anything. Its not a release dataif you cant use it as a member of the public.
Thats all a pity as I do want to change my phone, and in a very Web2.0 way I want to do it now! ;)
So I may not bother, supply chains and marketing departments getting all to controlling for my liking.
Find your passionate supporters and look after them. They will sell the product for you. Let them down, and they will have a huge impact too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Patent ringbinder

Patent ringbinder, originally uploaded by epredator.

Look what I got in my internal mail today. Issued patents used to come in a metal certificate frame, I know I have a few :)
However now they come in a snazzy leather ringbinder. This included the one I just had issued for reverse location based services that I popped in about 2004. I am not sure if I am supposed to smash the otehr frames open, but its a nice addition to schwag fest.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

DearRobot my favourite twitter trend

I am not sure where it started or why I even started doing it, but it seems very twitter. Occasionally when something is a bit odd, weird etc but does not warrant a question to the twitter brigade I noticed I started saying "Dear why are you doing ". A sort of mini rant, with some facts and usually quite pointed and potentially sarcastic.
Dear Broadband provider, why is my ADSL line so slow all of a sudden?
It seems I am very much not the only one doing this. A bot has turned up called DearRobot it spots and collects up the worlds Dear x y comments. I think its a wonderful thing to have spotted and bothered to gather and re-twitter

1985 Portion Control - Great Divide- remember this?

I just bumped into a band that I had not seen of or heard of for years, in fact many other people look at me blankly when I mention them. It was way before the interwebs shared information, and I remember my mate Marcus back home coming across this record somehow. It was uber cool as no-one else was listening to it. I still like it now though, it counjures up many an image.

The band are stilling going according to the website (which of course they now have :))

Monday, October 06, 2008

I dont read much, but when I do....

Nowtopia by Chris Carlsson.
"Commonly the drive to do "good work" is ignored or surpressed by corporate behemoths, hemmed in by maladaptive bureaucratic structures geared to self-referential plans and immediate, short-term stimulation of stock prices"

Just saying :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My New Moo

My New Moo, originally uploaded by epredator.

My new personal Moo cards arrived today

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If you dont do it, the world will. Openstreetmap

Quite a few years ago I happened to explain to someone at a mapping agency that whilst I understood they had spent money and time creating mapping assets, and that cartography, rather like writing has been the preserve of a few with impact on many, that they really should prepare for the web and people just doing it for themselves.
Now with so many GPS enabled devices, and the whole web as a platform Web2.0 rise we start to see more things like this open source map of the world. We create the small bits of map that we need, in return for the small bits of maps other have created. Small is a relative term of course, as this is a fractal small, a self repeating pattern.
I checked out Openstreetmap, and my street (like on many of the main maps) is not there. Now of course I can plot it and add it and make this mapping more accurate than much of the paid for ones.

View Larger Map
This interest me on several levels, not least for having a world map which we will augment with data and images en masse. So, is your street on there?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

12 seconds - whats the point of a metaverse evangelist?

I noticed a few people on twitter including @loudmouthman recording 12 second video clips on 12seconds. So he whizzed me an invite in to have a go.
It a quick live twitter video style. 12 seconds is an age and a blink of the eye at the same time. I usually do 1 take of things, but the fixed timing and immediate nature meant I had 3 goes instead :-)
I dont think my delivery will change the world yet, but I think I may do a few more.

Whats the point of a metaverse evangelist? on 12seconds.tv

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shopperdiscounts "scam" via interflora

A credit card event recently got me double checking my statements. I noticed a "shopper discounts" for £7.99 with a phone number by it on the statement. It turns out that I seem to have accidently opted into a montly payment scheme through using interflora to buy flowers.
The scheme does "send you emails" which probably look like spam. Having called them and complained and cancelled they are assuring me a refund, but there a few months payments on there.
How stupid to not see them on the statement, but these things happen.
Anyway, dont use interflora, dont click anything afterwards, do check you statements and do make sure the this shopperdiscounts legitimate but shady business stops.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time to talk at VFWE08

The next big conference and expo for all things virtual world is happening in London in 2 weeks time. Its the second year of the Virtual Worlds Forum Europe
When the metarati gather there are always productive conversations and when you mix in the game companies too who knows where this will end up.
Anway, please come and talk or find me (or I will find you). Lots of things to discuss.
Last years event was very enjoyable a certain creative twist to this is very London and very Europe.
So come and see me at the expo or at the after show parties. Lots of excitement about the future to talk about.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My strengths

strengths, originally uploaded by epredator.

I recently took the strengthfinders 2.0 test, a study based on some gallup research to help people understand their strengths and take action in then. ( a close mentor and friend recommended it to me, you know who you are :) thankyou).
There are a whole stack of interesting questions in the test, some of which give some pause for thought.
The upshot though is as I would have expected. I think these describe me very well, and match who I see myself as. The first reccomendation is makes "Seek a career in which you will be given credit for and paid for your ideas, such as
marketing, advertising, journalism, design, or new product development."
Another interesting, and probably quite correct one is "Finish your thoughts and ideas before communicating them. Lacking your Ideation talents,others might not be able to "join the dots" of an interesting but incomplete idea and thus might dismiss it." which is something I have become aware of over the years. I like to strike a balance between the fully formed, obvious idea and the one that allows people to grow into it and make it their own. Anyway, I think this is a great book and test for anyone seeking to validate their values or discover them. I am just at the beginning of seeing what it says, but already have some insights.There are more details here you buy the book and get a code to access it, its not a free site, but the report you get is a suitably deep one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Value of a personal brand

The last few weeks have proved very interesting in understanding perceptions of my personal brand inside various organizations and pieces of organizations. Some people say oh wow its you and you do that stuff, thats very valuable, we love it. Others say "meh" its not all that. The balance of great versus not so great is hardly a balance, its a 98% vote for me being president, versus a 2% get out of my face you are not all that. The odd thing is the distribution of that, and in a connected world the slew of influence that has over so many things.
Anyway, I am still busy enjoying the epredator and eightbar brand. Those that don't have had an impact on me and I am sure they feel wonderfully clever. I am nothing if not open, and openness is scary to many people. Oh whats he going to say now?
I know that some of the things I could say and could do might have a wonderful revenge quality, but in the long run its better to forgive and move on. Sh*t happens its would appear. No I have not got religion as such, still a metaverse evangelist, but I do live by a code of honour.
Enough of all that here is a brilliant article and film from Sky, featuring me and me for IBM's 50th celebration.
What I do for companies seems to generate press interest, and customer interest, maybe more so than a press advert. It is a bit unusual to be a walking personalized advert but maybe that is what evangelism is in the end. Just still hard to prove the value isnt it :) Of course the evangelist and strategist curse is, once you let people know what they need to do, they cant remember why they needed you in the first place.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Predator in bolts

Which one is the Monster?, originally uploaded by elemming68.

During elemmings birthday trip to London we found this in the basement of Selfridges. It's made if iron. It was a tad pricey, but maybe one day we can get one like it for the garden as it was stunning

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An unusual week

This week back from Los Angeles, award in hand, has been very unusual. The award got written up on a UK intranet piece and then circulated in an old school mail shot that seems to reach a whole lot more people that maybe have not seen all the cool things going on.
I got lots of emails from some of the very cool people I have worked with and for in the past saying congratulations and well done on the impact I and we have had on virtual worlds.
It has also led to a greater than average number of hits on my linkedin pages by people with IBM at part of their descriptor (its quite anonymous but shows a trend). There are also a fair few other industries coming to have a look too.
I have not checked the webstats of the actual CV. It is always interesting to try an understand interest in a personal brand like epredator represents. Of course volume is far less important than the right people seeing and valuing something.
I also got some more media coverage because of the metaverse evangelist job title a piece in the finance section. Ok so it was having a little bit of a dig at having a crazy job title, but the title starts the conversations, explains what I do and also gets some media attention.
It was suggested that I change to Metaverse Oracle as a few things I had set the seeds of a while back have now sprung back into life. However having Oracle as a title at IBM just gets confusing.
As I often remind people I dont just make this Sh*t up, just make it look like I am sometimes.
Midweek saw a bit of a tradgedy in losing my entire laptop in a hardware failure. yes I have backups, but not for the past month. So the most recent, most important code, docs, ppt and archived emails look like they have passed on. I am not sure how long before I get a new machine or fixed machine, but it will mean the massive re-install. Not just working on one thing, or in one environment or even in one job means a whole load of things will need rebuilding.
I wont get much time next week as atleast 2 days are blocked out to talk to some major CIO's and press and academics visiting Hursley for the 50th celebrations. The presenters are a few IBM distinguished engineers, lab director, the country general manager and me.
I am also supposed to be documenting my past 2 years of everything I have done, every customer, conference, engagement etc to show the value of what I have been doing. Its a pity things like the award from the industry dont just count as that job done. Still a refelctive look back will just add to the ego and help me know my true value to the industry.
Mind you, if you are reading this and I have done something that made you think better of IBM, buy something or push forward with something then feel free to either comment, email me or preferably join the load of people who very kindly recommended me on linkedin over the past 2 years feel free to connect of course.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

And the winner is

And the winner is, originally uploaded by epredator.

more about this over on eightbar but I picked up the award for virtual world innovation in the enterprise here in LA at the VW expo last night.
Veyr very happy to get this one on behalf of myself and IBM

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Nothing beats real life?

IMGP3256, originally uploaded by epredator.

I just blogged over on eigthbar about the Augmented reality experience that is the Simpsons ride at universal in LA.
I was struck by another thought about real versus virtual. The crowd interaction and the fantastic performance and stunts of the Waterworld show was fantastic too. It is a "real" experience, but of course it is not real at all.
We can learn a lot from hollywood about immersion and about performance.
Some of this is real some is not, but it all blends into an experience. Its not just media or atoms, but something else in human experience.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A new phrase/ thing to suffer from - CCM

I just twittered I think I am suffering from Corporate Citizen Masochism nuff said :-)

Off to the west coast US - Hollywood beckons?

The few times I have flown over to the west coast USA it has been to the San Jose area or to San Fran. This usually leave sme with a tune in my head of either "I left my heart in San Francisco" or the joke spoof "I left my hat in Sam Frank's Disco". If not that then "Do you know the way to San Jose" (Bup bup buppa baaaa) etc.
This time though its LA. I seem to have got stuck with the Robbie William's tune from swing when you're winning. "I will talk hollywood will listen".

I maybe should be more worried about getting hassled for my predator Avie in SL.
Anyway, next week LA. the virtual worlds conference. Its going to be a hard week one way and another. Though I guess when I do my panel I will talk a somewhere quite close to hollywood will listen :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Claridges room 547

Claridges room 547, originally uploaded by epredator.

For Jan's birthday amongst other things I booked a couple of days in London at Claridges. For those of you not form around here it is a very famous, very posh hotel with a great reputation, and possibly the finest place in London to stay.
Amongst this finery there is also Gordon Ramsay's at Claridges so I also booked an evening meal there. Out table was not until 9:30 pm but well worth the wait.
Having checked in, after a couple of cocktails, had a bottle of champagne in the room and then ordered a famous Claridges high tea to the room we were feeling very good when it got to the time.
We popped and had another cocktail at the Fumiere bar drinking from Lalique crystal.
We were then whisked into the classic dining room, full of so many staff, yet so unintrusive and really not pretentious.
We started with a glass of champagne, whilst we checked the menu. We had some very fine bread sticks, more like mini loaves than those you normally get. With some very light dips.
The wine list is a telephone directory, full of some amazing prices. We are not wine buffs, but do like good food. We settled on ordering a Red Cab Sauvignon for a resaonble price. The menu itself is by no means as expensive as you might think. Not ot be uncooth and talk cost, but the a la carte is a set price. £70 a head for a 3 course meal. Now for one of the best restaurants in the world, and given you can easily spend £40 a head in a fried american food chain restaurant in London I think that is pretty darn good.
I cant remember all the fine detail on the menu, lots of sauce and garnish names. Usually I take photos of food and events, but this just needed to be remembered.
As a started I order a roast quail rissoto and grated truffle. Jan had Scallops. Both we perfect. My roast quail was so tasty it almost seemed wrong to eat anything afterwards. The rissotto was not a pile of dry rice, but more of a rice sauce or gravy. Perfectly balanced.
Before the main cause we got a sort of potato and brocolli mini cause. Served in a ramekin. The brocolli and potato sort of mashed, but not quite, a lovely texture. On the top was what I can only describe as a froth crossed with a mousse. It seemed to be potato. I have described it as firm version of the starch froth you get when you boil some potatoes, yet pure and white and set. I may be way off, it was a surprise course and we where quite food struck and occasion struck by then,
Jan's main course was Dover Sole. Two thick, juicy steaks of fish. They almost looked like they were not cooked, just fresh from the fish. The quality of the ingredient and freshness was obvious it sat on a stack of pink fir potatoes, artichokes, carrot and cardamon sauce.
Mine was a beautiful roast duck, the sliced duck breast was layered into what looked like a christmus pudding shape (if that makes sense) sat on a some shredded greens, so the juice had seeped down into that. With brichouttes and sweetcorn and truffle side.
Amazing..... real skill and a real difference from anything else I have ever had. up until now a Duck course at a restaurant in Paris called Roger the Frog (an accidental find but very well frequented by those in the know it turned out) had been my favourite meal. That was about 12 years ago. So this is very significant.
Before the dessert we were served a shot glass size cheesecake. Then by creme brulee arrived as did Jan's chocolate fondant. The creme brulee was not in a container, freestanding on the plate, perfectly formed and fantastic texture, with a raspberry sauce drizzled. Jan's chocolate fondant had honeycomb and and orange sauce. looked fantastic and tasted great too.
As it was Jan's birthday they then brought out a plate with a small light sponge cake, like a madelene. With a candle and Happy Birthday written on chocolate script across the plate.
We finished with coffee and I had a lovely smokey port.
By the time we finished we were practically the last out. We just charged it to the room and then went back to room 547 in the lift. The lift has a sofa bench and you seem to need to sit down.
So a fantastic meal, and for what its worth I can thoroughly recommend it if you are in London and can get a booking.
I think we will go again to the restaurant.
Next we need to go to Heston's Fat Duck with his 3 michelin stars and see what the competition is :-)
Happy 40th again Jan :-)

A great presentation on careers

This is well worth a few clicks through. Lots of it resonated with me :-)
Career Advice '08
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: advice career)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sand turtle

Sand turtle, originally uploaded by epredator.

On our hols in france there was a "sand castle" building competition by the 3 dads. Being short of buckets, and prefering these sort of structures I made this sand turtle instead. I am quite proud of it as the light worked well for the flippers.
The rest of the pictures (though not with anyone else kids in yet as I have not asked if they mind) are here

Toribash meets james brown

I really like clever machinima. This one fits as I know how hard, yet brilliant toribash is to control. Basically think stop motion string puppets.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I thought Roo was off to the BBC?

It came to my attention today, (Thanks Michael our visitor from the US and Joel for finding it on Youtube), that Roo has not really gone to be a portfolio executive for social media at the BBC. I must say though this could be considered a step up from what we have been doing

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Rooparture part 2

A crowd gathered to say goodbye. Roo felt the pace midway through, then it was done. (the final departure was slightly more drawn out than the 20 seconds of video :-) )

Thursday, July 31, 2008

v8's in virtual worlds

v8_tauran, originally uploaded by epredator.

We have been chatting about needing a top gear style bbc version of the gadget show. Bascially with me doing a clarkson and strapping a V8 on everything. I am available to do the show should someone in the BBC be interested :-)

Ren, Dave and Ian

Ren, Dave and Ian, originally uploaded by Jim Purbrick.

Ren Reynolds, Dave Taylor and I enjoy the Brighton evening sun and the great hospitality of the Linden's Second Life gathering. Nice to be relaxing not pitching for a change.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roo's Goodbye

Goodbye, originally uploaded by Roo Reynolds.

Roo created this montage to say goodbye to us all. He has also given us all our Legotar too. That's why we are so sad to lose him. Creative, funny and just does stuff.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guitar Hero DS in action - well sort of....

I tried to get a bit of film of my new DS lite + guitar hero working. Bearing in mind I was using an n95 to film it and needed both hands to play the game, I think it gets the point across. It works, its great, I like it alot.

**Update I had not read the track lists online so it was an immense surprise and made me even happier to find my favourite song ever in here. W00t! for Stray Cat Strut

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cool.... Upgrades

Upgrades, originally uploaded by epredator.

I finally decided it was time to upgrade my old DS to a DS lite. In game there was a custom Guitar Hero bundle. Well it had to be done. The Guitar Hero on Tour is the most insane add on I have seen.
It is even more mad than the small rubber covers I bought to reduce the noise on the Rockband drum set. Turns out they slowed elemmings drumming down and ruined her mojo, so they have been removed again. Still the box had an amusing tag line on it
Drum Skin

Hi dad, your are a blogger now no going back

This is very cool, my dad has dived into computing the last few weeks. (hi dad if you are reading this). The ability to get a 3g card and a laptop, in an affordable way has meant he is able to dive in and just get on with it.
Despite all the years of me and computers, whilst taking an interest there is nothing like being thrown in at the deep end and trying to figure these things out. He has already come to terms with the fact that Windoze just does weird thigns sometimes. He has understood what to ask Google. He has set up a gmail account.
I got an email telling me he now has a blog. Now we had a little chat about blogging on the phone and he has read all the stuff I have written in various places. I suggested that his memories of Great Yarmouth as its industry changed and as he grew up was worth writing down in bits and pieces on a blog somewhere.
So bearing in mind that when I was doing the initial phone support we had a misundersatnding on the difference between shift and space on the keyboard and that the mouse pointer over something means covering it up to us tech geeks, but can mean vertically above to the uninitiated (funny but all makes sense both ways I think), dad now has hit blogger.com and started with boyron-boyron
Bear in mind also that when I tell C level executives or key customers that they need to just try blogging themselves, just one article, just one submit button before embarking on suggesting blogging to their employees (web2 is web do), well my dad has put many of those who have not dared to shame. He has had a computer for about 4 weeks.
A brilliant first step and I am very proud :-)

Catch the handbag

A hilarious situation has just arisen. This week being school hols the grandparents have decided to take the predlets on holiday down to Cornwall. That's a good couple of hundred miles west of here. The plan was to leave at 9am this morning. So from about 8:30 to 9am we had a massive whirl of activity and car packing. Lots of "have we got x" and "yes we have y".
Anyway, off they went.
A great sign of relief, made some toast, wondered what we are going to do all week as the predlets not being around leaves a massive void.
About 15 minutes into the wind down elemming notices her mums handbag, sat on our dining room table. Containing money, mobile, address of campsite etc.
ZOMG! panic. We had to make a decision to hope they noticed and came back or chase after them or both.
We went for both. elemming jumped in the car with the handbag and headed south west. I stayed to man the phone. The basis being, if they noticed and cam back atleast the handbag was going the right direction. If the handbag caught up then good. Worse case being elemming ended up in cornwall. Though it also turns out elemming has left her handbag here though does atleast have her phone. More importantly my toast is getting cold as I had to write this before I collapse laughing.
Luckily whilst writing this the phone went. They had noticed about 10 miles down the road and elemming happened to see them coming back on a regular road (as opposed to the motorway) and flashed them down. The bag exchange has been made and the holiday is back on.
And relax.......

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bye Bye Roo, Hello again.

As has been swarming around the interweb today Roo has given his notice and is ready to take up his new role as a porfolio executive at the BBC. I said pretty much what I needed to say on eightbar
Many people assumed it was going to be your truly leaving the fold, especially after my very public outing of criticism of the lack of balance reward wise for all our efforts. However, Roo has got a fantastic role in a place that suits his media savvy self.
We are very similar and very different at the same time and working together has taight me a great deal about social media, working contacts and being a generally gregarious person. All that I learned from Roo.
A comparison that works I think is that I am Jeremy Clarkson and Roo is Richard Hammond (but taller).
Anyway thankyou Roo for a great couple of years at the bleeding edge, I am proud of what we have acheived, and really happy at your new gig.
My 18 years in IBM has seen a fair few people come and go, but this one is the hardest, but the most deserved.
See you in LA :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

100% livin' on the edge

100% livin' on the edge, originally uploaded by epredator.

I managed to get a 100% in Aerosmith guitar hero on Livin' on the edge. It felt very good, if not a little ironic at the moment. Yes OK its only medium but in all the games so far of GH iii and Rockband I dont think I have ever just maxed it, especially not on a 1st go.
I do really really like this song though.
Having been off ill for a few days, not eating, not being able to think and being on my own as elemming was away and the predlets went to their grandparents, I have a theory that on gaining a sense or normality, my normal flowing threads of ideas, problems, solutions and ideas that never stop, had done. I was for once, playing, and completely lost in it.
The odd thing is the times this normaly happens is when I am on stage or enthusing to customers about the usual virtual world subject. Then I am lost in the moment, fully focused, delivering what happens as it happens pulling various threads together.
Maybe, just maybe I should dig out the real guitar and approach it with this state of mind, rather than worry about the technical elements?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My record is clean again on Youtube

After a slight delay of nearly 2 weeks my youtube video of the terracota warriors and court 2 at wimbledon is back. Thanks to everyone for helping and putting up with my stand on this. So I have come back from Wimbledon, I am recovering from what is digital equivalent of an endurance rally raid, and my name is cleared once more. Happy days (and saw Henry Winkler the fonz in the canteen the other day)

Dear Ian,IMG Media has retracted its copyright claim with respect to the following video:http://www.youtube.com/v/a_ROI-4VqDY Title:Terracotta Warriors at Wimbledon 2008
This content has been restored and your account will not be penalised. For technical reasons, it may take a day for the video to be availableagain.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wimbledon Team Photo (nearly)

We were summoned along with the club writers to court number 1 at Wimbledon. There was a confusing conversation with a police officer despite being there with a club employee. Then before you knew it they were trying to line us all up. Just as they did, in a rather jaunty gathering, it started to rain.

film with comedy commentary

film with comedy commentary, originally uploaded by epredator.

Patchouli Woollahra invited me over last night to a screening of the 50's house on haunted hill with additional funny sarcastic comments added. On top of that we have a set of us sitting there joining in with the heckling.
It was just what I needed having been in the same Sim for 2 weeks.
It was here (sorry that not a SLURL) the landmark was being a bit odd SyFy ComPlexus, Isles of Intrigue2 (160, 158, 25)
I keep talking like vincent price now

Saturday, July 05, 2008

There is a chopper gag in here somewhere

Saturday and Sunday here at Wimbledon is a strange experience. The times we work and hours we do sometimes we just have to spend a few moments decompressing. Andy brought in his helicopter control kit. Sat and had a few goes, uttering as we do "we are here on a weekend and we are not getting paid" and then got back on with all the things we do all day.
This app is really cool though, its a trainer for RC helicopters. The model and simulation is brilliant and it uses the same controller as the real RC helicopter.
So for me watching this and seeing how it works was actually part of my work research. Mixing real and virtual as this does for training is an important thing.

Facebook, another reason it sucks (or is it lawyers)

We were having some fun with Facebook and a Wimbledon events profile and page. We thought it had been deleted by one of the team of writers. Apologies to Mike, he did not delete the Wimbledon Facebook page. Oh no.... Facebook did. Web2.0 corporate madness. The seemed to have taken the page down as Wimbledon is a company. Yet, Wimbledon is a community of people interested in tennis and a bunch of tech geeks from IBM too.
I have not been a great fan of Facebook, but apparently an organization cannot have a page, but an individual can. I see the need to stop spam, stop adverts, stop a takeover. yet here they have taken down a joint community venture that is a real social network because... well must have been too popular.
I am sure the lawyers have got hold of it all, control seeping in (like the mistaken take down by IMG of my Wimbledon youtube video and need for Viacom to be given all the youtube users details)
I know like the rest of the internet Web2.0 will route around this. However, I am very very dissapointed at facebook, and its probably the nail in its coffin for me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hands of my data Viacom!

It is dissapointing, but not surprising that a company like Viacom cannot seem to engage with the public in a way that makes them want their content, and those that do they decide to beat up on by forcing google to hand over EVERY users set of details and viewing figures.
I am not sure if Viacom realize that this is such an anti-web libertarian move that the damage it will do to their properties by this action is far reaching.
Yes, protect copyright, but.... if something is good people will pay for it. If you make it hard to consume on the web people will find a way.
You cannot have my details. In fact I think that each youtube user should take some class action or individual legal action against these bullying tactics.
A judge in the US decided how millions of users in the worlds data should be handed over.
I choose what I share, I am obsessively public, but by choice, not by large media company legal action.

Boogie with Britney and Ricky at Wimbledon

Ricky tried to play Boogie on my DS. It was outside in the back garden here at Wimbledon, it was late, very late, so dont judge his skillz too harshly

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Odd coincidences and Wimbledon

Slot Racing, originally uploaded by epredator.

During a break at the conference in Rockingham some other people popped into the green room. One was Dennis Payne who runs the brilliant slot racing company Fordpark Raceway
Slot Racing
It turns out Dennis was once a ball boy for a few years at Wimbledon and worked on cengtre court during a very different era of tennis. It was incredible to hear the players he had seen and the difference in the game to todays hi tech approach.
I love coincidences, and it was great to meet him. Also to talk about the various clever things we could gadget up to the slot cars, assisted GPS, rfid tracking, onboard cameras etc...
The slot racing looked great too, though I never got out to have a go with it running as I was usually presenting or working.
Slot Racing