Saturday, December 22, 2007

Compression makes things look more real?

I took some more footage on the n95 pointing at the screen with a replay of 360 PGR 4 running, then sent it to youtube using Shozu.
The opposite of the uncanny valley then seems to occur. The game looks great in HD, but crunched down and youtubed the in car stuff looks even more realistic.
What do you think?

It is this sort of approach to immersion in virtual worlds that seems to work best. We need to either see things perfectly rendered or fill in the gaps ourselves to engage with an emotional response to people.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rock and roll xmas party

I just blogged this to a few collegues at work but as I twittered it and the video is on youtube I thought I would also post it here :-)
My fellow evangelist Roo came by the lair last night. Once we had put the world to rights and discussed the past few weeks in particular we got down to being the rock and roll stars that we really are. At the end of the evening I seem to have nearly fallen into the christmas tree, something odd to do with metaxa. Thats by the by though. Here Roo and Mrs Roo do their thing on guitar hero iii and then on Singstar.
As I always say we are not trying to replace the real world with metaverses, but we can use technology to enhance the experience of now.


Predlet2.0 gets mobile

I guess the hunting training can begin in earnest as predlet2.0 is mastering being a biped

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

merry christmas from epredator

merry christmas from epredator, originally uploaded by epredator.

Happy holidays and merry christmas everyone.
See I am not that scary

Sunday, December 16, 2007

ZOMG its orville he is back!

Most brits will have come across Keith Harris and Orville the duck. Well predlet 1.0 came back from the local pantomime having now seen Orville live on stage.
This led to my most odd piece of n95 mobile footage that I have ever sent to youtube.

Ok so its not the muppet show :-) but it made us laugh.
No animals were harmed in the making of this movie

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Merry christmas

This sketch is another one from the "Bottom" guys. A classic that was going through my head at the predlets nativity play. A bit of language in it, but worth it :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Clever dyson hand dryer

I love clever, innovative things. On a recent trip to London I got to see this dyson hand dryer in the gents at Waterloo station.
I wanted to take a photo, but that was just a little bit odd. However this hand dryer you place your hands in fingers pointing down. Drawing your hands out slowly a blast of air pushes the water out and down your fingers. Unlike other hand dryers which take ages and move the water around your hands as you wring them.
It may seem something small and not important, but it seemed very clever and an "obvious" solution

Gaping void on control

This was twittered by @monkchips and I just loved it. It is so correct, yet simple.

All control is damage control. Brilliant, just brilliant.

Skate me

Skate me, originally uploaded by epredator.

Well it sort of looks like me. It is strange in some of these games now like Skate I go for a near me image, unlike the virtual worlds where I go for a predator look or my green spikey.
It may be to do with the context of the game. As a would be skater (I was never very good and the kit when I was a kid was appalling) I may be attempting to relive something. The nearly me look, slightly overweight but not as much seems to add to the sense of who I am in this environment.
It is akin to the differing tones of persona that I use when blogging here, inside work or on eightbar. All still me, but I am confronted with choices and shades of me to enhance my experience and the experience of others.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Even more Call of Duty 4

I have now managed to complete Call of Duty 4, and I am even more impressed than I was a few posts back.
It is obviously enhanced by very cool graphics and sound, but the variety and the emotional involvement as you push through the game is just so well done. The final scenes, which I wont spoil, were subtle, brilliant, emotive and just down right awesome.
So well done all at treyarch
This was just some phont footage from midway through. Awesome detail (in HD on the 360)
Of course holding a phone makes it hard to 'play' so there is not much movement. Still there are plenty of trailers out there. Or just go have a go :-)

I also managed to play a little online, which was mostly embarassing as I was canon fodder for the l33ts. Still I viewed it as a victory to get one kill. Once you can beat one you can beat ten, beath ten and you can beat thousands. (As a wise man once said, I will leave it to the you to find that quote)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chess the bottom way

I was watching a re-run of bottom just now. It is one of my all time fave progs. This one playing chess is the one that stick in the mind. Its been running on the "dave" channel on sky.

strange numbers?

strange numbers, originally uploaded by epredator.

Ok these are not totally symmetrical but it does look a little unusual. Its not quite an episode of lost, and this is not a rabbit hole for an ARG but my car ended up with this odometer reading today when I pulled into the drive.
I dont think I am overly superticious, however I do like serendpity and a certain pattern becoming visible in things. Of course in this pattern I have no idea what it refers to and the combination is no more special that a completely random one.
As humans we look for patterns, some of us more than others, so this may remind me of something or be a day when something happens I will remember the 5,3,1 day accordingly in that flow pattern.

Singstar Ps3 - Who would have thought it?

Singstar Ps3, originally uploaded by epredator.

A belated 40th present arrived today with Singstar on the PS3 (only 4 months late). I know I am not singer, hence always trying to play guitar as a yoof. However, I have always fancied learning to ding a bit better and the feed back of singstar seemed to be the way.
Mrs Epred and I sparked it up tonight and it turns out she is way better than me on most songs.
We waded through duets on most of the songs that come with it, but the draw of the singstar online store grew too great.
If nothing else to buy Wizard's "I wish it could be christmas everyday" and our soccer anthem "three lions".
The thing was we got there and there were a fair few tunes from our generation. Culture Club, Depeche Mode etc.
I downloaded the 2 Duran Duran songs "Hungry like the wolf" and "Rio".
Having just sung hungry like the wolf it turns out of all the songs and all the styles I appear to be a Simon Le Bon clone :-) I got a pretty decent score, felt in tune (nealry) and seemed to be hitting and holding the right notes.
I am not going to be launching a pop career, though...... no I am not!
I am so looking forward to our UK version of rockband now, being able to combine the guitar and the singing and doing the band thing in a kareoke style.
I used to really not even consider karoike bars back in the 90's but now my performance and ego gene has been enabled I am more than up for giving it a go, after a bit of practice of course.
So atlast an app that makes me want to spark up the PS3. Just get some more songs on that shop Sony!

**Update I just twittered a precise 140 character one saying
"singstar, I am twisted sister, wolfmother, culture club, duran duran and the killers. I am not Robbie Williams or Gwen Stefani (relatively!)"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Green Spikey Hair - Skate and Guitar Hero III

One of my other non predator looking AV's in Second life and other places usually has green spikey hair as a bit of a nod to punk, and as a nod to the fact that if I cant have green spikey hair the system may be a bit too straight laced. Of course sometimes, in games etc, the options to open up hair colour come over time. I was a bit dissapointed that EA Skate. did not let me go green and spikey, despite the massive amount of customization. Though.... I am sure it in in there somewhere.
Skate is a really good twist on the skateboard games, using some very clever and intuitive analogue stick movements to ollie the board. It has the free roaming and self challenging aspects, "can I just do this one trick here just because"
It also lets you edit up videos, and unlike Halo3 where you have to run the game to see the videos (which to be fair are more than just videos they are fully interactive recorded games) Skate renders the video and allows you to share it stand alone.
Here is one of my attempts (see no spikey hair) you may have to select country first, the site is not quite youtube which is the only pity, I would like to post it there to make this post easier.
Whilst on green spikey hair though there is no such problem in Guitar Hero III. A very impressive mohawk green spikey cut is available on the punk character. This makes thrashing along to the anthem from my youth "anarchy in the uk" by the Sex Pistols (which explains alot) an even more integrated experience for me.
If anyone is in any doubt, guitar hero ii and iii on the 360 are fantastic. The depth of involvment in the music that just holding the guitar and being in the music playing is amazing.
That means I now have to write a much better post on the nature of involvement in modern media and how we can all evolve to appreciate artistic creations more through immersion.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thankyou Hursley Elves

08122007710, originally uploaded by epredator.

I posted something along these lines on my internal blog. I woul like to say a big thanks to all the people who organize the IBM Hursley Santa's grotto for all our kids.
The predlets really enjoyed it and love the presents.
For predlet2.0 it was his first xmas experience really.
So to everyone a big dose of christmas cheer and goodwill.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Call of Duty 4

I have not yet managed to capture the images from call of duty 4 on the 360 but I have to say it is the most stunning and in some cases shocking game I have ever played.
Even the intro from the perspective of a prisoner being taken across town breaks a few of the usual rules you expect of an FPS enough to make you stop and go. Oh Wow.
The scenes inside a gunship flying over the country side with night vision just looks like CNN. However the combat back chatter and fog of war is also quite though provoking.
"Follow the curved road" is an order barked to your pilot. The response is, "er which curved road". It is set as modetn combat but it shows some of the sorts of communications that add to the confusion of close air support.
This is a game, and gloryfying war is a borderline thing. However, it makes you think. The scenes I reached having rescued a downed pilot and the subsequent effects thats again I will not spoil for you had me sit back and say, well that has never happened before in any game I have ever played!
Awesome, just Awesome

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wow I must be famous

the other day I wrote an internal blog post inside the company after trying lots of other avenues to say that I am not overly happy with the recognition that I am getting from the company versus the external recognition the company gets from what I have done in virtual worlds and metaverses.
The post got 'leaked' ah shock horror. A "tina Bell" who took a dislike to my tone on terra nova has decided to plaster it all over the web. Well thanks.
It shows several things.
1. I still care deeply enough about my collegues that I am willing to carry on leading the way despite having lots of ways I could just said "s*d it" and pull the plug. My direct managers have been listening and trying, but have to work within a system. So, as in the post, I have a lot of respect and time for them and their efforts.
2. That inside and outside of the company we do have free speech. I have not breached any guidelines in the way I have communicated this, but I was able to communicate it. We are able to have a free and frank conversation, albeit inside the firewall.
3. The language used and the approach differs on the audience. Same persona, same belief system but just adjusted.

It also brings in an element of trust, the dissapointing thing is that a "collegue" should choose to "leak" something that is actually pretty well known.

It does not show anything other that how corporations do not really exist, that people do, politics is people.

So. to be clear.
Yes I am not happy at quite a few things. The pace of change in management systems has not been as fast as the pace of social change and technology change. However I still have hope. Otherwise I would have just left ages ago, enticed by a fantastic offer.
The things that I talk about and the direction we are going are all still true, they are all still happening. Just I am not getting the internal recognition that I was hoping would come over time.

So this could go a couple of ways.
My company could step up and say oh sorry, sort things out and then I will be writing glowing "see you do get recognized" posts as I already have for some collegues (which diud nto get leaked of course)
Or my family now gets to starve.
Or well its always the thing you dont think of isnt it.

Linkedin - come connect

I have a fair few connections on linkedin but I am happy to have more, in particular virtual world and metaverse metarati.
Linkedin has been great this year as I was asked to provide some evidence of my contribution to the w3rld and I have had some awesome recommendations publicly on Linkedin.
The balance of work/personal connections on linkedin versus facebook and alike is quite interesting. Especially for us blending work and social into one existence.
See you there :-)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Global audience and book writing - "Who says Elephants cant Rez"

My cluster map is looking very interesting. Whilst this blog is by no means that high on the technorati scale, not close to eightbar it does still attract a readership from around the world.
Indeed I feel the urge to say "Hello World"
It is interesting which continents show up, obviously North America and Europe and to some extent Australia. The main bulk of Asia is a bit weak on hits.
Of course stats can be misleading, but it does make you think just how many places and people you can reach with a humble blog.
Ten years ago this just would not have been the case without writing a book or being on TV.
On the subject of books I really must write one/some about my experiences. I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned. Of course I have no idea where to start to suggestions/offers etc. gratefully received.
The rise of eightbar, turning over the traditional approach to corporate life with web2.0
I even have a title in mind "Who says Elephants cant Rez" as a nod to the famous Lou Gerstener book about turning IBM around in the late 90's
Other titles
"Well you didnt have to do it did you?"
"Don't you know who I am?"
"Yes they do like like fishnets, not lets talk about this million dollar deal"
"You cant be scared of an epredator when his surname is Potato"
"Epredator:The other same side of me"
I have some more but will hold onto them or this will be the book.

junior monopoly - cash flow crisis

junior monopoly, originally uploaded by epredator.

I have been honing my entreprenarial skills playing junior monopoly with predlet1.0.
I lost of course :-)
Its a great mini version of the classic game.
Instead of a board of places its fairground, roller coasters candy floss etc. The houses are ticket booths. So you charge the other players the fee to use the particular fairground facility.
The currency is 1,2,3,4,5 Pounds notes. The chance cards tend to involve getting a free property or being sent to one.
If you own both in a group you can charge double. That meant that as I had the "mayfair" of roller coaster and loop the loop I could charge the double rate of £10. The trouble was the predlet had lots of yellow ticket booths in double configurations on the mid range part of the board.
So.... she bankrupted me and is now very excited.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The curse of the dark side - what now?

Anyone who has seen me do my thing will know that I am extremely passionate about the subjects I enagage with. e.g. metaverses. This passion and deep obsessionaly behaviour (but intelligent thought out obsession) is certainly an extreme. This runs very deep with me. If I like something and can see the potential I will commit alot of time, effort and emotional energy to it.
It is this extra ramp up that seems to work when I tell people about things. It is the reason that so many of us have continued along the metaverse path. It does however take it out of you at some point.
Turning up the wick to enthuse, persuade and evangelize is a skill. Its one I am still learning. After a set of sessions being sparky and enthusiastic with people there is a definite adrenalin crash. It is then you have to watch for the dark side.
Major highs also bring major lows.
I find that just as I can engage deeply with something positive I suffer from being able to have the same obsession for things that are not right, inequities, lack of recognition etc. It is very hard to not apply the same degree of passion to things that I regard as not going the right way.
Big highs and big lows tend to not aggregate out to a happy middle ground, they fall below that middle ground. The potential draw of the negative fight, the dark side is sometimes quite frightening.
This of course sounds like the ramblings of a madman, but I am trying to figure out how I have ended up feeling so damn annoyed. Clearly my deep anger and annoyance is purely internal, but external forces have an effect.
In some respects I have spent a while ( a long while) being angry and patient, hoping that doing lots of postive things, being sparky, doing what I do in life would bring some sort of balance.
Whats this all about, well I cant say. If I do say it becomes another reason for things that need to be done to not get done.
So right now I seem to be back in a very stressed and depressed place, and change seems to be the only option as waiting and sometimes fighting does not seem to be working fast enough.
Or maybe I should just change what I do, not enthuse, not be passionate. Just live a more normal small highs and lows existence?
It led to my favourite twitter "wondering is there is an online equivalent of a "for sale" sign as part of career managment?" which of course does not mean anything as it can be taken as either looking for people or being for sale ;-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jools Holland and Imelda May plus Marc Almond and Ruby Turner

We just got back from a night out (yes a real night out with babysitters and everything) at Portsmouth Guildhall for Jools Holland's tour.
Jools is an awesome musician and very well respected as well as having a road appeal. So the demographic of the audience was from kids to pensioners. He and his 16 piece band of brass, hammond organs, drums guitars and singers plays a lot of blues, boogie woogie and just fantastic music.
We had seen him and the band before twice over the years so it was good to go again as the sets and the guests are always very varied.
The biggest initial treat was the warm up act, which does her a dis-service. Imelda May and her band perfomed a set of songs.
I was blown away by her and her 3 man backing band. A double bass, a single drum and a guitar. It was pure rocakbilly. In fact the closest thing I could could think as a way to get your head into who she is is a cross between the stray cats and Gwen Steffani. I love the simplicity and style of rockabilly and proper rock and roll. When delivered with such a powerful voice and passion it just gets better. It was a real hairs on the back of the neck moment. Those are seldom wrong in my experience, (Maybe I should go and be an A&R person in the music Biz as I am sure thats how they feel about good artists).
Imelda May has a couple of free songs on her site if you register. Worth a listen, if you like what I have described. I will certainly be following this career.
I found this on Youtube from another festival gig.

Then it was onto Jools and the band. Very good, the usual comedy and passion that Jools and his crew bring. You cant help but be moved by that boogie woogie blues.
I managed to snap this, we we at teh back in the cricle, but you get the gist.
Jools Holland
Not only is he an awesomely talented pianist, but he also picked up a rhythm guitar at one point. It is unusual as most music I like featured guitar heavily, usually the guitar blues solos and the bass are sparse, favouring the sax, trombome and trumpet solos. Which is all very refreshing. In particular Jool's band features Rico Rodriguez a ska and reggae legend. He even got to sing a couple of tracks in his awesome style.
The biggest surprise though was Marc Almond coming on as a guest. He got a massive reception from everyone. He has such a powerful and crooning operatic voice that his songs lifted the emotion of the crowd and had people on their feet. It moved from semi laid back boogie to powerful driving vocals.
He finshed his part of the set having done Say Hello Wave Goodbye and Games People Play with the anthemic Tainted Love. Now this is a tune that takes me way back. I even loved the marilyn manson version, here it was a driving blues band power croon. To see so many of the auidience singing along given the older demographic there was actually very amusing. All the fuss made back then in the press about tainted love and his sexuality it was reassuring that his pure talent and the strength of the song and the delivery had even made him a granny favourite. The song was originally done back in 1964 so maybe that helps, but Soft Cell putting it on "Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret" is the famous one and somewhat adjusted its meaning. Either way though it rawked.
You would think that would be hard to follow, but follow they did with Ruby Turner. Another powerhouse of blues and gospel. She just grabbed the whole thing and blasted out some awesome tunes.
It ended up with a good couple of encores ending with the entire band doing "enjoy yourself"
You are not supposed to record these concerts, so this is not an attempt to give anything away other than a snippet of the setup. You clearly cant beat real life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Consoles and Consoling

A very odd couple of weeks is in progress here at the lair.
I am about to dash off back to my hometown to visit my Dad (who is having an operation today), My 93 year old Grandad, who recently ended up in hospital, which led to my Nanny having to be moved to a care home, where she fell out of bed and bashed her face leading to here being in Hospital. On top of that predlet1.0 had one heck of a fever at the weekend which meant we had to go to the out of hours doctors. In trying to find a chemist on a Sunday Mrs Epred ended up in Boots in a shopping centre where she was verbally abused by someone who was clearly not totally stable.
The shop was unable to call any security, "they dont work Sundays". Grrrrrr
Still, on the plus side (which is not that good a plus) Call of Duty 4 on the 360 proved to be awesome, though I have only played a few hours. Its all too hectic to shozu flickr and youtube. Then yesterday Assassins Creed arrived, which I got for the PS3, yes its on the 360, but I felt I needed at least one decent game to keep me interested in the PS3. Creed is graphically very good, gameplay is a little same-y. Its certainly not the next gen masterpiece that is was hyped as.
COD4 of course is awesome, its mixture of adrenalin pumping action and set pieces is stunning.
AC is a bit more relaxing really, though I dont think the climbing about is as good as the super hero feel of Crackdown
Anyway here is a view out over Damascus. Clearly youtube, mobile and compression does not d oit justice, but it was a memorable moment as you ride your horse through canyons and emerge at the first major city. Seemed to take 2 hours to get to this point with a lot of "story" and "training", still good though.

Assassins Creed on ps3

Saturday, November 10, 2007


AVP2PS3PSP, originally uploaded by epredator.

The PSP streaming the Alien Vs Predator 2 movie trailer from the PS3 over an internet connection, using the new patch that lets the PSP turn the PS3 on remotely anywhere in the world.
All we need now is PS3 Home to be enabled to run over remote play

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Peter Serafinowicz I think this is funny

The BBC Peter Serafinowicz show is quite an odd combination of impressions and sketches. He does impressions, but fairly charicature ones. I loved this deniro one.
Tonight he did one with Brando, but as jabba the hut

Monday, November 05, 2007

These metaverses are not an age related thing

A trend that Roo and I have noticed in conversations about all things virtual world/metaverse and Web 2.0 is someone will try and compartmentalize into age ranges. Metaverses are only for the kids who are used to video games. We also had the recent discussions on blogging and age. Kids blog older people dont/wont/cant.

I think now we have hit the conceptual age, rather than the information age, it is no longer anything to do with an individuals phycial years on the planet.

In metaverses we see older people saying "this is what the internet was supposed to be". We see people who have never played a game entering into a 3d environment and moving around. Initially not as quickly as a PS3/Xbox player, but they get it quite quickly.

Age is not the issue, it really is state of mind. You want to share things, share them, blogging is not technically hard, facebook does not need an instruction manual. Flickr needs you to operate a camera, not worry about a computer.

All these things free people to be creative and concetrate on the content. It is true that the older you get the more stuck in your ways you may get, but equally it is when you are after more quality in your life, when you are younger you just will try anything, maybe not stick with it for life, but learn patterns that can be applied anywhere.

So the technology is not an age barrier thing, its a mental state of mind and attitude to things that people often will retreat into the stereotypes of comfort.

Just a thought, but one backed up with a lot of anecodotal evidence, people who Do Web 2 tend to have the same sort of mindset and willingess to share. Some may be sharing wisdom, others ego. Either way its not a young thing/old thing/male thing/female thing etc..... Its different types of people respond to different things.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Armstrong and Miller RAF goes street and all that

I found this really funny, its a build on Catherine Tate's am I bovvered

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hot water?

Hot water?, originally uploaded by epredator.

The water in Hursley warns its hot, but it must have melted the sink!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lunch - Roast Black Bass with chestnuts

My awesome lunch I treated myself too here in Lisbon. After the food poisoning in London with the chicken at the noodle bar I coudl nto resist this.
It was, needless to say, delicious

Lunch - Roast Black Bass with chestnuts

My awesome lunch I treated myself too here in Lisbon. After the food poisoning in London with the chicken at the noodle bar I coudl nto resist this.
It was, needless to say, delicious

Friday, October 26, 2007

hand-waving at VWFE

Roo took this great action photo, I tend to be quite animated. I am not usually sitting down to talk to a large audience, but the VFW 07 panel I was on I had to ;-)
We have not worked out who is blogging what on eightbar yet, and have another few days of handwaving passionat evangelizing to do in Lisbon next week at an IBM analysts meeting.

interaction gone mad

interaction gone mad, originally uploaded by epredator.

Whilst staying over in london for the virtual worlds forum europe I noticed this mad sign on the mini bar in the room. I think thats using the interactive label a little too oddly for my liking.
Still..... I took a photo and now have a radisson logo on the blog so maybe its geek based marketing?

Monday, October 22, 2007

The conceptual age is here - eightbar is living proof

Up until the other week I used a term called web 2 thinking, or open source thinking to try and engender the change in attitude that we are seeing and the cultural shift in both working practices, organization and attitude.

Since hearing our very own Sandy Kearney speak at VW 07 I now have picked up on a much better word and idea. The Conceptual Age. This piece of thinking seems to fit right in with both what is happening, what I see might happen in the future and, looking back, some of the personal experiences and changes I have felt.

Personally I think I groked conceptual age withing a few seconds, as it mapped to so many things. However I will try and explain it in very quick friday terms.

We have moved from agriculture, to industrial and then to information ages. In each step it had required a change in what is considered normal, in the tools and techniques required to deal with that change. Business and social changes have been massive.

The information age is identifiable by the massive use of compute power, of logical, left brain thinking. Gather, analyze, mechanize etc. This however has not proved enough for us as humans. We have had to find and build on this to get a creative outlet, to spend time cultivating relationships and to having to come to understand good design. We have been in a transition to this conceptual age, where design and creativity matter as much as logic and information. The web started it really, combined with 'designer' products and the need for people to augment their experiences in real life with brands.

Now we are seeing this as the differentiator for business. We talk about innovation that matters, and indeed we do it. That is not about cranking out code, that is not about the digital equivalent of a factory line. That is about people, about empathy and about appealing to the higher order of things in peoples lives than just pure money.

Idealistic? yes. thats the point.

I realized a good few years ago that whilst I was a programmer my love of creating code was not the logic and order, but the creativity and gut feel that can be applied. Once I realized that i was able to let go of the pure logic, not try and be spock. I learned that sometimes I coudl be Left brain, but I tended to be right brain as well and see all sorts of other patterns.

Its these patterns, threads etc that I saw, felt, touched with the whole metaverse/secondlife/virtual worlds buzz. It was these that worked in my head. A mixture of logic AND gut feel.

All this sort of thing is described in this book, which of course I have not read all of !



So, in all this metaverse work we have been saying its about people, its about community, its not about command control structures. Its about reaching people, letting go, creativity etc. It all fits so well.

It does not mean solely right brain wacky creativity, nor solely left brain nuts and bolts. It does mean that we have to think about things in a different way, use our full human make up to get things done.

It struck me that the entire measurement culture, target based approach is still very information age. To a hard nosed pure left brain attitude that is clearly the only way forward, logic dictates if you set this target and make it then things will be great. Well..... I dont think so.

Whilst we have all been asked to think out of the box, the box has gone and moved.

I can see this concept of the conceptual age (see a nice self reference) will be winding its way into my vocabulary and presentations. I will write some more, and give more anecdotal stories, but the story of eightbar does appear to be the power of the conceptual age come to life.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

sky typos

sky typos, originally uploaded by epredator.

Ok so I make a lot of typos, but I am not enticing you to spend lots of cash on my content.
This sky box office advert seems to have gone a bit, well, wonky.
I think its applies to one pc, thats what they are trying to put in the smallprint

halloween predlet1.0

halloween, originally uploaded by epredator.

Just to add to the madness of virtual and real life we went to fancy dress shop to equip predlet1.0 with a vampire costume.
The weird things was it was absolutely not weird.
The costume shop was full of wings, attachments, makeup, tattoos and flexi dresses.
Where on earth have I come across that before.
The only thing missing was a salsa dancing pose ball

predlet2.0 fire punch

predlet2.0 fire punch, originally uploaded by epredator.

You predlet 2.0 appears to be taking the virtual power of fighting games, dragon punches, fireballs etc and rendering them in the real life. :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A convincing argument on our future?

Nick Wilson twittered this recently, so I took a look. I started to expect a spoof, but it is not. I started to think yes but, in order to pick some holes. The guy has done the thing I like to do, select the extremes and see where it takes you. I found this very thought provoking, see what you think its only a few minutes

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Project Gotham 4 - Tis good

I have beenn playing the gotham games since they were metropolis street racer on the dream cast. They thrive on teh fact that they are about style, aswell as speed. The Kudos system and chaining mad slides and drifts together make for a very entertaining style of driving game. Now PGR4 is here, more of the same, but better on the 360.
Now there are also bikes, and you have even more style options such as this wave tot hte crowd.
Even stationaru things look pretty good
They have also mixed in the old and the new. I got to drive this around the old Nurbergring in this old maserati in the snow. A fantastic experience for a driving game
Things like weather effects are quite important to the atmosphere, puddles of standing water feel rock solid as you hit them and get a rumble pack jolt.
The music is pretty cool too, I enjoyed razzing around in a scooby with Ruby by the Kaiser chiefs, and Our velocity by Maximo Park blasting out.
Some of the car damage is also quite subtle, look at the scratches on the side of this one
So yes Halo is good, but so is this :-) I need to play online now I have a few miles under my sparco belt, but no reason to think it will be a bad experience :-)
Subtle little extras I have seen, Geometry Wars in the garage again, a new wave based version. Also you can upload shots to share with people. If you wander around your garage the walls will get populated randomly with other peoples photos of car incidents. You can walk up to them and vote on them. Nice touch for serendity and Web 2.0 there.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Virtual Worlds 2007 conference San Jose

The virtual worlds 2007 conference in San Jose ran teh last two days, I was lucky enough to be able to attend and also to speak on a panel session.
There was so much excitement and buzz I need to sit and think what to write about, probably do that over on eightbar.
The cool thing, as per usual, was ,meeting people I already know, know of or who know of me. The metarati were in full attendance, and as the place got derezzed around us we still gathered for lose last morcels of real life interaction.
I captured a bit of ad hoc spur of the moment video and Eric Rice, being media savvy, did an impromptu piece to camera. It was a cool ending to a cool show. Next stop London for the VW europe, more of the same but on my turf this time.
So hi everyone, it was great to meet/slmeet/remeet you all, lets take this industry and make it massive.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Funny lines in not going out

The not going out show on BBC has some fanstastic lines, wit and sarcasm. It appears up front to be a bad sitcom, but it really is funny.
Lee Mack tends to get the best lines as its his show really but the other do get some nice builds.
last night's episode featured Lee who lives in a posh London flat but is from up north and sells ice creams from a van for a living saying "I can sell snow to eskimos... well ice creams to hoodies its the same thing"
The show is peppered with clever one liners, and misunderstandings. It loks liek it should not work, but it does.
Being the beeb it will be repeated lots, and the first series was funny too :-)
This is from season 1, or the 1st series as we say here in the uk

Friday, October 05, 2007

Waterfalls, Rocks, Halo3 and Roovatar

Having made a nice waterfall in Torque it was a bit mad that I ended up in Halo 3 by a waterfall of similar dimensions



Also in Halo3 is a very creative user creation scheme called Forge. You can actually edit the maps and the engine whilst a fast pace game is going on. One of the options is to let people see you, as a small bot, creating and placing things whilst the action goes on.

Just in single player this lets you get the right tools in the right place so that you can explore the replay mode and capture moments.

So forge and theater together make for a stunning set creation and playback faciltity.

star bang boom

The waterfall in the torque internal metaverse (which I am experiementing with) got enhanced by the addition of a cool rolling rock. This was tryging to see how far the base physics goes in Torque.

and finally there was the slightly odd look I managed to give Roo and his Roovatar when an experiment crossing him with penguin went a bit odd.
It did prove the tool chain though :-)

This video also made a cool association between Roo, Metaverse and Brian Eno and Will Wright and Spore :-) its sort of networking by proxy


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Internet People - Awesome geek fest

Thanks pranab for twittering this. It is amazing how many of those references I just nodded and said oh yes to :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Guitar Hero on tv

This weekend guitar hero appeared in 2 of my favourite programmes on the box
The first was the excellant IT Crowd, a work of genius from Graham Linehan the creator of father Ted.

The second was a little spot on charlie brookers Screenwipe. He has been at this for a while and whilst he is not TV based he was one of the original blogger commentators back in 1999 with TVGOHome

The still shows a guitar on the sofa :-)

This episode is, like all them them very funny. There are a few parts you will have to go to youtube and find the next parts if you like his style.

rocket whoosh

rocket, originally uploaded by epredator.

I graduated in the online multiplayer Halo3 tonight and also experimented with the forge options allowing level creation, but live as part fo the game,

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Living the life

We popped down to hill head on a family trip today. It may not be glamorous but this is UK charm for those of you in other parts of the world. Check out the beach huts. The view shows the isle of wight, in cae you are wondering why we are so close to land.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

oops damage

oops damage, originally uploaded by epredator.

Needless to say, this n00b/me did nto survive this encouter for very long. However, if I take one of them with my I really dont care. Its a different philosphy on combat. Respawning brings that out of course.
The great thing is the realy nicve style of the replays, the trails from the sniper rifles and the cool smoke.
This is a moment in time, and one of many memorable ones.

Double Kill

angle, originally uploaded by epredator.

My first Halo 3 double kill in multiplayer. The richochet off the wall was an accident, but what attention to detail. is obviously creaking a bit under the pressure as this photo took 2 dyas to go live on the site. With this much attention you do have to have respect that the sire is even up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Halo 3 - its here and its popular

Halo 3, originally uploaded by epredator.

Halo 3 on the 360 has landed. It is really very good. Smooth, entertaining and just plain clever.
Yes the gameplay is move and shoot, but it has some stylish movie editing and photo stuff. It is also linked to a decent website and lots of extras.
I played online a little, mostly it was the single player campaign tonight. I was very happy that my very first encounter online in basic training led to a kill.Its a mini moral booster, but I soon had that beaten out of me.
I tried to be a little bit eightbar :-)
Eightbar master chief

Halo 3

So I have to say its good to have Halo back and all next gen.
Nice one bungie.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The art of evangelism

I was just on a web ex conference listening to Guy Kawasaki talk about the art of evangelism. It was good to hear things packages up in 11 little rules.
I think these are all cornerstones of what I do :-) However its good to hear a fellow evangelist, with an awesome track record, speak and present.
1. Make meaning
2. Make a mantra (not a mission statement)
3. Roll the DICEE (An acronymy around depth and elegance and innovation)
4. Niche Thyself
5. Let a hundred flowers blossom (Dont assume non target audience is not interested)
6. Make it personal
7. Find the true influencers (seldom the big hitters at the top)
8. Enable test drives
9. look for agnostics, not atheists
10. provide a slippery slope - make it easy and obvious to get ivolved
11. Dont let the bozo's grind you down

The bozo's part is interesting as he told a story about him making the wrong assumption and thereby mot accepting an interview as CEO of yahoo at startup.

All in all the recipe sounded very familiar, and comforting. I am not sure if they make the recording public, I suspect not as they also hid us all from one another on the participant list. A bit silly in a web 2.0 world, but there you go.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roo's watch under a microscope

Roo's watch, originally uploaded by epredator.

Also at intech Roo pointed a microscopic macro camera at his watch, this is the screen image we saw.
I also tried a video as we were able to see the hour hand move fractionally.
There were lots of other things at intech but it was a flying visit really.

epredator in predator vision

24092007541, originally uploaded by epredator.

I snapped this today on a visit to intech the local schools science park. They have lots of machines and cool toys. Thats me and the n95 on the right taking a picture of me in heat map form :-)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Elvis lives?

I am a huge Elvis fan having been brought up hearing his songs. No-one is ever able to sound exactly like Elvis. I sort of understand the near religious passion that surrounds him. The BBC, yes the BBC!, has started a talent show to find the worlds greatest elvis trubute act. They scoured the planet for the top 30 from all over the world and then they have been having a sing off tonight.
I was expecting this to be terrible and wrong, but it was actually very good. There were 2 fantastic performers that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Still not Elvis but very good.
Next week is the final, the 5 that have been sorted out will do a much bigger show. Yes I know its saturday night, but I am getting on a bit now.
Anyway, Elvis has such a varied range and career, albeit parodied with the whole end of life thing, but it did strike me that it would be an awesome finale if the BBC had actually found Elvis alive and he turns up next week :-)
As it was the programme was really a tribute and has a great deal of respect shown. Elvis did after all on his hawaii return gig play to 1/3 of the worlds population. Anyone with that reach, and that great talent has earned respect.
Whats you favourite Elvis song?
I am torn by "in the ghetto" and "my way" though my way is a cover. For power and excitement the 56 sessions still rock though, pure rock and roll.

Having referenced My Way, it does say a few things that resonate with the last 18 months of metaverse evangelism (though I hope the end is not near :-) )

Regrets, Ive had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exception

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
Oh, and more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, Im sure you know
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

Quoting lyrics like a teenager..... :-)

custom spiderman car in forza

custom spiderman car, originally uploaded by epredator.

I finally got around to buying a car online in the Forza auctions. This excellant spider man car popped up. Props to the artist who ever they are as I did not check out the name and after purchase it did not seem to keep the designers name with it.
The tools to customize the cars do not include uplading images, its all pure in game design with clipart, colours and a stack of time and talent.

Having already created the eightbar/epredator design I also decided to aution one of these f430's. It may sell, its only on for 2 hours and at a resonable price. Though its only a stock 430 under the hood, you have to try these things.


If anybody ever has any doubt about the need to be able to trade in user created content which driving game am I talking about here out of the hundreds available. Yes, the one with the cool user created content.

Yet more slippage of dates this time Ps3 Home

This is probably not a surprise given the amount of slippage that occurs in almost every game related release as I blogged recently. Sony Ps3 home is no longer going to be in october this year. Thats a pity as I was looking forward to seeing it. Though as I am speaking at lots of conferences I would have missed the early days, so thankyou for moving it :-)
I am not bothered which company or platform, and I am sure there will be lots of PR spin from all camps. All we end up with though is annoyed users.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Painting with light

I have dabbled with painting with light with digital cameras on long exposure.
Its interesting but hard work to do anything other than the abstract



However this video from youtube is really impressive. Just check this out!

Yes this is me driving an f430

Here is s snippet of the last lap of me in the f430 at thruxton. Awesome experience

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Halo 3 beautiful tv advert

I just caught this on TV, it is one of teh most unusual and stunning game adverts I think I have seen. Its done with what appear to be plastic soldiers in a diorama. It is refreshing and clever and whilst I am already a Halo convert, its got to intrigue some people who are not

Also I have just received a refund check from Microsoft for the repair to the 360. It was unexpected and very cool.
So things are looking up

The best pirate sketch ever

Its talk like a pirate day. This is the best pirate sketch ever

Bioshock is Web 2.0 too :-)

Bioshock, originally uploaded by epredator.

I have finally got around to playing bioshock on the 360. I had teh demo and bought the game but the whole 40th celebrations and a trip to belgium with work slowed me down.
Anyway, it is an awesom creation, the lighting the water the art deco themes.
I snapped a quick photo with the repaired n95 of this statue in the entrance hall. It has this whole captain nemo thing (thanks wal for spotting that :-) )
It struck me that this banner is very Web 2.0 :-) Removal of the command control structure, and people being able to be people :-)
Not wanting to get into deep political or religious discussion its just a bit tongue in cheek really :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Broken N95 - Now fixed

Broken N95, originally uploaded by epredator.

My recent trip to the netherlands and belgium broke my mobile phone. My n95 screen started to go a little mad. It left me out of contact at various conference centres which was a bit annoying.
Luckily the phone still worked a little bit in that I could USB cable to it and SMS in and out.
Now I have spinvox on my voicemail it meant I could ignore calls and wait for a text message from the speech to text. As I could not press a button to answer a call either.
I took the phone to carphone warehouse on Sunday and then replaced the screen by monday. That was a bit of a surprise, it just seems to be fixed. Though next trip I will take my treo 650 as backup :-)

If you ever need to do a hard reset or soft reset on an n95 I found this on the web
It was on this tech[dot]blog It did not help me as such but gave me some things to try.

I have copied the text here in case the link does not work in the future :-)

Here are a couple of codes to soft/hard reset/format a Nokia N95 mobile device:

Soft reset code *#7370#
Hard reset code *#7780#

If the hard format code mentioned aboive does not work, try the following manual method to hard reset/format Nokia N95:

*Turn off the mobile device. Then press and hold “3?, the “Green button” and “*” - Turn on and keep holding the keys untill the mobile phone restarts and prompts you to enter details.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Slipping release dates for games (all of them)

I got yet another email from Amazon today saying that one of preordered games was now going to be later than the original date.
Preordering is great, but it does mean you notice more when an item slips, namely because Amazon are great and tell you :-)
Grand theft auto iv slipped to next year, Assassins Creed by a few months, Spore into 2008 the only one left on the list is the mighty Halo 3. It may be that bungie and the launch parties that scoble was bloggin about, may actually hit this date (though of course it was supposed be a long while ago as I remember).
Some of this may be to whip up demand amongst us gamers that like the new and the shiny, or to maximize those christmas profits, or post christmas blues when people buy games.
Either way its a pain, but not as big a pain as wandering into a shop like Game, seeing the box on the shelf, walking over to pick it up and then noticing the damn sticker saying "coming soon - preorder now". If I wanted to preorder I do it on the web!
I am a techie, and I know deadlines slip, development is an art form and fills the time available. However, why not just have a realistic date, I end up "seasonally adjusting" every date I see, but that should not be my job :-)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

If you cant get your N95 in mass storage mode and use Shozu read this

I was getting a bit annoyed trying to add some maps to my n95, it refused to let me go into "mass storage mode" as it was already being used by another application.
Holding down the applications button only showed standy as being active.
However..... I found this.

"However there is a workaround. If you launch ShoZu, then hold down the application button (the little dot-square-swoosh button to the left of the central button), you'll see a list of running applications. Find ShoZu in this list and press the 'C' button and agree to exit ShoZu. You should now be able to use the USB mass storage"

So you have to start Shozu, and close it in this way not just exit or it lock the memory. A bit of a pain, but now I know its not so bad a work around

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A bizzare coincidence with me and Linden?

I was zooming around google maps on my n95 and doing the usual thing of places I have lived. I zoomed in on where I was born ( a home birth ) 40 years ago.
I was born on Briar Avenue. Not more than 70 metres away and opposite Linden Tree Gardens. Now I had forgotten this, I used to play on sycamore and oak, but Linden was a cul de sac.
Was it this that made me think Second Life felt comfortable given its by Linden Labs?
I live my live with things all connecting in a nice flow of various strands, its all connected, but this was a bit of an OMG moment :-)

eightbar f430 and lancia stratos

eightbarf430, originally uploaded by epredator.

A customer epredator/8bar f 430 like the one I got to drive last weekend on my 40th :-)

Also here is a video of the stratos in action

Well I am web 2.0 compatible

07092007516, originally uploaded by epredator.

Andy Piper got me this bagde that he got in a long tail way from

Friday, September 07, 2007

Attitudes and knowledge of what is going on

I grew up watching non the nine o'clock news, and this sketch (a little bit saucy) is less of a comment on the legal system and more of people not knowing things that you would expect them to know due to popular culture.
Fill in anything here, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds, games, ipods, gps the list goes on. Just goes to show nothing changes :-)

Monday, September 03, 2007

40th birthday epredator cake

40th birthday epredator cake, originally uploaded by epredator.

I got a fantastic second life avatar cake too :-) it was not a potato cake BTW :-)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

This is what happens when others drive your cars

qcumbercrash3, originally uploaded by epredator.

At the post 40th party we have spent the day on the excellant Forza 2 360 game I got a one of my many pressies (thanks lisa and malcom :-)
So the 360 has been on all day, with time trials, multiplayer and generally kaning the arcade part of the game.
Needless to say the precision driving one comes to expect from us old gamers sometimes goes a bit awry.
Colin (a.k.a qcumber) managed to launch the porsche cayman (same model as I drove the other day)
Forza lets you stop and take photos, upload them, and then of course I flickred them too so I could blog the event.
Marvelous stuff really :-)
Anyway Forza 2 Rawks as they/we say. Very solid driving game and the career elements are going fun too.
The custom paint jobs people are doing are amazing too, so i put in a bid on a auction to use game credits to buy a spongebob VW beetle. :-)