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Wifi map – update

You may remember that at the weekend I wrote about a new wifi hotspot map i’d put together for Cardiff. It took me 30 mins, and zero stress. And I don’t have any particular technical web skills to speak of.

Well, within an hour or so of finishing and telling the world about it, two friends had set up maps in exactly the same way for their towns (Exeter and Bristol). It gave me an idea for a truly user generated, UK wide wifi map where the regional maps are owned by the people that set them up, allowing them to promote them independently, and take all the credit in their local web community. So I set up www.wifi-in-uk.co.uk to act as the portal, and have already had a Birmingham map added to the fold.

I’m looking for people to set up maps all over the country. If you’re interested, then head over to here and you could have a map for your town in a matter of minutes.

Just goes to show – with about 2 or 3 hours work in total, you can easily get web ideas up and running. Even without any technical know-how….

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cardiff creative industries entrepreneur free free wifi home working internet laptop productivity remote working startup technology uk wales web 2.0 wifi

The interwebs is, like… amazing!


Seriously. I never stop being amazed.

Before I tell you this story you have to remember that I have no technical skills in the coding department (I can just about make some text bold in HTML), but I’m a relatively heavy user of the internet and I like to think I’m pretty quick at picking up new apps etc. So what I achieved in a fairly short space of time could be done by my nan (albeit maybe a bit slower).

So, it’s midday on Saturday (about three quarters of an hour ago) and I need to find a place in a certain area of Cardiff that’s got free wifi. I’ve often been confronted by this problem before, and there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list anywhere online. Anyway, earlier in the week I’d written a piece for Enterprise Magazine about business agility, and how the web affords us the opportunity to turn ideas around very quickly (I’ll post the article up here once the mag hits the streets), and thought I’d put my learnings into practice:

Step 1: Used Twitter to ask for tips.

Step 2: Received advice from Oli Mould, who follows me on Twitter.

Step 3: Realised how insanely easy it was to set up a map on Google Maps that was publically editable so the world could share their knowledge about wifi hotspots in Cardiff.

Step 4: Set up map, putting a few of my favourite places on there.

Step 5: Make the map public.

Step 6: Register www.wifi-in-cardiff.co.uk (6 quid) and point it at the Google map.

Step 7: Tell my friends on Twitter and ask them to retweet (share with their Twitter followers).

Step 8: Watch Twitter start to buzz with “retweets”, and then marvel that the whole process took me 30 mins.

Thirty minutes from start to finish. Even I’m amazed. And very chuffed!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that with you. If you’re based in Cardiff, please chip in and share your wifi hotspots!

Categories
cardiff creative industries entrepreneur free free wifi home working internet laptop productivity remote working startup technology uk wales web 2.0 wifi

The interwebs is, like… amazing!


Seriously. I never stop being amazed.

Before I tell you this story you have to remember that I have no technical skills in the coding department (I can just about make some text bold in HTML), but I’m a relatively heavy user of the internet and I like to think I’m pretty quick at picking up new apps etc. So what I achieved in a fairly short space of time could be done by my nan (albeit maybe a bit slower).

So, it’s midday on Saturday (about three quarters of an hour ago) and I need to find a place in a certain area of Cardiff that’s got free wifi. I’ve often been confronted by this problem before, and there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list anywhere online. Anyway, earlier in the week I’d written a piece for Enterprise Magazine about business agility, and how the web affords us the opportunity to turn ideas around very quickly (I’ll post the article up here once the mag hits the streets), and thought I’d put my learnings into practice:

Step 1: Used Twitter to ask for tips.

Step 2: Received advice from Oli Mould, who follows me on Twitter.

Step 3: Realised how insanely easy it was to set up a map on Google Maps that was publically editable so the world could share their knowledge about wifi hotspots in Cardiff.

Step 4: Set up map, putting a few of my favourite places on there.

Step 5: Make the map public.

Step 6: Register www.wifi-in-cardiff.co.uk (6 quid) and point it at the Google map.

Step 7: Tell my friends on Twitter and ask them to retweet (share with their Twitter followers).

Step 8: Watch Twitter start to buzz with “retweets”, and then marvel that the whole process took me 30 mins.

Thirty minutes from start to finish. Even I’m amazed. And very chuffed!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that with you. If you’re based in Cardiff, please chip in and share your wifi hotspots!

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cardiff creative industries entrepreneur geek interesting internet media Music Industry remote working technology wales

Convergence

I love taking photos, and I’ve got a very decent compact camera that I used to take with me everywhere. But it hardly ever leaves the house now. Why? Because my mobile phone takes photos like this over Sunday breakfast in a cafe:

Don’t get me wrong. The camera on my phone is very limited, and can’t compete with the sort of pics I take with my “proper” camera:

But in 99 percent of cases it’s more than good enough to record a moment in time. It got me wondering about technological convergence, and how portable items such as cameras and phones are slowly and steadily merging into one thing. My first digital camera (circa 2000) wouldn’t have been able to take a picture as good as that one at the top. But my phone now has GPS, web and email facilities too. All of which I use on a regular basis. I even subscribe to podcasts on it too, which I download via my home network using the phone’s wifi capabilities. So, where will it end?

I pondered this as I ran across the clifftops of Penarth before dawn this morning (not a regular occurrence – I couldn’t sleep). I watched the sleepy, blinking lights of England across the channel and wondered about the tankers in the shipping lanes. How would they benefit from convergence? Nothing sprung to mind, but then I know absolutely nothing about shipping. I realised that convergence is driven by portability. It’s about making stuff smaller, and reducing the amount of items to save our overwhelmed pockets and bags. Tankers, by their very nature, have plenty of space aboard. I suppose it’s not such an issue….

My phone is smaller than a pack of cards, but in most cases it means I don’t have to carry a laptop, camera, satnav, gaming console, radio etc.

As I mentioned recently we live in incredible times. And we’re seeing the world change right in front of our eyes. My good friend John Rostron pointed this out yesterday, as he wrote about the slow, inevitable decline of CD sales. Technology is moving very, very quickly. We are literally watching the world change day by day. It’s a fascinating time to be alive!

Oh, and big thanks to Mr Rostron (who’s also co-organiser of the Swn festival) for my brilliant Swn t-shirt. It’s a doozie, and a Howies one, too. I really must remember to pay him!

p.s. Play a musical instrument?

Categories
cardiff creative industries entrepreneur geek interesting internet media Music Industry remote working technology wales

Convergence

I love taking photos, and I’ve got a very decent compact camera that I used to take with me everywhere. But it hardly ever leaves the house now. Why? Because my mobile phone takes photos like this over Sunday breakfast in a cafe:

Don’t get me wrong. The camera on my phone is very limited, and can’t compete with the sort of pics I take with my “proper” camera:

But in 99 percent of cases it’s more than good enough to record a moment in time. It got me wondering about technological convergence, and how portable items such as cameras and phones are slowly and steadily merging into one thing. My first digital camera (circa 2000) wouldn’t have been able to take a picture as good as that one at the top. But my phone now has GPS, web and email facilities too. All of which I use on a regular basis. I even subscribe to podcasts on it too, which I download via my home network using the phone’s wifi capabilities. So, where will it end?

I pondered this as I ran across the clifftops of Penarth before dawn this morning (not a regular occurrence – I couldn’t sleep). I watched the sleepy, blinking lights of England across the channel and wondered about the tankers in the shipping lanes. How would they benefit from convergence? Nothing sprung to mind, but then I know absolutely nothing about shipping. I realised that convergence is driven by portability. It’s about making stuff smaller, and reducing the amount of items to save our overwhelmed pockets and bags. Tankers, by their very nature, have plenty of space aboard. I suppose it’s not such an issue….

My phone is smaller than a pack of cards, but in most cases it means I don’t have to carry a laptop, camera, satnav, gaming console, radio etc.

As I mentioned recently we live in incredible times. And we’re seeing the world change right in front of our eyes. My good friend John Rostron pointed this out yesterday, as he wrote about the slow, inevitable decline of CD sales. Technology is moving very, very quickly. We are literally watching the world change day by day. It’s a fascinating time to be alive!

Oh, and big thanks to Mr Rostron (who’s also co-organiser of the Swn festival) for my brilliant Swn t-shirt. It’s a doozie, and a Howies one, too. I really must remember to pay him!

p.s. Play a musical instrument?

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creative creative industries Entrepreneurship free wifi future laptop louis ck networking productivity remote working working from home

We live in incredible times

I like to think of myself as a fairly patient kind of guy. I’m less likely than other people I know to throw my mobile out of the window when it freezes, and I’ve learned to save my work regularly in case my laptop crashes (which it never does). And I’m often stopped in my tracks when I think that, for example, less than a second after i press the “Publish” button on my laptop (which is connected to the internet via my local cafes wireless network) that the whole world will be able to read these words….

I’ve been thinking for years about whether humans (as a collective) are able to psychologically cope with the sheer complexity of life that comes with being surrounded by incredible technology. And there’s a whole book i could write on it, so I won’t bore you now. But I often wonder if as a species we wouldn’t be happier reverting to the 5 or 6 meditative actions a day (ploughing, harvesting, hunting etc), rather than maintaining the incredibly fragmented lives we live now (check email 52 times, write 12 texts while eating lunch, receive 6 phonecalls, watch half a movie while writing emails etc etc etc). I often wonder about the impact of this on our collective mental health. I often feel like my brain needs “defragmenting”, a phrase that will be familiar to anyone who performs their own computer maintenance.

Anyway, before I end up starting down that avenue for lengthy discussion I’ll leave you with this brilliant, and relevant, clip of American comedian Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show. As he says – “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy”. Maybe we should show a little more gratitude for the incredible times we live in.

Hat-tip to Merlin Mann.

Categories
creative creative industries Entrepreneurship free wifi future laptop louis ck networking productivity remote working working from home

We live in incredible times

I like to think of myself as a fairly patient kind of guy. I’m less likely than other people I know to throw my mobile out of the window when it freezes, and I’ve learned to save my work regularly in case my laptop crashes (which it never does). And I’m often stopped in my tracks when I think that, for example, less than a second after i press the “Publish” button on my laptop (which is connected to the internet via my local cafes wireless network) that the whole world will be able to read these words….

I’ve been thinking for years about whether humans (as a collective) are able to psychologically cope with the sheer complexity of life that comes with being surrounded by incredible technology. And there’s a whole book i could write on it, so I won’t bore you now. But I often wonder if as a species we wouldn’t be happier reverting to the 5 or 6 meditative actions a day (ploughing, harvesting, hunting etc), rather than maintaining the incredibly fragmented lives we live now (check email 52 times, write 12 texts while eating lunch, receive 6 phonecalls, watch half a movie while writing emails etc etc etc). I often wonder about the impact of this on our collective mental health. I often feel like my brain needs “defragmenting”, a phrase that will be familiar to anyone who performs their own computer maintenance.

Anyway, before I end up starting down that avenue for lengthy discussion I’ll leave you with this brilliant, and relevant, clip of American comedian Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show. As he says – “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy”. Maybe we should show a little more gratitude for the incredible times we live in.

Hat-tip to Merlin Mann.