#fridaymix at OGN

August 4th, 2010

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Here’s the microslot talk on #fridaymix that I gave last month at Oxford Geek Night 18

James Turnbull – #fridaymix from Torchbox on Vimeo.

The talk went down well, and all the Oxford Geeks were very positive, but I’m most proud of the slides I created.

I started by buying blank tapes, new and shrinkwrapped from eBay, for the amazingly-cheap price of just over £10 for 20 blank tapes. I don’t know how old the tapes really are, but they look like they were manufactured just yesterday.

I then designed simple inlays for the various fridaymix themes, and throughly enjoyed slicing them up just like I did many years ago. I hoped to actually record samples of the fridaymix playlists onto the tapes, but was hampered by a lack of any actual tape recording equipment.

However, I did take the blank tapes along to the event, and managed to persuade at least 5 geeks that a blank 60 minute tape was exactly what they needed that evening.

Many thanks to J-P Stacy and co. for organising Geek Night, Matthew for photographing the tapes, Annika for supplying a tape player and Alex for tidying up the images.

Google Developer Day 2008

September 3rd, 2008

Later on this month I’ll be attending Google Developer Day 2008 in London, a free one-day conference for developers using Google’s many APIs and platforms.

Last year’s event was simultaneously held in various countries, and I sort of liveblogged the experience. It was a great day, but the “worldwide” aspect was a let-down, with the last session of the day being wasted on watching a live video stream from the states. So that’s been sorted, and this year the events are staggered out. It also looks like the London even is going to be huge – it’s being held at Wembley!

The day before I’ll also be attending the Geo Developer Meetup at Google’s London office, where there’s going to be a couple of geo-specific talks and maybe a beer or two with fellow KML fans. I’m also hoping to find an API developer who I can bend the ear off, regarding my unresolved Google maps API issue.

Last night James (the Oxford branch of Google Sightseeing) did a very quick, but thoroughly entertaining, presentation about Google Sightseeing at this month’s Oxford Geek night. You can watch the 5 minute video of his Micro Presentation in mp4 format directly via this link.

Oxford Geek Night 4

November 27th, 2007

Oxford’s premier tech event returns tomorrow night, in the form of Oxford Geek Night 4.

Building on the success of the previous events the night is set to feature many excellent talks on a range of geeky topics including Web frameworks, MythTV and Perl.

I’ll also be giving a short “microslot” talk about Google Sightseeing where I’ll quickly show a couple of my favourite entries from the archives.

On May 31st Google held a Developer Day Conference in 10 cities around the world. I attended the London day and blogged the below text live from the event (with some later clarifications now added).

There were concurrent sessions throughout the day so I had to pick which ones to attend. You can see all the sessions on Youtube.

12.30pm: So, I’ve arrived at Google Developer Day 2007 London, typically late.

Ed Parsons, who is giving the Geo Keynote just said “Some people may be interested in using Google Earth for looking at topless sunbathers, but I prefer looking at planes”. I wonder if he was referring to the Google Sightseeing Top 10?

I was interviewed by a woman for their montage video of the day, but my comments were so heavily laden with plugs for GoogleSightseeing.com that they’ll probably not use me.

Now we’re having lunch ( I only just got here!). Google makes nice sandwiches, and there’s a smoothie bar.

Oh, I got goodies! A t-shirt, a mouse-mat, some “Goo”, a notepad, memory stick, etc. All Google branded of course. Don’t ask me what the Goo is.

My 1st Session: New Features of the Maps API

This talks is mostly going through the basics of the Maps API.

The first interesting tidbit is that you’ll soon be able to embed Adsense within your embedded Google Map. So advertiser’s sponsored placemarks will appear on your map page, and you’ll get revenue, just like any other kind of Adsense.

Google Mapplets look very easy to create, I’ll certainly be creating one of those when I get a chance. Although I do think the various ways of generating and embedding maps and KML are getting very confusing. Would there be much need for Mapplets if everything was indexed KML?

My 2nd Session: Google Earth & The GeoWeb

This talk is mostly just going through KML tags and the things you can do with it. Of course, the speaker is using a Space Navigator to demonstrate Google Earth.

An interesting tidbit: the newly released (yesterday) KML 2.2 has author tags, so you can get attribution on your KML when it’s included in Google searches.

My 3rd Session: Maps API Challenge Thingy

I don’t think I was meant to be in this session but I got lost. Basically, we had to build a maps interface against teams at other Developer Days around the world.

It took up a fair chunk of the day, but I did win myself a SpaceNavigator.

I haven’t noticed it announced anywhere else, but apparently UK geocoding was supposed to be added to the Google Maps API by today. It will apparently be available very soon.

The End: Keynote Speech

We’re watching a live keynote speech which is going on in California. There’s very few people in this room… I wonder if they’ll announce anything.

So, we’re watching the streamed keynote, mostly recaps at the moment. Looks like Frank at Gearthblog is also liveblogging the keynote.

First product announcement: Mashup Editor, which sounds like Yahoo Pipes. He’s showing us how to build such a mashup, but the feed isn’t high resolution enough for me to make out what the code looks like. Sounds simple enough though.

He’s talking about Google Gadgets now. The second announcement is Mapplets, even though they were launched the other day.

He’s talking about Google Gears now, which allows you to use your Google online applications offline. I missed the talk earlier today but I’m told it was very impressive. Gears runs on major browsers (although I read somewhere that for Safari you’ll need a nightly build) and was in a collaboration with Adobe, Mozilla and Opera.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has arrived: “I’ve made loads of money, wohahaha!”. Not really, he was suggesting caution and responsibility when using tools. Or something, I wasn’t really listening.

I think I’m going to stop there, this is starting to turn into a Crazy Apple Rumors keynote live blog (which are always very funny).


After the event Google treated us to Drinks an canopies in a bar across the road, which was nice of them. All in all, a very good day.

Geo-conference Where 2.0 has launched in San Jose, where all the big players in everything geo will be giving presentations and launching new features.

Microsoft seem to be first out the gate with loads of new imagery for Virtual Earth, including Bird’s Eye coverage of London.

Google have also launched new imagery in the form of street level views for 5 U.S. cities. It’s similar to A9′s version, but with a much nicer interface.1

Culminating with the end of the conference is the Google Developer Day, to be held in ten cities worldwide. Google will surely be launching a few new features at this event, whilst teaching all those in attendance how to best make use of their various APIs.

I’ll be at the London Developer Day, but unfortunately it’s too much of a trek for Alex to make it down from Edinburgh. So, if you are at the event and you see a man in a Google Sightseeing T-shirt please come and say “hi”.

  1. I was surprised to see that Street view requires Adobe’s Flash player, given all the praises that were initially sung about Google Maps’ Ajax interface.