What do you call an on-time tomato?

Pomodoro! It’s one of these little 25 mintute kitchen timers

pomodoro kitchen timer

So why is this relevant? Well, Inge my personal business coach told me this story…

There were two teams asked to each cut a tree down. Team One went at it like crazy, with non-stop sawing all morning and finished the job 4 hours later. They were knackered and red raw, but done. Team Two cut for 25 minutes, then stopped for a 5 minute breather to gently sharpen their saw, then went at it again for 25 minutes before having another break. They finished in 2 hours, but not knackered and also ready to cut more trees. But why?

Continue reading “What do you call an on-time tomato?”

Bristol City Hall to mine Bitcoin in spare time

In a seemingly “unreal” statement, Bristol City Hall, UK has announced that it will switching computer downtime into profiting Bitcoin mining time.


Bitcoin logo
In a 3 month academic partnership with Bristol University computing department we will see every city hall computer being put to use in its spare time. So for example, when like us, we’re at lunch, having cigarette breaks or just listening to Georgey F on the radio; the screen savers will begin mining Bitcoin in an effort to raise cypto money for the budget deficit. 


will begin mining Bitcoin in an effort to raise cypto money for the budget deficit

If “Bitcoin” and “Bitcoin mining” are new words to you, this virtual currency has been a hot topic recently and has seen its value hit peaks of 700£ per. coin. But to earn this Bitcoin you must set your computer and electricity bill to work and not you.

You leave a program running, like Asteroid or EasyMiner to solve a complex algorithm and discovering (mining) the next virtual coin’s address. When the program has solved enough algorithms, you are awarded bits of Bitcoin, like (slices of of a gold bar). This earned Bitcoin can then be traded in online currency markets or used to buy services and products, eg, amazon gift cards or other currency. Imagine it just like money you see in your online bank account, but with a new BTC label instead of a £pound sign. 


Bitcoin wallet


In the case of Bristol City hall, UK, these “mining screensavers” will join their time into a special mining pool to earn Bitcoin quicker. Bristol citizens can join in too to help out and donate a percentage of their earned coin to the council’s electricity bills or a local charity.
The floor’s open, what do you think?
[Note for readers, this is unreal. It’s an idea I had and wanted to share. No organisation, ie. Bristol City Hall Uk, Bristol University Computer Science dept. or Bitcoin, to my knowledge, discussed anything of the sort. It just seemed like a good idea to float for comments and discussion]

The Bristol Mayor’s Ideas Lab! Submit how much you hate car/bikes etc…

Here’s a welcome addition to George Ferguson’s aim to make Bristol a “Laboratory for change“. He’s taking the digital upper hand and released the “Bristol Idea’s Lab”, a Bristol Home brew delib product (http://www.delib.net/dblog/tag/online-consultation/)

Delib logo


It’ll be interesting to see what starts getting shared on there, I imagine there’ll be the usual car vs. bike debacle. But in a city that has created traffic corridors based on Buchannan’s “Traffic in Towns” report (1960’s) it’s hardly surprising. Maybe a good idea would be to look at the work of Hans Monderman (1980’s Netherlands) and re-mix cars and people, then claim a few more areas for all transport to share and make the space not just for the efficient transport of motor vehicles. Architectural changes like raising the kerbs, making the place feel more natural and losing traffic lights. That could work well down near Mr Wolfs and a few of the side streets.

Either way, in a city that is constantly claiming to be a UK digital beacon with larger digital companies like e3, Team rubber and the new start ups in the games lab and pervasive media I’m hoping it’ll see a large response. However, we’ll begin to see how digitally enabled the public is and whether we really need a rural broadband project (http://projects.ruralbroadband.com/county/Bristol).

Here’s some important questions though, I wonder if the data from the consultation ideas will be declared “Open data” and shared for all, or closed for a period? Also, how many ideas will be bumped in-front of George Ferguson’s eyes and how many will actually be acted on.

Anyways, good luck to it, go get your Bristol thoughts on there where it’ll be read by someone, rather than bending the dude next to you’s ear on the bus or in the pub.


Your country needs you! To identify porn

Let’s make a small browser extension that every-time you “come across porn”, it adds it (anonomously) to a public database.

Your country needs you sexy


Then Browsers, ISPs and anyone can use that database to fliter porn, investigate illegal content. It’s a public filter database, we could also sell access to it to raise our state’s bank balance.

We’ll call it “PornDb”

I pretty sure that would stop us needing crappy state intervention and…  you’d definitely find an army of willing volunteers.


C.O.B.R.A’s first app, download it after a crisis

I wonder if a massive natural disaster happened in the UK, which apps C.O.B.R.A would take to for organisation? Would it break out the Myspace or Facebooks? Or maybe twitter is it’s best port of call?

Well, after the dust has settled from a natural disaster and human life has been lost and saved, a nation is presented with issues which I’d personally not considered before and wanted to take a moment to share with you. Issues with heritage, devolution, committees and accountability.

Alessandro Califano is a senior Curator and Cultural Consultant from sunny Italy who presented at MuseumNext 2013. He talked to us through how the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) attempted to respond in 06/04/2009 when Abruzzo was devastated by an earthquake. They were called in when the nation’s National Heritage was under threat. He showed us pictures of old Italian clock towers crumbled in half, a wonderfully painted dome building fallen through and a greek statue with its limbs shaken off.


Within two days of the event, his ICOM team were able to contact all their members and set up a Cultural Heritage High Risks Commission. After a few weeks there was an emergency restoration centre at the Museum of Celenoa. These swift actions meant that part of a nation’s heritage were preserved and considered in the restoration.

However it doesn’t always go to plan every time, especially May 2012 in Emilia Romagna. The ICOM had immediate issues which stemmed from the devolution of the heritage committees not having representation to effectively co-ordinate themselves nationally. There were also unrealised expectations that local authorities would pick up more of the work and the compatibility issues with cultural between regions weren’t merge-able databases which coherently list all the pieces which needed to be saved.

It wasn’t all bad news for the nation’s heritage however, technology turned out to be a saving grace for people and heritage co-ordination. Whilst the internet was down, local & CB radio became a key to communication, offering connections and helping to organise people for aid. Then, when the online connection was restored, a few new apps led the way. Bring the Food aided in the distribution of food supplies. GeoSDIgeoPoints allowed people to take pictures of emergencies / local situation and tag it with a GPS position for authorities to trace problems.

Bring the food app
Bring the food app


* Crisis management isn’t just about the people, it’s heritage.
* Don’t have a single point of communication failure. If Internet goes, Radios. But what about systems reliant on GPS, we have the European version but none of my devices use it..?
* Regional devolution would still require representation nationally
* Internet is fragile and you need to be able to create your own neutral connection
* Local Authoraties are sometimes, “meh”

The original presentation