Digital Summer at Millennium Hotel, London

Wow! Just got back from a fantastic tech-filled evening – Even though there was torrential rain tipping it down outside, inside the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, ’twas Digital Summer! I went along with pals Ant Davis, whatleydude, and Rob Hinchcliffe.  There was much fun stuff:Belkin Rockstar   Mental Music Mayhem

Take this from Belkin (not out yet) called the Rockstar. Connect up to five headphones, and your iPod or other MP3 player, to start sharing. Or, add another portable device to mix songs and listen together.  Imagine if you had 2 people with wildly differing tastes playing their music through this at the same time…. Hmmm, mixing two music sources on the fly will sound a little interesting. 

Come to think of it, I bet it sounds a bit like my train home from London, there’s always a couple of mobile phones blaring out diametrically opposed musical genres.  I confess to finding that  strangely comforting, perhaps as I now associate the sound of “mash-up” to being less than 18 minutes from my house.  

Right, Next Up:

These are the W5000 headphones from Audio Technica, not sure if they’re available in the UK yet.  Yes, of course they sound fantastic.  The outer part of the earphones is made of Striped Ebony, there are stand-alone cushioned rests for the top of your head that make them feel incredibly light on, in fact, I can’t help thinking that these cans are perfectly suited to your hardcore hi-fi fanatic… and if that’s you, the specs are here for those gorgeous gory details.

Finally for this post:

Are you looking at my bird?


Well, the parrot went on the record saying that it enjoyed listening back to itself with the LS-10 voice recorder from Olympus.  Parrots need voice recorders so they can practice in their cages when no-one’s listening.  Why else are they so good at mimicking?  Rather amusingly, I remember a (probably apocryphal) story about a friend’s parrot who only said rude words.

I’ve now realised that the story was in fact not real – it was a joke told to me a while ago.  D’oh! If I had this voice recorder (which has stereo recording capability and records high-quality straight to PCM (Wav) ), I’d have been able to listen back to myself, know for certain that the parrot story is a naughty joke with a punchline I cannot bring myself to reproduce, and delete this entire paragraph (if you get my drift…).  Actually this is a great looking device close-up, and I love the clever placement of the microphones, ensuring that if you are a net-caster, you can stick this in the room and get a satisfactory spacing between conversationalists, as well as some easy buttons and a friendly interface.  Stay tuned, as I’m going to test it in the field.


There are other products I want to share with you, but I’ve got to take pictures so  you can see them properly – I’m thinking of the iskin range of mac accessories and the v-moda iphone-friendly earphones. 

Digital Summer was great – there was a friendly vibe about the place, and great chocolate mousse, which is always a winner as far as I’m concerned.  I had a fantastic time, and it’s great to see innovative stuff from companies that could just play it safe, but choose not to.  


Flash Mob, Liverpool St London (UK)

So this weekend, apart from spending time in front of my new toy (see previous post and youtube clip) , I attended my first ever flash mob on Friday. I had the presence of mind to take the camcorder with me – I’ve just finished editing together the footage of this crazy event that actually made the news!
I was there with MissGeeky (who played Tosh in the Sweded Torchwood S2:13 Episode), whatleydude, and various others – after the event, we all went off to the Pitcher and Piano for the celebration of a job well done.
Have a look at the footage, embedded here

(RSS readers/can’t see the Vid? Click here)

Bar staff kindly placed Rick’s Finest on the jukebox – not sure they realised what was going on, and certainly when 30-40 of us sang along (some with lyric sheets) it did look mighty strange. City workers and pub regulars looked on with a mixture of bemusement and intoxication, which made the encore thoroughly worthwhile, especially when people started to join in.
… as for Flash Mobbing? I might have to add that to the ever-increasing list of things I’m getting addicted to.

Alien Abduction? What happened?!

My goodness, how naughty, it’s been ages since I last blogged… I can only apologise wholeheartedly and hope that the pictures below will help somewhat… these are from the long-since attended Spinvox ICA 60th Anniversary party a million years ago, i.e February.

These images are from Peter Serafinowicz’s talk that evening about his most treasured posession, which is a very strange encyclopaedia called the Codex Seraphinianus filled with fictional drawings of pretend things that don’t exist, along with a completely made up language as a commentary.
Actually, this was the fateful night I met up with whatleydude, annie mole, thatcanadiangirl and some other amazing Blogging types – it was lovely to meet a bunch of crazy tech-heads who are also passionate about the fabulous world of electronic paraphenalia. We discussed tech with the enthusiasm of the deeply faithful, which led to me wondering if this technophilia is an addiction…
I read somewhere that people who have a great love of rollercoaster rides (I’m definitely one of these!) could indeed have a kind of chemical imbalance in the brain, which gets “righted” when we are screeching through the air, preferably up-side down, swearing and feeling our vision darkening at the corners… ah, only a few days to go until the great British Theme Parks are open again…
Gadget-wise, I’ve been playing with the Creative XDock Wireless system which is a very snazzy iPod sender/receiver set which allows you to control your iPod in your bedroom, even though it’s actually in the lounge – that’s play/pause etc, not just listening to your music. The device itself has a sleek finish, and used with the Gigaworks T20 speakers, the sound quality is incredible.
I’ve also been tinkering with JVC’s DVD network player, the Sophisti DD system – which has virtual back-surround speakers, meaning no need to trail wires around the lounge (unless you really want to). It is quite a feat to set this up – not difficult by a long stretch, but takes a while plugging all the wires in. The thing is, like lychees, the fuss is certainly worth it, as the speakers kick out a nice amount of sound, and happily there is a powered subwoofer in the DD3 system, along with some rather clever dialogue-friendly speaker technology.
Until then, enjoy what’s left of the crazy bank holiday weather remnants – (for those of you reading this overseas, it was “The first day of Spring” this weekend, and in London we had snow, hail, rain and perhaps some sun – almost biblical) – and I promise to be back soon with some more random ramblings.