Thursday, 19 December 2013

App of tweets coming from Apollo Theatre in London

The load on this app is so high right now it is sometimes not giving returns, please check back later. Sorry but Twitter and not I set the limits of searches.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Ashes 2013-2014 Twitter Mapping App

 Fifth and Final Test Test[ 3–7 January Scorecard Australia v England Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tweets from Pittsburg shooting site

Image above shows the tweeting around the area of a High School during a shooting, the tweets included reporters in the area and even students tweeting form inside the building.

Some students seem to be tweeting from the site of the shooting

A number of tweets indicate that students are using their mobile phones in side of the school, with geo-location turned
on, probably not a good idea.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance tweeting beats Million Mask March by a mile

A weeks tweeting from November 3rd to November 10 2013, in log scale

Geo-tagged tweeting in Parliament over a week, and the impact of events on tweeting.

The chart above is in log scale, since the spike of tweeting on Remembrance day 2013 for the area around Parliament in London.  You can see spikes for the Million Mask March, and Prime Ministers Questions, but the largest spike is in the normally subdued Sunday at the end of the week.  This would be for the early afternoon during Remembrance ceremonies.

One might think that a large crowd of young people wearing Vendetta masks would out-tweet a group of vets and their families any day, but it is not the case.  Geo-tagged tweets in the hours of Remembrance day reached over 400 an hour, almost 3 times as many as Anonymous supporters produced when they 'stormed' Parliament.  A about 2 pm on the Sunday there were over 2,000 geo-tagged tweets and re-tweets from near the location.

A week for tweets for each hour, sort by intensity for Parliament.  Notice the distribution follows a power law.  By far the highest tweet was Sunday Remembrance Day, of the top 10 tweeting hours 7 are from Sunday, and 2 were from the Million Mask March.

This is solid evidence of hour pervasive tweeting has become, especially to established entities like political parties, police, church groups and political entities.  The tweeting produced at major official events now routinely outdoes tweeting at less active events.

Though there is another possible explanation, perhaps the privacy obsessed Anons didn't tweet with geo-location turned on, while few people would be paranoid about tweeting attendance to a service for war vets.

Friday, 8 November 2013

How to make an HTML 5 US Flag

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Twitter Map App from Cebu during Hurricane Yolanda

Its good to see that Twitter is still up providing some essential comms infastructure

The story in Tacloban City is much worse, in the direct path of the storm it has essentially dropped out of the twittersphere.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

UK Politics and Twitter at Parliament #MillionMaskMarch #PMQs #GCHQ

The graph shows a case study of 5 days of tweeting at the UK Parliament, from Sunday November 3 2013 to Thursday November 7 2013. Each point shows the number of geo-tagged tweets at the top of an hours for 1 KM around the Parliament Building, famous for Big Ben.

The 5 'humps' are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  We see tweeting was lowest on Sunday.  We see a fairly uniform pattern of tweets during the day reaching about 100 geo-located tweets an hour from a 1 KM radius.  But there are three spikes, each corresponding to political events in the life of Westminster.

The first spike, bringing tweets near 200 an hour in the evening of Tuesday correspond the #MillionMaskMarch which met here during that time.  Then Wednesday earlier part of the say was another spike, during Prime Minister Questions.  Thursday saw a spike when testimony on GCHQ spying was heard in a open committee of Parliament.

These three spikes show how real world political events have an impact on the level of twitter activity at the site where they happen.

Twitter map from Wall Street

As the #TwitterIPO gets close about half of tweets from 1KM around Wall Street mention twitter.  That is a lot of excitment.

Monday, 4 November 2013

#MillionMaskMarch London twitter map app #OperationVendetta

Twitter level tracks for key sites in the Operation Vendetta in London November 5 2013

Demonstration is suppose to start here in Trafalgar Square about 6 PM GMT. Look to see over 300 tweets an hour to indicate a large event.

It will assemble here.

Track actual tweets coming from the area
Web 3.0 Lab: #OperationVendetta in London Nov 5 2012 tweet tracker: Findings: Over 2,000 people showed up in front of the National Gallery event in 2012, giving a clear surge in tweets.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Twitter Map App from #TCDisrupt #Berlin

Windows 1 in a browser

Anti-Social Media App

After the Tahrir protests in 2011 many people were eager to claim some kind of casual relationship between the emerging usage of social media technology and emerging demands for civil rights. Though this may or may not be true, this work shows an obvious case of a correlation between a social event, anti-social behaviour, and social media which is not a cause and effect relationship

The work above is the result of my participation in Open Data Cities of the Future Hackathon recently in London Hub #hackfc.  The app, still in working charts current trending social media data from Foursquare, and high ranked sites from Yelp against a years historical sites for anti-socail incidents in Westminster..
Map of London evening on a Tuesday night, Oct 29 2013 shows clearly evening trending locations clustering near sites of the most anti-socail incidents in Westminster.

The intention is to follow this data for a few months to see if any obvious relationships between social media usage and anti-socail conducts shows.  So far I have noticed, not surprisingly, that the sites that trend in the evening seem most associated with the locations where blood, vomit, urine, waste and graffiti have been found, all shown with dark boxes.

This is not surprising.  What will be interesting is if a full review of social media can be used to guide public services to target areas where anti-social behaviour may be spiking, or may be moving to.  Soho in London is well established area of anti-social behaviour, it will be interesting to apply work to other areas where social life is increasing, say the East or North side of London.

What is also interesting is the entire concept of cause and social media.  After the Tahrir protests in 2011 many people were eager to claim some kind of casual relationship between the emerging usage of social media technology and emerging demands for civil rights.  Though this may or may not be true, this work shows an obvious case of a correlation between a social event, anti-social behaviour, and social media which is not a cause and effect relationship.

Usage of Foursquare at night is not causing higher incidents of anti-social behaviour in Westminster, but rather the two have the same cause: lots of bars and clubs.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Excel Center London Twitter Map App

Twitter map of #StopwatchingUs

Oddly a lot of people at the protest in DC against internet surveillance are posting their locations on Twitter. There is a degree of irony that seems to be lost on many people at work here.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

#WhiteHouse Tweet Map App

Tracking levels of twitter usage in front of White House in Real Time.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Monday, 9 September 2013

Mapping tweets at #Cloudbeat

Mapping tweets at #tcc13

Sorry about being such douche bags, but its stressful in software

I think we should admit this:  I think a great deal of the sexism and hostility in IT comes from fear and anxiety.  We all feel on some level like we are frauds, and we bully each other with mechanical rants to try and bolster ourselves.

One thing I wonder a great deal about is why my fellow coders can be such douche bags.  I personally don't feel that sexism is my issue, but I tend to revert to flaming random people on Twitter who happen to have the bad luck of disagreeing with me.

Why?  Why is techie culture so aggressive, rude and often sexist and even cissexist.  

What is it about working with computer that makes us like this?

One of the things I had noticed in the 1990s that many coders complained about the lack of women in IT.  Over the past 10 years Geek has become cool and women are flooding in to all areas of techie culture, from comic books to working in start up the women are coming.

And how has a huge part of the geek culture responded: as total douche bags.

The very fact that the 'fake geek girl' has become a 'thing' is disgusting to me, and this is my theory why this nonsense happens.

Most geek guys feel that they are fakes much of the time, they are confused by most of the technology they present themselves as experts of, they develop a few pieces of expertise but don't really grasp why it is working, they daily face a complexity beyond what one human mind can master, we are all frauds to a less or greater extent.

It is actually a major step in growing up to say 'I don't know' and many geeks can't do that.

This is not all their fault, its simply the case that modern computer systems and culture are beyond the mind of one person.  In a culture that promotes the individual and guru status this is deeply stressful.  

For example my apps on geo-location often game me some modest praise on the Internet.  Over 3 years via remote contractors and my own banging around with pieces of JavaScript, JQuery Mobile, PHP and the APIs I have produce some code I can show off.

If I had to present how it worked to someone most of it would be beyond me.  That code came from a contractor, that code is part of JQuery, who knows why it is done that way.

I will come out and admit it:  I often feel anxious about the pace of technology and confused about things I work on.  I

For example I know Kerberose is better than NTML but I could not tell you why.  I have looked it up dozens of time but I forget, there is so much to know.  I could not tell you how threads are created on computers or why LISP Scheme Hashtables are a good idea. Again I have looked this up in the past but other work comes along and you can only hold so much in your min.  Even when I learn stuff I can't remember, I can't remember Design Patterns and each time I access the MVC solution I have to remember how MVC works.  I have to look up XML rules again and again, reading the same book over and over again.

I will come out and admit it:  I often feel anxious about the pace of technology and confused about things I work on.  I often present myself as a expert when I am struggling to understand the technology.  People often seem impressed by things I do which I don't fell I deserve credit for, but everyone seems to want to believe I hacked it up so I just smile or say thank you.

Being in software makes you feel like an inadequate fraud almost every week.  I have suffered often from stress related to my work and research.

I think we should admit this.  I think a great deal of the sexism and hostility comes from fear and anxiety.  We all feel on some level like we are frauds, and we bully each other with mechanical rants to try and bolster ourselves.

I want to make it very clear that this is not an excuse.  In fact this reaction has serious negative impacts on society.   Men in IT, often feeling anxious and suffering from untreated depression and anxiety will attack women maybe in part to gain some sense of release from their own anxiety, but the outcome is that women face a very hostile situation in much of IT.

I have seen over the years how this works.  I often find the most marginal programmers and IT experts are actually the worst, so its not as much a case of nerds who are too smart but nerds who are marginal. They are under great stress and target women, trans-genders, anyone who they can.

This bullying culture makes software unpleasant and causes a great number of women, minorities, and others to leave the field or not join it.  Thus the political and the emotional go hand in hand here.  The reaction to stress has the impact of keeping more people out of IT, which is precisely what someone who feels overwhelmed by software knowledge wants to keep a job.

In fact the entire IT culture has been about exclusion for a long time.  Dilbert is funny, but really its just about how the 'good programmers' face a world of business people and users who want to have some say in the most important transformation of their lives.  Dilbert shows who geek culture works to systematically exclude everyone not fitting in to its narrow confines.

I have developed a small rule about Dilbert cartoons.  I see lots of projects and some are pretty well run and making progress, others are disasters.  I always find more Dilbert cartoons at the car crashes

So insecurity, stress, and anxiety mix with prejudice and sexism as a protective strategy not only emotionally but also economically.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

In defence of the small computer vs the tablet

As a researcher in Web 3.0 much of the content I look at comes from small, highly controlled devices like iPhones or Android.  But looking at the current trends in the web from a wider angle I have to say people need to start thinking more and more about the control and limitations moving to small controlled devices will causes.

It took me 1 minute to build a puppy virtual machine, why is a $100 puppy laptop not the hot item

I do love my iPad, don't get me wrong.  But my concern is that the configurable, programmable, open source platform that gives power to the user is being replaced by computing as a toy.  I would like to see a move to more laptops running light weight Linux like Puppy.  This would give the mobility in a Open Sourced innovation.

Puppy gives you a light weight OS that essentially can do what the Mac OS does, so why not start developing light weight computers.
Makers need to be able to crack things open and play, and I fear that the playgrounds are being controlled more and more by Apple and Google, providing play grounds that simply reinforce their control of the marketplace.

Cory Doctorow: The coming war on general computation [28C3]

Tweet map app for New York fashion show

See who is tweeting what at #NYFW

Tweeting at OccupyDSEI vs Bestival music festival, politics vs fun

OccupyDSEI above vs Bestival, which will create more tweets per hour?\
Tweets mapped for Bestival music festival.  

Tweeting Map at #OccupyDSEI event

Seeing a good deal of Occupy tweeting coming from the Excel centre.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Mapping tweets at #USOpen

Above measures the local real time level of tweeting and the tool below lets you see the actual tweets coming from near the US Open.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Mapping tweeting at Washington DC

This App shows levels and tweets coming directly from in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C, in real time.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Mapping twitter at #Nottinghill #Carnival Real Time Social Media mapping

Real Time Notting Hill Twitter

Mapping tweets today from Notting Hill Carnival. One of the greatest festivals of globalisation and images will be a major indication of the expansion of Twitter as a tool for self publishing and geo-social sharing.

Real time social media mapping, Foursquare, Yelp, Flickr and Wikipedia:
Real time read tweets from the scene:
Real time read tweets from the West End are much higher:

Sunday, 18 August 2013

#Vfestival turns a field into a comms hub

It has been interesting to see how Twitter has changed remote festivals in the UK this summer. Now a vast part of those attending have the ability to post data in real time from the festival, like these apps for the V festival where a field in Essex has become a major comms hub overnight.

Mapping #Balcombe tweets

Thought this is not heavy tweeting, its a lot of geo-tagged tweets to be coming from a field and it shows the ability of mobile twitter to establish communication and publishing infrastructure anywhere within 3G or 4G range.  This gives any protest anywhere in the developed and much of the developing world access to a global stage at the push of a button.

Interesting to compare this to the actual town, which is getting much letter twitter activity. Essentially via twitter a community has turned a farm field and road in to a comms hub.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Tracking events in Ramese Square with twitter

And these are the Ramses Square protests, where more Pro-Morsi projects have been. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Starships, tweets and Dallas TX #StarshipCon

Tracking tweeting from near the Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress to be held in Dallas, Texas, August 15-18 at the Hilton Anatole. Conference is clearly just one of a wide range of dynamic issues going on in one of America's emergent economic centers.  It is interesting to see the diversity of views in the convention area in Dallas, giving a view of the wide set of issues being discussed in America today.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Rock: Social Media usage in Gibraltar and neighbouring Spain.

Tweeting intensity in Gibraltar, a British settlement just south of Spain.  Analysis of the two twitter feeds from Gibraltar and the town north of it in Spain shows some interesting variations.

Firstly the two populations are linguistically segregated.  In Gibraltar almost every tweet is in English, just north of the border ever tween is in Spanish.  You also see that Gibraltar has very close real time ties to the UK.  Many people tweet about returning to the UK.  Also their is a great deal of anti-Spanish  feeling, but it seems more interested in football.

On the Spanish side you tend to see more tweeting at all time, almost all tweeting in Spanish and little of it about vacations.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

News update

BBC News - Hannah Smith death: Father says daughter was victim of cyberbullies 

Frankly I no longer even understand the motivation for this kind of activity.  In the old days trolling was fun precisely because your victim were just other trolls who happened to come to the internet. Now that everyone in the developed world is here its like all the rest of social life.  If you need to troll go to 4chan people!

In fact I am starting to think that perhaps people should require social media driving licenses, the really messed up ones can get a 4chan restricted license, the more radicals can use Twitter.  It seems to me today the problem is trolling are pushing themselves on Facebook where they don't belong, and media branding people are pushing themselves on Twitter, where frankly I don't think they belong.  Soon twitter will be domesticated, no trolling.  Once that happens an opportunity for the next thing will open, people need the high speed exchange of free radical ideas despite the trolling risk.  I wish I could get people who feel trolled on Twitter just to use facebook, but that is not how it seems to work.

BBC News - Amazon boss Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post for $250m

My take is that it will take a very long time to fully understand how bad this is.  The emergence of the web has made a small group of people so very utterly wealthy they can take over institutions of this scale as private enterprises.

One Direction and Directioners Fuse Online Powers to Battle Bullying  via @mashable

Just include this because One Direction now seems to be everywhere on the web.  When I started to track online activity in London I soon had to look up who One Direction are.  So the web is dominated by the same kind of fad players that TV and radio before them were, surprise surprise.

The downside to the internet of things, very dramatically shown:

BBC News - Luxury toilet users warned of hardware flaw

This is a very dramatic demonstration of the risks of the Internet of Things.  Someone can easily hijack this designer toilet with by using the first tablet app.  You think this is no problem?  Well it does sound more funny then threatening, but imagine you are staying in a classy hotel and all night the toilet is flushing itself again and again?  Not so funny.

Now imagine that you are the manager of a hotel where every single toilet in every single room is flushing itself every night?

Now imagine you the owner of a string of hotels all over the world where this has happened in each one?  Imagine you have a board meeting in a weeks time and a critical announcement about the stock value of the company is to be made?  Or imagine the next day a key political convention or peace talk was going to happen in the hotel, do you have the meeting?

In a complex world hacking of this kind, real world hacking will become a major problem.

BBC News - How wearable technology could transform business

Technology has almost always been about hands.  Its not just that has been because hands are the idea interface between face and unknown world, but it is also because this safety I think is hard wired in to our evolution.  People don't want the outside to come in unless it first passes via the hands. Look at the 19th century, or more specifically movies say about the Old West. I recall growing up to movies where guns, a hands based technology was cool while glasses, perhaps the most positive technology ever created were seen as bad.  Even in the 1970s my mother never wanted a photo taken with her glasses on.

I mean when I think about it I have classed technologies that had major resistance to them besides being life savings and easy to use.
  • Condoms
  • Glasses
  • Seat belts
  • Hearing aids
  • Helmets
All of these most interact with a different set of sense organs.  People generally don't like connecting a piece of technology to anything other than a hand.

Now here are some really stupid or pointless technologies:
  • Hand guns
  • SUV
  • Smartphones
  • Pagers 
  • Cigarettes

What I find amazing is the more I think of this, people love technology that works in the hand, even if it is useless or even destructive, while you have to almost beg or force people to use technology that fits around wait, over eyes, in ears, etc.

One exception has been ear plugs, which have created a public health risk for no good reason.  But I wonder if perhaps headphones give hands held control to ones ears.

Technology can be viewed as the hands mastery over what is feed in to the other organs.  The remote control means that TV can be interfaces directly between hand and eye, and the internet expands it.  The iPod and Walkman made sound a action of the hand.  More and more isolating hand to other organ has been popular.  But removing the hand has always been a difficult prospect, people like the layer of hand between them and their reality.  

I am suppose to have a long bet with Kevin Kelly on this issue, but I don't know if he has processed or not.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Santiago de Compostela tweet tracking

Seeing a very high number of tweets coming from Santiago de Compostela, near the site of a major train accident in Spain.  This story shows the power of networking on Twitter.  On July 25 2013 I was seeing about 200 geo-tagged tweets an hour coming from the town, 80% of these were retweets of tweets by people near the accident.  On twitter first hand observations were getting copied over and over again.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Tracking #RoyalBaby on twitter

This tool above shows you the level of tweeting at the site of the upcoming Royal birth hospital, and below lets you read geo-tagged tweets and retweets from the location.

And this is the meter and tweets for Buckingham Palace were crowds are forming for the celebration of the wedding.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Track tweets from Moscow Airport #Snowden

Tools to track the intensity of tweeting, and the content of tweets geo-tagged coming from the Moscow airport now. Remember only a minority of tweets have geo-tagged metadata

Thursday, 11 July 2013

JΞSTΞR™ hacks Venezuela State Newspaper

No mater what you think of Patriot Hacker the Jester you have to be dead or in the ideological state of brain death not to appreciate the humour and irony of a hacking the state paper of Venezuela warning that he is going to expose crimes of officials in the government via the state paper.

Jester seems to imply he has information about state officials involved in drug trafficking.  Given that Venezuela is Venezuela this is almost certainly true, and given Jester's contacts in the US he almost certainly has the data on it.

Tracking tweets from #Shard attempt #iceclimb

Use this tool to track tweets coming from the Shard climb in London by Greenpeace to protest Shell drilling in Arctic.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kia's epic fail tells us something about engagement

Okay if you can stand watching the ad, why is it that the woman of today, so connected, smart, and engaged would drive a Kia again?  Traditionally woman sat on the top of cars in ads, bringing the woman forward like this but still making her a passive recipient of the car, and the audience a passive consumer of the ad and brand, just does not work.

I have not been able to get through this entire commercial.  It is perhaps one of the worst ads ever made.  Its a train wreak inflicted on Australia's tennis fans and simply because it is so bad it has gone viral.

But there is something deeper to learn about this ad.  Kia epic fail is not just that they have made an annoying ad, but that they have shown something about how consumer are changing, and how traditional brands are going to find it hard to meet these changes.

The ad, for all its trite BS, does address a very obvious change in consumers: the desire for engagement.  People are looking more for social connection, for engagement, for discourse and community.  This is showing in the growing politicalisation of social media like Twitter: people are looking for connection and community rather than just things.

The problem with this ad is the moronic way that Kia is trying to connect to this change in the consumer.  The consumer desire to connection, to interact, to be engaged, to expand identity and become more political is simply stamped on to a stupid car ad.  

This is the hope of most brands.  They see consumer becoming more community conscious, more engaged and political and they hope they can just hire an ad firm that will created a viral message that this new kind of consumer will love.  

Brands have to understand that the new consumer is seeking a newer form of engagement.  This does not necessarily mean a real engagement, but at the least it has to be perceived as a sincere engagement by the company.  Take Apple during the last years of Jobs or Google in the past.

If you are going to try and connect with the new consumer, like this ad fails to, you need make it seem like there is an engagement.  

Monday, 8 July 2013

Cairo twitter dashboard القاهرة وحة القيادة تويتر

These tools will track tweeting level and content coming from key protest sites in Cairo. هذه الأدوات سوف تتبع تويتينغ مستوى ومحتوى قادمة من مواقع الاحتجاج الرئيسية في القاهرة.
Track tweets coming from Tahrir Square

And Nasir city where Pro-Morsi people tend to protest.

There are a lot of tweets coming from Nasir city, many about the anti-government protests that are now taking place with Morsi supporters.

And these are the Ramses Square protests, where more Pro-Morsi projects have been.

Tracking tweets at pro #Morsi demo in Nasir city

There are a lot of tweets coming from Nasir city, many about the anti-government protests that are now taking place with Morsi supporters.

Greece is a Startup: The world of emergence and disruption

I have been going Greece almost every year since the 2010 currency crisis started.  On the surface it is a Greek tragedy: the city is dirty, full of graffiti and lined with angry people.  Shops and businesses have closed down everywhere.  Greece is in crisis.

I did go to Greece in early 2007.  Athens then was very expensive, the main areas were full of corporate events, and it was hard to get a hotel.  Things have changed so much.  And it is fair to say it has been a decline.  But everything new needs a decline.

I have also recently been to Octoberfest in Germany: smart clean German city with smart clean Germans confident that they have found the proper route for all of the EU.  Its hard not to conclude that Germany has won and Greece has lost.

But on a deeper level this is what I have observed.  Everything in Germany is doing so well these days that only conventional businesses are able to operate.  Germany is rich and clean but boring and unengaging, and frankly Germans are more and more seeming isolated from the larger time, their recent economic prosperity (after a lost decade of stagnation) has isolated them.  They are happy to lecture Europe on what to do, but seem not only not interested when their mandated solutions fail to deliver results but actually fully content that it does not work.

The German's seem to reverting to some kind of Hegelian idealism.  History has a direction, and the German obsessions with time and order are the ultimate expression of a spiritual battle against Chaos.  The fact that Spain and Greece don't get the same benefits from budget cuts as Germans imagine they are getting is generally attributed to a failure of the southern people to share in the higher values of the Germanic.

I know this sounds harsh, but I have to say again and again this is what I have seen and heard.

I will go further and say that I find Athens, with all its problems, a more interesting place right now.  Not only is their a greater sense of social experimentation among people especially the young, but the collapse of a cheap money economy has opened huge new spaces for new kinds of social innovation.  There are amazing bars, restaurants, galleries, and spaces that challenge conventional categorisations.

It is far easy to find innovative high quality high concept projects in Athens than in Germany.  Frankly its somewhat challenging to even find a good well priced bar and restaurant in Germany.  In Athens I have found a number of places that have combined art, music, food and drink in a a real experience.  The graffiti covered streets of Athens are providing a chance for more experiments in culture, and Athens is way cooler than Berlin these days.

There is a necessary creative anarchy that is at work now.  My point is I think Germany is kind of the kid who didn't get chicken pocks during a local epidemic.  I would not be surprised if in 10 years we are talking about the innovative economies of Greece and Spain and wondering how the stagnate Germans found themselves left behind.

But only time will tell.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Why no one will take Snowden

Let me make something of a bold assumption here: no nation anywhere is going to offer Snowden amnesty on his conditions.

Snowden is young, and has proven he is ready to take on the US.  Over the next 50 years where ever he lived he would become disillusioned, get in some trouble maybe, and almost certainly have the motivation and ability to hack the hell out of that nation.

Why?  Well I have to accuse Snowden and Wikileaks supporters with extreme short sightedness.  They simply see this a single transaction between the US and themselves.  Snowden supporters are thinking in terms of weeks, maybe months.

Now try to take the position of a nation's leader.  What Snowden is asking is that he be allowed in to your nation, for life, with continued access to the Internet.  His rejection of the Russian offer makes it clear that he will continue to pass secrets he has to the world press.  So you are letting a hacker with massive skills and the motivation to expose secrets about the US in to your nation.

If you step back for a minute a view it from the point of view of other nations you can see easily this is not an issue of US bullying per say. Snowden is just obviously not someone any leader would want to bring in to their nation.

Snowden has already proven he has the capacity to hack at an extremely high level.  He is much more than Manning, who was just handed the data because of lack security during the Iraq War, or Assange who is willing to publish data that is passed to him.

Snowden is a very different animal, he is someone able to break the security protections of the most advanced nation on Earth.  He is an extremely skilled hacker, maybe one of the best on the planet.  Normally this would be a great resume to be invited to live in another nation.  But he has also demonstrated an indifference to the laws of one nation: the United States.

Now what Snowden's knee jerk supporter have to get over is, that despite their own personal hatred of the United States, America still provides some of the highest level of free speech and personal freedom in the world.  I say this as an American who has lived in Europe and North Africa.  Even in a very free nation like the UK I find sometimes I have to watch what I tweet, idle gossip could get you in some libel trouble in England.  And in North Africa I surfed an utterly censored net, a world where it was illegal to show the Simpson on cable TV.

I can say having lived in many nations that as far as expression goes the United States is virtually unmatched, and no other society on Earth provides so much freedom to so many.   None of the nations likely to seriously consider giving him asylum are anywhere near the level of the US in press freedoms and civil liberties.

The leaders of nations like Venezuela and Ecuador as well as Russia and even the EU, despite what they say, know the truth.  They know that they have secrets, they know that they spy on their own people and spy on other nations, and they know that they probably have worse free speech record than the United States and not as good security of their government information.

Inviting Snowden connected to the Internet in their nation would be a risk to themselves that no nation will take.  Snowden is young, and has proven he is ready to take on the US.  Over the next 50 years where ever he lived he would become disillusioned, get in some trouble maybe, and almost certainly have the motivation and ability to hack the hell out of that nation.

And once you invite Snowden in as a hero of free speech it becomes hard to prosecute him.  Given that the theme of the entire Snowden vs. America event is American hypocrisy, a nation that would allow him in would find it humiliating to punish Snowden starts dumping masses of secret data about them.

So my prediction is that Snowden has gone Assange in the growing group of Internet kids who live in a world oddly separate from geo-political reality, one that is purely cyberspace.  It is easy enough to say they have become global citizens of the Internet, but both men still have bodies, though Assange's seems to get him in more trouble.  They need a place to sleep and go to the bathroom.

Both men have ended up living in strange non-zomes created by our geo-political reality.  Assange is in an Embassy in London with no possibility of his ever going to Ecuador avoiding 'the terrible evil' that is Sweden.  Snowden is stuck in the international zone of an airport, not in any nation at all.

Perhaps a growing group of these autistic cyberkids simply can no longer live in nations.  Though they are fine living in a single room for years on end, they dread lose of the Internet and lose of their ability to hack.  But no nation really wants them.  The west remains their best prospect for life but when a nation like Sweden is too oppressive once can only wonder where they can live contented.

Perhaps one of their wealthy supporters could buy a ship, a converted deep sea fishing vessel that could stay in International waters forever.  A nation of Cyper-land, with enough on ship protection to fight off enemy nations and pirates, a sort of Nemo of the 21st Century utterly detached from the world of nations and yet connected via the world of hacks and secrets.

The thing is I think over time we would know what this ship would become: I suspect inevitably as more and more stateless individual driven beyond the world of possible political loyalty by their love of the Internet found themselves on this ship, it would become the ship of fools.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Real time twitter tracking at London #GayPride

Tracking tweets from London's Gay Pride party. Presently 25% of tweets from Soho in London mention the word pride, only 10% mention gay. So the parade is more about Pride than about identity these days?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Twitter analysis coming from Austin State House after @WendyDavisTexas filibuster

Though tweeting is not very high, it is overwhelming about Wendy Davis successful effort to block more restrictions on abortion rights in Texas.

At about 6 AM local time the tweets coming from the area around the Texas Capitol Building:

  • 25% of tweets and retweets are address to @WendyDavisTexas
  • 20% mention hashtag #sitewithwendy
  • 15% still mention #standwithwendy
  • 50% mention #sb5
  • 20% mention proud

Track the current real time tweets coming from the site here.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Mapping tweets at #Glastonbury

Use this tool to see real time tweets coming from Glastonbury:

These are results I published in 2013

Use these tools to track the level and content of tweets from the area around #Glastonbury.

Of a sample of 100 tweets coming to the festival over about three hours Wednesday these observations emerged:
  • Festival of sharers with 60% of people posting links to others site, 50% more than normal tweeting so they are sharers of data.
  • Instagram rules: with 1 in 4 tweets being to an Instagram picture.
  • Fourquare is alive and well as Glasto, with 22% of tweeting being checkins to the site.
  • Twitpic is holding its own, with 10% of tweets having twitpic pictures.
  • All other links are to web sites, no major links were any other social or photo sharing site.
  • Tweeps form Glasto don't seem to be socially anymore influential than most twitter users, a random sample of 100 users had an average Klout score of 40.7.  The average for all of Klout is 40.  
  • During the festival tweeting is going from 50 to 100 geo-tagged tweets an hour, the level of a medium to large city centre in the US or EU, in the middle of a field.  
  • Around 30% of tweets have a hashtag, most commonly glasto or glastonbury but other as well, this is about twice the normal rate of hashtags, so the are meme driven.
  • They are social, half of tweets mention another twitter user account.  This is normal social tweeting though.
  • Rolling Stones were a hit: the day after 20% of tweets mention the Rolling Stones, of these only 1 was negative the rest just mentioned them or were positive.   Positive statements tended to be strong. Following the hashtag during the performance a lot of comments were highly negative by people watching the show on BBC.  Perhaps it was the effort of getting out there, but the people tweeting from the concert itself either like the performance, or convinced themselves after the massive effort that they were going to like the concert. 
  • Last night ecstasy: as the last night close twitter ramped up to over 140 geo-tagged tweets an hour, meaning likely thousands of total tweets, with repeated statements of the existential experience it seemed to be. 


  1. Tweeting levels are actually not high given the large number of people there and their ages.
  2. People are engaging in higher than normal tagging and sharing images.
  3. Foursquare check are normal.
  4. People are not more social than normal.
  5. All are in line with a big event in a remote area where it might be hard to charge a phone or get a signal.
  6. There was a significant difference between the responses posted to twitter by TV viewers and in site participants, with people there being highly more positive about everything. 
  7. Peer pressure still exists, in fact much of the emergent social media people are talking about is just good old fashioned peer pressure.  For example as the stones first performed there were a lot of comments on twitter from TV viewers that were negative, as the next day progresses and reviews are published, the response is becoming more and more uniform.  You can see twitter agree that the 'Rolling Stones were good' in real time.  Public sentiment emerges via a process of discourse, and in this process traditional established media players like BBC, the papers and celebrity still have massive power, if not actually more power than in traditional culture were social and electronic media were more seperated.

Tracking tweets coming from #Wimbledon

Use these tools to track the level and content of tweets from the area around #Wimbledon.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tracking tweets from #Mandela hospital

This tool is tracking tweeting from outside of Mandela's hospital as his condition becomes critical.

Friday, 21 June 2013

#ProtestoRJ floods twitter Acompanhe os tweets

Protests in Rio Brazil are producing a massive amount of twitter activity. Track real time tweets with this tool
Protestos no Rio Brasil estão produzindo uma enorme quantidade de atividade do twitter. Acompanhe os tweets em tempo real com esta ferramenta.

Read tweets from the protest below:

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Social Media at #Stonehenge

The meter above counts the number of tweets coming from the area around Stonehenge

The map above shows web data that is related to Stonehenge, click the icons to learn more. Below are links coming from Stonehenge, you can click on a link to start up a conversation with someone who is there, as long as there post is fairly recent.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mapping #OccupyGezi with social media

Real time twitter score for tweets coming from Taksim Square in Istanbul: OccupyGezi gelen tweets Sayısı (gerçek zamanlı):
Real time twitter tweets coming from Taksim Square in Istanbul: OccupyGezi tweets (gerçek zamanlı):

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Tracking tweets from #LeWeb

See high tweeting from LeWeb site, within 1 KM of the event we are seeing over 200 geo-tagged tweets an hour, with 70% of tweets mentioning LeWeb explicitly.  Use the tool to see tweets geo-tagged for near this location.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Did twitter just break a major UK political sex scandal?

The newspapers in the UK are reporting that a sex scandal exists near No 10, but they are not disclosing the name.  But on twitter it seems that an emerging consensus is that it was News of the World employees Rebecca Brooks and Andy Coulson.
The evidence for this is extremely week. A popular tweeter "Guido Fawkes" (Paul Staines) claims to know, and is a person who probably would know.  

Okay based on clues given by Staines this is all I think it comes down to:
  1. The are not MPs
  2. They are not in the cabinet
  3. Is was a man and a woman
  4. Staines labelled a image #acrb which is being taken as a hint. 
Okay so it makes sense it might be them two, but this is not really first rate journalism and twitter has had some epic fails.  Lets see what the outcome it, has twitter shown that UK libel laws are meaningless in an age of rapid self publishing, or does the concept of the wisdom of crowds have yet another major failure?

Industrial Convergence is the key concept of future economics

A nice quick intro to the concept of industrial convergence from

3D printing is quickly demonstrating a key factor in understanding the urban life to come.  Two factors are working to transform industry from the silos of today, dependent on cheap labor living in distant places, and a sustainable future.

I explain why the pace of innovation is creating less high tech factory

Firstly the issue is energy, and the massive dependency on cheap energy that the current economics uses.  The other factor is growing ability to create substances and objects from data that can be shared via open standards on the Interent.

3D printing is showing the possibility of downloading almost anything anywhere and creating it via recycled material near the point of consumption.  Very soon it will be possible to create clothing and most other consumer goods a the point of use using recycled material.

But just because something is technically possible does not mean it will be done.  In fact local production is possible now, its just not economical for the most part.

What will drive convergence uptake will be the cost of energy.  If we do run out of cheap oil and no alternative is found the cost of moving a pair of shoes or jeans from China will become so high it will become better to produce them locally, using 3D printers or other machines of the future.

But there is a possibility that solar, wind or nuclear will provide a new age of cheap energy.  If there is a new age of cheap energy it is possible that not local convergent industry will be able to compete with the low costs of China.

Let me explain.  Why are so many of the things you own made in China?  We all know the answer is cheap quality labor.  But given the amazing possibility of modern technology why do plants in the United States and EU not just put in machines that would so expand human capacity as to make the cheap labor of China meaningless?  Its is a good question.  If you have ever seen how things are done in China you will notice a great deal of inefficiency and wasted human effort.  With modern computers and machines a factory in the United States could easily be so much more efficient than one in China that the difference in wages would become almost nothing.

But that is the issue, the fact that putting machinery in place costs money, in what is called fixed capital.  You need to operate a plant for some time to get the benefit of fixed capital investment and there is always a chance you will never get the benefit if you lose your market or the technology does not work.

Innovation in consumer demand is actually making this worse.  

If you put machinery in a plant you need to run the machines for a certain amount of time to get return on the investment.  If you don't use machines you need to use more people.  Since the items being created change so rapidly it is better not to have fixed capital in machinery and to have capital invested in labor.

Okay, I know this sounds Marxist.  My defence on that kind of lame point is that Marx simply assumed classical economics of the 18th and 19th Century to be true, so this is just Classic economics.

So where is the invisible hand that makes everything right in the market?  Well the only way to argue for that is to say service jobs in the west make up for lost production jobs.  Personally I see that as the case.  When I was 21 I got a job in a chemical plant over the summer.  I was able to get another job for the same wages working with retarded adults.  I found the job working with retarded adults far more rewarding and was happy to leave the old economy and enter a lifetime of service economy work.  Since that time I have, for 25 years, not work one day outside of the service sector.  I think my story is kind of typical.

The necessary #Tumblr #Yahoo post: why its worse than you think

Who is it who wanted Tumblr to juin Yahoo?  Certainly not the user of either site.
Okay before I even write I know what you think I think: Tumblr selling to Yahoo! is terrible for Tumblr users.  Well duh?

Yahoo is the guy who is entering his fifth marriage to a woman he meet in rehab who is half his age.  Yahoo is the place that web site go to die.  Given that Internet users have minds of their own it hard to see how this will work, even if Yahoo manages somehow not to screw this one up, which would be a first, its hard to see the users sticking with Tumblr long enough to find out.  Yahoo reputation goes before it and in social networks it's the chaotic mass actions of crowds that have highly unpredictable impacts.  Unpredictable usually means catastrophic for the established players with poor track records.

Screaming Yahoo! in a social network will create a stampede of users out.  User are rational agents who have formed opinions often based on a wealth of previous experience.  After a certain point it is very hard for brands to revive themselves in a market where reputation and information is everything.

But really I could care less about Tumblr per say: its just another blogging social network tool.  So many have come and gone over the past 10 years its hard to get any emotion about one.  Personally I stopped using Tumblr for no other reason than I couldn't be bother about converting TIFFs to JPGs.

Yes, I am that jaded.

But the fact that Yahoo! could buy a successful new platform like this tells us something terrible about the Internet.

There are essentially two points of view about how the Internet could build freedom.  On the left wing their is the idea that the Internet gives citizens a cheap easy to use platform to promote democracy.  The mass ownership of social networks that are prepared to censor content automatically has killed this idea and the hope of an Internet that was managed via democratic means is long gone.

So we have the Internet as a business, for the most part having to be sustainable and profitable.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Linux, which still cling to the leftist utopia model of an emergent democratic internet, but for the most part the Internet is about venue flow.

On the right wing of the Internet are the libertarians have said that direct democracy was not necessary, because the Internet was a market and that users moving from platform to platform would have the same result, via the 'magic of the marketplace' that direct elections could have.  Free markets, the story goes, would create a free Internet.

People have pointed to protest movements use of Facebook and Twitter as evidence of this, and frankly something has to be said for it.  Users are not dumb machines, they are not the play things of corporate strategies and even in a fully commodity based platform like Facebook users have found ways to express a wide range of opinions.

But the core idea of the libertarian movement is that the Internet is a market place.

Yahoo! buying Tumblr shows that this is not even true.

If the Internet was a real market, with free entry and 'creative destruction' taking place Yahoo! would not only NOT be buying Tumblr it would have been driven out of business years ago by more agile effective players.  And yet this catastrophic company, perhaps the worst run major company in the US since Enron (I don't say that lightly) has managed to buy one of the most popular and dynamic new blogging and networking platforms.

This is NOT free market capitalism.

The Internet is a more disturbing concentration of power than most anyone is thinking.

The Internet seems to be more like a feudal system before industrialisation.  Revenue comes via ad views, which are controlled by ownership of the platforms.  The users create all the value by publishing content to platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but Google and Facebook make the money as a kind of rent they establish by control of this.

It is important to compare this to Wikipedia which funds via donations.  Wikipedia is capable of an emergent democratic process where users can raise issues, and admins can be convinced to change.  In the years I have worked, modestly, with Wikipedia I have seen major changes in the way power is daily used and shared.

But that is not the norm.

The norm is massive companies too big to fail which dominate more and more of the platforms making profits for their investors.

The Internet is looking more and more like the banking sector.

So what chance freedom?

I will come out and say it, the only opportunity most users have of establishing freedom on the emerging corporate web is being bitches: ignoring rules and working to subvert the system to work in ways that serve their interests.  This seems to be the fate of resistance in consumer society.

But the idea that the Internet would function like a high school was not the promise that motivated me back in 1989.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Tweets from #occupygezi

Real time twitter score for tweets coming from Taksim Square in Istanbul: OccupyGezi gelen tweets Sayısı (gerçek zamanlı):
Real time tweeter meter at site of Istanbul protest, giving total geo-tagged tweets for a 1 KM radius.
Before Gezi Park was cleared by police I was seeing from 2,000 to 10,000 geo-tagged tweets an hour coming from the radius of Taksim and Gezi. The rates continue to be hight but have dropped.  Since the crack down tweeting and retweeting is down about 90% most times I check it.  Kind of disturbing actually.

Typical tweeting reading during the #OccupyGezi protest, almost 2,000 tweets an hour, almost all about the protes.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tracking #Cannes tweets

The above tool tells you the level of tweets coming from the Cannes Film festival. Perhaps more interesting is the tool below, where you can read the content of tweets that have the Cannes Filme Festival as a geo-tag. Get the reviews as people are walking out the of theatres, see the stars photos, and experience details of being there on twitter.

Track tweets from #OKC

Friday, 17 May 2013

How the Real World killed #SecondLife

There is no question Second Life is beautiful and creative, but I can't help but conclude that the lack of people active on spaces has reached a critical point.

[video] "Jazz on Bones" @ Topophonia: Four Realizations in Sound
By Eupalinos Ugajin
Spoiler: The conclusion of this article is that mobile technology has transformed cities of the real world in to the largest virtual worlds around, and that now real space, bound with the internet, is providing people the largest of virtual worlds.

These social maps of Jakarta, London and Rio show that mobile technology has create a Virtual World out of the real world.  You can look in on the real world now via the internet, see where crowds are likely formed, read reviews of places, see images, look at tweets, join meetups.  The virtual world technology that drives Second Life is now merged with the real world.

Looking now at a map of central Second Life shows a plague or participation has happened. Bebo and MySpace prove social networks follow a line of time, entropy governs social networks on the Internet.

Second Life passed a tipping point. Social relations already established can work but new social relations can't be formed, like a galaxy there is simply not enough stuff to form new relationships between stuff, the chances of bumping in to new people randomly is too small.

That is not to say nothing is going on in Second Life. Second Life is kind of like a dying galaxy. In a dying galaxy stars can go on for billions of years, there still are a few clusters of established community and relationships that can go on in Second Life.

These is just not enough critical mass of people to form new clusters of people.   I used to meet a new person every day in SL.  Look at the map above and you see few places where people will be grouping to meet, where you can start up a chat and develop a new friendship.  Think of is a large area of space, if there is not enough matter in space new stars can't form from accidental collisions.  There is a minimal density of people in a space required to make an area an exciting destination for social like.  Second Life does not look like a city you would go to on vacation, it has become a suburb people go to in order to carry out private interests.

Compare the Second Life map of all avatars to a map of Lagos, showing only the people who happen to tweet using Geo-location turned on (a tiny minority), clearly a living city like Lagos is offering social opportunity than Second Life, even online.

These two maps of Second Life showing green dots for every person shows a disturbing pattern, spaces are mostly empty, there is simply no hub to meet people.  A few spots have large clusters but there are not enough of them to make new introductions.  So Second Life is stuck in an entropy problem.  Established users with established contacts can use it to carry on personal social interactions, and many still do.  But over time these will be reduced, people get bored or die or fall out with each other.  There is no engine in place to form new relationships.

The problem with a social space like Second Life is that all the social formation has to happen inside of it.  In this way its more like Twitter than Facebook.  Most of my contacts on Twitter are people I meet via twitter, which Facebook depends on established social networks.

But twitter is linked to the real world, I meet people on Twitter via shared real world interests and politics and sometimes I even meet them in the real world.  This link to the real world does not exist in Second Life, SL is a fantasy space that requires it produce its own fantasies, and right now there are simply not enough people playing Princesses and Princes for the ball to go on.

Anyways think about it, what would make make a better virtual world?  A world you have to make entirely and pay to maintain, or the real world that is already there and full of great stuff?