John Haynes

Full time creative, part time futurist. I love writing, photography and filmmaking.

find me on twitter @johnmahaynes

colchrishadfield:

My first recording from the International Space Station. You can hear the slight buzz of the station’s fans in the background.

This is the first original, complete song recorded from space.

So fucking cool.

“Human civilisation will disappear in a puff of philosophical smoke when we discover a contradiction that leads to the conclusion 1 = 0. This, he said, would imply “1 universe = 0 universe, which would wipe us all out in a mathematical Armageddon”

In today’s Times, Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, outlines his theory for the most likely cause of the apocalypse. (via juliansimpson)

(Source: thetimes.co.uk, via juliansimpson)

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An oldie, but still a cool concept - Kevin Rose (Google Ventures, co-founder of Digg.com) interviews Phillip Rosedale (creator of Second Life) about Coffee & Power, a workspace set up using an interesting user-charging technique.

A great demo video of Aurasma from a TED talk. The app tracks unaltered imagery and overlays video, animations and menus via your mobile device - better than a QR code!

Chugging for Cornflakes

At the weekend I was dragged along to the local Tesco by my wife to volunteer for our local foodbank, collecting donations of food and handing out leaflets.

I’m not going to lie - the thought of enduring any longer in a supermarket than absolutely necessary still gives me cold sweats, but this was a little different.

We were positioned just inside the door, a place in which the rush of people in and out of the cold combines with the droning warmth of the overhead heaters to create a temperature-less purgatory.

I was met by an eager group of hi-vis jackets that thrusted a bundle of neatly compiled shopping lists into my hands - the idea was that people would use them to collect one or two small items from the list on their way round, donating them to us on the way out.

Immediately I was put into an uncomfortable position. I’d gone along expecting to be the young man to lift all the heavy boxes from one place to another - a thankless task, but a vital cog in the machine.

I’m usually the sort of guy that gives a couple of quid to people collecting for charity, but I hate being approached when I’m doing something else. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve even gone as far as to pretend I’m on my phone when I spot a chugger. Yet there was I, expected to approach the unwitting public and ask them to donate some of their hard-earned money to our cause.

I was beginning to feel very out of my depth.

Fearing the worst, I approached my first victim. Then the second. Then the third - within minutes, all fear of any embarrassment dissappeared.

I was humbled by the response. Within the two hours I was there, we collected hundreds of kilos of food. The days’ total was 101 boxes, double what we expected and well over a tonne of food - all to help those in dire need.

There are foodbanks all over the country. If you can’t give food or money this Christmas - I urge you to give your time, even if it’s just a couple of hours.

Audience Targeting

You know what’s a cool number? A million.

YouTube’s exponential increase in popularity means that there are more people likely to see a video from Charlie (that took a couple of hours to make at a very low cost), than to watch an expensive series starring Dustin Hoffman on Sky Atlantic (that cost thousands, taking months to produce), airing to an average of 240,000 viewers.

It’s easy to rationalise Charlie’s popularity – he’s a good looking, very charming young man that adopted a new media trend at the crucial stage of popularity – but how do you recreate his success?

Can it be done on name alone? You only have to come up with a catchy #tag and suddenly teenagers worldwide are posting pictures of their shaved heads, going #baldforbeiber. But, even with talent attached to an idea, it’s still very hard to get a new idea off the ground.

The PR company’s answer? National press coverage. It’s something that very few actually have access to, and often written by people that have little or no idea about new media – nor will they watch what you have produced. Whilst providing a spike in popularity that may well see you on your way to larger audience figures – the numbers will eventually settle again.

The internet is brutally honest. No longer do we have to rely on estimated viewing figures, or wildly inaccurate circulation numbers of print publications.

By uploading something to the internet, we are able to pinpoint exactly the number of people that watched it – but it extends far further than just that.

We’re currently being swept into a new online era – where the measure of our credibility allows or denies access to the things we want and need. Social networking has moved away from simple status updates – we now use our profiles as verification of who we are.

Traditional websites are abandoning the put-an-ad-on-the-page-and-hope-people-see-it mentality. Even measuring impressions on a web page is now considered old hat. The smart sites are giving the power of engagement to their users in return for access to the information stored on their social networking pages. 

We can now track where and when someone watched something, we can begin to build up a true picture of the audience – and for the first time begin to understand why they are watching.

When we understand why someone is watching we can tailor content to their location, their interests – and thanks to the break away from the tradition of scheduled broadcasting, we can pick the best time, even the best weather conditions in which to release a video.

To reach a million hits – it’s not about a target audience, but audience targeting.

First. Moore’s law. You all know it: the rule of the thumb that has computing power doubling for the same price every 18 months. It makes planning really difficult. Mostly because people don’t see its relentlessness.

For example, a two term Prime Minister today would end his term of office with an iPhone 64 times as powerful as the one he won the election with. (Or the same thing, but 1/64th of the price.) His policies, therefore, need to written with that future in mind, not the present. Good luck with that.

https://www.benhammersley.com/2011/09/my-speech-to-the-iaac/

Augmented make-up

Here’s an idea I’ve been pondering. How long will it be before we can ‘Photoshop’ the real world. I mean, since the creation of digital image capture devices, we’ve manipulated the images to look the way we want. That’s nothing new.

What is a new idea, right on the cusp of being socially acceptable, is digitally enabled eye-wear that projects something right in front of our eyes - like a real world H.U.D.

How long is it before we use a combination of these technologies to tweak the way we appear to others, by applying augmented make-up?

If you’ve seen anything interesting - let me know on Twitter, @johnmahaynes