Skip to main content

Seems I pack less every conference I attend

2 min read

Tomorrow I fly out to Minneapolis for [IA Summit 2015](http://www.iasummit.org/events/ias2015) and I surprised even myself with how much "stuff" I'm not taking.

I still follow [Tantek's SXSW Packing List](http://tantek.com/2012/067/b1/sxsw-packing-check-list). It's stood me in good stead over the years attending that (and other) conferences and still has some great practical advice - Printing off a copy of your boarding pass for instance.

Now my books & music are in the cloud, with a select few things downloaded locally for wi-fi less places. Same with tickets and schedules (Evernote, Dropbox).

Over the years there's items I always take:

* [Vapur Relax collapsble water bottle](https://vapur.us/shop/reflex/reflex)
* [Jackery mini charger](http://amzn.to/1d2pqYF) for phones & tablets
* [Muji notebooks](http://www.muji.us/store/stationery/notebooks.html?limit=all) are inexpensive and great for jotting down notes in sessions.

Some new items I'm trying out:

* [Clear toiletry bag](http://www.muji.us/store/travel/packing/tpu-clear-case-1.html) to save of putting everything in a ziplock bag just for the TSA
* [Bolstr](http://www.koyono.com/bolstr-Small-Carry-Bag/) has been great for day-to-day holding of sunglasses, phone, moleskines, and all sorts of other EDC items
* [Tripcase](https://www.tripcase.com/) is an new, to me, service for your trip itinerary.

So it all fits in one duffel, one bolstr, and a laptop sleeve. Not bad going.

\#edc \#ias15

Google is now a mobile network

1 min read

[Project Fi](https://fi.google.com/) is Google's new way of looking at the mobile networks we use every day.

Only available to a select few with [Nexus6 phones](https://www.google.com/nexus/6/), one of the appeals is only being charged for what you use. The [breakdown on Verge](http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/22/8467433/google-launches-mobile-service) explains it quite nicely.

If I hadn't just got my [Nexus5](https://www.google.com/nexus/5/) I'd suck up my qualms of having a huge phone for a [flat rate of $50/month](https://fi.google.com/about/plan/) for unlimited call/texts/ and 10Gb of data.

Seems Yahoo! has abandoned the @aviate launcher.

1 min read

I managed to find an older copy of the [Aviate APK](http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/yahoo-formerly-thumbsup-labs/aviate/aviate-2-2-3-2-android-apk-download/), so I'm back to running the version before the [Yahoo! update ruined it for me](http://blog.davidjohnmead.com/2015/and-just-like-aviate-is-ruinedfor-me).

Looking at the 1 star reviews trickling in I'm not the only one. Neither the [official Aviate website](http://aviate.yahoo.com/) or [Google Play page](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tul.aviate&referrer=utm_source%3Daviate_website%26utm_medium%3Dwebsite) have been updated with new screenshots or descriptions. Very few of the reviews have an answer and the tweets are kinda stock, apart from this one...

So we're stuck with the Yahoo! search bar on every screen then.

Luckily I can turn off auto-update and keep the older APK on dropbox, just in case.

And just like, @aviate is ruined...for me.

2 min read

I started [using the Aviate Launcher](http://davidjohnmead.com/2014/03/03/mapping-out-the-day/) about this time last year. Designed solely for Android, I found was a great new way of using my phone.

It automagically grouped your apps into specific 'collections'. You could also add and remove apps from these collections. The killer (for me) part of Aviate was 'spaces'. These would change throughout the day, based on time and location. You could then add different collections & widgets into these spaces.

Over the last year they've pushed some nice improvements, but the push last night was a complete surprise! Marked as "Misc. bug fixes" it was actually a complete change to the functionality and design of the app.

Gone are the spaces, replaced by a Yahoo! search bar on every screen with a dropdown containing only "today", "places", and "entertainment".

2015-04-11 11.45.23

The music card only shows the first four items in the collection. I tried dragging another icon in but got an error message...

> Bandcamp is already in the null collection

2015-04-11 17.25.27

Though the collections remain, you can't add them into these three new items, and nothing seems to change based on location.

I first got this on my tablet and [thought it was a mistake](https://twitter.com/davidmead/status/586871381423292416) as the [Google Play page](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tul.aviate&hl=en) still shows images and description of the old app. I had to remove and reinstall it on my phone to get the new version, and now wish I didn't.

The whole thing feels like the core team left and it's been giving to new one to make it more "Yahoo-like", gutting everything that I found useful.

I tried to keep using it, but uninstalled it after 12 hours. Now I'm hoping someone will take what's been ripped out of Aviate and makes something new.

Thank you Internet - Taylor Swift & Aphex Twin mashup

1 min read

This is an odd (though not the weirdest) mashup that works pretty well some of the time.

Thanks to Bryan for the link. Surprised Mark hasn't put this in playlist yet ;-)

'Intervision 1015' by @woobHQ. 27 tracks covering 5 years #np

1 min read

Ever since '1194' came out, I've been a fan of Woob. Today he released 'Intervision 1015'. What he describes as...

An intergalactic mash up of epic proportions drawing on five years worth of material + new mixes and a track from the future- Intervision 1015 is the ultimate in mind cinema.

Even though I have some of the source material already, this is something completely new. Great stuff.

Interesting point about digital identity from @joyce

1 min read

There's a nice video interview with Joyce Kim by ZapChain, where she is talking about Stellar.org (she is the Exec. Director of the Stellar Foundation). Around the 10:30 mark she mentions dual SIM devices and how people in developing parts of the world look at identity differently.

"The SIM cards are actually their identity...The devices are fungible"

Could we be heading in a similar direction with the and silos? Where our content is our identity and we can move it around "in the cloud" to whatever suits us. Making Facebook and Twitter fungible?

I think that's the direction I'm looking at anyway.

Thunderbirds are GO! Again

1 min read

The original Thunderbirds was a huge part of my childhood. The various re-boots over the years have somewhat missed the mark, but this latest version looks like it captures a lot of the original spirit as well as the look and feel of a 60's future...

Mixing models built by WETA, which look bang-on to the original series models, and a style of computer animation very close to that of the recent Star Wars: Clone Wars, should make for a great show for viewers young & old, if the stories are there.

Hopefully this'll make it over to the USA soon.

 @ThunderbirdsHQ

One of my favourite Alan Bennett stories is now a film by @bbcfilms

1 min read

I've always been partial to Alan Bennett's writing. The 'Talking Heads' series on BBC is particularly great. But the only book I've read of his was 'Writing Home' It's a great mix of autobiographical material with one story that stuck out for me - 'The Lady In The Van'.

Now that has been filmed, by BBC Films, starring Dame Maggie Smith as the Lady. It couldn't be cast better. 

I doubt it'll get a wide distrubution here in the US, but hopefully I can catch it on Netflix.

Created a @tackk for Rosie #dog

1 min read

I created a Tackk to enter a competition about dogs. Thought I'd share it here too.