Eight Random Gary Facts – Game?

 Posted by on December 9, 2007 at 10:12 am  personal, viral, Web 2.0  1 Response »
Dec 092007

I have been tagged by Bettina (double tagged in fact inworld SL and out in web 2.0 – thanks Bett!) So I am compelled on fear of being ‘something/shamed’ to post eight random factoids about me. Well that is easy – he ponders. Wonders doing the sums how many blog posts will there be as 8*8*8 (8 factorial?) and so on spreads like a pyramid scheme, factoid virus around the web. Anyway lets get it out of the way…thinks…not that easy…ok will start at the bottom first with the next 8 victims!

These are the 8 tagged to do likewise below:
Tony Walsh
Peter Giles
Imogen Heap
Jackie Turnure
Dan Taylor
Keren Flavell
Frank Boyd
Laurel Papworth

1- Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2 – People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3 – At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4 – Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Now to my random things…

1 Have been a vegetarian since age of 12.
So thats like 10 years ago 😉 Well I eat fish so one of those fish eating slightly hypocritical veges…

2 Am a multi-instrumentalist.
Yay! This gives me the opportunity to show off, or it shows others what a show off I am ?!. So here is a list of my instruments I can play well (eg: impro and/or read and/or pro-record with) – Harps (3 at the moment!), saxophones, clarinet, guitars (elec through to classical), voice/singing, piano/keyboards, flute, cello, bass, various (loads of) world instruments including komuz, tar, saz, digeridoo, and all that music tech stuff. As a performer – tons of stuff including supporting many of the famous manchester bands in the 80s, through to taking leads in operas and as Music Producer tutor (such as at the BRIT School) starting folk like Imogen Heap off! Back to multi-instrumentalist this image shows how sad this can get – here is one wall of my house 😉

Gary Instruments 1

3 I ran away from home at 5am when I was 3 years old! Yes it was in all the papers, discovered later in the evening wandering around a busy shopping centre in Gloucester UK (where I was born – awww), more than 6 miles from the house!

4 Fav spaces, I Love desert/canyon-type environs – especially California, New Mex, Utah and Arizona. So Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Bryce, Taos surrounds etc etc: Still fav area on the planet is Yosemite – but often found wandering these areas when I am in them, at sunrise and sunset, wondering why I am wandering 😉

5 Collect old analog photographic stuff – but it will all have to go soon ;-( So large format cameras (yes 7*5 inches and above) through to micro spy cams etc:. Still have a great medium format enlarger and all the poison’ess chemicals – but sadly digital has now fully taken over…well not sadly, it is sooo much more dynamic and fun!

6 Long distance cyclist – used to be silly distances, and still am when I can. Regularly used to do 120-150 miles in one go! Often did cycle camping tours which turned into 700-800 mile trips, Across Uzbekistan, Bilbao to Barcelona, Prague to Budapest, New York to DC and back, San Fran to Diego via Lone Pine! Venice to Zurich, Firenze to Rome and of various long loops including Marrakech/Atlas mountains and Swiss/Italian alps – phew tired just thinking about it again!

7 Set silly goals then try to achieve them. Such as roller-blading in the Registan in Samarkand or recording the Morroccon Oboe, in costume up in the Atlas mountains!

8 Fav project I conceived and produced still has to be the BBC Musical Nomad, still live. 40 days across the ‘stans (Uzbek, Krygyz, Kazakh) – meeting musicians, shaman and great people then sending daily video, audio, images and great stories live onto the web, world service radio and doing a TV/radio capture (just 4 of us) – still have memory of setting up a satellite one dark evening on a mountainside in Kazakstan, with a generator whiring in the distance, horsemen coming in an out of the trees, to upload our daily experience and then logging onto the BBC site and hearing the national anthem in memory of Princess Diana killed a few moments earlier…

Jan 162006

RealMedia and Microsoft have had their knuckles rapped once already and it seems that the normally tread-carefully Apple have started to upset a few folk with their ‘collaborative filtering’ methodologies via iTunes. The BBC article ” Snooping fears plague new iTunes” points out that Apple is watching you. Every time a viewer visits the iTunes store and more significantly plays various tunes on their local machine data is being sent back to Apple who ‘anonymously’ (alledgedly) then use this data to recommend. Like Amazon a simple model of those who bought/listened to this also bought/listened to this.

The row arose following the update to the iTunes software released by Apple on 10 January.
The new version includes a MiniStore feature that recommends tracks to buy similar to those a user is listening to.
MiniStore looks for similar tracks when a user clicks on a tune in a playlist. It even makes recommendations about songs that were not bought via the hugely popular online music store.

Now this makes a lot of sense given the traffic around iTunes but why was it so underhand and secretive? We have all, of course 😉 read the terms and conditions that Apple send out with every update of iTunes, you know the ones that you immediately click on ‘accept’ when you realise it would take you an hour or so to read every word of the electronic doc that keeps you from your tunes! I suspect there will be a line or para or two about how the data is not stored and that you are ‘not being’ spy’ed – but even now I don’t have time to look for it! Lets keep consumer confidence in personalization systems above this ‘big brother’ level please Apple. Set examples that the industry can use as a model. There is going to be more and more of this in the coming years and it would have been good for Apple to set the benchmark of personalization customer relations. As it is…

“Privacy advocates complained that Apple had not done enough to warn people about the information that was being collected, nor what was being done with the collected data.
By contrast Apple does mention in the licence agreement for iTunes that it contacts the Gracenote music database to work out which album is being played via the program. (snip)
Macworld magazine reported on its website that an Apple official had told it that nothing was done with the information collected.
The magazine called on Apple to be upfront about the information it was collecting and what was being done with it. “

You can turn off this ‘ministore’ feature but I would suggest that at the very least industry adopts an ‘opt-in’ approach at all times. Asking people to turn something off that they didn’t already know was on, watching their consuming habits is going to bring nothing but trouble not only for the company concerned but for the industry moving forward.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006