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Archive for the ‘out and about’ Category

Taxi ride

I have been to the America twice in my life. The first time was when I was about 11, visiting a family who had been neighbours when they were living in England, but had moved back to the US; to Connecticut, as it happens. The second time was much more recently.
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In my write-up of Charlie Hull’s presentation on Open Source Search engines, I said that he gave a number of case studies. One of them concerned a major newspaper publisher. Although this wasn’t in the write-up, in private conversation I have incorrectly referred to them as being an Autonomy customer, when they were in fact a FAST customer.

Apologies for any confusion caused.

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Here’s a photo I took from my phone, a few months ago.
"Thinking, Fast and Slow", next to blood stain
I had to take an unexpected journey, and had to make a quick decision, in less than ideal circumstances, as to what I would take with me. If, instead of this book and my phone, I had picked up my battered old iPod, then subsequent events might have taken a very different course.

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This week had risked turning into a disappointment, what with Richard Sennett’s lecture on “The Open City” being cancelled. But last night more than made up for it. The Data Insights Cambridge meetup group, er, met up, for a brilliant talk by Charlie Hull, founder of Flax, about open source search engines.

Instead of talking about how search engines are implemented, as fascinating as that stuff is, he largely talked about industry politics, which turns out to be fascinating too.
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I was having a conversation the other day about a talk Alan Blackwell gave a couple of years back, about the history of the “Cambridge phenomenon”. This reminded me how, many moons ago, I attended a conference he organised entitled Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy. It was about the possible wider cultural significance of challenges, in the software world, to entrenched ideas of intellectual property.

At the time I wrote a report on it, for my then employers. If only I’d had the foresight to keep a copy for myself…

I’ve forgotten much about it, but before I forget even more, here’s a brief review, a decade too late.
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