Author Archives: iain_emsley

I am a developer in the Janet web team as well as occasionally working on some Open Source projects. The views expressed on this blog are mine alone and are not to be taken as a position or comment by Janet.

Welcoming the Videocracy

I’m currently reading Videocracy (Allocca, 2018). As the Head of Culture and Trends, there is a clear bias but the breathlessness of the writing is intriguing. Has YouTube style become writing style? Allocca highlights some interesting videos and extrapolates these into trends and themes. Some are long lasting such as the power and use of […]

High Frequency Trading Fans

Ticketmaster, a large purveyor of tickets, appear to be attempting to suggest how a genuine fan might be constructed: Tickets: is this the system to finally beat the touts? Having taken the email address, they want other details to check if a purchaser is a Verified Fan via social media. I do wonder how long […]

Mental health as algorithm bias

The Guardian has a story on insurance companies refusing life insurance cover for those with mental illness. A concern is raised that: The suspicion is that insurers are cherry-picking customers to minimise risk and boost the bottom line. (Marsh, 2018) So are the algorithm’s health being shown by human health? It may or may not […]

A creaking social media

The Guardian ran a piece by Tim Burrows on Facebook’s Safety Check feature, Safety Check: is Facebook becoming fear’s administrator-in-chief? I do find the social media platform increasingly fascinating, especially as it comes under critique for its social and technical choices. There’s an increasing creakiness that is coming to the fore now. Ruminating on the […]

A day at DMRN

I presented a poster on Joshua Steele at the Digital Music Research Network (DMRN) workshop this week. More on the poster in another post but the day did provide a range of talks. Much enjoyed the keynote by Augusto Sardi about capturing and rendering spatial audio. It reflected on techniques from computer vision and the […]

Prototyping, tracers and the art of throwing things away

I’m a fan of prototyping. Not all the time but I strongly believe that it has a place within the toolkit. If I am unsure of how something might be put together then I might put together a quick version to test out a current approach. If I am working with a team who know […]

Some Thoughts on Digitizing the Stage

I attended the Digitizing the Stage conference, jointly between the Bodleian libraries and Folger Shakespeare library. A basic storify exists here for the various tweets. A mix of performance, textual, makers, and doers, this was a chance to consider the needs of archives, scholars and the data for ongoing scholarship. I noticed a disenchantment with […]

Jane Austen’s word choices

A Facebook friend had a link to an NY Times piece on Jane Austen’s word choices. Using Franco Moretti’s techniques, it begins showing how Digital Humanities can be useful. There are one of two of his books that I am waiting for before I can get into the pros and cons but I do have […]

Reflections on the Docker Containers for Reproducible Research workshop

I’ve just come back from an workshop run by the Software Sustainability Institute about Docker and reproducibility. Widely used in industry and academia, Docker, the containerisation technology, is perhaps one of many tools to support the running of software across different platforms in a sane way. Two or three years ago, there was a huge […]

Approaching physical user experience as a total novice

As part of a project that I am involved with, I am currently trying to design some hardware. It is mainly casing around the components but it is completely new experience for me. I have never tried building anything for a person with visual impairments before, let alone a user experience. It is certainly a […]