Five minutes, one year, two buildings, a thousand stories

Notes from my presentation at Bettakultcha, Leeds Town Hall, on Wednesday 9 January 2013. What an amazing venue. I could spend the next five minutes just talking about this building. I could tell you how the Leeds Corporation raised a special tax and set a budget of £35,000 to build a grand new town hall. … Continue reading Five minutes, one year, two buildings, a thousand stories

Three machines made in Leeds

For my wife's family it is the crockery. Staffordshire-raised, they can't resist upturning plates and bowls to check their makers' marks - Doulton, Wedgwood and what-have-you. And my own father grew up near Sheffield, so in restaurants I also study the knives and forks - David Mellor was a Noughties Brit cuisine staple. But Leeds, well … Continue reading Three machines made in Leeds

For Ada Lovelace Day: Eleanor Coade, technology entrepreneur of the 18th Century

It's Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. In previous years I've written about Elizabeth Montagu, Lizzie Le Prince and Laura Willson. This time I want to highlight the unique achievements of Eleanor Coade, creator and entrepreneur behind one of the most durable … Continue reading For Ada Lovelace Day: Eleanor Coade, technology entrepreneur of the 18th Century

Mr. SMEATON IN UR RIVR FIXIN UR BR1DGE

On opening the great arch at London Bridge, by throwing two arches into one, and the removal of a large pier, the excavation, around and underneath the sterlings of that pier, was so considerable, as to put the adjoining piers, that arch, and eventually the whole bridge, in great danger of falling. The previous opinions … Continue reading Mr. SMEATON IN UR RIVR FIXIN UR BR1DGE

A {$arbitrary_disruptive_technology} In Every Home

The fantastic culmination of James Burke's talk at dConstruct last week set me thinking about a misleading trope that seems to recur with regularity in our discourse about technology. Through his 70s TV series James was a childhood hero of mine. I wrote about his talk in my summary of the event, and thanks to … Continue reading A {$arbitrary_disruptive_technology} In Every Home

Apple’s real innovation: a gesture made with two fingers

Douglas Rushkoff nails my unease at the patenting of gestures, a critical front in the commercial war being waged through intellectual property. At stake is how far governments should grant monopoly rights over something that belongs to all of us: our shared language of words and gestures. US Patent #7,812,826, though limited and not at stake … Continue reading Apple’s real innovation: a gesture made with two fingers