Music Hackday London - 2010

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Hello friends!

Last weekend I attend the Music Hackday at the Guardian offices, London. It was super. I travelled the Saturday morning from Hereford so was lacking in sleep even before starting the 24-hour hack session.

In the morning, there were presentations and workshops put on by the companies and organisations attending. Some interesting ideas were put forward, I especially was interested in O2 Litmus' hashblue service that I actually signed up to a couple of weeks ago. It allows you to access your text messages, almost in real-time.

On a mobile theme, I decided for my hack, I would take up my Cleversounds idea.

You are walking around between shops, pubs, clubs and your house - they usually have some music playing in the background. Wouldn't it be nice if they played your favourite music?

In a nutshell: you register you bluetooth MAC address, tell the site what music you like by linking your accounts (or by just typing in artists). When your device is detected by a Cleversounds Jukebox, you are played your favourite artists and recommendations. Back on the site, you get a feed of what tracks have been played for you, along with where and when.

The application is live at where you can sign up and use a demo Jukebox that simulates Bluetooth devices detected. I do plan to package up all the software and local scripts into something that you can download and run on your machine allowing you to have your very own Jukebox, so long as you have a bluetooth dongle (or similar).

There were some fantastic hacks demoed on the Sunday, a full list is available on the wiki. Lots of photos of the event are available here and videos here.

Well done to all the organisers and everyone attending that made it so much fun. As a final note, the food/drink provided was amazing. Photo accreditation to Thomas Bonte.

August Summary


A few notable things to mention for this, the least sunniest summer I have seen in a long time.

  • I have spent most waking hours at my workplace - Hotel Commodore.
  • I have passed first year Electronics (finally!)
  • I have grasped json handling using jQuery (just about)
  • The Victorian Festival is dead. There is less and less stuff each year now.
  • I have invested in an arduino board.
  • and I am looking forward to moving to Leeds in September

Music Projects

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On recently registering for the London Music Hack Day, I have been thinking of ideas for using web services such as Twitter, Facebook, LastFM and others, which come with beautifully wrapped APIs, to put together some fun music applications.

Introducing the Facebook Friend Artist Wall

This application gets your Facebook friends musical likes and displays a wall of artist images. Clicking on an artist fetches a related song from the Echo Nest API to play you.

It can also display a word cloud of popular artists amongst your friends.

I have a couple of other ideas that I am going to mess around with over the next few days including some geo-location stuff. Keep an eye out!

Facebook Privacy

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Facebook privacy has popped up again in the news, yawn.

The personal details of more than 100 million Facebook users have been published on the internet.

Yes and why is this news? Those 100 million Facebook users gave their 'personal details' (happens to be name, gender, profile picture and locality) to Facebook on the internet. So, I am pretty sure that they were expecting to see their names on the internet.

Story Background: A security consultant put the list of users together using the Facebook Graph API. The dataset has now been uploaded to torrent sites allowing people easy access to the names and URLs of Facebook users.

So what is all the fuss about?

The data that has been collected is freely available via a search on Facebook or by a search engine. If people do not want their names 'published' on the internet, then they either need to:

  • use a fake name as their online identity
  • stay offline