How many CCTV cameras per person?

One of the factoids that’s been repeated again and again in the recent civil rights car crash is that there is at least one CCTV camera for every 14 people in the UK. This from the wikipedia page on CCTV

“The exact number of CCTV cameras in the UK is not known but a 2002 working paper by Michael McCahill and Clive Norris of UrbanEye[5], based on a small sample in Putney High Street, estimated the number of surveillance cameras in private premises in London is around 500,000 and the total number of cameras in the UK is around 4,200,000. The UK has one camera for every 14 people.”

Can we do better than this? We don’t have to limit ourselves to a “small sample in Putney High Street” – Has anyone created an interactive map where you can submit known public and private CCTV sites? I think it would show large areas that are not covered by CCTV and many areas that are completely over-saturated.

Would knowing a more accurate number change anything? Would knowing that there’s actually one camera for every 7 people mean that we had any more power to stop the things being put there in the first place? I’d be interested to see what the tipping point is before we get so fed up that we start using paintball guns on the High St like Bernard Cribbins facing a dalek.

Heat on the Tube

25062008045The heat on the tube and the introduction of fans to keep people more comfortable was a little news blip yesterday. Annie had of course covered it a few weeks ago and I meant to comment at the time, but y’know… didn’t.

The issue that doesn’t seem to have come up at all is how much the temperature on the tube is currently being raised by the new batch of illuminated advertising pitches. I might try to find one of those flat thermometers to see just what the surface temperature is, but in the meantime just laying my hand on one (or my back, actually, when busking) proves to me that it’s quite a lot warmer than a paper poster :) This goes for the animated doodads that line several escalators.

So how many of these screens are there now? I am not a physicist, so does anyone want to help me work out the effect a single screen might have on the ambient temperature? What is the cumulative effect of all the screens in one station, how about across the 24 stations that are getting them? And are CBS Outdoor, who are responsible for their installation, made any effort to counter the effects? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to be shouting about this if they were? And I’m not a green extremist, but what effect have these screens had on the tube’s carbon footprint as a whole – how much electricity is being used to run them?

It was again – Interesting ’08

21062008043Tired and very happy after a lovely day at Interesting ’08 – thought I’d try blogging it quickly this time – it’s that kind of a day.

As I spent much of the day helping Russell to be slightly less worried, finding things for all the helpful people to do, filling up the water boiler and wondering about including audience participation in my slot I’m afraid I missed some of the startling, stimulating and assorted wonderful displays of interestingness. But…

Roo kicked off beautifully with some great historical images from that geek classic – Lego

Something about Horses and their blind spots. (Dave funkypancake picked up on “horse” later too while struggling against dead air)

I next tuned in to Collyn saying how she was bored with reality and expected more ferns and snails.

Not sure what happened then but next thing I knew, Dan Raven-Ellison was bigging up Geography and kicking History in the balls and then Michael Johnson was segueing from Django to Freddie Green to Eric Clapton to Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page and so on and so on with much pedalling and magical slide changing.

so Azeroth is about 16 12km in diameter and very, very dense according to James Wallis’s endearingly obsessive calculations – also something about chucking some bird off a tower and seeing how long it took for her to fall.

Phil Gyford reminded me of what fun mask work was, but also how difficult it is.

I think I caught some bits of Matt Dent’s lovely work on coin designs – I’m glad I met him at the sign-up table and got to tell him personally anyway.

Matt Webb told a lovely story about a South American mirror telegraph that might have been an hallucination, I really wished it hadn’t been, I like the idea of local physics.

Andrew Webb must have been next thanks to the matt-matt-webb-walkingshaw doo-dah. Oh yes – food – it’s all over the country, allegedly, and farmers are saying get *on* moi land!

Andrew Walkingshaw talked about having lots of names (like cats do) and uniqueness and ambiguity

Andrew Dick finally found how to get to sleep after years of insomnia – audio books of bad thrillers – not too exciting or interesting but also not too dull – also apparently the effect doesn’t properly kick in until you’re listening for the 2nd or 3rd time.

I bet Jenny Owen’s Churchill impression is even better when she has a cigar in her mouth – she gave us a bundle of interesting titbits about the great man though my blood sugar was plummeting as we got close to lunchtime.

To close the morning, Matt Irvine Brown displayed excellent headmaster skills getting 35 people to play the recorder – I qik’d it but it’s probably even more painful to watch on a mobile phone video than it was to witness in the flesh.

Then after lunch that fat baldy bloke from last year made us listen to him sing to a (very) small guitar and then made a mountain out of some molehills – other people will cover this slot better than me.

Simon & Curtis James & Ken Hollings did some weird thing about suburbia set to a radiophonics jam session.

Anna Pickard on why biscuits, flanges and gussets are funny.

Younghee Jung talked toilets – unfortunately this is when I managed to get to the toilet for the first time myself, so I had empirical experience, but I missed out on her theory.

James Bridle got me thinking about wine and evolution and talking about booze without talking about drunkenness.

Kim Plowright- oh god, Kim, I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.

James Houston showed us why he just got a first class degree.

Jim Le Fevre wowed the hall with his live zoetrope demo – at the start Jim asked if he could bring his equipment in which included a turntable, so naturally I was expecting something audio but it was decidedly more visual – Jim, I’d love you to meet Steve Lawson – @solobasssteve – you could make great stuff together

Gavin Starks – all I remember is dodecahedrons and something about music from n-dimensional hypercubes

Joel Gethin Lewis tries to get people in the moment, talking about something untranslateable into English from Welsh

Was George Oats talking about flickr or was that Kim? I think that’s when I popped out to get some more milk.

Lea Becker I’d have like to see and hear more about drawing from her. I’m not sure about the taxonomy of drawing approaches…

Leisa Riechelt is clearly a lovely mummy and reminded me of how interesting your first small person can be. The young man in question had a domain named after him before his name was on a birth certificate. Excellent.

I agree with Max Gadney that we will see some serious re-appraisal of the second world war the further we get from it.

Lots of lovely lovely lovely people in the audience – Tuttlers, Headshifters, Interesting07’ers to many to mention individually but lots are mentioned here.

So yeah, it was, again and I’m sure it ever will be.

Videoblog Masterclass – Using video as a social technology

I am the master
I thought I’d write about the stuff I took to my videoblogging masterclass last week. I’d like to repeat the process with other clients – and maybe a public one – it worked well in a small group of communications specialists and people from lines of business. I’d have liked to have done it all more openly too, but one of the requirements from the client was that everything was kept private (it was part of an internal conference on risk management)

I started with my background in social media as a whole and how I’ve been thinking about it helping internal communications and knowledge management for as long as I’ve been blogging.

Then I took a look at the technology. I started with the obvious – get a DV camera, point it at someone and record what they’re saying. I then showed how to simply take that footage, edit it quickly using Windows Movie Maker, add a title and some credits and create a movie file. I think this is simple now and there are tutorials all over the web, but I forgot how complicated it can seem if you’ve never seen it before.

Then I looked at video clips as conversations, using seesmic as an example. We looked at some conversations and saw how being informal helps to convey more information. I talked about how the community had grown up and about my experience of meeting and building relationships with people I’d known about before, but never got to know properly until we “met” on seesmic.

And finally we looked at mobile video – briefly touching on using your phone to record files, edit and transfer to the web like this master, but focusing mainly on live streaming, using qik as an example. I’m very grateful to Jackie at qik for shipping me an N82 so that I could demo this properly (and I seem to have really gotten the bug since then!) I’m not sure that the whole group in the class fully understood what was going on but one or two were gobsmacked and very excited by the potential of this.

We spent the second half of the morning talking about the cultural impact of doing this sort of thing, the risks involved and the kinds of practical applications that they could envisage. And then (oh noes!) we got onto why any use of video would be difficult (read “nigh on impossible”) in their current IT environment. This also led onto an interesting discussion about broadcast versus narrowcast and an understanding that not everything that gets published needs to be accessed by everybody else.

So yeah, give me more of these please.

Mastering Social Media


Suw & Leisa and I are putting together a series of events this summer under the banner of Fruitful Seminars – Suw was the bravest and is doing hers on Friday 27th and now I’m ready to come out with my offering.

UPDATE: Due to a little misunderstanding the seminar will take place one week later, on Weds 16th July, same time, same place, just a different day.

Here’s the blurb:

Social Media and Online Social Networking are transforming our business and personal lives. Few people can have escaped entirely from some exposure to the power and benefits of this revolution in how we communicate and collaborate. But even fewer can claim mastery over the tools and techniques or fully understand how to apply them to achieve specific business goals. Anyway, how on earth can you find the time? What about your “real work”?

In this masterclass you’ll get to work with Lloyd Davis, one of London’s most popular and experienced social media experts. Lloyd will help you understand what social media’s really all about and how to build rich and productive online relationships using simple tools. You will also gain some practical experience of creating some social media and get help with applying what you’ve learned to your personal business context.

The day is designed for marketing and communications professionals who want to understand better just how social media and online social networking can work for them. With no more than 9 participants, you’ll be assured of individual attention. Most participants will already have some experience of at least one aspect of social media, but will want to become more comfortable and confident with a wider range of tools. You should bring along an example of a business issue that you’d like help with.

We’re deliberately keeping these small so that they’re good value and participants can get to learn from each other as well as from me.

You all know someone who will benefit from spending a day in One Alfred Place with me – so kindly escort them (and their credit card) to the button above which will convey them, by means of the magical hypertext transfer protocol, to the booking page.

Photo by Ewan McIntosh