While buying my ticket to TEDx Auckland 2014 remembered I’d never gotten around to writing a post about the 2013 event.
Earlier this year there was some flack about TED, prompted it seems by some ‘dubious’ TEDx events. From my experience at TEDx Auckland it certainly wasn’t one of those. The Aotea Centre was full, the speakers uniformly excellent and it covered a wide variety of topics.
In his intro MC @VaughnDavis (below right) made a comment which summed up my TEDx experience. He said with TED on-line you tend to self censor, focus on the familiar, topics of interest. With the live event you can’t and it is a good thing. It was, as he suggested, the unexpected which made a real impression.
For example I’m not a fan of poetry but one memorable session was Grace Taylor’s Rising Voices (Youth poetry movement) and the powerful performances by Marina Alefosio & Brian Gashema. They’d never been on stage before and got a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the full house Aotea Centre audience.
I had heard of Dr Richard Nunns but never seen him lecture. His style was awesome, building from a slow, seemingly rambling, start to an amazing mash up of traditional Maori instrumentals, a string quartet and hip-hop (with King Kapisi). Pity there isn’t a video of that session
Rather than trying to review all the sessions in detail, it was a while ago!, here are the notes I made on the day with a few [added comments]. I’ve added links to the actual presentation page, most of which have videos, if you want to see what inspired them.
The photos are all mine (my TEDx 2013 Album on Flickr). It was nice to be at an event which encouraged photography, tweeting and recording!
[loved his opening remarks] “I can speak for hours on a marae and people love it, but TED organizers expect something profound in 15 minutes”. “Took me 7 minutes to turn off my cell phone in the green room”
Career advice tertiary education not employment focused
Local solutions for local problems
Established local careers expo
School leavers connection program. If no plans contacted every 14 days
Work readiness training - time management, drivers license, tools, skills - with mentoring
Result: Nobody under 25 unemployed since 2006, low crime, no graffiti
Why isn’t he Mayor of Auckland, a thousand times better than Len Brown [and this was written before the Bevan debacle]
Wrap Up - A chance to thank the TEDx Auckland team
Between sessions the foyer included exhibits from some speakers and even live art. Lovenotes, handmade stationery from waste paper, were being made and sold on site. There was also a chance for some to experience Baby X but the queues were too long for me.
If I’d written this soon after TEDx Auckland 2013 I would have said keep an eye on the site for 2014 news. However, the tickets for 2014 are on sale at http://tedxauckland.com with one already sold to me! See you there?
I don't chase blog stats but wondered what the demise of Google Reader would mean for RSS use. It appears that Feedburner (which I use for watching that) is either broken or blatantly lies.
My Feedburner Subscribers (the green line below) plummeted from ~9500 to ~250 after Google Reader closed. I wondered if there were thousands of zombie Reader accounts boosting the FeedBurner stats?
Now it appears FeedBurner is randomly fluctuating between reporting several hundred and tens of thousands of subscribers.
My conclusion: Google FeedBurner is either totally unreliable rubbish or is deliberately misreporting stats. If that is the case with FeedBurner what does it mean for the Google’s other stats service which is widely used to evaluate Google advertising effectiveness…?
I looked up knowing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was somewhere in New Zealand. I even knew earlier in the day @dannews had been fortunate enough to fly to Christchurch in it.
Immediately above a sleek twin engine jet was passing over glinting in the sunset. It's hard to judge the size of an aircraft without reference to the horizon, maybe it was the 787?
Web tech to the rescue as the Flightradar 24 phone app proved this was an Emirates 777-300 at 11,000ft. A very nice aircraft indeed, but not a Dream.
(Way) Back in the 80s I used to buy an Aussie technology magazine “Omni”, correction it was “Omega Science Digest”!. One issue had a card you could send off (with a few au$) to get the demo cassette for a remarkable new electronic instrument. Yes, that there was an analogue demo cassette for a digital instrument gives an idea of how long ago that was!
It had a bunch of different tracks, samples etc. all created with the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument but one (complete unlike the others) was the most memorable. I found Claude Larson’s Murrumbidgee River on YouTube (below) but sadly it appears you can no longer buy it, or the album “Rivers” (via iTunes or Amazon at least).
I probably still have that cassette somewhere… (see UPDATE 2012-02-22 below) and wanted to hear it again after listening to an ABC Radio Podcast interview — Big Ideas - Blinded by Science — with Fairlight Inventor Peter Vogel and Thomas Dolby. It covers all sorts of aspects from the evolution of digital musical technology, its impact on music and composition, the inventive process and the business of creating/marketing new ideas. There is even the tale of the (not so ubiquitous as once was) default Nokia ringtone and mention of the Fairlight iPhone/iPad app (why Dolby was in Aus.) which runs on a device vastly more powerful than the original $100,000+ Fairlight CMI!
I never did get a CMI as $100k seemed a bit much for someone who never progressed much past Grade 1 Piano before discovering sailing seemed more fun in the weekends! Maybe if I get the iOS app that cassette will have justified its demo label!
In 1979 two young men in Sydney invented a digital sampling synthesizer that sparked a worldwide musical revolution. It was called the Fairlight and for the first time musicians could play the sound of any instrument on a keyboard. It also allowed them to compose and perform compositions that would otherwise require a band or an orchestra to play. Those two men were 21 and their names were Kim Ryrie and Peter Vogel.
Without the Fairlight you might not have the same sounds out of Thomas Dolby; who shot to prominence in this country with his 80s hit ‘She blinded me with Science’. Dolby had a boyhood obsession with music and technology and some two decades later his innovative computer music has greatly impacted on today’s popular music, games and mobile phones.
Tonight they talk about music and technology then, now and in the future.
February 20, 2012 10:05 PM
Copyright 2012, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
* UPDATE 2012-02-22: The Just Fairlight Cassette Online
If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, could your family access your computer and your essential online accounts so as to tidy up your affairs…
The next question is where do you store these passwords? A physical record would invalidate many user agreements but would a digital record be any better? My bank offers a “Digital Vault” which can store non-banking information such as passport numbers, insurance policy and drivers license details with the same level of security as their own financial data. That seems ideal but the problem is it explicitly states:
‘Remember, it is important that you never disclose passwords to anyone. We recommend you do not store passwords in the Vault.”