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Friday Five: Data-driven coffee and bull running with Google Glass

Chris Mayer
bull1

Also featuring a crisp catalogue and the closure of a famous Ubuntu bug

Welcome to, what is, the final installment of Friday
Five before JAXConf. If
you’ve somehow managed to miss all the hullabaloo surrounding the
US’s premier free enterprise-grade conference, firstly where have
you been and secondly, there’s still time to get in on the
action
.

Amid last minute frantic preparation, we’ve somehow
managed to put together our five picks of the week from technology
and beyond. More often it’s the latter, but stick with us…

1. Crisp Catalogue

Admittedly a very British opener to this week but with
the potential to go worldwide. Ever been overwhelmed by the
plethora of choice in a shop when it comes buying a packet of
crisps (chips to those across the pond)? For the JAX Editorial
Team, this problem equate to approximately four lost hours per
working year (not official statistics). Fortunately, there’s no
need to fret any longer, thanks to this rather comprehensive
crisp catalogue
 of British snacks. From Doritos to Discos,
we think this might be the most creative way of using a Google
spreadsheet yet.

2. The future of journalism
is…coffee?

Left-wing, digital first newspaper The Guardian has
been on a mission to acquire new readers from outside the UK, but
catching our eye this week was their latest venture – a Shoreditch
coffee shop called #guardiancoffee.

Pitched as both a place to slurp lattes and as a
journalistic hub, the ‘data-driven’ coffee shop has, according to
one customer, ‘iPads built into tables’ and is plastered with
infographics on the walls.

A spokesperson for the Guardian said: “#guardiancoffee
is a fantastic example of how we are bringing our open journalism
approach to life, by taking our leading technology reporting to
where technology actually is: driving real-time debate and
engagement among the creative tech community.

Unfortunately, its launch day wasn’t without hitches.
Twitter users managed to twig that any tweets with the appropriate
hashtag would appear behind baristas, and it wasn’t long before the
Tweet wall was commandeered. One user however may have
misunderstood.

 

3. Ubuntu’s famous Bug #1 closed

Nine years on from Mark Shuttleworth’s opening mission
statement, Ubuntu’s Bug #1 has been
closed. Rather than being an actual error, the bug is a savage
riposte at the closed source practices of the industry back in
2004, squared mainly at the door of Microsoft. Shuttleworth stated
“Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC
marketplace. This is a bug which Ubuntu and other projects are
meant to fix.”

Nearly a decade on, Shuttleworth believes the world
has changed in his closing
comment
, hailing Android as evidence for this.

Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux,
but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both
practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have
both competition, and good representation for open source, in
personal computing.

4. Ok Glass, wish me luck

We’ve seen people jumping out of planes with it. We’ve
seen Robert Scoble take a shower with it on. But here’s the most
ingenious use of the new technology we’ve seen yet – Google Glass
and running the
Pamplona
.

Yes, thats right. Why not test out the durability of
Google’s latest project by attempting to outrun some of Pamplona’s
fiercest bulls while wearing red? If that sounds like your idea of
good fun, head
here
. It is all expenses paid after all, though this won’t
cover hospital bills.

5. Stop being ‘disruptive’

And finally, an
article
 which comes highly recommended. The word
‘disruptive’ is bandied about too easily these days in the
technology sector and we agree with the assessment of Slate’s
Matthew Yglesias that it is a “drained buzzword”.

One particular part stands out for us:

The moral of the disruption story is that this is
often how progress is made. Some new ideas really can’t equal the
best the status quo has to offer, but that doesn’t always
matter.

JAX Editor in Chief Sebastian Meyen argued back in September
that we don’t need another disruptor
in Java
, rather a more covert transformation in embracing new
themes. Are we in fact sustaining innovation, rather than
disrupting? Food for thought…

Image courtesy of Abir Anwar

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