Skip to main content


Publishers Haven't Realized Just How Big a Deal GDPR is - Baekdal Plus

On May 25, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (better known as GDPR) comes into effect, and I'm quite worried about how this will impact publishers because most don't seem to be even close to compliant.

The problem with GDPR is that most publishers see it as an IT/administrative burden. They think the only thing they need to do is set up some databases and do some other IT things ... and then redesign their privacy page.

What I'm not seeing, however, is any real change to the way publishers use data, the business models they have that rely on data, or any consideration as to what impact this will have on their editorial strategies.

So, in this article, I'm going to talk about GDPR as a concept in relation to media trends, and consider what this means for your editorial strategies. I hope I can help you realize just how big a change this actually is.



Secret 7 - unique decorated 7" sleeves for charity

Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then invite creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style for every 7”. 700 unique sleeves are exhibited before going on sale on a first come, first served basis priced at £50 each. You don’t know who created the sleeve, or even which song it’s for, until you have parted with your cash - the secret lies within.


Profile engine

The Profile Engine has now been donated to the Internet Archive (31st March 2018)

Knowledge is power and all the power is concentrated in the hands of a malevolent force - corporate Facebook. 

We sued Facebook, fought hard in a David and Goliath battle and won a good settlement. One day, maybe we'll have time to tell the whole story - you'd be utterly shocked what goes on inside Facebook - what you've already heard is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a Facebook account, we strongly recommend that you delete it completely, without delay. Learn more about Facebook 

We are freely and lawfully transferring this database to the Internet Archive ( as they have a long track record as a suitable, responsible long term custodian and we have the legal right to do so. 

Making this data freely available and preserving it serves many purposes. Here are a few: 

* Helping to reunite old friends with powerful search tools (Facebook don't provide powerful search tools because if you have to search through hundreds of pages of profiles then you view more ads than if the tools take you straight to who you want).

* Helping you to find and meet new people with common interests

* Exposing the interests and group memberships of politicians and public figures (What did they really like ten years ago before they were famous?)

* This snapshot of the early days of social networking will be invaluable to Genealogists, Social Historians and perhaps even Archaeologists in ten, fifty or even 1000 years time.

* Most importantly, this will break Facebook's monopoly over social data. People chose to make this data free and public, yet Facebook still charge for it. Not any more!

I'm not sure what to make of this. Terrible move or great move, and for who? Are these really the reasons they donated the content to


The Need for Accountable Technology - Part 1

As a major survey lead by GitHub supports (and comes as little surprise), the Free Software community is mostly white, male, cisgendered, financially well off, formally educated, able-bodied, straight, English speakers and citizens of Global North countries.

This means that the same groups of people designing and building proprietary software are also building Free Software. It means that despite its open licensing, the Free Software movement maintains the status quo of white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism.

For Free Software to truly be free - to be free for anyone to build and use, we need to radically restructure our projects. It means building diverse communities where we are accountable to one another.


From 1956: A future vision of driverless cars

I like this vision of driverless cars. Especially the singing.


Research Blog: Semantic Image Segmentation with DeepLab in TensorFlow

The underlying mechanism that enables the Pixel 2 Camera to shoot its portrait mode, is now open-sourced.


Flippy the burger flipping robot is on a break, already

The company had expected mild interest. But then the story about Flippy went viral, circulated on national news outlets and social media.  So many calls started pouring in, the Cali Group, which runs the Caliburger chain, realized it needed to spend more time on training. Not for the robot, but for humans to work with Flippy.


Sobering for some: Silicon Valley rents

The tech boom has pushed up property prices in the Bay Area. Single-family home prices in San Jose and San Francisco have risen by 72% and 42%, respectively, in the past decade, compared with an increase of 10% nationally. Because of the high cost of living, a family of four with income of $105,350 or less is now considered “low income” in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.



The art of now - Greek Revival

As Athens struggles through what's been called a "forever crisis", the critic Alastair Sooke reports on the arts boom in Greece.



What Is Inboxen?

Inboxen is a service that provides you with an infinite number of unique inboxes. It's not designed to replace your personal email address, but rather complement it. Every time a website asks for your email, click the "Add Inbox" button to create another email address. This leaves your personal address free from promotional offers and other junk mail.