Behind the scenes at the British Music Experience

Duncan Geere Websites Leave a Comment

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There are condom machines in the toilets of the British Music Experience at the O2 in Greenwich. I’ve no idea why – perhaps they think their visitors will be overwhelmed with emotion after seeing Ziggy Stardust’s ‘Thin White Duke’ outfit, or Dave Hill’s “Superyob” guitar. But in actual fact, it’s gadget fanatics that are likely to be the ones excited, because the BME is one of the most gadget-filled museums in the UK.

Almost everything in the museum is interactive. Your ticket comes equipped with an RFID tag that you wave in front of exhibits that interest you. These are logged in a central database, and after your visit you can go to the BME website and view all the exhibits that you looked at online.

There’s also the option to play along on real instruments with songs you know, or record a video of yourself dancing to one of several famous historical dances. That content will be stored and can also be viewed on the website later on, so you can share your embarrassment with people across the world. You get three free iTunes downloads too, to further investigate music that you don’t know very well.

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Although it’s a great and well-connected experience, and anyone remotely interested in popular music since 1945 will find something interesting, there’s an ever so slight sense of a lack of use of the technology to its full effect. The tagging system is great, but it’d be nice to be able to explore extra content from home, rather than just reviewing the content you saw.

It’d also be great if you could do more with your recordings, getting the content out of the website. For copyright reasons, it’s impossible to do anything but stream the recording you make in the ‘Gibson Studio’ section. The British Music experience is technologically ahead of any other museum in London, but it’s still got unrealised potential.

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British broadband is slow. Very slow.

Duncan Geere Broadband Leave a Comment

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If you waited ten seconds or so for this page to load, then you’ll know this already, but your broadband is pretty slow. The Office of National Statistics has revealed that despite Ofcom claiming last year that the average broadband speed in the country is 4.6Mb/sec, more than 42% of connections are less than half that speed – slower than 2Mb/sec.

It turns out that a handful of people using 24Mb/sec services are skewing the stats upward. Worst of all, these figures refer to the advertised ‘headline’ data transfer rates not actual speeds. Statistics for actual speeds would probably be closer to 1Mb/sec, or even lower.

But perhaps it doesn’t even matter. 55% of you have no idea how fast your broadband is, anyway. That said, nearly a fifth of you aren’t happy with it, says a separate report issued by OfCom.

(via PC Pro)

Related posts: Handful of Warrington residents to get 50Mbps Virgin Media broadband | O2 changes mobile broadband based on consumer survey

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Steve Bennett, 43, from Manchester, has made a rocket. It'll be ready in 2013

Gary Cutlack Science, Space, Vehicles 1 Comment

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Three cheers for British entrepreneurs! That man there is Steve Bennett. He’s built a rocket called Nova 2.

Steve’s rocket is a three-seater, one which he hopes is going to make him one of Britain’s first “space tourism” millionaires. He heads up the Space Technology Laboratory (!) of Salford University (!!) and has spent…

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Gordon Brown tries his utmost to convince us iPod is British invention

Andy Merrett iPod 2 Comments

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Perhaps the Prime Minister thought he’d get away with massaging facts about the iPod during an interview on daytime TV, but a Register reporter (who obviously has more time to watch This Morning than I) has picked up on his faux pas.

Brown confidently proclaimed to viewers that the iPod was a British invention. “If you’ve got really innovative things, people will come to your country to locate,” he continued…

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Brit bloggers love Apple, BBC, Google, and M&S

Andy Merrett Internet, Web 2.0 Leave a Comment

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British bloggers like nothing better than writing about technology and web companies, but also hold a special place for Marks & Spencer, according to a recent month-long study of 100 random bloggers — “Blogs and Brands: A Study of the British Blogosphere”.

In top place, with bloggers babbling about iPods and Macs, came Apple, followed by the BBC in second, Google in third, Facebook in fourth, Nintendo in fifth, M&S and Microsoft in joint sixth, Adobe, Sony, and YouTube in joint seventh, Sky in eighth, Nokia, IKEA, and Tesco in joint ninth, and a whole bunch of others in joint tenth place…

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British space exploration lives on! MoonLITE probe heading Moon-wards in 2012

Gary Cutlack Space Leave a Comment

moonlite-moon-probe-british.jpgOnly about 35 years after the last American stood on the Moon, Britain is going back – with a decidedly non-thrilling unmanned probe.

Designed by mainly British scientists – with complicated navigational bits provided by NASA – the £100m MoonLITE probe will hopefully be on its way by 2012…

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Tennis stars David Rice and Naomi Broady suspended for Bebo use

Katherine Hannaford Web 2.0

tennis-players-bebo.jpgBeware, Bebo/Facebook/MySpace users, it seems there’s an international move led by employers, cracking down on their minions by spying on them through their social-networking sites.

Following the story yesterday about the Nintendo employee fired for keeping a blog, it’s been publicised today that two of Britain’s brightest tennis stars, David Rice (the second-best British junior) and Naomi Broady (the national Under-18 champion) have both been suspended. The Lawn Tennis Association…

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25 UK Web 2.0 startups to watch in 2007

Stuart Dredge Top stories, Web 2.0

bulldog.jpgYou don’t have to be based in Silicon Valley to rake in millions of venture capital funding for your whizzy Web 2.0 idea, but it helps. Nevertheless, there’s a thriving bunch of Web 2.0 startups here in the UK too, even if they don’t fall into an easily classifiable scene or movement.

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