Ask not what you can do for your phone… a Talkie about NFC, BLE and contactless marketing

Blimey, the world of contactless marketing and payments is really heating up. Pretty much every new smartphone now has the ability to be tapped, swiped or generally wafted around to create digital connections in the physical world. We’re checking in on what’s happening in this space to thinking about the tech, business and social implications of it all. And we’ve got two speakers who really know their onions…

Neil Garner, is the grandpappy of contactless mobile tech. He started Proxama in Norwich in 2005 and now has offices in London, New York and San Francisco. He’ll bring us up to speed on what’s happening with technology, talk about the commercial applications which are coming our way – and give us an update on the pilot of various contactless technologies in Norwich city centre. Our fine city is right at the centre of what’s happening now and next for this stuff, so come and find out more.

Alberta Soranzo is Director of UX at smarty-pants London agency Friday. She speaks at conferences all over the world so we’re very lucky to have her share her thoughts on the human implications of proximity marketing. This technology raises new questions about privacy and ethics, and it also creates new challenges for designers who want to create useful, engaging experiences. Benefit from her experience by coming along.

We’re looking forward to a lively discussion after the talks: so come and add your view. The Talkie starts at 5.45pm on Wednesday 1st October, venue to be confirmed. It will finish about 7.00pm at which point we will retire to the Mash Tun for more talking, thinking and drinking.

Join us on Weds 1st October at NUA’s, Duke St Lecture theatre, NR3 3AJ - start time 5.45pm!

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Openstreetmap makie

We were blown away when OpenStreetMap (OSM) aficionado, Matt Dolan presented the platform’s incredible potential at our March Talkie. It was so great that we’ve decided to get him back and give you the chance to try out this mad mapping tool yourselves!

So, what on earth is OSM?
For those of you who don’t know, OSM is an editable map of the whole world, which is built largely from scratch, and released with an open content license.

What this means is that unlike many maps, the data contained within OSM is yours to use and republish as you please, without worrying about copyright laws, patents or any other kind of legal restriction. It is, as the name suggests, open data!

Okay sounds cool, but why would you want to learn how to use it?

Not only is OpenStreetMap copyright-free but it’s revolutionising the way maps are used.

OSM has played a major role in natural disaster relief operations, it’s been used to identify suitable locations for green energy, and it’s currently being used to document the thickness of roofs in Jakarta to prevent the collapse of factory ceilings. Pretty impressive right?

But on a more micro level OSM provides the opportunity for individuals to take control of, and shape the data that represents their local area; enabling them to create a resource that’s relevant to them and to their community.

What’s the Makie all about?
Because we want to fully get to grips with the capabilities of OSM we’ve split the Makie into three parts.

Part one: The kick-off. 16th Oct 5.45-7pm @ Foolproof’s Office, 3rd Floor, Seebohm House, 2-4 Queen St, Norwich, NR2 4SQ,

We’ll be guiding you through the basics of OSM so you can familiarise yourselves with the interface and learn how to plot things on the map. Once we’ve got you set up you’ll be taking to the streets so you can test it out and put the theory into practice!

Part two: Map, map, map! 17th Oct – 5th Nov
Now you’ve got your cartographers cap on you’ll have three weeks to survey your neighbourhood for inspiration and get mapping. You can map anything from wheelchair accessibility, the location of ATM’s, pub opening times, public sports facilities, speed cameras. The possibilities are endless!

Part three: Show and tell. Thurs 6th Nov 5.45
We get together to share our maps, our inspiration and what we’ve learned along the way.

Now don’t panic it’s not complicated! OSM isn’t just for developers and map fanatics. Like all Hot Source events this Makie is designed to give anyone who’s interested the chance to learn how to use some really interesting creative tools. This is all about getting hands-on and giving you training on how this awesome open resource works.

How can I get involved?
As always, anyone can participate. If you want to map in a team that’s cool just give us a heads up beforehand and if you’re flying solo you’re more than welcome join in too.

You can pre-register here via our Eventbrite page. Tickets are on sale now and available for a paltry five pounds!

Once you’ve registered we’ll be in touch and provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to download the stuff you’ll need and set yourself up with a free account.

There’s no need to worry about deciding what to map beforehand, inspiration will be provided on the night.

Tickets are limited so get em’ while they’re hot!

Eventbrite - Hot Source Hack - OpenStreetMap  and join us on Thurs 16th October

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End of 2014 Ignite session

The grand finale to another year of epic wonderment from Hot Source. We’re trying something new.

Ignite is a presentation format which is becoming popular on the conference circuit. Each five minute talk is made up of 20 slides which appear for just 15 seconds each before automatically clicking on to the next. It’s a great way of packing a lot of information/opinion/craziness into a short space of time.

We’ve got a great line up, covering diverse ground from Artificial Intelligence and Architecture to the sweetly titled ‘Night of the copyright dead’ to a ‘Who’s Who’ in Norwich, a Kickstarter success story and anugget of wonderfulness from the Norwich Writers Centre… PHEW!

We are still inviting submissions to talk at the event. The very loose theme is that the evening will help us look back across 2014 and/or forward into 2015. Would you like to reflect on the year in Norwich art, film-making, technology, design or society? Or to make some predictions about 2015? Or maybe you just want to share something you’ve been working on that you are proud of. Or get people interested in something that you think they might find useful.

So here’s the deal for submissions:

  • Submit your idea for a five-minute talk (20 slides x 15 seconds each) to [email protected] by Nov 15th 2014
  • Give us a title and don’t use more than 100 words to pitch it.
  • If chosen, you need to get the slides to us by Thurs 20th November
  • Join us on the night, give your talk, have fun
  • Note we will film the talks and put them on the web.

The big night is on Thursday 27th November. This is a great opportunity to have a go at the Ignite format; it’s handy experience if you’re thinking of submitting to national or international conferences and a fun, friendly environment to bust your Ignite cherry!

Join us on Thurs 27th November 6pm @ Vodka Revolution (upstairs) on Queen St, Norwich !

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Lego makie update

Our LEGO makie was fascinating. In the expert hands of Patrizia we went from nervy, fumbling schoolkids to sophisticated, problem-solving maker-gods. We looked at the issue of Norwich’s creative reputation on the national stage. If you want to find out more, there’s a really nice write-up by Marek Pawlowski here.

This makie was a real hoot, so we may well bring the bricks back to look at another issue sometime in the future.

Time for a summer break now, see you in September!




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June Makie – LEGO!

We’re doing the June Makie a little earlier than usual to steer clear of the World Cup. Join us on Weds 11th June to see LEGO in a whole new light.

Technologists, designers and various boffins often use LEGO to explore business and creative challenges. When you are making models you think and express yourself in a different way. This can help you see challenges in a new light – and lead to innovative solutions.

We have a certified LEGO ‘ologist’, Patrizia Bertini, who will help us get to grips with this technique. It will be interesting and a load of fun. (And whatever happens, there will be Twiglets.) You don’t have to be a Leonardo of LEGO to get involved. If you’ve ever been six years old, you’ll be fine. This one’s just for the adults as we will be exploring how LEGO can be used to facilitate discussion and idea exploration.

The Makie is at Foolproof’s studio and runs from 6-8pm. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and cost £10 (or a fiver if you are a student or unemployed). Eventbrite - June Makie - LEGO

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Mustard with your May Talkie?

Mustard TV launched on Freeview, channel 8 on 24th March, placing Norwich at the heart of a new era for local broadcasting. The local station, which has been broadcasting online since January 2013, was the second local channel to go live in the UK, following the series of licences awarded by broadcast regulator Ofcom. Mustard’s MD Fiona Ryder joins us to talk about the launch, progress to date and plans for the future. Have you seen any of their broadcasts? Do you understand their remit? And most importantly of all…. is it spicy, tasty and sharp?! Come and hear all about it!

We are also delighted to welcome the curators of the Sainsbury Centre’s exhibition ‘Moore in Focus’ which looks at the relationship between Robert Sainsbury and Henry Moore through their letters. We are asking the question, in this digital age how will we reflect on our relationships in future with no physical paper trail between us?!

Please RSVP on MeetUp as numbers are limited! Click here now!

Please note that the talkie is in the NUA media lab which is in Monastery Court, situated off Elm Hill.
Click here to view on Google Maps

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March Videos Live!

March was our first visit to the media lab at NUA and it was fantastic, thank you NUA and we’d love to come back! A great space for Hot Source and the talkies went down a storm.
Matt Dolan introduced us to OpenStreetMap and not just the mapping but also the incredible humanitarian applications and the re-claiming of previously state controlled spaces! Tom Haczewski gave a great introduction to the Open Rights Group and a sense of why we should all be more aware of our digital rights and entitlement to privacy. If you missed the talkies you can watch them now, thanks to Josh Trett for filming and Lambda Films for the post production.

Matt Dolan, ITO World, OpenStreetMap

Tom Haczewski, MMK Digital, Digital Rights

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April Screen printing Makie at STEW!


At the January Talkie STEW’s very own screen printer in residence, Jo Stafford, showed us a taster of her fantastic screen printing mission and now it’s your turn to get creative. The April Makie will be down at the STEW Print Rooms, the idea is to get your hands dirty and leave with your very own creation! Not only will you create a bag or poster but the session includes a full induction to the Print Rooms so that you will be able to book in for open access sessions and keep printing!

The session will cost £15 and will run on Thursday 24th April from 5.30pm to approx 7.30pm. Numbers are very limited so please book early.
Eventbrite - Hot Source April Makie - Screen Printing at STEW

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March talkie line up!

The March Talkie is about openness. Matt Dolan works at data visualisation company ITO World and is an OpenStreetMap enthusiast. He’ll give us an overview of this fantastic resource and explain how ITO use it in their work.

Tom Haczewski is from digital agency MMK Digital and a member of the Supporter’s Council at Open Rights Group. He is also an old friend of Hot Source so we’re delighted to see him make a speaking debut. Tom will be talking about state of our privacy, security and freedom of expression in a completely digital age, and what we can do to influence it. This is a pretty hot topic after the events of last year so we’re leaving some time to open up a conversation on this topic to see where it takes us.

We’ll also show you some of the wonderment from our first Makie event in February – and tell you what we’ll be making in April.

NEW VENUE ALERT! We are back at NUA for this event on Thursday 27th March but we are trying a new space there, the Media Lab Presentation Room in the Monastery building which is accessed off Elm Hill . (The Media Lab, Monastery Court, NR3 3AJ.) Start Time 5.45pm!

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February Makie – littleBits and sticky bits

Thanks to everyone who attended the first – of hopefully many – Makie events last Thursday. It was a great turn out and we had a lot of fun.

The brief was pretty simple: create something that represents what Hot Source means to you using the materials provided.

We each had a box of littleBits – a family of snap together electronic components (no soldering or circuit boards necessary).

Getting to grips with the electronics components

And plenty of crafty stuff to get stuck into.

Craft materials at the ready

… and this is what we made.

Lighthouse made from paper and littleBits electronics

Made from paper and electronics, this creation draws on its own

Hot Source spelled out in lights

Pipecleaners and electronics bits

Tree made from paper and electronics

Note the creative use of sweet papers - yes they had to eat them first.

Look out for our next Makie event and get involved.

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