Friday, February 29, 2008

Workshop with C3KE

On Friday afternoon, Derek and myself had setup a workshop for a joint bid within the C3KE framework. There were about 10 people in the Impressions Gallery in Bradford where this event was held. From INN, Ben joined me. There was also Marc from AXIS. A good meeting, to get together and learn about the different interest of the participating institutions.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meeting Joe Gilmore

For integrating the C3KE website with a few other things (blog, Flickr), Tie and I met with Joe Gilmore, who is a freelance web designer and artist. He has very interesting creative activities and also knows a few people from our faculty.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


This night, at 0:56, an earthquake could be felt in England. Turns out this was a 5.2 earthquake with some damage, and it could be very well felt here in Leeds. First there was a little shaking, then it became stronger, lasting for about 10 seconds, then again fading away into just slight vibration.

Interesting - this is now the strongest earthquake I ever felt. While living in California, I only once felt a comparatively strong quake: in 1997 there was a 5.0 quake - it felt stronger, but I was also closer to the epicentre (10 miles). The epicentre of the quake now in the UK was approx. 50 miles away from Leeds, in Market Rasen.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Finally: Webcam working

On the PC in my office, there was a problem with prohibited for a long while the setting up of a web cam, but now I finally got around to fid this problem. The web cam is installed and provides pictures every minute. The latest one is here:

About a year ago, I did run a web cam from my laptop, using a software EasyFreeWebCam. Never mind the slightly sleaze applications being advertised for use of this software... I had done a few comparisons, and this software seemed to provide the most customisations. I wanted to set up the software to automatically upload a captured picture onto our web server. However, for some reason this did not work on my office PC but only on my laptop computer. A while I had this running on the laptop, but then I needed the laptop for other purposes, and I wanted to run the webcam also over night.

Today I finally came to revisit this problem. I tried a couple of other capture software packages - none of them worked with the specific situation on my PC. No idea what the problem is. WS_FTP works fine, I can access the web server from this PC. But none of the automatic ftp uploads worked, although the firewall was configured with exceptions to allow uploads.

So what I did today: I wrote a small software in good old MS Visual Studio 6.0, using MFC, for timer-triggered upload of a file onto an ftp server. Works just excellent! The video capture software captures an image every minute and stores it locally. Then my software runs constantly and uploads this file every minute to the ftp server. From there, the web page is configured to reload and show the image every minute, so that always the lastest captured image is shown. There is an inherent potential maximum delay of 2 minutes - but this does not really matter.

The website with the live update also has a Google map on it - I will keep experimenting a bit with it, related to other projects that I am currently working on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter in Leeds

These past 2 weeks we did not have any rain here in Leeds - instead it got colder and colder, due to an Polar air stream. Freezing temperatures at night, below 0 C, then some fog in the morning. This created very nice picturesque conditions, with trees covered in frost. Later in the day the sky became blue - a very nice sight!
Unfortunately I did not have much time for taking pictures, just a few while being on the way between meetings...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Event by "Yorkshire Forward"

On Tuesday evening, I attended an event organised by Yorkshire Forward: Going Global: Innovation in the Global Market Place, held at the Met Hotel Leeds. At this event there were two guest speakers: Sir Richard Needham, one of the part-time directors at the vacuum cleaner manufaturer Dyson. He spoke about innovation and how a company like Dyson was so successful. His talk was followed by Charles Leadbeater, a government advisor who talked about innovation in the global economy. These two speakers did not differ very much in their message, despite their difference in political affiliation.

It should also be noted that the salmon at the buffet was excellent!

Meetings Galore...

This week I have 12 work-related meetings on my schedule - the busiest week ever. Most meetings are with Leeds Met staff, about future projects. Some meetings are with externals, also to discuss joint projects.

I seem have much less time to keep this blog updated... :(

Friday, February 15, 2008


Wikispaces is a web site in which anyone can set up a Wiki. So I decided to set one up: for myself (not much there yet, just trying out and deciding what to put there) and one for the students whom I supervise. This is just in the initial stages - I will invite all students in whose supervision I am involved. This Wiki will provide a place where a network can be built among these students, to share information among each other and to have a forum for presentinr their own work and projects.

Guest Lectures

This week I was very busy: in addition to my regular teaching, I did two "guest lectures" in a lecture series for Multimedia Students projects. The talk at both occasions was the same: about computer vision and augmented reality.

In addition, my main activity is now related to linking with other institutions (universities, businesses) in order to get connections and networking for preparing funding proposals to research councils and other funding agencies.

One of the main concerns is that some of members of staff are very interested in pursuing research activities, but they do not have external funding available. So I have taken it as my responsibility to enable these members of staff to do follow their research interest. This means bidding for funding - and winning it.

Next week I have an array of 10 meetings spread over the week - meeting with potential collaborators and staff members for organising such bids.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Workshop in Manchester

The UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funds innovative activities that are beneficial to the UK economy. They recently launched a call for Collaborative Research in the area of Creative Industries.

On Friday I attended a workshop in Manchester, in which the TSB introduced the mechanisms for applying and organised networking among potential bidders. At least one business would need to be included in any bidding consortium, and the bid would need to be oriented towards business needs.

The meeting took place at the Midland Hotel, a posh hotel in the centre of Manchester, near station Oxford Street. On the way back home I met again my friend Alan Crispin from Manchester Metropolitan University, and we took the train back together.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

C3KE Operational Group Meeting

Today, the quarterly operational group meeting of the C3KE took place at U.Bradford. We discussed past work and opportunities for joint projects. This group of academics has the critical mass for winning bids to interesting projects in the Creative Technology domain - there are a few calls out currently in various topics, and we plan to bid.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Visit at Manchester Metropolitan University

For Monday afternoon I have accepted the invitation of my friend and former colleague Dr. Alan Crispin to visit Manchester Metropolitan University. He has left Leeds Met this past summer and has taken a position there.

After lunch in the staff cafeteria, I get to meet several researchers. They are working on a wide variety of technologies, from biological computing systems to neural networks and novel methods of lie/deception detection.

I took a train - they go actually exactly on time - quite impressive! On the way back, Alan accompanies me, and I give him a lift home.