Poor experience of spotify on 3 mobile broadband ..












Much as I like the 3 mobile broadband, I also like spotify

spotify is streaming music(not streaming video)

presumably it should work on the 3 boradband

but it does not ..

the experience is VERY poor

worse still, from that point onwards, the connection became VERY VERY slow

I hate to think that the 3 is throttling the service – but I dont see why streaming music should not be possible on mobile broadband vs streaming video

On a related note,  I got mobile broadband when it was very early and maybe its time to look at it again

Any recommendations for mobile broadband?

Any recommendations for international mobile broadband?

image source - http://www.mobilebroadbandoffers.co.uk/


SIMalliance Open Mobile API Rel 2

 Announcement/press release from the Sim alliance. self explanatory but I will be covering this in a follow up blog post later.

London, UK, 24th November 2011: With the news that SIMalliance Open Mobile API Release 1 is being specified by an increasing number of mobile network operators and already implemented by some handset manufacturers as the de facto standard for access to the Secure Element (SE)*, SIMalliance today announces the availability of its Open Mobile API Release 2.

Featuring a new service layer, the new Open Mobile API Release 2 enhances the current transport API to provide a more intuitive interface and increasingly powerful functionality to make it easier for developers to connect their applications to the Secure Element within todays feature phones and smartphones.By choosing to implement the Open Mobile API, handset manufacturers will be able to enrich their application portfolios through the introduction of a host of mobile services that demand the highest levels of security and identity protection afforded by the Secure Element.

For developers this common API eliminates the need to reengineer applications to each specific device by delivering a single, consistent specification and interface across multiple operating systems. By making the move, application developers will be able to manage costs, and reduce time to market and increase revenue.

In addition, a common set of reusable high level services as crypto, file management, discovery, PKCS#15 and secure storage, allows developers to allocate time and resource to developing the functionality of their application rather than focusing on the complexities of integration with the device’s Secure Element.

According to Frédéric Vasnier, Chairman of the Board, SIMalliance: “The importance, and the adoption, of Secure Element(s) in the device is now beyond question. The challenge for the developer community has always been how to access SE(s) to fully secure their services in the most straightforward manner. With the launch of the SIMalliance Open Mobile API Release 2 that barrier has now been removed and will stimulate the creation of a host of new payment, loyalty and identity management services.”

To download the Open Mobile API Release 2, click here.

Note that the Open Mobile API Transport Test Plan V1.0 is also available here

The Open Mobile API Release 2 will be showcased as part of a Webinar on Secure Authentication for Mobile Internet Services on 1st of December at 15:30 GMT (London), 16:30 CET (Paris), 7:30 PST (San Francisco).

Join Us  for this FREE Webinar on www.simalliance.org/webinars

A white paper: ”Secure Authentication for Mobile Internet Services – Critical Considerations” will be published that same day.

*The Secure Element (SE) is an embedded or removable token of security within the mobile device built in clean room environments and featuring a unique combination of hardware and software to create the most secure environment in which to deliver mobile services manageable remotely. The SIM is the most widely distributed Secure Element, in the world with over 18bn units shipped since its inception.

- ends -

About SIMalliance:

SIMalliance is (the non-profit trade association) dedicated to supporting the creation, deployment and management of secure mobile services and applications across the globe. Working in partnership with members, strategic partners and the wider mobile community SIMalliance anticipates and addresses the security, identity and mobility challenges of an increasingly converged internet. Through its working groups the alliance seeks to offer the blueprint to create a secure, open and interoperable environment where mobile services thrive. Headquartered in London, its membership is responsible for delivering the most widely distributed secure application delivery platform in the world (SIM/USIM).

SIMalliance members are Datang, Eastcompeace, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Incard, Inkript, Kebt, Oberthur Technologies, Morpho, Valid, Watchdata & Wuhan Tianyu.

SIMalliance Strategic Partners are Comprion, Linxens and Movenda.

SIMalliance – Security Identity Mobility

For more information visit www.simalliance.org

Does Peter Cochrane bring forward the date of the singularity?






I have followed Peter Cochrane‘s work  for a few years since we both spoke at an event in Spain.

Based on some of the interesting work he does, I recommend you follow him as well.

Peter has a fascinating talk at TED which covers two topics close to my heart: Sensor networks and the Singularity.

The link is: Peter Cochrane TED talk – Beyond HAL 9000 

The reference to HAL is from Space odessy 2001 and the theme of Peter’s talk is the date for the Singularity – postulated to be 2035 – is too late.

In other words, the singularity will occur earlier.

He starts his talk with a reference to HAL9000 wondering when HAL would be here?  and Peter then asks three further questions:

Would HAL be here in 2025?

Would I be here?

Would my computer be proud of me before I die?

Based on intelligence being defined in terms of inputs and outputs and that we have an ever increasing number of sensors and actuators in mobile devices, Peter proposes that the date of 2035 may be too ahead and that the Singularity may arrive earlier.

He finally ends the talk with a provocative question: New intelligences and new lifeforms when they spontaneously erupt on the Internet

Somewhere in the midst of it he has a formula which is













I have actually invited Peter to explain this formula more since its intriguing.

However, in principle based on what I know so far, I agree with it.

In my forthcoming book - (official launch in Jan 2012) - Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter : Personal development through social meditation – from shamanism to transhumanism - I also believe that the ‘hour may be later than you think’ – if you look at the rate of change of humanity

This journey is just beginning and it is interesting to see a historical timeline of how we have evolved as a species

-              The universe  is about 15 billion years old.

-              The earth is around five billion years old.

-              Dinosaurs existed 65 million years ago.

-              The human race, as we know it, has existed for about 100,000 years.

-             The  Toba supervolcano eruption was 70,000 years ago.  (Toba reduced the human population to around 3000 to 7000 survivors – and the close interconnection between the survivors led to an explosion in human creativity and innovation)

-              The last ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, leading to greater travel and interaction between people.

-              The oldest traces of civilization in India , Middle East and China date back 9,000 years.

-              The Bible talks of a period about  4,000 years ago.

-              The Renaissance is only about 600  years old.

-              Steam locomotives were first launched in 1804.

-              The 747 (jumbo jet) was conceived in the 1960s and launched in 1970 as ‘a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny.’

-              The ARPANET,  and its commercial manifestation (the Internet), has only been around since 1988.

-              The World Wide Web has only been around since the mid-1990s.

Now and in the near future ..

-              Craig Venter and his team discovered artificial life

-              Gliese 581 could be a ‘Goldilocks’ planet – not too hot and not too cold – hence capable of supporting life

-              The woolly mammoth could be resurrected from its DNA – la Jurassic park

So, Peter’s formula could be right after all …

I look forward to hearing more about it

The link again is: Peter Cochrane TED talk – Beyond HAL 9000 

The Leonardo in the walled garden: Of polymaths and the vision behind futuretext and the OpenGardens blog .. ..






















In 2001,   I commissioned this image based on an idea i.e. How would a genius like Leonardo fare when he was ‘trapped in a walled garden’ i.e. confined by restrictive and outdated business models?

The image reflects trapped creativity, a state that many  find themselves in.

This philosophy behind the idea ultimately led to the foundation of the OpenGardens blog and to futuretext .

It has set the tone for my personal and professional branding ever since and has always been on the top right corner of the blog.

As an image, it encapsulates the word I often use in the blog – Gedankenexperiment. The german word Gedankenexperiment means a ‘thought experiment’ – the most famous one being Einstein’s gedankenexperiment – What would the world look like if you travelled on a beam of light?

The above image is itself a ‘gedankenexperiment’

Leonardo was a polymath. A polymath  is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Leonardo’s ideas resonate well with the times of today as they did in the renaissance – when innovation involves an interplay between so many areas.

We bring these ideas together in the revamp of our new site.

Here is an outline for our new site:

futuretext specialises in identifying and researching cross domain technology trends. Our thinking, and the logo for our blog, is inspired by polymathic thinkers like Leonado Da Vinci. The German word Gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) encapsulates our philosophy and approach. Today, the Internet connects many previously discrete domains. The shifting tectonic plates will create new winners and losers. A new type of thinking is called for which spans current silos. As an organization, we aspire to fulfill that gap and help our customers navigate this changing, dynamic world

Our vision is reflected in our expertise. We work on complex projects for example Smart cities (Amsterdam),  Digital Policy (European Internet Foundation), webinos(an EU funded project to create web APIs for next generation platforms), Operator strategy (Telefonica) and many others.

Our thought leadership has also been reflected in the organizations we work with. In 2009, Futuretext founder Ajit Jaokar was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of the Internet’ council. Ajit also chairs/moderates Oxford University’s Next generation mobile applications panel and conducts courses at Oxford mainly in the next generation Telecoms domain. Ajit has spoken at Stanford university, MIT Sloan, Fraunhofer FOKUS (Berlin), University of St Gallen (Switzerland) and Oxford university.

Readers from thirty-four countries have bought our books including customers like BT, Nokia, Google and Ogilvy. Our authors include industry visionaries like Tomi Ahonen, Tony Fish, Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Gerd Leonhard and Mark Curtis.

We pride in being different, flexible and human. We continue to attract talent and innovative companies who work with us.

Our areas of expertise / focus include:

- Open Innovation – ex: the OpenGardens blog

- The Web across multiple platforms (mobile, TV, automotive, Sensors etc) – ex webinos project

- Smart cities  - working with Smart city initiatives in Amsterdam

- White space networks – PhD research working with companies like Neul in Cambridge

- Transhumanism – Book on meditation as a transhumanist technology

- Digital policy – The policy bloggers network

- The future of technical education – coming soon

Please contact us at info at futuretext.com if you wish to discuss more and to get a complimentary copy of our forthcoming research. 
In a curious twist, back in 2003 ,  soon after the image was created but I my work was still not widely known,  Maggie Baldry, who has edited many of our books over the years said in one social networking site that: Ajit was the Leonardo of our age , for his ability to see connections between different elements and create new ideas, many of which have come to be true. 

So, this image has a lot of significance for me.

Paper review: How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work?













Dr Britta Hölzel has been getting a lot of traction for her work and papers recently on a scientific study of meditation and I contacted her about her recent work. She was kind enough to send me a copy of her latest paper – How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? (Proposing Mechanisms of Action From a Conceptual and Neural Perspective Britta K. Hölzel, Sara W. Lazar, Tim Gar, Zev Schuman-Olivier, David R. Vago and Ulrich Ott.)

In this blog, I review their paper and discuss how it relates to my work i.e. how I am considering using their framework in my work. Later this week, I will speak on this topic at The Society for Existential Analysis conference on permeation of technology in everyday life


The goal of the paper is to create a scientific debate by proposing a consolidated model for understanding mindfulness. The paper emphasises that mindfulness is not a single skill but that it seems to encompass several mechanisms and that these mechanisms all work in synthesis to produce these beneficial effects.

The paper first describes the components of mindfulness meditation and then discusses how these components are integrated during mindfulness meditation. The paper then discuss the relationship of self-compassion with the components.

The paper proposes that the combination of the following components —some of which have been identified in previous accounts— describe much of the mechanism of action through which mindfulness works:

1. Attention regulation

2. Body awareness

3. Emotion regulation, including

a. Reappraisal

b. Exposure, extinction, and reconsolidation

4. Change in perspective on the self

The paper illustrates the interaction of the four components with an example.

The meditator’s goal is to maintain attention to internal and external experiences in a non-judgemental state manifesting acceptance, curiosity and openness. When an external stimulus triggers an emotional reaction, the attention system detects a conflict. Heightened body awareness helps to detect physiological aspects of the feelings present (e.g. body tension, rapid heartbeat, short shallow breath). This triggers the emotion regulation process to react to the stimulus differently than normal (ex: just noticing it as opposed to reacting to it)

The example shows that rather than being stuck in the habitual reactions to the external and internal environment, the meditator can experience the transitory nature of all related perceptions, emotions, or cognitions in each moment of experience. The awareness of the transitory nature of the self and one’s momentary experience leads to a change in the perspective on the self. In doing so, self-referential processing (i.e., the narrative of the relevance of the stimulus for oneself) becomes diminished, while first person experiencing becomes enhanced.

To this, the paper also considers the concept of self-compassion which provides a non-judgemental framework to the entire experience. Self-compassion itself entails three components: self-kindness (being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of perceived inadequacy or suffering rather than being harshly self-critical), common humanity (perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as separating and isolating), and “mindfulness” (in this context defined as “holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over-identifying with them”

This idea of considering mindfulness as a set of components and of experiencing the transitionary nature of these components within a framework of self-compassion is the key contribution of the paper.

The whole process is designed to attain self-regulation which is defined as a process that enables individuals to guide their goal-directed activities by modulation of thought, affect, behaviour, or attention via deliberate or automated use of specific mechanisms. This is the basis of all meditation.


In my forthcoming book – Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter: Personal development through social meditation – from shamanism to transhumanism  I am exploring the evolution of meditation.

Meditation conjures up images of a monk-like existence divorced from everyday life. In contrast, I propose a different image, that of an air traffic controller, where your mind receives many inputs, the stakes are high and split second decisions and intuition are a part of the job. While the stakes are less serious for us, we all relate to this situation and if meditation can help us solve the problem, it can have practical use in our increasingly complex lives

In this book, I propose that we are now entering the fourth age of meditation (following the previous ages of Shamanic meditation, Religious meditation and ‘Leaderful/Guru Led’ meditation). In the fourth age of meditation, meditation becomes a technology that will cause an exponential uptake in human intelligence and evolution. The starting point for this exponential uptake of human intelligence is our brain and our mind. More specifically, the exponential uptake of intelligence could be brought about by a connectivity and enhancement of minds through networks and technology. In that sense, meditation is a ‘transhumanist’ technology and networks are the underlying paradigm of the fourth age of meditation.

All networks, including neural networks and social networks, have a common theme. In the fourth age of meditation, we take a network based ‘two-sided view’ of meditation. On one hand, meditation is a disconnection from the emotional attachment to the flow of messages. This is the historical/ conventional understanding of meditation. But we also explore the other side of meditation i.e. the ‘connectivity’ aspect of meditation, with its fascinating possibilities.

The book shows you meditative techniques using brainwave technology.

It addresses questions like:

• How will our brain evolve through transhumanist meditation?

• How can we use technology to enhance our meditative state?

• What are the future implications for society, culture and spirituality?

• If we take the approach of ‘gedankenexperiment’ (thought experiment), how would the world look like as we evolve?

• How would our Identity and relationship with the world change as we continue to change, evolve and enhance our minds through a fusion of meditation, networks and technology?


Now, as part of this book – which took a long time to write – and has taken a life of it’s own – I was exploring the idea of ‘social meditation using neural technologies’.

Bio sensors/brain wave sensors are moving beyond the laboratory and into the home.  Brainwave sensors, like those from Neurosky, are now very affordable. This has fascinating possibilities which could take many directions, one of which is the development of community around brainwave meditation. As Chris Anderson says:  Lower the barriers to entry and the crowd pours in. When that happens, we enter a phase when the technology evolves through social connections and becomes a part of our daily lives.


So, I explore the scenario of social meditation augmented by neural technology as an ongoing experiment.  Working with Neurosky headsets  , we are creating a collaborative, technology based meditation concept using the Neurosky APIs. Think of it as a ‘game’ where you can synchronize with each other in a group. The ability to synchronise with individuals globally could be the basis of a social network – just like we have today for genome tree sequences. The system comprises a PC based platform that enables multiple neurosky headsets to connect to a central PC.   The application runs on the PC and the participants try to ‘tune in’ through listening to music. The session records the brain waves and then we are able to determine the degree of ‘sync’ between participants after the session.

For the above, I intend to use the framework / components from the paper How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? I hope this will be an ongoing experiment and I can share the results here over time

Comments welcome


Do you trust a Black cab taxi with your data more than you do Google/Facebook ..














On Monday, the local London metro newspaper had an amazing headline .. CCTV cameras to be fitted in taxis as ‘Big Brother’ tapes cab conversations

Apparently, in a staggering invasion of privacy, Oxford city council is mandating to have conversations in licenced taxis (hackney carriages/black cabs) recorded via CCTV

Both video and audio .. (In contrast with regular CCTV which does not record audio)

The question is:

Why do policy makers ‘trust’ black cabs with data? (and not the ‘Web’)

The equivalent on the Web would be greeted with deep concerns by policy makers (ex if Google, Facebook or others had done this)

But why this anomaly?

One reason is ‘familiarity’

Most policy makers are older – hence unfamiliar with Facebook and social media – but familiar with taxi cabs ..

That familiarity apparently translates into trust for taxi drivers ..

However, this view could be very short sighted

The Internet and the Web are foundations of growth industries – and probably the best way to get out of the recession.

In a curious twist, I personally believe that the passengers would be more protected from the drivers. Based on my experience of trying to use black cabs from airports for relatively short journeys, the drivers were often arrogant and rude ..

So, some good could come out of this perhaps!

But the contradiction in policy is perplexing none the less!

Image source: wikipedia

Crippling the Internet through SOPA could kill off the next industrial revolution(s)






The shortsightness of the old media companies and often politicans has been illustruated by many as I pointed out in my last post on SOPA and the SOPA debate threatens to get ugly with Google threatening to break ties with the US chamber of commerce which supports SOPA  (and yahoo has already left)

But there is more ..

I believe that the short sightedness of the old media industry and SOPA could actually destroy two emerging business models based on the Internet

In the recent past, I have seen two convincing arguments for business models  based on the Internet that could be disruptive and beneficial for the economy
Firstly, Chris Anderson calls the next Industrial Revolution or ‘the long tail of things’  (and you could extend that to include also 3D printing ) 

Both of these models depend on the Internet 

These are growth sectors and SOPA could kill them because it effectively cripples the Internet

There is a chasm between the cause and the effect in the old media arguement.Yes, content sales are down. yes there is piracy.But that’s not the only reason for the lack of content sales.A more likely cause is the sheer choice that people now have to watch content.Which means that the old media industry should change their business models instead of proposing draconian laws which hamper the consumers, sabotage innovation and destroy the competitiveness of our economies.Also see Web censorship day and Dan Gillmor in the Guardian


Strawberry Jam test








Late in the day .. but wanted to add my opposition to SOPA

Gigaom summarises the issues accurately .. What the web is saying about SOPA

But I want to add three thoughts to this – especially from a non US perspective

a)  How did this bill creep up in the Obama – pro net neutrality / pro Internet era?

b) There is considerable distrust here in the EU with the patriot act. SOPA will just add to the problems and may actually hurt US interests

c) I fail to see how this will actually be enforced. The intermediaries(the music industry) may not represent the artists in the future. Today comes the news that the musician Sting plans to release his next song as an app .. The point being .. you would have to ‘police’ all apps as well and all mobile sites(not just web sites)

Great that gigaom, BoingBoing, mashable  etc are leading the charge with this ..

Image source: Gigaom

Widget below from strawberryj


Standards & Patents Conference 2011









Standards & Patents Conference 2011: Learn to successfully navigate the complex interplay between standards, intellectual property & competition law

I may be at this event. If you are at this event, please email me. Sounds like an interesting event covering some key topics

This fascinating area is a minefield of conflicting commercialIP &competition issues.

The dynamics of the relationship between standards and patents poses a gamut of challenges for patenteeslicenceesstandard setting organisationsinnovatorscommecial users and implementers.

Patents may value the unique but the technical standard has become the friend (or foe) that defines the uniform.

Find out more on the latest agenda for the Standards and Patents conference.

 some of the themes include
  • 1. Patents – A View From The Bench 
  • 2. A Fresh, Practical Look At FRAND
  • 3. A European Commission Keynote from Per Hellstrom
  • 4. Key Remedies in EU Patent Litigation
  • 5. Focus on China & Japan – The Emerging Markets