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Updated: 13 hours 46 min ago

How much is your personal data worth? An awful lot it seems, but who gets the value?

3 September, 2015 - 15:19

Each of us creates about 5GB of data each day, and according to new website data wallet $300 Billion is spent on obtaining that personal data each year. Firms of data brokers aggregate information about us from a variety of different sources, from our loyalty cards to social media posts. In most cases it won’t be apparent what information has been gathered and how it is being used, but one data broker has create a website which sets some of this out. In future it would be good to see far more transparency about what personal data is being mined and how its being used, and perhaps even returning a decent amount of the value to the individuals who create it.

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Bristol businesses, do you want a £3000 voucher for better broadband? Apply now and join thousands of others from all over the UK

3 September, 2015 - 14:56

Broadband Connection Vouchers are being delivered by 50 cities across the UK. More than 40,000 vouchers have been issued so far, enabling small businesses to make a step change in their broadband provision. There is still time to join them and make your own application. Head over to the National Connection Vouchers website and check your eligibility.

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Local website takes the casual job search online for students

2 September, 2015 - 16:01 is a new website that has just launched in Bristol. Founded by a Bristol university graduate, it aims to connect university students with part-time and one-off jobs whilst studying at university.

The graduate jobs market is saturated with websites trying to cash in on placing the UK’s smartest new employees in high flying jobs. But what about whilst the students are studying? With the cost of going to university at an all-time high, a huge number of students need a part-time job to supplement their loan. While studying in Bristol Sam Hyams, founder, discovered that  he had to travel around the local shops and pubs handing out CVs. He saw an opportunity which seemed particularly to fit here in Bristol, a City that values technology and innovation so highly.

So was launched; a completely free service for both students and employers that aims to take the search for a casual job online. The website provides a streamlined approach to job hunting, simplify the hiring process for businesses in the Bristol area.

The service is completely free and encourages all types of jobs from individuals who want their fence painted, to part-time bar work, to a full-time position in one of Bristol’s tech start-ups.

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Free Lunchtime discussion on sustainable and efficient smart city planning, 11 Sept, 1200-1500

27 August, 2015 - 09:57

Bristol has been working with San Sebastian and Florence to explore the potential for using Systems Thinking to produce comprehensive Sustainable Smart City Plans. The project partners, which includes Arup, Bristol City Council, Centre for Sustainable Energy, University of Bristol, are gathering at Open Space in Bristol to set out some of the lessons learned and to share their findings. This event would be of particular interest to

  • People working, studying or interested in energy planning
  • People interested in how smart cities, including energy planning, could transform our cities

Book your free place at the Eventbrite page.

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Come along to the Accessible Bristol talk “WCAG sufficient techniques – How well do they really work?” August 25, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

24 August, 2015 - 14:14

The Accessible Bristol group are holding another of their excellent talks on accessible technologies at the Engine Shed tomorrow. Mark Rogers of Powermapper will be going through how well different sufficient techniques work in different assistive technology. Sign up to attend via the Accessible Bristol Meetup Group.

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Pitch your IoT and Smart Cities Idea in the Pitch@Palace Competition

24 August, 2015 - 09:42

Pitch@Palace supports Entrepreneurs in acceleration their business ideas by connecting them with potential supporters including CEOs, Angels, Mentors, and key Business Partners.

Pitch@Palace 4.0 will focus on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, with a specific emphasis upon products and services that are helping to create a smarter world, as well as empowering consumers and citizens to engage with objects and the environment around them.

Applications should come from Entrepreneurs in the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Fitness & Wellbeing
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Home
  • Transportation

On the afternoon of 14th September, there will be a  Pitch@Palace On Tour event at Engine Shed. To attend companies must register this week. Visit the Pitch@Palace website for more on the competition and the Bristol event.

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Sign up for free online courses on Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities and the Internet of Things

13 August, 2015 - 12:14

More and more Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming available covering all sorts of topics. A few interesting ones  have recently opened up in these interesting areas;

Smart Cities:

Internet of Things:

Sustainable Cities:

The courses are free, and there shouldn’t be issues with capacity, but some of them are starting soon so go ahead and register now.

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Some Open Data resources and references

11 August, 2015 - 09:47

I came across a very useful archive of open data resources on LinkedIn. The list was created bya Strategist, Speaker and Consultant, so thanks and acknowledgement go to her. I’ve reposted the list here and intend to add to it as I come across more handy bits and pieces;

What is Data / Open Data?

Leading open data licensing & standards

Big, open & personal data

What about government open data?

Open data, what’s the value?

Open data stories

Who publishes open data?

Training Slides


Other Resources

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There’s still time to register for Transform Digital Conference, @Bristol, 15 and 16 September

4 August, 2015 - 12:46

On 15th September INCA and Bristol City Council will run the third Better Broadband for Business voucher scheme workshop, led by James Saunby and aimed at small businesses in the Brisol area. This will be followed by a Technical Showcase: How to Build a Broadband Network led by Rob Leenderts. In the evening there will be a visit the Bristol Planetarium followed by the conference dinner.

Delegates will assemble on 16th September for the Transform Digital: Bristol Conference. The focus this year is on how new digital infrastructure contributes to economic development, the increasingly important role of the competitive, independent sector of digital network operators, and how local authorities can get better value for money from their broadband contracts.

Headed by Chris Townsend of BDUK the list of speakers includes:

  • Mark Collins of CityFibre
  • Andy Conibere of Callflow Solutions
  • Malcolm Corbett of INCA
  • Matt Evans, of BSG
  • Barry Ford of B4RN
  • Matthew Hare of Gigaclear
  • Liz Harrison of Kent County Council
  • Daniel Heery of Cybermoor
  • Stephen Hilton of Bristol City Council
  • Richard Hooper of BSG
  • Mike Locke of Satellite Internet
  • Garry Miller of BT
  • Paul Morris of Vodafone
  • Hilary O’Shaughessy of Pervasive Media
  • Kate Rennicks of Metronet
  • Pete Shearman of Cisco
  • Roy Shelton of ITS Technology
  • Andrew Stirling of Microsoft
  • Mark Swarbrick of DCMS
  • Craig Thomas of Calix
  • Dana Tobak of Hyperoptic
  • Phil Winfield of @Bristol

For more information and to register visit INCA Events

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New Fund for Hyperlocal Publishers to Measure their Online Success

28 July, 2015 - 09:41

Hyperlocal publishers (online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community in the UK that create public value) can apply for grants of up to £6,500 from Nesta to explore how a more strategic use of website and social media analytics might help them define and measure their success online. A trial will run with up to 10 hyperlocal media publishers from across the UK who currently: do not use any website analytics; have a basic website analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, installed but do not use it to its potential; and/or do not make effective use of social media analytics.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 10th August.

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Vacancy: Bristol City Council are looking for an Open Data Project Manager

27 July, 2015 - 12:00

If you are an experienced Project Manager with an interest in open data and recognise its potential to transform the way that Local Authorities and other organisations operate you may be interested in this vacancy. Bristol has demonstrated a good deal of ambition in the area of Open Data, launching a City Open Data Platform and recently being confirmed as an ODI Node. The role is based within the City Innovation team who lead the Council’s Smart City Programme. The closing data for applications is 10 August 2015.

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Bristol’s tech start-up ecosystem gets positive write up by the Next Web

20 July, 2015 - 09:44

Bristol has a well networked, innovative technology community focused around the major hubs at the Engine Shed and Watershed. The Next Web have written a comprehensive article picking out some of the leading businesses and stand out technologies being developed across the region.

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Vote for the Future 4 Me project in the National Lottery Awards and bring the award for Best Charity Project to Bristol

17 July, 2015 - 17:25

The Future 4 Me project has been shortlisted as a finalists for the National Lottery Best Charity Project. This is the only project from the South West to be nominated and the only finalist in the UK working with young people leaving care, custody or homeless.

You can vote for them here free : or call the Future 4 Me VOTING LINE  – 0844 836 9713 Calls cost 5p (some networks vary).

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Melbourne residents send email messages to trees

17 July, 2015 - 11:14

In a project which brings to mind Bristol’s Playable City Winner “Hello Lampost” people in Melbourne can now email the trees in their City. All of the trees in the City have been mapped and given an individual ID which enables residents to email that tree directly with their thoughts.

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ODI to commission projects demonstrating the impact of open data. Up to £7,000 funding available to support delivery.

16 July, 2015 - 09:42

Do you have a great idea for an open data project but need help to get it off the ground? Are you working on a project that you would like to promote more widely? As part of its open data summer showcase, the Open Data Institute is looking for great examples of open data impact, to support their development and promote them to a global audience.

As well as the potential £7k funding the support package includes;

  • Remote mentoring from the ODI’s Research, Communications, Content and Production teams to help you develop your project for maximum impact
  • Free training
  • Free ODI Individual Membership
  • The opportunity to promote your work at the ODI Summit in November 2015, and at an ODI Friday lunchtime lecture
How to apply

Submit your proposal online using this application form. The deadline for entries is 15.00 BST, Friday 24 July 2015

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You can download the presentations for the Connecting Bristol to the Internet of Things event, 6 July 2015

10 July, 2015 - 15:34

Thanks to everyone who turned up for the Connecting Bristol to the Internet of Things at Watershed on Monday. The presentations are available to download below as PDF’s. Watch this space for more events and information about Bristol’s ambitious IoT programme;

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Watch this video from the “Tangible Memories: Community in Care” project

9 July, 2015 - 17:18

The Tangible Memories project is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Bristol who have been working alongside Alive! activities, artists (Stand + Stare and Heidi Hinder) and care home residents, staff and managers from across the city of Bristol. Working together the project team were able to produce innovative and playful artifacts to preserve and share the memories of residents in care homes. Its an inspiring, creative and often moving project.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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The “Open Data Handbook” gives you access to case studies, guides and resources to support your open data programme

8 July, 2015 - 14:45

Open Knowledge have released the Open Data Handbook to provide the help and guidance to help your organisation, business or community group share data openly and make the most the data resources available.

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Free online course on the Internet of Things begining 23 November.

1 July, 2015 - 09:17

Do you want to learn more about the potential impact of everyday objects connecting in autonomous machine to machine networks? The Internet of Things will revolutionise how we live, work and play and this free course could help you or your business take advantage of this emerging technology. The course, organised by Future Learn and delivered by Kings College London,  doesn’t begin until 23 November but its free and registration is already open so go ahead and lock down your place.

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Event: Transform Digital, 15 and 16 September, At-Bristol, BS1 5DB

30 June, 2015 - 11:46

The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) are holding their a series of events and their annual conference here in Bristol on 15th and 16th September. These “Transform Digital” events offer fantastic opportunities to explore the changes that are happening right now in digital connectivity and to get insights and answers to questions such as:

  • What’s the difference between superfast and ultrafast and what does it mean?
  • What sort of digital infrastructure do we really need and are we building it fast enough in our urban and rural areas?
  • What should the new Government do to help the market invest in the digital infrastructure of the future?
  • What regulatory actions and regimes are needed to ensure that the UK has infrastructure that is ‘fit for purpose’?

You can register to attend the conference on the INCA website, delegate fees are £145 plus VAT.

Some of the additional events running alongside the conference include;

Better Broadband for Bristol Businesses
15 September, 09:30-12:00, @Bristol, Free

Led by Bristol City Council and INCA this workshop is a great opportunity to find out how to get financial support for better broadband. We will discuss the connection voucher scheme, the benefits of better broadband for small businesses, the suppliers that can help businesses connect and how to apply to the scheme.

Geared towards: Owners & Managers of small businesses interested in improving their broadband services, technical specialists, business connectivity suppliers.

INCA Technical Showcase
The Art of the Possible: How to Build a Better Network

15 September, 14:00-17:00, @Bristol, Free for conference delegates (otherwise £50 + VAT)

This showcase will be a series of presentations, educational segments, case studies and roadmap sessions from a range of companies who can help anyone interested in investing, designing or building a Next Generation Broadband infrastructure – ‘Superfast’ and ‘Ultrafast’. We will discuss what these terms mean in practice and give an end-to-end view of the individual components required to create a successful project.

Geared towards: Local project promoters, funders, technical and business consultants, policy-makers.

3D Data Visualisation and Planetarium
15 September, 18.00 – 18.45

All conference delegates are invited to an exclusive show at the newly refurbished planetarium where they will be treated to the UK’s first 3D planetarium show and data visualisation dome. The planetarium’s system is powered by 17 computers driving two 4K resolution projectors, and for data visualisation purposes is hooked up via a 100Gbps fibre link to a supercomputer at Bristol University.

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