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December 2020
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February 2021

Closed Captions the easy way with Zubtitles

One good imperative to come from online events, meetings, performances and conferences precipitated by the Covid pandemic is the recognition that accessibility online is not only respectful and supremely possible but opens doors to previously excluded audiences.

Audiences as entire communities. Communities have cohesive dialogue. Provision before attendance must be in balance.

Closed Captions are the most prevalent support for access. Attention for the provision need the allocation of resources and time. 

For real time transcription and subtitles I use Otter. For captioning I have discovered Zubtitles. Brilliant. Styled and baked onto videos or generate srt files slit timed to perfection to upload to video hosting. 


Referal code - ICH027

Yes it’s true captions enable videos to be watch on mute but for those needing the facility for access it’s an overture of equality. It’s an even playing field.

I have started including voicing readings of the newsletters I produce for Equity’s Online Branch. I will include them in my own.

I would like to learn British Sign Language too. I am looking to establish connection to include sign interpretation on projects in the future. It’s only with these provision supports in place can the communities participate with ease.


12apps - In the light

I managed to get my 12apps from 2020 article out after reframing and accepting I’d missed the 12apps of Christmas window. And post it.

I did get 12apps 2017 and 18 out

I end my year reflecting on the tools I have used most and look at sharing them. I don’t get far, I’m not very visible, I enjoy exploring socially empowering disruptive technology.

What is technology? When does technology dissolve into the ubiquity of tools and equipment?

I am not special, I am ordinary but curious. I am overshadowed and underwhelmed. The stark struggle of livelihood, living wage, vs balance, beauty and belief.

When will the lights go on again?

What 12 apps will define 2021?


The anatomy of the internet pt1

Yep I’m committing myself to a series! 

Lets talk about BANDWIDTH and Home Broadband. What wisdom can I impart? This is a fundamental I want to share.

Your broadband internet connects has several parts.

  • Upload speed
  • Download speed
  • Ping rate
  • Jitter

The combination of all these determines how STABLE and ROBUST your connection is.

Download is the speed always quoted and for watching and browsing Download is king.

Upload is the speed no one talks about but is equally vital in the day of immersion and participation its the speed in which you are able put information up on to the internet. Upload is necessary and the invariable overlooked.

Ping and Jitter should be low and by monitoring these figures you can judge the HEALTH of your connection.

This is my connection its extremely STABLE and HEALTHY (this is the general state of play with my connection)

I have a business connection and I pay £38.50


This Speedtest recommendation is one of my 12apps from 2020

Uploading is as separate metric to Downloading. For live-streaming 2MB up and down is adequate. A good strong mobile signal can be just as stable, just as robust.

My current mobile signal is not great but it’s cost effective and flexible. 

This is a perfectly adequate bandwidth. A mobile unit (MiFi) is the best way to get the most from mobile internet. 


My mobile provider is GiffGaff I pay £10 a month.

I think this is the shortest video I have uploaded to YouTube!

Do get in touch / comment if you want to know more.I better start thinking about part 2!

Robotic Scam Spam

I received this call on January 12th.

I really dislike unsolicited call centre calls. Why? because I have to listen and disengage my unconscious bias before reluctantly (especially if its a real person) ceremoniously hang up. 

Some time especially if it is a real person I afford them a few minutes as I think of myself in their shoes trying to make a living in a call centre. While the shudder is coursing down my spine the conversation goes one of two ways.

This call, It was automated, I hung up but it rattled me.

I Immediately googled 
“automated voice message”

and google completed with a suggestion of ‘from hmrc’

HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press one to speak to a caseworker to make a payment. We can confirm this is a scam and you should end the call immediately. This scam has been widely reported and often targets elderly and vulnerable people.

Trusted sources and insight into your self reflection is important as a foundation to navigate deceit.

Knowledge is grounding, flexibility to accommodate understanding and perspective are important too.

Question everything.

Define your personal truths.


Knowledge Crystals

You can’t give knowledge away they have to want it.

Audience development is not about crowd gathering it’s about compiling an engaging offer and delivering it in a way people are compelled to gather and consume it, learn from it, return to it, share it, remember it, recreate it. Leave them wanting more is the often recited intention. 

“Just because it’s there” might work for those wanting to climb Everest or run the London Marathon. The time will arrive in the not too distant future that the Outside in the the company of others will be “there”.

In the literal meantime, planning and dreaming is the luxury many in the events and entertainment industry longed for.

The cycle is arriving... this time last year COVID was arriving. 

The news story playing in the background as I write is about the first patients who died in a Newcastle hospital. Three became thousands which as the time I write this is touching 100,000.

When the lights go on again” War Time song comes to mind.

We need a version for our age.


Cybersalon - Dates in the Diary - pt 3

My last trip to London was Wednesday 29th Jan 2020. It was to hand over a project I’d been producing on behalf of the Stage Management Committee.

The Equity SM Buyout Calc - Work in Progress - updates webpage. 

I also attended a meeting with Equity senior management in regards to the Online Branch’s - last stand. 2020 was a progressive year. Our milestones were being awarded funding to explore the development of the branch technology and the assignment of a staff organiser.

I also attended a SafetyCurtain Trustees Meeting before Cybersalon

I had a fabulous overnight stay

Gaming For Good was the last Cybersalon on the ground event I attended

Here is my mini Vlog which I'd neglected to post before now. The practice of capturing short clips and using Quik to mash up a 1 - 3 min video is a good one to master.

If you attend a Cybersalon event be sure to say hello.

Games For Good 3.0 - Tend & Befriend Edition

Cybersalon's Online Record documenting the event - LINK

Last decade will be condemned as a total failure of humanity to work together. Next decade and climate change crisis bring challenges that can only be solved by working together.

Join us on a journey of discovery of games that can skill up our ability to collaborate, from passing weapons, providing covering fire in a firefight, healing or boosting a teammate over obstacles.


  • Eva Pascoe ( –  a peek into the history of collaborative video gaming
  • Ben Greenway – emotional exploration on how to cooperate with total strangers when no shared language can be found Journey (by ThatGameCompany).
  • Karo Janicka – how to leverage the community to improve village life in Stardew Valley (by Concerned Ape)
  • Simon Sarginson – surviving galactic wars by teaming up with aliens in Startopia (by Mucky Foot)
  • Douglas Rushkoff – author of Cyberia book (1994) and lead of Team Human podcast on  collaboration for the survival of the species

Cybersalon is living despite lockdown. Cyberspace persists!

New Events for your diary for 2021:

2nd February – Tuesday 7 pm -  Zoom
Algorithmic Economy – the good, the bad and the ugly
Artificial Intelligence, Silicon Valley monopolies and platform cooperatives

16th February – Tuesday 7 pm
The Future is Swedish  - Universal Service Network
Ericsson 5G, fibre optic and open source software

2nd March – Tuesday 7 pm
Everyone gets a voice - Massive Multi-Person On-Line Deliberation, Citizens’ assemblies, e-voting and Liquid Democracy

Cybersalon Website

Cybersalon on Eventbrite

Cybersalon Facebook Page

Cybersalon on Twitter

Zoom in music mode.

I am a reluctancy user of Zoom for professional purposes. But since the first lockdown Zoom has stepped unto the plate in terms of developing the necessaries to improve the audience experience as well as improve the way we manage the technical delivery of Zoom beyond its intended function of a meeting platform.

The biggest step has been in managing audio. The nature of the internet does mean latency, the speed data varies being sent and received, differs between connections so sycronising music where singing or play back is needed simultaneous at the receiving end is hard and pretty much impossible in many cases the more receiving points are expected.

The biggest challenge is instructing Zoom not to process sound on our behalf. By default zoom intelligently processes the noise in our immediate environment reducing background sounds and focusing on the human voice.

Playing instruments, playing music and talking while playing music in fitness or dance classes plays havoc with zoom. Zoom settings are not always easy to access or should I say easy to cover as they reside in several locations and some cascade while others set president.

This is the most comprehensive video I have found to date. Zoom updates and moves items while only revealing others once remote settings have been activated! Oh yeah that’s a thing!

Zoom High Fidelity Music Mode for Online Music Lessons

Extract from the video show notes. 

Be sure to read them in full and subscribe to The Music Repo channel.

“Zoom now has High Fidelity Music Mode! Zoom have recently released a new update with enhanced audio settings for musicians. Discover how to set up Zoom for teaching music using the new High Fidelity Music Setting.”

This video is a complete update on Jane’s previous video on how to set up Zoom in Music Mode, and includes some brand new sections and information based data and feedback and FAQs from here community.

She even provides time stamps to help viewers navigate the video.

00:00 Intro

02:05 Zoom Desktop Client Settings

07:28 How to share audio files, computer sound and music streams in Zoom

08:32 How to set up Zoom for Stereo Audio

10:43 Zoom Mobile App Settings

11:24 Zoom latency and sync issues - live collaboration is not possible in Zoom, but there are some other strategies you could use instead

After watching and learning so much from the channel it was from this Zoom audio video I discovered her proximity to Nottingham. I can’t wait for lock down to end so I can buy this woman a coffee. It sure is a small world.

You can get a more detailed post on Zoom in Music Mode from fellow East Midlander, Jane Sherratt’s website

The Music Repo web site is a treasure trove for helpful guides, hints tips and more on setting up your home recording studio.

Check out Jane’s Music Repo Channel on YouTube

Jane, if you read this, thank you.

I have set up sound desks following engineers instruction and operated sound on small theatre shows. Not until now have never felt I understand it contextually. *hat tip*


I have always been fascinated by the supernatural and conspiracies. The ultimate blend emerging over recent years being the Mandela Effect. The collective recollection of an event or object being recalled differently than the majority consciousness. See Bernstein Bears, KitKat and Nelson Mandela’s Funeral.

But my interest is not in the conspiracy or unexplained occurrence but in why people want or need the conspiracy. The mutated sentiment of the closest collaboration, to conspire, to plan in privacy, the joy of surprise, the presentation of spectacle, the magic of theatre. All swept away when debased by obsessional thinking.

Why do people believe, insist and argue to the contrary that the planet is a flat disc? Why do some want to insist the moon was not landed upon in 1969? There is enough uncertainty in life. What purpose can these extremes of thinking serve?

Complacency should not be entertained. Anomalous incongruous displays of power should be questioned. Due diligence on every story should be equal to facilitate objective perspective. But just as YouTube proliferates the conspiracy videos it is burgeoning with thought provoking exposition. Quirky stories, remarkable coincidences, extraordinary histories, adverse triumphs, morose consequences, the faceted human experience and society reacting across the ages.

During a recent Tuttle online conversation QAnon and David Ike raised the question. I recalled a video from a favourite YouTuber on mine. Has a YouTube channel empire of insights. Simon Whistler was a great foundation for a search for videos on why.

TodayIFoundOut -

TopTenz -

Visual Politik EN

Biographics -


Business Blaze

Megaprojects -



Flood Alert

Long Eaton has a history of flooding. Much of that is historical now but the flood defences dominate the landscape if you know where to look. West Park a beautiful local gem and oasis of calm is a flooding release valve. I’m sure it has a proper name but I don’t know the technical terms. Along the canal and the river are steep earth banks and acres of scrub land. It’s wild and abandoned as I expect it’s of no use except for flood protection.

I was aware of the flood risk in Long Eaton. Although well protected insurance was not offered from all companies I approached for quotes.

I did sign up to the national flood alert system and I get simultaneous text alerts and warnings which does startle me and Dan, my other half.

How do you evaluate the danger? Since being here there have been numerous text alerts and warnings.

My first port of call is to the to Flood Alert



The Gauge Map 


The gauge map is particularly reassuring and I check the data upstream at Sandiacre and downstream at Cranfleet Lock.

Livescribe - Lonely in Lockdown

Prior to Covid my most trusty and assistive piece of technology was my Livescribe Pen. I have an eBay search running looking for pens on sale I buy for colleagues and clients when compiling essential tech and media making kit boxes.

During lockdown along with my mobile power packs my livescribe pens have sat idol.


In lockdown I have spent all my working from my desktop computer. My magic notebook has been set aside. 

Analogue pen and pen, digital transcription with audio accompanying. Searchable digital version. Handwriting to text. But it needs sound in the room to capture.

During lockdown for most of my meetings I have worn headphones. So I’d have a lot of one sided conversations! A year or so ago I discovered Otter. It was for its dictation but it really blossomed when it’s Zoom integration emerged. I was looking into closed captions and top of the list popped Otter.

The connection transcribes my Zoom calls to text as well as storing a copy of the audio without having to remember to hit record.

It’s dyslexic peace of mind. The big bonus is that is affords me the concentration of future recall without having to take full notes.

Plus Otter augments into Zoom’s CC api. I’ve been so impressed by Otters development during Covid. Accessibility has become priority with the events and productions I have supported.

Providing remote access can now be fully accessible too.