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Displaying articles 361 - 370 of 381 in total

Farewell Pandora


It was sad news indeed for many at Focus Towers this Tuesday as our favourite music genome project announced its closure to the UK market.  For anyone unfamiliar with Pandora's format, you get to create your own radio stations, streaming music in the style of any artist of your choosing.  Which means you can hear Janis Joplin played next to Spandau Ballet, MIA, David Thomas Broughton, MCR or Beirut, depending on whether the track gets the Roman thumbs up or down.  I know there are alternatives out there but life shall feel rather limp here at Focus Towers next week.  Lisa hasn't been quite the same since my emo/folk/funk/world fusion afternoon...  We shall miss you Pandora. X

On a happier note, we Britons will soon see the price of downloads decrease by 10% as Apple is forced to bring UK charges into line with the rest of Europe.  It's good to know there are some people fighting our corner in Berlaymont at least.

Created on Friday January 11 2008 10:08 AM

Tags: music open-source web-radio

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Wikia Search: the open source answer to Google?

Wikia SearchApparently not yet.  Even its creator, Jimmy Wales, describes its current state as “terrible”, and expects it to take another two years before his new search engine can produce results to rival Google.

Tech pundits have reacted with a rash of negative comments, emerging primarily as a backlash to the hype that surrounded Wikia Search’s launch.  Yet the project has a number of good points.  It’s open source, provides an alternative search tool independent from large corporations and could help fight web site spam.

I'm personally in favour, especially of the incorporation of a social networking element.  You can go see what all the fuss is about here.


Created on Tuesday January 08 2008 05:27 PM


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Happy New Year


After a lovely Christmas and New Year break, the Focus team are back and raring to go. There are still a few sniffles to be heard, but overall we're in fine health and good spirits.

So what's new for 2008 at Focus towers?

Well, we have the small, but perfectly formed development team working on some wonderful new products which will be ready in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2008. As well as creating a new internal framework - to increase productivity.

Amy and I shall be getting out and about at various networking events across the region. The next one we shall be attending is on the 9th Jan with the Bath Business Women's Association. It's at Browns Restaurant in Orange Grove Bath, if anyone fancies coming along. Only ladies of course!!

And towards the latter end of 2008 we shall hopefully have a brand spanking new Focus office!

So it's all go here! See you soon.

Created on Friday January 04 2008 10:59 AM

Tags: new-year

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Business cards on the web

We're delighted to announce the launch of the new web site for Bristol based Greyhound Graphics, which includes a new online service allowing users to design and order a full range of personalised office supplies and stationery, including business cards, letterheads, invitations, flyers and leaflets.

As well as supplying a series of templates that can then be populated with personal information, the web site also allows users to upload their own artwork to act as the base for stationery items.

"Behind the scenes there's some pretty complicated PDF generation and manipulation going on", explains Chris Lugg, part of the technical team at Focus New Media. "We've also been able to use AJAX for some nice features for front end users".

See the new site at 

Simon Newing

Created on Thursday January 03 2008 12:00 AM


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Xmas 2007 Support

As it's Christmas and time to be with friends and family, we're officially closed through till 9am of Wednesday 2nd January.

In the meantime, if you have a mega-emergency then please ring the normal office number - 01179498008 - which will direct you through to our support mobile. If you could leave your name, number and a nice message, we'll do our best to help.

And have a great Xmas...

Simon Newing

Created on Monday December 24 2007 12:00 AM


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Focus cheer as Crimbo's near!

Christmas dinner was a cracker!So it's that time again, time to decide where to go for Christmas lunch!? Every year the responsibility some how ends up with me. It seems like an easy enough task to choose somewhere to go, especially as Bristol is filled with so many delightful eateries. But it is not so easy when you work with the Focus bunch - which range from Vegetarians to Meatatarians - new word!

This year however I think I came up trumps, we went to the newly refurbished Pump House and the food, service and atmosphere was all very nice.

We then decided to venture down to Light up Bristol and stop at a couple of pubs along the way. We tried to go to the Grain Barge but it was closed so we opted for the closest option which was the Mardyke on Hotwells road. It's a very interesting little venue where they serve you wine in tumblers and lime cordial with rum, but when you buy a round of 7 drinks and still get change of a tenner - I think we came up trumps again.

Judith, our client from the triumphant Sustrans Connect 2 project joined us for a festive tipple and also got to enjoy the delights of the Mardyke.

Light up Bristol was slightly more subdued than Monday evening; maybe they're saving themselves for Friday night? Overall it was a lovely evening.

Happy Christmas everybody!


Created on Thursday December 20 2007 04:04 PM

Tags: christmas

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Volunteering at Light Up Bristol

Light Up Bristol 2007Ideas always seem great at the time you make them.  It's only when you have to carry them out do you feel the weight of the decision made.

I was feeling not so much the weight as the bitingly bitter cold on Monday night.  Hundreds of people came down to see Light Up Bristol kick off for another year of festive illumination on College Green.  TV crews, excitable kids, parents, corporate liggers and a fair smattering of creative types all converged on the freezing turf to see what the cream of Bristol media had come up with this year.

I don’t think anyone was disappointed – apart from the unfortunate weather presenter I managed to cover in huge gobs of fake snow (just who thought I was the best person left in charge of one of the soap-snow cannons I don’t know – it was too dark to see either them or any of the settings on the machine!).  The kids loved it all, the parents took advantage of the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts from the Watershed marquee, and those lucky enough to come clutching a VIP invite headed straight for the Glenmorangie bar for their free wee drams of whiskey.  The folk from Spike Island even turned up, hosting an art stall that became bathed in psychedelic lights that span off from the cathedral in rhythmic waves.

The main show consisted of a series of moving images projected across the entire 400ft Council House façade and set to a soundtrack loud enough to be heard at the top of Park Street.  Images from baubles to beautiful reindeer that emerged through a sparkling blizzard of individual snowflakes created a magical scene.

The finale – from world-renowned Anti VJ – left all who watched awestruck.  Lights played perfectly over brickwork, tracing every corner and angle of the façade.  Colourful maelstroms of light were played precisely over all windows, creating a dizzying feeling of watching the inside of the building bursting into flame.

Created on Thursday December 20 2007 11:53 AM


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More Google world domination....

Looks like Wikipedia is next in line as Google continue to trample over everyone on the Internet: 

So if you're any expert on something - anything - just let Google Knol know.....good luck 


Simon Newing

Created on Monday December 17 2007 12:48 PM

Tags: public-access google technology

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And the winner is....

The lovely people at Sustrans!!!! 

We have been following the fate of one of our favourite clients with bated breath for some time now.  Sustrans' Connect2 project was pitted against three other environmental schemes via a live TV vote last Friday on ITV.... and won!

They will use the £50 million from the People's £50 million lottery giveaway to improve sustainable transport links for 79 communities across the UK.

With 42% of all votes cast in their favour, Connect2 were the clear winners, beating bids from Sherwood Forest, The Black Country and Eden Project. 

Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday December 12 2007 12:00 AM


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Youth Matters

South Gloucestershire Council have just asked us to help create an exciting and interactive web site promoting positive activities for teenagers in the locality.

Featuring a forum, a prominent events diary and an extensive services directory, the aim will be to encourage young people to discover what's going on in their area and be inspired to get involved.

We're pleased to be kicking off 2008 with such an enjoyable project and look forward to working with the local councils again, particularly after the success of 1 Big Database


Simon Newing

Created on Friday December 07 2007 12:00 AM


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