Monday, November 29, 2004

Itchy feet?
No, not that foot thing again (people are starting to talk)...I'm off to San Antonio, the place with one of the the worst web designs ever! Maybe I'll have some down time in the Hill Country, who knows. At least I don't have to worry about my blogger friends who are staying at home, listening to the wireless. Carry on blogging!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Making tracks again...
That’s the oldest footprint there, but, actually, I must say that I prefer fresh boot tracks in snow (Westport) or barefoot on a sandy beach. Is that normal? Anyway this is a good-news story.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Did the future arrive yet?
Mark Weiser coined the phrase "ubiquitous computing". He saw the potential for embedding technology in home environments, and in everyday objects. In ubiquitous computing, we could interact with hundreds of computers at a time - each invisibly distributed in our environment and wirelessly connected to each other. This paper looks at intimacy and ubiquitous computing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Mark making in those liminal spaces
It's the unbounded semiotic of disruption, subvertising and culture jamming...yes it's graffiti time again! Sprays, stencils, stickers are the technologies of other voices. There are some interesting blogs on street art and graffiti and a lovely example of stencil work, here. I like the concept of online graffiti and this animated graffiti is interesting. But the bit of new-tech subvertising that really inspires me is this - if you post a message on this website, he's supposed to get a text-message on his bike. Then he uses a programmable chalk-spray that writes your message on the road. Wow!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Funny, I didn’t know about the Beeb’s Spook stuff until I read Anya’a blog. The new look’s really cool - and I like her chapter, too. It’s good to see Joolz gets a mention and another call-out for the Manola shoeblog! I shift from my despair about blog-blocking when I read this about blogging in the writing classroom.

Monday, November 22, 2004

UWB - the future?
Like a souped up Bluetooth, UWB (Ultra Wide Band) is poised to grab our cash, provide high speed/lower power wi-fi and lead to more convergence. This article introduces the idea and the Intel site shows that the big players are already lined up. 'All I want for Christmas is .....'

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Blog on blogs
Blogs certainly do have the potential for all sorts of knowledge exchange and (sometimes) debate. That’s great, particularly if you’re part of a dispersed community as is argued here. I’m not so sure that they do the same thing as more traditional academic work (eg journal articles). In the current knowledge economy do we have to protect our goods from competitors? Or should we be creating new rules?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

More footprints, no shoes
Children’s footprints dating back to the Mesolithic period (10,000-5,500 years ago) have been found in the semi-submerged salt marshes of the Severn Estuary. I’m amazed that we have this record. It makes me think it’s time to make my own record, merging fixed-interval crowd photography using Crowd Compiler. Point, counterpoint.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Blogs blocked
Local ICT advisers are discouraging schools from blogging because they are easily 'hacked'. OK blogs are public, but so what? The only unfortunate incident I'm aware of is Marc Prensky reporting on unwelcome postings. Meanwhile other schools have been introduced to the arcane practice of pencil and paper blogs :sigh:
At the same time, work on intelligent fabrics and wired clothing gathers momentum. Soon you won't need to worry about knotting up your hands-free and your i-pod headphones - all will be one - convergence in your clothing. This website has the latest links on wearable computers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Digital Prophecy
With the new DAB radio I discover Dhafer Youseff, blending Tunisian oud playing with Scandanavian electro-jazz. What's more he's on tour - I'll be there in meatspace (it's the only way).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Putting your foot in it
Booking on a reef trip in Queensland the other year we were surprised to be told that 'All you need bring is your thongs.' - surprised until we unpicked the local linguistic nuance that suddenly makes footwear and underwear interchangeable! In a laterally connected way the humble flip-flop has acquired a double meaning brought to light in this wonderful site (thanks for the link, Jackie).

Monday, November 15, 2004

Am I a social group, am I?
I think our work on how children and young people use new technology needs to go beyond individual interactions and the texts they produce. We need to look at technology-mediated social groups. For instance I like this sort of stuff on the geekgirl site: does this make me a social group?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Visuals, videoblogging and so on
Reading about videoblogs, I find that this is one of the more oft-quoted ones: Steve Garfield. Mind you, on Saturday night I got just as much out of playing with these little wonders! Back on the conference theme I’m tempted by this- looks like it should be interesting.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Blogging in Bergen
I'm so impressed with Julia's visuals! My own brush with photoblogging went pear-shaped : blush: but I’m uplifted to find that I don’t have to be in meatspace to enjoy the Bergen conference. This is the videoblog you can see and hear Howard Rheingold – almost as good as being there and probably considerably warmer!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Beset by bears
These cuddly little items are the latest infestation in my mailbox. I read, I wish, I forward. This is the phenomenon of the ‘good luck’ email chain message. By forwarding it the text becomes a sort of votive artifact. Pass it on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Phone tricks and disco bits
I knew I read it somewhere but I've just confirmed that James Trusler is in the Guinness Book of Records for texting at a speed of 160 characters in 1min 7 secs!
Awesome! But has he been bluejacked yet? Well, I'm just getting the hang of picture messaging and that's OK, but nobody's bluejacking me. Still mobiles are really on the move, as I learn from Colin and Michele's blog. This little number is designed for clubbing. (Presumably it reaches parts that the U2 ipod doesn't!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This link on academics who blog is borrowed from Vic, who suggests that blogs provide an opportunity for new kinds of participation in intellectual life. I’ve been thinking about what a potent research tool the blog could become allowing user groups, stakeholders, and participants a close-up view of work as it unfolds.
Looks like a good conference in Norway (shame I can’t participate) and Howard Rheingold is guest of honour.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The print (again)
The event that completely disrupts Robinson Crusoe’s world is ‘the print of a man’s naked foot on the shore’. A disruptive sign. Are someone else’s surftrails the same? Footprints are a recurring theme in this blog. Unlike Bunuel I can’t own up to a full-on foot fetish, but yet I’m delighted to discover my first shoe blog!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Passing through
Leicester station used to be noted for its multilingual welcome sign in Gujerati, Hindi, Urdu and English. Now this has been replaced by ‘heritage’ pictures and a weblink that doesn't work (this one does). Is this the slow homogenisation of late modernity or just the sign of the times on the rail network? Time for the inspiration of Mitzuko Ito's Bento Blog!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Religious fanaticism, terrorism and so on…
It’s that time of year again when we go firework crazy. November 5th was etched on my memory well before September 11th, but there are some parallels. Anyway I’ll be just doing virtual fireworks – wish I had a voting button, but then what’s the difference between this, this and this?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Are the most interesting insiders outsiders?
I’ve been checking out what Marc Prensky said about Digital Natives in Bristol – his long but interesting slideshow is here. I also like what he has to say about mobile phones: What can you learn from a cell-phone? Please note there's an ethical thing here – he likes you to let him know you’re linking up to his stuff. Contact

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Writing online
I wonder whether this is a space beyond the reach of international politics? Probably not. Bush's re-election is deeply depressing...and just to think I have to go to a meeting and talk about something good I've read! Maybe I'll choose a serial email narrative, kind-of-edgy kind-of-cool. Here's some links: this and this.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Happy Tree Friends ?
I didn't know quite what to think when my friend's 9 year old showed me this cartoon site. There are free feeds but they take a while to load. Meanwhile this idea (here) is an Australian import and seems like a fine idea to me.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Tuned to a dead channel
Its 20 years since William Gibson brought us the word 'cyberspace' and the adventures of the punk cyborg Chase. The opening line stays with me: The sky above the port was the colour of television tuned to a dead channel.' That's magic. I've been visiting Gibson's blog quite a bit lately - that's interesting, too.
Bashment reaches Sheffield now, in the form of a new hair salon 'Bashment Barbers'. But I see that it's not 'bashment' but 'chav' that's tipped as new word of the year by