Friday, July 29, 2005

Riots and all

Riots and all
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
Who needs TV when you have the Genose football supporters club outside? Short version is that Genoa should have joined the first div this year but were found guilty of fixing their last match against the worst team in the div 2 and so they were put into the last place of div 2 and that means being dropped to the div 3 next season. As you can guess the supporters aren't particularly pleasure and since its both soccer and Italy well you can see from the pic. So maybe I'll get some sleep and well hopefully they'll head towards town to make their point. I do feel sorry for the fans as it seems pretty much the manager's fault.

Farewell to Genoa

Farewell to Genoa
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
Well after a great week its a shame to have to head back home but as they say all good things ... Summer school was particular useful today as we actually got a chance to interact properly and I've gained some new contacts and maybe a new PhD candidate for the lab. So all is well and all the guys got back to Siena but without AC for the last two hours of their trip so well might be a push for them at least today! Off to bed for an early bus and flights plus train so back to packing for me. Photos and report to follow online once I'm back to base and settled.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sunny Genoa

Sunny Genoa
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
Well the summer school is nearly over and the evening is wonderful at the dockside in Genoa. Had a chance to talk to Roberto about Metamusic and adding his expressive music layer which should spice the output up a bit! Bit drained after a hot week here so looking forward to getting to cooler climates back home. Also have some good news as it seems Mikael and I are to contribute to the auditory icon section in the new auditory display book. Back to the Aperol and to dinner.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Italian guides

Italian guides
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
The summer school is going well and its really cool to be hanging round with all the guys and girls from Siena and Filippo who's from there but now is really IDC :-) so dinner was really nice as can be seen from the picture but the big question is who's first and last in the shower tomorrow. Signing off from a sunny, warm and interesting Genoa.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Museums and sore feet

So have done the whole Via Garibaldi treble museum thing. Really enjoy some of those museums but its weird I always end up going to the classical ones in Italy but anywhere else its the modern ones! I've fallen into the same mistake again concerning Italy, Sundays and restaurants. The fact is most close, as we encountered in May on the Alps trip but sure I figured Genoa's not some rural town but it stands for the most part here. Did find one so its back to my vino and pizza!

Arrived in Italy

Well I hope that's it for bad luck with planes & delays! In lovely but hot city of Genoa for the Sound to Sense summer school ( where there'll be a number of interesting presentations related to my research and some lively discussions, off to do the tourist thing today until Filiapio from my research group ( and all the rest of the guys from the Uni di Siena (his old Uni) arrive later tonight. Looks like its going to be around 30 tempwise so time to find the water and somewhere with air conditioning. Pics and tales to follow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday and back to biz

It's a sad day today with everyone's favorite Star Trek engineer, James Doohan or better know to us as the ever resourceful Mr Montgomery "Scotty" Scott beaming up to a better place, may he rest in peace.

On a lighter tone, we have Google celebrating the Moon landings go for the maximum zoom level!

I've been stuck looking at journals and pages like "Cellular automata and music" for a big Metamusic project meeting tomorrow. On a different vein there are three interesting ones from WorldChanging with articles on new devices for detecting and monitoring diseases using low cost systems, on the World Wildlife Fund's new Wildfinder system which allows people to find out about the habitats and details of over 30,000 species and a nice one on India's approach to green building.

On the podcast front there is Reinventing Radio talking about the BBC and their experiments with feedback mechanisms and over on the Rails front there is Dave Thomas giving a talk on (actual MP3) on how he became a pragmatic programmer and how he started on Ruby.

At least somebody is making progress on their PhD but I guess its time to figure out a plan.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Summer heat and ATM blues

Summer heat and ATM blues
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
So its happened again with my local ATM, the blue screen of death! Much and all as it irks me as a user, it drives me incandescent as a designer to think that Banks accept this kind of visible failure which acts as a great billboard outside a closed branch. Reading Kim Vicente's new book on Human Factors, bit of a coffee table book if you're in the trade otherwise a good intro and something those Banking exec's could do with reading. Good one from Courage & Baxter on user requirements (way more hands on than Weigers but with good further refs) which with a bit of luck I'll sneak onto the reading list for next year's interactive media students.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Catching up with work

Stuck inside on this sunny day but have a rake of work to clear from ICAD. Mostly its just editing recordings of talks to upload to the website, so its donkey work but sure its got to be done!

At least its given me the time to do a little surfing whilst listening to the recordings! So what about the ease with which personal privacy can be breached now as discussed by David Lazarus, in a similar vein there is a nice article on "How to Protect Against Identity Theft" by Adam J. Elbirt in IEEE's latest Technology and Society Magazine. For Mac OS heads we have "Programming with Spotlight" and "Creating Spotlight Plugins". Here's a great piece on "Understanding Google's Conversion-Tracking Mechanism" which helps explain Google's Adwords and how the conversion rate can be tracked to give you a return on investment figure for your marketing spend.

In other news Diarmuid lost the party whip last night but didn't get expelled from Fine Gael and this can be seen as a slap across the wrist and shows that HQ did at least bother to listen to the stories and make their own mind up on the fiasco here in Limerick East.

Also really started on the Metamusic project so I'm brushing up on my skills with LISP for Music and generative composition.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Something for the Weekend

A nice followup on "Entrepreneur Bootstrapping" and on the "The Risks of Professional Blogging" by David Beisel. For some good listening you should check out Joe Trippi who was the head of Howard Dean's U.S. Presidential campaign and author of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- Democracy, The Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything" and was interviewed on ITConversations. Putting on the transhumanistic bend for a second, I'll recommend two good BBC radio lectures on "Technology will Determine the Future of the Human Race" and on "Nanotechnology and Nanoscience ".

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thursday and a bit of a whirlwind tour

Well it was bound to happen, secure syndication via RSS and whilst on the topic of synication we have "Usability of Subscribing to Feeds". Here's a nice one called "How to End Wars Between Testers and Programmers", a little something on avoiding AJAX mistakes, more from Jeff Vreen on designing for the subtlety of Ajax.

Two good ones from World Changing on Mapping Politics which is again going back to the power of using mapping for policital objectives by following on from the Chicago Crime Map to the Iraq War Fatalities which is a Flash piece detailing the Coalition loss of life over the course of the conflict, up to June 27 of 2005. The second one is on spring_alpha which is an open source simulation society game which was design with drawings from Chad McCail and tells of a community's effort to establish a utopian society. (Detail Summary and Python Source Code)

Phrack is dead after too many years of service to the hacker community, it was a great publication and I'm sorry to see it go as it helped build the right sort of mentality as espoused by works such as Graham's "Hackers & Painters" (highly recommmended read).

In more happy news, we have Cory Doctrow realising his book "Someone comes to Town, someone leaves Town" online for free download and Charles Stross doing the very same with "Accelerando" and whilst this is a wonderful development I for one still intend to support the authors by buying paper copies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Getting back to normal

Slowly getting back to normality post holding the ICAD conference in UL, heard talks on everything from spatialised audio studies to audio soft buttons (Nokia) to auditory alarms (US Navy) to auditory display studies for visually impaired & blind from the whole spectrum covered by Auditory Displays. Working now on getting the papers and some podcasts online. Also got accepted to the Sound to Sense summer school at the end of the month in Genoa so its going to be a busy summer even post ICAD.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Business Reads for the Weekend

So its a great time to be an entrepreneur with cheap hardware, free software infrastructures, a global workforce and search engine marketing from Bnoopy. HOWTO: Do podcasting and video blogging using iTunes. I wonder does managing your board of directors come under the HOWTO category ? Another good article on bootstrapping your tech company and one on managing acquisitions from a corporate development perspective.

In light of recent US developments here's an article called "Piracy is Good? How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV" and the related piece called "The Swarm Manifesto". And a nice one to finish called "Overzealous Lawyers Beware: Today's Sites Are Fighting Back" on the topic of how online website who are being hit with cease and desist letters are not simply playing dead in the case of the demands made in these letters.

Web Rumblings

So it takes all of 12 Minutes for a new machine to get compromised on the web. More on that old chestnut of Art and Computer Programming.

Rails is hotting up again with Michael Buffington of Adaptive Path blogging about converting a ColdFusion application to Rails. have a new beta out with some of the coolest web 2.0 effects yet seen. These can be further complemented by Effectspack (More UI Widgets) and also Behaviour which is using CSS selectors to apply Javascript functionality.

The secret to running a successful web enterprise is ePandora which powers Boystuff and various other portals. San Francisco has a new outlet for citizen journalism and on the political theme here's a nice Westminister one called Guido Fawkes or for a more formal style see the Guardian's Backbench.

Given the UL main website new makeover, maybe its time to point designers to articles like "The Right Information". More on bad redesign over at the Independent newspaper. Ok-Cancel's cartoon and thread today is about tagging. Our French business colleagues seem to be a little confused as Corporate France seems to believe us part of Britain!