Friday, March 31, 2006

Chaos and Madness

It's been mad here this week, got to give Mikael's lecture today for the Interactive Media module as well as their tutorial today so lots of prep time spent on that but otherwise its cool as looks like the Motes/Dance sensor suit project which Steve has been working on is ready to go.

Catching up on links and interesting bits we have from EI a free guide on "E-Business Law, A Practical Guide for Irish Companies", for monitoring web pages and notifying you - dead handy for people who aren't using RSS (Check this IBM article for an intro to RSS). Another interesting read of the week is "The Role of Sound in Electronic Literature", WorldChanging have some nice links to interviews on Diasters, speaking of nice links I was talking about Mashups today in the lecture and here is another nice one on the demographics from the 2000 US census and Google Maps. A nice article I found which reminds us that landscapes are produced and maintained so when you're driving along and enjoying the scenery its important to remember it doesn't just happen like that without control and intervention.

On the tech side, there is some interesting articles on using a voice encoder for sonic effects, ROR and adding FastCGI on Mac OS X, on Maven which is one of the new breed of deployment systems.

A final cool note is to say that Spin, Accelerando and Old Man's War are all now available online (for Hugo/Campbell award judges ;-< ) and all are nominees for the 2006 Hugo/Campbell awards.

Monday, March 20, 2006

ICAD paper accepted

Sweet! Got a long paper on my PhD work accepted for the Auditory Display conference in London later this year. Got a bit of work to do on cleaning up parts of the paper and getting a larger number of participants through some of the experiments but still cool! Kinda of nice to go this year as we ran it in Limerick last year and due to the workload didn't get a chance to submit so it'll be really nice 'just' to have to give a talk!

Managing Mail Marshal spam

So I've finally been enlighten to the correct use of the UL Mail Marshal application,
the secret is .....

wait for it ....

just one more ....

its to use , its the staffmail part that nobody in ITD really thought about, I'm sure they had a serious investigation into the usability of the product and into their manuals for it! This has been ITD's little secret as people were able to login and release spam using but where then unable to see the entire spam lists which made it a very useless and frustrating experience! Another typical ITD deployment....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Metamusic Madness

Due to a massive amount of project work with integration and testing as well as a source control system change, things have been insanely busy to say the very least. Its a mad house here as the Shared Worlds project is in a even busier mode.

Maybe its the whole craziness here or just my mood at the moment given I reread Accelerando or just the whole general state of the world that I'm adding a funny selection of tidbits today.

Worldchanging is talking about collaborative, bottom-up tools for our own protection with references to new articles by David Stephenson and John Robb. The latter blog by John Robb is particular interesting and has been added to my list of subscriptions, for a good example of his writings check out his article "Security: Power To The People" which reminds me of parts of the Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson but also to some journals I've been adding to my random and non-PhD centric collection but hey they're interesing! So if you want to start to get a rounder picture and have a better insight into commentaries such as Global Guerrilla and you've done the whole No Logo thing here's a short reading list to keep the mind healthy.
  • The Simple Economics of Cybercrimes - Kshetri, N., IEEE Security & Privacy, Jan/Feb 06
  • Human factors in a dynamic information society: where are we heading? - Rasmussen, J., Ergonomics, 2000, 43(7), 869–879
  • Coping with accelerating socio-technical systems- Kirwan, B., Safety Science, 2001, 37, 77-107
  • Predicting technological disasters: mission impossible - Chapman, J., Disaster Prevention and Management, 14(3), 343-352
  • Disasters and economic damage- macro, meso and micro approaches, van der Veer, A., Disaster Prevention and Management, 13(4), 274-279

Adding to that you can also read about Baghdad Bomb Squad and the scariest latest on improvised explosive devices from boingboing.

Trying to maintain some sense of realism and hope here's a good interview on Citizen Journalism from Dan Gillmor on ITConversations. At the other end, there is a gallery with then and now tsunami images from warshooter who're a site for photojournalists who are covering conflict, crisis and disaster. I also found a link to Unembedded which is the work of photojournalists in Iraq who were NOT embeddeded into military units and it offers quite a different view from what is normally presented in the mainstream media. If you want to get a little more info on the story behind Unembedded, you can check out some videos online.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Girlie Guinness

Girlie Guinness
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
Well the latest brew for testing by two old crusties, that being Alan and myself was Guinness Medium Strength, it failed. As we're both regular Guinness drinkers (crusties I know!) we couldn't find anything worthwhile about their new brew. Its first taste was acceptable but rapidly declined to a watery tasteless pap. Neither of us managed more than half a pint which was a poor showing as both our pints were free samples from a Guinness rep. The rep couldn't even find a decent reason for us to change to the beer! Guinness are testing several new brews country wide so maybe one of those will prove a better beer. Maybe the Guinness export will be the next one to hit Limerick but for now, both Alan and I are sticking to the tried and tested.

Old Guinness 1 - Girlie Guinness 0

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sore heads but great craic

Survived a great session out with the lads in Thurles where we even got to clean up afterwards as one of the lads is running the pub for his uncle for the week. I've also learned that I'm a hopeless darts player and I'm even worse when drunk!

Went to the PhD forum yesterday and heard a good talk on semantic business networks which was all about social networks, social capital and SME's. Then Prof Eamonn Murphy gave what I have to say was the very best stats introduction in a more helpful way of visualising what you're trying to do. Knowing a bit of stats already didn't matter as the presentation was brillant. I'll put up my notes once I transcribe them and I've already asked Mikael to see if we can get Eamonn to do the same talk for all our postgrads. Now to find Denis and get coffee for the sore heads.