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Monthly Archives: October 2003

Problems with enforced identity?

A bunch of people at a recent conference were given nTags (wrote about these early this year). Problem is, a couple of people weren’t too happy having information about themselves being freely transmitted to other delegates and sought their own ways of stopping it – namely by hacking into them, thus causing their nTag to make all other nTags within range to go into a sleep mode, and effectively turning them off. This caused more anger in the delegates complaining that they didn’t want their nTags tampered with in this way. Oh if I could’ve been there to see it…

An Apple a day…

…keeps the bank manager away? So Apple bought out a windows version of iTunes over the weekend. This mean’t that I spent the better part of Sunday converting all my .wma files over to .mp3 format. But it was worth it – iTunes is a joy to use and a joy to look at. And I think the move to do this by Apple was a great one, not only cos Apple-challenged people such as myself get to use iTunes, but it can only be a good thing for iPod sales and Music Store customers (albeit only those in the US at the moment). Half of me is now able to put off buying a Powerbook for a while now that my Apple-related desires have been satisfied temporarily, although the other half, the dark half, thinks to itself – “you now gotta buy a Powerbook and an iPod” even though I don’t really need them.

New Browser

Having grown increasingly tired of Internet Explorer (do I have a short attention span or what?!), I’ve been on the look out for a new browser for a while now. Tried Opera – got irritated by the adverts and didn’t think the subscription fee was worth it. So now I’ve discovered Mozilla Firebird. It’s a cut down version of the full Mozilla browser, but does everything you want it to and more – plus it’s fast – at loading and loading web pages. Am very happy with it at the moment…wonder how long that’ll last…

Oh yeah, and Ben Anderson just handed me a load of stuff from AOIR about blogging, so expect some meta-blogging coming up soon…

Blog links…

judith meskill’s knowledge notes…: weblogs in the news…

Weblog Definition

Blogospheres and Public Spheres: The Future of Cyberspace

Managed (just) to attend an iSociety event yesterday called Blogospheres and Public Spheres: The Future of Cyberspace, chaired by James Crabtree. Main speakers were Cameron Marlow, from Blogdex and MIT, and Tom Coates of plasticbag fame – he also has some thoughts on the event.

All Change

I’ve noted a load of bloggers changing the look of their sites recently, and wondered if this correlates with a change in their offline lives? What triggers the need to change the design of your blog? Is it merely boredom or is it something else? Perhaps it’s a socially-mediated thing – a chain reaction – one person changes and that inspires others to do the same. And what inspires the new design? Is this related to a “life event”?

Some have made this explicit.

There again

Continuing my post yesterday about There, I wanted to give an idea of my first impressions.

I’ve already made a lot of friends online which I’ve added to my There buddy list – interaction is very similar to any other IM buddy list, with the added features of being able to “summon” your buddies. This means that you can invite people to teleport from their current location to your location. This has several advantages – it means that you can easily find them in the There world, and share activities. It also allows for a much richer interaction than IM alone will allow. When talking to someones avatar which is colocated with your own, your interface goes into “conversation mode”. This allows a variety of avatar-based actions which can be used to supplement the conversation. Examples are showing facial expressions, or altering “body” language. This is generally a much richer para-conversational tool than, say, emoticons – and is widely used by the “players” of There. IMO, this is due to the enjoyment of watching the visual feedback the avatar provides when performing these actions. The actions vary from very blatant laughing to more subtle leaning away from or towards another avatar in conversation.

The avatars are also fairly flexible in their appearance, so much so that one character I spoke to had altered their avatar to match their physical appearance as much as possible. There appears to be no in-built advantage to this, other than as a means of self-representation. This occurs in fashion as well in that there appears to be an infinite supply of clothes (as well as the ability to design your own) to suit your needs. The flexibility in self-representation is huge, and I feel that since There is such a new enterprise that the people playing it have only scratched the surface in terms of the in-game uses of this.

It’s the first time that I’ve ever experienced something like this before and I’m impressed. There’s a real feeling of community in There, mainly realised by the hospitality of the players – they really bring about a feeling of pride that they’re a part of this. There is both a game and a community, although there doesn’t seem to be a purpose to the game, or rather the purpose is simply to be There.

Playing catch up

I’m perhaps a little late in the day on this one, but I’ve now added comments to my blog! This makes it a load easier for *all* the people who read this to comment – will expect a barrage at first, which should then reduce to a steady flow as the novelty wears off….

For any aspiring commenteers out there, you can add comments to your blog by visiting a very cool little site called enetation. It gives you some code which you then have to add to your blog template, and then wham bam thank you mam. I played about with some of the formatting as well, but other than that it’s all pretty easy.