Clapping With One Hand

Recently, I was given an assignment- next time we use the internet to not use a search engine. As usual, my life seems to follow suit, and does one better. My home internet was down, and my car in the shop. With no way to access the internet besides my cell phone, I felt a little lost. Well at first anyway…. O.K. still I am white knuckling it a bit. I would rather be cut off from cyber space than see posts three at a time with a 5-7 second wait between sets. I would actually rather let silence speak for me then to text via my touch screen phone. My fingers being just too short and pudgy and stylus mysteriously unavailable makes it so very frustrating.

Here are some things I did that I wouldn’t have done had I viable access to a search engine:

  •  I found it much easier to look up recipes in cookbooks, or just wing it. I was limited to what accumulated knowledge accessed by my books and pc. I actually picked up a book I had been reading when time and energy wasn’t such an issue, “The Goddess Versus the Alphabet”. Such a great read- chocked full of interesting theories and correlations throughout history how the alphabet has shaped our culture into the “man’s world” it so inescapably is today.
  • Jotted down some cartoon ideas I have been having that have only been in my mind until now.
  • Being the Halloween season- or Samhain as it was originally named- “All Hallows Eve” and Dia de las Muertos (Day of the Dead) had me doodling what epitaph I would like on my tombstone.

  • My youngest child and I made some candy apples (do purchase a candy thermometer for this endeavor) We all carved pumpkins and readied for Halloween, only to be disappointed by only two groups of trick or treaters( FYI– I brought some sour candies to school today- so if you read this post just hit me up if you want some J ) .
  • Watched Matthew Gray Gubler (who is I found a great fan of Halloween and quite an interesting artist) on that FBI profiling show he is on for at least 10 episodes due to bouts of insomnia. Also way^3 too many infomercials. This country is obsessed with image. Maybe we should have been named the Narcissist states of Myopia. (I jest mostly).

So really, not using a search engine is much like dieting. I am not going to sit down and really get into a search (pint of ice cream). I only used the internet when I in truth had to, abstaining from my usual diet of online to a much more conservative one of tangible interactions. I have been feeling cut-off though, especially from my academics and job-hunting endeavors. Honestly haven’t missed the posts on what someone made for dinner or how bad someone’s day sucked. ( I know I did not need a search engine for that- however not having access to one limits my interest in the internet)

All this ends Friday when my new wireless modem comes in the mail. Am I glad I had the experience? Well it showed me how dependant my world, and really the world has become on this digital media experience. For that insight alone it was worth it, but better timing would not be during an occasion I have four school projects in the air and a job to find. I realize in my world I need a reason not to be online rather than to be online. I shall end this with a Taoist saying: “The more you know, the less you understand.”


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There is No New Media…

….just new consumption.

Whether or not an action is taken upon something is not what is dependant on if it evolves or not. In other words things change if we are up with the change or we have no idea about it. So when I state there is no new media in reality I am just saying we are now accessing media differently.

The music industry , newspapers, television or any kind of video sharing businesses haven’t ended, they are just evolving. This is not the end product either it is just where we now stand for whatever short period of time that may be. The big newsflash seems to be “Hey guess what? You are currently bits of data all stored on the Internet.” Time is wasted trying to block things such as Google TV from accessing your online content. You should figure out how to make money from it. We are still an opportunistic, er, I mean capitalistic society are we not? Making yourself inaccessible surely will not bring the outcome you hope in your heart of hearts is true- that all will come to you for exclusivity.

The problem seems to stem from a very myopic view thought a subset of media (video, music, print), is in fact the entire pie.

The next generation is already adapting to figure out their way around the old way and we are yet to see in what way we will progress  in the future in  media. To modify a quote a bit from Jello Biafra “Don’t hate the new media, become it.” Google TV is a good example. You’ll have apps, just like your Iphone, you can watch television and access the internet from the same screen if desired, and even use your smart phone as a remote. Google TV has many other features, for the run through click here.


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I can’t seem to remember exactly how- even though it was only a few moments ago- I found Pecha-Kucha. I just got so sucked up in it and all of a sudden the pieces fell together with no effort. Realizing I have been “living myself to death” putting too much in to too small of a frame of time. The formula is 20×20 for Pecha-Kucha which means chit chat in Japan. Oh, maybe I should start at the beginning ;).

Pecha-Kucha is a form of presentations. For all those that have experienced “death by powerpoint” this is a quicker more engaging way to present. Pecha-Kucha has the rule of 20 frames 20 seconds long while someone basically chit-chats about the presentation as it goes along.  I could look through them all night if it weren’t for the fact I am making swedish meatballs for dinner. So yummy.

I am linking to a couple that I love since they are flash based and there is no code to embed on the site, I’m sure I could mess around and find a way, but those meatballs aren’t going to make themselves!  So here are the links, they are worth the effort of the extra clicks!

Tasty Buddha ( I get so awestruck when someone else has the same idea!!!-growing seeds in books! Makes me say, ah, should have taken that further)

Idle Idol Japanese Mascots- I really like the construction site the best though!

Check out the site while you are there. Some super art inspiring things I saw. Oh yeah, the meatballs. TTFN

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Who the **** Are You?

*recall The Who‘s song. I really want to know.

Aside from being a cool song it is a relevant topic in new media today. Personal information is at a premium in today’s world. Looking for a job? The perspective employer will not only  check your criminal record, but also you credit bureau reports, and use other investigative  websites as well as google you to see if  there is anything else they can use against you before even considering an interview with you. New love interest? Cyberstalking is common. Really in all aspects all types of entities want your personal information. Mainly not because they are interested in you personally, but because there is something they want from you personally. Your information . Believe it or not it is valuable….. And accessible.

Few people realize how many digital footprints they make in a typical day.

Your cellphone constantly reveals your approximate location to anyone who can tap your carrier’s computer system. A GPS-enabled phone or a stand-alone device reveals your exact location and may store the data indefinitely.

Banks and credit card companies record everything you buy,along with the time and location of the purchase. Merchants also record your purchases, and some of them sell the information. This practice eventually builds a reasonably complete and readily available profile of your spending habits.

Nearly all Web sites note your computer’s Internet Protocol address whenever you stop by anonymously. If you use that same computer to purchase something, the merchant can tie the IP address to a name and sell that information. Web sites can thus determine your identity without your ever revealing it.

The companies that sell telephone, television and Internet service most likely know every number you call, every show you watch and every Web site you visit. Most of the big names don’t sell that data today, except sometimes with personal data obscured, but many reserve the legal right to do so.

Increasing use of cameras at traffic signals, toll booths, parking lots and other public venues probably pick you up several times a day. Most cameras already recognize license plates. Security companies are working to make cameras recognize people, too.

Only hermits and outlaws fly entirely under the radar, but regular folks can protect their privacy somewhat without sacrificing all of today’s modern conveniences:

Download software, such as Tor, that prevents your Internet service provider from seeing what Web sites you visit and prevents those Web sites from being able to determine your physical location.

Sign up for an encrypted e-mail service and make your telephone calls over an encrypted Internet service. Neomailbox is a well-reviewed e-mail and IM service. Skype encrypts calls and text messages.

When possible, pay with cash. When shopping online, use a third-party payment system such as PayPal.

Avoid frequent-buyer programs, customer surveys and anything else that requires you to share your address, telephone number or e-mail address with a merchant.

Check out the privacy policies of all the businesses you must share information with and opt out of as many data-sharing programs as you can.

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5 Life “Hacks” for Students

A life hack is anything that solves something in a non- obvious way, and at there are countless clever hacks to make your life more productive, less expensive, or at least just more interesting.

Here are my fave top 5 for students and why I picked them:
  1. Supermemo-Because I am constantly trying to figure out how to fit my life in my life, and I thought this would be a good reminder program. My biggest problem is remembering everything, and it stresses me out which causes me to forget more… It’s just argh!

However, it turns out this is a program that helps you retain what you learn. Someone has found a way to teach computer algorithms that know “the best time to remember something. Easy- when you forget!

If it does work, it will be very helpful to me-If it can fit it in my busy schedule.

2. Don’t Trust College Ratings When Choosing a school

I chose to read this one because it intrigued me. “Don’t trust” the college ratings. The college doesn’t “make” the person. Many people have made fine lives for themselves coming from all types of colleges. Vice versa I suppose. I speak to many people about going to school, or going back to school, so I like to learn what people are saying and stay in touch on the most current ideas in education.

3. Five Best Places to Buy Cheap Textbooks

Actually I thought maybe I would pick up one more site I didn’t know about. After reading the comments under the article, I found a few websites that offer free textbooks. And I though Chegg was good.

Oh so helpful, I cannot stand paying $100 for textbooks that I use only once

4. Where to Get the Best Free online Web Education

I had already known about some of these  like Yale but not Textbook Revolution. Also they did not mention some of them. I don’t think this really substitutes for the almighty pigskin. The sarcasm may show. I love learning. In college it can be more about deadlines, and immersing yourself within academia and the connections- all that grown-up stuff. Taking unnecessary classes you wish you could just test out of and buying textbooks way too expensive, but you have to in order to take a certain subject because you find out too late that professor wrote his own book and it is the required  one for his or her course. Craziness.

Helpful- very, in fact. If you are just interested in learning something for learning’s sake at your own pace, an online education cannot hurt you.

5. Expand your Brain with Evernote

I am so glad I read this one. Evernote will clear up my desktop!! I will be able to save and search everything via a scan, photo, handwritten or typed. Keep my digital files and my drawings, and handwritten ideas and notes on whatever topic together and not scattered all over my life. Face it, in life, sometimes you have paper and pen and sometimes you have access to a computer. I do not always carry a laptop around and do a lot of hand journaling of ideas. Oh my. Family recipes, receipts, design ideas, book marking, personal library.

This is helpful beyond my expectations. I can use this for many purposes. Oh, but will I?

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Wiki Wiki Wiki

Every time I see the work Wiki, I think of when DJs would “scratch” to begin a song. (I included a link to what scratching is, since lately I have noticed some of my references are from a time that may as well be the stone age– i.e. longer than 10 years ago).

Really, I hasten to admit, I actually needed to find a definition for what the particular term “Wiki” means. Just like anything foreign to someone, once it is learned or experienced what was once a mountain turns in to a molehill. Ah the perspective of time. Back on track. So in case you didn’t know (don’t scoff at me) Wiki simplified just means a collaborative website.  Yep found that out on a Wikipedia page. This one as a matter of fact.

Wikipedia really is a useful tool. I personally remember using the Encyclopedia Brittanica,  which every teacher expected you to have access to make reports. That and whatever your local library had is the basic access you had to information. Wiki may have fault because of anyone’s ability to add information, but it is fathoms upon fathoms more informative about just about any subject then a standard encyclopedia was. Wikipedia is not only more informative, but much easier to use. Wikipedia has an information trail at the bottom to follow that many times lead to very credible sources of information. It also has its information linked up to any other reference the page makes to any other thing covered on Wiki.

This editing a Wikipedia is a whole different monster to me though. I wonder if my information is first hand then aren’t I the credible source? But without references to your sources your addition may just be deleted. Also, so many emerging subjects that are starting now that may or may not be noted by a “credible source” because it hasn’t been a subject of a credible source yet. Curious minds want to know…. and that is what Wikipedia is for.

I do like this I came across on John M Jones’ twitter feed. Putting Wikipedia into a type of book bound encyclopedia of the “histiography” of the Iraq War in this case. It includes all the edits and additions. Like a history of how history was written. A tangible item about a virtual world.

I love this project. Although it is made from Nat Geos, I think I have found a use for my old encyclopedias.

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Random Surfing Find

I just love accidental surfing. Aimless drifting through random links posted on twitter this week I came across some interesting finds. To me it is like garage-saling  and happenstance- you find that item you’ve been searching for- but didn’t know you needed and now you can’t do without it.

Like coming across the Online Education Database @ Many useful items here. Really like the listing of 200 free online classes to learn ANYTHING. Free classes offered from MIT, Yale, and Tufts to name a few. I found a few related to the field of new media, for instance: Producing Films for Social Change offered by Tufts, and Technology for Professional Writers offered from Utah State. There are a lot of links to classes that are related to ATEC, EMAC, and of course writing and research in new media, but some links were broken. I recommend scrolling to the bottom of the page and going to the individual school websites to see what is currently available. You may be surprised with what you find 🙂

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