28 May 2009

Young people and technology

Interesting post on a Channel 4 blog, on a report that they have commissioned to study young people and technology; interestingly as well, they have extended the traditional "adolescent" age to include young adults up to 24 years old, which seems to be a growing trend, both in commercial and academic research. The results are not surprising to anyone who has been watching young people's practices with technology, but it is nice to have some figures as well. Most young people own on average 8 devices, televisions, DVD players, MP3, phones, laptops, digital cameras. They see technology as a means to communicate above anything else, to the point of sometimes texting a friend who is physically beside them at the time (more polite than whispering in their ear some comment about what is happening, I'd say). The first thing they do when they get home is to turn on their PC or laptop, as they feel that they don't spend enough time with their friends. As for media, they want to be able to talk about it (and do, with MSN and/or mobile phones on when they watch television), and they want to be able to interact and, more importantly I think, they want to be able to play with the content.

25 May 2009

Humanities journal search

Fr those who don’t have access to online libraries in universities, and for those who do , there is a new search engine, Jurn, which works with Google as a background (I know that’s not the technical explanation), techie stuff here. It searches a huge database of free academic journals or journals with substantial free content, in the arts and humanities disciplines. There is also a directory, with links to journals.

22 May 2009

Ghosts in the machine

Cambridge University researchers have recently completed a study/experiment on deleting photos from various SNS or blogging sites, with mixed success. Whereas the picture cannot be seen any more on your Faceboo/Bebo/MySpace/LiveJournal, it would seem that in the depths of some server somewhere, your photos live their ghostly lives in limbo. If you need something more scientific than "ghostly lives in limbo", the very technical explanation is here.

18 May 2009

Just a few words

Twice today, people have remarked that my blog looks very sad and neglected. I know. Same story as my friends, my diary. Words are not as plentiful as one might think, and I am using them all for my chapters. They are being torn from me, very slowly and painfully. I don't even twitter, and that doesn't use up many words. Less words.

A long time ago, I read an issue of Wired about very short fiction. Shorter than Twitter, shorter than a haiku. In short, it is best illustrated by the first attempt at the genre by Hemingway:

"For sale: baby shoes, never used."

Here are a few more by famous - or less famous - people:


Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so. - Joss Whedon

Longed for him. Got him. Shit. - Margaret Atwood

Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please. - Steven Meretzky

It’s behind you! Hurry before it - Rockne S. O’Bannon

In 2006, SMITH magazine organised a contest of six-word memoirs, which then became a book, and t-shirts, and a website again where anyone can leave life-stories told in six words. Some are well-crafted, others more therapeutic maybe, reminiscent of PostSecrets.

Or I could try Twitterature. Some of it seems similar to SMS novels in Japan, a short message serialization of a work of fiction. Some are standalone, just very short stories, like the 140 character Twisters created by Arjunbasu. I like this one:

They will not ask for directions. Because they are men. And so their planned wild weekend becomes two days of contemplation at the monestary