Wii news channel serves the living room

Today, starting up my Wii, I noticed a system update available and voilá: the Wii News Channel has arrived! Mixing news and entertainment is an age-old, and often critiqued trend, but now Wii succeeds in displaying news attached to a virtual globe (which is a step towards contextually aware news systems in home environments), and makes “news as a slide-show” function something that I might actually sometimes keep on the background, to be informed by a nice selection of global, regional and science/tech/entertainment related pickings. But the information sources in this system might be a bit narrow, still? More here: PlayWii – Nintendo News

Today: Helsinki, the future

Today: Helsinki, the future
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Today I decided to take the train rather than venture anything air-related. In Helsinki, the morning was spent in an intensive brainstorming session about the next 15 years of digital games and gaming — arranged by Pelit Magazine, which celebrates this year its 15th anniversary (congratulations!) Much visionary and/or realistic stuff by Tony Manninen, Sonja Kangas and myself, to be reported in magazine’s next issue. Now, in Messukeskus, preparing to talk to the leaders of our educational system about games in Forum Dynamo conference. Lets see how this goes…

Savonlinna. The flying frustration

Savonlinna, OKL
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Leena Vartiainen’s lic thesis examination in Savonlinna went as nicely as this kind of interrogations can do. Much talk about Grounded Theory, and I was asking after certain game studies points. All well. But then they messed up my connections again, and I was stranded in Savonlinna, missing my flight home. Finally, in Helsinki they put me — in a taxi! Taking an “intercity-cab” twice in one day, this must be some kind of record. I don’t really know what to say.

Flying the Finnish way: take a taxi

Flying the Finnish way: take a taxi
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Second time within few days, I am packed into taxi from the Tampere airport, and rather than flying, there will be a mad car ride to Helsinki. Weird, and nerve-wrecking. I wonder what is wrong with Finnair, Aero, Golden Air: all Finnish carriers seem to be struggling with some kind of problems?

The perfect knife?

The perfect knife?
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Laura gave me a gift: a very nice Japanese cook’s knife (“MAC JU-65″ among friends, a 6,5” Nakiri vegetable knife). The quality of steel and touch of handle feels very good (I am not a professional, though). Blade is traditionally ornamented and so sharp you don’t actually need to use force while slicing vegetables: you just let the blade rest on top of a tomato or cucumber, and enjoy seeing how the knife silently goes down by its own weight, and almost cuts on its own. Wow. I shall be slicing veggies every day from now on. (I suspect this was Laura’s original plan, too ;-)

Geotagging for the future

As sites like Wikipedia inform us, geotagging is the process of adding geographical or location information into media, such as digital images or videos (or basically any entity: it is wide field). While we are currently looking into linking various games related tools and processes with the social media initiatives in our pervasive gaming research (read: within IPerG), I am also interested in the simplest possible way of making location tagging available for large audiences. While there are also developments of building GPS into digital cameras, and software tools for automatic location tagging with GSM cell data (in cameraphones), I still think that the approach of Flickr Maps is probably going to be most popular by short range, at least. It is so easy to drag your photo into certain location in the world map, and also browse photos with the same intuitive map interface. Example: link to few images I have mapped in my Flickr Map. (I think you need to zoom out a bit in order to actually see any of them, though.)