law makes social software illegal in american schools

This is a rather curious development; it appears that a law was recently passed in the Congress which would ban American schools to allow access to any sites who ‘enable communication among users’ or permits ‘personalised information.’ Wow, they really hate the development of Internet over there? Read: ‘US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites’ in Techcrunch

tech guides my way


tech guides my way
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

One of my recent uploaded pictures in Flickr of summer travelling with TomTom GO 710; and related to my considering whether to install WordPress, or to continue using Blogger.com — the other has more features, but can you achieve similar integration with Flickr and other services? Don’t know, have to study.

houses with work and screens

Vising the 2006 Housing Fair in Espoo during the week-end, I almost got an overdose of expensive, modern design. It seems that a modern house is build around kitchen and home theatre with a flat-screen television or video projector. It also appears necessary to have a working room in the home so that work life can continue also when not officially in work. Tells something about the direction our lifestyles are taking?

See: www.unet.fi/pics/2006-07-22-as-messut

game conference travel photos

As a continuation to the listing of forthcoming conferences, here are some memories from game conferences of previous years. Listed are travel pictures from:

— Whew, some years of travelling! I try to keep more to home from now on.

navigating with a tomtom go 710

It appears that ubiquitous or pervasive computing is just making more effect in our everyday life, year after year. Small smart applications or services are combining the information of virtual world with that of our physical living contexts.

Experimenting with some of the consequences personally, I yesterday got my first GPS navigation system, the TomTom GO 710. After the first try it seems a well-designed and smartly functional gadget; I particularly esteem the speed it can recalculate new route if you missed a turn. The only downside so far is that my Nokia 6630 is not fully supported in the bluetooth handsfree function: it cannot access the contact list, making it very hard to make phonecalls using it. Well, at least you can aswer calls.

And the real value is in the community, as this can be considered ‘social software’, too. There are many individuals and groups preparing and publishing GPS coordinates in TomTom’s POI/.ov2 file format, or in others. And GPS navigators relate to the future of pervasive games, too.

Some links:
http://www.tomtom.com
http://konttinen.1g.fi/tomtompoi/
http://www.abico.liitin.net/TomTom/
http://www.gps-waypoints.net/gps/
http://hain.fi/poi/
http://www.jahi.net/TomTom/index.htm
http://www.expansys.com/forum.asp?man=TOMTO&code=TOMTOMGO
http://www.iperg.org/

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game studies conferences

As a memory help, here is a brief list of some games conferences I am currently aware/associated with:

There are sure others, but these are just some of the important ones that I want to highlight at the moment. Please feel free to contribute to the list here, or in the DiGRA site: http://www.digra.org/news_blog/

browsing with company (google firefox extensions & social software)

Social software, or Web 2.0 has been one of the hot keywords for some time now. There are numerous fascinating developments on the way, and I really like the overall trend towards ease of use, alternative funding models (many of these services are free, or advertisement funded), and the potential for user-created combinations or mash-ups among this new generation of applications/services. Google is of course one of the companies currently at the forefront of this development, forcing even major corporations like Microsoft take notice (they are developing some of their Office Live portfolio to include also free versions).

See: Google Firefox Extensions

Visiting today Google Labs, I decided to install ‘Blogger Web Comments’ extension for Firefox browser, and was positively surprised at the (fun/absurd/informative) comments from the blogosphere it opened to the ‘official’ Internet. I have seen somewhat similar kind of experiments before, but the problem back then was that there was not this current ‘critical mass’ of people who are Internet Literate — meaning that blogs and other social software have genuinely started to open Internet into a two-way, many-to-many media, from its previous stagnation into a ‘digerati’ ghetto. Oh yes, and Google Notebook also looks promising!

And it is nice to see one’s own blog back online, too. Kilpailuvirasto (Finnish Competition Authority) required after the Elisa merger deal that us former Saunalahti clients from Tampere region were transferred to another company, Tampereen Puhelin Oy (part of www.dnainternet.fi), and of course there were numerous technical difficulties before my server and domain were alive and online again. Browsing my picture archives from somewhere else, I also think that the connection feels a bit slower, even if the service level was quaranteed to keep the same. And I pay more for this than I used. Oh dear. Thanks for this show of “fair competition”.

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