where do you go, internet?

where do you go, internet?
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

A snapshot from today’s seminar in the University of Tampere Faculty of Information Sciences. Here Tomi Heimonen speaks about mobile search. Other presentations included Tere Vadén on social issues of Web 2.0, and my brief on topical developments in digital games and games cultures.

Update: the presentations are now available at: http://www.uta.fi/hyper/seminaarit/internet/

furby's eyes

furby’s eyes
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Dear Furby, this “emototronic” toy — probably the least understood piece of talking plastic on the planet (available now at €15 from a local shopping mall). – This was shot in my living room from five meters away with a Canon S3 IS, which is basically a new generation digital compact camera, and actually much smarter in many respects than my trusty EOS D350; the quality of optics and manual control are not its forte, of course. But with its 6.0 mega pixels and 12X optical zoom it is one nice small package to carry around for daily needs.

meeting with a baby snow leopard

Baby Snow Leopard, 2

This Saturday we did an improvised trip to the Ähtäri zoo. Generally zoos can be rather depressive places with all those animals kept in captivity, but at least in Ähtäri there is a rather vast forest area to explore (for all those tourists, at least). You can even spend a night with animals, since apparently if you go in and get your ticket before 4 pm, you can stay there as long you want to, eat your provisions, and wait and see how the daylight-shy animals gradually wake up and come out. It was a fascinating spectacle to follow. This shot is a close-up of a baby snow leopard we met (the parents Väinö and Shakira got a litter of two this spring) — a rather playful little fellow, and unquestionably one of the cutest things on earth.

jenkins on convergence culture

I usually write and read too much in work to have much energy left to blog about research lit over here, but an exception: I have been reading today the new book from Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture (New York University Press, 2006), and I wholeheartly recommend it. Approaching media convergence as human activity rather than bunch of multimedia features, this book discusses important concepts with the help of such cultural texts as Survivor, American Idol, The Matrix, Star Wars, The Sims, Harry Potter, and 2004 American presidential campaign, among many other interesting subjects. Fans, participation and collective intelligence are in Jenkins’ key focus while exploring the ongoing developments in convergence culture.

Amazon.com link.

google analytics with wordpress

Measuring traffic in such a low-traffic site as this one is probably vanity taken to an extreme, but I have tried it anyways – at least partly to understand how the various web measurements systems work. Google Analytics is a free, very comprehensive system that offers much more information than all those log analyser programs I have been trying out before. But since when I switched this blog to WordPress some time ago, I noticed a significant drop in the site visitor statistics that Google Analytics was reporting. It was only then when I realised that the Google system relies on a javascript embedded in all monitored pages, and WordPress is all database and PHP. It was not showing on the radar. Luckily, it appears that several people have figured out how to make Google Analytics work through a plugin in WordPress. I have now downloaded and activated this one from Johann Richard – lets see how it works out (and if there are actually anyone reading these notes, anyways).

Links: http://www.google.com/analytics/


Edit: I don’t think that the first plugin was working (even me cannot have zero visitors, in these days of crowded information superhighways) — I am now trying another Google Analytics plugin, this time from Boakes.org; see: http://boakes.org/analytics

Edit2: The Boakes version was working, but I ended also upgrading to the WordPress Reports plugin by Joe Tan, which generates admin reports based on Google Analytics and Feedburner data. In any case, the number of visitors in this blog is down -92% according to these reports, as compared to the Blogger days. 😦 Link: http://tantannoodles.com/toolkit/wordpress-reports/

sf and games panel

sf and games panel
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Shot from the Finncon podium: a view of the audience, for a change. Our SF/FAN & Games panel was fun, even if the topic was rather loosely defined. Participants: Markku Lappalainen, Jyrki J.J. Kasvi (MP), Aleksi Kuutio, Lassi Kurkijärvi, Olli Sinerma, and me.


Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

In today’s location, Paasitorni we had two papers, Kristiina Svensson on mimesis (or rather simulation of communication) in French surreal/satirical modern fiction, and Tanja Sihvonen on ‘script’ as a critical concept useful for literary, media and game studies alike. Rather promising stuff. Guest of Honor Jeff VanderMeer made a speech on the practical issues of cross-genre authorship, and also made an interesting point about certain “controlled inconsistency” being important for creating realistic sense of location. A city is always a footnote to another city. Another author from 1968 born generation, Justina Robson was also speaking about genre from the perspective of power (and money) relations of literary institution. Also rather disillusioned about academic world, discussion with Robson circulated around traumatic opposites like separation of emotion from intellect.

villa kivi

villa kivi
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Here is my cameraphone shot of Villa Kivi, a nice house, owned by Helsinki authors’ associations, and the location of the first day in the science fiction researcher meeting. The papers in the first day were: Vadim Chupasov, Rewriting reality: from alternative history to ‘alternate story’; Merja Leppälahti, Matka vainajien maille; Jari Käkelä, Asimov’s Foundation trilogy and American expansionism; and Sanna Lehtonen, Transformation, gender and age in postmodern children’s fantasy – Diana Wynne Jones and Susan Price crossing the borders.– An interesting, even if a rather diverse lot!

finncon 2006, SF researcher meeting

Tomorrow I will be off to Finncon, the major science fiction and fantasy event of Finland. This time taking place in Helsinki, we will also have the traditional science fiction researcher meeting there, this time with the theme “Exploring the Borders of the Fantastic.” There will also be a games and science fiction session in Saturday, feel welcome to drop in.
See: meeting the at http://www.finncon.org/fi/node/116 – and the programme: http://www.finncon.org/fi/taxonomy/term/32

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