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t e l e m e t r y


t e l e m e t r y

transmissions from the galores

archive for December of 2005

theme for the new year

posted by janet on December 30, 2005

I can't stop watching the Gorillaz video for Dare, which came out in the summer. Somehow I missed it then, but it's become my theme for the new year. Catchy song with the right amount of city grit, very cool animation/video/3D compositing. Features Shaun Ryder as a disembodied head.

shaun ryder in "dare" (c) gorillaz

holiday safety instructions

posted by janet on December 24, 2005

Welcome aboard North Pole Airways flight 2005. Please give us your attention for the following holiday safety instructions.

This is a round-trip flight, with many stops across the globe. Make sure your carry-on luggage is securely stowed under your seat or in one of the reindeer storage bins. Use caution when opening the bins, as contents may have shifted during flight. There are 2 exits, one on each side of the craft.

Please study the safety card below for additional safety information, and have a safe and pleasant holiday.

santa safety card (c) janet galore
(click the image to view the instructions)

my asinine son

posted by janet on December 18, 2005

We're getting ready for a trip to Japan next spring, and a friend loaned me some books from the Japan Travel Bureau. Living Japanese Style (1989) has a lot of illuminating cultural pointers and illustrations.

my asinine son (c) Japan Travel Bureau

The book is available from sellers on Amazon.

comments are back on

posted by janet on December 12, 2005
Upgraded to Nucleus 3.22 and installed NP_blacklist and NP_comment control. Aah, much better. Please feel free to comment on any post! If you comment on something 5 days or older, I have to approve it first, but it will get up the next day. Just don't talk about poker.

when I say "this blog" what do I mean exactly?

posted by edward on December 11, 2005
I'm working on a paper about units of analysis for the Internet. It's based on a 1996 paper by John December in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. The fundamental question the papers address is what do we mean when we say that we are studying a particular aspect of Internet communication? Let's say someone wants to understand the role blogs play in building communities. It would be very important to know just what the researcher was talking about. Are they referring to all blogs, one blog in particular, a genre of blogs, the technology behind a particular blog, or the common interface characteristics of all blogs?

A document's medium may be described as “the means by which we share knowledge and experience over time and distance" (David Farkas, Professor, TC). It's the transmission technology, delivery vehicle, and presentation method. How do we distinguish between this blog as a document and this blog as a medium? What do we need to say about the technology? Do we need to discuss TCP/IP protocols? Does it matter to the reader whether this blog is transmitted over the Internet, phone lines, or wireless? To some extent, method of transmittal certainly does as the transmission technology affects this document's accessibility. Does it matter if this blog is running Linux or Windows Server? To the systems administrator it does, but probably not to you, the reader. The point is that transmission technology is more or less important dependent on the context, but it is never irrelevant. Generally, the end-user's experience is dependent on the format, behaviors and features of the user interface. Granted, the format, behaviors, and features of the UI is dependent on the backend technology. But, this blog could be duplicated on a number of different hardware configurations, running any variety of web server software, and because of this blog's minimal feature set; differences in functionality would be negligible across browsers and browser versions. Most telling, this blog could have been published using technology from the mid-nineties. What does that tell us about the importance of technology with regard to document's medium? On the one hand, technology cannot be divorced from a definition of medium, on the other, technology hardly seems to matter.

The problem can be summed up asking, when I say "this blog" what do I mean exactly? Am I referring to the text of the document? The collection of blog entries by Janet and Edward, the application used to author, publish, and manage entries (the blog software, Nucleus CMS v 3.22), the server that this blog is running on, the client you are using to read it, or some combination of the above? Given that you are reading this, the context would tell you that I am referring to the content of this entry dated 11 December 2005. However, if you were conducting research on blogs you would want to be more specific. Let's say you wanted to ascertain how much time a population spent on blogs? You'd need to specify what you meant. Do you mean writing entries? Responding to entries? Modifying the layout? Administering the blog software? Writing new blog software? Maintaining the servers?

Well, back to the real thing. Wish me luck.

the MAKE pool on flickr

posted by janet on December 11, 2005
A link on Boing Boing led me to this very cool telephone hack called "Caller Eye Deer."

caller eye deer

It turns out that MAKE magazine has a whole photo pool on Flickr. They've taken the photo-sharing service a step further, using existing features to annotate photos and describe thousands of how-to/DIY projects.

Check out the voice-activated blender, too!

bus poetry

posted by janet on December 03, 2005
The other day I was waiting for the 545 downtown to whisk me away to work across the lake. The bus was late, and the morning was black and cold. I put up my hood and buttoned my wool coat, sipped my coffee. One bus pulled up and opened its doors just next to me. I kept looking down the street, waiting. I heard, "Hey.... Hey...!" coming from the open bus door. I glanced at the door. It was the bus driver, trying to get my attention. He leaned forward to me. "Hey."

I popped my head in, not getting aboard. "Yes?"
"You read poetry, don't you?"
"Yeah, you need some bus poetry. Here, take this..."

He reached back, grabbed a little silver book, and held it out to me. I stepped in and took it from him. It was a compilation of all the poems that Metro gathers each year and posts inside the buses, a nice break from the ads for clinical trials and birth control.

I said, "Thanks!" and stepped back off the bus. The driver simply nodded, closed the door, and pulled away.

A few buses later mine arrived. I got in, found a seat with warm air blowing on me, and started to read.