Chuck's Q Blog


Just another ICM blog

Lifelogging vs. lifestreaming

Lifelogging and lifestreaming (or storystreaming as some news outlets are calling it) are basically two versions of the same idea. Both are used to capture and store memories, but while lifelogging is geared more towards storing information in private, lifestreaming shares your information through a blog.

The Old Media, New Tricks blog has been talking about lifestreaming or storystreaming for a while. The first piece I saw about it talked about how the Austin American-Statesman used a service called Posterous to gather photos from readers on a specific topic. As Austin approached a record for 100-degree days last summer, the editors set up a Posterous account where readers could submit photos for a weekend that showed how they were coping with the heat. They then ran a story about this in the paper and used the photos that were collected for a slideshow on the site.

Like other blogging sites, Posterous is only as good as what’s being sent to it. It’s really designed for mobile photo posts, but I see people using it as a regular blog as well. (“Office” fans might want to check out Rainn Wilson’s blog.)

Memories, like the corners of my mind

In his lecture this week, Dr. Alex mentions examining science fiction as a predictor of the future. And then I listened to the “On The Media” piece about “lifelogging” and it made me think of some of Philip K. Dick‘s work.

While the “lifelogging” piece centered on extraordinary measures to preserve memories, many of Dick’s works went a step past that and explored the idea of embedding memories.
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Going mobile

The information age is taking its show on the road. Mobile is clearly the next computing revolution finally moving across the U.S.

While Japan and some European nations have been at the forefront of this movement for some time, better devices in the last few years are luring more U.S. users into the ranks of mobile computers.

More and more, cellphones — especially the latest generation of the Apple iPhone — are being used in journalism. Blogs can be updated via the WordPress app. Videos for news sites have been shot and edited using just the tools on the phone. Even live reports have been produced with it.

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Big Brother is alive and well

If this week’s readings and videos don’t already have you looking over your shoulder, check out this story from

What will talking power meters say about you?

Would you sign up for a discount with your power company in exchange for surrendering control of your thermostat? What if it means that, one day, your auto insurance company will know that you regularly arrive home on weekends at 2:15 a.m., just after the bars close?

Welcome to the complex world of the Smart Grid, which may very well pit environmental concerns against thorny privacy issues. If you think such debates are purely philosophical, you’re behind the times.

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Don’t fence me out

It’s a classic story of two wrongs don’t make a right.

On one side, we have the telecommunications companies who built the infrastructure of the Internet and are determined to scuttle all attempts to challenge their dominance to its access, as well as their profits. And on the other side are the folks who see the Internet as one big free market where everything should be shared, whether they created it or not.

Both are in polarized positions, dealing with their own ethical demons.
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He’s doing it wrong

As designers, is it ever safe to assume that users will understand how to operate a product as soon as they pick it up? Is it possible to work from a baseline of shared experience or do we have to consider the lowest common denominator in every decision?
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There’s more than one way to skin a Web site

As I was going through our course material this week, I got caught up in trying to determine what the design process meant to each of the authors. While they all seemed to have the end user’s best interests at heart, it seemed like there were a lot of variables in their production paths.

Here’s a quick attempt to get to the essence of their their production processes.
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Media vigilantes

If I were to guess, I’d say Dr. Alex Bruns has never worked in the field of journalism. If he did, he must have been disgruntled or he’d never have written about the profession in such an uninformed fashion.

“Wikinews: The Next Generation of Alternative Online News?” is just one more shot across the bow of the beleaguered news industry. It’s riddled with false assumptions about the state of journalism, the self-importance of “user-driven online news Websites and blogs,” and faulty ideas about news gathering and editing.

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What are games teaching us about us?

There are games designed to simply entertain us. There are games designed to test our knowledge and others designed to educate us. They’ve become an industry unto themselves as well as a tools to connect people and create community.

Debates continue to rage about the effects of violent video games on their players. But I’ve been wondering this week about other things we might be learning from games. Can they tell us something about our place in the world? Can various game forms go so far as to advance social achievements?
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A tale of two games

I was jazzed with the portion of this week’s module that said we should play two games as part of our coursework. No problem. I’m not the biggest gamer I know, but I spend a good bit of time playing video games.

The tricky part of the assignment became finding two games I hadn’t played before. So, while I’m normally a fan of casual games and first-person-shooters, I tried to broaden my scope a little.
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