Blogs

Furling

Heh. Our recently announced book project Uses of Blogs is starting to build some interest. I've seen a number of visitors come in from Furl blogs over the last couple of days, and it's interesting to see some of the comments from people who are using Furl to blog about the book. My favourite comment so far:

If I used Amazon, I'd put it on my wish list.

Check the Furl reference for the Uses of Blogs entry for more information.

Creative Places + Spaces

With my colleague Jane Turner, I've put in a paper proposal for the Creative Places + Spaces conference in Toronto in October. Let's hope they like it - for me it would also make a great combination with the AoIR conference in Chicago a few days later (maybe I could even swing by the Peter Lang offices in New York on the way?). Anyway, we'll see what they think.

Here's what we've proposed:

In 2002, Queensland University of Technology developed the world’s first Creative Industries Faculty and introduced the new Bachelor of Creative Industries degree, replacing its existing Bachelor of Arts offering. The degree is designed to be inherently interdisciplinary, and aims to provide students both with the creative skills to develop and realise innovative ideas for projects in the creative industries field, as well as with the theoretical and conceptual knowledge to understand and operate effectively within the emerging creative economy in Australia and other nations.

Blog Book Is Go

More tinkering with the Website today, and some work towards an ARC Linkage project which Liz Ferrier and I have developed over the past year or so. But the big news for today is that my colleague Jo Jacobs and I have received the go-ahead for a book on blogs and blogging that we've proposed to Peter Lang Publishing. I've added some more information on the book project on a separate page, and I'll update this as we move forward from here. The book is tentatively titled Uses of Blogs for now.  

More Updates...

Phew. More Drupal updates today, and I think I have most of it under control now. In the process I've added a Creative Commons licencing scheme, a blogroll, direct access to the content categories, and a few other goodies. Still no news on the monitored sites list (using Drupal's Weblinks module); I've manually added a list of sites to the right sidebar for the time being.

Other updates also continue. Today was the start of week three of semester, but I'm already having to update unit outlines for next semester (when I'm again teaching the Creative Industries unit at QUT, as well as New Media Technologies). NMT (in which students produce the M/Cyclopedia of New Media) still requires more development; I'm exploring ways to translate the wiki knowledge structure of the M/Cyclopedia into the unit content structure and delivery. How do you teach new media without falling into the trap of providing a simplified linear history of new media - how do you show the complex interconnected nature of new media concepts and issues instead (and enable students to explore them for themselves)?

Upgrade!

OK, I've updated my Drupal installation to the 4.6 RC version. Looks like most things are working - still waiting for an updated weblink module to appear, so the links to the Robert Fripp and Sid Smith diaries are gone for the time being. On the upside, trackback should work again. I've also taken new action against a persistent online poker site which has kept spamming me both through their frequent accesses to this site (presumably to get themselves listed in the site logs, even though they're not public) and through a couple of bouts of trackback spam. Well, their IP is banned now, so we'll see what happens.

Blogs in Research and Teaching

Trebor Scholz and I have now finished editing the transcript of the Webcam interview we did last Thursday, for his WebCamTalk 1.0 Series on the use of new media technologies in education. Editing this has been an interesting process - due to some difficulties we had an audio recording only of my part of the interview, without Trebor's questions. As a result, we've done a major edit which extended and rearranged the interview considerably, and I think it's all the better for it; the transcript is now posted on Trebor's New Media and Arts Education site (as well as on the next page in this blog entry). For good measure, though, there is also an edited audio version of the talk for download (MP3, 23MB) which has me talking for 40 minutes and is yet another take on the original interview (a streaming media version of the same audio is also here). This remixing of what actually happened in the interview somehow seems very appropriate for a chat about the potential of new media technologies...

Live via iChat

This morning I'm doing a live chat with Trebor Scholz in New York, for his New Media and Arts Education programme. The chat transcript will also be online at the site soon. We've just managed to connect up via Apple iChat; on my end using a Powerbook which my colleague Peta Mitchell has lent me - thanks Peta! (Not sure if there's any way for others to link into the Webcam chat itself - you might just need to wait for the transcript...)

Kallocain by Paatos

I've finally written my review of the new Paatos album - this has been sitting here for some months now, and I just never got around to it. It's now been published on M/C Reviews, but here it is as well:

Open Content in Summary

We're on to the last panel session of the conference now - a summary panel with Larry Lessig, Stuart Cunningham, and Sal Humphreys as well as conference host Brian Fitzgerald. Larry starts by pointing out that what's happening in the computer games field is real, it's common, and traditional property owners have exactly the wrong intuitions in dealing with it. For one, there is a significant monetary value being generated in the online environment (there is even a story of sweatshops in Mexico developing gaming assets and selling them profitably on eBay). It is also a very common activity - and one which is a voluntary form of play as work, much along the same lines as free and open source software development.

The Legal Perspective

Responding to the previous presentations, Brian Fitzgerald and Nic Suzor now outline some of the legal issues involved here - games users' rights are governed generally by end-user licence agreements (EULAs), and these go right to the heart of the question here: in buying a game, does one buy a copy of the game, or a licence to use it? This then influences whether players own the content created in their interaction with the game. Indeed, the nature of the EULA may also influence what players are attracted to these games types.

Some legal cases of note here: in Blizzard vs bnetd, a group of players developed a replacement game server system for the Blizzard product Battle.net. While this is reverse engineering and prohibited by the EULA, reverse engineering is seen as a form of free speech by US courts - but this did not sway the courts' decision in favour of the reverse-engineers. An appeal against this decision is currently underway. In an Australian context, any restriction of reverse-engineering appears unlikely to be upheld in court.

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