Pachemac's Blog

Digital Communication and Culture

ARIN6903_Digital docs October 25, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 1:03 pm

A lot of discussion in class recently has been about our relationship with the machine; our PC, and our reliance on technology. An interesting twist to this is how we can use the machine to preserve information.

The article in the Economist ‘Born Digital’ discusses how we can preserve content that was only ever digital. Sure it might be half as expensive to store, but given the volume of information available, how can we possibly capture and store all this information for the future?

International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) has been established to address this issue, working with 39 large international institutes and libraries to come up with a solution and a means in order to do this. Does it mean tagging each piece of new content? Perhaps, however the size and volume of information is quite amazing.

The article states that the IIPC groups “have already collected several petabytes of data (a petabyte can hold roughly 10 trillion copies of this article).” However size is not actually the only issue, there is also the format and file type of the content.

IIP is working with congress on a current plan to put together a mandate on this, unfortunately it does come down to money. The article did spark interest with me as we often thing about getting our offline content online, however we don’t talk about what happens to content that was only ever online. I will be keeping up on the development of the IIPC in the months and years to come.


ARIN6903 Just another Blog… sorry Andrew! October 5, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 11:26 pm

So I have just finished reading ‘The Cult of the Amateur’ by Andrew Keen and am not feeling all that great about writing another blog entry. Adding to the fifty-three plus million blogs, however I will ignore that feeling of unworthiness for just a few minutes while I put down this entry around ‘Liveness’.

Last week as I watched Australia’s Next Top Model’ I had my fingers and toes crossed as I watched, and waited for the beautiful Sarah Murdoch, host of the show, to announce the winner of the competition. When Sarah announced the winner, I leapt with joy, as I had hoped for Kelsey, the slightly shorter of the two to be crowned the winner.

It then all got a little weird. And for a few moments I wondered if I was dreaming… what was this happening right before my eyes? Live TV and a big, huge mistake! The wrong name had been called out, disaster!

What then followed was a media frenzy, with the clip of the mistake being replayed for the world to see. Days later, the host of the show said she “still feels sick about it” and detailed what actually went on to cause the huge mistake.

It was simply a human error. Nothing that unimaginable really. Is it? I mean don’t we all make mistakes sometimes? We are not perfect… right? Well it seems when it comes to live TV, perfection is what is expected. Yes it was an unfortunate thing to have happen, but it was just a mistake, and it was corrected, Kelsey the 5 minute winner, then runner-up was compensated, and life goes on.

However for a good week following, this was headline news around the world.

The power of  live TV and its ripple effect was quite amazing.

Just when we were getting back to our IQ boxes, another mishap on live TV, this time on a talent show, X Factor, again a simple mistake. This time perhaps a rather ‘rude’ mistake.

For all the embarrassment this has actually given these two shows – and live TV a real boost and rise in profile. Long remain the live TV… the humans in front of the cameras.


ARIN6903 Anti-online social September 21, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 9:49 pm

I am going to be discussing Jaron Lanier’s reading from his book ‘You are not a gadget’ this week in class, presenting and looking at the ideas around the machine and the human and who is really driving who, or what. 

After doing a little rehearsal of my presentation with my partner before class, he made an interesting comment when I was talking to him about Lanier’s idea of the ‘pack mentality’ and his view unfavourable on web 2.0. My partner said “sometimes I don’t feel like I am part of the pack because I am not on Facebook.”

This is not revolutionary, however it is interesting to take the view of this web 2.0 pack mentality and think about how it does impact socially on those that resist the pack. As Lanier comments, we have this radical freedom, and have these relationships online, what about those of us that don’t go on, like my partner. Do those people get left out of the social online group and then the social group? Are they now classified as ‘anti-social’?

Is there now a type of anti-online social discrimination based on your Facebook update frequency? It’s interesting to think that the ‘open source’ culture could cause so much conflict instead of online freedom.


ARIN6903 ”use-it-or-lose-it”

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 6:21 pm

In class over the recent weeks we have been discussing the importance of “liveness.’ Looking at the traditional relationship between the screen and the user, live events represent a way to bring people together for an experience that is now becoming highly fragmented around consuming of content.

I found an article today to this very point rather interesting looking the need for this real sense of live broadcast. The article found in SMH, called ‘TV stations told to play fair over footy rights’ reveals an anti-siphoning law being introduced before Christmas this year where free to air TV stations will be required to broadcast live sporting events or else hand this over to pay TV.

This comes right after an incident over the past weekend where free to air delayed a semi final for more than 2 hours due to ratings concerns, where Pay TV did actually broadcast this live.

This news is incredibly pleasing, I do have Pay TV, however for all those without, I can understand the frustration of having to wait out some ‘popular’ program before being able to enjoy the so-called ‘live’ event. And you dare not turn on any other device whilst waiting it out, or you could see a tweet, a post, a comment or a photo that has been shared via a social media network revealing what it is your waiting it out to watch.


ARIN6903 Communal vs. the personal screen September 11, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 5:58 pm

Following our discussions this week around virtual spaces and the screens that frame our viewing I found an interesting take on the screen space. Looking at and the future of TV with the innovation called the ‘Meta Mirror’ developed by a design house called Notion. 

The Meta Mirror works by turning devices like the iPAD into a mirrored interface, that duplicates the content being viewed on the TV; the ‘communal’ screen, and overlaying additional, ‘personal’ interactive information to enhance that viewing experience.

Reading about this product really got me thinking about the huge potential for advertisers and brands, but also for consumers. This really is an enhancement for the consumer viewing experiencing by adding the personal layer to the communal experience.

To explain how this could work, the article gives the example of a watching a sporting event. Where as a group, on the traditional television screen the game is being played out. However by an individual using the Meta Mirror, they can see betting information, player details, merchandise, game stats etc.

Another example might be in a cooking show, where the TV has the program running through, but via the meta mirror, if the individual would like to interact, they can click on the recipe for download, ingredient information etc.

An interesting take on how the web and TV can work together, through a screen to enhance the user experience of the traditional media, by mixing this with interactive content to personalise the experience. I like the way this has the device, the media and the medium working together. It is not clear which is leading the other, as in this instance, it does appear to be the user that is the real beneficiary.

The article is called: ‘Meta Mirror and the future of TV’ it can be found here:


ARIN6903 Hyperrealism thanks to Kinect September 6, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures — pachemac @ 5:46 pm

“Whatever you do in real life is how you’d control the game” said Microsofts Xbox Category Manager in a recent video on the first look of MS’s new Kinect Xbox device.

The move further into the use of self to play and interact with the device really does move closer to the state of realism and our experiences with reality and computer games. This particular device uses face, voice, and your full body to interact.

The idea is to actually do away with the control pad and instead… use your body to control the computer game immersing the user right into their interaction. On the lighter side, one of the move lovely examples of this hyperrealim with Kinect is a game called ‘Kinetimals’ where younger kids can ‘pat lions’ and play with simulated animals and teach them tricks. Sounds like fun!


ARIN6903 i consume August 31, 2010

Filed under: ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures,Uncategorized — pachemac @ 6:38 pm

I have been researching recently the purchase of an iPad for my secondary computing device. The lover of shiny new things that I am, the iPad had instant appeal. However a collegue at work passed on an article that got me thinking about my purchase intention.

The article ‘The iPad is no laptop’ by Alan Kohler talks through his frustration with this device and the lack of innovation around the content available.

Essentially, the device is for consumption, on the go media consumption. However what it can consume is limited by the lack of innovation from publishers around the content available to this device. Creation and innovation of new ways of displaying information is lacking.

One consumer even remarked ‘…what am I paying for’ when purchasing some of the content apps, that contain and default to the standard ‘free’ web content.

Kohler specifically talks about newspapers and their inability to try something new. He suggests they have not needed to look at this having a successful, profitable business model. However with devices such as the iPad, or iConsume, they need to start.

Apart from delaying my purchase due to the lack of innovative content made for iPad currently available, what I found interesting here is the idea of the device/ or the machine really driving the innovation.

In this example, repurposed digital content is just not enough, we are limiting the ability to consume by the ability to create something new.