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September 29, 2006

In A Frackin' Robe!

Cough Cough....viral infection action in Glasgow, Scotland

Hi there Patient Listener.  Am afraid have been lying recumbent, sick - holed up with a viral infection here in Glasgow, Scotland

Cough Cough....viral infection action in Glasgow, Scotland

Look at me here unshaven and in a frackin' robe.  No energy.  Just barely enough moxie to take photos.

Cough Cough....viral infection action in Glasgow, Scotland

Takin' photos of myself takin' photos.  We're all stars now.

Cough Cough....viral infection action in Glasgow, Scotland

Discovered an interesting effect re:  the way the progressive scan of the Apple iSight camera depicts a flash going off 'mid-snap'.

Cough Cough....viral infection action in Glasgow, Scotland

Now, if I can only use this effect for good and not for evil.

P.S. All going well, the next episode of the Podcast, Chapter 48 - Don't You Understand? should be up on Sunday.


September 25, 2006

An Líonra Sóisialta Launched

An Líonra Sóisialta Launched

Long-time listeners of that Ireland Podcast Letter to America know what huge fans we are here of Conn O Muineachain and his podcast An tImeall.  Well he's got a new project up and running, An Líonra Sóisialta, here's the press release:

Ground-Breaking New Radio Show To Teach Internet
“As Gaeilge”

Radio listeners across Ireland will join internet users worldwide next Monday, as they tune in to the first episode of a new series focusing on the social aspects of the internet.

It’s the first time an Irish radio series has been devoted exclusively to the phenomenon of “online social networking”, of which the best known example in recent months has been Bebo. What’s more: all 59 episodes of the show will be in Irish.

The programme is called An Líonra Sóisialta, which translates to The Social Network. It will broadcast a 12 minute episode each day for 12 weeks.

So far, 7 Irish radio stations have confirmed that they will broadcast the show and its producer believes several more will join over the next few weeks as the series gathers steam.

Thanks to the internet, however, the show will be available to anyone who wants to hear it, anywhere in the world. An Líonra Sóisialta will also be a “podcast” – a downloadable MP3 sound file that users can listen to on their PC, or copy to a mobile device to enjoy at their convenience.

The new series is the brainchild of independent producer Conn Ó Muíneacháin from Ennis, County Clare. After a successful career in local radio, he gave up broadcasting for the computer industry. 10 years later, he sees the two fields converging as technology has put the media into the hands of anyone who has access to the internet.

“Anyone can publish. Anyone can speak. Like a letters page, or a phone-in show, the internet gives the public a voice. The difference is that there are no editors or programme controllers.”

To some this sounds like a recipe for anarchy. How is all this self-published material organised? How can the consumer be helped to find information which is useful and interesting to them?

“That’s the most exciting thing about it”, says Conn. “Nobody knows for sure! The tools and rules are being developed as we speak. New services and business models are launched every week. Some fail. Some develop and grow. All of them help us to understand how this new kind of media is supposed to work.”

These kinds of ideas are discussed daily in the “blogosphere” – the global community of self-published websites: weblogs, or simply “blogs”. They are familiar to people who collect the “feeds” from scores of such sites for easy reading in “aggregators”. They are debated in interviews and panel discussions on podcasts.

Conn Ó Muíneacháin wants to bring this discussion to a wider audience. “An Líonra Sóisialta is designed for non-technical people. It’s for people who are interested in media, but not necessarily in technology. It will introduce new ideas gently with short daily episodes over 12 weeks.”

But why do it in Irish? “Irish is why I became interested in citizen media in the first place. People employed in Irish language media do a wonderful job with limited resources. But the choice isn’t there. And what is there may be broadcast at a time, or published in a way, that does not suit someone who would otherwise be interested. But if you look at the web, you see that there is a global community of Irish speakers and
learners who are contributing their own efforts to media in the Irish language.”

As an experiment, last year Conn launched An tImeall, the first podcast in the Irish language. The project has been extremely successful, reaching a global audience. In March, the site was honoured for it’s use of Irish at the inaugural Irish Blog Awards.

In addition to the radio show and podcast, An Líonra Sóisialta will also have a daily feature in the Irish language newspaper Lá. There’s also a website:  Over the next few weeks the site will grow and develop as it becomes the focus for audience participation.

And participation, Conn says, is the key. “These new forms of media make much less distinction between producer and consumer. An Líonra Sóisialta will encourage audience participation in every way possible: by phone, by text, by mail or by leaving a comment on the website.” The series has been planned to appeal to people with a wide range of abilities in Irish, and in particular, it has been designed to be suitable for use as discussion material for Irish classes at Transition Year level in Irish schools.

Conn will co-present the show with Fiona Ní Chéirín, a native of An Spidéal, Co. Galway, and a recent graduate of the multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute.

The series has been provisionally approved for funding under the “Sound and Vision” scheme operated by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

The 7 radio stations which have confirmed their participation in An Líonra Sóisialta are: Flirt FM in Galway, Raidio na Life in Dublin, Ocean FM (Sligo, North Leitrim, South Donegal), Clare FM, KCLR (Kilkenny and Carlow), Wired FM in Limerick, and Raidio Fáilte, Belfast’s new Irish language station which launched last week.

Now, I don't speak Irish - but I'll probably listen just to hear Conn's oh-so-soothing dulcet tones.  If you do speak Irish and are interested in this new world of media production and distribution we find ourselves in you could do a lot worse than listen.


September 24, 2006

Bocca Della Verita

The Bocca Della Verita seen in a Glasgow Mall

The famous Roman Bocca Della Verita seen in a Glasgow Mall.  Why it was there I'm not sure.

Goaded on by others I put my 20 pence in and enjoyed a brief moment of pre-enlightenment mystery.  An experience I recommend for all...


September 23, 2006

The Future of Pornography

More messages from the future - this one about the future of pornography
In the future pornography for men will be deemed socially acceptable but will consist of nothing but videos of women cooking.


September 22, 2006

The British Airport Authority Wants You to Relax

Glasgow Airport Security Sign

Saw this sign crudely tacked up on a temporary wall in Glasgow Airport yesterday.  It's so wrong for so many reasons I won't even go into it.


September 20, 2006

Offshore Coffee, Glasgow

Offshore Coffee on Gibson Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Long time listeners of that Irish Podcast Letter to America will know that I'm fond of Clements Coffee:

Clements Through A Glass Darkly

A Special Message for Listeners of LTA Chapter 30

Well I'm here in Glasgow now Dear Listener and, alas, there's no Clements.  But I may have found something better.

Offshore Coffee on Gibson Street.

Offshore Coffee on Gibson Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Not only do they give you Hi-Speed Wi-Fi, (supposedly you have to buy a cup 'o coffee every hour but I saw no evidence of enforcement), but they gots comfy seats, nice treats, a Foxy Manageress named Eve and it's one of those places where EVERYBODY IS A CHARACTER.

Offshore Coffee on Gibson Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Also there's always a War on the Telly.

Offshore Coffee on Gibson Street, Glasgow, Scotland


September 19, 2006

HP Slimming Cameras

We Live in The World of The Future
The new range of Hewlett-Packard cameras  will you make you look thinner if that's what you want. (via Metafilter)

There are cameras now that'll 'ghost' you so you can pose with the person who is taking your photo.

Cameras that'll detect when people are smiling, and then take the photo.

The Klan is working on a camera that'll make you less swarthy. 

Pass for white.

We live in the Post-Photographic Age.  If CONSUMER cameras can make adjustment's in real time then CONSUMERS will learn not to trust the image, still or moving.

Every photo becomes a painting. 

The intuited wisdom of poets becomes the common knowledge.

That we live in fiction.

I'm not here.

I don't exist.

Neither do you.


September 18, 2006

Letter to America - Chapter 47 - Not Really Yet Safe

Wayne Van Ry and Jett Loe contemplate the unthinkable, courtesy of that Irish Podcast, Letter to America

Oh now We're Cooking With Gas, It's Letter to America - Chapter 47 - Not Really Yet Safe!

In which we discover a Letter to America Fan Site, more people join the Frappr Map, Wayne Ordinary American prepares less than usual, Robert Fisk reports on that Mohammad Khatemi guy and Bambee asks If You're Online.

All this and more on your "Condoleezza Rice Are You Fucking Kidding Me?" Irish Podcast.

Link to the World Criminal Non-Commercial Archive


September 16, 2006

You've Always Been Here

The hallway leading towards My New Home in Glasgow

Am in Glasgow for the next few weeks.  This is the hallway leading to my apartment.

Something bad has happened here.

I expect to turn the corner and see them.


September 15, 2006

Channel 4's IDEASFACTORY Masterclass

Wee flyer for Channel 4's Ideasfactory Masterclass in Belfast, Northern Ireland'

So you want to get into the 'Media'?  Why I ask.  I mean, these days anyone with a couple o' bucks rattling in their pocketses can go to the local Al Qaeda Recruitment Centre and get a subsidised mobile that shoots video.  Upload that sucker onto YouTube and you're golden.

No bosses.

No one to tell you to 'dumb it down' or 'sex it up'.

Cut out the distributor, the middleman, the network.

Why would you want to do it any other way?

Well, to get paid for a start.  Gots to make the rent.  And maybe your ambitions call for a larger budget - that number of Male Nude Dancers doesn't come cheap woman.

So, until the 'User Generated Content' Net Bidness Model settles downs in the next few months and you begin to make money off your 'content' the 'Broadcast Media' maybe for you.

If so why not apply for Channel 4's IDEASFACTORY Masterclass taking place in Belfast this October?  Should be chock o' full of info to help you get into the industry or help you realise it's just not for you.

Email [email protected] and let them know why you'd like to attend the classes - they also want a 300 word review of recent media that's inspired you, (just to make sure you can write and read - literacy, still important till Vidglyphics become commonplace in about, oh...2014).

For more information visit the IDEASFACTORY website at Channel 4 Dot Com:

IDEASFACTORY Northern Ireland



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