klastrup AT it-c.dk
This is the research diary of Lisbeth
Klastrup. Here I share some of my thoughts on life, universe, virtual
worlds, interactive stories and internet oddities with you.
Troels Degn Johansson
Jill Walker's blog
Torill Mortensen's blog
Hilde Corneliussen's blog
Carsten Jopp's blog
Anders Fagerjord's blog
Gonzalo Frasca's blog (URU, US)
Anja Rau's blog (DE)
Elin Sjursen's blog (NO, US)
Frank Schaap's blog (NL)
Adrian Miles' Vog blog (AUSTR.)
Mark Bernstein's blog (US.)
Dust from a Distant Sun (DK)
Cykelkokken (DK, in Danish)
Two Years in Denmark (DK,US)
Future Dr. Karlsbjerg (DK)
©Lisbeth Klastrup 2002
The Danish copyright law (Opretshavloven) as in last revised version of June 9th 2001. And an official site hosted by Samrådet for Ophavsret for those seeking further information on copyright (DK=ophavsret). Opretshav.dk. I found these links at BDI's (Royal School of Library and Information Science's Library) page of Danish copyright links.
What is copyright?. According to the attorney who is behind this site, what he says about copyright here, is true for everybody living in a country that has signed the Berne convention. Also available in Swedish.
Resource center for cyberculture studies (the one with the thorough book reviews) has moved to: www.com.washington.edu/rccs
Surfing for further info on weblogs and copyright, came across these links:
The Scout Report and the supplementary Scout Weblog. Here is their blurb:
The Scout Report is one of the Internet's longest-running weekly publications, offering a selection of new and newly discovered online resources of interest to researchers, educators, and anyone else with an interest in high-quality online material.
Interactive education (site on how-to-do online course + div. links - looks good)
In contrast to the below mentioned bloggers, intellectually this week has been more or less fruitless for me, and I guess the fact that I have been spending most time at home, idly surfing with a minor fever, shows through the selection of URLS, I have uploaded ;). Well, I have enjoyed surfing for fun, haven't really done that so much at home before, but now, thanks to the ADSL, I tend to pursue every odd link I come across (not v. good for the ph.d., so will have to go into detoxication at some point, I fear...).
One of the links, I came across earlier this week was a very male blogg Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About - which amidst all the ranting about writer's wife oddities, turned out to contain a link to a thoughtprovoking story about misuse of the guy's blogg. He was at some point approached by Mail on Sunday who offered him £800 if they could use excerpts in his blogg in article. Since blogg contained very personal information, he declined - and some time later was informed by a friend that Mail On Sunday had lifted text from the blogg anyway, just changing the names and making no reference whatever to the blogg or the writer. The writer then informed friends and friendly sites and got himself an agent who started negotiating with MoS, and after interlude which included writer commenting on the case in his blogg and being threatened by MoS for defamation. they ended offering him £1600 and an apology which he accepted. But as he says somewhere, if there hadn't been a least one decent person at MoS who had actually started out offering him money, they could as well just have gone ahead and just used his material without ever contacting him in the first place, which I guess would have made it even more difficult for him to make a case, unless he had a lot of money and lots of clever lawyers.
Good news travels fast. By way of Torill and Jill: Elin Sjursen's blogg Bloggerdydoc is now active again on other server & Hilde Corneliussen, another Norwegian colleague has started a blogg to: Gender and Computing. All these Norwegian colleagues (also all females, btw..) are sharing their insightful, clever and sharp thoughts with us for free, so go read them!
A little morning entertainment. By way of Hildegard's blog of pointless stuff (which isn't pointless at all, she writes about MOObuilding and I should read her more often...), I present The Tourette Syndrome Barbie. If you find this hightly offensive, please note that the creator has massively linked to serious sites about Tourette, and states that this is not typical symptoms of Tourette. And there is a Leprosy Barbie too. I like people who think this weirdly.
Oh, and I had another visit in StoryMOO today. Colleague Ragnhild Tronstad visited with some of her Norwegian students. They played my murder mystery game extremely well, and thanks to a clever detective, the murderer was actually seized this time!! And I have some great logs and constructive criticism to work with and use for the thesis. It is days like this, that makes all the work seem worthwhile...
Cough, cough, cough. A fortunate thing, that my computer is immune to _that_ kind of virus;)
A little gem - wonder why I didnt come across it before? Or perhaps I did, but forgot...
A day of few words. Seized by violent coughs, and much tired, so haven't been up to much clever thinking lately.
More info about the grand "interactive drama online" conceived by Denmarks Radio in article in Computerworld. See also blogg of August 15th.
Lars Konzack has tackled the Kunst i Netværkssamfundet paper, I mentioned last week. Should say, that I have come across it several times and actually found reference in another whitepaper on " Kultur til bredbånd - KULTURMINISTERIETS BIDRAG TIL DANMARK SOM VERDENS BEDSTE IT-NATION" (Culture for the broadbandwidth - The Ministry of Cultures contribution to Denmark as the worlds best IT-Nation). Yes, I wonder whether this "sudden" interest in all things digital also in the more traditional institutions is due to our prime ministers stating in his annual new year's eve speech, that he wants Denmark to be the worlds leading "IT Nation" (an admirable delusion of grandeur...rather than something imminently achievable, I think) and people at various places now think time is ripe to actually get some money for digital development - or trying to profile the government before what seems to be a soon up-coming election. I want to see action before I believe in their words.
"Kunst i Netværkssamfundet"" (Art in the Network society). Whitepaper from the Danish Ministry of Culture, in which they propose to strengthen the development of "interactive fiction", by which they seemingly mean computergames! Will be back when I have read it thoroughly.
PlayingGOD(Games On Demand). Danish Internet provider have come up with the idea of renting out computer games online, so you don't have to buy them. They offer one game for rent in 7 days (DKK 50), or 12 games for rent in a month (DKK 150) and you need mininum 256 kb download to make it work. So, for instance, with my computer at home, I would have to wait 2 hours from moment of renting till I could play Alone in the Dark 4...Hmmh, is that really worth the while? Well, interesting in one way, since I guess they must have estimated their renting times according to some rough estimate of how long it normally takes for people to play a game. Question is if they have underestimated it, so that they count on you NOT being able to complete a game in a week and so will have to rent it for another week to complete it? On the other hand, the variability of play experience and the existence of walkthrus might eventually make this kind of calculation rather futile...Which makes me wonder about the general issue of replayability too. They rent out adventure, action and sports games - and whereas I imagine that I would be happy to play an adventure game only once (the narrative fullfillment and all that), I might wanna return to play the action or sports games several times. So I would be more inclined to rent an adventure game, than the other game "genres" (which I would prefer buying) - and the cost is, interestingly enough, the cost of a cinema ticket, more or less, except that in this case I'm entertained for a week. Wonder if this is going to catch on? I must admit, I'm kind of attracted to the thought - it would give me the opportunity to try out more games without being ruined. All I need is a new computer and I'm on...
The Geri Halliwell "Scream if you wanna go faster" game. It's so stupid it's fun. Perhaps the reason why I like it is that even I can be fast on the G+H key ;)
Frank Schaap, a Dutch colleague, has started blogging too. Welcome in the community, Frank :). He uses Blog to blogg, it's apparently a programme that runs on your own computer, but does the same thing as Blogger and other Blogg-services online.
Google has developped a search toolbar for IE explorer - which I have just installed. Instead of having to click into Google's website to search, you can just type in word in the toolbar. And it has a highlight function which makes it easier to look for the word, you have looked up, on the page present & a rating indicator. Thank you, Google - a very convinient tool. But perhaps, to be kinder to humanity as such, you could consider making the toolbar available for other browser formats too - or is there a secret deal with Microsoft here?
Back from the HT01 conference - and still postconferencing in a way, as Stuart Moulthrop & his partner Nancy Kaplan stopped by for coffee today, visiting Copenhagen on the way home to US. Stuart's experience of the conference is that the "aesthetics", lit theory people have gradually taken over more and more space at the conference. My own personal experience was that there seemed to be a lot of systems & software development people around, but then again, this is admittedly my first conference out of the Humanistic realm. And it was fun to meet systems development people who only dreamt of collaborating with authors as to develop their systems most adequately. This truely seems like a win-win situation to me!
- There were some nice papers too, but in general I was a bit disappointed, perhaps because I missed out on the beginning of some of the more seemingly interesting sessions, and hence perhaps did not hear some of the good stuff. But I really get annoyed when I either directly experience that people are repeating old papers or old ideas and not much seems to have happened since last time, I heard them talk. Or when I indirectly get the feeling that although this is the first time, _I_ hear a paper, it seems like old stuff to both the speaker and most of the audience. I know I do that myself, and I know that is inevitably part of the trade, but sometimes I wish we all had more time to think new thoughts...Well, perhaps I'll change my mind when I sit down and read the proceedings, looking forward to that.
Btw, there are photos from the conference here. Århus University is a wonderful place.
A little bit of old news, but something to keep an eye on. DR (Denmarks Radio) has announced a big buck project which claims to be the first interactive drama on the net (sic!). Metropol Scandia, a nordic collaborative project about nordic mythology where the user uses the action etc. According to article in Politiken.
Briefly back at the PC after participating in an interesting writers' workshop yesterday. In newsletters found story about the founding of the "Mobile Games Interoperability Forum (MGI-Forum)" by key players Siemens, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. There is a press release here. The initiative is mostly about providing a interoperabilityspecification for network-based servers, so players can play across various platforms. I'm really interested in seing what will happen with the mobile games development. It seems obvious that good games of this kind must combine multi-user and community elements with location based activities and why should the setting not be an imaginary shared world? I'm sure my research will also be able to provide insight into this area - or that I can learn from what games are developped for this medium.
I'm off to the conference Hypertext '01 which takes place in Århus this year. Tomorrow Tuesday, I will be participating in the annual Hypertext Writers' Workshop. This workshop is organised by writer Deena Larsen, who sometimes also organises the weekly ELO (Electronic Literature Organisation) and Trace chats each sunday in LinguaMOO. This sunday I will be participating as guest in a huge chat about the state of electronic literature worldwide in order to inform people about the eletronic writing scene in Denmark. If you know of any Danish writers writing online, I would be most grateful if you would send me an URL! The event takes place at 10 pm (22.00) Danish time. Read more info here.
In between planning what is going to happen the next couple of months, I checked the hit-list for this blogg. Someone has hit this blogg by entering "children playing na-ked" in a search engine, pretty creepy. What kind of person would be looking for that kind of thing? But of course, they are around as well as the rest of us, and on the internet both information and people want to be free, isn't that so?
I'm online again! FINALLY got the ADSL thing working and now feeling like a little child having found her longlost favourite toy after days of frustrated uneasiness. It's a bit scary, this dependancy, but it is so closely tied to independancy too, in that being able to work online from home means I don't have to go to ITU as often as before to sit in the dark corner of the nice, but rarely quiet 4-person office, I share... Well, it has cost me several hours of non-research, but personally I feel that in return my nerd-cred must have grown with several points, while changing RAM-cards, operating system, installing networkcard etc. If I decide to give up the academic career, perhaps I can open a virtual helpdesk ;). As is, no more words of hardware, and back to aesthetics.
Yes, I'm here, I'm still alive, but believe or not, still fighting an absolutely Don Quixotic fight against computers both here and there. My trusty portable is being repaired and the computer I got as a replacement here at ITU refused to do anything sensible last week and had to be rebooted and only now am I getting it to work properly - on top of everything the systemsadministration is updating fileservers, mailservers etc, so system at ITU is fairly unstable. So don't expect regular postings here quite yet.
TCP/IP protocol didn't work in Windows 95 at home (most likely old bug) and all Windows 95 CDROMs in my close environment seem to have vanished (including the one I borrowed a friend :(), so now I'm desperately trying to install a newer version of Windows and make that stable and the netcard work with that bla, bla, bla. I dream in bits and feel I'm turning into a complete nerd as I browse through help pages of updates and weird cab.files extraction instructions on the internet, desperately trying to find the right answer to all my troubles somewhere...
The most humilating - or rather amusing?!? experience - that have so far come off this update-adventure was, when last week I had to go to a local computer cafe to download a driver that the internet provider support had sent me. It was early evening and the room was full of boys in all ages playing network games,as I entered the cafe and went to the desk wearing the dark suit, I had worn for fun at work that day - - and the young guy behind the desk took one look up and down of me and said a bit arrogantly "I suppose you just want to use the internet". Which I had to agree to and he showed me the way to one of the few spare computers, while he asked me something very close in meaning to "Do you know how to use a computer at all" (i.e he said something along the lines of "Are you an experienced computer user?"). I was VERY close to telling him, "yes, as a matter of fact, I'm a ph.d.student at the IT University so I think I know a thing or two about computers..", but I just couldn't be bothered. Sometimes it's just not worth the energy and why should I need to prove myself to him? So I just said yes and went and did my thing. - It's been a long time since I experienced that attitude, but guess there is still a lot of prejudice to deal with before this world is freed of those males that think that just because a woman dresses well and doesn't look like she knows the difference between RAM and R.E.M, in effect it is not actually so...