Book review: Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces

Woman behind smartphone

For those of us who are interested in studying mobile technologies (i.e., mobile phones or smartphones), there are a number of very good and fairly recent texts out there that approach the subject from quite specific points of view[1. Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones comes to mind; it is an excellent book that I would highly recommend.], but there are relatively few texts that consider the mobile phone to be an interface[2. Don’t let this terminology confuse you. In this sense, the “interface” being discussed does not refer to the operating system or GUI of the phone–instead, it refers to the mobile device as a means of filtering or screening out elements of the “real world.”] between the user and the larger world.

Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces: Locational Privacy, Control, and Urban Sociability by Adriana de Souza e Silva and Jordan Frith takes this approach. Early on, they emphasize the importance of interfaces, stating that “they play a critical role in shaping interactions [of all kinds] and creating meaning” (p. 2), as they filter information and actively reshape communicative relationships (p. 4). Continue reading “Book review: Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces”

My office supply obsession, or better student confidentiality with labels

Dymo Labelwriter 450

Anyone who has known me since childhood (and fortunately for me, that number is limited to just one or two folks outside of my immediate family) will tell you about how, as a kid, one of my favorite “games” to play was “Office.” Indeed, I played “Office” like many children play “House.” The constant influx of various pieces of stationery, void checks, stamps, forms, and used paper from my dad’s church office as well as my maternal grandparents’ seemingly bottomless supply of such things made it that much easier.

My obsession with all things office-related has persisted; my former boss can tell you how much I enjoyed placing our semi-regular orders with Staples, and I imagine my replacement at the office is still trying to figure out what exactly to do with an automatic numbering machine or the easel and white board that I insisted on procuring.

While I will likely never exhaust the tub of binder clips that sits on my desk at home (then again, my dissertation is a-comin’, so anything is possible!), one of my favorite tools is my Dymo LabelWriter 450 which I primarily use with my Endicia for Mac postage software–but I’ve recently discovered another useful trick for small plain labels which I can print using the Dymo LabelWriter software.

Continue reading “My office supply obsession, or better student confidentiality with labels”

Greetings from IAMCR

Dublin

Céad Míle Fáilte! I’m in Dublin, Ireland for this year’s International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) conference. So far it has been a fascinating and engaging conference, and I’ve been trying to soak up some local culture as well.

The conference is being hosted by Dublin City University, and there are thousands of us here from all over the globe, including probably a dozen from the SOJC.

Continue reading “Greetings from IAMCR”

Reading, reading, reading

Reading

Now that the spring term at UO has come to a close (finally!), we’re all getting just a tiny bit of a break before the summer session begins. I, myself, will be teaching Friday lab sessions for our Gateway I/II course along with another GTF, but I am also taking a course in the Education Studies department and will be doing some reading credits, as well as attempting to finish a couple of articles to be submitted for publication.

Continue reading “Reading, reading, reading”