Book review: Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces

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 view1, but there are relatively few texts that consider the mobile phone to be an interface2 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

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.

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Greetings from IAMCR

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.

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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.

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Are Netflix shows “television?”

Matt Zoller Seitz over at Vulture poses an interesting question: Are Netflix original shows like “House of Cards” (and, more recently, the new season of “Arrested Development”) actually television shows? Apparently these programs are eligible for Emmy awards, which has some people (network executives in particular) up in arms because shows that are streamed online aren’t subject to the same sorts of regulations and scrutiny that broadcast programming (and, to a lesser extent, cable programming) is.

While I think Seitz’ question is an interesting one, there’s a larger question lurking underneath it: What is television?

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England 2013

I was fortunate enough to visit Brighton, England in April 2013 to present a refereed talk at the Tablet Symposium, arranged by the Centre for Material and Digital Culture at the University of Sussex.

While abroad, I was able to explore Brighton as well as Plymouth and London in England–and I had an all-too-brief night and morning in Paris. Please enjoy these snapshots of my visit.

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Note-taking strategies for graduate students

Everyone has heard the phrase “there’s a method to my madness.” It sort of conjures up people like the executive at the TV network I used to work at whose dark burrow-like office was literally filled with books and papers–there was not a surface in that room that was not piled high with folders, pieces of mail, copies of god-knows-what, and general detritus of all descriptions. (Though I will say that I don’t know if even he would say, “Oh, I know where everything is in here.” If he did, he would have to be lying.)

However, ever since I returned to graduate school (not to mention the whole move across the country, which necessitated shedding a lot of belongings so as to not have to pay the movers to haul crap that I wouldn’t really need), I’ve had to really pare down the amount of stuff that I hang on to, so that’s required that I carefully think through how I take notes in class and as I work through papers and such.

So I thought I’d discuss my strategies for note-taking–also partially because one of my colleagues asked me what it is that I do to keep my ducks in a row.

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