Here are elaborations of my three different press mentions this past month…
The Buffalo News
“Google ‘Street View’ brings the world to Buffalo’s front doors”
by Steve Watson on 16th July 2008
The Buffalo News has a feature on privacy today. Steve Watson wrote about how Google’s street view feature has finally made its way to Buffalo. His article features a collection of quotes from residents like us where to some, it’s invasive, while to others, it’s a boon. You should know where I stand…
“For me, personally, it’s quite amazing. It solves an age-old problem: How do you get there, and how do you know what it looks like?” said Kevin Lim, a University at Buffalo doctoral student who writes about technology trends on a blog, theory.isthereason.com”
I’d argue that the Street View experience almost feels visceral enough to be a form of augmented deja-vu, something that goes beyond visual memory, but one of simulated locatedness. For instance, the article mention my “Google Maps Street View” epiphany when I tried to see if a certain restaurant still existed on a visit to San Francisco.
If you zoom in enough, you can even make out the restaurant’s telephone number on the giant signage. Since I am able to pan around the neighborhood from a first person perspective, I get a sense of place that goes beyond flat 2D photography. When I eventually got there, the Street View experience was re-lived and completed, much like how would imagine finishing a jigsaw puzzle of a familiar picture.
In the past, I’ve written about how wearable video recording would serve as a form of memory prothesis. This Google Street View experience is rich, yet unique, in that the memory isn’t yours, but transplanted from someone else (e.g. Google drivers).
Ken Fujiuchi, Buffalo State College’s emerging technologies librarian, has used it while he looks for a new place to rent. He also shares my idea on privacy… that it’s too ambiguous to be disconcerting. The way I look at privacy, is to put it on the risk vs. rewards scale: Since the Street View feature is able to give me the confidence of reaching somewhere with more certainty, it overrides the concern for me. Besides, the images were taken in a public space, a space that is already physically shared by all.
Before anyone gets anymore antsy, we should perhaps take time to read Dr. Daniel Solove’s seminal book on Understanding Privacy (2008). I also found more privacy thoughts from the comments of Steve’s supplemental blog article, “Smile: You’re on Google Camera“.
If you’re interested, I also recently gave quotes to…
ACM’s eLearn Magazine
“Edupunk” Rocks the (Virtual) House
by Laurie Rowell on 8th July 2008
I gave a real-life example of how I ran my classes by having students take control of lessons and take responsibility for learning on their own. I rewarded students who could share the most, which is typically mediated through online spaces such as their blogs.
New York Press
by Gina Pace on 25th June 2008
Gina Pace’s wrote an exploratory article on “lifestreaming” which quotes from a number of avid users and developers, including Mark Krynsky of Lifestreamblog.com, Paul Buchheit of FriendFeed, John McCrea of Plaxo. I contributed my thoughts by citing the “Walled Garden” problem of popular social networking services, the practical side of lifestreaming via Leisa Reichelt “ambient intimacy” concept where I elaborated on the economics of attention.
Electronic communication has lowered the “cost” of finding out what’s going on with those you know, said Kevin Lim, a tech blogger who is a doctoral student in communications at the University of Buffalo in New York. Some will call very few people in their social network but are interested to find out what’s going on with a lot of people if it’s easy enough, he said.
Lim is especially interested by the idea that this type of intimate knowledge of the mundane can speed up the feeling of trust. Most people, Lim thinks, are literate enough online that they can sense when someone is a liar.