Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Hello Buffalo News readers, the Social Cyborg welcomes you…

Buffalo News: Living Under the Lens (12.29.08)
Read online version or print version (scanned)

Scott Johnson's "Kevin the Lifecaster"

Welcome Buffalo News readers!

You probably dropped by after reading Steve Watson’s article entitled “Video technology creates a few very-public lives“, which offers a great dialogue into the ambiguity of identity in our increasingly networked lives. As I’ve mentioned at the end…

“We are rethinking the things that we’ve taken for granted,” Lim said. “Whether it’s privacy, identity, or so on. What’s happening is we are re-evaluating these things. Because the status quo just isn’t enough.”

As someone transforming into a “social cyborg”, I’ve been experiencing what it would be like to be hyper-connected as a human being. My project continues to push the boundaries of digitizing and sharing rich experiences, by combining streaming video, GPS data and possibly bio + emotional impulses as accurately as possible. While experimenting with ways of establishing a richer sense of presence and feedback in a non-directional everyday setting, this project dabbles on concepts relating to:

1. Continuous Partial Presence: Be it text updates or video feeds, loved ones feel as if I am actually close by when I am actually half the globe away.

2. On-Demand Crowdsourcing: Decisions can be augmented by the minds of many. As I engage in everyday affairs, my peers are polled to suggest what I should do (e.g. purchasing decisions, useful lifehacks).

3. Public Therapy (?): The idea that I’d be mindful of habits since my life is visible to all, and particularly magnified for my internal review.

4. Redefinition of Identity / Privacy: Privacy is a broad term, so here I am trying to find boundaries. Technology augments behavior, for instance, private phone conversations become public after cellphones were introduced.

5. Memory Prosthetic: I can opt to record moments of my life on video, and render the media deep searchable by date, time, subject matter, etc.

If you’re interested to learn more about me, check out my About page. If you wish to learn more about lifecasting, check out the following key articles below:

"Kevin // Social Cyborg" on theITsociety quarterly (01/08)
How (and WHY) you might want to build your own lifecasting kit

As featured on Zaobao Weekly
Zaobao Weekly newspaper features the Social Cyborg

How about you try it?
If you’d like to try something like this, but can’t afford the equipment, all you might need is your camera phone. Using Qik, you can easily broadcast video live from your cellphone, and even get viewers to chat with you right while you’re shooting! Here’s our Prime Minister demonstrating Qik at his National Day Rally speech and here’s my Qik profile if you’d like to add me as a friend.

So… what’s next?
My friends have made interesting suggestions on how I could further this project, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’d like to see this take flight. I also encourage you to try this on your own, so feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Finally, do watch out for Alex Halavais’ upcoming “wear-tech” blog (TBA). As a tech enthusiast and assistant professor of communications at Quinnipiac University, he’s been my key mentor and sense-maker in our age of complexity.

Tech65’s 100th episode cameo

Tech65 100th Episode Cameo from brainopera on Vimeo

Just a quick shout-out to the Tech65 crew for their upcoming 100th episode. This probably makes them the longest running (or only?) technology podcast in Singapore.

Tech65’s home boys (and one girl) include Daniel, DK, Farinelli, Hisham, Jerrick, Naveen, Nicole, NTT and Ryu.

If you’re in Singapore, feel free to join their 100th episode podcast party on Sat, 27th Dec at Geek Terminal. You’d better RSVP over here.

FYI: I originally posted this video on Facebook.

How to make Kevin’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Kevin’s Sweet Potato Casserole from brainopera on Vimeo

As the holidays swing around, instead of buying junk, why not make something for your loved ones?

What’s that? You don’t even know where the kitchen is?

Don’t fret! You’re in good company, thanks to a complete culinary noob such as myself. If Kevin can do it, there’s an 80% probability that so can you.

Baking Sweet Potato Casserole - 1

Here’s the low-down on my variation of the popular Sweet Potato Casserole:
5 sweet potatoes, sliced
1/4 cup reduced fat margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons 1/2 cup of orange juice
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
and 1 bag of glazed pecans
1 bottle of tabasco

Baking Sweet Potato Casserole (After)Baking Sweet Potato Casserole - 5

Follow my pseudo cooking show video above, and in no time, you’ll be entertaining guests with something sweet and savory!

Social Cyborg: Coming soon to Buffalo News

Buffalo News Videographer Joe - 1

Expect to see (hopefully) a Buffalo News article this weekend Monday involving the fearsome “Social Cyborg“.

Journalist Steve Watson, Photographer Charlie and Videographer Joe spent last Tuesday covering my ongoing project on the consequences of a hyperconnected person, aka the social cyborg. While it was appealing to get absorbed in the technology involved (i.e. wearable networked cameras), the more interesting angle was on how we negotiate the ambiguities of identity and privacy in this unforgivingly digital age.

Buffalo News Videographer Joe - 2

I must say that ever since I started this “social cyborg” project, I’ve gotten the snazziest quotes from friends seeing it for the first time. Blogger Brennan once mentioned how “behind this third eye lies a thousand more”, while Buffalo News videographer Joe said how those who don the backpack would become “real-world avatars” since netizens could see and help decide the wearer’s next move. I’ll yak and throw in more links once the article gets published.

Oh, and in the spirit of transparency (perhaps a signature of journalism 2.0), you can peek at how the interview went…

#Snowmageddon descending on Buffalo

Snowmageddon: The Panorama
Click photo to supersize…

Yup, it’s snowmageddon on Buffalo, and most of northen America. You can almost tell the peaks in snow fall just by looking at this graph of tweets mentioning #snowmageddon. It’s also all over flickr, though I’ve only seen three related Youtube videos uploaded so far.

If you are interested, here the view from my window and on the ground

Continue reading ‘#Snowmageddon descending on Buffalo’

It’s almost 2009… what’s up with Kevin?

In the Qik video above, I’ll share a personal update on: A Singaporean Gift, Spending Christmas alone, Dissertation progress, the last Macworld in 2009, the Social Cyborg on Weekend Buffalo News, performing Self-Surgery on bump on inner lip, slow blogging for now.

A Singaporean Christmas gift

Opening up the care package from Singapore, I find a treat I’ve not tasted for more than a year. It’s “Bak Kwa“, which is like the sweet roasted version of American beef jerkies (it’s actually pork). This particular package I received even lets you soften the meat by dipping the individual sleeves into boiling water before eating.

Here’s a video demo showing you how I enjoy this doggie treat. Thank you @Prissyhan!

Fun Facts from our Buffalo Holiday Tweetup

Buffalo Holiday Tweetup - 5
All our twitter mobiles… Yes, Trism counts!

Last Saturday, we organized a last minute Buffalo Holiday Tweetup at Brennans Bowery Bar. It hailed a decent turnout, including new faces like Matt Hames and John Piercy. Steve Watson was there as well to observe for an article in the Buffalo News.

  1. According to Steve Watson, @Wegmans isn’t actually run by Wegmans supermarket, but by four Wegmans fans! If you don’t know about Wegmans, it’s a big deal to us because it one of the best damn supermarkets around! Just see @Wegmans tweets to see why…
  2. Our very own woodspinning @KeithBurtis is now hired as community manager for BestBuy’s Remix Developer program. Like a growing number of corporations, BestBuy executives probably did extensive online searches of their prospective employees before deciding on their candidate. With Keith actively building rapport from his woodworking art, it was natural that BestBuy selected him to build a community around their new developer program.
  3. I share Chris Smith’s enthusiasm for David Cohn’s community-funded news project. We look forward to seeing new forms of participatory journalism develop, especially since it’s good for the profession, yet reflects the input of the local community.

iPhoto panorama by John Piercy

Here’s a Qik video as well as snapshots of everyone who attended with their twitter names!

theorycast 52 :: Real Space Electronic Art Show

What is real space electronic art?
Emerging media artist and associate professor Paul Vanouse explains that it is equivalent of “computing outside the box”, that is, interaction with information without the conventions of an everyday computer.

Organized at Soundlab by his students of the Real Space Electronic Art class, the show features intrepid electronic explorations by Heamchand Subryan and Chris Caporlingua (untitled typewriter), Rob Rzeznik and Eric Baker (untitled anger), and Fred Jones, Kyle Butler, and Scott Ries (untitled rocking chair), as well as two videos by Kyle and Scott.

BTW: Doesn’t Paul Vanouse remind you of Gaius Baltar of Battlestar Galactica?

How I use Tweetdeck (for hardcore twitter users)

How I use TweetDeck

If you’re a hardcore twitter user, what tricks do you have up your sleeve?
For me I trick out Tweetdeck as seen above.
Flickr your screenshots and tag them tweetdeck!

AIMS Report: Engaging New Media (Dec 2008) [Participatory Governance]

Engaging New Media (AIMS Report Dec 2008)

UPDATE: Coleman, our media socialists spokesperson, has provided our official press response to this latest AIMS report. In essence, “We appreciate that AIMS has taken our feedback and added it to their recommendations”. Besides our earlier AIMS submission, here’s our FAQ for further information.

Participatory governance in Singapore is finally reaching a new milestone, thanks to a newly released report from the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society (AIMS).

Pooling together the expertise of new media practitioners, academics, industry players, regulators as well as members of the public , this first AIMS report is the product of 18 months of research into the impact of new media on our society, as well as suggestions on how to manage them.

You can download the PDF report from the AIMS web site. If I weren’t writing my dissertation, I’d give a review of the report, so for now I’ll just whet your appetite by sharing the report’s table of contents:

p 2—3 Foreword
p 5—9 Introduction
p 11—25 Executive Summary

p 27—49
Chapter 1 E-Engagement
Trends in New Media
Why Engage Online?
Embarking on E-Engagement
Barriers to E-Engagement
Reasons for E-Engagement
Risk Assessment
Public Feedback
Recommendations Following Public Feedback

p 51—78
Chapter 2 Online Political Content
Review of Light-touch Policy
Online Election Advertising in Other Countries
Proposed Recommendations in the Consultation Paper
Public Feedback
Recommendations Following Public Feedback

p 80—107
Chapter 3 Protection of Minors
Risks to Minors
How are these Risks Managed?
The Key Lies in Education
What is Being Done in Singapore
Proposed Recommendations in the Consultation Paper
Public Feedback
AIMS’ Views
Recommendations Following Public Feedback

p 109—116
Chapter 4 Intermediary Immunity for Online Defamation
Essential Ingredients of Law of Defamation
Application of Law of Defamation to the Internet
Concerns Expressed to AIMS
Singapore’s Legal Position
Conferring Immunity to Intermediaries
Public Feedback
AIMS’ Views
Recommendations Following Public Feedback

p 118—215
Annex A: Composition of AIMS
Annex B: Stakeholders Consulted Before Consultation Paper Release
Annex C: Findings from AIMS Study on “Singaporeans and the New Media”
Annex D: Feedback Received during Engagement Exercise

p 217—224 Bibliography and References