Saturday, July 7, 2007

Eyebeam Fellowship Applications online

Overview of Eyebeam Fellowships

The application process for Eyebeam's 2007/08 Fellowship program is currently open. The deadline for applications is August 6, 2007. All applicants will be informed of their application status by October 1, 2007. The program duration is for 11 months, running from November to September.

Fellowships will be offered in the R&D OpenLab, the Production Lab and the Education Lab. The focus of the Fellowships varies depending on the tools and skills available and the creative objectives and philosophy of each Lab. Up to five Fellowships will be granted for 2007/08.

http://www.eyebeam.org/production/production.php?page=felcall

For all of the Fellowships we are seeking applications from artists, hackers, designers, engineers and creative technologists to come to Eyebeam for a year to undertake new research and develop new work. The ideal Fellow has experience working with and making innovative technological art and/or creative technology projects and has a passion for collaborative development. Fellows will bring this experience and working approach to their own independent projects, projects initiated by other Residents or Fellows and projects conceived collaboratively during the Fellowship period.

Fellows are selected from an open call. International applicants are welcome to apply although we do not have the resources to provide travel or accommodation. We are happy to work with selected applicants, where required, to help them to secure funds to cover these expenses. International Fellows are responsible for securing their own visas for the Fellowship period. Fellows receive a $30,000 stipend and health benefits during their stay. They are able to take on additional external teaching or consulting work, but there is an expectation that Fellows will be working at Eyebeam a minimum of four days a week.

Collaborative partnerships at Eyebeam will be fostered though group critiques, discussions and projects, within and between the lab environments and residency programs. Fellows also benefit from critiques, lectures and workshops by external practitioners chosen for their relationship to subjects and projects being worked on in the Labs.

All Fellows are encouraged to share their skills and knowledge with the larger Eyebeam community by conducting formal and/or informal workshops with others in the Labs as well as possible workshops open to the public. There are also opportunities to develop work for performance, events, seminars, exhibition or other public programming in the Eyebeam galleries (and beyond) during the term of the fellowship. Core to our principle at Eyebeam is the brokering of relationships between artists, hackers, coders, engineers and other creative technologists and the contexts we provide. The intention is to foster and facilitate relationships whereby technologists and artists can come together to germinate and hothouse their ideas,
develop new processes and create new works through a period of immersion in a social context which is rich in technology, expertise and ideas.


Research Themes
We also support research groups to bring together creative practitioners working at Eyebeam as well as expert external participants. New research leads to possible public outcomes including seminars, public discussion and exhibition.

Research themes for 2007/08 include (though will not be limited to):
* Energy, Technology and Sustainability
* Urban research, urban interventions and media in public space
Artists and creative technologists interested in these research areas are particularly encouraged to apply for 2007/08 Fellowships.


Application Requirements
Applications received after the deadline of August 6, 2007, will not be accepted. All applications and work samples must be submitted through the online form. No exceptions will be made. You can create a user/password during the application process and log back into the server to update your application before the final deadline.

Complete applications must include the following information:
* Contact Information
* Resume or CV (rtf or pdf doc)
* Work samples in the form of URLs or uploaded media
* Include a project description with your work sample that explains your contribution to the piece, how it was meant to be viewed and how it relates to your proposed project(s).
* Concise responses to all application questions

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please read the guidelines for each of the Fellowships carefully.
Each working environment has different sets of tools and different mentors/trainers for these tools, so applicants should consider which environment will best suit their own needs and experience. However, all artists, technologists and residents have access to resources across all three labs and programs.
If you have any questions, please email fellowshipinfo@eyebeam.org.


http://www.eyebeam.org/production/production.php?page=felcall

EYEBEAM
540 W. 21st Street
New York, NY 10011, USA
T +1 - 212.937.6580
F +1 - 212.937.6582
amc@eyebeam.org
www.eyebeam.org

Friday, July 6, 2007

Register Now for State of Play V: Building the Global Metaverse

State of Play V: Building the Global Metaverse is the fifth annual State of Play conference on the future of virtual worlds. Organized by New York Law School in conjunction with Trinity University, with the support of Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, this year's conference invites experts across disciplines to discuss the transnational dimensions of the metaverse and the impact of virtual environments on education, law, politics, and society.

Virtual worlds are crucial building blocks of global civil society. As such, they harbor great potential for relationship building and cooperation across national borders. We hope you will join us for this important interdisciplinary conversation about the future of the global metaverse. The conference will be held on August 19–22, 2007 in Singapore.

The conference will feature experts from around the world speaking about:
Cross-cultural communication and avatar-to-avatar diplomacy Strategies for understanding behaviors and values of virtual world residents Regulating speech, property, and addiction in the metaverse Building transnational businesses in virtual worlds. Using virtual environments to teach students of all ages Space, place, and virtual world cultures

We will also present two new documentaries about how global virtual worlds intersect with real-world economies and social structures:
Gold Farmers (2007) and Ideal World (2007).

On Wednesday, August 22, we will offer six half-day workshops on topics including virtual world journalism, using virtual environments to transform global business, educational applications of virtual worlds, and managing virtual identities.

For conference schedule and registration please visit: www.nyls.edu/stateofplay.

Hacking the iPhone

“DVD” Jon Lech Johansen has released the Phone Activation Server which, with some technical knowledge, can be used to activate an iPhone without AT&T’s involvement. Johansen says the result is that “The iPhone does not have phone capability, but the iPod and WiFi work.”

Johansen’s tool is for Windows only. Reports are circulating of other activation programs running on Mac OS X or Windows that require the use of a ‘token’ from an activated iPhone.

Where does that get you? Not very far, unless you just want the cachet of owning an iPhone and don’t want to talk on it. For example, a visitor to the US might buy an iPhone associated with a prepaid AT&T account, cancel the service within the grace period, then take the iPhone home for use as a fancy iPod and Wi-Fi Internet terminal.

But according to a PC World article, hackers are confident of finding within days a way to unlock the iPhone so it can be used with other carriers.

The story quoted someone involved in these efforts (identified only as “gj”) as saying “We are privately aware many of the iPhone engineers came from other handset manufacturers, and we understand their design techniques fairly well.”

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, the iPhone Dev Wiki might be worth a visit. The Register reports activity on several fronts, including a buffer overflow vulnerability in Safari (shared with the Windows version) that could allow the execution of arbitrary code (eg, to automatically dial premium-rate numbers), a Bluetooth-based Denial of Service attack, and the discovery of the password giving root access.

A software update for the iPhone is expected this week, and it could undo some of the work already completed to loosen the restrictions on the device.

Source: ITWire

User Generated Content Not Critical for Many Marketers

Give control to consumers? Sounds good...

User-generated content (UGC) is not a must-have tool for most marketers, according to PR Week and Manning, Selvage & Lee's "Marketing Management Survey." The survey of US senior marketers was conducted in April and May 2007, in partnership with Millward Brown.

Only 12% of respondents said UGC (also known as consumer-generated media, or CGM) was "very important."

Tellingly, only 15% of respondents allocated more than 10% of their budgets to new media and CGM. Another 37.3% said they didn't know how much they had budgeted for such purposes.

Despite this, respondents understood the benefits of using UGC. A third of respondents said UGC was cost-efficient compared with traditional marketing and advertising, and 31% said it was useful because the credibility of traditional advertising and marketing was declining.

For many marketers, it is still a case of "wait 'til next year." Over four in 10 respondents said they either currently used CGM in their marketing, or would consider doing so next year.

Among those who did not use CGM, lack of clear ROI was often named as an objection. Other reasons listed included "management doesn't embrace it yet," "we simply haven't given it enough priority to consider it at this point" and "we've had difficulty in getting the establishment to understand it."

Not all clients may be willing to wait.

Two-thirds of US private companies surveyed by the Center for Marketing Research in November and December 2006 regarded social media as "very important" or "somewhat important" to their business and marketing strategies.

for the full report with graphs and stats click here.

Video Game Ads Shoot for High Score

It's getting easier to reach players during play.

Video game advertising spending will pass $2 billion in 2012, up from $370 million in 2006, according to Parks Associates' "Electronic Gaming in the Digital Home: Game Advertising" report.

That is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33%, which is much more than other major ad types — including the Internet.

Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai of Parks Associates said, "Advertising in electronic games had an average monthly household expenditure of less than 50 cents in 2006, while broadcast TV was at $37."

In-game advertising will be the fastest-growing type of video game ad, passing $800 million in spending in 2012, up from $55 million in 2006.

Dynamic in-game ads will comprise 84% of the market in 2012, up from 27% in 2006. Such ads can be changed to target different audiences in real time by daypart, game type and other characteristics. This appeals to advertisers who want to target specific gamers while they're playing.

Video game advertising is still fairly new, which accounts for the steep growth projections. The fact that growth is estimated to surpass Internet advertising highlights the Web's comparative maturity.

eMarketer's own video game ad spending projections, made in April 2007, are somewhat more conservative. US spending on video game advertising will be $502 million in 2007, a 45% increase on estimated spending in 2006.

Despite much enthusiasm for video game ads, the fact is that ad models are still evolving. And getting the desired reach for a given ad can be a challenge.

For instance, Xbox Live's Massive is one of the most developed in-game ad-placement systems. It's great for reaching Xbox 360 owners, but it doesn't reach other console owners, and its PC gamer reach is piecemeal. Some other ad networks have even less reach.

As a result, marketers who want to reach all gamers at once are still playing a waiting game.

for the full report with graphs and stats click here.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Music Phones Often Silent

Only about 5% of US consumers transfer music from PCs to their phones, and only 2% download songs over the air, according to JupiterResearch's "Mobile Music: Target Impulse Purchases and Purchasers for Over-the-Air Downloads" report.

So although nearly 28 million US consumers will have music phones by the end of 2007, few will use them very much for music.

Barriers to music phone usage include initially high price points for over-the-air (OTA) downloads and the dominance of existing portable devices. Music/phone combinations also often have built-in design compromises, making them comparatively worse for making calls and playing music than stand-alone mobile phones or portable music players.

A fifth of consumers buy music impulsively, which makes OTA downloads key to reaching them as they're thinking about a song. Mobile fan communities and song identifiers are also considered important to getting consumers to try and buy music on their phones.

Joe Laszlo of JupiterResearch said, "While the iPhone could raise consumer awareness of, and interest in, music phones from other manufacturers and mobile operators, it is more likely to attract a unique market segment, hard for competitors to emulate. Apple fans and status seekers will rush out for a first generation iPhone; music fans will probably wait a while."

Offline Media Dominant in China B2B

Trade publications and trade shows account for nearly three-quarters of mainland China's business-to-business (B2B) media market share. By contrast, online media account for only a quarter, according to Analysys International's "China's B2B Media Industry" report.

Total B2B advertising is expected to pass $1.2 billion in 2007, up 25% over 2006. Foreign trade-related advertising accounts for about 70% of total China B2B media revenues.

Haiying Chen of Analysys said, "China's domestic B2B market is still in its early stages. Consequently, many companies serving the local market are small players and have focused on the online model, largely due to its ease of entry."

"However, foreign trade is far more sophisticated than domestic trade. Just some of the hurdles that foreign-focused B2B media help overcome include distance, language, culture, clarity on safety standards, customs and liability issues — the list goes on. Both Chinese exporters and overseas buyers require specialized media, including trade publications and trade fairs, and online marketplaces."

The report noted that domestic market suppliers are shifting from competing on price to value-added services. This is expected to intensify supplier competition by driving demand for more sophisticated media approaches.

Core ICT Indicators

The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, formally launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil in June 2004 aims to accommodate and develop further the different initiatives regarding the availability and measurement of ICT indicators at the national, regional and international levels. It provides an open framework for coordinating ongoing and future activities, and for developing a coherent and structured approach to advancing the development of ICT indicators globally, and in particular in developing countries.

It includes the ITU, the OECD, UNCTAD, UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), four UN Regional Commissions (ECA, ECLAC, ESCAP, and ESCWA), the UN ICT Task Force and the World Bank as partners. Some National Statistical Offices (NSOs) from advanced countries are also members and contribute to the partnership activities by providing expertise and advice to NSOs from developing countries as well as in the transfer of knowledge in areas such as methodologies and survey programs. Its objectives are:


1. To achieve a common set of core ICT indicators, to be harmonized and agreed upon internationally, which will constitute the basis for a database on ICT statistics.


2. To enhance the capacities of national statistical offices in developing countries and build competence to develop statistical compilation programmes on the information society, based on internationally agreed upon indicators.


3. To develop a global database on ICT indicators and to make it available on the Internet.



THE ROLE OF ITU
As a United Nations (UN) agency, the ITU has an obligation to produce statistics covering the telecommunication/ICT sector. This activity is in line with other specialized agencies that publish statistics covering their respective field of operations and forms part of the global statistical system of the UN.

From the core set of indicators identified by the Partnership, ITU has been collecting the majority of infrastructure and access indicators (A1-A12) and data are available for most countries, covering the period until 2005. ITU will further be responsible for collecting the core indicators on access and use of ICTs by households and individuals (HH1-HH13), many of which are not yet available for the developing countries.

To improve data availability and comparability, ITU works closely with its member states, particulary the Ministries in charge of telecommunication, regulatory agencies, and national statistical offices.

Finally, ITU will contribute to the achievement of the Partnership's other main objectives: to enhance the capacity of national statistical offices and to set up a global database on ICT statistics.


Download the full report here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Auto Shoppers Using Bricks and Clicks

In the final days before purchasing an automobile, over half of consumers use the Internet as a primary source for gathering information, according to a DoubleClick Performics survey conducted in March 2007 by Opinion Research Corporation.

Six in 10 respondents preferred to visit a dealership in person, but more than half of respondents used the Web to educate themselves when considering their automotive purchase.

About half of respondents said they would visit a range of Web sites, including consumer review sites, comparison sites, dealership sites, search engines and automobile company Web sites.

The most common search terms used in search engines were brand name and model (73%) and auto characteristics like speed and safety (61%).

Other popular search terms included the state, city and ZIP code for dealerships, indicating local searches.

Internet Usage and Importance Expand

Consumers are finding the Internet more essential all the time, a report says. Is this Web use coming at the expense of any particular medium?

The Internet is the most essential medium for consumers and newspapers are the least, according to an Edison Media Research study conducted by Arbitron in January and February 2007. Respondents were all from the US and ages 12 and older.

Over a third of consumers deemed newspapers "least essential," while nearly a quarter felt that way about the Internet. Both radio and television had the fewest "least essential" mentions, at 18%.

Larry Rosin of Edison Media Research said, "It is not a stretch to say that the Internet has become just as important as television as an important source of information and entertainment in the lives of Americans."

Over a third of respondents said they were using the Internet and television more than in 2002. Radio was the only medium to take a major hit, with an equal percentage of respondents saying they used it more and less.

Equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson measures time spent with media by using ratings data, survey research and consumer purchase data. Between 2000 and 2006, US consumers increased their total media time by 5%, from 3,333 hours per year in 2000 to 3,499 in 2006. Veronis Suhler estimated that media usage will rise to 3,518 hours in 2007.

Put another way, that is an average of 9.6 hours a day of media exposure in 2006, up from 9.1 hours in 2000.

for the full report with graphs and stats click here.

How the Record Industry Committed Suicide

Failure to embrace collective licensing in 2000 led to the industry's decline, says Rolling Stone.

read up: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/15137581/the_record_industrys_decline/print

Doctorow Podcasts "The Hacker Crackdown"

Somewhere in his busy schedule -- in between writing brilliant sci-fi novels, commenting on the current state of copyright law and intellectual property, co-editing the popular blog BoingBoing, and teaching at USC -- EFF Fellow Cory Doctorow finds time to podcast.

Since 2005, Cory has been podcasting his fiction as serialized MP3s that can be downloaded from his site. Having mostly sped through his own work, Cory is now moving on to other people's stuff, and he's starting with Bruce Sterling's seminal book, The Hacker Crackdown.

Sterling's 1992 book recounts the early history of the hacker subculture, the rise of the Internet, and the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The book was a major influence on a generation of hackers, writers, techies, and activists, and obviously Cory was one of them. Notably, Sterling released the book in downloadable form in 1994, a bold statement that Cory credits as having inspired him to do the same.

Hear Cory's podcasts:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/doctorow_podcast

For Cory's work:
http://craphound.com/

Download Bruce Sterling's, The Hacker Crackdown:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/101

via http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005339.php

Internet Radio Holds Day of Silence

When the new music webcasting royalty rates kick in on July 15, your favorite station may sound just like it did on Tuesday -- silent. A broad coalition of music webcasters turned their stations off on Tuesday in protest of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Board's recent rate ruling, which threatens to crush commercial services like Pandora as well as small and non-commercial webcasters.

Not all hope is lost, though. In 2002, an Internet radio day of silence helped spur Congress to reduce royalty rates and save small and non-commercial webcasters. Bills currently in the House and Senate would nullify the royalty ruling and bring some sensible changes to the rate-setting standards.

Visit SaveNetRadio.org to learn more and take action to support these bills:
http://www.savenetradio.org/

Read Kurt Hanson's Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN) article:
http://www.kurthanson.com/dos/

via http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005337.php

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nielsen and Sony Pair to Measure Game Network Advertising

Game network traffic and other information from Sony Playstation3 systems and the Playstation Network will be shared with The Nielsen Company as part of a new system that will help measure game and game network advertising.

The goal of the endeavor is to "help make game software a more competitive advertising platform," while helping to reduce risk to game advertisers and spark growth of the burgeoning industry, said the companies in announcing the initiative.

Nielsen will analyze and benchmark the data provided by Sony to create tools by which the ad industry can calculate the reach, frequency and effectiveness of game network advertising. Nielsen said it will issue monthly reports about Playstation Network user statistics.

Nielsen is launching a syndicated GamePlay Metrics measurement project later this month, but Jeff Herrmann, VP of Nielsen Games, said data from Sony will not appear on GamePlay Metrics until the fall.

Starting with the North American market, Sony will share with Nielsen usage data from "enabled" first- and third-party games accessed through connected PS3 consoles and the Playstation Network. The Sony data will be combined with Nielsen's own usage information now being gathered from more than 12,000 U.S. households participating in the company's ratings panel.

The pairing will bring increased detail and accuracy to the advertisers' calculations of CPMs across PS3s and the network, said Herrmann. Nielsen and Sony will study server data and media formats to optimize ad targeting on the free Playstation Network, which includes some online games, new game demos, a Playstation store, forums and message boards. Microsoft charges a fee for membership to XBox Live.

"There are a lot of studies done around game advertising effectiveness, but typically they are one-off surveys," where gamers are asked questions to determine the effectiveness of in-game ads, said Herrmann. The Sony/Nielsen pairing will provide a "full view of the gamer and media" including what the users are doing with the consoles when they're not playing games, he said.

Sony has "come forward and opened itself up and said, 'Measure us. We want the most transparent and accurate measuring system', " said Hermann. Nielsen is open to forging similar arrangements with other game console makers, Nielsen spokeswoman Karen Gyimesi told ClickZ News.

Nielsen's push into the game measurement arena coincides with its efforts to enter mobile measurement. Last month, the firm introduced Nielsen Wireless to measure how many people use content services such as the mobile Web and mobile video. As will be the case with the gaming measurements, Nielsen Wireless will use data from its National People Meter TV panel to help wireless providers develop better advertising campaigns, assist the mobile industry with positioning and differentiation, and show how subscribers of different carriers use media at home.

To beef up its wireless measurement practice, Nielsen last month signed an agreement to acquire Telephia, a provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets.

U.S. Broadband Adoption Continues to Rise

High-speed Internet connections exist in 53 percent of all U.S. households. The report, "Broadband Access and Service in the Home 2007," by Leichtman Research Group finds broadband services account for 72 percent of all home Internet subscriptions, up from 60 percent the previous year.

Broadband adoption is affected by household income. Broadband reaches 68 percent of households with annual income over $50,000, up from 59 percent last year. By contrast, 39 percent of households with income under $50,000 subscribe to broadband services, an increase from 27 percent.

In Q1 of 2007, 2.9 million U.S. households initiated high-speed Internet service. The top 19 cable and telephone providers, which represents 94 percent of the broadband market, account for 56.2 million subscriber accounts. Cable accounts for over 30.7 million subscribers, and telephone companies serve over 25.4 million broadband subscribers.

Adoption of high-speed Internet services is expected to reach 70 percent of all U.S. households by 2012, according to the JupiterResearch report "U.S. Broadband Forecast, 2007 to 2012: LECs Maintain Advantage over Cable Operators in Quest for New Subscribers." This 70 percent of U.S. households represents about 86 million homes.

Wider availability of high-speed service is expected to attract 36 million new subscribers to broadband by 2012. Price reductions will make DSL service more attractive, while higher transmission rates and bundled services will drive users to cable.

Dial-up service currently serves 33 million Internet users, though two-thirds or more narrowband Internet users could move to broadband service. The shift to faster Internet service is due to high-bandwidth applications such as video and rich media applications.

Leichtman Research Group based its findings on a random-digit-dial household survey of 1,600 respondents from throughout the U.S.

AllofMP3 Shut Down by Russian Government For Good

AllofMP3.com was perhaps the only online music store where hardcore members of the file-sharing community would spend money - other than newsgroup access. For a few cents per track, customers could download songs from a catalog of millions without any type of DRM (Digital Rights Management). Additionally, AllofMP3.com offered alternative file types such as OGG, FLAC, WMA, and AAC. AllofMP3.com claimed this was legal, as a portion of their income went to the Russian royalty collection agency ROMs. The music industry claimed otherwise.


Before the shutdown AllofMP3 had nearly 6 million users who were able to download songs and albums for a fraction of the price from authorized alternatives such as the iTunes Store. MP3s were sold for $0.20 per song, or less.

AllOfMP3 has been a thorn in the side of the RIAA and the US government for years. Last year, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said that if Russia wants to join the WTO, they should shut down the pirate music website [AllofMP3] that is robbing U.S. recording companies of sales.

In an interview with P2Pnet, the owners of AllOfMP3 later said that Schwab completely and deliberately mischaracterized AllofMP3, “it is irresponsible to use AllofMP3.com as a negotiating instrument in an attempt to extract concessions from Russia”, thay added. But now it seems like president Putin has some good news to tell Bush today, a mere coincidence of course.

via Torrentfreak

Google buys GrandCentral

You get one phone number that you can set to ring all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. You also get one central voice mailbox and can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone. You can even listen in on messages from your phone while they are being recorded, or switch a call from your cell to your desk and back again.

Google announced this yesterday on their official Google blog:

We're pleased to announce that we have acquired GrandCentral Communications, a company that provides services for managing your voice communications. GrandCentral is an innovative service that lets users integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, which can be accessed from the web. We think GrandCentral's technology fits well into Google's efforts to provide services that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users.

GrandCentral offers many features that complement the phone services you already use. If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work, cell), you get one phone number that you can set to ring all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. This way, your phone number is tied to you, and not your location or job. The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody, add the caller to your address book, block a caller as spam, and a lot more. You can even listen in on voicemail messages from your phone while they are being recorded, or switch a call from your cell phone to your desk phone and back again. All in all, you'll have a lot more control over your phones.

We're really excited to welcome the GrandCentral team to Google. While we're moving their technology over to Google's network, a limited number of invitations will be available to register for a GrandCentral beta account. If you have a U.S. telephone number, you can sign up for an invitation at www.grandcentral.com. Current GrandCentral customers will continue to have uninterrupted access to the service.

Monday, July 2, 2007

WORKSHOP: From HCI to Media Experience: Methodological Implications

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

WORKSHOP: From HCI to Media Experience: Methodological Implications


DATE: Tuesday, 4th September 2007
CONFERENCE: HCI 2007 Lancaster, UK
CONFERENCE WEB SITE:
http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2007



WORKSHOP OVERVIEW
The landscape of interactive technology design and evaluation is expanding. In the past, usability and task efficiency were the main focus for research in human computer interaction; evaluation methods worked from single user data over constrained tasks. This kind of work remains central to our discipline.

However, these methods were never intended to inform or underpin the design and evaluation of media-rich, social technologies. They are not aimed at designing for quintessentially elusive concepts like "experience" and "engagement". Especially when that experience is not individual, but social, where data and performance are spread across many people, platforms and devices, and many settings, and where the lab test cannot shed light on ways that experience unfolds over time.

In this workshop we invite discussion of approaches and methods aimed at the design and measurement of interactive, social media experience. The workshop will center on approaches methods that are used in the design of short-term engagement and experience, but also those that are aimed at consideration of engagement and experience over longer durations - from watching a 3-minute, socially tagged video online, to massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft that take months to unfold, to plug-ins for social networking sites like Facebook, to social simulations like Second Life, to social and community media-archiving projects. What do these emerging experiences tell us about the methods we currently use, and the methods we need to develop?


WHO SHOULD ATTEND
For this workshop, we invite contributions from a diverse range of disciplines, including HCI, design, cultural studies, cognitive science, psychology, film and media studies, game studies, and anthropology, among others, to explore how interactions with technology become experiences, and in particular, social and/or intimate experiences.

Participants are to explore questions such as the following:

* What is an experience?

* What are the ways in which qualitative and quantitative measures can weave together?

* How can we operationalize critical categories into nuanced yet verifiable scientific methods?

* How do we make sense of data that are gathered into meaningful reflections of people's experience?

* What skills are needed for "experience design"?

The workshop will be a full-day event and will be open to a maximum of 15 participants. Please note that registration to the HCI2007 conference is required, at least for the day of the workshop. For details about conference registration, please visit
http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2007


WORKSHOP FORMAT
This is a full-day workshop. The morning session will consist of short presentations and discussion of participants' position papers - where participants will be asked to raise questions that are central to their current work in designing and evaluating experiences.
Participants will be encouraged to bring examples of their work, or of others' work that has either eluded analysis from traditional methods, or has inspired the development of new methods of design and analysis that more effectively reflect people's experiences. We encourage participants to think broadly, from games to fairground rides to immersive learning contexts to psychotherapeutic environments - any experiences that can inform approaches that lead to deeper understanding of online and embodied media experience.

In the afternoon session, participants will break into small groups depending on their main interest and discuss topics. At the end of the workshop, the small groups will report back, which will form the basis for a plenary discussion.


ORGANIZERS
Elizabeth Churchill (Yahoo! Research)
Jeffrey Bardzell (Indiana University School of Informatics)


SUBMISSIONS
4-page position papers should be submitted to Elizabeth Churchill (elizabeth.churchill@yahoo-inc.com) by July 25th, 2007. Please mark the subject header "HCI 2007 Workshop Submission". For the position paper, please use the Word Template that can be found on the workshop website.
http://disc.brunel.ac.uk/HCI2007elearningworkshop/


Acceptance notifications will be sent by August 2nd, 2007, in time for the early bird registration for the conference.


DATES
25 July 07 - position paper deadline
02 Aug 07 - notification of acceptance
05 Aug 07 - early bird registration deadline conference
25 Aug 07 - presentation slides deadline
04 Sept 07 - workshop

CNN.com Unveils Global Relaunch, Defines New Standard for Online News

from the CNN press release:


Enhancements Incorporate Extensive User Feedback to Improve Usability, Interactivity of Site
Reaffirming its position as the leading Internet site for news and information, CNN.com unveiled on Sunday, July 1, the latest evolution in online news: an intuitive, integrated Web site that puts users within a click of the global, national and local news and information they find most relevant to them.

With the site’s enhancements and redesign, users can access the news of the day through a story package that provides text, images, video, related stories and user-generated content. Also, the live online video content that was available through the subscription-only CNN Pipeline becomes woven into the fabric of CNN.com. All CNN.com video, live and on-demand is available to users for free, making the site’s news video offering the most extensive on the Web.

“To simply describe this relaunch as a site redesign grossly understates what we’re doing at CNN.com,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “This goes beyond the next level of online news and jumps straight into a fully integrated experience in which articles, videos, images and user-generated content all come together to give users a more enriching, immediate interaction with the news content and information they need and want.”

The goal of CNN.com’s latest evolution is to enhance and simplify online news for consumers to allow them to access and interact with their information in more ways than ever before. To that end, improvements to CNN.com and its international edition include:

- Integrated multimedia storytelling that puts text, videos, photos, maps, charts and more all accessible on one page. Tabbed elements allow easy access to a variety of media types, allowing users to determine themselves how they get the news they want.

- The most news video on the Web with larger video screen. Both live and on-demand video – including CNN’s massive online video archive – are available free of charge without need for downloads. A new on-demand video player offers a Flash-based, play-in-page experience complete with larger and higher quality video and tools to create playlists and provide feedback. A live player provides access to up to four live video streams, one of which is guided by CNN.com-exclusive news anchors – the only offering of its kind on the Web.

- Locally relevant content, allowing users to personalize CNN.com to offer enhanced weather forecasts and personalized local headlines. This content comes from various sources and content-sharing relationships, including CNN.com’s more than 860 CNN Newsource affiliates and the recently announced strategic alliance with Internet Broadcasting, the nation’s largest publisher of TV station Web sites.

“If there was an ‘easy button’ for getting all your news in one place, the relaunched CNN.com would be it,” said David Payne, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com. “Every element of the site, from the user interaction to the design, was done with simplicity and usability in mind.”

Additional new features and enhancements of note include:

- “Hot Topics,” section fronts that provide in-depth multi-media content based on timely, newsworthy stories.

- “All About” pages, thousands of pages giving users access to an archive of stories that CNN.com – and other selected media sources – have published on almost any subject.

- “We Recommend” feature, which presents users with stories and videos from CNN.com and other content partners based on the user’s past CNN.com browsing history.

- “From the Blogs” feature, which aggregates comments from blogs around the Web discussing either a specific story or topics related to one published on CNN.com.

- Highlights at the top of every article, which enable users to scan and digest story details quickly, and a “Next” link, which allows them to browse through story highlights quickly. CNN.com also directs users to related content, one way in which the site reveals connections between stories. As an effort to be a good Web citizen, CNN.com also offers links to content available on other news and information sites and blogs.

- More ways for users to engage in news through feedback, content submissions with I-Report articles, video, photos and and blog commentaries.

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French Love Online Streaming

Nearly eight in 10 Internet users in France initiated a video stream in April 2007, according to comScore data. The study counted usage by those ages 15 and older.

French video stream usage was slightly higher than in the US, where 76% of Internet users initiated a video stream in April 2007.

The average French streaming video viewer initiated 64 streams, compared to 65 streams per streamer in the US.

In France, streamers allocated 13% of their total time online to viewing streaming video.

The most popular streaming Web sites were Google sites (including YouTube), with 22% of all French streams initiated. Of the 1.28 billion streams initiated in France in April 2007, 285.7 million came from Google sites. Another 249.2 million came from Dailymotion, and France Telecom accounted for 23.9 million streams.

Internet to get .asia addresses

Booming Asia is about to get a key indicator showing that it has arrived in internet terms — its own domain suffix.

Starting in October, the first net addresses ending in .asia will be assigned, DotAsia Organization Ltd. said Thursday.

The non-profit group, representing countries including China, Japan and India, will start giving names to governments and registered trademark holders in October, and follow up with companies in mid-November.

Potential registrants must be based in Asia, including Australia and New Zealand.

Asian internet users can now use a name reflecting their country of origin (like .ca identifies Canadian sites) or the widely used .com for commercial sites.

But .com is often associated with the United States, and DotAsia wants "to become a nucleus, intersection and breeding ground for internet activity and development" as the "Asia century" starts.

read the rest of the story on CBC here.