Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BPN 1561 Looking back at 2010

The year has almost come to an end. It has been a crazy year. In the beginning of the year I had a knee replacement surgery and became a bionic man. Rehabilitation took a while, but I had great exercises as I travelled to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. And in the second half of the year I was in New York, Finland, Sao Paolo (Brasilia),Austria and Abu Dhabi.

For the content world it was also a great year on two fronts: e-books and mobile content.

E-Readers became popular and cheaper. I saw them on the beach and in airports. They are no longer the private resort of Amazon with the Kindle, but you see them now in Germany and Austria and at very reasonable prices; in fact the price is still going down. Of course the acquisition of these reading devices stimulate the sale of e-books.
However there is a dark side to this success. Where e-readers used to be reading devices provided with displays based on the e-ink technology, and e-reader can now also be an i-Phone, i-Pad, a Samsung Galaxy or any digital pane manufactured in China. In the Netherlands Bol.com even gave away such a device (including a firmware mistake), when a buyer bought 10 e-books.
I think that only the e-reader devices with e-Ink technology should be allowed to be called e-readers and not every digital pane with a tft screen or other display. The fonts are not as sharp as the fonts on an e-Ink display, besides the other screens have an interference, while the e-Ink screen is stable. The e-Ink screens should be marketed for excellence with a pay-off slogan: e-Ink screen for YOUR eyes only.

As mobile telephones are getting smarter, the need for mobile content comes up. Mobile telephones are reaching over 100 percent coverage in some western countries, while in countries like India there are more mobile telephones than PCs (in 2009: 17 million mobile telephone over against 4 million internet subscriptions). As mobile telephones become smarter and the operating system war becomes more heavier (Apple IOS vs Google Android, leaving Nokia Symbian in limbo), mobile content is required for demonstration and use.
So it was great to be at the mobile content conference in Abu Dhabi in December 2010 and to see mainly new publishers exploring the possibilities of the fourth screen. Of course hardly any representatives of hard wire devices were present there as they still suppose that people will come to them. I wonder what the situation will look like in two years time when the next mobile content conference will be held: will the representatives of hard wire devices be there and how will mobile content/apps have developed.

BPN 1561

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

At Christmas time I have to sing. I did so in many a choir. The best one was in Utrecht (The Netherlands) from 1986 till 1990 in a church which is now abolished. On Christmas day we sang masses by Mozart or Handel with the choir, soloists and an orchestra. But in 1990 that was over. The church was closed and the choir disabandonned; a really bad decision. Since I did not sing on Christmas again.
Now I am again singing in a choir, but not on this Christmas day. But boy, would I have loved to sing along the Hallelujah by handel with this flash mob.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BPN 1560 European Virtual Academy

Prof. Doru Pop, coordinator of the EVA-project
Recently the EVA-project was kicked off in Cluj, the capital of Transylvania in Romania (domain of Frankestein!). The aim of this project is to build the campus of visual culture studies as a pilot of European Virtual Academy over the next two years. EVA will have courses, library, labs and forums in the digital world, taking advantage of social media tools and Open Source software.

EVA will involve the best experts of learning - the students - to create the campus. Professors, lecturers and artists are already preparing the first nine pilot courses to start next autumn. The general language of the campus will be English, but courses will also be translated or subtitled to Romanian, Italian, German, Hungarian and Finnish.

EVA will allow the students of the media and art programmes of partner universities to do exchange studies in a truly international environment without traveling.

EVA partners are Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania (coordinator), University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy, Hochschule Mittweida - University of Applied Sciences, Mittweida, Germany, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transilvania, Cluj, Romania and Tampere University of Applied Sciences, TAMK. Later EVA will also invite other universities to join us.

The project is funded by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme. The web site of European Virtual Campus will be launched in April.

It is great to see the EVA-project to be launched. Partners involve people who know each other through the Europrix and the European Academy of Digital Media: Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania; University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy; Hochschule Mittweida - University of Applied Sciences, Mittweida, Germany; Tampere University of Applied Sciences, TAMK. The coordinator of this EVA-project, Babes-Bolyai University has already experience with virtual courses in the European Master of Interactive Media program (EMIM), in which the European Academy of Digital Media also partakes. Congratulations to Rodica Mocan, Cesare Massarenti, Robert Wierzbircki, and Cai Melakoski. As general secretary of the European Academy of Digital Media I wish the project a lot of success.

This posting is an adapation of the posting written by Cai Melakoski of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, TAMK. See: http://tamk-artmedia.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BPN 1559 WSA Mobile on the fast track (4)

In Abu Dhabi I met Ralph Simon. At first glance, he looks like the old man who walked out of the movie 'The curious case of Benjamin Button'. But he is young at heart. At his late age, he is the founder and chairman emeritus of the Mobile Entertainment Forum UK and ... the advisor to Lady Gaga.

He is not a stranger in the entertainment industry. He co-founded the independent Zomba Group of music companies (now a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment) with Clive Calder in the 1970s. In the mid-90s, he was Executive Vice President of Capitol Records and Blue Note Records in Hollywood and started EMI Music's global New Media division. He started Yourmobile (later renamed Moviso), the first ring tone company in the Americas, Europe, UK, Australia and Africa, in 1997.

Presently he also the consultant for mobile media for Lady Gaga. The star has many consultants around, telling her how to get clothed and what to sing. But Ralph Simon advises only on mobile media. Lady Gaga has discovered Twitter and publishes regularly tweets. In the meantime she has built up an army of followers of more than 7 million people. But Lady Gaga has set herself an goal: not 7 million followers but ….26 million followesrs.

And here is old Ralph Simon, who will have to think up a trick or face extinction. Of course more meat clothing will not attract more followers. But by looking at the Twitter tools and talking to the Twitter people, Ralph Simon will pull off the asignment and get Lady Gag no less than 26 million followers.

15/12/2010: My dear friend Marcella Lorenzi wrote a comment on the posting: I've been to Gaga's concert in Torino, last month... she knows how to entertain... as she claims, she's "a free bitch, baby"... at the end exaggeration will not pay..

BPN 1559

Monday, December 06, 2010

BPN 1558 WSA Mobile on the fast track (3)

This is the winners list of the World Summit Award Mobile

Category: m-Business and Commerce
Mobile vending
Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper
Mark & Spencers mobile commerce

Category: m-Government and Participation
German Government/ Deutsche Bundestag
Boston Connect
e-Gov Mobile Portal
Many to One SMS

m-Learning ad Education
BBC Jalana
Tickle Taps App
Hesabi (My Maths)

m-Entertainment and Lifestyle
Angry Birds
Hidden Park
Sekai Camera
African Digital

m-Tourism and Culture
Wikitude – Mobilizy
Ligo Ligo
Hungarian Tourism

m-Media ad News
You are Reporter
m.guardian.co.uk and the Guardian iPhone App
ABC iPhone/iPad application
Apontador Traffic/Apontador Transito

m-Environment and Health
Welldoc Diabetes Manager System
excellent mobile medical application – E.M.M.A
Mobile Te-Tol/Mobilne portal Te-Tol

m-Inclusion and Empowerment
Emergency Chain for Guatamala/ CADENA DE EMERGENCIA de Guatamala
Dialog Tradenet
Mobile Voices/Voz Mob
Mobile Link Services
My Handicap

BNP 1558

BPN 1557 WSA Mobile on the fast track (2)

On Monday December 6, 2010 the award ceremony was held. It was a fabulous event. Some 250 people in the room, seated for dinner, saw the show presented by Peter Bruck and his Abu Dhabi co-presenter.

Ready for the gala event

The gala was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.

Photographs had to be taken before the ceremony. Here my friend Osama Manzar with his friends/winners of India
And a photograph of Walter Betschel of the South African company TelFree and wife.

Peter Bruck and his co-presntor on stage

This was the award to be received by the winners of the WSA Mobile (photographs taken by Juha Kaario from Newelo via Facebook. The award was so heavy that many had to pay overweight to transport it to their home country.

The speech by H.E. Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori of ADSIC

After the award ceremony the buses arrived again at the YAS Hotel, where the fountain kept changing colours

The award ceremony was the best ever gala held in the history of the World Summit Award since 2003.
BPN 1557

Sunday, December 05, 2010

BPN 1556 WSA Mobile on the fast track (1)

I am in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. A few weeks ago I was looking at the racetrack during Formula 1 races, now I have a hotelroom on the racetracks. But no cars. This is a dreamplace, when you look at the buildings and ornaments, but you need to have a gold card! Here is my first photo-impression (You can enlarge the photographs by clicking on them; go back with the escape key).

This is the crown prince visiting the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) Conference and the World Summit Conference for Mobile Media exhibition.

This is the entrance to the Grand Prix Formula 1 race track and the track itself (below being cleaned every day, even if there are not any races).

The bedroom in the hotel is spacious; I guess 5 by 15 meters with a view on the race track. The wet dock is like a fish bowl.

This the Yas Hotel. It is a cubile with a free form around it full of lights, which change every second by colour.

This video is a view from my hotel room into the marina and watch the racetrack!

I received a comment from my friend Nick Clarke on the word 'dreamplace': Nick schreef: Jak, this is not the time for democratic European states to be seduced or corrupted by Sheikdoms.The wealth they produce fuels terrorism. I am very surprised by your last 2 posts. A 'dreamplace' - is a outrageous observation in a country that has no human rights and is one of the most lucrative sources of Taliban funds. Sleep in a bed funded to kill European Service Women and Men - killed in part by the Country you comment as 'dreamplace'. Jak I thought you were wise. Nick

Okay Nick, I guess that you mean my last post and not the last two ( an e-reader is not controversial). I did not use the word dream palace and I specified the word 'dreamplace' now in terms of buildings and ornaments.

BPN 1556

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BPN 1555 Bol.com messes up e-reader primer (2)

At the beginning of this month November the Dutch branch of Bol.com announced that by buying 10 electronic books you would get an e-reader for free. But the campaign did not start well. In the weekend of the launch, ordering was impossible as the price logarithm was not correct. In several instances the candidate buyer would get a different calculation and a different amount. It should be 99 euro, but I have seen at least three different and incorrect amounts, while it is a simple calculation: 10 books for the amount of 149,00 euro less 49,99 euro for the free gift (!) of the e-ereader. But on the Monday the potential buyer could place his order for 99,99 euro plus transport. Yet this was only the beginning of the mess.

As soon as the potential buyer had ordered the bundle of e-books and the e-reader, the likely delivery date of November 11 was shown. When the day was there, no package was delivered, while the delivery message had not changed nor did the buyer get a notification of delay. Some days after that there was a mail strike in The Netherlands. And eventually on November the package was delivered on November 16 (no apologies by e-mail). So at last the e-reader was there.

The package contained also the invoice, or better two invoices. A simple deduction sum showed the correct amount, but the way the two invoices were composed was different from the correct logarithm at the time of ordering. So much for the ordering.

Unwrapping the e-reader was interesting. Bol.com had said nothing about the screen and the screen resolution in the technical specifications, which had made me suspicious. And in the Hiteker HDB 107 user’s manual, which was delivered with the e-reader, it said: 7 inch colour LCD screen, resolution 800x480. I think that Bol.com should have been clear about the type of screen. For the brand e-readers has been so far reserved for digital paper screens, produced according to the e-Ink technology. And the resolution of the Hiteker is rather low and rather coarse in terms of present computer screen standards.

Another real e-reader feature has been the long battery life. As this is an LCD screen the battery life is low. It takes an hour to load the device using the AC adaptor and 5 hours to load it with the USB cable from a computer. It is said to have a battery life of 10 hours. Forget it. If you want to use it on a train ride from Amsterdam to Metz in France, you will be out of energy after Brussels.

Looking at the Hiteker, it is in MHO a cheap pad. The pad has a unrefined lay-out. The knobs are rudimentary and hard to press. But, it can sing and dance. You can play music, but the sound is not stereo. You can watch video. You can use it as an electronic photograph case, changing pictures after 5, 10 or 20 seconds. You can record sound. And you can use it as an e-reader, so the first screen says.

Well, as for the screen it is not an e-reader. And for its functioning, it is not an e-reader for the bundle of 10 e-books delivered with it, at least for the time being. Of the 10 e-books only three book are readable. You can see all the 10 coloured covers, but only the text of three books. For the rest of the books a system message appears Failure at opening. Here you are with an imposter of an e-reader and a bundle of 10 e-books, of which you can only read three books. In terms of the Bol.com’s marketing the three readable books now costs 33,33 euro each with a free e-reader! (Happily I have a BeBook mini and can read all the 10 book on a real e-reader)

Bol.com you have rendered a bad service to Dutch e-reader market by delivering a fake e-reader with a bundle of e-books that can not be read on pad delivered.

30/11/2010: Bol.com has forwarded a software patch in the meantime and the patch works. I can read now the other 7 books.
I ordered the books and pad on November 3, 2010. I can read the books now on December 3, 2010.

BPN 1555

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BPN 1554 Arrangement World Online upcoming

The banks which brought the ISP World Online to the stock market in 2000 are prepared to settle with the VEB, the Dutch stock investors association. The Royal Bank of Scotland as successor to the ABN-AMRO bank and Goldman Sachs have agreed to pay 110 million to 12.000 investors, represented by VEB. It will take some more months in order to work out the principal agreement.

The whole legal wrangling in courts has taken almost 10 years. In 2000 the ISP World Online was brought to the stock exchange for 42 euro a share. The share rose fast, but made a fast dive, when it became known that Nina Brink had sold her own shares for 6 euro a share.This fact was not mentioned in the prospectus

In November last year the highest court in The Netherlands judged that World Online and the banks had misled investors with incorrect and incomplete information in the prospectus. As a consequence of this ruling World Online investors van put in a claim with ex-World Online CEO Ninan Brink and the banks. According to the judge they have acted unlawfully.

They 12.000 investors will have a sum of 110 million euro to share. Everey investor will most likely receive an amount which is probably higher than the netto loss they suffered in the First week of the stock launch.

BPN 1554

Saturday, November 13, 2010

BPN 1553 It's EUROPRIX 2010 (5)

The Saturday of the Europrix is always the most interesting day of the festival. All the nominees get 10 minutes to tell about their nominated entry. It is not much time, but if can’t sing it in this short time, you can’t win the Europrix.

This year like last year the TU Graz offered the venue. The room was like an aquarium with lots of glass; and as the day was very sunny, it became like a sauna. But sometimes there was relief at hand, when there were some hilarious presentations. A good laugh is the promo of the car Lada Niva: Roscosmos Edition 1-3 The most hilarious one was by the producers of the game Liquorious; the game itself is one big laugh, but the presentation of the producers was a performance in itself.

There were some remarkable facts this year.
Finland and the Netherlands did not have any entry nominated. From the beginning of the EUROPRIX in 1998 Finland and the Netherlands has always nominees in the list, if not winners. What does this mean? Are other countries in Europe overtaking and catching up in quality content and good design? One constant fact is the French school Ecole de Gobelins, which has had winners ever since they started to participate.
Most of the presentations were professional and many of the products had a business plan. When the Europrix started at the turn of the last century, actually in 1998, technical and arty skills were predominant. Producing a business plan was not in the mainstream. But it looks like we are at a turn in the education, where also attention is given to selling yourself and the project. Another remarkable point was the use of technology. Over the years we have seen many technologies pass. But this time I also noted two project using the Anoto digital pen: one was used in an educational environment of primary school, while the other one was used in a scientific environment for mathematical formulas.
The productions are also professional. This year two women entries were remarkable. One about breast cancer and one about women trapped in the time machine. The entry on breast cancer got a special award from the Austrian TV (ORF), but the managing director missed a chance by not offering a time window for broadcast. The third entry was impressive by treating the sorrow of a son about his father’s death. All these three entries are woth broadcasting.

The climax of the festival is always the award ceremony. This time it was going to be held in the mountain, in the middle of town. A big Dom has been hewn out of the stone. Normally the Dom im Berg is used as a disco. For the winners a majestic stairways (thanks for the photograph Cai) leads them to heaven, Dom im Berg.

The winners of the Europrix 2010 are:

Category: Online webprojects
English title: Topit
Produced by: Einat Dotan, Ira Morstyn, Dany Koren
H.I.T - Holon Institute of Technology , Ramat Gan
Media format: Website

Category: Computer graphics and DesignLada Niva: Roscosmos Edition 1-3
English title: Lada Niva: Roscosmos Edition1-3
Produced by: Florian Werzinksi, Christoph Schmidt, Florian Friedrich Dünzen, Alke Marianne Scherrmann
Georg-Simon-Ohm Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften - Fachhochschule Nürnberg , Nürnberg , Germany

Category: Animations
A Lost And Found Box of Human Sensation
English title: A Lost And Found Box of Human Sensation
Produced by: Stefan Leuchtenberg
Dancing Squirrel GbR , Augsburg , Germany
                                                                               Media format: DVD

Category: Content tools and interface design
NiCE Formula Editor
English title: NiCE Formula Editor
Produced by: Christian Rendl, Florian Perteneder, Robert Zeleznik
Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Media Interaction Lab , Hagenberg , Austria

Category: Games
Max & the Magic Marker
English title: Max & the Magic Marker
Produced by: Klaus Hammerum Gregersen, Troels Johnsen, Rune Dittmer, Mikkel Thorsted, Ole Teglbjaerg, Lasse Outzen
Press Play , Copenhagen , Denmark

Category: Interactive installations
English title: Whispering Table
Produced by: Dominik Schumacher, Willy Sengewald, Frédéric Eyl, Gunnar Green
TheGreenEyl , Berlin , Germany

CategoryL Mobile
English title: úti
Produced by: Faustine Clavert, Julie Checconi, Valentin de Bruyn, Alan Langlois, Hans Lemuet
Gobelins, l'école de l'image , Paris , France

Category: Online and digital video/TV
LeCo - Interaktives videobasiertes Sprachenlernen
English title: LeCo - Interactive video based language learning
Produced by: Krister Hymon, Hyun-Suk Cho, Simon Kufner
University for Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Zweibrücken , Heidelberg , Germany
Media format: CD/ROM

Overall winner EUROPRIX 2010
English title: Whispering Table

See also Cai's blog: http://tamk-artmedia.blogspot.com/search?q=europrix


Friday, November 12, 2010

BPN 1552 It's EUROPRIX 2010 (4)

On Friday the nominated teams learn about the latest trends and entrepreneurial skills. This usually happens after the press conference. As a nice break between the press conference and the start of the opening of the EUROPRIX 2010 Festival, Adam Montandon the EUROPRIX 2010 Festival President and Gala presenter, directed the game HUMAN SPACE INVADERS.

It was hilarious. But after that the serious stuff started: augmented reality. Two speakers had been invited for this subject: Mr Martin Lechner and Mr Michael Gervautz.

Mr Martin Lechner is the CTO and project manager of the Austrian company Mobilizy GmbH. He is responsible in the company for the technological company lead which covers architectural design and development of the Wikitude platform (clients, backend servers and web interfaces). In former positions he worked as a software developer for the development of Wikitude Android client , including 3G extensions for Wikitude with OpenGL, scalable Wikitude server architecture (Lucene tuning), client-server interaction and white label projects such as for Disney, as well as in the field of project management and porting Wikitude to other platforms (Symbian, Maemo, J2ME). He started with mentioning the magnitude of mobile telephones with 4 billion connections worldwide and in India only 15 to 17 million mobile phones. Het has been involved in Wikitude now for 2,5 years and in Mobilizy for 1,5years. Wikitude is an application which augments the reality of a Google map with information and photographs pulled from the web, with a compass and 3D. In this way road maps can be augmented with photographs of buildings and historical and agenda information. But the road maps can also be augmented with real world photographs of the roads, the navigation, the traffic lights and buildings along the road. You can start pre-driving before the actual trip. This type of activity is now done for the operating systems: Android, Symbian, 1Phone and Bada. Mobilizy is organising this augmented road reality and has partners like the Formula 1 companies ING and Red Bull.

Mr Michael Gervautz, a computer graphics expert, is a director of business development at Qualcomm. He is responsible for building up an augmented reality developer network and managing relationships with the universities. He went further with augmented reality than traffic navigation. He sees roles for augmented reality in game playing, discovery, multimedia advertising, instructional activities and social networks. In games there could be a tactile feed-back. In marketing/advertising there could be track and trace. But there could also be coherent rendering leading to X ray vision, looking into a box without opening it. This could also be used for instructional activities such as manuals. Augmented reality is only at the beginning now. It will really take off with mobile media.

Then the part of entrepreneurship followed., presented by STARTeurope, a an organisation founded in Vienna in 2009 by a circle of entrepreneurial thinking people with technical and economic backgrounds. Driven by the same ideas – being the need for change in existing mind sets – the group of young people started challenging traditional perspectives. With the premise of innovation through collaboration” STARTeurope tries to make a difference using a three step approach. Firstly, the organisation leads a movement by establishing a community of diverse people sharing the same values such as curiosity for the new as well as the hands-on approach towards work. Secondly, though the vents STARTeurope wants to sensitise people to entrepreneurship and to alternative career paths, which counter conventional business wisdom. And thirdly, the members of this initiative make change happen not only by shifting thinking , but also by boosting local economies helping local entrepreneurs to start up their own business.

See also Cai's blog: http://tamk-artmedia.blogspot.com/

BPN 1552

Thursday, November 11, 2010

BPN 1452 It's EUROPRIX 2010 (3)

In the morning of the Academic Network Conference Ms Zsófia Ruttkay, Associate Professor and Head of Creative Technology Lab of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, and Associate Professor at the Technical University of Twente in The Netherlands, addressed the audience on Educating Applied Artists in the Age of the Digital Renaissance. The majority in the audience were digital natives, born after 1980 and grown up with the web.
Ms Zsófia Ruttkay characterised the present day and age as the age of the digital renaissance. A tsunami has come over the over people of smaller, faster, cheaper, more clever computers, sensors and smart phones and they have come to the point of talking to each other as for example siftables, This equipment aims to enable people to interact with information and media in physical, natural ways that approach interactions with physical objects in our everyday lives. As an interaction platform, Siftables applies technology and methodology from wireless sensor networks to tangible user interfaces. Siftables are independent, compact devices with sensing, graphical display, and wireless communication capabilities.

The age of the digital renaissance talks about embedded, beautiful and post digital. Knowledge which used to be in encyclopaedia, news, timetables, manuals, music, photographs, is in digital format. Everything and everybody is on-line and connected world-wide, in cities, at school, at home. The community has become a content provider with wikipedia, YouTube, open source, creative commons community and crowd sourcing.

New genres are upcoming such as virtual reality, augmented reality, e-readers and e-books, e-learning and (serious) games. There is now a generation which has been living with internet, is visual and fast and learns in its own ways. So challenges and new goals lie ahead. No longer it is about faster, safer, cheaper and more but about free time, consciousness and better life and cooperation aiming at inviting (new) experiences, interactivity, engagement, wittiness, beauty and emotion. It should generate novel applications for private - public, local – global, culture and edutainment.

The question is however: who can, will invent the new apps and what business models will work? The man of the digital renaissance is an artist working with new media, new genres, with technology and science, but for the society. That renaissance artist will look for a new approach, experiment, explore, make sketches and play for the best solution. This renaissance should deliver a new type of experts: artistic, creative and socially sensitive, combine knowledge and skills in digital technologies.

This creates a new educational paradigm in learning by doing, using special tools for artists, visual and interactive projects and real-life scenarios. This paradigm is incorporated in the practice at MOME as can be seen in the Media Design BA course where students get chips of technologies such as web; programming (visual, procedural); sensor technology (Arduino); creative sound; 3d modelling; pixel processing and visual maths. But they have also to participate in interactive (art) installation; hacking Budapest, VJ and e-learning. And they have to sell their projects through written, online and oral presentations; at festivals and for real clients and surveys.

This sounds all very nice but there are also dilemmas such as discontinuity in culture. This poses problems with regard to history and reinvention, authorship, quality vs mass trash as well as reading and writing. The technology education teaches people to knowing about, but does it also provide team scenarios and is mastering for creative usage feasible at an art school? Besides art schools are in nobody’s land regarding national and EU financing and quality criteria. And is there a role for industry as a creative, mobile, cultural institute and beyond for example in architecture, textile.

In the afternoon I gave a presentation on the subject of my forth coming book (in the Dutch language) on Pre-internet. I put the fuull presentation on Slideshare.

BPN 1551 It's EUROPRIX 2010 (2)

Abstracts of the lectures presented at the EUROPRIX Academic Network Conference 2010

Theme: Teaching & learning with digital natives

Mrs Rene Alimisi, Student, Centre for Research and Technology Thessaly and University of Thessaly, Greece
Topic: Best practice in teaching & learning

Abstract Title: Virtual Experiments towards Explorative and Collaborative Environmental Primary education
Global awareness on the need to change everyday behaviour towards more environmentally friendly practices has been gaining momentum over the last years in the face of emerging phenomena such as global temperature rising, desertification, extreme weather, sea water level rising, and the potential resulting disruption to everyday life for large populations. While the global community is more sensitive than a few years ago on the effects of common business and residential practices to the environment, many still consider the issue as one of the future as opposed to today and perceive the change of daily activities towards more environmentally compatible solutions as a sacrifice of comfort and routine. In other words, acceptance of environmentally friendly initiatives, such as renewable energy solutions, is still low and may face resistance by local communities pointing to the urgent need for environmental education, especially targeting the next generation, as a complementary strategy to policies towards pollution control.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The work presented in this paper has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Short biography and past speaking experience:

CV: Rene Alimisi is a Computer Engineer with a focus on educational technology. She works in the field of Information and Communication Technologies in Education, where her main research interests are in the development of applications and learning frameworks that facilitate the idea of ‘constructionism’ and encourage ‘authentic learning’ in under-representative groups of people. She has focused on the exploitation of these ideas for teaching programming to novices. Rene Alimisi is also interested in the educational use of digital video production for the creation of narratives.
Rene Alimisi is a perspective PhD student. She holds a Master with distinction in Information Communication Technology in Education (2009) from the University of London, Institute of Education and a Diploma (5 years studies) in Computer Engineering and Telecommunications (2008) from the University of Thessaly, Volos. She has attended numerous seminars and has taken actively part in international workshops in the University of London, London Knowledge lab and University of Thessaly concerning ICT in Education.

Mrs Zsófia Ruttkay, Head of the Creative Technology Lab, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary

Topic: Best practice in teaching & learning

Abstract Title: Educating Applied Artists in the Age of the Digital Renaissance:
After 25 years in academic research and education as a computer scientist, in the past 4 years I have been involved in starting new types of education, first at a technical university (University of Twente) in the Netherlands, and recently at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Budapest. In both cases, the multidisciplinary curriculum includes art, science and technology courses. I will outline, based on examples, the need for and potentials of putting digital technology – new media, but also, physical sensor and communication technology – in the hands of applied artists. In my view, our digital age makes it feasible and necessary to take the attitude of the Renaissance man.
Based on my teaching practices, I will talk about the merits, special methodologies and problems of multidisciplinary education at an art university. I will show examples from student projects, including: Hacking Budapest, Interactive Wall, etudes on physical computing. I will also talk about the participation of MOME in TERENCE, an EU FP7 Information Technology Research Project aimed at providing multimodal aids for text comprehension. I will raise some dilemmas, concerning the evaluation, recognition and funding of multidisciplinary research. I will close my talk with raising issues of the nature of the culture and intellectual attitude of the internet generation.

CV: I graduated as a mathematician at Eötvös Lorán University, Budapest. I obtained PhD in Computer Science, with a thesis on Computer Facial Animation. I have been doing academic research in computer science, particularly, artificial intelligence, human-media interaction, virtual agents and computer graphics for more than 25 years. I had given over 50 talks at international conferences, run workshops and conferences. I was also involved in cross-disciplinary activities, inclu Abstracts of the lectures presented at the EUROPRIX Academic Network Conference 2010

Vladimir Burcik, Adjunct Professor, PhD, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in
Trnava, Faculty of Massmedia Communication, SK
Slavomir Magal, Head of Dept., University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava,
Faculty of Massmedia Communication, SK
Dana Petrova, Dean, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Faculty of
Massmedia Communication, SK

Abstract Title: Praxis of building and using virtual learning environment

Key words: elearning, ecourse, virtual class, Wiziq, Sclipo, Wimba classroom,
Elluminate, Blackboard, managing of elearning projects

Our faculty continuously works on implementing new methods of teaching to our learning programs. In the framework of the project "Design and application of the e-learning courses" we have developed e-learning logistic and content for the doctoral students. In the preliminary phase we tested the possibilities of the virtual class as a tool for efficient online transmission of the content. We have tested Elluminate, Wiziq, Wimba classroom and Sclipo. We tried to find answers to the questions regarding technology parameters, quality of internet connection but also experience of teachers and students while using it. Our experience shows that progress is very fast and technology is much more reliable as before. The continuous problems are on the user side. Content and context are still crucial. This is the main reason why e-learning is considered a long distance race.

Mrs Anu Halme, Sales Director of HammerKit Oy, Finland

Abstract Title: Agile Learning in Helsinki: A Company Perspective

Keywords: Web Service Design, Agile learning, real-time Web Design, collaborative working and learning surrounding

During the Spring and Autumn of 2010, three university courses involving around 150 students of the Metropolia University for Applied Sciences in Helsinki undertook software testing, web service development and application design together with a Helsinki based company, HammerKit using a new cloud-based web design service. The sessions allowed teams of students to work together in real-time to design new online services and explore in a more practical way the challenges of creating compelling services and applications.
The new online service helped the academic staff to coordinate a real-life example, but the unexpected result was the speed with which the students developed their ideas and the degree to which they became engaged in the process. These projects demonstrated potentially interesting concept of agile learning, with the students able to iterate their ideas in real-time and work together in distributed groups using the platform. In the future, it is likely that rather than producing static content, such as presentations, the students will be encouraged to create dynamic services using tools such as HammerKit
CV: After graduating from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 1997, Anu worked in advertising and PR, and later as Account Manager for Finnish and American mobile game companies, like Mforma and Digital Chocolate. Anu is the Sales Director of HammerKit since February 2009. Speaks all the time with her clients and 3 children but not so often in academic circles.

Mr. Jak Boumans EADiM, VOF Electronic Media Reporting, The Netherlands

Abstract Title: Pre-Internet in the polder
History of the new media is still a rare subject. In the past year I have intensively studied the Dutch Pre-Internet period from 1967 till 1997. Having flown in from the US start with ASCII databases and hosts like Dialog and SDC, the development of the European online Volkswagen of videotext and the frozen online of CD-media, I have made an inventory of these three media in the Dutch new media industry. It was very interesting to discover that the Dutch videotext services had never more than 350.000 occasional users, while internet gathered within three years of existence between 1993 and the beginning of 1996 no less than 325.000 subscribers and at the end of 1996 totalled 1 million users. What did Internet have that videotext and ASCII as well as CD-media lacked?

CV: Jak Boumans is principal consultant at the private company VOF Electronic Media Reporting in Almere (The Netherlans). He is also the secretary general of the European Academy of Digital Media (EADiM). Presently Mr Boumans is writing a book (in the Dutch language) on Pre-internet in the polder.

Walther Nagel, Agent of department, Social Learning Dept (CIS), University of Technology Graz, Austria

Abstract Title: E-Books at TU Graz - Development, experience, and outlook of ebooks
and e-readers within university practice and research
Since Amazon launched its e-reader Kindle in 2007 a new era for e-books has begun. Though the market for e-readers is not that booming in Europe as it is comparatively in the United States e-readers are predicted to have a big future also for educational purposes. At Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) this trend to e-readers has been picked up and combined with the development of an e-book authoring tool and corresponding e-book environment that has started in 2001. This paper not only describes the e-book system and strategy implemented into TU Graz teaching and learning services but also covers current achievements in the creation of e-reader readable e-book formats on base of nearly arbitrary learning content offered by teachers. The different possibilities and ways of realisation of these goals display the feasibility at this point of development. Furthermore the problems of converting raw material of content into e-reader suitable formats such as EPUB and Mobipocket are discussed as well as future targets in this context. The presentation at the conference will include a demonstration of such e-books embedded within the TU Graz Learning Management System called TU Graz TeachCenter and on different e-reader devices to state the actual limits of development.

CV: Martin Ebner is currently head of the team Social Learning at Graz University of Technology. He is responsible for all e-learning activities of this university. His research focuses strongly on the use of Web 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning purposes. Martin has taught a number of lectures and seminars around the topic of e-learning and the use of computers in educational settings.
He studied from 1995 - 2000 civil engineering and got his master at the Institute of Structural Concrete. Afterwards Martin worked as scientific assistant at the Institute of Structural Concrete and wrote his Ph.D. thesis about "E-learning in structural engineering". Since 2005 he holds a Ph.D. in Technical Sciences from Graz University of Technology. From 2005 to 2006 he worked at the Institute for Building Informatics as Assistant Professor. Since September 2006 Martin is head of the team Social Learning at the Computing and Information Service Department and senior researcher at the Institute of InformationSystems and Computer Media. Find more details at  http://www.martinebner.at/ as well as the last presentations/publications.

See also Cai's blog: http://tamk-artmedia.blogspot.com/

BPN 1551

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BPN 1450 It's EUROPRIX 2010 (1)

It again the time of the year for the EUROPRIX Festival. This year it is for the 12th time and again in Graz. Having seen the program, the mainlines have not changed, but venues have changed. So we will get to know Graz better. And of course, the main change: Rainer Steindler is nicht da. After some 10 years of excellent work he has left the Europrix organisation for new ventures. So now a new organiser is in place and the signs are promising.

The program of the EADiM Academic Network Conference 2010

Theme: Teaching & learning with digital natives

University of Applied Sciences, FH Joanneum Graz
Location: University of Applied Sciences, FH Joanneum Graz
Eggenberger Allee 11, 8020 Graz

09:30-10:00 Registration & Coffee

10:00-10:20 Welcome EADIM and FH Joanneum
Richard Vickers, Chairman Academic Network Conference 2010, University of Lincoln, UK
Konrad Baumann, FH Joanneum, AT
Maja Pivec, FH Joanneum, AT

10:20-13:00 Paper presentations: Best practice in teaching & learning
Moderator: Jak Boumans, EADiM, NL

10:20 Virtual Experiments towards Explorative and Collaborative Environmental Primary
Education by Rene Alimisi, Computer Engineer, Centre for Research and Technology, University of Thessaly, GR

10:50 Educating Applied Artists in the Age of the Digital Renaissance
Zsofia Ruttkay, Head of the Creative Technology Lab, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and
Design, HU

11:20FH Coffee and tea

11:40 Praxis of building and using virtual learning environment
Vladimir Burcik, Adjunct Professor, PhD, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava,
Faculty of Massmedia Communication, SK
Slavomir Magal, Head of Dept., University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Faculty of
Massmedia Communication, SK
Dana Petrova, Dean, University of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Faculty of Massmedia
Communication, SK

13:00-14:00 Networking Lunch

14:00-15:15 Moderator: Cai Melakoski, TAMK School of Art, Music & Media, FI

14.00 – 14.15 New Multimedia Studio at the Pan European University in Bratislava
Martin Sperka, Faculty of Media, Pan European University Bratislava, SK
Samuel Brecka, Faculty of Informatics, Pan European University Bratislava, SK

14:15 Agile Learning in Helsinki: A Company Perspective by Anu Halme, Sales Director, HammerKit Oy, FI

15:15 Coffee break

16:00 Pre-Internet in the polder by Jak Boumans, EADiM, NL

16:30 Development, experience, and outlook of e-books and e-readers within university
practice and research by Walther Nagler, Agent of department, Social Learning Dept (CIS), University of Technology Graz, AT

17:00 Conclusion and extensions
Richard Vickers, Chairman Academic Network Conference 2010, University of Lincoln, UK

17:20 End of the EADiM Academic Network Conference 2010.

See also Cai's blog: http://tamk-artmedia.blogspot.com/

BPN 1450

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BPN 1449 Dutch Bol.com messes up e-reader primer (1)

The rumour went around a whole week that the Dutch branch of Bol.com would offer an e-reader plus 10 electronic books under 100 euro. Even the CEO of the Dutch branch, Mr Daniel Ropers, even got a free spot on Dutch public television to announce the primer. Not that it was really a real primer, as the German retailer Weltbild had started to advertise the e-reader Aluratek "Libre" (Unser erster eBook-Reader unter 100 Euro!) for 99,90 euro a few weeks before.

New of Bol.com announcement was the offer. By buying 10 electronic books the buyer would receive a free e-reader, a Hiteker HDB-107, an Ambience e-reader. The offer followed the old paradigm of offering a free PC by buying a software suite. An exciting offer, one would say.

However the ICT department of Bol.com fucked up the offer over the weekend. The ICT department could not produce the algorithm of 149, 95 euro for the e-reader less 50 euro for 10 electronic book is 99 euro. Instead over the weekend two different prices were shown to the potential buyer, one of 172, 86 euro and one of 222 euro. But nowhere the offer of 99 euro was available.

A telephone on Saturday morning to the service desk made already clear that there was a problem. In the menu the e-reader option was mentioned. Yes, the person at the service desk affirmed that there was a problem with the algorithm, but the department was working on it and in the afternoon clients would be able to order the e-reader and electronic books. A telephone call before the closing time of the service desk made clear that it would not be possible to order the reader and electronic books in the weekend. I was told that the ICT department did not work in the weekend, so that the mistake only could be corrected on Monday.

In short the Dutch branch of Bol.com missed a complete weekend of orders for the e-reader and electronic books. It is unbelievable that Bol.com could not call up a programmer in order to produce a simple algorithm deducting 50 euro from 149 euro.

1/11/2010: Bol.com did get it right this morning. I ordered one as the price is now right!
The offer is 10 electronic books with an e-reader for free as present.

Have also a look at the sequel to the story.

BPN 1449

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BPN 1448 Postings from Brazil (5)

Looking back over the conference in Sao Paolo, I discovered a rather unique project. A telephone service translating SMS messages into MMS illustrated message in the form of sign language for the deaf. The system is being developed by the Tunisian laboratory of the University of Tunisia, the department of Informatics by a team led by Dr Mohammed Jemni.

The lab is working on sign language for the def already for 5 years and has input from more than 50 PhD students.

The lab handles many projects for the deaf, but significant are the project Websign and project MMSsign. These projects are in the mainstream of accessibility. For deaf people internet is hard to access. Sites are 56 percent in English, 7,7 percent in German, 5,6 percent in French and 5 percent in Japanese. As for sign language the percentage is not know, but what is known is the fact that 80 percent of deaf people lack education and hardly get into touch with internet. So the sign projects are not aimed at internet but on telephone.

Problem is that sign languages are not universal. There are 127 sign languages and dialects. So the lab has designed a translation engine, which translates textual messages to sign language using an avatar.

The lab uses an open source for the automatic translation. Text is translated via a dictionary construction to a message. A multilingual interface can be used to translate messages in various languages; an application which can also be useful for non-deaf people. Websign will soon move to internet.

MMS sign send a message to a telecom provider via a short number. At the provider the messages are made into video images through VRML in 3D. So the text messages become multimedia messages thanks to the avatar. So if you have an appointment with a deaf person and you can not make it in time, you can send a text to the effect to the provider. The deaf person gets the message on his smart phone and is alerted through vibration. An avatar appears and the makes the appropriate signs to convey the message.

It is a great application as such and even more as it is done in open source. The system can handle more sign languages. Upon the question whether the Tunesian lab could handle a Portuguese/English dictionary and build a MMS sign application for the Brazilian market, the project manager confirmed that that was possible and that he would like to talk about it.

Talking to the project manager I told him about the latest World Summit Award initiative, namely the World Summit Award mobile media and that he should have entered this application. It turned out that he had entered the application for the contest thanks to the WSA national expert Faouzi. Great work Faouzi. It might be a real candidate for the category mobile inclusion. We will see at the WSA mobile media awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

BPN 1448

BPN 1448 Postings from Brazil (4)

After the wrap-up meeting the time to flight started. I had made an appointment with Marcello, a friend and colleague of the World Summit Award. We had been in the first World Summit Award jury in Dubai in 2003 and were able to keep track of him through Facebook. So when the flights were fixed for Sao Paolo we made an appointment to meet each other after the conference was over. As I was a novice to Sao Paolo he proposed to have lunch and offered a few place. I opted for a traditional meat restaurant, as I associate Brazil with meat. An experience it was. You get to a table and you start with the salad bar. Of course be a novice in such a restaurant you heap too much salad on your plate, leaving less room for the various cuts. On your table you have also a token, which can be switched from red to green. Green indicates that the meat boys can pass by. Red means that you are filled up and do not want to see the meat boys any longer. Those meat boys pass by with a skewer of a special meat cut. Some six different meat cuts are presented to you and you get them offered as rare, medium and well done. It was a great experience; happily enough I will have to fast tomorrow in the plate and can compensate.

After the meat feast, Marcello brought me to the apartment of Cid. We had to cross through the whole city and that is fun, if you do not have to drive. If you have to, you will have to be careful with the many motorbikes that drive beside you putting their lives in danger.

Sao Paolo is an extensive city with more than 20 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, so it takes time to come from the one end to the other. From the airport to the hotel for example it is 36 kilometres and if you are lucky you see traffic jams at the other side of the road. Of course Sao Paolo being also famous for its crimes such as hold ups at gunpoint at the traffics lights, has stimulated the use of helicopters. So the major hotels like the Sheraton, but also businesses have helipads on top of the roof; daily helicopters land on it, so that a big boss or rich guy or girl can safely start his/her business meeting.

So Marcello dropped me off at Cid Torquato’s place. In fact Cid stopped right behind us. And Cid got to meet Marcello again after many years. They had been in the same school together. Marcello was a jury member in the first edition of the World Summit Award in Dubai in 2003, while Cid took over as a jury member in the second edition in Bahrain. It was an historic meeting. I think they said that they were going to meet again.

The apartment of Cid is situated in a beauty building. When you have been let in by the security guard, you  immediately get the feeling that it is a building by the French architect Corbusier. The timing is roughly right, but the architect was a Spaniard, but definitely a follower of Corbusier. The whole building breathes the mode of cocooning. There is a swimming pool; in fact it was the first one in an apartment building in Sao Paolo. The apartment building has a bar and a barman for the 140 families. There are more common rooms for the people living there.

But the top of the 19 stories building is marvellous. The view is great, although the skyline of Sao Paolo is not very interesting. But the top itself is a beauty with a garden, a plafond with holes in it through which you can se the sky. There are several cosy niches to sit and enjoy the view.

We had a nice get together in Cid’s bar, which is decorated on the corridor site with French lily symbols. And by ten it was time to say goodbye to Cid. I had expected a very emotional meeting up with Cid. And in the end it was an emotional meeting, but in the good sense. Cid met his soul mates of the World Summit Award again and after three years we could team up again with him and help him in the mission he has at present. Seeing the intensive way he has handled the preparations of this conference, I see him going to do even greater things as long as he is going to be assisted in his handicap. (BTW Being handicapped in South America is an expensive business; Cid’s favourite black humour expression is: Handicaps are for the rich!).

The farewell was intensive as we hope that we can work together with Cid again. Hopefully we see him around World Summit Award events.

BPN 1448