Friday, January 11, 2008

CBC Radio starts to talk ubicomp

Before Christmas I spent an hour or two talking with a producer for CBC RadioOne show Spark all about locative media, but wasn't able to be recorded because I had a nasty cold and sounded horrible. I haven't heard back from anyone there since, but I made sure I downloaded the latest podcast because they've started covering ubicomp.

This week Nora Young looks at MizPee and MIT's Wikicity project, and next week showcases Philip's Amigo smart home project and the future of RFID. I was impressed that she stayed focussed on the social, spatial and material implications. Nora was also clearly enthusiastic about the See-Mi project, but I really hope she takes up the question of locative media if only because it might provide a more critical, cautious and less commercial tone.

In the show notes, Russell McOrmond suggests that what Nora considers matters of privacy and publicity are better understood as a matter of control: "If as individuals we could control these technologies or be disclosed enough information to make our own informed choices, then they are empowering." I certainly agree that the implications for power relations in everyday life are where it's at in this discussion, but I don't divorce that from the public/private problem.

Listening on, I suddenly found myself grinning ear-to-ear when I heard Jean Burgess explaining (over Skype?) that the sound delay was due to the oceans between Canada and Australia. (Trust me, it's funnier when she says it.) But seriously, go listen to her talk smart on viral video, online conversation and user participation.

Also: On the Spark Wiki you can add story ideas for the show or post questions for Nora to ask Howard Rheingold when she interviews him Jan 23rd. And while I'm on the topic of how much I love CBC RadioOne, if you don't subscribe to the Search Engine podcast on "politics and culture through the lens of the Net" you're missing out.

Update 21.01.08: Alex Pang talks RFID (Jan 16)

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