Monday, December 10, 2012

Another book

John Gilliom and Torin Monahan, SuperVision: An Introduction to Surveillance Society (2013, Chicago). A terrific undergraduate intro text to surveillance issues. Wish I was teaching a surveillance studies class this Spring.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

New books

From Routledge:

James Elkins, What Photography Is (2010). A long dialogue with Barthes’ Camera Lucida.
Anthony Elliott and John Urry (2010). Mobile Lives.
Christian Fuchs, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund and Marisol Sandoval (eds) (2012) Internet and Surveillance: The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media.
Joseph Pugliese (2010) Biometrics: Bodies, Technologies, and Biopolitics.
Jonathan Sterne (ed) (2012). The Sound Studies Reader.
Trebor Scholz (ed) (2013) Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory.

Other presses:
Jonathan Sterne (2012). MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Duke)
Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska (2012) Life After New Media: Mediation as Vital Process. (MIT).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flow Column on Google Glass

My first column for was published. It's on Google Glass and the Clickable World.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Quad

The picture above is of the Quad Cinemas, as it looked back in the 1970s. The Quad was located in the Makati Commercial Center in Manila, Philippines. This was one of two movie theaters in the Commercial Center. The other was the Rizal Theater, which was a beautiful theater but has since been torn down. Both of these were within walking distance of our house. I first saw "Jaws" crouched in an aisle of one of the Quad cinemas (the show was over sold), which was just as well since I could quickly find something to block my gaze if a particularly gruesome scene appeared. I am sure that I have forgotten most of the films we saw in this theater, but they ranged from "Sound of Music" (where the woman who was supposed to be staffing the ticket window was late, but they started the movie anyway, and Maria was already off the mountain by the time the ticketseller rushed, breathless into the booth and we dashed upstairs to the theater) to a Herbie film or two to "The Other Side of the Mountain." I'm pretty sure we saw "Capricorn One" here and "Damnation Alley," but I can't be sure.

The Rizal Theater was a little nicer [here's a link to a picture and someone's memories], and I recall that they actually installed "Sensurround" and so we saw "Battlestar Galactica" in the theater in Sensurround there (yes, it was also a TV show, but it showed in cinemas in Sensurround), and I think "Earthquake" too. I also remember seeing "Grease" here. I can't remember which theater showed "Saturday Night Fever," however.

Anyway, not sure if much, if anything, is left of the Quad Cinemas. I believe they were connected up with a massive mall the engulfed much of that end of the MCC, and may have been torn down amidst multiple renovations.

The photo above is courtesy of Emer “Boboy” Remulla, who had posted it to an alumni newsletter for the International School Manila. It's used with permission.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rocket Ship Galileo

Following on the heels of my last post, I just got in the mail an absolutely beautiful copy of Robert Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo.

This was Heinlein's first published novel, and the first of his juveniles. It was published in 1947. This, technically, is a first edition, but a later printing (much later, like 1967!). It's in Scribner's Library Binding, but unusually it doesn't look like it was circulated in a library (no library markings, no card pocket, no signs of wear or handling). It's in wonderful condition. Check out the inner cover and how bright the colors are:

First printings of the first edition of this book [those actually printed in 1947] sell for $2,500+ easily (my copy was much much much much less, believe me). But I must say that if I had over two grand to spend on a book, it wouldn't be a Heinlein. But that's me.

Now, the trick is: how to read this thing without messing it up!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Orphans of the Sky

I have been on the hunt for juvenile science fiction. Now, now! I know there are those who would say that ALL science fiction is juvenile--but I am not one of those. I was looking for something besides The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet books that I enjoyed as a kid, and am passing down to my kids. I remembered reading a lot of science fiction pitched at kids when I was growing up. This was before I discovered Ray Bradbury and the Martian Chronicles and moved into "grown up" sci fi. But anyway, I had only vague recollections of what that early science fiction was--lots about space cadets and such. Then I remembered that many were by Robert A. Heinlein, so that started a search for these. He wrote a whole series of books for Scribner's for what were then called juveniles and are now called "Young Adults."  Orphans of the Sky, pictured above, actually is not one of them.

In reading through the detailed summaries of Heinlein's juvenile books (on wikipedia), none really rang a bell. But I remembered a book that took place on a ship on a long voyage--so long that the passengers forgot that they were on a voyage or even on a ship; the ship was the world. The gravity was near zero by the outer decks, but full gravity in the inner levels where farms were. I recalled the differences in gravity, and a scene where a character stares out at the stars for the first time.  That's all I remembered. Turns out, it was Orphans of the Sky.

So I ordered a copy (first edition, ex library, pictured above) and am about halfway through--a breezy read, very much of its era (1940s and 1950s; the book is actually two novellas, previously published, that were published as one volume under this title in the early 1960s). I actually seem to recall very little of the story itself (how could I have forgotten the guy with two heads!).

When I've been buying some of these books, like the Mushroom Planet books, from my youth, I gravitate towards ex-library copies. They recall the copies I read; have a soft, lived in, feel. And I love how the copy I have of Orphans of the Sky, from a High School library in Idaho, still has its pocket for the check-out card, including patron signatures. It's a quaint nostalgia. Dead media.

And soon, on to collect the other early Heinleins. Rocket Ship Galileo, Podkayne of Mars...

[I should point out that I'm not recommending this book for children; at the very least because of how it treats women (terribly)]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Mobile Wave

As part of my recent splurge of buying mobile media books, I also picked up Michael Saylor's The Mobile Wave (2012, Vanguard), to see what the corporate booster take on all this might be. I had seen it mentioned in a recent emailling from EPIC, which mentioned that the book ignores issues of privacy. Anyway, Saylor's idea is how everything will change given mobile technologies. I've only just dipped in to Saylor's book, but it's already rife with the discourse of technological inevitability (it's coming, get used to it); even the use of "wave" makes it seem a natural phenomenon. And, of course, there's the technological neutrality ("These fundamental forces can either be harnessed for good or bad" p. xi). None of which I'm surprised to see.

But the clearest clue about what direction much of the book may take was made clear early on when he is giving the example of how iTunes "reinvented music" and changed the industry. "Between 2003 and 2007, more than 2,700 record stores vanished, freeing up real estate and capital that could be used for other things" (p. 7). Well, that's one way of looking at the loss of 2,700 businesses. Good thing we got rid of all those fuddy duddy record stores that were standing in the way of new development and investment. Think of what we can do with that mallspace or old store fronts.

On to the rest of the book.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Another new Mobile Media books

Just received Shaun Moores' Media, Place & Mobility (2012, Palgrave). Add this to the previous list.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


New post over in the ever-neglected Clickable World blog of mine, including (gasp!) fiction. You are warned.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Mobile Media Books

I'm really enjoying two new books just out from Routledge: Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone (2012 Routledge) edited by Larissa Hjorth, Jean Burgess, and Ingrid Richardson, and Mobile Technology and Place (2012, Routledge), edited by Rowan Wilken and Gerard Goggin. Too bad they aren't more affordable (hardbacks, library prices; these are library copies). Both are excellent examples of an Australian cottage industry of sorts on mobile media research that Goggin and Hjorth seem central to.

On this latter point, see:
Goggin and Hjorth (eds) Mobile Technologies: From Telecommunications to Media (Routledge, 2009).
Hjorth, Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific: Gender and the Art of Being Mobile (Routledge, 2011).
Hjorth, Games and Gaming: An Introduction to New Media (Berg, 2011).
Hjorth and Dean Chan, Gaming Cultures and Place in Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2006).
Goggin, Global Mobile Media (Routledge, 2010).
Goggin, Cellphone Culture: Mobile Technology and Everyday Life (Routledge, 2006).
Goggin, New Technologies and the Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), which is a wonderful new book on how traditional media (esp. journalism and broadcasting) are changing in the face of emerging technologies and practices of new media.
Goggin and Mark McLelland (eds) Internationalizing Internet Studies (Routledge, 2008).

and others.

Combined with the almost as prolific work of Adriana de Souza e Silva (Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces, 2012 with Jordan Frith; Net Locality, 2011, with Eric Gordon; and Digital Cityscapes, 2009 with Daniel Sutko), that's quite a subdiscipline emerging. And add to that Jason Farman's new award winning Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media (Routledge, 2012), and others, we're seeing a significant boom of research on mobility, locality, media, and computing in just a few years. It's hard to keep up with it all.

In any case, I'm looking forward to using both Daniel Palmer's and Chris Chesher's essays from the iPhone book in my semiotics class this Fall.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tintin + Lovecraft

A couple of years ago, a Scottish artist, Murray Groat (aka Muzki) produced a great series of faux Tintin covers, based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. I just stumbled across these. Given how proprietorial (if that's a word) the Herge folks are, it's not surprising that they cannot be found anymore on Muzki's site, though other resourceful bloggers have posted them. Needless to say, I find these quite amusing and creative.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Cultural Globalization: A User's Guide is also available as an e-book. Just found out. Also just got notification from SAGE publishers that my first book, Exploring Technology and Social Space will be converted to e-format, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Books

Gerard Goggin (2012) New Technologies and the Media (Palgrave)
Adriana de Souza e Silva and Jordan Frith (2012) Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces: Locational Privacy, Control, and Urban Socialibility (Routledge)
Richard Coyne (2010) The Tuning of Place: Sociable Spaces and Pervasive Digital Media (MIT) Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell (2011) Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing (MIT)
Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman (2012) Networked: The New Social Operating System (MIT)
Jussi Parikka (2012) What is Media Archeology? (Polity)
Paul Virilio (2012) The Great Accelerator (Polity)
Howard Rheingold (2012) Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. (MIT)
Jason Farman (2012) Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media (Routledge)
Ian Bogost (2012) Alien Phenomenology, or what it’s like to be a thing (Minnesota)

Now, I just hope to get the time to read all these someday...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Surveillance Facility

April 2012: WIRED's cover story:

Good grief!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I love this: Carrier Pigeons with cameras strapped to them were used as surveillance devices in WWI. The pictures are fantastic; not just the pictures of the Pigeon Paparazzi but the images from the pigeon's POV. The one where the left and right wingtips have just curved into view on a down-sweep of wings is really nice.