"Ubiquitous computing (or 'ubicomp') is the label for a 'third wave' of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and 'smart' domestic appliances. In Divining a Digital Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged--both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.
Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors' collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubiquitous computing around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations."
Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell (2011). "Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing", MIT Press, May 2011, ISBN 978-0-262-01555-4.
"How can we think or write theory in the wake of poststructuralism? For a number of recent thinkers, one possible answer arrives in the often slippery category of affect, in the attempt to return theoretical attention not only to material conditions but specifically to the body and the intensities that traverse it. Such theorists are critical of the elevation of language over visceral, lived experience and interested in the ways that affects circulate publicly or are transmitted contagiously. 'The skin,' writes Brian Massumi, 'is faster than the word.' In different ways, they theorize affect—which they distinguish from emotion or feeling—as a per-personal and pre-linguistic entity about which they nonetheless attempt to speak. This class will constitute a joint experiment in how to think, write, and deploy the concept or concepts of affect. Readings will include selections from Baruch Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Brian Massumi, Kathleen Stewart, Teresa Brennan, Lauren Berlant, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and others. No prior reading will be assumed, but a willingness to struggle with and through nonlinear and experimental writing (both alone and with the group) will be an absolute necessity."
"Coursera today released an iOS app, bringing the company’s learning platform into the mobile world for the first time. ...
The new iOS app allows students to stream course videos while on the go, making it possible to fit in learning anywhere and anytime. Whether you’re on your daily commute, at the gym, waiting in the grocery line, or simply anywhere away you’re your desktop or laptop, you can still get in some quick studying."