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11 DECEMBER 2013

Divining a Digital Future - Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell

"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.

TAGS

1980s2011computer sciencecomputingcontemporary practices • contemporary ubiquitous computing • cultural anthropologydaily lifedesktop computer • desktop PC • Divining a Digital Future (book) • domesticity • embedded in the world around us • everyday messiness • feature phone • future investigation • Genevieve Bell • GPS devices • infrastructureinterdisciplinary collaboration • internet-enabled phones • lived experiencemainframemobility • Paul Dourish • privacyresearch communityresearch methodology • small and powerful computing devices • smart domestic appliances • smart phones • third wave of computing technologies • ubicomp • ubicomp research • ubiquitous computing • ubiquitous computing research • wireless networkswornXerox PARC

CONTRIBUTOR

Liam Birtles
31 OCTOBER 2013

The Adventures of Portland Bill

"Portland Bill was another wonderful children's adventure very much in the style of Postman Pat, Gran, The Herbs, and The Clangers. It concerned the day to day life of Portland Bill (Head lighthouse man of the Lighthouse Guillemot Rock). He is helped by the other lighthouse men Ross and Cromarty. The nearest village to the lighthouse was on the mainland and it was called McGuillycuddy. Here the boys are able to pick up supplies and interact with a whole load of characters. The adventures were by John Grace and were produced in 1983."

(Iain Ratchford, Little Gems)

Designed by John Grace and Barry Leith; Assistant Animators Humphrey Leadbitter and Heather Boucher; Model Makers Martin Cheek, Gordon Tait and Linda Thodesen; Music by John Grace and Mik Parsons; Editor Robert Dunbar; Assistant Editor Andi Sloss; Production Co–ordinator Barrie Edwards; Stories Adapted for TV by Ian Sachs; Executive Producer Graham Clutterbuch; Filmfair Presentation John Grace / Filmfair MCMLXXXIII.

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TAGS

1980s1983 • Andi Sloss • Barrie Edwards • Barry Leith • British televisionchildrens televisionclaymation • FilmFair • Gordon Tait • Graham Clutterbuck • Gran (TV series) • Granada Television • Heather Boucher • Humphrey Leadbitter • Ian Sachs • John Grace • lighthouse • Linda Thodesen • Magic Roundabout • maritime • Maritime England • Martin Cheek • Mik Parsons • nautical • plasticine • Portland (Dorset) • Postman Pat (TV series) • Robert Dunbar • sea • shipping forecast • South of Englandstop motion animationstop-frame animation • The Adventures of Portland Bill (TV series) • The Clangers (TV series) • The Herbs (TV series) • theme musictheme tuneUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 SEPTEMBER 2013

Robert Peston Goes Shopping: shopping and the high street retailer

"In this new three–part BBC Two series, Robert Peston tells the colourful story of shopping in Britain since the Second World War. Using rarely seen archive and interviews with the key players of British retail, Peston explores how shopping has changed–and how it's changed us.

He tells the story behind some of our favourite high street stores, including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco. He explains how we fell in love with shopping, but allowed the love affair to become too passionate, so much so that many of us ended up in chronic debt. And he shows how retail is now in the grips of a revolution as it attempts to come to terms with the rise of online shopping and the fallout of the financial crisis.

In the first episode, Seduction, Robert Peston tells how shopping in Britain was transformed from a chore to be endured into our favourite pastime. In the years of austerity and rationing after the Second World War, shopping was drab. There were long queues, yet there was little to buy.

But in the economic boom of the 1950s, consumerism took off. Marks and Spencer led the way with a mix of quality, value and customer service. From America came self–service supermarkets, which changed the way we shop. Then came out–of–town superstores–one–stop shops which fed the need for convenience as car ownership and the numbers of working women rose in the 1960s.

Clever retailers learned to adapt to cater for the new markets of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties fashion boutiques: Chelsea Girl, for instance, catered for the emerging teenage market, while the career woman was served by Next.

By the 1980s, shopping had been transformed into a leisure activity–a fundamental shift confirmed by the opening of Britain's first large out–of–town shopping mall in 1986. Gateshead's MetroCentre was more than just a shopping centre–it was a leisure complex complete with restaurants, cinema, and even a fun fair. Shopping was king."

(BBC Media Centre)

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1950s1960s1980sASOSausterityBBC Two • car ownership • click and collect • consumerismconvenience • David Sainsbury • Dixonseconomic boomfinancial crisis • George Davies • high street shops • high street stores • Jane Snowball • leisure activity • leisure complex • m-commerceMarks and Spencer • Michael Aldrich • Mrs Snowball • multi-channel retailing • Next Retail Ltd • one-stop shops • online shopping • out-of-town • out-of-town superstores • pawnbroker • payday loan lender • rationing • retail historyretail storeretailers • Robert Peston • Robert Peston Goes Shopping (2013) • Sainsburys • self-service supermarket • shoppingshopping behaviourshopping centreshopping mallsocial shopping • Stanley Kalms • superstore • Teleputer • TescoUK • working women

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 AUGUST 2013

Kevin Spacey: television has entered a new golden age

"He said Netflix ... had proved one thing: 'The audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge–as they've been doing on House of Cards–then we should let them binge.

'We have learned the lesson that the music industry didn't learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I believe this new model can take a bite out of piracy.'

But if the medium was to continue in this rich vein, TV executives would have to adapt to the way viewers want to binge on their favourite programmes on the internet or by watching DVD box sets, Spacey said.

Younger viewers no longer saw any difference between watching TV and online. 'For kids growing up, there's no difference between watching Avatar on an iPad or watching YouTube on a TV and watching Game of Thrones on their computer. It's all content. It's all story,' he said."

(John Plunkett and Jason Deans, 22 August 2013, The Guardian)

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TAGS

1950s1980s • Aaron Paul • AMC • AMC Networks • American Beauty • American Movie Classics (AMC) • art formaudience • binge • Breaking Bad (television) • broadcasterbroadcasting • Bryan Cranston • cable channel • cable televisioncharacter-driven stories • cliff-hanger • complex characterisation • control • David Fincher • demassificationdemassified media • DVD box set • Edinburgh Television Festival • Game of Thrones (television) • golden age • HBO • Hill Street Blues • Home Box Office (HBO) • Homeland (television) • House of Cards • iPad • Jack Lemmon • Kevin Spacey • Mad Menmusic industryNetflixOrson Wellespilot episode • programme maker • risk averserisk-taking • sense of total abandon • small screenstorytellingtechnological changetelevision channeltelevision networktelevision programming • The Sopranos (television) • The Usual Suspects • TV • video-streaming service • YouTube

CONTRIBUTOR

Alex Shutti
22 AUGUST 2013

Insanely Great Macintosh: Steve Jobs' 1984 Macintosh Introduction

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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