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September 30, 2003


I went out to the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning today. It's out in Oakville, west of Toronto. Commuting. Ugh. Got to the train station at 8:35 for a 9:43 train. But there was a 15 minute line up for train tickets. Missed it. However, after getting a ticket,and having an hour to wait, I went up to the great hall at Union Station. Kenny had sent me an IM last time he was there tosay that there was wireless access. And there is. And it is free. Or seems to be. The network is Bell based, so it maybe recognizing my sympatico account and letting me on. There was a Bell guy there watching me, he'd been installing an internet Kiosk thingy, and he asked me how I was connecting, and was a bit shocked that I could get on, but he too thought it might be because of my sympatico account. Trains. I like trains. For all too many reasons. They are the great good form of transportation. Though, of course, in Canada, we are punished for taking the trains. Poor and irregular service. And when you do get to a station, it is in the middle of nowhere, and you really need a car to get anywhere from it. Or a bus in this case. I did catch the Oakville transit bus to Sheridan, and got there 15 minutes before I needed to. Sheridan looks very nice, though it seems to be modelled after a shopping centre rather than a university... that is you can't get near the campus unlesss you're willing to wade through a couple of thousand cars. Well modelled after York University. Obviously I have transportation issues on the brain. Don't mind me. I'm a broken record player when it comes to tranportation issues. Sheridan is definately a bright and shiny up and coming Institute. I thought it was more of a college, but obviously not. It's got 'institute of technology' written all over it. I finally got to meet Dan Zen. I fit in with what appeared to be the manditory departmental dress code: black. I don'tthink that either of us were sure of what to expect from the other, or from the experience, but we both seemed to be willing to 'wing it'. Plugged in my laptop, only to find that I couldn't synch up with one of their two large screens, so we went back to using their system. They did have a bright and shiny touchscreen that allowed me to point and click right on the screen, but I didn't get to make too much use of that. Just a cool building, interesting educators, and an attentive group of students I would rather have spent the afternoon talking with than lecturing to... Then my mind went blank. And I don't really remember what happened. I call this lecturing. I guess I don't really have room for meta-awareness when I'm trying to get all my synapses firing in syncrhonous orbit. But after an hour, everyone wanted to continue, so I spent another 30 minutes covering what seemed to be the right constellation... About me: "

Posted by jason at 08:21 PM

The Role of the Delete Key in Blog and Business fears

[Two articles on blogging... I'm wireless at union station, heading out to Sheridan to give a talkon tech. Missed my train.... oops. next one's here.] The Role of the Delete Key in Blog Is a blog still a blog if someone else edits it? A recent policy change at The Sacramento Bee has raised questions about whether taking an editor's pen to a Web log before it is published detracts from very nature of Web logs, or "blogs,'' as the online diaries are called.

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Why blogs could be bad for business Why blogs could be bad for business In today's corporate culture, where knowledge is power, the information-sharing capabilities of weblogs may not be entirely welcome, writes Neil McIntosh"

Posted by jason at 09:32 AM

September 28, 2003

Word on the Street

Went down with yuka to the 14th annual Word on the Street festival, which closes off Queen from University to Spadina. My favorite image is of the owner of 3rd Quadrant, sitting outside his store under Spider man. As usual, I find 'word' to be a frustration. Word on the street is to literacy what a midnight madness sale is to fashion. Pushing and shoving and crowds all lining up to buy buy buy! Yes, books. Better than land mines. But it is a consumerist romp, that doesn't endear me to the day. That said, I bought a book, and like 'word'. I bought Salam Pax's ""The Bagdad Blog."" Having read his blog all through the war, I figure I might as well buy it, and use it for teaching... and it is a fascinating archive. As for word, there are lots of interesting and strange booths peopled by folks I'll never see until next year. That's what makes it for me. I just wish all the people would go away..."

Posted by jason at 02:17 PM

September 27, 2003

Blogs and the Za

Bernie and KAT!are coming over at 3 to discuss how we'll organize blogging at the AOIR Toronto conference next month... then Za with JuliaD and Alan."

Posted by jason at 01:19 PM

September 26, 2003

Obit: Edward Said

Edward Said, dead at 67. Read the story..."

Posted by jason at 12:10 PM

Minor Disruptions...

T'was a long day. One that I shall describe in brief. Went to my KMDI office to install the 60gig HD that Larry (Diving Dazes on the right menu) had FedExed to me from the US into Edublog. I have to pay GST on the value of the harddrive, even though it is Larry's and we're just putting it in my computer for a while. Took the puter apart and installed it. Nothing new there. But I couldn't boot off my backup drive or my CDrom for some reason. GAK. Actually, I knew I couldn't boot off my backup drive, that's one of the reasons I wanted Larry's 60gig. I was about to walk home to get my other 60gig backup drive, cause I know you can boot from that, when I had a brainstorm... hey, I can boot from my iPod!!! Dragged my iPod out, plugged it into my laptop, and installed an OS on it. Took iPod and backup drive to Edublog, plugged it in, booted from the iPod, and initialized the 60gig, and transfirred all the stuff over to it... and turned on Edublog again. It *seems* to be OK. Since the day was disrupted, I decided to clean my office. Our room has work stations for 5 people. I had two of them, and peter had 3. As he has 10+ computers to my 3-4. Now he has 2 assistants, and so I'm losing half my office space, and have to cram 100% of my stuff into 50% of the space... like 3m x 3m. Ack. So much for moving up in the world. I guess I'll move more over to my Ryerson office, or home, or throw it out. Actually, I have two broken 17"" monitors for the Achieve server, which I'm finally dumping. And this is good, because there's no room on my smaller desk for it. Anyone want to buy me a 15"" LCD monitor? I'll have to get something, as I need to be able to log into the GUI to install security updates for Project Achieve. Today is more quiet... looking for jobs for next year, I think."

Posted by jason at 10:24 AM

September 24, 2003

Blogging and the law...

Today I met with Rajen Akalu, who works with the Bell University Labs' Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, and folks from the university's Law Library to talk about blogs. It was a great opportunity to share the joys and challenges of blogging in academic environments. I hope they'll be coming online when we do our Livejournal install this month."

Posted by jason at 05:19 PM

September 21, 2003

IAFA in March

Just got confirmed that my paper ""Realizing Fiction: How the Virtual Landscapes of Dracula and Anne of Green Gables Changed the World"" will be presented at the 25th IAFA (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.) conference next march. It will be a slightly different and earlier version of the paper I'll present next June in PEI. I love it when you get the chance to workshop a paper, and get some useful feedback. That's what I got with the IAFA last year. Now to check my airmiles."

Posted by jason at 04:31 PM

Kensington Harvest Festival

Yuka and I went down to the Kensington Harvest Festival today. I've been shopping in Kensington for around 20 years, with longish breaks, it has only been in the past couple of years that we've gotten back into it, probably because I don't have time to go down to St Lawrence market on saturdays, and that I used to meet Salmon there before she fell off the face of the earth, with her return to the classroom. Anyway, we met Vlad and Masako, spontaneously, and it was one of those ideal autumn days."

Posted by jason at 04:28 PM

September 20, 2003

Found in the trash... EnviroGoth

I was cleaning up my http://projectachieve.net server, cause one of the partitions was running at 100%. This got me poking into corners that I've not look in in years. I found an old abandoned project called EnviroGoth I was starting up when teaching an Environmental Studies course called ""Resurrecting the Garden"". It has some interesting links and resources. I hope I get to do more environmental studies some day."

Posted by jason at 12:21 PM

September 19, 2003

"They don't come brighter than this one, it seems."

The 'homeless hacker' talks |CNET.com, and I get a sense that they won't be showing him off as a reformed hacker. They'll probably do things quietly. The lad will make them look like fools, I think."

Posted by jason at 08:02 AM

September 18, 2003

Blast from the past

On a whim, I googled ""Lenny Hoeks"" and found a web site. Left a comment on her guest book saying ""Did you live in Eindhoven and play rugy?"" And found out that yes, it was the Lenny I knew. I travelled around England with her and her friend back in 1985, and then visited her in Eindhoven for a few days at the end of my 5 week trip through europe that year. My first time to Europe, and first time travelling alone. She still has the photo I sent her over a decade ago of me and Yuka, after which we lost touch. And I'd actually thought of her after I came a cross my old pictures from that trip. One of the great things about having a particular name, is that there is a smaller chance of there being a billion of you out there."

Posted by jason at 02:06 PM


I was just informed by Derrick that I'm now a Senior Fellow with the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto.

Posted by jason at 11:47 AM

September 17, 2003

Out with Elizabeth and Yuka

Went out with Elizabethand Yuka tonight. First to the Queen Mother for dinner, then to The Vatikan to see a movie called Irreversible. Stated to be... well read more if you'd like. We all thought it was a powerful way of integrating narrative and cinematography. Oh, and the IMDB review is good. RUE MORGUE Magazine Presents A Special Screening of Gaspar Noe¥s IRREVERSIBLE Wednesday, September 17, 2003 @ 8:30 pm (doors open @ 8) exclusively at The Vatikan 1032 Queen Street West Toronto, Canada The New York Post calls it “a movie without any redeeming social valueÌ; Philadelphia Weekly says “it feels less like a movie and more like a violation,Ì and Entertainment Weekly refers to it as a “profoundly disturbing experience.Ì The most walked out of movie of 2003, IRREVERSIBLE is an unrelenting spectacle of violence and pessimism, a hyper-cruel update on I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE ? not quite a horror film, but unquestionably a film of many horrors. One night only! Free Popcorn! Ghastly Prizes! Featuring Twitch! www.rue-morgue.com Suspect Video"

Posted by jason at 11:14 PM

September 15, 2003

Wow. Seriously.

National Story - canada.com network ""1 cigarette can get you hooked, study findsResearch refutes belief it takes time to become addicted."" Time to move the use of Tobacco from a lifestyle choice to a medical condition, and stop stygmatizing smokers as self-destructive, and start stygmatizing them as... take your pick. Personally, I have equal sympathy for someone addicted to drugs or tobacco, as I do for someone, like my mom, addicted to healthy amounts of exercise. And no, I'm not being silly, if you think about it."

Posted by jason at 08:03 AM

September 14, 2003

Dalton's blog

Thanks to JasonW, I now know about Dalton's blog. I wonder if the conservatives and NDPers have one up."

Posted by jason at 10:41 PM


Just working on job applications, prepping for class tomorrow, and setting up some blogging tools for UofT/Ryerson students. Otherwise all is quiet."

Posted by jason at 08:40 PM

September 12, 2003

Johnny Cash dead at 71

Johnny Cash dead at 71. I tried going to www.johnnycash.com, but the site is unreachable. I thought he was going to make it, hearing that he'd been released from hospital just yesterday. There aren't too many people who I'll think about in passing, but for some reason, he's on the list. "

Posted by jason at 08:33 AM

Selling downloaded digital music

George Hotelling tells his story about selling the downloaded digital music he purchased from the iTunes store. The funny thing is that it is legal and doable. I wonder if they'll figure out a way to stop this too... Do we do more than rent music?"

Posted by jason at 08:21 AM

September 11, 2003

CCL Abstracts online...

Ben just sent me this link to an article Yuka and I had published back in 1998... CCL, no. 91-92 (1998). It is nice to see that CCL has got this sort of information online. Great web site ben!!!"

Posted by jason at 10:54 AM

A Resurrected Apple I :)

Wired News: Woz OK's Apple I Resurrection Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak has given his blessing to the production of a replica of the Apple I -- the legendary machine that launched Apple. As previously reported, Briel has been planning for some months to sell replicas of the epoch-making machine, but was unable to get permission from Apple to reproduce it. Apple likely holds copyrights on the machine's design. And although Briel redesigned the motherboard because some of the original chips are hard to find, he may still need to license the ROM -- the set of hard-wired instructions necessary to run original Apple I software. Unable to get a response from Apple, Briel did the next best thing. He wrote to Woz asking his permission to use the Apple I ROM."

Posted by jason at 08:11 AM

September 10, 2003

Panda's in Toronto!

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Pandas set to pack for T.O. ""It's going to be panda-monium in Toronto! So says the top banana on the Toronto Zoo Board who successfully led a three-member delegation to Beijing last week in a bid to bring Mel Mel the panda and his one-year-old sister to the city zoo."" As you know, gentle reader, I'm on the educational advisory committee of the Toronto Zoo. I've been waiting to announce this, but was sworn to secrecy. But now the word is out. Panda's in Toronto!"

Posted by jason at 08:37 PM

September 09, 2003

Just joined the IEEE's LTTF

The IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force runs the journal Educational Technology & Society (ISSN 1436-4522) and I've written some book reviews and been an executive peer reviewer for them for a couple of years. ""IEEE Computer SocietyLearning Technology Task Force (LTTF) LTTF has been founded on the premise that emerging technology has the potential to dramatically improve learning. The purpose of this task force is to contribute to the field of Learning Technology and to serve the needs of professionals working in this field."" The journal, under Prof. Kinshuk from NZ, is very keen on including non-Western perspectives on educational technology. Which is a good thing^tm."

Posted by jason at 12:12 PM

September 08, 2003

First day of classes

Everything's working except the blogs... but you can't have everything. We're starting with a twiki... and a short story by Asmov: ""That thou art mindful of him."" It is something I used back in the 80s when I was TA in a course on computers and society. Everyone who does tech should read it. It's a fun little cautionary tale."

Posted by jason at 08:03 AM

September 07, 2003

Too much fun for me to handle.

There's just been too much going on, to blog it all. But I can catch up on some tid bits. 1) Arun came to town on Thursday, from Montreal. I've known Arun since fall 1982, when we were in residence together. I dragged him over to Amy's, as she's working at La Hacienda west of Bathurst on Queen. Wanted to show her some pictures. Arun only had bad memories of the place when it was a nastsy punk hangout. I wasn't sure if it was any better. Luckily it was. Chatted with Amy as we ate, mostly about raising children. None of us have any, or have any plans to have any, but that didn't stop us; no doubt due to my starting to teach ECE this forthcoming monday. Arun felt better served by the establishment this time, and we left in high spirits. Made it about 6 stores along, and into ""The Algonquians: Sweet Grass Gallery"" run by a wonderful woman named Margaret Corzry. [The title for this picture on herweb site is ""Me, but not for sale.""] The store has been Ojibway owned for over 30 years. And since I've been working/living around Queen for most of the past 20 years, we got a chatting. Arun and I (for yuka) got their great t-shirts.They feature an old 19th C print of a few aboriginal folks standing around with guns. The text is what makes it work: ""Homeland Security: Fighting Terrorism Since 1492"". They're not listed on the web site, but either go down or call her and get on. After that we just went home and had an apartment picknick... wines, cheeses, breads, and chatted. And planned a trip to France. Arun starts work this week as some sort of assistant film editor for a place in Montreal, so everything is probable. 2) Yuka and I were over at Masako's house for a BBQ with her partner Vlad. Vlad's idea of BBQ is novel and unique, and somewhat successful. The process includes passing around lots of beer. Then piling all the veggies on the BBQ, covering them with chicken, and walking away. By the time the chicken is cooked, everything is. Including Vlad. I like BBQs at Masako's house. Yuka was thrilled to find that a young raccoon dropped by for some chicken, and we proceeded to fill him up and send him on his way. 2) Out for lunch with Simsim and Pazuzu. Yuka deigned to come along, which thrilled them no end. Simsim's still setting up her special online project and teaching dance. Pazuzu's become the local god of archaeology, it seems. It was her calling of course, she's digging up some aboriginal village in Richmond Hill, with strange plans in the deep south for the winter. Not having seen Pazuzu since before Christmas, I had a present I'd bought for her in japan. A small sheep backpack. She has a thing for sheep. Her final exam in my course years ago included a little prince motif replete with sheep. And she claims that her job, on the dig, includes pushing the sheep around. We were off to Transylvania Restaurant, just north of Eglinton, on Yonge. I figured that it was a great place to show them our photos from Romania. We learned an important lesson. There is no vegetarian food in Romania. Simsim ordered something without thinking that was as meat as possible. The nice owner, who was from Sibiu, one of the towns Yuka and I had travelled through, didn't charge her for her meal. The patio was sooooo nice, and we had the summer sounds of cicadas to balance off the drilling in the restaurant kitchen, as they repaired the exhaust hood. So no fried foods that day. Then off for some shopping, up town. Pazuz > shoes. Simsim and Yuka > Chockys for t-shirts. Yuka > chasing small animals. Then we found some strange medieval store... that was going out of business. I guess they'd not realized that times had changed. But very nice dresses. Pazuzu bought a heavy leather and metal cover for her archeologist's log book. It can be used for any sort of crime requiring a good dose of blunt force trauma. Then gelati (sp?), under Pazuzu's italianate watchful eye. 3) That evening, it was down to the Queen Mother Cafe with my mom, sDad Larz, and Lars' old translator (and his wife) from when Lars was teaching in China 20 years ago. Ping is now some project leader for Canada wide educational testing out of Edmonton, and his wife Eping does educational consulting. At this point, I was tired and let the evening carry me. 4) Getting home, Yuka, who had not come out for step 3, was lounging. And we watched the movie Quills until snoozing sent us to bed. Today? Finish setting up for my course tomorrow."

Posted by jason at 08:52 AM

September 06, 2003

Blaster worm linked to severity of blackout

Blaster worm linked to severity of blackout - Computerworld ""Exposure of communications flaws heightens concerns about security of the U.S. power grid."" Well, Duh! Any virus degrades the system it infects. Human or digital. Of course email itself is often a virus, even if you don't have a code virus attached. One more reason to use a Mac. At least stop using HTML aware amail programs, especially anything by Microsoft that allows one of your programs to talk to another without your express intervention. Check out Eudora.com if you need a proper email program... one that doesn't automatically do whatever a virus tells it to."

Posted by jason at 09:53 AM

September 04, 2003

Customer service...

I got a strange bill from Sympatico, with lots of extra charges on my credit card statement. And I thought that perhaps my home network had been hacked and someone was doing something nefarious. It happened in the past, when I mistakenly left Yuka's firewall turned off. Someone uploaded 800megs of videos. Luckily it was not pr0n, but rather simpson's and bugs bunny videos. Then I remembered that sympatico's bandwith usage charges had been dropped. Purplexed I tried to find out my usage and whatnot online. Of course I could not get onto the secure site. The page after login would just hang. So, I called up the Bell Sympatico Customer Service d00ds. I hoped I'd Brin working at the call centre, but no luck. 1) Found out that the charge was from my dad's internet usage. I must have left my login/password set for his computer up north when I set up his computer last month. No problem there. 2) The Sympatico d00ds told me that since they could get to customer care page, it must be my fault; with various and sundry mutterings about firewalls and the like. (I'd already turned off my firewall, and blocking of pop-up adds while troubleshooting things before I called them.). While I was talking, I remembered how ProMac Sympatio !is. So I turned off Safari, and sparked up Internet Explorer. Voila. Sympatico's web site doesn't work with macs. Their reason? They haven't bought a licence for Safari. So, I asked them if they were compatible with Mozilla, being all open source and all. Nope. Didn't buy a licence for that either, I was told. It is with answers like this that I back off slowly. Customer service... isn't it great that we're a service culture now?"

Posted by jason at 11:53 AM

September 03, 2003

Totemo Isogashii Desu!

Alex just reminded me that I have my AoIR papers due October 1. I'm on his second panel Broadening the Blog Thursday, October 16 10:00 am - 11:15 am. Topic: The Bias of Blogging: The Cultural Assumptions of Ubiquitous Blogging on the Digital Divide. And Saturday, October 18 10:00 am - 11:15 am I'm on a panel Theorising Networked Community talking about The Hegemony of ASCII: Rethinking Research into Online Communities in Light of the Deep Structures of the Internet. I think that the paper for one of them is done, but I'm not sure which one. :) [Scarfed the Isogashii (busy) from Alex]"

Posted by jason at 09:29 AM

September 01, 2003

On a lighter note...

Bought 3 chairs. 2 black and one red."

Posted by jason at 09:27 PM