Monthly Archives: February 2009


Montfort wrote, “Historically, “interactive” has been used with precision to distinguish computer processes that respond to user input during execution from batch processes that are completely configured beforehand and run without any user intervention”. If there isn’t any user intervention then how was it considered “interactive? I don’t feel like that question was answered. It’s obvious in this reading that the interpretation of “interactive” today has changed. For us to consider something interactive we automatically imagine something like gaming or anything that involves us having an input and it affecting the outcome. I find this also true for the internet. With have to be interactive with the internet in order for it to give us what we are asking for. The “interactor” has to add input to the address bar or search bar in order for it to work the way we want it to. When Montfort mentioned that “There is also the strong suggestion that it was written solely for male computer geeks…” it reminded me of one of our other readings that mentioned how the web and society is structured through masculinity and how the web appeals to mostly males. One of the examples shown in class about how it seems like more males are active with the web was the blogging example.


My family and friends have always told me that laughter is considered a medicine. It’s a way to relieve stress and also a way to burn some calories (not many, but true). They would always tell me that laughing more will allow me to age more gracefully. I was on Google and I typed in laughter is medicine and these corny medical jokes came up. They are corny, but they did make me laugh. My favorite ones are My Wife is Deaf, A Mother at 65, and A Brief History of Medicine. A Brief History of Medicine made me wonder how much simple life would be without all these medical treatments. It’s true that some of these medical treatments save people’s lives, but at the same time it causes more problems. It like using a virus to cure another virus, make yourself immune to the virus, than after some time, you’re sick again sometimes because of side-effects from the previous treatments, and the cycle repeats itself.

facebook & 404 error pages

We were talking yesterday about whether or not users really have control of Facebook. I’m sure most of you guys have found this message on facebook today, in response to the policy change they made and reversed recently:

“Facebook is announcing a new approach that allows users to have a role in determining the policies that govern the site. For more information and links to the groups containing our new draft policies, check out the  Facebook Blog.”

As an aside, our reading discussed 404 Error Pages and how they might vary depending on the site. This site shows the best designed 404 Error pages. They’re all really creative. I personally like the ninja one and Pattern Tap.

I almost forgot

I don’t think this has been posted or talked about yet… but I think it was Monday’s reading that talked about the home of the underdogs website which was the repository for older, maybe not-so-popular video games.

Well… consistent with our readings for Wednesday which referred to the disappearance of webpages and loss of information I had looked up the underdog website, and evidently it was closed about two weeks ago.

Kind of interesting how all of this abandonware was abandoned..

What is the next new media

In the “What is New Media” reading, the author mentioned that computers closest ancestor would be the film projector.

Then the first computers combined the aspect of information organization and retrieval with that.

So looking at this evolution, also in perspective of the invention of film camera to digital cameras, whatever “new media” is it just seems to be a new way of interpreting or combining old media.

The modern computer is probably the most advanced form of this new media yet as using it film, photography, information, and audio can all be comined and viewed simultaneously. Looking at the computer right now as new media it seems to be a combination of all types of old media.

So I guess I’m just wondering what will replace the computer or what will make the computer/internet old. Will it just be a reformatting of the web or an improved computing system, or will it be a whole different beast?

Fast talker

On the topic of digital audio, I thought this video was pretty interesting. This woman (Fran Capo) is apparently the world’s fastest talking woman, and the Discovery Channel had a segment on her in their show “More Than Human.” They used digital audio to slow down her voice and compare it to a normal speaker in order to figure out what she was doing so differently in her speech. It’s also pretty cool from a linguistics perspective. Anyways, here’s the link

Death of New Media

New media is such an ambiguous term. I personally think that the term “New Media” cannot possibly refer to one specific type of media, though it is mostly coined with the digital media and internet nowadays. Therefore, in this post, I will coin the term “New Media” with any from of the most rescent mainstream media.

Well, everyone must have a different opinion on what the death of New Media might be, but as for me it is the transition of it’s  status from being  a mainstream to yet another past memory to complete oblivion.

Now, you might think that I’ve just concluded my argument by saying that oblivion is the death of New Media. Well, that’s not really what I’m going to do here, although it is certainly very tempting to just finish and go to sleep right now, which is 5:00 in the morning. Instead, I’m going throw a question and try to answer it myself, though I know it would hardly be a complete and thorough answer. Is there really a complete loss of a certain form of media?

I highly doubt that there is such a thing. Although older versions of media might no longer be used, all new form of media are built upon the older verisons. Like they say, there is no such thing as true creation – everything is derivative.

A very clear example is the WIndows and Dos. Although no one really use Dos as their primary OS nowadays, Windows was built from the basics of Dos, so I’d say that it still survives, even though most of the childeren after my generation don’t really have any idea what Dos is.

Well, that’s my opinion, that there is really no death of New Media. All I could really think of was the Windows – Dos example. Now I’m going to ask your opinions about this question. I’d really appreciate it if you have specific examples. Thank U.

Cyber Rape….

What is cyber rape? Could it even exist in reality? Personally, I think it’s just a fabrication of people who were offended on the internet.   I mean, let’s just take a look at what rape is. The definition of rape is a forced a sexual intercourse, sometimed referred to as sexual assault. It is one of the most intrusive and offending action that a person can do to another. However, it necessarily involved physical contact for something to be called rape.

Of course, I’m not saying that rape is merely a offensive physical contact. It  involves a severe mental damage, and the psychological aspect of it is definitely a crucial part of what rape is. Nevertheless, (perhaps because I grew up with internet where all kinds of slangs were abused under anonymity,) without any sort of physical contact or real-life confrontation, I certainly do not think anything can be called a rape.

I can see why people might respond seriously to a lot of insults via messangers, blogs, or internet in general, but if you  understand the premise that everyone becomes extremely irrisponsible when they’re anonymous, you can kind of distinguished the online world from the real physical world that we live in. Although the lyricist for the Grateful Dead said online world is where we escape our physical limits to a complete and pure interaction of minds, it entailded anonymity. Then, anonymity obviousely brought about irresponsibility. I understand that such progress wasn’t so clear at the beginning stage of the internet, but now, as we are well  learned about  the evolution of the internet, it seems pretty clear that people will abuse materials and insult others under the mighty shield of anonimity, so we are not so traumatized as those who might have been in the years of lamdaMoo.

So, my argument is that cyber rape is something that could only, if it  was actually be  so traumatizing to the offended person, be applied during the earlier stages of the internet. Now, most people tend to think that whatever trash talk that goes on on the internet is mostly due to the abuse of the abuse of the power of anonymity by the so called “Keyboard Worriors.”

I guess such reasoning may only apply to me because I view internet as a source of knowledge than a place for human interaction. However, no matter how much of a jerk that the someone on the internet may be, you should try to understand that  anonymity can naturally bring about such actions. Once you understand that you’ll agree with me that there really is nothing so grave on the network  as to be called “rape.” All there really is, as far as random insults on the internet go, are some childish trash-talk of those Keyboard Worriors who couldn’t satisfy their  needs offline.

We need a better term for “new media”

While Manovich makes some very interesting points in “The Language of New Media,” I would argue that his approach to the topic is fundementally flawed and (irony of ironies!) it’s all a problem of language. Namely, the use of the term “new media.” Manovich begins by asking “What is new media?…Where shall we stop?” without considering the possibility that the reason new media is so hard to define has to with the fact that “new media” is an inherently vague and confusing term. For the sake of his argument, Manovich limits his use of “new media” to digital media, including “the Internet, Web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS and DVD” etc. etc. (19) So what’s wrong with calling it, say, digital media?

To a certain extent, I can understand Manovich’s choice to use the term. At the time of his writing, “new media” was a vogue term, and it’s still thrown around pretty casually today. As we learn in the second section of the excerpt, there was a lot of general confusion about what “new media” technologies were and what they could do. Manovich attempts to clarify the issue by outlining the characteristics he believes to be unique to “new media.” He obviously senses the need for more clear, precise language when dealing with the “objects” of these technologies. He even goes so far as to argue that media studies ought to be renamed “software studies” (49).

But here lies the other problem with Manovich’s essay, and the reason he refuses to abandon the term “new media.” He’s trying to position “new media” as the new “revolutionary” phase in a grand narrative about technological progress–taking a cue from Marshall McLuhan, he positions “new media” as the next big step in the process of “media evolution” (35-6). New media is “new” because it’s everything “old media” could never be!! Right? Sort of. The glaring issue with setting up a new/old opposition (disregarding for the moment the huge, huge postmodernist red flag raised by the thought of linear “media evolution”) is that one day “new media” will no longer be new. Then what? To assume that digital technology is the be-all, end-all of media is (to use a delightful new term I learned from Jason Brown’s lecture) to Vannevar in the worst possible way. No matter how you feel about metanarratives, “new media” just isn’t a sufficient term to describe the technological/artistic/cultural phenomena Manovich attempts to define.

For further debate (and confusion, and misinformation) about the value of the term “new media,” check out the talk page for the Wikipedia “New Media” entry I stumbled across as I was writing this post (which includes a proposal that the entries on “new media” and “digital media” be merged. Interesting!)

New Media

One thing that I really liked in the Manovich article was how he said that because the new media revolution is based on computers, it affects every form of communication. He tried to compare this to the printing press na dphotography, but as far as I can tell, there is nothing that can compare to the development of digital media on computers because of the way it revoluttionizes so many different areas. Although, this would be interesteding to discuss. He goes onto say that digital media is a combination of computing and technological media. If this is the case, would it be fair to compare digital media to other advances, or is it its own category?

I also liked the brief discussion of binary code versus film. I may be wrong, but to me, binary code was one of the most important advances in technology. Not only is it fast, it is efficient. It has led to the current wonder of computers.

Another point which was interesting was when he was discussing the modularity of the new media. I think that relates back to the point made in one of the earlier reading that the internet cannot be conidered as one whole thing because it has many parts. But this is even stronger when referring to all of new media. Sometimes, areas overlap. I like the example later on about how Tomb Raider was made into a movie after it was a game. This brings up an entirely differen’t point to me. It’s surprising to me that there are not more movies based off of video games necause the stories on video games absorb the users so much.

As far as the “New Media </body>” artice, the most interesting part was the study of errors. The interesting part of the way that they are discussed in this article is that the human side is considered. An example is on the discussion of Error 404, the issue of blame was brought up. Often times on the internet, we forget that the internet is made up of other people and that other people created what we see. It relates back to many of our previous discussions of identity on the internet, but the internet can be quite impersonal.