26 February 2008

4

He would have turned 77 today

parents Ever since I had learned counting days, weeks, months and years, I could have never correctly guess my parents' birthdays. It is not that I have a memory related or a calculus problem. It is a simple fact that they both were born in February. As long as I remember, their birthdays were sort of same to me. Here they are, February 4th and February 26th. As far as I am concerned, those dates have sounded to me as real as February 6th or February 24th. My brain does work in mysterious ways indeed. Furthermore, it is not just the that February-something digit problem I have had since forever. Year after year, I kept forgetting which birthday was to come first in February, my mother's or my father's.

In November 2005, my father passed away. In an emotional shock, that I went through, I was kind of enlightened by the fact that his birthday was actually easy to distinct from my mother's. He was born in 1931. Last two digits, when multiplied, give 62. When I switch the digits in 62, I get 26. And that is his birthday, the February 26th. On the other hand, my mother was born in 1942. The last two digits are 4 and 2. Need I say that her birthday is 4th of February? So here they are, those dates. I could not see it through, all these years.

I am not sure which one to wonder more about, the fact that it took me 30 years to figure out the way to remember my parents' birthdays, or, the wondering way, that their years of birth are interconnected with their birthdays.

I do have this thing with digits, I kind of see them. My perception of the world I live in somehow intercepts with numbers, that at the end of the day come down as a silent explanation for the things I cannot rationally explain. Do not ask me what I mean with that sentence. It is the way my brain works.

And the very fact, that I am writing about digits on my late father's birthday does not mean I love him less. It's just the way my brain works. I might have as well just expressed my love to him. Read between the lines.

Had he lived longer, he would have turned 77 today. I miss him so much.

s ledja

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0

Yes, We Can... Take This Blog Away!

Imagine this ultimate spin: Barack Obama helping promote my blog?!

I am not sure if that has been done before. It fits perfectly my post, I must admit. Plus I got that momentary inspiration I cannot resist, so it may be worth the buzz. Look at it this way: I get a helping hand from a famous politician and you get to see all those beautiful celebrities in the YouTube Obama music video. And, I like the message he is spreading. Do you? Lets play the tune. Than, I will tell you what this post is all about, and you might even end up actually LISTENING to all this.

The real question of this post is following: Do you like reading? I do. What else can you do while reading? Anything? Can you read a book and drive a car? No? Well, yes! You can. Make your change - from reading to listening. 

Now, I will ask again: Do you like reading blogs? Do you have all the time you need to read  your favorite blogs? Huh? Err. I thought so. And how about you actually listening to mp3 blog? Just like a podcast!

Here's the best part. You CAN take this blog away with you. Just like takeaway pizza. Yes, I am that cheap!

Start subscription and dare to listen to this magnificent blog on your gadget of choice by clicking the "audio blog - podcast" banner above the top post or just click here, and choose your RSS reader or media manager, Mediamonkey, iTunes, Winamp or your audio software of choice. The smart brains from Odiogo made this magic possible.

So go ahead, make my day and take this blog away!

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25 February 2008

1

What my mobile can and cannot do...

It is not that old and classy as this old guy above, but still it is kicking hard. My mobile phone's capabilities have been however fully unleashed by several upgradings and reprogramming sessions. Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you...  ta-ta-ra-taaaaa! My k750i.

This mobile has been quite old by today's standards. I bought it as at a special one-afternoon discount that I had read about in newspaper ad while waiting for the bus. Sounds cheap, huh?

This little guy turned out to be quite good and durable phone actually. My Sony Ericsson k750i came with a 2 Mb autofocus digital camera, video recorder, RDS radio, mp3 player, GPRS, java-enabled options, calendar, alarm, organizer, Bluetooth, infra-red connection, external speaker,  mug-light and quite small capacity MS Duo Pro memory card.

I performed on it quite a number of improvements. The old headset was to go first. I found a good replacement off the eBay. It looks just like original to me and I find it good enough for the purpose. Old 64-megabyte memory card has been replaced by a monster 4-gigabyte, also from eBay, turning my phone into capable and spacious media device.

I use it as a camera quite often. And as a  notebook. I find it obsolete this days to write things down. One click and I take pictures of whatever note I need to have written down. It has helped me out on a number of occasions on various lectures at the university by taking the photos of the whiteboard with long formulas on it.

I use a free user-developed software for synchronizing the content called My Phone Explorer. I connect my phone every now and then to my PC and just back-up the content of the phone, synchronize my phone calendar and organizer to Google calendar, SMS messages, photos, videos, calls.

For synchronizing of the audio media I use my audio software of choice Mediamonkey. This includes music, podcasts and audiobooks, but mostly podcasts and audiobooks.

Having such a huge capacity of memory card, I use my phone as a portable memory as well. You can put really much of the content on those 4 gigs.

I have an Opera mobile Internet explorer installed on my k750, but I don't really use it that much. Having a Wi-Fi enabled phone would feel much better indeed, still being able to surf via GPRS is good enough for me. If needed.

My mobile is my mp3 player on my jogging sessions. Therefore I upgraded it's firmware to a match those music oriented Sony Ericsson mobile phones. This means that my k750 has a sort of w800 heart beating inside. In other words, it has a Sony Ericsson w800 firmware and looks as k750, and a number of personalized capabilities enabled. One Google-search for flashing, k750i, w800, firmware will do. I am not much of a programmer, I just followed the step-by-step instruction for upgrading and - voila! When turned on, my k750 is rather unrecognizable.

I do not blog with my phone. As I said, it is rather old model and does not have blogging software enabled. Web 2.0 is yet to be uncovered by my next, more technically advanced cellphones.

Still, the number and scope of functions I have succeeded to unlock on this phone will keep it in my pocket for a while. It is running strong. Still.

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0

Face it, Facebook

There has been a buzz on the Net last week about Facebook losing 400000 UK visitors from December 2007 to January 2008. This is last month we are talking about. So, is there a general loss of interest in that service or is there something new around the corner that only Brits know about and won't tell the rest?

As for me personally, this reminds me of how the stock exchange works. Remember that just few months ago Yahoo was about to pay 1 billion US dollars for Facebook? Remember Microsoft evaluating Facebook at 15 billion dollars? So, what does this mean? Will Facebook slide down?

Well, we have the official data from Nielsen Online that reflect that 5 percent of site visitors who did not bother coming back to the site this month. What went wrong there? Do I smell another case of MySpace social network decline? is it the overload of applications within the program or a simple fact that people get bored sooner or later? Will other countries' statistics reflect the UK ex-Facebookers behavior? Is Facebook doomed do fail now? Is there a life on Mars? So many questions... What do you think?

What rings my red lamp, and I may be wrong, is the following additional info from Nielsen:

Nielsen Online only measures website traffic based on a panel of UK users at home and work - it does not cover usage in schools, universities and internet cafes, meaning that younger internet users are under-reported.

The explanation for lower number for Facebook can indeed be hidden behind the omitting the statistics about the company's biggest share of users. We are still to see. As I said, how about that life on Mars?

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0

Veni, Vidi... What?

I figured out I did not actually get to write so much about my Internet media profile in my two previous posts. So, people, here I come again! Just as boring and intrusive as this sleek dude on the photo above.  I just could not resist putting him here. Isn't he cute?

I have been using Internet for quite a while, I might say. It has been 11 years since I had my first PC with a 14400 baud-modem. I remember the login-script popping that used to pop-up upon every established connection. I remember downloading my first mp3 file. It was a U2 song from the concert in Sarajevo in 1997. if I remember well, the opening song was Mo-Fo, and this was my very first official media content downloaded from the Internet.

My media related web experience was limited to painfully long downloading of mp3 files, some of which I used in my radio shows during 1998 and 1999. Other than that there was the regular stuff like reading the written word from the Internet.

In 2000 my whole Internet suddenly broaden up due to my new job as an Internet researcher for a Thomson-Gale CID commercial company database. I was researching the Net 8 hours a day, finding the regular information direct from the company websites, as well as from the dedicated commercial databases, such as Security Exchange Commission and Hoovers among others. Sometimes in late 2000 I discovered that search engine with a funny name. It was Google. Despite the name weirdness factor, the search engine was fantastic, much better than then established engines as Yahoo!, AltaVista or Ask Jeeves!  (To be continued...)

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24 February 2008

0

Who am I? - part 2

Let's continue explaining my reception of the complicated radio/podcast perception. I find radio entertaining as long as it fits my time schedule. When I was younger, it was an option for me to listen to specific shows at the specific airing time. Nowadays however I got spoiled.

If there is an audio content on radio that I am interested in, then I will not adjust my time to it. If there is no possibility to listen to the show at my convenience, then I skip it. I try to use the podcasting + autoplaylists options on my mediamonkey media software and to actually manage and prioritize certain shows over the others.

Listening to podcast content is a sort of going back to roots of radio. Sure, large media and news production companies do produce podcasts and adjust to the growing demand of the market. But the real podcasting radio jewels are the private show produced by ordinary web users like you and me. The ability to produce a media content directly at the keyboard, the ability to be your own editor, censor, publisher and marketer surely attracts those individuals striving towards the free media. In most cases I feel those "small-time" shows as being more genuine and user oriented than the official radio-broadcasted commercial.

Just like people who blog and read blogs as a substitution for the written media. I personally prefer reading news online. By that I mean reading blog-comments about the official news. By reading, watching and listening to private net content I can feel the public opinion better then when reading the editors' approved content. 1000 bloggers give richer angle on any subject than a single newspaper. My usual newsreading starts with blog portals as technorati or knuff.

When it comes to reading, well, new new media have arrived to my written content world too. Audio books have spoiled me so much, that I find it more enjoyable listening to someone else's voice than reading the same content in a written form. I mean, children do enjoy listening to others reading to them, right? There has to be something in it. Needless to say, listening to a book instead of reading it gives me more degrees of freedom sort to say. Maybe I am more an aural type, who knows? Well, this allows me at least to have great book listening sessions while I am on my long jogging tours.

Don't get me wrong, I really like reading too. I do read local newspapers at daily basis, as long as I get them deliver every morning free of charge as a test reader. It's just that I find the new new media too convenient and user-friendly not to use their full potential.

Part of my media profile is also love to the digital photography, TV-radio commercials production, my mobile phone flashing and who knows what else... I will leave it to some other post. As I read in one of A-B-C's of the blogging, I must keep posts short and clear. The last two posts are everything but this...

To conclude the story, my media self would be best describe by words like free, portable, gadgets, tweaking, open. I can use these words as tags as well. Yup.

What is your media profile like? Anything I missed? Talk to you soon.

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0

Who I am? or Who am I? - is the question for ages

Well, how can I not remember that scene with Billy Crystal from the famous comedy Analyse This. I thought this short video may serve as an innuendo to a post about my media-self. This one is an assignment for the new new media university course. And, a handy way to introduce my media profile.

TV - not really for me, except for the tv screen itself. I do not tend to watch TV-program but I enjoy movies of my choice and an Internet video streaming material. I hooked up my tv-set to the Xbox game console, which has been "fixed" so it can play various media formats, plus more. A community driven Xbox application xbox media centre is THE actual media center of our home. This free program provides reproduction of just about every thinkable media format directly to our living room home cinema.

Xbox is connected to my home router and is a part of a home LAN. Router has it's own story too. Originally I bought it as a triple-media ADSL2+ modem. I am a curious and a gadget-driven man, so I found out the way to re-program my modem into a router. The best thing is that the router's capabilities have been locked by isp provider in order to limit the usage of the device.

Flashing modem into router and fixing xbox can start giving you my idea of media. Releasing the full potential of the devices through free network-available knowledge is my thing. As long as I know where and how to look.

Networking. I hooked my laptop to the home network too, so I stream music, videos and pictures from one device to another at my home. The good old television as I have known it for a few decades is forgotten where I live now.

My love to music in general has lasted quite long. I remember my late father taking me to a high-fidelity store speaker rooms, where he made me turn my back to the wall full of speakers and describe the difference in reproduction of various systems tested. Needless to say, I love music. It's a love with a capital L that transcends into a very personal perception of the music pieces. If neither you can compare both joy and pain of Anton Corbijn¨s "Control" movie about the band Joy Division and an obscurity of Eurovision Song Contest country-qualification concerts, than you know what I mean.

As I speak I listen to an instrumental piece Magic Spells by the new electronic band Crystal Cases. You will find this information in the right part of this page, where Last.fm displays the music I play on my pc, xbox or my zen. Social networking take another important part of my media-self. Being able to interact with others means a wider base, more alternatives, fresher ideas, and ultimately better choice. A logical concequence is a better music from my players. It helps me searching and finding music I enjoy, rather that what major music companies offer as mainstream music.

Music formats have evolved through my music voyage. I remember having a rather huge collection of long-play analog music albums. Yes, i was proud of my 350 records. In fact, they are still intact in my old room back at parents' place. Then I switched to digital cd format and collected even more albums. In late nineties minidisc format gave me portability and quality I prefered. Being addicted to my old Sony minidisc's fit and sharp sound I missed by far the first wave of mp3 players. I got my first mp3 player in 2004. That was a 15gb harddisk driven Philips hdd100. It still looks fantastic, a sort of an iPod antipod. Piano-black and shiny, though somewhat poor in functions for today's standard, but it still delivers superiour sound, when compared ty my present portable media player of choice: Creative Zen Vision:M.

Media organizing. The advantages of processor power in media organizing are thrilling. Having a several thousand large music collection, storing the songs in folders and managing them in that fashion is rather old and unpractical. Tagging is the winning word here. Mediamonkey is a free software that I use to manage my music. Once that this brilliant program unleashes it's whole powers, you actually learn to love your music collection. Automatic playlists generated by user-given criteria keep my music perception exciting after every synchronisation of the music library with my player.

One more thing worth mentioning is radio. The thing with radio is that I don't listen to it very much. I mean, I do love radio, I have even workhed a number years in front of a microphone on several radio stations, but I simply find radio quite obsolete nowadays. Podcast is the reason.

This post will be continued as soon as I get some sleep. It is 1:47 AM. Blogging carries me away too easy...

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20 February 2008

0

Blood Money

"Nobel invented dynamite. I won't accept his blood money!"

Yeah, I really couldn't help myself not to blog on this one. I am obviously in the middle of Season 2 of the TV-show House M.D. and I usually watch whole seasons in one piece. That way I don't get to wait for a week or so for another episode and forget the most of the stuff that previously happened.

Speaking of doctor House, it is hard not to like his sarcasm. He treats his patients, co-workers, and bosses equally tough, and that is exactly what makes us, the audience, feel good about ourselves. The genius his character possesses, and his encyclopedic knowledge made me change my mind about the whole show.

House is a good person. It is not because of the blood money statement about the Noble price. It because of his weird angle on things where you cannot really morally argue with him. Siege the moment, that's what he is best at. And for that I take my hat off. If I only had one...

I could ask you whether you like House or not, but I suspect the answer would be obvious. Wouldn't it?

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15 February 2008

4

See my books to read

Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
by David Weinberger

Read more about this book...
The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, Twentieth Anniversary Edition
by Sherry Turkle

Read more about this book...
Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (New Accents)
by Walter J. Ong

Read more about this book...
The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture
by Andrew Keen

Read more about this book...
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell

Read more about this book...
Technological Visions: The Hopes and Fears that Shape New Technologies
by

Read more about this book...

So that is the booklist given by Mark. I started to read two of them only to get a recall notice. Well, I was playing nice once, but the second notice is to wait a couple of days till I'm done with Technological Visions, the last one on my pimped and improved booklist. I will get back here later on with my book impressions.
The presentation format in this post closest to what I would like it to look like. As I said it is a learning process. And so my blog pimping progresses. Now I need to find a way to put this list on a side column. Huh.

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0

The Power of Past

I am expected to get familiar with various web 2.0 applications during this course. This includes Facebook.

Up to recently I was really resistant to all the fame surrounding that web service. I mean, on a daily basis, Facebook's on TV news, TV text, Internet, newspapers, radio.. where does it end? Does it end at all? The point is that people do want to get get together and socialize. Even when they are not online they do use various applications within Facebook and message one another... or one to many... or whatever...

It all seemed like another madness to me. The hype will pass - is what I thought about Facebook. Then I received the first invitation to the service from a friend. Sure I rejected it, it was a few months ago when world media widely covered Facebook privacy intrusions issue. They claimed they fixed the issue and apologized to customers. "Too late to apologize" sang that guy from One Republic along with Timba "e-e-e-e" so I thought myself along with them: No way. No pasaran.

Then came the second invitation to FB. Then the third one and so on. So I thought myself, let's take a look. And I peeked in.

Just like Internet within the Internet, one page lead to another. One person's list of friends led to another list. I did start finding my friends. My old friends. Ever since I left my homeland, and ever further ever before - since many of them had left our homeland, I finally had the meeting place where I could easily socialize with all of them. Kind of defeated old "media me" had to admit it felt good to embrace Facebook as new "media me". So I turned to the Dark Side.

I do find people from my past I really never thought I'd meet again. This application sort of takes away excuses to NOT communicate. Having many friend around the globe whom I haven't seen in ages, I must be impressed. That's exactly the kind of web social tool I need.

Nick Cave was tonight in my dining room. A French music channel MCM recorded his concert back in 1997 while he was promoting his The Boatman's Call album. What a live performance! Then I walked to my PC and checked my Facebook page for the day. Guess what? A friend whom I haven't seen for 14 years messaged me from Australia. Ghost in machine? Just asking... err, maybe.

They say these days you cannot delete your account @ Facebook. What is there to worry about? says my new "media me". I am not a person who just quits - I'm here to stay. Facebook, here I come!

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13 February 2008

0

Well yeah I'm pimpin' the blog, it's just that you don't see it... kind of... yet. :)

 

The statement above seems to be the most pathetic excuse I could have come up with. Being a research-freak as I am yet an absolute blogging beginner, I did a little research about this whole phenomena. Yep, I know, I could have just started writing - read: adding substance - instead of wasting my time on the blog package. But hey, that's life... I mean, how many times I have heard the sentence 'one thing led to another'.. And here I am, 48 hours have well passed and the blog does not look fundamentally different as I expected. Still.

Let me shortly state my case.

  • As I started adding widgets and plug-ins to the blog, I was quite irritated because I could not add the nice-looking Amazon list of books widget. Then I went to the Amazon site and found out that the widget is for the WordPress-type blogs and not for the blogger-type blogs. Guess what, this one's a blogger-type one..
  • Of course, than I googled 'WordPress' and found out about all the themes for their blogs! Do these themes look good or what... Than I tried to install the themes to my blogger-blog and did not succeed.
  • ...but I learned that the WP-blogs appear to be more flexible and customizable than blogger-ones. I got that info from several tests-reviews-comparisons on the net. All the tests appear to be in favor of the WordPress.
  • I also learned about the Windows Live-type blogs, and how they are inferior to the previous two types.
  • though I must admit that the Windows Live Writer blogging software is fantastic. It is the WYSIWYG type, I see my blog's web layout directly as I type.
  • At this point of my research I got really into switching to a WP-type blog from this one, blogger-type.
  • So I opened an account at the www.wordpress.com. It was a bit strange at first to get two first hits on Google: the .com and the .org domains for the 'WordPress'. There is a reason for that .. keep reading.
  • So I started the whole free blog package @ WP and was ready to get one of those fabulous themes for my blog and to show it off big-time. Needles to say, the free WordPress.com blogging service does not allow uploading personal themes other than those already listed, but...
  • If I have a web server, then I can upload them to the specific themes folder and blah blah blah... read 'I got lost at this point', just wanted to make my blog look a bit more cool and I ended up writing my points here instead. :)
  • So I figured that the .org domain is the site devoted for setting up a blogging service on personal or servers other than www.wordpress.com. I downloaded an executable WordPress blog package and saved it in a nice cool and hidden folder to deal with it later on...
  • ...and in the meantime I do import my posts from blogger service to WordPress.
  • mediaspotting.wordpress.com is the address of my other blog.

At this point I already had extended my blog-pimping deadline from 48 to 96 hours. Although this blog is new and absolutely unnoticeable in this earth's blogosphere, I still need to show respect to my readers (anyone out there?) and keep adding substance to these pages.

So here I am, now I explained why the blog's layout has not been substantially updated. I hope there's someone on these pages to read it...LOL

Anyone?

PS: I really need that visitor stat widget thing ASAP...

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08 February 2008

0

Pimp my write

The next 48 hours I'm pimping my blog.

Was about time.

Watch this space. Hmm, guess I am talking to myself. Still, talking. :)

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