Archive for September, 2005

Internet Explorer 7 in the wild.

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

pie diagram showing browser shares for visits of this site. Firefox: 19%, Internet Explorer 7: 1%, 6 54%, 5 2%, Konqueror: 3%, Mozilla: 13%, Netscape 7: 2%, 3: 1%, Opera 6: 2%, 0: 2%, Safari: 3%Well, well, seems the future has begun. Hopefully, it will really be a future that is more standards compliant and privacy friendly. Today, I noticed my first visitor using Internet Explorer 7. Makes me wonder, how long it will take to reduce the share of version 6 to the current level of version 5…
The referrer said that the Internet Explorer 7 user was googling for Emma Watson (a.k.a. Baby Spice) pictures.

Geography, Chicago, and disorderly materialities.

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Well, this is some of the best news of this year, I must say. After being reminded by Mr. Meier that there is a potentially interesting session at the 2006 Meeting of the AAG I wrote an abstract and applied for the session called Ordering / Disordering Space and Matter. Yesterday, I received the confirmation that my paper has been accepted… YAY!

I am so looking forward to being in Chicago again – I will be able to visit old pals in Bloomington again. I was hoping for an opportunity like that very much. And I must say that reading the other abstracts for this session was quite exciting. Very imaginative and captivating subjects – this will be an excellent session, I am sure. Counting the weeks until March next year…

Automatic Irritations.

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Following is my abstract for the session Ordering / Disordering Space and Matter of the 2006 Meeting of the AAG, March 7-11, Chicago, Illinois.

Based on ethnographic research in railway stations and passenger terminals for ferries, this paper wedges itself between people and the things they encounter. Detailed analysis of digital video recordings allows insight into the brief exchanges between men, women and artifacts. Sometimes, these exchanges do not unfold as planned, irritations arise and expectations are thwarted causing a reordering of conduct. Artifacts like the ticket selling machine or the materiality of a revolving door can break established routines thereby opening spaces for play or interaction with others. Terminals with their ticket selling counters, their shops and waiting facilities are places of a distinct phenomenologically accessible materiality; this paper will get involved in this materiality, tracing the relations between people, things, and socio-spatial constellations to understand how the rule of a certain normality is established in terminals and when and how it is destabilized.

Not sure about the violence.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

About a month ago I saw Sin City – impressive pictures, super soundtrack and excellent actors that blend into the the dark and gritty world of Frank Miller’s Sin City perfectly. It is the best comic adaption that I have seen so far. Comics are one of my favorite media – the story telling possiblities offered by putting pictures into sequences are stunning. (If you haven’t done so until now, you definitely have to read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, which is also translated into German. One of the few must have reads that I would recommend to anyone.)
However, I do have one problem with the comic market which definitely moves into focus when watching Sin City as a movie: the aggressive depiction of violence. From my perspective, the violence in Sin City wasn’t too bad; I found it less disconcerting than the comic sequence in Kill Bill vol. 1 for example. The use of colors other than red for blood, the obvious non-realism of the massive amount of injuries sustained by the protagonists and the whole mystic and dark atmosphere made dealing with the violence easier for me. Nonetheless, I remain skeptical about the whole kill splatter shoot die moan guts-flying-around issue – my non-spilled guts tell me to…
IMDb entry | Trailer

Printing pleasure.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

While I was on vacation in France this summer I printed Wikipedia content for the first time. And boy was I pleasantly surprised. The print had a different layout than the website. It was perfectly suited to reading on a piece of paper, had the aduquate kind of information and ditched web-specific layout aspects. Very nice and all that without having to click on some kind of go here to see the printer friendly version link.

Of course, I wanted to implement this for my website too. Behind the scenes, this is based on good CSS code, which offers hooks to change layout and other features of your content according to the media that is used to access the content on your page (i.e. screens, printed paper, sound, braille thingies for blind people, mobile phones etc.). I knew about this almost since my first dabblings in CSS, but I never collected enough guts to actually write the code for my site.
This changed today – because I was procrastrinating, trying to evade working on a paper that I have to finish very soon, and because of mentioning this feature of CSS to Tini a few days ago, I wanted to see how hard it is to implement. Thanks to SELFHTML and a bit of browsing I was able to hack the changes that are necessary to have a separate print version of my diploma thesis in about four hours – even though the thesis consists of about fourteen separate pages, includes lots of different links, pictures, edits and so forth. Quite a bit less time than I would have feared, I have to admit. I will let this settle for a bit and then implement the same changes for my other pages, which should not take more than an hour – the blog is still waiting for a general code overhaul anyway, during which I will include a print style sheet.
One thing did not work as intended though: the @page part of the CSS 2 specification is not fully implemented by the different modern browsers (we’re not talking Internet Explorer here anyway), therefore the page margins will be different and not always perfect when printing with different browsers. However, I don’t care about this much at this point of time – hopefully these printing features will be implemented sooner rather than later. Here, you can help: vote for the relevant Mozilla bugs 115199 and 286443 in bugzilla!

Organizing, tagging, and analyzing video clips on the Mac.

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

After finishing the introductory chapter of my dissertation I am now diving into the video and photographic data which I collected in the course of the last two years. Not an easy thing. Photos are not a problem. (I am fully satisfied with GraphicConverter’s abilities and make extensive use of IPTC entries to add keywords to my image files, which then get indexed by Apple’s Spotlight search.) However, tagging movie clips in a way that allows for convenient search and analysis is much more difficult. I decided to use iDive by Aquafadas software since it got some really good reviews and seemed to be nicely integrated to Mac OS X technologies (Spotlight again). It was a good choice! Although I am not able to tag arbitrary stretches of clips (overlapping would be best), I can split my clips into multiple parts and can tag those. This is not what makes me really happy about choosing iDive though – the really good aspect, as with all software, is the developer. I sent him feedback (bug reports and feature and enhancement requests). I got an answer only a few hours later. And: he is planning to implement almost all the things that I asked for. Most excellent! Superb! I am looking forward to work with a program that will slowly grow into the tool that I really need. Hail small, responsive developers!

Werbung für die WASG.

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Frau Kitta hat nun die Seite für Herbert Schui online gestellt. Da meine Stimme dort hingehört, wo auch mein Herz schlägt, hoffe ich, dass es möglichst viele Stimmen für das Bündnis aus Linkspartei/PDS und WASG gibt. Herbert Schui ist ein Kandidat der für volkswirtschaftlich begründete, kritische Politik steht und der nur eine Bereicherung für den Bundestag sein kann. Ich bin auch durch persönliche Bekanntschaft davon überzeugt, dass es eine gute Entscheidung ist, mit einer in Niedersachsen abgegeben Stimme für das Linksbündnis die Chancen für einen Einzug von Herbert Schui in den Bundestag zu erhöhen – er steht dort auf Platz drei der Liste, es kann also auf jede Stimme ankommen.

Röchelruf und Münchnerbierherz.

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Worte wie diese sind die Freuden des Alltags auch wenn man fern der Heimat sitzt und den größten Teil des Tages auf den Bildschirm starrt. Und das obwohl hier in Kopenhagen glänzendes Wetter ist und es an Verlockungen für andere Tätigkeiten nicht mangelt…
Ansonsten habe ich erfreulicherweise heute das erste richtige Kapitel meiner Dissertation fertig stellen können (die Einbettungen) – die Öffnungszeiten in der Kongeligen Bibliotek erlauben auch Spätstartern wie mir noch einen produktiven Arbeitstag. Internet gibts da auch, allerdings nur über Port 80, so dass ich keinen Zugriff auf den Server der Zedat habe. Abends ist meine Bildschirmkondition dann so schlapp, dass ich es kaum auf die Reihe bekomme, noch einen Eintrag ins Blog zu befördern. Vielleicht hilft Routine vor Ort – zwei Wochen bin ich ja noch hier. Mal schauen, wie weit ich meinen arg ins Hintertreffen geratenen Zeitplan wieder einholgen kann…