Natively Digital …

April 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm (computers, internet, kids) (, , , )

I hear the term ‘digital native‘ quite a lot.  The idea is that it refers to a generation that have grown up with digital technology and are perfectly at home with using it.  This is of course in contrast to the idea that they understand it.  Its a tool – it is used as a means to an end.

There is no more understanding of how digital technology works in the average digital native than there is detailed knowledge of the insides of a car’s engine for me.  My father’s generation grew up with servicing cars themselves, but for me – well, that is what the garage is for.  I just use it to get me from A to B.

And so it is the same with a lot of today’s digital youth.  Computer goes wrong?  Find the chap who’ll fix it.  Internet down … “Daaad …”

In fact a Royal Society article from last year discusses how current ICT teaching in schools appears to be damaging enthusiasm for understanding computers.  Its obvious to any who care to look that long gone are the days of computers coming with programming manuals (although of course, arguably mindstorms might be more interesting …)

Well, I got a taste of native digital behaviour first hand today.  6 year old playing games on the computer announces ‘I got some music on.  I typed in ‘give me what I want’ to Google and its playing it’ … sure enough, ‘Kids in glass houses‘ track on YouTube is the top link in the Google search results, so its playing in the background whilst she plays games.

Natively digital?  Oh yes.


Permalink Leave a Comment

The Creative Internet

February 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm (art, computers, interesting, internet) (, , , , , , , )

Been meaning to post about this for a while now.  Google put together a presentation of loads of different Internet related projects that people have done.  Next time you see some piece of media highlighting how bad the Internet is, pick one of these at random and redress the balance a little.


Some personal favourites of mine include:

Fantastic stuff.  Tech at its best.


Permalink 1 Comment

Video games inspire art

June 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm (art, computers, interesting, music) (, , , , , , )

I’ve seen one or two musical items inspired by video games.  There was Andrea Vadrucci who drums along to Mario Bros.  Just found a violinist who plays the mario game music and sound effects in real time along to a game as its being played.  I’ve seen opera in virtual worlds.

But I think the animation I’ve just found is quite excellent.  It’s 80’s video games animated out of everyday objects.  I particularly like the pacman near the end.  Very well done. Its called Game Over and you can see it here on YouTube.



Permalink Leave a Comment

Joseph and the Amazing Catalogue of Musical Styles …

March 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm (kids, music) (, , , , )

The kids are learning the school’s version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolo(u)r Dreamcoat, so we’ve been listening to it again recently. Only we have the full version on CD, and every time I hear it it makes me smile to hear all the musical cliches that ALW managed to get into one piece of music.

You have the country-style ‘one more angel in heaven‘, the 20’s style ‘Potiphar‘, the early incarnation of Elvis as pharaoh, the stereotypically French ‘Canaan days‘, Benjamin’s Calypso and of course all the other famous numbers.  Personally, I like Grovel, grovel the best … a great song!

Its also great to see someone like the Really Useful Company (ALW’s company) put official videos up on YouTube!  Also shows how far social media has come in the last few years.

If you haven’t listened to it since school yourself, its well worth getting it out again.  Just don’t take it too seriously.  Lots of fun.


Permalink Leave a Comment

I bet you they won’t put this song on the Internet …

November 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm (interesting, music) (, , , )

Funny what things trigger memories .. a chance overheard comment about ‘song on the radio’ reminded me of a song that used to be a regular feature on school and band coaches whilst growing up – ‘I bet you they won’t play this song on the radio‘, so had to google it, and yes, YouTube provides (doesn’t it always).  I’d forgotten it was a Monty Python one.  Still just a funny today mind …

Well, this started several minutes of mirth and merriment whilst I looked up the other Python songs I could remember … Eventually I found the official Python channel on YouTube and

Never did find a copy of the version of ‘here comes another one’ I remember though … (“ya-ca-da-dow”)



Permalink Leave a Comment

Social Media Counters

October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm (internet) (, , , , , )

Ever wonder how often someone does a blog post?  How many new Facebook users there are every second?  How much video is uploaded to YouTube? No?  Well, from time to time I do.

Well, I need wonder no more.  This chap, Gary Hayes, has produced a social media counter.  Using numbers from public sources, he’s written a small web applet that uses those numbers to illustrate how much activity goes into things like blogs, online social networks,  and virtual worlds.

I can’t embed the applet here, but it looks like this (showing the numbers for 30 minutes of activity).  You can find the actual counting version here –

Social Media Counter

Permalink Leave a Comment

Surreal Machinima

September 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm (art, computers, interesting, internet, odds) (, , , )

I’ve been reading about Machinima recently.  This is basically a film, filmed within a virtual world.  Its not really CGI, but more an actual recording of someone using a virtual world such as Second Life or World of Warcraft.

Well, on my travels, I’ve found this rather exquisite example of surreal Machinima, using Second Life.  Its from an in-world artist called Lainy Voom.

See it here on YouTube –


Push by Lainy Voom

Push by Lainy Voom

Permalink Leave a Comment

Rain on the Choir …

July 2, 2009 at 8:40 pm (music) (, , , , )

This choir are just fantastic.   They are performing ‘Africa’ (the Toto hit), but at the start, they use their hands and jumping to simulate the sound of rain and thunder.  Any it is amazingly well done.

The performance of the song is very good too – don’t think there is any accompaniment – sounds a capella to me – but the tuning is very good.

All in all, a very good performance, and a joy to watch.


Permalink Leave a Comment

We Feel Fine – Jonathan Harris

May 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm (interesting, internet, odds) (, , , , , , )

I feel like writing a blog post about!

I stumbled across the work of Jonathan Harris today in another blog. He has a very imaginative approach to using information from blogs and the Internet in ever changing technological art work.

I particularly like We Feel Fine, which is a website that scans blogs for sentences containing ‘I feel’ or ‘I am feeling’ and grabs them, works our the mood of the poster, along with any data about the poster that is easily grabbed from the blog (age, gender, location, etc) and stores it for display in one of several inventive ways. It is a bit like a general ‘stream of conciousness for the Internet’, and quite humbling to read when you consider that behind each of those statements is a story to be told. It is a fascinating website.

He has a couple of other interesting projects too – Lovelines is a similar project, looking for ‘I love’ or ‘I hate’ and variations inbetween. He has a few others, but some of them seem to have been overtaken with spam (sigh).

This reminds me of the Listening Post project – which at the moment is installed in the Science Museum! I must make a point of visiting and having a look. Here is a YouTube video of it.


Permalink 2 Comments

T-Mobile ad

February 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm (computers, interesting, internet, places) (, , , , , , , )

After noting improv everywhere the other week, I’ve started seeing the T-mobile ad on the TV and around and about, which is a very similar sort of thing. It gives the impression of an improvised, flash-mob style dance routine at London’s Liverpool St station.

One of the curious things for me though, is seeing the ad on those TV ad screens in stations and the Tube finishing with a URL that directly mentions YouTube.

It shows what a ubiquitous brand YouTube has become, sort of like how people have started saying they are ‘just off to google for something’ (although I’ve yet to see someone google for their keys … but with RFID and predictions about the ‘Internet of things‘, maybe one day that even that will come).


Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »