Thursday, February 28, 2008


Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

Director of Technology and CNMA(1) 2006 Programmer of the Year James Eberhardt came to Sheridan and showed the class the basics and trends about Developing for Mobile Platforms.

Ten years of developing experience have put Eberhardt in the understanding that different technologies and program structures should be applied to the different types and brands of cell phones in the market instead of just having one master program for all of them. This makes mobile development a tricky field to work with specially for Flash Developers because Flash Lite(2) is not available for a big range of models.

Applications like Flickr Upload, and the use of QR Codes(3) using a Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone were demonstrated by the developer who talked about the importance of creating enhancing programs for people to be able to send and receive information in a practical and compressed way in order to reduce costs and time.

When all the bubbling technologies at the moment are turning their faces to mobile devices another challenging fact are the elevated costs of the Internet service trough the different mobile companies which appears as another obstacle for Web based mobile applications.

Developing for a mobile platform is a challenging labor that involves creativity and knowledge of the different technologies that are available to use at the moment. While Java based applications have the major impact right now, Adobe seems to be taking it easy while only supporting AS2 in their Flash Lite platform. Good challenge in here!

(1).- Canadian New Media Awards recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the Canadian new media industry.

(2).- Adobe® Flash® Lite™ software is a runtime engine for mobile and consumer electronics devices that used by both device manufacturers and content developers.

(3).- A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code.

Related Links

James Eberhardt Homesite

QRcode Homesite

Nokia – Flash Lite Discussion Board

Highlights of Adobe at Mobile World Congress 2008

Adobe Showcase Mobile Devices Apps

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Social Media Reflections

Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

“Social Media wants to be free” are the words of Emerging Media Consultant Wayne MacPhail(1) who based his lecture in the concept of the Web 2.0 referring to the social aspect of the Web content where the authorative is replaced by the user created.

The creation of collaborative content trough the Web is what MacPhail punctualized as the best way to achieve Social Media that encourages conversation, community and society.

Concepts like tagging, bookmarking and sharing are the basics of the new interaction trough the Web, the one that is creating successful companies and concepts from the basic blogging; sharing pictures and video; RSS feeds, to the complex Mogulus ( video chat and others.

The well referred transition of the Internet from an “Ad Space” to the new “Global Village” can depend strongly on how much we the human decide to share about our lives and how much we want to have a presence inside the Web Universe, opium of the new generation but still far from the “real thing” Social Media appears in the horizon like one of the best business and research fields of our age.

Whilst talking about the future of New Media, MacPhail pointed at Mobile Technology as the next step for the Social Network when the iPhone SDK with Adobe Flash Air allowed can be a new opportunity for developers to explode the new fields of interaction.

(1).-After over a decade in the online business, Wayne MacPhail is currently the Web coordinator for Centennial College. He’s been a print and online journalist for over 25 years. After experimenting with hypertext systems as a reporter in the ‘80s, He founded and directed Southam InfoLab in 1991. InfoLab was a national research and development facility for future information products. InfoLab created some of the first educational CD-ROMs in Canada including True North — Arrivals and Understanding McLuhan. InfoLab also developed an SGML-based content management system for Southam in 1995.

In 1997 Wayne co-created Beavers — Canadian Content with Bite for AOL Canada. He went on to develop content for MSN, @Home Canada, Bell Emergis, CANOE, and Sympatico-Lycos. At Sympatico-Lycos, he was Director of Content. In 2000 he co-wrote one of the first pieces of online-only investigative reporting in Canada, Spin Doctors,, for Wayne has also been the Chief Knowledge Officer for Cyberplex. He has taught online writing and computer/human interface design at Centennial College, Sheridan College, Ryerson University, McMaster University and the Summer Institute for Film and Television. Wayne has consulted on emerging media for Hollinger, the Ontario Science Centre, @Home Canada, the Metro Toronto Archives, Omega Performance and Canadian Geographic. He’s also a published and produced playwright, a champion of usability, and the president of Online Writing Coach.

Related Links

Article: Content. No thanks! By Wayne MacPhail

Article: Missing the Medium. By Wayne MacPhail

Wayne MacPhail’s Portfolio

Blog: Curiosity Cast

Wayne MacPhail in Second Life

The two sides of the Media Development

Carlos Ruano, IMM 2007-2008, Sheridan

One big day downtown Toronto. First, visiting the Royal Ontario Museum* where Senior Director of New Media Resources, Brian Porter, showed us his work, and after that, breaking into the lab of who they call “The Cyborg”, inventor Steve Mann himself.

Digital Media Developer and journalist Brian Porter talked about his experience trough the challenging task of introducing the ROM to the digital world (with a weak low budget) using audio, video, touch and video basic interaction to enhance the experience of the visitors.

“Have as much different experiences as you can into the different fields of media” were the words of this experienced developer that also recommended to “Mix powerful media with good contents in order to reach the goals of your projects”.

Talking to Brian Porter was a good learning passage on how to adapt yourself to the resources you get and experiment with different kinds of media in order to improve the experience of the public.

Standing in front of Mister Steve Mann, Inventor and University of Toronto Professor, is enough to call that day a “big day”. “We live in the cyborg era. Everyone is tied to the social network” Mann says. “My new wave is to return to the primary media, take a break and go to the fundamentals” he stops.

With a deep way to comprehend technology, the inventor explained his creative processes initiating in dreams and ending into new objects, applications, and ideas that provide a new manner to face the world. One case of that approaching is the “Hydraulophone”, Steve Mann’s waterflute oriented to provide entertainment to different groups of people among with an educational frame for kids and music production.

After visiting the ROM and Steve Mann’s laboratory I can say I faced the two sides of the Multimedia Development: the rough “real” work field where budgets and timelines rule the construction of a digital face for the ROM, and the visionary but certainly fragile world of creation where Steve Mann can write his name in golden letters in a lucky day or walk by as a computer freak in a messy lab when trying to solve the mystery of the human-machine interaction.


Digital Media at the ROM

“New Media is the Message” ArticleMcLuhan Lectures 2005 July 13 Tony Hushion and Brian Porter

Steve Mann Homesite

Wereable Computer

The Cyborg logs by Steve Mann