Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back! Watchmen, summer, interactivity and all that

Hi! Back from a LONG vacation - which actually is not over yet, as I still have 1 week to go. Then I'm all out of vacation, and back in business.

First on the agenda - finish a paper for the DREAM conference in Odense, Denmark in mid-September. If you have the chance to attend, please do - looks like it's going to be pretty interesting stuff.

Also: WATCHMEN, the classic Alan Moore-comic from the 80s, one of the first comics that really could be considered graphic novels rather than comics, is coming out soon - well, March 2009 supposedly - with Zac Snyder of "300" fame directing. I really cannot wait. Even if Alan Moore himself has said that he's "never going to watch that fucking thing".

Summers been nice. Lots of fishing and swimming and traveling and time with the family. Great all in all. And Iron Maiden live in Helsinki - that was pretty neat, even if it was as unpredictable as the weather in Sahara.

Now off, kids to bed. Later.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

wooh, halfway to 70!

There it is, and 35 I am. not long to go to the grave anymore!

Good party tonight (writing this a little bit intoxicated) with nice people and nice atmosphere. I really do like you all. :)

now, more vacation. Turku archipelago calling!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Back... for a second

Back in Finland, and a big THANK YOU to all of you people arranging and participating in EuroITV 2008. All in all, it was great.

Now some sleep, then a train to Åbo. Until later.

Friday, July 04, 2008

EuroITV 2008 day 2

Day two of the conference is coming to an end. The best paper was just awarded, called 'Usages of the secondary screen in an interactive environment', i.e. how can one use mobile phones together with interactive television. Pretty interesting stuff, read up on it if you have the chance.

Many of the presentations today have however just given me a big 'why?'-feeling - some of the things people are doing and researching into simply seem really not worthwhile. A coffeetable with which you can change tv channels? Why? A new interface to change channels on tv and adjust the volume? Why? A 3D world - fairly low on graphics - as an interface to YouTube? For the love of God, why? Is anyone ordering these things? Is anyone buying them? Does anyone need them? Does anyone want them? I don't know. Perhaps I'm just being too harsh.

EuroITV will be held in Belgium next year, in Loeven. Year after that, Tampere.

Note to self: when your newfound friend pulls out a full bottle of vodka at 2 o'clock in the morning, I do not HAVE to drink all of it. I can, but it's not worth it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

euroitv 2008 day 1

This is what it looks like, EuroiTV 2008. The aula is actually the venue where Mozart performed his first opera. They're REALLY big on Mozart here ;)

It's been a pretty interesting day so far. Some obvious stuff, some old stuff, but also some good stuff.

For me, one interesting session was the one on mobile tv. Research shows that we should NOT promise or advertise mobile tv as 'tv in your pocket', as this gives the wrong reference to people - they compare it to normal television, and for many reasons, technical and user experience ones, mobile tv falls short. We need to give users other reference points.

Nokia had done a test with 24 people in Dublin over the weekend - Nokia people - sending live videos to friends and family, and also to youtube. A good idea, but as only 11 of the 24 managed to send videos, and these people were from the company mind you, it goes to show that the usability and technical issues are still very much something that needs to be worked on.

From Japan there was some results showing that people use mobile tv without sound, with subtitles and no headphones. Short entertainment was the most popular genre.

Right now we're listening to 'social television'. Some nuggets here as well, though not many so far.

Salzburg is 30 degrees right now, next to no wind, all in all pretty stifling. Here's hoping for a thunderstorm a bit later!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Off to Austria (again)

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Salzburg, Austria, to present a poster/paper on our work with THE SPACE TRAINEES at the EuroITV 2008 conference. It should be an interesting event, and I'll do my best to update this blog during the conference with comments and reflections on what has been said, shown and discussed. Now off to pack some bags!