forthcoming – When Geeks Go Camping: finding California in cyberspace

I've had enquiries asking when this article will be available. It will be published in the February 2009 issue of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
but unfortunately you have to subscribe to get access. It's the first
full piece I've written for this project, and it examines the evolution
of nature
metaphors in computing and cyberspace via some examples of the
influence of
Californian outdoor life on computer culture in Silicon Valley and
beyond.

I presented it in September at DRHA08 and will also give a talk on it at the University of California Santa Barbara on 24th February 2009.

Of course, the new Google Android phone is of the ocean

Androidheader A while ago I discussed the notion of the new Chrome browser as being ‘of the earth’ . Now we are starting to see early manifestations of Google’s Android phone and, judging by the detail in this picture at least, Android will be of the ocean.True, there’s a chance this is an image of an inland lake rather than a sea, but it looks to me like the kinds of salt-sweet waters you get close to the mainland, such as the area around Vancouver Island, scattered with anything from smallish rocks in the shallows to entire island-size landmasses to the broad Pacific beyond. This makes sense since my research is clearly showing water as the most commonly-used of the four elements in the range of nature metaphors attributable to digital space. I plan to buy an Android as soon as I touch down in California in January – can’t wait to find out how it feels to use it.

Mac Meets Windows


Mac Meets Windows
Originally uploaded by Dylan Boom

Dylan Boom posted this screenshot at Flickr to demonstrate his technique of merging Mac and Windows desktops. See the full spec.

I like this image because, intentionally or not, it appears as if Windows is the earthy substrate from which the greenery of the Mac springs forth. The metaphor may not have been deliberate, sure, but even the subconsciousness of that speaks to my argument that we want our computer systems to be like our gardens.

[thanks to Lifehacker]

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