eCLOUD — Can you dig it?

Have you ever seen the networked media — eCLOUD? I have just read about it and I have to admit, it is a little bit hard to understand.

photo: spencer lowell

According to their website, the eCLOUD is a permanent art work installed between gates 22 and 23 at the San Jose International Airport. It is a dynamic sculpture inspired by an idealized cloud, designed by Dan Goods, Nik Hafermaas and Aaron Koblin. The eCloud is made from polycarbonate tiles that can fade between transparent and opaque states. A dynamic display shows which city the eCLOUD is listening to, it’s current real time weather data, and a preview of how the eCLOUD is actually behaving.

photo: spencer lowell

Through the use of custom software and circuitry, Goods, Hafermaas and Koblin were able to simulate the look and behavior of weather patterns from around the world. The eCloud has 100 custom designed circuit boards that control the liquid crystal pixels. As information is sent from the master computer, it goes to the circuit boards, then they tell each pixel whether to turn on of off. Each board can have up to 30 pixels attached to it.

photo: spencer lowell

So basically, the polycarbonate tiles of this dynamic eCloud correspond to weather patterns of a particular city. What I still do not understand, is: how does the weather in that city dictate which tiles to turn visible or transparent? This technology and art form are so innovative, it is hard to wrap my head around it all!

To view videos re: eCloud, visit and

For more information, visit and

The Effects & Influence of Technology

Technology and media have greatly changed the way we view our friends and peers.

"Social Networking" morgueFile free photo By Karpati Gabor

“Social Networking” morgueFile free photo By Karpati Gabor

Social media and networking have altered our ways of interacting and engaging with others. The Internet provides adolescents with a place to explore their identity, experiment with intimate issues beyond the confines of face-to-face communication, and to find information and social support regarding developmentally sensitive issues. It creates the space for self-exploration and self-assessment, which are essential components in an individual’s development, particularly in adolescence (Trepte, 2011).

And the Internet is not just for young people. Social media use among elderly individuals has dramatically increased and is expected to gain further importance in the future. Asking for advice, giving advice, discussion with other members, building new relationships, seeking a dating partner and meeting people online were important motivations for the elderly (Trepte, 2011).

so what’s the catch?!

Of course, the effects are not all positive. Social media and networking have also changed our digital persona-identity and raised privacy concerns. Cultural analysts have argued that privacy is less important to the younger generation, a generation that grew up with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and texting. As a result of this careless distribution of personal information, adolescents and elderly are seen as easy targets for commercial and identity fraud, as well as adolescents for emotional and sexual abuse (Trepte, 2011).

Overall, the effects on individuals and society at large are a mix of positive and negative factors.

morgueFile free photo By zukes

“Privacy” morgueFile free photo By zukes

Work Cited:
Trepte, S., Reinecke, L. 2011. Privacy Online. Perspectives on Privacy and Self-disclosure in the Social Web. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-21521-6

Authoring and Publishing in the New Era


stock image

Written expression has changed dramatically in the last fifteen years, bringing the world of authoring and publishing into a new era. Electronic versions of periodicals and books can now be found online and publishing can be an individual effort, with the simple click of a mouse.

Enter the ‘blog.’ In December, 1997, Jorn Barger, started Robot Wisdom, a website devoted to sharing annotated hyperlinks to other sites on the Web (Siles, 2012). This computer programmer referred to his new project as a ‘weblog’ or “a daily running log of the best webpages I visit” (Siles, 2012). In his first post, Barger reflected on information he had found online about gangs in Chicago and linked to several other web resources. Barger encouraged other people to do the same. By 1999, weblogs (or blogs) caught the attention of mainstream media organizations and were recognized as a type of website with a specific set of features (Siles, 2012).

Image Credit: Duncan Green /

According to many, blogging — albeit a form of writing — is a social and gratifying activity. Bloggers in the 90’s used software (i.e. Frontier) to create posts on their own hosted domains (Siles, 2012). Now, we have WordPress, Blogger, and more, providing the common user with free web space and the opportunity to instantaneously share with the world. This new technology changes historical ideas on literary, cultural, and intellectual exchange. Publishing has become, ‘so easy, a caveman can do it.’


stock photo

But publishing is not just about writing, it is about delivering the entire experience. In the past, artists often created custom illustrations for books while designers created high resolution graphics for print media. Current technology allows skilled designers to create vector graphics, which can be reused to create new works. Graphic images can even be added by authors themselves or purchased pre-made from a selection of stock images. Whether the graphical pieces are added simply or custom, the graphics have a much farther reach, immersing the reader in rich content. Artists and designers largely influence the connection between cultural values, feelings, beliefs, and practices.

It is no surprise to most people, that internet publishing (i.e. blogs, e-articles, e-books) are on the rise. But what about print books? The future of the print book is complicated. According to publishing consultant Joe Esposito, “What you now have is a situation where the various venues for buying print are disappearing because they can no longer make money. Independent bookstores are closing and there is consolidation in the wholesale sector for books. E-books have become both mainstream and big business” (Herther, 2012).

Oxford University Press Canada’s President, David Stover (above), expresses that nothing will ever fully replace print books. My opinion? Unless society finds that we cannot, in fact, tame the vast world and possibilities of the internet, print books will eventually become a thing of the past. After all, technology continues to evolve and if for nothing else, print books are a waste of natural resources! As for blogging and our social sharing? Full speed ahead — it will be interesting to see where society finally draws the limit.

Work Cited:
Herther, N. K. (2012). Future publishing. Searcher, 20(2), 13-17,49-54. Retrieved from

Siles, I. (2012, 08). “The rise of blogging: Articulation as a dynamic of technological stabilization”. New media & society (1461-4448), 14 (5), p. 781. DOI: 10.1177/1461444811425222