Archive for October, 2008

Throwing a blanket over WordPress

Pete Ashton spots a classic example of the sort of loopy internet-access policies enforced by public-sector techies, and mandated by managers scared of unscrupulous lawyers and bad PR. Still, I suppose it could be worse — the government could be

“He got on his bike and he looked for work”

CovBlog flees Coventry… “I shoved my camping gear into my rucksack and caught a bus into the Peak District. I got off at Blackwell in the Peak, threw my tent up in the campsite there, and rushed off up the nearest hill. I spent the week reminding myself what it was like to not have […]

Jethro Hayes

Jethro Hayes, of London…

A Future for Art Education?

We recently had a ‘The Future of Art Education’ debate in Birmingham, a good account of which is available in print in the latest Art Monthly. It seems, now, that the evening Brum debate was actually a regional spin-off from a larger London ICA conference of the same name. Such events are often prime candidates […]


The first pseudo-hologram for the iPhone, and it’s a humorous cat (video). Personally, I’m saving for my glow-in-the-dark genetically-engineered cat (video), especially now that we’re all being officially encouraged to sit in the dark with the lights off to save power. Heh. Though the iPhone cat’s coding looks as though it might have implications for […]

Second opinions on Second Life

Following comments by BINS, Daz Wright also visits the newly launched Birmingham Island in Second Life. He points out there’s a canal through the island, which seems to be the same one that Andrew Dubber managed to get stuck in. Daz also picks up on other blog postings about the new initiative, such as Dave […]


Jorum, a free UK ‘YouTube’ for H.E. & F.E. academic teaching material.

In the BINS?

BINS examines the usability of the new “Birmingham Island” in Second Life.

Videogames becoming mainstream, if you hadn’t noticed

More new research, from Fox/IGN/Ipsos Media in the U.S., on who plays videogames. Although the report is not available online, it’s apparently… “a quantitative overview of gaming households among the U.S. online population, and a follow-up qualitative deep dive among the key segments in the gaming market. … videogames and videogamers are breaking away from […]

24hr Film Dash – all the films

All of the finished films from Chris Unitt’s Birmingham-based 24hr Film Dash competition.

UK government prosecutes purely written erotica

Not content with criminalising everything else, and starting to build a £12bn database of everyone’s web and phone activity, now our dismal government is going after purely written erotica in the courts. It’s not at all hard to see a political hand at work here, since they’ve chosen to prosecute a tabloid-friendly story that features […]

The new Post, first impressions

I got my hands on a new-look Birmingham Post today. I liked it a lot, but what follows has a sprinkling of the things I’d improve. The first impression in my hand was that it was thin — I’d perhaps expected that the first week would be bulked up with special supplements each day. The […]

To the Spectobarathrum!

The Colmore Fatagravures… Basilisks, Dragonelles and Dragonettes of The English and Scottish Borders

Birmingham Post revamp

The Birmingham Post relaunched today with a new-look website… After: 20th October 08. Before: February 08. … plus a mobile phone-specific version. And, of course, the redesigned tabloid-sized paper edition. All delivered from Fort Dunlop. News coverage of business and finance matters get a timely expansion of range and depth, and the whole paper has […]

Dawn Chorus

Are bird-watchers getting into cosplay, or is it Art?

Debut debut

Definitive Design’s forthcoming Birmingham-based Debut magazine is now accepting submissions. The MySpace blurb says… “Debut magazine showcases the best in local creative talent, profiling personalities and work — and provides that all important first contact to a wider market. is committed to seeking out and exposing creativity. Due to launch in early 2009, unique concept […]

Women in Games conference reports

Some feedback and reports from the recent Warwick University Women in Games conference (10-12th September 08). DJ Ludic travelled over from the U.S.A. Helena Pugsley was sent to the conference by IBM. Eileen Brown went and wondered where all the recruiters were. The official conference blog has notes on several keynote speeches.

Bots in Brum

Pete Ashton (along with Rachael Marchant and Danny Smith) finished the 48 Hour Film Dash, and the resulting short film — about a small cute robot called Thingamagoop taking a Wall-e-style trek around Birmingham — is here… Click picture for video.

Birmingham Island in Second Life

Digital Birmingham is set to open a ‘Birmingham Island’ in Second Life. The lunchtime launch event is on 23rd October 08 at Millenium Point. The island was purchased in May 08, and on it there will apparently be an interactive map of the city-centre called ‘b-scape’, among other features. Birmingham’s island joins the Summer 08 […]

Reclaiming the Machine

“Reclaiming the Machine: An Introductory Look at steampunk in Everyday Practice” (PDF link), part of the first issue of Swansea University’s full-text open ejournal Neo-Victorian Studies… “This paper traces the history of the genre and then moves into an analysis of these crafting practices, asking broad questions about what motivates those who make modern-day objects. […]