/* ---------------------------- HTML STARTS HERE----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- */

Mobile Community Design
Research and design information for mobile community developers.

Friday, November 26, 2004

OzCHI Paper Presentation

I presented a talk at OzCHI 2004 for our latest paper: Axup, Bidwell, Viller - Representation of self-reported information usage during mobile field studies - Pilots & Orienteers 2. It discusses mobile research methods and several representations we created to help analyze and communicate field study data.

Slides 289k
MP3 of talk 4.6 megs, 26 mins, including questions following

Mobile Ad-hoc Viruses

I've just been down presenting a paper in Wollongong (I'll post the audio recording and slides of my talk shortly) when whaddaya know, I bump into a new kind of virus. I was standing waiting for my train at Central Station in Sydney and I glance at my phone only to notice a bluetooth query. "Incoming bluetooth message, do you wish to accept?". Bluetoothing is a bit juvenile at times, but hey, I'm game for a bit of experimentation, so I said yes. Next thing, it asks me if I want to Install an application - and then another bluetooth request came through just like the previous one. The installing application dialog set off the warning bells, but I was locked into a loop of new requests for incoming bluetooth connections. In effect it's a denial of service attack on using your phone until a) you get out of range of the sender or b) you manage to turn off your bluetooth advertising somehow.

There was a guy sitting on the bench near me who appeared to be taking the battery out of his phone. Nobody else around had a phone out, but it could have been in a pocket. The guy in the bench moved off to a different car and the requests stopped coming to the phone.

So anyway, I now have a "MYTITI.SIS" file sitting in my inbox which gives me the warning about an attempt to install if I select it. I'm presuming that it's a virus. I suppose it might also be porno ad if I get creative about interpreting filenames. Google doesn't seem to know anything about it.

A friend located the article Virus attacks mobiles via Bluetooth which explains the creation of just such a virus. What I've managed to contract could be a variation of it.

There's some interesting usability implications to how these viruses move around. So far it seems the warning screens are fairly clear, but some morning when you're drunk on the train home you might just be bored enough or uncoordinated enough to navigate your way into a virus. I'm also wondering how the movement patterns of these things will differ from their cousins with less-mobile hosts.

Cheers to Tim for the info

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mobile social network service

"Crunkie is a service that enables users to participate in a mobile social network -- combining location-based friend search, messaging and user- generated (or blog) mobile content. Users create, update and location-tag public blog entries via their wireless phones. Users may add blogs, comments, rankings and categories to specific locations and public places, like restaurants or nightclubs. All of this content is meant to be shared with friends or communities. Those reviewing posts may then look up blog entries based on their relation to a specific vicinity using a map-based interface, in addition to the more traditional categorical menu."

read the news story

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

User Centered Design for Fully Mobile Devices

Summary:
This paper introduces a lot of taxonomies to help understand different form-factors and mobile usage contexts. It is arguing for the application of a User Centered Design process for mobile devices, and presumably within IBM. They strongly differentiate the differences with Fully Mobile Wirelessly
Connected (FMWC) devices. A number of examples of UCD activities are given. In particular the effects of context are shown with examples and the need for task-analysis that includes the surrounding activities is promoted.

They comment on mobile collaboration:
"The connected nature of FMWC products and the flexibility of the users in the FMWC environment intensely stimulate collaborative work. Significant efforts
of application designers have been dedicated to developing a wide variety of mobile collaborative applications. UCD is difficult enough for non-mobile
collaborative applications, and it will certainly become more difficult for mobile collaboration."

"Since mobility imposes significant cognitive and ergonomic constraints affecting device and application usability, ease of use is central to devices in the fully mobile wirelessly connected (FMWC) world."

Taxonomy of form factors:
- desktops
- laptops
- palmtops
- handhelds
- wearables

No wires attached: Usability challenges in the connected mobile world, 2003, 13 pgs
L. Gorlenko, R. Merrick
[Full-text pdf]

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Comparison of Mobile Research Methods

I was going a bit crazy trying to remember (much less discuss with others) the advantages and disadvantages of various research methods for informing mobile device design. So I've put together a little chart describing them which shows advantages and disadvantages:
Comparison of Mobile Research Methods

While I was at it I got to thinking about how society interacts with technology and made a little diagram showing how people use affordances of technologies.

And then it occurred to me that these methods look at different time periods of usage to help inform the design of devices which (presumably) will be used in the future. So there's a diagram showing applicable timescales as well. All are on the same page.

Enjoy. Please send comments.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Building a context sensitive telephone

This paper is kind of a classic with regard to questioning the feasibility of creating context aware devices and modeling context. It explores realistic usage scenarios of context-aware devices from an ethnographic perspective. It brings up good points about the complexity of context and how people adapt norms to technology usage in an unpredictable and changing manner. The conclusions are probably sound, but they miss opportunities to design reasonable context-aware solutions and fail to consider the collective needs of society as opposed to the user.

Building a context sensitive telephone: Some hopes and pitfalls for context sensitive computing 2004
Barry Brown and Rebecca Randell
[Full-text: pdf]

Fibreculture journal

Fibreculture Journal is a peer reviewed journal that explores the issues and ideas of concern and interest to both the Fibreculture network and wider social formations. The journal encourages critical and speculative interventions in the debate and discussions concerning information and communication technologies and their policy frameworks, network cultures and their informational logic, new media forms and their deployment, and the possibilities of socio-technical invention and sustainability. Other broad topics of interest include the cultural contexts, philosophy and politics of:

:: information and creative industries
:: national strategies for innovation, research and development
:: education
:: media and culture, and
:: new media arts

Ta to MarkusF for the link

Monday, November 01, 2004

CFP - Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture

Call for Papers

Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC)

Issue 2 (Spring-Summer 2005): The Internet and Alternative Political Practices

Aiming to open up a critical dialogue on the Internet and alternative political practices, the second issue of WPCC is welcoming both theoretical and applied contributions. Stimulating this dialogue is the potential of the Internet to transform our notions of citizenship, democracy and political practice. The Internet can also be used as a tool by current social movements and alternative political activists, changing the way people organize and protest around their ideas. It may also foster alternative media practices that redefine our notions of the public sphere, alter social and political identities, and facilitate processes of development and empowerment, particularly for the politically disenfranchised.

Therefore, the coming issue of WPCC will be an attempt to address these topics by drawing on research that focuses on the following interrelated
questions:

Ø How is the Internet transforming our notions of democracy, citizenship and the public sphere?

Ø Has the Internet changed political campaigning, both for electoral and alternative politics?

Ø Has it influenced political activism, organizing and participation?

Ø Is it transforming our perceptions of the political?

Ø How is it used by current social movements, both local and global?

Ø Does it foster alternative political and media practices?

Ø Does it affect the development and negotiation of social and political identities?

Ø Does it empower the grassroots and the local?

Applicants may submit abstracts of no more than to 350 words to Anastasia Kavada - anakavada@hotmail.com or Pantelis Vatikiotis – p_vatikiotis@hotmail.com. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Monday 22 November.

Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC) is a peer-reviewed journal, published twice a year in hard copy and PDF format. WPCC recognises the interdisciplinary nature of the field of Media and Cultural Studies, and therefore deliberately encourages diverse methods, contexts and themes. Particular interests include, but are not limited to, work related to Popular Culture, Media Audiences, Political Economy, Promotional Culture, New Media, Political Communication, Migration and Diasporic Studies.

A major goal of the WPCC is to help develop a de-westernised and transcultural sphere that engages both young and established scholars from different parts of the world in a critical debate about the relationship between communication, culture and society in the 21st Century.

WPCC invites contributions from all scholars; particularly those at the beginning of their careers.