WordPress: "born in Texas"

Did you know that? So Wordpress is a nice option with this research blog, we're at home – no wonder Rosental was so keen on Wordpress ;)

Is WordPress Killing Web Design was a good discussion around blog design, with a highlight on Brendan Dawes! Here's the SXSW video>>


SXSW kickoff

I started the SXSW Interactive 2010 week meeting with the Portuguese crew; from then on, it was a non-stop festival!
If you consider to spend a full semester in Austin, I strongly recommend you plan to include the SXSW event in your schedule! Now in its 22nd edition for Music and Film, 3rd edition for Interactive, the festival is expanding more and more each year, attracting participants and attendants from ll over the world. And take this forwarded advice: sleep in advance, because you'll want to attend to a lot of presentations & interactive parties – just take a look at the SXSW 2010 schedule and check-in at the SXSW YouTube channel>>


Multitouch and streaming issues with Luis Francisco-Revilla

Luis Francisco-Revilla is a Professor at the School of Information, which is in a different building many blocks apart from the CMA. We had a very active meeting with a conversation and demonstrations of multitouch tables, plans for the next multitouch walls project, and real-time video issues related to my RTiVISS ongoing research I had the opportunity to present him.

He also presented me Quinn Stewart, the SI Instructional Technology Specialist on the use of streaming media. I was amazed at the luxury resources for database and live video streaming optimized for video conferences – his detailed description it was really interesting and clear, and I got awere that there are better solutions than the free QuickTime Broadcaster, only the software costs $500… ok.
I was also happy to see the three cameras setup at the studio and the sustainable use of firewire cassette damaged cameras for optical capture :)

The SI is also great in resources for usability tests, it may be a possibility to consider later for tests on the RTiVISS online platform… :)

I met Luis Francisco-Revilla in Portugal as the workshop on writing proposals, together with Sharon Strover. He has three projects submitted in the UTA/FCT call; I have an exploratory one, the "Playing with Fire" experience – let's cross our fingers and wish for approval – results in March, is that it?

The School of Information is located in a repurposed business building, which is kind of weird at first sight: on the one side, you have the school dynamics, on the other a corporate environment makes you feel you're already working in a business company… ;)


UTA wi-fi skyping outdoors

Austin lunch time 2pm meets Lisbon 6h+ at dinner time… fine ;). Videoconferencing with Ricardo on the B-wind interactive installation sound samples he's been working on, one of those subjects that is not sms-able.

One of the nice feeling of being a foreigner of a country that almost no one knows you language is that you enjoy speaking out lound and yet feeling you're having a private conversation and not anoying your neighbours… they aso feel curious about the different language and simply try to figure out wich nationality you are ;)

Although with some (recoverable) breaks, which is fine for outdoors wi-fi, the UT internet guest connection was quite ok, so it gets the approval stamp! :)


Outdoor experiences exchange with Ben Bays

Ben Bays teaches Visual Effects and Motion Graphics at the RTF, and he's got an illustration background. Here's his class site. As he's workng with typography, I also gave him my typography class slides in Portuguese – I hope it's good for his classes too, and for his Portuguese learning in progress – quite good, I can say!

He's also working at Videoranch, which will be streaming live concerts from March 17 through 21. The setup includes the music band streaming with the green background, 3 cameras shooting, and live streaming for around 2500 users; the expected delay is 29 seconds due to the California server location, which receives and sends back information in the meantime. I got the invitation to pass by, and I won't miss it for sure!

We had a very active outdoors meeting, scanning some Austin references, such as the Natural History Museum, the Fine Arts School, the Library and Electricity Museum, and all the fountains on the way ;)

This fantastic creature is dedicated to… well, you decide ;))

... so the flying creatures are larger in Texas ;)


It's remarkable how the battery resisted all the flight from Lisbon to Austin, even having been inspected by the airport securit, that sealed it after having searched all over my packed bag – watchout, could this be dangerous? ;) Enough for a demonstration of the B-wind interactive installation fan system in progress:

It would be great to have a two-week workshop at FCT/UL in the UTA Summer courses framework, based on Ben's expertise in video streaming, 3D modelling teaching, degree in Fine Arts illustration, and 13 years experience in video games as an environmental artist for 3D scenery – working on video effects and motion graphics optimization for real-time applications/processing is the idea, I hope we can we go forward with this proposal :)

Meanwhile, I'll meet you at the Videoranch, Ben :)... and hopefully in Portugal, too!


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