Locatext

Anders Sundnes Løvlie’s blog about locative media, computer games and electronic text

Volda is on the map! (Oh, and Ørsta as well)

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Happy new year! I’m back from a lengthy holiday back west where I come from – Volda, center of my universe. Oh Volda, dear Volda, this time you weren’t so gentle with me; caught the vomiting virus and literally emptied my stomach into the great white open. (Ever tried vomiting nothing for half a day? Not nice, I tell you.) I lost five kilos in a moment, but thanks to my mother in law’s Spanish cooking they came back on in a day or two upon arrival in Madrid (that other center of the universe).

Now this lovely introduction was just to let the world know that in between all the stomach activities I managed to officially put Volda on the map. The Open Street Map, that is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Monday, January 7, 2008 at 10:06

Posted in Locative media

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Here.now

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The Norwegian location-based service her.no (English: here.now) is currently advertising online with an animation of a close-dancing couple, and the headline: “Is your partner cheating on you?” Using their buddy-finder service you can discover if, for instance, your partner is on the same location as your best friend, when they both told you they’d be somewhere else. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 11:05

Posted in Locative media

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Speak posh and save the world

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I just learned of a computer game that was so neat I just had to share it: freerice.com. The game itself, like most good games, is really simple: You get a fairly difficult English word, like ‘abatement’, and have to guess it’s correct meaning among four options.

When you get it right, the questions get harder (what the heck does ‘avouch’ mean?) – but the interesting thing is, that for each correct answer the game’s sponsors donate 20 gram of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme.

Ok, so there are better ways to create sustainable development, but as a kind of timekiller with a conscience, this one’s not too bad, no?

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 17:24

Posted in Computer games

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Lost in navigation

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I just read a kind of cute, kind of sad story. Ever heard of the English villages of Wedmore and Barrow Gurney? Me neither. But more and more stranded truckers are becoming involuntarily familiar with these villages’ narrow streats, through which it apparently is more or less impossible to bring a large, heavy vehicle.

So why is Barrow Gurney, a village to small to have a sidewalk, home to 15,000 dead-ended trucks a day? You said it – GPS navigation systems. For some reason the GPS manufacturers are not able to correct the inaccuracies in their system that tells the truck drivers that these villages are a good shortcut to Bristol Airport. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 17:00

Facebookademics and the media

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The last couple of days two newspaper articles about academic research on Facebook have been the subject of much discussion on the email list for the AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers). It started with this story in the Washington Post, which portrays recent work about social networking sites as an academic landrush in which scholars are rushing to claim the new territory as their own.

The following outcry among the internet researchers is interesting, because it illustrates the conflicted relationship between academia and the press. That is something I’ve personally experienced from both sides: As a journalist trying desperately to get scholars speak in a manner which could be communicated to a general, non-academic public, and as an academic opening the newspaper and finding myself quoted saying exactly the opposite of what I thought I had said. Needless to say, both experiences are extremely frustrating.

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Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 17:33

Are computer games addictive?

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The question above might sound like a no-brainer to anyone who has ever achieved their all-time high score in Tetris at a point in time when they should much rather have been doing something else, such as studying for their exams or setting up an academic blog. But then it depends a little what kind of meaning you put into the word ‘addictive’ – is it accurate as a clinical diagnosis? When does something go from being a tempting way to kill time, to be something that actually takes control over your life and forces you to seek help? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anders Sundnes Løvlie

Monday, December 17, 2007 at 19:15

Posted in Computer games

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