STAETIM – Fourth Year New Media Festival at Ryerson University

I just returned from the opening of STAETIM which is the New Media Festival put on by the fourth year students in Ryerson’s New Media program. I mentioned in a post some weeks ago how passionate I am about this program in terms of its distinctiveness. In an era of rapid technological change New Media is an important cultural phenomenon as it pushes the boundaries and thinking around traditional media including those recently emerged. However after experiencing STAETIM it is evident how far the program at Ryerson goes beyond mainstream conceptions of New Media.

If you follow internet stories such as I do, one often associates New Media with technologies and applications created with applications such as Flash, Silverlight, Air, Blu-ray or Web 2.0. They are often mistaken singularly as killer apps. Don’t get me wrong as the students in Ryerson’s New Media program are well tutored in those tools but when one looks at the body of work on display at STAETIM one realizes that the program goes way beyond the Internet as the single platform to both deliver and practice New Media.

The vast majority of the thirty-odd installations tied in a variety of electronic and robotic components as well as many elements different art forms and disciplines. To experience the festival interaction is required by the participants often through various forms of touch or motion. And when one counted the variety of materials used, software employed, electronics assembled and contrasted them with the diversity of the projects on display, one quickly realizes that study of New Media goes way beyond clever graphics, database integration and the talk of interactive social media that dominates today’s Internet. Quite simply the STAETIM Festival is not your “grandparents” or your “corporate” New Media Festival. It’s fresh and edgy in terms of its scope and it is true to the concept of New Media.

The Festival started this evening with a kickoff ceremony that kept its focus on the students work. There were a small number of awards that recognized the distinctiveness of some of the installations but my favorite award was the one where a first and a second year in the New Media program decided on an award to a fourth year student who had an Installation in the festival. That’s a nice way to get recognition from your peers in my opinion. One highlight of the ceremony occurred when Sympatico / MSN announced a three year $30,000.00 scholarship commitment to the students who are enrolled in Ryerson’s New Media program. That’s a great gift to Ryerson and it will go to good use in helping to encourage some of these young artists to continue pushing the boundaries of Media

There is little use for me to go into detail about the installations. It’s truely something that that needs to be experienced first hand. If you’re in the area STAETIM is running Friday March 28th and Saturday March 29th from 12 pm to 6 pm. daily in the Image Arts building at Ryerson University. The festivals website is for more information on the show, exhibits and its exact location.



More Blu Ray Tidbits, Internet Media, Electronics History, Private Television In Canada,

More Blu-ray Tidbits

I’m still on a bit of a rant around exactly what it was (or is) that Blu-ray won when the HD DVD format went south. That said more comes to light each day on the subject, I can’t wait for the WIRED expose on the whole thing.

One thing that did surface on Blu Ray was that Sir Howard Stringer of SONY admitted that he was a “Pain in the ass” in winning the Blu-ray / HD DVD format war. ( questions the format as well in an article titled “Blu-ray endears, but won’t endure”. In the posting Shelley Fralic, of Canwest News Service asks “What does that mean, exactly”? And then goes on to note that the word is that Internet-based movie downloads will soon leave Blu-ray in the digital dust.

Media Takes On A Life Of Its Own When It Is Put On The Internet

It’s not Wikipedia but it’s amazing to see what happens when your some of your materials when they are on-line for a long period of time. I recently came across some of my teaching notes. I haven’t taught in a decade and back when I was teaching I put all my notes on-line and they are still floating around the Internet! Here is a link to an original set of notes on the History of Television Technology.

Now here’s where it gets interesting… I recently came across this set of my old online instructor notes that I compiled on Computer technology. I discovered it because it made it to a feature item on Only this time someone has substantially updated them with additional content and images.

Film, Radio and Electronics History In Upper New York State

I came across a couple of museums that are in the Rochester/Syracuse area when I was on the Rochester SMPTE website today. The Case Research Lab Museum is The Birthplace of Sound Film and it is in Auburn NY. Another museum is the A.W.A. Electronic Communication Museum. It’s in Apalachin NY.

Two summers my friends and I drove to Boston to SIGGRAPH 2006. Along the way we stopped in Schenectady, New York and took in the Schenectady Museum. Schenectady was the town that Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady and later Schenectady became the headquarters of the General Electric Company.

The town also lays claim to WGY-AM, one of the first commercial radio stations in the US. General Electric also started the first regular television broadcasts in the US in 1928 in Schenectady. That’s when W2XB began regular broadcasts on Thursday and Friday afternoons. The station still exists as WRGB. So there is a lot of broadcast history in the museum and in the area.

The Number Of Canadians Working In Conventional Private Television In Canada

With the US having developed their version of television so close to home it was interesting to read some of the numbers associated with private conventional broadcasting in Canada. In 2007, private television stations in Canada employed 7,873 people. In 2006 8,197 people were employed in the sector.

It turns out that Canadian private TV saw a profit improvement in 2007 even though revenues stayed flat. One would think the profit improvement would have been on the backs of the 324 positions that disappeared but it appears the private broadcasters spent more on salaries in 2007 than they did in 2006. The largest amount of money spent by this sector for content was $324.8 million for their news production.

American Election Coverage On Traditional US Networks Resorts To Information Crawls.

Despite having one of the most interesting Presidential elections the New York Times Reports that “TV Networks Resort to the ‘Crawl’ Instead of Real News Coverage” ( The story reports on how most of the traditional TV networks kept their regular programs running and delivered last evening primary election results as information crawls. The article is really more of a statement on how much television has changed with specialty networks being available.

Because it’s their biggest expense, I worry that up here in Canada our mainstream networks might start dropping News resources and resort to thee crawls more and more in and effort to improve profitability.

Scholarships For Students Interested In The Technical Side Of The Media Industry.

For those students interested pursuing careers in the Audio Visual Industry, information on Infocomm’s Scholarships & Mentoring is now online at There is a great quick start guide to the AV Industry.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers offers the The Lou Wolf Memorial Scholarship is designed to help students further their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology.

SMPTE Events in Toronto

I found out today that Kimberly Maki, who is the Executive Director of SMPTE will be speaking at the Toronto Technical Seminar in May. It’s been branded as BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD and I’m sitting on the organizing committee.

It’s premature to release any specifics but the organization of the event is going very well and the call for papers provided a very good content base for the organizers to draw from. There are a lot of new idea’s that are being incorporated into this event so circle your calendar for this one. Registration has yet to open for this but you can watch the details unfold at, click on the BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD details link for additional information.

Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization

While I’m on the subject of SMPTE I might as well promote the Toronto Section meeting that I arranged for next week. It’s titled Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization. It may be the first “Green Meeting” organized by a SMPTE Section. Just so everyone knows who might consider coming to the meeting. The meeting will focus on the next five years of media computing from a business and operations perspective. There are so many good reasons to look at what’s happening with computer technology and by making use of it you’ll actually save money and help preserve the environment at the same time. Details of the meeting are at

New Ryerson Photography Gallery

Ryerson Universityunveiled its new Photography Gallery & Research Centre today. It looks quite impressive and it is going to make the Bond Street location on the Image Arts building really shine for Ryerson. That building and its associated programs in Still Photography, Motion Picture Film Studies and New Media have help develop numerous talents. The Schools contribution to education in this area in Canada that their story is almost impossible to tell.


Many Ayromlou over at NerdLogger is currently taking a still photography course in the school. Everyone who know Many knows how good a photographer he is. He’s really been enjoying his classes and he posts some of his work on his blog and you can see improvements in his work with each posting. Check out his product shots at that he did as part of his classwork.


Another great part of that school is the Quality of the Faculty. Every time I meet up with one of them I learn a lot. I noted the following story today; “IT on the brink of another revolution” says Microsoft’s Ballmer. (

Alexandra Bal (, who is a faculty member in Ryerson’s New Media program, pointed out the same revolution that Ballmer’s just talking to me almost two years ago. I’ve used this knowledge in just about every installation and presentation that I’ve been involved in ever since.

Steve Ballmer and Microsoft’s Current Woes

Given the timing of the Balmer story above my question is why does Ballmer always seem so late when he comes to the party? I know he was busy spreading fears about Linux with his past “Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability” statements ( over the past year or so. However I understand that Microsoft has kissed and made up with us Linux users ( and I’m willing to let sleeping dogs lie if Ballmer can. However after watching the world famous developer “monkey boy” video ( I can’t help but think that he’s a little put out when CNet News reports that “Open-source developers command up to 40 percent premium”

Even worse for Microsoft is that Robert Cringely sees (and writes) “No big bargain in Vista price cut” In the article that was posted yesterday he muses as follows. “Let me get this straight: I get a price cut on an OS upgrade that will not run on the computer I purchased just one year prior to the Vista release? I think I will run out right now and not buy a copy.

Funny Microsoft Video And Other Useful Items on NerdLogger

I finally had a chance to review Many Ayromlou’s blog NerdLogger. He provides a link to a humorous video on a MS-DOS 5.5. I really enjoyed watching it!

His site also pointed me to youconvertit. It converts videos, still image files and text files of all kinds . His site also pointed me to Mango. It provides free language instruction online! Just in case NerdLogger is at

Random Thoughts

Netscape Navigator, now owned by AOL, will no longer be supported after 1 March 2008.

A group of 12 audiophiles” couldn’t tell the difference between Monster 1000 speaker cables and coat hangers.

Canadian regulators appear stuck in the slow lane when it comes to Network Neutrality. – Michael Geist

Pascal Cotte became famous when his technologies uncovered the true colours of the Mona Lisa. He will be part of ideaCity here in Toronto.

Accroding to ars technica “Book lovers have emotional bond with paper”. I always thought that….

Jason Cranford Teague talks about why he likes Apple’s Safari 3.0.4. It’s worth a read.

According to the MacBook Air is selling much stronger than many would have guessed.

ITcanada identifies four reasons for Mac popularity. It claims PC compatibility, improved OS, Mac vs. PC ads, and support as the key reasons.

Apple falls short of 1000 movie rentals,

“Atom” is the name Intel’s new chip family.

Microsoft is launching an online version of its Office software.

It’s been a year since Adobe announced the development of their Photoshop webapp. Where is it?

Research firm iSuppli has come out and stated that 2008 is likely to be the breakout year for the PS3.

Everex is going after Mini PCs like the Mac Mini. They’ve launched the Everex gPC Mini which is a Linux powered Mini PC.

Jungle Disk is a service that lets you backup data securely to for only 15¢ per gigabyte.

More later


IPTV, HDTV, YouTube and Virtualization

IPTV In Canada

In the CRTC hearings relating to new ownership, it came to light that Bell Canada is reviewing the competitive landscape before deciding to add Internet Protocol TV service (IPTV). To my way of thinking IPTV would be welcome in my household if I didn’t have to purchase a basic service and I would seriously consider dropping my cable service. Since I live in TO my switch to HDTV will include getting my local service for free using an HDTV over the air antenna. I’ll use a MythTV system to handle all of my household media.

That said I’d welcome a service that complements free over the air television by offering non broadcast stations such as the sports and specialty channels. I trust the CRTC won’t put in regulations that forces me to buy a basic package when all of the basic services can be delivered via ATSC. On another front it’s looking like a lot of the sports teams I watch such as the Blue Jays, Raptors, Toronto FC, Argo’s etc may be –or are– starting offering streaming services that bypass traditional broadcasters to deliver their product anyway. Without an IPTV service available, I wonder if the trend toward downloading bittorrent content will continue to grow? I think so….

Michael Geist Digital Pioneer

It’s great to see that University of Ottawa Professor Michael Geist will be honoured as a digital pioneer by the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. Last year, Geist led the public protest to proposed Canadian copyright law changes that would have devastated consumers’ technology rights. His blog makes for great reading at

Corus Entertainment Building

I found out today that the Corus Entertainment building, which will house 1,300 media and entertainment sector workers, is expected to be completed by 2010. It’s being built on waterfront property a kilometer east of the Sugar refinery located at Cooper Street. The stretch of beach between the two locations is going to be called Sugar Beach.

W hat most Torontonian’s don’t know is that Cooper Street was once Cooper’s Wharf. In its day Cooper’s Wharf Toronto’s main transportation and shopping hub. Everything that came into Toronto came through Cooper’s Wharf. Toronto’s first general store and a shipbuilding slip was once located there. It was the place dock where passenger ships arrived and sailed away to far-flung destinations. Cooper’s Wharf was no more by 1845 and all that remains of this once historic landmark is Cooper Street. More info at

Using Twitter To Assist With My Blog

I found it very useful today to tweet my Twitter account with ideas that popped into my head today as fodder for my blog. It got me thinking that it would be very useful if I could tweet to an address and get related images and a different one to get links for the research I do… One thing I did discover in my exploration was Jason Theodor’s tweet sheet at . Hmmm… I wonder what these cheats actually do?

Best Social Network

After opening a Facebook account last, reactivating my Twitter account and getting it interacting with this blog this article “Facebook, Ning or LibraryThing? – Plugging into the best social network for you“‘ was another article that I read today that I found of interest. If I get a little time later on tonight I’ll take a look at some of the other services it notes.

Virtualizing Computer Desktops

I’m in the process of arranging a Toronto Section SMPTE Evening. One of the topics will be ”
Virtualized Media Production Desktops – Looking Into The Future “. It looks like HP might confirm as one of the speakers they have Remote Graphics Software that is proprietary. One person who has confirmed is Dr. Michael Murphy, Principal Investigator and Lead Research, Accessfabrik Lab, here at Ryerson. His group have done a lot ow work Virtualizing Desktops in industrial environments using Open Source software and tools. Should be an interesting evening.

Eran Frank On Server Virtualization

Another presentation at the Toronto Section SMPTE meeting that I’m arranging for March 11 is a presentation based on the work of Eran Frank of Ryerson. It’s an amazing story of what he’s done for the University. If you’re at Ryerson on Wed. Feb. 27, Eran Frank will present info on Ryerson’s Virtual Server Technology from 10 -11 am, in RBB 2-021. If you’re not in the Toronto area or are just interested download this ( Or you can come and watch me deliver a paper on server virtualization that will outline Eran Franks work at the SMPTE meeting. Details at

Hacking the 2008 SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition

Speaking of SMPTE I got an e-mail today from them noting that the 2008 SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition has put out a Call for Papers. This year its in Hollywood.

Random Thoughts

YouTube Getting Better For Technology Research and Learning

I gather in trying to block domestic access, Pakistan’s government blocked YouTube for several hours on Sunday. ( I’ve not been a big YouTube fan but I’ve been finding it useful for research. For the SMPTE presentation I mentioned above I plan to show 3 YouTube videos on Virtualization. It’s a lot easier to play them then arrange for speakers. The three I’m planning to play are VMWare What Is Virtualization, Virtualization…What’s the Big Deal? and Multicore and Virtualization Lets hope no-one else tries to take the service down during my presentation.

iBand – The Future Of Music Instrumentation

iBand… Is it the future of bands. You tell me.

Ryerson University’s New Media Gallery

It’s worth noting that Ryerson’s New Media School will be launching its New Media Gallery this Thursday at 6:30 pm. If you’re interested celebration is planned from 6 to 7pm at IMA323 around the event. I think I’ll drop in.

Taking Risks

I read this article today titled Taking risks may be the smartest way to advance your IT career. The story cites several examples from a number of management types who talk about where and how they have taken risks. I really relate to the line in the story that says “Their stories show that taking risks, even those that don’t pan out, can have big payoffs.” I’ve often found that one can recover from mistakes. The most important thing about mistakes is to learn from them.

Telephone Teleconferences
Yesterday I sat through a telephone teleconference that had lots of holes in it because it was called in a rush to deal with a problem we were having at work. I think the most important thing a teleconference has to have is an agenda and someone moderating the call. Hence I found this article on Tips and tools was timely.

What’s Making These Social Media Press Releases So Hot?

After seeing Collin Douma’s Social Media Press Release session at the Toronto Podcamp 2008, I get this;

Roger Waters Has New Song

If your an old Pink Floyd fan like I am you may be interested to know that Roger Waters new song To Kill The Child will be on the Body Of War soundtrack. It will be released March 18. . I also heard that Roger Waters will be back on tout this summer and Pollstar confirms it ( and their were rumours of a new album. I’ll purchase tickets to see him anytime and anywhere I can make it too. His show last year at the Rogers Centre was amongst the best I saw last year and the best sounding arena shows of the hundreds that I’ve seen.