Monthly Archives: November 2009

IDAT106 – Program found

I’ve found a program that should be able to do part of what I want. It records the device’s name, when it is first detected, when it was last detected and how many times it has been detected and is able to output the information in a variety of formats. I did a quick test on my eeepc which has built in bluetooth but it was a little slow to detect devices so a better USB bluetooth adapter will be needed.

IDAT106 – Ideas, lots and lots of ideas.

Bluetooth enabled phones are constantly transmitting an ID which can be set by their user. A simple scan with a phone can reveal these names which people are outputting often without realising.

I have come up with the idea of using a laptop with a bluetooth adapter to record the names which people have assigned to their phones as they walk by. Similar to wardriving but staying still and with the people move around the receiver. The information that can be gathered from this is the ability to see the movement of these devices and therefore the people carrying them. This data could then be visually represented on a website in real time and projected onto the side of a building.

I suspect there may not be enough pedestrians during winter passing through to do it how I would like and the busiest part of Stonehouse, Union Street, isn’t really busy enough to show the information in real time as I would prefer so we would have to present it in a way that displays it for a while. A problem would be to get the data to output in a usable format and setting up the stream and possilby combining the information with another feed of some kind.

Maybe it would be an interesting thing to do in the city centre…


This is a catchup of the last few sessions for IDAT101

Rhetoric, Argument and Persuasion

In Aristotle’s Rhetoric he defined the modes of persuasion as Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
In simple terms they are:

Ethos is an appeal to the authority or honesty of the speaker. It is how well they are able to convince the audience of their qualification to speak on a particular subject.

Which is to appeal to the audiences emotions.

Is to use logic or reason that backs up the speakers standpoint to appeal to an audience.

In classical Rhetoric the process of persuasion is divided into five sections:

The search for persuasive ways to present information and arguments.

The organisation of a presentation to ensure that all the means of persuasions are effectively used.

The use of correct, appropriate and effective language.

The use of mnemonics and to aid in Delivery.

Clearly putting across the message with effective gestures and vocal modulation.

Linguistic devices can also be used to improve the effectiveness of persuasive writing. Alliteration, anthropomorphism, antithesis, hyperbole, innuendo, irony, symbol, similes, parallelism, metaphors, rhymes and oxymorons among the most common.

These are all important tools with which to write effectively and should be useful to understand for writing my blog when I wish to be persuasive.

IDAT106 – Stonehouse, a Digital Onion.

Just an assortment of maps, relatively unoriginal but worth exploring.

Attractiveness zoning. Colours range from green which is good to red which is bad, thicker the circle, the larger its impact.

Transparent image for layering.

Wireless Zoning. Green indicates BT and other public wireless access points intended for boats. Yellow reprisents spreading domestic wireless internet, bluetooth and cordless phone.

Combined with radio, television, satellite and mobile signals nowhere is ever truely out of contact, with layers of digital information flowing through space. It could be possible to make these layers visable in the real world by creating windows into it.

Layered with population density distorted pixelmap. Layered over streetmap.

IDAT107 – Digital Signature

After a number of versions which were progressively less insane I eventually found the right balance with this one. The main font I have used is Lucida Sans for the large text and a relatively obscure font called Vani for the diagonal white overlaying text which helps break up the solid block and represent complexity in my identity. I chose both fonts based on aesthetics. I was able to align the top ‘n’s with the bottom ‘d’s using varying point sizes for individual letters of text and different spacing between them. This shows my desire for perfection yet the alignment is not perfect reflecting an element of laziness which acts against it. To add some variation to the image I coloured the two ‘o’s in blue and moved them closer together forming the symbol for infinity. The choice for colour was also based on visual aesthetics but could also reflect national identity despite this not necessarily being a significant factor. I feel the overall effect of the image is that it comes across pleasant and warm yet complex.

Got my result for this and scored 80/100 joint 1st with 4 others. Nice.

IDAT106 – Transforming Stonehouse Postcard

With a very broad brief I decided to do a premotion of potential for the future from the perspective of the past. Only in the last ten years has Stonehouse really developed having been in a constant state of decay with little investment. I decided to play on this with my postcard which is designed to look like dated promotional material for the area meant to encourage development that never happened or took far too long.

And now in Sarcas-O-Vision:

The real idea behind it is that it shows us that these visions rarely come true. The font was used in the 1982 film Blade Runner in which the dystopic appearance of the city(complete with flying cars) is supposedly set in the year 2019 which is unrealistic yet may have seemed plausible 27 years ago that in 37 years it could be a reality. So widespread and total change in older cities, particularly in Plymouth, is slow with buildings, architecture and street layouts only changing when social, technological and economic needs and capabilities change or historical events and decay force change.

An interesting aspect of the development of cities is the growth of its infrastructure be it visible such as roads or invisible such as sewage systems or mobile phone tower coverage. A one hundred and thirty years ago the people building houses couldn’t have known the effect on wifi and mobile phone signals the stone that they were using to build walls would have nor could have electricians sixty years ago anticipated the amount of electricity we now consume. So as society advances our buildings can be left behind with the need for constant modernisation, some things can be upgraded whereas others need to be replaced. This can seem to fracture a city with mixed architecture, the best example of this probably being London which has massive variance between building designs.

Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s Plan for Plymouth is an example of when a fresh start to an area can accommodate the growth of infrastructure and create consistancy(even if people dislike it). Within Stonehouse the Millbay area is now under development albeit slowly after the demolition of many industrial buildings in the area. On Stonehouse Peninsular there has been regeneration of The Royal William Yard and the surrounding area which is helping Plymouth catch up.

And just as Plymouth starts getting the funding it so desperatly needs, we hit a recession. Oh well.

In a semi-related note I also found this blogpost with a good collection of Retro-Futurism which is worth a look for those who are interested and this talk on faux nostalgia and how yesterday looked at tomorrow.

A symptom too much free time.

IDAT102 – Mind the gap

Managed to fix the last visible bug in which when the browser window was at certain sizes a small gap between the right hand side of the menu and the main content area showed up.

I managed to fix this by changing:

ul#menu li {
padding: 0.3em 0.3em 0.3em 0.3em;


ul#menu li {
padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px;

Evidently ems aren’t entirely consistent and it may have been a problem of it trying to round to the correct number of pixels but being just under. Pixels are more precise so this way is much better.

IDAT102 – Rounded corners, CSS, Validation and Compatibility fun

I finally worked out how to sort out my validation problem with the light gray to darker gray gradient. It was failing because of it being inside of the tags of the menu without having ‘li’ tags around it. But whenever the tags were added a gray border displayed around it as it was part of ul#menu in the stylesheet. Moving the image outside of the menu resulted in it appearing to the right of the menu instead of below it. So using ‘div id=”container”‘ to hold both the menu and the image and in ul#menu moving float:left; to it.

Using don’t have photoshop) I made up some rounded corners for my site’s header. I butchered some example code and eventually got it to do exactly what I wanted.

After this I set to work getting the rest of the site to pass by using the W3C validator to find the errors on each page. The irony being that having gotten the site to pass validation it now doesn’t work properly in internet explorer 7 on windows XP. Seeing as I only need to develop for firefox for this project it shouldn’t be a problem but its still annoying.

Oh well.

Probably something todo with this guy:

Working on:
Vista/Windows 7 with Firefox 3.5
Vista/Windows 7 with Internet explorer 8
Windows XP with Internet explorer 8
Windows XP with Firefox 3.5
Windows 98SE(for the 0.10% of people still using it) with Firefox 2
Mac OSX 10.5 with Firefox 3.5.3
Mac OSX 10.5 with Safari 4

Not working on:
Windows 98SE with Internet Explorer 6(fairly obvious that this wouldn’t work)
Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6
Windows XP with Internet Explorer 7

To test
Vista with Internet Explorer 7

I’m also currently trying to come up with a decent domain name for my server. For now at least I’m still using this rubbish free one, [removed], I’ll probably get one in the next couple of days.

At least I get a special badge.