May 012014
 
Discover the back of your hand at Friday's 2014 New Media Night

“Like the back of your hand.” We’ve all used the expression to mean something we know intimately. But how well do you really know the back of your hand? This is one of many discoveries to be had at this year’s New Media Night at the University of Maine’s IMRC (Innovative Media Research and Commercialization center) [...]

Apr 132014
 
Has the recording industry given up eradicating music piracy?

A recent story on Maine Public Radio highlights the changing tactics of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Music representatives are now offering students 10 or $20 to settle copyright infringement, despite theoretical statutory penalties of $150,000 per song. Does this deal represent a renewed sympathy for file-sharers on the part of the RIAA, [...]

Feb 282014
 

When I was in high school, my science teacher suggested we contact public figures who inspired us. This was a timely suggestion, as many of us were starting to think about college and career paths. With early access to the World Wide Web, growing up in Silicon Valley, I happened upon Carl Sagan‘s email address [...]

Feb 012014
 
New Media students don wearable tech during trek across Europe

New Media major Katherine Bartos has an article up on the department website describing her revelations during a trek from Prague to London by a dozen students led by faculty member Mike Scott. Along the way they caught up with new media pioneers like Don Foresta, Michael Joyce, and Pavel Smetana. One of the moments that [...]

Jan 032014
 

Making the rounds of the blog sphere this week is a report that dogs tend to line up on Earth’s magnetic north-south axis when doing their bodily necessities. Stranger yet, as a LiveScience article points out, the north-south pattern isn’t limited to canine excrement, but a variety of animal patterns: A 2008 analysis of Google [...]

Nov 232013
 
Why HealthCare.gov really flopped: it fell down a waterfall

How do you blow half a billion dollars on a national Web site that can’t complete a thousand enrollments a day for weeks after launch? Use the “waterfall” approach–an outdated, top-down management style that is a bureaucrat’s dream and a user’s nightmare.

Nov 192013
 
Catching our breath

We’ve had a dry spell here on an NMDnet during the past few weeks, but that’s not been for lack of things to talk about. October saw our Digital Humanities Week present twelve separate events, a whirlwind trip through Europe from Prague to Paris to London with New Media students,  and a host of free [...]

Aug 302013
 

The Corporate World On the day I arrived at my internship, I was glad to find I had been given a cubicle, as well as a whiteboard, two cabinets, two kinds of chairs, and a very large desk. Space and resources, everything that I constantly craved at my job on my university’s campus. “I can [...]

Jul 132013
 
What's missing from today's university diplomas? Design

Clichés notwithstanding, the world’s problems aren’t solved over a glass of Scotch, but at a drafting table. A few prominent educators are calling design the “third pillar” of education along with the sciences and humanities. And designers are finding new technologies and markets–from zero-gravity interaction to a Photoshop “app store” for fonts and other digital [...]

Jun 132013
 
Some assembly required: print your own house from these open-source plans

If IKEA married Wikipedia, their love child might be Wikihouse, an open-source set of architectural components you can tweak with Sketchup and assemble with a 3d printer. Other recent developments in physical computing: you can now print your mp3s onto “vinyl,” model 3d objects just by shooting them with a special camera, and stream your [...]

Jun 072013
 
Pick sounds and colors out of the air with these apps

You’re a graphic designer/photographer on a photo shoot for a new car/building/eco-resort, and when you get home, you’ll have to plug your best shots into a graphic identity for the brand. Not to worry: Adobe’s new Kuler app lets you pluck a color palette out of a saved photo–or even from your iPhone camera. And [...]

May 292013
 
Civil (and uncivil) hacking: the good, the bad, and the ugly

This weekend, Bangor joins cities across the US in a National Day of Civic Hacking, brainstorming and building technical solutions to local problems. In other good news, you can now rescue Mario in Donkey Kong as Pauline. On the downside, you can also open hotel rooms with an Arduino and hack commercial aircraft with a [...]

May 142013
 
Scratch 2 aims to help coders collaborate

Millions of registered users have played with MIT’s Scratch, the interface that helps you learn to code by snapping Lego-like colored blocks together. The new browser-based version will include blocks for making surveys and Webcam-based games. But will the fact that it’s being written in Flash repel its target audience?