Wednesday, September 28, 2011

American University Professor Profiles: David Pike

American University Library and the Academic Multimedia Services (AMS) team believe that the faculty at AU possess a wide range of scholarly and practical contributions for the academic and professional world. With Professor Profiles we want to showcase the unique teaching styles, fascinating research and interesting publications by AU professors.

Through these Professor Profiles AMS hopes that prospective students and other members of the wider academic community will be compelled to learn more about what AU’s faculty have to offer. The Library and AMS wish for everyone to know more about AU’s faculty and we strive to support professors at every step possible.


How do you think of space as a film maker, or a writer? Do you see space as separate from life and characters or are they apart of each other? For Professor David Pike space, and more specifically subterranean space, is just as important as any character or action and is extremely influential with how characters react to events. And this is the same with real life as it is with fiction. Author of Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800–2001 and Subterranean Cities: The World beneath Paris and London 1800–1945; Professor Pike uses the modern underworld to explore and analyze how society uses and reacts to the spaces it occupies and controls, as well as how these often subterranean worlds are used in literature and film.

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet unveiled: Android-based, 7-inch display, $199 price tag

Okay, so it wasn't much of a surprise, but Amazon finally has a tablet, and as expected its name picks up where the Kindle left off: Fire. Of course, rumors of an Amazon tablet date back to this time last year (if not before), but it seems that Jeff and co. have wisely chosen to get this thing out on the open market before having yet another wild and wacky holiday quarter. Bloomberg has curiously reported on some of the details before the event itself kicks off, noting that the 7-inch device will run a version of Android while acting much like a "souped-up Kindle." The real kicker, however, is the price -- at just $199, it's bound to turn heads, regardless of whether you were interested in a slate before. Naturally, that bargain-bin sticker explains the lack of an embedded camera and microphone, though consumers will find WiFi (no 3G, sadly) and a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. It's also quite clear that Amazon's hoping to make a bigger splash on the content side of things than has been made already by Apple, and with the deals flowing like wine, we wouldn't be shocked if it does just that.

Itching for specs? How's about a 7-inch IPS (!) panel, Gorilla Glass coating, a 1GHz TI OMAP dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a chassis that weighs 14.6 ounces. There's also access to things you'd expect to have access to: Android Appstore (though no access to Google's Android Market!), Kindle books, magazines, etc. -- all stored for free via Amazon Cloud Storage. Per Jeff: "Delete it and get it back when you want." Oh, and Whispersync now works with movies and TV shows! "When you get home, switch to your big screen TV. Your movie will be right where you left it." While it's clearly Android underneath, the actual UI looks effectively nothing like it -- considering TechCrunch's intel that Amazon went and did its own thing without Google's blessing, we guess that makes some level of sense. Oh, and pre-orders are set to start today (but only for Americans... boo), with shipments heading out on November 15th.
As seen on Engadget

Check out Engadget’s hands-on impressions here.

See Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveil the Kindle Fire here.

Nooks and Kindles!

Also don't forget, the Technology Services Desk also has four nooks and four kindles to circulate. Each comes with several fiction titles preloaded. The loan period is two weeks, with late fees at $1 per day. There is often a wait list for these items, so stop by their desk today to check out availability!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Check out these immersive learning spaces!

I met the founder of elumenati at the Tech@State event this weekend. A combination of vision, clarity, passion, and amazing data visualization.

Berkeley scientists create visual pictures from brain waves

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have managed to create a close approximation of what our thoughts look like. First they mapped brain wave response to 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos. Then, patients viewed a series of videos, and those brain waves were matched with the correlating visuals from the first test.
The result is this video of the clip watched and the matched brain wave activity. It’s amazing how close some of them appear to the original, and it’s equally amazing how some images become written words in our thoughts. The procedure may eventually help create visuals of our dreams.
As seen on the Washington Post blog.

Fox Considering An All-’Simpsons’ TV Channel

THE SIMPSONS: Season 1 - Season 3 - HU DVD 6581 - 6591

Where can The Simpsons, television’s longest-running American prime time, scripted series, go from here? If Fox executives have their way, everyone’s favorite yellow family might get their own TV channel. At a recent media conference, News Corp.’s Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said the company is looking for ways to increase revenue from the long running show and said an all-Simpsons channel has been discussed. Read more after the jump.

Slice of Sci-Fi alerted us to this surprising, but fairly logical, turn of events. Carey was at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Communications & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills and said The Simpsons, well on its way to 500 episodes as its 23rd season is about to kick off, shows “no signs of slowing down.” However, there’s only so much money to be made from merchandising, syndicated repeats and DVD sales after 20 plus years.

Carey said there have been a “number of meetings” to determine how to capitalize on its library of episodes of The Simpsons and he mentioned a digital channel featuring nothing but Homer and the gang as being a possibility. Carey said it is incumbent on the company to take advantage of a show that is “unique in television with a volume, too, that is unprecedented.”

Read more.

As seen on the

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Media Center Software Training Sessions this week:

The NMC conducts open workshops on a variety of topics related to multimedia production. These 20 to 30 minute sessions are open to all AU faculty, staff and students with all levels of multimedia production experience. There are usually four or five workshops held each week. Check the NMC calendar for the latest schedule. For more information, contact the NMC staff (202) 885-2560.

Monday 9/26 at 7pm – Final Cut Pro 7: Intermediate
Tuesday 9/27 at 12pm – Final Cut Pro X: Intermediate
Wednesday 9/28 at 8pm –Photoshop: Beginner
Thursday 9/29 at 4pm – Final Cut Pro X: Beginner
Friday 9/30 at 11am – Basic Motion Graphics for Video using After Effects
Saturday 10/1 at 4:30pm – Final Cut Pro X: Advanced

See the complete Fall Training Schedule by date or by topic.

There is a wealth of multimedia training resources available online. AU faculty, staff and students have access to thousands of hours of free training at Create a personal profile and get started. More information about resources can be found at Multimedia @ AU.