The Digi-Cult

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Archive for the ‘Digital Culture’ Category

Google introduces Transit Layer to Maps

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on January 15, 2009

Montreal is currently the only Canadian city avialable with a Transit Layer

Montreal is currently the only Canadian city avialable with a Transit Layer

Many of you have probably used Google maps over the years and found it’s geographically correct maps pretty handy.  Well they just got a bit handier, especially for those who ride public transit.

Google Maps has added a Transit layer to it’s mapping system that allows users to view transit routes super-imposed over the previously mentioned geographically accurate maps.  The service is available for 50 + cities currently, but Google being Google, I’m sure they’ll add more.

Users and writers across the Internet are saying that while the maps are awesome and neat to look at, they’re a bit more complicated than most Transit maps (which are simplified representations of the transit system). The better you are with maps the more comfortable you’ll be with the new Google feature.

Don’t dispair though!  If you use Google’s Transit site you can have it plan your trip, snag your accompanying maps from Google Maps and be set!

Frankly I think this will be a good add on for Google, though I suspect it won’t be that highly used a feature until more maps are available.  For a full list of cities and links to view thier transit maps visit the Google Maps team blog.  What would really make this feature is full integration with Google Transit.

I’m waiting for a cost effective GPS device that does this same thing.  Input your destination, it picks your starting point and gets you on the right busses etc, alerting you a stop ahead of when you get off that your stop is coming up, AND can be programed to avoid certain routes (if one is blocked for example).

A girl can dream, but maybe it’s something for you to get on Google 😉

Posted in Digital Culture, H/S Reviews, Hardware/Software, Interaction, Tech News, Web News, Web reviews, Websites | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Forwarding from Hotmail: Someone made it easy!

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on December 21, 2008

The super clean and functional GetMail is BRILLIANT and a must have for anyone trying to forward their Hotmail to GMail

The super clean and functional GetMail is BRILLIANT and a must have for anyone trying to forward their Hotmail to GMail

So, I’m gonna admit something a little shocking: I just got a GMail account a few weeks ago. The only thing that held me back from getting one of these wonderful slices of internet storage heaven was the logistical issue of forwarding my Hotmail to GMail.

For those not in the know, Hotmail has a quirky system for getting you your mail that has become a bit antiquated. Hotmail doesn’t use the very standard POP3 servers that most everyone else uses, which lead to a major problem for GMail users looking to forward their old Hotmail to their new account. GMail simply can’t access your Hotmail because Hotmail doesn’t use POP3, and Hotmail doesn’t give you the tools to forward the mail from the Hotmail side of the equation.

Many people have been trying to solve this problem and since getting my GMail I’ve tried a few forwarding services. Most fizzle and fail pretty fast, or require cumbersome installation that forces the user to dust off old Command Window skills (C:\KILL_ME.EXE).

However, do not fear! I found a great little utility this morning that I am now in love with that is doing a PERFECT job of getting my old Hotmail into my snappy new GMail. The program, GetMail for Hotmail, operates in the background on your computer, shoveling your Hotmail to your Gmail while giving you the option to save the messages to your hard drive.

The setup was SUPER easy. Unzip, Install, Right Click the icon, input your mail settings (login info for your Hotmail and address to send the messages to) and BOOM, it’s done.

There are a few more advanced features in it for filtering spam, controlling message size, and setting how and when the program checks for messages. There aren’t a lot of techy aspects to this utility, but frankly, I like the clean functionality of it.

A simple utility to do a simple job. Love it. Grab it!

Posted in Digital Culture, Geekdom, H/S Reviews, Hardware/Software, Interaction | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does this really need to be seperate?

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on December 9, 2008

So a friend of mine sent me this link to a BBC story about a Muslim oriented virtual world.  Think Habo meets The Sims.  I love the idea and the execution of it all, don’t get me wrong but I’ve got one question:

Does this need to be seperate?

I understand the whole idea behind starting a Muslim only community, but to me making such a separation seems strange to me.  Adding a prayer mat to The Sims would have much the same effect.  If you’re playing any other online game you could create a community for Muslims who play their characters according to Muslim customs.

Now I admit, this could be all my perception, and the whole reason I wrote this was to start some discussion.  I was raised Irish Catholic and have tried on various religions over the years.  Currently I’m undecided.  I just don’t see the big deal about religion and flaunting it or seeing it as a dividing factor.

The creators of Muxlim Pal say that the game is for those interested in Muslim culture, but to me, it seems like an excuse for people to cut themselves out of society and create even more of a mystique around themselves.  The developers also mention that Muslims don’t live a life all that different from non-Muslims.  If that’s true, then why create a seperate game?

I’m not saying this is bad or anything, please don’t get me wrong.  I just question this continuing need for “cultural diversity via separation” that I’m seeing everywhere.

Discuss people!

Posted in Buzz, Digital Culture, Groups, H/S Buzz, Hardware/Software, Interaction, Video Games, Web Buzz, Websites | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How to Make Mistakes on Purpose was Successful

Posted by Matt Harbottle on December 3, 2008

When considering all aspects of graphic design, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts that go along with it.  There are tons of rules and guidelines that an artist should follow to create a successful, structured composition, that will please the viewer.  Apparently that isn’t always the case, according to Laurie Rosenwald.

Laurie is a successful artist, who’s areas of expertise include drawing, graphic design, and typography.  She is also a published author and has taught graphic design at School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, NYU, and Pratt Institute.  She tours the world, teaching a workshop called “How to Make Mistakes on Purpose.”

Rosenwald can be seen as an open-minded, “crazy” artist who is successful at what she does, with a no holds barred attitude, that stirs attention from all around the world.  Her philosophy being, “If you try very hard to create a good thing it will probably be bad.”  So on that note, she tries to promote that an artist should try to make mistakes… on purpose.  Not quite following?  Me either.

I’ve decided to give her crazy antics some consideration and attend her workshop that will be held in Banff, Alberta, on November 20-23.  I’m curious to see how she will lay out the processes of purposely making mistakes.  She emphasizes that anyone can attend and it’s not just for designers.  This is where it begins to worry me.

I hope to not waste a whole weekend of my life to listen to someone tell me how to get into my spiritual mindset and to let go of what I thought I knew about design.  Unfortunately for us skeptics, the outline of the workshop does not exist, for the content “MUST be a SURPRISE.”  Once again, getting worried, but I will still give it a try.

For anyone interested in attending the workshop, visit Laurie’s website for dates.

 

UPDATE

 

banff2

My apologies to Laurie.  Apparently the workshop in November was a complete success.  Unable to attend myself, I heard nothing but good things.  My previous post above, which I had originally posted in October, may have come off as detouring to some readers.  I really wish I could have attended, but due to school and work, this wasn’t possible.

The activities included in the workshop were as wacky and unusual as I had anticipated.  Unable to discuss what had all taken place at the workshop, my fellow artists from school that did attend, simple commented that, “it was weird.”  One could only imagine what really did take place that weekend.  Looking at this picture that was taken from the workshop… who knows?  

 

Matt

 

Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dreams do come true!

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on November 29, 2008

So I got this link sent to me and I felt I had to share.  I’m a fan of fighting games.  Have been for years.  I’ll admit that I’ve done my own poor impression of the famous lines from these games, shouting my share of “Hadoken!” and “Spinning Bird Kick” as well as “Get Over Here” and of course, “FINISH HIM!”  So imagine how happy I got when I saw this sound board featuring the voice of death, the ring announcer from Mortal Kombat.  And now I pass it on to you!  Enjoy!

Update: The embed code doesn’t seem to want to work so here’s the link!  MK Soundboard

Posted in Digital Culture, Geekdom, Interaction | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »