Archive for the ‘Internet and Technology’ Category

First Ubuntu Post

January 22nd, 2008 No comments

My Ubuntu internet computer is now operational and I am exploring the unique personality it has. I am considering using a Ubuntu or other Linux OS for the notebook computer(s) I will use on the Live More Lightly Tour.

There are three reasons that I would like to try this:

  1. Cost: I wanted to buy a Mac G4 dual core Powerbook to replace the single core I recently sold, but it seems that the model I need will cost approx. $3500. I could put a Ubuntu OS on a dual core platform for much less. I would also like to put my limited resources behind Open Source software because I have spent all of my money on computers and music technology for decades. When I bought my Powerbook, it took all the money I had. Then I had to go and work to buy the software. I did not get as much use out of my notebook as I might have because I had to have paying work to buy the tools I needed. If I start spending my money on Open Source I can expect that next time the tools will cost less — not more. Another issue is the cost of constantly updating software as I update my hardware. I still have my Windows 2000 computer because it has Corel Draw and several other programs I bought for that computer that would not run on XP. Now, with Ubuntu, I will try Open Office drawing programs and if I am able to meet my requirements, then I won’t have to worry about buying the upgrade all of the time.
  2. Green Power: I think that open source is inherently less energy consuming. I am going to have to research this point, but it seems that the corporate system of OS and software production is so huge and profit oriented that a community based alternative must be better. As they say in Wikipedia … citation needed.
  3. Community: The Ubuntu Community may be willing to assist me in my desire to move the internet down the highway streaming from a motorcycle (at perfectly legal speeds, of course). I am trying to open a dialog with Apple as well. I really did love my old G4 Powerbook, but it was very costly to be a part of that community and my object is to produce Art not impress with a fashion statement. Aesthetics are a part of the artistic process, but in my case, the “look” of my computer is not the most important thing.

Read more…


Song for International Women's Day

January 2nd, 2008 No comments

This is a video of a song written by Victoria Gibson in honour of International Women’s Day. Performed by Victoria and the Seaquam Secondary School Choir for the Society of Women in Science and Technology Conference in 2000 held at the school.

I have performed this song almost every year since I wrote it in 1994. The song was written to include the audience in affirming and celebrating International Women’s Day by giving them the line “Way-way-oh-way-oh” to sing or chant. I chose these syllables because my teenagers were arguing and one was insisting “Way”, while the other stated definitely “No way”. This sparked the idea in my mind that “way” could be a synonym for agreement and also indicate a positive direction, path or way.

This is a Quicktime link
Link to Women’s Day Song

Link to Womens Day Song Information and Lyrics


Victoria will be performing the Womens Day Song

live in Bellingham on March 8th, 2008

[WA] Whatcom County Intl. Women's Day Celebration -
The Bellingham
Intl. Women's Day Celebration in Bellingham
 with Farmworkers
Whatcom County Women's International Day Celebration****
TIME: 4:00 PM

LOCATIONS: Bellingham, Washington

Maritime heritage Park (500 Block of West Holly Street), the rally will kick

off with a performance by the Raging Grannies and a short talk by Andreia

Borges Ferreira of the Brazil Landless Workers Movement. At 4:30pm we will

be marching downtown Bellingham and ending up at the DreamSpace

(1318 Bay Street) for an evening celebration of dancing, divas, and


Focus: Rural Women confronting globalization fight for food sovereignty!

Check out Womens Day events near you on this site:

Womens Day Site


Categories: Inspiration, VIX at Work

Hosting a Blog Part II

December 8th, 2007 No comments

Hosting a blog has been very interesting so far, as I have become part of the blogsphere and I am learning about the amazing array of plug-ins and widgets available for WordPress.

One thing I am concerned about is maintaining ownership of my blog and the contents herein. Many of my friends use services, such as LiveJournal or BlogSpot because it is popular and there is more traffic “downtown” than out here in my own URL. I have just read on the Electronic Frontier Foundation Blog that LJ has been sold again. This time is is not to an American multi-national, but to one headquartered in Moscow, Russia. This raises many concerns about privacy, data security and, our worst nightmare, more spam.

There is some very good information on legal issues involved in blogging in the US of A and we all know that the internet extends over national borders. The long arm of the law can reach out and even kidnap citizens of other countries as I recently read of a case in Britain where it came up in court.


“December 2, 2007

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.”

I want to maintain the right to state my opinion and criticize those who are more powerful and wealthy than I am. I try not to abuse these rights, but I realize how close we are, even in in our democratic system, to being silenced by fear. It is important that we speak out and bring forward the issues that are important to us, even though it may not be in support of the current policy that maintains the status quo.

As I wrote in one of my songs,

“In the Great White North speech as free as you can get,

but the people with the power aren’t listening yet.

Don’t they know that in our time,

their children got to breathe the same air as mine”

This live more lightly project  aims to bring the issue of environmental degradation to the attention of the powers that be and to the grassroots that can initiate change.

Bloggers' Rights at EFF


Motorcycle Camera Mount Research

December 2nd, 2007 No comments

There are many people recording video from moving motorcycles, so I decided to post a few links to show some of the mounting technologies that I might use to attach a video camera to the Yamaha FJ motorcycle.

This is a Suzuki motorcycle, but my Yamaha has the same type of gas tank fill cap. I don’t have a grab bar on the back similar to where the second camera is mounted.

Videos made by to promote their group tours in the U.S. are edited well and show the group riding safely. Jones Helmet camera system has made videos of racing motorcycles, sailboats and even hot air balloons. Youtube and other video sites feature countless video clips taken with helmet cams and other video capture devices, but the quality is extremely uneven. I have not yet found anyone who is streaming directly from a motorcycle except for GP and other races that feed to a nearby truck, not directly on to the internet.

European motorcycle riders also have posted video of rides in the Alps, but they are not for the safety oriented. They are definitely in the sport bike category, with tips on penalties for speeding around the world. Don’t speed in Norway or you will loose your license! Fortunately, Canada is listed as one of the most reasonable on this topic, however, my license is completely clean and I intend to keep it that way. I may tour though Montana on my way home to make some “need for speed” video footage as there are no speed limits outside of certain zones there. That is definitely outside the scope of this tour.

These video examples give you an idea of the good quality of video production that can be obtained using consumer grade video equipment. One of the major writers of the pashnit site is a former Yamaha FJ 1200 owner who claims to have ridden over 30,000 miles on the bike before he sold it.

Here is the most economical mount yet …. the $5. camera mount. The sound on his video is mostly wind noise as he has no windshield. Great idea though. Unfortunately, my FJ has a very different system for the handlebars. Another problem is my windshield is so opaque that I don’t think I should take any video through it. That brings me to the idea of mounting a camera on my helmet.  Read more…


Streaming A Life – Artistic Influences

November 30th, 2007 No comments

There is a lot of material on the internet about streaming, but most of it is based on commercial use to make money. My intent is to create Art by sharing my experience in real time with audio and video media.

The earliest instance I have found of someone who adapted capture devices to be wearable is Steve Mann, who is described as “the world’s first cyborg” in a article by Peter Nowak, CBC News. His application was not directly commercial, although it related to his academic career as a researcher and professor.

Steve Mann is a professor at the University of Toronto and is still involved in streaming media, although not as real-time 24/7 as he once was.

From 1994-1996, Steve Mann, the grandfather of wearable computers, wore a wireless camera and receiver for almost every waking minute of his life (he took them off only swim, shower, and sleep). Both the camera and display were connected to the Internet so visitors to Steve’s www site could see what he was gazing upon, and if a visitor sent him an email, it would pop up in the display before his eyes. (quote from Kirk Woolf)

Steve Mann wearing his Eyetap device

Read more…


Tech Update

November 26th, 2007 No comments

A brief tech update:

I think my podcast plug-in is working and I hope to have my video plug-in working this coming week. Look for a podcast soon!

The video plug-in will enable me to upload video to the site or to play embedded video from YouTube and other user video sites.

I am following up an idea I saw about a service that sends streaming video directly to cell phones. It would be the ultimate in wireless to wireless if I was able to deliver streaming media from a moving motorcycle to a cell phone.

Many people have never experienced the intimate, one-with-the -environment feeling of motorcycle travel. I hope that through this project, I can open their eyes to the real-time beauty of the country that is Canada and by joining others in viewing content from this tour, they can feel a connection with each other and the country we live in.


Art using the Internet

November 22nd, 2007 No comments

In 1989 I joined the internet community to work with the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Project. My first project was to travel to the Stein Valley Festival with my friend Lynn Rutherford and her Japanese friend. They had arranged to have a table at the festival to provide a place for the Japanese lady to give out origami cranes that she folded as she sat, and to talk about peace. I saw an opportunity to organize a computer project. My self-imposed task was to gather messages written by festival goers that would be sent to a site in Japan. Messages were either dictated to me to type or typed directly into my IBM laptop computer. Few people had even heard of the internet, but I explained that the messages could be read by people around the world with connected computers, particularly those people participating in this peace project. After I returned home I uploaded the messages to a peacenet (usenet style posting forum) and received many encouraging comments from Japanese readers and others from around the world who read my Stein Valley Peace Messages post. This was my first experiment with social networking, international internet communications and using the internet as an artistic media. Read more…


Hosting a Blog

November 16th, 2007 No comments

This is the first blog I have hosted myself and there were a few challenges. At first I did not realize that a person who wanted to reply had to click on the “No Comment” button to open the comment dialog!

I still have not been able to add more plug-ins to the content management system I am using. I have plans to start practicing streaming audio and video from my home computer within the month and I want to offer podcasts too.

Plug-ins will let me do this and resize photos in the program instead of using an external editor (like photoshop). There’s a few things I still have to work out, but over all, I am really happy with the way this blog software is functioning. I am using a custom theme, but I haven’t figured out all the features yet.

I will be working through a lot of technical problems in the next few weeks and to make it even trickier — I am planning to install Ubuntu Linux on my new, faster Pentium 4 internet computer. This means I have to learn to use all of these tools in a new OS!

I am trying to link to more sites and here is one to my Technorati Profile

Right now, I plan to purchase a Macbook Pro with OSX Leopard for the Tour08, but I may go Linux. I will see how well I do installing and working with the Ubuntu OS. If anyone has any helpful comments, please feel free to post!