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.

From

“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

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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 pashnit.com 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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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Carbon Offsets

November 18th, 2007 No comments

In researching the idea of carbon offsets I have found an interesting calculator that allows the purchase of offsets on the spot. The Escape Adventures website gives a lot of information and a link to the calculator. I calculated the distance across Canada as being roughly 4500 km. at approximately 80 miles per gallon. I will have to be more precise as I am unsure of changing between litres/ gallons and miles/Km. but I thought I’d get a rough idea.

The calculator at Sustainable Travel International read:

Your total emissions are: 0.498 tons of CO2

The total cost to offset this amount of CO2 will be: US$7.59

This dosen’t seem like a lot, so if I can’t find any other way of doing it I will calculate my carbon emissions properly and pay up!

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Categories: Uncategorized

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!

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Backstage at the Rolling Stones Concert

November 16th, 2007 3 comments

The idea behind organizing an environmentally friendly tour across Canada for me to lead workshops and play music started after I worked as local crew in Vancouver for the Rolling Stones in November of 2006. They used huge amounts of gear transported in semi-trailer trucks, gigantic production and massive energy use. I want to be a successful musician, but I did not want to do that.

So what should I do?
Massive staging and transportation of Stones show
Rolling Stones Concert 2006 Vancouver These are photos of the tear down process from the November 2006 concert in BC Place Stadium. Front of Stage Area Stones Tear-down 2006

Massive equipment to move and transport the Rolling Stones gear.

My performing experience has usually been in intimate settings and in many cases, has involved a certain amount of audience participation. I decided that the most environmentally friendly thing I could do is to continue to work locally and think globally. I would continue to try to reach people in comfortable, low energy use settings, but I would webcast to large amounts of people on the internet. Some of my co-performers can be even more environmentally friendly by staying at home! Some will be interacting with me in performance over the internet and some of them will meet me when I arrive at their home city or town and we will play together in a local performance.

Read more…

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The Touring Machine

October 30th, 2007 5 comments

 

This is my 1990 Yamaha Fj, by far the largest and most powerful motorcycle I have owned in my over 30 year history of owning motorcycles.

My bike: 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200

 Many thanks to my mechanic, Simon, who has just finished rebuilding the clutch. There were some pesky problems, but Simon knows these bikes very well and is an invaluable resource.

Since this picture was taken, I have replaced the front tire and cleaned up a few minor problems. The major problem has been the hydraulic  clutch, but now it seems to be functioning perfectly.

My insurance for riding expires on November 1, 2007 so it is time for me to take a few last test rides and put the bike in storage for the winter. If I kept it insured I would be out riding in all weather and I don’t think I should give myself that temptation.

I had some great rides this summer – one to Seattle and one to Powell River. The return trip from Seattle took one full tank of gas, cost= $15.00US for over 200 km.

This bike inspires confidence and a feeling of poetry in motion. It can be risky riding alone because I cannot pick it up if it falls, so I try not to fall. I have a lot of experience riding safely and this is a very smooth and great handling machine. The only time I feel the weight is when I am stopped, then I have had a few problems.

I look forward to the tour and will be putting up links to other motorcycle resources and sites of interest.  I will be trying to find sponsors and other people who are interested in seeing the internet travel at 150 kmph!

 

 

 

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Categories: 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200