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SONARIS Newsletter
Latest Issue

May 2005, Issue 71

Published by Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
[formerly Music for New Media Newsletter]

You can find the online version at: http://www.sonaris.info


Scientific findings: Early home environment and television watching influence bullying behavior
Music Playing Robots
Recommended book: Deep Time of the Media
Notes Towards a Literacy for the Digital Age
Summit for the Future Report - section: Media & Entertainment
Push to Talk over Cellular – stay connected
Design Focus in Stockholm 2005
Conferences & events
Subscription & feedback

: Scientific findings

Early home environment and television watching influence bullying behavior

Four-year-old children who receive emotional support and cognitive stimulation from their parents are significantly less likely to become bullies in grade school, but the more television four-year-olds watch the more likely they are to bully later, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Bullying among school children is considered a serious public health problem, affecting an estimated 30 percent of school-age children in the U.S., according to background information in the article. Previous research has suggested three possible predictors of future bullying behavior: that parental emotional support helps young children develop empathy, self-regulation and prosocial skills and might be protective; that bullying might arise out of early cognitive deficits that lead to decreased competence with peers; and that television violence may produce aggressive behavior.

Frederick J. Zimmerman, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues compared assessments of 1,266 four-year-olds enrolled in a national longitudinal study for the three potential predictors, parental emotional support, cognitive stimulation and amount of television watching at four years of age, with later bullying, reported at ages six through 11. Statistical methods were used to determine whether each predictor constituted an independent risk factor for subsequent bullying.

Cognitive stimulation assessment was based on information on outings, reading, playing and parental role in teaching a child. Emotional support assessment included questions on whether the child ate meals with both parents, parents talked to the child while working and spanking. The average number of hours of television watching was based on parent reports. Bullying was determined by the characterization of the child as a bully by his mother.

Approximately thirteen percent of children were reported as bullies by their mothers, the researchers report. Both early emotional support and cognitive stimulation had substantial protective effects. "The magnitude of the risk associated with television…is clinically significant," the authors write. "… a one-standard deviation increase [3.9 hours] in the number hours of television watched at age four years is associated with an approximate 25 percent increase in the probability of being described as a bully by the child’s mother at ages six through 11 years."

"Our results have some important implications," the authors conclude. "First, we have provided some empirical support to theories that suggest that bullying might arise out of cognitive deficits as well as emotional ones. Second, we have added bullying to the list of potential negative consequences of excessive television viewing along with obesity, inattention, and other types of aggression. Third, our findings suggest some steps that can be taken with children to potentially help prevent bullying. Maximizing cognitive stimulation and limiting television watching in the early years of development might reduce children’s subsequent risk of becoming bullies."

: Music Playing Robots

"Toyota is continuing to focus the collective experience of the Group in its development of Toyota Partner Robots, robots developed to embody kindness and intelligence and to assist with human activities. Music playing robots and a DJ robot [...] make appearances in the Toyota Group Pavilion at EXPO 2005 AICHI."

Music Playing Robots
These robots, which are being developed to use tools, will play an entertaining role in the performance. Able to move their artificial lips with the same finesse as humans, the robots demonstrate the agility of their arms, hands and fingers as they play trumpets, tubas and drums.

DJ Robot
This robot, currently under development as a robot that communicates with people, will appear on stage as a DJ, carrying on a dialogue with the emcee.

Music Playing Robot and DJ Robot Design Concept

The robots are meant to express the Japanese spirit of “wa,” or harmony, and the ideal of hospitality that underpin Japanese culture. Design of the lightweight, slim-bodied robots applied cutting edge technology and focused on a finely tuned form with a pleasant expression that would express kindness and friendliness.



: Recommended book

Deep Time of the Media
Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means
By Siegfried Zielinski

November 2005

Deep Time of the Media takes us on an archaeological quest into the hidden layers of media development -- dynamic moments of intense activity in media design and construction that have been largely ignored in the historical-media archaeological record. Siegfried Zielinski argues that the history of the media does not proceed predictably from primitive tools to complex machinery; in Deep Time of the Media, he illuminates turning points of media history -- fractures in the predictable -- that help us see the new in the old.

Drawing on original source materials, Zielinski explores the technology of devices for hearing and seeing through two thousand years of cultural and technological history. He discovers the contributions of "dreamers and modelers" of media worlds, from the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles and natural philosophers of the Renaissance and Baroque periods to Russian avant-gardists of the early twentieth century. "Media are spaces of action for constructed attempts to connect what is separated," Zielinski writes. He describes models and machines -- including a theater of mirrors in sixteenth-century Naples, an automaton for musical composition created by the seventeenth-century Jesuit Athanasius Kircher, the eighteenth-century electrical tele-writing machine of Joseph Mazzolari, among others -- that make this connection. Uncovering these moments in the media-archaeological record, Zielinski says, brings us into a new relationship with present-day moments; these discoveries in the "deep time" media history shed light on today's media landscape and may help us map our expedition to the media future.

Siegfried Zielinski, a founder of the new field of media archaeology, is Founding Director of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, where he is Professor of Media and Communication Studies and is developing a workshop for a variantology of the media. He has published more than a dozen books and many articles. Deep Time of the Media is the second of his books to appear in English.

: Notes Towards a Literacy for the Digital Age

Notes Towards a Literacy for the Digital Age
by Milverton Wallace

The kid enters the coffee shop and is greeted excitedly by her friends. They jostle to exchange high fives, knuckle greetings and finger snaps with her.

What is the cause of their admiration? Her Rocaway jeans? Her high tan Jimmy Choo boots? Her Armani sun-glasses? Her Karl Lagerfeld jacket? Nah! It is the gleaming silver object dangling from a pair of white wires plugged into her ears.

It is an iPod, the must-have digital gadget of today's young people. With this tiny digital audio player Apple stole Napster's thunder and replaced the CD player as the cutting-edge portable music player of choice.

But if you think this is just another device for playing pre-recorded music, think again. Within two years of the iPod's debut, developers had created software to allow anyone to produce audio content -- words and music -- for it and other portable digital players. This technology, known as podcasting, turns consumers into producers, and every wannabe DJ and talk-show host into broadcasters. It is a distribution channel that plugs directly into the hippest, hottest communication network on the planet.

In advanced industrial countries, and increasingly in less-developed regions, social life is being digitised. Cheap camera phones and videocams allow everyday activities to be recorded and stored on personal computers or online services; more and more conversations are conducted via email, IM and SMS; private thoughts, opinions and reflections on public affairs or private passions are instantly posted on weblogs. Because they are in digital form, all these different types of record -- moving images, photographs, sounds and texts -- can be stored on computers. And the Internet makes it possible for all of this to be shared with family, friends and strangers.

Welcome to the agora of the 21st century, a space where a diverse array of digital modes of communication intersect in cyberspace -- email, instant messaging, text messaging, multimedia messaging, weblogging, audioblogging, moblogging, mobcasting, podcasting.

Like it or not, this is the new cultural landscape for learning, entertainment, and communicating with each other. And it is being constructed without consultation with, or permission from, regulatory authorities or self-appointed gatekeepers.

All well and good, but what is the point of all this digital g-soup when school-leavers cannot spell and do sums, or believe Winston Churchill was an insurance salesman? Relax. This is not the end of literacy, just a groping towards a new kind of literacy, which is capable of fulfilling the knowledge acquisition, informational and cultural needs of the digital age.


Here is the genius of cyberspace: it has created a world of endless possibilities by refusing to be constrained by what went before.

In most cosmologies, the world begins with the Word. In the pre-industrial and industrial eras, two expressions of the Word, reading and writing, have been central to people's notion of literacy. Digital technology does not abolish literacy; what it augurs is a radical re-definition of it. This is nothing new -- we have been there before. Think of the momentous, world-changing shift from oral to print culture; think also of the changes in writing instruments (stone, stick, pen), writing materials (bark, leaf, clay tablet, parchment, paper), text production processes (from handwriting to hot-metal printing, from lithography to laser printing) and the intellectual and technical adjustments required to deal with them.

As the digitization of economic, social and cultural life gathers pace, those who embrace and internalize the literacy of the digital age will be so much better off than those who do not.

So if you are an educator, desperate to interest our iPod kid and her friends in your remedial classes; a health information officer anxious to get the message of safe sex to her and her cohorts; a training instructor eager to recruit them on a job skills programme; get familiar with their world. You will not be able to communicate with them if you do not.

The full article can be read: here


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: Newseum

The world's first interactive museum of news — the Newseum — opened in Arlington, Va., in 1997. Its mission was simple: to help the public and the news media understand one another better.

The Newseum also celebrates the value of a unique American notion — the First Amendment. The First Amendment — a covenant between the government and the people — assures that no law will suppress the people's right to a free press, to speak freely, to worship, to assemble in public or to petition the government for redress of grievances. By assuring a free flow of information, the First Amendment helps ensure that Americans remain forever free. We believe that visitors will come to the Newseum as tourists, but leave as supporters of the First Amendment and the vital role a free press plays in a free society.

The Newseum has closed its Arlington, Va., facility while it prepares to relocate to Washington, D.C.

The Freedom Forum has unveiled its design for a new, expanded Newseum next to the Washington, D.C., mall and its museums and monuments. The six-level, 215,000-square-foot interactive museum of news will contain three times as much exhibition space as the original facility in Arlington, Va., which closed in March 2002 to permit Newseum staff to focus exclusively on planning and developing the new museum, which is scheduled to open in 2007. The Newseum will be located at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., between the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

: Summit for the Future Report

Summit for the Future Report 2005 - section Media & Entertainment - download for free at:

: Push to Talk over Cellular – stay connected

Push to Talk over Cellular – stay connected
by Nokia

Executive summary

Push to talk over Cellular (PoC) provides a direct one-to-one and one-to-many voice communication service over cellular networks. The service presents a superb opportunity for mobile operators to boost their existing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), as well as win new users, by providing a popular two-way radio service over attractive cellular phones. The idea is simple. Thanks to PoC’s ‘always-on’ connection, users can make calls to individuals or groups at the press of a button. The availability of other users can be checked before the call with the help of the presence function. The call connects almost instantly and the receiver doesn’t even have to answer. Users of push to talk services are often engaged in an activity other than a telephone call and can stay informed by listening in to group traffic while they are busy. A user can also be contacted by name or may occasionally want to say something to the group. The half-duplex traffic provided by PoC is ideal in such cases.

Users can form ad hoc talk groups without having to contact their service providers. This encourages spontaneous and flexible group communication. PoC serves the diverse needs of both business and private users, ranging from controlled team management to the spontaneous sharing of fun experiences.

Push to talk is not a substitute for any existing cellular service. It is a complementary service that allows operators to develop and differentiate their voice portfolio without having to change their existing services.

The PoC solution is based on half-duplex Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, using an IP-capable network. Building the service over existing GSM/WCDMA networks will enable fast service roll-out and reduce the investment needed. The service also has a natural fit with fixed networks because a PoC client can be implemented in PCs and other devices. Nokia has introduced a PoC Software Development Kit (SDK) to help developers produce commercial PC-based PoC products. This SDK will be available through Nokia Forum.

The push to talk service is an integral part of the IP Multimedia communication portfolio and is a service offered through the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). It can also be used to enrich other IP Multimedia communication sessions, such as interactive gaming and video sharing.

PoC uses cellular access and radio resources more efficiently than circuitswitched services. Network resources are reserved one-way for the duration of talk spurts, rather than two-way for an entire call session. PoC provides better coverage over cellular networks than conventional two-way radio solutions.

It also allows the simple and fast creation of talk groups and group calls. However, this solution does not meet the stringent emergency requirements of public safety organizations.

The PoC solution offers terminal manufacturers an opportunity to implement the push to talk facility across all their mobile phone categories and users can choose the products that best meet their communication needs.

The full white paper is available as a *.pdf: click here

: Design Focus in Stockholm 2005

Design Focus in Stockholm 2005
"Sweden has designated the coming year as Year of Design 2005, a celebration that will be especially evident in Stockholm, its regal capital. A wealth of exhibitions, installations, and other events will augment the city's already abundant selection of design-related activities. Year of Design 2005 will focus on the possibilities that design offers all of us - the individual, culture, business and industry - in fact, the whole of society."

: Conferences & events

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Copyright © 1997-2005 Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written permission is prohibited. Sonaris Consulting cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of information supplied herein or for any opinion expressed.



Copyright © 1997-2008 Sonaris. All rights reserved Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written permission is prohibited. http://www.Sonaris.info