Morphing service anonymises faces for passports, while retaining their legitimacy

Morphing service anonymises faces for passports, while retaining their legitimacy
Mask ID from Berlin-based group Peng Collective is rather ingenious: it creates new faces built out of “real” ones submitted to a database, which are valid for passports. The idea is this. By combining your face with others in Peng’s database, you have a passport-ready photo which is technically, but not physically, both you and someone else. It me...
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The ‘real you’ is a myth – we constantly create false memories to achieve the identity we want

The ‘real you’ is a myth – we constantly create false memories to achieve the identity we want Bill Knock, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/billknock/40496009774/
We all want other people to "get us" and appreciate us for who we really are. In striving to achieve such relationships, we typically assume that there is a "real me". But how do we actually know who we are? It may seem simple – we are a product of our life experiences, which we can be easily accessed through our memories of the past. Indeed, subst...
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The development of coffee machine design

The development of coffee machine design
Down the years, the way we brew our coffee has changed considerably, and each new style has seemed to mirror the age to which it belongs. The development of coffee machine design is an informative story of innovation, so let's have a closer look at the major stages of its progression. The percolator If you grew up before the 70s, you may ...
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Justin Kirby: the ‘why’ factor of content

Justin Kirby: the ‘why’ factor of content Justin Kirby
"Content marketing" feels like a new industry based on new terminology, but the reality is anything but. Brands, publishers and people have communicated themselves with engaging content for centuries. But, what exactly is content marketing, how does it differ from other forms of marketing and communication, and should it be treated differently – an...
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Stuart Goulden: liberating video production

Stuart Goulden: liberating video production
Every brand holds an inherent drama. Unlock it and you have your USP. Share it and you  have the start of a good story. Whilst the truths behind every engaging narrative are the same today as they've always  been, digital has blown content creation wide open. Nowhere is this being felt more than  video. The average person now watches...
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Building bicycles for our minds

Building bicycles for our minds Dion Raftapoulous, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32239815432/
Technology has a hole in it, I can feel it. Something isn't right and while the current era of technology platforms feels like it has reached its zenith, there is something missing from the way many people are talking about the future. We have 2.5 billion smartphone users today — each of whom has access to all the knowledge of the world — yet these...
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Digital twins and digital doubles: populating our virtual worlds

Digital twins and digital doubles: populating our virtual worlds Liebslakritze, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15945845318
Years ago when I worked in the semiconductor crystal growth industry, we had a frequent problem with crystal defects that occurred, seemingly at random, during a multi-day growth process. These defects caused total failure of the greater than $80,000 single crystal. One of my proposed solutions was to create a dynamic computer model of the whole sy...
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Toby Shorin: The diminishing marginal value of aesthetics

Toby Shorin: The diminishing marginal value of aesthetics Red Shuheart, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/red_shuheart/38210802106
Cultural production is typically ignored by economists and technology writers. At best it is only addressed within the context of various media verticals: film, music, news, and so on. In this post I will begin to correct this strategic oversight by combining a theory of cultural production with some common frameworks for understanding technology a...
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Rockstar is more than a feeling, it's a new programming language

Rockstar is more than a feeling, it's a new programming language Montecruz Foto, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/libertinus/4848597995
Rockstar, a new Turing-complete programming language, is " designed for creating computer programs that are also song lyrics, and is heavily influenced by the lyrical conventions of 1980s hard rock and power ballads." With tongue firmly in cheek, its name and format has been derived from the reference of "rockstar developers" by recruiters - so, th...
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Online art market matures

Online art market matures Halfrain, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/halfrain/15134351524/
Hiscox has released its  ​Online Art Trade Report ​ for 2018, and it makes for interesting reading. The market is slowing and maturing; online art platforms are continuing to consolidate; and Instagram casts a long shadow over art consumers. Key points are: ​ Online sales are up 12%, but growth is slowing. Sales were estimated at $4....
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Visual decay: new exhibition examines ways of communicating climate change

Visual decay: new exhibition examines ways of communicating climate change La Llareta #0308-2B31 (3000+ years old; Atacama Desert, Chile), Rachel Sussman
Critical to the mitigation of climate change is the communication of it, and the communication of its prevention.  ​Future Knowledge ​ is a forthcoming exhibition, taking place at our almost-neighbours Modern Art Oxford, where artists and designers show new work in response to the phenomenon. Work in the show includes  ​Loop ​, an aerial ...
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We don’t need Elon Musk for an innovative tech industry

We don’t need Elon Musk for an innovative tech industry Web Summit, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/websummit/10707529713/
We all know that organisations are made up of many people, so why is it that the leaders get all the credit and most of the cash? In the Iron Man f ilms, Tony Stark, the president of Stark Industries, is presented as a wild innovator and technological genius. He swipes at virtual screens, cuts and welds, and stays up for days. This is what a boy wo...
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Generative art finds its prodigy: an interview with Manolo Gamboa Naon

Untitled Detail from "bbccclll", Manolo Gamboa Naon
Manolo's work feels like it is the result of the entire contents of twentieth-century art and design being put into a blender. Once chopped down into its most essential geometry, Manolo then lovingly pieces it back together with algorithms and code to produce art that is simultaneously futuristic and nostalgic. His work serves as a welcome (and nee...
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Roca explores the history of urban planning

Ebenezer Howard, To-Morrow, 1898 Ebenezer Howard, To-Morrow, 1898
A new exhibition at Roca London, entitled The Data and Life of Great Future Cities , proposes that personal data “could be the key to better urban design”. With a title influenced by Jane Jacobs’ 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities , it also references work more recently undertaken by Marco de Nadia at the University of Trent...
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Web Curios 07/09/18

Web Curios 07/09/18
HELLO EVERYONE I GO ON HOLIDAY TOMORROW FOR TWO WEEKS I AM SO EXCITED I MIGHT PROLAPSE! Yes, fine, I know that you personally couldn't give a flying one about my plans, but it's my blognewsletterthingy and I will open it however I like so  there . Welcome to the final Curios til 28 September, the last, wheezing gasp of Summer before we usher i...
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Imperica update, September 2018

Imperica update, September 2018 Tony Hisgett, CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/5129805518/
Hello from a sunny Oxford. We have been busy in recent months with this site, not that you should really notice that. 8 years of content has been moved from an old CMS to a new one; the site has moved hosts; the mobile web version has been completely reworked; and the newsletter system, for Web Curios , has been given an awful lot of back-end ...
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How a Beatles song about ‘revolution’ helped Nike become a billion Dollar brand

How a Beatles song about ‘revolution’ helped Nike become a billion Dollar brand
​Fifty years ago the Beatles released a single that sold over 8m copies – their highest selling 45rpm – Hey Jude . While Hey Jude made the greater impression, it was the B-side – Revolution – in which John Lennon addressed the global political upheaval of 1968 that has the more interesting story. Rare as it was for a pop song to address politics, t...
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Web Curios 31/08/18

Web Curios 31/08/18
So, I went to Leeds. And I survived, but dear GOD am I glad it was only a day and that I am not 16 any more. WHY ARE YOU ALL TAKING SO MUCH KETAMINE, FESTIVALGOING CHILDREN OF THE UK? WHY DO YOU ALL SHOUT 'WHOOMP THERE IT IS'  EVERY TIME THE DJ DOES SOMETHING GOOD? WHY AM I SO OLD AND CONFUSED? Anyway, I felt old and baffled and basically like...
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Web Curios 24/08/18

Is he going to be impeached? IS HE? Stop getting excited, nothing's going to happen for AGES and in the meantime there's still plenty of stuff that could get worse. Don't worry, though, because over here we've finally got a plan for No Deal Brexit! It involves evertything being incredibly fcuking sh1t! But! Don't worry though! Because Jezzus is goi...
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Web Curios 17/08/18

Neville Southall Adult Baby Twitter Takeover. Take those words; taste them; roll them around your mouth and revel in their juicy savour. So rich! So DENSE!  I'm choosing to focus on the ridiculous rather than the awful in the intro this week, seeing as the past couple have been pretty frothy with fear and rage and seeing also as it's my girlfr...
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