It’s probably not going to happen. It’s probably not going to happen. It’s probably not going to happen.

If we all repeat this, mantra-like, whilst thinking only of the good things, then surely by collective will we can stop the Trump horrorshow, can’t we?

NO OF COURSE WE CAN’T. What we want has at best a passing influence on our own lives, let alone the collective global experience; free will is largely illusory and the quicker you suck it up and accept that the better.

With that cheery opener, let’s move STRAIGHT IN to what is going to be your last dose of webspaff for a week or two (timescales as yet unspecified), what with me being away next week and planning to devote literally no time whatsoever to internetting. Til then, though, console yourselves with this BUMPER CROP of links and prose; like all modern crops, it’s best not to think too much about what it’s all been treated with and what the potential side effects of prolonged exposure might be (clue: like everything else, the answer probably involves death and pain). Welcome, one and all (though in all likelihood it’s closer to one, isn’t it?), to WEB CURIOS!

Sabrina Shirazi is an artist, designer, and recipient of Bristol's first ever Food Residency: a joint venture between science centre At Bristol and Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio. We caught up with Sabrina to ask her about her project, OPUS: a multimedia fusion of all of the senses in a single, unique experience.

John Naughton suggests that blockchain technology could be "the most important IT invention of our age"; Mougayar, that it is ‘at the same level as the World Wide Web in terms of importance’.

Both in the media and at industry events, there has been an explosion of interest in recent months in the potential impact of blockchain technology on the music industries, in particular those associated with recorded music. Yet while the debate between ‘for’ and ‘against’ camps has at times seemed black and white, it is important to remember that the blockchain is a technology rather than a particular product, and its applications are already diverse. What is called for is a critical, analytical overview.

In this report, the Blockchain for Creative Industries cluster at Middlesex University highlight four areas in which blockchain technology does appear to have transformative potential for recorded music:

  • As a networked database for music copyright information
  • Facilitating fast, frictionless royalty payments
  • Offering transparency through the value chain
  • Providing access to alternative sources of capital

We also question other claims for blockchain technology:

  • That it would give artists increased control over pricing and terms of use
  • That it would necessarily be used to create a ‘fair trade’ music ecosystem
  • That it is likely to bring about the demise of record labels and performance rights organisations

Finally, we set out the significant barriers to adoption:

  • Issues with cryptocurrencies
  • Impact of governance and regulation on the integrity of the data
  • Difficulty of reaching critical mass

We conclude by setting out our agenda for future research.


There’s something horrible about language sometimes, and a cruel sort of irony in the fact that we’re seeing NICE ATTACK everywhere.

Another week, and another load of stuff too dreadful to even think about waxing funny about. So it goes. Focus on the Pokemon. The Pokemon are your friends.

Here we are, then, as I once more sit eagerly before you, proffering up the eviscerated, bloody corpse of another week’s internet for you to sort through in search of value. Pick through the blood and the viscera and you may find something to excite you - and what strange auguries can be scried in the intestinal scrawls? Here’s a clue - literally none, because NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANY MORE. This, for all the good it will do you, is Web Curios.

Recently dubbed “the biggest crowdfunding project ever”, the decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) is essentially an investment fund without humans making the investment decisions.

Established in April 2016, the DAO draws from the notion of a human-led organisation, but unlike traditional companies, is automated. Formalised governance rules are enforced through software, not a board of directors.

No one body owns or controls the DAO, and essentially everyone can take part. More than 10,000 have done so already, raising more than US$150 million for the fund. The DAO is not a physical entity, instead transactions and balances are kept on a public ledger which is sustained by enormous amounts of computing power coupled with the use of algorithms.

Without relying too much on a paraphrase of The Shining, for San Francisco-based smart drugs developer Nootrobox, all work and no food makes a hotbed of new ideas.  

We marketers love a good trend. Every December we are treated to the summaries of the year’s advancements shoehorned into a few bitesize focus areas, and come January we’ve got the predictions of the coming year’s trends plastered all over our newsletters, blogs and Twitter feeds. Go to any tech, startup or marketing conference and you can almost guarantee there’ll be a prevailing topic which is deemed ‘of the time’. We are obsessed with asking experts what top trends we should be aware of, implementing into business and focusing our investments on.


It’s good to know that the natural order of things has been restored and we can go back to looking at the US in horrified awe and fascination rather than the other way round, eh?

Oh, no, actually turns out that looking across the Atlantic today is just making me feel a bit sick and nervous. As you were. FFS, America. Just on the offchance that anyone reading this happens to be one of the idiots who chose to argue with Saul Williams at his gig the other week about Black Lives Matter, this is why.

I can’t, frankly, be bothered to get angry about anything up top this week; I simply don’t have the energy or the inclination. Console yourself with the thought that (presuming you’re reading this on Friday) it’s only a few short hours until the sweet release of the weekend, when you can drink or drug yourself into whatever flavour of stupor you find most comforting in an attempt to block out the white noise cacophony of quotidian insanity.

Come, then - let us gambol, carefree, through the meadow-strewn pastures of the web - careful, though, of the rusty machinery buried just beneath the surface which will if given half a chance maim and gouge and tear and rend until there’s nothing left of you but meat fragments and fear. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

Days after Britain and the world reeled from the result of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, it’s back to business as usual for the House of Lords. This week the Investigatory Powers Bill was given its second reading, and it’s interesting to see how their Lordships approached scrutinising the wide-ranging powers of this controversial bill.

The fallout of the UK's referendum on EU membership has created a situation vacant at the top - the position of Prime Minister. There are currently four contenders for the position, of which one has suggested that prior to publication, all websites should go through a film classification-style clearance and rating process.

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