Internet culture is anxiously celebrated in new book

Internet culture is anxiously celebrated in new book Social Cut
​Art in the age of anxiety ​ is the title of both a book and exhibition; the exhibition was scheduled to be held at the Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE, but has been cancelled due to COVID-19. An age of anxiety, indeed. The book remains on track and is edited by Omar Kholeif. We first met Omar in 2013 when he was at the White Building (RIP). Now ...
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New atheism and the emergence of the alt-right

New atheism and the emergence of the alt-right Aaron Burden
On 16 February 2020, Richard Dawkins tweeted : "It's one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It's quite another to conclude that it wouldn't work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn't it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology." The basic wrongness of...
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Rent a gob: AI service allows people to say your every word, for a fee

Rent a gob: AI service allows people to say your every word, for a fee “Max Headroom“, 1985
You’ve probably heard of Cameo, where... er... celebrities who need a few quid are matched with users who want a personalised message. You have also, no doubt, heard of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) where human faces can be mapped and recreated as almost-human moving, talking heads.  Alethea AI is a new service which sm...
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Pandemic panorama: new report on post-COVID consumer behaviour

Pandemic panorama: new report on post-COVID consumer behaviour Gian D
The Protein community - a sort of crowdsourced group of strategists, co-ordinated by Shoreditch‘s Protein trends/media organisation - has come together to answer a question. That question, in the light of COVID-19, is:  ​ “What are you really going to change?“ To produce the report‘s content, Protein surveyed 1100 of its members in early ...
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Web Curios 22/05/20

Web Curios 22/05/20
How are we? I mean, how are we all  really ? I'll start - I'm...I'm quite  tired  of this, I think it's fair to say, and it's starting to make me fray at the edges slightly. I was approximately 15 seconds away from committing professional suicide on a client call yesterday; it was honestly so, so tempting to interrupt the people brie...
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When a glut of misinformation is folded into a plethora of half-baked science, you get two pandemics

When a glut of misinformation is folded into a plethora of half-baked science, you get two pandemics Engin Akyurt
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we are getting used to hearing the fanfare of new discoveries which either herald a new treatment or a horrific mutation of the Coronavirus genome that will result in disaster. Some of these come with a calculated purpose; some come from scientists and journalists putting ideas into the wild before they are fully-...
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Databrick: take yourself to your next place

Databrick: take yourself to your next place
Databrick is a new project which aims to develop a hardware device that stores information about a property and its residents - some of which stays with the property, some of which stays with its residents when they move. The idea is actually rather simple. It connects to data points regarding both property and residents - such as ownership (L...
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Fan fiction taught me how to write

Fan fiction taught me how to write
In 2009, the internet was a different place. Aged 16, I was only partially aware of the recession that threatened so many of us. Wall Street had crashed, redundancy rates were splashed across every newspaper, but as a teenager, I had far more pressing concerns. The final instalment of the Harry Potter novels had been released two summers before and...
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On the New Normal

On the New Normal
The  ​Wunderkind  ​that is Tobias Revell has built a site which scraps Twitter for definitions and interpretations of that most contemporary of terms: the new normal... actually, let’s call it the  New Normal. To paraphrase Jeanette Winterson, why be happy when you could attempt to predict the New Normal? Many people and organisation...
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When ad agencies merge: yet another case of unappetising alphabet soup

When ad agencies merge: yet another case of unappetising alphabet soup
We haven’t covered McGarry Bowen in a while - or, as it is styled,  ​mcgarrybowen ​. Part of Japanese agency giant Dentsu, it is the product of a few mergers over the years, including in the UK, where Dentsu’s UK arm was rebranded as McB and folded into the wider group. Dentsu has shuffled the deck around a little and the agency is now, so&nbs...
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Web Curios 15/05/20

Web Curios 15/05/20
Gah! I am late, and, look, it's nice outside and now that it's ok to be outside - OR IS IT? - and go to the park and shout at someone I know from a distance of 2m - IS IT THOUGH? IS IT??? - then that's what I think I am going to do.  I am Matt, this is Web Curios, you know what to do by now (but don't do that; why not change the habit of a lif...
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Lidl fluffy clouds: discounter wants to host your web applications

Lidl fluffy clouds: discounter wants to host your web applications Mitch Hodge
Lidl, or rather its parent company the Schwarz-Gruppe, is creating a competitor to Amazon Web Services. If you’re not aware of the size of Amazon Web Services, usually shortened to AWS, then here goes: it generates $40bn in sales per year, grows at 30% annually, and takes around 15% of Amazon’s revenue. It’s unquestionably the largest web and appli...
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New Led by Donkeys campaign spells out the unfolding disaster of the UK’s COVID-19 strategy

New Led by Donkeys campaign spells out the unfolding disaster of the UK’s COVID-19 strategy
Led By Donkeys is a group which has had mixed success over the past couple of years. Started by a group of friends on an anti-Brexit ticket, it ran some excellent and professional campaigns on exactly that strategy, both before the 2016 referendum and after it. However, since then, its style, which mocks up quotes to looks like Tweets and then runs...
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Māori ethics guidelines for IOT, AI and algos are published

Māori ethics guidelines for IOT, AI and algos are published Mt Aoraki, Aleks Dahlberg
The Māori people of New Zealand now have a set of guidelines on some of the more cutting-edge consumer technology out there. Developed by doctoral researcher Karaitiana Taiuru, the guidelines are for New Zealand projects looking to engage with The Māori people and their data. You might be wondering... why? Well, here’s Karaitiana to ...
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Zoom to chase the day away: now the BBC gets in on virtual backgrounds

Zoom to chase the day away: now the BBC gets in on virtual backgrounds Blankety Blank, BBC, 1983
The Zoomification of our lives, where the ubiquitous web conferencing service has become the platform for choice, is finally complete. Its - entirely justified - privacy concerns were largely ignored by a user base who, through Facebook and GDPR, are used to Not Really Being Arsed About It any more. Zoom has succeeded because it has removed mu...
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Web Curios 08/05/20

Web Curios 08/05/20
It's almost over! We're almost free! Summer is here!  It's not almost over! Shut up with your chat! NO TOUCHING OR FRATERNISING! I don't know about you, but I don't know who  believe - the famously trustworthy and reliable gentleman currently in charge of the country, the simillarly reliable tabloid and right-wing press...It's all so tric...
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Why 5G conspiracy theories prosper during the coronavirus pandemic

Why 5G conspiracy theories prosper during the coronavirus pandemic CreepCreep
  As the coronavirus pandemic has gathered momentum, so too have explanations for how the outbreak started and what is causing its spread. Among these explanations is a theory that the recent rollout of 5G technology is to blame. Many countries are witnessing increased numbers of groups warning others about the dangers of 5G. In the UK, Austra...
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Talking heads remain in light: Hypercam offers a distortion of your image

Talking heads remain in light: Hypercam offers a distortion of your image
Kim Albrecht’s Hypercam is a playful way to mess around with your video presence in a more abstract way than Snap Camera. ​Born out of the ubiquity of Zoom - something of a totem for those staying indoors, spending hour after hour on a video call -  ​Hypercam ​ allows you to distort what your camera shows to the recipient, based upon...
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​Animal Crossing: New Horizons​ - a refuge in crisis for creatures of habit

​Animal Crossing: New Horizons​ - a refuge in crisis for creatures of habit
What if there were no expectations, no real objective at the end of the tunnel, no pressure imposed upon you to strive for the fabled pinnacle of success, to prove to the rest of the world that you're made of something? What if everything was just a bit more stripped back and nonchalant? That hour has arrived, whether we consented to it or not. Thi...
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From the coral reef to the COVID ward: the snorkelling equipment at the forefront of Italy's Coronavirus fight

From the coral reef to the COVID ward: the snorkelling equipment at the forefront of Italy's Coronavirus fight
As the coronavirus outbreak hit northern Italy, Brescia lacked respiratory mask supplies. A small team of engineers created a valve that attached to a snorkeling mask provides a ventilator device. Oxygen enters the lungs and Andrea breathes. In a hospital bed in Northern Italy, he is still puzzled about how he ended up in a COVID-19 ward with ...
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