Golden decayed

Golden decayed

 

For many of us, what we know about bacteria is dictated by marketing. Some products claim to have "good bacteria", while many are determined to stamp out the bacterium menace, as explained in TV spot ads where parents relieve their children of the potential to contract something horrific through the simple squirt of a transparent liquid.

There are bacteria all around us, all of the time. They are on your computer keyboard (or your phone), right now. We carry a whole ecosystem of the stuff within and on us. It's the location, type and number which determine whether they are infectious or symbiotic.

It's this potential that excites Anna Dumitriu. Trained in Fine Art but, from an early age, fascinated in the untold narratives behind science, she is unlocking the untold stories of bacteria, working with scientists to find new, artistic methods to show bacteria in new and different contexts.

Her recent work features textiles, stained with bacterial pigments. Their patterns are created using quorum-sensing processes and a mixture of natural and synthetic antibiotics. Her works also feature digital video mapping to augment the sculptures, resulting in time-lapse videos of bacterial communication in process. As Dumitriu suggests, bacterial communication is critical to her work, but also to human health. Quorum-sensing is used by bacteria to control things like virulence factors, sporulation and toxin production. The more in which we understand how bacteria communicates and behaves, the greater chance we have of developing new antibiotics.

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News from Sofia: Webit 2011

News from Sofia: Webit 2011

 

Our friends at Webit are getting ready for this year's event, once again taking place in Bulgaria, on 26-27 October. Here's some info from the Webit team on how preparations are progressing.

 

The Main Marketing Stage is, without any doubt, the heart and soul of Webit Congress. This is the place to hear visionary keynotes and action-provoking panel discussions on e-Marketing, e-Commerce, Social Media, where top experts of the world digital industry will share their know-how and will discuss the problems and the challenges in front of the marketing industry. As usual, the Main Marketing Stage shall host 700 attendees. The focus of the keynote presentations and the panel discussions will be on the successful practices from the CEE region and worldwide in areas like e-Marketing, models for client communications, strategies for presence of the brand in the social medias, mobile marketing, adapting the brand to the latest trends, etc. The speakers are Founders, Presidents and CEOs of some of the biggest, most successful, most innovative and fast developing companies worldwide like Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, Google, Facebook, Saatchi & Saatchi, etc. The Main Marketing Stage will offer its visitors one more surprise: the unique opportunity to meet in person one of the few digital magicians in the world – Marco Tempest.

For the very first time this year Webit Congress launched the DevCamp Workshops – the meeting point for top web/app developers from CEE and representatives from leading platform and operation system suppliers. During the event, the participants will share their huge experience and vision about the future of the platforms and the apps, will network and exchange contacts. Every workshop is half or full-day long and top experts will present in front of the audience techniques and strategies in the respective area. Among the speakers are John Lunn, Director of Platform and Integration, PayPal X, who will demonstrate the latest innovations in online payments.

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Imperica on Facebook

Imperica on Facebook

 

We're now on Facebook, so you can get more of our lovely goodies over there, discuss topics with other readers, and we'll be introducing some exclusive stuff there over the next few months too.

 

Imperica on Facebook

Nielsen clings onto the PC in a multi-screen age

Nielsen clings onto the PC in a multi-screen age

 

Nielsen:

 

Many people predict that mobile devices will be the only important user interface platform in the so-called "post-PC" future. Some even recommend designing websites for mobile first, and then modifying the design for the desktop PC as an afterthought.

 

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Onedotzero graduate scheme deadline is today

Onedotzero graduate scheme deadline is today

 

The deadline for the Onedotzero Cascade 11 scheme is today (1 September), at 5pm:

 

As part of the annual onedotzero_adventures in motion festival at the BFI Southbank, 23-27 November, onedotzero is looking for 40 top creative graduates to take part in their award winning education platform onedotzero_cascade this October and November 2011.

cascade champions collaboration and multi-disciplinary project development through a series of workshops and activities led by some of onedotzero's most innovative partners, creators and featured artists. cascade has built a reputation for offering inspiration and insight, practical advice and first-hand experience in a fun and energetic environment. The programme is aimed at developing a new model for creative partnership and originality across diverse disciplines to foster personal and professional development in those who are about to embark on a career in the creative and cultural industries.

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News: Rupert Murdoch buys UK TV station

News: Rupert Murdoch buys UK TV station

 

Guess the story:

 

...Murdoch's presence rang alarm bells, who expressed concern that a foreign national and owner of significant British newspaper interests, could own a British television station.

 

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Watermans International Festival of Digital Art, 2012

Watermans International Festival of Digital Art, 2012

 

The Watermans International Festival of Digital Art comprises of a series of installations exploring interactivity and participation in media and digital art. Accompanied by a series of discussions, artists' presentations and talks in collaboration with Goldsmiths, it showcases six interactive installations, to be exhibited over a 10-month period from next January.

The artists/collectives have been selected from an open call for proposals, shortlisted by a panel from Watermans, Goldsmiths, Onedotzero, and the Athens Video Art Festival. Here they are...

 

Suguru Goto - Cymatics

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Welcoming our new overlords

Welcoming our new overlords

 

Marc Andressen (who can just about be forgiven for Netscape Communicator v4) on how software is taking over:

 

More than 10 years after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble, a dozen or so new Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter are sparking controversy in Silicon Valley, due to their rapidly growing private market valuations, and even the occasional successful IPO. With scars from the heyday of Webvan and Pets.com still fresh in the investor psyche, people are asking, "Isn't this just a dangerous new bubble?"

(...)

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Adventures: in code and in Kentucky

Adventures: in code and in Kentucky

 

Fascinating stuff from Dennis Jerz:

 

Because so little primary historical work has been done on the classic text computer game "Colossal Cave Adventure", academic and popular references to it frequently perpetuate inaccuracies.

"Adventure" was the first in a series of text-based games ("interactive fiction") that emphasize exploring, puzzles, and story, typically in a fantasy setting; these games had a significant cultural impact in the late 1970s and a significant commercial presence in the early 1980s. Will Crowther based his program on a real cave in Kentucky; Don Woods expanded this version significantly. The expanded work has been examined as an occasion for narrative encounters [Buckles 1985] and as an aesthetic masterpiece of logic and utility [Knuth 1998]; however, previous attempts to assess the significance of "Adventure" remain incomplete without access to Crowther's original source code and Crowther's original source cave.

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David Byrne: the future for computers in art, from 1987

David Byrne: the future for computers in art, from 1987

 

Wearer of oversized suits David Byrne, writing in 1987 on what artistic applications of computers will look like in 2007:

 

I don't think computers will have any important effect on the arts in 2007. When it comes to the arts they're just big or small adding machines. And if they can't "think," that's all they'll ever be. They may help creative people with their bookkeeping, but they won't help in the creative process.

The video revolution, however, will have some real impact on the arts in the next 20 years. It already has. Because people's attention spans are getting shorter, more fiction and drama will be done by television, a perfect medium for them. But I don't think anything will be wiped out; books will always be there; everything will find its place.

In conversation with... David Berry and Andy Piper

David Berry, Andy Piper. Photography by courtesy of David Berry, Andy Piper

 

Software is increasingly becoming part of the world around us: from cars to washing machines, we are working with "smarter" devices that offer levels of service and interaction that have never been seen before. What does this mean for society, and how society understands the role that software plays within it? We invited two leading thinkers – David Berry and Andy Piper – to discuss software from a socio-cultural perspective.

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Banning Like

Banning Like

From VentureBeat:

 

The German government on Friday declared the Facebook "Like" button, which appears on countless websites accessible all over the world, in violation of the country's strict privacy rights — and thus illegal.

An official from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein's data protection center, Thilo Weichert, said the privacy violation stems from the Like button's ability to track a person's movement across the web, according to a report by The Local.

In addition to violating German laws, Weichert claims the Facebook Like button also breaks European Union data protection laws. However, Facebook has rejected those claims and said any data that's stored (like web activity from a unique IP address) is deleted after the industry standard 90-days, according to the report. VentureBeat has contacted the company for further comment.

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Damn you, ungrateful consumers

Damn you, ungrateful consumers

 

Gerry McGovern:

 

Stop talking or writing about your new app, video, Twitter feed or Facebook page. Start making your customers' lives simpler, faster, cheaper.

"Dear Gerry," the email from John Kavanagh, Loyalty Marketing Manager for Aer Lingus begins. "As a valued member of our Gold Circle programme I am delighted to be contacting you with news of the newly launched Aer Lingus App."

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Art of Digital London - alternative revenue streams

Art of Digital London - alternative revenue streams

 

Our friends at Art of Digital London are running a session next Wednesday at the Photographers' Gallery in London. Given the increasing requirement (implicit or explicit) by public funders to find alternative revenue streams, what do the alaternatives look like?

 

The following areas will be covered in the event:

 

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Ads: your super soaraway summer special

Ads: your super soaraway summer special

 

Creative Review undertakes a creative review:

 

Stunts, installations, neat tech ideas and UGC – advertising has been experimenting with all manner of new methods of engagement. Discovery Networks Europe's Federico Gaggio and Patrick Burgoyne CR editor brought together some of the most significant of these ideas in a presentation for the Promax Conference. Here's their overview of adland's new directions.

 

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Watching machines of loving grace

 

 

Adam Curtis' recent series All watched over by machines of loving grace is now available to download from Archive.org, in MP4 and Ogg formats.

Enjoy.

 

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Elliot Reuben: Caution - do not read

I really mean it. Perhaps that sounds odd in an age where everyone seems to be trying to gain a personal following. I mean, shouldn't I be trying to build up an audience? Should I not be kissing link-butt and drawing in you in? Maybe, but I don't like the idea of "belief." And following people – or, indeed, subscribing to their blogs – seems to engender a notion that one believes in them rather like one believes in a religion or political agenda. And that stuff is getting old, baby.

 

Elliot Reuben. Photo by Melissa Baynes

 

Let me explain: I am, basically, an old punk. My favourite band is probably Dead Kennedys (Caution: maybe NSFW / NSFL) and my favourite comedian Bill Hicks (likewise). It is plain weird to me that I have somehow, despite all my best efforts, ended up working in the field I do with the principles I hold dear, but that, as they say, is life. One of my main principles in thinking punkyish is that you burn your idols. You don't have them. Nobody gets to be right just by virtue of who they are. Our political systems (West, East, everywhere) are based on the idea that we believe what certain of our leaders say with often then very lightest of questioning.

 

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Simon Kendrick: Overhauling the agency pricing model

Simon Kendrick. Photo by courtesy of Simon Kendrick

 

Agencies are potentially losing out on beneficial and worthwhile commissions due to a fundamentally flawed approach to pricing their work. My personal experience with pricing is almost exclusively tied to research agencies, but I think that this is broadly applicable to all industries.

Projects are commissioned when there is agreement between what an agency is willing to offer, and what a client is willing to pay.

My issue is that both of these components are based on cost. Instead, they should be based on value.

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Sell your agency

Sell your agency

 

Own or run a pure-play social media agency? Then, according to this opinion piece in NMA, you should GET OUT NOW:

 

Owner/managers of social media agencies looking to realise the value they have built in their businesses may well be asking themselves how they should be approaching a potential sale. Currently there are only a few independent social media agencies of any significant size - perhaps a dozen at most in the UK - so rarity value is playing in their favour. It's a sellers' market and we believe deals will continue to be done at lightning speed.

Yet the window of opportunity to sell is likely to be pretty brief - the 'sizzle' in the market is starting to disappear already, and now is the time to act. We are seeing social media agencies starting to lose pitches to non-specialist agencies. A range of warning signs leads us to believe that social media agencies have this year and possibly some of 2012 to make their move.

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Mountains of things

Mountains of things

 

The impact of connected digital media on western society is well-documented. From the early days of Usenet and IRC to the contemporary, vibrant interest around Twitter, Facebook and many others, it has been matched by commentary, books, and the growing importance of new sources to report on constant innovation - such as Mashable and Techcrunch. For consumers and for business, it is a phenomenon that has completely transformed society and allowed the world to shrink, to be faster, and to be more accessible.

 

 

For developing communities, their own journeys will be different. If there is a much smaller digital legacy – no telecommunications infrastructure, no 16-bit computers – then much of what we in the west consider to be de rigeur and readily available within society will turn out to be completely new. The ways in which these communities approach, use and develop themselves in terms of digital adoption may deliver interesting, and perhaps very different, results.

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