Opposites and Broheimification

Opposites and Broheimification

 

Made by Many's Leila Johnston and Duncan Gough have launched a new game, F. U. S. I. O. N, a game taking place in the aftermath of nuclear apocalypse. Featuring a switchboard operator as the protagonist, she gains access to communications networks in order to satisfy her needs - whether for help, or something deeper.

Duncan:

A lot of what I've been designing recently has been as a reaction to the broheimification of the internet, the masculinity and the obviousness of it all. Where Foursquare is about visiting one place at a time, and witnessing multiple personalities active on it, bliss registers its own page loads, finds them in space, and plots them in a simple abstract way. The result is a fascinating, twinkling constellation devoid of 'friends' and ego – it's all about personality-free check-ins, but the result is a sense of a world full of life. If the opposite of foursquare is bliss, then bliss is a place where every check-in means something, and where every check-in disrupts the network. Where everybody means something.

Leila:

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Jaron Lanier on advertising

Jaron Lanier on advertising

 

"Google's thing is not advertising because it's not a romanticizing operation. It doesn't involve expression. It's a link. What they're doing is selling access." 

 

Jaron Lanier on advertising - more here on the SAY Media blog.

Polish DPM: FLOSS is greatest success of the 20th century

Polish DPM: FLOSS is greatest success of the 20th century

 

OSOR, the EU's Open Source Observatory and Repository, has published an article containing some rather amazing observations from Deputy Polish PM Waldemar Pawlak - reprinted below. The article is available under CC Attribution-Sharealike.

 

Waldemar Pawlak, Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, saluted Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS) as the "greatest success of the 20th century" in a conference talk on 27 September 2011. He added that FLOSS is based on very sound principles and can provide solutions to some of the problems of civilization which we will face in the 21st century.

According to Mr Pawlak, FLOSS is an example of how the free and open exchange of ideas has created a number of products that have amazed and changed the world. In FLOSS he sees the desire for cooperation between people, which in many cases constitutes a synthesis of diverging inspirations and ideas, leading consequently to the creation of ground-breaking solutions and projects. Among those he mentioned were the computer-operating system Linux and the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.

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Refractions

Refractions

 

Refract is a new app from Swarovski's that creates audio-visual compositions to share, edit and play live.

The app, produced with Marek Bereza and MultiAdaptor, allows the creation of art and sound compositions through the manipulation of crystal facets and shapes on the screen. A competition has been launched to find the top 10 compositions made through Refract.

Judging the competition will be Ghostpoet, Onedotzero's Shane Walter, DJ duo Filthy Dukes, Lou Hayter of New Young Pony Club and Feel My Bicep (yes, really). The top 10 will go forward to a Facebook vote, with the winnner receiving an iPad 2, complete with Swarovski-encrusted iPad case.

Submissions must be in by 14/10/11. You can grab Refract from the App Store.

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Simon White: Accessing random memory

Around 10 days ago, I was sat at home with a glass of red wine in my hand. And I had a thought. Inevitably, in this day and age, I shared it on Twitter first.

Within half an hour, I had bought a domain, set up an email account, a Tumblr page and began what is now known as My Earliest Memory.

I then tweeted about it again...

 

Simon White. Photo by courtesy of Simon White

Almost instantly, I had a submission. It was then I knew I might be on to something interesting, so I blogged about it.

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IBM SmartCamp application process is open

IBM SmartCamp application process is open

 

Applications for IBM's SmartCamp London, taking place on 16 and 17/11/11, are open until this Friday (14/10/11).

Here's the background...

IBM's SmartCamp is an exclusive global event aimed at identifying early stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures designed to drive smarter, more sustainable societies. Each year SmartCamp events are held around the world. After the application and interview stage in each locality, five finalists are selected for an intensive two regional event to network with 25 world-class entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts, and to pitch for a place in the global finals held in Silicon Valley in Q1 of the following year.

SmartCamp London is held in association with StartUp Britain, Startupbootcamp and Silicon Valley Comes to the UK.

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Elliot Reuben: Social media consultants - a cautionary tale from history

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin... Once upon a time a man called Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. It was 1876 and blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. That's not the interesting bit. What's interesting is that Bell himself, despite predicting the immense social consequences, never owned one at home.

 

Elliot Reuben. Photo by Melissa Baynes

 

The reason was generational: having grown up with nothing more than telegraphs and morse code to communicate further afield than the next town, the need for these new forms of communications had not really touched his own life. He just didn't feel the need.

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When your profile goes on a date

 

Been on a date recently?

 

Face to facebook is the final project in a three part series named "Tha Hacking Monopolism Triology" by the two Italian artists Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico. It was launched on the 2nd February 2011, with a mixed media installation at the Transmediale festival in Berlin, and a press release announcing a new dating website called lovely-faces.com.

The set-up for the 'Face to facebook' project was to steal 1 million facebook profiles and re-contextualize them on a custom made dating website (lovely-faces.com). The data collected from the profiles was only information available publicly on the internet, like the users name and profile picture. No facebook account was needed to access it. The 1 million facebook profile pictures were then checked for images that were usable in a dating website context. The remaining 250,000 profile pictures were then fed through various face recognition filters to assign an assumed personality to the subjects and a new profile was created ready for the dating website. Once published on lovely-faces.com, interested pursuers could get in contact with the people behind the original facebook profiles through facebook messages.

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Recreating Geocities

         

 

Great:

 

The Deleted City is a digital archaeology of the world wide web as it exploded into the 21st century. At that time the web was often described as an enormous digital library that you could visit or contribute to by building a homepage. The early citizens of the net (or netizens) took their netizenship serious, and built homepages about themselves and subjects they were experts in. These pioneers found their brave new world at Geocities, a free webhosting provider that was modelled after a city and where you could get a free "piece of land" to build your digital home in a certain neighbourhood based on the subject of your homepage. Heartland was – as a neigbourhood for all things rural – by far the largest, but there were neighbourhoods for fashion, arts and far east related topics to name just a few.

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In conversation with... Simon Kendrick and Jonathan MacDonald

Simon Kendrick, Jonathan MacDonald. Photos by courtesy of Simon Kendrick and Jonathan MacDonald

 

The need to be agile is more important than ever in business, and advertising and media agencies need to be able to forward-read changes in technology, consumer behaviour, and social trends in order to maintain their own understanding of the world, and to pass that understanding onto clients at a premium price.

However, are the ways in which agencies relate to clients, and the way in which they price their services, right in today's commercial climate? We asked two leading thinkers and the authors of two recent articles on Imperica, Simon Kendrick and Jonathan MacDonald, to give us their views.

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Facebook pages and rape

Facebook pages and rape

 

Among Facebook's many ongoing controversies is one where it has reserved the right not to delete pages which promote the rape of women. One such page is called (with errors included): You know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway.

 

Cath Elliott has written about it in today's Guardian, and references earlier coverage from the same source. In the latest article, Elliott calls for Facebook to urgently rethink its policy of no action:

 

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Webit update

Webit update

 

Here's an update from our friends at Webit. 3400 delegates from 37 countries are going to be there, so it's going to be a pretty big event.

 

Here's the agenda in brief...

 

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When open is closed

When open is closed

With the topical title of It's the end of the web as we know it, designer/developer Adrian Short has laid into the landgrab that is currently the preserve of multinational social networks:

 

You can turn your back on the social networks that matter in your field and be free and independent running your own site on your own domain. But increasingly that freedom is just the freedom to be ignored, the freedom to starve. We need to use social networks to get heard and this forces us into digital serfdom. We give more power to Big Web companies with every tweet and page we post to their networks while hoping to get a bit of traffic and attention back for ourselves. The open web of free and independent websites has never looked so weak.

 

Do read. It's a unrelenting piece which argues that the future of the "open web" is bleak, and that your identity will be held by private companies - there's no need to mention who they are here - and that their holding your identity will become an increasing part of your existence, online or otherwise.

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Celebrating imperfection

Postmodernism taught many how to celebrate noise. Mainstream TV programmes in the 1980s such as Max Headroom gave us a new artistic language which includes TV static, jump cuts, and imperfect presentation. Out of this has come Glitch art.

 

Antonio Roberts

 

Glitch artworks celebrate the erroneous, the unexpected, in good ways and bad. Produced by new computer programming, the glitched work can be a sensory revelation. Antonio Roberts has embraced the world of Glitch art through his studies and practice, culminating in GLI.TC/H, a global glitch art event which started in Chicago and has spread to Amsterdam and, now, Birmingham.

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Free and open source art

Free and open source art

 

Our friends at Furtherfield have launched a guide to free and open source software for the arts. Handily assembled into one Wiki page, it bundles up a collection of artworks, texts, and resources covering artistic freedom, openness, and opportunity. Specifically, it also explores the concept of peer-to-peer as a method of collaborative practice.

As part of the guide's launch programme, the organisation has also commissioned a new work, Balloon Dog by Rob Myers. It's a free-licence 3D model that you can print as-is, or use in other work.

Commissioned by the Arts Council, the guide is available here, and will be presented at the FLOSSIE conference on 15/11/10.

Lovelace's legacy

Can you name five women in technology? If it's a struggle to get to five, then you may wish to question why that is. It isn't as if tech is a small sector, or that there aren't many women in the world. It's due to a complex and multitudinous combination of factors and contexts. While your answer to the question may tell you something about your own experience of women in tech, it also signifies a complex range of issues within society, that cannot be overcome swiftly or easily.

 

Suw Charman-Anderson by Jemima Gibbons, CC Licence http://www.flickr.com/photos/jemimagibbons/2843281583/

 

Aiming to challenge the views of women in tech, and to bring women's achievements into focus, is Ada Lovelace Day. The event started as an online celebration of women in technology, but now covers a broader set of scientific disciplines, and features events as well as increased online activity. It is the brainchild of writer and social strategist Suw Charman-Anderson, well-known to the tech scene in the UK.

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Goatse in advertising

Goatse in advertising

 

This is an extremely interesting and detailed piece from the Deterritorial Support Group, offering "Analysis and propaganda from an ultra-leftist perspective".

  

It talks about Goatse and the culture of "in-joke" iconography:

 

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Thrilling adventures in technology

The working relationship between Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage is of prime historical importance. Our world would be very different if it wasn't for Lovelace's development of an algorithm intended to be processed on Babbage's Analytical Engine. Computer programming as we know it may never have existed.

 

Ada Lovelace. Pic by courtesy of Sydney Padua

 

What happened next is well-documented. The duo successfully developed the computer in the mid-1830s, giving humanity the necessary technological advantage to resist advances such as the alien invasion of 1898, and to use their combined powers to fight crime and undertake amazing adventures. While that's not strictly true, it is an invented reality that has formed the basis of The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, an online comic from Sydney Padua.

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National express

National express

 

David Mitchell wants Facebook to be nationalised:

 

I'm sure Facebook would claim it's not a monopoly – strictly speaking it isn't – but it clearly wants to be and, if there are whole sections of society who feel obliged to sign up in order to be able to communicate with one another, then its dreams are coming true. (...) While it's providing its services for free, there's no pressure on Facebook to rein in its monopolistic urge.

There must be strong economic arguments in favour of nationalising it.

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Gaming: the system

 

   

 

The IAB has launched a new report on the UK games industry, and what brands can learn from it. Gaming Britain: A country united by digital play contains some nice Kantar-produced research, covering 3000 adults and 1000 kids. It does the usual segmentation trick, however, splitting roles into "Networkers; Individualists; Interactors; Gaming Elite (Elite, now THERE was a game); Casual Players; PC Opportunists and New Gen Players." The potential for brands and planners is clearly spelt out: Gaming is "at least twice as engaging as other media".

 

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