The future, in a book

The future, in a book

 

Omnicom media agency PHD has launched a new book which aims to predict what 2016 is going to be like.

According to Media Week's coverage of the book, "2016: Beyond the horizon", you are guaranteed to see the following, 5 years from now:

 

Internet speeds of up to 100MbpsYouTube battling Sky for the media rights to the Premier League 2016-2019The cloud will store all of our music and videosMost TVs will be connected to the internet, and will be fitted with Ultra-HD technology, with 8,000 vertical line resolution compared to HD's 1,080A hologram of Simon Cowell in every home*

 

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Feeding at the edge

Feeding at the edge

It has been a slow and often painful journey, but large companies are starting to embrace concepts and technologies that many of us take for granted: gaming, virtual environments, and gestural interfaces. The backdrop to many of these concepts is openness: the willingness of people, and other companies themselves, to share ideas, developments, products, and distribution methods that actively encourage open participation, and the means to experiment.

Where experimentation happens is where you'll find Ian Hughes. A self-proclaimed "Metaverse evangelist", Hughes is actually something of a polymath: commentator on social technology, software developer, frenetic researcher, co-host of children's tech show Cool Stuff Collective, and a consultant to companies that want to know what lies at the edge, and what they will need to factor into business planning – and business culture.

As Chairman of the BCS Animation and Games Specialist Group, Hughes plays something of the shuttle diplomat: promoting the games industry and its technologies to the BCS, while providing professional development opportunities to the industry through BCS activity. He sees gaming as a sector which can provide tremendous knowledge to others. Gestural interfaces can clearly be applied to other sectors, as can the infrastructure developed to support games such as World of Warcraft. He acknowledges that bridge-building between an established Society and the gaming community is not going to take place overnight, and perhaps the application of game technologies into other business sectors will be the way to do achieve the understanding that's needed.

Hughes is unquestionably convincing in the way in which he encourages his own clients to apply gaming concepts and technologies within business. Gone are the days when a briefing equates to a slide-heavy Powerpoint; what's required to convince the less-aware is a mix of psychology, persuasion, theatre... and a spoonful of fear: the fear that they will be left behind.

"Software in a corporate environment is really about the next version, and how it's going to automate some sort of process. It's what you think software does. But, when it's about people interacting with one another and it's the fabric of your business - your people - it suddenly gets more complicated. It's not the tech that's the difficult bit, it's the people that's the difficult bit. It's quite complicated to say that people are going to be happier, or share more, or are more likely to invent more. People like definite boxes. As soon as you get something more expressive such as with virtual environments, you can see people making choices about how they represent themselves... then you look at how to understand their peers, and who to go to in an organisation, and how that social network works, then you know that now, it's not just who you know, but who you see that you know."

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Killing twee

Killing twee

 

Sabotage Times, James Brown's new thing, has published a highly readable takedown of the friendlier side of B2C marketing. Written by Lucy Sweet and with the endearing title Fuck you talking smoothies, it rips into Innocent, Boden, Pret a Manger, and Dorset Cereals.

Here's how it concludes:

 

[...] Maybe one day, we'll live in a better, more well-adjusted world. A world where bottles of juice will tell us to fuck off, and breakfast cereal boxes will detail all our shortcomings in a quirky font. Until that day, here's a word of advice. Next time your smoothie asks you to recycle it, tell it it's a wanker. Then drink some Fanta and throw the bottle into the road. That'll learn 'em.

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Onedotzero is back for 2011

Onedotzero is back for 2011

 

The onedotzero Adventures in motion festival is back in November. It's the event's 15-year anniversary of showing new and interesting short films, animation, music videos, interactivity, digital art and everything in between.

This year, there's a focus on modes of presentation: live AV, 3D, interactive, web-based storytelling, projection mapping, and creative code.

 

Here's some more info from onedotzero on this year's programme.

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Elliot Reuben: How to end rioting with targeted advertising

The title of this piece disgusts me. Marketing people are always telling you how products will change lives for the better; usually such positive changes are evident in the swelling coffers of their and their clients' bank accounts. The level of self-regard and rampant egotism in marketers is not something I try and subscribe to - but bear with me, I think I'm onto something here.

 

Elliot Reuben. Photo by Melissa Baynes

 

Firstly, we all know London and parts of the UK "erupted" in riots in August 2011. This caught everyone by surprise except, say, people that actually lived in these areas who feel the boiling, feral emotions of everyday urban life day-in day-out, and were waiting to see how and when the volcano would erupt. In the immediate aftermath, it was a race to apportion blame; facts, evidence and calm heads at this juncture become irrelevant – it's a big ol' game of point-scoring and the first to come up with a cosy-sounding theory that fits with people's pre-existing prejudices is usually the winner.

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Untangling the meaning of engagement

Untangling the meaning of engagement

 

Definitely worth reading is a long, detailed, opinionated piece by the brilliant Martin Weigel, Head of Planning for Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam.

 

Called Engagement: Fashionable yet Bankrupt, it's split into the following sections:

 

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Review: The Philosophy of Software

Review: The Philosophy of Software

 

Rob Myers has reviewed David Berry's book The Philosophy of Software: Code and mediation in the digital age at Furtherfield. Here's the text (under CC BY-SA licence). 

 

"The Philosophy Of Software" is an ambitious book by David Berry, who has turned his attention from the social relations and ideology of software (in "Rip, Mix, Burn", 2008) to the question of what software means in itself. The philosophy that he has in mind isn't the mindless political libertarianism attributed to hackers or the twentieth-century foundational mathematics that is the basis for the structure of many programming languages. It is a serious and literate philosophical reading of software and its production.

Software is an important feature of contemporary society that is rarely considered as a phenomena in its own right by philosophers. Software permeates contemporary society, Berry gives the examples of Google's profits and the "financialisation" of the economy through software as examples of software's importance in this respect. In reading this review on a screen you have used maybe a dozen computers, each containing multiple programs and libraries of software directly involved in serving up this page. Digital art and cyberculture often use and discuss software and philosophy (or at least Theory), but usually to illustrate a point about something other than software. The software itself is rarely the subject.

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Big new Adam Curtis piece

 

New Adam Curtis. This one is so long and stuffed with intertwined relationships and a variety of media clips that it warrants a whole TV series in itself. Anyway, enjoy. You'll need some time to get through this one but, as always, it's worth it.

 

Adam Curtis: the curse of Tina

 

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Longer Copyright

Longer Copyright

 

As you may know by now, the EU has agreed to extend copyright term - the length of time by which something has copyright - by another 20 years, to 70. The EU Term of Protection Directive was voted through by the European Council of Ministers on Monday morning. Here's their press release (PDF).

Inevitably, some organisations, such as PPL, welcome the deal (Copyright is "successfully extended"); others such as the Open Rights Group, hate it (Term extension is a "cultural disaster").

After a campaign from the larger creative bodies spanning several years, the UK Government agreed with a term extension back in 2008. It was the agreed by the European Parliament in 2009, and now it's in law, to be implemented in all EU states by 2014.

Andrew Orlowski in El Reg has written a good overview of the situation.

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Jonathan MacDonald: Advocurrency - an alternative trading currency for advertising

Jonathan MacDonald. Photo by courtesy of Jonathan MacDonald

 


I remember reading in Smash Hits magazine when I was young about how Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones would drape coloured scarves over lampshades to get the right ambience backstage. I'm not sure whether the photo is representative of such an environment, but you get the idea..

 

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Latest from Webit

Latest from Webit

 

Our friends at Webit have made given out some more news in advance of their big event which takes place in October.

 

20 days before the ending of the "Webit-Most Influential People Online" campaign, more than 1300 people from 77 countries are trying to gain the prestigious award.

The five most influential representatives from the online communities from 77 countries will gain special awards – free access to one of the premier international digital industry's events, that for third year in a roll will take place in Bulgaria - Webit Congress. The most influential person will receive VIP pass to Webit Congress 2011, flight ticket to Sofia and back and recognition by the Webit society and media.

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Big screenings

Big screenings

 

New media art organisation Trampoline is looking for submissions from artists working with moving image, for an exhibition which will form a touring programme for urban screens (in other words, big screens in cities).  It follows up the first part of Trampoline's urban screens programme Do Billboards Dream of Electric Screens?

This time, work can be generative art; digital animation; net art; or film performance... but it must be presentable as a single channel video piece.

They're looking "... for works that respond to and play with the architectural qualities of urban screens as media surfaces and their relationship with public space."

 

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The hare and the tortoise

The hare and the tortoise

 

Oh shit:

 

Consumers prefer being reached by post and email, rather than through social media or mobile channels, according to research published by data specialist Acxiom.

The study, carried out in July, benchmarking marketers' perceptions against consumers', suggested that just 9% of consumers feel SMS marketing is an appropriate way for brands of which they are existing customers to get in contact.

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In your ears

Nicole Yershon, Tara Austin. Photos by courtesy of Nicole Yershon, Tara Austin, Ogilvy

 

The relationship between music, marketing, and the consumer is fundamentally changing: the rulebook on what's possible, what can be offered, and what consumers want, is being rewritten all the time. With that in mind, we asked Tara Austin and Nicole Yershon, two leading thinkers at Ogilvy and part of the agency's "Lab Day Live" event, to consider how an agency's work with music is changing – and how music forms part of a client-agency relationship.

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Robots and avatars

Robots and avatars

 

Robots and Avatars has launched its full call for proposals - two development commissions and at least six existing works, culminating in an exhibition next year. Here's how they put it:

 

Robots and Avatars is an intercultural, intergenerational and interdisciplinary exploration of a near future world consisting of collaborations between robots, avatars, virtual worlds, telepresence and real time presence within creative places, work spaces, cultural environments, interactive entertainment and play space.

 

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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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