Telegraphic transfer

Telegraphic transfer

 

Telegraph combines tiresome "geeks" and "Don Draper" metaphors in what is otherwise a good stab at where the industry is heading, profiling Albion's Jason Goodman on the way.

 

The advertising industry's next generation will look more like Bill Gates than Don Draper, the slick creative genius who leads the fictional ad agency in Mad Men. That's the view of Jason Goodman, co-founder of London agency Albion – and he's already fretting about how he's going to hire a new breed of creative geeks.

When Goodman heard Basem Nayfeh, an American technology and marketing entrepreneur, claim that "advertising is becoming an engineering discipline" it struck a chord. "The third person I ever hired was an advertising planner who had a double first in maths from Cambridge. Most ad guys are well presented, they know how to dress, they're a bit Don Draper-like. This guy was a mess. But he was in the business for four years and made an amazing contribution. Now I'm constantly look for people in his image."

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Immerse yourself

Immerse yourself

 

The Immersive Writing Lab looks to be a great event, featuring folks such as Julian McCrea and Marcus Brown:

It's an exciting time to be a writer. Not only are the audiences' attention changing around how you tell a story to them, you now have a much wider palette than ever before in which to draw them into the worlds you create; from new digital platforms (social networks, tablet computers) to reinventions of old forms (such as e-books).

This event is about helping you understand that wider palette to tell a story. They are two days of inspirational talks, demos which will help you develop stories that push the boundaries of what is possible for a protagonist, drama and audience involvement in the digital age. More importantly we hope it will help you connect with other writers and professionals who are also starting on this journey.

 

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Change: make

Change: make

 

BERG's Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall in Eye magazine, on how designers need to expand their horizons to meet new future challenges:

 

There have been some significant shifts in media, retail, advertising and technology, which have changed the way design works. Video design, graphics, software, typography and electronics are materials we use, rather than disciplines we are part of. We might feel at the centre of things, but we are not formally part of design.This domain is rough work, a hard choice, rife with arcane technical priesthoods and subject to the strategic and financial weather in global machines. We are not arguing for an end to traditional design craft, but for designers to have access to a broader palette of materials through literacy in business and software development.

(...)

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Million Robot March

 

 

We welcome our new robotic overlords. From Hizook:

 

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company with more than 1M Chinese laborers on the mainland, plans to deploy one million robots(!) over the next three years -- a 100-fold increase over current numbers. China already dominates in manufacturing; if they can capture the "new" flexible, light manufacturing space too, then the United States will be in dire straits (National Robotics Initiative or not). One commentor on HackerNews suggests that the robots will be ABB's Frida. Of course this needs more substantiation, but ABB isn't exactly a newcomer to industrial robotics; the Swiss company has been around for ages. Still, it would be mildly surprising if ABB wins out over all the competition (eg. Heartland Robotics) that are specifically trying to establish themselves as pioneers in "flexible, light manufacturing."

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Taking the first direct approach

Taking the first direct approach

 

Marketing Week:

 

First direct is to crowdsource future digital marketing innovations in a bid to offer customers a stake in the products and services they will use.

From today (1 August), the telephone and online bank will post developments on "first direct lab", an open forum that will allow customers to suggest changes to digital plans.

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Queensland, say YEAH!

Queensland, say YEAH!

 

Julian Assange talks to the festival-going masses at the Splendour in the Grass (That's the name?) festival in Queensland, Australia.

 

"This generation is burning the mass media to the ground," Assange said.

"We're reclaiming our rights to old history. We are reclaiming our rights to share ourselves and our time with each other."

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Have you ever jacked in?

An MTV piece about "a worldwide computer network called the Internet", featuring "truckstops called websites, and networked browser programs that make the whole thing idiot-proof and user-friendly."

 

 

 

Perhaps the one enduring prediction which has turned out to be correct is the first one, from Billy Corgan: something is wrong with music.

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How to turn invisible

Robert Hodgin, using Kinect and C++ framework Cinder:

 

 

More Kinect experiments at Robert's Vimeo channel.

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Technology and consciouness

Technology and consciouness

 

Great stuff from our friends at Space Studios. They recorded Roy Ascott's talk from last week, and published it online...

 

Roy Ascott gave a talk about his work enlightening his theories of technology and consciousness on Saturday 25 June 2011.

Ascott's groundbreaking artwork used Cybernetics and technology as a means to explore systems and distributed authorship. He prefiguring Facebook by some 20 years and could say anticipated the impact of such systems on our political and sociological structures- think of the recent Twitter vs Super Injunction clash.

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Peckham springboard

Peckham springboard

Strong bonds and shared emotions can produce great collective work, particularly if they also reference what makes a group tick: the bricolage, the experiences, and a shared history. Peckham's Garudio Studiage is a collective entity with considerable strength in personality, producing work with a wonderfully cheeky – some might say British – twinkle in the eye.

Its members were friends before they started working together. Anna Walsh and Laura Cave met at sixth-form college; Walsh met Chris Ratcliffe while studying for an MA at the Camberwell College of Arts; and Cave met Hannah Havana at the Royal College of Art. They ended up living in neighbouring houses, working together at a prop-making company, and then making their own work in a garage let for free by their landlord. Hannah Havana picks up the story. "the amazingly eccentric ageing Cypriot landlord and builder, called simply 'Jimmy'. He only dealt in cash and didn't seem to be able to read or write, but his kindness and special eye for a bargain and a quick fix was inspirational."

When money was tight, a free space was a great opportunity to build collaborative work; a screenbed once belonging to Tim Mara was purchased from an ex-RCA tutor. From there, the group with the play on the words "garage studio" started to take shape. However, a free space to work came with no heat or light, and some unforeseen additional caveats: "Jimmy kept his building materials there, and would often turn up with random things like giant sacks of sand, broken boilers and, one day, some cats. At one point we couldn't use the screenbed for two weeks, as a cat had kittens on it and screeched whenever we went near." In-kind payment was to help Jimmy with his own work, which allowed the rather different worlds of contemporary design and budget building materials to occur in the same day. As Hannah admits, "... we would never know if we would have to suddenly drop our work to help install some pipes in the local chip shop or give interior design advice for his latest renovation. This meeting of worlds and our relationship with him planted the seeds for our way of working that still exists today."

The way of working is defined by the relationships that have been building since their late teens that remains intrinsically part of Garudio Studiage's culture. "Friends before work" comes first, a philosophy extending to the group even going on holiday together. However, they work on products individually, bringing them together for shows and commercial commissions. It's an overt, a tangible sense of humour that is the thread throughout these individual works, as well as a cross-influence that comes from working individually but as part of an overall team. Their paid jobs that have included stints in advertising, fashion, and lectureships have helped to build an awareness and confidence in multi-disciplinary practice, allowing the group to build Garudio Studiage as something that Hannah calls "an outlet for creativity and enjoyment. We like to do as much as possible ourselves and this mix of skills really helps us to be able to reject conventional commercial approaches and try to be as true to our original aims as possible."

As Garudio Studiage started to take on commercial projects, it moved from Jimmy's space to Peckham's Copeland Industrial Estate, now the Bussey Building in the "Copeland Cultural Quarter". It still recalls the roots of cold garages, plumbing, and cats: "Anyone who has visited the space will be able to imagine the small transition from a broken garage to a modern day shanty town of artists, tradesmen and African Churches, not to mention spiders, mice, winged insects and a spectacular selection of 'Jimmy-like' staff. Needless to say we felt at home." Garudio Studiage now occupies two studio spaces in the building, and has grown into an organisation producing work for clients including Graham Norton, the ICA, Wieden + Kennedy, and Dazed and Confused. Their bedding into Peckham is clearly part of their character, as they are increasingly seen as being central to the growing art scene in and around Peckham, something to be shortly celebrated with their next show Nation of Shopkeepers at Peckham Space.

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Mail bonding

Not an ad, but a leaked internal video for Microsoft's Global Exchange event.

 

 

As BusinessInsider states, GApps users are able to turn ads off, so you do wonder what the message that MS is trying to give here, unless it's specifically for SME resellers trying to flog Hosted Exchange solutions to folks that may otherwise use standard email.

Anyway, the "Gmail man" tune is sure to become a mail alert sound before the end of the day. A small win for Microsoft there.

Belly-dancing and bears

Belly-dancing and bears

 

Silly season has officially arrived:

 

Belly dancing and medieval role play: civil servants' favourite websites

Civil servants are using Whitehall computers to make thousands of visits to websites about belly dancing, medieval role play, and cricket, according to new figures.

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Changing the game

Changing the game

 

Our friends at The Media Briefing have published a piece from Neil Thackray on online ad models.

 

The natural instinct for a publisher is to put the content at the centre of product development thinking. Magazine publishers start their working day by thinking about how to make a better magazine and then work outwards from there. When they ask what their readers want, the answer can only be something that can be squeezed into a magazine delivery format.

Look at how many websites and even iPad apps are little more than facsimiles of the magazine, albeit with some extra bells and whistles.

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Correction: fluid

Correction: fluid

 

When you last used a mobile phone to access any kind of data (you may even be using one now), how was your experience? Could you read your email without any glitches? Was your web browsing experience fuss-free? Did an app tell you what you needed to know about where you were, or where you wanted to be? And how was BBM – did your colleague's snippet of information turn out to be useful?

The chances are that any of these applications actually worked, and worked properly. In fact, when you consider the atmospheric conditions that they may have gone through – walking in cities covered in tall buildings, or working on a train, or in a spot of poor mobile coverage – then it's a minor miracle that right and meaningful data got through at all.

This is because digital communications rely on error correction. Whether it regards a mobile phone or a space probe, there is reliance on the part of both the sender and receiver, that the information has to be right and delivered as it was intended. In the case of both, there is liable to be some interference on the signal, so what is received is not necessarily what was sent. Correcting the problem is undertaken by adding extra information before the signal is transmitted.

Many of us know a little bit of how this works, with the tried-and-tested formula of the Parity Check. The binary transmission is split into chunks of seven. Before the signal is transmitted at the end of each group of 7, an additional bit is added in such a way that the total number of 1s in the new chunk of 8 is an even number. When the signal arrives, if there is an even number of 1s in the group of 8 then it looks to be more acceptable – more likely of being right – than if the number of 0s is an odd number. This makes the process of spotting mistakes fairly easy to automate, in a way that most of us now don't even see.

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Players keep playin'

 

 

As the BBC's hugely successful iPlayer goes global through an iOS app offering "the best of the BBC's content" for £44 pa, closer to home, ITV are going to be charging UK viewers for ITV Player.

If the licence fee didn't exist, how much would you pay for BBC iPlayer? Would you pay £44 per year for it, as non-UK viewers will be doing?

How much would you pay for the ITV Player?

Virtual Futures at Warwick University

Virtual Futures at Warwick University

In June 2011, Virtual Futures returned to the University under the banner Virtual Futures 2.0'11. The event was organised by digital media artist, and current Warwick student, Luke Robert Mason, and the Knowledge Centre was on hand to video the talks and interview the speakers.

We have a video of performance artist Stelarc's talk, as well as audio from a range of the talks. Professor Kevin Warwick spoke about his experiments with cyborgs and Pat Cadigan looked at how far we have come since the original Virtual Futures conferences.

 

There are plenty of videos and podcasts available at the University of Warwick's site, including the aforementioned Pat Cadigan and Captain Cyborg, as well as Sue Thomas, Stelarc, and Andy Miah.

Our security auditor is an idiot

Our security auditor is an idiot

 

We're not turning into El Reg (at least, not just yet), but this is a great read.

 

Our security auditor is an idiot, how do I give him the information he wants?

 

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OpPayPal

Anonymous and LulzSec have launched "OpPayPal", an operation to boycott PayPal, based on refusal to host an account for Wikileaks while it hosts accounts for many other organisations.

 

Dear PayPal, its customers, and our friends around the globe,

This is an official communiqué from Anonymous and Lulz Security in the name of AntiSec.

In recent weeks, we've found ourselves outraged at the FBI's willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations. Law enforcement continues to push its ridiculous rules upon us - Anonymous "suspects" may face a fine of up to 500,000 USD with the addition of 15 years' jailtime, all for taking part in a historical activist movement. Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.

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Unsuitable

Unsuitable

 

Anything which features "Imagine my surprise/shock" has to be good, as it is here with a post from Peter Bingle, Chairman of Bell Pottinger.

 

(...) Imagine then my shock this morning at receiving a letter informing me that my membership of Soho House and Shoreditch House was being revoked 'effective immediately.' The letter concludes: 'You will no longer have access as a member and we ask you refrain from entering any of our clubs for a period of six months.'

I looked at the letter in disbelief. What had caused this sad state of affairs? Have I been badly behaved? Have I been rude to any of the staff? Have I smashed up the place? No. My membership has been withdrawn because I have disregarded Soho House's 'casual dress code.' I have been banned for wearing a suit!

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Bye ads, hello art

More than a bit reminiscent of (alright, VERY MUCH LIKE) Julian Oliver's work Artvertiser, this app kills ads in New York's Times Square and replaces them with art.

 

 

(ht Adweek)