Can kill 6000 an hour apparently, though I think that’s the robot swarm rather than just one of them.
They should make these to eat the plastic in the North Pacific or something. Seem to recall something about some kid who invented something to do that – but if memory serves, it was a TED talk, which is a more or less iron-clad guarantee that it will never happen.
Yea, ok. You’ve managed to impress me there. That’s incredible. Mind you, the commentator guy in the first one is so enthusiastic he sounds like he’s on something. I want whatever he’s just had. That’d be amazing. EVERYTHING would be amazing.
Because they’re right… the software that comes with Chinese laser-cutters is utterly fucking abysmal. And expensive, and just the software ‘license’ costs more than this bit of kit. The fact that I can’t get at the software of my laser-cutter is a massive source of frustration – I need to be able to rewrite the bits that are shit. If it’s open-source, then it’s doable.
Mildly concerned about it’s engraving ability, but then I’ve only ever used black and white engraving anyway… and if I can get at the code, I can write my own.
I think it’s mildly interesting that it’s blown past the target as well… I’m possibly not the only one.
Mind you, it might be an idea to get a little machine to practice on, so I don’t bugger up my main one – which I use pretty much every day.
.4 of a mm? Berlimey. Apparently the good news with this is that it creates the requisite space for printing 2 materials at once, which means you can print over-hangs… if you make one material water-soluble.
I have a feeling that this might be a pointer to the future of these things – quite basic architecture, but with really quite advanced vitamin parts. Still, “open” is the thing… the thing about it being open-source is that the parts themselves aren’t designed to be optimised for scarcity – eg: vendor lock-in etc.
Someone’s programmed a little router to push/pull from Xbee. As far as I can tell, it allows your Xbees to do cURL calls to websites… and that means web-applications. There may be easier ways of doing this stuff… but this is one that popped up recently. To have an internet of things, the things need to be able to talk to your wifi router.
Still pretty complicated though. What would be cool would something like this:
Just little plastic bits that allow you to say “send the power that my tv uses to the web” or “if I put a movement sensor here, tweet me – because the neigbour’s cat’s come in again”. and so on… but ABOVE ALL ELSE, some thing about the size of a microSD that you attach to your keys/cards/tv-remote/glasses etc that you can ping via a website so you don’t keep losing them.
Which is a bit spooky if you ask me. What’s even spookier, is that I’m not going to make them of me, I’m going to make them of YOU – using pictures off facebook etc, and I’m going to make hundreds of them, and I shall be their king.
And when you come round to visit, they’ll all hide under the bed, pissing selves with laugher.
And that, possums, is the difference between DIY and real skill, that only comes from decades of professional experience.
I’m not sure if this is related at all – but there seems to be this commercial/market-driven tipping point… where things start off all DIY etc, then really serious quality kicks in. I’ve seen it a couple of times – one is Camden Market in London back in the 1990s, that went from selling terrible goth tat to expensive boutiquey stuff – and the retail operations got seriously professional as well. The other is Etsy – which went from Regretsy-level stuff, to everything having this kindof boutique-glow. I’m not sure how the tipping-point is triggered… whether it’s one or two people inspiring everyone else. With Etsy, I think the curation aspect helps.
And money of course – I think that the fact you can make a living from this stuff attracts people with real talent.
It’s interesting though… there’s also money in Ebay – and while Etsy tends to produce stuff that looks like this
, with ebay it looks more like this
And that’s one of the good ones. For some reason ebay stores seem to resemble the results of memetic addiction – everything center-justified, a riot of different colours and fonts where each new paragraph is even shouter and more important than the one before… and they go on for fucking ages. And they love comic-sans. What is it with ebay and comic-sans?
As I say, the pic above is one of the good ones… and far be bit from me to criticise what might actually be very finely tuned to its target market… but clearly between ebay and etsy, different forces are at play.
And so back to the wonderful world of Maker-Land… which as I’ve said before, is more a trait of the blogosphere than anything actually useful (so far) – it’s about what gets attention – rather than what makes money… and I think there’s a major difference between the two, and that is, in the sphere of “what gets attention”, polish accounts for very little. Being first with a neato idea is what matters. Money on the other hand… polish matters, especially if it’s in an arena where everyone (else) is doing polish.
And polish takes practice. It’s not something you can just bang out, given some tools and a youtube tutorial. I’ve always (being a punk) kindof been against polish, but now I’m not so sure. I think polish might be the thing worth paying for. Accumulated Labour. Bruce Lee said something like “I’m not scared of someone who knows 10,000 different kicks that he’s practiced once; I’m scared of someone who knows one kick that he’s practiced 10,000 times”.
An earthquake went off when I was away, and killed loads of people… or… some. Some people. Already more NZers have died of cancer than were killed in the earthquake, but cancer doesn’t knock buildings over and burst water-mains etc… so we hear less about it. The British suffer double the number of alcohol-related liver-failure-deaths than the Australians, and the Australians are legendary (in Britain) for drinking too much.
I’ve just got back from Australia… and I think I can quite safely report that the Brits do drink twice as much as the Aussies… but that’s mainly based on West St, Brighton on a Saturday night. Have you been in a British Hospital in the UK on a Saturday night? It’s like M.A.S.H. It’s a war-zone. A blood-bath. One long slow disaster. This is West St in Brighton
It runs North to South, and at right-angles to Western Rd, which runs West to East. You’ll also notice North Rd… which also runs West to East and South Street which runs West to East as well… and then there’s East St which runs North to South.
People have been drunk in Brighton for a looooong time. Nothing makes sense.
This is quite interesting because it looks like it’s using a cellular-automata type algorithm to decide where to plant the seeds. It looks like the worlds most complicated seed-dispersal system. Also reminds me of Cicadas who live under ground for a prime-number of years. 13 or 17 I think.
Because you can never have enough ways of running people down and killing them. Apparently it’s going to be modeled on Big Dog, which is another one of those robots that looks like it’s dying for a piss… but the idea with this is to make one that runs faster than humans. It’s all fun and games until your own govt uses them against their own people. That’s you.
Not sure what’s going on here – but as far as I can gather it’s some sort of VR thing where you can run around your own town zapping for friends with rail-guns and magic-spells and whatnot, just like you can in real life. Looks pretty cool. It’s from Finland. Maybe I should move to Finland. That’s where Tony lives and every time he gets drunk he injures himself. It’s not his fault, it just happens.
This looks interesting. UK company claims to have invented a way of “freezing” hydrogen at room-temperature using nanotech.
Nice logo etc. Unfortunately it’s patented so it will probably disappear without trace and we’ll never hear of it again. That seems to be the pattern. Being able to store hydrogen non-compressed at room temperature is a bit of a holy grail though.
$350 Billion per year on cellphones? Don’t talk to me about “lost sales” to file-sharing… your target market spending 1/3 of a trillion a year on something other than your product actually IS “lost sales”. It’s almost genocidal. A trillion dollars on SMS since it was invented? Jesus. I looked for a source for their figures – all locked up behind a paywall, so who knows what is true. Still… holy crap.
Speaking of Trillian (my first attempt at spelling trillion), Here’s Zooey with a gun of some sort
O Zooey, Zooey, Zooey. It could all have been so different etc.
For monitoring bodily functions and stuff. Eye-pressure for glaucoma sufferers… but it could be used for all sorts of things. Mesh network repeaters for example – but mainly as autonomous sensors etc. If the radio-connections are sufficiently fast and narrow-band, it also raises the possibility of disconnected systems within a single unit. Eg: a robot with detachable eyes. Cells. That sort of thing.
I keep all these tabs open of interesting things to post and I can’t keep up, and occasionally there’s a browser-accident and I lose them all… which just happened so now I’m doing things from scratch, that I’m finding right now… in the next 30 minutes.
Though possibly only for facebook – possibly big news because paypal is the only service I’ve seen that makes it feel like you’re not spending money. There’s a reduced “payment-of-any-kind” hump. But facebook? Are you shitting me?
I don’t get this spending money on imaginary products for imaginary farms thing. Why not spend it on a real farm? Why doesn’t someone set something up so people can invest micro-monies into 1-acre farms in Botswana or somewhere… rather than pissing it up the wall on something owned by some cunt who tried to bribe a corrupt govt to have a privacy bill squashed. Sorry, I call Lobbying bribery now. That’s essentially what it’s come to.
Gadget that allows parents to see what a child sees…
… parents that are fucking weirdly paranoid and over-fucking-nosy.
Fuck’s sakes, what are we raising here? Porcelain dolls? When I was a kid we were left out on a mountainside over night so only the strong would survive, or get raised by wolves or whatever. You know what? Fuck safety. Safety’s for fucking molluscs.
7) There are fainting goat kittens
Is there anything the internet can’t do? Brilliant. When I lived on Niue,
we had a cat called Benjamin who used to do that… but mainly because he was hot and fucked and just couldn’t be bothered standing up anymore. So he used to flop over sideways onto the floor. He was a good cat.
That’s me with trousers on. I used to be blonde.
A supply ship would turn up once every couple of months… with supplies, which included fabric for people to make clothes out of, which being the 70s they did. It wasn’t uncommon in the expat community for people to go to soirees at other people’s houses and find they were wearing the same dress as the curtains. Good cammo etc. If you made a faux-pas, you could just go over and stand by the curtains… disappear until it had all blown over. That’s what used to happen at our place – we’d find people days later, still there, bashfully clutching empty martini glasses… like those Japanese soldiers who carried on fighting world war 2 for decades after it had finished.
Anyway… people don’t make their own clothes any more… so while people might like to think there’s a DIY explosion going on right now, we still haven’t caught up to the 70s.
8) You know those fucking annoying adverts that start at the beginning of youtube videos now?
You can get rid of them by refreshing the browser.
Once upon a time, a spaceship (or the earthling in it) took this photie… and apparently global consciousness evolved as a result.
I don’t know if that’s true. Could be. Could be bollocks – I would have though that with the internet now more or less available more or less everywhere, that some similar sort of thing would happen – that one to one links between people so rich and fat they can hardly move and people who’s lives are gratuitously harsh are made… because there comes a point (there must surely?) where charity goes from being a $30 punt on Karma to an utterly un-resistable human imperative. If you look someone in the eyes… if you see a picture of their mum and dad or their cat… you don’t have a choice but to… help.
Or not. People have lived alongside slaves forever, and there’s more slavery going on today than there ever has been in the past – and a million shades of grey between. In the end, all struggles are class struggles.
Anyway, back to the earth… these links kindof rotate around the earth. Kindof not.
“If the human species should be destroyed on Earth, our future may reside on the Moon if plans.being drawn up for a “Doomsday ark” on the moon by the European Space Agency are carried through. The Ark will contain the essentials of life and human civilization, to be activated in the event of earth being devastated by a giant asteroid or nuclear war. Or people just becoming stupider and stupider until they can no longer tie their own shoelaces or feed themselves any more”
Android in this case being his cellphone rather than his Ken Doll… which is cool because it’s (already) funded via Kickstarter – which in turn is crap because it’s American-only… an in turn cool because the shots are not called by paranoid suits. He’s going to send it up using weather balloons I think, and it will take photographs of things when it’s up there – which is exactly what I would do, if I was up there, only I wouldn’t use a cellphone – unless that’s all I had.
Which is k-for cool because I’m not that interested in eye-candy for western fan-boy jackdaws. Anything really revolutionary is probably going to arise as a response to “market forces” in places where the market doesn’t revolve around people who can afford $20,000 for a car.
Seedcamp is an EU incubator. What would be really cool would be a non-US version of Kickstarter – although it would be interesting to see if The Crowd could filter out the inevitable fraud. My guess is that it could.
Something that turned up over the Kiva Furore – they said they set the thing up and fraud set in almost immediately – so they reorganised around already-on-the-ground micro-banks… in the process deceiving the donors into thinking that their donations made the difference between a project happening or not. Actually all the “stories” in Kiva are all already funded.
And build stronger communities – although how this differs from file-sharing I don’t know. Every time you share something a kitten dies.
The basic gist of this is a list of stuff that’s kindof surplus to requirements – it reminds me a bit of that… um… um… Deviceknit in which people list stuff that they have lying about and other people list ways of cobbling it all together to do useful stuff.
This in turn reminds me of the geek-box where people send boxes of junk to each other through the post.
“IKNOgrid è un Sistema “SMART GRID” che permette di poter monitorare a distanza e istante per istante il corretto funzionamento e la reale produzione di un qualsiasi impianto ad energia rinnovabile, segnalando in tempo reale eventuali anomalie, difficilmente rilevabili anche manualmente.”
The Man’s a God. Every time I read something by or about him, he impresses me more. I always wanted (right from when I was a small, delinquent child) to be the next Martin Luther. It’s not going to be me – or even one person… it’s going to be a whole load of people – and one of them is Julian Assange.
Fascism is already here – it’s just diluted… this is what we’re up against… creeping, privatised authoritarianism. All Authority is inherently illegitimate, and bears the burden of proof – it must prove it’s legitimacy, to those that it would govern. If it can’t do this, then it must be dismantled.
We need to fight back, and we need to fight back hard. We’re all Spartaci now – and exposure is the one of the best weapons we have.
He’s been flirting with this sort of thing for a while I think – there was that blade-runnery thing. Purefold – which could be a cynical corporate attempt to mine public ideas, or something else. I wish him luck – he’s done some excellent stuff.
Tempting though it is, I’m not sure if I’ll submit any of my own day… It’ll get ignored. It always does. Maybe I’ll make an alternative version which takes the piss. I mean the official version is going to be all “worthy” and TED-like isn’t it?
Bet I’m the only person in the world who knows where the quote “Blown by unseen winds” comes from.
Anyway, this is not dissimilar to the wind thing from ages ago… which obviously I’m not going to be able to find, because “wind” isn’t a googlable word. It was like the 3rd or 4th thing I posted… which also doesn’t help, because there isn’t a crono… oh… hang on… there is. This.
Still. Ungooglability on account of being a straw in a haystack rather than a needle. Nick Taylor is ungooglable. There are loads of us. We grown on trees…. only I now appear to have two entries on the first page – a previous incarnation has become famous, which is a bit of a worry tbh, because I was taking the piss and have moved on a bit etc.
A snip at $24,000 – I get this vague feeling that the future of reprappery is something like this… but which can “see”. This one can’t see, so the engineering has to be really really tight.
It’s got those weird little “go in any direction” wheels, which seem like a massive piece of over-engineering to me. They were invented by the segway guy who invented a really expensive solution to “walking”, and now there’s a really expensive solution to “the wheel” – though it looks like someone’s using it. Bet you could take a couple of k off the price of this thing by using… well… wheels.
Which is a P2P file-synching/sharing app. I wonder if it can be encrypted. I wonder if it works via blue-tooth or some non-centralised thing. Dvice seem to think it will be another blow to the copyright-cartels… I guess it could… but only in terms of swapping stuff within one-degree-of-separation – which is a little different from dialing up whatever you want – anywhere, anytime.
An aspect of one-degree-of-separation stuff though is it kindof comes with recommendation built in.
Whatever – the Copyright Cartels have become such a threat to the democracy now, that I think we need to do whatever it takes to put them out of business.
Someone’s used an app called Evernote to scan all their local menus, which they can then search. Simple enough… hang on… “search?”.
I’d never really looked at evernote before. Might have to give it a go – because from the sounds of it, it automatically OCRs anything you upload – and that could be well useful, because people keep sending me shite through the post, and this would be a really good way of indexing it. If it works. I’ll have to give it a look
Which as far as I can tell is a bit of software… and a really fast camera – but I’m not entirely sure that the one I just bought isn’t one of those. Well… it goes up to 60 shots a second, with a really fast shutter-speed. Might be able to do it. Dunno. Maybe you could flip slower.
There’s a video on the site, but I can’t get it to embed. Looks like alien-egg-petals opening.
Alien had the best/worst movie monster ever invented – a composite of about 8 different human phobias, including a bunch of hightly freudian ones. A perfect example of my theory about what art is – exaggerated human resonances – dancing a two-step down the line between the impossible and the-girl-next-door. There’s nothing that the Aliens monster does that doesn’t happen in the… animal kingdom, including paralysing prey so it can be later eaten by hatchlings. Crrrreeeeepppyyyyy.
The fact that this has kindof created a secondary set of phobias… egg-petals opening, is something else I think. Maybe it’s just me.
6) Musical instruments made out of paper
Can’t remember where that one came from *(yes I can) – for what it’s worth, I know I’m not really the cutting-edge any more, but I’m pretty sure that a guy wearing a jumper like that doesn’t get to decide what’s cool.
Or maybe he does. What do I know? I’m still wearing my girlfriend’s shirt from 23 years ago. This one.
Anyway, there’s another thing over here that claims to be a paper piano
although to me it looks more like a box. The interesting thing about these though is the escape of the interface into… the mundane I suppose. I have a feeling that the long-term future of this isn’t ubiquitous sensors but ultra-perceptive behaviour-recognition software connected to CCTV cameras – a bit like that new Wii-esque game from Microsoft.. All of us living in our own personal panopticons. A bubble of outsourced self-awareness.
Ok, another weekly round-up. Slipping further and further behind. I’ve been busy. I probably need to regroup. I need a holiday. I need more work. I need to hide under the bed surrounded by lots of little animals that I’ve made out of matchboxes, with matchstick legs. I’m a maker me. The Creator. Alpha and Omega, permanently in Beta.
I didn’t know what a pick and place machine was until I saw this, and now I’m still not entirely sure. A machine for picking and placing things? I would have supposed so.
This one is special though because it comes from the the ardu-drone folk – the DIY cruise-missile-waiting-to-happen people, although personally I think the future is probably more like those hunter-seaker things of Dune… where a little quadracopter operated over the web that sits in a tree outside your house and when you come out it fires a curare dart into your neck.
I’m sortof surprised this sort of thing doesn’t happen more regularly in fact – I mean there’s this guy up in Auckland, NZ who’s just built himself a 50 million dollar house – after his company went down taking with it the life-savings (and therefore old-age-pensionhood) of thousands and thousands of people. And he got away with it. The Bhopal people got away with it. Cheney got away with it. Justice is not being done – and although I’m absolutely not in favour of the death penalty, I’m Scottish – so do believe in the sanctity of personal blood-vendeta. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.
And maybe it won’t – I mean if you look at revolutions in the past – The French, The Russian – the people had to be pushed to incredible lengths before they started killing the rich – just for the sake of moral principle. Maybe we humans are a lot more docile than we imagine ourselves to be.
Violence is first and formost an act of communication though – and one that almost always backfires – you can’t perpetrate violence without legitimising and strengthening the hawk constituency on the other side.. Especially now that information is so much harder to control.
Still – watch this space. The age of assasination – an inevitable flipside to the guard-economy, and possibly one so useful that if it didn’t exist, they’d have to invent it.
This is pretty cool – it’s a way for industries to offer their (massive amounts of) waste to the ether, and have it turned into something useful… probably avoiding their own disposal costs. Industrial scale-freebies offer business opportunities… and make the whole system a whole lot more efficient.
I mean with these massive cotton-reels you could make massive cotton reel tanks and invade… who’d be easy to beat? Easier than Iraq or Afghanistan? Andorra? No… to mountainy. The Vatican? Yea – it’s a soveriegn state isn’t it. Invade the vatican with massive recycled cotton-reel tanks. You’d still lose, but that seems to happen every time anyway, and this way it wouldn’t cost you a trillion dollars.
I know journalists like to go on about how important and worthy they are, and maybe they’re right. That said, I feel an almost physical sense of relief reading the article above.
Why? Because I haven’t got some fucker trying to sell me something – I can relax and take it at face value – which you can’t with news-reporting today. News today is all about trying to grab your attention. It’s a sales job.
It would be really good to have some rationality-filter set up to de-bullshitify the news.
This is interesting – an alternative currency, yes… one that you can’t actually buy anything with yet, granted… but the architecture sounds interesting.
Which is to say, it’s entirely decentralised P2P – and they pay you (in bitcoins) for being a host. You can buy one thing with them – VOIP phone credits… so in some ways, it’s a high-tech rendering of the African thing where they send money about the place by reading cellphone top-up codes over the phone.
That’s the thing with currency – it really helps if it’s based on some “thing” that everyone uses. Corn in the old days for example. Today it’s debt, but that isn’t sustainable because the interest keeps multiplying.
Various funding mechanisms have been creating waves etc of late as well – the obvious one is kickstarter.com… with the quite probably doomed-before-it-starts Disaspora. Another one was an open-sourced laser-cutter (more on that later). There’s one that’s turned up in the EU recently as well – private (rather than crowd-sourced) funding… from people who think they can second-guess the crowd’s earthly desires better than the crowd can. Nice diagram anyway
Because if there’s one thing geeks love, it’s flow-charts.
Another rash of surveillance innovations from the Plucky Brits…
So they can spy on themselves even more than they already do, and… should they feel the need to co-invade and occupy some wog country with the Plucky Americans, they can spy on “insurgents”, or locals. Depending on who you talk to.
In addition to that is a thing in The Telegraph, a depressing tory rag, where it is suggested that brain scanners could (might, may) be used to “read people’s minds” – which is almost certainly an example of the sciencificaly challenged reporting that I was on about before – if you read between the lines it seems that it could be used as some sort of lie-detector, and I’m not sure that that is any great surprise.
In fact so irked was I by the number of “could”s in this article, that I made a word-cloud out of it to prove my point.
Effectively disproving my point. Ok. I was wrong. Whatever.
Scoff thee not… $14,500 worth of people have decided they need a laser-cutter, and have punted it at kickstarter – this includes (as far as I can gather) the possibility of punting $512 and getting a laser-kit. Is that the same thing as a $512 laser cutter*? Hard to say. $15000 is (apparently) about 1/2 what a commercial laser-cutter costs… but 50% more than what they were after.
* oh – apparently not. Extremely misleading wording there. They say further down the comments that they expect the thing to cost $2-$5k.
This one being specifically designed to replicate itself.
It’s not always the simplest/best/most-open that win though. There’s The Skype Effect – where although there are better alternatives, one offering leaps ahead on polish, marketing and then self-propelling viral hype. It helps if your website is lime-green.
Still… there seems to be a movement underway here. Would I buy a laser-cutter for $3k. Not immediately – but at some point. Probably. I’ve probably spent that much on laser-cutting in the last 12 months or so. Freedom to experiment. That’s what it’s about.
Controlled by the cloud. Although it seems like a cop-out, I’m not sure that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. It kindof makes the robot a detached limb of a larger entity than being an autonomous object in its own right.
Even further behind with everything than I was last time I got further and further behind.
I think I might need to get glasses actually. That would be weird. Mind you, it might make me look more intelligent – and I’d be able to see etc. I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything for months.
With a dismayingly low-res video… but you get the idea.
I still think this needs to be a heads-up type display, and that iPads are a farcically crap design… because you either have to lay them flat and wreck your neck, or hold them up with one hand… which means you can only use one hand to operate your weapons systems etc. This turned up the other day… a keyboard/stand combo for an iPad – which basically turns it back into a laptop.
This thing – that I call 3rd Personism, but other people call Telepresence IS going to be a big thing I think though. It’s just too cool to be able to be somewhere where you’re not.
Mmm yes, well that’s going to catch on, isn’t it. It’s a way for you to “be” at the office when you’re actually sitting on the sofa drinking beer in your underpants. This could actually be done with existing parts – a segway that’s controlled with an iPhone – although an iPad screen would be a better size… but then Apple deigned not to provide them with cameras – so when they do, with the next release, all the fanboys will have to go out and buy them again.
While I think 3rd-personism is inevitable (and fantastic), it ain’t going to be for trundling around your office in a segway. I can’t believe that someone’s actually made a product out of this. If Lawnmower Man taught us anything it’s that you don’t need to be physically embodied when you can live in the network. The driver for 3rd-Personism is entertainment.
The original launch caused a huge splash… and everyone including me said it was going to be a game-changer. It wasn’t. I signed up to the beta… played with it once or twice… then shelved it. Then someone invited me to a discussion using it – on a subject I’m quite interested in… to be honest, I think it killed the conversation. We would have been better using email.
Too itty bitty. Too fiddly. We don’t want more features, we want less.
Google on the other hand may be transforming in subtler ways… by opening up its WebM codec for video. It will be natively supported in Opera, Firefox and Chrome (which are the only browsers I use) and offers a non patent-enmired alternative to H.264 – which HTML5 has had a tanglesome and not entirely happy relationship with – on account of it being closed. Youtube videos will all be encoded (retrogressively) in WebM and there are a whole host of hardware supporters. It also gets around the Apple anti-flash video problem.
So who’da thunk it? It might just be that Internet Explorer is finally killed not by a competing browser, but by cellphones.
Trouble is, as a web dev, I know that clients will want “cross-browser-compatibility” – so as not to inconvenience the still fairly huge number if IE users. Personally I couldn’t give a toss – I’m more than happy to build web apps that IE users can’t see. Forget about making music and concentrate on creating a generation gap. That’s my motto.
Holy crap, the finally did it. This is bigger news than the moon landing. This is the wildest wild card that humans have invented since fire. This is a major part of why there is a science-fiction singularity – past which it’s difficult to make linear projections.
There’s this sign at the side of the main road up from Wellington: “Pony Poo” it says. It’s for sale. When I lived on Niue we kids (or was it the neighbours kids?) were sent out to collect cow-dung for the garden. The trouble with shit… is that it smells, and looks like shit. If it didn’t then it would probably be worth a lot more than it is. Like Whale vomit. I’m mainly talking about low-food-chain-shit here. Higher food chain is problematic because toxins accumulate.
Still, they used to make gunpowder out of piss didn’t they?
Anyway – the obvious byproduct of using cow byproducts to power a data centre, is the technology to do it. This technology is probably (once it’s done) worth a hell of a lot more than the energy it produces.
Basically deep down inside, I’m only interested in things I can eat, fight or shag – so although I am actually a programmer myself (and spend most of my time sitting in the corner, praying no one will try to talk to me), the Software-Issue won’t be this massive saga that these things usually are.
Still – a whole bunch of stuff has happened that is worthy of comment.
A decentralised BitTorrent client from Holland by the looks. I think this is interesting because:
a) It comes from Holland.
b) It has been “awarded millions of euros in funding from the European Union”. Really? Cool… but I didn’t think creating MAFIAA proof file-sharing systems was what the EU was about really.
c) File-Sharing systems always seem to have that rabbit movie as a demo
Even though we all know that the killer-app of these systems is bypassing the hopelessly in need of reform copyright laws. The only people who come close to detailing how these laws need to be reformed is (need we say it) The Pirate Party.
We will give the public the following new rights:
The right to share files provided no money changes hands.
The right to format shift and time shift data.
The right of access to government funded data.
The right to compensation for government data loss.
The right to safely encrypt private data.
The right to apply to a court for compensation where data protection laws have been broken.
The right for constituents to force a by-election.
The right to pay only for the fraction of the claimed broadband speed that an ISP actually delivers.
The right to be a whistleblower.
The right for photographers and filmmakers to go about their business without persecution under anti-terror laws.
The right for disabled people to demand an unrestricted version of DRM protected content where that is necessary to allow them to access it.
We will reform outdated laws:
We will abolish drug patents, replacing them with subsidies.
We will reduce the length of copyright to 10 years.
We will provide exemptions to patent law for non-commercial use, personal study and academic research.
We will introduce system of compulsory patent licensing
We will reform libel law.
We will prohibit the abuse of RIPA powers.
We will remove loopholes in copyright and patent law.
We will protect the public from abuses of new technology:
We will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring communication traffic
We will introduce a mandatory warning label on products that include DRM.
We will introduce laws on the acceptable use of CCTV and DNA samples.
We will legislate in favour of net neutrality.
We will introduce stronger data protection laws
We will not allow government censorship of the internet
We will put into action the government’s Open Source Action Plan.
We will require the BBC to release all their content under a Creative Commons licence.
We will prevent the BBC from using DRM technology.
We will ensure better computing education in schools.
These I think provide a bench-mark for what is acceptable in terms of digital rights.
Back to Tribler – this is a step towards the holy grail of completely decentralised, encrypted file-sharing. These things also (alas) require critical-mass… so they only really become useful if a lot of people are using them.
The legal process is still appears to be rumbling on – the operators of The Pirate Bay having been found guilty… but the site is still operating, and (probably as a result of the publicity, and sympathy for the pirate-bay guys generally), the number of users has gone from 1 million to 5 million.
The technology has now moved on, so they no longer need to operate as a tracker, and is instead using different protocols. There is also a project called iPredator which offers an encrypted internet service for a monthly fee – I’m not sure how popular monthly fees will be – but I’d almost be inclined to adopt it just to tell the Evil Empire to fuck off and die.
Anyway – the rapidly changing nature of the web in the face of the hopelessly slow and unfit for purpose law-making process is why that cunt Peter Mandelson attempted (and succeeded?) in granting himself the power to make up laws on the fly. Please, someone rid me of this turbulent priest.
So many people have commented on the humourless, anally retentive and ultimately futile attempt by the “owners” of that Hitler movie to censor youtube parodies of it, that people are so sick of it, they never want to hear about it ever again.
Pretty much the only reason most people had heard of (and subsequently seen) this movie was because of these parodies, and the director himself said he found them funny and that they were a fitting extension to the films purpose… which was a type of dethroning.
Needless to say, a parody about this censorship was instantly uploaded and various sites offered instructions on how to get around the censorship.
Still – there you go. Try to censor the internet and it bites back.
Clay Shirky said that Facebook is attempting to eat the entire internet
Umair Haque said that it’s not trying to be Pagerank, it’s trying to be Digg.
The upshot appears to be a further erosion of Facebook’s already egregious regard for privacy – allowing developers to pull facebook data into their own apps, if they get users to login in using Facebook/Oauth. Facebook has 400,000,000 users. It will be hard to resist.
Still, in previous posts (2 of them) I went on about a “holy crap moment, courtesy of Google”… one was about Wave, the other… can’t remember – but they didn’t amount to much, and everybody thought they’d change the world…
… and facebook is the AOL of social apps… it is (at its core) evil. So who knows.
It’s also fundamentally dangerous and unstable having that amount of “information” going through a single company – it’s funny… the web who’s strength is (by design) based on decentralised configurations, has led to some of the biggest examples of centralisation in human history.
5) erm… that’s it. There was another thing, but danged if I can remember it now.
Still, never mind. Here’s a delta robot picking-and-placing things onto a randomly moving target
I really think that this is the future of reprappery – rather than cartesian table-based things.
I’ve been mainly pottering about with cameras, and sleep-deprivation induced insanity. It’s been a bad week… If the last week was a television, it would be black and white – tuned between channels, with the sound cutting in and out. Fade to black. Flicker to life. Eat something… try to do emails… Black again. It comes and goes.
Still… ok-ish now. The main thing that happened was that I went to that #publicACTA thing… which I will go on about in another post, but now… here’s a scatter-gun side-swipe at the Second Gutenberg shift, 10th of April, Year of Our Lord, Two thousand and ten.
If it is what I think it is… I don’t really know because while I can kindof read Spanish a bit, I can’t understand it when it’s spoken.
I quite like the idea of Tamagotchification though – anthropomorphising things so people take more care of them… there was that pedometer thing recently… a little LED plant, which withers if you don’t exercise it (you). I’ve often thought that if I could organise my personal finances… or life generally, with the care and devotion that I play video games then I’d be a lot better off than I am now.
I like brain machines because you can use them to take over the world… and failing that, the offer a much better way of controlling remote-controlled things, and are good if you are (as I am) too lazy to even use a mouse.
“Despite the device’s rather humorous appearance, it’s very serious mission is to assist scientists at research institutes and help companies develop their neuro-marketing strategies”
err… the fucking what? “neuro-marketing strategies”? WTF is a neuro-marketing strategy?… because I can’t imagine it being anything other than manipulative and invasive.
How the fuck did your greed, or the “importance” of your product get to be so great that it warrants a “neuro-marketing strategy”?
Please. Fuck off before one of us dies.
4) Imaginary robots
Worth it for the photo alone, but not alas (like so much of this tech revolution) actually real. Yet.
I’m kindof enamoured of the concept that “in the future, every tree will have its own gardner” though… and there’s an echo of Huey Duey and Louie from Silent Running here as well so… ok.
Which are imaginary robots (I’m fairly sure they haven’t been built yet) that live in a Spanish bank who’s job it is to solve the problem formerly solved by (how you say?) “signs”… replacing them with actual-reality versions of the MS Office Paper Clip.
Incredibly over-engineered over-kill and doomed to go from futuristic to retro in less than a decade. The only way these things will last more than 3 years is if their retro-chic kicks in fast enough.
But you know… nice one. Job creation innit. Getting rid of the signs and replacing it with something that needs an IT department to support.
I keep telling my mate Adi he should make these. I’d buy one… basically things that take a digital signal and make it sound warmer… and if you’re really going to get it right, some sort of “Aural Exciter” (if I’ve got that right) technology that creates ultra-sonic harmonics that only dogs can hear, of the high notes.
Something to turn the square-waves back into proper sine-waves, and to introduce harmonics that digitisation doesn’t bother to save.
And they look retro and cool, and they glow in the dark. Much like Adi himself in fact.
I have no idea what this woman is talking about because the sound on my computer no longer works (I’ll get a new one today. No really, I will)
But anyway, she looks beautiful and heroic – a bit like a latter-day French Revolution propaganda poster/painting… so here she is.
I know a bit about French Revolutionary art now, on account of having seen a documentary about it the other day, and I’d have to say that the architect above is a lot better looking than any of the ones that David (Daa-veed to you) managed to paint…
… although perhaps that comparison is a little unfair on account of that actually being a painting of a bloke rather than “a lady”, and doubly unfair on the bloke, because he’s painted sans-todger… which I gather was the fashion at the time.
They also tended to go in for wack-oid haircuts in those days, and although the architect above doesn’t have one of those exactly… it does sortof hint in that direction – which is probably why I think she looks like a French Revolution propaganda poster.
I think people in general are getting to be better looking though.
LOL… but what (I hear you cry) does this have to do with… you know, “The 2nd Gutenberg Shift and stuff”?
I’ll tell you what – the 2nd Gutenberg Shift isn’t really then 2nd Gutenberg Shift… it’s all the same shift.
The revolution that started 500 odd years ago, has just been accelerated by the internet. The trends and tendencies that found a type of coalescence in the Protestant Revolution are the same trends and tendencies encouraged by the web. The Protestant Revolution is still going on.
So ignoring for the moment, that Arresting the Pope is what Henry the Eighth probably would have wanted…
… it just so happens that when he covered up the child-rapes that happened under his watch… in deference to the “youth of the (38 year old) offender” (rather than the 11-13 year old victims)…
You know – the people who burned to death Book Printers. The people who gagged Galileo by showing him the instruments that he would be tortured with. The people who boiled to death a student named Pomponio Algerio.
It’s taken this long… 300 and something years… for it to come full circle. For a rotten-to-the-core institution to be exposed – because that’s something The Internet is really good at. Exposure.
That’s the knife-edge hidden under the waffly, disorganised uselessness of slactitivism. Your secrets are safe with us :)
Anyway, there’s a further irony in that pedophilia is to the Internet what witchcraft (rather than heresy) was to the printing press… a crime beyond comprehension – which acts like a (useful) political poison – just to be accused is terminally damaging, politicians are incapable of anything approaching a level-headed reaction for fear of being tarred with the same brush… and it sells the hell out of newspapers.
I think this is interesting because it’s basically a Roomba with the vacuum cleaner taken out of it. And we’re still not entirely sure what to do with it, so we’re crowd-sourcing the innovation… in the hope that someone else will figure it out.
I’m not sure that anyone has yet have they? I mean there are a million videos on youtube with cats riding on Roombas… and those Swedish guys used one to index the stuff they’d left on the floor… people play football with them… but… but…
… as I’ve said before, there seems to be this incredible amount of creative energy pushing us in a direction that doesn’t appear to have a lot of practical applications. I think we’re doing it to recreate Sci Fi – and ultimately, to recreate ourselves. But we’ve got a long way to go… and if we did manage to recreate ourselves, would we even like ourselves? Not according to Sci Fi.