foxtongue: (Default)
  • Globe&Mail: LulzSec hackers reportedly brought down by own leader.

    Woke up in a massive hotel bed in the sky, fluffy and white and perfect, after an evening of late night hot-tubbing and room service, with a cell phone next to me connected to London. On the table in the main room is a small black robot that walks and dances, next to a package of Dita Von Teese brand bottled Perrier brought in from Paris. The laptop's spring loaded keys light up blue and it runs facial recognition password software which loads quickly but doesn't like the lighting.

    Today is the booze run, checking and fixing the stickers, booking the arcade machines, planning for the Whistler cabins, setting up the staff room, and programming our phones to talk to the white plastic surveillance bunny, so we can instruct it to say ridiculous things. (We're all addicted to the creepy bunny. It watches you masturbate). Tomorrow the conference starts all proper like and then the real fun begins.
  • foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
    I was going to be sending postcards on Saturday to everyone I met at the conference, to be friendly, for fun, the better to keep in touch, but I have been neglecting those plans and nearly everything else this past weekend, (the hundred other things that I wanted to get done before being sucked into CanSec), caught up instead by a personal catastrophe - the partial erasure of my only photography archive.

    The quick and dirty background: Everything has been on one drive. Because I am financially strapped, I've never been able to afford a back-up. Tony, in his wisdom, was kind enough to give me a 2 terabyte drive as a holiday present, destined to become the new archive when my 1 terabyte drive filled up, which happened this past week.

    The quick and dirty events: I let a programmer friend help set up the transfer of my archive of over 110,000 files from the 1 terabyte to the new 2 terabyte. There was an error, so instead of merely copying what was left to copy, it cross-referenced the drives and deleted a great swath of files before I could shut it off.

    The quick and dirty result: I've spent the majority of the past two days on data recovery, staying up late, getting up early, trying different programs. I believe that I have recovered as many of the files as I will ever get back, approximately 80% of what was erased. It is difficult to tell what is gone, but so far it seems I have lost my childhood photos, an entire wedding, a massive block of personal pictures from 2007, 2008, and 2009, three days of 2011, seven folders of client work, and every video I've taken in the past five years. I expect to discover more gaps as time goes on, but the damage seems negligible compared to what it could have been.

    Everyone who knows about the tragedy has assumed that I would be livid or heart-broken or a mix of the two, but instead the loss seems to have struck a far deeper, nihilistic chord, more appropriate for death, thickly flavoured with the acceptance and understanding that at the heart of things, we are all, every one of us, completely doomed, so why care? Odd, maybe, but I believe it speaks well of me, that I am depression-immune to this disaster, still carrying the seed of happiness that was planted at the conference, the new, uncorrupted self that refuses to be cursed.
    foxtongue: (moi?)

    Immaterials: Light painting WiFi from Timo.

    A four meter high rod studded with 80 LEDs was used to create light-paintings that present a long-exposure, line-graph cross section of the strength of the various wifi networks available in downtown Oslo. The invisible made visible, but not quite. Fascinating stuff. More on the process, as well as past projects, here and here. Also: the resultant photo-set.
    foxtongue: (moi?)
    The First Decade of the Future is Behind Us:
    "Imagine it’s 1995: almost no one but Gordon Gekko and Zack Morris have cellphones, pagers are the norm; dial-up modems screech and scream to connect you an internet without Google, Facebook, or YouTube; Dolly has not yet been cloned; the first Playstation is the cutting edge in gaming technology; the Human Genome Project is creeping along; Mir is still in space; MTV still plays music; Forrest Gump wins an academy award and Pixar releases their first feature film, Toy Story. Now take that mindset and pretend you’re reading the first page of a new sci-fi novel:
    The year is 2010. America has been at war for the first decade of the 21st century and is recovering from the largest recession since the Great Depression. Air travel security uses full-body X-rays to detect weapons and bombs. The president, who is African-American, uses a wireless phone, which he keeps in his pocket, to communicate with his aides and cabinet members from anywhere in the world. This smart phone, called a “Blackberry,” allows him to access the world wide web at high speed, take pictures, and send emails.

    It’s just after Christmas. The average family’s wish-list includes smart phones like the president’s “Blackberry” as well as other items like touch-screen tablet computers, robotic vacuums, and 3-D televisions. Video games can be controlled with nothing but gestures, voice commands and body movement. In the news, a rogue Australian cyberterrorist is wanted by world’s largest governments and corporations for leaking secret information over the world wide web; spaceflight has been privatized by two major companies, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX; and Time Magazine’s person of the year (and subject of an Oscar-worthy feature film) created a network, “Facebook,” which allows everyone (500 million people) to share their lives online."
    foxtongue: (moi?)

    The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

    A stunning video-mapping show projected on Prague's already mind-bendingly beautiful medieval Astronomical Clock to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the clock's construction. (4 months of work, 5000x1200 resolution, 2x Christie 18K HD projectors.)
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Nokia developing phone that recharges itself without mains electricity
    A new prototype charging system from the company is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves - the weak TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us. The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug it into the mains, according to Markku Rouvala, one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.

    The difference with Nokia's prototype is that instead of harvesting tiny amounts of power (a few microwatts) from dedicated transmitters, Nokia claims it is able to scavenge relatively large amounts of power -- around a thousand times as much -- from signals coming from miles away. Individually the energy available in each of these signals is miniscule. But by harvesting radiowaves across a wide range of frequencies it all adds up, said Rouvala.

    The trick here is to ensure that these circuits use less power than is being received, said Rouvala. So far they have been able to harvest up to 5 milliwatts. Their short-term goal is to get in excess of 20 milliwatts, enough power to keep a phone in standby mode indefinitely without having to recharge it. But this would not be enough to actually use the phone to make or receive a call, he says. So ultimately the hope is to be able to get as much as 50 milliwatts which would be sufficient to slowly recharge the battery.

    oh mercy

    Apr. 15th, 2009 04:39 pm
    foxtongue: (Default)
    via bOINGbOING:

    Over at BBGadgets, our Lisa Katayama has an incredible post up about a widow in Japan who is publishing an anthology of text messages she sent to her loved one, after his death.
    Her husband, Motoo, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006, probably from the steel pipe factory he worked at. He got worker's comp, but the disease ultimately destroyed his lungs and left him with hallucinations for the remainder of his life. Shocked, the widowed Fukuda started sending text messages to her dead husband every time she thought of something she wanted to say to him. Things like: "I couldn't live if I didn't think you were still beside me. I can't live [without you]. I'm crying every day" and "I want to call you 'Otosan' to my heart's content. Why do you have to be inside such a small urn?" Every time she sent a message, the phone by his home shrine vibrated (she made sure it was always charged).
    Woman publishes book full of text messages sent to her dead husband's cell phone (BBG)
    foxtongue: (Default)


    MAKE Magazine: How to make a 1934 USB web cam.
    A while ago I converted a 1934 folding camera into a USB web cam. I brought it with me to Maker Faire Austin 2008 and a lot of people seemed to like it. In fact, a lot of people wanted to know how I made one. I promised them I would do a how-to on the blog, and I always keep my promises, so let's get started.

    Yes, those are webcams. Yes, I'm seriously considering doing this to my broken antique Speedex. I think it's the niftiest DIY I've seen in months. The problem that I have with a lot of oh-so-stylish DIY is that the end result isn't generally useful. It looks neat, but it's a dead object, art for the sake of art, like the Steampunk Space Helmet. Because these both work and look damned good they are therefore, in my estimation, about a millionty-thousand times more awesome. Yes. Now to get a webcamera. And, like, a soldering iron. And heat-shrink tubing. And a... Rosin core solder?
    foxtongue: (moi?)

    Chatting, and Going To Work, photographs of the Dani people of the central highlands of Western New Guinea, by Indonesian photographer, Alim Boeana.
    foxtongue: (wires)
    It's HACK SABBATH today!

    Reminding me of Chia Pet McKenzie's computer: (from [livejournal.com profile] moosl via treehugger), Lloyd Alter writes:
    We have an Asus notebook, and like their modular design where you can pick your own CPU and hard drive and assemble it yourself; ours had a tragic fall last week but it was easy to swap out busted parts. Asus also tries to differentiate itself from the others by doing silly things, like a leather notebook, or very sensible things, like the new Ecobook. Its case is covered in bamboo, which I suppose is a statement, but the real show is inside. All of the plastic in it is labelled and recyclable; it is lined with cardboard; there are no paints, sprays or even electroplating used on its components. It looks like it is designed to be easily taken apart for self-service and easy upgrading of components, usually the downfall of notebooks.
    The release date is still approximately a year in the future, but by then, maybe I'll be able to afford one. At any rate, it's just about damn time someone made something like this available to the market. A sustainable case will go miles toward reducing the staggering amount of plastic in landfills.

    Remember how I was writing about the mysterious vanishing bees? It turns out it might be because of cell phones.

    I feel somehow this is appropriate, except that we can't yet blame it on Monsanto and I really want to.
    foxtongue: (Default)

    lift
    Originally uploaded by davenyc.
    [livejournal.com profile] lafinjack has found vogueing vinyl ninja gangsta Michael Jackson clones. It's bad because it's good.

    Bloody tar pit apartment. I don't even much like it here, but yesterday I couldn't bring myself to go. Ryan came home and that bit the edge off. Vagabond blue jello today for breakfast in a clear glass bowl. I don't know where the rabbit is, but occasionally I hear things fall down in the living-room, so I'm taking that as a pulse positive sign. I am clearly awaiting a mental cohesion I'm not currently capable of, because the thought of a fashion photography bunny rabbit pin-up set continues to pass over me like a fast moving cloud. Place rabbit in life, begin to use as prop. It all sounds worse than it is. On the back of the motorcycle, my mother gunned us up to 120 and I let go. Leaned back against the wind and slowly raised my arms backward behind me. My wings for flying, it's the same for everyone. I thought of taxidermy, a white winged mouse holding out its dried heart with tiny paws, the cavity in its chest apparent and stuffed with small rosebuds. The tiniest smudge of red on its hands and fur. I would hang it from a piece of ribbon, thin and shining satin. Black, because I thought of who I would send it to.

    The Aristocrats (movie) Today at 8. Meet in Tinseltown up by the box office @ 7:30.

    My humble pen in head has been thinking a lot about the texture of L.A. lately. I don't know why. Something about futurism, about how Los Angeles got trapped in the bright promise of the shiny sixties, when optimism was still allowed, in a way that I've never encountered in Canada. I don't know if I want to go back yet, but I consider it every time I think of getting a driver's license. Ray sent me a film clip this week, General Motors' view of what the world was going to be like. A woman dancing through a dream of glittering cars and enviably automatic kitchens. It ends with her and her masked man driving down a model of a freeway surrounded by rolling parks and well spaced tall buildings. All very Norman Geddes, the industrial designer who unveiled ideas of Tomorrow back in the American 30s. All very comfortable and lovely. The Future was something to look forward to.

    Of course the allure of Futurama was polished with the wishful spit of GM to sell new cars to a depression laden country, but I think we're more cynical now. It's difficult to write any positive forecasts, which is important, in its own way, as people are entirely in love with soothsaying the Next Big Thing. Nostradamus had a surge of popularity back with September 11th, we've obviously not lost the bug. We still like looking backward to trace our way forward. We trail over whatever paths that look the most reasonable, metamorphing pattern recognition into a full blown precog bit of back-patting hindsight fiction.

    That AIDS is a crises, (check this though), wars are blossoming anywhere on the globe where there's oil, and that terrible news of any sort is available in a way that it never has been before, creates an open glimpse into 1984 bad dreams. Try to create something hopeful and the result seems slightly too soggy to be taken seriously. Social optimism is cyclical, and we are a very low swing of the pendulum. Our architecture has finally reached out into shining glass towers and we've found they all look the same. Expression of emotion through stone is all but a lost art form. Scenarios of happy thronging places seem wrong, out-dated and moded. Apocalypse ideas seem educated, smart and fact driven, less theoretical.

    However, just because our predictions are darker than they used to be, don't mean they will be any more accurate. Orwell gave us a place where security cameras covered our every move, yet never dreamed that we would be broadcasting from our bedrooms every day to a limitless audience of strangers. When my ex-roommate and I had a webcam in our living-room, we had upward to a thousand hits a day, and really we had no content. There's the forever complaint of older writers, too, that there was no way to predict the cellular telephone, dating their work of the future with the stamp of Before The Technology.
    foxtongue: (Default)


    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.
    I saw you and looked down. I changed the subject of conversation. You walked past like silver, as if I could touch the air you had just walked through and feel solid flesh.

    I counted my lovers the other day, using myself as one unit. My body, my bended bones and muscles, an abacus bead. Click, like this, and he slipped in here and my back arched taut, hips drawing the strings of shiva's bow. She bit me once, hard, at the bus-stop, one of the first times we kissed. I'm at twelve consensual, my friend at thirty-four. I thought about water falling, how many times I've held hands in rain. The contrast of skin colours, how I loved to see my white against the wood colours of tanned skin, how I loved the white of my skin matching the belly that I kissed. I would like to meet a boy this time who wants things I've never thought of, tells me the secret names of roses, tells me that he likes touching me in public. I would like to not be shot through with sacrifice.

    There's a girl sitting alone in a room, her music is as lonely as she is and she can't find anything else. Her clothes are piled on the floor among too many books and papers. She's scared.

    Newly minted life, that's another thing coming. Bill and I were talking about technology the other day after fireworks, and I felt for the first time in a long time that I was aware, like I'd been roughly shaken from a trance. He argued that new things weren't that, only the newest illustration of an age-old idea. I pointed out that new species only come from previous iterations of animal, that everything comes from somewhere. The system self-propagating. The New finding you because you've put the settings that way. I know enough for two of us. The trick is in the procedure, the knowing how to act with it, the finding out what to do next. I feel distinctly unintelligent because I have so many tools, so many pieces of information, yet no ideas.
    foxtongue: (purple)
    On-line, I rant less at people about how wonderful technology is, but I've been coming to an odd conclusion lately that I want to share; that language just might be devolving through the internet. I don't mean so much words like WOOT coming into parlance, but that vocabulary is homogenizing. Meeting international friends has only added credence to this idea. No matter where in the world they are from, we are all speaking the same language.

    I'm talking about expression through memetics, hyperbolic emphasis.

    It's like somehow we're managing to slim down language to something that's almost electronic gesture based, so non-specific that we're reaching a plateau of zen communication that's partially worrisome. The inflections that span oceans because we read the same news stories and know each other almost purely by interest have not been complex ideas. The common denominators are almost startlingly like a severe Californian infection once they're noticed. Berkley as patient zero. Home culture barely impacts. We all say "like" and "yeah" smattered with the occasional "I win" acknowledgment of clever. We seem to be erasing language with porous words, as meaningless as the most commonly known word in the world, "okay".
    foxtongue: (Default)
    "Takahiro Takeda, postgraduate student of Japan's Tohoku Univ., dances with Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) at a factory of Nomura Unison robotic venture company in Chino city, 200-km west of Toyko. The prototype dance partner robot, developped by Japan's Tohoku Univ Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, enables them to move in all directions with three special wheels by predicting how its partner will mobe with a sensor."

    "Robots on the market include a machine that looks like a machine dressed in bright colors programmed to converse in just enough small talk to stop the elderly from going senile and a doll that articulates the needs of a five-year-old boy.

    In January, a Tokyo University engineer unveiled a humanoid that can shuffle its feet and wave its hands to preserve a traditional Japanese dance falling out of fashion among young people."
    foxtongue: (wires)
    I want an infusion of technology. I want my hair to have LEDs wired in. I want to snap my fingers and watch sparks fly free and blue. Tonight I'm going to go dancing. I'm going to twist and try not to break my ankle again. My shoes have snapped again, back to wandering barefoot with cardboard sandals in my pocket for that just in case and the bus-driver rules. I want a networked media pool, I want everyone in and swimming. Science fiction reaches into immortality in a way that I don't think most other fiction does. The promise to invent the future, to weave articulation into the joints of your fingers, to preserve the other and outline the reactions required to outlive our own societal deadline. We need drama, we're humans, we make stories out of everything. That's what you do when you meet someone, it's all teasing anecdotes. Reactions of instinct. Tell you what I'm like, explain my reactions through making you laugh. It's striking. I want to dramatize the future, project a thought forward, try to give an idea to anybody who could make it real. I want my flying car and all the metaphor stands for. Could you imagine if we were the last generation to grow old? The conservative reaction wants to tie us more to the past than we need to be. The bit that's certain isn't that technology will progress to a point where we break that servile reaction, but that it will happen without us if we aren't paying attention.

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