infovore + technology   123

I Miss Staging — Postlight — Digital product studio
"This is how we used to develop in the last decade, hitting reload on different browsers on different operating systems and adding special cases to our code until everything looked and worked okay. Eventually a consistent platform emerged." Yup. Yet another downside of the future-is-services: it's also a mess, and everyone just seems to be _coping_ rather than offering alternatives.
operations  publishing  saas  technology  onestepforward  hosting 
october 2018 by infovore
How Auto-Tune Revolutionized the Sound of Popular Music | Pitchfork
Cracking cultural analysis of technology from Phillip Sherburne - a huge dive into the nitty-gritty of autotune and its impact across music and around the world. Deep and nuanced.
music  technology  writing  criticism  phillipsherburne  sts 
october 2018 by infovore
Space Exploration History: The Space Shuttle and the Horse's Rear End
"Specifications and bureaucracies live forever." Or: why a Solid Rocket Booster is the width of a Roman chariot. This is good.
history  technology  standards  bureaucracy 
october 2018 by infovore
The Online Photographer: The Remarkable Persistence of 24x36
Cracking piece of... technology history and perspective, I guess, from Mike Johnston: a history of the 35mm film frame size, the things that threatened to unseat it, the ways it bounced back, and the ways other inventions embedded it in history. A really good Total Perspective Vortex of the history of a technology.
cameras  film  photography  history  culture  technology 
october 2018 by infovore
The Online Photographer: Best Comment Ever
"The problem is that photography has always been a technical pursuit and the mediating technology required to make a photograph has always threatened to overwhelm it. To quote Donald Kuspit, 'Technology is the last valiant attempt to discredit and devalue the unconscious.... The unconscious is the bête noire in a scientifically and technologically managed world, which is why it must be killed or at least ostracized.' The endless upgrade cycle, the more and more laborious and tedious mastery of imaging software, the solid belief in technical improvement and control as a means to achieve success, all of this leads one further and further away from any possibility of making original or authentic work. This is the bind of the technology treadmill. What it gives, it also takes away. So in digital photography we have an inherent pitfall in the photographic process married to the culturally dominant fixation with technology and control which are themselves obstacles to the unconscious, the very source of creativity itself."

Fantastic quotation and comment from David Comdico over at TOP. I feel this applies hugely to electronic music, too.
art  photography  technology  creation  unconscious  mediation 
september 2018 by infovore
Embedded Wednesdays: Getting Started in Embedded Systems — Embedded
This is a great set of posts on embedded software and, in particular, getting started with STM Cortex-based chips. Will be returning to this to read it through properly.
embedded  hardware  programming  software  technology  arm 
august 2017 by infovore
1968 Demo Interactive - Doug Engelbart Institute
Broken down, chapter-ified version of the Mother of All Demos (made by Bret Victor and Christina Englebart). And now easily pointed at.
dougenglebart  motherofalldemos  interactiondesign  design  technology  interaction 
may 2017 by infovore
What a 15 year old girl taught me about tech. – designswarm {thoughts}
A lovely post from Alex about her week with a secondary school work-experience student - and on what she learned at the same time.
technology  culture  experiences 
february 2017 by infovore
WWW: The Way We Were
"Which is why this scene wrecked me so hard. The Web that they are talking about on the show, the open Web, is ailing, dying. It was like listening to a eulogy at a funeral, this thing that I love, poured the best of my self into, gone forever. Of course that’s not strictly true, the Web is still a fabulous place where anyone can set up a site to do, say, or sell whatever they want, but instead of the promise of small pieces loosely joined, what we mostly got was large pieces tightly coupled. Today’s Web browsers and apps are Holland Tunnels that open up right into shopping malls instead of open city streets." It's hard not to feel like a bitter old person, but I often miss that world too. Still, I have my own place where I put nonsense, and that's a start, right.
web  technology  walledgardens  haltandcatchfire 
october 2016 by infovore
Real Life
"Cronenberg shows his humans diving into television sets or self-inserting Betamax tapes; his original screenplay title for Videodrome was Network of Blood. If The Matrix is Descartes, then Videodrome is Haraway and Network of Blood could be a synonym for real life." This sentences is all tingly. I'm looking forward to this.
technology  sociology  magazine 
june 2016 by infovore
BazTutorials - YouTube
Recommended as a set of Max tutorials
max  maxmsp  music  software  technology 
april 2016 by infovore
Video Essay: The Cinematic Control Room 1971-2015 - YouTube
Normalizing the exceptional; the way the "control room" in films mirrors attitudes towards the control of technology - and control in its more general senses. This was good.
film  video  essay  control  technology  ethics 
january 2016 by infovore
Universal Record : Jesse England
"With this project, I ask: In the record listening experience, how important is the still environment and kinetic spectacle? With modern tangible media supplanted by cross-platform, network-based storage and playback, is contemporary record and turntable ownership a novelty, or an effort towards meditative stability?" Superb.
music  sound  technology  ritual 
april 2015 by infovore
Notes, links, etc | The Smithsonian's design museum just got some...
"Its weird really. You’re standing there in front of something, perhaps its an ancient artefact, buried for thousands of years - perhaps its a mummy, partially unwrapped. A real human being, you can see their face from all those years ago, see how they lived, what they ate. History, right there… But whatev’s. Look! There’s a telly over there!" Yep.
museums  ux  experience  interaction  technology  denisewilton 
march 2015 by infovore
Syllabus | MAS S66: Indistinguishable From… Magic as Interface, Technology, and Tradition
"Magic as Interface, Technology, and Tradition" - Greg and Dan's course sounds great.
design  technology  magic  magicwithak 
february 2015 by infovore
"The printing press on its own did not create poetry, but by spreading poetry around it helped to create new poets. The steam engine on its own did not create the industrial revolution. Tools are made by people and when tools call out for revolution they will speak through people." Love this quotation - it's a good article, too.
education  logo  seymourpapert  instructionism  culture  technology 
february 2015 by infovore
Emily Bell's 2015 Hugh Cudlipp lecture – full text | Media | The Guardian
"I think for a while journalism thought it couldn’t afford the difficult bits, the investigations, the new technology skills, the legal teams, the time for the more complicated problems. We could only secure our survival with automatically generated dancing hamsters and robot-written press releases.

Now when we look at the mighty new networks of our age, I hope we all realise, Us and Them, that these are the very things we can’t afford not to do."
emilybell  cudlipplecture  journalism  technology  ltc 
january 2015 by infovore
DeathHacks — The Message — Medium
Jessamyn West on the useful things one can do to make one's digital legacy easier on the bereaved. But there's lots more in here too - on how we adopt or inherit both things and identities; on the nonsense some companies expect you to go through; on how history fades in and out as the meaning of 'forever' changes. (Added timeliness: I'm reading Soul of a New Machine at the moment).
memory  legacy  identity  technology  bereavement  death 
january 2015 by infovore
The Cathedral of Computation - The Atlantic
"Here’s an exercise: The next time you see someone talking about algorithms, replace the term with “God” and ask yourself if the sense changes any. Our supposedly algorithmic culture is not a material phenomenon so much as a devotional one, a supplication made to the computers we have allowed to replace gods in our minds, even as we simultaneously claim that science has made us impervious to religion." Ian Bogost on lazy thinking and simplifications, amongst other things.
technology  language  algorithms  youkeepusingthatword 
january 2015 by infovore
On File Formats, Very Briefly, by Paul Ford · The Manual
"WordPerfect was always the best word processor. Because it allowed for insight into its very structure. You could hit a certain key combination and suddenly the screen would split and you’d reveal the codes, the bolds and italics and so forth, that would define your text when it was printed. It was beloved of legal secretaries and journalists alike. Because when you work with words, at the practical, everyday level, the ability to look under the hood is essential. Words are not simple. And WordPerfect acknowledged that." I grew up on WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, and Reveal Codes. Some days, I wonder if it's why I got on with markup so well.
paulford  writing  technology  history  revealcodes  markup 
december 2014 by infovore
Amazing Structure: A Conversation With Ursula Franklin - The Atlantic
"When I was a child in school, the fact that the laws of nature seemed to be permanent and immutable, compared to the laws of the state, made science most attractive to me. And I recall as a kid in school, a physics experiment—and my also mischievous pleasure that even these overwhelming, secular authorities couldn’t change the direction of a beam of electrons." And it goes from there. Ursula Franklin sounds quite remarkable.
ursulafranklin  science  interview  technology  feminism  canada 
october 2014 by infovore
What Bits Want — The Message — Medium
"Of course this is pure anthropomorphization. Bits don’t have wills. But they do have tendencies." This piece by Kevin Kelly is great - though this line neatly explains my suggestion that 'things' sometimes have 'desires' better than I ever have before.
writing  technology  bits  kevinkelly  medium 
september 2014 by infovore
Station Ident | scraplab
"I didn’t think I’d ever do a thing this long. I might never again. But it turns out businesses are hard, especially when they involve atoms and even more so if you want to be profitable, legal and have good customer service. Not that much of that is to do with me." In amongst so much of the nonsense of the tech industry in 2014, and East London Technology in 2014, it always makes me happy that Newspaper Club is going so well, and that my friends are doing it.
newspaperclub  business  atoms  technology  friends 
march 2014 by infovore
Our Comrade The Electron - Webstock Conference Talk
"Today I want to talk about these moments when the future falls in our laps, with no warning or consideration about whether we're ready to confront it." This is a great, great talk from Maciej, on the histories of technology, and how culture interferes with work, and how 20th century history complicated most things it touched. Also: the rant in the middle is good. I think this might be my favourite Maciej talk I've read or seen.
maciej  talks  technology  communism  electronics  surveillance  coldwar 
february 2014 by infovore
If This Toaster Could Talk - Alexis Lloyd - The Atlantic
"These three frameworks -- objects as portals, objects as subjects, and objects as oracles -- propose distinct (yet related) structures for thinking about how connected objects might begin to contain their own narratives, seek their own history, develop their own perspectives, and become storytellers in a multitude of ways." Nice article about the various perspectives on Connected Objects (which namechecks Hello Lamp Post).
iot  conncetedobjects  design  technology  urbancomputing 
november 2013 by infovore
RA: Machine Love: Daedelus
"...the 808 is such a storied instrument in electronics. It casts a large shadow. There's whole genres based on just the kick or the snare or the cowbell sound. As soon as you turn it on and start working, you hear every single gesture that's happened in electronic music since its advent. It's this crazy machine of history, and it's really hard not to be beholden to it in that way." Daedalus on the history embedded in instruments, as part of an interview about his use of technology for Resident Advisor.
daedalus  music  technology  history  808  drummachine 
october 2013 by infovore
Frank Chimero × Blog × The Inferno of Independence
This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.
writing  culture  technology  creativity  independence  frankchimero  gentleness 
september 2013 by infovore
Red Burns, ‘Godmother of Silicon Alley,’ Dies at 88 -
'“To me, the computer is just another tool,” Ms. Burns once said. “It’s like a pen'. You have to have a pen, and to know penmanship, but neither will write the book for you."' A lovely obituary, but also, what a quotation - a nice corollary to the ones I usually wheel out about literacy.
redburns  itp  design  technology  literacy  nyu 
august 2013 by infovore
The story of Yugoslavia's DIY computer revolution • Articles •
"Modli warned his listeners to be ready with their cassette recorders, then waited to see the response after he played the screeching and wailing tape into the ether. Soon he began receiving excited calls from his audience, who said they'd been able to load the program - a routine called 'Paginator' - onto their computers. But not everyone was impressed, notably the station heads. "They thought it was a scandalous event!" says Modli. "I had a big problem explaining to them that it was a revolution in radio and they should be proud."" Lovely piece of reporting, with some great tidbits, about Yugoslavia's own little z80 kit-computer from the early 80s.
computing  yugoslavia  z80  computers  technology  kits  diy 
july 2013 by infovore
A few words on Doug Engelbart
"The least important question you can ask about Engelbart is, "What did he build?" By asking that question, you put yourself in a position to admire him, to stand in awe of his achievements, to worship him as a hero. But worship isn't useful to anyone. Not you, not him.

The most important question you can ask about Engelbart is, "What world was he trying to create?" By asking that question, you put yourself in a position to create that world yourself."
bretvictor  design  dougenglebart  technology  thefuture  interaction 
july 2013 by infovore
The UK needs a new age of STEAM, and the Ebacc won’t make it happen. « Magical Nihilism
"An age of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – (rather than just STEM) is what the UK needs to survive in the foothills of the 21stC." Yes, that.
education  technology  steam  reform 
december 2012 by infovore
Voy — Means of production
"Popular media plays an important part in how technology is understood and how it is expected to be. Which, I would argue, also could mean that these understandings can be challenged through stirring popular imagination. And using media and communication as a tool." Einar's talk from Playful was a real favourite, and I'm glad he's put the whole thing online now. Completely worth a read.
einarmartinussen  technology  design  socialism  vocabulary 
october 2012 by infovore
Will Wiles – On the New Aesthetic
"The fascinating thing about the New Aesthetic could be that it was never new — it went from being unknown to being ubiquitous and thoroughly banal with barely a blink. The frisson of shock or wonder one experienced at seeing an aspect of the New Aesthetic out in the wild comes because that is the only time it will be noticed; afterwards it will pass unobserved. The New Aesthetic is not about seeing something new — it is about the new things we are not seeing. It is an effort to truly observe and note emergent digital visual phenomena before they become invisible." This is a really solid, careful piece from Will Wiles.
society  technology  willwiles  essay  newaesthetic  culture 
september 2012 by infovore
Source Filmmaker
Valve really are incredible; just watching the UI and technology for this in action is a little jawdropping. (Also, one for my friends who work in After Effects/3D prototyping and video...)
filmmaking  games  3d  software  technology 
june 2012 by infovore » Blog Archive » Guest Post: Joshua Ellis revisits the Grim Meathook Future
"The real Grim Meathook Future, the one I talked about back when I wrote that thing and the one I see now, is the future where a relatively small slice of our species lives in a sort of Edenic Eloi reality where the only problems are what we laughingly refer to as White People Problems, like being able to get four bars’ worth of 4G signal at that incredible pho joint that @ironicguy69 recommended on Twitter, or finding new ways to lifehack all the shit we own into our massive closets…while the rest of the world is reduced to maintaining our lifestyles via a complex process of economically-positioned indentured servitude and clinging with the very tips of their fingernails onto the ragged edge of our consumer leavings, like the dorky dude who shows up the first day of school with the cheap K-Mart knockoffs of the pumped-up kicks the cool kids are wearing this year. In other words, the Grim Meathook Future is the one that looks like the present, the one where nothing changes."
future  technology  culture  society  grimmeathookfuture 
june 2012 by infovore
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond |
"Modern creatives who want to work in good faith will have to fully disengage from the older generation’s mythos of phantoms, and masterfully grasp the genuine nature of their own creative tools and platforms. Otherwise, they will lack comprehension and command of what they are doing and creating, and they will remain reduced to the freak-show position of most twentieth century tech art. That’s what is at stake." Loads of good stuff in this Sterling essay, but this is the leaper-out for me: the reminder - as I fervently behave - about truly understanding the things you work in. And in this case: the reminder that all the old metaphors of computation are rarely true. Computers are not intelligent; they do not see or hear. But nor are they stupid, blind, or deaf. They are just other.
newaesthetic  brucesterling  metaphor  computing  technology 
april 2012 by infovore
Agile Software Is A Cop-Out; Here’s What’s Next | Forrester Blogs
"Software development is not pure coding, engineering, architecture, management, or design. It is cross-disciplinary. Better yet, it is its own discipline. It is more akin to making a movie than to building automobiles on an assembly line. The studio revolves around talent. Great software talent means renaissance developers who have passion, creativity, discipline, domain knowledge, and user empathy. These traits are backed by architecture, design, and by technical know-how that spans just knowing the technology flavor of the day. Process is the studio; it has structure but is flexible enough to optimize talent and tools." This post is as dogmatic as what it rails against, but it's good at finding flaws in dogma and then pushing towards a more sympathetic view. And this paragraph is the best bit.
software  development  culture  technology 
october 2011 by infovore
Obituary: printf("goodbye, Dennis"); | The Economist
"All operating systems know when they were born. Their internal clocks start counting then, so they can calculate the date and time in the future. It is unclear whether it was Mr Ritchie or Mr Thompson who set the so-called start Unix time at January 1st, 1970. That moment came to be known as the epoch. Mr Ritchie helped bring it about. And with it, he ushered in a new era." Which is as poetic a way as any of expressing how deeply rooted K&R are in the modern world.
dennisritchie  economist  obituary  technology  unix  c 
october 2011 by infovore
The pace of change « – Matt Edgar
"A billion drinks per day of Coca-Cola is an amazing thought, but such uniformity is a symbol of inertia, not dynamism. For the most part world trade still travels at the speed of shipping containers, not data packets." I chatted to Matt at dConstruct about this, and I'm really glad he's written it up: so much good examples and thought, about recognising the difference between pace and impact, of attention versus raw numbers.
technology  change  writing  progress  mattedgar 
september 2011 by infovore
Rhizome | Drone Ethnography
"You are obsessed with drones. We all are. We live in a drone culture, just as we once lived in a car culture. The Northrop-Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is your '55 Chevorlet. You just might not know it yet." This is all brilliant, word-for-word.
drones  technology  surveillance  newaesthetic  swarm  extelligence 
july 2011 by infovore
Sensor-Vernacular – Blog – BERG
"It is – perhaps – at once a fascination with the raw possibility of a technology, and – a disinterest, in a way, of anything but the qualities of its output. Perhaps it happens when new technology becomes cheap and mundane enough to experiment with, and break – when it becomes semi-domesticated but still a little significantly-other. When it becomes a working material not a technology." This is all great stuff.
sensors  materials  technology  fabric  nowness 
may 2011 by infovore
Abandonwear Clothing | The Place for Retro Tech Clothing
"A history of Silicon Valley failure written in T-Shirts." Much as I'm trying to wear fewer T-Shirts, wow, there's a lot here I'd wear in a flash, and not out of hipster irony. SSI! Sierra On-Line! Infocom! Microprose! Accolade! Brøderbund! Brilliant.
clothes  history  technology  tshirts  geek 
april 2011 by infovore
W. Brian Arthur Vs Silicon Roundabout, ‘Start-Up Britain’ and other shake-and-bake approaches « Magical Nihilism
"Deep craft is more than knowledge. It is a set of knowings. Knowing what is likely to work and what not to work. Knowing what methods to use, what principles are likely to succeed, what parameter values to use in a given technique. Knowing whom to talk to down the corridor to get things working, how to fix things that go wrong, what to ignore, what theories to look to. This sort of craft-knowing takes science for granted and mere knowledge for granted. And it derives collectively from a shared culture of beliefs, an unspoken culture of common experience." Craft / scenius / place / knowledge. The W Brian Arthur sounds great, and Matt's point - that building strength in a sector is building culture, and that requires investment in something that won't see immediate returns (rather than "five-year plans" and "strategies") is acute. Very good stuff.
innovation  technology  culture  learning  london 
march 2011 by infovore
The Technium: Computational X
"The best signpost to the future I know is to follow whatever happens after the word "computational."" Kevin Kelly being smart/interesting/as usual.
future  computation  progress  technology  innovation 
march 2011 by infovore
The Most Popular Phone in the World
"This is what the next generation of the mega-selling phone will look like. They'll be rough facsimiles of the high-end smartphones forged for well-heeled buyers, stripped of fat and excess—an embodiment of compromise. They'll be 90% of the phone for 20% of the price, with FM radios instead of digital music stores, and flashlights instead of LED flashes. This is how the other half will smartphone, if you want to be so generous as to call the developing world's users a half. We're not even close." Yes.
technology  mobile  design  phones  hardware 
october 2010 by infovore
The Prosthetic Imagination | > jim rossignol
"By enabling the brain to manipulate with virtual systems, to engage with simulation, it creates systems than span the mental and the virtual, the biological and the electrical. Also, even more significantly to my point, our imagination is not a description as a book is a textual description, or a film is a visual description. It is, instead, a model." This is good, and the links are great, too.
technology  imagination  games  cyborgs  jimrossignol  prosthesis 
september 2010 by infovore
Technology and the novel, from Blake to Ballard | Books | The Guardian
"I know which side I'm on: the more books I write, the more convinced I become that what we encounter in a novel is not selves, but networks; that what we hear in poems is (to use the language of communications technology) not signal but noise. The German poet Rilke had a word for it: Geräusch, the crackle of the universe, angels dancing in the static."
writing  technology  culture  novel  tommcarthy 
september 2010 by infovore
Lee Maguire – Guided by the Whispers of Angels
Nice post on future interfaces, but primarily bookmarked because I can *never* find that GITS:SAC still when I need it, and it's *brilliant*.
newspapers  future  interface  scifi  design  technology  gits 
august 2010 by infovore
Conflict Minerals and Blood Tech — The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century
"The Enough Project says that auditing component supply chains at the smelters to see whether the metal was sources from “clean” places like Australia or Canada instead of lining the pockets of Congolese warlords would add about one cent to the price of a cellphone, and that this figure originates from within the industry. I’d happily pay a thousand times that for each of my devices – a mere ten bucks – to ensure that I wasn’t bankrolling rape and murder." Depressing, and a very, very good point. It doesn't make me any surer of what to do, sadly.
conflict  technology  manufacturing  congo  activism 
july 2010 by infovore
The Technium: Predicting the Present, First Five Years of Wired
"Money is just a type of information, a pattern that, once digitized, becomes subject to persistent programmatic hacking by the mathematically skilled." (Lots of other good stuff here, but I wanted to note this one down).
trends  wired  quotations  technology  future 
june 2010 by infovore
Nick Sweeney · things to make and do
"When I look at the iPad, I see something my dad could use without hand-holding to find the history of that banjo, to seek out those screws, to look at old video of Sonny Terry, to feed his glorious practical creativity, unencumbered by the need to learn the habits and quirks of computing, and not relying upon a transatlantic support department. There’s a liberation in open things (and opening things) but there’s a far greater one in how things can open up people." Nick Sweeney is right.
ipad  creativity  freedom  technology  nicksweeney  writing 
april 2010 by infovore
Raiding Eternity - Myspace - Gizmodo
"Somewhere in the future, a picture of David Minor—in jeans and a tie, face beatific under a studio light, sleeves rolled up to expose the Eugene Debs quote tattooed on his arm—is berthed in a database table in off-system storage, waiting to be remade." Lovely, sharp, writing from Joel Johnson.
joeljohnson  memory  internet  technology  writing 
march 2010 by infovore
Chris Harrison's mind-blowing "Skinput" interface - Core77
"Harrison's concept--which works, by the way--uses the body as a sort of echo chamber. Which is to say, when the user taps a particular part of their body, a sensor worn around the upper arm can tell if the tap-point was at a particular spot on the forearm or on one of the individual fingertips, by assessing the vibrations sent throughout the body by the tap." The detection of tap location is remarkable - a single sensor, that picks out location based on the characteristics of the body's reverberation from the tap.
technology  input  interface 
march 2010 by infovore
Lasers would never have shone if Mandelson had been in charge | Technology | The Observer
"The laser has become vital for our way of life, yet no researcher who worked on it after Einstein's paper could have predicted what would emerge. If Mandelson had had anything to do with it, we'd be reading barcodes by flashlight."
politics  funding  technology  research  science 
january 2010 by infovore
Let's Enhance
"Zoom in on that spot there." Blade Runner has a lot to answer for; notably, this.
video  films  movies  technology  enhance  processing  tvtropes  grr 
january 2010 by infovore
Bruce Sterling: The Hypersurface of this Decade | ICON MAGAZINE ONLINE
"I have to print my bed, so that I can lie in it." Lovely BruceS fiction; not just futurism, but hyperlocal futurism at that.
fiction  brucesterling  technology  culture  futurism  design  fabrication 
january 2010 by infovore
Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem | Magazine
"...the Duke Nukem Forever team worked for 12 years straight. As one patient fan pointed out, when development on Duke Nukem Forever started, most computers were still using Windows 95, Pixar had made only one movie — Toy Story — and Xbox did not yet exist." Fantastic, dense, Wired article on DNF from Clive Thompson
games  business  take2  3drealsm  dukenukemforever  technology  development  failure 
december 2009 by infovore
Thunderbirds will grow a generation of mad engineers
"Thunderbirds is Rescue Fiction. All kids respond to rescue scenarios. Rescue Fiction is emotionally maturing - it removes the wish for magic, religion or flying people to zoom in to save the day; it confirms that it is a far more glorious and dazzling thing to invent ways to rescue ourselves."
engineering  engfi  science  technology  warrenellis  writing  thunderbirds  education 
september 2009 by infovore
BBC NEWS | Technology | Tech Know: Kinky boot that whips
"This is my boot fetish Pong game". I first saw James at OpenTech demonstrating his prawn-sandwich powered BBC Micro clock. It is good to know he is still building brilliant things. And: more Ellie Gibson interviews in the world is never, ever a bad thing.
jameslarsson  technology  video  interview  pong  mad  elliegibson 
july 2009 by infovore
100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About | GeekDad |
A little bit of nostalgia, a little bit of fact, a few reminders of the past. Especially the old Kit-Kat wrappers.
history  culture  technology  children  kids  list  nostalgia 
july 2009 by infovore
Appfrica Labs | Investing in East African Innovators
"Appfrica Labs is an investment company and software development firm that facilitates and incubates technology entrepreneurs in East Africa. We do this by offering a physical space with a solid internet connection, servers, software and computers that allows entrepreneurs a place to develop their ideas in a constructive environment with industry professionals as mentors, outside of school. Entrepreneur projects are refined and prepped to help them secure funding and launch sustainable, profitable businesses." I met Jon who runs Appfrica at TEDGlobal last week; it's a great idea and, by the sounds of things, doing very well.
appfrica  development  business  africa  uganda  vc  venturecapital  incubator  technology  startup 
july 2009 by infovore this amazing little internet-connected computer....
"Still, if I told myself as a child that I’d have a pocket computer powerful enough that it could play games that knocked the Spectrum into the dirt, along with music at the same time, and then look up almost anything from an encyclopedia, almost anywhere in the world, and in only a quarter of a century, I’m not sure I’d have believed it." Strong truth; I marvel at some of the technology I own, and wonder how I could ever have explained it to my eight-year-old self. Not explained the possibility; explained that it was within reach.
mobile  technology  progress 
july 2009 by infovore
The Toaster Project
"I'm Thomas Thwaites and I'm trying to build a toaster, from scratch - beginning by mining the raw materials and ending with a product that Argos sells for only £3.99. A toaster." This is clearly amazing, and a timely reminder of, you know, what the age of mass production really means.
technology  toaster  industry  massproduction  design  project 
june 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra: Philippe Ringuette-Angrignon's Blog - Why "Next-Gen Games" Went Gray, Brown, And Grey.
"There is one thing that our current consoles are terrible at; lighting. Our current lighting solutions are improving, but for the moment we have much difficulty simulating indirect lighting, especially in real-time... To hide this problem, we tend to instinctively desaturate everything. The mere presence of saturated colors unbalances the rest of the image. Since we often have some form of ambient occlusion in our environments, this visual effect makes the game look more visually convincing." And so: everything is brown.
lighting  games  technology  programming  aesthetic  brown 
june 2009 by infovore
E309: the 7 things you need to know about Microsoft's press conference - Offworld
If you want a wrap-up of the Microsoft keynote, you could do no better than Brandon's wrap-up for Offworld - spot on, nicely detailed, and covering all the facts with great illustration. Whilst their titles - L4D2, Forza 3, etc - are obviously real assets, it's their commitment to the 360 as a platform in the living room that was impressive.
e3  entertainment  blog  offworld  microsoft  games  technology  media  writing 
june 2009 by infovore
Charlie's Diary: LOGIN 2009 keynote: gaming in the world of 2030
"But the sixty-something gamers of 2020 are not the same as the sixty-somethings you know today. They're you, only twenty years older. By then, you'll have a forty year history of gaming; you won't take kindly to being patronised, or given in-game tasks calibrated for today's sixty-somethings. The codgergamers of 2030 will be comfortable with the narrative flow of games. They're much more likely to be bored by trite plotting and cliched dialog than todays gamers. They're going to need less twitchy user interfaces — ones compatible with aging reflexes and presbyopic eyes — but better plot, character, and narrative development. And they're going to be playing on these exotic gizmos descended from the iPhone and its clones: gadgets that don't so much provide access to the internet as smear the internet all over the meatspace world around their owners." Lots of great stuff in this Stross Keynote.
technology  games  play  future  charlesstross  progress  development 
may 2009 by infovore
Michael Tamblyn - 6 Projects That Could Change Publishing for the Better
Jolly good, this, with lots of sensible points and a real clarity of thought for what otherwise could just be Powerpoint-by-numbers.
technology  books  publishing  creativetechnology 
march 2009 by infovore
Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable « Clay Shirky
"For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the journalism we need." Late to link to this, but as everyone else who has done already would point out: it's great.
technology  media  publishing  printing  journalism  newspapers  internet  clayshirky  businessmodels 
march 2009 by infovore
Purse Lip Square Jaw: On mobile cities, Archigram, invisible networks and ubicomp
"The question of responsibility and accountability gets sticky here - especially if we consider that technologies are too often viewed as neutral tools or isolated artefacts. If we draw out these flows, these networks, these interconnections, we find ourselves faced with the possibility of being connected to people/objects/places/activites/ideas that we may never see. And with intimacy always comes risk."
mobile  technology  socialsoftware  ubicomp  networks  connectivity  annegalloway  archigram 
march 2009 by infovore
Computer programmer from Finland has lost finger replaced with USB drive - Telegraph
"When I'm using the USB, I just leave my finger inside the slot and pick it up after I'm ready." Well, quite.
technology  future  storage  prosthetics  finland 
march 2009 by infovore
David Merrill demos Siftables, the smart blocks | Video on
Lovely demo - some interesting interfaces that feel quicker than current alternatives, as well as experimental ones that, whilst slower and clumsier, represent information a bit better. I mainly like the form-factor, though - but what's the unit cost? These things get a lot better the more you have.
design  interaction  talk  video  technology  innovation  toys  siftables  ted 
february 2009 by infovore
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium
"One Amish-man told me that the problem with phones, pagers, and PDAs (yes he knew about them) was that "you got messages rather than conversations." That's about as an accurate summation of our times as any." A wonderful quotation in the midst of this dense, fascinating article.
technology  culture  society  communication  network  amish 
february 2009 by infovore
BBC NEWS | Technology | Video game helps with fire drill
"Durham University's Dr Shamus Smith, who helped spearhead the project, told BBC News that that while bespoke 3D modelling software was available, modifying a video game was faster, more cost effective, and had better special effects." Quite true. Although: "gamers" tend to treat it as a game, wheras "non-gamers" treat it as a training exercise, and behave accordingly.
games  technology  simulation  training  fire  safety  source  seriousgames 
february 2009 by infovore
How the Computer gets the answer
"It is a commonplace that if it weren’t for computers we couldn’t fly to the moon, or even keep an accurate record of the national debt. On the question of how it does what it does, however, the computer has always remained essentially mysterious—unfathomable to all but a small handful of initiates. An officer of one major computer concern guessed recently that not more than 2% of his employees really know how it works." 2% seems awfully high these days. Detailed, technical article from Life in 1967.
technology  engineering  journalism  life  computing  magazine  computer  logic 
january 2009 by infovore
scraplab : saturday saw the inaugural papercamp prototype...
"Compared to a standard web (un)conference where everyone knows their space, expertise and opinions, here lots (most?) of us were exploring stuff outside of our day job and business-as-usual. It was passionate and interesting and I felt completely out of my depth, which was was great. So in 2009, less of the comfort zone stuff please, and more like this." I can get behind that.
web  making  technology  comfort  papercamp 
january 2009 by infovore
Dial-A-Song - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Established by rock band They Might Be Giants (TMBG), Dial-A-Song consisted of an answering machine with a tape of the band playing various songs. The machine played one track at a time, ranging from demos and uncompleted work to fake advertisements the band had created... Due to the nature of an answering machine, only one caller could listen to the current song at any given time. This had been noted as creating a special bond between the song and the person calling as it is playing just for them... John Linnell stated in an interview in early 2008 that Dial-A-Song had died of a technical crash, and that the internet had taken over where the machine left off." How did I not know this? There is nothing about this that is not brilliant.
music  distribution  technology  massproduction  automation  telephones  tmbg  theymightbegiants  answerphone 
january 2009 by infovore
Chris Heathcote: anti-mega: now, more than ever
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties."
science  technology  security  history  futurism  future  prescience 
january 2009 by infovore
Dubious Quality: Fire
"'Why do you build your own computers?' Gloria asked earlier this week. 'Why don't you buy just buy one that's already built?' ... It's because computers are fire... If I was a caveman (I'd be dead, because I can't see clearly two feet in front of myself without glasses, but that's not the point), I wouldn't go to the guy who discovered fire and ask if I get a light off his torch. I might let him explain the process--documentation, as it were--but then I'd go off, hold the torch backwards, cut myself with the flint, and generally do it wrong."
technology  analogy  progress  computers  billharris  fire 
december 2008 by infovore
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