Programming is Forgetting: Toward a New Hacker Ethic - Allison Parrish In the process of programming, or scanning or sampling or digitizing or transcribing, much of the world is left out or forgotten. Programming is an attempt to get a handle on a small part of the world so we can analyze and reason about it. But a computer program is never itself the world. [more inside]
Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
"What’s compression in the first place? At its most basic, compression is a way of representing data using less space. An emoji is a good metaphor: it represents an entire word or even several words using a single character. Our minds then 'decompress' the character back into the word it represents.I Hacked the Middle-Out Compression from 'Silicon Valley' - Alexander Gould, Major League Hacking (Silicon Valley is on FanFare)
"When hackers see a magical plot-driving compression algorithm, it’s hard to chalk it up as simply a narrative device. After all, universal lossless compression sounds pretty sweet. So, at a recent hackathon, I decided to get to the bottom of middle-out compression."
The Ghost in the MP3 [warning, flashing imagery] — "moDernisT" was created by salvaging the sounds and images lost to compression via the MP3 and MP4 codecs. The audio is comprised of lost mp3 compression material from the song "Tom's Diner" famously used as one of the main controls in the listening tests to develop the MP3 encoding algorithm. Here we find the form of the song intact, but the details are just remnants of the original. The video is the MP4 ghost of a corresponding video created in collaboration with Takahiro Suzuki. Thus, both audio and video are the "ghosts" of their respective compression codecs.
How to write 225 words per minute. With a pen. Dennis Hollier, in the Atlantic, writes about Gregg shorthand, a piece of analog data-compression technology now largely forgotten and probably forever unequalled.
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
The 'photocopy effect' applied to YouTube What happens when you record a video, upload it to YouTube, download it, and re-upload it over and over and over. After a while, it starts to look like this [30x] and this  and this  and this . Inspired by Alvin Lucier's experimental composition, I am Sitting in a Room discussed here and here.
Corey Arcangel is perhaps the internet's most infamous hack, masher-upper, digi/net artist. His work stands for a growing culture of artists who run wildly through animated GIF landscapes populated with corrupted data-compressed bunny rabbits and tinny, MIDI renditions of Savage Garden ballads. As the Lisson Gallery, London, opens its archives to Arcangel's curatorial eye, could digi/net art be set to infect the real, fleshy world, like a rampant Conficker Worm? Has YouTube become the truest reflection of our anthropological selves? Are we destined to roam the int3erw£bs like the mythic beasts of yore, hoping, in time, that digi art can free us from the confines of this fleshy void? [...previously]
Chairlift - Evident Utensil (SLYT) Trippy music video made by messing with video compression keyframes.
Justice for Audio. Opposing the destruction of great music.
Sustainability of Digital Formats : a repository of mostly technical information about digital content file formats related to storing images (moving and still), text, sound and websites
Ever wondered if and where a specific set of numbers could be found in pi? Maybe you'd like to know where your birthday is? Or maybe just something funny. [prev. here, here] [more inside]
Algorithm. JPEG compression explained.
For the would-be recording buffs: understanding compression. A three-part series which explains the workings and uses of compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates. Plus some thoughts on the modern epidemic of overcompression from the listener's perspective.
Lizard Tech has these proprietary formats for digital documentation and images that compress really well (3MB versus 150MB PDF etc) and produces better output. According to Communication Arts Sept/Oct issue there is a new image standard they're working on with other groups called jpeg 2000 that looks pretty cool with better images overall.