This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected 'surprise and delight' was really more like 'surprise and delete'. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology.
Deb Chachra talks about the age of non-consensual technology
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Sep 16, 2014 -
In 2003, Andy "waxpancake" Baio created Upcoming
, "a collaborative event calendar focused on interesting arts and tech events around the world, curated by its community. It surfaced weird and wonderful events that usually fell under the radar of traditional event listings from newspapers and local weeklies." In 2005, it was acquired by Yahoo!, who killed the site last April with little warning, and no way to back up events
. Fortunately, the complete site was saved
by the Internet Archive
. But Upcoming isn't dead yet! Two months ago, Yahoo! offered to sell the domain back to Baio. And now, with a fully-funded kickstarter
, he's planning on "rebuilding it for the modern era using tools and platforms that weren't available when it was first designed." Welcome to the brilliant life, stupid death, and improbable return of Upcoming.org. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 3, 2014 -
is "a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, as told through as series of cinematic tweets." [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee
on Apr 20, 2014 -
The Columbia Journalism Review interviews Evgeny Morozov: Evgeny vs. the internet
The entire Morozov aesthetic is in this sentence: the venom, the derision, the reverse jujitsu of his opponents’ sanctimony, the bald accusation that all the talk about a new age of human flourishing is nothing but an attempt to vamp the speaker’s consulting business. Tech enthusiasts channel hope. Tech skeptics channel worry. Morozov channels anger, and this can be a very satisfying emotion to anyone unconvinced that everything is getting better. Leon Wieseltier, who has published some of Morozov’s most acid criticism at The New Republic, compares him to the ferocious jazz musician Charles Mingus, who once responded to an interviewer who accused him of “hollerin’ ” by saying, “I feel like hollerin’.” I asked Morozov if he considers his Twitter feed, which spews a constant stream of invective and absurdist satire, to be performative. This was a bit like asking Mingus if he considers jazz performative. “Absolutely,” he said. “I consider it art.” [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 13, 2014 -
The worst thing about cats is that you can't play with them unless you're physically present. Being elsewhere means being unable to play with a cat! It's a horrible situation, but now there's a solution. iPet Companion
lets you select a shelter and control a camera and trigger toys in the selected shelter's kitty play room. If there's other people on that shelter's page, you'll have to wait your turn, but turns are two minutes long so there's rarely much of a wait.
posted by Pope Guilty
on Dec 6, 2013 -
: "In 1995, commercialization, a swelling population, and the multimedia revolution began to shape Web 1.0 and the modern Internet. 1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet. / The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+). / wwwtxt
digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Aug 28, 2013 -
I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on May 17, 2013 -
"During his civil lawsuit against the People's Republic of China, Brian Milburn
says he never once saw one of the country's lawyers. He read no court documents from China's attorneys because they filed none. The voluminous case record at the U.S. District courthouse in Santa Ana contains a single communication from China: a curt letter to the U.S. State Department, urging that the suit be dismissed. That doesn't mean
Milburn's adversary had no contact with him." [China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink
posted by vidur
on Nov 28, 2012 -
Over the course of the next two months, each participating ISP [*AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon] expects to begin rolling out its version of the [Copyright Alert System] – a system through which ISPs will pass on to their subscribers notices sent by content owners alleging copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks. Educational alerts will come first, followed by acknowledgement alerts that require the recipients to let their ISP know they have received the notices. For accounts where alleged infringing activity continues, enhanced alerts that contain “mitigation measures” will follow.
- Jill Lesser, Executive Director, Center for Copyright Information [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Oct 21, 2012 -
Timely not real-time.
Rhythm not random.
Moderation not excess.
Knowledge not information.
These are a few of the many characteristics of The Slow Web
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Sep 6, 2012 -
The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future
- After five years pursuing the social-local-mobile dream, we need a fresh paradigm for technology startups.
"This isn't about startup incubators or policy positions. It's not about "innovation in America" or which tech blog loves startups the most. This is about how Internet technology used to feel like it was really going to change so many things about our lives. Now it has and we're all too stunned to figure out what's next. So we watch Lana Del Ray turn circles in a thousand animated gifs."
posted by flex
on Apr 19, 2012 -
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop."
- Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw
on Feb 13, 2012 -
The concept behind VoyURL
is simple: A browser plugin records your every click, which you can then choose to share publicly in a real-time feed. Their website analyzes
and shows you your online history in customized infographics
, to identify patterns, recommend content and help you learn more about the way you use the internet. You can see the browsing history of all users in one giant timeline or follow a specific user. The service is currently in beta, but you can slip in here
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 16, 2011 -
150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA.
"Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired. Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph
. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War. Americans soon saw that a breakthrough
in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 23, 2011 -
It seems that there is increasing frustration
with the current state of email leading some to look for more technical solutions, such as Shortmail - an email client/social networking tool which attempts to redefine what its creators see as a broken relationship with email described on their blog
as a "river of trash." , while others
to turn to less technological solutions
to lessen their email burden. [more inside]
posted by SpaceWarp13
on Jul 13, 2011 -
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert
- "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview
: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
posted by kliuless
on May 29, 2011 -
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
- Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec
favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously
). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing
posted by Artw
on Jan 13, 2011 -
Your Old Crap Website
- This blog is to celebrate the time when web design wasn’t limited by web standards and convention, and when the office geek was given full reign to set up the website on his own since the bosses probably couldn’t see the point in having one.
posted by Artw
on Apr 24, 2010 -
The <video tag>
, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec
those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora
and the proprietary H.264
. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9
both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons
of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed
. Arguments are now being made for
Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber
of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example
posted by Artw
on Mar 21, 2010 -