Their use is largely utilitarian: snap a photo of your baby, your sunset, your face; then, share it with friends or family. They're small and cheap. We use them to capture the mundane, the obvious, and the personal. Soon, we'll use them to capture and manipulate data: phonecams are becoming handheld barcode readers, and tools for a variety of new mobile commerce applications.Check out the growing list of invited participants here -- and contact us if you're a technology company who'd like to get involved. Soon, we'll announce the launch of the completed project site, where anyone with a phonecam can contribute their snapshots to the exhibition. Link.
The images they produce are undeniably crude, but like Polaroids or snapshots from vintage or "toy" cameras, that lack of finesse lends a distinctive, awkward charm. And the fact that they fuse together the abilities to capture, view, and distribute what we see (through e-mail or online photo weblogs) makes them revolutionary. Phonecams are changing the way we see the world, and our place within it. They're an extension of urban eyes. They democratize, hack, and deconstruct photography. When everyone is both photographer and publisher, how will art change? How will human conversation change? What will be the difference between professional and amateur? Through SENT, we'll find out.
update: Now, NPR's in the mix. They've issued a "Phonecam Challenge," inviting listeners to contribute mobile phone snaps -- some of which will be included in SENT. Link to more info on NPR Phonecam Challenge. Listen: Real, or Windows
"Kumiko" says: "can't stop myself to go to the deadline. The second series I took off my wig and I wrapped my head tightly. At my neck, there are no hole for new air. There are no tricks in these pix. Please stop your breath while you're browsin these. Please, please NOT do the same. You must be killed. "
By the time you read this, the Geocities Japan site will be BoingBoinged to death, but: Link (didn't notice nudity or explicit sexual content, but didn't stay too long, either)
It is the first known case of a worm actually installing itself on individual ATM operating systems, says Peter Lind, a security expert at Spire Security in Malvern, Pennsylvania...Link
Diebold does not know how the worm got on to the closed financial network. But security experts suggest it could have been carried past security measure on an infected laptop computer. The laptop would have contracted Welchia while connected to the internet, and then transferred it when later connected to the financial network.
The ``living dead,'' having been cheated out of their property, cannot afford to pay bribes or even legitimate fees to get their cases dealt with.Link (via Beyond the Beyond)
Lal Bihari, president of the Association of the Living Dead, estimated 35,000 people in Uttar Pradesh state have been wrongly certified as dead.
I finally got to see the paperback edition of my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which is out just in time for Christmas. For various good reasons, Tor elected to publish the hardcover in January of last year, too late for Christmas shoppers. A lot of people complained (including me), but it's clear that they knew what they were doing -- the book didn't end up competing with the big, frontlist holiday titles and sold very well indeed. Still, I'm very grateful indeed that the paperback (which Amazon has for $10.36) is out in time for the holidays this year.
I also got to hold a copy of the second edition of A Place So Foreign and Eight More, my short story collection, which sold out its first print run in six weeks or so and is well on the way to selling out the second edition, I'm told. A bunch of you submitted errata for this printing, and made it a better book altogether. I'm told that the next printing will have the Neil Gaiman quote added to the cover, which is all to the good indeed.
As if that weren't enough, I also got a stack of gorgeous, color-cover advance review copies of Eastern Standard Tribe, my second novel which will be a March, 2004 hardcover on sale in late January (pre-order it for a 30 percent discount). The William Gibson quote on the cover ("Utterly contemporary and deeply peculiar -- a hard combination to beat (or, these days, to find)") looks unspeakably swell...
But the good news kept coming. I also got word that my agent, Don Maass, has sold my next two novels, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town and /usr/bin/god, to Tor for 2005 and 2006 publication.
The icing on the cake is that I signed off on the inclusion of Flowers from Alice, a short story that Charlie Stross and I co-wrote for Mike Resnick's forthcoming New Faces in Science Fiction anthology, in a Year's Best Science Fiction anthology.
Q: How is this any different from the studio conglomerates that led to antitrust laws?Link
A: Digital makes filmmaking cheaper and more accessible, so we see ourselves as a conduit for new, independent voices who'd otherwise never have a shot. You could shoot your film on digital, dump it on a hard drive, edit it on a laptop, send us that file, and 20 minutes later we could show it in a theater or upload it to a satellite. You could say that if we became huge, we'd risk becoming a Microsoft. But if we become huge, we want to become more like a Linux.
* "There is a new, witty nouveau afoot, from the Vallo watering can by Monika Mulder at Ikea, which looks like a stork," Link (halfway down the page)
* "to the coffee and tea set by Greg Lynn for Alessi, which opens like a clove of garlic." Link
* "Tord Boontje's chandeliers for Swarovski look like clouds of slender branches surrounding a light." Link
* "In the United States, the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum looks like a giant bird about to take off." Link
* "William Sawaya, a designer based in Milan, created a blossom-like plastic Calla chair for Heller, which was inspired by a lily." Link
* "A new digital camera for Creative Labs by the California company Whipsaw Design takes its inspiration from the many-chambered spiral shell called the nautilus." Link
Charles "Chucky" Saatchi, swinging advertising mogul, thinks it's time for you to revel in the consuming pleasure that is Lovemarks: the future beyond brands. At the oddly confusing Lovemarks.com, "real people" write in about how favorite brands moved from objects to something more like family members. Adidas: "Reminds me of my childhood." BMW: "Mystery, aura and history oozes out." Abercrombie & Fitch: "I started wearing their clothes and it made me cool and hip differentiating me with the rest of the Gap wearing populace." (Snicker. Mmm, Snickers! I could go for one of those...)
There's a certain blurring between the two types of dressing up in Japan, but there are certain distinctions. Cosplay is almost always mask free and draws on various video game, manga and anime characters. This is more fantastic in look generally. The majority of cosplayers in Japan aren't too happy about its infiltration into the hardcore adult market, but there's no denying its clear debt/links to the fetish scene. There's a book out in English called "Cosplay Girls" and you can find a fair amount of adult (and non-adult) cosplay related material via J-List. Nao Oikawa has done a fair amount of this adult cosplay work.Link to "What is Kigurimi?", Links to very strange adult kigurimi: Room 107, Room 108, from dollhouse.jp. (Thanks, fleshbot.) Link
The use of masks makes it kigurumi. These are in origin the same as people in Goofy outfits of whatever at Disneyland. You seem them frequently enough at amusement parks in Japan or doing product promotions in the street. These are also generally drawn from the manga/anime/game world. Now some people do this for a living and some do it as a hobby. Obviously it's a step beyond as these people tend to wear full skin-toned body stockings, unitards and whatever in addition to the masks. Also, you suspect that many of the hobbyists are men although this isn't always the case. It's just impossible to tell, although the hands do give it away much of the time.
What you then discover is that kigurumi is further subdivided between people who wear manga styled masks and costumes (pointy chins, huge eyes, etc) and those who go for a ultra-realist look, where the costumes become much more everyday. This then sort of leads on to Japanese ultrarealist love dolls.
In "Robo-receptionist clocks on," Nature tells us the story of Inkha, a robot which greets guests of King's College London (KCL) and adds artificial intelligence to the front desk. "Inkha -- short for 'interactive neurotic King's head assembly' -- will dole out directions and events information. Like receptionists across the globe, she will also comment on the weather and fashion faux pas." Inkha was funded with a £8,400 grant and has become a celebrity in the U.K. It even has its own website, http://www.inkha.net/. More details are available in this overview, which also includes pictures of Inkha.Link
The deal gives Amazon the right to use the British Library's bibliographic catalogue, which contains 2.55 million books. Crucially it includes 1.7 million produced before the introduction in 1970 of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a 10-character code that uniquely identifies any modern book.Link (via Ben Hammersley)
"After you posted that creepy Sabrina link on BoingBoing, [I discovered that this is] a form of cosplay called Kigurumi. This site has some good definitions, and this site also has interviews with people who do kigurumi. I am throughly creeped out now, and I blame you. Especially after seeing this page. But wait, it gets weirder: here, and here. Don't miss this -- middle aged man turns into Real Doll. But wait, thats a copy of this. I'm going to attempt to sleep now, I expect I'll have some really strange dreams."
The Kigurimi enthusiast behind the mask in the snapshot at left (from one of the sites Justin points to), says:
"This is my all time favorite female mask. It is made by Natori of the Photogenic mask site. The cost is around $900.00 and it is in my opinion the most realistic female mask I have seen. Plus I love to be a super cute Japanese girl. The only drawback to this mask is the limited vision and breathing."
The bot-builders' expo has apparently been asked to stop using, well, the name ROBOlympics. "Of course, the hinge is the term 'athletic event,' " says David. "Are robot events athletic? Doesn't really matter if I can't afford the lawyers."
The ROBOlympics event is slated to take place at Fort Mason Center Herbst Pavilion, San Francisco, California, in March of 2004, and will include contestants from around the world to help promote robotics, engineering, and education.
Here Comes Santa Claus! - Ignition Books Fall 2004
While sorting through old photographs at my mother's house one Christmas, I came across a photograph that was to haunt me for years. It was a photo taken at a mall of my brother Michael sitting on the lap of Santa Claus. Innocent enough- loads of people have pictures of themselves or thier children sitting on Santa's lap...it's a tradition to see Santa every year, tell him what you'd like for Christmas,and get a candy cane. What struck a chord with me about this picture was the Santa himself. Slouched into the chair, one arm clumsily draped around my brother, much in the same way barflys casually hug thier fellow brethren before falling to the floor in a stupor. I looked closer...thick black body hair sprouted from every opening of the ill fitting Santa suit, the too-short trouses- revealing fish white, strangely pocked legs. This Santa boasted one enormous black eyebrow, an 5'oclock shadow (needless the say the beard was falling off) and the dull gleam of narcotics in the one eye that wasn't drooping and looking far past the camera. This was GREAT! I then turned my attention to my brother who I now realised was not merely smiling on command for the camera but rather was grimacing, rigid in fear on his hobo Santa's lap, fists clenched, eyes silently pleading. Oh how I laughed.
After I finished enjoying my brother's pain, I started thinking about the whole Santa Claus phenomenon...every mall has a Santa come Christmas-time, and let's face it- most of those Santas ain't "Miracle on 42'd Street" quality. I figured there were probably tons of these photos floating around, kids horrified by thier low rent Santa and being scolded if they didn't "Smile, dammit" for the capture of a warm holiday memory. I began to ask around if anyone else had horrible Santa pics, and indeed, a small flood came in...drunk Santas, passed out Santas, creepy Santas. I decided to make a book and share the wealth.
Of course, the more the merrier so I am ever on the lookout for Santa pics for inclusion in the book. I'm hoping to get as many as I can so I can pick the choicest, the most god awful,and the funniest Santas with terrified children for the project. People can mail or email me photos that they'd like to submit. In return, people's whose pictures I include in the book will get thier name in the book (unless the shame requires anonymity) and a free copy of the book. These pictures would only be used for this book and any promotional press associated with it. I will return all hard copies (photos, discs, ect). Contracts will be required for publication.
Interested person can mail photos or 300dpi scans of thier drunken, flea ridden, pervy, waxy complexioned Santas to me at:
4015 Airport Way S
Seattle WA 98121
or email questions or 300 dpi jpegs to me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
When Matt was 6, he confided to his mother, "My mind is made of math problems." Diane started buying him math workbooks for kids twice his age. He zipped through them so quickly, she learned to hide a few in a drawer so he'd have something to work on the following day.Link
Then one night, Diane and Larry heard a melody coming from downstairs. It was their son, playing "London Bridge" on a toy keyboard. Diane brought Matt into the family room and introduced him to the middle C on the piano. Within a day, he was devouring music books as hungrily as he had math books.
Matt took classical lessons for a year, then Diane enrolled him in the jazz program at the New England Conservatory of Music. Upon meeting his first jazz instructor there, a bearish Israeli whose last name is Katsenelenbogen, Matt cried out, "Six syllables!"
* Go to company/ carrier stores for switching. Trust me when I say that the guys at RadioShack, Best Buy and Staples are morons who don’t know anything about switching right now.Link (via Gizmodo)
* Adventis folks advise that if you are a user of data services, check with your new service provider regarding the availability of services that you have become accustomed to. Functionality and availability of data services, as well as the customer experience itself (e.g., transfer rates) varies considerably from carrier to carrier.
* Back-up your cell-phone contact list data to your computer by using a data sync cable or bluetooth connections otherwise you will spend an entire weekend punching in phone numbers.