As part of a campaign for Kodak, we're writing short pieces for their product site about creative things to do with media players in general. (Note: the post you're reading now wasn't paid for by Kodak or required by the campaign.) I like the way my essays turned out and hope you dig them. The ideas may be harder than I think to implement, but they're fun to imagine anyway. The first is titled "Reframing Art In A Digital Home" (illustration by the talented Rob Beschizza):
In 1989, Bill Gates founded a company called Interactive Home Systems, which changed its name a year later to Corbis. Now, Corbis owns one of the largest collection of stock images in the world: more than 100 million shots. A slew of those images are safely stored deep underground in a former limestone mine in Pennsylvania. If you want to use the photo of, say, Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue, Corbis will sell you a digital copy and sell you some rights. That wasn’t Gates’s big vision though. His forecast was that huge screens would hang throughout our homes, rotating through a global collection of photos and artwork. The future isn’t quite here yet though, and Corbis’s business is about supplying newspapers, magazines, and ad agencies. That’s all well and good and makes people money, but twenty years later, I still find Gates’s vision compelling. And it seems easy to turn your home into a digital art gallery using a home network, media players, and inexpensive LCD TVs. The art is also free, although I always recommend supporting artists whose work you dig...
My second article was about pirate TV and starting your own "Local Area (TV) Network." Here's a chunk:
In the 1980s guerilla media scene that birthed Boing Boing, the proliferation of pirate TV was a holy grail for culture jammers. Proto-cyberpunk television series Max Headroom featured a character who ran a pirate TV station out of a converted bus, and rumors of late-night anonymous signals floating in the ether fueled our Videodrome-inspired fantasies. And it wasn’t all wishful thinking that individuals with a bit of tech know-how could take back the TV airwaves, much like operators of pirate radio stations had done since the 1960s. Famously, during one weekend in 1978, a pirate TV station called Lucky Seven reached viewers in Syracuse, NY. The station, hosted by an anonymous announcer wearing a gas mask, mostly aired Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes – geek programming to be sure. And in 1987, a TV pirate sporting a Max Headroom mask broke into the broadcast of a Dr. Who episode on WTTW Chicago.
Decades later, the proliferation of wireless networking and media players could bring “pirate TV” out of the shadows, enabling anyone to curate and stream video programming to a nearby niche audience – college dorm, apartment complex, or even city block...
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]