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...
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
You travel around a lot. It might be that jet set life from New York to LA to London to Tokyo, or it might be back and forth from the coffee shop to the office, or from the kitchen to the couch. Any which way, you’re mobile and that’s the way to live. When you […]
It’s 2016 and we like our technology really small. Our phones fit in our pockets, our remotes are lighter than ever, and even our cars seem to be shrinking. So your new drone shouldn’t be an exception. This Axis VIDIUS Drone is 21% off right now and it’s so little, your biggest problem won’t be […]
You’ve heard the news: cyber security is the new and very scary frontier. Hackers are out there just waiting for you to relax for a second and let them in. But that’s not going to happen to you. With a lifetime premium subscription to ZenMate VPN, you’re completely protected from anyone out there who wants […]