Burnlab sez, "Detroit-based artist & designer Bethany Shorb's solo gallery show opening at Devotion Gallery in New York this Friday is a culmination of three years of car crash themed work [after a crash that only modern safety engineering allowed her to not to leave this world prematurely] in a variety of media - from screen printing the visages of Isadora Duncan, James Dean & Lady Di on deployed airbags, to quotes from Ballard's "Crash" assembled from car lettering scavenged from junkyards."
Replicants is a service that promises to "enhance your virtual self" by automatically tweeting stuff just like you would. I turned it on for a few hours to see what it actually does, expecting a stream of generic messages roughly aligned with my interests. What it actually does is this: send vague and overly familiar tweets @ people you follow. Neat! But yeah, turning this off now.
Ars Technica's Anders Bylund does some guesstimating about the total losses incurred by Newscorp in their purchase of MySpace, coming up with a figure of at least $1B, including operating losses since the acquisition.
So all things considered, MySpace has cost Murdoch's empire something like $1.3 billion. Even if my assumptions are way off, the final cost can't be less than $1 billion. That fiasco isn't putting Murdoch out of business: News Corp turned a $2.9 billion dollar profit in the last four quarters and generated $2.2 billion in free cash flow, for example. But it still stings as Murdoch's dreams of an end-to-end interactive media empire falls apart. And his shareholders have been trailing the broader market as well as rivals Viacom and Disney over those five painful years.
My latest Guardian column, "Publishers and the internet: a changing role?" looks at how today it's possible to "publish" a work without distributing it, without duplicating it, without doing any more than connecting a work with its audience, sometimes without knowledge (or permission) from the work's creators:
In a world in which producing a work and getting it in front of an audience member was hard, the mere fact that a book was being offered for sale to you in a reputable venue was, in and of itself, an important piece of publishing process. When a book reached a store's shelf, or a film reached a cinema's screen, or a show made it into the cable distribution system, you knew that it had been deemed valuable enough to invest with substantial resources, not least a series of legal agreements and indemnifications between various parties in the value chain. The fact that you knew about a creative work was a vote in its favour. The fact that it was available to you was a vote in its favour.
Partly, this was the imprimatur of the creator and publisher and distributor and retailer, their reputation for selecting/producing works that you enjoy. But partly it was just the implicit understanding that no company would go to all the bother of putting the work in your path unless it was reasonably certain it would recoup. So "publishing" and "printing" and "distributing" all became loosely synonymous.
After all, it was impossible to imagine that a work might be distributed without being printed, and printing things without distributing them was the exclusive purview of sad "self-publishers" who got conned by "vanity presses" into stumping up for thousands of copies of their memoirs, which would then moulder in their basements forever. But just as the internal functions of publishing were separated out at the tail of the last century, this century has seen a separation of selection, duplication, preparation and distribution. Every work on the internet can be "distributed" by being located via a search-engine without ever being selected or duplicated or prepared.
The Dressler brothers created this amazing commemorative table for the YMCA of Canada, integrating more than 100 "significant objects" donated by nationwide YMCA associations into its design. I really dote on this kind of assemblage of sentimental stuff -- it makes the whole thing feel like the product of some kind of spell. Compare with the wonderful Six-String Nation.
The surviving members of Monty Python's Flying Circus have reunited to voice an animated adaptation of Graham Chapman's incredibly funny, very weird memoir A Liar's Autobiography. The film will include recordings of Chapman reading from the book as well. Regrettably, the movie will be in 3D, but with luck I'll be able to find a screen where it's showing without the need for dark, greasy, migraine-inducing prosthesis.
Back in 1930, Modern Mechanix reported on Charles Miller, of Portland, OR, who was rambling around the nation in a homemade mobile-home that included a plot of grass from his beloved hometown.
WHEN Charles Miller, of Portland, Oregon, found the wanderlust too much for him in spite of his love for the old home, he decided to see the world and carry his home right with him, too. So he built a complete bungalow on the chassis of his car--not even forgetting to put in a nice bit of lawn. Then he started out and since starting he has traveled over 200,000 miles and isn't through yet. Mr. Miller claims to have the only motorized house and lot in the country. The "lot" consists of a narrow strip of earth and turf.
The "It's New" section from the Jul, 1960 issue of Mechanix Illustrated featured a particularly and delightfully demented grab-bag of innovations of the day, from a French electric monorail to a gas machine of anesthetizing large mammals.
FIRST successful gas machine for anesthetizing large animals is demonstrated on nag by Dr. E. Wynn Jones. U. of Okla.
ROTOCRAFT and ducted fan test bed is flatbed trailer towed by a truck tractor at 60 mph at Cornell Aeronautical Labs.
WATER SKIS. German-made, are propelled by aquatic version of ski poles with end discs.
TIRE-INFLATING machine, a French device, above, makes certain front tires receive equal pressure--for improved steering. Two tires are connected. below, and columns of mercury show when equal pressure is obtained. Can also be used for rear set.
Redditor Oskario uploaded this image of himself, armed to the teeth and beyond ("Context: Myself in conscript training in the Finnish Army, 2007"). A top-rated comment from afnj: "You are over encumbered and can not run."
Rob, Dean and I from Boing Boing were out with various friends in Google+ video chat ("Hangout") for the first time this evening. A number of Boing Boing readers and random internet people also popped in and out of the hangout. Dannel Jurado from Etsy rocked out to some dance music. David Ulevitch from OpenDNS ran Tor. Everyone was in different cities around the US and other countries.
Oh my God. If you needed final, definitive notice that The Smurfs is going to be horrifying even by the standards of 3D-animated remakes of 1980s cartoons that were not as good as you remembered anyway, here you go! Smurfette is advertising Marc Jacobs-esque fare, neither within the price range of mortals nor haute enough to be ironic or actually cool. Thank you, Harpers Bazaar and Sony! She does look pretty smurfy in Vuitton, though.
a novel approach to photographic imaging is making its way into cameras and smartphones. Computational photography, a subdiscipline of computer graphics, conjures up images rather than simply capturing them. More computer animation than pinhole camera, in other words, though using real light refracted through a lens rather than the virtual sort. The basic premise is to use multiple exposures, and even multiple lenses, to capture information from which photographs may be derived. These data contain a raft of potential pictures which software then converts into what, at first blush, looks like a conventional photo.
I still don't quite get the talk about ray tracing. The part that makes sense to me, however, seems to explain it all: the camera has a wide-open aperture and an infinite depth of field on the main optics, but a bubble-wrap like plane of different lenses in front of the sensor, which thereby ends up capturing a fly-eye myriad of differently-focused fragments of the same scene. The software assembles a final composite depending on which of these you later focus on in post. It improves upon established focus stacking techniques because every image is taken simultaneously as a single exposure, at the cost of dividing up the sensor's megapixelage between them.
Something like that, anyway. I'm going to play Minecraft.
Previously: Lytro promises focus-free shooting