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Britain is on the verge of adopting the Digital Economy Bill without debate or scrutiny by Parliament. Among other things, the DEB provides for disconnection of entire households from the 'net if any member is accused -- without proof -- of infringing copyright.
Jim Killock from the UK Open Rights Group sez, "On Thursday, our 'Police' visited the offices of the BPI, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, and UK Music, and presented them with notice that the Digital Economy Bill is disconnected, from democracy, human rights, public opinion and sound business sense."
With the dread Digital Economy Bill in its final days of the UK Parliament, this is our last chance to demand that the government hold it over until after the election and give it the full debate it deserves. Please share this Open Rights Group video with your friends and colleagues and get them to write to their MP and ask for support for full debate.
I'm interested in finding out the different ways people create art, and this four-minute time lapse of Mark Ryden painting Incarnation is fascinating.
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UC Berkeley Ph.D. student Jeremy Maitin-Shepard, working with Prof. Pieter Abbeel, has developed software that enables a robot to fold towels. From the abstract to their scientific paper:
The robot begins by picking up a randomly dropped towel from a table, goes through a sequence of vision-based re-grasps and manipulations-- partially in the air, partially on the table--and ï¬nally stacks the folded towel in a target location. The reliability and robustness of our algorithm enables for the ï¬rst time a robot with general purpose manipulators to reliably and fully-autonomously fold previously unseen towels, demonstrating success on all 50 out of 50 single-towel trials as well as on a pile of 5 towels."Cloth Grasp Point Detection based on Multiple-View Geometric Cues with Application to Robotic Towel Folding" (Thanks, Ken Goldberg!)
If Guam had too many people on it, could it tip over? Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) is concerned about that. Seriously. (Thanks, COOP!)
Matt "Pirate's Dilemma" Mason teamed up with VICE/Palladium to shoot a short documentary on the current state of pirate radio in London (with an excursion to an old sea fort). Lots of climbing on roofs, setting up bootleg electronics in parking garages, loud music, and running away from radio cops. Nice work.
Mike Davey, a maker from Wisconsin, built a classic Turing Machine with a 1000 foot instruction tape that holds up to 10k. Though Turing's machine was just a thought experiment, the paper in which it is described has enough detail to create it in real life. The machining is absolutely lovely, and when it's in motion, it's a thing of beauty.
davidjr says: "I just filmed and released for free on YouTube my entire feature length documentary [One-Eyed Doll]. Didn't think the festival circuit would garner that many views, didn't want it to be in limbo, didn't think people would buy a DVD about a band they never heard of. I wanted to show my talents & the bands."
Punk rock meets poetics in an intimate view of Austin, Texas underground rock star, Kimberly Freeman, a beauty with an irresistible voice, magnetism and moves, who delivers a range of soulful original songs that reflect on her personal story and have a transforming influence on her fans.The trailer is above. Here's the full (1.5 hour) documentary
Filmmaker davidjr.com, aka David Bruce Bates, Jr., creates a portrait of Kimberly Freeman and her One-Eyed Doll band with one camera in this on-the-scene 'gonzo' style tour through back roads, basement rock houses and clubs from Austin to Harlem. One-Eyed Doll is the 2010 & 2009 Austin Music Awards winner for Best Punk Band.
Ebert likes it, and that's about all I need to know. Those of you, both men and women, who are old enough to have enjoyed "electroclash" back when it was called "new wave" and came out on vinyl will likely find much to enjoy. It's sort Hangover meets H.G. Wells meets 80s nostalgia, meets a dude in a bear suit and sex jokes.
Cusack, as Ebert writes in his review, pretty much rules in everything—even goofy escapist fare such as this. As the Village Voice headline aptly explains, "The Delorean's a jacuzzi and the 80s are back." Snip from a Chicago Sun-Times interview:
Q. With a name like "Hot Tub Time Machine," you have a lot to live up to.Boing Boing readers and internet continuity extremists will note that the comedy contains a few elements of historical fudging with regard to when the internet and email were invented, and by whom. And that is why FSM invented comment threads, my children.
Cusack: I sort of thought it was the other way around. If you have a title like "Hot Tub Time Machine," that's a stupid title. Maybe people are going to think the people who made it have lost their mind completely. When they go in and see it, they're going to be so pleasantly surprised ... [Laughs] It's pretty hard for people to say "Hot Tub Time Machine" does not live up to the artistic expectations we had.
Q: Why did you decide to produce this movie?
Cusack: Grace [Loh, his production partner] and I thought this would be ... very smart, post-modern and very dumb. Post-modern in the way that you have a movie within a movie. You have actors who were in these '80s movies going back to movies that, it's almost like Crispin [Glover] and I and Chevy [Chase] kind of being trapped into a version of film youth. We thought that mixture could be a pretty fun ride for a comedy if you get it right.
I first heard this heart-stopping song from 1919 by Greek singer Marika Papagika on Ian Nagoski's Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Music (a compilation released on the Dust-to-Digital label a few years ago). I have since tried to track down everything else the woman ever sang. Thankfully, Ian is already on the trail for us all, and will be releasing a new compilation of her music on his Canary Records label, an imprint of Portland Oregon's phenomenal Mississippi Records. You'll be able to get it here sometime in May.
Here are a few more tastes from Black Mirror, courtesy of Ian:
Listen to more outstanding recordings on his new blog and on-line radio show, fonotopia.
Above, a video for the Massive Attack track "Splitting the Atom," directed by Edouard Salier. This was one of several new videos screened at the FLUX event in LA last night, for Massive Attack's recently-released fifth album Heligoland. Dazed and Confused has more videos and more on the making of, including work directed by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. Each of the videos form part of a film project for Heligoland.
The band commissioned seven low-budget videos - most of which are still in the making - by both established names and those with little experience of directing. "We are always keen not to be in the videos, and not to compromise the idea by having to make an appearance," says Del Naja. "But on the whole it has been a case of carte blanche with the directors, to the extent where we said: 'We will give you the stems of the tracks and you can use whichever components you want, loop some parts, take the vocals out...' We have always been totally unprecious."Not all of the videos are work-safe. Directed by Toby Dye, the video for "Paradise Circus" is here on the band's blog, and contains explicit content.
And I always thought those designer vinyl toys were made by legions of retired Ultramen proudly operating the nanoassemblers in a slick, efficient, clean room facility. Max Toys' Mark Nagata visits a Kaiju vinyl factory in Tokyo (Thanks, COOP!)
Last night, a gang of us went to see Andy Nyman's Ghost Stories, a horror stage-show on at the Hammersmith Lyric theatre in London. I know Andy through his work as a writer/director for Derren Brown's excellent shows, and the times I've met him, he's struck me as a sweet, laid-back guy, so even though I'd heard Ghost Stories was properly scary, I went in feeling pretty easy about the evening.
That lasted until about the third second of the show. I don't want to give away any spoilers by telling you too much about the plot, but I can tell you this: Andy plays a parapsychologist giving a lecture to an audience about the absurdity of believing in ghost stories. His character is also sweet, though not very laid back, and the stories he recounts are, in fact, scary as fuck. Especially when combined with the most menacing sound-design I've ever had vibrate through my colon, and some extremely clever staging, and really excellent acting from the small cast.
There were about eight of us last night -- including a couple of magicians, some game designers, and various kind of media creators -- and every one of us came out of there visibly shaken. When we got home, my wife made me get out of bed to make sure the doors were all locked (and I turned on the lights before I did).
The show runs until April 17, and there's even a midnight show on Friday. I don't get out very often -- the exigencies of having a toddler at home -- and every time I do, I ask myself whether this is going to be worth the expense in babysitters and missed sleep (the kid gets up at 5AM every day). This one was absolutely worth it.
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