To do in NYC: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir present Earth Riot

We've been writing about Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping for nearly 20 years, tracing his remarkable spectacles of anti-consumerism around the world. Read the rest

Tickets for HOPE 2020 go on sale today!

Aestetix writes, "Our 13th conference is taking place next summer in a brand new location as you've probably heard. We expect it to be bigger and better than ever with lots more activities and space - all without leaving New York City! Since this is #13, we figured we'd make an initial batch of tickets available on November 13th at precisely 13:13 Eastern Time (that's 1:13 pm for those who don't do 24 hour clocks)." Read the rest

Oculus headset giving you a headache? Come see ye olde analog virtual reality in Los Angeles!

Image: Forest Casey

If you’re hankering for an unusual outing in Los Angeles, look no further than the Velaslavasay Panorama. Home to the only panorama west of the Mississippi and the only one painted since the nineteenth century, the Velaslavasay is the art form’s newest entry in its long and illustrious history. Panorama paintings were antiquity’s preferred immersive medium, predating film, VR and a much cheaper sightseeing trip than hopping aboard a train.

From the Velaslavasay Panorama website:

The Velaslavasay Panorama panoramic exhibition encircles the spectator within a fully enveloping atmosphere; a vast painting of a continuous surrounding landscape, accompanied by sound stimulation and three-dimensional elements, affords the viewer an opportunity to experience a complete sensory phenomenon. Historically, the panorama was an immersive 360-degree painted environment, often including a three-dimensional faux terrain in the foreground of the painting to enhance the illusion of depth and simulated reality. An early ancestor of the motion picture, the captivated public would visit these paintings-in-the-round as an entertainment or novelty, much along the same lines as the cinema is seen today.

Panoramas were widely accessible, extremely popular (and were lambasted for being so by art critics) and immensely entertaining. The decline in the proliferation of panoramas came about following the spread of cinema and became largely forgotten about, at least in the United States. Enter the Velaslavasay Panorama, first founded by Sara Velas in Hollywood and now located in West Adams. The Velaslavasay has both preserved and updated the medium, incorporating light and sound for a completely immersive panoramic experience. Read the rest

Today is Aaron Swartz Day

Lisa Rein writes, "Today, Saturday November 9th is Aaron Swartz Day all over the world. We have events going on all over the world here - with a Zoom channel and Gitters set up for questions that will be monitored from San Francisco all day (The San Francisco event details are here for FOIAPALOOZA). Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz at SF in SF, November 10

This Sunday, November 10th, see the wonderful science fiction writers Charlie Jane Anders (previously) and Annalee Newitz (previously) in conversation with Terry Bisson at the always-great SF in SF lecture series; doors open at 6PM at the American Bookbinders Museum (366 Clementina Alley) ($10/$8 students) with a post-show podcast from Somafm, and books on sale from our friends at Borderlands Books. Read the rest

Japanese film festival in Los Angeles this weekend, Nov 1-3, 2019

The Japan Cuts Hollywood film festival takes places this weekend at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Carla and I will be there. Japan House Los Angeles is curating three movies on Saturday:

37 SECONDS | Director HIKARI is an award-winning writer, producer and director.

TEN YEARS JAPAN | The executive producer is Hirokazu Kore-eda. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with three female Japanese directors.

NO LONGER HUMAN | The US Premiere of director Mika Ninagawa.

Read the rest

#NoTechForICE: Calling on ACM to cancel Palantir's sponsorship of the first ACM Symposium on Computer Science and Law

Next week, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will host its inaugural Symposium on Computer Science and Law, whose sponsors include Palantir, Peter Thiel's notorious surveillance-tech company, which just renewed a $49m contract with ICE to provide technological aid for ICE's ethnic cleansing program, which has included mass family separations and the deaths of children in custody. Read the rest

There will be another HOPE hacker con in 2020!

Aestetix writes, "We have good news. There will be a HOPE [ed: Hackers on Planet Earth, a beloved, NYC-based hacker con put on by 2600 Magazine] in 2020. And we expect it to be better than ever. For several months, we have been looking for a venue that would have the needed space and flexibility for HOPE. Thanks to the efforts of many - and the massive amount of suggestions and support from attendees - we've found a new location for the conference that's much, much better than what we had before. HOPE will take place at St. John's University in Queens from July 31st to August 2nd, 2020. It's still in New York City, easily accessible by mass transit, and well positioned to do everything we've done in the past." Read the rest

Crowdfunding a symposium on a green, postcapitalist economics in Brussels, Nov 11

On November 11, the Edgeryders nonprofit assocation is bringing me to Brussels for a day-long event called The Science Fiction Economics Lab, where I'll be jointly keynoting with Edgeryders economist Alberto Cottica, a lifelong science fiction fan, about radical futuristic economic ideas for a more cooperative, sustainable future. Read the rest

Come see me tomorrow in Portland, Maine with James Patrick Kelly!

I'm coming to Maine to keynote the Maine Library Association conference in Newry tomorrow (Sept 30); later that day, I'm appearing with James Patrick Kelly at the Portland, Maine Main Library, from 6:30PM-8PM (it's free and open to the public) This is the first time I've been to Maine, and I can't wait! Read the rest

Come see me in Toronto and Maine!

I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly). Read the rest

To do in San Francisco this Sunday: SF in SF with Hannu Rajaniemi & Christopher Brown

This Sunday, the outstanding SF in SF reading series hosts two outstanding authors: Hannu Rajaniemi (Summerland) and Christopher Brown (Rule of Capture). American Bookbinders Museum, 366 Clementina Alley. Doors at 6PM: $10 ($8 students with ID). Read the rest

Marina Abramovic in Belgrade

I have always liked Marina Abramovic, from her earliest works to the latest ones.

Read the rest

To do in San Francisco on Sunday: RE/Search's V.Vale and Rudy Rucker at City Lights

For decades, Happy Mutants met one another and got seriously warped by the astounding books and other media of RE/Search Press (previously), now, after a long drought, RE/Search is publishing a new book, Underground Living (RE/Search #19), featuring the photos of V.Vale ("early Ramones shows, Henry Rollins, Lydia Lunch, John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Kathy Acker, Survival Research Labs, and many more!"). The book launches this Sunday at San Francisco's legendary City Lights Books, where V.Vale will be in conversation with that happiest of mutants, the magnificent Rudy Rucker (previously). (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Where to catch me at Burning Man!

This is my last day at my desk until Labor Day: tomorrow, we're driving to Burning Man to get our annual dirtrave fix! If you're heading to the playa, here's three places and times you can find me: Read the rest

Tech conference changes policy, rescinds requirement for chipped, unremovable bracelets for attendees

Update: Justin Reese from Abstractions writes, "policy changes were implemented last night and additional changes were made this morning."

He adds, "The article was also inaccurate from the start by calling the wristbands surveillance devices in the title. They are only used to control access and don't track where users are or have been except in the case where the attendee has given explicit permission in their profiles to share with sponsors and completed a double opt-in by scanning their ID at the sponsor table (the read range is about 2"). Unless we receive a double opt-in, the ids on the wristband are never associated with a user. It is no more a surveillance device than any other conference badge. I'd appreciate a retraction of this inaccuracy and an update regarding our policies."

Reese is correct that the manufacturers design RFID chips to be read from inches; however, that doesn't mean that they can't be read from longer distances (for example, distant, directional antennas can read them at longer distances while they are being energized by a nearby reader). Likewise, the idea that users can't be identified from persistent, anonymous identifiers is incorrect.

It's a pretty good example of how a thin understanding of privacy issues in wireless technologies and statistical analysis can result in selecting authentication systems that expose users to privacy risks.

Sumana Harihareswara (previously) writes, "The Abstractions tech conference (Aug 21-23, in Pittsburgh) doesn't tell attendees this before they buy a ticket, but attendance requires you wear their wristband with an embedded tracking chip -- and that you don't take it off at night or in the shower till the conference ends. Read the rest

William Gibson, danah boyd and Oakland Privacy will all receive this year's EFF's Pioneer Award

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the winners of this year's Pioneer Award (rechristened the "Barlow" in honor of EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow: sf writer William Gibson, anthropologist danah boyd, and activists Oakland Privacy. Read the rest

More posts