When one man's screen cracked, our pal Doctor Popular saw an opportunity:
After a cat knocked knocked over his tv, Timothy Ryan Mulroney took a photo of the cracked screen and shared it on the Glitch Artists Collective on Facebook.
I thought it would make a great iPhone wallpaper… so I made it into one. You can download it here.
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I had no idea that the word "glitch" comes from Yiddish, the language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews that gave us words like "klutz," "nosh," and "shlep." From Air & Space:
Glitch is derived from glitsh, Yiddish for slippery place, and from glitshn, meaning to slide, or glide. Glitch was in use in the 1940s by radio announcers to indicate an on-air mistake. By the 1950s, the term had migrated to television, where engineers used glitch to refer to technical problems...
In Into Orbit, a 1962 book by the Mercury Seven, John Glenn mused about the word, which he evidently hadn’t used before joining the space program. “Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was ‘glitch.’ Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit….”
image: glitch art by Michael Betancourt (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Glitch is a simple and powerful open-source canvas for experimenting on the web—and after a year of beta testing, it's ready for artists and coders to get stuck in. If you want to make things online but get put off by complicated frameworks, the headache of server set up, and myriad incompatible platforms your work has to end up running on, Glitch might be for you.
I tinkered with it for the first time last week, and within minutes had overcome hurdles that I thought I'd never have the time or energy to figure out.
To a casual visitor, Glitch looks like YouTube, but for digital artwork and rudimentary games. You can even embed stuff there on your own site, just like video, though you have to click into the editing tools to get the snippets.
Dig in, though, and it turns into a simple but powerful coding environment: one that can't be messed up, no matter how hard you try. For me, it seems to offer all the freewheeling instant gratification of the early web, but with modern tools and technology -- and the chance to collaborate with other people without having to teach them Git. The promise of just focusing on art or application code seems almost alien to the modern web, but here it is, all without having to be my own sysadmin, security expert and full-stack drudge.
Best of all, you can take anything anyone's done, clone it, and tinker with it, and see the results change live: the best and fastest way to learn markup and scripting languages. Read the rest
The track is "Truth," by Lord Over, and the nightmarish AI video is the work of Artificial Nature. There's even a technical paper describing the techniques used: USING CONDITIONAL ADVERSARIAL NETWORKS TO CREATE A DIGITAL MASK. The man being cut up by computer is Fred Leuchter, I think, the death-chamber designer and holocaust denier.
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The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik considers whether the bizarre ending of the Oscars could have been another of many recent (ahem) glitches in the simulation we're living in. From The New Yorker:
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This wasn’t just a minor kerfuffle. This was a major malfunction. Trump cannot be President—forgetting all the bounds of ideology, no one vaguely like him has ever existed in the long list of Presidents, good, bad, and indifferent, no one remotely as oafish or as crude or as obviously unfit. People don’t say “Grab ’em by the pussy” and get elected President. Can’t happen. In the same way, while there have been Oscar controversies before—tie votes and rejected trophies—never before has there been an occasion when the entirely wrong movie was given the award, the speeches delivered, and then another movie put in its place. That doesn’t happen. Ever.
And so both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the N.Y.U. philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is support for the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.
Once this insight is offered, it must be said, everything else begins to fall in order.
BB pal Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler posted evidence of this curious glitch that manifested while he was using his fourth generation Apple TV. A restart eliminated it, but Dustin says, "I wish it was an option! I'd keep it if I could!"
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This gallery of public Blue Screen of Death crashes on screens is a great reminder that, as Vice's Rachel Pick says, "life is a farce." Read the rest
Behold the familiar forests, beaches and old houses you used to wander transformed into oddly beautiful glitches, or maybe just the face of a woman you once knew, but whose name you can't remember, half-dissolved by time.
In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes. Read the rest
A US Selective Service database merge used two-digit years, and didn't sanity-check its threatening notices to 19th century men who'd apparently failed to sign up for the draft by their 18th birthday. Read the rest
Nathaniel Stern straps modified document scanners to his body and then walks around, producing beautiful, glitched out art-images. Now he's taken his scanners to the bottom of the ocean. Read the rest
As Adobe Creative Suite struggles with its license-server outage, stranding creative professionals around the world without a way of earning their living, a timely reminder: a cloud computer is a computer you're only allowed to use if the phone company and a DRM-peddling giant like Adobe gives you permission, and they can withdraw that permission at any time. Read the rest
The Delhi police lost the password for a portal that hosted complaints that had been passed on by the Central Vigilance Commission after an initial vetting. 667 complaints had been judged serious enough to be passed onto the police since the password was lost in 2006, but none have been acted upon, because no one had the password. Now they have the password. Presumably, the 667 unserved complainants believed the police to be either too slow or incompetent to have gotten back to them. Read the rest
Shot at 240 frames per second, Li Hongbi's statues seem at first look to be a bizarre computer-graphic effect. But they are in fact incredible paper sculptures, a concertina of countless layers stretched this way and that. [Video link, via] Read the rest
NukemeShop's Etsy store sells a pair of awesome, glitched out coats, custom tailored in cotton with patterns by white coat and a black coat. They are both bad for the eyes in a very good way (as you'd expect from Nukeme). Read the rest
Stewart Butterfield tells how a few million dollars worth of art, created for a beloved massively-multiplayer game, ended up in the public domain after its death.