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October 31, 2004

iPod Costume

Halloween_2004.jpg image
"No, really. Just hit 'menu.'"

Original Image [NoiseInTheChannel]

Posted by tshey at 08:56 PM

Steampunk mecha-wars

Cory Doctorow: Steam Wars is an elaborate concept for a movie about steam-punk mecha-wars, an alternate history in which th 19th century is dominated by wars between giant, steam-powered killer robots. Link (Thanks, Andy!)

Posted by tshey at 08:46 PM

Jon Stewart will destroy television!

Cory Doctorow: Brian Dear evaluates Jon Stewart-and-co's latest appearance on C-SPAN and predicts that Stewart will destroy television!
The panelists took turns reading from their book, America: The Book. It's amazing how much coverage this book gets on C-SPAN. But these guys are not normal book authors, and they're not there to push the book. They're there to destroy TV as we know it.

I believe that Stewart and company are trying to revolutionize television by tearing down its conventional standards and practices. First, dress inappropriately, like a slacker. Stewart's starting to dress like Bill Murray in the early scenes of Stripes. Second, resort to language that's simply not said on television, certainly not C-SPAN. Speak as many four-letter words as possible, so the television audience members marvel in the fact that there are no bleeps like there are on The Daily Show, only occasional and entirely useless on-screen warnings that this program contains bad language. Duh!

Prediction: Stewart and company are going to get C-SPAN in big trouble, and somebody's going to try to fine or indict C-SPAN for breaking FCC rules. You watch: some congressman is going to take this one for a ride, and sick the FCC on them but good.

Link (Thanks, Brian!)

Posted by tshey at 08:40 PM

Steven Johnson's next: "Everything Bad Is Good For You"

Cory Doctorow: Steven Johnson, author of the wonderful books Emergence and Mind Wide Open, has just blogged some info about his next book, "Everything Bad Is Good For You."
It's just me trying to marshal all the evidence I can to persuade the reader of a single long-term trend: that popular culture on average has been steadily growing more complex and cognitively challenging over the past thirty years. The dumbing-down, instant gratification society assumption has it completely wrong. Popular entertainment is making us smarter and more engaged, not catering to our base instincts.

I call this long-term trend the Sleeper Effect, after that famous Woody Allen joke from his mock sci-fi film where a team of scientists from 2029 are astounded that 20th-century society failed to grasp the nutritional merits of cream pies and hot fudge. (In conversation, I sometimes describe this book as the Atkins diet for pop culture.) Over the course of the book, I look at everything from Grand Theft Auto to "24," from Finding Nemo to "Dallas," from "Hill Street Blues" to "The Sopranos," from "Oprah" to "The Apprentice." There's some material about the internet, too, though less than you might suspect.

Link (Thanks, Steven!)

Posted by tshey at 01:23 AM

Tiny Humans update #4

David Pescovitz: Scientific American interviews Peter Brown, who led the startling discovery of Boing Boing's new mascot, the meter-tall human species Homo floresiensis that lived on the Indonesian island of Flores as recently as 13,000 years ago.
"Looking at the distribution of small-bodied animals around the world today, they tend to occur in rainforests... And certainly that's where small-bodied humans tend to be found. We don't know much about the paleoenvironment on Flores yet, but everything's consistent with it being heavily rainforested back in the Pleistocene and probably heavily rainforested until agricultural humans arrived and started clearing the rainforest. The fauna is consistent with that sort of environment as well. Maybe there just wasn't a lot to eat. The island is only about 14,000 square kilometers, there's not a lot of it there. So I think the most likely scenario is that as part of their adaptation to [having fewer] calories living in a rainforest--and maybe thermoregulation as well--there was this long-term selection for smaller body size."

Posted by tshey at 01:22 AM

October 30, 2004

Moby's new shoppe

MobyIt seems electronica god Moby is really into this comics thing. He's been seen hanging around MOCCA in New York, and now he's opening new boutique/pop culture store called The Little Idiot on the Lower East Side that will have a number of comics tie-ins. Moby already opened a tea shop, TeaNY, nearby [with Kelly Tisdale, who deserves more than half the credit. --ts]. The opening is this Saturday. The shop will include clothing designed by Moby, James Kochalka, Sara Varon, and other NYC cartoonists. Kochalka designed new characters for the clothes, "a little bear named Pascal, and Creston, the strange creature who is his friend." Kochalka will also have artwork on display and for sale in the store.

Relevant info:

The Little Idiots Collective
231B Eldridge St.
New York, NY 10002

Opening, Saturday, October 30th.

The store has a website, but it's "coming soon" as they say.

Posted by tshey at 04:20 PM

Cellphones And Their Uses

Here is a survey portraying the top three functions used most frequently on a portable device.

[Source: Jupiter Research/Ipsos-Insight Consumer Survey]

Hm, I most definitely use text messaging the most, then voice, then games. I barely ever use the camera feature, listen to music, or use the internet. How about you guys?

Posted by tshey at 04:15 PM

By gaijin for gaijin

Part Two of Chris Palmieri's "Japanese typography on the Web and beyond" is up. It is authoritative. (Incidentally, Chris and Eiko's AQWorks - not to be confused with A.Q. Khan - may offer the most succinctly-stated value proposition to Japan-based Web design clients I have ever seen. More power to 'em!)

Posted by tshey at 04:12 PM

New Work From Copper Greene

While we were in China, Copper Greene (the artist behind the iPod/iRaq posters that went up back in May) unleashed a new campaign. This time he's jamming Citicorp.

Here's what it looked like:

Posted by tshey at 04:09 PM

The Technology of Terror

This column is usually dedicated to advanced media technology. We focus on the art and science of moving images, sound and graphics, consumer touch points and the many ways that brands, advertisers, creatives and producers can get their messages out. The goal is usually to aggregate as many like-minded people as possible and sell them something - an idea, a product or a service.

Today, we watched a very disturbing demonstration of technology. Advanced Media in the wrong hands, absent leadership or common sense, is extremely dangerous.

Osama bin Laden made a videotape - 1960's technology, no big deal. Every news organization in America ran parts of it in every possible format yet conceived by man: television, Internet, broadband, graphics, stills, .mpg, .mp3, .avi, .wmv, .mov, .doc, html, xml, newspaper, outdoor Times Square display, wap, mms, sms, text pager, you name it ... it was served.

Here's my problem. Without appropriate leadership, this astonishing dissemination of information is remarkably bad for the good guys. The media often works for the wrong team in an emergent news situation, its part of the problem of the commercial television business model. But today was simply absurd. No change in national alert status, only a minor mention of the ubiquitous tape from the President, no mention of it from any other department. The pundits and talking heads say that both candidates are scared of the tape because taking a stand could backfire just moments from election day. But, don t worry while the politicians were running for cover Osama got his message out. He scared a lot of people today and the news media helped him do it.

Today we fell for the technological equivalent of "watch this hand." If you let terrorists terrorize you, they win. Perhaps we can keep this in mind as we apply our craft. The American public deserves better from our industry.

Posted by tshey at 02:50 PM

Chinatown Car Crash Chaos

2004_10_suvcrash.JPGIt's bad enough when a driver loses control of a car and the car jumps a curb. But yesterday's crash in Chinatown was filled with terrible things: A Toyota RAV4 SUV apparently hit a curb, blew a tire, and hurtled into a crowd hitting mourners at a funeral and a pregnant woman; the victims have been released from hospitals or are in stable condition (including the pregnant woman). The driver and passenger ran from the car, because mourners grabbed the them from the car and started to beat them (click this link for the NY Times story, which paints a frenzied picture of what it must have been like). NY1 reports that the police said they ran because they feared for their safety. Yeah, Gothamist can say with authority that if you hit a procession of funeral mourners and a pregnant woman, you're a ripe target for vigilante justice.

Posted by tshey at 02:49 PM

October 29, 2004

Secular saint of the future


Tron (I kid you not) theatre company are staging a play about Delia Derbyshire [official site, Wikipedia] the co-composer / performer of the Dr. Who theme, amongst her other pioneering works at the Radiophonic Workshop [BBC, Wikipedia]

In their words:

"But there is much more to Delia's story then one totemic piece of music. Through Delia, her creativity and personal life, the show will explore the imaginative landscape of post-war Britain, the advent of the space race and of psychedelia, the impact of mass broadcast media and of new technology on the creation of music, and above all what it was that made so many people in the 1960s look to the future for their inspiration"
Don't know about you, but that's a lot of my buttons pushed. I doubt they will tour Helsinki, however.

I love the picture of her* (above) that they have used for the promotional material for the play. Defiant stare, hugging the tech of her trade. A devotional image for disciples of futures past.

Our lady Delia of the tape-loop.

* I assume, perhaps it's the actress that plays her in the production

Posted by tshey at 05:26 PM



This picture proves that I voted for Kerry and for about 15 people I know close to nothing about...also, that I love ramen enough to make a ramen collage for my wall.

Excerpted from Andrea's absentee ballot photo essay. Don't forget to vote! Voter's Information Guide >>

Posted by tshey at 05:18 PM

The House of Wigs

This copywriter's blog is great. For example...

I mean, what's wrong with treating something as a day job? Day jobs are perfectly respectable. We're all here to make rent money by tricking people into buying things, right, so why try to elevate it? Is it because you've been forced to admit that you're never going to be a writer or painter or CEO because you're not good enough and anyway now you have to fake-tan your disappointed spouse and be emotionally supportive of your ever-growing brood of white gangstas and so a) you need lots of cash and b) you'd rather work long hours than go home to that, and c) you need to pretend that making web banners is somehow meaningful or else the weight of a lifetime of failure and shame will crush you right to death? Yes of course it is! Ahaha I figured it out.

(via CP)

Posted by tshey at 05:05 PM

Falling on Def Ears

A great story on Def Jam Enterprises' mobile ambitions...and why not? "I live wireless," said Russell Simmons... "Right now I've got a phone in my ear, a phone in my lap and a BlackBerry in my left hand. That's just what I do."

The story gushes a bit, but the going will be difficult in this already crowded market... Def Jam wants to ride its music and hip-hop culture creds and channel that into wireless. Surely, others more younger outfits like Bad Boy Entertainment and Roc-a-Fella wouldn't be far behind...

But it will be an interesting battle to watch... much more than perhaps what we've seen in the music market.

Related: Def Jam Goes Mobile

Posted by tshey at 02:04 PM

Pick Up Your Cell Phone to be a Singer

ktf_audition.jpg Wanna-be-stars might have another chance to get an audition. KTF, the nation s second largest mobile carrier, announced Thursday that it will audition singer-wanna-bes through Magic n, its wireless Internet service. KTF will provide the winner with financial support to make his/her debut album. via Telecoms Korea.

The preliminary contest will be a mobile audition and contestants who passed the first round are entitled to get an offline audition. A debut song of the winner will be serviced in forms of MOD, ring tone, music video, ring back tone.

Posted by tshey at 01:52 PM

Send 19secret: Anonymous Text Messages

anonsms-homepageflowchart.gif 19secret.com, launched today by Beep Interactive Pty Ltd, is a service that allows people to send anonymous and masked ( spoofed ) SMS messages from their mobile phone. (Company press release).

Usually when you send an SMS, the sender s number is displayed and the recipient can identify whom it is from. With 19secret you can hide the sender s number (an anonymous SMS) or replace it with another name or number (masked SMS).

With numerous applications, 19secret is expected to appeal to the late teenager/early 20s markets. Potential applications include:

- Sending a secret admirer SMS, before you have the courage to approach a girl/boy you like.

- Ask friends to send you feedback on a certain topic in the form of an anonymous message. Without as much risk of personally offending, answers are more likely to be direct and truthful.

- Send an anonymous tip-off (e.g. a friend s boyfriend is cheating on them) thereby avoiding the "shoot the messenger" mentality.

- If you leave your phone at home, or it is out of power, you can borrow a friend's phone, send a message and make sure any response is sent back to your phone.

Posted by tshey at 01:49 PM

October 28, 2004

Alex Ross - Village Voice cover


Posted by tshey at 10:23 PM

Bush and Dog Poop

It may be because we're still groggy from jet lag (although we don't think so) but Made You Think has got to be one of the funniest examples of street art we've seen all year. How can you not love dog poo with little Bush flags sticking out of them. Brilliant.

Posted by tshey at 10:11 PM

Gravatar, avatars for bloggers

Tom Werner's got a cool little service called Gravatar, which lets you display a unique icon next to the posts or comments of authors. Your icon is tied to your email address, so your unique picture can appear at any place that you comment, as long as Gravatar is enabled on the site. If you're interested in trying it out, there's even a Movable Type plugin for implementing the service on your weblog.

Posted by tshey at 10:09 PM

The Stop Motion Studies (SMS)

David Crawford: "The Stop Motion Studies are a series of experimental documentaries that chronicle my interaction with subway passengers in cities around the world. The aim of the project is to create an international character study based on the aspects of identity that emerge. SMS is one of the exhibitions at the Microwave International Media Art Festival 2004, held in Hong Kong from october 28 through November 11.


"It is said that 90% of human communication is non-verbal. In these photographs, the body language of the subjects becomes the basic syntax for a series of Web-based animations exploring movement, gesture, and algorithmic montage. Many sequences document a person's reaction to being photographed by a stranger. Some smile, others snarl, still others perform."

Posted by tshey at 10:01 PM

iPod Gets Pix

Indexphotothumbs10262004 Apple has just announced the color iPod with Pix. Wow! The newest member of the iPod family, iPod Photo comes in two sizes: a 40GB model, available for $499, and a capacious 60GB model that sells for $599. Both feature a razor sharp LCD display that lets you see your photos in vivid color -- 65,536 colors, to be exact. And with its built-in backlighting, you'll be able to admire those photos indoors or out.

Once again, the future is obvious - Apple wants to be the center of your personal media life. Although they have about 65% of the personal music player market, they are looking ahead to the rest of the media you use every day - and it's a smart play.

Yes, these little gems are too expensive and yes, their value can be calculated in the category of parlor trick. And, it's true that seeing pictures on a device of this type is not as emotionally satisfying as some of the more traditional choices.

That being said, this is a very future thinking little toy. These new iPods remind me of the very first Sony Walkman audio cassette player which took Sony to its multi-national status. Hey, wait a minute ... why is a computer company taking Sony's rightful place as the pre-eminent, bleeding edge purveyor of personal electronics? That, Ladies and Gentlemen is the real question. See you at CES.

Posted by tshey at 09:55 PM


Hot off the press from EYEBEAM R & D is the FundRace Block Party! which identifies Democrats and Republicans in your (or any) neighborhood so if you want to party with people you like or with people you hate, or to organize a trip to a swingstate with your neighbors, click below on Mr. Heinz (way to go, Johnny!) or Mr. InternetS:


Wouldn't hurt if in between keg stands you made a phone call or two to PA, FLA, OH, NV..., ..., ..., ... Fill in with states Howard Dean screamed.

Go Kerry!!!

Posted by tshey at 09:51 PM

Billboard Begins Tracking Cellphone Ring

bb_cover.gif Billboard is creating a Hot Ringtones chart, reports according to Fox41.com. It will track the songs that are downloaded to cellphones and are played when the phone rings.

Billboard will collect data from each of the major ringtone distributors and wireless carriers.

The chart will reflect the top 20 polyphonic ringtone sales for each week. It will include song title, artist, previous week's position and number of weeks on the chart.

The chart will make its debut in the November sixth issue.

Posted by tshey at 11:02 AM

October 22, 2004



[Originally from http://www.happygolarry.com/2004/10/13/bulge via MacMinute]

Posted by tshey at 11:35 PM

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Goes to Spin Alley

[Donwload this now!! --ts] A game Ken Mehlman fields the question, "If George Bush took a dump on stage tonight, how would you spin that? Would you say, 'The President looked comfortable up there?'" These and many other highlights ("Can you spin a woman into thinking you don't look gross in the shower?" "If you're going to be anti gay marriage, you're going to have to take that pole out of your ass.") from Triumph's trip to Spin Alley, a.k.a. "Poop Valhalla."

Poop Valhalla [I'm Just Sayin']

UPDATE: You broke his blog. Some mirrors:

Rooftop Report

Posted by tshey at 11:33 PM

Santa Is Real

Posted by tshey at 11:19 PM

TV explodes (Jon Stewart & Crossfire)

What's fascinating about the Jon Stewart takedown of Crossfire is not just what he said but how his message got distributed.

Terry Heaton reports that there have been almost 400,000 downloads of the segment at iFilm (which is how I saw it) ... in addition to countless (literally, countless) BitTorrent downloads. This was a flood of viral distribution that came from viral promotion.

Welcome to the future of TV!

In old TV, a moment like this came and if you missed it, you missed it. Tough luck. In new TV, you don't need to worry about watching it live -- live is so yesterday -- because thousands of peers will be keeping an eye out for you to let you know what you should watch (we call that metadata now) and they'll record it and distribute it.

The really stupid thing is that CNN didn't do this themselves: Hey, we had a red-hot segment with tsunami star Jon Stewart strangling our guys with a bow tie; you should watch; here, please, look at this free download because it will promote our bow-tie boy and our brand and our show and give us a little of that Stewart hip heat. That's what CNN should have done. Instead, they'll charge you to deliver a videotape (what's that?) the next day.

(Continued at BuzzMachine)

(Also check out:The Future of Television: Crossfire Downloads Exceed Broadcast Audience for more stats. thx revgeorge!)

Posted by tshey at 11:03 PM

2004 Saddest Salad Bar in NYC Award

Goes to....

This salad bar!


Posted by tshey at 10:52 PM

Regret the Error

A novel new blog that reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications, and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in North American media. The blog format really works well for this one.

Posted by tshey at 10:18 PM

Times Square Billboard Asks New Yorkers to Vote

timessquare.jpg New Yorkers aren't exactly shy about voicing their opinions, and in this election year everyone wants their voice to be heard and their vote to be counted.

For the first time ever, an interactive billboard in Times Square is serving as a public forum for New Yorkers to debate, "What is beautiful?". As they cast their vote via cell-phone, a running tally appears in real-time on the billboard and the website simultaneously, Campaign for Real Beauty.

This is the first time cell phones have been used not only to vote directly to a Times Square billboard but also the first time the vote actually appears on the billboard itself.

So what is everyone talking about? The image of Irene Sinclair, a 96 year old woman and first-time model whose wrinkled face joins those of supermodels on other Times Square billboards. Irene's image stands sixty-nine feet high and forty-four feet wide above the Marriott Marquis (46th & Broadway). New Yorkers decide if she's "Wrinkled?" or "Wonderful?" as the ad questions "Will society ever accept old can be beautiful?"

The interactive billboard is part of beauty brand Dove's global Campaign for Real Beauty, which challenges the stereotypical view of beauty. [Company press release].

Related billboards and SMS Marketing schemes:

-- Ford Fiesta ad campaign combines interactive billboards with SMS - Advertising Agency Ogilvy, in a European first, has launched a new ad campaign for the Ford Fiesta, combining interactive billboards with SMS.

-- Yahoo! Billboard Goes Live in Times Square - To promote its automotive Web site, Yahoo! and interactive shop R/GA have created a billboard that allows pedestrians to play a video game broadcast on part of the 23-stories-tall Reuters sign in Times Square here via their cell phones.

-- High Tech Billboard will respond to Text Messages - Coca-Cola unveiled one of the world's biggest and most sophisticated billboards, switched on in Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London. The 99-foot-wide neon colossus can respond to the weather and interact with people looking at it from the ground.

-- Cell Phones, Billboards Play Tag - Hypertag technology, enabling mobile users to point and click their cell phones at a movie poster and access digital content and Cool123 has a patent pending for a similar sounding interactive SMS service. enabling mobile users "to interact with advertising such as billboards, product packaging or other media strategies using keywords or codes".

Posted by tshey at 02:46 PM

Jay J Armes

The guy in the middle is the famous and pioneering American private investigator Jay J Armes, who lost both his hands in an explosives accident as a kid. He learned to use those hooks they gave him and became immensely successful and wealthy. He's the guy who rescued Marlon Brando's son from kidnappers. I mean, this guy once had his own action figure (my little brother owned it). I read his co-authored memoir, many years ago. Amazing person.

All that said: isn't this a really fucking disturbing picture?

Posted by tshey at 02:28 PM

Big Brother TV village

Next spring, Germany's version of the Big Brother reality TV show will be aired from a small town mimicking The Truman Show concept.

In the movie, a man called Truman is the subject of a 24-hour TV programme that monitors his every living moment for a worldwide audience.


In the city currently being built outside Hamburg, there will be a forest, a church tower, shops, schools and businesses. Contestants will live there for years (well, as long as the show draws audience); falling in love, going to school, even getting married. The producers hope to lure in businesses to employ them, teachers to teach them and doctors to care for the sick.

Producer Rainert Laux said they would handpick the "very best group, all unemployed" and "hope couples will get pregnant and family groups will interact with all the usual family frictions."

The BB city will allow fans of the show visits to the community to see the residents just as if they were visiting a zoo.

As today is not April 1st and the news comes from The Guardian, it might not be a hoax. But still, I find it difficult to believe.

Posted by tshey at 02:25 PM

October 21, 2004

In San Francisco next week

For friends in the SF area: I'll be in town Sunday through Wednesday for the CTIA conference and would love to catch up, as it's been forever since I've been out there. Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to meet up.

Posted by tshey at 07:57 PM

Diamond Select to release Puppet Angel!

smiletime2sm.jpg A half-scale replica of our favourite puppet prop from "Smile Time" will be available to buy in March. And get this, it'll come with a "faux leather coat, boots and a mouth that opens and closes".

[rachel and i were just talking last week about how someone needs to do this. this is awesome!!! --ts]

(preview image here)

Posted by tshey at 06:05 PM

Death Cab for Cutie (Gothamist Interview)

Once upon a time, in a college town in the Pacific Northwest, four young men formed a band. They chose a name (the title of a Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band song that appeared in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour), made a few records, developed a local and regional presence, and unglamorously toured the country in that grueling, indie, young twenty-something kind of way. They worked hard and remained modest, cultivating a following and garnering critical acclaim. All was calm in the land of Death Cab for Cutie when a surprise-hit television show dropped down from the sky. The band would be name-dropped in the script, and one of their songs would be broadcast on-air in millions of households. Since that fateful day, Death Cab have been pretty much everywhere doing pretty much everything, including the recent political ventures such as Vote For Change concert tour with Pearl Jam and the Future Soundtrack for America compilation.


Death Cab for Cutie are Ben Gibbard (guitar, vocals), Chris Walla (guitar), Nick Harmer (bass) and Jason McGerr (drums). They are currently on their fall tour, stopping in New York tomorrow night. [and D.C. this weekend -- ts] Gothamist has attended an embarrassing number of their many New York shows in the last 12 months, but only because they've played so ridiculously many. So many, in fact, we suspect they might know a few things about New York that we do not. Nick Harmer lets us in on some of his insights, below.


Posted by tshey at 10:06 AM

October 20, 2004

Ben and Mena Trott are ReBlogging at Eyebeam

Our new guest rebloggers are the husband and wife team that created Moveable Type, the blogging software that powers this site. They are the co-founders of Six Apart, a company that now has venture funding, dozens of employees, and offices in multiple countries. In addition to Movable Type, SixApart offers TypePad, one of the most popular hosted blog services and a great place to sign up if you want to create your own blog. We have had excellent guests in the past, but it is a real treat to have two people whose work has been so important to this new medium. Note: This week Ben is working at Six Apart Japan so we will probably hear more from Mena.

And big up to Kathleen for making savvy picks the last two weeks.

Posted by tshey at 11:54 PM

Amy Sedaris, Jerri Blank and Me.


Ever since I was introduced to the first season of Strangers With Candy I have loved the hilariously irreverent, super smart series and especially the offensive, disgusting, adoreable and loveable Jerri Blank character (brought to brilliant life by the one and only Amy Sedaris).

This Saturday in Billy's Bakery on 10th Ave & 21st I spotted the amazingly talented Amy Sedaris who has more funny bones than regular bones. I said to my friend, "Living in New York and seeing celebrities all the time makes me completely unfazed by them but there are three celebrities that can tongue tie me: Jon Stewart, Bjork and Amy Sedaris."

I walked up to her and asked if I could take a picture with her. She sweetly replied, "Oh, sure!" and then pointed at my engagement ring mischeviously and said, "If I can wear that!" Suddenly I became dorkier and more psychotic by the second and replied, "Really?! Of course you can!" while thinking, "OH MY GOD!! WHAT'S HAPPENING?!?!" Then I told her that I love Jerri Blank and she immediately went into character and said, "Oh good, then I'll play Jerri Blank!" Nearly brain damaged with delight, I leaned into her (exuberant nerd face exhibited above), she lifted her mug so the ring was a-sparkling, I took the picture in my characteristic way and when I looked at the viewfinder I saw that she was Jerri Blank. For a second, I was able to hang out with Jerri (and Jonah was momentarily engaged to Jerri). Now with this post, I am also able to immortalize my fervent dorkdom.

She was so nice and cute and as I buzzed out of Billy's, I think a cab ran over my foot but I'm not sure.

(read the rest at Andreaharner.com)

Posted by tshey at 01:18 PM

Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark

Tired of blaring TV sets at shops, bars and waiting rooms? A new universal remote called the TV-B-Gone lets users turn off virtually any set. A trial run in the streets of San Francisco shows the device to be quite effective. By Steven Bodzin.
Sanders Li's paper plate held nothing but a crumpled napkin. His meal finished, he lingered. His unblinking eyes gazed at Sex and the City on a 15-inch color TV over the counter at Nizario's Pizza on 18th Street in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood Sunday evening.
In the middle of a scene, the TV turned off.
For 10 seconds, Li kept looking, waiting, not blinking through his glasses. At last, he left his stool, trashed his plate and emerged into the cool autumn night.
Leaving, he passed 48-year-old Mitch Altman, who was twiddling a matte-black plastic fob on his key chain. Altman's blue and purple hair reflected the pizza shop's neon, and he was smiling excitedly.
"We just saved him several minutes of his life," he said.
Li agreed. He said he didn't care that the TV was gone, even though he had been watching the show.
Altman's key-chain fob was a TV-B-Gone, a new universal remote that turns off almost any television. The device, which looks like an automobile remote, has just one button. When activated, it spends over a minute flashing out 209 different codes to turn off televisions, the most popular brands first.
(full article)

Posted by tshey at 01:17 PM

Sinclair Update

ts: Most of you have probably heard by now (I hope) of the Sinclair Broadcast Group -- which owns broadcast stations in 25% of US markets and whose executives are among the top donors to the Bush campaign -- and its plans to air an anti-Kerry documentary on stations across the country, including several swing states. Following is the latest post from the blog of the Boycott Sinclair Broadcast Group, who have been leading efforts to pull advertisers from the affiliates.

In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of MediaMatters today (because of your work in causing the stock price to fall, might I add) , Sinclair has issued a statement. The release contains the statement (emphasis mine):

Contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary "Stolen Honor" in its entirety. At no time did Sinclair ever publicly announce that it intended to do so. In fact, since the controversy began, Sinclair's website has prominently displayed the following statement: "The program has not been videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are based on ill-informed sources."

Really? Really? Never were going to show Stolen Honor? How about this listing in the Yahoo! television section, for our local Kansas City Sinclair affiliate:

Folks, we're close but we're not there yet. The move to a new Friday "documentary" is not nearly enough to let us yield, not yet. We have now nearly 100 advertiser pullouts, with more coming in daily.

Remember, it was the work of you that caused the stock price to fall. We can succeed in this. We're so close, and we will not give in. Keep fighting.

Posted by tshey at 10:55 AM

October 18, 2004

Heather liked you better before you sold out

caterina posted a photo:

Heather liked you better before you sold out

Posted by tshey at 11:39 AM

October 17, 2004

High Stakes 2004: Whedon Fans for John Kerry

From the site:
In every four-year term there is a chosen one. He alone will face the American public, the United Nations, and the forces of darkness. He is the President.
The Kerry/Edwards campaign would like to invite everyone to host or attend parties across the nation to celebrate the genius of Joss Whedon and learn more about John Kerry and John Edwards. Mr. Whedon will calling to tell us about his latest exploits and why he is supporting John Kerry for President and John Edwards for Vice President.
Whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, a Independent, undecided, or a flesh-eating demon, you don't want to miss this chance to hear from Joss. It will be shiny.

Posted by tshey at 09:11 PM

October 16, 2004

Jon Stewart jacks CNN's Crossfire. Alt torrent on DV Guide.

I just finished watching Jon Stewart's appearance on today's Crossfire for the second time. It was one of those truly surreal moments that just aren't supposed to happen on teevee.

The original place where I found the torrent is down so I posted a mirror to DV Guide. Enjoy.

Posted by tshey at 12:05 PM

a user guide for reblog 0.9.

For months, people have contributed to the unmediated reBlog by posting to their own blogs or their del.icio.us links. I'd take these posts in through reBlog and add text, images, and reformat links as necessary. Since upgrading to reBlog version 0.9, I've handed over reBlogging duties to a group of eight editors (including myself) who are responsible for reBlogging up to 3-4 posts a week, and hopefully spreading the reblogging love across several people.

Because of this, I've put together a quick "user guide" for reBlog 0.9. It doesn't cover reBlog installation or upgrade, but it does give basic instructions for sorting, editing, and publishing a reBlog.

Posted by tshey at 10:50 AM

Funeral Price Search Engine

kakaku_funeral.png imageDead? No? That's too bad -- we've got a hot deal for you. The hot Death market has lead Japanese mega-price search site kakaku.com to open a new section they're simply calling "Sougi," meaning "funeral." Though the funeral price-search engine currently covers only the greater Tokyo and Kanagawa areas, the company is planning on expanding it to other regions of the country.

Users choose their preferred funeral from "cremation," "family and friends funeral," "general funeral," (of which there are two variations), "company funeral," and finally "production funeral." The respective estimated attendees are at 10, 30, 40, 100 (the second variation of general), and 500 people for each particular type. The next step is to select your region, and you will then be presented with a price list of "funeral providers" in that area offering the type of funeral you have selected. You can even access data such as "which religions are supported" (Buddhist, Shinto, Christian, None), whether or not the funeral provider accepts requests online, and year of establishment.

In the interest of internet journalism, we went ahead and died, and selected "company funeral." The lowest price we were presented with for this funeral type was 4,300,000 yen - about $39,000 USD.

Posted by tshey at 12:31 AM

Virtual gamers step offline

The Alter Ego exhibition in London juxtaposes a person's real life image with the virtual character s/he chooses to adopt in online games and 3D worlds.

Photo-journalist Robbie Cooper wanted to see if and how people's real lives were echoed in their avatars.


The persons he photographed are from Europe and USA, but he plans to further document this translation of identities in South Korea, which has the largest online gaming population.

The Alter Ego exhibition is on at the Proud Gallery from 8 to 28 October.

BBC News.

Posted by tshey at 12:26 AM

A robot predisposed to alcohol

Robot are more and more able to emulate humans and animals. The Humanoid Robotics Laboratory in Austria believes they lack a crucial characteristic: robots will be just robots if they are only our intelligent, cheap workers and adjutants. To get less boring robots should get mankind's most striking feature the pursuit of its own advantage.

barboot.gif barboot2.gif

So they made the Bar Bot, driven by self interest, its only aim is to drink beer. In order to achieve this goal in bars, it asks people for coins and spends them as soon as there is enough for a beer.

To reach its selfish objectives, it dependends on others: somebody has to give it coins or hand it a beer. This is where it engages in communication, in social interaction with human beings.

Video MPEG4 or Quicktime.

Posted by tshey at 12:22 AM


gruntzooki posted a photo:

Funny Camden Chronicle headline: MUSLIM RAIL WORKER IN BEARD BATTLE

Posted by tshey at 12:19 AM

SilenceAir: Noise Blocking Bricks

SilenceAir SilenceAir looks like a transparent brick, and uses "passive resonators" to allow fresh air into buildings while leaving 85% of the noise behind.

"Cities are noisy. When we block the noise from our offices and homes, we usually reduce the ventilation...the result is sick buildings and people," says the inventor Chris Field.

Chris developed the concept during his doctoral research at the University of Sydney, Australia.

The arrays of resonators inside the bricks are tuned to block sounds in the range of 500Hz to 2kHz. (Humans have an audible range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz.)

"The lengths of the tubes (resonators) can be adjusted, however, to suit the source of noise to be attenuated," says Chris.

"For example, for installations near busy roads, the resonator lengths can be tuned to target traffic noise frequencies specific to the site."

Posted by tshey at 12:07 AM

October 14, 2004



And yes, .....the guitar player's name is "E.D. Von Halen"...

Posted by tshey at 11:22 PM

Japanese Typography

This article by Chris Palmieri is interesting even (or perhaps even more so) if you have no practical use for it. Although reading this and seeing how different the challenges can be might make one want to learn.

I've heard foreigners compare their first experience in Japan to everything from Disneyworld to The Planet of the Apes. Neither is particularly flattering or accurate, but they reflect the disorienting and uncanny similarities with and differences from their own culture that provide years of surprise for even the most jaded expatriate.
Japanese typography, especially for the web, can induce a similar experience for Western-trained designers. Many of the typographic rules we've learned and broken must be restated or discarded as irrelevant. Some typographic parameters that we've manipulated to great effect are no longer available, but are replaced by exciting new ones.

Type Kerning

Via v-2 | Adam Greenfield.

Posted by tshey at 11:20 PM

Kitchri Couture

Funky Kitchri Couture from Alexander McQueen, especially the headgears. Click on more for additional images.

Alexander McQueen Official Website
Style: Alexander McQueen Fashion Show

Posted by tshey at 11:20 PM

get your war on, again

Cartoonist David Rees will maneuver across North America to read from his newest collection of political comics, Get Your War On II, from October 13 through October 30.

The New York Times recently described Get Your War On as a "glorious excoriation of our post 9/11 loony bin." Get Your War On recently described The New York Times as "birdcage liner."

In the months following 9/11 and Operation Enduring Freedom, Rees went from being a frustrated temp at Martha Stewart Omnimedia to a noted political firebrand with a bestselling anthology, a thriving website, and a regular comic strip in Rolling Stone. In Get Your War On II, printed in his signature red ink, Rees's deadpan wit and political venom rise to the occasion yet again.

Rees will read from his comics using an overhead transparency projector, answer audience questions, and discuss the land mine removal in Afghanistan that is sponsored by sales of Get Your War On.

Get Your War On II 2004 North American Tour dates (includes an Oct 21 DC appearance at Politics and Prose)

Posted by tshey at 11:19 PM

New Work by Rothko: A Book of Writings

A long-lost manuscript by Mark Rothko helps illuminate the philosophical underpinnings of Color Field paintings, the artist's greatest breakthrough.
Christopher Rothko was only 6 when his famous father, the painter Mark Rothko, committed suicide in 1970. "I have a number of memories, but I can count them on my various fingers and toes, and strangely enough it's his voice that sticks with me," he said.
Now Mr. Rothko has found a way to channel his father's voice not only for himself but also for the public, in the process resurrecting a long-lost manuscript by Mark Rothko that helps illuminate the philosophical underpinnings of Color Field paintings, the artist's greatest breakthrough.
This month Yale University Press will publish those writings in a deceptively slender volume titled "The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art," the only book by Mark Rothko. In it, he muses on the history of art and the artist's place and function in the world. He also begins to explore the use of color, light and space in search of "an ultimate unity."

Posted by tshey at 11:47 AM

The final presidential debate

The third and final presidential took place tonight, and while I felt undecided on the results, an early CNN poll gave Kerry a substantial margin with a 59% to 39% victory over Bush. But first, a few words from our candidates (thanks to Microsoft Word):

image courtesy of cnn.comKerry in 100 words: 82,000 Arizonians lost their health insurance under President Bush's watch. This president has turned his back on the wellness of America. President Bush has taken -- he's the only president in history to do this. 6 million jobs lost. This president has taken a $5. Once again, the president is misleading America. The president just said that government-run health care results in poor quality. The jobs the president is creating pay $9,000 less than the jobs that we're losing. 6 million jobs. The president has denied 9. Let me pay a compliment to the president, if I may.

Bush in 100 words: My opponent talks about fiscal sanity. You voted to increase taxes 98 times. Most health-care costs are covered by third parties. If you have a child, you got tax relief. If you're married, you got tax relief. If you pay any tax at all, you got tax relief. We passed tax relief. We'll increase federal spending. We've increased funds. The people I talked to their spirits were high. My opponent, the senator, talks about foreign policy. I think people understand what she's saying.

Kerry's language in this debate focused on three phrases: minimum wage (8 mentions), health insurance (6 mentions), and social security (6 mentions), a recognizable platform for a democratic candidate.

Bush's language on the other hand was less issue focused with the most popular phrases of my opponent (7), four years (6), and best way (5), a seemingly more defensive tone.

[My personal favorite phrase from the debate: Tony Soprano. -- ts]

My personal reaction to the debate was that Kerry seemed overly repetitive and slightly less focused on the questions at hand, bringing terrorism and foreign policy into the debate too often when the focus was supposed to be on domestic issues. The CNN poll found however that viewers raised their opinion of Kerry more during the debate than Bush:

When asked who would handle domestic issues better, Kerry scored higher in health care (55-41). There was no clear leader on the economy (Kerry 51, Bush 46), education (Kerry 48, Bush 47) or taxes (Bush 50, Kerry 47). Kerry's biggest win came on the question of who expressed himself better, where 61 percent of respondents chose him over Bush (29 percent).

I find it fascinating how bad my personal reaction is to the results of these political exchanges. After doing various forms of analysis for each of the debates, I feel like none of these methods have a predictive effect on the reaction of the voters. Or at least my reaction to the actual events and subsequent analysis seems to be contrary to the rest of the population. With that said, I guess it's going to be a gripping election.

For more information on this analysis, please see analyses of the first presidential debate, vice presidential debate, and second presidential debate.

Posted by tshey at 11:01 AM

NY Times: Complete video replay of third U.S. presidential debate

If you were watching the Red Sox game, see the video and get transcripts here (reg. req.). The end, with Bush's and Kerry's answers to the final softball question on the women in their lives, is especially worth watching. And then go check out Cameron's latest analysis of what they said.

Posted by tshey at 10:54 AM

The Gameboyzz Orchestra Project

The Gameboyzz Orchestra Project , well, the title says it all, is an experimental sound - visual project, by 6 Polish artists using GameBoy console as a music instrument, in an ironic imitation of contemporary electronic scene, where musicians vie with the latest technological progress.


From a musician's point of view a GameBoy device is a kind of simple analogue synthesiser, with a raw and at the same time interesting retro-sound. While connected with a suitable software it can be used as drum machine or groovebox. Console's interface is rather poor (few buttons only), so sound structures created by us must be rather simple, too. This is also the reason for having 6 players - the more players the sound environment is more complex.

Upcoming live performances at Fuzja Dzwieku (Wroclaw, Poland), 16 November; Landowski Space, 20 November in Paris and at STEIM , 21 November in Amsterdam.

Posted by tshey at 01:31 AM

October 13, 2004

ben and mena in WSJ

Mena and Ben TrottMovable Type's Ben and Mena Trott are profiled in today's Wall Street Journal - complete with cool illustrated WSJ headshots: WSJ.com - Folksy No More, Blogger Firm Taps Big Clients:

Last year, Ben and Mena Trott were mingling at a fund-raiser in the San Francisco Bay area for former presidential hopeful Howard Dean when a young man rushed over to them.
"You're Ben and Mena! You guys rock!" he gushed, ignoring Mr. Dean and celebrities like film director Rob Reiner, who were standing nearby.
The husband and wife team -- both 27 years old -- are founders of Six Apart Ltd., which makes a blogging software called Movable Type. They may not be rock stars, but in the world of Web logs they are treated as if they are.

Posted by tshey at 04:22 PM

Campaign Donor Data Goes Mobile

Political wonks no longer need to hunch over their PCs to track the political leanings of different regions. A new service sends that data to cell phones and PDAs, so people can find out instantly if they're in a Democratic or Republican stronghold. By Daniel Terdiman.
Wireless carriers and mobile phone manufacturers have long been touting location-based information services as future killer apps. Now, a New Jersey technology executive working in his spare time has created a location-based tool that might one day help political activists win elections.
Known as Red | Blue (pronounced "Red or Blue"), Jason Uechi's free application allows owners of certain mobile phones to point in any direction and see how much money Republican and Democratic donors there have given to their parties' candidates for president.
(-- go jason and eyebeam! full article >)

Posted by tshey at 03:54 PM

October 12, 2004

The Tamagotchi's next step: Invading your cellphone

tamagotchiNot content with enabling it to talk to other Tamagotchi, Bandai has now tweaked the infra-red port to let you communicate with a cellphone, reports Engadget.

"We re not sure whether the Shuku Keitai Kaitsuu Tamagotchi Plus (the first bit loosely means Congratulations! It now works with a cellphone! ) will make it outside Japan, but we can hope."

Posted by tshey at 06:52 PM

Street Memes at E Y E B E A M

"Discover street art, stickers, stencils, posters and visual memes (self-replicating ideas) that are posted, copied and mutated in the streets of New York and around the world. During Fall For Chelsea s one-day-only community arts festival, join us for StreetMemes.com walking tours and scavenger hunt."

Posted by tshey at 06:47 PM


Podcasting is an emergent phenomenon in the blogosphere. Springboarding from RSS, MP3 and Apple's iPod, podcasting is blogging in talk radio format. One need not own an iPod to participate, however.

So what's a Podcast? To put it simply, a Podcast is an audio file, a MP3, most likely, in talk show format, along with a way to subscribe to the show and have it automatically delivered to your iPod when you plug in to iTunes. The show isn't live, so you can listen to it whenever you want.
Doc Searls is credited with coining the term, or at least formalizing it.
The key virtue of traditional radio is its immediacy: the fact that it's live. They key virtue of this new breed of radio is that it's Net-native. That is, it's archived in a way that can be listened to at the convenience of the listener, and (this is key) that it can be linked to by others, and enclosed in an RSS feed.

. . . .

What matters is that all the standards we're working with here are open. They're the new and growing infrastructure for a new class of 'casting. It won't replace old-fashioned broadcasting, just as FM didn't replace AM, and TV didn't replace radio. And it's not narrowcasting, which is conceived as broadcasting for fewer people. It's podcasting. I'll create an acronym for it: Personal Option Digital 'casting.

Engadget has a great HOWTO for would-be podcasters or listeners.

Posted by tshey at 06:39 PM

US seizes independent media sites

The FBI has shut down some 20 sites which were part of Indymedia, the alternative media network representing a news source for the anti-globalisation movement and other social justice issues.

A US court order forced the firm hosting the material to hand over two servers in the UK used by the group.

The UK site of Indymedia is now running again but several of the other 20 sites affected are still offline. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has teamed up with Indymedia to investigate possible responses to the seizure of their information.

Via BBC News < Futurewire.

Posted by tshey at 10:18 AM

What Would Radical Longevity Mean?

Technology Review reports that MIT Professor Leonard Guarente may have found the genetic factor that allows mice undergoing 'caloric restriction' to live up to 30% longer. It's long been known that cutting down food intake by about 1/3 can extend the lifespan of mammals by up to 50%. Professor Guarente has found that manipulating a single gene -- the SIRT1 gene -- can produce longer mice lives without caloric restriction. What's more, all mammals -- including humans -- have a similar gene.

A 30% longer healthy life -- another 25-30 years, say -- is intriguing, and is on the cusp of being worldchanging. As Alex has noted in the past, a population that regularly lives to (and beyond) the age of 100 forces us to confront questions about work, relationships, family and our society in general. But living to 100, even 140, may be just the tip of the iceberg. What happens when we figure out a way to live much longer lives? Read on for an exploration of this question.

Posted by tshey at 10:13 AM

Orange tunes into UK charts every Sunday

composite.jpg Orange is to become the first UK network to launch mobile interactive radio across the UK, reports Pocket Lint.

"The service, will be the Woolworth s hit40uk, and be broadcast simultaneously on Orange mobile phones and 113 radio stations across the country from 4-7pm every Sunday.

By using a unique application created by Somethin Else, Orange users can listen to and interact with the charts as they happen, using everything from SMS to video.

As the chart counts down to number one, Orange customers can follow the chart, download any of the ringtones from the top 40 and find out more about the artists and bands that they are listening to."

Posted by tshey at 10:03 AM

Don't eat cheap sushi

Gen says, "Don't eat cheap sushi". I agree. I had never heard about the carbon monoxide process before, but it make me not want to eat cheap sushi even more. On the other hand, I guess some places could start raising prices and still serve crap.

Comment - TrackBack

Posted by tshey at 12:16 AM

NBC Launches Wireless Apps For Fall Shows

Looks like NBC is getting serious about mobile content/services and tying them up with their new TV shows...in assocation with Crisp Wireless, it has launched apps for NBC shows such as Hawaii, Joey, Las Vegas, LAX and Last Comic Standing.

Posted by tshey at 12:10 AM

October 11, 2004

Christopher Reeve

superman03What a bittersweet picture this famous still is now, a dispatch from a now-vanished world.

The Beat was lucky enough to see Christopher Reeve in person a couple of years ago at a press conference promoting his appearance on SMALLVILLE. Upon his entrance into the room, the initial reaction, to be honest, was pity. But then he began speaking and Reeve's essential presence, charisma and intelligence came shining through. STILL ME, he called his autobiography. One couldn't help but be inspired by the powerful humanity that burned within the the almost useless body.

What a brave, brave man. As several people have said, he played a superhero, then he became one. How many other people have taken such an overwhelming personal tragedy and used it to help and inspire others? It was a life lived to its fullest, and lots of people who aren't in wheelchairs can't say that.

The Beat sends condolences to Reeve's family and friends.

Edited to add: to help continue Reeve's fight, go to The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation website, as well as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center.

Posted by tshey at 08:40 PM

Shelly gets slashdotted

A reader writes: "Shelly Palmer.... has posted a very entertaining article on his blog about finally getting a Scientific Atlanta SA8000HD High Definition, DVR-enabled cable boxes from Time Warner Cable in Manhattan, his adventures getting it to work, and its less than stellar performance."

(I got a preview of Shelly's entertaining rant at his place Friday, as he showed me the whole complicated set-up, and he couldn't wait to write it all up for the advanced media blog. Now it's on /. -- good going, Shelly! -- ts)

Posted by tshey at 08:33 PM

IM debate commentary

This debate recap is in a NEW IM FORMAT!! And also VERY, VERY LATE AND BY NOW SOMEWHAT ATOPICAL. Is atopical a word? It should be.

Here now, are MICHELLE AND CHELSEA'S IM comments and insights...on the 2ND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE:

Chelsea: Bush is doing neck talking! Lots of neck action. Turtle time!
Michelle: haha He's knitting so much brow I think his face just turned into a sweater!
Chelsea: I like the swing voters asking questions.
Michelle: look at this asshole
Chelsea: ahahahahah--I can't make up my mind....waaaaaahhhh!
(Continued at Chelsea's blog)

Posted by tshey at 08:26 PM

Christopher Reeve, 1952-2004

Goodbye, Christopher Reeve, and thanks for your courage. Who will save us now? (Photo: Reuters)

Posted by tshey at 02:09 PM

Ask Neal Stephenson

Our latest Slashdot interview victim... err... guest... is Neal Stephenson, author of (among others) Snow Crash, CRYPTONOMICON, the much-discussed essay, In the Beginning was the Command Line, and more recently a series of books he calls The Baroque Cycle. (Last month Slashdot reviewed the series' third volume, The System of the World.) Now you can ask Neal whatever you want. As usual, we'll send him 10 -12 of the highest-moderated questions and post his answers verbatim when we get them back.

Posted by tshey at 02:00 PM

Newsweek's interactive voter guide

Xeni Jardin: Brian Braiker and the folks at Newsweekhave created a fantastic online feature -- kind of like an "electoral college for dummies" app.

NEWSWEEK has compiled a state-by-state guide of what to watch for in the coming weeks. Click on your state to see how it voted in 2000 and what the key factors are in the remaining days before Nov. 2. And remember: Just because any given state may appear guaranteed to vote for one candidate over the other, that's no excuse not to go out and pull the lever (or touch the screen) on election day -- especially when you consider the many close races for the Senate, where the Republicans currently hold a precarious one-seat majority. If 2000 taught the electorate anything, it's that every vote counts.
Link. Dig that UI.

BoingBoing reader John adds, "While electoral-vote.com doesn't describe the environment of each state as well, the site updates the probable outcome of the election daily based on polls. It provides all sorts or graphs and spreadsheets as well. It's got a nice, non-flash, interface to boot. Link. "

Posted by tshey at 01:29 PM

High School Kids Are The New Card Sharks

2004_10_hshallway.jpgSomething to make all high school parents confident: Kids are now playing poker for big money at school. The Post notes that kids from Bed-Stuy to Stuyvesant are losing up to $300 as they try to emulate their role models on the World Series of Poker, playing during lunch and after school. One Stuyvesant senior, Max Last-Name-Withheld, said

That's my aspiration. It's like somebody wanting to get in the NBA. I'm going to earn a living and have a stable lifestyle and hopefully win a couple of tournaments, then get into the World Series.
Man, your kid gets into Stuyvesant, but he's dreaming about the World Series of Poker. Haven't these kids seen Rounders? Oh, wait, probably not, since it stank. Another Stuyvesant student says, "After school, we all get together at Burritoville and play for higher stakes than in school." Clearly, it's time for Gothamist to get a Mystic Frisco burrito and check out the scene. The idea of gambling at school takes on an intriguing meaning when you think about how Governor Pataki wants to use gambling proceeds to fund NYC schools.

Posted by tshey at 11:29 AM

October 10, 2004

Pencils down, people

We're a little obsessive about digging into hard computing problems, and we love finding more people like us. One way we find obsessive smart problem-solvers is by using a standardized test. Now standardized tests can suck, especially since you usually take them to become a broke student for years on end. Which can lead to starting a career that, if you're lucky, might eventually lead to a really cool job.

But what if there were a standardized test that led, like, immediately to the really cool job? What if, for instance, there was a Google Labs Aptitude Test?

There is. We enjoyed writing it, and if you're our kind of uber-geek, you'll enjoy taking it, and maybe you'd enjoy life as a Googler. Give it a try. The GLAT is four pages long; you can print them out here, here, here and here. When you're done, send your completed test to:

Google Labs Jobs

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, CA 94043-1351

Good luck. Take your time, especially with the essay questions. And no, on this one guessing doesn't help.

-- Alan Eustace VP of engineering and research

Posted by tshey at 07:42 PM

blogged up

So, the single post on the eyebeam reBlog unleashed a wave of attention to red | blue -- and while getting slashdotted didn't knock over the server, a little mention from Wonkette clocked the most traffic on Tuesday. Since then, it's nice to see the reaction, and especially nice to see all the people installing and running the app. In case you're wondering, the servers generating the most references as of today are from the United States Congress (for obvious reasons), and Sun's proxy servers (probably from this little mention in Jonathan's blog).

An article in C-Net is here (note to others -- avoid embarrasment, don't confuse C-Net and C-SPAN when someone calls), and I've talked to other journalists, too. Unfortunately, I feel like a stumbling...well, I guess, uhhm....geek, when talking about this stuff. Luckily there are people a lot more eloquent explaining why it's so fascinating (from v-2):

Most even mildly attentive people have considered, from time to time, the fact that we're continually bathed in latent data about place. Any given point on Earth you should happen to visit has an all-but-infinite series of correlated facts by which it can be characterized. We're literally living in a sea of ambient information.

All kinds of ambient information: facts about climate, about geological history and composition, and so forth. Some of the most interesting stuff is, of course, about the human makeup of a given point on the map: who lives here? What do they do? What do they believe? For the most part, though, this data is difficult or impossible to access, least of all when you're actually at the place in question.

Go read the rest of it here, Adam does a wonderful job explaining some whats and whys I have barely been able to mumble. I'll be updating download information as the days go on, and I plan on releasing source once the election is over. Let me know if you run into problems -- I *think* there are at least 500 users out there, so there are solutions to most issues.

Posted by tshey at 07:17 PM

The UI nightmare that is the London Bus Ticket Machine

London bus ticket machine, plus bus and bus user (to help explain the whole arcane process)
Originally uploaded by Tom Coates.

If there is one thing above all others that makes me growl at Mother London on my return visits, it is the London Bus Ticket Machine. Tom Coates has done a great job in highlighting all of its deficiencies at his Flickr stream.

Posted by tshey at 07:09 PM

October 08, 2004

Leaked memo:

Read this crazy memo from Cheney to Bush (click to enlarge). Has he LOST HIS MIND?:

Posted by tshey at 12:51 AM

October 07, 2004

Motorola, Baby Phat And Bloomingdale's Introduce Diamond-Accented Phone

21.jpg Motorola, Baby Phat and Bloomingdale's today announced a new cell phone for the woman who has everything. The Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons i833 Motorola phone, is a limited edition mobile phone accented with real diamonds, reports SixShot.

"This sleek, pink phone features the Baby Phat logo, a designer-inspired quilted texture and 0.4 carats of genuine diamonds encrusting the external display.

"I designed this phone for the woman who, like me, loves pink, loves diamonds, and wants to make a fashion statement, " said Kimora Lee Simmons, founder and creative director of Baby Phat.

"The new limited edition Baby Phat i833 phone by Motorola is actually like a piece of jewelry -- bold, fun, sexy, and chic."

Suggested retail price is $699.99 and - I almost forgot - , it comes with a matching pouch and earbud.

Posted by tshey at 11:51 PM

Hey Howard, what about broadband?

As everyone in the free world now knows, Howard Stern has signed a five year deal with Sirius Satellite Radio. After his Viacom contract ends in 15 months, Howard will move his radio show over to Sirius and get three channels to play with as part of the deal.

I feel personally honored to have been listening to the Stern show when he made this historic announcement. It is a bold step in the very right direction for Howard and the entire radio business.

Aside from wishing that I had been sitting at my desk listening so I could have purchase a bunch of Sirius stock the moment he said it, the next thing that came to mind was, will he move the television show to broadband? After all, what he's going to be able to do in satellite radio will put E! over the edge - so how about a "real" broadband show. Obviously, Howard does not have the ratings power on TV that he has on the radio. But a live, subscription-based broadband show from the Sirius satellite radio studios would be an excellent jumpstart to that industry as well.

So, come on Howard. As soon as all of the hype and hoopla dies down, give us a call and we'll set you up with a broadband site that will set the advanced media industry on fire!

Posted by tshey at 11:49 PM

Google launches SMS search, and it's well done.

SMS stands for Short Message Service, and Europe and Asia have thoroughly embraced this text messaging technology. Using your phone to send and receive text messages is a newer phenomenon in the U.S. Now we're getting into the fray with Google SMS. It's a way to access Google for precise information from your mobile phone or handheld device (like a BlackBerry).

Google SMS is a handy way to, say, get a listing for a nearby restaurant, find the definition of a word, or look up the price of a product, an area code or Zip code. You can even use Google SMS to calculate a tip. If your phone is enabled for text messages, just send your query to this 5-digit US shortcode: 46645. (It corresponds to GOOGL on most phones.) Your query results are sent as text messages, not links. Learn more about using Google SMS on our help page or by sending a text message with the word 'help' to 46645.

Posted by tshey at 11:46 PM

October 06, 2004

Design for Web 2.0

Jason Fried, Jeff Veen, and I did a workshop yesterday on Design for Web 2.0. In preparing for the informal chat we had among ourselves and with the audience, we prepared a list of questions to consider. There's about 15 of them, presented here unedited without context or answers...

I've opened the comments if you'd like to discuss any of these questions amongst yourselves.

Posted by tshey at 05:30 PM

ganesh spidey

Posted by tshey at 04:46 PM

Vice Presidential Debate Analysis

Akin to my last entry, I've run the transcript of the Vice Presidential Debate through a part of speech tagger and identified the most popular noun phrases for each speaker (listed below). I've also updated the Debate Spotter to handle both scripts. Simply change the debate field and the transcript and speakers will be changed accordingly.

Have fun, and of course let us know if you identify any defining phrases.

Posted by tshey at 02:03 AM

October 05, 2004

WiFi-ing the mountain hits the comics

Wired is running an account of getting wireless highspeed between two mountains, and it includes a comic strip version:
(via /.)

[The comic, btw, is illustrated by the excellent Nathan Fox, who also frequently contributes to the New Yorker. -- ts]

Posted by tshey at 09:49 PM

Where's Chris?

Chris Heathcote has hacked together a feature on his website which reports his current position via his mobile phone. Yes, that means anyone can find out where Chris is at any given time. Of course, when Matt checked he was several kilometres into the Baltic from Helsinki, but right now he appears to be getting on or off a tram, in the rain. What I find curious is how knowing this immediately makes me think of Chris shielding me from the London rain this past spring, and I smile. It's such a lovely way to draw out a series of movements and memories in space and time.

And I agree with Matt - Chris' experiment is valuable to anyone working on ubicomp or locative media. As he explains:
"A bigger question is why publish this information in public. I must admit I'm not overly happy with giving everyone access to this data, but then again, this kind of service is the near-future that designers like myself have been preaching for years. It will cause privacy problems, it will cause social embarassment, it may change the way I live. Unless I try it myself, I will never know what unexpected consequences publishing this information will have. Self-ethnography is not scientifically valid, but I think it's one of the best ways of empathising with the problems new technology creates. If I won't use it, I shouldn't expect you to either."

[more at Anne's site | more at Chris' site]

Posted by tshey at 09:38 PM


In celebration of their first anniversary, WorldChanging has posted a bunch of guest pieces on, well, world-changing people, ideas and things.

Check out Dina Mehta and Rohit Gupta on changing lives in India, Bruce Sterling on the UN and the internet, R gine Debatty on decentralised fashion creation, Rebecca Blood on sustainable campuses, Nicole-Anne Boyer on models for global system change, Justin Thomas on natural products, Dale Carrico on public domain politics, Dominic Muren on deforestation and solar-cooking, Mike Millikin on biofuels, John Emerson on green maps, George Mokray on freedoms, Chris Phoenix on the Center for Bits and Atoms, and me on mobile living.


Also Ross Mayfield on political decision markets, James on alternative energy, David Weinberger on blogging outside the developed world, Christopher Allen on sustainable business, Meaghan O'Neill on tech entrepreneurship in East Africa, and Danny O'Brien on the Jhai project.

Posted by tshey at 09:33 PM

AT&T Wireless Launching Music Service

In the first foray by a U.S. wireless carrier into the online music market, AT&T Wireless is launching a service that lets subscribers buy songs using their cell phones and later download them to a computer.

Posted by tshey at 09:30 PM

A Look at the Russian Mobile Market

With India and China getting a lot of attention for their mobile growth, Russia's market has rather quietly exploded.

Posted by tshey at 09:28 PM

Jonah & Andrea in the Dominican Republic

I had the coolest underwater camera shell for my new Pentax Optio s4i...

The camera worked in chlorinated water:


As well as in salt water:


This is inappropriate advertizing for the movie WhaleRider:


National Geographic-watch out:


[these are only excerpts - head over to Andrea's site for all this and more... -- tim]

Posted by tshey at 04:12 PM

Gmail Adds Atom Feeds

Gmail has added Atom web feeds, a format that's akin to RSS. The feeds include a summary of each new message in your Google email. See screen grabs. In addition, the service rolled out a more robust contact interface that nicely lists all your contacts the related messages that live in your archive as well as the ability to forward your messages to any other email account.

Posted by tshey at 11:46 AM

Say Goodbye to Tyranny of Hits

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bit stream. By Chris Anderson from Wired magazine.

Posted by tshey at 11:42 AM

Long Day

Man on the brown line el train in Chicago.

Posted by tshey at 11:27 AM

artbomb review: in the shadow of no towers by art spiegelman

"What does it take to publish the follow-up to your two-volume Pulitzer Prize-winning magnum opus that put both you, and 'serious comics,' on the mainstream map? Two fucking buildings falling down on your head, apparently.

"art spiegelman, the pioneer auteur behind the holocaust memoir Maus (and longtime resident of lower Manhattan), returned to comics by literally running away from the collapse of the World Trade Center. A lifelong paranoid leaning more than a little to the left, spiegelman is forced by 9/11 and everything after both behind the drawing board, and into the daily comics pages of the past, to try and make sense of the ultimate inexplicable.

"This collection of spiegelman's 10 strips are printed on cardboard-thick pages that approximate the massive galleys of the funnies page circa their invention; after spiegelman's run, he treats us to a look at the comics pages of antiquity that mean so much to him, each strip echoing some aspect of the iconography of the WTC attacks..."

(more from matt fraction)

Posted by tshey at 11:11 AM

October 04, 2004

Paul Catanese: Digital Cornell Boxes for Gameboy Advance

Artist Paul Catanese has been creating work using Gameboy Advance as a platform, including these three Digital Cornell Boxes currently completed in residency at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley: Medicinal Craft of Cephalopods, Recollections of a Somnambulist and A Short History of the Bezoar Stone.

Cornell Boxes? Bezoars? Cephalopods? Oh my. This is great stuff. (Includes Quicktime.)

Posted by tshey at 04:23 PM

Weekend Update: Fey and Poehler


Hello, nurse: It's the Age of Fey and Poehler, as they are the first all-female Weekend Update team on Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon had a nice chemistry - you know, sharp, caustic and riffing on how Jimmy was stupid and pretty and Tina was slutty and angry - but we were feeling Fallon Fatigue, as he couldn't really keep his shizzle together during skits, especially ones with Horatio Sanz. So Gothamist was terrifically excited to see Amy Poehler's blond, twinkling yet semi-maniacal eyed face next to Tina behind the desk. And, for the boys (and girls), there is the promise of lots of lesbian flirting this season.

What did you think of the premiere? Gothamist loved the debate parody, and even though it was too soon after the opening monologue, the sketch about John Kerry, Theresa Heinz Kerry, James Carville, and, Bill Clinton, as played by Darrell Hammond (yay!), was fun, too. Ben Affleck needs to stay behind costumes and make-up more often. And how did you like that Unidentified New Jersey Resident? Whatevs will have a review of SNL from Nummer & H-Bomb, and Saturday-Night-Live.com has a smattering of reviews from different people too. And the Daily News had an article about how SNL is still successful.

Posted by tshey at 12:46 PM

China to rate the "cultural implications" of online games

Chinese flagLast year it was estimated that China had 13.8 million people playing online games. These figures were reason for concern for the government, eager to control the information spread across the Internet. So the Video Games Committee of the Chinese Adolescents Internet Association was formed, placing games into three categories, including middle school, high school, and adult. Games will be rated on the basis of, “degree of violence, pornography, terror and content of cyber chatting.” Online games will be judged slightly differently, the criteria includes, “pornography, violence, horror, social morality and cultural implications.” China also intends to set up “healthy” & “recommended” servers for downloading these games.

Posted by tshey at 12:45 PM

The Approaching Mobile Messaging Mess

Despite some early problems, mobile messaging standards have mostly solved interoperability problems just in time to discover that mobile devices are being invaded by a variety of instant messaging offerings -- that don't interoperate.

Posted by tshey at 12:44 PM

Verizon Wireless Takes The Princeton Review Wireless

College-bound hopefuls can now access The Princeton Review content on their cell phone, thanks to a newly forged deal between the company and wireless applications developer Vocel. The SAT-preparation application is currently available to Verizon Wireless subscribers.

Posted by tshey at 12:40 PM

Tim Shey on reblogging

So many of these observations apply to blogging in general that it makes me wonder: what's the difference between blogging and reblogging? (Comment on this)

[couldn't resist some recursive reblogging. -- tim]

Posted by tshey at 12:36 PM

Pinpointing Voters on a Map

Voter databases are old hat to political campaigns. But by taking that same data and overlaying it on a map -- a technology called geographic information systems -- operatives are becoming more effective at getting out the vote. By Jacob Ogles.

Posted by tshey at 11:14 AM

On Flickr, Favcol and my experience of weblogging...

So I love Flickr. I think it's absolutely awesome. I've been weblogging for five years (almost - see me in thirty days) and the fun I have using Flickr reminds me of the immediate joy and excitement that I used to get from writing on my site. The stuff I post there - the stuff I write there - is resolutely frivolous and personal and bears no relationship to my job, technical/design interests or the industry in which I work.

As my weblog over the last few years has changed to become more sober and more work-oriented, and as the pieces I tend to write have become longer and less-frequent, it has at times felt like posting had ceased to be a pleasure and was becoming a chore. I don't know why that might be - possibly it's a result of Movable Type's posting interface interface, the obvious practical utility and web-native aspects of the post-per-page format or maybe it's just because of my own determination to bore the world slowly to death. Whatever the reason, I think Flickr's gradually making me feel more positive about the whole thing. I think it's helping me find a different parallel space where I can post in a completely different register.

For all these reasons, and because I finally got moblogging working on my Nokia 6230, I was more than happy to pay to go Pro. And thanks to Feedburner I've even merged plasticbag.org's feeds with my Flickr feed to create a slightly more varied and nuanced reflection of my life (that isn't monomaniacally obsessed with social software, comment spam or music technology). So hopefully now, those of you who are subscribing to the plasticbag.org feed (around 1,000 of you by my reckoning) will actually have something to read each day.

Of course one of the greatest things about Flickr is that it has an API that other people can hook into. My favourite example of its use recently has been the Flickr Rainbow applet that uses tagged up photos and what amounts to a tiny (and obvious) controlled vocabulary filter around colour to assemble a rainbow of photographs. I only wish that Mr Webb's favcol was still around so that he could build use Flickr to determine the web's favourite red or purple...

Read the comments

Posted by tshey at 11:11 AM

Distorted light through a wet window as autumn comes to London

Posted by tshey at 10:11 AM

ProTones - Ringtones made by award winning composers

A couple of BAFTA nominated composers who became fed up with the poor quality of ring tones of film and tv sound tracks have decided to have a go themselves.

Posted by tshey at 10:08 AM

Debates for your iPod

For this week only Audible and the iTunes Music Store have made the first round of the Bush/Kerry debates available as a free download for your iPod or other supported digital audio players. If you have iTunes you can get it here. And after you’re done listening to the debate check out the debate spotter text analysis tool.

Posted by tshey at 05:31 AM

Keyword Search Audio From First Presidential Debate

C-SPAN and StreamSage (the folks behind CampaignSearch) have made available the ability to keyword search the video of the first presidential debate, find results, and then click to watch the section of the video where your search terms are spoken.

Posted by tshey at 05:28 AM

Welcome Kathleen

We are pleased to welcome Kathleen Forde as the new guest reblogger. Kathleen is the Exhibitions and Program Coordinator here at Eyebeam. Before joining, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Scholar (2002-2003) and Curatorial Director for Live Arts and New Media for the Goethe Forum in Berlin, Germany. She concurrently curates on a freelance basis for various organizations and museums that include Independent Curators International, VideoZone, Tel Aviv; ATA Cultural, Peru; Kunstverein Dusseldorf; Kunstverein Cologne; SFMOMA; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop Museum in Philadelphia. Take it away, Kathleen.

Also, big up to Tim for rocking the reblog for the past couple weeks!

Posted by tshey at 05:26 AM

Pixel Moon and the size of web pages

Pixel Moon is brilliant: It's a web site that displays a moonscape where you can design your own moon base and add it to the landscape. So far, 78 people have created bases, many of which are quite hilarious -- including a Vodafone kiosk and a shot of four Star Trek characters staring at something lying on the ground. But to me, what's really interesting is how big the page is. To see all of Pixel Moon's surface, you have to scroll four screenfuls sideways, and several screenfuls down. I've always wondered why more web artists don't take advantage of the almost-limitless size of a web page by creating digital art that spreads out to the left and right (and up) as well as down. Indeed, someone could create a web page that was, say, 14 feet wide and 15 feet tall, and then anchor the "opening" part of...

Posted by tshey at 05:25 AM

on reBlogging

I've just wrapped up a two-week stint as guest reBlogger for Eyebeam, which was a great experience, though pretty demanding: each of the dozen or so reBloggers so far, including me, has added XML feeds to the initial set they launched with, and at this point there are well over 100 feeds to try to keep up with and select the best posts for the reBlog's readers. Though I could barely handle it on top of existing projects, I couldn't pass up the chance to take the helm for a while, as the reBlog is one of my only must-read sites, and it was a real challenge to see if I could keep up the quality, while maybe introducing something new here and there. While I have no idea if I succeeded at the former, I did feel after about a week or so that I had begun to figure a few things out.

rebloggerI appreciated reading Tom Moody's thoughts as he came off the reBlog before me; like his, my initial approach was to stay away from reBlogging too much from the sites I thought people were already reading, unless it was something people absolutely shouldn't miss. What I also found myself doing nearly from the start was thinking quite a bit about the design of the page at any given time. That's not surprising, considering what I do for a living, but what was interesting to me was, as I got more familiar with the capabilities of the reblogging tools, how I began queueing up posts deliberately for a better flow, rather than publishing them as I found them, and tried to maintain a rhythm between strong visuals and interesting text, with as diverse a mix as possible of topics. I might find a great photo or really arresting piece of art, but hold off on posting it until I needed it for a transition, to knit things together or break them up. I'd also try to end any batch of posts with a really strong image, so that the top of the reBlog would look great until I had time to reBlog again. I found that it felt, more than anything, like DJ-ing -- your hundred-plus feeds gave you a huge palette to choose from, and you could mix in a little of your own voice here and there while still keeping the crowd happy with the sure-fire stuff. In this case, that meant keeping the main focus on the great art and technology news and links we expect from the reBlog, but slipping in posts here and there about gaming, or politics, or alternative comics, or focusing a bit more on mobile phone-based art than usual. I also experimented a bit with RSS feeds from Flickr (subscribing to automated RSS feeds for photos with tags like "streetart," for example), which have a tremendous amount of possibility when combined with a reBlog-powered site.

But most interesting were the possibilities that came from monitoring feeds from other reblogs, especially those with a strong focus on a particular topic or set of topics. Former guest reBlogger Beverly Tang, for instance, recently relaunched the excellent btang phlog as a reBlog driven by her own personal interests and obsessions, and I found that on any given day, nearly everything she had up there was of interest to the Eyebeam reBlog. This was also true of unmediated, and sites like near near future and Smart Mobs that, while not reBlog-powered, draw much of their content from a pool of blogs and news sites that overlapped considerably with our own. While I initially resisted taking posts (re-reBlogging?) from those sites -- as much out of a desire to preserve the original attributions (which is a simple and temporary software/xml data limitation) as a desire to find things on my own -- we'd often end up reblogging many of the same things anyway. Eventually, I gave in to the sheer utility of it, as these sites emerged as reliable and useful filters of the many feeds I was trying to monitor. It wasn't hard to imagine, in the near future, as more reBlogs inevitably crop up, a reBlogger's job made considerably easier by having a dozen or so specialized reBlogs that filter an ever larger pool of unique and original blogs. And it would go both ways; even while I was lifting from these sites, I'd get a little kick when I saw that they'd lifted something from the Eyebeam reBlog that I'd found on a feed somewhere.

So, now as I hand the keys over to Kathleen, who brings a lot more curating experience to the job than I certainly had, I'll be hoping to make her job a bit easier with this new site you see here, which is shey.net relaunched as yet another reBlog. There's not much here yet in the way of design, or functionality, but I'll be experimenting a lot with the format, and the feed, and trying to refine a voice that's individual, personal, and hopefully useful to other reBlogs.

Posted by tshey at 12:01 AM

October 03, 2004

The Art of Nate Van Dyke

Posted by tshey at 07:09 PM

Area Codes, Now Divorced From Their Areas

With mobile telecommunications, calls now connect people, not places. Mobile phones have torn area codes from geography, allowing people to have phone numbers with area codes distant from where they live. The trend has triggered a debate among technological pundits,...

Posted by tshey at 06:45 PM

SPX continues unabated

It's been a busy few days since The Beat last checked in. This year's SPX has been another fun filled, discovery laden couple of days. Crowds have been good, sales strong, and the quality of the books is so uniformly high that no real buzz book has emerged yet, althought...

Posted by tshey at 06:42 PM

William Shatner to Star in New Reality TV Series

Gildor writes "The small town of Riverside, Iowa has long billed itself as the birthplace of James T. Kirk. So they were thrilled when William Shatner came there to film a Star Trek prequel about the early life of Kirk. Except there was no movie. After about 9 days, Shatner announced they were actually filming a reality TV mini-series."

Posted by tshey at 06:39 PM

October 02, 2004

Miyazaki and Moebius together again

If you happen to be in Paris between December 1st and March 13th, 2005, check out this Hayao Miyazaki/Moebius art exhibition at the Monnaie de Paris. Together the two toon titans will present over 300 pieces of art. The web page is in French and Flash so The Beat can't...

Posted by tshey at 03:46 AM

MLB launches video download store

Think of it as iTunes for baseball video. Fans can download "Minivision clips" for their cell phones or PDAs for 99 cents a pop. "Minivision also presents a great way to enjoy one of those new Portable Media Centers," suggests MLB. If you ask me, paying for baseball highlights just seems a little over the top, but we'll see if the new service gains some traction. (Via PaidContent)

Posted by tshey at 03:40 AM



BiReality: Mutually Immersive Mobile Telepresence

BiReality uses a teleoperated robotic surrogate to visit remote locations as a substitute for physical travel. The goal is to create, both for the user and the people at the remote location, the sensory experience relevant for face-to-face interactions. The second-generation system provides a 360-degree surround immersive audio and visual experience for both the user and remote participants, and streams eight high-quality video streams totaling almost 20Mb/s over wireless networking. The system preserves gaze and eye contact, presents local and remote participants to each other at life size, and preserves the head height of the user at the remote location.

Posted by tshey at 03:38 AM

oh that ether!


More on Sky Ear

Rereading David Pescovitz s article State of the Artists, where he discusses Sky Ear a surreal electric cloud of mobile phones and helium balloons that connect participants with the electromagnetic ether ," I am reminded of early radio.

It was Guglielmo Marconi who first exploited Heinrich Herz s discovery of electromagnetic radiation and demonstrated that radio waves could be used to transmit morse code over hundreds and then thousands of miles. When he first introduced wireless to America, during the popular America Cup races in 1899, the press hailed him as a hero and a wizard. Wireless itself evoked psychic metaphors (see Susan Douglas great book, Listening In). It was magic; Popular Science Monthly wrote that it was as if the nerves of the whole world (were) being bound together. And the reputable scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge, one of the leaders of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, suddenly began praising mediums, insisting the dead don t die and describing contact with the spiritual world. The connection between radio, the ether and spirituality ran strong.

Sky Ear, which is designed to acquaint you with these same "hidden mysteries of the wireless spectrum by triggering high-intensity colored LEDs within the cloud, seems to be falling on a different sensitivity in 2004, with one correspondent remarking that putting mobile phones into the clouds just to blink colors is ridiculous.

Sky Ear had its last public launch in England on September 15, and according to its web site, there are no confirmed "flights" planned for the future, although talks go on. For more on Sky Ear and other works by Usman Haque. For more on radio: Susan J. Douglas, Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination, Times Books, 1999.

Posted by tshey at 03:38 AM

swimming together



tunA is a handheld ad-hoc radio device for local music sharing created by Arianna Bassoli, Julian Moore, Stefan Agamanolis at the Media Lab Europe.

tunA is a mobile wireless application that allows users to share their music locally through handheld devices. Users can "tune in" to other nearby tunA music players and listen to what someone else is listening to. Developed on iPaqs and connected via 802.11b in ad-hoc mode, the application displays a list of people using tunA that are in range, gives access to their profile and playlist information, and enables synchronized peer-to-peer audio streaming. (from the website)

The idea is to use music to connect people at a local level and engender the sense of a shared experience.

Posted by tshey at 03:37 AM

Presidential Debate Analysis

Whenever I watch a televised debate, I always wonder what percentage of the speaker's message is actually thinking on the feet and how much is canned material. With the advent of available transcripts, these sorts of questions can be addressed with various computational methods.

A simple way to identify repeated statements is to count the number of times a particular noun phrase is metioned. Noun phrases act as both a proxy to the subject matter of a given piece of text, but also the way in which things are worded.

For this simple experiment, we'll need four tools:

The results are quite interesting. Looking only at noun phrases of at least 2 words occuring at least twice for a given speaker, we arrive at some spectacular catch phrases. For Bush my favorite is "hard work," which he said repeatedly. Apparently Bush thinks that the world is a difficult place to be. For Kerry, a salient phrase was "war as a last resort."

The top 25 phrases for Bush and Kerry follow. The number following each phrase is a rank described by the length of the phrase and the number of times it appeared.

There are so many other types of analysis that could be run on these data. If you find anything interesting, please let me know. Also, the Debate Spotter allows for any query, so post any interesting phrases that you find.

Posted by tshey at 03:36 AM

It's official: TiVo and Netflix teaming up on movie download service


Well, it’s official: As expected, Netflix and TiVo are teaming up on a video-on-demand service, with Netflix handling all the gory details of arranging licensing deals with the movie studios and TiVo focusing on all the technological stuff of actually delivering online movie downloads. They wouldn’t discuss a date about when they might introduce the service, what it might be called (TiVoFlix? NetVo? NetfliVo?), or any other specifics, but TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay says that the two companies are absolutely, definitely not merging.

Posted by tshey at 03:33 AM

The BlackBerry 7100t arrives

Blackberry 7100t

Probably should mention that T-Mobile has started shipping the BlackBerry 7100t, you know, the one with that newfangled keyboard where they put two letters on each key and uses predictive text to guess which letter you mean.

[Via MobileTracker.net]

Posted by tshey at 03:33 AM