"art" entries

Four short links: 23 August 2011

Four short links: 23 August 2011

Piracy of Convenience, Machina Ex Artist, Disaster Art, and CI Conference

  1. Late to Hulu Means More Piracy — more evidence that price isn’t the main reason people pirate. If they can get it legally online in a convenient fashion, they will. If you delay online release, or make it inconvenient, your erstwhile customers will turn to piracy because “it’s illegal” is less important than “it’s convenient”. Welcome to the modern world, Fox, please use the designated bin to dispose of your buggy whips.
  2. Samuel Morse’s Reversal of Fortune (Smithsonian Magazine) — Morse gave up painting entirely, relinquishing the whole career he had set his heart on since college days. No one could dissuade him.“Painting has been a smiling mistress to many, but she has been a cruel jilt to me,” he would write bitterly to Cooper. “I did not abandon her, she abandoned me.” He must attend to one thing at a time, as his father had long ago advised him. The “one thing” henceforth would be his telegraph, the crude apparatus housed in his New York University studio apartment. Later it would be surmised that, had Morse not stopped painting when he did, no successful electromagnetic telegraph would have happened when it did, or at least not a Morse electromagnetic telegraph. (via Courtney Johnston)
  3. Mudbird — beautiful ceramics made from silt and clay revealed in the Christchurch earthquake. When life hands you liquefaction, make art. (via Bridget McKendry)
  4. Jenkins User Conference — first conference on the continuous integration tool that I’m seeing in a lot of places. (via Kohsuke Kawaguchi)

A Darwinian theory of beauty

Denis Dutton's TED talk uses evolution to explain beauty.

I love this TED talk by Denis Dutton of Arts & Letters Daily fame. As you’ll see the accompanying video, he uses evolution to explain beauty.

Comment: 1
Four short links: 11 June 2010

Four short links: 11 June 2010

Delicious Absolution, Open Data Incentives, Curious iPad, and Desktop Web Apps Again

  1. Joshua at Seven on Seven — Delicious creator Joshua Schachter participated in a Rhizome “Seven on Seven” recently. He was paired with artist Monica Narula and together they explored guilt and absolution with the help of the Mechanical Turk. Check out the presentation PDF for the quick summary.
  2. How to Align Researcher Incentives with Outcomes (Cameron Neylon) — the open science data movement battles entrenched forces for closedness. We need more sophisticated motivators than blunt policy instruments, so we arrive at metrics. […] What might the metrics we would like to see look like? I would suggest that they should focus on what we want to see happen. We want return on the public investment, we want value for money, but above all we want to maximise the opportunity for research outputs to be used and to be useful. We want to optimise the usability and re-usability of research outputs and we want to encourage researchers to do that optimisation. Thus if our metrics are metrics of use we can drive behaviour in the right direction. It sounds good, but I have one question: I remember The Rise of Crowd Science. Alex Szalay didn’t have to change researcher incentives to promote shared astronomical data. I’d ask: what can the other sciences learn from astronomy?
  3. Making an iPad HTML5 App and Making it Really Fast (Thomas Fuchs) — some curious hard-won facts about iPad web development, like that touch events are delivered faster than click events. (via Webstock newsletter)
  4. Appcelerator — open source platform for building native mobile and desktop apps with web technologies. Local filesystem access and native controls, but built with HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python, and Ruby. OS X, Linux, Blackberry, iPad, …. I’ve not tried it, but it may be the variation on desktop web apps whose time has come. (via ptorrsmith on Twitter)
Comment: 1

Fourt short links: 16 Feb 2010

Curation, Voice Assistance, Data Silos, and Voice Transcription Poetry

Of Tandoori and Epicuration (JP Rangaswami) — Curation is the process by which aggregate data is imbued with personalised trust. Siri — a personal assistant iPhone app, like IWantSandy but with voice recognition. Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell University's Institutional Repository — great lessons for all open data projects. The reward structure established by each discipline largely…

Comment: 1

Mathematics and Art

Nikki Graziano’s intriguing integration of mathematical curves into her photography sparked a Radar discussion about the relationship between mathematics and the real world. Does her work give insight into the nature of mathematics? Or into the nature of the world? And if so, what kind of insight? Mathematically, matching one curve to another isn’t a big deal. Finding an equation that matches the curve of an artfully trimmed hedge is easy. The question is whether that curve tells us anything, or whether it’s just another stupid math trick.

Comments: 4
Four short links: 3 February 2010

Four short links: 3 February 2010

Bad Census Data, Telephone Fraud, Math Art, and EBook Bugs

  1. Bad Census Data for The Last Decade (Freakonomics blog) — the “representative sample” of statistics data that the Census Bureau releases has apparently been flawed. It’s been used in thousands of studies, and the Census Bureau has refused to correct it.
  2. Modern Telephone Fraud — it’s actually an old fraud updated: an insecure digital PBX used to route expensive calls. Innocent company is whacked with bill at end of month. Interesting questions raised about what we expect company to do (pay?) and telco to do (forgive?). It’s a good reminder that every electronic product is now an avenue for fraud or intrusion, but we don’t plan or contract for these situations.
  3. Found Functions — Nikki Graziano adds mathematics to photographs. Her photos let me see the world through a mathematician’s eyes. (via sciblogs)
  4. Getting Past Good-Enough E-Books — fantastic list of TODOs for ebook publishers.
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Four short links: 27 October 2009

Four short links: 27 October 2009

Digital Art Programming, DIY Construction Set, Open Source Pedant, Design Principles

  1. Field — a development environment for “experimental code” and digital art. We think that, for many uses, Field is a better Processing than Processing. Includes Python and Java bridges, goal is to connect to as many different programming systems as possible. OS X only at the moment.
  2. Contraptora DIY open source construction set for experimental personal fabrication, desktop manufacturing, prototyping and bootstrapping. (via Hacker News)
  3. After The Deadline — open source contextual spelling and grammar checker. (via Hacker News)
  4. Design Principles to Choose the Right IdeasOften people ask me how we know which ideas to choose from all the hundreds of ideas we’ve generated during brainstorm sessions. Apart from our gut feelings and experience there’s a method that could help us decide: define design principles. Interesting for the different sets of design principles used by Google and Microsoft teams. (via egoodman on Delicious)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 23 September 2009

Four short links: 23 September 2009

Video Art, Synthetic Biology Futures, Crowdsourced Personality, and an 1890s Startup

  1. Projections (YouTube) — the incredible video projection onto an old English manor house by Kiwi Foo Camp alums The Dark Room.
  2. Where Will Synthetic Biology Lead Us? (New Yorker) — a thoughtful article about the possibilities and cautions of synthetic biology. . “A house pet is a domesticated parasite,” he noted. “ It is evolved to have an interaction with human beings. Same thing with corn”—a crop that didn’t exist until we created it. “Same thing is going to start happening with energy,” he went on. “We are going to start domesticating bacteria to process stuff inside enclosed reactors to produce energy in a far more clean and efficient manner. This is just the beginning stage of being able to program life.”

  3. Business Cards and Crowdsourced Personality Assessmentswe scanned images of a person’s business card and asked crowdsourced workers from the Amazon Mechanical Turk channel to write five kind words about the person based on what they saw. I like the idea of being able to crowdsource a quick impartial aesthetic judgement about a design.
  4. When Sears Was a Startup (Pete Warden) — one of the first catalogues from Sears (1897) inspires comparisons to Amazon and other web startups. On a mission with a new business model. They can’t stop talking about how they’re cutting out the middle men who’ve been gouging their customers, with pages devoted to messianic rants against the monopolies trying to put them out of business. They contrast their order fulfillment process (dozens of clerks dealing with tens of thousands of orders a day) with the inefficient country stores full of assistants being paid to idly wait for customers, explaining how they can offer such low prices despite the shipping.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 15 July 2009

Four short links: 15 July 2009

A collection inspired by Science Foo Camp attendees

  1. Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor (PNAS) — We found that a trader’s morning testosterone level predicts his day’s profitability. We also found that a trader’s cortisol rises with both the variance of his trading results and the volatility of the market. Our results suggest that higher testosterone may contribute to economic return, whereas cortisol is increased by risk. Our results point to a further possibility: testosterone and cortisol are known to have cognitive and behavioral effects, so if the acutely elevated steroids we observed were to persist or increase as volatility rises, they may shift risk preferences and even affect a trader’s ability to engage in rational choice.
  2. The Origin of Universal Scaling Laws in Biology — eye-opening paper that blew my mind. Highlight of Sci Foo was meeting the author and shaking his hand. Relates metabolic rate, size, heart rate, and lifespan by applying physics to biology.
  3. Ushahidi — open source software for managing disasters. The Ushahidi Engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. Our goal is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.
  4. Dissecting the Canon: Visual Subject Co-Popularity Networks in Art ResearchIn this paper we analyze a classic da-
    taset of art research, which collects ancient art and architecture and their Western
    Renaissance documentation since 1947. [T]here is clearly a long tail of monument
Comment: 1
Four short links: 30 Mar 2009

Four short links: 30 Mar 2009

A great free book, dead newspaper dig, movie Torrent wakeup, and money from free:

  1. Digital Foundations with Adobe Illustrator — CC-licensed book that gets you started using Adobe Illustrator. I’m loving it, and I have the artistic ability of a particularly philistine rock. See also their advice to authors on how to negotiate a Creative Commons license. (via bjepson’s delicious stream)
  2. How to Become a Death Of Newspapers Blogger — tongue-in-cheek dig at the recent imminent deaths of newspapers being predicted. Point taken about how unproductive these are: The point’s not to fix anything. It’s to describe the problem more dramatically than the next guy. If Steve Outing says newspapers have a “death spiral” and Clay Shirky predicts “a bloodbath,” the point goes to Shirky. Basically, imagine a group of people watching a building burn down and bickering amongst themselves about whether it’s a conflagration or an inferno. It’s like that, but with consulting fees. (via migurski’s delicious stream)
  3. BarTor, Android BitTorrent with a Twist — take a picture of a DVD’s barcode, it looks up the movie, and sends the torrent file to your desktop to be automatically downloaded. NetFlix should have a legit form of this. If iTunes Movie Store had it, you could have racks of “DVDs” in stores that you could browse and snap to “buy” (giving a cut to the store). This feels monumental.
  4. Survey of Free Business Models Online — an interesting breakdown of ways to make money from “free” on the web. (via glynn moody)
Comments: 2