John Maeda is now in the RISD Team

Actually, not just in the RISD team, but leading the Rhode Island School of Design. Even though I never was to MIT, all those years of constantly following his work with the Media Arts and Sciences Department leave me now with a feeling of nostalgia… cute! what can digital information do to a very sane person :)

I hope, and I know, his work will continue to be inspirational and I sure hope one day I get to meet the idea generator man in person.

Announce your intent II

I’ve chatted with a friend of mine about this (and also bragged to him that my blog is now linked by cnn on the article of cybercrime Victory!) and he gave my an interesting thought. The calls may be also categorized as of urgent, normal and low importance.

Continue Reading →

Brightest minds in online technology

ETech conference took place in Sun Diego three days (3 – 6 March). Hot topics and brightest brains in the online business gathered to discuss and brainstorm on emerging technologies. Continue Reading →

BBC beta finally live

As I’ve said earlier in my posts, this page will make history. Pretty soon we’ll experience new ways of interaction with mass-media. The name will change as well :) .

bbc new layout

I am President of the Internet – Surveillance Society IV

I was talking to a friend today about web crawlers and he told me that when google was indexing the server, all employees at his former work place were looking anxiously to huge raise in sales Ka-ching.

Everyone receives Google these days with lots and lots of love, but will there be a time, when things will be the other way around? When one or some very powerful spiders may be regarded as the sentinels in the Matrix? Is China in this situation already? Continue Reading →

CNN enters virtual world

CNN has decided to open an I-Report hub in Second Life, encouraging residents of Second Life to share their own “SL I-Reports” about events occurring within the virtual world.

This I-Report hub includes a news desk where CNN producers will hold weekly editorial discussions, and an amphitheater for larger in-world events, such as training sessions and appearances by CNN anchors and correspondents.

CNN’s first in-world training session will be held Tuesday, November 13, at 5 p.m. ET at the I-Report Hub , that is, if I’m guessing correctly, on the 14th around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Baagz invitation to join

So, as we’ve seen earlier this month, I have been baaged ;;) Today I’ve received the invitation to join and have a look at this tool.

Well, I like it Yahoo emoticon. So far it is in the beta version, so I expect many improvements and tools to be developed until the final release. I like the fact that it is all modular and interactivity is taken to its extreme. I checked the source, it’s all JavaScript or so it seems… niiice job, guys.

Can hardly wait to see the release. I would add a more sense of the community, right now it’s a little hard to see what is happening in the community, unless you type search terms and find other people’s baagz.

Way to go! Nice job!

Baag me, baby!!

Developed by exalead.com team, baagz.com [currently in its beta form] aims to become a new form of social networking. Sharing multiple forms of content, not just a mere profile of oneself is the target for the baagz team.

Short dictionary – extract from the baagz brochure

baagz is the name of the service
a baag (plural baagz) is a shared interest
baagboyz and baaggirlz is what you expect, and they are all baagerz
to baag an information is to put the information into a baag
let’s bag it! is what a user say when finding a cool site

I am waiting to be accepted as a user (so far registration is only by means of invitation, so I have to wait for now) and dive into this new social networking ubercool site Yahoo emoticon dreaming

Second Life, again

Just seen on Euronews a documentary on Second Life and its legal issues. Apparently, there are some lawsuits regarding the ownership of land and property in Second Life.

In May 2006, Marc Bragg has filed suit against Linden Lab for “a virtual land deal gone sour.” According to the press-release issued by Bragg, “The suit seeks financial damages in the thousands, in part for a breach of a virtual land auction contract and for violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. This suit is unique because the land doesn’t actually exist.” Technically, the land does exist – both as data, and as a user experience – but not as terra firma and he argues that when you mention the term “own” by no means can it be made to signify “licensed” or “rent”.

Property is an interesting concept if we relate it to virtuality. ownership is by no means related to physicality, that’s something we all agree (copyright on an idea is one very good example) and exchange is what gives value to the owned property.

I’ve tried Second Life just today :) and it seems addictive, but honestly, I would not spend a dollar on things that are a simulacrum of reality. I would most definitely spend money on new inventions, objects, be they as weird as they might be… It’s a brilliant idea for the Linden Lab, I cannot argue, but my take on this is a no.

And then again, in love and science, never say never Yahoo Emoticon

Universal avatars from IBM and Linden Lab

The success of Second life (haven’t tried it yet – Ruxi, you should be ashamed of yourself) has taken industry leaders into creating avatars that can access all virtual worlds and use universal tools. Yesterday and today at Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo the top of this industry discuss the future of media and communication.

The challenge IBM and Linden Lab has put themselves to is Continue Reading →

coComment – or how to follow user comments

Take a look at this Swiss tool for keeping track of user comments on different collaborative tools such as blogs, flickr, digg etc. -> www.cocomment.com

“coComment keeps track of all the online conversations you’re following in one convenient place, and informs you Continue Reading →

Muriel Cooper – brilliant mind of the on-screen design

I’ve just read the iht.com article on Muriel Cooper and have discovered a great mind. Never knew where the MIT logo came from and that it was her idea.

She was one of the visionaries that foreseen design as interactive and driven by simplicity. In the 60s when technology was only in its infancy, people tended to see it as a big monster capable of changing social realities but inflexible.

Cooper has reinforced the idea that on-screen design can be better than just linecodes :) …. Almost 40 years after we’ve come to Microsoft surface and Apple’s iPhone. Muriel Cooper sure was right!

“Google Art, or How to Hack Google” online exhibition

Rhizome curates an online exhibition of projects that refer to Google way of life :) .

“The selection of projects in Google Art, or How to Hack Google illuminate and critique the influence of this expanding online institution. The projects include ad hacks that attempt to foil Google’s seemingly unstoppable business machinery, playful re-interpretations of search results and alterations of its geographical worldview. Together, they elevate and critique Google’s logic, while recognizing its own deepening relationship with our culture, behavior and lives.”

Curated by Ana Otero for Rhizome.

I liked the simplicity (Maeda, again) of the concept for the GoogleHouses project. It is a website that searches houses images on google by different keywords (you can build interior image collections – bedrooms, bathrooms etc) and exhibits them in a 3D model of walls and interiors.

“MuRata Seisaku Kun” bicycle-robot

Such a nice robot, reminds me of when I was working on a project of artificial intelligence… pattern recognition (first project in university) and I thought that determining an object by its contour was such a simple thing …. yeeaaah right! discovered only a few hours later that humans are quite marvelous beings … and the most simple things we do, take such vast computation in computer realm .. Continue Reading →

Panorama festival Karlsruhe

Panorama festival in Karlsruhe starts on Saturday and is for the next 6 months. A lot of interesting experiments are to be seen there. You might be fooled that it is a simple display of photographic panoramas collections, but you would be soo wrong: The festival gathers interactive artists that make use of panoramas display in their work Continue Reading →

One new graphics environment – E15

Four grad researchers Kyle Buza, Luis Blackaller, Takashi Okamoto, and Kate Hollenbach from MIT have presented at FlashForward conference, a new graphics environment called E15. As Maeda says on his blog, E15 attempts to bring together the best of the power intrinsic to the Web, full-performance graphics processing, and a fully interpreted environment with dynamic class loading.

There’s a video on this site, looks amazing if I am imagining the right things. Anybody knows more about this E15 or has some more documentation on it?

Soft Cinema

A project from 2002 of the same Lev Manovich, with a daring(for its time) approach on browsing video content. Tagging visual information such as: contrast, automated velocity computing, while having means to navigate through a vast database of videos and audio files enables the spectator to choose themes and switch perspectives while enjoying this new type of eclectic cinema movie.

I am not actually convinced by this project, now seeing it at over 4 years distance, even though the idea has seen implementation – google video e.g. has done something relevant in this regard. The idea is truly valuable as the amount of video content exceeds at this point the possibility of indexing it in a normal fashion, but the visuals for the project are not that impressive.

I want Hieronymus Bosch in my video games

Ned Beauman on TheBlogArt&Architecture raises one very good question: why not use art in computer/console video games and what artists could be placed in this context. Continue Reading →

Nokia launches web music service

I am beginning to love BBC :) they’ve got the most interesting news about this industry… Nokia has launched today the new music and games download service, challenging both rival handset makers and mobile phone network providers Continue Reading →

Visualizar by MedialabMadri+d – 12th November 2007 to 6th January 2008

I’ve found an interesting project developed by those at Medialabmadrid, on the social, artistic and cultural applications of data visualization through a broad program of activities including reflection, research and the production of knowledge. The aim is to bring these interpretive keys to new fields of work where Continue Reading →

Yesterday big concert on MySpace.com

I see MySpace.com entering this new breed of concerts – live online… I think in two years the most, internet will be the not medium for broadcasting concerts and live events, as well. So far, the whole industry is switching to video and live streaming. Video it’s the new pink :)

Online collaborative projects

That’s what I’ve discovered in the last 30 minutes: three interesting projects all developed at MIT and a designer that helped build one of the websites.

1. Openstudio is more or less a site about artists that draw online. One setback – using Java is kinda limiting your own possibilities of expression. But the concept “OPENSTUDIO is web + art + community + economics.” goes far beyond drawing as it also includes art transactions and possibility for negotiating jobs for the registered artists. Some of the founders Amber Frid-Jimenez, Annie Ding and Burak Arikan.

2. Along with Open I/O, OpenCode, OpenSpace and OpenTag, Openstudio belongs to PLWire at MIT, namely The Physical Language Workshop

PLW kinda puzzled me with one concept: audio tag … now what is that? Some sort of answering machine over the internet? Why tag? I do have to dig a little more to see precisely.

3. What else? A very funky project, haven’t got the time to see it through but the name is puzzling Emma on relationships :D

And 4. the designer Takashi Okamoto in charge of designing the plw site. Same japanese/academic visual minimalism. Worth browsing as the sites abounds in all sorts of visuals so different from what can be seen on Romanian market. Not thoroughly commercial, rather a breath of unconventional fresh air.

Isn’t browsing fun love?

Book on Processing tbl in September 2007

Casey Reas and Ben Fry will release a book on their renewed program Processing at MIT Press this September. I have worked a little bit with Processing, it is really fascinating, point is Romania has no market for it. Or maybe I just haven’t got the insight so far.

The book will turn interesting to designers and developers, I’d like to have one copy when it’s released.

An artist I look up to

I first noticed Daniel Rozin when I was searching for a MFA in interactive art at NYU, ITP. [ Got into the program, but didn't get the scholarship (another story, let's get back)] … Continue Reading →

Robots at play

An interesting event happening in Danmark, at Odense – Robots at play from 23 to 25 August.

The lawn mower that mows the lawn completely by itself. The therapeutic robotic teddy bear “Huggable”. The toy robot that provokes children to move around Continue Reading →