June 2007

Technology&User Interface29 Jun 2007 08:33 pm

iPhone Waiting LineiPhone iWait.org line waiters

Hobnobbing in front of Walnut Creek’s Apple Store with the iWait.org crowd, who were holding places on line to be among the first to purchase the highly anticipated new Apple iPhone.  Visiting around 4 pm, I asked an iWait kid, about number twelve in line, how much he was selling his place in line for.  His answer, “Two-fifty.”

The glass front of the Apple store was covered from the inside with heavy black paper, I assume to be unveiled at the 6 pm iPhone sales opening. There was a carnival atmosphere building Friday evening at Walnut Creek’s upscale shopping district, the pulse quickening with iPhone launch excitement.

For those who care not to wait, there are plenty of exotic phone gadgets already on the market, such as this Verizon LG model (below).

Verizon LG phone


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Media&Movie TV DVD Review27 Jun 2007 09:32 pm

Teri Horton with her Jackson Pollock painting

The documentary film Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? is an arresting study of whether or not a found object is worth over $20,000,000, and how to go about proving it. The documentary gets better and better as art critics, art dealers, and art experts try and determine whether a dumpster diving, truck driving woman really has possession of an original Jackson Pollock painting.

Part of the film shows the floor of Pollock’s studio where he was the software engine that threw the paint onto the horizontally reclining canvas. Gravity, excitement, gesture, inspiration, knowledge and whim played a part in the programming of the painter’s mind as he cast dripping paint noodles onto the awaiting virgin canvas. While in the excited solitude of his studio, did Pollock ever masturbate on any of his canvases? That would truly provide the DNA link that Teri Horton seeks for her painting in question. Some paint drip!

Jackson Pollock stands as a giant of real physical painting. Here is jacksonpollock.org to honor him with Flash-induced dripping pixels. Take note that these are flat 2 dimensional pixels of computer encoded light.

Brian Eno 77 Million paintingsBrian Eno calls his current touring exhibition, 77 Million Paintngs. I say that Eno has perhaps rendered 77 million musical notes resonationg in the physical airspace over time, but these are not paintings.

Eno has for a long time been a maker of stylish relaxed “ambient” music and art, sort of non-intrusive, office art without balls.

Spot Draves has been developing this idea long before Eno in his Electric Sheep project, as documented in my Tubular TV interview. Spot’s pixel throwing algorithms have been 10 years in the making, and are highly sophisticated.

Media&Politics27 Jun 2007 08:36 pm

CIA Headline in NY Times

To see the full text of the C.I.A.’s recently released, yet censored, documents go to The National Security Archives. The National Security Archives web site was written about on this blog in an earlier post about the Nixon-Elvis photo session.

Humor&Media26 Jun 2007 07:04 am

Worlds Ugliest Dog 2007
Ugly Dog
Originally uploaded by michvet3

Photos from a World’s Ugliest Dog Contest held recently in Petaluma, CA.   This year’s winner, Elwood (right).

See the SF Chronicle article for more details and photos from this unusual pet show.

2005 newspaper article about Sam (below) from the Ugliest Dog show of that year.  Sam has championship ugliness!

Sam, Worlds Ugliest Dog

Sam, World’s Ugliest Dog Champ
Originally uploaded by lmennuti

Internet&User Interface16 Jun 2007 03:00 pm

Second Life Disco Room

Of course, a leading 3-D virtual world is Second Life, a rich 3-D experience which you enter after downloading Linden Lab’s browser portal.

A friend was telling me about an acquaintance whose son had fallen in love with a woman he met within his many hours of Second Life absorption. The innocent young man planned to travel to Texas to meet his virtual girlfriend in her primary world flesh form. His concerned parents ran a background check on her. It should come as no surprise, the siren turned out to be in her mid 40’s with a criminal record.

Second Life was presaged in part by Neil Stephenson’s insightful work of modern science fiction, Snow Crash. The detailed mind of imaginative writers through the ages, such as Ray Bradbury in The Martian Chronicles,recognize that as many planets we may colonize, how ever many virtual worlds we create, we always manage to fuck it up! Corrupted by greed, power, prejudice and fear there will always be the insecure knigget, the weakest link, probably a Republican, who will introduce a tear in the fabric of the psychic community trust.  The rest is history.

Internet&Media&User Interface16 Jun 2007 02:14 pm

Red Universe

If Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a virtual universe, this would be it. Check out a strange and beautiful land, an interactive 2 1/2 D world, Red Universe.

It’s interesting to observe that as we struggle with the real world, the virtual worlds can be more enabling for design and play. There is so much in the real world we cannot control. Virtual worlds and online communities provide us with experiences that permit more control, opportunities for fresh starts and re-invention.


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American History&Politics05 Jun 2007 07:14 am

Iraq Study GroupOn a May 24th Press Conference at the White House Rose Garden, President Bush referred to the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report. When pressed if he was talking about a post-surge Plan B, Bush answered: “Actually, I would call that a plan recommended by Baker-Hamilton, so that would be a Plan B-H.”

While George the Second may be a slow reader – the report came out last December – it is encouraging that he is taking some of its well distilled knowledge more seriously. The report stated in plain black and white that “staying the course” in Iraq was not working and that sustained increases in U.S. troop levels “would not solve the fundamental causes of violence in Iraq.”

The “B-H Plan” is an interesting read, with many important, well thought out recommendations, among them:

Recommendation 22: The President should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq. (Recently contradicted by the White House’s Tony Snow and Robert Gates when comparing Iraq to a “Korea model.”)

Recommendation 13: There must be renewed and sustained commitment by the U.S. to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. (An effort basically ignored, if not undermined by U.S.-Israeli rhetoric.)

Establishing peace talks between Israel and Palestine has been ignored since Clinton left office. The B-H Report states, “The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict. The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

And so it is impossible to ignore, Israel is the key. Forty years after the June 1967 Six Day War in which Israel captured Arab land, the dispute continues with no end in sight.

Amnesty International ReportAmnesty International has published a report, “Enduring Occupation: Palestinians under seige in the West Bank,” addressing this central problem in greater detail.

Diplomacy in the Middle East is apparently too difficult for the current White House administration. The tone of the current Presidential debates is for setting the bar higher on a new and improved U.S. foreign policy… at least that’s the talk. Shrub’s policies of ignorance and postponement will come to an end. If it were only sooner – innocent people are suffering.

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