Archive for November, 2009

A Thanksgiving Prayer – William S. Burroughs

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

I post this one every year with a nod of best wishes for my brethren south of the border.

Give thanks for all you love and share.

Cheers.

Translation

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Apropos of the previous post, I’ve been avoiding work by playing with the Google Translation Tool. If you look to the right, in the sidebar, you’ll find it embedded there as widget.

Very cool.

It translates the contents of this page into whatever language you choose. I don’t think I have a massive international readership but it’s pretty neat that such tools exist and are so easily deployed. The accuracy of the translation is perhaps dubious but since I’m not responsible for sensitive diplomatic relations between warring nations I’m not too concerned.

I just think it’s really neat.

Also, yesterday I saw this on Gizmodo. It’s called iLingual and it’s a free iPhone app that translates common phrases into different languages – three so far: French, German and Arabic. Not such a big deal but the fun and goofy way it does it made me laugh – so, of course, I had to immediately download it. It’s okay – it’s free.

Some day soon we’ll have a real life Babelfish – until then: ni devos depend de la kapricoj de teknologio.

w00t!

Cheers.

Procrastination

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

I found this over on Ze Frank’s web site.

Guilty as charged.

Cheers.

WGC Spot On Broadcast vs. Cable

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Found this over on Jill Golick’s Running With Eyes Closed site. It’s a great bullshit cleanser from the Writer’s Guild of Canada for the debate between the cable and broadcast companies in Canada who are arguing over who should pay for Canadians to receive local programming.

Yo – fuck heads – the airwaves are ours.

I’ve been watching the repeated showings of the self-serving ads the cable companies and the broadcasters have been running and every time they make me froth at the mouth with rage over their insolent arrogance. They need to have their heads knocked together. The CRTC needs to act on behalf of Canadian citizens and not their fat cat media cronies. Will that happen? Not likely. That’s why the CRTC should get fucked. Maybe if we all say that – really loudly – they’ll get the idea, get scared for their jobs and end up inadvertently doing the right thing.

Fuck ‘em.

Cheers.

Augmented Humanity

Friday, November 13th, 2009

All this week over at Gizmodo they’ve put their focus on enhancements to the human body in a series of posts under the heading This Cyborg Life.

I’ve written here before about some of these possible futures we are rapidly entering and how we have, through our technology, achieved a greater role in our own evolution. Our tech, our media and our culture are all extensions of ourselves. One of the guest writers at Gizmodo is Aimee Mullins, who’s also been featured in this blog, and her thoughts are both provocative and inspiring. If you don’t read anything else today you must> read her post How Abled Should We Be?

Today they posted a video about a man named Tony Quan, a grafitti artist who is paralyzed from Lou Gehrig’s disease and only able to move his eyes. As you’ll see in the video he is now able to continue his public works – from his hospital bed – using a low-cost open source DIY system called EyeWriter, which uses off the shelf gear to create a head mounted device that tracks his eyes allowing him to paint (via projectors) massive scale tags.

We’ll see more of this personalized innovation come to the fore as people in their maker workshops and garage labs create extensions of themselves in tech and media and share it with the rest of the world. What may at first have been seen as singular project for an individual will quickly and easily be shared and embraced by the rest of the world – often with people finding further unanticipated uses and applications that further drives the initial innovation forward – carrying all of us along with it.

I’ve been sharing emails with my friend Bryan during this past few busy weeks about a number of topics of common interest and human enhancement has been one of them. The pattern of rapidly emerging linkages between ourselves and our machines (with our limbs, our eyes, our minds, and the rapid expansion of not just our technical ability to achieve these things but also our developing cultural acceptance of it all) is impossible to ignore. Integrating technology and the human species is not the fearful Borgian dystopia of popular SF narrative – it’s our future. Yes, there are caveats and concerns to be heeded but the emerging generations of users will be integrating their democratized home brew inventions directly with their bodies, becoming one with the tech that used to be a mere extension of self.

Check out the Gizmodo posts and ponder how you would alter or upgrade your present existence.

Welcome to the future.

Cheers.

Intermission

Monday, November 9th, 2009

I’m fighting a really bad cold that won’t go away. It’s not swine flu – just a shit load of phlegm in my lungs. I’m also trying to keep up with some actual work deadlines and at the same time prototype a dinky little iPhone app.

So please excuse me for not posting more regularly here as of late. Neat ideas, dumb shit, vociferous rants and cool weird crap will return as soon as I feel better enough to devote the time you so richly deserve.

In the meantime:

This whole retro collection is joyously kitschy and cool but I think the best part starts at the 8:40 mark.

Cheers.

Tim Minchin – Storm

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009