> context weblog october 2002
sampling new cultural context
| home | site map | about context | lang >>> español - català |
thursday :: october 31, 2002
> print print print - old printing process
project gutenberg
:: net public domain library awarded

"The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation" from the U.S. won the 2002 Stockholm Challenge Award in the category Culture.

The project set out in 1971 to prove the feasibility of the eBook concept and encourage creation and distribution of free eBooks. Today Project Gutenberg has produced over 6,000 eBooks, of the 20,000+ listed by the Internet Public Library, and has mirror sites on every continent, including Antarctica. About 1,500 volunteers hope to produce about 2,400 more eBooks in 2002, nearly twice as many as the 1,240 they created in 2001. For every one of those, similar organisations create three more, aiming to convert all materials entering the public domain in every language into free eBooks. By their 7,000th eBook, Project Gutenberg hopes to have included examples of books in 20 languages, and already has one eBook that contains selections translated into over 75 languages.

The Stockholm Challenge Award focuses on the positive effects of the information society, trying to bridge what is usually called the Digital Divide. The 28 member international jury looks for exemplary use of information technology that has an impact on public lives. The Stockholm Challenge Award is a non-profit initiative of the City of Stockholm. >from *Project Gutenberg wins the Stockholm Challenge Award*, october 18, 2002

related context
Project Gutenberg
> 2002 indie ebook awards :: digital literature festival. october 28, 2002

wednesday :: october 30, 2002
INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory
:: most energetic phenomena in the Universe

The European Space Agency launched a new observatory set to revolutionise the branch of astrophysics that seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe.

Operating in an orbit that enables it to spend most of its time outside the Van Allen radiation belts, which can hamper observation of cosmic gamma rays, Integral satellite will primarily study the densest sky objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, which are all sources of very high energy radiation.

Integral’s observations should enable astrophysicists to confirm the presence of giant black holes at the centre of galaxies, starting with the Milky Way. Other areas of interest for the European gamma-ray observatory will include events of rare violence such as nova and supernova explosions.

The gamma-ray astronomy explores the most energetic phenomena in the Universe and addresses some of the most fundamental problems in physics and astrophysics (stellar nucleosynthesis, neutron stars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts...). >from *Europe opens a window onto a violent Universe*, october 17, 2002

related context
milky way center: a supermassive black hole . october 22, 2002
> working neutrino telescope: a novel way of seeing universe. may 22, 2001

> Integral launched on October 17, 2002
from Baikonur in Kazakhstan
tuesday :: october 29, 2002
> may we experience the smell of the ink?
2002 indie ebook awards
:: digital literature festival

The Finalists and Winners of the Independent e-Book Awards, and the winner of the Dana Atchley Scholarship for Digital Storytelling will be announced during the *Digital Literature Festival* on November 2nd.

The Festival will feature readings, lectures and workshops to introduce readers to electronic books and digital storytelling. There will also be exhibits of authors, publishers, manufacturers of wireless and e-reading devices, software companies, schools and educational organizations, and companies specializing in e-learning. The highlight of the Festival will be the 2002 Independent e-Book Awards ceremony.

The Independent e-Book Awards were created in September of 2000 as the result of a collaboration between Sunny Ross, founder and executive director of the Digital Literature Institute and editor-in-chief of Mystic-Ink, one of the first online communities for readers and writers, and M. J. Rose, author of Lip Service, the first e-book discovered online by the mainstream publishing industry. >from *e-Book Awards site*

related context
Open eBook Publication Structure Specification 1.2. august 27, 2002
> eBooks by the Numbers: Open eBook Forum Compiles Industry Growth Stats. Report Points to Solid Growth of Electronic Publishing. july 22, 2002
> The International eBook Award Foundation Discontinues Frankfurt eBook Award and Suspends Activities. april 17, 2002
> independent e-book awards nominations. november 27, 2001
> first electronic book awards. october 20, 2000

monday :: october 28, 2002
:: from free software to free society?

Free Software is a mystery to someone who thinks only in terms of labor and money. Thousands of volunteers build highly complex software, without which for instance the Internet would not even be imaginable - and the majority of them receive no money. Nonetheless the developers benefit from their doing: They are completely absorbed by it, it fits their personality to do precisely that - in short: It is their life.

This opportunity for individual and collective self-unfolding is accompanied by global networking and self-organization, which evolves from the development of computer technology. Based on the new technology 'Internet' a new form to produce what is necessary arises Free Software being a germ form. And with a great deal of creativity the new technical possibilities are employed to experiment with new forms of social interaction freely and easily.

The *Project Oekonux* does research on the economical, political and social forms of Free Software. >from *2. Oekonux Conference site*

related context
Free Software Foundation
> Washington State Congressman attempts to outlaw GPL. october 23, 2002
> free as in freedom. the life story of richard stallman. june 25, 2002
> first oekonux conference. may, 2001

> dancing over germinal live
thursday :: october 24, 2002
> when electrons meet matter
artificial landscapes
:: an aerial tour to the nanoland

'Artificial landscapes' is a collection of panoramic views through the eye of an electron microscope made by Victor F. Puntes. The views presents an aerial tour to the nanoland, looking deep inside matter instead of looking at the sky.

"A landscape is a formalization of space and time, and the external landscapes directly reflect interior states of mind –in fact the only external landscapes that have any meaning are those which are reflected in the Central Nervous System, if you like, by their direct analogues." J. G.Ballard

The tamed magnetic deflection of a scattered electron beam in reasonable vacuum after impacting a distribution of metallic and organic materials is projected, leaving an imprint somehow witness of the atomic-scale electron density of the encountered matter. The evaporation of the solvent in a colloidal solution traps the system in a state remain of its dynamic behavior, such that at laboratory temperature, van der Waals, dipolar, capillary and other forces are of similar magnitude, which together with entropy lead to a marvelous broad variety of self-assembled shapes … unless it is our ability of seeing different what is the same. What appears, evokes, is amazingly and warmly familiar, and is probably the result of a sequence and distribution of accidents that are similar at different length scales. The building blocks which conforms the self assembled shapes consist on individual crystals of about a dozen of nanometers, which means roughly 20 to 30 cobalt atoms side to side.

Exhibition *artificial landscapes* by victor f puntes in *straddle3*
Projection of the work by the author friday october 25, 2002 at 19:00h

related context
Colloidal Nanocrystal Shape and Size Control: The Case of Cobalt
by victor f puntes, kannan m krishnan and a. paul alivisatos
> Nanotechnology: Shaping the World Atom by Atom
> Complex Systems, Science for the 21st Century

wednesday :: october 23, 2002
:: first distributed computing success

As you read this sentence, millions of personal computers around the world are working overtime -- performing complex computations on their screensavers in the name of science. This growing Internet phenomenon, known as 'distributed computing,' is being used for everything from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence to the design of new therapeutic drugs.

Now, for the first time, a distributed computing experiment has produced significant results that have been published in a scientific journal. Writing in the advanced online edition of Nature magazine, Stanford University scientists Christopher D. Snow and Vijay S. Pande describe how they -- with the help of 30,000 personal computers -- successfully simulated part of the complex folding process that a typical protein molecule undergoes to achieve its unique, three-dimensional shape. Their findings were confirmed in the laboratory of Houbi Nguyen and Martin Gruebele, scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who co-authored the Nature study.

"These experiments represent a great success for distributed computing," Pande said. "Understanding how proteins fold will likely have a great impact on understanding a wide range of diseases." >from *Folding@home scientists report first distributed computing success*, october 21, 2002

related context
distributed computing projects @home. december 18, 2000

> world protein folding dance
tuesday :: october 22, 2002
> sagitarius sticker pointing to the black hole
milky way center
:: a supermassive black hole

Supermassive black holes -- the name given to black holes whose mass is more than 1,000,000 times the mass of the sun -- can be found at the center of many galaxies. Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, and several institutions in France have succeeded in tracking Sagittarius A*, a star racing around a dark mass at the center of our galaxy. This achievement offers more support for the widely held view that the dark mass is a supermassive black hole.

The scientists tracked, for the first time, a star completing an orbit around a known unusual source of radiation (a black hole candidate) in the center of our galaxy. This discovery heralds a new epoch of high precision black hole astronomy and that might help us better understand how galaxies are born and evolve.

Such sightings could provide information on a point we know surprisingly little about: our own place in the universe. Tal Alexander, a theoretical astrophysicist,said: 'We currently do not even know the earth's exact distance from the center of our own galaxy -- understanding stellar orbits of this kind might tell us where we are.' >from *Zooming Star Points to Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way*, october 16, 2002

related context
life come from explosions of stars. toward a standard model of supernovae. september 25, 2001

monday :: october 21, 2002
tiny atomic battery
:: power supply

While electronic circuits and nanomachines grow ever smaller, batteries to power them remain huge by comparison, as well as short-lived. But now Cornell University researchers have built a microscopic device that could supply power for decades to remote sensors or implantable medical devices by drawing energy from a radioactive isotope. The device converts the energy stored in the radioactive material directly into motion. It could directly move the parts of a tiny machine or could generate electricity in a form more useful for many circuits than has been possible with earlier devices.

The prototype is the first MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) version of a larger device. Amil Lal, Hui Li and Hang Guo are now building and testing practical sensors and power supplies based on the concept. The prototype shown in August was gigantic by comparison with the latest versions. An entire device, including a vacuum enclosure, could be made to fit in less than one cubic millimeter. >from *Tiny atomic battery developed at Cornell could run for decades unattended, powering sensors or machines*

related context
What is MEMS Technology?
> fuel cell laptop computer by 2004. october 16, 2002
> nanoparticles used in solar energy conversion. august 9, 2002
> bubble fusion : sound-induced nuclear fusion. march 13, 2002
> microbes to produce power: electricity from organic matter. january 22, 2002

> 1 cubic millimeter patterns
thursday :: october 17, 2002
> kein art ist illegal
illegal art
:: freedom of expression in the corporate age

The laws governing 'intellectual property' have grown so expansive in recent years that artists need legal experts to sort them all out. Borrowing from another artwork --as jazz musicians did in the 1930s and Looney Tunes illustrators did in 1940s-- will now land you in court. If the current copyright laws had been in effect back in the day, whole genres such as collage, hiphop, and Pop Art might have never have existed. The irony here couldn't be more stark. Rooted in the U.S. Constitution, copyright was originally intended to facilitate the exchange of ideas but is now being used to stifle it.

The Illegal Art Exhibit will celebrate what is rapidly becoming the 'degenerate art' of a corporate age: art and ideas on the legal fringes of intellectual property. Some of the pieces in the show have eluded lawyers; others have had to appear in court. Loaded with gray areas, intellectual property law inevitably has a silencingeffect, discouraging the creation of new works. Should artists be allowed to use copyrighted materials? Where do the First Amendment and 'intellectual property' law collide? What is art's future if the current laws are allowed to stand? Stay Free! considers these questions and others in 'Illegal Art' multimedia program.

The exhibition sponsors are *Stay Free! magazine* (on American media and consumer culture), *Internet Archives* (digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form), *Prelinger Archives* (one of the world's largest collections of ephemeral films), *Illegal Art* (record label focussed on audio artists who use sampling), and *Detritus.net* (online gallery/library dedicated to recycled culture). >from *Illegal Art site*.

related context
Art: What's Original, Anyway? By Kendra Mayfield. Wired, october 10, 2002
> kingdom of piracy: piracy as net art form. october 2, 2002

wednesday :: october 16, 2002
two new windows on the universe
:: the 2002 nobel prize in physics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2002 with one half jointly to Raymond Davis Jr and Masatoshi Koshiba for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos and the other half to Riccardo Giacconi for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources.

The Earth lies in the path of a continuous flux of cosmic particles and other types of radiation. This year’s Nobel Laureates in Physics have used these very smallest components of the universe to increase our understanding of the very largest: the Sun, stars, galaxies and supernovae. The new knowledge has changed the way we look upon the universe. >from *The 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics*, october 8, 2002.

related context
working neutrino telescope. may 22, 2001
> prize for pioneers of neutrino astronomy. may 21, 2000
> chandra observatory first year in orbit. august 22, 2000

> 1967 press releases
tuesday :: october 15, 2002
> pigmented iris epithelium* :
*layer of cells closely bound to one another to form continuous sheets covering surfaces that may come into contact with foreign substances
:: Infrastructure for Resilient Internet Systems

A far-reaching joint research project to develop a secure, decentralized Internet infrastructure that is resistant to failure and attack has been awarded with $12 Million by the NSF. Today's traditional client-server approach to distributed systems suffers from significant security and scalability problems when hosting complex applications over wide area networks. The Iris project adopts a very different approach, aiming to use distributed hash table (DHT) technology to develop a robust common framework and infrastructure for distributed applications without creating central points of vulnerability. The secure networks that emerge from this project will streamline distributed application programming and offset development expenses.

Acting as the cornerstone of the new robust shared infrastructure, DHT technology will securely orchestrate data retrieval and computation on open-ended large-scale networks such as the Internet, even when the individual nodes on the network are insecure or unreliable. The underlying network will also be self-configuring, allowing the addition and removal of nodes without manual oversight while also automatically balancing excess loads across the network. The desired end- result is a large reliable distributed system composed of inexpensive and unreliable components.

"A peer-to-peer approach to distributed systems has gained momentum in recent years because it offers scalability and robustness, but a lot of critical research problems remain," says Professor Victor Zue, Director of the MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science. "With some of the best minds in this community collaborating and with sustained support from NSF, significant advances will undoubtedly be made." The Iris project includes a multidisciplinary team of researchers from fields including networking, algorithms, security, systems, and databases.

Students at each of the participating institutions will be encouraged to join the DHT testbed. The group hopes to build upon student interest in P2P technologies to create the mission-critical distributed applications of the future. >from *MIT, Berkeley, ICSI, NYU, and Rice launch the IRIS Project*, september 25,2002

related context
> CodeCon 2002 :: p2p and cripto programming. february 21, 2002
> distributed computing projects @home. december 18, 2000

monday :: october 14, 2002
:: a new world in the solar system

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has measured the largest object in the solar system ever seen since the discovery of Pluto 72 years ago. Approximately half the size of Pluto, the icy world 2002 LM60, dubbed "Quaoar" (pronounced kwa-whar) by its discoverers, is the farthest object in the solar system ever to be resolved by a telescope.

This finding yields important new insights into the origin and dynamics of the planets, and the mysterious population of bodies dwelling in the solar system's final frontier: the elusive, icy Kuiper belt beyond Neptune. Like Pluto, Quaoar dwells in the Kuiper belt, an icy debris field of comet-like bodies extending 7 billion miles beyond Neptune's orbit. Over the past decade more than 500 icy worlds have been found in the Kuiper belt. Quaoar's 'icy dwarf' cousin, Pluto, was discovered in 1930 in the course of a 15-year search for trans-Neptunian planets. It wasn't realized until much later that Pluto actually was the largest of the known Kuiper belt objects. The Kuiper belt wasn't theorized until 1950, after comet orbits provided telltale evidence of a vast nesting ground for comets just beyond Neptune. The first recognized Kuiper belt objects were not discovered until the early 1990s. >from *Hubble Spots an Icy World Far Beyond Pluto*, october 7, 2002

related context
kuiper belt
> pluto. news horizons mission
> pluto-kuiper belt mission. november 19, 2001
> pluto's identity crisis by robert naeye. summer, 2001
> cruithne, earth's second moon
> 100 th extra-solar planet. september 23, 2002

> quaoar + kuiper belt
wednesday :: october 9, 2002
> by natural selection?
:: art and biotechnology exhibition

Arts Catalyst's new exhibition, CleanRooms, at the new Gallery Oldham (London) presents art works that challenge responses to a science often perceived as secretive and sinister: biotechnology. Exploring ideas of contamination and containment, ethics and accountability, Clean Rooms asks the audience to decide how far they themselves would go with the emerging powers of genetic manipulation.

Art group Critical Art En semble opened CleanRooms exhibition with 'GenTerra', last seen at The New Museum in New York, where it had particular resonance because of recent anthrax attacks. Critical Art Ensemble's work employs genetic materials and lab practices with the direct participation of the audience. Lab-coated technicians from the GenTerra biotechnology corporation introduce their bioproducts and enable you to grow your own transgenic bacteria using recombinant DNA technology.

In Gina Czarnecki's installation 'Silvers Alter', life-size naked human forms 'live' within a large video projection in the gallery. They are the subjects for visitors to manipulate and mate. The 'beings' they create have never existed before. 'Silvers Alter' gives the power to create, eliminate and stare. It raises ethical and philosophical questions: To what extent are we prepared to participate in all that medical science may make possible?

Neal White's 'Uncontrolled Hermetic' remodels the activities and methods of the controlled areas or clean rooms used by scientists and manufacturers to conduct experiments and build sp ecialist equipment. The visitor, fulfil the final part of this system, as the contaminating or contaminated body, the weakest link in the ultraclean technology chain: a human being.

Two artist residencies are being hosted at Gallery Oldham as part of the CleanRooms exhibition. New York artist Brandon Ballengee's project 'From Farm to Pharm' involve young people in an exploration of the origin, growth and contemporary practice of genetic engineering. Visiti ng pet stores, farms, urban parks and markets they will trace the history of humankind's struggle for dominance over natural evolutionary forces, creating a gallery and on-line installation. Theatre artist Ruth Ben-Tovim invite groups of people to explore and present their personal responses to the questions raised by CleanRooms, using improvisation and games, writing, photography and tape recording. >from *CleanRooms presentation in Arts Catalyst site*.

related context
rip: alba, the glowing bunny. august 12, 2002
> gene(sis) :: contemporary art explores human genomics. april 5, 2002
> transgenic artwork gfp bunny. february, 2000

tuesday :: october 8, 2002
aesthetic by default
:: let us play inter-back rather than inter-face

Close to the unrecognizable, the 'aesthetic by default' can sometimes disarm the user by its simplicity or to be interpreted as an error and its contents be ignored. The 'aesthetic by default' is born on Internet of a situation between human beings and machines. For three years, the collective of artists Teleferique experiments a website with an 'interface by default'. The current text is coming from this collective experience. During the redaction of this text, i've kept in mind http://www.teleferique.org and ftp://ftp.teleferique.org as examples to describe what i mean. The 'aesthetic by default' applies less to a piece or an author, that in a collective choice of context of work and life on Internet (an aesthetic of interface). Our interface is not made by a graphic designer or any other human being but generated by the computer's program. It is its reason to live. 'By default' is a selection automatically used by a computer program in the absence of a choice made by the user, or before the user modifies it. In the starting up, display is initialized by default. 'Default' comes from Old French defaute, from defaillir to be lacking, fail. So is esthetic a failure to appear at the required time in a legal proceeding or believes, a beauty by contumace.

Aesthetic by default is linked to Duchamp's 'ready-made' (Porte-bouteilles, 1913). From a linguistic point of view, both of them are phrases. 'Ready-made' is a nominal phrase and 'by default' an adverbial one. A phrase is a chain of 'words' grammatically connected and having a unitary 'meaning'. A phrase is often fixed by the tradition, an extended usage in everydaylife rather than a new name for a revolutionary project. 'Ready-made' is a popular expression used in 1913 by Duchamp to describe the contemporary art as a convention. An interface by default is 'ready-chosen' rather than 'ready-made'. We have installed a site and a server like it is recommended in technical manuals, that's all. I would distinguish "choosing an object as an artistic act, an absence of making" and "make a server with options by default, an absence of choice". This lack of choice is motivated by the refusal of graphic design as the unique mode of existence for art in medias and a network society. In other words, our aesthetic experience takes place in the technological context. >from *Aesthetic by default. Beauty flavor vanilla* by Etienne Cliquet. August, 2002.

related context
do it (home version) :: online art-by-instruction. june 26, 2002
> open_source_art_hack :: new museum exploration. april 30, 2002

> context weblog by default
monday :: october 7, 2002
> medical testing without needles
near infrared spectroscopy
:: non-invasive analysis and diagnosis

Current near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic techniques will expand the range of non invasive blood and tissue chemistry measurements. These changes also will provide accurate readings unaffected by skin color or body fat.

"Once complete, this device will allow chemical analysis and diagnosis without removing samples from the patient. It will be useful for monitoring surgery patients, assessing severity of traumatic injury, and evaluating injuries in space," said Dr. Babs Soller, researcher on the National Space Biomedical Research Institute's smart medical systems team.

"Light in the near infrared region has slightly longer wavelengths than red light. It is important for medicine because those wavelengths, for the most part, actually pass through skin and to some extent bone, allowing you to get chemical information about tissues and blood," said Soller, a research associate professor of surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "We're measuring hematocrit, tissue pH and tissue oxygenation using our device and standard techniques," she said. "These data will give us the information needed to derive equations to calibrate the new NIR instrument."

Since the technology is being designed to meet the lightweight, low-power and portable requirements of the space program, it will also be useful in ambulances, helicopters and emergency rooms.

"The beauty of the non-invasive technique is that it allows physicians to take measurements continuously, once a second if you want," she said. "We think these measurements might help prevent serious complications from traumatic injuries by providing early indications of low oxygen availability." >from *Needle-Free Blood And Tissue Measurements*, October
2, 2002

related context
new biomedical technologies for biosensing and medicine delivery. january 23, 2002
> terahertz imaging :: image biological tissue. january 21, 2002
> sonic flashlight make human body translucent. december 11, 2001
> acoustic device avoid surgery :: to find and stop internal bleeding. november 20, 2001

friday :: october 4, 2002
:: software art exhibition

CODeDOC is an online exhibition at the Whitney Museum's artport launched September, 2002.

CODeDOC takes a reverse look at 'software art' projects by focusing on and comparing the 'back end' of the code that drives the artwork's 'front end' -- the result of the code, it visuals or a more abstract communication process. A dozen artists coded a specific assignment in a language of their choice and were asked to exchange the code with each other for comments. The results of the programming are made visible only after the code --what visitors to this site encounter first is a text document of code from which they can launch the front end of the project. CODeDOC is an endeavor to take a closer look at the process of this particular artistic practice, and to raise questions about the parameters of artistic creation.

The layer of 'code' and instructions that constitutes a conceptual level which connects to previous artistic work such as Dada's experiments with formal variations and the conceptual pieces by Duchamp, Cage and Sol LeWitt that are based on the execution of instructions.

What distinguishes software art from other artistic practices, is that, unlike any form of visual art, it requires the artist to write a purely verbal description of their work. The aesthetics of artists who write their own source code manifest themselves both in the code itself and its visual results. Artist John F. Simon, Jr. has talked about code as a form of creative writing. Code has also been referred to as the medium, the 'paint and canvas,' of the digital artist but it transcends this metaphor in that it even allows artists to write their own tools. The projects featured as part of CODeDOC are expressions of distinct artistic signatures: the conceptual approach to the project, the way the code has been written, and the results produced by it reveal a lot about the respective artist.

Participating artists: Sawad Brooks, Mary Flanagan, Alex Galloway, John Klima, Golan Levin, Kevin McCoy, Mark Napier, Brad Paley, Scott Snibbe, Camille Utterback, Martin Wattenberg, Maciej Wisniewski. >from *CODeDOC* by Christiane Paul, August 2002

related context
do it (home version) :: online art-by-instruction. june 26, 2002
> i love you :: computer_virus_hacker_culture. may 23, 2002
> read_me 1.2 software festival. may 18, 2002
> open_source_art_hack :: new museum exploration. april 30, 2002
> diy (do it yourself) :: transmediale.01. january 30, 2001

> le petit chimiste
thursday :: october 3, 2002
> let's go to madhack 02 with the toolbox pc
smart mobs
:: new uses of mobile media

Howard Rheingold chronicled and forecast the PC revolution in 1985 and the Internet explosion in 1993. Now he sees a third wave of change underway, as the combination of mobile communication and the Internet makes it possible for people to cooperate in ways never before possible. This is explained in his new book 'Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution'.

Smart mobs use mobile media and computer networks to organize collective actions, from swarms of techo-savvy youth in urban Asia and Scandinavia to citizen revolts on the streets of Seattle, Manila, and Caracas. Wireless community networks, webloggers, buyers and sellers on eBay are early indicators of smart mobs that will emerge in the coming decade.

Coming technological infrastructure:
- Information in places: media linked to location.
- Smart rooms: environments that sense inhabitants and respond to them.
- Digital cities: adding information capabilities to urban places.
- Sentient objects: adding information and communication to physical objects.
- Tangible bits: manipulating the virtual world by manipulating physical objects.
- Wearable computers: sensing, computing, communicating gear worn as clothing.

When you piece together these different technological, economic, and social components, the result is an infrastructure that makes certain kinds of human actions possible that were never possible before: The killer apps of tomorrow's mobile infocom industry won't be hardware devices or software programs but social practices. The most far-reaching changes will come, as they often do, from the kinds of relationships, enterprises, communities and markets that the infrastructure makes possible.

The role of voluntary cooperation is the most important and least known story is the history of personal computers and networks. The PC wasn't built by the computer industry, but by mavericks who got off on building things together that they couldn't create as individuals. The fundamental architecture of the Internet was built on free software and cooperation. The story of Unix, open source, the Internet and Usenet pioneers, is not just about the past. Dotcoms died at the same time blogs bloomed. Self-organization is an irrepressible human drive, and the Internet is a toolkit for self organizing. >from *Smart Mobs site*.

related context
(re)distributions :: a culture of ubiquity. july 15, 2002
> wireless telecoms: disruptive technologies are emerging. june 20, 2002
> science grid deployement :: emerging model of computing. april 3, 2002

wednesday :: october 2, 2002
kop - kingdom of piracy
:: piracy as net art form

KOP ­ Kingdom of Piracy is an online open workspace that explores piracy as the net's ultimate art form. The project includes links, objects, ideas, software, commissioned artists' projects, critical writing and online streaming media events. It is intended as an open-ended online exhibition; artists and authors will remain sole copyright owners of their works. KOP is jointly curated by Shu Lea Cheang, Armin Medosch and Yukiko Shikata.

KOP was commissioned by the Acer Digital Art Center in Taiwan for ArtFuture 2002, launched in December 2001 and presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. In April 2002 the leadership and direction of ADAC changed. At about the same time a major anti-piracy initiative was launched in Taiwan. Then the original sponsor demanded editorial rights and a name change. The project curators rejected this, and sought ways of preserving the project as both a Taiwanese initiative and an International online art project. In September 2002, KOP participated in Arts Electronica.

In the emergent information, or immaterial, economy, Intellectual Property (IP) - copyrighted content and patented ideas - constitutes the central resource of many of its biggest industries, from IT to entertainment, pharmaceuticals and biotech. The definition of Intellectual Property Rights in the digital domain has emerged as one of the central struggles to shape the culture of the information society. The rigid enforcement patents, copyright, anti-piracy laws is resisted by a loose but growing alliance of scientists, researchers, free software and open source developers, artists, lawyers and teachers.

The purpose of Kingdom of Piracy is to consider the law and order provisions surrounding intellectual property in the context of geographical and cultural borders, and to examine the changes and challenges presented by them to artists and cultural producers world wide.

The KOP site is an active public sphere for global file sharing, de/scrambling and digital culture jamming. Commissioned works are engaged in artistic acts of 'piracy' as a strategy for intellectual discourse and poetic intervention, but not as any endorsement of piracy as a business model. >from *Curatorial statement*.

related context
intellectual property as barrier to development: report. september 15, 2002
> opus :: digital commons in culture. july 17, 2002
> creative commons :: law and technology. may 24, 2002
> copy.cult and the original si(g)n. september 26-30, 2000

> make an island of your idea!
tuesday :: october 1, 2002
> spin effects
plastic spintronics
:: from silicon to plastic based computers

Flexible displays, inexpensive solar cell, computers that store more data in less space, process data faster, and consume less power, even computers that boot up instantly. That's the horizon of spintronics, a new kind of electronics that employs not only the charge but also the spin of electrons in making electrical devices. Spintronics uses magnetic fields to control the spin of electrons.

Scientists from Ohio State's Center for Materials Research used a magnetic field to make nearly all the moving electrons inside a sample of plastic spin in the same direction, an effect called spin polarization. The achievement of spin polarization in a polymer is the first step in converting the plastic into a device that could read and write spintronic data inside a working computer.

Normal electronics encode computer data based on a binary code of ones and zeros, depending on whether an electron is present in a void within the material. But in principle, the direction of a spinning electron -- either 'spin up' or 'spin down' -- can be used as data, too. So spintronics would effectively let computers store and transfer twice as much data per electron.

Once a magnetic field pushes an electron into a direction of spin, it will keep spinning the same way until another magnetic field causes the spin to change. This effect can be used to very quickly access magnetically stored information during computer operation -- even if the electrical power to a computer is switched off between uses. Data can be stored permanently, and is nearly instantly available anytime, no lengthy boot up needed.

Plastic spintronics would weigh less than traditional electronics and cost less to manufacture. Today's inorganic semiconductors are created through multiple steps of vacuum deposition and etching. Theoretically, inexpensive ink-jet technology could one day be used to quickly print entire sheets of plastic semiconductors for spintronics. >from Plastic Shows Promise For Spintronics, Magnetic Computer Memory. September 25, 2002.

related context
spintronics: one terabit per square inch data storage. june 26, 2002
> magnetic semiconductor: spintronics advance. november 13, 2001

> context weblog archive

write your mail and will send you the updates

:: subscribe

october 02
july 02
june 02
may 02
april 02
march 02
february 02
january 02
cuntdown 02
december 01
november 01
october 01
september 01
august 01

more news 00-01
>>> archive

send your comments to
> context@straddle3.net



context archives all www
      "active, informed citizen participation is the key to shaping the network society. a new "public sphere" is required." seattle statement
| home | site map | about context | lang >>> español - català |