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monday :: april 28, 2003
weapons of mass destruction: u.s. restores ability to make nuclear weapons

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully made the first nuclear weapons pit in 14 years that meets specifications for use in the U.S. stockpile. A pit is the fissile core of a nuclear weapon's physics package.

The six-year effort at Los Alamos' plutonium processing facility restores the nation's ability to make nuclear weapons, a capability the United States lost when the Rocky Flats Plant near Boulder, Colorado, shut down in June 1989.

"Our next challenge is to carry out the required experiments, analyses and computer modeling so we can certify that this newly manufactured pit will perform reliably in the stockpile, without conducting underground nuclear tests," said Pete Nanos, Los Alamos' interim director. Los Alamos has committed to complete the certification process and to have the ability to deliver a pit to the military that meets all stockpile requirements by 2007. The total cost of the manufacturing program to date is roughly $350 million; the total project cost for the manufacturing and certification program, beginning with the new baseline, is estimated at $1.5 billion.

Los Alamos enhances global security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and national security concerns. >from *Los Alamos restores U.S. ability to make nuclear weapons*. April 22, 2003

related context
Doomsday Clock . Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
> Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). Information and analysis to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
> Los Alamos Study Group. Nuclear disarmament organization.
> asci white 12.3 teraflops supercomputer, to simulate nuclear testing. june 29, 2000


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friday :: april 25, 2003
social software alliance

We propose a trade group of social software developers and other interested parties who work together to create and promote open standards for the social software community. Social software blends tools and modes for richer online social environments and experiences. Some examples of social software are weblogs, wikis, forums, chat environments, or instant messaging, and related tools and data structures for identity, integration, interchange and analysis.

The alliance will: aid discovery of developers working on synergistic projects and standards; assist in shaping open standards that mesh well with other alliance and Internet standards; and help promote each standard to gain wider adoption.

The fast-paced nature of the social software space now argues for developing light-weight, easy-to-implement standards, following the Internet tradition of rough consensus and running code, but perhaps moving faster than the larger standards bodies. It is expected that those standards promulgated by the alliance which become widely adopted will be proposed to the appropriate general standards body or bodies: W3C, IETF, ISO, etc. >from *Social Software Alliance Wiki*. Call For Discussion. April 16, 2003

related context
another world is happening: network-based movements. march 3, 2003
> live from the blogosphere!. february 13, 2003
> wikiwiki: communicating asynchronously across the net. july 9, 2002
> weblog: a new flow of information. may 15, 2002
> 20 year newsgroup archive: google's usenet archive. december 17, 2001

lightweigth sandals with dampers for lightweigt software teams

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wednesday :: april 23, 2003
manifesto of urban televisions: open access television

In Italy, a wave of tactical televisions is rising connected to no-war mobs and new global movement. After video activism and net activism we can consider this a new kind of tv activism for the number of people, energies, ideas involved.

Urban TV is a project for an open access television in Bologna and in other Italian cities, filling the level between the street (like Telestreet) and the satellite channels (like No War TV). If you like an attempt to bring the here-unknown Open Channel format. It tries to face some issues not resolved yet in other projects. For these reasons it started a development website and write down a manifesto, by Matteo Pasquinelli.

The Manifesto of Urban Televisions, explains Pasquinelli, reflects the current Italian debate on media, hybridising it with Dutch blends like Public Domain 2.0 and with some tools from French-Italian postfordist criticism.

"The culture of independent communication in any form, from video activism to free radios to Free Software, has opened a new space among common media and technologies, a space whose political and cultural citizenship must now be recognized.

The cultural, political and legal frame of this movement is a space that we call Public Domain of communication. As a Public Domain we understand a sphere which does not belong neither to the State nor to the Market, but to the whole society, and it is managed and controlled by the society itself (not to be misunderstood with the public service performed by the State).

The new autonomous public domain of communication must be recognized by institutions as means of participative democracy and new municipalism." >from *Manifesto of Urban Televisions*. For a participative democracy of mass media (and the realisation of the first italian open access television). April 2003.

related context
campaign public domain 2.0
> another world is happening: network-based movements. march 3, 2003>
> wireless commons, a turning point. january 22, 2003>
> open spectrum: spectrum as a commons. december 18, 2002
> net.congestion: international festival of streaming media. october 6, 2000

travellers towards a communication public domain

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monday :: april 21, 2003
open source communities

Open source software communities are one of the most successful-and least understood-examples of high-performance collaboration and community-building on the Internet today. Other types of communities could benefit enormously from understanding how open source communities work.

This report describes what open source communities are and how they work. In particular, it addresses the following questions: What is the open source landscape as a whole? How many projects exist, what kinds of software do these projects develop, and how many people are involved with these projects? What are the demographics of those who participate in these communities? Why do they join, and how long do they stay? How do they interact with each other? How do open source communities work? What are the patterns of collaboration within successful open source communities?

In examining these questions, this report discusses existing, relevant research, and presents original case studies of two open source projects: TouchGraph and SquirrelMail.

This report was sponsored by the Omidyar Foundation. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. >from *An Introduction to Open Source Communities*. april, 2003

related context
another world is happening: network-based movements. march 3, 2003
> wireless commons: a turning point. january 14, 2003
> commons-based peer production. december 19, 2002
> free as in freedom: the life story of richard stallman. june 25, 2002
> science commons: free flow of knowledge. march 15, 2002
> open_source_art_hack: new museum exploration. april 30, 2002
> 10th anniversary of linux, the open source operating system. august 25, 2001

safe communi-ties growing in

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monday :: april 14, 2003
apes: catastrophic decline

The population of apes in Western Equatorial Africa has declined severely over the last 20 years and, without aggressive intervention, may soon reach the "brink of extinction," a study has found.

In a process that went largely unnoticed, years of illegal hunting and an epidemic of Ebola virus have slashed the population of wild chimpanzees and gorillas by more than 50 percent in the last part of the world to have widespread ape habitats, according to the study. The findings contradict estimates, from as recently as 1995, that the number of wild apes has been relatively stable.

"The species that are most similar to humans are just disappearing before our eyes," said Peter Walsh, a Princeton University scientist who led an international group of 23 researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and other institutions. >from *Wild ape population undergoing "catastrophic" decline. Study predicts animals most like humans may soon reach "brink of extinction"
*. News from Princeton University, april 7, 2003

related context
orangutan culture, push back the origins of culture. january 21, 2003

apes and men: brother species in danger

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friday :: april 11, 2003
platoniq: cultural co-operative system

Platoniq moves as much in the land of the communication as in the field of the digital creation. It looks for to create bridges between the work of cultural agent and producer. The central point is the interaction between the new technologies, the popular culture and the social event, with the intention to establish connections between Internet/new media and public physical space.

Platoniq works in different areas: the organization of events related to culture and technology (ie cycle of electronic arts and media cultures), the creation of documentary contents for TV (ie Neue Kraft Neues Werk - Transcoder Express) and radio in Internet and the development of tools (database and software for public use).

Radiored is an independent project of radio in Internet by Platoniq. Their contents are centered in news articles on digital culture, the social impact of the technology and contents of electronic music. On the other hand Radiored behaves like tool and context to develop - to gather part of the new uses of audio in Internet. This project has a structure of database that allows that the reception is not linear since one of the characteristics that Radiored power is that the receiver also happens to be publisher of contents. In this line they have developed the public tool "Hypercut", a compiler of archives of audio in Internet. With this tool any internaut can create "play lists" of audio real and mp3 located in any server and automatically to make them consultables from Radiored.org. The idea starts off to understand Internet like audioteca and to the "audience" like "broadcast" publishers and producers.
>from *Platoniq site*

Platoniq presentation in *straddle3* - friday april 11, 2003 at 20h . Plus the projection of "Harriaren errezistenzia", in hommage to sculptor Jorge Oteiza died this week.

platoniq: bridging production and culture

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wednesday :: april 9, 2003
synchrony: order is inevitable

Science, which has long considered order and synchrony the exception rather than the rule in a chaotic universe, is beginning to come around. In his new book, Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, Steven Strogatz, who is professor of applied mathematics at Cornell, describes the new science.

Synchrony, says Strogatz, shows up in the most unlikely of places: from satellite orbits to whizzing electrons, from the chirping of crickets to the tendency of women who live in close quarters or who spend a lot of time together to menstruate around the same time of the month.

Order is all around us, and scientists in diverse disciplines are constantly uncovering new examples of it. But Strogatz and his colleagues make a far more extraordinary claim: Order is not just possible, it is inevitable. In 1989 Strogatz, along with Boston College mathematician Rennie Mirollo, proved mathematically that any system of 'coupled oscillators' -- that is, entities capable of responding to each other's signals, be they crickets, electrons or celestial bodies -- will spontaneously self-organize. >from *In his book Sync, Cornell's Steven Strogatz writes compelling history of a scientific revolution long in the making*. Cornell news release, march 7, 2003

related context
another world is happening: network-based movements. march 3, 2003
> >synchronization of pulse-coupled biological oscillators. Mirollo, R.E., and Strogatz, S.H. 1990.

crickets developing order to spontaneously self-organize

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monday :: april 7, 2003
what is a planet? evolving definition

Rather than try to construct a detailed definition of a planet which is designed to cover all future possibilities, the WGESP (Working Group On Extrasolar Planets) of the International Astronomical Union has agreed to restrict itself to developing a working definition applicable to the cases where there already are claimed detections.

Emphasizing again that this is only a working definition the WGESP has agreed to the following statements:

1) Objects with true masses below the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium (currently calculated to be 13 Jupiter masses for objects of solar metallicity) that orbit stars or stellar remnants are 'planets' (no matter how they formed). The minimum mass/size required for an extrasolar object to be considered a planet should be the same as that used in our Solar System.

2) Substellar objects with true masses above the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium are 'brown dwarfs', no matter how they formed nor where they are located.

3) Free-floating objects in young star clusters with masses below the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium are not 'planets', but are 'sub-brown dwarfs' (or whatever name is most appropriate). >from *Working Group on Extrasolar Planets. Definition of a 'Planet'*. february 28, 2003

related context
defining 'planet' by gibor basri draft of march 20, 2003
> quaoar: a new world in the solar system. october 14, 2002
> planetary systems in the universe. august 7, 2000

looking at celestial wanderers

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friday :: april 4, 2003
contextin' art

Artofficial Construction Media (ACM) announces the premier issue of 'Contextin' Art,' an online zine for the exploration of the political economies of new media art. This issue contains several projects that provide pathways to the system of linkages between information technologies, cultural production, and social infrastructures.

Contextin' Art is a mini-portal for the exploration of the context of art through art. The economic, political and social forces shaping the histories of art are visualized as artworks themselves. With 'Contextin' Art', visitors can visually browse the often invisible relationships between art, electoral politics, and economic philanthropy.

Contextin' takes cues from previous generations of artists engaged in 'institutional critique' and 'conceptual art,' as well as calls from contemporary artivists to interrogate the desire for 'techno-formalism' within institutions.

Being the first issue, they have organized it around the general theme of their mission, the contextualization of New Media Art within current political economies. Each of the works included deals with viewing New Media culture within a specific political economy. >from *Contextin’ Art site* April 1, 2003.

related context
New Media Art | New Funding Models report prepared for The Rockefeller Foundation Creativity & Culture Division by Pamela Jennings. December 2000

new pathways for art context

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wednesday :: april 2, 2003
space art: mir campaign 2003

March 18th 2001. The fragments of the MIR station splashed down in the South Pacific Ocean. March 19th 2001. A small group of international specialists in art, science and media decided in a meeting in Paris to found the MIR network, an intercultural initiative to explore space in the 21st century. The MIR initiative would like to open up space facilities by matching artistic processes and scientific research to give a new impulse to space art and space research.

The MIR founder members are: The Arts Catalyst (UK), Leonardo/Olats (France/USA), Projekt Atol (Slovenia), and V2 (Netherlands), .

Funded by the European Commission Culture 2000 Awards, the MIR partnership invited proposals from European and Europe-based artists and scientists to undertake projects/research in variable gravity conditions on a parabolic flights or using other facilities, such as the centrifuge and the hydrolaboratory facility used for spacewalk training, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, Russia. From the call, they received nearly 100 proposals from artists and scientists all over Europe. From these proposals, the projects that they plan to undertake in Star City in April 2003 are from Marcelli Antunez Roca, Vadim Fishkin, Kodwo Eshun, Richard Cousins & Anjali Sargar, Ewen Chardronnet, Yuri Leiderman, Rebecca Forth and Stefan Gec. >from *Arts Catalyst site*

related context
deaf03: data knitting (from wunderkammer to metadata. february 25, 2003
> fluid trajectory: a dance-science collaboration . april 18, 2002
> lawsuit against "leonardo": where art, science and technology converge. november 20, 2000

artists as cosmonauts: how to use star city facilities

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