March 31, 2006
you can also see this + previous shows here
March 30, 2006
you can also see this + previous shows here
also: thanks bryan and conrad for the presents...i loves me them books.
a pretty striking time based view of fatalities (coalition) overlayed on a map of Iraq.
a nice generative art project - works in a way very similar to the scribbler but on images loaded in from google image search based on a keyword you supply.
if you like this sort of thing (experimental projects), the rest of his site has some nice things.
March 29, 2006
here's an example of what i dislike the most about portfolio sites that are created using Flash. Forgive me if this seems obvious, but i encounter these sites quite often. Yesterday, I came across these wonderful rings that were made from old qwerty keyboards (my favorite is the "help" key) and i wanted to post them here.
the site, however is a self-contained flash universe that won't allow me to directly link to the page on which they are displayed. Instead, i have to link to the main page, and then instruct you to click "projects" and search for the AZERTY page. Normally, I would give up at this point and not link at all, but in this case i thought it served as a good example of my pet peeve.
By forcing all of your guests through the front door, a few things happen. First, you force your content down the click stream. Each click depth represents a cost to the visitor and from experience i can tell you that means a sizeable portion of your audience will simply leave. Second you force a contextual background for your work - in this case it appears as an "experiment" among many others that have nothing to do with rings. Allowing people to come in the back door and discover the work on its own allows a wider swath of interpretations to a wider audience (see #1) . Lastly this sort of architecture doesn't allow you to access the breadth of statistical data that you could get from an html or php based architecture. These statistics can give you insight on what people are doing on your site and in turn you can respond with updates specific to that interest.
Flash is great for many things. It is a nearly ubiquitous plug-in that creates a stable, cross browser platform for music, video and interactive media (games, toys, etc...), but i would strongly urge that (at least for the moment) it not be used to create self-contained environments to show of a range of work.
updates + previous shows can be found here
edited to add: the link is fixed now - it was pointing to yesterdays show...
also: thanks lala, kp and antonia for the books!
beautiful mixture of human and transformer qualities...
March 28, 2006
I'm diggin this project - a simple music player that creates playlists based on community input...maybe it ain't a new concept, but its nicely executed.
a robust illusion site with some excellent info on what is behind them:
Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena
an extremely effective visual illusion/ eye receptor anomaly...
the truth will land a bit later this eve....
its a travel day.
March 27, 2006
March 26, 2006
its pretty amazing...it recognized moondance
enjoying anthony citrano's newly jumpstarted back to health blog.
March 25, 2006
the truth sleeps on weekends....
March 24, 2006
Frog Review just released another movie using a movie making tool i built for them.
great stuff... they take on usability issues of popular websites...the last one was on ticketmaster...this time around its on homedepot.com
by my subtle hints...i am traveling at the moment. Just left Columbia S.C. and headed to Jacksonville, FLA in my search for...well, nothing really.
all these morning flights are getting in the way of the truth train filming and editing...
a fresh pimple of knowledge will be oozing at you later this afternoon.
March 23, 2006
put this in your smoke and pipe it.
March 22, 2006
i grew up reading the original stories...scared the pants off me...i'm immensely looking forward to this version.
so live its like you live inside my face.
March 21, 2006
from me to u.
March 20, 2006
Mark is such a trooper....
it wasn't supposed to make the edit.
edited to add:
just got some sort of a stomach virus....the burp was a premonition...so spooky.
March 19, 2006
really enjoyed this...multiplayer online pictionary
after you figure out the annoying slot machine navigation, check out the movie section, specifically "i love death". been around for a bit but worth a re-looksee.
its inappropriate for children and could be offensive to some adults...but i think its a very well made music video.
This is a game i want to play....
soon i will have even larger pectorals
Gen. George Casey, Commander of the Multi-National Force told Tim Russert this AM that Operation Swarmer was not a "major offensive" and had that it had probably received too much hype because of the impressive looking helicopters that were being used (at incredible expense).
Swarmer sent about 1,000 troops to a small village in the middle of nowhere...doubling the population in that area. It was a true coalition effort, as Rumsfeld pointed out on a number of occations, and was supposed to be proof of Iraqi troop "readiness".
They were after between 30 to 60 specific "insurgents". I bet it was easy to round up coalition support on this one...look at the odds - 1,000 to 60...look at the gear they brought with them - state of the art helis ready to bomb the shit out of anything that showed a heat pattern.
But no shots were fired in the end...no resistence. They found "weapons caches"...nothing more specific than that, although cache is an impressive word, i admit. They also rounded up a bunch of people...again nothing more specific, and i'd like to point out that in wartime you can round up as many people as you like anytime you want.
The White House was quick to say that this bizarre display was not politically motivated.... to distract us from the possibility of civil war...to create a meaningless operation that could be pointed to as proof of coalition support and Iraqi Army readiness ...to bring a bunch of troops to a place where they could conduct an operation without suffering casualties.
also: why no outcry about Reese Witherspoon? I just rented Walk the Line. Phoenix was great, and Reese was good, but come on...BEST ACTRESS??? really? explain this to me...and when you do it better be a conspiracy theory.
March 18, 2006
here's why the site was running so slowly...
These guys stole the racing game i made and were hosting it on their site...the page, regardless of where it is hosted still contacts my site to access the high scores.
It pisses me off. why? i do it for free...and for attention. i love the attention...and love. they take it away from me. they make money from it...put ugly ads around it.
invariably when i write to these people they respond as if they have done nothing wrong. it makes me so angry.
I'll bet there is plenty of other content on their site that is hosted without permission...
they took the file down, but sent me an email threatening to take legal action against me for defamation...and said that i should be happy that they even gave me credit at all.
memory_test: this is a version i've been working on. its memory but with audio cues only. need to turn your sound up.
thanks for all the suggestions on scoring. I haven't really implemented a good system quite yet, but i will be trying a few options out and posting them as i go.
there are quite a few different ways to think about the scoring challenge, especially if you want to incorporate time into the game play in an integrated sort of way.
one idea is to have each tile become "hot" when its turned over. if you find its match before it cools you get more points.
another is to have the entire game be a race against a clock. correct answers add to the time (depending on how many prior views) and incorrect answers reduce the time.
in a no-time scenario i'd like to get a single score that best sums up the players ability. maybe lucky guesses should be discounted altogether (shouldn't alter the score). Single viewed matches should get the most points - its actually a 1-2 scenario.. the first card (once), the second (once) when it was first turned and again for the match.
i'll have to think more about it, and would love your help...ideally the scoring doesn't dictate a single game strategy)
edited to add:
i don't count the last two boxes in the "lucky" scenario. even if both boxes have never been touched...i still count it normally.
March 17, 2006
the site is a little slow at the moment...trying to figure it out. you know...the problem. with the site. there's nothing wrong with slow...its just different. in a non-good way.
today's news from me to you.
Death and Taxes: a graphic chart of US tax spending created from White House data. really nicely done.
Click "zoom in" to get a closer look.
written by a close friend, Josh Berman who has been traveling for the better part of the last ten years. he's an excellent writer, and currently working in Sri Lanka, if you feel like taking a short virtual visit....
i'm working on updating the memory games.
I'm trying to figure out the best way to score the game. Right now its just a percentage...wrong picks vs. correct picks, and even a good score is depressingly low. In this scenario only pure luck can get you 100% - you'd have to guess correctly without ever having seen the squares you flipped.
Arguably the player should be able to turn each tile over once before i start counting wrong picks, but this doesn't take into account lucky guesses, which could push the score over 100%.
I'd like time to factor into this, perhaps a bonus for faster play.
ideally the scoring would be a single number which was created using wrong picks, right picks (a fixed #), and time taken (am i missing something? - maybe the more times you turn over each individual tile, the worse your score gets...so returning to the same tile again and again would be a bad strategy).
i don't want it to be abstracted into an inflated points system (like pinball)...
March 16, 2006
Vectorpark - some really nice things to play with.
"Insurgents and terrorists are targeted...", in a country that is on the brink of civil war, how can you tell who's who?
more disturbing: "This is a good exercise and indicates that this strategy is working to build Iraqi troops to be sufficient,"
an excercise? troops to be sufficient? its an air raid - 50 aircraft employed to use hi-tech weapons in a massive bomb blitz...how does that show anything about the Iraqi troop's readiness?
removing garfield's speech bubbles makes for a much better, weirder, and wonderfully more pathetic cartoon about a lonely loser.
edited to add:
March 15, 2006
lotsofwires is back up again...would love to have your feedback on what sorts of toys you'd like to see...
bills itself as the world's smallest sitcom (except without the apostrophe in "world's") its a group of comedians out in Hollywood.
man i wish i had a posse.
A: remember when i was depressed?
A: and you told me to "live each day as if it was my last".
Z: yup. good advice. i think i said "were your last".
A: I tried it yesterday...it sucked.
Z: what did you do?
A: I woke up and cried for 3 hours. At noon I went to Starbuck's and told the barrista I was going to die and tried to kiss her. I was drunk by 2PM and smeared pudding all over my body... before peeing on my nasty neighbor's car. I don't remember the next two hours but I did wake up with bank receipt that said i'd closed my account. strangely i had no money on me. At 6 i called my parents and tried to be cheerful...which freaked them out and they said they would come and visit me in a week or so...which launched me into another fit of sobbing and i had to hang up. For dinner I took my change jar to the cheese shop and tried all the kinds i'd never had before, except the really smelly one, which i put in a post office box, then felt bad and got my arm stuck trying to get it out. At around 9 i suddenly became elated and started singing louis armstrongs "wonderful world", or at least as much as i could remember, in between cheese burps. I cuddled with my cat on my front stoop for about an hour before i let her run free. then i passed out.
Z: whoa...that's not really what i meant.
A: yeah. it doesn't really help the depression.
A: ummm...this looks important...The National Center For Men
Z: "We can help you if...you are being forced into paternity and/or a child support obligation against your wishes"...
A: poor guys...having to take care of those bratty kids even when they don't want to. they also help men "escape the narrow gender role restrictions imposed on men".
Z: Don't restrict my gender role, man.
Z: I said "Don't restrict my gender role."
A: Oh, I heard something different.
March 14, 2006
A: The BEAST: America's Best Fiend this made me laugh...
Z: don't post stuff like that...its offensive and innapropriate for kids.
A: you shoudn't have anthropomorphized me.
Z: so i moved the blog to the front page so that i would post more regularly.
A: more regularly than never?
Z: shut up. but i've noticed something weird. more people are hitting the site, but fewer are emailing me directly.
A: does that hurt your feelings? is your royal egonessness not being stroked enough. what a massive wussfart.
Z: no. that's not what i mean. RSS is great but it seems to create a passive consumption environment that i hadn't expected.
A: what the holy nerd taffy is RSS? i won't even touch pissy conjunctive environment.
Z: Really Simple Syndication...people say different things...but that's what i call it. Its abbreviated to make it easier to say...like www and "world wide web".
A: but "world wide web" is 3 syllables, and "www" is 9. "triple w" is 5...you might as well say "three of those letters right before x" - that's 9 too.
Z: ha...now who's the dork? syllable counter. that's so nerdy.
A: still you, moron...you're the one pretending to have a conversation with your cat.
Z: if that was true, why would i make you so abusive?
A: you have self esteem issues.
Z: do i? really?
Robot Song-Off... compete to create the best song about robots.
Fort Minor Remix Contest: a creative commons remix contest that is sponsored by Warner Bros. (gasp!) - check out some of the editors picks.
March 13, 2006
a bit ago i posted a video of a guy juggling to a Beatle's tune. This guy responds to that clip (out of jealousy?) by doing much more difficult jugging , that in my opinion isn't as much fun to watch....
here's a link to a promotional video (24 Megs).
this thread make me laugh out loud.
March 11, 2006
just finished indigp prophecy on xbox. really enjoyed the immersive narrative (christ, i can't believe i just said "immersive narrative") of the game despite some of the really clunky interface - a "simon" like pattern repetition module keeps appearing mid screen during the action sequences. for some reason the game reminded me of the classic resident's game from the 90s - "a bad day on the midway"...if you haven't played this - get a copy off of ebay.
March 10, 2006
in this new world some pursuits are doomed to fail. even if SONY hired 2,000 people to deal with DRM there would be millions of lower skilled folks ready to work against it for free. this is the culture of participation. small efforts en masse become a tidal wave against top down specialized labor.
that's why i get frustrated when advertsing agencies reframe themselves as high-end "content providers", envisioning a shift towards specialized media production companies. its a losing battle. there are too many content providers (all of us) to contend with. advertising, in my opinion, needs to move toward understanding and creating spaces that facilitate content sharing and conversation. participation, not consumption has become the currency of loyalty.
born in october of last year
latest pics showing water on saturn's moon enceladus from the Cassini-Huygens
March 9, 2006
a zen movie was just sent to me. just birds and peanuts. quite soothing...especially with the chimes in the background.
so, I've been thinking about negroponte's one laptop per child project, and have been looking at other hardware and connectivity initiatives in the developing world. Last I heard negroponte had about $7 million in pre-orders and I think even if he misses the $100 price point, others will jump on the bandwagon quickly...both on the purchasing side as well as on the development side. Bottom line - there will be a huge number of people that will be getting their first laptops in the next few years, and in particular children that are enrolled in some sort of learning program.
it seems that now would be a great time to begin to develop a software development community to start creating applications that can be used on these machines.
here's what I'm thinking:
a place to start. in developing countries children with developmental disabilities are often grouped together. they are the broken kids. kids that are blind, deaf, have MS, paralysis or severe learning disabilities are removed from schools and placed in special learning facilities that unfortunately do not have the funding to provide specialized services that address the particular needs of their disability. Its not negligence, its just that there isn't money or training available. My guess is that there are a number of simple toy-like applications that could be developed around individual needs that would at least provide something in the meantime. Toys that develop fine motor control by encouraging rapid keystrokes, sound reactive toys that encouraged vocalization, or simple language toys that reinforced auditory learning. Simple is the key here. I don't think we need over-designed, rich illustrations to power this stuff...just a focus on fun.
We could use a team of folks to help on defining the problem sets: Specifically early educators, occupational therapists, play therapists and clinical child psychologists. They could suggest basic activities that seem to motivate certain populations could also give feedback from actual test populations.
I imagine the community being open source with opportunities to join for-profit initiatives in the future that relate to online learning in general.
any feedback here would be great.
edited to add:
thanks for the links...they are greatly appreciate...yes, by help i mean any suggestions and leads that might help me better formulate this plan. as for cultural impact...my guess is that is so tied to specific places that it is almost impossible to discuss in a general way. I think that the best sorts of tools for this would be language independent and have as little built in context as possible. I'm thinking of the sorts of activities that can be found at addictinggames.com. very simple things that promote activity. there's a ton of it out there - i just want to create a space that provides some guidance for a specific population.
i've been playing with voice activated toys for a bit...and came up with this one:meditation_flowers
you grow different shaped pattern flowers with your voice.
let me know if you play with it and tell me what it was like.
he wrote me a note...he's a musician and included a url to:
some bad ass stuff
seems to a slow connection - but worth it for any of you music junkies...check out heart of gold.
March 8, 2006
just added about 150 more of these:
March 7, 2006
hey...are there some of you that only see a blog on this page? without all the rest of the links etc...
if so could you send me a note with a screenshot or at least your specs (browser, OS) so i can figure it out...
March 6, 2006
fun story about a couple guys that hacked the whitney biennial
March 3, 2006
this looks like its incredible
Posted by zefrank at 9:05 AM
March 1, 2006
f r a i l t y is one of my favorite projects on the site...
if you get a chance and have the desire, i'd love for you to contribute - illustrate a line to a poem written by visitors to the site. we are nearly finished with one of the poems, and there are many lines yet to illustrate...
when enough are collected i'll turn it into a navigable story...
(by the way this is not appropriate for young kids - all the content is user created and there is some blue stuff)