July 31, 2005

Photoshop Tour

PhotoshopNews has an extensive tour (and extensive photos) of the Photoshop engineering offices at Adobe.

[via daypop top]

Posted by johndanseven at 01:18 AM

July 30, 2005

Vintage Pixies Video

Here's a website with video of some vintage Pixies performances and interviews (Windows Media format).

[via metafilter.com]

Posted by johndanseven at 04:48 PM

July 28, 2005


Although it's currently offline and looking for server space, c6's NEST looks like an interesting collaborative project in information deconstruction:

NEST is a network cooperation that examines the corruption of data transfer in virtual space. This is achieved via a community of users passing an audio file around in a ring. Connected by an unreliable method (UDP), the communication becomes prone to corruption, much like the children's game of ‘Chinese Whispers’, where each client is linked to their closest geographical neighbour. Passing a ‘virtual whisper’ around the internet, each link in the chain can create new versions with each imperfect cycle.

There's a brief demo soundfile and graphics (and more info about the project) on the website. Hope they get a server (and an OS X version) soon. Broken is always more interesting than efficient.

[via information aesthetics]

Posted by johndanseven at 11:59 PM

Semiotics for Beginners

Semiotics for beginners

[via metafilter.com]

Posted by johndanseven at 02:47 PM

July 27, 2005

Top 50 Mobile Games

Mobile Magazine lists their Top 50 Mobile Games of all time. Includes old school games and hardware such as Merlin, the Kung Fu Warrior Wristwatch, Little Professor, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

[via Gizmodo

Posted by johndanseven at 01:51 PM

July 26, 2005

Department of Unfortunate Headlines

Picture 1.png

At Google News, if you click the top link to this story (about four scout leaders from Anchorage being electrocuted as they set up a tent at a scout jamboree last weekend), the NYT page that loads uses a much different headline ("Questions Remain as Scouts Try to Deal With Deaths"). I'm not sure if the headline attributed to NYT by Google comes from another source, or if NYT changed the head after someone caught the gaffe.

Posted by johndanseven at 11:49 PM

July 25, 2005

Kelly Joe Phelps

Underdog and I drove over to the Norwood Village Green to see Kelly Joe Phelps play Sunday night.

Kelly Joe Phelps

Amazing show--slide and fingerstyle acoustic. The only depressing thought was the small crowd gathered, maybe 150 people for a free evening concert including a relatively large number who left mid-show (apparently they just show up each Sunday night during the summer concert series and decide after a song or two whether or not it's an act they like). Phelps' next stop on his tour is a show at The Knitting Factory on Tuesda night, so maybe he'll draw a more appropriately sized crowd then. (Not that I'm complaining--it's great to see world-class acts show up where I can go see them play, living as I do at the fringes of civilization.)

Posted by johndanseven at 05:45 PM

The Secret Life of Printouts

Boing-boing, referencing an EFF report and a PC World article, reports that some major color laser printers include a "fingerprint" that can be used to tie a printout back to the specific printer that produced it. Apparently designed as a counter-counterfeiting mechanism, the technology has wider and relatively unregulated uses open to it.

The EFF page on the issue includes links to research reports and tips on testing your own printer. And some (justifiably) paranoid thoughts as well:

The ACLU recently issued a report revealing that the FBI has amassed more than 1,100 pages of documents on the organization since 2001, as well as documents concerning other non-violent groups, including Greenpeace and United for Peace and Justice. In the current political climate, it's not hard to imagine the government using the ability to determine who may have printed what document for purposes other than identifying counterfeiters. Your freedom to speak anonymously is in danger.

Yet there are no laws to stop the Secret Service -- or for that matter, any other governmental agency or private company -- from using printer codes to secretly trace the origin of non-currency documents. We're unaware of any printer manufacturer that has a privacy policy that would protect you, and no law regulates what people can do with the information once it's turned over. And that doesn't even reach the issue of how such a privacy-invasive tool could be developed and implemented in printers without the public becoming aware of it in the first place.

[via Boing Boing]

Posted by johndanseven at 03:24 PM

July 24, 2005

Shuffle, Vol. 13

"Come On, Let's Go," Los Lobos, Just Another Band from East L.A.: A Collection

"Venus -- Upper And Lower Egypt," Pharoah Sanders Ensemble, Holy Ghost

"Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde

"One More Dollar," Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Live

"Looking For A Way Out," Uncle Tupelo, Still Feel Gone

"Bodies," Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks

"Merry Christmas Emily," Cracker, Forever

"Angels Hang Their Socks On The Moon," Tobin Sprout, Moonflower Plastic

"Promised Land," Grateful Dead, Live at RFK Stadium [6.10.74]

"Them Belly Full," Bob Marley & The Wailers, Live!

"Guitar Fill 2," The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me Sessions

"Morning Dew," Grateful Dead, Live at RFK Stadium [6.10.74]

"Spoken Introduction By Peter Bergman," Albert Ayler Quintet, Holy Ghost

"Monsters In The Parasol (Live)," Queens Of The Stone Age, Queens Of The Stone Age

"Bought For A Song," Fountains Of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers

"All The Saints," Verbena, La Musica Negra

"Part Two," Pat Metheny Group, The Way Up

"Like A Hurricane," Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Dodge Theatre, Phoeniz Ariz 8/1/03

"Razor Love," Neil Young, Silver & Gold

"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde

"Make It Rain," Tom Waits, Real Gone

"Hummingbird," Wilco, A Ghost Is Born

"Tame," The Pixies, Doolittle

Posted by johndan at 12:13 AM | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Berries (Processed)


Posted by johndan at 12:28 AM | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

Clickless Interface

Dontclick.it from the Institute for Interactive Research provides some interesting examples of interactivity in clickless interfaces. Mouse gestures and timers replace inteface functions normally activated by clicking (such as item selection, buttons, etc.). The demos were pretty straightforward, but once the explicit cues reminding me to not click were removed, I found that I tried to click things--which results in a screen full of random bits and an admonishment.

On one level, the thing feels a little gimmicky, like asking someone to tie their shoes without using their thumbs. At another level, it's an interesting reminder of how "intuitive" is always partially constructed by past experience. Clicking interfaces has become the norm, but that doesn't mean it's always the most effective or interesting solution.

[via the ID Discuss list]

Posted by johndan at 10:14 AM | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Flickr Business Card Generator


The Flickr Business Card Generator lets you type in a few text options (like your Flickr username and a tagline) and generates a jpg image you can use to print business cards to hand out when you're photographing events that you're going to upload later to Flickr. (Me, I don't go anywhere except out in the woods around my house, but I suppose I could give them to deer I startle when I'm walking around. Might be useful for some of you extrovert types, though.)

[via FlickrBlog]

Posted by johndan at 09:11 PM | TrackBack

Memex Turns Sixty

/. discusses the 60th anniversary of the publication of Vannevar Bush's "As We May Think" in Atlantic Monthly. In the article, Bush lays out the basic functionality of the (hypothetical, mechanical) Memex. Most web historians cite the work as a major contribution toward contemporary hypertext and the World Wide Web.

When the user is building a trail, he names it, inserts the name in his code book, and taps it out on his keyboard. Before him are the two items to be joined, projected onto adjacent viewing positions. At the bottom of each there are a number of blank code spaces, and a pointer is set to indicate one of these on each item. The user taps a single key, and the items are permanently joined. In each code space appears the code word. Out of view, but also in the code space, is inserted a set of dots for photocell viewing; and on each item these dots by their positions designate the index number of the other item.

Thereafter, at any time, when one of these items is in view, the other can be instantly recalled merely by tapping a button below the corresponding code space. Moreover, when numerous items have been thus joined together to form a trail, they can be reviewed in turn, rapidly or slowly, by deflecting a lever like that used for turning the pages of a book. It is exactly as though the physical items had been gathered together to form a new book. It is more than this, for any item can be joined into numerous trails.

The /. discussion has some interesting additional links (and comments).

[via Slashdot]

Posted by johndan at 12:19 AM | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

Sonic Wire Sculptor (Web App Version)

Amit Pitaru has ported his Sonic Wire Sculptor to a Java Web app (click the "Sonic Wire Sculptor" text link at the top to launch an explanation (with autorun QuickTime video, unfortunately) and links). You'll need to download JSyn, a Java software synth, but it's worth the minor effort. You end up with something like an Etch-A-Sketch with 1960s-Science Fiction tones. (Which is more interesting than my description makes it. Although maybe I've just spent too much time at the keyboard this morning.)

[via createdigitalmusic.com]

Posted by johndan at 01:14 PM | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Ubiquitous Computing

Continuous Computing discusses the future of ubiquitous computing (with extensive history).

[via Beyond the Beyond]

Posted by johndan at 10:49 PM | TrackBack

July 15, 2005


CreateDigitalMusic discusses using the free, cross-platform program Processing for live video/music performances. Texts--words, songs, films--are no longer artifacts; they're spaces for work, machines for occupation, buildings to live within and remake.

Posted by johndan at 11:48 PM | TrackBack

"Form Follows Data"

The Information Aesthetics weblog covers tech design: thermocromic tiles, del.icio.us visualizations, scrollbar sculpture, dangling strings responding to Ethernet feeds, and more.

[via metafilter.com]

Posted by johndan at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

Comments & Trackbacks

I've switched to a new comment and trackback spam blocker (Brad Choate's SpamLookup), which is more aggressive than the previous blocker I was using. One side effect may be that valid comments or trackbacks are blocked; if you have problems, let me know.

Posted by johndan at 03:19 PM | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

IM Survey at Lifehacker

Lifehacker is running a very brief (1 question, three possible answer) survey on Instant Messenger ("Time Sink or Productivity Tool?").

For me, IM is a mixed bag, more or less like email, the Web, the telephone, or any other communication space. It's useful for quick discussions, checking in with someone, or getting a small chunk of useful data I need from someone. But some days I find myself deluged with questions that I end up routing to email for longer responses; I'm also one of those people who just ignore IMs when they come in if I'm busy with something else and haven't set an away message. But I know people who treat IM messages like ringing telephones--as Avital Ronnell said, calling on Heidegger, they're being hailed to answer, and they're incapable of ignoring that request.

I routinely let a telephone ring in my office if I'm in a conversation with someone else, although I've found the unanswered phone extremely disturbing to whomever I'm currently talking to. We also keep our ringer off on the phone at home and only occasionally check our voicemail and caller ID log to see who has called, so maybe I'm just anti-social. Actually, there's no maybe about that.

Posted by johndan at 01:19 PM | TrackBack

Iggy Pop Interview on Fresh Air

NPR's Fresh Air this week interviews Iggy Pop (audio stream available at that link later today). Iggy discusses topics ranging from time spent in the U of Michigan library doing cultural anthropology research (which influenced his anti-wardrobe live appearance), "Free Katie Holmes" t-shirts, the influence of architecture and automotive design on his music and more.

Posted by johndan at 01:08 PM | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Datacloud (Dead Tree Edition)

Amazon says that Datacloud (the print version) is finally available. At $18.95, it'll only take sales of about, say, 10,000 copies for me to pay back the charges against my royalties from having the index prepared.


I was originally hoping that a goodly portion of my 55,000 readers a day would order copies and then I'd be able to retire on the income, or at least buy a boutique tube amp, but during my meeting with the sysadmin today, I discovered that 54,980 of those hits are on the .jpg of Milton and his stapler from Office Space I posted at some point last year.

Posted by johndan at 12:28 AM | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Amp Recommendations

In order to avoid lugging equipment back and forth, I'm considering buying an additional guitar amp to leave at home for practice sessions. Not that I actually practice, but if I ever did decide to practice, it'd be handy. I'm looking for something (a) relatively inexpensive (under $300, which will probably limit me to something used), (b) not loud (5 - 15 watts), and (c) that breaks up a little or maybe a lot (but without that "always overdriven" sound of the small Smokey amp I have), and (d) Class A tube. (Why (d)? I could be an elitist and say that solid state amps can't match that tube tone, but instead I'll just be a poser and say that if I can't play like an elitist, at least I can brag about having a tube amp.)

I'm currently looking at used Fender Champs on eBay, new Pignoses, Peavey Classic 30s (I already have one and like it), and some other usual suspects, but if you have any recommendations, email me or drop a comment on the weblog.

Posted by johndan at 11:56 AM | TrackBack

Hitting the A-List

My friendly neighborhood sysadmin tells me that Datacloud is generating 55,000 hits per day. Of course, my guess is that 99% of that traffic is due to spam bots looking for holes in my filter, but, still, I had this brief flash where Datacloud was the new Boing-Boing. In actuality, Datacloud is probably more like the new Nancy Kerrigan.

Time to start tweaking my comment blacklist for better control over spam, I guess. This means it's possible I'll have to take comments completely offline at some point, at least temporarily--but the comment activity has been pretty low, outside of spam, so that shouldn't be a huge issue.

Posted by johndan at 10:41 AM | TrackBack

July 10, 2005

Future Feeder

Three cool links in a row from Future Feeder ("Feeding Technology, Design + Architecture"), one my new favorite weblogs:

  • Santiago Ortiz's Spheres project: A multi-lingual, community-constructed visualization of the linguistic and philosophical connections among somewhat arbitrary word pairs.
  • Ingenious: Sort of a visual remix of cultural iconographies. (Site seems to be suffering some server-load issues.)
  • Repeat While True: Phillip Seifried's collection of multimedia art. Good examples of how Flash can be really cool, and not just a bandwith hog.
Posted by johndan at 07:31 PM | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

Synaesthesia Show at the Smithsonian

The Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian is hosting an exhibition on synaesthesia in painting, film, and audio through September 11, 2005.

[via Cinema Minima]

Posted by johndan at 11:46 PM | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

On Becoming Infected

Fun with texts at Language is a virus. Techniques from Burroughs and Kerouac to Rimbaud to Bey.

Writing toys, games, and gizmoz to inspire your creativity! Text generators! Cut-up machines!

Until I started reading Burroughs in grad school, I thought the "language is a virus" phrase was Laurie Anderson's. Which I guess proves Burroughs' point.

[via 43 Folders]

Posted by johndan at 11:44 PM | TrackBack

July 04, 2005

Photoshop Wayback Machine

Marcin Wichary has compiled a visual history of Adobe Photoshop, with screenshots from v. 0.63 (1990) to CS2 (2005). Also included are closeups of various tools, palettes, dialog boxes, and more. Interesting material for those interested in a deep history of interface design.

Posted by johndan at 01:19 PM | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

3.141592653589 and then some

Akira Haraguchi of Chiba set a world record by reciting Pi to 83,431 places from memory. I thought I was doing great because I know Pi to twelve places.

[via Boing Boing]

Posted by johndan at 09:00 PM | TrackBack

Blue Milkweed


(Obvious) photoshop postprocessing.

Posted by johndan at 08:59 PM | TrackBack

July 02, 2005

Virtual Fireworks

Virtual fireworks over NYC [java app on page], for those of you (like me) who don't get out on July 4. Or, you can just close your eyes and rub them hard until you see sparks.

[via Rob]

Posted by johndan at 02:19 PM | TrackBack