John Bell

Thoreau’s simple economic calculus shows we sometimes get less out of technology than we put in.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/lbgq5LWy2d4/ via Byline Henry David Thoreau ['s ] distillation of a year living in relative seclusion offers deep insights not just into the natural world and humanity’s place in it, but how that relationship was being impacted — and degraded — by the Industrial Revolution. It remains to this day a trenchant criticism of the excesses of technology….

A railroad ran along Walden Pond about one-third of a mile from Thoreau’s cabin, and he could hear the rattle of the trains. But he thought a trip by rail was a bad bargain:

One says to me, “I wonder that you do not lay up money; you love to travel; you might take the cars and go to Fitchburg today and see the country.” But I am wiser than that. I have learned that the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot. I say to my friend, Suppose we try who will get there first. The distance is thirty miles; the fare ninety cents. That is almost a day’s wages. I remember when wages were sixty cents a day for laborers on this very road. Well, I start now on foot, and get there before night; I have travelled at that rate by the week together. You will in the meanwhile have earned your fare, and arrive there some time tomorrow, or possibly this evening, if you are lucky enough to get a job in season. Instead of going to Fitchburg, you will be working here the greater part of the day. And so, if the railroad reached round the world, I think that I should keep ahead of you.

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Why you still should master Photoshop even if you’re planning a life of crime.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/07/20/1532237/Criminal-Photoshops-Himself-Into-Charity-Photos-In-Bid-For-Leniency?from=rss via Byline

38-year-old Daryl Simon decided it would be a good idea to submit fake pictures of himself at charity events, and forged letters of support from various charitable organizations to the court before he was sentenced for credit card fraud. Unfortunately for Daryl, he is as good at Photoshop as he is at credit card scams, and Judge Stephen Robinson was not amused. Simon was sentenced to 285-months in prison — 50 months more than the maximum under sentencing guidelines. From the article: “Daryl Simon’s bald-faced move included sticking a picture of himself into a shot with a physical-therapy patient, then flipping the image and placing it next to a teen student. ‘Evidence that his image was inserted and flipped can be seen by examining the single detail on his shirt above his fingers — that detail appears on the left side of the shirt in the top photograph, and on the right side of the shirt in the bottom photograph,’ prosecutors wrote.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why you still should master Photoshop even if you’re planning a life of crime.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/07/20/1532237/Criminal-Photoshops-Himself-Into-Charity-Photos-In-Bid-For-Leniency?from=rss via Byline

38-year-old Daryl Simon decided it would be a good idea to submit fake pictures of himself at charity events, and forged letters of support from various charitable organizations to the court before he was sentenced for credit card fraud. Unfortunately for Daryl, he is as good at Photoshop as he is at credit card scams, and Judge Stephen Robinson was not amused. Simon was sentenced to 285-months in prison — 50 months more than the maximum under sentencing guidelines. From the article: “Daryl Simon’s bald-faced move included sticking a picture of himself into a shot with a physical-therapy patient, then flipping the image and placing it next to a teen student. ‘Evidence that his image was inserted and flipped can be seen by examining the single detail on his shirt above his fingers — that detail appears on the left side of the shirt in the top photograph, and on the right side of the shirt in the bottom photograph,’ prosecutors wrote.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Slashdot comments on the original story:

Ars Technica has an opinion piece by Sarah Rotman Epps on the iPad and other potential tablets as a new paradigm that they are calling ‘curated computing,’ where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things for the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency for a defined set of tasks. The idea is that this does not replace, but supplements, general-purpose computers. It’s possible — if the common denominator between iPads, Android and/or Chrome tablets, WebOS tablets, and the like is a more server-centric web experience — that they could be right, and that a more competitive computing market could be the result. But I wonder, too: would that then provide an incentive for manufacturers to try to lock down the personal computing desktop experience as well?”

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/2MWIXMzrvjk/Shall-We-Call-It-Curated-Computing

Meanwhile, at Wired, Eliot Van Buskirk takes Epps’ curatophilia even further, citing four realms of digital culture he claims have already been colonized by the curatorial compulsion:

1) Facebook curated the web….

Personal websites remain the domain of geeks while Facebook (and its predecessors), LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr and other pre-fab web-presence providers flourish, despite valid privacy concerns. When faced with social freedom on the web, we chose social curation instead, and now we’re dealing with that choice….

2) Music curation vs. music criticism…

Today, you can discover in seconds how nearly any band in the world sounds, assuming it wants to be heard, on YouTube, MySpace, Spotify, The Pirate Bay and other services. At that point, the role of the music critic shrinks considerably and becomes more about curation than criticism. The fact that your favorite MP3 blog mentions something at all is more important than what they say about it, because you can then download or stream the song and decide for yourself….

3) News publications filter the news.

Before the internet and Google all we had was curated news, in that readers typically got all of their news from one or two paper publications, which are closed systems. When the news went online and the internet opened up news distribution, aggregation became important. A Google News search on a current event typically reveals thousands of articles on the same topic, and the sheer number of current events being reported has skyrocketed in the past decade, which has made curation important once again….

4) Consumption devices curate functionality.

Finally, we arrive at the sort of curation Epps is talking about. The Kindle, cellphone, MP3 player, GPS and other specific-purpose devices curate functionality in order to deliver a better experience than a general-purpose desktop computer could ever deliver. This holds especially true for devices designed around consumption, such as portable MP3 players or big-screen televisions….When a “curated computing” device offers general functionality and a large screen, geeks get nervous because they view it as a blow against computing freedom.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/feeling-overwhelmed-welcome-the-age-of-curation/

Are jargon-happy digerati like Epps and Buskirk only infatuated with “curating” because they’ve run out of other Web 2.0 buzzwords? Or has the proliferation of the once-artsy concept of curating into sectors like journalism and computing helped to reveal its true political merits and liabilities?

Slashdot comments on the original story:

Ars Technica has an opinion piece by Sarah Rotman Epps on the iPad and other potential tablets as a new paradigm that they are calling ‘curated computing,’ where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things for the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency for a defined set of tasks. The idea is that this does not replace, but supplements, general-purpose computers. It’s possible — if the common denominator between iPads, Android and/or Chrome tablets, WebOS tablets, and the like is a more server-centric web experience — that they could be right, and that a more competitive computing market could be the result. But I wonder, too: would that then provide an incentive for manufacturers to try to lock down the personal computing desktop experience as well?”

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/2MWIXMzrvjk/Shall-We-Call-It-Curated-Computing

Meanwhile, at Wired, Eliot Van Buskirk takes Epps’ curatophilia even further, citing four realms of digital culture he claims have already been colonized by the curatorial compulsion:

1) Facebook curated the web….

Personal websites remain the domain of geeks while Facebook (and its predecessors), LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr and other pre-fab web-presence providers flourish, despite valid privacy concerns. When faced with social freedom on the web, we chose social curation instead, and now we’re dealing with that choice….

2) Music curation vs. music criticism…

Today, you can discover in seconds how nearly any band in the world sounds, assuming it wants to be heard, on YouTube, MySpace, Spotify, The Pirate Bay and other services. At that point, the role of the music critic shrinks considerably and becomes more about curation than criticism. The fact that your favorite MP3 blog mentions something at all is more important than what they say about it, because you can then download or stream the song and decide for yourself….

3) News publications filter the news.

Before the internet and Google all we had was curated news, in that readers typically got all of their news from one or two paper publications, which are closed systems. When the news went online and the internet opened up news distribution, aggregation became important. A Google News search on a current event typically reveals thousands of articles on the same topic, and the sheer number of current events being reported has skyrocketed in the past decade, which has made curation important once again….

4) Consumption devices curate functionality.

Finally, we arrive at the sort of curation Epps is talking about. The Kindle, cellphone, MP3 player, GPS and other specific-purpose devices curate functionality in order to deliver a better experience than a general-purpose desktop computer could ever deliver. This holds especially true for devices designed around consumption, such as portable MP3 players or big-screen televisions….When a “curated computing” device offers general functionality and a large screen, geeks get nervous because they view it as a blow against computing freedom.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/feeling-overwhelmed-welcome-the-age-of-curation/

Are jargon-happy digerati like Epps and Buskirk only infatuated with “curating” because they’ve run out of other Web 2.0 buzzwords? Or has the proliferation of the once-artsy concept of curating into sectors like journalism and computing helped to reveal its true political merits and liabilities?

Recently got to see some fantastic work coming from the NMD department capstone class. Would like to specifically note The Everyday Maine documentary project by new media student Ben Brazier which is a series of 1 minute audio and still documentaries about various people throughout Maine.

This sparked me to start checking out job opportunities in the documentary film field and i came across this: [ http://www.documentary.org/community/IDA-resources/jobs ]http://www.documentary.org/community/IDA-resources/jobs

Think this would be useful to those new media students (such as myself) who couldn’t code themselves out of a box, or ever write a code that made a box for that matter and let people know that what we learn in New Media is more then graphic design and webpage development.

This would be especially useful for anyone who HAS taken or WILL be taking the Camden International Film Festival class next year.

See Attachment ^^^

1:45pm Presentation by “The Projectionist” (Jesse Melanson) and his VJ works.

Presentation will include:

- Documentation of performances – Electric Instrument as a Direct Video Controller – Paid Vibrations – rubber band controller – Sound Response System – VJ performance – Body Movement as a Controller of Video and Sound

more @ jessemelanson.com

pdf iconCUGR Showcase.pdf

Maine Arts Commission Employment Opportunity

The Maine Arts Commission is seeking a Technology Associate to work full-time in Augusta, Maine. The deadline for applications is April 9, 2010.

This is professional position developing and maintaining the agency website using dot.net, and Pearl and Oracle databases. A working knowledge of database maintenance, website design and maintenance, imaging software and Microsoft Office suite is preferred. Familiarity with video and audio systems as well as a background in the arts is desirable.

A full description of this opportunity can be found on the Maine Arts Commission Blog.

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Maine Arts Commission Employment Opportunity

The Maine Arts Commission is seeking a Technology Associate to work full-time in Augusta, Maine. The deadline for applications is April 9, 2010.

This is professional position developing and maintaining the agency website using dot.net, and Pearl and Oracle databases. A working knowledge of database maintenance, website design and maintenance, imaging software and Microsoft Office suite is preferred. Familiarity with video and audio systems as well as a background in the arts is desirable.

A full description of this opportunity can be found on the Maine Arts Commission Blog.

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I’m emailing you from the the Safety and Environmental Management Department. Our department is interested in designing an ergonomic poster that we can be given out to departments on campus. The reason I’m emailing you is because we were wondering if the New Media department would be interested in working with us in developing this poster. We believe by working with the New Media department, we can design something that is pleasing to the eyes, as well as something that can ensure the health and safety of the employees in our departments here on campus.

If this is something the New Media department would be interested in doing, please let me know, and we can arange a meeting.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Seth Warren Ecology and Environmental Science Major Treasurer of Kappa Delta Phi Fraternity

I’m emailing you from the the Safety and Environmental Management Department. Our department is interested in designing an ergonomic poster that we can be given out to departments on campus. The reason I’m emailing you is because we were wondering if the New Media department would be interested in working with us in developing this poster. We believe by working with the New Media department, we can design something that is pleasing to the eyes, as well as something that can ensure the health and safety of the employees in our departments here on campus.

If this is something the New Media department would be interested in doing, please let me know, and we can arange a meeting.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Seth Warren Ecology and Environmental Science Major Treasurer of Kappa Delta Phi Fraternity

I’m starting a project inspired by the ever evolvement of social networking sites such as facebook and twitter. Status Updates have developed from rhetorical information to full on debates, some spanning several paragraphs. But by being hosted on a public platform in which virtually anyone can let their opinion be known these threads can become tough to intemperate very quickly. Multiple conversations with separate meanings often appear in the same thread, making interpretation of the dialog difficult to follow.

This project is intended to exploit that fact and use it as a platform of creativity. It is also a question as to who owns the content on a public domain? If someone uses something you freely post for their own benefit are those people entitled to it? Let us know your opinion at [ http://strangestatus.wordpress.com/category/inspiration/ ]STRANGE STATUS.com

Alexander Marquis New Media “Never be ashamed to ask for information. The ignorant man will always be ignorant if he fears that by asking he will display ignorance.” -Booker T. Washington

A look at the 6 best (and one in development) applications for the iPhone and Google’s Android. To see the list, go to http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/st_augmented_reality_apps/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Somehow people have the feeling that PDF is some innocent image format…

Just hours before Adobe is slated to deliver the latest patches for its popular PDF viewer, ScanSafe announced that by its counting, malicious Adobe Reader documents made up 80% of all exploits at the end of 2009.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9MiQjsbAEBU/Rogue-PDFs-Behind-80-of-Exploits-In-Q4-09

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Somehow people have the feeling that PDF is some innocent image format…

Just hours before Adobe is slated to deliver the latest patches for its popular PDF viewer, ScanSafe announced that by its counting, malicious Adobe Reader documents made up 80% of all exploits at the end of 2009.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9MiQjsbAEBU/Rogue-PDFs-Behind-80-of-Exploits-In-Q4-09

The coolest thing on two.. treads.

A new way for those who are paralyzed to get around in a safe, and intense manner. This baby can go offroading, up and down stairs, through snow, etc. It was made by a man who was frustrated with the lack of mobility that his wife had in her normal wheelchair, and now this man is making these things for people all over. He is going into debt by making them, because he feels that everyone who needs one should be able to have one. There is also the on-road model called the speedster, which operates in style.

URL: http://www.tankchair.com/default.htm Be sure to check out the pics and videos as well.

With limited recharging options available when your on the move; having access to a renewable energy device is quite significant. These devices are quite extraordinary in that they can generate enough electricity to operate laptops, satellite telephones, movie and still cameras, sound-recording equipment, GPS equipment and camp lighting. While the low energy supply of these devices can be a drawback; for some users, they are literally lifesavers. For example, “We have a new clinic that has no electricity at present, there was a young man who came in who had a finger almostentirely amputated. We used the light from the lantern to take care of his finger.” The lantern, in this case, happens to be powered by a solar device.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/business/09solar.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Greetings. Alex Marquis here, senior new media student at the University of Maine. As i approach the final days of being a black bear I wanted to reach out to my fellow students who may be interested in some collaborative work as well as get a chance to add some experience to my own portfolio, I’m not much of a webdesigner or animator but I do have some other skills that might provide useful. One of those is skills is being a fairly good Impressionist and voice actor and I’d like to test my skills. So if you are an animator out there in need of someone to do some voice overs for a short please, send me a script and a .jpg of your character description of them. If I’m into what you’re doing I’d do some readings that could lead to a full screening. All I ask is that if you use any of my work make sure to cite me in your credits and provide me with a copy of the finished piece for my own portfolio.

This would be a great way to take some of the stress off yourself, help fellow students, and show potential employers that you know how to collaborate.

I look forward to seeing future projects!

Alexander Marquis New Media “Never be ashamed to ask for information. The ignorant man will always be ignorant if he fears that by asking he will display ignorance.” -Booker T. Washington

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