The 2013 New Media Night opens tonight from 6-8pm at the University of Maine to celebrate the unveiling of a new center for whiz-bang art and innovation.
Funded by a $3.9M bond in 2009, IMRC (pronounced “immerse”) is chock full of cutting-edge toys, from 3d printers and laser engravers to 360-degree projections and moveable walls.
This opening show is the 8th annual New Media Night, where our best students exhibit their visions of the future. This year’s crop ranges from walk-in immersive videogames to autonomous shadows to social networks for gardeners and boulder climbers.
I found myself at Los Angeles’ Wilshire Blvd and Fremont Street, at night and without my normal point-and-shoot camera. Therefore I took pics with my iPhone 5 — which produces a certain burnt style — of an area that had me very surprised. Among the South LA community, here were private, gated communities, church headquarters, and a Masonic Temple that can rarely be used because zoning doesn’t permit its use.Continue reading »
Walking through the Figueroa Corridor in South Central, Los Angeles, it is difficult to overlook the wave of urban developments. If you haven’t visited the area, you may have already seen it through popularized photos of fast food chains between Jefferson Blvd and Adams Blvd used as an icon for “food deserts.” These so-called deserts are short on healthy food options and high on fatty foods, and the commercial zoning of the Figueroa Corridor coupled by a large mix-used inner-city/university population has lead to a proliferation of prefabricated options. Though the restaurants are iconic of the area, due to a number of factors including the expansion of nearby University of Southern California, the re-emergence of Downtown LA as a cultural and economic center, and the relatively cheap land value of strip-malls, the northwest end of South Central is losing its fast food chains in favor of multi-story housing facilities. Re-enforcing the trend away from the strip-mall towards a more fashionable aesthetic is the style of the new developments: marble-looking columns meet archways at entrances, statues line the walkways, and brick is mixed with stucco. Continue reading »
Sure, there’s no paycheck in the mail every two weeks, but look around your home. Do you have a car? A computer with Internet? A backpack and good pair of shoes? You could be paying the rent as a micro-entrepreneur, piggybacking on a new wave of platforms that connect people who need stuff done with people willing to do it.
Video of the lecture Lessig gave at Harvard last Tuesday about Aaron Swartz.
In the wake of the tragic death of social activist Aaron Swartz, many, including some in Washington, are asking how the law should respond. In this lecture — radically personal, deeply non-disinterested — Professor Lessig reflects on the life and work of Aaron Swartz, and how that work might be honored.
It’s not uncommon to see an UFO fly through a home video. Sometimes there are telltale signs of forgery such as fishing lines holding up the ship. More recently computer graphics have removed those strings, but close examination can reveal the ruse — maybe the lighting is off just a little.
Enter Aristomenis “Meni” Tsirbas. Last year he uploaded a YouTube video with a standard CGI spaceship. Except in this case, the aliens think you are fake. Why? Because in Tsirbas’s video, everything is computer-generated:
Wired describes the video in further detail:
But while the highly detailed alien ships were obviously fake, the even more surprising thing about the clip is that nothing else was real either. Every single element in the 39-second clip was computer-generated, from the car the supposed cameraman is driving to the cloudy blue sky where the alien crafts appear.
They go on to quote Tsirbas on his intensions:
The point of the video was to prove that CGI can look natural and convincing,” Tsirbas told Wired. ”Everybody assumes the background and car are real, and that the UFOs are probably fake, especially the over-the-top mothership at the end. The general reaction is disbelief, so I usually have to prove it by showing a wireframe of the entire shot to prove that nothing is real.
Internet, meet hierarchy. As Felix Salmon points out in a timely article from earlier this week, “How capitalism breaks the web,” the dream of an internet teaming with non-professional blogs, open content, and online identity is now lost to a small consortium of “web-hostile” hubs such as Facebook and Instagram. The cause? As Salmon describes, many web contributors would rather go with user-friendly interfaces than explore all that the web has to offer.Continue reading »
Now that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned of a possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor, it’s time to change your passwords. And guess what: a more secure password is actually easier to remember, if you follow a very simple rule.
Having trouble reading the news on your Samsung Galaxy while juggling a coffee cup? If you must use your tablet with only one hand, this demo shows users using only their eyes to interact with their tablets.
Plus Microsoft is looking for a few good ideas for Surface apps.
As reported in numerous outlets today, publishers at the Ontario College of Art and Design realized their art history book would have cost $800 if they secured the rights to every image. So they chose the nuclear option, replacing each illustration with a white square and instructions to look the photos up online.
Summer may be over, but there’s still time to get some action footage while the weather’s nice. Wired reviews your options for point-of-view cameras–and yes, shows an electric skateboard holding its own against a Corvette.
If you worked at Valve, the videogame company that brought you Half-Life and Portal, you wouldn’t get a title, a boss, or a pre-defined department (or even team). What you would get is a job with perhaps the most innovative company in the industry today.
Studies suggest 3 million jobs are still open if you have the skills, and some companies are even willing to train you on the job. This sneak peak at Valve’s employee handbook tells you what they expect of their employees, from peer reviews to T-shaped people.
Ruby, Objective-C, Lua, Python…so many languages, so little time. After the UMaine New Media Department decided to teach code across the curriculum, its faculty needed to choose baseline language with an easy learning curve and broad applicability. Their choice? HTML5.
Last weekend Vanessa Vobis and I took a trip to California City, CA. Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone. But it happens to be the 3rd largest city in California by area, causing confusion especially when considering other cities on the list include LA and San Jose. So, why isn’t California City as well known? Although an expansive grid was laid out in the 1950s, very few came, resulting in a small suburban core surrounded by 200+ square miles of uninhabited sprawl.
There are many stories and oddities from the trip that I’ll compile into a post for my Public Spaces series. Until then, below is an intermediate post consisting of the seven tweets from our trip, each annotated by an image. I’m hoping to provide an overview of our California City trip while at the same time trying out Twitter’s new “embed this tweet” feature. Continue reading »
NMDnet is a "meta-network" of social networks to help unite in a single conversation the University of Maine's New Media students, faculty, and alumni. You can participate via email, Facebook, or Twitter. More...