Basically Skeleton is a really elegant boilerplate setup done through JS + CSS to scale a website from a desktop size to mobile resolutions. I’m currently using it on my own projects, it’s a great framework to get going if you want mobile usability.

Source: http://getskeleton.com/

Yet another reason to choose a Facebook photo that’s hotter than you really are.

With Carnegie Mellon’s cloud-centric new mobile app, the process of matching a casual snapshot with a person’s online identity takes less than a minute. Tools like PittPatt and other cloud-based facial recognition services rely on finding publicly available pictures of you online, whether it’s a profile image for social networks like Facebook and Google Plus or from something more official from a company website or a college athletic portrait. In their most recent round of facial recognition studies, researchers at Carnegie Mellon were able to not only match unidentified profile photos from a dating website (where the vast majority of users operate pseudonymously) with positively identified Facebook photos, but also match pedestrians on a North American college campus with their online identities. … ‘[C]onceptually, the goal of Experiment 3 was to show that it is possible to start from an anonymous face in the street, and end up with very sensitive information about that person, in a process of data “accretion.” In the context of our experiment, it is this blending of online and offline data — made possible by the convergence of face recognition, social networks, data mining, and cloud computing — that we refer to as augmented reality.’ http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/09/30/1422217/Cloud-Powered-Facial-Recognition-Is-Terrifying

But then again, who really pays attention to dry academic studies? The FBI, for one.

“The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov. The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.” http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/07/2342240/FBI-Plans-Nationwide-Face-Recognition-Trials-In-2012

Greece Volos BarterAccording to Richard Florida, readily available digital tools like Firefox and Final Cut were supposed to empower artists, designers, and other “creatives” to steer the world’s future in a 21st-century Creative Economy. So why aren’t we all employed in creative industries by now?

It’s easy to point to the usual suspects like job outsourcing to China and Wall Street fat cats. But it is also true that some creative economies are thriving–even in epicenters of economic recession such as Greece–but they are organized around barter and free software rather than dollars or drachma.

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Digital Humanities LogoTechnology is usually associated with scientists, but now that artsy academics have tasted the power of digital media, the digital humanities are going full tilt. Featuring everything from best-selling Kindle authors to sociologists of Twitter, this week-long on-ramp takes tweed-jacketed academics from 0 to 60 onto the information superhighway.

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Demonstrating the power of many-to-many image- and sound-making, artist Aaron Koblin and his collaborators stitch compelling interfaces from huge data sets. Watch Koblin transform airline flight data into global travel patterns, frame-by-frame drawings into an animated tribute to Johnny Cash, and Google Street View into an Arcade Fire video personalized for each listener.


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The Bieber Shaver is only one of the works by the artist-hackers of F.A.T. Lab, which also include a fake Google Street Views car and the QR Stenciler mentioned previously on NMDnet.

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As new laws force ISPs to become copyright cops, the ramifications of intellectual property in the digital age just get more and more absurd.

Anti-Piracy Lawyers Accuse Blind Man of Downloading Films

“As the mass-lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States drag on, detail on the collateral damage this extortion-like scheme is costing becomes clear. It is likely that thousands of people have been wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material, yet they see no other option than to pay up. One of the cases that stands out is that of a California man who’s incapable of watching the adult film he is accused of sharing because he is legally blind.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/16/2346248/Anti-Piracy-Lawyers-Accuse-Blind-Man-of-Downloading-Films

Maybe he just liked the music?

Can a Monkey Get a Copyright & Issue a Takedown?

“Last week, the Daily Mail published a story about some monkeys in Indonesia who happened upon a camera and took some photos of themselves. The photos are quite cute. However, Techdirt noticed that the photos had copyright notices on them, and started a discussion over who actually held the copyright in question, noting that, if anyone did, the monkeys had the best claim, and certainly not the photographer. Yet, the news agency who claimed copyright issued a takedown to Techdirt! When presented with the point that it’s unlikely the news agency could hold a legitimate copyright, the agency told Techdirt it didn’t matter. Techdirt claims that using the photos for such a discussion is a clear case of fair use, an argument which has so far been ignored.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/13/0033214/Can-a-Monkey-Get-a-Copyright-amp-Issue-a-Takedown

“Dice Age,” sounds like…?

Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood

“Dice Age, a independent game project that raised nearly $35K through Kickstarter, is apparently facing some scrutiny from a certain movie studio that has produced movies with a similar name. From the latest project update: ‘As if the Ice Age was exclusively the name of a movie, or if Dice Age was a movie itself, the 20th century fox has just asked for an extent of time (till 10-26-2011) to oppose to the registering of our beloved Dice Age game name. My point of view, as a scientist, is the Ice age is a geological era before it is a movie.”"

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/07/29/2114234/emDice-Ageem-mdash-Indie-Gaming-Project-vs-Hollywood

Wendy Seltzer is an ace cyberlawyer who’s worked with Still Water to craft more enlightened forms of intellectual property law.

ISPs Will Now Be Copyright Cops

“Wendy Seltzer, Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy, talks about the new plan by ISPs and content providers to ‘crack down on what users can do with their internet connections’ using a 6-step warning system to curb online copyright infringement.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/06/235206/ISPs-Will-Now-Be-Copyright-Cops

Looks like six is the new three:

“American Internet users, get ready for three strikes^W^W ‘six strikes.’ Major US Internet providers — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable — have just signed on to a voluntary agreement with the movie and music businesses to crack down on online copyright infringers. But they will protect subscriber privacy and they won’t filter or monitor their own networks for infringement. And after the sixth ‘strike,’ you won’t necessarily be ‘out.’” It’s not suspicious at all that most of the ISPs signing on for this are owned by or own media companies.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/07/1644240/Media-Companies-Create-Copyright-Enforcement-Framework

On the pro-sharing front:

A federal judge ruled Monday that publishing an entire article without the rights holder’s authorization was a fair use of the work, in yet another blow to newspaper copyright troll Righthaven. It’s not often that republishing an entire work without permission is deemed fair use.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/SDLVTXCwy2k/

A federal judge backed the music storage-locker business model Monday while ruling that companies may develop services that store their customers’ songs in the cloud. The closely watched case brought by EMI against MP3tunes comes as Amazon and Google recently launched similar services without the music labels’ consent. Apple is expected to launch a cloud-storage service… http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/XGIJztQaOPw/

Who knew? Maybe the Pirate Bay should start an ecommerce site called Arrrrmazon.com.

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers

“The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/20/2119232/Suppressed-Report-Shows-Pirates-Are-Good-Customers

Flickr FTW; Facebook WTF.

The Flickr circles you draw on your map are refreshingly intuitive.

Flickr, the granddaddy of online photo sharing, has introduced some refreshingly simple privacy controls designed to limit who can see where your photos were taken. Facebook, please start your photocopiers.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/KZ2MRAa0E7E/

Sadly, Facebook seems to have botched its approach to privacy yet again.

Blogger Dan Tynan was one of the recipients of the new privacy controls that Facebook promised last week. The bad news: They still don’t work, and may even be worse than before. ‘Using Facebook’s new improved privacy controls, you can tag someone else in photo and then keep them from seeing it,’ says Tynan. ‘It’s pretty simple; just change the sharing option so they don’t see what you posted. So if you want to tag a picture of some jerk with your friend’s name on it and make it Public, everyone on Facebook will be able to see it except one — the person whose name is on it.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/29/1644259/Facebooks-New-Privacy-Controls-Still-Broken

The music industry is infiltrating private weddings to crack down on music piracy, and even artists with gold albums can end up owing their label a half-million bucks. But you don’t need the industry to bust out a fly remix.

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Librarians loaning out people and companies replacing bots with humans is both sensible and creepy. Is this newest form of human capital just an innocent way to reverse unemployment through automation, or a prelude to The Matrix?

If I’m gonna be a battery, I hope I get to be rechargeable.

Canadian Library to Loan Out People

Wouldn’t it be easier to learn Chinese from a native speaker than from a book, or explore a religion from an actual practitioner rather than words on a page? A library in Surrey, B.C. thinks so and has introduced a “human library” program. Visitors will be able to “check-out” real people to learn about their experiences and specific knowledge. From the article: “…The goal is to break down stereotypes and start discussions, said deputy chief librarian Melanie Houlden. ‘What we’re aiming to do is bring the library to life for people. There are huge repositories of experience and knowledge in their own brains,’ she said.” As long as you stay out of the horror section, this sounds like a great idea.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/08/19/1437249/Canadian-Library-to-Loan-Out-People

Crowdsourcing Makes an API For Human Intelligence “A startup called MobileWorks claims to offer human-level intelligence to any piece of software, with APIs for image, text or speech processing that crowdsource tasks to workers in India. Unlike Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, jobs can be sent in by software without human help and can also be completed in “real time” with a turnaround of a few seconds. The company claims that for problems like OCR and image recognition it makes more sense to find ways to use human intelligence than developing complex custom algorithms.” Not a bad plan — sounds like they’ve lifting a page from the business model of captcha-cracking spammers.

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/08/29/2231258/Crowdsourcing-Makes-an-API-For-Human-Intelligence

Some Web hosting services discourage or prohibit the practice known as “scraping,” whereby a custom-built bot crawls the Web looking for particular content to repurpose. While scraping can be used for questionable purposes like generating spam text or manipulating search engines, in this case a student is looking for a host for a legitimate project based on tracking political candidates for the 2012 election.

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Is it cheating to appropriate Google Street View images as photojournalism?

The Google Street View car is like the ultimate street photographer, a robo Cartier-Bresson methodically scouring the streets and documenting what it sees. But most people use GSV for practical purposes, and they view any drama or comedy captured by the roving 360-degree camera as accidents.

A few photographers are now looking for these ‘accidents’ intentionally. Instead of walking out on the street to find interesting scenes and people, they are simply curating the pre-documented streets from the comfort of their desk at home.

Michael Wolf, for example, uses a camera to photograph scenes from Google Street View open on his computer’s browser. In February, his honorable mention in the Contemporary Issues category at the World Press Photo Awards for A Series of Unfortunate Events ignited a storm of debate. Some balked at the idea that Wolf’s project was photojournalism, while others embraced the decision and called for more conceptual leaps and redefinitions of photojournalism in the digital age.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/LomrdS9rJDQ/

Meanwhile two women in Cincinnati are testing privacy ethics by selling reproductions of 1955 police mug shots.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=78417df2d428dc4bffb906cc42a4bc53

On another mobile front: For those who prefer their art fresh rather than refried, tablet drawing is getting more sophisticated, as on this recent release by the same company that created AutoCAD:

SketchBook Pro, essentially a digital canvas and brush set, allows you to use both your fingers and aftermarket styluses to create illustrations and designs. Included are over 60 different brush tools, the ability to create up to six different layers for one file, as well as the ability to export files to Photoshop.

The app was previously available on iPhone, iPad and Android phone devices, as well as in an expanded desktop version. This is the first version of the app that will run on Android’s tablet-optimized software, a.k.a. Honeycomb.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/mhaWdgu5zMY/

Of course, just because you drew it on an iPad doesn’t mean you won’t be a kitschy derivative of other works–as demonstrated by a recent exhibition that showed off the iPad’s artsy side:

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/aX5h2ZGYt9E/

What would Leonardo do?

A decade ago, Sun founder Bill Joy prophesied a future without fixed prices, where bots would negotiate our most quotidian economic transactions. His future is about to become our present.

TaskRabbit is like eBay for real-world labor….It was a wintry night in February 2008, when [ Leah ] Busque, a 28-year-old engineer at IBM in Cambridge, Massachusetts, realized that she needed dog food for her yellow lab, Kobe. She wanted nothing more than to get someone else to trudge outside in the snow. “I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a place online you could go,” she says. “A site where you could name the price you were willing to pay for any task. There had to be someone in my neighborhood who was willing to get that dog food for what I was willing to pay.”

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/aPyr0W88wck/

Got parking?

A new iPhone app has created a marketplace for public parking, connecting those vacating a space with those searching for one — for a fee.

Parking Auction launched earlier this week on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The matchmaking service is beta-testing, and the folks behind it hope to expand worldwide, creating communities of relaxed, smartphone-armed parkers.

“If I’m parked on the street and wouldn’t mind moving my car to a spot half a mile away that isn’t residential, I may be happy to give it up to my neighbor that just got home from East Hampton on a Sunday night with two kids in a car she has to unload,” said founder Brian Rosetti. “We think that’s quite a neighborly and valuable service.”

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/4cuhGQtKJKA/

Two days after Aaron Swartz is accused of downloading a huge swath of academic journal articles from the paywalled site JSTOR, another activist has posted a similar trove to the notorious Web site Pirate Bay. What happens when academics espouse plagiarism?

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Save the Date and Call for Submissions PechaKucha Night Bangor Vol. 2 Friday, August 19th Brick Church, 126 Union Street, Bangor

PechaKucha Night Bangor Vol. 2 is slated for Friday night, August 19th. George Kinghorn, Director and Curator of the University of Maine Museum of Art, will emcee the event. A cash bar and munchies will be provided. 8 people will surprise the audience with presentations about their creative work and ideas.

SUBMISSIONS: Please send a 1-paragraph bio, title and description of your presentation, 3 to 5 sample images and your phone and email contact info to pechakucha [DOT] bangor [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Submissions are due July 22nd .

People of all creative expressions, designers, writers, architects, artists, sculptors, dancers, photographers, academics, athletes, farmers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and more are encouraged to submit their work to present at PechaKucha Night Vol. 2. More information about the submission process is available at http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/bangor-meand by emailing pechakucha [DOT] bangor [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

PechaKucha Night Bangor is a presentation event for creative people to showcase their work, accomplishments and ideas to the community. PechaKucha Night started in 2003 in Japan and has spread to hundreds of cities around the world. The event concept is to keep presentations concise, interest up and ideas flowing. The 20×20 PechaKucha format allows each presenter to narrate a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. Each event has 8 presenters representing a wide array of creative disciplines.

Like making stuff? Like filming movies? This film festival is looking for you.

Power of Making On Screen

Call for Submissions:

You are invited to create a short film that celebrates making – Each film can be between 10 and 120 seconds in length and will celebrate the power of making – it may explain, illustrate and/ or observe ‘making’ skills, techniques and process.

The films will be creative, inspiring, exciting and perhaps unexpected, and will explore a diverse range of skills and look at how materials can be expressed in imaginative and spectacular ways.

Around 40 of the submitted short ‘making’ films will be selected for inclusion in the forthcoming V&A/Crafts Council exhibition Power of Making (6th September – 2nd January 2012) and screened throughout the duration in a dedicated area of the exhibition known as the ‘Tinker Space’.

We are looking for short films that depict and/or creatively respond to the making process of an object, including; crafting, experiments, demonstrations of making skills, use of tools, equipment /machinery, hacking objects etc.,

Films do not need to be highly polished and edited and we welcome material from hi and lo-fi sources such as digital camera or mobile phone.

Keywords that describe the ways in which skills and craftsmanship should be demonstrated in the type of film we are looking to select, are;

• Innovative

• Engaging

• Skilful

• Improvised

• Witty

• Meticulous

• Dexterous

• Experimental

Submission requirements and guidelines:

• You can submit as many films as you wish – they can be old work or new work, however we cannot accept nudity, sexually explicit scenes, swearing and violence.

• Your film must be non-commercial; all your own work, and you should have obtained copyright or relevant permissions for all images and films used in your piece.

• Acceptable film lengths range from a minimum of 10 seconds to a maximum of 120 seconds of content.

• Each submitted film must include a black front screen with text credits WHITE ON BLACK –to include your name and title of the film/work, your geographical location (town & country) and the date the film was made. This front end section should be no longer than 5 seconds in total.

• Each film may have acknowledgements at the end which should not exceed 5 second on screen. Each film must end with a 1 second FULLY BLACK screen.

How to enter:

• Go to craftscouncil.org.uk/powerofmakingfor full instructions on submitting your film(s) to the dedicated Vimeo site, and if your work fits the brief we will publish it. If selected by our Panel of Experts, your film will feature in the Power of Making exhibition.

• Should be no longer at 136 seconds long (max 10secs Title credit / max 120secs film content/ 6secs end-screen).

Closing date for submissions is Sunday 31st July 2011 For more information see craftscouncil [DOT] org [DOT] uk/powerofmakingor contact exhibitions [AT] craftscouncil [DOT] org [DOT] uk

At the same time that the Obama administration is underwriting hardware for helping citizens of other countries circumvent their own government’s Internet censorship, Apple is patenting a camera that performs a government’s censorship for it.

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JavaScript’s seemingly inexorable march toward becoming the universal language of new media recently opened a new beachhead on the Web server. With an effusion of excitement about, and profusion of frameworks for, using JavaScript for such server-side tasks as accessing databases, the homely script that started out as a love child of Netscape and Internet Explorer could end up displacing such respected languages as PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Microsoft Vice President Julie Larson-Green didn’t help matters during a demo of Windows 8, when she called HTML5 / JavaScript “our new developer platform“–freaking out legions of developers who’ve diligently learned Microsoft-only platforms from Visual Basic to C#. Will Microsoft say nyet to .NET?

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Street View Giardini 1 9 Master CardThe press release for the exhibition Not Here begins, “The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University is very pleased to announce that we will not be presenting the augmented reality artwork of the art collective, MANIFEST.AR from June 4 through November 27, 2011.” It turns out MANIFEST.AR isn’t featured in the Venice Biennale either. Even more of a coincidence: the same works not featured in the Biennale are not featured in the Samek show, during the exact same period!

If you’re confused, blame Augmented Reality: software that allows enterprising artists to overlay virtual versions of their works in real spaces, at least on AR-enabled smartphones. What’s not (here) to like?

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Imagine a future in which a single worldwide currency is distributed among peers rather than centralized in a handful of wealthy banks. Freed from the intrusions of national governments and the manipulation of Wall Street fat cats, these virtual coins could be “mined” and spent by individual citizens anywhere on the Internet. Based on an open-source standard and difficult to trace, these immaterial coins would quickly become the ideal payment option for privacy advocates, political dissidents, and narcotics dealers.

This future is already here, and it’s called Bitcoin.

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