Friday, 7 January 2022

web 3.0 is going great and is definitely not an enormous grift that’s pour lighter fluid on our already-smouldering planet

Via Web Curios (definitely lot’s more to check out there), we are introduced to a project by Molly White who curates articles and discussion threads that illustrate the dark side of tech utopian-thinking and how we can’t just code our way to equality and out of an environmental crisis that is exacerbated by Ponzi schemes and chasing that greater fool. There are some choice headlines about corporate malfeasance, lack of disclosure and how riots and disruptions to the internet in Kazakhstan (to quash the coordination of said protests) reveal the extent of bitcoin mining occurring there, subsidised and underwritten by the government’s policy of producing cheap fuel from the dirtiest sources.

7x7

sick sad world: our crypto-bro, cyberpunk dystopia  

brik: aesthetic LEGO typography  

just keep swimming: mobile aquaria allow fish to drive—via the morning news  

molten path: an ancient—though not inaccessible—airburst over the Atacama shed shards of glass across Chile—see also   

thinking of you, i mean me: a Barbara Kruger (previously) retrospective in Chicago on capitalism and its critique

queued-up: Instagram versus reality

a listicle in eight parts: Cory Doctorow expounds on the scam of fintech—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Friday, 10 December 2021

everybody always confesses—you can’t help it

Slated to be released on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the original publication of nineteen eighty-four on 8 June 2023 and greenlit by the estate of George Orwell, the dystopian, cautionary tale will be retold from the perspective of Julia, Winston Smith’s erstwhile subversive, thoughtcriminal, inculcated to the Party at a young age and avid member of the Junior Anti-Sex League and the Two Minutes Hate directed against those who would betray the revolution but who quickly redirected her fervour to rebellion, though knowing they will eventually be caught and betray one another’s confidence.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

8x8

uap: an interview with former US DoD head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme says that “Tic-Tac” craft have been observed by the navy for decades  

dutch angle: dramatic tilt in cinematography  

comrade kiev: an exquisitely curated collection of posters from Soviet times  

p68/dulcimer: a prototype of the iPod—which celebrated its twentieth birthday last month—via Twisted Sifter  

subjective distance: more on the ordering of adjectives and the unwritten rules of language—see previously 

quesos y besos: a soft goat cheese from Spain beat out many contenders to be awarded the top prize for the annual World Cheese Awards  

shoulder-surfing: a patent to discourage lookie-loos with a screen blur for those without the proper headgear and glasses—via Slashdot 

discopter: Alexander Weygers patented the design for the first UFO flying vehicle decades before the craze in sightings and visitations

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

collared

Buried within the pared down yet still massive and significant US Infrastructure Bill is a rider that encourages in the pursuit of public safety the tagging of pedestrians and bicycles with transponder beacons so as to make it easier for autonomous vehicles from running them over—thereby, like the crime of jaywalking, shifting the responsibility away from the manufacturers to public and shared spaces.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

9x9

the audience effect: fellow blogger and internet caretaker Duck Soup passes a million page-views

ะณั€ะฐั„ะธั‡ะบะธ ะดะธะทะฐั˜ะฝ: celebrating the works of three pioneering Serbian graphic designers and topographers

mountain view: a prop gravesite used for film and television, interred and disinterred thousands of times, in a very real cemetery 

subject matter expert: the street photography of Eric Kogan—via the morning news  

utter rubbish: traumatising photographs of the garbage, sometimes neatly knolled, that humans produce  

the briefing: a definitive guide to COP 26  

greased falcon: a fan-channel dedicated to Star Wars! The Musical (2008)  

time in a bottle: hackers are amassing encrypted data in the hopes that within a few years, quantum computers will be able to unlock it—via Slashdot 

return to comfort town: more on brilliant housing development in Kyiv inspired by building blocks—see previously

Sunday, 31 October 2021

7x7: happy halloween edition

robert the doll: Key West’s most cursed object—see also—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see here)  

zombie jamboree: Harry Belafonte’s actual ghoulish calypso number—notwithstanding the associations with the Banana Boat Song 

la calavera catrina: a sugar skull puppet presents a primer on Dรญa de los Muertos  

westsonality: enjoy Paul Lynde’s 1976 Halloween Special with a cavalcade of guest stars  

respect the sabbath: periodic movements in the US to hold no Halloween on Sundays  

main title theme: the score for John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween 

lovecraft country: welcome to my metaverse—see previously

Thursday, 7 October 2021

stalkie talkie

Via Things Magazine, we are presented with this quite dystopian and invasive catalogue of playthings with the hallmark of being highly addictive by design following the form of manipulation. Age-inappropriate, there’s data-hungry aggregate Pocket Troll, Fishing for Likes and a grab-bag of Mystery Friends to be foisted on all and sundry, aged nine to ninety-nine.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

8x8

heir apparent: after over a century, Russia hosts a royal wedding for a member of the Romanoff family

9m²:a luxury apartment in Tokyo that makes very efficient use of space—at more than twice the size, my work-week flat feels rather sprawling and and ilunder-utilised 

pandora’s box: a trove of leaked records, following on from the Panama papers shows how the wealthy and connected hide their riches 

faux mcdoo: a fake McDonald’s in Los Angeles for filming purposes, via Messy Nessy Chic 

tx-33: new lows attained in gerrymandering and voter-marginalisation 

full circle: a retrospective exhibit of Judy Chicago  

deuce court: a demonstration of medieval tennis  

ะฒั‹ะทะพะฒ: cast joins crew aboard ISS to film scenes of the first movie shot in microgravity

Friday, 17 September 2021

the persuaders!

Last in the line of a spy, crime adventure syndicate that began in 1960 with Danger Man, The Prisoner, The Avengers and The Saint, the charismatic action-comedy vehicle of Tony Curtis and Roger Moore was first simulcast on ITV and ABC to UK and US audiences on this day in 1971. Though considered a crowning, ambitious and concluding series and played well in foreign franchises, dubbed as Dos Tipos Audaces (Two Bold Characters in South American markets), Minden Lรฉben Kรฉt Kanรกl (Two Spoons in Every Soup in Hungary), Snobbar som Jobbar (Snobs on the Job in Sweden), Amicalement Vรดtre in French-speaking areas (Amicably Yours) and Die Zwei in the Deutschsprachrรคume (one of the best titled cinematic adaptations The Sum of All Fears is plaintively called simply Der Anschlag, The Attack in German) the production of Baron Lew Grade (also behind the series of Supermarionation shows) about two individuals from starkly different backgrounds that have been reluctantly teamed together to solve international cases that the authorities cannot disappointed domestic viewers and was cancelled after one albeit complete season. The opening title sequence (see also) features music by John Berry.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

dazzle camo

Via the always brilliant Things Magazine, we quite enjoyed this look into this demonstration project with automotive camouflage (see previously, see also) not necessarily meant to conceal but rather confuse and overwhelm the proliferation of prying eyes, perhaps containing a hidden QR code to throw ubiquitous spyware off the trail and send it down the garden path. Prior to the ubiquity of spy technology, the article also contains an interesting aside regarding how auto manufacturers first explored this type of detailing in order to combat corporate espionage when sleuthing photographers tried to capture images of road-testing prototype vehicles before their R&D was ready for market and perhaps steal their design—these concept cars out in the wild published under the caption, catagory Erlkรถnige (with the less poetic English translation, development mule) after the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ballad about the Fairy King with the opening line Wer reitet so spat durch Nacht und Wind—Who rides so late through night and wind? to refer to the drivers who thought they were being stealthy when they were just rather conspicuous.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

the thing

While best known for inventing the electronic musical instrument the theremin, Lรฉon Theremin also designed one of the first bugging devices to passively transmit audio signals. A forerunner to RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips used in inventory control and as anti-shoplifting technology, the so called Thing (the first of its kind) or the Endovibrator (ะญะฝะดะพะฒะธะฑั€ะฐ́ั‚ะพั€) was embedded in a carved wooden seal presented to the ambassador of the US diplomatic mission to the Soviet Union by the Young Pioneer organisation (see also) as a gesture of friendship on this day in 1945, shortly before the end of World War II. Ingeniously, a small length of antenna requiring no external power source would vibrate, picking up voices in the embassy office and could be demodulated—without risk of detection by a receiver tuned to the right station.

Unnoticed for nearly seven years until under the tenure of George F. Kennan, the Thing was only discovered by accident with a radio operator at the neighbouring British compound picking up feedback. The existence of such bugging capabilities was not disclosed to the public until 1960, during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council convened after a US spy plane had been shot down over Soviet territory.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

8x8

yรคchtley crรซw: a cover band’s homage to the genre (previously

sky mall: the inevitable fate of all platforms, selling botware to other bots in glossy format—via Things Magazine plus an update on the Metabolist capsule hotel of Kisho Kurokawa 

๐’€ญ๐’„‘๐’‰‹๐’‚ต๐’ˆจ๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹: assaying the Epic of Gilgamesh—previously here and here  

this beach does not exist: using generative adversarial networks (previous snowclones) to create fantasy shorelines—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

hearse: a concept Airstream funeral coach, circa 1981, which never caught on—also h/t to Things  

not affiliated with project shield, loki or the world security council: an exclusive exposรฉ on cyber surveillance abuse on a global scale 

 transatlanticism: US withdraws objections to completion of Nord Stream 2—previously, now ninety-eight percent done—after negotiations with Germany 

 murphy’s law: an abcedarium of the maxims of management—see also

Sunday, 6 June 2021

we here at weyland-yutani corporation would like to wish a happy pride month to all of our lgbtq+ colonists on lv-426

Via JWZ and ourselves just seeing the Y in the corporate logo for the first time, we are rather enjoying this show of corporate solidarity from villainous, fictitious companies including Umbrella Corporation, Tyrell and Cyberdyne Systems, makers of Skynet.  No official statements yet from their real world counterparts regarding Pride Month and often fleeting and hollow-ringing shows of support irrespective of however a person might identify themselves or whatever association is foisted on them.  

Sunday, 30 May 2021

ws3

Via Waxy, taking some numbingly tedious (low-stakes) annual training and always failing to recall the difference between nuanced jargon—plus not paying close attention to the presentation before the post-test, I’ve encountered such flash cards and drills that promise the right answers if one types in the question verbatim but I never expected peers to help out one another (eyes on your own test) with the same crib notes for the safety and security of nuclear armaments. Responsibly redacted in the exposรฉ, the practises and protocols of US weapons stockpiles overseas were breached through these tutorials, and while the existence of this forward operating bases and their host nations was somewhat of an open secret, spillage of alert procedures, security norms and panic words strikes as pretty grave and just as embarrassing as being outed by one’s pedometer.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

stack overflow

Released on this this day in cinemas in 1995, the Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren dystopian science-fiction adaptation of the eponymous William Ford Gibson cyberpunk novel, the film takes place in 2021 with global population deeply and irretrievably engaged with an augmented reality internet which has a debilitating long-term effect called “nervous attenuation syndrome” (NAS) and transfer and transmission of data is closely controlled by mega-corporations who enforce their hegemony through the mafia.
Reeves’ character is a mnemonic courier discreetly transports data, avoiding traffic on the worldwide web, with an implant in his brain, and is entrusted with the safekeeping and eventually uploading into the public domain documents that reveal the corporations’ connections with organised crime and the computer virus that will return power and autonomy to the people, teaming up with the Lo-Teks under the leadership of J-Bone, played by Ice-T, a mysterious female projection of an omnipresent digital assistant and a genetically enhanced dolphin with abilities to break any encryption.

Friday, 23 April 2021

the harry lime theme

Also known as the above, the zither instrumental from the soundtrack to the 1949 Graham Greene film The Third Man (previously) by Anton Karas became the best-selling single in the US following its theatrical release there on this day in 1950, remaining at the top of the charts for eleven weeks. A guitar version by Guy Lombardo plus three other separate covers were also commercial successes that same year. Long in Karas’ repertoire, he described it as the sort of warm-up music played in a cafรฉ that no one stops to listen to.

Friday, 16 April 2021

9x9

oh, i travel—a sort of licenced troubleshooter: a lexicon of the Bond franchise in all its forms 

riptide: an homage to the pre-code (previously) Hollywood actress Norma Shearer 

dead pilots’ society: CBS Summer Playhouse and similar vehicles were venues for anthologies of failed television shows—see also  

la vie รฉlectrique: Albert Robida’s 1893 vision of the future includes a remote courtship by means of a tรฉlephonoscope 

the sensational she-hulk: Marvel comics hand-lettering from Reagan Ray—previously  

buzz-saw: the ancient shark-like Helicoprion had spiral tooth-whorls 

reinventing the wheel: engineers in Seoul develop transforming, load-bearing tyre using principles of origami—see previously  

oh—the pint pot, half-a-pint, gill pot, half-a-gill-quarter-gill, nippikin and the brown bowl: conventional measurements of liquid (see also) anticipated the next in a binary fashion  

shaguar: if Austin Powers were to be revived today, he would have been cryogenically frozen in 1991

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

7x7

being vaccinated does NOT mean you can gyre and gimble in the wabe: COVID-19 safety protocols in the Jabberwocky 

i’ve hidden the plans in an r2 unit: watch Carrie Fisher’s screen-test for the role of Princess Leia—see also 

murder offsets: a fine is a price, paying for the right to do wrong, like papal indulgences 

page left blank intentionally: the missing portion of the CIA report on astral projection (previously)—via Things Magazine  

man tanna: the kastom tribe of Vanuatu mourn the passing of Prince Phillip  

nature’s palette: an anniversary re-print of Patrick Syme’s expansion on Werner’s Nomenclature of Colourpreviously  

see my poncey boots—teach myself to cook: Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl sing about lockdown and conspiracy theorists

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

mindbender

Responsible to a greater or lesser degree for the Grateful Dead, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the Unibomber and continuing for at least the next two decades albeit (reportedly) at a diminished scale, Project MKUltra was launched by the US Central Intelligence Agency through its Office of Scientific Intelligence in coordination with the army’s biological warfare laboratories on this day in 1953. Though some experiments and motivations are documented and verified, huge tranches of files documenting the programme by the CIA director in 1973 (in the midst of Watergate) making independent corroboration difficult to impossible as embarrassing and incriminating for the government to have sanctioned tests without informed-consent on unwitting subjects. Born out of paranoia experienced after acclaimed as a world power to loose monopolies on nuclear armaments and cultural hegemony, many put credence in this efforts at brainwashing, memory manipulation and behaviour control through hypnosis, hallucinogenic drugs, trained assassins, addiction and remote-controlled implants, though others including spymaster and programme director Sidney Gottlieb dismissed and disavowed the project’s methodologies as ineffective and only useful to redirect public scrutiny away from the agency’s actual goals of advancing, enhancing interrogation techniques through classic means of intimation and torture and conversely creating field operators better able to resist such ways of extracting information.