Irene Posch used historic gold embroidery materials and knowledge to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.
Solely built from a variety of metal threads, magnetic, glas and metal beads, and being inspired by traditional crafting routines and patterns, the piece questions the appearance of current digital and electronic technologies surrounding us, as well as our interaction with them.
Bryan Boyer built an e-ink device powered by a Raspberry Pi that displays films at 24fph (frames per hour).
Films are vain creatures that typically demand a dark room, full attention, and eager eyeballs ready to accept light beamed from the screen or projector to your visual cortex. VSMP inverts all of that. It is impossible to “watch” in a traditional way because it’s too slow. In a staring contest with VSMP you will always lose. It can be noticed, glanced-at, or even inspected, but not watched.
As a self-confessed film nerd I love this idea:
Can a film be consumed at the speed of reading a book? Yes, just as a car city can be enjoyed on foot. Slowing things down to an extreme measure creates room for appreciation of the object, as in Brasília, but the prolonged duration also starts to shift the relationship between object, viewer, and context. A film watched at 1/3,600th of the original speed is not a very slow movie, it’s a hazy timepiece. A Very Slow Movie Player (VSMP) doesn’t tell you the time; it helps you see yourself against the smear of time.
The Verge has a great piece on the world of Amazon sellers, and the crazy Gilliam-esque world they operate in.
For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.
And as the system gets more byantine, other business opportunities arise:
And what’s a seller to do when they end up in Amazon court? They can turn to someone like Cynthia Stine, who is part of a growing industry of consultants who help sellers navigate the ruthless world of Marketplace and the byzantine rules by which Amazon governs it. They are like lawyers, only their legal code is the Amazon Terms of Service, their court is a secretive and semiautomated corporate bureaucracy, and their jurisdiction is an algorithmically policed global bazaar rife with devious plots to hijack listings for novelty socks and plastic watches. People like Stine are fixers, guides to the cutthroat land of Amazon, who are willing to give their assistance to the desperate — for a price, of course.
The world today is a weird place.
It’s been a year hasn’t it.
What with all that going on out there (waves hand in general direction of the world), it’s felt like I haven’t had enough mental space for films or music during 2018.
I thought I’d seen very few films this year, but my Letterboxd stats only report a small drop on previous years. The same with music, I wasn’t sure if I could put together ten. I was very wrong on that front. I’d taken in more than I thought.
That’s the advantage of these posts, it’s an opportunity to take a step back and reflect.
So, in no particular order… (okay, alphabetical):
- Dream Wife - Dream Wife
- Goat Girl - Goat Girl
- Gwenno - Le Kov
- IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistence
- Low - Double Negative
- Lucy Dacus - Historian
- Lucy Leave - Look//Listen
- Our Girl - Stranger Today
- Shannon Shaw - Shannon In Nashville
- She Makes War - Brace For Impact
- Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe - Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe
(Updated 10th December to add the video)
Last night I took part in the final JS Oxford of the year, which consisted of a series of lightning talks on all manner of subjects, from lessons learned in Developer Relations, to an introduction to Kubernetes.
I gave a very brief talk on cat gifs… wait, I mean getting started with CSS Grid (It’s written in Reveal.js so you can view the speaker notes by pressing S). I started by explaining some of the terminology around Grid, and then ran through the case study of converting this site to a Grid layout.
As always, it was an absolute pleasure to present at JS Oxford. They’re always interested in new speakers, so if you’re thinking about giving it a go, they’re a lovely welcoming crowd.
As it was a lightning talk I didn’t get a chance to link out to further reading, but I can do that here.
- Rachel Andrew’s excellent Grid by Example is full of useful information, examples, patterns, and resources. She has literally written the book on Grid.
- Grid Garden is a fun way to get your head around some of the general concepts.
- Jen Simmons’ has been doing some amazing experiments with Grid, and has also collated a useful list of resources on her Learn CSS Grid page.
- I have a continually growing list of Grid resources on Pinboard.
Unfortunately the weather gods were against us on day 2, with some pretty horrendous downpours first thing in the morning.
Although a few of us made it in, it was more difficult for others, so I classed it as a “work-from-home” exercise, and we kept in touch through the #indieweb channel in the Digital Oxford Slack. Despite this, everyone was still enthused and carried on with their projects.
A few of the participants wrote up their experiences:
- Beverley Newing - 2018 Oxford Indie Web Camp.
- Marcus Povey - #Indiewebcamp Oxford.
- Henry Blyth - IndieWeb is seriously cool.
As for myself, I’m very pleased with what I achieved over the last couple of days. My webmentions are a lot tidier now, and I did a lot of cleaning up behind the scenes, bits and pieces that have been on the to-do list for a while.
Overall it feels like the first IndieWebCamp Oxford went well and people got a lot out of it. It was good to hang out with a group all working on something personal. It’s got me thinking that maybe we need something more regular. An Oxford chapter of the Homebrew Website Club perhaps?
I’m here at the first IndieWebCamp Oxford. I can’t quite believe it all came together!
After some introductory rambling from me, the group got down to planning and coding.
As I hoped, we have all levels of experience, with some implementing IndieWeb functionality for the first time, whereas others have larger scale projects in mind, including Ben’s epic “document all the things” in preparation for he and Sarah’s trip to New Zealand, and Dan Q moving his geocaching tools to a more POSSE model, with less reliance on outside services.
For my part, so far I’ve finished the webmention implementation I set up a few months ago, adding a Facepile for likes and reposts, and cleaning up the markup. Next up I think some improvements to the microformats around the site.
Save the dates folks!
On Saturday 22nd September and Sunday 23rd September we will be having the first ever Oxford IndieWebCamp!
It is a free event, but I would ask that you register on Eventbrite, so I can get an idea of numbers.
IndieWebCamp is a weekend gathering of web creators building & sharing their own websites to advance the independent web and empower ourselves and others to take control of our online identities and data.
It is open to all skill levels, from people who want to get started with a web site, through to experienced developers wanting to tackle a specific personal project.
I gave a little presentation about the Indieweb at JS Oxford earlier this year if you want to know more.
Christopher Noessel at the great Sci-fi Interfaces has been publishing a series of posts analysing Artificial Intelligence in film:
Sci-fi, my reasoning goes, plays an informal and largely unacknowledged role in setting public expectations and understanding about technology in general and AI in particular. That, in turn, affects public attitudes, conversations, behaviors at work, and votes. If we found that sci-fi was telling the public misleading stories over and over, we should make a giant call for the sci-fi creating community to consider telling new stories. It’s not that we want to change sci-fi from being entertainment to being propaganda, but rather to try and take its role as informal opinion-shaper more seriously.
Now that the series has come to end, Sebastian Sadowski has visualised the findings from the posts making it easier to explore the themes and relationships between films.
Pie fans ahoy! With over 600 pie reviews, Pierate is surely the web’s premier pie resource. We’ve been eating and rating pies according to the ‘Seven Cs’ since 2009.
I’ve found my people.