there’s a glow

  This is the music video for the song ‘There’s a glow’ by the band NO, a Los Angeles-, respectively Echo-Park-based Indie sextet, which just published its debut album ‘El Prado.’ Filmmaker Johnny Agnew almost entirely filmed the video within the computer game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA V | Rockstar North 2013)—my, my, how ↵machinima has developed since I first posted about it in 2005 or so. I especially do like the ironic, humoresque ambience and narrative of the video, very gamer-like. And as we are already at it: not that I’d have time for it, but where are … Continue reading

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frankenrifle in mali

The above screencap from a BBC report on the conflict in Mali was made by @ByronDoerfer and sent to ↑C. J. Chivers, who gave a ↑first diagnosis: This gentleman, reportedly a Chadian soldier in Mali, is holding what appears to be a well-worn ↑AKM variant with a host of after-market add-ons, creating a cosmetic hybrid between the globally established Kalashnikov operating system and the modern Western military obsession with rails, sights, tactical grips and collapsing stocks. [italics emphasis mine]     [...] I haven’t had time to review the kit of Chadian soldiers generally. So I can’t say whether this … Continue reading

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the coming war on general computation

The copyright war was just the beginning  The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.     The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no … Continue reading

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players unleashed

Players Unleashed is a thought provoking and well-argued reconstruction of the history of digital games and the role of player modifications to such artifacts. Focusing on the wide-ranging universe of mods for the best selling game The Sims, Sihvonen presents a cogent and persuasive argument for the importance of such activities, and in doing so helps us understand the vital role that players have claimed in the development and evolution of digital games. (Mia Consalvo) SIHVONEN, TANJA. 2011. ↑Players unleashed! Modding The Sims and the culture of gaming. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. … Continue reading

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at tannhaeuser gate

  At boingboing they currently have ‘a ↑series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists.’ The day before yesterday it was ↑Gareth Branwyn’s turn. From his ‘Like Tears in the Rain:’ I can’t really say what made such a fundamental impact on me. The dark noir mood of the film, certainly, and the questions it raises about the nature of life, memory, what constitutes humanity, and whether “androids dream of electric sheep…” What I didn’t know I was looking at was a cyberpunk aesthetic that I would soon become completely immersed in, through … Continue reading

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mad mex

In India and Pakistan trucks get decorated until they are gaudy pieces of art on wheels:  In Japan the same is done, but there, hardly surprising, the dekotora [decorated trucks] follow the neon æsthetics:  In Sudan trucks are completely deconstructed and then reconstructed—the results are visually not as spectacular as their Asian kin, but are masterpieces of a comparatively young engineering culture (↓Beck 2009):  In Mexico, and within a totally different context, the not so conspicuous Sudanese trucks seem to have cousins: ‘Rhino trucks, narco tanks, Mad Mex-inismos? No one can agree on what to call the armored monster vehicles … Continue reading

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e-lectricity

In a small township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa, paraffin has become the currency for trade. However, a rising paraffin shortage is threatening to plummet the township into complete darkness. Walter Hlase, a shy and introverted inventor decides that if he can create a new renewable energy source, he will gain the respect and friendship of the townsfolk. But is this easier said than done? MANNEKE, MIKLAS. ↑E-lectricity. [short film]. Johannesburg: AFDA. via GK at Facebook—tnx! … Continue reading

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advanced building techniques

A common trait of technoludic online scenes and communities are the efforts undertaken to document, preserve and redistribute specific knowledge. The afols [adult fans of lego] have developed many building techniques beyond those found in official instructions. Back in 2007 Didier Enjary collected a lot of those in his ‘↓The Unofficial LEGO Advanced Building Techniques Guide‘ [.pdf | 1.7 MB]. Didier’s guide explains the geometry of LEGO bricks from scratch, then proceeds to particular techniques. All in all his guide is a testament to the afols’ intellectual and practical appropriation of the LEGO building system.  via ↑entry at ↑the brothers … Continue reading

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cyberanthropology reviews

Now that some reviews of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ have seen the light of day, it makes sense to begin to collect them [naturally they're all in German]:     The Titel-Magazin was first with ↑Ein Buch mit System! (27 September 2011). As short as enthusiastic—and it is very short.     Next came Karl-Heinz Kohl’s review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: ↑Völkerkunde war gestern, Cyberanthropology ist heute (16 November 2011). Unfortunately behind a paywall on the FAZ-server, but buecher.de has the ↑full text of the review online (and perlentaucher.de posted a ↑short notice).     On 30 November 2011 SWR2 … Continue reading

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