thai flood hacks

↑Thai Flood Hacks is a wonderful collection of pictures showing off ingenious technical contraptions cooked up for dealing with the flood in Thailand. With their ↑truck-canoe hybrids [still only at ye ole xirdalium] the people of Bangkok already have shown their skill in dealing with water and in the active appropriation of technology—now they drive it to new heights. Also very worthwhile in these respects: ↑afrigadget and ↑street use. ↑thai flood hacks via ↑entry at ↑ethno::log … Continue reading

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behind closed doors

That one came timely—just two days after ↵telegeography, my rant on the other side of information technology, the Internet’s hardware aspect, and its importance for anthropology, ↑boingboing posted on ↑Ben Mendelsohn‘s documentary ↑Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors: I want to share a short documentary that I recently produced about the hidden Infrastructure of the Internet called Bundled, Buried and Behind Closed Doors. The video is meant to remind viewers that the Internet is a physical, geographically anchored thing. It features a tour inside Telx’s 9th floor Internet exchange at 60 Hudson Street in New York City, and explores how … Continue reading

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flying sphere

Star Wars fans (like me) will get a vague sense of deja vu when they see this flying sphere in action. Weighing in at about 12 ounces (350 g), the 16-inch (42 cm) diameter flying ball can launch and return vertically, maintain a stationary hover and zip along at up to 37 mph (60 km/h). Coupled with the ball camera we reported on earlier this month, it could become a valuable reconnaissance platform. Who knows? In time, more advanced autonomous versions might actually be used to train would-be Jedi knights. Once again, life imitates art.     Announced last summer … Continue reading

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culture’s shadow

Tonight the opening of ↑this year’s EthnoFilmFest in Munich (16 through 20 November 2011) will take place at the Völkerkundemuseum [Ethnological Museum]. The festival, and Munich meanwhile being renowned for visual anthropology, is largely due to the work of my colleague, friend, and teacher ↑Frank Heidemann. Now that I have duly paid my compliments, it’s time for an anecdote.     Frank’s not only active behind the scenes, but had his own television series, starring himself, ‘Der lange Schatten von Kultur’ [Culture’s long shadow], which aired on ↑BR-alpha, but unfortunately isn’t available online at the moment.     While the … Continue reading

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manchurian operations club

After having sent the manuscript of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ (Knorr 2011) to the editor, I went downtown in order to reward myself a bit. Perfectly aware that I’d never have time for it all, I nevertheless bought ‘↑Call of Duty: Black Ops‘ (Treyarch 2010), ‘Portal 2’ (Valve Corporation 2011), ‘↑Crysis 2‘ (Crytek 2011), and ‘↑Far Cry 2‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2008). In a street café I treated myself with a latte macchiato, all the while wondering at the boxes of my newly acquired treasures. The collector’s edition of ‘Far Cry 2’ indeed comes in a treasure chest, containing e.g. a t-shirt. … Continue reading

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who ate it?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #3 From this one I shied away, as I sincerely do loath the kitten Internet meme. But due to the fate of the kitten in the movie from which the screenshot was taken … without further ado here is this Monday’s question: Who ate the kitten?     Because ↵#1 who is it? and ↵#2 who built it? both were solved so quickly, I refrain from giving more information right from the beginning.     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can always ask for additional hints, and I’ll provide them. [Leaving a comment … Continue reading

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telegeography

Amazing, how associations creep up involuntarily. When ↑Mark McGuire ↵asked if ↑Cyberanthropology was available in English, I had to answer ‘I’m afraid, but, no,’ and at the same time thought, ‘but there is a book-length unpublished manuscript in English on my HDDs.’ Then I saw the link to ↑TeleGeography’s map gallery at the ↑ethno::log and was reminded of a passage from said manuscript, ranting about the macroscopic hardware aspect of information technology: When you are doing offline fieldwork in, say, the tropical belt, you have to be able to find your way around in the rainforest, have to know about … Continue reading

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john le carré

As a youth I somehow missed the novels by ↑John le Carré. On television I had seen the iconic movie ↑The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Ritt 1965), starring Richard Burton, but somehow never cared to read the ↑book of the same name (le Carré 1963), or any other of le Carré’s. Meanwhile I am in the process of correcting this lapse. Some weeks ago I read “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” which really is haunting, then proceeded to the ↑Karla Trilogy: ↑Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), ↑The Honourable Schoolboy (1977), and ↑Smiley’s People (1979). … Continue reading

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punk galore

[As ↵the question crept up, I thought it to be timely to complete a post which I began to draft in December last year … in between it found its way into my book ↑Cyberanthropology (Knorr 2011; in German). So, the following more or less is the English version of a snippet of the book’s third chapter, which is on the cyberpunk discourse.] In 1991 ↑The Difference Engine (Gibson & Sterling 1991), a collaborative novel by ↑William Gibson and ↑Bruce Sterling, was published. The story is set in 19th century Great Britain, but—and that’s the core idea—Victorian society hasn’t developed … Continue reading

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