96 hours later

↑96 hours to the stone age at ↑GigaOM complements ↵behind closed doors and ↵telegeography. The story asks, especially in respect to information technology, what will happen when electrical power won’t be delivered anymore. Well, an apocalypse in the strict sense of the term will happen—a revelation. It will be revealed to all of us in unblinking clearness, on how much hardware around us we depend, which in turn depends on electricity.     The gist of this kind of speculation is informed by scientific methodology: Take an element, or a whole category of elements, out of a system and see … Continue reading

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simroid

More from ↵robotopia nipponica. The Simroid is a training android for dentists. It is developed at ↑The Nippon Dental University and built by ↑Kokoro [a lot more of weird robot stuff there]. After the first version, called Simuloid and presented in 2007, the new Simroid features a higher level of naturalism (↑video at DigInfo TV):     It ‘behaves’ quite like a human patient on a dentist’s torturing chair [‘Brazil’ anyone?], moves, speaks, and reacts—e.g. by simulating gag reflexes, or by expressing discomfort when the doctor accidentally strokes its breasts with the elbow.     Reminds me of ↵mor gui, … 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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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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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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clockpunk musketeers

The moment he emerged from the water in full 3D glory his equipment at once reminded me of the ↵industrial tribal art, and I already liked the movie. The majority of the critics’ reviews paints a less favorable picture, though. Nevertheless those reviews pour quite some water on my mills.     Alonso Duralde for example ↑wrote for Reuters: “The creators of the umpteenth new adaptation of ‘↑The Three Musketeers‘ [Anderson 2011] decided that the classic novel really needed a giant blimp battle, high-tech booby traps, bird droppings, ‘Matrix’-esque slo-mo fight scenes and scads of computer-generated French soldiers.” [bold emphasis … Continue reading

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ethnographic times

With ↑this year’s EthnoFilmFest in Munich close (16 through 20 November 2011) I remembered some old associations.     The above screenshot is taken from the 46 seconds short film “↑Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory,” the first of a series of ten short films presented at the ↑very first commercial screening of movies—on 28th December 1895 in Paris, at the Salon Indien du Grand Café. The short piece is a documentary film, or an ethnographic film—if you take ethnographic in the strict sense of the term.     41 years later Chaplin brought “Modern Times” (1936) on the silver screen, … Continue reading

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gods and robots

Somehow this one has escaped my attention till today—unfortunately some paywall, moving wall, system bug, or whatyouhave bars my access to it, although my university has subscribed to that publication and pays for the access. Anyhow, it goes together well with ↵the new gods. Here’s the abstract of Vidal’s article: Since the 1980s, a new area of research entitled HRI (Human-Robot Interaction) has been emerging in the field of robotic studies. It focuses on the empirical study of the relationship between robots and human beings. This article aims to contrast the findings of roboticists concerning the interaction between humans and … Continue reading

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paris calling

The ↑12th EASA Biennial Conference will take place in Nanterre, France (near Paris) from 10th through 13th July 2012. The overall theme is “↑Uncertainty and disquiet.” The ↑list of workshops is set and the ↑call for papers open—the latter will be closed on 28th November 2011. You can only give one presentation, so you have to skim through the vast list and make up your mind to which workshop you want to submit a paper. If this one submission is rejected, you save a lot of money, ’cause it’s of no use to journey to a conference without presenting something … Continue reading

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