sight

  ‘Sight’ is a wonderful new short film—in fact the graduation project of Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo at ↑The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem—driving the fusion of ↑augmented reality with ↑gamification to cyberpunked heights. MAY-RAZ, ERAN AND DANIEL LAZIO. 2012. Sight [short film]. Jerusalem: The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. via ↑entry at ↑kueperpunk … Continue reading

Share

engine john’s goggles

Just last week I had my students discuss in class Alex ‘↑Rex‘ ↑Golub‘s excellent ethnography-based article ‘↓Being in the World (of Warcraft)‘ (2010). One of the points Rex powerfully makes is that it isn’t ever more realistic (or: naturalistic) graphics and supposedly intuitive interfaces that guarantee deep immersion into computer games and so-called ‘virtual worlds,’ but social relationships (a point that I do second fully). Hence the vision of ↑VR pioneers/evangelists like ↑Jaron Lanier and the prospects fostered by cyberpunk were somewhat misleading: No sooner had text only worlds blossomed before it appeared they would be replaced by immersive “virtual … Continue reading

Share

difference engine day

From the ↑Charles Babbage biography at ↑The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive (University of St Andrews, Scotland): Babbage is without doubt the originator of the concepts behind the present day computer. The computation of logarithms had made him aware of the inaccuracy of human calculation around 1812. He wrote in [C Babbage, Passages from the life of a philosopher (London, 1864).]:-     … I was sitting in the rooms of the Analytical Society, at Cambridge, my head leaning forward on the table in a kind of dreamy mood, with a table of logarithms lying open before me. Another member, … Continue reading

Share

fun times ahead

According to Kaspersky ↵Stuxnet has ↑an heir. Here are two snippets from Wired’s report on it—mind the rhetorics: “It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Kaspersky Lab. […]     “It took us half-a-year to analyze Stuxnet,” he said. “This is 20-times more complicated. It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.” To my cyberpunk-infested mind this sounds as if some mysterious AI has written the thing, maybe even ↵Colossus himself … And if ↑this is true as well, there for sure are fun times ahead. … Continue reading

Share

teliasonera’s black boxes

Here’s the timely follow-up to ↵heretics house tripoli, an hour-long feature by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, investigating the entanglement of Swedish telecom giant ↑TeliaSonera with authoritarian regimes—especially in ex-Soviet states. From ↑Eva Galperin’s write-up at EFF: According to a recent investigation by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, Sweden’s telecommunications giant Teliasonera is the latest Western country revealed to be colluding with authoritarian regimes by selling them high-tech surveillance gear to spy on its citizens. Teliasonera has allegedly enabled the governments of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Kazakhstan to spy on journalists, union leaders, and members of … Continue reading

Share

heretics house tripoli

Much has been said and written about the role of social media and the Internet during the Arab Spring. Especially the liberating potentials of these technologies are discussed, even anthropologists are belabouring the topic. But, and that’s the ↵core theme of cyberpunk, technologies are fundamentally ambivalent. Just yesterday ↑Jamming Tripoli: Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network by Matthieu Aikins was published by Wired: [The] activists would suffer greatly at the hands of Gadhafi’s spy service, whose own capabilities had been heightened by 21st-century technology. By now, it’s well known that the Arab Spring showed the promise of the Internet as … Continue reading

Share

evil overlord workstation

Way back in 2008 I reported on attempts to cyberpunkify ergonomic solutions for computer workplaces: see ↵laid back and ↵laid back flagship. Now MWE Lab has driven it to new heights in every respect … the ↑Emperor 200 comes with a lavish price-tag of $45,000. Roberto Baldwin at Wired’s Gadget Lab ↑has commented perfectly: Upon sitting in the Emperor 200, users tap on the touchscreen to lower the monitors and nestle themselves into a computing bubble worthy of a Bond villain. Because each workstation is built to order, MWE labs can customize each installation to handle different computing platforms, even … Continue reading

Share