Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

From Gizmodo, comes news of this incredibly handy device, good now for the Olympics, good later for when an FCC-DHS hybrid takes over the tubez:

If you’re reading this, odds are against your attendance at the Beijing Olympic Games, but we wanted to make sure that you knew about the Freedom Stick just in case—a USB dongle preloaded with all of the traffic routing software you’ll need to browse the internet unencumbered (specifically, The Onion Router). It’s available now until the end of the Olympics for $30, and please don’t send us tips about the freaky shit you’re using it for


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Google’s Lat Long Blog announced today that it has expanded the number of places you can see using Street View to include New Orleans. This is very good news, as I have noticed a recent decline in depressing NOLA images.

No New Orleans post would be complete without a Kanye refer:

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Courtesy of WIRED:

Sculptor Michael Rea has a knack for building. But unlike most architects, he draws on an encyclopedic knowledge of geek culture and an eccentric sense of humor for his unique sculptures.

Rea’s movie-influenced menagerie includes electronic consoles, time machines and holy artifacts — all fashioned from wood. He even built an eight-foot-tall prosthetic suit, equipped with swords, for physicist Stephen Hawking after seeing Quentin Tarantino’skung fu-inspired Kill Bill.

A Google search for “woodpunk” unWebbed these Japanese wooden robots that remind me of a simpler time.

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Ryan’s recent anti-Steampunk post revived my interest in SP culture, so I thought I’d share this satirical imagined monologue by Marco Kaye:

No, I won’t take off my topcoat. And that’s exactly my point. I understand your confusion. The nascent trend I have latched onto is difficult to define. Maybe I can explain it to you with the new mods I’ve been working on. No, Mom. Not like in Quadrophenia, although I appreciate those mods’ fondness for tailor-made clothing. These mods.

This looks like a late-18th-century organette, correct? Look again. It hides the Dell laptop you got me when I went to college. This bronze hand crank turns it on, and I’ve hidden a miniature photo printer where the tune sheet is supposed to go. I even installed Linux. I’ve put a lot of time into this since I quit my job at Anthropologie, which is something else I wanted to tell you about. Don’t get up and go to Lowe’s yet. But when you’re there can you get me a two-speed fan capacitor?

You’ll appreciate this, Dad. Would I ever lose this cell phone? It’s got a back plate of soldered brass. I created the aged patina with simple ammonia and salt. I’ll replenish that soon, if you’ll quit bugging me about it….

If you want to label me retrofuturistic so I can fit into your compartmentalized worldview, that’s fine. But look past my airplane goggles. This is my lifestyle….

Don’t shackle me to your outmoded ways of work. Trade and barter are more valuable to me than any coin. Besides, I’m plenty busy guest-hosting a blog called The Neon Corset. My band, Shades of Crimson, has taken off. We just booked a gig at the Rusty Rudder.

Don’t look so crestfallen, Mom and Dad. At least I’m not into cyberpunk.

Kaye’s satire requires as least an introductory knowledge of Steampunk, which means that laughing at this essay equates in some ways to laughing at one’s self. Steampunk is so fucking cool.

BTW: While researching an article on emo for Reason, I came across two ’90s emo acts with which I am now very much in love. I know I’m late to the party on these two, but here are my current fave’s: Sunny Day Real Estate and My Bloody Valentine:

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Vids are fan-generated mash-ups of tv clips and music. They normally tell a story or present a close reading that conflicts with a show’s established relationships (the most famous vid suggests that Spock raped Kirk). Vids are assembled with actual footage, and as Alice Marwick at tiara.org points out about my favorite vid (one that suggests Scully and Mulder had an affair), judicious editing together of certain scenes can alter the perception of the actors themselves:

Ms. Anderson used to find the whole idea [of Mulder & Scully pursuing a romantic relationship] ridiculous. “There was always part of me that thought, ‘What’s so special about these two, and will everybody not shut up about it?’ ” she said. “And then, while we were doing this movie, somebody sent me a link to a YouTube montage that a fan had put together of Mulder and Scully. Clips of our growing intimacy through the series. One, it was really moving, and two, I couldn’t believe how many times we held hands and actually kissed. And I was left with my very first understanding of what the fans were on about. I finally kind of got it.

Here’s the Spock v. Kirk vid:

And here’s my favorite vid of all time, Scully and Mulder, in love:

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