• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 25, 2004
Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired Magazine, reports in his weblog about a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada where he spend 5 days for a live fire demo and briefings about the future of air war.
According to Anderson, the most interesting part of the visit was the Predator program, which is a joystick controlled plane with a camera that can fire missiles from a remote desk, thousands of miles away from the target.
Not surprizingly, the Air Force is a pilot culture, and they're loathe to let the unwashed steer a plane - so the Predator must be navigated by fully-trained pilots even though videogame skills are practically all that's required.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 24, 2004
In a country with no central government and zero state-monopoly, Somalia has generated a highly competitive wireless industry.
Three phone companies are engaged in fierce competition for both mobile and landline customers, while new internet cafes are being set up across the entire country. Even small, remote villages are connected, reports the BBC.
Local and international calls and internet access are offered at the cheapest rate in Africa and it takes just three days for a landline to be installed - compared with waiting-lists of many years in neighbouring Kenya, where there is a stable, democratic government.
In the absence of a government, Somalia is run by rival warlords but they appear to have little interest in sabotaging the industry.
A Danish police officer lost his head (or foot) when he was arresting a young man outside a nightclub on a Saterday night.
The detained is lying handcuffed on the ground when the officer suddenly steps on his neck. The incident was recorded by a witness with a video enabled mobile telephone and has created headlines across Denmark.
"I have watched the the video and it doesn't look nice. However, I don't see any reason to suspend the officer" said the local police chief.
The public attorney is looking into the case.
Jason Fairly won the 2004 Nokia shorts video competition, held in collaboration with the Raindance Film Festival in London.
The competition encourages filmmakers to work within the constraints of 15 seconds and the size of a mobile phone display.
Unfortunately, the films were not made available to mobile phones. Although it is technically possible to do so, it is still too expensive to download the clips on the current GPRS network (approximately £4 for the full bundle, according to The Guardian).
The idea was primarily to show the possibilities of mobile handsets but to see the films, you either have to attend a Raindance event or watch them on the web in a phone emulator.
24:Conspiracy is an upcoming live-action dramatic series created for 3G mobile phones by Twentieth Century Fox.
The concept is based on the popular TV-series '24' but the characters will be different and each of the 24 episodes will only last 1 minute.
24:Conspiracy will be available to Vodafone users in 23 countries, beginning in the United Kingdom on Jan. 30, 2005
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 22, 2004
DoCoMo Sentsu, a subsidiary company of NTT DoCoMo and Marine Fishery Systems Association is working on a 2D-barcode system for tracking fish meat.
At sea, fishermen will upload information including their names, location of catch, etc. via a satellite communication link and when the fish is unloaded at ports it is put into a box encoded with the uploaded information.
Later, when the fish is served at a restaurant it comes with a barcode and customers can view the encoded information using their mobile phones.
A system for RFID tagging 'Awabi' - an expensive shellfish - is also under development in order to prevent illegal Awabi-fishing.
Source: RFID in Japan.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 19, 2004
The greatest hack of the European mobile phone industry to this date must be the one that Scandinavian teenagers performed when they discovered SMS - a failed business service which turned it into the most profitable feature when operators subsequently discovered its potential. Since then, the industry has tried to push one killer applications after the other but without any real imagination or success and the small, inexpensive and flexible features of mobile phones remain the most popular.
So how does the European mobile phone industry reinvent itself?
In an text at TheFeature.com, Douglas Rushkoff writes about Marko Ahtisaari (Nokia's Insight and Foresight Unit) who talks about something that ought to be obvious: Phones need to be Hackable Platforms.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 02, 2004
Researchers at the University of Warwick have created a mobile telephone case or cover that when discarded can simply be placed in compost in such a way that just weeks later the case will begin to disintegrate and turn into a flower.
The research is carried out in collaboration with PVAXX Research and Motorola.
Posted by Sebastian on Nov 30, 2004
This project from the Interactive Institute in Sweden explores pillows as a means of enhancing long-distance communications.
Through tangible and visual interaction with a pillow in one location, dynamic textile patterns are activated in a pillow located elsewhere, thus offering a repertoire of subtle expressive possibilities as a compliment to existing IT communication devices.
Posted by Sebastian on Nov 30, 2004
On 25th May 2004, fifty bottles were released into the sea off the south east coast of England near Ramsgate Maritime Museum, Kent.
The intended destination of the bottles is The Chatham Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands, which are 800km east of mainland New Zealand, are the nearest inhabited land to the precise location on the opposite side of the world to Ramsgate Maritime Museum.
Several of the bottles are being tracked automatically using GPS technology and are programmed to send their longitude and latitude coordinates back to Ramsgate every hour. The data they send has been used to create a live drawing which is automatically updated in real time.