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Tag Archives: ICT

Classical Music Piece Reconstructed With 1000 Phones [Video]

If you want to create a viral video these days, you need to do something great and unique. A couple of days ago, Sony Australia smashed a PS3 slim into a Bravia LCD TV at high speed. Now, Vodafone NZ hired a production team to orchestrate cellphones into “playing” Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture.

The effort took 1000 phones and 53 different ringtone alerts, synchronized to recreate the famous classical piece. The resulting video is nothing short of amazing; you can also see the “making of” videos below.

If you like the resulting tune, you can download it to your computer, as well as the 53 ringtones used to create it, over at the Vodafone NZ site.

(For Sosatz Rol =)))

Sensing the immaterial-material city

More on Timo Arnall’s and Jack Schulze’s research:

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(In this particularly fine image, we see Tesla’s friend Mark Twain conducting high-frequency high voltage current, bringing a lamp to incandesce. Tesla is lurking in the background.)

Shape of State Library of Queensland wi-fi from cityofsound on Vimeo.

Part of the purpose behind Immaterials is to understand more about RFID in terms of an emerging ‘material knowledge’, as Timo put it, from the designer’s perspective. But perhaps also in order to raise awareness of a technology which is essentially invisible – and often feared – such that we can better understand it, and so make informed choices. It’s similar to my own far sketchier work exploring the shape of the wi-fi at the State Library of Queensland (written up here) – if you could perceive the phenomenon of wireless internet as a physical space, what might it look like? (It’d be more interesting to ask what it feels like, actually.)

Citizen Conversation With…Archon Fung

Archon Fung is Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship. His research examines the impacts of civic participation, public deliberation, and transparency upon public and private governance. Fung received two SBs and a PhD from MIT. [Biography courtesy of HKS]

Please tell me about the work you’ve done in the area of deliberative democracy.

I do work in public deliberation and deliberative democracy and citizen participation. [O]ne premise of that work…is that an appealing idea of democratic government is a government in which the laws and policies flow from deliberation and argument and reason among citizens.

People think of deliberative democracy as quite different from aggregative democracy, in which the laws and policies are products of just…“counting up heads”….The problem with aggregative conceptions of democracy is that they can oftentimes result in unjust policies or even unwise policies when [people’s] preferences…are either not well-informed, or maybe they’re unjust…

Recent experiments have actually put some of these notions of deliberate democracy into practice. Can you talk about some of those experiments?

[W]hen I began this work…I think it’s fair to say that in the academic world…a lot of people are already working on deliberation, but they were thinking about it as kind of an ideal of how societies ought to be. And one criticism is that these ideals and theories never quite touch the ground. And so what does deliberative practice look like, what does it look like when people actually deliberate, or policy-making is actually connected to deliberation…?

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Political geeks in Europe

Whether you call them politechnorati, eGov geeks or political hackers, they are giving new meaning to the word participatory democracy, which can be much more than “just” voting in an election every forth year. Most of them are working in the outskirts of political institutions, but influencing them by building tools that are vastly better than what the institutions can come up with themselves.

From my base in Brussels, where I work as a journalist who writes about communication technology and EU, I bump into them frequently. I will soon give you an overview of some of the hardworking political geeks in Europe. But be aware, this is just a small selection of them, there are many more, and we will continue writing about them.

Even though they come from different European countries and political cultures, they have a lot in common, such as the fight for:
– access to public data
– improving communication between politicians and constituency through new digital communication tools
– transparency in political processes
– encouraging use of open source
– teach people how to use the internet most efficiently to improve lives

At this point, the most innovative eGov geeks are based in Britain, but that can soon change. ()

J’en ai bien impression !

(For @thanough =)

Improving on reality

Recent developments are pushing “augmented reality’’ toward the mainstream. Until recently, the term has mostly been used in research laboratories and in science fiction to display information over live images of the natural world. Now it’s cropping up in demonstrations of mobile phone applications that have already been launched or are on the way.

Mobile phones running Google’s Android platform, for example, are already capable of displaying information over scenes viewed through the phone’s camera. An application called Layar can display Wikipedia entries over an Android phone’s camera view of a scene. It can, for example, add information about Plymouth Rock when the smartphone is pointed at the landmark.

Apple iPhone enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the next software upgrade to the iPhone 3GS, expected this fall, which will enable new augmented reality applications. When a user points the phone’s camera at an eating establishment, for instance, recent reviews could appear over the image on the screen. Pan the camera to a nearby sculpture, and the display changes to show information about the artist. Keep panning to a nearby store, and sale items pop up.

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The Internet’s next frontier? News for your neighborhood

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“Emerging media have become amazing forces for enabling people to connect,” notes a new report on the problem. “But their full potential is not yet realized in the service of geographic communities, the physical places where people live and work.” For all the glories of the blogo/webo/streamo/facebooktwitter-osphere, people still don’t have much access to constructive information about critical issues facing their square block. So concludes Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age, a study produced by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Democracy.

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