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Science & Technology

Ilya Zhitomirskiy by Karinavan Schaardenburg/Flickr

Correct me if I am wrong, but when a project is proposed to the Open Source community, people in the community should work positively to improve the project. Why then when the hyped Facebook rival Diaspora releases it’s source the community turns hateful and vicious? Then suddenly Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the 22-year-old co-founder of Diaspora commits suicide. Who are these haters, trolls? Are they hired corporate thugs or just idiots who don’t know what contributing to the open source community might mean? Maybe I’m naive, I don’t work in the “official” open source community, but I stand behind any initiative that is open, collaborative and that benefits the public.

Read the Gawker article:
Why Did This 22-Year-Old Entrepreneur Commit Suicide? by Adrian Chen

Fake Apple Store in China?

A recent article on wired.com notes that fake Apple stores are popping up in China. The whole enchilada: products, colors, interior design, etc. The article also mentions that even the workers think they are working for Apple. Guess what, the CHINESE are working for Apple! Apple has factories in China! (You would expect a lower priced computer given the labor cost are kept so low. Nope.)

What is an all American product this day and age? Can Apple be considered an “American” product when it is made in China? Let’s just say that it’s a co-production: Chinese workers + Apple designers.

I think the only tech product we don’t outsource is our military weapons. The High-Tech Top-Secret stuff. But even then I suspect we bend a few rules here and there if we see a good contract -that’s what capitalism is about, isn’t it?

vizKult Proposition: A Line in Nature +
Urban Foraging Group v3 : Reading Group @ The Public School

As winter descends on the city and the vegetation beings to die out, it would seem like the right time to initiate a series of readings and screening on the topic of nature for the duration of the winter months, and come spring perhaps start a new season for Urban Foraging Group (season 2?)

I would like to trace the views of nature throughout time from the perspectives of art, philosophy, and social/anthropology. Each session can include screenings and trips to locations related to each grouping, and possibly invite writers or artist to address certain subjects.

Contribute/Join/Follow:
Urban Foraging Group v3 : Reading Group @ The Public School

Chinatown Panopticon, April 5, 2010

Where did all the counterfeit Gucci sellers go? Where ever the panoticon can’t see, that’s where. Down the alleys and back behind the main streets. Passing by Chinatown NYC a couple of months back I saw this mobile observance tower, it’s hard to tell if anyone is really in there with the dark windows. It works magic in the area but doesn’t really stop the counterfeit dealers and buyers. I still see them doing business all the time to either Europeans on a tight American vacation or Americans  from outside of New York looking to look good on the cheap. It’s the cult of vision that has common folks like us breaking the law. What’s wrong with a little corporate image blood letting anyhow? The only thing they are losing is the control over who wears their brand.

So artist (vidders), jailbreakers, and unlockers, sat on the same side of the court yesterday backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as The Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress push back the harm done by Digital Millennium Copyright Act/Digital Rights Management, in three areas:

• Jailbreaking is alright! Jailbreaking is slang for hacking your iphone  so it can work on any service *you* choose and allow *you* to decide what apps *you* want on *your* phone (read my lips Apple, it’s MY phone!) The ruling states  that jailbreaking is a way of making a phone interoperable and that it isn’t a violation of copyright laws, plus copyright laws should not get in the way of an interoperable world -That’s right!

•  Vidders, aka Amateur Video Remix artist, can now freely remix, rework, and appropriate to make what they want and show it how they want it- as long as it’s noncommercial. So go on, remix that Lady Gaga crap til your heart aches and my eyes bleed, just don’t try to sell it!

• Unlockers can continue to unlock. This is good for recycling programs. The ruling is no fool in recognizing that locking is simply a way to try to get people to stick to a network- not copyright infringement. Unlcking will allow people to choose what ever plan they like. What are telcoms afraid of, competition???

More details and links on LowEndMac, the place to get the skinny on mac products:

EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers

Testing out this WP iPhone app. Got to dust off this blog now that I’m done with grad school…

Couple in Gallery photo by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary (click for the flkr page)

Couple in Gallery photo by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary (click for the flkr page)

This article in Wired’s website “Beauty Affects Men’s and Women’s Brains Differently” caught my eye because of a recent discussion about how women and men process visual art differently. (Apparently there are studies that show a difference in the way men and women process music too.) But more interesting than the difference in how we process art –as everything is perhaps processed differently from person to person– was this line about how Camilo Cela-Conde, the researcher in the article, believes aesthetics could actually be a byproduct of other cognitive tasks.

Here is another article on the same study: Beauty is in the brain of the beholder… but more so if you’re a woman” again, it’s interesting to note that although men and women process art differently –at the end of the day thier defintion of beauty was the same.