July 29, 2006
Datama’s project blog is being to take shape and the lovely domain hack (data.ma) has been cleared.
Now on with the real work:- imagineering, prototyping and community building. If anyone wants to get involved, just go and check out the site. Make datama part of your life…
If you’ve not come across vvvv before, it’s “a toolkit for real time video synthesis”, produced by the clever folk at meso.net.
The work that has been produced using vvvv is simply quite stunning. Their Gallery has a listing of all the interactive projects that have been completed with this versatile tool.
July 13, 2006
After much team work, the first few pages of 4Laughs has gone live!
I’ve been working on this project since last November and there is loads more functionality to roll out yet. With the aim of “setting you comedy free” – this teaser site encourages users to sumbit their comedy ideas, with the best ones being filmed and produced by Steve Coogan’s and Henry Normal’s production company Baby Cow with All3Media‘s digital arm Conker Media. There’s also 250 quid for the creators of the chosen sketch ideas…
The BBC launched Comedy Soup earlier in the year – which seems to be a very different animal to the Channel 4 offering. Both sites are likely to generate some of the future’s finest comic moments.
July 13, 2006
On the 17 June 2004, Cory presented to Microsoft the pitfalls of DRM (Digital Rights Management). The transcript has been available since then, but the video presentation has been released today by researchchannel.org.
The overview is:-
1. That DRM systems don’t work
2. That DRM systems are bad for society
3. That DRM systems are bad for business
4. That DRM systems are bad for artists
5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT
Not only is the presentation entertaining, but it clearly explains why DRM is pointless. If you’re a content maker, technologist, artist or an entrepeneur, you really need to watch or read this. In classic Microsoft style, you’ll need Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player to watch the video…
More recently Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer though a CBS interview, announced that Sony had made mistakes using DRM. What impact this has on the next gerneration DVD and gaming consoles from both Microsoft and Sony, is still in debate.
July 9, 2006
Red Herring comments on this, hinting that it may have an impact on Friendsters rivals, namely LinkedIn and social networks Bebo, Tribe.net, and Tagged, but the following line from the patent opens up a more curious concern about the benifits of these so called social network sites:-
“A user of the system can determine the optimal relationship path (i.e., contact pathway) to reach desired individuals.”
The days when users have to rely upon optimising their relationships are almost behind us. Real life, face to face networking is exactly that – you getting out there to meet people – making your own pathways. Our Internet is about a system that enables an optimised connectivity of data – data finds it’s own pathways. Blogging is good at helping this. Wherever the information is, the network will have access to it, it’s just a matter of how that information is indexed, by whom, and how you want that information visualised.
Restricting self-optimising sytems with user intervention is a commercial, not an engineering solution. Patents are no protection to these types of invention – if anything they are fantastic catalysts for innovation – as any Perl coder will tell you – “There’s more than one way to do it.”
But this only going to be possible if ‘users’ leave information out for others to find them. Again, Blogging is good for this, but an open licence to enable other systems to collate and match-make you and other ‘users’ is fundamental.
Take DJ Shaddow’s seminal album, Entroducing… ,
Josh Davies collated and matched a dozens of audio samples to produce a coherent pathway of audio (ahem, something normally called a tune!). Clearance of all this material must have been a headache, but consider if all the source samples were offered by the original artists as open licence material, then the clearance process would have been non-existent, original artists would have been name checked (and possibly inspiring a new audience to check out their back catalogue) – and everyone would have been happy.
How does this relate to the Friendster patent? Well – I don’t think we need to get permission to engage with another persons data/samples etc. Users need that information to be collected so that they can connect to other users FREELY. If a meaningful relationship is there, the 2 parties can take advantage of this. Preventing this connection, by restricting the process to force users to ‘optimise’ the connecting pathways offers few gains to the community or the ‘user’. If anything, this encourages over protection of data that users think is part of their identity. Data is designed to be shared, and if you think it’s part of your identity – then you need to see that it’s is exactly this inherent overlap in each users life that enables an open creative collaboration which supports creativity and trust. Markets are just conversations, anything preventing this is bad business.
Secondly, the arrangement of Entroducing is based upon aesthetics, the groove and beats are to Davies’ taste and support of the Hip Hop genre. This human intervention to optimise a pathway (erm, tune) made up of samples was based upon a vast knowledge of records, yet the relational aesthetics determine the neighbouring samples. At present there is no computer system that can juxtapose media assets/patterns together and determine the emotion/meaning of the composition, so there is a role for ‘users’ to create pathways: it’s that the pathways should not be predetermined by users.
July 9, 2006
I’ve just hacked together the first lines of code for Datama! It feels good..
Nings API services are insanely vast, but they need to make it supa-simple for anyone to add functionality. I’m talking drag and drop, not code-hacking. Once consumers, erm, ‘prosumers’ have the ability to produce web services as simply as programming their TIVO, we’ll see interaction playing a base role in peoples lives, not an extension to the way we live now.
I sense this is the future Ning.com want to service – and they’ve been nudged by the ever-critical over-sponsored Mike Arlington (TechCrunch) in the past about this. How they achieve this will be through stunning User Interface design. Too much emphasis is placed on the current User Experience (UX) and how AJAX can deliver real-time interaction and response. They really need a hefty paradigm shift…
Native Instruments, the audio software development house, have spent the past decade exploring this exact issue. Music production has always involved many interfaces: the guitar, the mixing desk, recording devices and translating these to the digital platforms has been a troublesome process. Recently, they delivered Kore to enable the variety of devices they offer to be used through a uniform user interface whilst maintaining integration with the host software systems such as Steinberg’s Cubase and Apple’s Logic. The effort and pride of their interface design is evident in their (over the top) promo vids:-
If I get more time this week – I’ll build an RSS feed to keep track of the most favourite brands. You know you want it.
July 7, 2006
We’ll be working up the details over the next few weeks, but the framework seems to be about the institutionalisation and distribution of ‘ideas’. The project in itself aims to to be an inquiry into the relationship of code and language, how ideas transfer from object to object and where the network relationships are.
July 7, 2006
You heard it here first.
Plans are in motion to start a very open project to develop an
application platform service, actually, let’s just call it a code base. The project title is Datama!
Datama! as the name suggests aims to present the abundance of data as a cinematic experience, using the vast array of networked media resources available. All very web2.0 and with a very non-zero-sum strategy.
Everything from the UML, visualisations, code and apps will be publically available. Collaboration will be encourged.