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How Social Data can Manipulate Society

What are the implications of storing a complete record of your life online? More than likely, you'll be halfway towards this already. Facebook has your friends. Google has your search history, your emails and your documents. Microsoft has your chat history. Last.fm has your taste in music. Delicious has your interests. Twitter has your random thoughts. And all this is voluntary. Imagine what they may be doing with this data, when it's all brought together, what will it tell them about you? It's no surprise that Google is buying everything. Of course it's worrying, but I suppose it's not the end of the world if some big corporation has your information. It's not even anything new, credit card companies have been doing it for decades. The issue now though is that the information mined is more detailed and complete than it's ever been before. And it's all owned by American companies. Companies who, thanks to the patriot act, have to hand

How Technology is Advancing too Fast For Art

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Retro gaming is a bizarre phenomenon. Being a technology driven medium, games go through generations in just a few years. However, the differences between generations is more profound than technological advances. It seems that more advanced possibilities change the entire landscape of gaming culture. Retro gaming is a growing trend, but it is becoming hard to define. There are so many generations of games now, all differing so significantly, that the definition of retro changes according to age, tastes, and personal nostalgia. It's not enough to simply say "Retro means old" any more. The reason for this blurring of definition, is that games advanced so fast, that human creativity couldn't even keep up. To understand this, remember how old 8-Bit games had such primitive sound, yet the creators did what they could to make the sounds good. We still remember the old music with fondness, not as impressed by today's music that was created with no limitations. It

Turning VR Inside Out

This video shows how RFID can help improve control over stock inventory both in real world and virtual world situations. With the current state of virtual reality, it's unlikely that virtual supermarkets will take off. They're just too... clunky. However, one distinct possibility is a reversal. Computer controlled reality. RFID will play a large part in this. The data it will provide will change the way we look at reality. By reporting and recording our locations and activities, it will digitise us - turning us into real life avatars. In virtual reality, everything we do can be recorded. The software can record our every movement and interaction. This will soon be possible in real life, thanks to RFID and our interactions with computer interfaces. Real life benefits will get us to adopt the data collection methods without question. Contact lenses or eventually brain modifications of some kind could provide us with a computer interface while in the real world. In the mean

The Future of Tele-Coverage

I noticed with interest the difference between: Michael Anissimov's review of how Second Life and IRC affected Transvision 06 and George Dvorsky's comments on Twitter's impact on Convergence 08 . There appears to be a number of advantages and disadvantages to each medium. While Second Life allows those not in attendance to interact with the conference, it requires a lot of commitment. Resources need to be invested in an account, downloaded client software, a powerful computer with a lot of hard drive space, and a good net connection. Even if those things are not an issue, Second Life requires your full attention, you have to control your avatar, its camera, and inventory. Even for a seasoned veteran, the interface is extremely clunky (albeit powerful). Twitter on the other hand provides a very casual way to stay in touch both in and at the conference. It can be accessed in many different ways, including RSS reader, phone, browser or desktop client, as well as the

Technology - Will it set us Free?

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When computers were first invented, users had complete freedom and power, there was no other option but to allow it. However, if they didn't follow the computer's strict set of rules, the computer would break or just not work. Even in the days of Windows 3.11, computers remained obscure and frightening to the masses. Once computers infiltrated more and more of our lives, it became necessary to remove the need to for "user rules", computers had to become "user friendly". Computers were forced to shed their unforgivable interfaces in order to increase their popularity. So now, computers, when used by the general public, no longer have that level of freedom. To avoid them being used wrongly, computers simply limit the options general users are allowed to access. Then, instead of telling users how to act, they simply guide users through their processes, anticipating rule-breaking, and absolving responsibility. Users lost their fear of computers, complying