Friday, July 22, 2005

What is holographic storage?

Quite possibly the end of the BluRay/HD-DVD war before it even begins.

From the HD Studio newsletter courtesy of Mitch Lerman over at Digital Video Fuel forums.

"The Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD formats currently stand as incompatible, competing technologies only months before the Hollywood studios are set to release the first batch of HD motion pictures for the holiday season. Many predict that the public won’t tolerate a format war and will refuse to buy discs with an uncertain future.

Now there’s a third option: holographic storage. At NAB last April, several companies—including Bell Labs spin-off InPhase Technologies, the Japanese start-up Optware, Fuji Photo Film, and Hitachi Maxell—demonstrated new storage technology that leaves both Blu-ray and HD-DVD in the dust.

InPhase, based in Colorado , already has production models. Its first-generation holographic technology holds 300 GB at high transfer rates. That’s enough capacity to store more than 35 hours of high-definition programming on a single disc. InPhase predicted its holographic drives will eventually have capacities that range to 1.6 terabytes (TB) on a single disk.

In addition, holographic storage can exist in many form factors. InPhase said it can put 2GB of data on a postage stamp, 20 GB on a credit card, or 200 GB on a disc. This would allow the media to be used on a range of devices, including portable handheld media players."

InPhase Technologies: what is holographic storage?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything... (

While we're at it, I'll link to this article which is mentioned in the previous post. It brings up some thought-provoking issues regarding people's access to communications.

Basically I put it here so I know where I can get a link to it down the track. Even though it's from almost two years ago, it has got me thinking. More on that soon (hopefully).

(Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything... (

Let us grind them into dust!

From BBC New Media's Creative Director, Matt Locke, a re-issue of the speech he gave at the launch of the Creative Archive License Group launch. Inspiring stuff.

“Vast amounts of the knowledge and creative output of the last century is fated to turn to dust. Through technology we can blow off the dust and liberate these archives. Content can become the starting point for new stories instead of the final resting place for old ones.”

"Film and television now has the chance to embrace its own moment of creative entropy. Whilst the Hollywood studios try to sustain an artificial life for the reels and tapes in its archives, outside there are many projects that are trying to do the opposite. There is a race on to find a new aesthetics for the moving image, but the guardians of the last century’s cultural output are refusing to take part, trying to set limits on future creative expression."

Test: Let us grind them into dust!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cat and Girl

Aah, Cat and Girl. Always so much existential fun.

Neuromancer by William Gibson : GPod Audio Books

Go and download the audio version of one of my all time favourite books; Neuromancer by William Gibson. With music by U2 and read by Gibson himself, the audio quality's not the best but it's still a great way to get into the book that launched Cyberpunk.

» GPod Audio Books: Neuromancer by William Gibson

Monday, July 18, 2005



If you have some spare time, have a play with "Planarity." The idea is to shuffle the vertices so that no line crosses any others. Sounds easy in theory, but gets tricky pretty quickly.

Requires Flash.


The Dark Side of San Diego Comic Con

Comic writer Warren Ellis has been posting pictues sent to him from his loyal readers attending the San Diego Comic Con, the largest Comic and Sci-Fi convention in the world. Some of the pictures are just so messed up as to defy description.

The Elvis Stormtrooper

Go, feast, laugh. You have nothing to lose but your innocence (and possibly your lunch).

Esoteric, but cool nonetheless.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Google Earth and the cool things you can do with it...

Have I mentioned Google Earth yet? Surely I've mentioned Google Earth. I haven't mentioned Google Earth yet? What's wrong with me?!?

If you've got a decent connection, go and get yourself a copy and enjoy flying around the world.

Moreover, you can go to the ABC website and download their extension to turn it into an interactive flythrough and slideshow of the London Bombings.

London bombings: ABC News Map. 08/07/2005. ABC News Online

Go to it! You have nothing to lose but your download quota.

Wired News: Blogging + Video = Vlogging

Yeah, yeah, vlogging. No big deal there, even if Wired finally gets around to writing something about it. The only reason I post this is for the quote at the end of article.

There are few things on the internet that quite genuinely get me to laugh out loud.

"And although some viewers might find the videos dull as cardboard, Olsen said some vloggers rally 'round the motto, 'Mundane is the new punk rock.' "

Wired News: Blogging + Video = Vlogging

Did London bombings turn citizen journalists into citizen paparazzi?

Just following on from the last post which mentioned an article from The Register noting the use of camera and video phones by passers by during the London Terror Attacks. In it there was a quote from a blogger named Justin who mentioned the people jostling for position to get the most gruesome pictures near the triage area as survivors were being led out of the train tunnels.

Following up from that is an interesting piece from the Online Journalism Review regarding this ongoing trend.

"Like the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, the first reports came from people at the scene who had videocameras. In this case, the cameras were smaller and built into phones. But despite the day being a major breakthrough for citizen media... it also brought out the worst in some bystanders...

That naked impulse to tell a disaster story, glaring kleig lights and all, was once the province of mainstream and tabloid news organizations. But no longer. Now, for better and worse, our fellow citizens stand by, cameraphones in pockets, ready to photograph us in our direst times. Xeni Jardin, a freelance technology journalist and co-editor of BoingBoing, was aghast at the behavior of the citizen paparazzi at the scene described by Justin.

Jardin compared the behavior to the paparazzi that chased Princess Diana before her fatal car crash and noted that the ethical issues raised then are now applicable beyond just professional photographers.

'These are ethical issues that we once thought only applied to a certain class of people who had adopted the role of news as a profession,' Jardin said. 'Now that more of us have the ability to capture and disseminate evidence or documentation of history as a matter of course, as a matter of our daily lives -- as a casual gesture that takes very little time, no money, not a lot of skill -- those ethical issues become considerations for all of us.' "

During research for an assignment last year I came across this article that proffered an argument that the proliferation of capturing devices such as camera phones would assist us to cross reference, taking away the power of the digital image to be easily manipulated. That's all well and fine, and it's important that people are there to document the things in this world that we don't necessarily want to see, but that's no excuse for people "rubbernecking" at a disaster scene, no matter how many intermediary devices they hold in their hand. Do you think that it's a fair call to assume that when a person has some piece of technology that they're using to capture an event it creates a sense of distance from the event itself? That worrying about getting the framing, the exposure, the moment right helps detract from the sense of participation, and therefore any emotional response?

Forget virtual reality and high-presence environments. People don't even want to live in this world so why would they want to live in a perfectly replicated one? Just draw it as a cartoon, where people live life as an animal and can bounce off of rocks, get hit by cars, or even be blown up, only to bounce back and keep going in the next scene. Wile E Coyote may be stupid, but at least he didn't have to worry about the Road Runner stopping to take pictures.

Did London bombings turn citizen journalists into citizen paparazzi? - Online Journalism Review

Too many early mornings. I need sleep.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

'We are all schadenbloggers, now' | The Register

scha·den·freu·de Pronunciation Key (sh├Ądn-froid)
n. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. (

You expect vitriolic responses from U.K. I.T. site "The Register," but some nice insight in the wake of last Thursday's bombings and the way people on the net seem to deal with tragedy.

Now the victims of terror attacks have to contend with a new menace: snap happy, or slap happy, camera phone users:

Subject: Return of the Flash Mobs

Expect spur of the moment mass-gatherings to be playing at the next global tragedy near you:, where the blogger notes -

"The victims were being triaged at the station entrance by Tube staff and as I could see little more I could do so I got out of the way and left. As I stepped out people with camera phones vied to try and take pictures of the worst victims. In crisis some people are cruel."

'We are all schadenbloggers, now' | The Register

Plan 9 again and the critics.

Yesterday(or was it the day before? Hmmm, Friday actually) I made mention about the Internet Archive making Ed Wood's classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space" available for download. At the time I made use of a term that's been used to describe the film, i.e. "The worst fovie of all time." Similarly, Wood himself has been derided as the Worst Director of all time. While I realise that this comment is only half serious, it made me conscious of something I just felt like getting off my chest.

The only people that can say "Worst Director of all time" are those that have put their balls on the line and actually made something similar themselves. If I have to put up with one more ignorant wanker who thinks that a university degree is an excuse to mouth off on other's work to cover up their own lack of ability, drive, determination, creativity and/or laziness, someone's losing some teeth.

Kudos to Ed Wood! Not because he's a great director, but because he loved what he was doing and went out and did it, in a time before DV cameras and cracked copies of Adobe Premiere.

I realise no one's reading this, but I feel good about having vented.

Adobe and Macromedia - Not a done deal just yet...

Wired News: News Wrap

"Approval delayed: The Department of Justice asked for additional information about Adobe's $3.4 billion acquisition of Macromedia, the companies said.

The request, the second made by the Justice Department, centers on information about the company's products in the areas of web authoring and design and vector graphics illustration, a style of computer graphics created by mathematical equations and coordinates.

The second request extends the waiting period for Justice Department approval of the acquisition until 30 days after the companies comply for the request for information.

Adobe (ADBE) still expect the deal to close in the fall of 2005."

More details from Red Herring.

The "London" reaction to well meaning idiots.

Who knew you could remix a website? » London Will Fucking Twat You In A Minute, Son

Friday, July 08, 2005

Plan 9 From Outer Space - Get your download quotas ready!!!

The Internet Archive proudly presents the classic "worst movie ever made," Plan 9 From Outer Space by Edward D Wood Jr.

Go, stupid humans. Download and enjoy!

Internet Archive: Details: Plan 9 From Outer Space

Of course, the beauty of all this is that I found the link from We Make Money Not Art who in turn got it from Screenhead who in turn got it from Eye of the Goof who discovered it from a German weblog, Filmtagebuch. God I love the Internet...

Thank you Morgan Freeman!

If for no other reason than to get my mind of my last post.

"Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is teaming up with Intel to launch an online movie-download site that aims to pull users away from illegal downloads of first-run films.

"We're going to bypass what the music industry had to come up with, and that's to get ahead of the whole piracy thing," Freeman told reporters...

Nizar Allibhoy, CEO of ClickStar, said it will distribute first-run, commercial feature films. He said the company wants to give fans access to great content earlier than the current release schedule, and give artists the ability to connect directly with fans around the world.

Allibhoy said he was not worried that releasing films the same day they hit theaters will have a detrimental effect.

"You cannot replicate the theater experience anywhere else," Allibhoy said. "It's a social experience, it's not just the film. We don't really see this as having a negative effect on (movie theaters). We see this as being yet another distribution outlet." "

Wired News: Freeman Bringing Films to Net

London Explosions

I don't need to tell you about what's happened in London. Plenty of other pundits have no doubt done that for you. For some reason this has affected me pretty deeply and I'm not exactly sure why.

It could have something to do with the fact that my brother and my sister-in-law are in London, albeit unharmed. It could be a flashback to my feelings in 2001, sitting watching the aftermath of the horrific event that served as an excuse to trigger the current hostility. It could be the other people I know in London, all of whom appear to be safe.

It could be stories like this one from one of the forum moderators I share duties with over at the Adobe User Forums.

"My son just phoned to say his partner was on a bus stuck in traffic in London - all underground railway stations closed by explosions - as the bus was going nowhere she got off and walked up the road, and as she did so it exploded throwing her to the ground. She's lucky to be alive he says."

Perhaps it's because after having just reiterated on a friend's weblog my belief in the general good of people and our collective quest for an overall purpose that encompasses all humanity, a common reason for individuals to come together as a species, I'm reminded just how pathetic, small-spirited and ideologically weak people can be.

I'm also aware of the academically sanitised way that some people out there are no doubt looking at the event. There's nothing like self-serving snobbery to make you feel superior.

That's why what Douglas Rushkoff said in his blog today really hit its mark with me today.

"I'm supposed to have something intelligent to say about this morning's blasts in London. It's become one of those obligatory blog things - so much so, that people are emailing me today asking why I haven't said anything about it.

Which angle to choose?

That the number of deaths in daily car bombs in Iraq regularly outnumber today's casualties? Do I dare tally Africa in there? The ongoing death toll from Tsunami aftermath?

...No - none of that cleverness will do, even though it's the bread and butter for OpEd and blog writers alike. I don't have the heart to spin off on these little tendrils, anymore. It's the people who died and their survivors to whom my thoughts and prayers go out. This is a highly unnecessary war we're in, and its extraordinary complexity only underscores how many points of attack there are for ending it."

:: Douglas Rushkoff - Blasted Blasts ::

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We've gone Wi-Fi!

After much groaning, threats of violence and general despair, I have tonight finally got both mine and Ellen's computers talking to each other and the internet via the wireless router. Moreover, the link is secure, something that's been bugging me for days now.

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

O.K., maybe not.

Now we wait for the laptop card to be replaced so we can see if it's their card or our computer that's not being friendly. I really hope it's their card. I'd feel like a right tosser if it's our laptop.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Why aren't I writing?!?

There's all sorts of things running through my head at the moment, from recent realisations on the future of media to a sharp observation of winter sunlight. I even have some thoughts on the so-called "Technological Singularity", that while I understood the concept I'd never known the term. But I just can't find the time, much less the inclination to get some decent content written. Hell, I've even joined the Wi-Fi set, having had all sorts of problems setting up a home wireless broadband network.

Maybe later. If this keeps up God only knows how I'm going to get through this semester.