Friday, November 28, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Momus Album

I can't decide if Momus is just getting more productive or if I'm slowing down in keeping up, as it were.

But there already seems to be a new Momus album out on YouTube.

As always, it's a mixed bunch. But some tracks I'm already liking very much.

The GhostBoxish Bathyscaphe  :

System of Usher :

The Brutalist :

Catholic App is a classic Momus twisted take, satirising the end of privacy.

I probably disapprove of Unreconstructed (after unwrapping its layers of irony) but it's musically and lyrically clever.

Spore is a salacious zero-g love-song with a luscious tune.

If Thunderclown was anything to go by, I'll probably get into the rest after a couple of listens too. Even at his most antipathic or discordantly "experimental"  Momus's songs are always wriggling with little earworms.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saddam's Chemical Weapons

Status Report:

Saddam's Chemical Weapons :  Existed, sold to him by the US / European companies, covered up by Pentagon at the cost of their own soldier's health due to potential embarrassment.

My cynicism : Undiminished.

Friday, October 10, 2014

20 Years of Blogging

Dave Winer has a mixed mood contemplation of 20 years of blogging and his career.
It is a criminal waste that no institution is able to give him a context to do bigger work. Although perhaps he would end up being too constrained.  

Anyway, congratulations Dave. Happy 20th. And thank you. For the inspiration and everything you've contributed. I'm still using my software based on the Concord outliner every day. And I think more and more people are getting ready for the next reboot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Champion of Democracy

Owen Jones :
Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regimes on earth and bans political parties, trade unions and all forms of dissent; deprives women of many of their most basic rights; kills "witches"; has recently declared atheists to be terrorists; and persecutes LGBT people. It should surely be an ostracised regime. And yet this is the biggest market for British arms, with our government approving £1.6bn worth of exports, ranging from equipment for machine guns to "components for military equipment for initiating explosives."

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Cameron and Antibiotic Resistance

Cameron does something important and starts to look into the threat of antibiotic resistance.

But he puts an economist in charge of the project with an explicit assumption its an economic problem that industry has failed to invent more antibiotics.

So lets see if the committee starts recommending the banning of antibiotics in intensive farming practices or if they just come with recommendations to extend "intellectual property" rights or other incentives for big pharma companies.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Facebook Caught Experimenting on Users

Social Network Analysis research gets icky.

I have to admit that I see how this happened, and I would probably have signed off on the ethics of it myself (or been willing to be part of this). But I can see how it looks pretty bad to be caught doing it. And frankly, maybe it is pretty bad.

OTOH : I think what they found out knowledge worth having. But it's largely worth having in order to know the danger that corporations having this power present. You wouldn't want the academic study of this to be banned, and for the research to disappear into internal surreptitious tinkerings where no-one else ever sees the results except in private reports to the marketing department and advertisers.

PayPal Police

Do you have government permission for your privacy?.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mimesis, Civilization and Collapse

A must-read article from The Archdruid. Fascinating and disturbing.
The Broken Thread of Culture

OneNote and Magic Pen

Microsoft seem to be doing something pretty cool here. Tight integration of a custom UI device (the stylus on their latest Surface tablets) with their note-taking app. OneNote.

Obviously I'm sticking with OWL, but this is pretty nice. And you can imagine them taking it a lot further. Extra buttons on the pen. What about a chording-keyboard on a pen? Other apps. accessible through OneNote etc.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Society of the Query Reader

My conversation with Aharon Amir on Search Art and the language of search is now published in the Society of the Query Reader.
Available as a PDF or other online formats linked from the page.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Facebook App. To Live Monitor Audio Through Your Phone

WTF? At this point the surveillance-industrial complex is just laughing at us. The US has done nothing to prevent the NSA demanding that Facebook etc. hand over user's data to it. Has done nothing to make it legal for Facebook to even tell its users if the NSA has demanded their data. And yet Facebook says "trust us, we'll only use an always-open mic channel on your person for good".
At this point it's just comical that they'd ask for this, and comical we'll accept it.
BTW: You can sign a petition if you think it will do any good.
PS : I'm glad I shut my Facebook account and don't use the app.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Project Tango

Johnny Chung Lee reveals Project Tango.

And, of course, it's his level of genius. And it's awesome. But, hell, aren't we scared yet?

Given everything we now know about the end of privacy, the fact that the NSA have back-doors to all our mainstream social software that Google are legally prevented from telling us about? And that Google are putting always-on cameras onto everyone's face?

Is the thing that we are really missing the ability to have millimetre accurate models of all the geometry (and therefore, via recognition algorithms, inventories of all the objects), in every room we enter? Collected automatically? And potentially streamed to Google's servers? Do I want to have someone walk into my room and immediately start telling Google / the NSA everything I have in it?

Sure, it's going to make amazingly competent robots, though.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Marx and the Middle-Class

Dillow points out that Marx was probably right about the inevitable decline of the middle-class under capitalism.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Interesting thought :
But iBeacon is much more than that. It is the infrastructure on which the iWatch will run. For all intents and purposes, iBeacon is the iWatch. The advantage of a wearable device, after all, rests in its ability to interact with the Internet of Things. All that remains for Apple is to build its Internet around the world’s things.

Everything You Need To Know About Blair

Guardian :
According to the email, sent the day after the News of the World's final issue and six days before Brooks was arrested, Blair also told her he was "available" to her and Rupert and James Murdoch as an "unofficial adviser" on a "between us" basis.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Transparency Helps Terrorists

Glenn Greenwald :
But what has struck me is how seriously many media figures take [the claim that public scrutiny of the secret service "helps terrorists"]. In the vast majority of interviews I’ve done about NSA reporting, interviewers adopt a grave tone in their voice and trumpet the claims from U.S. officials that our reporting is helping the terrorists. They treat these claims as though they’re the by-product of some sort of careful, deliberative, unique assessment rather than what it is: the evidence-free tactics national security state officials reflexively invoke to discredit all national security journalism they dislike.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Google's For-Profit Surveillance Problem

Fiverr Accepts BitCoin

Now this is big.

Fiver is a great place to experiment with online commerce. Both with buying and selling new product ideas. And it's users are both innovative and internationalized. And the prices are so cheap that the fluctuations of BitCoin's pricing might be less of an issue. (What does it matter if your $5 gig fluctuates between $1 and $15? )

In other words, it seems like an excellent test-bed, place to grow.

The Day We Fight Back

Drone As Driving Accessory

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Wired on GCHQ vs. Anonymous

Read it :

The key difference, however, is that while those involved in Anonymous can and have faced their day in court for those tactics [DDoS], the British government has not. When Anonymous engages in lawbreaking, they are always taking a huge risk in doing so. But with unlimited resources and no oversight, organizations like the GCHQ (and theoretically the NSA) can do as they please. And it’s this power differential that makes all the difference.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Gbloink! ... in the Browser!

Oh yeah, I'm on a roll, at the moment, of actually "releasing" stuff I've been doing over the last few months.
This one's really exciting for me : a version of Gbloink! that's written in CoffeeScript / Javascript and running in the browser. Longer story over on the Gbloink! site.
Try it here ... but be aware it's still pretty experimental. However, it is Gbloink! And it runs in the browser. w00t!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Machine Gardens (The "Magic" Video)

This is an old video from when I was making laser-cut machines a couple of years ago. I used it again in the Object Oriented show we did last November. This is half the work, showing the "magic" of recursive algorithms being turned by a laser-cutter into physical objects. There's a companion video which shows all the human activity and faff that was excluded from this one.


Found an old tape with more Gbloink! music on it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pablo Smash - PRISM Planet

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Nuclear Against Global Warming

A good debate between George Monbiot and an opponent of nuclear.
ThoughtStorms is a bit sparse on climate change issues (just found the ClimateChange page itself was empty!). Will try to rectify that.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

2014 : Whither Composing?

I know I'm asking questions rather than making predictions this new year. But here is a prediction : Google are going to keep folding Blogger into Google Plus.

This blog has been a significant writing space for me for over 10 years. It's even survived a major name change (though not change of URL).

But I think Google have little incentive to work on advancing the art of blogging. That work is going on over at WordPress and Ghost etc. All Google's innovation here is going to be integrating it more tightly into G+ (everything I post here is already automatically forwarded there). Comments are optionally integrated (G+ becomes the white-list, a useful anti-spam feature).

In 2014 I have a desire to become less dependent on Google. And I believe serious writing needs a different kind of space from the hectic rapids of social media. And I'm delighted with the move of Smart Disorganized to my own WP. And I really liked my short-lived LinkBlogging experiment on Fargo. And I'm starting to get my head around putting stuff into ThoughtStorms again ...

And so ...

Well, listen. Seriously. I can't just dump this blog. That's really not an option. It's too established a URL. Too much history. And, ultimately, I like to keep an address somewhere at an address I don't own ... just in case my web-hosting and / or domain ownership suddenly collapses for some reason.

But I think Composing is going to change its role ... less writing here. More links to writing elsewhere. It's going to become more like the "social media" that Google obviously want it to be. An interface to G+ (with RSS output). And list of pointers to my other activities.

That's what I think is going to happen, anyway.

NY Times calls for Edward Snowden to be pardoned.

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Geek Questions for 2014

Over on (the new) SmartDisorganized I'm starting a series of posts on the questions I'm asking myself at the beginning of 2014.

Mainly about my own projects + some more general ones about directions in technology (especially SDI tech. of course).