Archive for September 2006

Techshop, The SF Bay Area’s open-access public workshop

Techshop, The SF Bay Area’s open-access public workshop:

Jim sent word about the Techshop grand opening! – Hey, Makers! If you like to build stuff but you don’t have the tools, equipment, space, or know-how, TechShop is for you!

TechShop’s Grand Opening is Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, 2006 from 11:00 AM through 3:00 PM both days. There is no charge to attend the event.

Show And Tell at the Grand Opening (Saturday and Sunday) – If you have a project you would like to show to other Makers, bring it along and either show it to people yourself, or make a sign that explains what it is. We will supply tables on which projects can be displayed. Any project is fine as long as you think it would appeal to people who like to make things….

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Wow. Wowow. $1200 for 24×7 access to an insanely huge list of industrial tools for a year… $100 a month, or $30 for one-day access. For a year, that’s about the cost of one three unit university class, isn’t it? I think the trick here is to know what you’re going to need to do, plan everything out ahead of time, swoop in and do what you need and get out. This place is just far enough away that it’s kind of a trek if I were going to go two days in a row or longer… I dunno, maybe when I get my financial independence up to speed, I can swoop in during off-peak hours and it will make sense.

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Wayne Jiang


Wayne Jiang is one of the best painters I know. I was just thinking the other night that I need to link up to his site from here, so.. I have. :) The piece depicted above is especially dear to me as it reminds me of the neighborhood I used to live in.

Scientists and Engineers for America – fight for science!

Scientists and Engineers for America – fight for science!:

Cory Doctorow:

Michael sez,

I have recently been involved with the creation of a new political group designed to allow scientists and concerned citizens to fight back against the ideologically driven health and science policies of the Bush Administration and their cronies in Congress. Today we launched Scientists and Engineers for America.

Concerned about the ideological and partisan manipulation of science, compromising of scientific integrity and harassment of scientists by the Bush Administration and Congress, leaders in the scientific and engineering communities announced the launch of a new organization on Wednesday, September 27th. The group, called Scientists and Engineers for America, is a 527 political organization that will focus on the need to address the current state of science policy by electing new political leadership…

Competent government depends on getting best science and technology advice. Scientists and Engineers for America will use web-based tools ( and lectures around the country to explain why independent scientific advice is essential for national security, energy, the environment, health care, education, and America’s competitiveness. The group proposes a basic Bill of Rights to prevent the politicization of science.

The group will discuss the impact the Bush Administration’s science and technology policies have had in their fields and the need for voters to consider the science and technology policies by candidates in this year’s mid-term elections. The group will also provide details of their activities including launching a speaking tour focusing on a number of this fall’s highly contested campaigns in key states.


(Thanks, Michael!)

Go check out their website!

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New Release: Dip – ‘Illusions’

We love meeting and working with the many different artists in the global netlabel community. And we would now like to introduce to you our new friends from Russia, Dip! This dynamic duo have been producing quality electronic music since 1997, and have appeared on other netlabels such as reamp3, CISM Sound and Homework. Now they’re here to grace the bits and pixels of DoBox, and we really hope you enjoy!

Summer Fly
Illusions [Part 2]

Nortron software sequencer by DSPaudio


I sold my drum machine this evening to a gentleman who happens to be a software developer. He has started his own company called DSPaudio, and the first product is a pretty nifty looking software sequencer. The Nortron (as it’s called) actually contains four individual 16-step sequencers, and was designed with inspiration from the sought-after Latronic Notron hardware sequencer.

It’s currently available for Mac OS X, but a Windows version is supposedly on the way. A downloadable demo is available too. Check it out…let us all know what you think.

MTV acquiring Harmonix

Great freakin’ news for music gaming!

“The acquisition of Harmonix will deepen MTV’s connection to its audience via on-line, mobile and console music gaming, and expand the relationship with both labels and artists through the creation of games based on classic songs as well as future album releases,” said MTV President Christina Norman. “Harmonix’s technology allows everyone to pursue their rock and roll fantasies, even people like me, with more musical ambition than actual talent.”

second life townhall snapshot

Second Lifescreensnapz005

~150 people in-world, ~1150 people listening to the audio stream (!) .. with.. *gasp* real live Skype call in questions!

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Derek Scott on Random Access Recordings

RAR logo
Detroit-based netlabel Random Access Recordings has just posted a new release by our very own Derek Scott (aka The Rhythmist, Number8 ). Download it, put it on your iPod, burn a CD, whatever…just pump it up!

And on a related note, Derek Scott will be performing a live P.A. at Visions in Chicago for Random Access Recordings along with Stacy Kidd, Popkan, Mahogany, Marcus Watkins and Hakim Murphy. Check it out if you’re in the area!

Visions back

Interview of Tom Igoe

Interview of Tom Igoe:



As far as physical computing artwork that’s impressed me lately, there’s one piece that I really liked, featured at ISEA this year: Tad Hirsch’s Tripwire. He basically made sound sensing coconuts that he hung in the trees in San Jose, and each time the noise levels from planes exceeded the acceptable maximum, the coconuts called the city’s noise abatement complaint line. He’s done a number of really smart activist works like this that use humor tactically. The other thing that impressed me about this piece was that it was the one from the festival that made the most earnest attempt to try to address a real problem of the city hosting the festival. Many of the other pieces could have been done in any city, but this one attempted to give something back to the citizens of San Jose, by drawing the attention of the city bureaucracy to something it tends to ignore. I thought that was very gracious of him.

Thanks Tom!

We have a really bad noise problem with loud vehicles late at night on the expressway near our house, this totally inspires me to copy this fine work for our neighborhood! This is one of the works that didn’t get plastered up on posters all over the city and surrounding cities, so I appreciate Tom’s attention to Tad’s work… there were so many things going on that it was impossible to pick out things like this from the rabble.

fine art snobbery

Tim Hunkin looks at the question: is it art?

New camera hotness

Photo 001-1

Behold the Canon A620 – rechargeable double A battery powered 7.1 Megapixel, 640×480@30fps hotness.


Behold again, Kiahuna Plantation, Kaua’i, 15 second exposure, 10:38pm, pitch black of the night. Larger photo here. Full rez (2304×3072) is there too, I’ll leave it to you to figure out where… it’s a big file. It’s pretty awesome, though.

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iPod Games not authorized

If you bought a game for your ipod and are getting a message saying something like:

The game “(whichever game you bought)” was not copied to the iPod “my ipod” because you are not authorized to play it on this computer

check out this kbase article: … I bought Zuma and had a little trouble getting it to work, but followed the instructions on that linked page and was successful getting the game to sync up.

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Rest in peace:canon powershot s45

Subj: Rest in peace:canon powershot s45 Date: Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:27 pm Size: 232 bytes To: “Sjwl” ;
We bought you 3 years ago. We took ~10,000 photos with you. You had a death defying repair service last year. We loved you. We’ll never forget you. Why did you keep falling on hard surfaces this past month?? WHY???
Rest in pieces.

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Arduino Mini

Arduino Mini:

Arduino Mini & USB

On sale for the first time at the Ars Electronica Electrolobby workshops, the Arduino mini is a much smaller version of its older brother. Ideal for plugging straight into breadboards & for projects with limited space, the Arduino mini also has twice as much memory for your code. Saving space by using a seprate USB adapter, code can loaded on to the board, then remove the loader to save space. Buy the mini for 25 euros and USB adapter for 15 euros (excluding tax & shipping). I bought mine at the workshop, photo above is size comparison with older Arduino that I made in the previous workshop.

Arduino Mini

More from Ars Electronica.

Mmmm, tasty little critters!

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Hearing Kandinsky Through an Unconscious Synesthesia

Hearing Kandinsky Through an Unconscious Synesthesia:

A University College London neuroscientist working with synaesthetes, people who have a coupled auditory, visual or other senses, asked to make recordings of their experiences. What Dr Jamie Ward did next was even more interesting:

During a series of experiments, Dr Ward asked six synaesthetes to draw and describe their visual experiences of music played by the New London Orchestra. A control group of six people without the condition were asked to do the same. Animated films, combining the music and drawn images were created by an animator, Sam Moore of the University of Wolverhampton, and shown to the public visiting London’s Science Museum. A hundred images were shown to over 200 people and these visitors were asked to choose the image that provided the best fit to the music. Respondents consistently chose the images drawn by synaesthetes over control images. This shows that while people without synaesthesia are not able to hear a painting or see a piece of music in a literal sense, they are able to sense the crossover and tend to choose the ‘correct’ image.

Dr Ward said: “While some synaesthetes can actually hear a Kandinsky in a very real way, the rest of us don’t have such a pronounced crossover of senses. But, this research shows that all of us have links between our hearing and vision–even if we don’t really realise it. We hope that understanding synaesthesia will enable us to understand more about how our senses are linked in our brains, and how this may help us create and appreciate works of art that combine music and sound.”

Describing ‘Composition VIII, 1923′ by Kandinsky, one synaesthete said: “The jumbled mass of lines gave various tones, which changed as my eyes travelled round the picture. When looking at the large multicoloured powerful circle at upper left, I get a pure tone which can be too much, so to relieve my mind of this I travel back to the cacophony of jumbled lines and shapes. This painting therefore is a good balance of contrasting noise — pure tones and cacophony — which was a delight to see. The more I looked at it, the more I came to appreciate the image and to like the ‘music’.”


Found this interesting :)