Posts tagged with ‘Wired’

American History: Now in Color! 

In An American Odyssey, published by Taschen, you can now see striking color photographs of the U.S. that predated autochrome photography by almost 20 years.

All of the postcard images are curated from the private collection of Marc Walter, the early results of a photolithographic process — something Wired dubbed “what Instagram would have looked like in the 1800s” because of the surreal, dreamlike quality of the photochroms’ colorings.

On the unique process:

Photochrom photographers would start the process by coating a printing plate with a light-sensitive emulsion and then exposing a glass plate photo negative onto it. Unlike modern four-color printing process that can represent millions of colors by overlapping tiny dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink, the inks mixed for Photochroms were mixed by hand in an attempt to perfectly match the yellow-green sunblasted scrub brush that surrounds the Grand Canyon or the aquamarine ocean water of the Bahamas. The photographers would erase the entire plate except for the area reserved for that specific color and make 10-15 more plates to fill out the composition. Photographic details were preserved, but an emotive, if slightly artificial, range of color was added.

Bonus: Learn more about the coloring process, history, and more over at the helpful FAQ by Taschen.

Images: “A Monday Washing, New York” and the cover of the new volume by Marc Walter and Sabine Arqué, a collection that spans from 1888-1924 from the Detroit Photographic Company, courtesy of Taschen books. 

This Little-Known iOS Feature Will Change the Way We Connect | Gadget Lab | WIRED →

If “Multipeer Connectivity Framework” and “mesh networking” sound like complicated technologies from the future, it’s because they kind of are (from the future!!! okay, kidding). But they’re not as complicated as they may sound. The app developers behind the new Firechat are harnessing this new technology from Apple to allow iOS device users to find and connect to one another - and then anonymously communicate - all without needing cellular service or WiFi. 

There are numerous reasons this technology could have huge, revolutionary impacts if its successful. While Firechat is now just for exchanging messages and photos, mesh networking could open up the possibilities of a completely independent network for communicating anonymously and privately, sharing files and storing data, and even reaching out from places with limited internet access (think crisis areas, crowded conventions). The implications from this technology would completely disrupt the current cellular service provider system. 

Museum of Endangered Sounds preserves obsolete tech noises →

Wired UK:

Site creator Brendan Chilcutt (or at least the online persona who represents the website’s creators) writes of his collection:

"Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine the generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recessed of an old cathode ray tube TV." 

In a way, these sounds are oddly comforting for those who fondly remembering dialing up to the internet on AOL for the first time as kids, as well as those who still remember white noise of a record player. 

The ‘Mood Graph’: How Our Emotions Are Taking Over the Web →

Wired’s Evan Selinger describes what he sees as a new direction of the Internet, wherein platforms now focus on tracking and categorizing how users feel about the content they consume:

The point is that all these interfaces are now focusing on the emotional aspects of our information diets. To put this development in a broader context: the mood graph has arrived, taking its place alongside the social graph (most commonly associated with Facebook), citation-link graph and knowledge graph (associated with Google), work graph (LinkedIn and others), and interest graph (Pinterest and others).

Like all these other graphs, the mood graph will enable relevance, customization, targeting; search, discovery, structuring; advertising, purchasing behaviors, and more. It also signals an important shift in computer-mediated communication.

Several aspects of this “mood graph” concern Selinger, including the potential of the “pre-fabricated symbols” of digital emotional communication (emoji, emoticons, and so on) to simplify the range and complexity of our feelings as well as the monetization of emotional tracking by companies like Facebook into advertising revenue.

FJP: Selinger cites Bitly for for feelings and methods of user-reported emotional expression in his piece, but other applications attempt to track mood using “raw” data, like the MoodScope, which analyzes smartphone data with an algorithm that takes into account sites visited (both physically and online), apps used, friends contacted, etc. Biofeedback technologies, such as Affectiva, collect data like facial expression, skin conductance, and heart rate to measure emotional state. These extensions of the Quantified Self movement have the potential to provide a more nuanced measure of our feelings than tracking premeditated verbal communication.

I also just want to mention that Tumblr culture seems to have developed its own language conventions (purposeful capitalization, lack of punctuation, etc.) to facilitate emotive expression (see this great Tumblr meta-discussion for more thoughts on that). So there is a way for language to accommodate tone and emotion to more closely mimick “IRL” interaction. And we might already be seeing that shift in mainstream language use. Shining

But now that the shared TV experience is declining, many thinkers want it back. Only now can they appreciate its value and see what it gave us: The communal bonding that occurs when people sit down and watch the same thing.

Ryan Tate in an article for WIRED, “The Personal Television Revolution is Horrifying—and Brilliant”. 

Via WIRED

I thought — hoped, really — that I was worrying too much about new technology, so I called Patricia Greenfield, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. I asked: Do tech-savvy people in healthy relationships (like, say, me) really need to worry that customized media and mobile devices will undermine our connections with others?

“I think you should worry,” Greenfield told me.

Oh. Damn.

Web Comic Series “Time” Comes to an End

With the 3,099th panel, xkcd creator Randall Monroe has finally finished his popular web comic series Time. Deceptively simple with its faceless stick-figured characters and minimal dialogue, Time amassed a huge following of fans and even has its own Wiki page. As the series unfolds, the story and the world that Monroe has created become more elaborate, as Wired notes:

Who were these characters? Where were they? What did the story mean? Munroe offered no direct answers, instead seeding the panels with esoteric clues from botany, astronomy and geology. Soon, “Time” had developed a fanatical following that pored over every update pixel by pixel and gathered online to trade theories,decipher clues, and even write songs.

Monroe revealed to Wired that Time is set 11,000 years in the future:

 “In my comic, our civilization is long gone. Every civilization with written records has existed for less than 5,000 years; it seems optimistic to hope that the current one will last for 10,000 more…And as astronomer Fred Hoyle has pointed out, since we’ve stripped away the easily-accessed fossil fuels, whatever civilization comes along next won’t be able to jump-start an industrial revolution the way we did.”

You can watch the 40-minute video of the entire series, or scroll through Geekwagon’s flipbook-esque compilation in your own time. 

Video: Youtube, XKCD #1190 - Time: The Animated Film (Runtime - 40:38)

When I’ve got to get some writing done, I turn on my Strict Pomodoro plug-in in Chrome. It shuts off all internet distractions, such as email, for 20 minutes, then sounds a bell and lets me back at them for 5 minutes. I can spend a whole day like this: 20-5, 20-5… When I really need to concentrate, it’s the only thing that works for me.

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, in Lifehacker’s series, This Is How I Work.

Background:

Chris announced that he’s stepping down to focus on his robotics manufacturing startup, 3D Robotics. While manning the helm at Wired, Chris authored three books that turned him into a leading voice across schools of economics, technology, and DIY design: The Long TailFree, and his latest, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. (He also lead the magazine in nearly doubling its readership, racked up too many awards to count, and landed on the Time100.) 

FJP: The series is quite fantastic. Something like The Atlantic’s What I Read, Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work is a collection of the personal, quirky, productivity habits and idiosyncrasies of great techies, entrepreneurs, writers and more. Some of our favorites:

Government Targets Wired for a Five-year-Old Article That Leaks Info on Weapons System That Doesn't Exist →

Via Wired:

In its mounting campaign against leakers, the U.S. government isn’t just going after officials who revealed weighty secrets like the White House’s drone strike “kill list” or its plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear sites. Federal agents are also chasing a leaker who gave [Wired’s] Danger Room a document asking for a futuristic laser weapon that could set insurgents’ clothes on fire from nine miles away.

It’s an odd investigation, because the energy weapon doesn’t exist; the unclassified document describing it reads almost like a spoof of the laser system out of Real Genius; and this is 2012 — nearly five years after the leak in question.

But that hasn’t stopped the Naval Criminal Investigative Service from contacting Danger Room and its attorneys several times over six months regarding an investigation into the document, which describes a “Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon” and is marked ”For Official Use Only,” or FOUO.

“This investigation is currently being conducted as a counterintelligence matter to determine if a loss/compromise of classified information occurred,” e-mailed Special Agent Christopher Capps, who works for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s field office in Washington, D.C.

Capps also asked Danger Room to divulge the source who provided the imaginary weapon document.

FJP: Looking for more background on the war against leaks? Check our Leaks Tag.

Wired, NCIS Targets Danger Room in Silliest Leak Investigation Ever.

Say you’re using a restaurant search app, and you’re aware that it’s using your GPS location to help find businesses near you. You’re OK with that. But perhaps the app doesn’t also tell you that it’s using your location for another purpose: to help advertisers better create a profile of you for targeted advertising.

Christina Bonnington on How Location-Based Apps Can Stave Off the ‘Creepy Factor’

FJP: Related is our post last week on the creepy app, Girls Around Me. Foursquare since revoked access to its API and the app was removed from the app store by its developers…for now.

The Big Question: What can be done to make users feel more comfortable sharing their information, especially when secondary uses of data (that are seemingly unrelated to an app’s functionality) remain unknown.

Bonnington suggests:

Thus, transparency and user control are key to keeping an app from coming across as untrustworthy or creepy. Developers already have the tools to make sure users are aware of geolocation features in apps, and it’s incumbent on them to use them.

Mobile devices could also employ “ambient notice” features to let users know when location data is being shared. For example, when you’re using your iPhone’s compass, you can see the phone’s arrow symbol and know your device is currently using that feature. Similar signposting could be used for location services. (via Wired)


Thoughts?

The Ethics of Linking

via GigaOM:

Late last week, TechCrunch writer MG Siegler broke the news that Apple was buying an app-discovery service called Chomp — although he didn’t say where that news came from, just that it was a reliable source. The Wall Street Journa l reported the same news several hours later, confirmed by an Apple source, but didn’t link to Siegler, who then wrote a profanity-laced tirade criticizing the WSJ for its failure to include a link to him in its story.

A flurry of debate ensued, along with an especially interesting piece from Felix Salmon, who raised some interesting questions.

When reporting a story, should news outlets have an obligation to say who first broke the news?

FJP: A hat tip is always polite, even if the extra information doesn’t always interest the reader. 

Q: Should news outlets link to outside sources in a story?

FJP: Primary sources? That would be wonderful. Secondary sources? A bit more complicated. Last year, the folks over at Nieman wrote about the purpose and value of linking. Still relevant reading if you haven’t checked it out. It’s a layered argument that Salmon breaks down well. On the one hand, why write out a lazy rehash of a story, when just linking to it allows you to move on and break or write something more interesting? Most bloggers do it, so why don’t big news networks? Enter here: the print vs. web issue. For starters, a publication like the WSJ still has a healthy print product, so pieces have to work both online and in print. Salmon explains:

The problem is that a journalist never really knows whether their work is going to be read online or offline, even if they’re writing solely for the web. The story might get downloaded into an RSS reader, to be consumed offline. It might be e-mailed to someone with a BlackBerry who can’t possibly be expected to open a hyperlink in a web browser. It might even get printed out and read that way.

Besides, the simple fact is that even if people can follow links, most of the time they don’t. An art of writing online is to link to everything, but to still make your piece self-contained enough that it makes sense even if your reader clicks on no links at all.

Q: What is fact? a) that X happened? or b) that a source said X happened?

FJP: The most interesting question of all. Salmon offers a scenario:

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a journalist who was adamantly sticking up for her story in the face of criticism. The story included a statement of the form “X, says Y,” where Y was an anonymous source. Various other people were saying that X was not, in fact, true. But the journalist was standing firm. I then asked her whether she was standing firm on the statement “X, says Y,” which she reported — or whether she was standing firm on the statement that X. And here’s the thing that struck me: It took her a long time to even understand the distinction. A lot of American journalists stick the sourcing in there because they have to — but they very much consider themselves to be reporting news, and if X turned out not to be true, they would never consider their story to be correct, even if it were true that Y had indeed said that X.

This isn’t always the case, though. Facts do get attributed to people and Salmon goes on to explain how. So this brings us back to hyperlinks. Primary sources ought to be linked to and secondary sources too. At least this way readers have a chance to make informed judgments on what to believe.

Wired’s Photos are now Your Photos
Wired.com announced yesterday that it’s releasing all staff photography under a Creative Commons license. The photos are available via Wired’s Flickr stream.
Via Wired:

The Creative Commons turns 10 years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. Like many other sites across the web, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos at Wired.com for years — thank you, sharers! It seems only fitting, and long overdue, to start sharing ourselves.

This is a great — and bold — move. Before grabbing anything and everything you find there, click through to read some important caveats about images Wired licenses from third parties in order to see what’s fair game and what’s not, and how to know whether it’s fair game or not.
Image: The Toy and Action Figure Museum, Jim Merithew/Wired.com. 

Wired’s Photos are now Your Photos

Wired.com announced yesterday that it’s releasing all staff photography under a Creative Commons license. The photos are available via Wired’s Flickr stream.

Via Wired:

The Creative Commons turns 10 years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. Like many other sites across the web, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos at Wired.com for years — thank you, sharers! It seems only fitting, and long overdue, to start sharing ourselves.

    This is a great — and bold — move. Before grabbing anything and everything you find there, click through to read some important caveats about images Wired licenses from third parties in order to see what’s fair game and what’s not, and how to know whether it’s fair game or not.

    Image: The Toy and Action Figure Museum, Jim Merithew/Wired.com

    Chao: It’d be interesting to see if the Shield Law can protect this journalist and the Anons. 
 
Wired Launches Major Investigation Into Anonymous by Promising Not to Out Anonymous

    Chao: It’d be interesting to see if the Shield Law can protect this journalist and the Anons. 

    Wired Launches Major Investigation Into Anonymous by Promising Not to Out Anonymous

    Well done, Wired.

    Before reading, remember that Wired once had a section called Wired vs Tired… Maybe they still do, haven’t picked up the actual magazine in a while.
Via Nick Bilton on the New York Times’ Bits Blog:

This morning I decide to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. After I agreed to fork over $4, it began downloading. For the next phase of the experiment, I grabbed my car keys, left my apartment and drove about 12 blocks to a local magazine store in Brooklyn,  where I also purchased the latest issue of Wired magazine, this time in print.
I didn’t run any red lights, or speed, or park illegally during my shopping expedition. Yet when I returned home with the glossy paper product in hand, the digital iPad version still hadn’t finished downloading to my iPad. Anybody who reads Wired would call this an Epic Fail.

Read on for the rest of Nick’s Race Between Digital and Print Magazines.

    Before reading, remember that Wired once had a section called Wired vs Tired… Maybe they still do, haven’t picked up the actual magazine in a while.

    Via Nick Bilton on the New York Times’ Bits Blog:

    This morning I decide to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. After I agreed to fork over $4, it began downloading. For the next phase of the experiment, I grabbed my car keys, left my apartment and drove about 12 blocks to a local magazine store in Brooklyn, where I also purchased the latest issue of Wired magazine, this time in print.

    I didn’t run any red lights, or speed, or park illegally during my shopping expedition. Yet when I returned home with the glossy paper product in hand, the digital iPad version still hadn’t finished downloading to my iPad. Anybody who reads Wired would call this an Epic Fail.

    Read on for the rest of Nick’s Race Between Digital and Print Magazines.