Archive for the ‘Eclectic’ Category

Harun Farocki

June 29, 2009

Harun Farocki is a German filmmaker whose work looks at the relationship between technology and our perception of the world. I saw an exhibition featuring his video installations at Jeu de Paume in Paris and found the work massively immersive and interesting.

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Green Roofs

June 15, 2009

There was a nice article last month in National Geographic which discusses the growing trend of “living roofs”. Aside from the fact that they’re great for the environment – making the city healthier and its buildings more sustainable – I love the surrealness of them and the cool, severe mix of green and concrete. There’s loads more examples in the article and it’s worth checking out. Makes me wish I lived in the top flat…

Addictive clocks

June 5, 2009

I stumbled upon this animated clock, and I thought I’d share.

This hasn’t got anything to do with Flavor Flav except for his love of the massive clock…

It’s really simple, really hypnotic and reminded me a little bit of the brilliance of Uniqlo’s dancing Uniqlock.

Is English killing our newspapers?

April 8, 2009

japanese_newspaper

A really interesting article from the Japan times here, detailing the fairly minor (but worsening) woes of the Japanese newspaper industry. The Japanese buy more newspapers per head than almost any other nation on Earth (around 624 papers per 1000 people per day), and newspaper sales have declined by a relatively slight 3.2% over the past ten years, which in the age of the internet is fairly phenomenal. Even with these reductions in sales, Japanese newspapers seem far less suseptible to the whims of the market – the article states that only 30% of their revenue is garnered through advertising, with cover-prices encompassing most of the rest (making them, in turn, far more expensive than papers over here).

Another major reason, however, that newspaper sales are holding up so well in Japan as opposed to Britain and America is that the newspaper companies made a conscious decision a few years ago to restrict their online presence (as noted in this Marketing article here). Deloitte looked into the British newspaper market to devise possible strategies for the industry to adopt to remain profitable in the digital age, which is taken up in the article as follows –

…[a Deloitte] report offers publishers the controversial suggestion of “significantly reducing” their online activity, in an attempt to drive people back to the physical product.

To support the stance, Deloitte points to the press market in Japan, which has always restricted its online presence, and where titles have suffered lower declines in readership and advertising than its North American and European peers.

Could British newspapers shift away from online to drive print sales, especially after having invested so much money in their online presences over the past ten years? I’m sure if they all clubbed together and took their sites offline permanently then sales might rise in the short term, but the truth of it is that whilst Japanese newspapers are doing incredibly well without a significant online presence, this system just wouldn’t be sustainable for our papers because they are written in English. English is, after all, the language of the internet, with figures as to the percentage of pages online written in English ranging from 70-80%, whilst japanese comes in at around 3-4%.

So much information exists online in English that if British newspapers were to restrict their online presence British people would simply go elsewhere (aside from the obvious Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Reuters etc., Twitter, social networks, blogs and almost any other platform you can think of online can be used to find news, sometimes even more quickly than “traditional” online news sources) – Japanese papers, however, don’t have to worry about their language suddenly exploding across the world and amplifying their reader’s sources of news ten-thousandfold, so they can probably get away with restricting their online content in a way British papers can’t.

Maybe instead they should just go after the internet itself?

spinternet

April fools from the Guardian

April 1, 2009

Twitter switch for the Guardian after 188 years of ink

This made me laugh, although it’s hard to imagine that someone, somewhere, hasn’t pitched this idea seriously to some newsletter or other. The best bit?

At a time of unprecedented challenge for all print media, many publications have rushed to embrace social networking technologies. Most now offer Twitter feeds of major breaking news headlines, while the Daily Mail recently pioneered an iPhone application providing users with a one-click facility for reporting suspicious behaviour by migrants or gays.

Shimmering bits from the w w w

March 30, 2009

I’ve been storing up some found digital images over the last few months hoping I would be able to drop them inconspicuously into a post to highlight a salient point. As I’ve not yet found one opportunity to pull this off, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and just put them down here. It feels good to get them out, so here’s a selection of my favourites.  After all this is supposed to be about sharing…

Could have used this one for my Seeing things differently post actually…

More after the jump!

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Where my buddies at?

February 6, 2009

Despite the rather annoying voice over harping on about what her “buddies” are up to, this demonstration of Google Latitude shows it to be a pretty cool application. When Phil first told me about it, my initial reaction was complete aversion to the idea that I could be tracked 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, Jack Bauer style, but the fact of the matter is, you can switch it off when you need to. This does fit in pretty nicely with our predictions for this year – a furthering of the “never be alone” mentality.

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Quantum Digital Rapping

December 27, 2008

I somehow came across this in my travels, it’s ridiculously geeky but I like it. Over 4 million people have seen this video and I think 2009 is going to be a big year for this sort of thing in Cyberspace.

Quantum Physics meets Rap meets Digital meets Information Distribution