Site Overlay

Concentration in the Public Space

By Jeremy Wagstaff Why do we work in Starbucks? It’s a question I ask myself every day, because I usually find myself in one at least once. This despite having an excellent home office replete with cappucino machine, music, ergonomic chair and, most importantly, sofa. But lo, every day I wend my way to a Starbucks, or one of those other chains, and park myself in an uncomfortable chair and too-low table, dodging the students with their bags strewn across space they’ll never use, the dregs of a smoothie enough to make it look as if they’re paying their way, babies screaming blue murder byContinue readingConcentration in the Public Space

Flying Posteriors

  Discards Asses and Butts    Originally uploaded by Loose Wire. Couldn’t resist this: my wife discovered cigarette ash was blowing in through her window so we asked the apartment super if he could do anything about it. The result was this wonderful sign that has just gone up in our building: “Do restrain from throwing your cigarette asses and butts out of your windows… Due to the wind, some of this cigarette asses and butts had got into the lower units.” Flying posteriors. A hazard of living on the ground floor I hadn’t considered when we moved in.

Wikiscam

Just because something has the word Wiki, community and/or .org in its name, doesn’t mean it isn’t a scam. I just received an email from someone called Navin Mirania about Wikimmunity which on first glance sounds like a worthy project: a website designed around local community content. But on closer examination it has the word ‘spam’ written all over it:  How are you?  My name is Navin from Wikimmunity.org. I recently tried to contact you by phone regarding your blog/web site Endangered Spaces to see if there was any opportunity for us to work together.  Wikimmunity.org, the local community source, is looking for writers toContinue readingWikiscam

Bald-headed Britney and the Lost Art of Linking

I think we’ve missed a big trick with links. You know, those underlined words on a web page that take us somewhere else. They’ve been around a while now, so you’d think we’d have explored them a bit, built a little etiquette around them, what to do, what not to do when you link to something else. After all, by turning a word, an image or a button into a link you’re building a door into another world, sort of. Links are great, it’s just we don’t know how to use them. When we come across a link like this, we’re automatically thrown into confusion:Continue readingBald-headed Britney and the Lost Art of Linking

Fripp, Eno and the Microsoft Sound

I don’t know whether to be delighted or depressed, but it seems many of my musical heroes are now writing music for computers. And it’s emerging as something of an art form in itself. Robert Fripp, for example, is doing the music for the Windows Vista startup sound, as part of an 18 month project, according to this AP piece, to create good sounds for the software: Fripp, best known for his work with the ’70s rock band King Crimson, recorded hours of his signature layered, guitar-driven sound for the project, under the close direction of Ball and others at Microsoft. Then, it was Ball’sContinue readingFripp, Eno and the Microsoft Sound

Talking About Two Generations

 Nothing captures the intersection between the old and the new worlds, as well as the ambivalence many of us must share about the direction, than this NYT piece (there’s a version in the IHT, but they edit out several key bits for space) about the tension between the remaining members of The Who, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey (bassist John Entwistle died in 2002, original drummer Keith Moon in 1978): Mr. Townshend, always interested in new technology, announced that the concerts would be Webcast, only to retract those plans a few days later at Mr. Daltrey’s insistence. Eventually, the band made a deal with Sirius SatelliteContinue readingTalking About Two Generations

Dancing Queen and the End of Popular Music

The other night, as I lay sweating in my mum’s flat in boiling England in the early hours, a crowd of 20 somethings spilled out of a nearby club. The usual hubbub of indistinct chatter ensued as they prepared to disperse. Then the females (I assume; I couldn’t actually see anything) started singing something together, and, gradually the song they were singing emerged: “Dancing Queen”, by Abba, released as a single in 1976. The lassies, who can’t have been born when it first came out, all knew the words (no big surprise, perhaps, given it’s been covered by 20 other artists and was rereleased byContinue readingDancing Queen and the End of Popular Music

Portability Over Quality: The MP3 Scam

I happen to be a new fan of Alva Noto, whose minimalist bleeps and hisses may not be everyone’s cup of tea. (My wife thinks we have mice.) Anyway, I’m also testing headphones so I’m sitting outside by the communal pool taking in his second album with Ryuichi Sakamoto (my hero; I once interviewed him in such a grovelling fashion I couldn’t bring myself to watch the recording of it afterwards. I think my toughest question was “What do you think makes you so talented?”) with a pair of Logitech noise-cancellers (I’d have to take them off to tell you which make, and I’m notContinue readingPortability Over Quality: The MP3 Scam

The Sandwich Board Goes Hi-tech

I thought we had gotten beyond the era of people walking around with advertising hoardings hung around their necks like some medieval punishment, but apparently it ain’t so. Adwalker (motto: ‘You’ve got to find some way of saying it without saying it’, which apparently is something that Duke Ellington said) says that by wearing the Adwalker i-pack, our personnel engage consumers at premium Out Of Home locations, delivering the highest quality brand experience through Adwalker’s Interactive applications. Actually, it’s not quite as awful as it sounds, and probably this is the direction that the advertising world is likely to go in: The Adwalker patented media platformContinue readingThe Sandwich Board Goes Hi-tech

The Air Guitar

There’s only one thing worse than air guitarists and that’s people who make fun of air guitarists. It’s a hallowed tradition going back to Jagger, Bowie and Noddy Holder. And now it’s technically feasible, thanks to the Finns who have made air guitarists’ rock dreams come true: The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the passionately played air guitar. Using a computer to monitor the hand movements of a “player”, the system adds riffs and licks to match frantic mid-air finger work. By responding instantly to a wide variety of gestures it promises toContinue readingThe Air Guitar

Copyright © 2020 loose wire blog. All Rights Reserved. | Catch Sketch by Catch Themes