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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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