November 2003 Archives

Synapsis: a carnivore client

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The latest piece I did in collaboration with ugn. I always wanted to build a client for carnivore, developed by rsg. Well, here it is! source and desktop client all included.

The live example is looking at all network traffic into and behind and retransmits the packet movement data to the web through flashcom. The recorded session is a 1 hour recording of wireless network traffic I did back in San Diego this year.

you can view it over here:
or mirrored over here


submit []:!body

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Currently being exhibited at the 6th Biennial of Video and New Media of Santiago
( 19 - 26 November 2003 ) !body is the first part of a 3 piece project that involves realtime differential-amplification of virtual bodies in physical places: submit[]

"submit[0]:!body is established in the connection of both physical and virtual spaces by infrared sensors and a database. Instead of a physical installation, !body consists of an intervention of the author's house by sensors; in this way his body is shifted to a fixed field of action (the place, his house, his home) that is displayed on the web; thus, from internet, the common space of the analitic reduction of the body-place-author is inhabited, his representation in this space is interfered, becoming body while occupying a space where both (the author's body, the user's body) share the same substrate: information."

Missing the bullseye with the RSS Newsreader clients?


Wow, though reading comments and viewing images from inside a RSS newsreader seems pretty sleek, I'm not really sure if I'm all for that.
I still think the killer functionality will be a properlly done post and news source rating system. Comeon, I want to trim down the ammount of information that I have to digest to get a picture of what everyone is talking about.
How long till we learn from slashdot's threshold system?

What I'm really looking forward for is a reader that will allow the community to collaborativelly rate each post. That way you'll be able to filter noise in the aggregators based on both general consensus (or dominant ideology) your trusted consensus (the people you choose to trust and allow to influence the filtering in your own feed) and personal preferences, creating your own, unique but communally balanced blend of news. mxna rates posts based on click-thourghs, but with this system a popular post doesn't mean it was a usefull one, most time popular posts are the ones with sensasionalist titles which end up having zero content.
The ammount of raw information being bombarded at us on any channel keeps on growing exponentialy, but still, there's nothing wrong about that. Have you ever tryed watching 180 tv channels at the same time on a video wall? no, you always tune into one and if you think about it it's always the tv show that everyone is talking about, and the one that you personally have interest in.

Current RSS Newsreaders are excellent for that, but they only allow you to tune in into channels (each blog) but still don't really help much in trimming the ammount of information a step further.
All that said unless I missed the point and involuntarilly went over the information telling me that something like this actually exists today:P



[ The "Tele-Actor" is a skilled human with cameras and microphones connected to a wireless digital network. Live video and audio are broadcast to participants via the Internet or interactive television. Participants not only view, but interact with each other and with the Tele-Actor by voting on what to do next. ]

Out of that project, comes tele-twister - login every friday from 12-1pm Pacific time to play.

Thumbs up for audience participation!

[via smartmobs]

Semiotics and GUI Design

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Is excessive realism in GUI Design helpful or harmful?

[ For one thing, the complexity of programming many GUI interfaces protects entrenched companies -- GUI programs, when built from scratch, require much greater capital expenditure before launching a new product than did character-based DOS or UNIX applications. More importantly, when users are only supposed to be aware of a "realistic" illusion of a desktop, and not of the computer itself, then they are fully at the mercy of the computer elite, completely reliant on experts when something goes wrong. The proponents of these "air-tight" interfaces often use cars as an analogy, claiming that "you don't have to be a mechanic to drive." True, but if your livelihood depends on a motor vehicle then you'd better know something about what's under the hood, or you'll find yourself at the mercy of fast-talking used-car dealers, unscrupulous mechanics, and breakdowns on deserted highways. A great painter doesn't forget canvas, brush, and paint, but fully integrates her knowledge of them with her abstract ideas to create art. Similarly, it is important for a computer artist to remember that it is a computer he is working on ]

very interesting article publised almost 10 years ago, strongly based on Andersen's
Theory of Computer Semiotics

yugo's opening party

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Last night Yugo hosted the opening party for his new office. Very nice place, it seems it used to be an old warehouse which was remodeled by the architecture studio he shares his space with. I showed up pretty late and couln't spend much time talking with anyone. By the time I was warming up and getting ready to spend the whole night with the bottle of whisky I had just found hidden deep below the realms of the kitchen, suddenly everyone started leaving in hordes. I never wanted to become the last fly on the counter and had no choice but bowing the master, who promised more drinks later, and headed home.
Well, I'm sure there'll be more chances in the near future to meet everyone again. 'till then...

phidgets: they're heeere!


This morning when I got to my desk, a great surprise was awaiting; a huge package from the University of Calgary - my phidgets are here!
wired the whole thing, plugged in a servo, plugged the USB Interface to my laptop and in a matter of no time I was moving it with a small VB app. nnnice!!
There was so much in there, servos, leds, RFID tags and readers, light sensors, force sensors, touch sensors, motion sensors...
Each hardware device in the kit comes with a pretty well documented ActiveX control (which means no worries at all about comm protocols, usb etc.), so next step will be wrapping the whole thing in screenweaver and building a flash API for it.
Once that's done, there's a couple of very interesting projects waiting in line I already have ton of sketches for.
...awww maaann... here we go my midnights again...