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Digitization

Human Media

A recent, and very disturbing, ad-campaign pretended that homeless people were wifi hotspots. It was a gag, but they were paid to wear t-shirts that said “I’m [insert name], I’m a 4G hotspot.” What to do with vagrant, impoverished populations? I know, turn them into mobile transponders and pay them! …

The Price of Books

A debate on the debate of e-book pricing at the NY Times. The back and forth relates to the suit against Apple and the publishers, essentially on behalf of Amazon. Leveling a monopoly to ensure a monopoly is a nice sign of the times we live in. So is the …

The Unconscious of Labor

An amazing interview at Spark with Luis von Ahn, inventor of those blurry text boxes that you have to type in to prove you’re a human when you want to fill out a form. Ahn is one of those people whose mind just solves things. So after feeling guilty that …

Piracy and the Historical Record

A nice piece at The Technologizer on the importance of piracy for the preservation of digital materials. Like an ant that works as part of a larger system it doesn’t understand, the selfish action of each digital pirate, when taken in aggregate, has created a vast web of redundant data …

Going Postal

A funny new project by Giles Turnbull who along with a few friends decided to send their Twitter posts as postcards instead of electronically. It gives a renewed vitality to the word “post.” One of the most basic things it shows is just how expensive printed communication is by comparison. …