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Kill the Flash

clicktoflashEngadget.pngclicktoflashSpiegel.pngMy disdain for Flash has been well documented here on this blog. It the most ugly pervasive piece of software bugging the universe since its introduction and it gets more and more ugly with each iteration - especially on the mac. That ugliness is not only shown in the creation environment - sporting an interface that is only usable for people who are total masochists but also in its exclusiveness and non-openess of the resulting content (closed containers of anything on the web need to just simply go to hell) riddled with patents all throughout surpressing any healthy developer community that is not just in it for the fame of making the worst usable interface but its plugin iteration installed on million of mac is also DOG FUCKING SLOW. Next to the horrible Skype its the only other program that can make my computer feel like its trying to render a 3d animation on 1992 hardware - and its just rendering freaking vectors and a couple of mostly low res pixels - cross checking with some advanced compositing applications has revealed that the drawing code in Flash must have some extra loops in it to make it extra super slow and trying to make the power companies rich by trying to make the computer work harder and therefore draw more power then it needs to.
Flash 10 makes matters WAY worse - besides the press release copying outlets (MacTechnews, Golem f.e.) claiming otherwise. While with Flash 9 you could possibly open 10-15 movies side by side without crashing your browser or bringing everything to a complete halt (smoothly playing seems only possible with max of 3 video res movies at the same time) Flash 10 does barely one with 80% processor utilization - make it two and you are in 10-15 frames per second land. Well it just speeds up Flashs total selfdestruction and might speed up ramming through HTML5 (video/audio embed tags) and CSS3(animation) and SVG (vectors vectors vectors) in the end.
In the meantime I saw Todd sporting a handy small plugin for Firefox that displayed just green squares where there should be Flash content and you could click on it to display the actual content - since I am not using Firefox (too slow on a Mac) but rather use Safari I didnīt bother to ask what the plugin is called but today I stumbled over a similar plugin for Safari. It even works with the yet unreleased WebKit nightly builds (which I run exclusively - I like to be on the edge of things - and unlike Flash - Safari will see a tremendous boost in speed in its next iteration which everyone can already enjoy using a nightly build of Webkit). So for getting rid of Flash without getting totally rid of it - because well people like putting Videos in a container of a container of a browser of a OS - and I like/need to watch movies at points - there is the Safari plugin called ClickToFlash. You get grey boxes with a gradient and a "Tasteful 'Flash' icon now drawn on top of" it (the developer). Click on the box and the flash content loads on demand. I am enourmously happy. And for Webdeveloper still thinking its a good idea to put any flash in menus or other content that is not absolutely requiring flash (no content really is but that is a different issue) - screw yourself - get a live - learn how to use open standards - I will be unable to navigate your site in the future and so do many many more people. A nice side effect btw is that all ads seems to be completely vanished except for pure text google adsense - didnīt even notice that ads are nowadays almost exclusively flash - browsing just got so much more uncluttered, faster and better :)
You can download the very open source code and a prebuild installer (scroll down because that is what you want) here.


GateHouse vs. NYT - they settle out of court

In what for me is a very dissapointing outcome of the high profile lawsuit between GateHouse and the New York Times both sides have agreed to settle the case before anything could be cleared. While I donīt like lawsuits this could have actually meant that artists could be a bit more protected when the publish their work from greedy companies/scrupelous bloggers making money with their art. There is still the big grey zone of embeds not falling under copyright because they might be considered links (my research has shown that it might not be the grey zone some think it is and it quite clearly defined in a different lawsuit (US) and in law opionions(Germany) still no clear law will give insentive to the greedy). I have no clue why the EFF wants to support bussiness models that take the work from people who are offering for free and use it to make money by just posting links - I always thought the EFF supports the small people on the net - this lawsuit - while beeing fought between two media giant - could have actually put some legal ground on the definition of legal copyright AND copyleft in the age of hyperlinking with nobody really coming to harm other then the two media giants (not a big shame at all).
To make my point clear again - there is a growing sense that you can make a bussiness modell that is close to traditional TV or radio - but instead of paying a single cent to the well meaning content creators that put their content out for the world at large to enjoy without fear of procescution - you just take their content wrap some ads around it and enjoy making money by not doing anything other then copy and paste a link now and then - all the while the original author does not get a single cent out of this endaevour - or has a say what kind of commercial are around his content. That is a growing concern from content creators - one that has yet to be adressed either by law or at least by words or action from institutions like the EFF or Creative Commons. Seeing the EFF siding with the lawlessness that is currently favoring just those companies that have deep pockets and can threaten everyone with their lawyers while those without the "institutional standing" of the RIAA just have to pray for the goodwill of mankind - we all know how well that goes (he says looking at the bonuses for bankers of just bailed out banks).

PS: I have been made aware of a recent draft RDFa that at least wants to send along license information with content - I have no clue yet (read I didnīt have enough time to go through the spec) how that might affect above problems but be sure that I will report about it ones I have a clearer understanding.


The Story of a Runic Stone

This has to be the best museum installation I have ever seen. It presents the original exhebition piece - the runic stone Mejlbystenen. It explains its meaning - it invites to play - it looks pretty and its provides room for imagination thus making the stone itself an interface between the old and new world. Absolutely stunning.


Microsofts QRCode - epic fail

microsoftsQR_mobile-tags.jpegStaying on the bridge between real life and virtuality QRCodes have been really loved around here. We have stickers for our blogs with them and had a party in the woods that you almost only found when you decoded the QRCode puzzle in the woods.
Now Microsoft beeing Microsoft has seen that QRCodes are cool but it wouldnīt be Microsoft if they wouldnīt take a perfect solution and make their own absolute unworkable proprietary solution with big copyright written all over it.
Why unworkable? Because its color of course - not only is it harder to print out color as a long lasting printout (it fades in the sun mostly) - it is also not decipherable in the dark by crappy phone cameras which already have some problems with the current black on white high contrast QRCodes (we try to remedy that in the next iteration by printing negative QRs on self glowing paper). Epic fail as per usual - you would think they never test any of their stuff outside of the lab.


Location Based News on the EiPhone

I really like location based services and am intrigued by the possibilities that GPS offers as an interface between the real world and the virtual world (I am obsessed with interfaces that bridge reality and virtuality) so naturally a location based news service is clearly in the "how cool" column of my thinking. I mean just walking down the street in a foreign country and reading the gossip of the neighboorhood, see what parties look like on private blogs photos and reading about the latest murder around the corner (well I could live without that I guess). Radar is an EiPhone app that introduces this kind of service. Its probably a cool idea to start a past time skating around towns collecting news and then read them relaxedly at home. Awesome.

Via Mashable via Eyebeam.

Skelewags? Fine Urban Berlin Streetart

safari-skelewags-urban-painting.jpgThe Berlin Streetart Blog I have not stumbled over but it eventually had to happen as Berlin is currently overflowing with the finest of the best that streetart has to offer. Head over there for real cool streetart from the underestimated city. The Skelewags from the artist Chewie shown here are really neat.

Thanks to Quang for the heads up (he needs a blog ;).

COnsume more - the font

consume-Sample.jpegConsumeMoreFontSheet.pngFor everybody to get the message out: CONSUME MORE TO SAVE THE WORLD - here now the font to the campaign (just kidding of course but the font is real).

From SMeltery the friendly french font foundry and yes its free for all to download.

PoD: Butterfly Tea

butterflytea.jpegI am a 100% tea drinker (no coffee that is) and I like lightly flavored tea - perhaps I like butterfly tea? Na I stick with the yak butter tea ;) This lovely image from etsy seller madelaine intrigued me to try it if I wouldnīt be vegetarian.


The Oamaru Declaration of Independence

Via Citizen Renaissance comes this highly thoughtful text. A redo of the Jefferson declaration of independence by Dr. Susan Krundieck of the New Zealand Transition Towns Network. It tackles everything there is wrong in a some short paragraphs - to bad its just words again.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Justice, the pursuit of Happiness, a Healthy Natural Environment and Sustainability for ourselves, the Third Generation and the Seventh Generation.

— That to secure these rights, Organisations are instituted among Communities, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Members,

— That whenever any Form of Economy becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Relationship, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Economic Relationships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them and their environment to ruin, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Economic Constraints, and to provide new Guards for their future security and sustainability.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of this community; and such is now the necessity which constrains us to alter our former Systems of Business Growth for its own Sake and Environmental Exploitation. The history of the present Theory of Economics is a history of repeated disasters, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over communities and the environment. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, felled our forests, polluted our water and fouled our air.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited our talents, put us into debt, degraded our culture and eroded our relationships with the members of our community.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited mineral resources which by right should belong to people in perpetuity in order to obscenely enrich a few in the short term.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has paved our farms, sprawled our towns, and destroyed the quality of live of our people and their children and grandchildren.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has convinced us, for more than a century, to ignore the voice of scientific knowledge and reason in order to continue the acidification of our air and oceans through Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides and Carbon Dioxide emissions from combustion of fossil fuels.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited the labour of people and environments that have no protection from ill use, and has persecuted people who worked for economic justice and equality.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has assaulted the morality of our youth and treated them as a target market rather than with the respect of future citizens and community members.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has corrupted the purpose of our governance and civic institutions, it has usurped the purpose of our curiosity and research efforts, and it has shifted the motivation for the education of our young from development of their intellect and character to exploitation of their labours for further growth of the economy.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Transition Committee of Oamaru, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this community, solemnly publish and declare, That this Community is, and of Right ought to be Free, that we are Absolved from all unsustainable and perverse requirements of the Growth Economy for its own Sake, and that all connection between this Community and the Growth Economy, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a Free and Sustainable Community, we have full Power to reduce fuel and electricity consumption, restore our environment, protect our culture, nurture our agricultural assets, set aside our resources, refrain from extracting minerals, stone or fossil fuels, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Local Commerce based on our own principles and theories, and to do all other Acts and Things which Sustainable Communities may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Emotional story that comes with the text can be found on transitionculture.org.

Autodesk cuts jobs looses executive

Oh this is so not good. After buying up all serious 3d programs on the market and trying to overtake the whole VFX sector Adobe style (meaning: create a monopoly) they are now facing financial struggles and cut 750 jobs (thats a lot for a company that size) - let me guess that most these are talented people making 3d apps which have become abundant at the company because they brought in two full additional teams of them to their already existing three teams they had. Oh and they lost their Executive Chairman to Yahoo. I really hope for Autodesk to not affect certain 3d software that they just bought - now that Maya finally is usable on the Mac and a homogenous VFX production is on the horizon with Toxic and Mudbox.

Full story ironically enough on Yahoo finance.


Ice Cream or Chicken Nugget?

chicken-mcnug.jpegThis is what a chicken (mc or king) nugget looks like before its put into pure gluten and deep fried in trans fat.

Good Bye President Bush

Maybe you should get a job as an entertainer next...

4 chords make up all of Pop Music Successes?

I am a pure consumer of music - I donīt care who did what - I canīt remember band names singers, composers, djs - music I either like or I donīt - period. So naturally I have no underlying understanding of notations chords or whatnot - but this little videosong is very eye-opening as it puts pretty much all iconic pop songs played on radio up and down in heavy rotation all in one - what you would think would end up in a horrible mess of music jumbo mambo instead sounds like one song. Apparently they all have the same chord underneath which makes them pretty much all the same song. So if you want to make a Nr. 1 hit use these chords and be a star :) I must say that this puts an interesting twist on copyright right there. Why are the record labels not suing the shit out of each other - they are clearly copying them self.

and read the comments on YouTube - people are adding to the list of songs that could go into this - it seems endless...

Found on the (horribly) pink ShinyShiny blog.


Israel you are behaving like Hitler

André Nouschi - himself a jew and combatant of the Free French Forces in WWII and a historian wrote the following letter to Israel Ambassador to France. Since my own words would be too cynical in face of the human suffering that is happening in Palestine I post his letter instead as it reflects the what I have been thinking pretty perfectly.

Tuesday the 13th, January 2009

Mr Ambassador,

For you it's shabat, it should be a day of peace but it's one of war. For me, and for a few years already, colonisation and the theft of Palestinian land by Israel is exasperating. I'm therefore writing to you as a French citizen, as a Jew and as someone who worked for the agreement between the Univerity of Nice and that of Haiffa ...

It is not possible anymore to remain silent with respect to the Israeli policy of assassination and imperialist expansionism. You are behaving exactly like Hitler behaved in Europe with Austria and Czechoslovakia.

You are in contempt of UN resolutions like he of those the SDN and you are assassinating women and children; do not invoke terrorism, the Intifada. This is a direct result of ILLEGAL and ILLEGITIMATE colonisation. IT IS THEFT. You are behaving like land thieves and you are turning your back to the rules of jewish morality.

Shame on you! Shame on Israel! You are digging your grave without realizing it. Because you are condamned to live with Palestinians and the Arab states. If you're lacking this political ingenuity, then you are unfit to be in politics and your leaders should retire. A country that assassinates Rabin and glorifies his assassin is a country without moral and without honor.

May the heavens and your God kill Sharon the assassin. You were defeated in Lebanon in 2006. You will be defeated again, I hope, and you will send to their death many young Israelis because you did not have the courage for peace.

How can jews, who have suffered so much, imitate their hitlerian tormentor? As far as I'm concerned, since 1975, colonisation brings back old memories, those of hitlerism. I cannot tell the difference between your leaders and those of Nazi Germany!

Personally, I will fight you with all I can just like I did between 1938 and 1945, until the justice of man destroys hitlerism which is at the heart of your country. Shame on Israel. I hope your God will launch against its leaders the vengeance they deserve. I am ashamed as a jew, as a WW2 veteran, for you. May your God curse you until the end of times! I hope you will be punished.


Media Embeds copyrighted in the USofA!

I have just stumbled over an article that was a link in a story about the GateHouse vs. NYT lawsuit. It is amazingly enough two years old but it explains the lawsuit of a motocross company SFX Motor Sports against someone called Robert Davis. Mr. Davis used embedded media from the SFX Motor Sports Company on his own site. SFX does need the people on their site because the few sponsors the motocross scene has (its a tiny teeny scene with way less revenue most people would think - I had short contact with it ages ago) want to be seen.
So SFX went to court in Texas - their home state - and won the case. What that means - is that I was totally correct when I said some moons ago in the discussion I had that embeds are links - this is legal precedence and is very unlikely to be ever overturned. That means that in Germany and in the US its definitive that all embeds fall under their applied copyright license (normal copyright, or Creative Commons or whatever there comes) - that means that people using embeds with a NonCommercial Attribution License on their blogs and having ads on their blogs are violating copyright law - of course only if the Creative Commons Foundation ever pulls their head out of their butt and clarifies what commercial means in the realm of the web - or adds an "advertisment free" license to its license collection - in the meantime I think all blogs with ads are commercial - lets see if I am correct in that assumption as well - lawsuit to follow in three month :)

Here is the (copyrighted) C|Net article about it. The missing link I was looking for such a long time.

Gatehouse vs. NYT Link Lawsuit - Creative Commons involved....

When I posted the article about the GateHouse vs. New York Times lawsuit and put out the thought argument that this lawsuit is really about copyright then constricting linking and that it would be a good thing for Creative Commons if GateHouse won - even so that most bloggers out there seem to disagree with that idea - I have been digging up some more dirt about the lawsuit and looked at the content of GateHouse that they want to protect
The surprise was apparent when I opened the site and has put me all the more in favor of a GateHouse win - they publish all their content under a Creative Commons Non Commercial Attribution License.
So the lawsuit - and that has not been made clear by big media - is about exact the same issue that not even 4 month ago I said needs solving in court at one point - namely that if you deep link to someone content - like make an embed of a video - or in the case of the lawsuit post and excerpt of the text with a headline - which is under a non commercial license and you have advertisement on your blog/newspaper aggregator site (like the new york times) you are violating copyright law. This lawsuit - if won by GateHouse - would dramatically shift the web into a commercial free zone as people who still want to have traffic either have to do it totally non profit and link only to creative common content that is under a NCA license promting in turn to basically force everyone to just publish NCA content or become totally unlinked and therefore unloved. That would be a huge boon to creative commons - it would also clear the original issue of embeds being links or not because either way CC license would have to be adhered to.
What it also means is that each and any site making money by just aggregating links and content without creating their own content and actually needing the money to operate is likely doomed - no loss here. There would still be the same content its just that you might have to actually go to the person who created it. Not a bad thing for those that create content rather then just spread it - or those endeavors would be purely driven by enthusiasts (not making money) and they would only link to NC licensed content - not to bad for Creative Commons and other free licenses.

John Duncan said in a comment on the Buzzmachine:

Fair use was not designed to allow companies to build businesses around copyrighted content by taking the most interesting stuff for free and then selling advertising next to it, even if that content does generate some traffic for the content originator itself. It was designed to allow content owners to reproduce small parts of each others’ work to avoid permission requests for everything.

The whole lawsuit court documents can be found here.

So much for change

I wasnīt aware of the fact that Obama has choosen secretary of agriculture already, but what I just read about Tom Vilsack - the person who will be responsible for the path of feeding of the american people in the next 4 years - is making me shiver. Pro Genetical Modified Food, Pro Big Agriculture - totally against any sustainable agriculture, pro chemical companies very close to Monsanto. I suggest you feed Roundup Ready directly to the American People - maybe then they donīt have to suffer year long cancer pain.

Fixing the food supply chain would have been such a positive signal throughout the world as it implicates use of oil, poisoning the environment and poisoning peoples bodies - you know the all around solution for 3 out of 5 of the most stemming problems in the world. Someone must see the relationship of cancer rates where you have an 33% chance of getting cancer in your life with an upward trend and the use of chemicals in agriculture - not even to speak of habitats becoming uninhabitable deserts and bees dying en mass. This chance seems to be given away to corporate lobbying and black suitcases changing hands at Monsantos compounds.

All things considered - Obama is a neat package to the same old - all "charme" aside - there is still "all option on the table" for attacking Iran - there is no stance against aggression of Israel to the Palestinians (heck the incoming administration does not even have the balls to say anything - at least with Bush you knew which site they where on).
I know some of you have been saying it all along (fRED I am looking at you) but I do give people the benefit of the doubt until prooven guilty - for me now proofed guilty.

That means for all average american out there living in their beloved country, admiring their advanced culture - you standing around these parts of the world has not improved. Better put more pressure on your leaders by forming a 3rd party and overthrow the thugs that are your government past present and future.

It seems in america there are only two kinds of politicians - those who have guts but are ultra right wing corporistas and want to nuke the world around them and enslave all people or those who have no spine whatsoever and play the ultra right wing corporistas symphony along.

I guess that also means the organic garden on the white house lawn will not happen either - I feel bad for the guys driving around the US on their own dime to raise awareness of the food issue from The WHO farm now that they garnered a lot of international attention.


Adbusting in Berlin - Photoshopping a Model

photoshop_adbusting_berlin_3-600x398.jpegphotoshop_adbusting_berlin_1-600x398.jpegI really love this idea of adbusting that is going on in Berlin at various locations. It makes the poster look like its being worked on in Photoshop showing how to fake the look of the "stars" with gloomybloomylayers and lots of gaussian blurs and stamp brushes to eradicate any signs of real life like aging, pimples and natural spots on the skin. In addition it adds some subliminal messages to it - like the "consume" layer - I am sure some advertisement companies would love the patent on that one :)

More over at brandinfection


A new Era of Airships to come upon us?

Aeolus-Christopher-Ottersbach.jpegYou know state where I live saw the death and the rebirth of one of the coolest vehicles ever built by humans (sans the bicycle). When the Hindenburg crashed the era of airships came to an unforeseen end - even so the concepts for future airships had everything you ever wanted - slow quite low fuel flight across the world. The problem with the Hindenburg was of course the wrong filling - you ainīt put a high explosive gas in huge quantities atop people and wrap it with burning fabric and install sparking engine beneath it - the consequences where that the only airships you could see since then have been the small blimps that are mainly used for advertisments and low altitude tourist tours (very few at that). about 10 years ago not far from where the Hindenburg crashed someone secured lots of funds from the government to revive the airship in all its glory. Sadly the guy was not good at bussiness and besides building the biggest hall mankind ever build - for the construction of the airships - nothing has come out of this endeavoure except the dream that airships are actually a really nice way to travel and transport goods (if you leave out the highly exploding hydrogen of course). The concepts even showed feasibility to transport goods as much as trains do but with much less environmental cost. Now the construction hall is a fake rainforest eating up so much CO2 that you could power a whole city and need another rainforest to offset the costs - and its horrible sterile from what I heard.
So by now you should be aware that I love airships - to my delight Inhabitat - my favorite "green" blog - has posted an article about a Zeppelin that could be straight out of a sci-fi movie - except that it exists and roams the earth pedal powered (so it combines the two most amazing vehicles ever created by mankind ;) in a zen slow smooth kind of way. It can land everywhere without any infrastructure needed.
The caveat? Helium - the gas that fills the sail.

Although the gas is the second most abundant element in the universe, it is a relatively rare and finite resource on Earth and must be extracted via low temperature gas liquefaction or recovered from natural gas.

There always is a problem... Nonetheless there is hope that this might catch on and we find a synthetic gas that can be had more easy!

More pictures here.


Facebook (& co) the new Microsoft

Lock-In - Megamassmarket - Proprietary - driven by advertisment. That are things that I connect straight to Microsofts Windows - which has no right on the digital planet by what it does - the only way it survives is because it has the successfully locked in a mega mass market with proprietary mechanisms and keeps itself alive through an advertising budget that is larger then the GDP in some African countries. Luckily its a slowly dying dinosaur. Yet we wouldnīt be humans if we wouldnīt fall for the same traps over and over again - not learning a thing about past mistakes and here we go into 2009 and I have recieved 20 facebook spams - ähm friendship requests - already. Now my take on the whole social networking has always been clear - I am not spending my time on something that makes other people rich while there is no apparent value to human kind or even worse it halts innovation and true progress.
I truly believe that facebook and myspace (and the german studiVZ) are clearly aiming to become the new microsoft and want to lock in their users and control the content the users see and make it hard for them to switch - and the most proprietory of them - facebook - the only one who did not join the open social endeavor - seems to be the winner of them all.
Now if you look at a facebook user page (my gf has one to my distress) it already mimics an operating system nicely with "webapps" and a task bar and such. Now what is it offering again? Basically what it is is a glorified chat system with some blogging functionality and a working RSS feed implementation. The only thing its good at is combining these tools and organize the output. It does so by making "friends" the upper category of organization. I donīt understand the concept of "friends" that you are unable to track through your live except with a digital tool - I do sincerely think people that you are unable to track with your own memory are not real friends and might be even too uninteresting in the first place to even be acquaintances. You know there are people I contact or they contact me after I have not "spoken" (in any sense of the word) to them in over 5 years and yet both sides tracked each other over the years because there was more then a hyperlink connecting us.
Now organizational tools are not bad per se. Indeed one could argue the popularity of the social network sites is because people need to organize their input stream somehow. I think its laziness to learn the underlying principles of the web and understand that all the tools to connect to your friends and make them aware of your output are there without facebook et all - the most often reason I hear when I challenge someone why they are using a social network site is "it makes it so easy". I think some of the 2nd tier (facebook becoming the Nr.1) sites going belly up in the next few month and the people see their "friends" disappearing because their content was locked in - all the time they spend on the site that they thought is theirs but isnīt and maybe even some of the content they put up goes into the "wrong" hands and is being used to make ridicule out of them (its not their content anymore anyway) might see an awakening. Until then maybe there is hope to make a decentralized open source open community out of the internet again and not a giant hub of advert sponsored data mining endeavor.

Meanwhile please to all my "friends" out there: Please donīt send me more facebook/mysapce/studiVZ spam - I have enough other spam problems already. I wonīt join even if 90% of the world is signed up.


Modbook Pro: Multifingertouch Tablet not made by Apple

You know I get quite the heat in the comments for daring to criticize Apple over their lack of innovation in the Pro sector lately. Yes I was wishing for a widespread adoption of multitouch - you know something radical. I know multitouch works great not only for pros or live artists but for everyone and the conservative stand by Apple to not include it yet.
Now Axiotron comes back to the scene after already converting the plastic MacBooks into tablets they are now converting MacBookPros into finger multitouch tablets as well. For $5000 its yours. Gosh that would actually be a nice thing for VJing. Except for the glossy screen that then is not only glossy but also smeary. Now why apple aint doing it is beyond me - it cant be the smeary screen as they have no problem with glossy which is about as bad as smeary.

Read more about it over at Boy Genius. Thanks Tom for the headups.

Toxic on OSX - Bye bye Shake?

Autodesk is going OSX big time - and its about time. The company that for such a long time has been neglecting the OSX platform almost completely (exception is combustion) and only continued bought in packages on OSX (maya) has been making some big announcements. Toxic - their compositing package - with an pretty awesome keyer and an interface that enhance the node tree interface concept (its really nice) is coming. Now that the market for compositing packages on OSX was narrowed to only to the Foundries Nuke after the long negligence of Shake by Apple itself (what a shame) (and I am not counting After Effects as a serious compositing package) Autodesk has seen the light and brings over Toxic. I wont complain at all - competition is great - even so Autodesk could use some of that themself especially in the 3d market where they bought up all major 3d packages over the last two years (they posses now 3DStudioMax (its always been theirs), Maya and Softimage). Speaking of 3d - Mudbox is also coming to the Mac and I really really am happy about that announcement. ZBrush has abondend the Mac platform and lost all Mac users in the process for once and all by promising to port version 3 forever (2 years and counting) and never delivering on their promise - just last year Mudbox was catching up to ZBrush and even surpassing it in some features (real time displacement and realtime HDR is just the bomb) now its coming to my current workplatform and it will be probably a nice addition to the toolchain.
As for imagemodeller - never really used that program canīt really comment on it but the more the merrier I would say.


Screw you Apple - seriously just screw you

Macworlds come and go. Mostly they are disappointing because the hype has been too much - that did not used to be that way - there where some Macworld keynotes which had this one more thing moment that actually rocked the boat. Over the last years - you know the time when apple got mainstream - they got worse and worse - and this one I didnīt even bother to watch - luckily - it easily hands down the most disappointing sell out Macworld Apple has ever done. Even the fanboys are in agreement and that says something. You know when its bad when the most interesting thing is for software apple gives away for free together with their macs. The sad thing is that software and OS wise they donīt really have a competitor - so they are not needing innovation. Jugding from the Snow Leopard seeds the next OS will also be not as hot as one might want (so at least OpenCL seems promising). But what Apple is offering for their "big" hardware announcement hopefully creates a backlash that sends shivers down thin Steves spine.

No removable battery (yes its 8 hours under "apples perfect circumstances that nobody ever can replicate" meaning probably about 5 hour of real life performance). It supposed to last for "up to" 1000 cycles. Well all batteries I ever had from Apple "lasted" 1000 cycles - they became unusable after 400 cycles - thats under my "normal" use about 1.5 years.
Oh and you can now get an "antiglare" option for your screen - you know the ones that some LCD TVs try to get you with - for a whopping $50. Form follows function - that used to be Apple - its now "make it more glossy so more people find it lickable - forget about function" and then when there is a huge outcry "make it an add on that is worse then before and have the suckers pay for it on top".
Oh and the price... Oh forget about it. The market for the next year will be sub $500 lappies. This one approaches above $3000 lappy - you must be kidding Apple. I hope you loose some market share and you loose all your coolness factor because then you might become innovative again and make usable machines that people that who actually use them adore and not just put on their marble desks next to the gold plated pens for other people to look at.

Then again its Apple and I am sure they are brewing something cool and somehow its relieving that you can have a laptop for more then 3 years and not feel you have an old machine (as it will happen with my current MBP which is still pretty much on par with the current line after 1.5 years sans the "battery saving integrated graphic card" which I can happily live without as long as I have a matte screen - and that you can prey off my cold dead hands). There is still multitouch looming to take over or some other gesture control - and I am sure we will see something done with it by Apple sooner or later that is not just a glorified trackpad. Until then farewell Apple I hope you loose some money you have in the bank and get back to basic.


Winter is only Winter if there is snow

hausinwinter.jpgI canīt say enough how much I love snow. For some reason a winter without snow drags me down to no end. This year we are blessed and the snow fairy has dumped piles of glittery powder into the garden and the sun is shining on it as if it would be a new beginning.
What for the live of it I canīt figure out is why the inside of the house is warmer when there is snow outside. There is no logical explanation (no its not the roof covered in snow - as the downstairs is especially warm and the snow is not that high that it would actually insulate anything) - even Willows feet are warm - which is a sensation in its own right. In any way - for me there can never be too much snow and its supposed to snow more in the next days - bring it on winter fairy.


Embedding Content - Are Links Exempt from Copyright? The Lawsuit

Last year there was this highly linked discussion here on this blog prompted by a discussion on BoingBoing about the state of embedded media and the creative common license on ad filled (commercial) blogs. One of the arguments why the Creative Commons License would not even apply at all for embedded media content was that all embeds are links - a kind of bombshell for content creators using the creative commons license and wanting to be sure its not used by others to make money with your content. Asking some lawyers around the world and some emails from and to the Creative Commons foundation later the issue has not been resolved. The foundation was that here in Germany embeds are protected under normal copyright/left they where published - where in the states embedded content is seen as links.
Interestingly this morning comes in news that there is a high profile high stakes lawsuit going on in the USofA that will clearify exactly if links themself fall under copyright. While "the freedom of the net is at stake" is the headlines you will see around the world I have a different take on that. In GateHouse vs. The Times Company GateHouse is accusing the Times that they are aggregating Headlines for their local news service "Your Town" by bypassing GateHouses original news writing completely with just grabbing the headlines and linking to the original article - meanwhile the claim that people never click on the links and just read the headlines on the Your Town website - you know like google news et al does.
Putting links under copyright law would be an interesting feat. It would allow the big news corps to put their stories under copyright and all links to it - theoretically driving the traffic spike up and controlling the content 100%. On the otherhand small blogs who have been linking to these newspaper websites would all of the sudden not be allowed to do that anymore. Now this is where Creative Commons comes into play and the reason the lawsuit - if lost by the Times - would clear up the original issue. If you place the links (or embeds if you think embeds are links) under creative commons - people can link to you again - that would most likely mean a boost of creative commons content because websites want to be linked to. The content and the links have a clear legal status and we just have to figure out that pesky problem of commercialism of a website and the web would have more legal legs in the end.
This will not be the spin you will hear. Since the bigger end of the lawsuit is ironically enough one of the biggest news headline setters in the US they will fight tooth and nail against the lawsuit and will spin it into direction that the freedom of the tubes is at stakes because its exactly these companies who want to benefit from free content and have the advertisers lined up to actually make money of it - compared to those small local journalistic entities or artists for that matter - who never see a dime for actually creating the work. I would love the sleeping Creative Commons Foundations to actually embrace a ruling for putting the whole link business on legal ground as at the moment its a dark shade of grey ruling the land of the clicks and embeds. And while they are at it release an addition to their license that says "Do not use on websites with advertisment" just to make that clear.

Good Morning 2009

To all that have not personally recieved new years blessings and to all who care - I wish you a great 2009. May the world wake up from last century and we go into a bright sustainable nature connected future full of pleasant surprises and pecked with knowledge wonderful things.