Tessel, Strangeloop, Patents, Free Software Documentary

Tessel looks like a hardware platform that could be the next Arduino. tessel.io

All the slides from the recent Strange Loop 2013 conference.

Could the insane software patent system in the US finally be about to be reformed?

Revolution OS is a documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.”

Richard Stallman seems like such a kind and good person.


Firepad, Bad time to buy a House, Design is One, Muscle Shoals, Glitch Architecture

Firepad is an open source collaborative code and text editor. It would be interesting to take the principles behind it and transform it into a video rather than text based workflow, for chaining effects and layering content.

“We were all corrupted by the housing boom, to some extent. People talked endlessly about how their houses were earning more than they did, never asking where all this free money was coming from. Well the truth is that it was being stolen from the next generation. Houses price increases don’t produce wealth, they merely transfer it from the young to the old – from the coming generation of families who have to burden themselves with colossal debts if they want to own, to the baby boomers who are about to retire and live on the cash they make when they downsize.”

It’s a bad time to buy an expensive house. (Does this hold true for the madness that is London?)

“The first fifty are very difficult…the second are great!”

“I wanted to affect the lives of millions of people”

Design is One. A film about Lella & Massimo Vignelli.

“What is it about Muscle Shoals? It’s just a little place.”


“I’m an Architect: I break things on purpose.”

Nitzan Bartov glitches architecture.


There are visual echo’s of Sir John Soane’s designs for the Bank of England – and that he presented the site in ruins as well as it would be when it was freshly constructed.

Steam OS, Many -duinos, Drakon, NoFlo and compiling to JS

Steam announces SteamOS.

The Microduino does exactly what is says on the tin, as does the Femtoduino. If you want to do some Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy – use the RFduino.

DRAKON is a visual language for specifications from the Russian space program. DRAKON is used for capturing requirements and building software that controls spacecraft.

The rules of DRAKON are optimized (sic) to ensure easy understanding by human beings.

DRAKON is gaining popularity in other areas beyond software, such as medical textbooks. DRAKON is universal. Its purpose is to represent any knowledge that explains how to accomplish a goal.”

Code from flowcharts! Wouldn’t this be a lovely way of learning openFrameworks? Perhaps the new visual editor that it’s being crying out for?

More flow based fun, from NoFlo. How do you do for loops?

Look at all the languages that you can compile to JavaScript now.

Three African Cities, Aeon, Calico

Three interesting African cities:

  • Lagos
  • Cape Town
  • Nairobi

These are the three places I’d set up media nodes in Africa if I was so inclined. They’ve all got great music and tech scenes.

Aeon Magazine is a new publication about “nature, culture and ideas” from Mag Culture.

“MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – September 18, 2013 – Google today announced Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases. Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, will be Chief Executive Officer and a founding investor.”

Being able to live forever seems like a pretty good employee perk.

Dioramas and Projection Mapping, Temboo, Webstreaming via Sockets

Beautiful Dioramas by Lori Nix. Imagine adding projection mapping to these.

“Ever wish your Arduino could respond to the weather on the other side of the world? Or send you an email to let you know what it’s up to? Upload stuff to your Dropbox account? Or detect if you’re at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals?”

Now you can, with the Arduino Yún and Temboo.

Finally, an example of live video streaming via Websockets using HTML5.

Police Surveillance, Pattern on the Stone, You are not a Gadget

I’ve just finished reading “Undercover” by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans. It’s terrifying. The lengths that that Special Branch and the British Police went to in order to infiltrate elements of UK society – including allowing undercover officers to form long term relationships with the people they were spying on – all to improve their cover. I can’t recommend the book enough.

Another book I would recommend, for completely different reasons, is “The Pattern on the Stone” by Danny Hillis. It describes the inner workings of computers, from top to bottom. One particular part that stood out for me was thinking about what it means when you send a message to someone physically – you are transporting it in space and time – in four dimensions. Saving also moves a message in four dimensions – three physical dimensions are fixed (discounting the movement of the Earth through the Universe) but time varies.

Danny has set up some very interesting companies – from Thinking Machines, to Applied Proteomics to Applied Minds. The Applied Minds offices sound wonderful – as does their interview technique.

The final of my recent reading Triumvate was “You Are Not A Gadget” by Jaron Lanier. Another firm recommendation – Jaron has some very interesting insights into the reality of all the hype surrounding the ability of artists to make a living online – and the stupidity of crowds (or mobs).

Finally, the Inca didn’t have any money at all. Could we do the same post scarcity?

Quicktime is Turing complete, Mega Man, anonymous but accountable discussion and TOR Usage

I remember my first job at UnitedVisualArtists was to make a Quicktime reader for D3. Turns out Quicktime is Turing complete!

The creator of Megaman is making a new game on Kickstarter.

“The Dissent project is a research collaboration between Yale University and UT Austin to create a powerful, practical anonymous group communication system offering strong, provable security guarantees with reasonable efficiency.”

TOR users have doubled in the last month.