Archive for August, 2003

Television would be the black hole of amateur sociologizing of foreign cultures. So avoiding actual content, just examine the mirror-world exterior. New sets are in cinematic ratios, jetsons against the flintstone US ratios. Some time after buying a set, and the television detector van comes round, the TV license fee shows up in the post. The vans smell of a Brazil-style-dystopian myth, but are apparently real and accurate, unless you live in a council tower block. And then there’s teletext.

Lurking in the TV vertical blanking interval, is a 16 color digital netherworld. Somewhere, someone types and designs Apple IIe style screens of breaking news, weather, tv schedules, sports scores. Falling somewhere between the Internet and watching grass grow, it’s a wonderful hack. Choose a page, and wait until it’s rebroadcast, in a never ending loop of thousands of 45-byte packets.

Totally amazing to see pioneering digital info, sneak into a nation’s living room (and many other places worldwide). And a totally baffling relic. A feel so old, you can only imagine elderly and desperate Britons on holiday in Spain typing, and waiting. Yet, in some it inspires a bizarre nostalgia and bitterness…

we see yet another example of the decline in the BBC’s teletext output as the BBC encourage an ever increasing number of hits to their BBC World website.

As it slowly dies, perhaps teletext can be handed over to artists and designers. German teletext porn has already been inspirational.

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beastly plugs

Mirror-world. The plugs on appliances are huge, triple-pronged, for a species of current that only powers electric chairs, in America.

william gibson’s mirror-world concept, gleefully revisited again and again in pattern recognition. This mirror-world meme finds a fertile ground in my thoughts for reproduction and mutation. Something as primary and unnoticed as 240V, could possibly reverberate systematically. What are the psycho-social effects of these beastly plugs, with built-in fuse?

Like British street furniture, they’re chunkily over-engineered, built to see through 1,000 years of Empire. And stubbornly completely different from the rest of Europe, and the US. The fortune spent on plug adapters…

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No more definite sign, of relentless physicality scraping at the digital, … than cleaning out the mouse ball goop. There should be a word for this stuff.

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walking

Did a hike (or in Mirror World, walk) …
down the Cuckmere Valley, past the ancient town of Alfriston, to the coast, at Seven Sisters. Famous chalk cliffs, washed down with cheddar ploughman’s and pint of bitter.
a few more pics

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Location, now what?

For an idea of what you can do with Location-aware weblogging..

for you consideration my geocoded Photo Album and map view.

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Location tool now uses icbm namespace

Location tool now uses icbm namespace

Matt Croydon points out that there already exists a nearly equivalent rss namespace to “geo” … “icbm”.

So, to avoid duplication, I’m switching the Radio Userland Location tool to generate locations in RSS using this namespace.

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the Weapons of Ripley Castle

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Foster’s Gherkin, London

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Rye, England

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the other Pavilion, Brighton

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