Monday, September 21, 2009

More on the Other One

While writing here has been sporadic lately, I have also added stuff to my teaching blog, Augmented Reality. A short explanation of my research work and a text on Virtual Worlds, Culture and Technology.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Contract Presented by Blogger, Google and Picasa

I am almost certain I own the copyright to the above image of my avatar in Second Life, while the avatar itself is the property of Linden Lab. Its a good thing because Google is now demanding a contract of the End User License Agreement (EULA) variety to be agreed to for every image that is uploaded to the Picasa Web Albums server they run through Blogger. Things are gradually tightening up on the electronic frontier. Shall we review the EULA? I personally have a deep interest in these forms of contract which attempt to control responses to digital media.

Firstly in order to use the Picasa Web Albums service you must be "of legal age to form a binding contract and are not a person barred from receiving services under the laws of the United States or other applicable jurisdiction" (Picassa). Those under the age of 18 are now banned from using the service. This is keeping in line with Google contracts of use of search, YouTube, Gmail, news, or images. As Chris Soghoian points out:

Google's terms of service, thick with legalese, state that:

"You may not use ... Google's products, software, services and web sites ... and may not accept the Terms if ... you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google.

Incredible when one thinks about it, those under 18 are not legally allowed to use YouTube! But back to Picassa, under the heading Appropriate Conduct we (you) are reminded;

You understand that all information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, advertisements, messages or other materials ("Content") are the sole responsibility of the person from which such Content originated.

The contract on Picasa coincides with what could be the greatest challenge yet to the Google empire. the United States Federal Justice Department stated yesterday that they wish the agreement between between Google and the Authors Guild be revised. In a statement it read.

"Because a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost,"

This is serious. Google vs the United States.....mmmm.

Could the wording in the Picasa EULA anticipates coming problems on such a scale that Google is going to have to deal with them in a very careful and conscientious manner. Consider what Google is also asking for in the EULA:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

So while I am responsible for the visual content on this blog I don't actually own it. I could theoretically go to jail because of it, if I was stupid enough to contradict the EULA, but I cannot control the images for my own purposes and have sole income rights to.

This is strange, with potentially huge implications..and kind of sad.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recomended Media for an Autumnal Garden

Back at work. Teaching, thesis writing as much as I can (250 words today, 200 yesterday and 800 on Tuesday, cannot remember Monday). Now using a MacBook and oooooohhhh is it good. Not much else to say. Here is some wonders I have collided with on the net in recent times....Shine On!

Teen Trash: The First Punk Era and More Wild Things
Mp3s, videos and lots of text in Portuguese. 50's punk, 60's punk, 70's punk, 80's punk... Raw Power! Numa orelha toca Back From The Grave e na outra Killed By Death

Artist and performer Benedict Drew has taken to the airwaves with an 8 part radio show that explores the frayed edge between radio art and research and the blurred lines between sound works and improvised music. Originally broadcast on Resonance FM, the series is now available to check out online here. Expect a myriad of gamelans, balloons, windy beaches and sirens.

Samuel Beckett ‘How It Is’ read by Patrick Magee
Duration: 5:05
One-sided 7” single released by J&B Recordings (possibly 1972)
Patrick Magee (1922-1982) recorded several Beckett plays for the BBC in 1957, but this excerpt isn’t included in the 4-CD set of the complete series. I guess this was rather recorded at the time of the Krapp’s Last Tape BBC sessions, 1972, a play Beckett wrote specifically for him and his voice. This single was possibly a gift from Beckett’s publisher John Calder to his readers. During a public reading from ‘How It Is’, possibly during radio show, Magee transforms the chosen page into a study in panting, a race against his own breath.

Small World Summer Festival

Brilliant blog by wandering musician. Mp3s for download by many ragged folk at this small festival in the UK.

Small World started on Thursday, but Sven and his girlfriend Katrijn were over from Gent, so I didn't set off until Friday. We'd played a bit of music during their visit, Sven and I working out a few things for the Wednesday eve open mic at The Smack in Whitstable - Duke Ellington's "Caravan" (with vocals), Bob Marley's "Lick Samba" (as an instrumental) and a Morrocan chaabi style song Sven wrote, called "Fatimah". We got squeezed in at the end of that open mic, and only got to do "Fatimah", but it was a powerful few minutes. I didn't get a chance to record this, so made sure to have the MiniDisc recorder at the ready when we had our last fireside jam on his last evening. "Fatimah" got recorded...

Marcabo. Never Again
This is a killer. An electronic project from Latvia founded in 2006. Get it...that's all I can say.

The University of Utah has this insane idea to record all non-human areas of the American West. There are hundreds of wildlife/ambient recordings up so far. Read all about it.
Right now I'm in the Alaskan Arctic tundra (Brrrr!). At least, for 11 minutes. Some of the ambient soundscapes last for over an hour. It makes for addictive listening, and from both a scientific and aesthetic viewpoint, it's absolutely crucial.

Free Albums Galore :: Children of the Drone - nine albums

Children of The Drone is an Exeter based musical collective of musicians devoted to totally improvised music. They have placed almost all of their sessions on the internet. Their music is pretty much unclassifiable, using all sort of instruments, traditional and modern acoustic, while borrowing from all genres. If I had to classify the music I could throw around terms like ambient, psychedelic, and psych-folk but this is the kind of music that is best listened to with no expectations. It does tend to get under your skin. There are seven compilations of sessions to choose from simply numbered one to seven. The lower numbered albums are the earlier ones. You can also download a collection of even earlier attempts at improvisations called Opthalmologist Frogspawn and a set of dub based improvisations titled Sort-Of-In-Dub. Any of them make for adventurous listening.

Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra
Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra is an ‘open source', improvised and highly integrated sonic environment, created by musicians, artists and programmers Andrey Smirnov, Lubov Pchelkina, Viktor Chernenko, Alexander Kulagin, Dmitry Savinov, Alexey Petrov, Dmitry Baikov, Dmitry Subochev, Artem Rukovichkin, Alexander Zenko, Eugeny Kuzmin as well as numerous collaborators and occasional partners. It was founded in May, 2006 at the Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music at Moscow State Conservatory , electroacoustic and interactive music lab.

Maybe I am repeating myself that's it for a little while. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Weekend

My youngest son, Benyamin and I at a local culture festival on Saturday. The photo comes from local newspaper Västerbottens Folkblad, who ran an article about the building behind us in the image. It is a youth center at the moment but will be closed in the new year. Suggestions are being made for what it should become. Of course, I said it should be a center for music and performance. The article in Swedish is here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Prague Activities 12th-19 September 2009.

We All Are Unadapted

Media, politicians, neo-Nazis and even "decent people" have united in order to bring to light today's biggest threat: the unadapted. The abusive characterization has began to live its own life. It is used for denouncing anyone who is not a favorite: Roma, squatters, ravers, the poor...

The unadaptability label seems to point out something about the labeling society itself. It reveals what its principal value really is: to adapt. It want us to be obedient career makers indifferent to our environment, always ready to conform.

"Unadaptability", in fact, threatens the most important thing we have - freedom. Adaptable freedom is a contradiction in terms, we identify freedom precisely when it does not adapt.

Supposedly "unadapted" are, in fact, groups that are expected to accept their own deprivation. Roma nomadism was outlawed and now the society is shocked that Romas don't adapt to the lifestyle that has been forced on them. Rave subculture was deprived of free movement, it was dispersed while society attempted to co-opt free technivals. Squatters were deprived of their home - the clearing out of Milada, the last squat in the Czech Republic, meant that the last place dedicated to alternative housing as well as culture has ceased to exist. Not only those afflicted are deprived. These events represent acts against all who value freedom and diversity in the society.

Our resistance against labeling does not mean that we defend any kind of behavior that is so designated. Problems do exist but we have a choice: either to look for real causes and deal with them or to find supposed trespassers in order to demonize them.

We can demand our rights, issue complaints and remind others of all that we have been deprived of by the acts of repression. At the same time, we are convinced that if we achieve anything in this manner, we get it in a distorted form. The last Czechtek, for example, has become a caricature of itself. That is not what we want. We will manage our freedom ourselves: we will squat other buildings, organize other carnivals and parties.

The Czech initiative Freedom Not Fear has come to existence in reaction to a world wide action against repression. Last year it helped to organize Do It Yourself Street Parade against state repression - cameras, restrictive laws and invasion of privacy. We would like to continue these activities; this year we focus on violence not only one provoked by the state but also violence incited by the society that labels and excludes certain groups. This also arouses fear for it is people who are described as a threat, and, as a result, our freedoms are limited.

Pokud jsme nepřizpůsobiví, jsme také svobodní - Týden nepřizpůsobivosti Praha 12.-19.9.2009 from Freedom not fear on Vimeo.

A word From the Brothers

PacificSoma and Ikuisuus present -

Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood – ‘Grass Openings’

Full-length CD edition of 500 in hand stamped, gatefold sleeves

$18australian postage included within Australia

$16us postage included for the rest of the world

After numerous CDs, CDRs, cassettes and LPs, Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood have established themselves as one of the many lights in modern improvised outsider music. Their latest offering, ‘Grass Openings’ sees them continue down this winding path of intoxicated trance derangement. Drawing heavily from psychedelic, jazz and weirdo traditions to create a unique form of mutant sound.

US, Australian and Asian sales contact

European sales contact

Monday, September 07, 2009

Umeå European Cultural Capital 2014?

The town I live in, Umeå, has been competing to be declared the 2014 Cultural Capital of Europe. While I am no fan of mass spectacles (having witnessed the madness of Expo 88 in Brisbane and the run up to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney) I think it would be cool if a town like Umeå was named European Cultural Capital. Why? Because it is a long way from anywhere. Because it is a small town. Because it has a certain energy about it that is rare.

Tomorrow the decision will be made. Umeå and the southern Swedish city of Lund are competing for the title. There will be a live stream anouncing the winner between 13:30 and 14:00 CET. You can follow it from here.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

-<-embed>this-is-what-democracy-looks-like-1-08-28-this-film,-shot-by-100-amateur-camera-operators,-tells-the-story-of-the-enormous-street-protests-in-seattle,-washington-in-november-1999,-against-the-world-trade-organization-summit-being-held-there.-vowing-to-oppose,-among-other-faults,-the-wto.swf's power to arbitrally overrule nations' environmental, social and labour policies in favour of unbridled corporate greed, protestors from all around came out in force to make their views known and stop the summit. Against them is a brutal police force and a hostile media as well as the stain of a minority of destructively overzealous comrades. Against all odds, the protesters bravely faced fierce opposition to take back the rightful democratic power that the political and corporate elite of the world is determined to deny the little people. Please support the makers of this documentary. [a3] this is what democracy looks like [69m VTV xvid] (seattle 1999 DEMOCRACIA EN LAS CALLES spanish subs) indymedia [3B60C966].avi Environmental Activism, Wealth, Poverty, Peace Activist, Environmental Protest, Riot, Seattle Washington, Civil Disobedience, Labor Union, Media Coverage, Media Manipulation, Police Brutality, Political, Protest March, Protest Song, Arrest, Beating, Bill Of Rights, Corporate, Economics, Environmentalist, Industry, Mayor, Natural Resources, Policeman, Politics, Trade, World Trade Organization, Independent Film This film, shot by 100 amateur camera operators, tells the story of the enormous street protests in Seattle, Washington in November 1999, against the World Trade Organization summit being held there. Vowing to oppose, among other faults, the WTO's power to arbitrally overrule nations' environmental, social and labour policies in favour of unbridled corporate greed, protestors from all around came out in force to make their views known and stop the summit. Against them is a brutal police force and a hostile media as well as the stain of a minority of destructively overzealous comrades. Against all odds, the protesters bravely faced fierce opposition to take back the rightful democratic power that the political and corporate elite of the world is determined to deny the little people. Please support the makers of this documentary. [a3] this is what democracy looks like [69m VTV xvid] (seattle 1999 DEMOCRACIA EN LAS CALLES spanish subs) indymedia [3B60C966].avi Environmental Activism, Wealth, Poverty,

Thursday, September 03, 2009


A small wire emerges from her
It enters me thu the hole in my eye.
I am hollowed by its sharp edges,
Of a presence as arms and torso
Become still and sore with the ache.
Made strong by the time of lasting

Battered hearts are silent in waiting
Bruised minds are seldom moving.
Rather each returns to the scene
Of the accident over and over again.
To pick thru the wreckage that remains
Wild looks, stained notebooks, broken locks.

Men and women of earth,
What is it that makes you so frightened?
Can not the flesh of your bodies feed desire?
And currents of thought answer your questions.
The towers and tunnels will never free you
Stop injury stop action stop hope stop stop

I return to the bedchamber of loneliness
And sleep surrounded by distance.
Each believes the other to be true but,
Changing garments only spreads the odor
Of impasse, where instead calibration seals
All in the steel now filling our cold embrace.

Such savage intimacies as secret names,
Known only to the loved and loving, bleed
Truth to the source of its feeling with me.
So wounded by my own pity which is perhaps
Only hunger, for I have now eaten your food.
Tasted the bitter roots of regret which lack beginning.