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Hacked & Burned: Zazzle poetry, dream telepathy conferences and Google 'loons'


I honestly believe most of the technology & internet stories this week would turn a wide eyed internet novice into a disenchanted onlooker. Which is why I celebrate the mania that is this website. 

Early Clues: What We Do -

1. We provide reality matrix models rooted in non-local Brane extensions...
2. We develop cutting-edge technologies for the manipulation of synchronic-to-experience ratios! From the elegance and simplicity of OpenQNL, to the power and manifestation of Synconjury.

TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Zazzle Poetry 

We got a cracking history of the algorithmic word salad poet that is Horse eBooks courtesy of Chris Baraniuk last week. Now check out this Tumblr chronicling the algo-derived tat that sells on Zazzle.

GIF OF THE WEEK - Encyclopedic Palace

Encyclopedic Palace is an online GIF exhibition packed with talent like Racquel Myers and Kathrin Gunter is open to coincide with Venice Art Biennale. 

In other GIF news we have two milestones this week: one being a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the GIF patent expiring . The second is the dubious news that we are beaming a GIF into space. No it wasn't NYAN cat, it was a painfully postinternet GIF from Kim Assendorf, and honestly, the whole thing smacks of a grasping exercise in bootstrapping a popular keyword onto a scientific endeavour. 


Anyway, speaking of Anniversaries, Happy 50th Birthday to ASCII! Nearly twice the age of the GIF format, ASCII art was a form of geeky creative expression before the GIF was a twinkle in Geocities' eyes.


The Googles X team's track record is a little like US “Blue Sky Research” agency DARPA: for every internet there's a dozen remote viewing experiments. I feel confident in bracketing their weather balloon powered internet servers into the latter category. Having mesh networks in the skies is something which Darknet enthusiasts are also keen to do, but suspending experimental servers in the air with a finite resource like helium smacks of short sightedness to me.

ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: DARPA ppacify via mind control 

While on the topic of DARPA, it's interesting to watch the IEET take one ball and run all the way to the singularity with it. The IEET is a transhumanist (rich white people who believe technology will let them live forever) blog. This post is a ripping read that combines DARPA's interest in the neurobiology of narrative (a legitimate research exercise in manipulating social media during dissidence) and the isolation of a genetic cause for “niceness” into a master narrative of the ways in which DARPA will exert mind control for the benefit of more peaceful populations. Which any student of the military industrial complex will tell you is 100% unlikely to ever happen.


A piece of bioart that is wonderful in its imagination and recursiveness. Pancreas involves a petri dish culture of neurons cells. These brain cells are fed by a digester that converts books into neuron nourishing glucose. Bravo Thomas Feuerstein!

EVENT OF THE WEEK: Dream Telepathy Conference

Did you know that a Dream Telepathy conference has been running for almost 30 years? Well this year participation goes digital thanks, to Dreams Cloud the number one resource on dreams and dreaming on the web, mobile web and social media!

“On the night of the contest a “sender,” chosen from among the attendees, will select one of the three envelopes. In the privacy of her room, she will focus on the image intensively and attempt to telepathically transmit it to dreamers around the globe.”

GEEKS OF THE WEEK: Digitale Gesellschaft

Good to know we can count on the Germans to stick it to Obama. Props to the “Yes we Scan” riff, but honestly so many negative points for misspelling the “all your base are belong to us” meme, especially when protesting opposite Checkpoint Charlie!

SCIENCE OF THE WEEKViruses deliver gene therapy to the back of your cornea

Of late most of the miracle working science stories have been monopolised by stem cells. This week gene therapy seeks to oust stem cells as the miracle worker of modern science with some stunning news. Gene therapy is about changing a persons genes to cure a malady, and its poster child for success is Cystic Fibrosis. Gene Therapy is possible with that condition because a certain virus can be modified to insert beneficial genes into the lung tissue. Now scientist have evolved similar viruses in the lab that can deliver genes to the back of your eyeball!

HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Smart Watch Scolds Drunk Drivers

“Go home Dave, you are drunk” is what this TokyoFlash watch will tell you, because smart devices don't let friends drink drive.


This Kickstarter channels another instance of some of DARPA's wackier R&D projects. Research into cyborg insects is a hot topic for DARPA, as they could act as incredibly versatile drones. BackYard Brains, the brain-hacking group from Michigan (famed for plugging Cypress Hill's soundwaves into the skin of a squid, among other exploits) are aiming to democratise that technology. Their campaign provides you with a cyborg cockroach that you can control with an app!


So far we've name checked space science, DARPA, and Google in this weeks links round up. Of course one industry responsible for many technological innovations has been under-represented: the porn industry. To make amends, cast your eyes over the above experimental (NSFW) pr0n movie made using the Kinect Powered RGBD toolkit from James George and Alexander Porter. Gomez-Arias captured an amateur sex tape using the very data-driven aesthetic the RGBD toolkit enables. (of course ASCII art has already done the porn thing to death, most infamously in Debbie Does Dallas rendered in ASCII animation).

Oh and also this week we got word that Oculus Rift, the VR headset made reality, will feature a sex game. Of course.