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Invent your own emoticon, discover sound-producing gel & naughty malware pranksters


If you've not checked out Yung Jake's fantastic tumblr-website hybrid you should do so immediately! 


Cyriak style GIFS that mediate the military-industrial complex.  


Peter Thiel is a divisive figure, but his investment portfolio rarely makes for dull reading. And this week he's added an AntiMatter Factory to his investment spread. An antimatter. Factory!

EVENT OF THE WEEK: Immaterials at Brighton Digital Festival

So much is happening as part of Brighton Digital Festival  (ongoing for the whole month of September), including the 'Improving Reality' symposium and the Immaterials Exhibition which features numerous digital artworks that unveil the invisible topologies of our communication networks.

CYBERCRIME OF THE WEEK: NSA wants to replace humans with uncompromising algorithms

Privacy SOS reports that NSA plans to purge up to 90% of their system administration staff, having had their fingers so spectacturly burned by Edward Snowden. This goes one of two ways: automation fails miserably (ii) they link in with NASA's D-wave quantum computer and create the first proto-Skynet artifical intelligence.

Also, it appears that Nigeria is not to be left behind when it comes to totalitarian surveillance systems.

TECH ART OF THE WEEK: Who Watches The Watchers?

Paranoia is so ubiquitous it's even invading portraiture. Seven magpies flank this imposing portrait of William Hague, checking YOUR metadata in front of MI6. Behind Mr Hague's eyes is a Raspberry Pi driven webcam which, upon recognising a face through computer vision, commences recording of anyone observing/contemplating the painting.


Get symbols are your fingertips with this generator from Crash Txt.

Make a new emoticon! But be warned it will never scale the heights of Emoji Art History.  

GEEK OF THE WEEK: Commander X 'retires'

It must be noted that 'Commander X' has been no stranger to inflating his own mythology (and that may have contributed to his demise). But all the same, Ars Technica's recent report on what has compelled this homeless hacker to pack in the hacktivist lifestyle is unavoidably sad, an instance of the disenfranchised failed by the purportedly disruptive potential of hacking.

A relevant adjunct is recent reports on the largest homeland camp in the USA being square in the middle of Silicon Valley: 


It's been a while since prankster malware has done the rounds, so I'd like to raise a glass to the genius behind this virus. Once a host PC is infected, the malware looks for files of a certain type, replacing their contents with “Because f*** you! That’s why.”

ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Google Glass wants all your feels

'Sension' are working on a Google Glass app that will help machines better react to the emotional nuances of their human operators (and is surely intended to the the precursor of HAL 9000).

Then again, crafting a taxonomy of human emotions is a project with Darwinian ancestry, so perhaps there is no need to fret just yet.

WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Hyrdogel Speakers

These hydrogel speakers from Harvard University take the biscuit this week. Rather than excite vibrations through electricity this novel soundsystem takes cues from how our body channels energy – through ions! The upshot is a transparent gel that can produce sound – a research avenue that has been elsewhere explored through sellotape thin speakers.


So Microsoft bought out the Nokia handset business. The cynic in me wonders if the ubiquity of the Nokia ringtone will steadily decrease globally – at present it's (allegedly) heard a staggering 20000 times a second.

In other news a network visualisation of global patents has unveiled the interdependencies driving technological progress.

DATA VIZ OF THE WEEK: Protest TimeLapse

Speaking of data vizualisation, here's an eye opening time lapse of every protest since 1979.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Escape from Woomera

In this months print issue all round awesome net artist Daniel Rehn (‎) selected his 3 favourite video games art works. This week in Australia cultural commentators are remembering the 10 year anniversary of landmark video game “Escape from Woomera”: a potent and inflammatory mediation on Australias refugee detention issue. Read about its story here.

TUNE OF THE WEEK: Fire Walk With Chiptunes

This is the first (and possibly) last time I'd select a song for Hacked & Burned, but I simply had to share the sublime outcome of Twin Peaks meets Chiptune.

Cover Image Credit: By Max Capacity