Money & Speed - show me the data...

Two weeks ago the 50 minute documentary ‘Money & Speed‘ by Marije Meerman aired in the tegenlicht (backlight) series of the VPRO (a dutch public broadcaster). ‘Money & Speed’ casts a light into the world of high frequency (or rather algorithmic) trading, a subject that i have been fascinated with for a while. The documentary attempts to explain the event’s behind the 6 may 2010 ‘flash crash‘ and does so by interviewing a number of experts that are more or less involved in the (aftermath…

'All this trouble from this matchbox'

When i visited Al-Jazeera back in november last year, Moeed showed me around the campus starting at the brand new Al-Jazeera English newsroom (depicted in the photo above) and ending the tour in the original Al-Jazeera newsroom that now seems to serve as a rather unorganized tape archive (this is the newsroom that features so prominently in the 2004 documentary ‘control room‘). While showing me around Moeed mentioned that Hosni Mubarak when he visited Al-Jazeera was heard to remark “All this tro…

Wikileaks...

It is pretty obvious than there is much more to the whole #cablegate/wikileaks story than i was willing to concede in my last post (i might even be a bit embarrassed about it). anyway below are some pointers to some of the more interesting writings from the last couple of days. Also it seems that the pakistanis (who are not commonly known for their sense of humor) are really enjoying the whole wikileaks thing: Ad for sanitary napkins close to Tariq Road in Karachi via kabobfest. A good…

On #cablegate

So twitter (and the CNN programming in this generic bar in the European Quarter of Bruxelles that i am currently sitting in) are abuzz with #cablegate (twitter) / U.S DOCUMENTS EXPOSED (CNN) and nobody really questions if this whole affair (the leaking of those documents) is even remotely relevant. me thinks it is not. if this ‘unprecedented leak’ has any significance at all that would be that it illustrates (once more) that the news media have completely lost it and that signal has definitely l…

NRC writes about piracy, plagiarizes statistics in doing so

Had a bit of a deja-vu this morning when browsing through the economics section of friday’s NRC Handelsblad: Page two of that section contains a full page article (‘free jukeboxes against piracy’) on music streaming services such as spotify.com (click to enlarge, no online version available): As you can see from the photo above, the article does come with a nifty info-graphic that illustrates how little artists earn from their music being available on services such as spotify (the number 4.882.7…

Apparently the dutch had video telephony well before i was even born...

Last year i spend a fair amount of energy to get the open video platform openimages.eu off the ground, but so far the videos that have been uploaded there (mainly from the polygoon collection of the institute of sound and vision have utterly failed to impress me. Now after 4 month of operation there is finally a video that i can approve of. It has the perfect combination of techno-optimism, cuttting-edge design and sideburns: if you do not see a video here you need a better browser ‘first test w…

Taking the copy out of copyright

Last Wednesday I attended the launch of ‘Adieu auteursrecht, vaarwel culturele conglomeraten‘ the new book by Joost Smiers. In this book he argues that (a) copyright is harmful, because it has led to large conglomerates dominating the production of culture and that (b) the world would be better off without copyright because it would be better of without these conglomerates and therefore (c) copyright needs to be abolished and the conglomerates must be broken apart. According to Smiers and his co…

Dark fibre

In march we spend a week in bangalore with jamie and the darkfibre crew. we had flown there to take pictures of them while they were shooting for dark fibre (more pictures will become available later). Dark fibre crew at work on the rooftop terrace of a IT office building in South Bangalore It was fun and extremely interesting to watch the production from behind the scenes and i am really looking forward to the film (jamie has promised that there will be a trailer on the 13th of may). i…

Digitofagia: net_cultura 1.0

Yesterday evening i found an envelope copy of the book Digitofagia – net_cultura1.0 by Ricardo Rosas and Giseli Vasconcelos on the stairs to my apartment (thanks for the relay Geert!). This book has been in the making for more than 4 years and i had more or less accepted that i would never see it in print). The idea for this book cam up in the context of the Waag-Sarai Exchange platform in late 2004/early 2005. The book collects a number of articles and assays that discuss the – very lively – ne…

Free Gaza footage from Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has launched the AL Jazeera Creative Commons repository that hosts TV quality Al Jazeera footage from Gaza under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This effectively allows all uses of the footage (even by other TV networks) as long as attribution is given to Al Jazeera. As far as i can tell (and they also boast about this in their press release) this is the first time that a major broadcast organization is making it’s own footage under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This…