Sweet memories of lego

In the last couple of days kevin has been posting an amazing series of images of mid 70’s lego sets, which evoke lots of memories for me (and show how ridiculously non-standard lego has become of the last 3.5 decades). Yesterday kevin has published an ode to the magic of lego and the first set his father gave him in 1975: […] Then there were others. Not too many, but others, enough to get the gag. The gag was that it wasn’t a puzzle to solve, after all. The gag was that the puzzle was more inter…

The revolution was televised (and projected from a plastic chair)

As one could have expected the big picture has some impressive pictures from the events in egypt on thursday and friday. my favorite picture (love the chair) is this one showing a crowd watching Mubarak’s thursday night television address: Also really like the mosaic tile facade of the building of state television (especially in combination with the Munthadar Al-Zahdi references) in this shot: They also have a photo that perfectly illustrates those silly twitter/facebook revolution claims. if th…

Stock trades, art and algorithms

If you ask me one of the more fascinating things going on out there right now is high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading (HFT) occurs when traders program computers to buy and sell stocks (or other financial products) in quick succession under certain, pre-defined circumstances. (a good starting point to learn more about HFT is this planet money episode or this ai500 article by Joe Flood). Apparently High Frequency trading enables successful trading firms to skim of enormous surplus off t…

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…

(UK National Portrait Gallery vs. Wikimedia) vs. the Public Domain

You might have heard that the Wikimedia Foundation and the National Portrait Gallery are having a bit of a row these days. At the core of the dispute lies the fact that in march an English wikipedia administrator by the name of Derrick Coetzee uploaded more than 3000 high resolution images of paintings held by the National Portrait Gallery to the Wikimedia Commons. The images uploaded by were not simply taken from the NPG’s website and re-uploaded to the wikimedia commons, as the NPG does (and d…

The end is VERY near...

This is by far the most repulsive patent application i have ever seen. Apparently amazon.com has filed for a patent for showing contextual ads in the margins (also called white space for a good reason!) of e-books……

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…

Eye [gif animation]

Back during the dot-com craziness of 1999-2000 I worked as a gif animator for a while (at an outfit called interbrand in Amsterdam) and i still have a weakness for this particular form of art. Today, != points to this wonderful example that is used as a background effect on the e-l-i-s-e weblog:…

Ups and Downs in english

The English translation of the Ups and Downs report on the Economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, film and games is out [thanks Natali!]. You can download the 130 page report written by a research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR on the IVIR website [pdf]. I have mentioned the report (commissioned by the ministry of Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry of Education Culture and Science here before [first thoughts, popular science edition] and as far a…