May 2010

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Though I do not own an iPhone, I’m always looking for new cool applications for my iPod Touch.  The limitations of the Touch keep me from having a lot of the good applications is the only problem.

I stumbled upon this application called ‘The Best Camera’  which is a great combination of multiple capabilities of the iPhone.  It is to a certain extent a photoshop type application where you can edit photos that you’ve taken on your phone and then save them.  The aspect of it that really intrigued me though was the sharing community that it brings to the table.  After you have gone through the array of filters, vignettes, frames, contrast settings, etc., you can then upload to the internet.  With the click of one button, it is linked to your Facebook, Twitter, email, phone memory, and ‘thebestcamera.com’s online interactive gallery.

On the website there is a live feed of pictures that people have taken and uploaded.  You can look at all the pictures, pictures of the hour, pictures of the day, and pictures of the month.  It really encourages people to put their work up for recognition across the globe.  I feel that this is a new sort of technology that is really encouraging the use of the cell phone camera for arts sake and for sharing inside of a community.  The website was inspired by a book that the creator put together called THE BEST CAMERA is the one you have with you.  He created the book completely of pictures taken with his iPhone to demonstrate that it is not as much about what camera you use as it is what you take a picture of.  With new applications coming out that focus on the community built around the app, I think that even simple things such as being able to put a filter on your photos will expand because of the ability to share and compare.

So grab your iPhone and get THE BEST CAMERA application if you want to make it on the top photo of the hour/day/month chart, until I get an iPhone, I will be content with Paper Toss and Duck Hunt.

http://www.thebestcamera.com/app.html

Wait What is a mashup artist that I recently found through the website.  www.themusicleak.com who did a full album of mixes between Notorious B.I.G. and a band called The XX.  I saw his videos on youtube and loved the mixes that he was making, very simple but still musically stimulating.

As always, I wanted to download the music so that I could have it and even mix it up  little when I found time.  Upon reaching his website I tried to find the download link that the blog had talked about.  The DL link had been closed because the company that owns the rights to Notorious’ music had found out and sent a letter demanding for the music to be taken down.

Screen shot 2010-05-04 at 4.46.56 PM

I understand the fact that they don’t want their copyrighted material to be downloaded freely but at the same time, all of the videos on youtube are still up.  Not only this but on his Soundcloud.com account, you can still individually download every track that he’s mashed so far with Notorious.  Is it that they just haven’t found out yet that it is still online or do they not care that it is available elsewhere.

After Patti said that her soundtrack had been taken down from her youtube post, it doesn’t make sense why youtube would not take this down as well.  Or if not youtube, why the people from the record company would not go after every form that he has his music being shared through.  It is just as much of an infringement of the copyright and isn’t parody so I don’t believe that it could be considered as something that falls under the creative commons license.  This line is still something that seems to be blurry in our online and media culture.

There are definitely places that copyright infringing work can be hidden online but I wouldn’t expect youtube to be one of them.  Is it fair that youtube doesn’t get in trouble for hosting this and not taking it down or is it the responsibility of the uploader to realize their (dead)wrong-doings and take them down?  Also, is it likely that certain record companies are much more keen on where their music is being shared and stopping it or is it a matter of someone reporting it to them?  I’d like to know how it is that they come across these things that they aren’t alright with and how they go about getting it down.  I also would like to see an overhaul to a certain extent to the copyright laws that makes it legal for people to use other work as an inspiration of their own artistic creations without repercussions (wishful thinking but hey… The Sky Is The Limit[Biggie reference!])

Have a listen and enjoy, I love Juicy-R and Island’s the Limit.

That is the “slogan” of the company that has started this Software/Hardware interface and design.  I stumbled across this and was at first confused to exactly what it did but once the video get going, it shows you how it works.  I think that integrating a digital HD reality “outside” of your windows is a really cool idea that would definitely confuse people who didn’t know and get them intrigued when they realized that the Golden Gate Bridge or International Space Station wasn’t really outside.  It reminds me a lot also of the computer/projector that Joe showed me that works based on where the necklace sensor is in relation to your fingers.  None of these things are fully functional or without hinges yet but I can see them becoming contenders of a new market in the future.  The integration of the iPhone into this Winscape product is also very good strategy because it is building off of an already existing hit that millions(?) have at the moment.  With HD, 4K, and all of the stunning new video resolutions, these might be more believable than I could imagine in the near future.  I think I would wake up in the Bahamas every day, now just to get the snow to stop and the sun to come… digitally.

In exploring Façade, I found it to be a very interesting “game”.  From my first experience of watching Torren knock on the door and start to engage with both Trip and Grace, I was very intrigued by the typing recognition.  The fact that it is able to discern what you are saying by picking out different pieces of what you type is something that I haven’t before seen incorporated into a game or interface.  In exploring what they say and respond to, I had a desire to try to push its limits with words that I wasn’t sure it would recognize.  In asking for different types of drinks when he offers one and chatting with Trip about his trip to Europe, it was apparent that there definitely were surprising results and boundaries.

Sometimes the game would move on as though you hadn’t said a sentence and sometimes your sentence would stop him mid conversation to branch off into something that he wanted to talk about.  In a game ( I use the term loosely) that incorporates you into the way in which the plot pushes, I also wondered if it would be possible to recreate the same experience twice.  It seemed to me that there was a “web” that it followed as you trickled down into more specific experiences until you either got kicked out or helped them resolve their differences.  When Molly said that she was very nice the whole time and just asked about insignificant things around the apartment, they still fought.  It seems that the role the game asks you to play is mediator to the two of them.  You can either help avoid a fight, push for a fight, or do nothing and they still fight.

I think that this game opens up a new window and could easily be built upon to make the overall experience more immersive and less restricted.  Having won the Grand Jury Prize in 2006 at the Slam Dance Independent Games Festival, it certainly shows promise and the possibility of future inspiration.  Weird to think that soon enough computers will not only be able to recognize text but also understand what it says and respond with an answer.  Will the roles be switched someday where we are in the position of Trip and Grace and the computer acts as mediator?  Hopefully not!

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