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Extensions, Boundaries & Double Crossings

For many years now it has been common to refer to technology as an "extension of man". [...] Although Marshall McLuhan is the most popular name connected with that theoretical concept, the concept is quite a lot older. It is dating from before the 19th century anthropology all the way to the ancient Greeks and Aristoteles. He already outlined technology as a substitute for biological defects and technical development and understood it as a cultural progression. And with or without Hollywood we s...

Formats. What Napster Really Needs

This article has taken me a combined 20 years of broadcast and computer experience to compile and I couldn't be more excited about the possibilities the Internet can bring now that we have witnessed the cultural change from the traditional broadcast models to the Peer to Peer networking model technologies such as Napster and Gnutella have shown us.

On the Links Between Open Source and Culture

Implicit in all this is that there are profound links between developments in culture and the rise of open source, that both are stimulating a new kind of sharing. Some would go further and claim that hackers in the virtuous sense are a new kind of lay monk. The lecture will explore these parallels between the sharing of culture and the sharing of open source and claim that there needs to be an open source approach to culture; that there are philosophical reasons why culture has traditionally be...

Society of the Instance

The entire virtual life of societies in which postcapitalist conditions of seduction prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of software instances. Everything that was previously either venerated or rejected in the fixated mirror stage by the ideologically constituted ego as fetish system of commodities, structurally sustaining panoply of consumer objects, or imposing spectacle of images has dissolved away into an uncharted virtual reality of the real time instantiation of modeled and...

Seeing Cyberspace

Through architectural language, one can see the otherwise intangible Cyberspace materialized in the power, media, and technological systems of the Electrical Infrastructure. In so doing, pressing issues such as war, energy inefficiency, global warming, pollution, and economic instability can be structurally related to the seemingly separate experience online the Internet. Identifying this relationship can help to educate and organize citizens whom want to address common yet otherwise ignored nee...

Science Must Push Copyright Aside

Many journal publishers appear to believe that the purpose of scientific literature is to enable them to publish journals so as to collect subscriptions from scientists and students. Such thinking is known as 'confusion of the means with the ends'. Their approach has been to restrict access even to read the scientific literature to those who can and will pay for it. They use copyright law, which is still in force despite its inappropriateness for computer networks, as an excuse to stop scientist...

Eravamo pronti

Le sfide portate dai Governi alla libera circolazione di idee in Internet si giocano su tre tavoli. Il primo riguarda la difesa della libertà d'espressione in Internet. [...] Una seconda sfida riguarda la libertà di pubblicazione. Per anni è stato un gioco da ragazzi aprire il proprio sito personale, avviare con entusiasmo la newsletter della nostra associazione culturale o un newsgroup dove condividere barzellette, o discussioni tematiche sul signor Rothbard, o per protestare contro la globaliz...

DOT Force e la lotta al divario digitale

Solo pochi anni fa, nel pieno dell'entusiasmo per l'enorme sviluppo e diffusione delle reti informatiche, dagli Usa era giunto un monito importante: difficilmente, anche nella migliore tra le ipotesi, le reti sarebbero state utilizzate da una percentuale maggiore del 65 per cento della popolazione. [...] Questa disparità di accessi è andata via via trasformandosi in una realtà che oggi appare ancora più netta del previsto, allontanando gli auspici che guardavano alle reti come a un'opportunità p...

Live ASCII Streaming of Video

One of the experiments in using Internet technology in representing video material is ASCII streaming, in which illusion of the motion is brought to experience by moving ASCII text based images, within the fixed raster matrix on the screen. ASCII streaming does not try to bring Internet multimedia streaming close to "broadcast quality", but goes into totally different direction: representing video as the sequence of moving images composed of ASCII letters.

Transidiomen

Dopo due secoli di sovranità delle nazioni, ora la supremazia politica, sociale e culturale passa nelle mani degli organismi internazionali [...], delle corporazioni multinazionali, delle holdings di aiuti umanitari, delle varie forze di pronto intervento militare. In questo contesto cambia il regime di appartenenza, non più - o non solo - legato ad una terra, una lingua, un popolo, bensì ad un'area cosmopolita [...], ad un linguaggio globale, ad una comunità diasporica, corporation o organismo ...

Social Software

It is, of course, possible to consider the ontological evolution of software from a perspective of complex social structure. It can be argued that any given software is a dynamic of data relations that combine in interesting ways to emerge increasingly complex strata of information interactions. And although these interactions are computationally discrete, they are never completely predictive, for algorithms operate as perturbations within the consensual domain of software's interactions with it...

MP3, la battaglia continua

Otto delle quindici tracce presenti nel nuovo album "A tribute to Jim Reeves" del cantante country americano Charles Pride sono apparse la scorsa settimana su una pagina Web "privata" di Yahoo!. La cosa sembrerebbe del tutto comune visti i tempi che corrono, se non fosse per due ragioni. La prima è che i brani erano già disponibili online prima dell'uscita del cd, previsto per venerdì scorso; secondariamente, le copie risultavano protette da un sistema antipirateria fresco fresco, messo a punto ...

Conversions

Net art is about *conversions*. Why conversions? Perhaps because net art needs data like paintings need pigment, and converting data from one form to another gives net artists the basic materials they need for artmaking. The conversions stem also from our fascination with transformation, a type of digital alchemy where the use of an intermediary substrate (ones and zeros) lets artists convert IP addresses to colors, video to ASCII text, HTML to animation, and so on. In recent months net art has ...

No more TV

No more TV. I am not suggesting the negation of the attributes of the device as an instrument of communication, of social interaction, of *democratization* of the cultural experience: instead, I propose a radical discussion about the mechanisms that regulate its *real* existence in a "*free* market" context (the existing one, to be precise), seeing that the possibility of its effective social existence ever being contemplated again is virtually nil, except perhaps occasionally (in isolated circl...

Invisibility/corporeality

The other day I was having a discussion with someone about dance making and interactive systems and the 'transparency' issue as regards the receptivity of an audience to the aspects of the work that might be invisible. What is being considered *invisible* in this context is the mapping from input to various forms of output - and this mapping is essentially the consequence of someone providing the instructions for the computer, telling it what to do.

The Bandwidth Dilemma

A brief look into the political economy of bandwidth could help. The question of internet speed is and will always be determined by economics and (cyber)geography, as the maps show, not per se by the technology used at the consumer's end. Speed on the internet is moody and in constant flux, not only depending on one's investment in hardware, locality and available connectivity. Speed is subjective and cultural experience. A whole range of unknown factors can bring the undisturbed surfing to a su...
L’informatica sotto l’Euro
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L’informatica sotto l’Euro

Il campione è molto ampio, circa 16 mila persone intervistate fra novembre e dicembre dello scorso anno, in media circa mille unità per Paese membro. L’argomento è il computer: chi e quanto lo usa, cosa ne fa, con quale competenza. Il Benchmark Report di cui vi stiamo parlando è un complesso lavoro di ricerca commissionato dall’UE, volto a saggiare periodicamente (un paio di volte l'anno) il livello informatico dei cittadini dei Paesi facenti parte l'Unione. I risultati sono decisamente interess...

Do Little Kids Belong on the Net?

Do computers affect children in a positive or negative way? Let me suggest that there is something funny even about the question itself. Professor Seymour Papert of MIT, a pioneer in the field of computers and education, has argued that asking this kind of question is an example of what he calls "technocentric thinking." [...] It is more correct to ask whether teachers and/or parents are using computers in ways that are beneficial to their children or harmful to them. As well, it is reasonable t...

Il Progetto GNU – The GNU Project

Stime recenti valutano in dieci milioni il numero di utenti di sistemi GNU/Linux quali Debian GNU/Linux e Red Hat Linux. Il software libero ha creato tali vantaggi pratici che gli utenti stanno approdando ad esso per pure ragioni pratiche. [...] L'interesse per il software, però, sta crescendo più in fretta della coscienza della filosofia su cui è basato, e questa disparità causa problemi. [Estimates today are that there are ten million users of GNU/Linux systems such as Debian GNU/Linux and ...

Cool Business: Etoy’s toy wars

etoy represents the "next generation" in artistic business: smart and web-based, elitist and creative. Net art, activism, traditional art and marketing strategies as well as youth culture subversion meet in the etoy corporation concept. etoy appropriate not art, but business visuals. In addition they make use of the anarchic impudence of the youth culture. What Felix Stalder in his Telepolis article called bad boy attitude is the typical dandy attitude of the aesthetically acting individual. Eto...

Company image e company identity

Anche un'impresa ha un'immagine e un'identità. Questa affermazione può sembrare scontata, ma ci pone comunque di fronte a degli interrogativi di una certa portata quando riflettiamo sulle implicazioni della comunicazione in rete (Internet e intrantet) nella costruzione e nel mantenimento dell'immagine e dell'identità di un'impresa (company image e company identity per usare i termini di uso corrente nella letteratura). Per esempio, è ancora possibile sfruttare il controllo dell'informazione per ...
Ripples and Puddles
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Ripples and Puddles

In the decades following the first universal robots, I expect a second generation with mammallike brainpower and cognitive ability. They will have a conditioned learning mechanism, and steer among alternative paths in their application programs on the basis of past experience, gradually adapting to their special circumstances. A third generation will think like small primates and maintain physical, cultural and psychological models of their world to mentally rehearse and optimize tasks before ph...
A Report on The International Festival of Multimedia Urban Arts
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A Report on The International Festival of Multimedia Urban Arts

This multimedia and digital art festival is an ambitious and visionary undertaking organized by the Pierre Schaeffer Center (CICV) of France and funded by the French Ministry of Culture. Over 350 artists from 41 countries descended upon the village of Belfort, France. Here's the tally; 6 theater pieces, 63 installations, 30 performances, 20 cd-rom presentations, 37 internet sites, 70 videos, and 30 animations. Check out the tip top web site to get an idea of the breadth of work presented. The fe...
Nuovo Mercato/3. Quando la sicurezza dell’investitore latita
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Nuovo Mercato/3. Quando la sicurezza dell’investitore latita

Il recentissimo appello alle aziende della Consob, organismo addetto al controllo per tutto quello che passa in Piazza Affari, ad informazioni più complete e aggiornate nelle notizie diffuse attraverso la rete evidenzia una piaga scoperta in verità già da tempo: gli investitori possono essere tratti in inganno (e di fatto lo sono) da documentazioni societarie carenti se non fuorvianti presenti nelle pagine dei siti web ufficiali dedicati all'informazione finanziaria, troppo spesso dediti in real...
Nuovo Mercato (NM)/2. Know-how, questo sconosciuto
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Nuovo Mercato (NM)/2. Know-how, questo sconosciuto

Già, listino tecnologico. Ma cos'avranno mai di tecnologico i biglietti da visita della Poligrafica San Faustino, quotata anch'essa al NM? E come mai una società come Prima Industrie di Collegno, operante nel settore degli automatismi industriali, è stata cortesemente messa alla porta dalla SEC in occasione del tentativo di sbarco al Nasdaq, ben precedente alla planata su NM?
E lo chiamano Nuovo Mercato
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E lo chiamano Nuovo Mercato

E' stato denominato Nuovo Mercato e parrebbe, almeno in apparenza, una specie di Nasdaq all'italiana, vale a dire uno spazio dedicato esclusivamente a titoli più o meno tecnologici. Recentissimo per costituzione e ancora relativamente piccolo quanto a numero di società (40) e capitalizzazione, NM non solo ha destinato agli investitori italiani gioie (poche) e dolori (qualcuno in più), ma è stato anche protagonista a Piazza Affari di enormi movimenti di capitali e di un paio di storie davvero sen...

Interview with Bruno D'Amore

Interview with Elif Ayiter

Interview with Luis Miguel Girão

Interview with Roberta Buiani

Interview with Bill Seaman

Interview with Roger Malina

Interview with Pavel Smetana

Interview with Christa Sommerer

Interview with Annick Bureaud

Interview with Leonel Moura

Interview with Nina Czegledy

Interview with Alberto Abruzzese (Italiano)

Interview with Stelarc

Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove

Interview with Margarete Jahrmann

Interview with Jaromil

Interview with Laura Beloff

Interview with Alan Shapiro