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Why Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory might be all wrong July 14, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, commerce, film, music, tech.
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From: Slate

By Farhad Manjoo

The Long TailNearly four years ago, first in a widely cited articleand later in a best-selling book, Chris Anderson posited that the Internet, with its vast inventories of books, albums, and movies, would liberate the world from blockbuster schlock. Anderson, the editor ofWired, labeled his concept “the Long Tail,” after the shape our digital desires leave on a graph: When we buy stuff online, we can reach beyond big hits and into the “tail” of the demand curve, where we’re free to indulge our most obscure passions. Anderson argued that serving our niche interests could also make for booming Web businesses. This was the thrill of the Long Tail—it seemed to offer a way for art and commerce to thrive side-by-side.

Now, just in time for The Long Tail‘s paperback release, the book has fallen under critical scrutiny. Anita Elberse, a marketing professor at the Harvard Business School, recently examined several years’ worth of American movie- and music-sales data. The entertainment business has indeed seen its inventory shifting toward a Long Tail curve, Elberse writes in the Harvard Business Review. The shift is slight, however, and Anderson’s Long Tail is also “extremely flat.”

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TinEye – the first image search engine July 6, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in copyright, innovation, tech.
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TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology. Given an image to search for, TinEye tells you where and how that image appears all over the web—even if it has been modified.

Just as you are familiar with entering text in a regular search engine such as Google to find web pages that contain that text, TinEye lets you submit an image to find web pages that contain that image.

When you want to find out where an image is being used on the web, you submit it to TinEye. The attributes of the image are analyzed instantly, and its fingerprint is compared to the fingerprint of every single image in the TinEye search index. The result? A detailed list of any websites using that image, worldwide.

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Cafesonique -the world’s first 3D virtual music community June 29, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, design, innovation, music, tech.
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from Cafesonique.com

By creating virtual spaces from existing real-world environments, artist and music industry players will now have the ability to mold their unique vision and identity into a framework that wasn’t possible five years ago. Selling music-related merchandise in 3D, showcasing an act from the comfort of a virtual chair, and chatting in a familiar coffee shop not only will engage the artist and the consumer alike but also will pave the way to the next generation of musicians , singers, and song writer who have already developed a natural aptitude for online3D environments.

These new virtual spaces will also cater to the music industry support workforce including photographers, models, dancers, videographers, filmmakers, and actors. The creation of Cafesonique Campus fir virtual training and education is already underway as it the Art Center that will house virtual art galleries for cafesonique.com members to showcase their latest works.

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Can Machines Be Conscious? June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in philoshophy, science, tech.
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By Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi

Image: Bryan Christie Design

Would you sell your soul on eBay? Right now, of course, you can’t. But in some quarters it is taken for granted that within a generation, human beings—including you, if you can hang on for another 30 years or so—will have an alternative to death: being a ghost in a machine. You’ll be able to upload your mind—your thoughts, memories, and personality—to a computer. And once you’ve reduced your consciousness to patterns of electrons, others will be able to copy it, edit it, sell it, or pirate it. It might be bundled with other electronic minds. And, of course, it could be deleted.

That’s quite a scenario, considering that at the moment, nobody really knows exactly what consciousness is. Pressed for a pithy definition, we might call it the ineffable and enigmatic inner life of the mind. But that hardly captures the whirl of thought and sensation that blossoms when you see a loved one after a long absence, hear an exquisite violin solo, or relish an incredible meal. Some of the most brilliant minds in human history have pondered consciousness, and after a few thousand years we still can’t say for sure if it is an intangible phenomenon or maybe even a kind of substance different from matter. We know it arises in the brain, but we don’t know how or where in the brain. We don’t even know if it requires specialized brain cells (or neurons) or some sort of special circuit arrangement of them.

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BBC news white spectrum June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in creative, tech.
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from informatioaeshetics

white_spectrum.jpg
a data visualisation tool which tries to analyze the debate sparked by the BBC White season of programs which aired on BBC2. the interface shows a number of particles floating around in space. each particle represents a sentence taken from the debate & is assigned a color corresponding to the type of emotion (i.e. anger, fear, hurt, confusion, happiness & caring) word found in the sentence.

particles also have a size which reflects the intensity of the emotion expressed & a brightness which indicates the average consensus (agreement/disagreement) on the comment. comments can be spatially clustered by their attributes & particles can be filtered to show exactly what the user would like to see at any given time.

Kage Roi idea acceleration system June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in innovation, tech.
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Kage Roi -- IT company Kayac has teamed up with researchers from Keio University to develop a high-tech brainstorming room that listens to its inhabitants and feeds them a barrage of related data and images in order to boost creativity and fuel the imagination.

The system — called “Kage Roi” — relies on a speech-recognition capable computer that monitors the brainstorming session via microphone, identifies keywords, and automatically crawls the web in search of related information and images. A ceiling-mounted projector then casts the retrieved data and imagery onto dark, human-shaped shadows on the table during the course of the meeting. The brainstormers can free-associate on the projected data, use it as a tool for discussion, or rely on it for helpful cues if ideas are running short.

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