September 03, 2004

At Burning Man

Here is my location right now.

40.74959, 119.24354

I'm in the middle of the Nevada Black Rock Desert with Rich Gibson's iBook posting a fucking message. Yes I'm a geek, and even in the most dusty place on the planet can be technologically hip.

In other news, the False Profit guys have a Monkey vs Robot camp in my village. The score is currently:

Monkies: 12
Robots: 11

Posted by nym at 03:34 PM | TrackBack

August 09, 2004

Al-Jazeera Banned in Baghdad

The Iraqi interim government has shut down the Baghdad bureau of Al-Jazeera, claiming that they are inciting violence. The ban is for 30 days, but is renewable according to the independent.

Reporters Without Borders has gone on the record as saying "We are extremely concerned about persistent episodes of censorship in Iraq", and brings up the fact that "the government has obstructed Al-Jazeera's work before" [Reporters Without Borders]. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi claims the move is "to protect the people of Iraq". Al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the station "a chance to readjust their policy against Iraq". Al-Jazeera officials are calling this "An ominous violation of freedom" [Guardian].

Sulli says "Meet the new boss...".

"Interior minister Falah al-Naqib declared that the order was aimed at protecting Iraqis and that the government did not want Al-Jazeera or anyone else endangering civil peace in Iraq. The minister had said a few days earlier that some stations were encouraging kidnapping by showing pictures of hostages under threat of execution." [near near future]

"Falah al-Naqib, the Interior Minister, who last week declared that al-Jazeera was "strengthening" kidnappers and hostage-takers by showing their videos, said the month in which its Baghdad office would be closed down would give it the chance "to readjust its policy agenda". He accused the station of encouraging "criminals and gangsters to do their activities in the country", and said the station transmitted "a bad picture of Iraq"." [The New Zealand Herald]

It appears that almost no American news sources are carrying the story. The only exceptions are a four paragraph blurb about the situation in the Winston-Salem Journal and a satirical site named "The Daily Farce". As the Daily Farce says:


Updated @ 11:11 for clarity and to remove editorials

[Link via near near future]

Posted by nym at 08:23 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

ACLU Bust Card for Photographers

Reader Len Norton wrote in with a great tip in response to the uncamera'd post describing a pdf/palmbook similar to the ACLU's Bust Card but released by Attorney Bert P. Krages. The free document is a quick and well written guide for photographers who want to know where and when they legally can snap their photos.

From the front page of their distribution site:

"The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has contributed to improvements in civil rights, curbed abusive child labor practices, and provided information important to investigating crimes. These images have not always been pretty and often have offended the sensibilities of governmental and commercial interests who had vested interests in a status quo that was adverse to the majority in our country."

From "The Photographer's Right":

bustcard.gif"Who Is Likely to Violate Your Rights

Most confrontations are started by security guards and employees of organizations who fear photography. The most common reason given is security but often such persons have no articulated reason. Security is rarely a legitimate reason for restricting photography. Taking a photograph is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets. On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations."


"Despite misconceptions to the contrary,
the following subjects can almost always be photographed lawfully
from public places:"

  • Accident and fire scenes
  • Children
  • Celebrities
  • Bridges and other infrastructure
  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Industrial facilities and public utilities
  • Transportation facilities (e.g., airports)
  • Superfund sites
  • Criminal activities
  • Law enforcement officers

Other sections include: "They Have Limited Rights to Bother", Question, or Detain You", "They Have No Right to Confiscate Your Film", "Your Legal Remedies If Harassed", and "How to Handle Confrontations". All of which is on one small reference page that you can fold up and put in your wallet.

Makes me want to print up a bunch for my photography and photojournalist friends.

JWZ and the livejournal crowd have this to say on the subject.

Update: "the whole photographic freedom debate just annoys seems so clear to me :-)" [Rich_Gibson]

[Link thanks Len!]

Posted by nym at 12:47 AM | TrackBack

June 22, 2004


I'm thinking of starting a site called photos FOR progress. I like pushing social buttons. This guy wasn't even trying:

"In February, I wrote about the poor quality of squash in our local supermarket. I took a digital camera in and took a picture of the hapless, bruised items that pass for fresh vegetables.

It looks like this site is read by more people than I anticipated. The store now has a nice sign by the entrance:"



Posted by nym at 11:17 PM | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

Cameraphones and a Transparent Society

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sounded like he was blaming technology for letting the Abu Ghraib scandal spin out of Pentagon control when he testified recently before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"We are constantly finding that we have procedures and habits that have evolved over the years from the last century that don't really fit the 21st century. They don't fit the Information Age. They don't fit a time when people are running around with digital cameras," he said.

[from MercuryNews]

While political, I believe this is yet another case of people thinking they can avoid political nightmares, like Abu Ghraib in a transparent society though censorship. Sorry Rumsfeld, all your skeletons are belong to us.

Posted by nym at 12:03 PM | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

GPS Video

gpsvideo.jpgWhile not a totally new subject, I noticed this article over at engadget which desribes a new product for Sony digital camcorders.

"Red Hen Systems has a new a GPS attachment for digital camcorders (though it only works with Sony cams, right now) called the VMS-X that stamps your video footage with the precise location of where it was shot."

Posted by nym at 12:38 PM | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

ETCon Wrapup

Many infogargoyle subjects were discussed, and this was a very informative trip! I was presenting in part with the Locative Collaborative Mapping Workshop. In the past few months I have been researching GeoImages, that is images with geocoordinates to describe where the photo was taken. My material was well recieved, but I mostly learned a great deal about RDF and namespaces within it from Dan Brickley and Jo Walsh (zool). Very interesting indeed!

Locative Workshop Wiki:
Rich_Gibson's wiki notes:

Posted by nym at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2003

Roam-Net Kiosk Trailer

kiosk.jpgYou may have wondered why this feed has been a bit dry recently, but it's all in the name of technomadic progress. The editors of this blog, nym and dragoon have been busy working on the Roam-Net Kiosk Trailer for Burning Man 2003.

The Kiosk Trailer is a roaming extension of Burning Man's PlayaNet WiFi network, and a place where people will be able to hop on the internet via the Oregon County Fair's satelite uplink.

In addition, we'll be doing a timelapse camera off the Kiosk Trailer to give you folks some data to suck on.

Expect to see more hardware, information gathering, and gargoyle goodness after Sept 3rd, and possibly a playa-post during the event. After all our Roam-Net project is a bit of a gargoyle dream.

Posted by nym at 11:46 PM | TrackBack

June 17, 2003

Video Phone Ubiquity

Dragoon pointed me out to this post he had previously written. He will be away for the next month, but I am likely to increase my writing during this time. If anyone would wish to write in this blog, please don't hesitate to email.

img_phone_3.jpgWe found out about a consumer-level use of digital recorders via Boing Boing, titled 'UK pub toilet rape captured on phonecams by onlookers'. Video phones are definately be a big proponent of cheap gargoyle items, as we can expect this technology to become standard items quite soon. Some people at The Register think that phones are going to become "the new computer".

Dragoon [Boing Boing and Hit and Run] at 06-17-2003 06:14 PM ET
"LA County's impounding camera phones already. No official notices up yet, but the courthouse guards noticed my attachment when it went through the metal detector.

One thing that struck me about this:

More and more phones are coming with cameras not as an attachment, but as a built-in component, just like the memo-recording capability of many phones. And videophones capable of low-quality streaming video are on the verge of moving from satellites to local networks and becoming accessible to consumers, not just embedded reporters.

Which means you're going to have a lot more people who are going to be forced to relinquish their phones in various places, even as more people become accustomed to always having the same communication power as a TV station and newspaper, although a insignificant percent of the audience, in a mobile fashion."

Image from AsiaHype

Posted by nym at 11:46 PM | TrackBack

May 07, 2003

Fictional Wearables

nym's earlier entry on StartleCams reminded me of something. A fair number of scientific advances were prophesied in science fiction (I keep on forgetting to read Thomas Disch' The DREAMS OUR STUFF IS MADE OF), and Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan mentioned something similar back in the 90s.

Spider Jerusalem, the series' grumpy antihero journalist, wears camera-shades that happen to capture evidence of an embarrassing drunken night due to anti-assault defenses. There aren't many devices out there that provide this kind of functionality, but recording is becomming a much more commonplace activity. In the 90s there was a kidnapping/murder where the victim had a casette recorder on her, and without the murderer's knowledge, captured her pleading for life. The police found the tape later, and used it in court. This was turned into a Law & Order episode. More cases of crime documentation from victims with webcams, cellphones or wearables are coming.

On a cheerier tone, Transmet has SPKF feedsite (think 30th Cent. website) listeners that provide audio/video to their audience via attractive electronic and harness combos. Again, something that could be done today. A lot of sci fi (and its hipper, somewhat brain-damaged cousin cyberpunk) skips right over wearables to cybernetic implants, but who wants to go under the knife every time a faster model comes out?
Posted by dragoon at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)