Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

So just a couple of days ago I was talking about Photocide and the emerging camera phone trend. Yesterday I read a decent article in Wired about it called PhoneCam Nation. Then, thanks to Fark, I discovered that another site has formalized what Photocide's been dabbling in. I give you MobileAsses.com (currently down, and probably not safe for work), 'The real reason mobile phones have cameras.'

Then I read this, again thanks to Fark, how women in Oslo aren't pleased about their backsides being documented:

A Norwegian website featuring what appear to be hidden camera shots of a variety of women, some extremely young, has offended citizens - but they appear to be helpless, newspaper Dagbladet reports. According to Norwegian law, having pictures of body parts published without consent isn't a crime if the model cannot be identified.

Those clever Norwegians. An equally clever Farker found that site, creatively entitled Street Butts of Norway. These are photos of women's clothed butts, you decide if that's safe for your work. I can't bear the pressure. Clearly this was created by a local, as he's confused the use of the English terms 'photo' and 'gallery'.

The Wired article refers to the even more risque PhoneBin.com, which is sublime, depraved and definitely not work safe. They update their front page every fifteen minutes, and currently there's some cleavage, a couple naked guys, some Arabs having lunch, some wrecked cars and a camel.

I also encountered this article, where Australians are all a flutter about camera phones in their locker rooms. Crikey!

New mobile phones that can take photographs have begun ringing alarm bells in locker rooms across Australia, with hundreds of sports centers banning them amid privacy concerns. The Victoria state branch of the YMCA last week banned all mobile phones from change rooms in its 110 sports centers.

A disclaimer's in order here. I'm not some kind of ass-photo fetishist. It's just that ever since writing this white paper, I've been interested in following the emergence of the camera phone as a social force. And, predictably, it's led me to a lot of tight trousers.

Incidentally, in the Photocide post, one of my dear readers commented about one needing a utility belt to manage all our mobile stuff. This reminded me of Kevin Kelly's (former editor of Wired magazine) excellent Recomendo, where-in he talks about cool geeky stuff. In this entry, he talks about (the very smart but clearly very geeky) Stewart Brand's utility belt, which is more for tools than electronic devices.

Don't miss Asia Grace, a site of Kevin's wonderful photography of his travels in Asia.

From asses to Norway to Asia, all in one post. Real-time improvisation, indeed.

6:09:51 PM        Technology

Dr. David Dixon, a big dictionaraoke fan, brings us the excellent Mic in Track. I love this kind of found digital art, and the Internet is full of it:

A "mic in track" is a recording made on a PC using MusicMatch Jukebox, a music utility packaged with many new PC's that allows the user to record from the microphone input of the PC's sound card and save the recording in mp3 format. The default filename is "mic in track" followed by a number.

If that user also happens to be running a file-sharing program (WinMX, Audiognome, Kazaa, etc.), and shares the directory in which the mic in track is stored, then these personal recordings can be easily downloaded from the user's computer. The vast majority of them are either silent or uninteresting, but many are like Christmas presents giftwrapped in nondescript serial numbers. They represent unique examples of audio vérité.

My favourite is definitely This is a Test, which is kind of an elegy for the Information Age man.

5:49:27 PM        Music Technology

A few years ago I was channel surfing and happened upon a chamber music concert. The conductor, however, was prancing and stalking about the stage like a classical Mick Jagger. As I continued to watch this kooky fellow, I recognized something. 'Hang on, that's Penny Lane!' It was, you guessed it, the Beatles Go Baroque, led by the Czech Peter Breiner.

And you know what? It was pretty cool. I've only got a passing interest in classical music (see also this), but the convergence of the Beatles's pop ditties and the playfulness of a baroque orchestra worked. It's not Vivaldi, but Breiner lends the tunes a sophistication that they're otherwise missing.

I recently found a couple of tunes on Kazaa. I think I'll order the CD, but until then, here's an MP3 of my favourite, We Can Work It Out.

5:29:56 PM        Music