Tag Archives: technology

Netflix becomes Postmodern, splits into two, and races for the bottom

Netflix is spinning off is DVD-by-mail business to focus on streaming. If there was ever an example of how postmodern business has become, this is it.
It is often said that in postmodernism, the curator was as important than the works he curated. That certainly seems to be the guiding principle behind this decision. Effectively, Netflix is throwing… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

I’ve written before about the previously dominant postmodern cultural modes are yielding to a new cultural attitude that based in “our grandparents” generation, one that seeks authenticity, purpose, and meaning.
Advertisers and the commercial semioticians they employ, are of course among the first to pick up on this, dissect it, and attempt to exploit it. Here is a… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Steve Jobs, and the Insanely Great

Steve Jobs steps down as Apple CEO, so the news reflects on his career. Best CEO in American business history? Maybe. Most visionary? Probably. But his contribution is hard to pin down. What makes him so great when other very successful people aren’t? Jobs was never a great engineer or programmer. Did Apple invent personal computing? No. Did they… Read the rest

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Deus ex Machina: if there is no God, Heaven, or afterlife, could we create them?

The New Statesman asks prominent atheists why they don’t believe. The answers are insightful but unsurprising, and around the internet it has generated the usual debates where people dig in their heels and yield no quarter on the issue.
I propose examining the question backwards. Let’s say there is no God, no afterlife, etc. Assume the atheist’s positions… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

Peak Oil, Doom Porn and The End Of Civilization

Peak Oil, Doom Porn and The End Of Civilization

This is the first part of a documentary about how civilization is on its way to collapse because of global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, etc. Pretty much every hobgoblin of the “fear the future” movement is in here, so it’s worth watching the entire series as it makes for a good overview of that entire system of thinking.… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Codebreaking: Cyborg Eye from HAL 9000 to Droid Smartphones

Codebreaking: Cyborg Eye from HAL 9000 to Droid Smartphones

Verizon is currently rolling out its 4G LTE network (better, faster, more, etc) and is heavily promoting the phones that support that network. The latest of these is the Samsung Charge, rechristened by Verizon as the Droid Charge, indicating its flagship status in that carrier’s product lineup.
Here’s the ad:
http://youtu.be/fEhaeMa9F5M
Gunmetal grey, distressed concrete and stone, heavy-handed references… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Intel’s Museum of Nostalgia

Intel’s Museum of Nostalgia

Intel has announced “The Museum of Me”, a web app which connects to your Facebook account to create a video of a walking tour through a museum dedicated to you, displaying pictures, friends, and the things you like in a 3D virtual gallery whose white walls and minimalist decor resembles MoMA. A video of a random user’s museum… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Newstweek: if only they understood philosophy they way the understood technology

Newstweek: if only they understood philosophy they way the understood technology

Newstweek is a wireless networking hack in which wifi devices are added to unsecured wireless networks to subtly change the content of popular news sites as users on that network browse them. For example, you leave one of the Newstweek devices in a Starbucks, and everyone in that Starbucks reading the BBC news site sees a fake headline… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Missing the Point

Researchers demonstrate flexible ePaper phone
I love the technology on display here, and I think that it will definitely take off in some application or other as soon as it becomes economical to mass-produce. But what interests me more than the tech are the comments made by Roel Vertegaal, one of the project’s leaders.
The computer looks, feels… Read the rest

Posted on by Simbera | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

If you want kids to learn science, you need a better sales pitch.

“I always hear stories about how we can’t find engineers, and that’s why we’re emphasizing Math and Science … We want to start making Science cool. I want people to feel about the next big energy breakthrough and the next big Internet breakthrough the same way they felt about the moonwalk.”
So said President Obama at a townRead the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Codebreaking: Diet Coke’s “Stay Extraordinary”

Codebreaking: Diet Coke’s “Stay Extraordinary”

The older a product is, the more it is a commodity, and the fewer objectively discernible qualities or features it has, the more the advertiser is forced to construct a fictional “grand narrative” to sell you a product. They have to tell a story about the world, and place the product within that world in a way that is… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

The iPad and the Death of Techno-fetishism

The iPad and the Death of Techno-fetishism

Apple’s new iPad commercial signals the death of technofetishism in high technology.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyEpaPEbjzI
The ad is a radical departure in a number of ways from Apple’s earlier branding strategy. Gone are the white backgrounds, stark compositions, and austere images that places the device and the apps in the foreground. There is no rapid fire forced association of product with… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Uncanny Valley Is A Cliff


When the robot is realistic, but not realistic enough, we enter that uncanny valley– our growing empathy turns into revulsion, or horror.    The trick is to get it either more human-like, or less.
Robert Zemeckis tried the former in his movie “Mars Needs Moms” and apparently failed (though I suspect it had more to… Read the rest

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments