Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What is Streaming?

At the university where I work we have an ongoing conversation about what is a 'meeting'. In our course planning for teaching we have to specify how many meetings a student can expect to have with the lecturer during a course. For distance courses these meetings can take a number of forms; a video conference, a chat session, a Skype meeting and so on. Being a language studies department we bang on about what words mean all the time. What is a meeting if you do not share space? I think it is interesting and that's probably why I work there.

Today I read an article online from the Swedish Television 'Culture News' about how file sharing has decreased by fifty percent in two years. Sounds impressive. The article goes on to state that streaming has gone up a huge amount (well from five percent of traffic to twenty six percent). So the text makes the conclusion that those that were once file sharing in order to consume media are now streaming it. It seems logical, but then I came across this article:

One of the big downsides of BitTorrent is that you have to be patient. Streams from Hulu start after a few seconds of buffering. Download a file from a torrent site, on the other hand, and you’ll often have to wait hours before you can start watching. “It’s a painful experience for users,” admitted BitTorrent Inc. VP Simon Morris in a recent interview with NewTeeVee, adding that BitTorrent has been pretty much “point-click-wait” instead of the “point-click-watch” experience people now expect from web video.

BitTorrent Inc. is now trying to tackle this issue with a new streaming feature in its flagship uTorrent client. Of course, this isn’t the first attempt to make BitTorrent a little more of an instantaneous experience. In fact, there are a number of ways you can stream your torrents. We tested a number of them and compiled a quick list of five ways to get your streams on. Five Ways to Stream Your Torrents

So people who are using torrents are also streaming. With the recent announcement by the Pirate Bay that they are abandoning the torrent tracker all together in favor of magnetic torrents, it seems that the Culture News is just following the pattern that is pretty much established in relation to file sharing. Technical innovation remains ahead of both legal structure and social reality at large.

The boundaries between one form of information distribution and another over web protocols are difficult to set. The meaning of 'streaming' is based on technical characteristic that seem to be fast becoming obsolete. Streaming will be the new file sharing.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Watching the huge number of protesters streaming down a street in Tehran I wondered about their lives. I can see their faces in this video. Seemingly ordinary people risking life and limb to manifest a disapproval of what passes as their government. They chant "Death to the dictator", and film each other, moving about the cars that are staled and stuck in the sea of public opinion that sweeps around them.

I have taken to the streets (and the forests) myself and disobeyed they law to express an opinion, and prevent an act which I and many others believed to be wrong from continuing. The feeling when one is in the 'protest space', where the rules of the mass society have become the rules of the group (perhaps one can say mob) is an exhilarating sensation when it goes well. If it goes badly it can be terrifying as the authorities reclaim the space for the state.

Yesterday a group of the feared Basij militia were outnumbered and overpowered and beaten by protesters.

In another incident Basij were overpowered, beaten and their motorcycles burnt:

The intensity of the protest is so much greater than it was in the June demonstrations. It seems the popular forces are no longer as cautious as they were around the time of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan.

The only certainty regarding the events in Tehran is that there will be more deaths. The protesters are clearly aware of this but it seems that it is not deterring them. The future for Iran is being decided but it is not a revolution, it is a civil war.

Nightly chant at Tehran Ashura 88

Iran News Now has been running Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009.
For more see

Justice for Iran
Tumblr: Basij
Tehran Live
BBC Photos

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homeland Security Presents Revolutionary Media

Media recommended by the management this last week of the first decade of the twenty first century since an unemployed Jewish carpenter was nailed to a tree for suggesting that we should care for each other. Get it into you.

Wax Audio - 9 Countries: Sounds
9 Countries - Mashed ambiance, soundscaping across Asia. A Wax Audio production 9 Countries was recorded on location in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Tibet, India, Egypt and Greece between October 2005 and March 2007 by Tom Compagnoni. What you hear has been entirely assembled from these field recordings, no additional samples used. Recorded, edited, mixed, re-mixed, mashed and mastered by Tom Compagnoni 2005-2009

This book, Noise & Capitalism, is a tool for understanding the situation we are living through, the way our practices and our subjectivities are determined by capitalism. It explores contemporary alienation in order to discover whether the practices of improvisation and noise contain or can produce emancipatory moments and how these practices point towards social relations which can extend these moments. If the conditions in which we produce our music affects our playing then let's try to feel through them, understand them as much as possible and, then, change these conditions. If our senses are appropriated by capitalism and put to work in an ‘attention economy’, let's, then, reappropriate our senses, our capacity to feel, our receptive powers; let's start the war at the membrane! Alienated language is noise, but noise contains possibilities that may, who knows, be more affective than discursive, more enigmatic than dogmatic.

Small Town Romance » Blog Archive » Lament – Mixtape

This was a pretty sad week, as my guitar hero Jack Rose had died in the beginning of the week, of a heart attack in the age of 38. I wrote him an open letter which you can read here, and I’m glad that new people were exposed to his music because of this letter. At first, I thought of having a somewhat dedicated to death mixtape, but I figured it’ll be too depressing and live moves on, so this mixtape will be a regular, plain one, like you’re use too. It is dedicated to Jack though.

Silver Currant: Jack Rose, The Athenaeum, Fredericksburg, VA.
Jack Rose. June 18, 2009 @ The Athenaeum, Fredericksburg,Virginia.

Download Bergensbanen in HD
Friday November 27th over 1,2 million Norwegians watched parts of “Bergensbanen” on NRK2. The longest documentary ever? At least the longest we have made, almost 7 1/2 hours, showing every minute of the scenic train ride between Bergen on the Norwegian west coast, crossing the mountains to the capital of Oslo. Bergensbanen is 100 years in 2009, and the documentary was a wild idea from NRK staff that came through, and was a surprisingly big success.

Time Has Told Me
An old favorite. A great Mp3 blog that does not link to individual entries so you have to go through the whole glorious thing.

Busy week ahead. Will be working. Lots to write. Lots to plan. Enjoy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Drone of the Equinoctial

Over the Christmas break I have had the chance to make a little sound. Here is an eight minute recording of a performance I gave at a private party on Tuesday:


and getting ready for the gig:

Drone Moment at Home

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Electronic Behavior Control System

Electronic Behavior Control System
Telecommunication Breakdown
TVT, 1995

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Copenhagen: The final hours

Nature's Olive Heffernan awaits the final conclusion of the Copenhagen conference on climate change. Author Tom Friedman, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and others give us their take on the UN talks, and we finally get a glimpse of Barack Obama.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cabin Weather Recomendations

Holed up for winter. Snow storm today. The air becomes three dimensional with snow. Particles of white float down in space. Cold it is. Minus 20 yesterday. Today only about minus 10. I write and eat and sleep. Dreaming of the sun. The internet is a crystal highway out of here. I present some recommended media gleaned from the traffic ways of the cyber-nets during the last week. Enjoy.

The Roots of Tantra (PDF Book)
Collective works of this kind are notoriously difficult to summarize and assess. Here, the authors, scholars across various fields, attempt to deal with different aspects of the origins of Tantra as a movement in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Perhaps most interesting are M.C. Joshi's essay, "Historical and Iconographic Aspects of Sakta Tantrism," Thomas McEvilley's "The Spinal Serpent," and editor Harper's "Warring Saktis." Like the contributors, this reviewer flinches from the task of defining Tantrism. Suffice it to say that this volume is a savory and well-illustrated collection on certain aspects of religion in the Indian subcontinent. Highly recommended.

Orson Welles Vintage Radio | Open Culture
Back in the late 1930s, Orson Welles launched The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a radio program dedicated to bringing dramatic, theatrical productions to the American airwaves. The show had a fairly short run. It lasted from 1938 to 1941. But it made its mark. During these few years, The Mercury Theatre aired The War of the Worlds, an episode narrated by Welles that led many Americans to believe their country was under Martian attack. The legendary production was based on H.G. Wells’ early sci-fi novel, and you can listen to it here.

Merlin in Rags
Incredible Mp3 blog of ancient and archaic music

EKAR020/Various Artists pt.2

Deep House,Downtempo compilation. etoka records,various artists,compilation,release,ekar020,paskal,deyamre,andy hart,fassbinder,jaksa pavicevic,verano,jose quilez,sumsuch,si muir,hannes smith. V.A pt2 is a 20th release of Etoka Records & the last one of 2009. Compilation includes 10 tracks. We hope you enjoy this one!!!

DIY Book Scanners Turn Your Books Into Bytes | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
So over three days, and for about $300, he lashed together two lights, two Canon Powershot A590 cameras, a few pieces of acrylic and some chunks of wood to create a book scanner that’s fast enough to scan a 400-page book in about 20 minutes. To use it, he simply loads in a book and presses a button, then turns the page and presses the button again. Each press of the button captures two pages, and when he’s done, software on Reetz’s computer converts the book into a PDF file. The Reetz DIY book scanner isn’t automated–you still need to stand by it to turn the pages. But it’s fast and inexpensive.

Salvador Dali & Igor Wakhevitch - Etre Dieu (1974)
Igor Wakhévitch is a French composer who gained a small cult following in the late 1990s after praise circulated by Nurse with Wound and Michael Gira of Swans. Wakhévitch was a part of the 1960s atmosphere of musical integration and crossing borders. He was friends with Robert Wyatt and Mike Ratledge of The Soft Machine and studied with Pierre Schaeffer and Terry Riley.

Bomber Blog: Pierre Henry - Mass for the Present time (1968)
The celebrated French composer Pierre Henry was among the pivotal forces behind the development of musique concrète, becoming the first formally educated musician to devote his energies to the electronic medium. Born in Paris on December 9, 1927, he began training at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of ten, studying piano under Nadia Boulanger and percussion under Felix Passerone while also attending the classes of Olivier Messiaen. Still, Henry had little regard for traditional musical instruments, preferring instead to privately experiment with non-musical sound sources; over time, he grew fascinated with the notion of incorporating noise into the compositional process, and perhaps unsurprisingly first attracted notice in performing circles for his prowess as a percussionist.

In 1949, Henry joined the staff of the RTF electronic studio, founded by Pierre Schaeffer five years earlier; he soon immersed himself completely in electronic music, heading the Groupe de Research de Musique Concrète throughout the greater part of the 1950s. Henry soon began compiling a "sound herbal," a catalog of any sound potentially useful from a musical standpoint -- everything from animal cries to editing techniques to speed variations, all of which he deemed superior to conventional instrumentation. It inspired 1950's Symphonie pour un homme seul, a 12-movement work co-written by Henry and Schaeffer employing the sounds of the human body; solo pieces including 1951's Le microphone bien tempere (the first attempt at notated musique concrète), Musique sans titre and Concerto des ambiguites (which combined live piano with its own recorded distorted sounds) all broke new ground as well.

Films of Artavazd Peleshian
Artavazd Ashoti Peleshyan (born November 22, 1938, Leninakan) is an Armenian director of film-essays, a documentarian in the history of film art and a film theorist. However his work unlike Maya Deren's is not avant-garde nor tries to explore the absurd, is not really art for the art's sake like Stan Brakhage's but should be rather acknowledged as a poetic view on life embedded on film. In the words of the filmmaker Sergei Parajanov, his is "one of the few authentic geniuses in the world of cinema". Renowned Master of the Armenian SSR arts title (1979).

Third Ear Band: New Forecasts From The Third Ear Almanac (1989)

Recorded live at Teatro Impavadi, Sarzana, Italy on the 11th January
1989 - taken from official bootleg cassette on the ADN label

1. Egyptian Book Of The Dead
2. Third Ear Raga
3. Live Ghosts
4. Witches' Dance

performed by;
GLEN SWEENEY - hand drums
MICK CARTER - guitar
LYN DOBSON - flute and alto saxophone
All compositions by Glen Sweeney, Mick Carter and Lyn Dobson

Free Albums Galore :: Mu. - Arecibo Psycodelic Classics 17: Abortos Musicales :: November :: 2009
You know DIY has gone over the edge when the artist braggs that his music was recorded “with one mic made out of cell phone parts and a ball of aluminum foil”. The album titled Arecibo Psycodelic Classics 17: Abortos Musicales by Mu. is a cornucopia of percussive sounds that seem to be dually influenced by John Cage and an army of toddlers let loose in a music store. While there is a temptation to think of Mu as someone who simply wants to find as many sounds as he can get out of the household appliances, he is actually quite imaginative and has some structure hiding behind the noise. Those familiar with avant jazz percussion of the 70s will get this album faster than most but I think the rest will still enjoy this interesting noisefest. The album is available from the Headphonica netlabel in 320kbps MP3.

Acid Mothers Temple Live at Empty Bottle on 2002-10-20

Disc 1
1. Soleil de Cristal et Lune D' Argent
2. In C-->In E

Disc 2
1. Loved & Confused
2. Blue Velvet Blues
3. Pink Lady Lemonade
4. La Novia

Thursday, December 17, 2009

TCPA - Trusted Computing Platform Alliance

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG), successor to the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA), is an initiative started by AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems to implement Trusted Computing. Many others followed.

TCG's original goal was the development of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a semiconductor intellectual property core or integrated circuit that conforms to the trusted platform module specification put forward by the Trusted Computing Group and is to be included with computers to enable trusted computing features. TCG-compliant functionality has since been integrated directly into certain[specify] mass-market chipsets.

TCG also recently released the first version of their Trusted Network Connect ("TNC") protocol specification, based on the principles of AAA, but adding the ability to authorize network clients on the basis of hardware configuration, BIOS, kernel version, and which updates that have been applied to the OS and anti-virus software, etc.[3]

Seagate has also developed a Full Disk encryption drive which can use the ability of the TPM to secure the key within the hardware chip.

The owner of a TPM-enabled system has complete control over what software does and doesn't run on their system This does include the possibility that a system owner would choose to run a version of an operating system that refuses to load unsigned or unlicensed software, but those restrictions would have to be enforced by the operating system and not by the TCG technology. What a TPM does provide in this case is the capability for the OS to lock software to specific machine configurations, meaning that "hacked" versions of the OS designed to get around these restrictions would not work. While there is legitimate concern that OS vendors could use these capabilities to restrict what software would load under their OS (hurting small software companies or open source/shareware/freeware providers, and causing vendor lock-in for some data formats), no OS vendor has yet suggested that this is planned.

Furthermore, since restrictions would be a function of the operating system, TPMs could in no way restrict alternative operating systems from running , including free or open source operating systems. There are several projects which are experimenting with TPM support in free operating systems - examples of such projects include a TPM device driver for Linux, an open source implementation of the TCG's Trusted Software Stack called TrouSerS, a Java interface to TPM capabilities called TPM/J, and a TPM-supporting version of the Grub bootloader called TrustedGrub.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.

Monday, December 14, 2009

We Take our Images With Us

The attack on Italian strong man Silvio Berlusconi by Missimo Tartaglia provides us with yet another image of hate and power. Silvio new exactly what to do once the makeup of hate was applied to his serene visage. Stumbling up from his car and blanket of burly security he showed his wounds to the crowd and they cheered.

Like Mao in the Yangtze and Putin with his ongoing muscle show, Silvio had a chance to stab at the ancient code of manly power and heroism. He will rise again in three days with a new face and a message for the masses.

Missimo Tartaglia on Facebook has almost 45 000 fans at the time of writing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

'The Whole World is Networking' Seminar

In HUMlab (and streamed live over the internets) today at 13.15, Daniel Kreiss from Stanford University will give a talk entitled, The Whole World is Networking: Crafting Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama

While many scholars of online politics focus on the falling costs of information as enabling new forms of collective action, this talk argues that digital electoral practices are the product of the sociotechnical work of a network of individuals and organizations that give them a particular shape and form. Through open-ended interviews and participant observation I follow a network of actors that convened on the 2003-2004 Howard Dean campaign for Democratic presidential nomination and subsequently founded and joined many organizational sites in the political field, culminating in Barack Obama’s 2007-2008 presidential run. I show how these figures carried a host of digital artifacts and practices honed on the Dean effort to other electoral and advocacy campaigns. In contrast to many accounts that celebrate seemingly leveled, collaborative participation, contemporary Democratic electoral practices are premised on sophisticated data gathering and the convening and leveraging of peer networks for institutionalized campaign ends. I demonstrate how these sociotechnical practices create new electoral collectives that extend the agency of citizens in some domains while foreclosing more substantive forms of participation. I conclude by showing the cultural work that goes into motivating, managing, and legitimating these forms of collective action.

Come to HUMlab under the UB or tune in online at the appointed time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Five Theorists from the Last Five Years

Create a MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Yesterday I was granted the final extension for my thesis appointment. I have been a PhD candidate since June 2004 and by June 2010 I will be finished. My dissertation is in the process of being re-written for the final time, and it is actually on track. I am confident, if I continue working basically all the time, I will make it.

So, it is almost over. The PhD has been the most remarkable period in my professional adult life. Doing a PhD is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Intense, rewarding, stressful, bewildering and fascinating are some words that spring to mind regarding the hard slog and great privilege that has been the last five and a half years.

Now, looking back over the time as a PhD candidate the contact with the words of others has been perhaps the most rewarding aspect of it. I have been paid to spend time thinking, listening and writing (even speaking occasionally!). With this in mind I thought to post here some of the words of people who have been with me during my own research, People whose ideas have had a marked, and occasionally extreme, influence on my own thinking. I begin with five of the basic building blocks of the digital side of my thesis (a critical literary theory work with a digital corpus as its subject). So here are presentations given by danah boyd, Howard Rheingold, Henry Jenkins, N. Katherine Hayles, Lawrence Lessig and Lawrence Liang. To anyone working in the field it reads like a list of the usual suspects. To me these were the early points of reference from which I branched out into less well worn paths where I tried (and continue to try) to find my own way forward.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Media, Education, and Technology - Bonnie Bracey

Watch it on Academic Earth

One Day and the Intenet

A Day in the Internet
Created by OnlineEducation.net

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Jack Rose is Dead

Jack Rose 1971-2009

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I just heard that Jack Rose is dead at 38. While I only met Jack once, when I saw him play a beautiful concert here in Umeå in 2007, I have been listening to his music for the past decade. I am shocked by the passing of a great musician who was an inspiration to myself. Following his gig here in Umeå in 2007 I wrote:

When I met Jack Rose and shook his hand I noticed how big and chunky they were. Great paws attached to a bearish man with curly locks and a shaggy beard. Then when he started playing his hands became nimble creatures that plucked and strutted over the frets. In the music of Jack Rose Varanasi meets the Appalachians in the back seat of John Fahey's beat up automobile. I must admit in some places the music seemed to stagger and stall (giving the feeling of being imprisoned in a giant wind up clock that was running too fast), becoming repetitive, but overall it was a great performance. One perhaps 10 or 15 minute piece (time disappeared for most of the gig) in particular was an amazing raga-esque journey with Rose tapping on the sound board, playing a bass line and a high end all at the same time.

Jack Rose Umeå, 2007.

To understand who Jack Rose was turn to the Pelt Myspace site:

On Heraldic Beasts maybe more than any other Pelt record, the band get seriously fierce, kicking up super caustic walls of gritty guitar and harsh feedback, huge Total like dins that often (but not always) settle down into more familiar moody murkiness. Neo Appalachian guitar hero Jack Rose is in there somewhere, as Pelt is his musical day job, but he's not channeling Fahey here, instead, he's possessed by the spirit of Haino, spitting out huge surges of molten guitar skree which the band then twists into dronelike shapes. Most of this disc occupies the dreamlike raga space we've come to associate with Pelt, but there is most definitely plenty of supercharged blown out psychedelic freakout scrabble and skree, that fans of SUNN, Skullflower, Fushitsusha and the like will find well worth checking out.

And then there is his music:

These streams are from Arthur magazine, which is a brilliant publication and should be supported, even if I am borrowing their bandwidth, which I do with some conscious but due to the circumstances I will leave them here for a few days only- You can support Arthur in many ways:

Pelt Den Haag from Mikel Dimmick on Vimeo.

With Pelt.

Pelt Terrastock 7 June 22nd 2008 from Mikel Dimmick on Vimeo.

With Pelt at Terrastock 7

Obituary from Spinner:

Rose was born in Virginia in 1971. His professional musical career began in the Richmond noise band Pelt, which formed in 1993. But Rose is best known for his solo work, which he began recording in the early 2000s, releasing numerous EPs and LPs on a number of different labels, most frequently VHF.

Rose, who also went by the moniker Dr. Ragtime, reached new levels of exposure in 2004, recording a Peel Session on BBC Radio 1, appearing on a limited compilation by Devendra Banhart called 'Golden Apples In The Sun,' and being named among The Wire's 50 Records of the Year with the release 'Raag Manifestos.' The following year, he released 'Kensington Blues,' which also received high marks from publications including Pitchfork and Dusted.

Rose was considered instrumental in bringing ragtime into the modern era and transforming it into something that was both referential and original. But as a self-taught player proficient on the guitar, including the 6-string, 12-string and lap steel, he brought a wide range of influences to his music.

Explaining his process in a 2007 interview, Rose said his favorite music was "anything that's pre 1942; Cajun, Country, Blues, Jazz all that stuff... that's my favorite kind of music."

Sadness will be a companion for the coming time.

BBC Interview: danah boyd on youth online

Danah Boyd is a social media researcher at Microsoft Research. She met with Aleks Krotoski to discuss the changes in young people's behaviour when online, their attitudes to privacy and the importance that might be placed upon building their identities online.

These rushes sequences are part of the BBC promise to release content from most of the interviews and some general footage, all under a permissive licence for you to embed, or download a non-branded version and re-edit.

Home with Google Street View

Home 1982-1987

Home 1973-1982

Home 1969-1973

Google Street View brings images of my three childhood homes. As well, it is now offering:

According to this UNESCO announcement, 19 historical sites will be included, and I’ve listed them below. The video above offers more details.

“Spain: Santiago de Compostela (Old Town); Old Town of Cáceres; Historic Walled Town of Cuenca; Old City of Salamanca; Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches; Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct; Historic City of Toledo France: Palace and Park of Versailles; Paris, Banks of the Seine Italy: Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; Historic Centre of Siena; Historic Centre of Urbino; Historic Centre of San Gimignano Netherlands: Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout Czech Republic: Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc; Historic Centre of Český Krumlov; Historic Centre of Prague United Kingdom: Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew”

Via Open Culture and my Mum and Dad

What is Happpening in Afghanistan?

Interview with “Zoya” from RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) on GRITtv (via The Afghan Women Tug of War — Feministe)