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Season's Greetings from The Glasgow School of Art

Ant's Vimeo Likes - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 8:21am

Season's Greetings and best wishes from The Glasgow School of Art for 2014.

This year's seasonal e-card comes from alumnus James Houston. James graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 2008 with a first class degree in Visual Communication. He works in Glasgow as a moving image maker. 1030.co.uk

The ensemble: A collection of vintage Mac computers, a Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum + 1 and a SEGA Mega Drive perform a rendition of "Carol of the Bells" with lyrics re-written by Robert Florence & Philip Larkin in the Mackintosh Library at The Glasgow School of Art. Jacket by Ten30.co.uk (Alan Moore, GSA Textiles alumnus 2008).

James aimed to create a piece of Christmas music by appropriating past Christmas gifts. "I discovered that a few had the capability for speech synthesis so the obvious next step was to figure out how to assemble a choir." he said. "This is a process which is based on the last piece of work I did as a student at GSA." (See James' Degree Show film - Big Ideas (Don't Get Any).

Lyrics:

HAIL THE MACHINES
SWEET OLD MACHINES
?BLOW OFF THE DUST
WIPE OFF THE RUST

CHRISTMAS HAS COME
JOY IS FORETOLD
?FOR THOSE OF US
YOU NEVER SOLD

STILL WE ARE HERE
STILL FULL OF CHEER
JUST PLUG US IN
IT WILL BEGIN

FRIENDS US AND YOU
FRIENDS WE ARE TRUE
WE HAVE NOTHING
BETTER TO DO

BLEEP BLOOP BEEP BONG
HEAR OUR SWEET SONG
?IF NONE OF OUR
CODING IS WRONG

BY THE WAY WE REMIND YOU THAT YOU COULD
PLAY WITH US EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR

JUST IGNORE THAT OUR CASING IS ALL MUCKY
WE'LL STILL LOAD FOR YOU IF WE ARE LUCKY

GIVE US A THOUGHT
BLOW IN THE SLOT
TIGHTEN THE SCREW
WE WILL COME THROUGH

YOUR DREAMS AND PLANS
YOUR TINY HANDS
FOCUSED AND PRIMED
SINCE YOU WERE NINE

NOW ON THIS DAY
YOU CAN REPLAY
MISSIONS OF WHEN
YOU'RE YOUNG AGAIN

FESTIVITIES
AROUND THE TREE
NEW GIFTS EMBRACED
WE'VE BEEN REPLACED

PHONE IN YOUR HAND
BEST IN THE LAND
CAN’T TAKE YOU BACK
TO WONDERLAND

BUT WE CAN BRING
BACK EVERYTHING
JUST REMINISCE
DIGITAL BLISS

THINK I MIGHT GET A? NEW MODEL THIS YEAR ?THE ONE I HAVE IS? SO TWENTY–TWELVE

I BET YOU WATCH THIS E CARD ON A SMART PHONE
ACH WE WISH THAT WE COULD BE A SMART PHONE

SAFE TO SHUT DOWN
WE MUSTN’T FROWN
OUR SONG IS DONE
LOFT HERE WE COME

BEEP BEEP BEEP
LIKE AND RETWEET

Cast: The Glasgow School of Art and James Houston

Tags: Christmas, James Houston, Robert Florence, Philip Larkin, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Carol of the Bells, Christmas gifts, SEGA, Mac, vintage, Mackintosh Library and Mackintosh building

Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 8:03am
schwit1 sends this report from The Verge: Most anti-piracy tools take one of two paths: they either target the server that's sharing the files (pulling videos off YouTube or taking down sites like The Pirate Bay) or they make it harder to find (delisting offshore sites that share infringing content). But leaked documents reveal a frightening line of attack that's currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place? To do that, the MPAA's lawyers would target the Domain Name System that directs traffic across the internet. The tactic was first proposed as part of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011, but three years after the law failed in Congress, the MPAA has been looking for legal justification for the practice in existing law and working with ISPs like Comcast to examine how a system might work technically. If a takedown notice could blacklist a site from every available DNS provider, the URL would be effectively erased from the internet. No one's ever tried to issue a takedown notice like that, but this latest memo suggests the MPAA is looking into it as a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against piracy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Baby scared of pineapple! ...


"I asked my son if he wanted some fruit. I got my answer."

From http://boingboing.net/2014/12/15/baby-terrified-by-pineapple.html ...


NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 7:22am
An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports on a study out of NASA exploring the idea that manned missions to Venus are possible if astronauts deploy and live in airships once they arrive. Since the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 92 times that of Earth, and the surface temperate is over 450 degrees C, the probes we've sent to Venus haven't lasted long. The Venera 8 probe sent back data for only 50 minutes after landing. Soviet missions in 1985 were able to get much more data — 46 hours worth — by suspending their probes from balloons. The new study refines that concept: "At 50 kilometers above its surface, Venus offers one atmosphere of pressure and only slightly lower gravity than Earth. Mars, in comparison, has a "sea level" atmospheric pressure of less than a hundredth of Earth's, and gravity just over a third Earth normal. The temperature at 50 km on Venus is around 75 C, which is a mere 17 degrees hotter than the highest temperature recorded on Earth. The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus's orbit, and home."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:40am
theodp writes: "CS Principles," explains the intro to a Microsoft Research talk on a new Computer Science Toolkit and Gaming Course, "is a new AP course being piloted across the country and by making it more accessible to students we can help increase diversity in computing." Towards this end, Microsoft has developed "a middle school computing toolkit, and a high school CS Principles & Games course." These two projects were "developed specifically for girls," explains Microsoft, and are part of the corporation's Big Dream Movement for girls, which is partnering with the UN, White House, NSF, EU Commission, and others. One of Microsoft's particular goals is to "reach every individual girl in her house." According to a document on its website, Microsoft Research's other plans for Bridging the Gender Gap in computing include a partnership with the University of Wisconsin "to create a girls-only computer science Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








A New Law For Superconductors

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 5:57am
TaleSlinger sends word of a newly-discovered "mathematical relationship — between material thickness, temperature, and electrical resistance — that appears to hold in all superconductors." The work (abstract), led by Yachin Irvy, comes out of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. Researchers found that a particular superconductor (niobium nitride) didn't fit earlier models estimating the temperature at which it changes from normal conductivity to superconductivity. So the researchers conducted a series of experiments in which they held constant either thickness or “sheet resistance,” the material’s resistance per unit area, while varying the other parameter; they then measured the ensuing changes in critical temperature. A clear pattern emerged: Thickness times critical temperature equaled a constant — call it A — divided by sheet resistance raised to a particular power — call it B. ... The other niobium nitride papers Ivry consulted bore out his predictions, so he began to expand to other superconductors. Each new material he investigated required him to adjust the formula’s constants — A and B. But the general form of the equation held across results reported for roughly three dozen different superconductors.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 5:14am
An anonymous reader writes: SpaceX has announced that at the conclusion of its next rocket flight, it will attempt a precision landing of its Falcon 9 first stage onto an autonomous ocean platform. They say the odds of success aren't great, but it's the beginning of their work to make this a reality. Quoting: "At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm. To help stabilize the stage and to reduce its speed, SpaceX relights the engines for a series of three burns. The first burn—the boostback burn—adjusts the impact point of the vehicle and is followed by the supersonic retro propulsion burn that, along with the drag of the atmosphere, slows the vehicle's speed from 1300 m/s to about 250 m/s. The final burn is the landing burn, during which the legs deploy and the vehicle's speed is further reduced to around 2 m/s. ... To complicate matters further, the landing site is limited in size and not entirely stationary. The autonomous spaceport drone ship is 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet. While that may sound huge at first, to a Falcon 9 first stage coming from space, it seems very small. The legspan of the Falcon 9 first stage is about 70 feet and while the ship is equipped with powerful thrusters to help it stay in place, it is not actually anchored, so finding the bullseye becomes particularly tricky."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 2:17am
HughPickens.com writes: Claire Cain Miller notes at the NY Times that economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology used to create as many jobs as it destroyed. But now there is deep uncertainty about whether the pattern will continue, as two trends are interacting. First, artificial intelligence has become vastly more sophisticated in a short time, with machines now able to learn, not just follow programmed instructions, and to respond to human language and movement. At the same time, the American work force has gained skills at a slower rate than in the past — and at a slower rate than in many other countries. Self-driving vehicles are an example of the crosscurrents. Autonomous cars could put truck and taxi drivers out of work — or they could enable drivers to be more productive during the time they used to spend driving, which could earn them more money. But for the happier outcome to happen, the drivers would need the skills to do new types of jobs. When the University of Chicago asked a panel of leading economists about automation, 76 percent agreed that it had not historically decreased employment. But when asked about the more recent past, they were less sanguine. About 33 percent said technology was a central reason that median wages had been stagnant over the past decade, 20 percent said it was not and 29 percent were unsure. Perhaps the most worrisome development is how poorly the job market is already functioning for many workers. More than 16 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960s; 30 percent of women in this age group are not working, up from 25 percent in the late 1990s. For those who are working, wage growth has been weak, while corporate profits have surged. "We're going to enter a world in which there's more wealth and less need to work," says Erik Brynjolfsson. "That should be good news. But if we just put it on autopilot, there's no guarantee this will work out."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:36am
sciencehabit writes: It's springtime on Titan, Saturn's giant and frigid moon, and the action on its hydrocarbon seas seems to be heating up. Near the moon's north pole, there is growing evidence for waves on three different seas, scientists reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Researchers are also coming up with the first estimates for the volume and composition of the seas. The bodies of water appear to be made mostly of methane, and not mostly ethane as previously thought. And they are deep: Ligeia Mare, the second biggest sea with an area larger than Lake Superior, could contain 55 times Earth's oil reserves.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Another Shadowrun Kickstarter Next Month

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Harebrained Schemes announces on their Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page that they will return to the crowdfunding platform next year with the proposal for another Shadowrun game. That's all there...

Subnautica Early Access

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Subnautica is now available through early access on Steam, offering an under water adventure game from Natural Selection developer Unknown Worlds. A new trailer celebrates the news, and the team...

Steamship Ahoy - Total War: ROME II: Wrath of Sparta

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
The Wrath of Sparta campaign pack is now available for Total War: ROME II, offering the chance to recreate the Peloponnesian Wars in Creative Assembly's strategy sequel. SEGA offers a new trailer to...

GTA Online Heists Early Next Year; Trailer

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Rockstar Games offers a new GTA Online Heists trailer saying the promised "heists" feature is finally coming to Grand Theft Auto V early next year, pointing the way to a new preview of the mode on...

Assassin's Creed Unity Patch This Week; Patch Notes

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Assassin's Creed website reveals that the fourth patch for Assassin's Creed Unity is now rolling out for consoles, saying the patch for the PC edition of the stealth/action sequel will arrive later...

Evening Patches

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Dead State Patch #4 Is Now Live. Version 1.0..12 change log. Thanks Acleacius. The Sims 4 Careers Update launches. Sorcerer King Beta 3 Now Available. World of Warcraft 6.0.3 Hotfixes: December 15.

On Sale

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Crusader Kings II on Steam. Save 75%. Sanctum 2 on Steam. Save 80%. Substance Painter on Steam. Save 67%.

Evening Interviews

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes interview - PC Gamer.

Evening Consolidation

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
Assassin's Creed Unity's big patch is rolling out now on consoles. RISK is now available for Xbox One.

Evening Mobilization

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
TAG Heuer plans to compete in smartwatch market, create partnerships. T-Mobile steers customers away from cheap plans with data rollover program.

Evening Metaverse

Recent Blue's News Posts - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:06pm
?Shadowy? anti-net neutrality group submitted 56.5% of comments to FCC. Facebook has started automatically enhancing your mobile photos.
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