A view on the Internet of things

An highly optimistic and acritical view on the internet of things and a more realistic (and problematic) vision:


“Got any Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7’s?

Few weeks ago in New York I was interviewed by a New York Times journalist (article here) on a subject for which I have a great deal of passion, and KNowledge, hi end audio reproduction and specifically analogue generation hi-fi, tube amplification and high-efficiency speakers, which I design and build since I was 14. The interview lasted a while and we talked about audio technology evolution, recurrences in technological evolution paths, sound quality of tube vs transistor vs digital amplification, speakers´ designs and audio reproduction goals, and of course tubes (or valves). Apparently that discussion had no place in the article so my contribution has been reduced to one sentence ““Got any Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7’s?, rather than being disappointed about it, I laughed with a friend of mine whom shares a similar interest, who commented, man if that was a movie, you would be the nerd with the greatest line in the scene, and I am happy with that .

My lecture at NYU, International Scholar Speaker Series 12th of November

New York University I, Part I – Fall 2010.

Date: Friday, November 12, 2010
Time: 11:30 am – 13:00 pm
Venue: The Great Room, 19 University Place
Topic: Geomedia, Mapping the World – On the Changing Status of Collective Image Production and the Emergence of Social Navigation Systems
Speaker: Francesco Lapenta, Associate Professor, Roskilde University, Denmark

Geomedia, Mapping the World – On the Changing Status of Collective Image Production, location based media and the Emergence of Social Navigation Systems
The increased computational power of portable devices such as smart phones and laptops, and their integration with widely available global positioning systems are opening the way for a new range of location based applications that integrate and coordinate users´ mediated interactions and data exchanges with other users´ live geographical positions. I call these technologies Geomedia (Lapenta 2008, 2010). Geomedia are not new media per se, but platforms that simply merge existing electronic media + the Internet + location based technologies in a new mode of digital composite imaging, data association and socially maintained data exchange and communication.
This information’ , shared on navigable live virtual maps such as Google Maps or Google Latitude, Foursquare or Gowalla, describes the increasing user’s interest in using the Web to create, assemble, and disseminate personal information (in the form of images- sounds-and text) to create shared experiences of individually and socially relevant spaces and events. This form of geography, and the new virtual maps in which this information is visually blurred and digitally merged, represent the emergence of a new paradigm in the visualization of space. They also create a new economy for the virtual spaces they create and the information that are exchanged in these new spaces. In this lecture I will engage in an elaboration of the fundamental social, economic and perceptual shifts that are being operated today by these new location based technologies and software applications and develop a theoretical analysis of the ontological and epistemological shifts that characterize their contemporary evolution, patterns of production and exchange, and the unique form of geolocational digital re-aggregation of which digital images are now part of.


Go read and SIGN the Public Domain Manifesto.

“After decades of measures that have drastically reduced the public domain, typically by extending the terms of protection, it is time to strongly reaffirm how much our societies and economies rely on a vibrant and ever expanding public domain. The role of the public domain, in fact, already crucial in the past, it is even more important today, as the Internet and digital technologies enable us to access, use and re-distribute culture with an ease and a power unforeseeable even just a generation ago. The Public Domain Manifesto aims at reminding citizens and policy-makers of a common wealth that, since it belongs to all, it is often defended by no-one. In a time where we for the first time in history have the tools to enable direct access to most of our shared culture and knowledge it is important that policy makers and citizens strengthen the legal concept that enables free and unrestricted access and reuse.” (http://publicdomainmanifesto.org)

Google set to sell ads for Streetview. The first steps into the GeoMedia commercial renegotiation of the Virtual Map

As I described a long time ago in the GeoMedia study (hopefully soon to be published in an article) companies that have invested in Geomedia applications, such as google maps and street view will soon see and invest in the commercial potential of their administrated Virtual Space. The question is are we going to see a fight over representations of public space. Landmark monuments would offer great location for virtual ads. Think the statue of Liberty or the Eiffel tower with a big “Apple” or “Coca Cola” ad rotating over them. We are only witnessing the beginning. Things are going to get more interesting real soon when companies institutions and private citizens will realize the potential use of their virtually represented spaces.

LINK to the abstract of my article on Geomedia: here

LINK to articles on this story: here

“A New Approach to China” Google stops Censoring of search results in China!

Well this is major news today! Google has stopped its collaboration with chinese authorities and stopped the self censorship imposed by the chinese government to operate in China. This follows what Google described as vicious hackers´attacks on some of it´s chinese based Gmail accounts (owned by chinese human rights activists). The impact of this decision will be huge. I can only commend their response.

This is the link to the official Google post describing the events and the action taken.

Francesco Lapenta, 2008, “Geomedia, Mapping the World. A Brief Essay on the Changing Staus of Digital Photography. Google maps, Photosynth, Flickr, iPhoto 2009 and the Digital Merging of Collective Image Production.”, www.visualstudies.eu

Full Essay LINK

Remindfull of a technology that Ridley Scott created for Rick Deckard to use in his 2019 Los Angeles (Ridley Scott, Blade Runner 1982). As it happens reality has exceeded the fantasy allowing us to seamlessly move from one image into another in a virtual continuum of increasingly global spatial representations. As the map of the Empire that the cartographers continued to grow with increasing levels of detail, the virtual map of the world is acquiring a scale and scope that further exceeds their ambition. This virtual map deserves attention, because it is different both in its genetic nature and in its multiple evolution. It combines elements (Image, Text and Sound) that never before could be combined so seamlessly together. The map is built by the cooperation of two entities. On the one hand we have the (soon to be interconnected) platforms that are offered for its growth, we could say this is the equivalent of the kind of “surface” that is offered for the renditions of the map (in our case Google Earth, Google Maps, Photosynth, QuickTime VR, iPhoto 2009 etc, etc). And on the other hand we have the new generation of cartographers comprised by all the individuals  around the world that contribute with pieces of representation of the world to the enormous puzzle of the virtual map.
Read the rest of the essay here

Preferred Reference System:
Francesco Lapenta, 2008, “Geomedia, Mapping the World. A Brief Essay on the Changing Staus of Digital Photography. Google maps, Photosynth, Flickr, iPhoto 2009 and the Digital Merging of Collective Image Production.”, http://www.visualstudies.eu

President elect Barack Obama and the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

creative-commonsThis is really an interesting move, and one that is going to give a lot of momentum to the Creative Commons License system. President elect Barack Obama new governmental website  www.change.gov is now registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. This is interesting news on more then one level, and certainly one that is keeping me interested in what the new administration might do for the power´s balance over the Internet.

WEB 2.0 the thrill is gone. or should it be?

dangerA really interesting article written by Gry Hasselbalch about the new found consciousness required for the wise use of the ever present social networking websites/tools:

From the year of ME to the year of OOOPS

excerpt: “Ok, so 2006 was the year of “me”, the year when we the ”I” generation took the media and used it to its very limits to express ourselves. The public debate was rolling over its own borders of excitement over all the new possibilities that we suddenly had to express ourselves with:

Blogging, moblogging, youtube, SecondLife, myspace, Linkedin…uuhh nice….and twitter and jaikuu!!! and and and….

And then came 2008, the hang over year, the year of “OOPS” when ”me” the average person suddenly realise what I actually put out there. Organisations, media and even politicians start talking about the responsible media use and user, about how we should think about what we put out there. Campaigns, regulations, codes of conduct, guidelines, recommendations….”