The Authenticity Filter

September 30th, 2011 | daybook

The iOS photo-sharing service changed all the filters one can apply to one’s iPhone photos.  The Gotham filter, as favoured by Ben Templesmith – here’s one of his shots with Gotham applied – went away entirely.  (And so has Ben, now).  All the filters are now very… is mild the word?  None of the filters apply heavy change to the image any more.

Which tends to eliminate the most interesting thing about Instagram.  The application of patina filters made them feel to people like authentic memory: like they were already placed in a treasured past context.  Now they’re just digital photos.  Just new.

Bookmarks for 2011-09-30

September 30th, 2011 | brainjuice

  • ‘Darker-than-black’ metamaterial could lead to more efficient solar cells
    "( — If typical black paint absorbs about 85% of incoming light, then a newly designed metamaterial that absorbs up to 99% of incoming light may be considered “darker than black." By taking advantage of the unique light-scattering properties of metamaterials, researchers have discovered that a hyperbolic metamaterial with a corrugated surface can have a very low reflectance, which could make it promising for high-efficiency solar cells, photodetectors, and radar stealth technology."
    (tags:tech solar energy materials )
  • The washable wearable antenna
    "This wearable antenna is able to send a signal to satellites using the Cospas-Sarsat worldwide search and rescue satellite system. It is made from highly flexible, lightweight material that is robust against water exposure and moist conditions, and resistant to wear and tear."
    (tags:tech rescue comms )
  • Simon Faithfull Escape Vehicles
    "“Like all works in the Escape Vehicles series no.1 [1996] and no.2 [1997] are tinged with the melancholy of failure. "
    (tags:art space )
  • Daniel Gray – Blog – On digital comics
    "Which raises the question: does the comics industry actually need comics any more? "
    (tags:comics digital+comics )
  • Blawan & Pariah launch new label…
    "Blawan and Pariah, two UK producers who constantly push the boundaries of techno and bass music have started a new label series called  ’Works The Long Nights’."
    (tags:music )
  • Fireball – a prototype 500g throwable sensor “grenade” from Intel allows fire… -
    "Fireball – a prototype 500g throwable sensor “grenade” from Intel allows firemen to monitor temperature and levels of specific gases (ammonia, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide). The data is sent to a server in the fire engine, then sent back to the firefighters via smartphones or other devices."
    (tags:tech rescue sensors )
  • Water supersaturation in the Martian atmosphere discovered
    "Extremely high levels of supersaturation were found on Mars, up to 10 times greater than those found on Earth. Clearly, there is much more water vapour in the upper Martian atmosphere than anyone ever imagined."
    (tags:space )
  • After the Deluge: Alex Lukas at the Guerrero Gallery
    "Rising from the muck, much like the urban wastelands of JG Ballard’s novels, Alex Lukas’ remnant landscapes present viewers with a future vision of our ruined present. These works on paper hover into one’s vision, offering fleeting memories of great cities, lost and then rediscovered. Cities or their fragments are inundated with water, scrub, marsh, and creeping vegetation. Older industrial ruins are covered with graffiti—signs of life without the existence of people or other animals. These scenes of a world, after an unnamed disaster, skirt the line between aestheticizing decay and asking revealing questions of meaning, memory, and mortality that arise when gazing at ruins."
    (tags:cities sf art )
  • BBC News – Rocket launches Chinese space lab
    "A rocket carrying China's first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, has launched from the north of the country. Tiangong means "heavenly palace" in Chinese."
    (tags:space )
  • SpaceX says ‘reusable rocket’ could help colonize Mars
    "The US company SpaceX is working on the first-ever reusable rocket to launch to space and back, with the goal of one day helping humans colonize Mars, founder Elon Musk said Thursday."
    (tags:space probably+not+but+still )


September 29th, 2011 | daybook

I sent the BERG crew a gift, and they took a photo for me:


(I sent a case of 16.  You can find them here.)

Bits and pieces:

*  I’m attempting to use again.  This is me on

*  I put together an hour-long music podcast for somebody else – basically just a mixtape of stuff – that I guess will be out in a few weeks.  And it really gave me the itch to podcast again.  I may just stick with doing 8tracks pieces more often, because 8tracks are at least licensed, and I don’t think I have the time or energy to do another The 4am run… but.  Geezer needs a hobby, right?

* I’m also trying out Goodreads.  I can be found there at .  I do have a novel coming out next autumn, after all.

*  And it seems that Dame Helen Mirren announced that RED 2 is go for next year. I haven’t been cleared to say anything, but, well, no-one’s going to argue with Dame Helen.

Bookmarks for 2011-09-28

September 28th, 2011 | brainjuice

  • Sino Superfund
    "Urbanization in China–explosive and seemingly boundless in potential–has in some cities reached a 'natural' obstacle. A vast ring of post-industrial sites surrounds cities like Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Although the factories have moved further afield, the remaining land and groundwater is often seriously contaminated."
    (tags:cities pol )
  • fecal politics
    "According to the World Bank, in 2008 46 percent of Indian urbanites – or nine out of every ten living in a slum – lacked “improved sanitation facilities”, meaning that people living within them lack sewerage and public toilets3. Where community toilets do exist, poor maintenance and overuse often render them unsanitary before long. For example, a survey of 151 slum settlements in Mumbai conducted by Mahila Milan/NSDF found that there were 3,433 municipal toilet seats, 80 percent of which were not working, to serve one million people – a ratio of one toilet for every 1,488 people4. Likewise, a 1993 survey of half a million slum-dwellers in Kanpur found that 66 percent had no toilets. Lacking facilities, they shit in the open or in waterways."
    (tags:pol cities eco med )
  • Guernica / Nick Turse: Obama’s Arc of Instability: Destabilizing the World One Region at a Time
    'In his book The One Percent Doctrine, journalist Ron Suskind reported on CIA plans, unveiled in September 2001 and known as the “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” for “detailed operations against terrorists in 80 countries.” '
    (tags:war pol pmeth )

THREE PANELS: Marley Zarcone

September 27th, 2011 | three panels

Marley Zarcone