Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Twisted radio beams could untangle the airwaves

We're not only exhausting tangible resources such as oil. 

The radio spectrum is becoming increasingly crowded, with virgin "veins" of frequency running short. 

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics have found that twisting radio beams into a helical shape as they are transmitted could help ease the congestion.

Radio frequency encompasses electromagnetic waves between 3 kilohertz and 300 gigahertz, and as wireless communications technology advances much of that range is being used. Satellite TV, wireless computer networks and cellphones are among the growing technologies vying for space up to 30 gigahertz, with some technology even beginning to extend beyond 100 gigahertz leaving a dwindling supply of virgin terrain to exploit.

See below for the full article:


Monday, 23 February 2009

Internet copyright law delayed

In a press conference today, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (how painful it is to write that) announced that Section 92A would be delayed until March 27th. The blackout worked, at least temporarily.


Friday, 20 February 2009

Dirt Beneath The Daydream

The "Dirt Beneath the Daydream" CD - distributed with The Wire magazine - features 21 tracks of prime New Zealand noise, avant rock, psych-folk, electronica, sound art, Improv and beyond.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Creative Freedom Foundation: Blackout

(In New Zealand, under the new National Government), ISPs will soon be forced to take down internet connections and websites of anyone accused (not convicted) of copyright infringement.

The Creative Freedom Foundation have organised a nation-wide Internet Blackout Campaign against Guilt Upon Accusation laws in NZ. The blackout, taking place from 16-23 February, is a reaction to Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act, due to come into effect in NZ on February 28 unless the Government suspends or repeals the law.


Wednesday, 11 February 2009


An intro to the very wonderful FLOSSify project, which is introducing textbooks about free software into schools and universities:

For a long time educational courses have been cheap marketing for proprietary software companies. Can a student really afford all those expensive softwares required by the courses? No. Ever hear of a software company kicking up a fuss because students are using 'unofficial' versions? 

Well, it does happen but not often. And why not? Because proprietary software companies know, as the universities know, that once the students leave their training they will be indoctrinated with those tools and simply slipstream into being paid up proprietary software citizens. Simply put, unlicensed software used in education is tolerated because it is cheap marketing.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Inflatable Bag Monsters

Using the subway air that escapes through pavement grilles, New Yorker Joshua Allen Reynolds takes plastic shopping bags and dustbin liners and creates these amazing, animated inflatable creatures.


Monday, 9 February 2009

Change you can download

There a billion in secret Congressional reports are now available on Wikileaks. This new website has released nearly a billion dollars worth of quasi-secret reports commissioned by the United States Congress. The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the U.S.


Quantum Information Teleported Between Distant Atoms

An article about a new technique which can move fragile quantum data between atoms without destroying it. It features the classic line:

"A qubit walks into a bar, unsure of whether to order drink A or drink B. If the bartender asks the qubit what it wants, the qubit will collapse and be destroyed."


Friday, 6 February 2009

'Zombies ahead' warns electronic road sign

Pranksters in at least three US states have figured out how to alter the text on electronic road signs, posting notices of "Nazi zombies" and "raptors ahead" instead of legitimate messages detailing traffic problems.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Holographic Noise: A New Era In Fundamental Physics?

Here's a must read article relating the story of how researchers searching the depths of space to study gravitational waves, may have stumbled on one of the most important discoveries in physics. Craig Hogan, a physicist at Fermilab, is convinced that he has found proof in the data of a gravitational wave detector called GEO600, of a holographic Universe – and that his ideas could explain mysterious noise in the detector data that has not been explained so far.

"In order to test the theory of holographic noise, the frequency of GEO600´s maximum sensitivity will be shifted towards ever higher frequencies. The frequency of maximum sensitivity is the tone that the detector can hear best. It is normally adjusted to offer the best chance for hearing exploding stars or merging black holes."


Artists re-open ICA Live Art Department

In London, following the highly controversial closure of the Institute for Contemporary Arts' live and media arts departments in 2008, a group of artists have taken matters into their own hands:

"Filling a gap, and always willing to lend a hand when major arts organisations fail to do their jobs properly, we are delighted to announce the re-opening of the ICA Live Art Department, albeit in imaginary form.
True Riches is an independent curatorial project comprising virtual programming and proposals from an international group of artists, curators and thinkers working in and around Live Art."


Monday, 2 February 2009

Sort of Alive: inhumane treatment of robots

This is a brilliant article discussing conemporary developments in robotics, particularly in relation to warfare:
"The troops promoted the robot to staff sergeant -- a high honor, since that usually means a squad leader. They also awarded it three "purple hearts."