Category Archives: Programming

Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Facebook Global Pages

Migrat­ing to a Glob­al Page Struc­ture (also known as “Face­book Glob­al Pages”) can be dif­fi­cult, and I could­n’t seem to find a single guide with everything I needed to know. I recor­ded my exper­i­ences, so you can com­plete the pro­cess more effect­ively (without mak­ing the same mis­takes I did).

What are Facebook Global Pages?

If you have mul­tiple Face­book pages (for dif­fer­ent coun­tries), it may be bet­ter to rep­res­ent them using a single brand name (i.e. Joe’s Book­stores instead of Joe’s Book­stores — UK, Joe’s Book­stores — France, etc). A Glob­al Page Struc­ture allows you to do this — so that searches will only dis­play one res­ult for your com­pany, and users will be auto­mat­ic­ally redir­ec­ted to the ver­sion for their region.

Flowchart of Facebook page redirections

Image cour­tesy Face­book. © Face­book — All rights reserved.

One great fea­ture of Face­book Glob­al Pages (and why many choose to use them) is that page likes are aggreg­ated across all your pages — mean­ing that even your least-liked page dis­plays your total num­ber of likes — this will be high­er than (and usu­ally a mul­tiple of) your best-liked indi­vidu­al page.

Glob­al Pages are not inten­ded for man­aging mul­tiple stores in the same region — this is achieved using Face­book Loc­a­tions (how­ever, you could use Glob­al Pages and Loc­a­tions — if you have many retail stores in mul­tiple coun­tries, for example).

Import­ant: once you’ve migrated to Glob­al Pages, you can­’t go back.

Part A: Getting Started

1. Business Manager

Glob­al Pages are only avail­able as part of Busi­ness Man­ager (a much more power­ful way of man­aging Face­book pages). If you haven’t migrated to Busi­ness Man­ager yet, you’ll need to do this to enable Glob­al Pages. All your pages must be pub­lished, have a pro­file, a cov­er photo and posts.

2. Eligibility

Glob­al Pages are still being rolled out, and may not be avail­able in your region. To find this out, go to your page set­tings and there should be a Glob­al Pages tab in the left nav­ig­a­tion. If it’s not present, you may still be eli­gible — con­tact Face­book to find out for sure.

Global Pages Settings

If you are eli­gible, a Glob­al Pages tab will appear in your page settings

3. Targeting Strategy and Setting a Default Page

There are two main ways you can redir­ect your cus­tom­ers in mul­tiple mar­kets using your new Glob­al Page Struc­ture - by country/region or by lan­guage. Face­book will sup­ply you with a list of these regions and lan­guages that you can select from (these match the options you have for your page).

Con­tinu­ing the example above, the coun­try-based Face­book page for Joe’s Book­stores (UK) would tar­get United King­dom (and Ire­land, as this is part of UK & Repub­lic of Ire­land).

If you have mul­tiple lan­guage pages, your tar­get­ing can sup­port this as well — Joe’s Book­stores (Eng­lish) would tar­get the lan­guage Eng­lish, and Joe’s Book­stores (French) would tar­get the lan­guage French.

If you have mul­tiple pages and loc­al lan­guages, your tar­get­ing can sup­port this as well — Joe’s Book­stores (France, Eng­lish) would tar­get the coun­try France and the lan­guage Eng­lish, and Joe’s Book­stores (France, French) would also tar­get France but the lan­guage French.

You will also need a Default Glob­al Page for cus­tom­ers who aren’t loc­ated in these regions (or haven’t set their lan­guage). For your vis­it­ors — and for you to test — switch­ing between regions is easy, just select the ellip­sis (the three dots) under the main image head­er, and select Switch Region. This option is only vis­ible on Glob­al Pages, and does­n’t affect your actu­al Face­book coun­try setting.

Switch Region

Using the drop-down to change between regions

4. Naming Strategy

Hope­fully your Face­book Page Names (e.g. Joe’s Book­stores) and van­ity URLs (such as @joesbookstores — also called page user­names) are already well organ­ised and have a good nam­ing con­ven­tion, but this isn’t a require­ment of migrat­ing to Glob­al Pages. If you don’t have any van­ity URLs, now would be a good time to look at this aspect — check that all your names are avail­able and unclaimed, as they are avail­able on a first-come, first-served basis. Pages must also have 25 likes before they become eli­gible for van­ity URLs, and user­names can only be set once.

Import­ant: although Face­book them­selves were con­fused about this aspect, OLD VANITY URLs WILL NOT REDIRECT TO THE NEW VANITY URLs (although ori­gin­al Face­book-gen­er­ated ones will redir­ect to your new selec­ted van­ity URL). There is no mech­an­ism for allow­ing these types of redir­ects to hap­pen, so make sure of this before you enable your Glob­al Pages.

5. Setting Global Roles using the Root Page

Although you can still have page roles, there will also be admin­is­trat­ors of your entire Glob­al Struc­ture. This is done using the Root Page — a page which allows you to man­age set­tings for all of your Glob­al Pages. Your Root Page is invis­ible and can­not be vis­ited, but allows you to:

  • set Glob­al Roles - this includes adding Root Admins (using their user ID — at this time you can­’t add a Part­ner ID)
  • view Glob­al Insights (for met­rics across all of your pages)

Root Admins can man­age your Glob­al Roles, as well as man­age or add new pages to your Glob­al Struc­ture.

6. Will My Likes and Insights Data Change?

When you migrate your pages to a Glob­al Struc­ture, your actu­al page likes and insights will seem to have moved around. This is nor­mal, and the inten­ded res­ult. Some pages will get more likes, and oth­ers will have less — because the pre­vi­ous rela­tion­ship between likes and pages becomes com­pletely dis­con­nec­ted (they are related to the total sum of all pages). All ana­lyt­ics are now determ­ined by your tar­get­ing strategy — but the good news is that you will now have total ana­lyt­ics avail­able as Glob­al Insights.

It will take some time for this to settle down, so be wary of any com­par­is­ons you make that trans­ition through the date of transition.

Part B: Making it happen

1. Contacting Facebook

Face­book is a little notori­ous to con­tact. I’ve found the best way to do this is by going to Face­book Busi­ness Sup­port (web page) and select­ing chat, or Face­book Ads Sup­port (Face­book page) and select­ing mes­sage. You may need to quote your Busi­ness Man­ager Ad Account ID and the ID of your Face­book pages, so make sure you have these ready.

EDIT: Cur­rently, there is no dir­ect way to con­tact Face­book via tele­phone or email. Don’t call a Face­book con­tact phone num­ber you have found on Google (like this one). These are run by soph­ist­ic­ated scam­mers, and they will ask seem­ingly legit­im­ate ques­tions — until they have enough inform­a­tion to hack your account (or worse).

2. Completing the Global Pages Spreadsheet

After you con­tact Face­book, they will send you an Excel spread­sheet to com­plete. If you have covered all the numbered items above, com­plet­ing this should be a snap. Don’t adjust the format­ting, hide columns, or tidy up in any way! They use this as auto­mated input, so if you change it, the auto­ma­tion might not work.

Tab 1: Global Page

Regions Page ID New Van­ity Page Name
DEFAULT PAGE 12345 brand brand
IE-Eng­lish/­Ger­man/Span­ish, CA-French, FR-French 67890 brand.a brand
GB-Eng­lish/­Ger­man, CN, BE-French 24689 brand.b brand
NZ, AU 54871 brand.c brand

The first tab asks you to list the Regions — i.e. your tar­get­ing strategy (language/country — there’s a look­up table on anoth­er tab you can use), and which page is the default. You can change both of these set­tings at a later time in the Glob­al Pages settings.

The Pages ID is the num­ber ref­er­ence you see in Busi­ness Man­ager — it’s also in the bot­tom of the page info sec­tion of your page’s settings.

The Van­ity column is the URL suf­fix (the bit after facebook.com) — this can­not be changed after­wards. If you don’t have a van­ity URL, now is a great time to select one — all your pre­vi­ous vis­it­ors will be redir­ec­ted to your new URL nam­ing strategy. How­ever, if you already have a van­ity URL you can change it — but your old van­ity URL will not redir­ect to the new URL.

The Page Name is what will be dis­played in searches and on your page — you can change this in the About tab at any time.

Tab 2: Root Admin(s)

Root Admin User IDs
12354

Here is where you list the user ID for any glob­al admin­is­trat­ors — make sure you at least list your own user ID here. Don’t worry, you can always add new admins after your move to Glob­al Pages. The notes from Face­book here say “The root Page is invis­ible and over­looks the whole struc­ture. It allows you to have insights for the whole struc­ture. Admins of the root Page can also man­age the Glob­al Page struc­ture (e.g add/remove coun­tries and edit Pages).”

To eas­ily find out your user ID, go to this URL https://graph.facebook.com/marketing (but change the “mar­ket­ing” ref­er­ence to the user­name of the per­son, e.g. https://graph.facebook.com/joethebookowner).

Tab 3: Country Codes

This is the com­plete list of all the coun­tries and their two-let­ter abbre­vi­ations. You’ll need this ref­er­ence to com­plete the first tab.

Tab 4: Languages

This is the com­plete list of all the sup­por­ted lan­guages. You’ll need this ref­er­ence to com­plete the first tab.

Tab 5: Tips

A few help­ful point­ers, some of which I’ve covered here. I found that nam­ing all of my pages with the same name caused some issues later on (as I did­n’t know which page was which when integ­rat­ing with oth­er plat­forms), but this is prob­ably bet­ter from a cus­tom­er point of view. Your mileage may vary.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve sent your com­pleted spread­sheet back to Face­book, it can be imple­men­ted quite quickly — some­times in under a week — and they will usu­ally let you know if there’s a problem.

This post was first writ­ten in 2018, but should still be cur­rent. Please let me know in the com­ments if your exper­i­ence was any dif­fer­ent (or if you have any addi­tion­al tips).

Helpful links

  1. Am I eli­gible to cre­ate Glob­al Pages?
  2. Cre­ate a Glob­al Pages structure
  3. About Glob­al Pages
  4. Con­sol­id­ate region­al Pages into Glob­al Pages
  5. Face­book Ad Support
  6. Face­book Busi­ness Support
  7. What are the guidelines around cre­at­ing a cus­tom username?
  8. How do I change the user­name for my Page?
  9. How Face­book determ­ines a person’s loc­a­tion for Glob­al Pages
"Eclipse" music video

What does the future hold for storytelling — can a machine create cinema?

The release of the trail­er for Mor­gan provides fur­ther insight that Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (A.I.) is creep­ing slowly onto the cre­at­ive stage. After ini­tial pro­gress was made in 1996 when IBM’s Deep Blue beat World Chess Cham­pi­on Gary Kas­parov, IBM’s Wat­son then beat human cham­pi­ons in Jeop­ardy, and more recently Google’s Deep­Mind conquered the ancient Chinese game of Go. Google Pho­tos gen­er­ates videos (with music) auto­mat­ic­ally from images on my phone. It’s becom­ing obvi­ous that deep stra­tegic think­ing is at least pos­sible using machines.

So, can a machine cre­ate a video nar­rat­ive? Could we tell the difference?

The unfor­tu­nate fact is, of course, that the Mor­gan trail­er is hol­low and poorly-paced (even with the help of an “IBM film­maker”), and the musi­cians behind the AI-dir­ec­ted “Eclipse” music video have dis­tanced them­selves from the end product.

Look­ing deep­er into each of these pro­jects, they still required a human hand to direct/collate/guide the machine — it’s a ground-up approach to AI, so there’s no “Wat­son Video Edit­ing Soft­ware” on the market.

How­ever, the build­ing blocks have already been cre­ated — the Google search engine uses nat­ur­al-lan­guage pro­cessing, and Wolf­gram Alpha accepts com­mands in basic Eng­lish. We now have (pretty good) auto­mat­ic web sum­mar­ies and head­line ana­lys­ers. There’s a reas­on why Google’s Prin­cip­al Film­maker Jes­sica Brill­hart thinks Zork’s lan­guage pro­cessing will heav­ily influ­ence the future of VR.

It seems that although we prob­ably have a while to go before cre­ativ­ity is real­ist­ic­ally threatened in any way, most people won’t care if some­thing has been cre­ated by com­puter. For example, much of the in-house pro­mo­tions we cur­rently see on TV chan­nels are pack­aged in a way that would­n’t require human inter­ven­tion — so per­haps it might not be that long after all (for spe­cif­ic situations).

So a machine can assemble a video (I even hes­it­ate to use the words ‘edit’ or ‘dir­ect’). But not very well — at least not yet. How­ever, as Lin­guist­ics expert Noam Chom­sky said, per­haps we are even ask­ing the wrong question:

“Think­ing is a human fea­ture. Will AI someday really think? That’s like ask­ing if sub­mar­ines swim. If you call it swim­ming then robots will think, yes.” 

via ibm.com and bbc.com

The Amazon Dash Button

Amazon’s branded Dash But­tons were intro­duced in March 2015, allow­ing products to be eas­ily re-ordered with a single click of the bat­tery-powered device — not to be con­fused with the unbranded UK Amazon­Fresh ver­sion (which works like a mini­ature ver­sion of the pop­u­lar hands-free Amazon Echo).

As an inex­pens­ive (US$4.99) wifi-enabled IoT device, in less than 3 months they were start­ing to be re-pur­posed. There are a hand­ful of approaches, from fairly non-tech­nic­al ARP probe detec­tion through to bare-met­al repro­gram­ming. Amazon them­selves are also reach­ing out to developers and smal­ler brands with their Dash Replen­ish­ment Ser­vice.

Get­ting star­ted seems pretty simple — when you get a Dash but­ton, Amazon gives you a list of setup instruc­tions to get going. Just fol­low their list of instruc­tions, but don’t com­plete the final step . Do not select a product, and just exit the app.

Most tech­niques use some­thing like IFTT to con­nect the but­ton event to a IoT trig­ger of your choos­ing. Instruct­ables has a great step-by-step tutori­al, and there’s some great open-source code avail­able on GitHub.

Amazon Dash Button (Tide) on washing machine
The Dash But­ton as it it usu­ally used — to order more Amazon products (such as wash­ing powder).

The detailed specs:

  • The CPU is a STM32F205RG6 pro­cessor which is an ARM Cor­tex-M3 that can run up to 120mhz and has 128 kilo­bytes of RAM and 1 mega­byte of flash memory for pro­gram storage
  • The WiFi mod­ule is a BCM943362 mod­ule which in com­bin­a­tion with the CPU make it a plat­form for Broadcom’s WICED SDK
  • There’s a 16 mega­bit SPI flash ROM which is typ­ic­ally used in con­junc­tion with the WICED SDK for stor­ing applic­a­tion data
  • An ADMP441 micro­phone is con­nec­ted to the CPU and used by the Dash iOS applic­a­tion to con­fig­ure the device using the speak­er on a phone/tablet
  • There’s a single RGB LED and a button

Quite power­ful for US$5.

How­ever, the next step in this evol­u­tion has just been released — the AWS IoT But­ton.

The AWS IoT But­ton is a pro­gram­mable but­ton based on the Amazon Dash But­ton hard­ware. This simple Wi-Fi device is easy to con­fig­ure and designed for developers to get star­ted with AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon SNS, and many oth­er Amazon Web Ser­vices without writ­ing device-spe­cif­ic code. 

Tar­geted at developers, this US$20 ver­sion con­nects to the web using the Amazon Web Ser­vices Lambda plat­form without writ­ing a line of code (ok, so not developers then). How­ever, even the “Hello World” example described here seems quite tech­nic­al — in some ways, even more so than hack­ing the ori­gin­al (and at four times the cost). It seems to have three types of but­ton pushes, though — short, long and double for more interactions.

AWS IoT enables Inter­net-con­nec­ted things to con­nect to the AWS cloud and lets applic­a­tions in the cloud inter­act with Inter­net-con­nec­ted things. Com­mon IoT applic­a­tions either col­lect and pro­cess tele­metry from devices or enable users to con­trol a device remotely.
Can Buyukberber - Tool

Can Buyukberber: Physics + Visuals

Most recently known for his live Tool visu­als, Can Buy­uk­ber­ber is an inde­pend­ent visu­al artist & dir­ect­or spe­cial­ising in audio/visual per­form­ance, digit­al visu­al arts and motion graph­ics design. He stud­ied Phys­ics and Visu­al Com­mu­nic­a­tion Design in Istan­bul, Tur­key. Cur­rently study­ing at San Fran­cisco Art Insti­tute’s Art and Tech­no­logy MFA pro­gram as a Ful­bright Grantee and work­ing on immers­ive exper­i­ences using sound, light and space.

His works have been exhib­ited in Europe and North­ern Amer­ica includ­ing large scale a/v pro­jects at Sig­nal Light Fest­iv­al (CZ), Inter­na­tion­al Digit­al Arts Bien­ni­al (CAN), IX Immer­sion Exper­i­ence Sym­posi­um (CAN), Cur­rents New Media Fest­iv­al (US). He is inter­ested in trans­lat­ing obser­va­tions and insights on the imman­ent intel­li­gence of nature, self-organ­ising sys­tems, form­a­tions in time and pat­terns of the invis­ible space between the objects into vis­ible, aud­ible, tan­gible expressions.

via canbuyukberber.com

The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable (and more…)

The Stan­ley Par­able (adap­ted from the free ori­gin­al Half-Life 2 mod) is an explor­a­tion of story, games, and choice. Except the story does­n’t mat­ter, it might not even be a game, and if you ever actu­ally do have a choice, well let me know how you did it.

It was a col­lab­or­a­tion between Dav­ey and UK design­er Wil­li­am Pugh, work­ing togeth­er as Galactic Cafe. The game expan­ded sub­stan­tially upon the mod ver­sion, adding sub­stan­tial amounts of new con­tent, new end­ings, a com­plete over­haul of the visu­al designs, and new voice­work from Kevan Brighting.

The game was one of the first to be approved for Steam via the Green­light com­munity fea­ture. It went on to sell over a mil­lion cop­ies, win such awards as the IGF 2014 Audi­ence Choice award, and be fea­tured in schools and museums all over the world.

A free demo and the full ver­sion can be pur­chased here.

The Begin­ner­’s Guide is a nar­rat­ive video game for Mac and PC. It lasts about an hour and a half and has no tra­di­tion­al mech­an­ics, no goals or object­ives. Instead, it tells the story of a per­son strug­gling to deal with some­thing they do not under­stand. It can be pur­chased here.

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger And The Ter­ribly Cursed Emer­ald: A Whirl­wind Heist is a free-to-play “15 minute heist game” in which you’ll become a mas­ter thief, burg­lar­iz­ing his way across the hot­test sum­mer in Europe. It fea­tures voice act­ing by Brit­ish comedi­an Simon Ams­tell, formerly the host of Nev­er Mind the Buzz­cocks, who seems to be hav­ing a bit of a stress­ful time explain­ing exactly what it is you’ll be doing on this job.

Kadenze Creative Coding

International Month of Creative Code

Kaden­ze has joined forces with many lead­ing uni­ver­sit­ies, insti­tu­tions, and organ­iz­a­tions to declare May as the “Inter­na­tion­al Month of Cre­at­ive Code.” A full month out of every year will now be ded­ic­ated towards put­ting the spot­light on cre­at­ive code-related events, new courses, artist fea­tures, inter­views, and projects.

There’s a num­ber of wide-ran­ging courses on the link below — from “Intro­duc­tion to Pro­gram­ming for Musi­cians and Digit­al Artists” to “Cre­at­ive Pro­gram­ming for Audi­ovisu­al Art”, there’s some­thing there for every­one. Every­one who’s inter­ested in Cre­at­ive Code, that is.

Not­ably, there seems to be a move­ment away from Pro­cessing towards the more browser-friendly Javas­cript-based P5 library.

via creativeapplications.net

McTrax: A Paper Placemat Music Production Studio

McDonald’s McTrax: Play the Placemat

Cre­at­ing music can really trig­ger cre­ativ­ity in (young) people. That’s why McDonald’s in the Neth­er­lands intro­duced McTrax: a paper placemat turned into a full music pro­duc­tion station.

By the use of con­duct­ive ink on a piece of paper you can con­nect your smart­phone to the placemat via Bluetooth.

via thefwa.com

Portrait by Jonathan Worth

An Internet of Things that act like inkjet printers

Cory Doc­torow explains at O’Reilly’s OSCON (cov­er­ing open source tools, enter­prise, archi­tec­ture, infra­struc­ture, com­munity and more) in Aus­tin, Texas why the Inter­net of Things that includes DRM may not be the best option.

It may, in fact be the worst.

Cory is a sci­ence fic­tion nov­el­ist, blog­ger and tech­no­logy act­iv­ist. He is the co-edit­or of the pop­u­lar web­log Boing Boing, and a con­trib­ut­or to The Guard­i­an, Pub­lish­ers Weekly, Wired, and many oth­er news­pa­pers, magazines and web­sites. He is a spe­cial con­sult­ant to the Elec­tron­ic Fron­ti­er Found­a­tion, a non-profit civil liber­ties group that defends free­dom in tech­no­logy law, policy, stand­ards and treat­ies. He holds an hon­or­ary doc­tor­ate in com­puter sci­ence from the Open Uni­ver­sity (UK), where he is a Vis­it­ing Pro­fess­or; in 2007, he served as the Ful­bright Chair at the Annen­berg Cen­ter for Pub­lic Dip­lomacy at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern California.

via oreilly.com

Bob Dylan — Like A Rolling Stone

This inter­act­ive video (from 2013) is the song’s first offi­cial video. It allows view­ers to use their key­boards or curs­ors to flip through 16 chan­nels that mim­ic TV formats such as games shows, shop­ping net­works and real­ity series. People on each chan­nel, no mat­ter what TV trope they rep­res­ent, are seen lip-syncing the lyrics.

“I’m using the medi­um of tele­vi­sion to look back right at us,” dir­ect­or Vania Hey­mann told Mash­able. “You’re flip­ping your­self to death with switch­ing chan­nels [in real life].” Adds Inter­lude CEO Yoni Bloch: “You’ll always miss some­thing because you can­’t watch everything at the same time.”

The sta­tions you can flip through include a cook­ing show, The Price Is Right, Pawn Stars, loc­al news, a ten­nis match, a chil­dren’s car­toon, BBC News and a live video of Dylan and the Hawks play­ing “Like a Rolling Stone” in 1966.

via mashable.com and bobdylan.com

The Genius of Claude Shannon

I’ve always been a fol­low­er of Claude Shan­non and the incred­ible work he did regard­ing Com­mu­nic­a­tion The­ory (i.e. signal/noise) while at Bell Labs. He knew enough to refrain from over-explan­a­tions — and in doing so he also inven­ted the broad­er dis­cip­line of Inform­a­tion The­ory. He coined the term ‘bit’, and was just as influ­en­tial to com­puters and inform­a­tion net­works as Alan Tur­ing. He built the first jug­gling robot.

I just fin­ished read­ing a quite com­pre­hens­ive his­tory of this sub­ject — The Inform­a­tion by James Gleick. From Amazon’s descrip­tion: “We live in the inform­a­tion age. But every era of his­tory has had its own inform­a­tion revolu­tion: the inven­tion of writ­ing, the com­pos­i­tion of dic­tion­ar­ies, the cre­ation of the charts that made nav­ig­a­tion pos­sible, the dis­cov­ery of the elec­tron­ic sig­nal, the crack­ing of the genet­ic code. In ‘The Inform­a­tion’ James Gleick tells the story of how human beings use, trans­mit and keep what they know. From Afric­an talk­ing drums to Wiki­pe­dia, from Morse code to the ‘bit’, it is a fas­cin­at­ing account of the mod­ern age’s defin­ing idea and a bril­liant explor­a­tion of how inform­a­tion has revolu­tion­ised our lives.”

There’s also a great (and greatly sim­pli­fied) video essay below about his work by the fant­ast­ic Adam Westbrook.

April 30th 2016 marks the cen­ten­ary of his birth, and there are a num­ber of cel­eb­ra­tions mark­ing this event. Many of his sem­in­al papers (includ­ing the cru­cial A Math­em­at­ic­al The­ory of Inform­a­tion) are avail­able here.

Admit­tedly, his work sounds a little dry, how­ever — along with John von Neu­mann and George Boole — his work ushered in the digit­al revolu­tion as we know it today, and will con­tin­ue to influ­ence how we think about com­puters well into the future.

via amazon.co.uk and delve.tv

Transhumanism & Biohacking

Wear­able tech­no­logy has taken the next logic­al step — implants.

From LEDs to NFCs and RFIDs, con­sumers are look­ing at ways of apply­ing med­ic­al approaches to implant con­sumer-grade tech­no­logy. So-called Grind­house Wet­ware (or “Grinders”) view this as next level body aug­ment­a­tion (i.e. pier­cings on ster­oids), and with the Maker revolu­tion you can now cheer­fully implant this tech­no­logy your­self at home. You can already buy an all-in-one syr­inge kit (based on anim­al Life­Ch­ip transpon­ders — for when your cat or dog goes missing).

Body­hack­ing — turn­ing your­self into a cyborg — also includes enhance­ments to exist­ing senses (such as infra-red eye­sight) or cre­at­ing new senses (such as sens­ing mag­net­ic north or radio fre­quen­cies). A lot of this tech­no­logy was ini­tially developed for people with dis­ab­il­it­ies or impair­ments (such as coch­lear implants for the deaf, and ret­ina implants for the blind). Arti­fi­cial hearts and pace­makers could be seen as the ancest­ors of embed­ded tech.

It’s only a mat­ter of time before you’ll be able to swipe your Oyster card with your wrist. Nev­er for­get your keys again!

via dangerousthings.com and iflscience.com

The Website Obesity Crisis

Incred­ibly humor­ous, well-writ­ten and researched art­icle by Maciej CegÅ‚owski about bloated web­site size — branch­ing into Rus­si­an lit­er­at­ure, Google’s Accel­er­ated Mobile Pages and Face­book’s Instant Art­icles. It’s the text ver­sion of the talk he gave on Octo­ber 29, 2015, at the Web Dir­ec­tions con­fer­ence in Sydney.

Top­ics covered include:

  1. The Crisis
  2. Fake Fixes
  3. Fat Ads
  4. Fat Assets
  5. Chick­en­shit Minimalism
  6. Inter­face Sprawl
  7. Heavy Clouds
  8. Stir­ring Conclusion

via idlewords.com

Giorgia Lupi @ Accurat

Gior­gia Lupi is an inform­a­tion design­er in Brook­lyn, New York. Her work and research chal­lenges the imper­son­al­ity that data might com­mu­nic­ate, design­ing enga­ging visu­al nar­rat­ives able to con­nect num­bers to what they stand for: know­ledge, beha­vi­ors, people. She is co-founder and design dir­ect­or at Accur­at, a data driv­en research-design and innov­a­tion firm. She has been draw­ing weekly data as 1/2 of Dear Data from New York.

via brainpickings.com

The Blockchain Institute: Beyoncé vs Bitcoin

I won­der how long it will be before this form of e‑parody explodes.

If you look on Twit­ter, you will find that someone set up the Block­chain Insti­tute. Per­haps this offi­cial-sound­ing organ­isa­tion will come up with some good ideas as to the prac­tic­al applic­a­tion of blockchain?

A quick look through the institute’s Twit­ter men­tions shows people thank­ing it for shar­ing con­fer­ences and blogs, cri­ti­cising it for not cred­it­ing imagesinclud­ing it in con­ver­sa­tionscon­nect­ing it with friends, and ask­ing it ques­tions. But the Block­chain Insti­tute is a com­puter pro­gram. Not only that, it’s a pro­gram that tweets nonsense.

It replaces the word block­chain with Bey­on­cé and bit­coin with fem­in­ism. If it sees a tweet that says “block­chain is a star because of bit­coin” it changes it to “Bey­on­cé is a star because of fem­in­ism”. There is no new con­tent. The com­puter pro­gram does word sub­sti­tu­tion. Noth­ing more com­plex. Yet people are strug­gling to spot that it’s simply copy­ing oth­er people’s thoughts, words and ideas and — for some reas­on known only to its cre­at­or — adding in a bit of extra Bey­on­cé and feminism.

People are trust­ing opin­ions without recog­nising they are com­ing from a machine, or that they don’t actu­ally make any sense.

via marketingmagazine.co.uk and twitter.com

Random International

Foun­ded in 2005, Ran­dom Inter­na­tion­al is a col­lab­or­at­ive stu­dio for exper­i­ment­al prac­tice with­in con­tem­por­ary art.

Tak­ing sci­ence as a means to devel­op a new mater­i­al vocab­u­lary, their work invites con­sid­er­a­tion of the man/machine rela­tion­ship through explor­a­tions of beha­viour and nat­ur­al phe­nom­ena, with the view­er an act­ive participant.

Ran­dom Inter­na­tion­al is led by founders Flori­an Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, who met at Brunel Uni­ver­sity before going on to study at the Roy­al Col­lege of Art. Ortkrass and Koch led the cre­at­ive dir­ec­tion of the stu­dio along­side cohort Stu­art Wood until his depar­ture in 2015. Based in Lon­don, with an out­post in Ber­lin, the stu­dio today includes a wider team of diverse and com­ple­ment­ary talent.

via random-international.com