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. 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 are 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.

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 send your com­plet­ed spread­sheet back to Face­book, it can be imple­ment­ed quite quick­ly, in about a week (and will usu­al­ly let you know if there’s a prob­lem).

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 Cegłows­ki 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