Archive for the ‘web’ Category

Do the Right Thing: Google v Morality

OK Google, did the Holocaust happen?

screenshot-2016-12-18-17-36-57

Advertisements

Vague but exciting

Today’s the day (in 1989) that Tim Berners-Lee distributed a proposal at CERN to improve information flows: “a ‘web’ of notes with links between them.” A ‘web’ became the Web as the World Wide Web was born, reaching its quarter century today. Here’s the document itself with some charming diagrams.

His boss, Mike Sendall, scribbled ‘vague, but exciting’ on the cover.

Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the Web{Photo courtesy of Catrina Genovese}

 

Gee male on Gmail

Remix of a frame shot by my first boss, Roger Deakins (from Mike Radford's 1984)

Remix of a frame shot by my first boss, Roger Deakins (from Mike Radford’s 1984)

So as you know, as a Gmail user, Google scan the contents of all your emails, regardless of the confidentiality or sensitivity of the content, in order to target advertising at you – and, it turns out, possibly forward stuff to the US National Security Agency. Google’s lawyers refer to it euphemistically as “automated processing” (DoubleSpeak at its finest). Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, memorably used the C Word in summarising the corporate policy behind this: “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

In May a class action centred on data-mining was filed against Google claiming that the company “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages”. Google’s response last month was that Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their emails are confidential.

The Google lawyers use this telling analogy in their defence: “Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS [electronic communications service] provider in the course of delivery.” The skewed nature of their world view is given away by the notion that the modern world of work is full of people with personal assistants. And of course the analogy is equally wide of the mark because Google is more like the Post Office where we have no expectation of the deliverer to open the envelope and “acquire” our content or that of our correspondents (and where what interventions there are are the work of the odd rogue low-life at Mount Pleasant rather than a planned mechanised system on an uber-industrial scale).

Beyond the question of whether Gmail users do actually understand what they are signing up for in terms of surrendering their basic privacy, a huge issue here is that anyone corresponding with a Gmail user is likewise having their data pillaged and raped. Which should raise a big question mark over the use of Gmail in business contexts. Some way beyond the creepy line I’d argue and I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be the wrong side of the legal line too.

Osama fun in the Currant Bun

The dear old Sun has picked up on Osama Loves today in a full page spread on p22. Naturally enough they’ve brought their own special magic to it – like photoshopping out the male half of our dynamic Muslim duo.

Osama of Love global hunt Doctor

Osama of Love global hunt Doctor

Bodies

Embarrassing Bodies

Had a rather good day at work! 100,000 people used the videos commissioned for my latest project, Embarrassing Bodies, in the first two hours after broadcast of the kick-off show last night. That bodes well for a lot of self-checking and preventive health activity. One Self-Check Video was viewed 24,000 times in those two hours. And there were well over half a million pageviews in the first 12 hours. NHS eat your heart out… (or more productively and with less risk of MRSA, work with Channel 4 to get this kind of thing across effectively.)

Another C4 speciality is scheduling. Tonight’s a classic:
21:00 Embarrassing Bodies
22:00 Michael Barrymore – What Really Happened? (Honest, Officer, I’ve no idea how that embarrassing body got there…)

Embarrassing Bodies TV: Maverick TV
Web: Maverick TV and Made Media

Guardian article by Jemima Kiss

Face(book) Time

As we move into the Review of the Year season, I just found this screengrab from my InBox of 2nd July which I remember marking the sense that a phenomenon was really happening at Facebook:

Facebook

And this cartoon [courtesy of Royston Robertson at Private Eve] marks another real phenomenon of Web 2.0 in 2007:

Cartoon

A pretty interesting year in the interactive world – here’s looking forward to an equally colourful 2008…

The Future of Drama?

Girl Power – current episode from Kate Modern

[click above to watch – Bebo embed code not working and what do I know about HTML?]

Girl Power

Marks out of 10 for acting?

Marks out of 10 for writing?

And who is stalking Charlie with a video camera? Why?

What do people feel, as a potential audience members, about this?:
“At every stage that a user is involved with the story – whether they’re blogging, uploading photos or simply watching the latest episode – there will also be the chance to be involved with the brands that take part in the story.

No, I’m not talking about traditional product placement but the integration of brands from P&G such as Gilette and Pantene, Microsoft’s Windows Live, Disney and Orange into the plot in a way that gives users a reason not only to remember the brand, but creates a long-term relationship with that brand.”
(from a speech by Joanna Shields – President, International of Bebo – at an Royal Television Society Dinner in June 2007)

LG15 it ain’t…

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
W. H. Auden

   
 
dont nobody give a fuck,dis shit stupid

S. C. Entertainment

Street Certified Entertainment Presentz

Making an interactive drama out of a creative crisis

 lonelygirl15

The debate over how to do interactive drama has raged for well over a decade – I can recall conversations and gatherings about branched narratives, multiple endings and the like peppering the years of my working life since the earliest days of interactive technology. I still hear those kind of conversations from time to time despite the ubiquity of games on- and off-line.

I had the pleasure last week of hooking up with Greg Goodfried, co-creator of Lonelygirl15 in Banff, Alberta. I’m a huge admirer of LG15 as a beacon of interactive drama – it perfectly exploits the fact that the wherewithal to tell stories in interactive video has finally come to be. Lonelygirl points the way ahead in its well judged, fully engaged exploitation of YouTube, networks and collaborative media.

The work Tim Wright and Rob Bevan, my collaborators on MindGym, did in the late 90s on their follow-up project Online Caroline (and subsequent forays into interactive narrative) was visionary and on the right trajectory, but without the benefit of the ideal tools now at our disposal. Caroline was very much the mummy of Lonelygirl.

How KateModern goes, LG15’s new commission from Bebo in the UK, will be fascinating to follow. What’s intriguing is that Kate will be part of the same immersive fictional world as Bree and the Hymn of One so there’s every chance the stories will meet and cross-fertilise somewhere along the line.

How the hand-crafted story and community weaving of LG15 scales up will also be very interesting to observe.

Boys & Toys

EbOY web

In honour of hooking up with EbOY today at the Design & Multimedia Inspiration sesh in Birmingham (courtesy of 4Talent West Midlands) here’s the Web through the eyes of the EbOYz.

I first came across EbOY in the studio of designer Paul Smith in London’s Covent Garden about three years ago. He was a big advocate of their work and incorporated it at that time in a diverse range of clothing and products, which was a big break for them, not least in Japan where their approach is so on the same wavelength.

One thing EbOY and Paul Smith have in common is a propensity to surround themselves with inspirational objects. Paul Smith’s spacious office is punctuated with bric-a-brac, books, stuff he’s picked up abroad, things people have sent him (often just slapping stamps on the thing itself and turning it into a bulky postcard). Likewise EbOY have wicker baskets full of toys and masks and other inspirations tidily stashed in their offices – that’s three separate studios across Berlin making up what is in effect a virtual studio.

Two important things I’ve learned from the two design outfits:

Paul Smith speaks about his wife of long-standing with great love and appreciation. She has clearly been a huge inspiration throughout his career – from the humble shop in Nottingham to a global design powerhouse – and he clearly and warmly acknowledges this in public.

EbOY have made their play their work. Their early designs derive from toys and the kind of drawing many seven year old boys imagine their way into. Those roots are still clearly in evidence. I can’t remember who, some old Chinese fella with a long white beard I think, said: if your work is your passion, then you’ll never work a day in your life – or (much neater) words to that effect.

That’s what I strive for and here’s the latest incarnation: the Big Art Mob. What it has, beside the focus on something I love anyway (public art), is one other key element – a worthwhile public/social purpose (recording, discussing, sharing and enjoying that art). Those two components are in my eyes what separates the boys from the men – and long may I be a boy enjoying toys.

%d bloggers like this: