Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm a Weinner! In The New Yorker Cartoon Kit Contest

In December I entered two paste-ups in The New Yorker online magazine user-generated-content cartoon thingy called The Cartoon Kit.

These two contributions are me discovering you can 'stretch' the icons, as well as place them where you want them on the backdrop. I used the one on the right in an earlier blog titled "I'm a Cartoonist! Sort of..."

The other day the editors of The New Yorker magazine sent me a note informing me my entry (on the left) had been selected from 2,983 entries to be one of five in the Winners Slide Show!

To immortalize this august day in art history I took a picture - of me.

I do make people laugh in real life, it's just that, I'm never really sure why. :-)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

If, as Stowe Boyd says, "Time Is The New Space" then DRM is a Massive Black Hole in the Internet OS

"As content is the medium by which the message (the Internet Operating System [IOS]) - is being created, DRM is like a massive black hole that is creating 'gravitational shearing' through out the Universe - holding back development in some areas and twisting and distorting it in others as the Universe comes into being."

In Stowe Boyd's January 26th stoweboyd and the /messengers blog, "Time Is The New Space: Moments, Not Memos" he outlines how business can better understand/use 'social tools' through a General Relativity metaphor. It's a good metaphor. As soon as the five bulleted points were in my brain I began to create associative landscapes.

"Time Is The New Space" is the concept title and while it's not the point of this post - you should go.

The point of this piece is that while Stowe Boyd, a computer scientist, a developer, both a teacher and student, a philosopher and historian of the "renaissance" (Boyd's perfect term for the IT revolution/apocalypse), his piece includes a video which is being blocked from viewers here in Canada by Hulu Video - pursuant to their obligation in law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

From Stowe Boyd's stoweboyd and the /messengers: Time Is The New Space: Moments, Not Memos.

(Not his fault - if he's even aware of it - all content going out of the USA is probably default blocked; the owner of the content, "140 Characters Conference" needs to send notification to Hulu to un-block it.)

As a developer in the Open Source Movement, the irony of blocking Stowe Boyd's content is two fold; first no one's stealing the content - as it's being offered for free. Secondly, his talk is about a vision of the development of an open network of producers and consumers. Or as Boyd's raison d'etre represented by his Twitter Bio says, "I am made greater by the sum of my connections, and so are my connections."

This is a perfect example of how the Digital Rights Management (DRM) "octopus" that was born of the successful inking-out of Napster (the first popular social network), has "tentacled" all over the Internet Universe - including the relatively obscure developer sub-culture Stowe Boyd fondly refers to as 'Edglings'.

As content is the medium by which the message (the Internet Operating System [IOS]) - is being created, DRM is like a massive black hole that is creating 'gravitational shearing' through out the Universe - holding back development in some areas and twisting and distorting it in others as the Universe comes into being. Who knows where Internet TV, for example would be by now if these Klingon's had some vision.

I'm not sure below is the video Stowe Boyde was pointing to, as Hulu doesn't even give the title of the blocked thing, but here's a video - I think the right one - from Youtube user "realplayerrsp" who has posted: "140 Characters Conference Presents Stowe Boyd".

This 10 minute video is a series of statements threaded together by a deep and many vectored philosophical understanding of network effects, business acumen and computer science. Intriguing is an understatement.

Good Evening Edglings. ;)

Pixilated (stoweboyd) images courtesy of stoweboyd and the /messengers.

Not pixalated (Stowe Boyd) image by Brian Solis courtesy of stoweboyd and the /messengers.

Hulu Video image from Stowe Boyd's blog by ScreenPrint32 v3. Download for free at PC World.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crowdis Bridge, New Sound from Nova Scotia

Thursday afternoon January 21, 2010 Rich Terfry came on the radio for his usual afternoon gig that starts at 3:30 PM in Toronto on CBC Radio 2 Drive.

I was coaxed out of a nap by a song that was creating beautiful, clear images in my dreams. In a half sleep I was aware of sweet rhymes that went where expected, accompanied by an original reel on mandolin, guitar and acoustic bass.

The song is "Wasting Days" and the band is Crowdis Bridge from Cape Breton Nova Scotia.

Here's the refrain:

There's a cold breeze that rips the leaves from the trees
Still the autumns' hard to please though the summers on it's knees
But then the warm spring air will make the winters heart to care
For he knows he'd despair if he couldn't feel her there

"Wasting Days" weaves souls and seasons in metaphor while switching from first person then to third person narrative; which makes the song sound like a conversation one has with one's self in a dark time of self reflection - in the process of mending a broken heart. Yet the piece is sprinkled with optimism and understanding. Lyricist Ben Furey writes with Jason Rudderham, and Andrew Fedora.

This is the second time Rich Terfry has cast a spell on me with a musical selection. The last time was in 2009 with Justin Townes Earls' Replacements cover "Can't Hardly Wait", which Terfry was playing in rotation at the time.

CBC Radio 3 has a page for the band which offers four great songs. The band has a MySpace page up, and both feature the same four songs. CBC has a cleaner site than MySpace (which crashes my Compaq 1998 windows 2000 Pro). The great "Wasting Days" is accompanied by a catchy little number called "I Dare You" (to make less sense) that I've picked as a second 'hit' - whatever that means these days.

The Cape Breton Post says in a January 2009 review that band has a seven song EP out, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere on the web. The groups great music which is released independently isn't making any waves in broadcast media outside of CBC, but I think Rich Terfry is trying to change that, and I'm going to do my best to help.

Crowdis Bridge is on Southside River Denys Road about a mile from Bras d'Or Lake in Inverness County Nova Scotia.

From Crowdis Bridges' facebook info page:

Crowdis Bridge at:

Jan. 30th, 2010
10:30pm - 2:00am
Governor's Pub
Sydney, Nova Scotia

March 4th, 2010
ECMA Cape Breton Night
Smooth Herman's
Sydney, NS
10:00pm - 10:30pm

March 7th, 2010
ECMA Discovery Stage
Capri Club
Sydney, NS
2:40pm - ...

Image of Rich Terfry courtesy of CBC Radio 2.
Image of the Crowdis Bridge courtesy of WonkyEye Blog.


Monday, January 18, 2010

What Would Someone be Doing with Dozens of Electron Guns from old Television Sets?

Does anyone out there know what someone would be doing with dozens of electron guns salvaged from garbaged television sets and computer monitors?

For the last six months someone in my neighbourhood (Toronto Leslieville) has been cracking open the backs of thrown-out television sets, smashing the tip of the cathode ray tube and taking the electron gun - always leaving behind the porcelain plug-in base (that's the blue part in the picture which remains, broken in half - wires still connected).

What up with that?

Image from Wikidepia captured with my on-board ScreenPrint32 application (through c/net

I asked a neighbourhood computer guru - I was thinking a weapon, a terrorist plot or something - He said he couldn't imagine. he didn't think there was anything violent that a thus motivated person could do with electron guns.

So I was thinking an art project. There's lots of artists in this neighbourhood. I could imagine a super large TV or a disco floor that pulsed a pattern of lights projected on a phosphorus under-side?

Then I was thinking a person who is fanatically against broadcast TV - protecting the poor (who recycle old technology - I for example haven't bought a TV set in twenty tears) from the Soma by taking the 'distributer cap', so the thing won't run. But then why the computer monitors as well?

Hoping someone will have an idea on this; or the person who's collecting these things could come forward and tell me what their doing.

Comment below or email: michaelholloway111(at)gmail(dot)com (remember you have no email privacy rights with in the current legal framework). :-)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Re-Tweeting a facebook Post

I've been trying to find a way to "Retweet" a facebook post, back up to the top my "Wall" timeline in facebook. This is step two in the process of retweeting a facebook post. Fist I went to facebook found the post and used my onboard SceenPrint32 application to take a picture.

Now I copy the URL of this blog post and take it to facebook and paste it in the link function. This picture will appear in a thumbnail in my facebook timeline and the whole blog will post in facebook on a page called a "note".

Facebook is really tacky in quite a few ways. It's like they just stopped working on it in about 2007. It's so confusing in there. I guess the software must be a spaghetti - adjust one thing and ten processes come unravelled.

It will die soon if you go to Ning for example, which is much more flexible and fast. Ning has all the widgets and chat. Still learning it but I like it so far.

Ning's name sucks, but it's friendly inside.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Web 2.0 and Carole's Magic Workshop

Film maker Carole Joskowitz, has so far produced two beautiful no-budget puppet movies through her Company Carole's Magic Workshop. She loves making film but dislikes marketing. When I saw on her MySpace page that she'd just completed her most recent, I offered to help her marketing it, Web 2.0 style.

Her first response,
"Michael..yes I read this but I'm not crazy about putting the whole movie on the web in a lesser quality ...I also don't like twitter ...and don't use pay pal...I'm lousy at marketing."
I think Madison Avenue is also lousy at marketing. Advertisers are insulting peoples' intelligence with ironic associations that aren't confusing or funny anymore. The game has resolved down to branding our brains with repetitive "smart" associations, so when we see it on the store shelf we'll buy against our better judgment. Nice. Perhaps that's why people avoid TV now-a-days like the plague. What ever happened to vested self interest - marketing products that have real value for the people your selling them to?

Those secretive, a moral, usury tactics make me double-ly enthusiastic about "New Media Network Marketing" - which empowers communities through technology to spread word about a product because they like the product, and the community they've helped build that is, and is spreading a good thing. It's a schematic that mirrors the way Jane Jacobs saw neighbourhoods as foundation stones of livable cities.

It's also a great way to get your art out, so as many people who want to see your it, get the chance while participating in the creation of a dynamic culture in the process - you know, being fans. It's the same way the big ad firms have been marketing for years through broadcast and print, but new media is making marketing democratic, because we are learning, and implementing marketing theory to benefit our communities.

Shortly Carole agreed to have a look at it. It was then that I realized that though I have spent years learning Web2.0, I didn't know where to begin to teach it. And how do I talk marketing to folks who have learned to edit out the white noise of modern ad speak; who hate marketing and 'turn off' when they hear terms like 'bringing eyes', and 'creating a buzz'. I knew that if I used the vernacular of marketing I wouldn't get through.

I realized the best way to communicate these ideas was to do what I do best, write a blog post.

So, here goes, this is my pitch to Carole - out here in a public space in the traditions of the Open Source Movement and Web 2.0 Marketing.

First, let's get rid of the word "marketing", which has fifty years of secretive manipulation associated with it. A more appropriate word in this new two-way media universe is networking, or community building.

Effective Web 2.0 networking says Tim O'Reilly, is a combination of "harnessing collective intelligence, openness, and empowering network effects".

"Collective Intelligence" is the way a network of people can produce high quality work quickly through working collectively. The best example of this right now is Wikipedia which is an online encyclopedia written by everybody - with-in a clearly defined set of rules - working with-in view of everyone else, acting as peer, mentor, editor or proof reader to each other.

"Openness" means that the project a network is working towards is transparent to everyone. Everyone knows what's being created, how and why. Twitter is a good example of an open creative process. It is a simple and therefore dynamic application that is being developed further by the people you use it. In this case, at this time, it's more open than any other application on the net because no-one knows where it's going to go. It's so flexible, a function of it's design, that the possibilities are endless.

"Network Effects" is a complex idea that includes systems analysis and group dynamics (math and social science). The short history of social networking reveals some truths about networks - like the size and influence of a network will expand exponentially. Once a networks gets to a certain size it begins to double its' size and the quantity of its' functioning, which then doubles again. The process creates better quality links through the social creative interaction as it goes forward. So quality also exponentially increases as it morphs towards its' destiny - which is predicated by it foundation elements.

So how to put these understandings into play on the internet. How do you build a network of motivated fans of Carole s' Magic Workshop that will become a dynamic sub culture, an exciting community of active participants?

The best example of this strategy is the "webcomic" xkcd. Physicist, Randall Munroe started scanning his doodles and posting them on his web site. In 2005 Randell s' friend, author and publisher Cory Doctorow, convinced him to put the comic up on a separate web site. At the time that was unheard of, people back then believed that evil-doers would steal the art and perhaps sell it to people as theirs. The usual way cartoonists got paid was by submitting comics to magazine and newspaper editors until an editor decided the artist was consistent and funny enough to publish. A hard road.

Cory Doctorow though gets this Web 2.0 thing at a deeper level than almost everyone - probably because once he cognized the idea he immediately threw the theory into the practical work of publishing his web site - which has now become WebMagazine BoingBoing. And, being the Canadian that he is, and thusly stupidly romantic - he believes that if you build it, they will come. He must think he's some kind of Jesus figure, laying it all on the line like he does, with absolute faith that the idea is true in the largest sense. And good for him. :-)

Doctorow s' take was that by putting the comics up on the net for free - to copy, re-purpose, send to a friend, post on your site - the content in the hands of consumers would motivate readers to spread news of the product to their friends. By allowing people to own their own copy of the cartoon they thus feel a part of the xkcd movement, and they tell their friends all about it with a salesman s' passion - and a free sample. It works - as publisher John Paton recently pointed out - because the production of new cartoons is on-going - the value is in the history combined with its future history - the next cartoon is read and shared by a living 'ecology' of consumers.

The webcomic quickly became very popular, garnering up to 70 million hits a month by October 2007. No one stole the art and sold it behind Munroe s back because the word spread along with the comic - that it was available for free on the web. Since then several publication have picked up xkcd, which has allowed Randell Monroe to earn a living as a cartoonist.

Well, back to the beginning. This is the letter I wrote Carole in facebook, after I found out her new movie was finished. (Bigger? Right click -> open in new tab)

So there's the philosophy and a practical plan.

A Snippet from Carole Joskowitz s' new movie on her Youtube Channel.

I'm not a know-it-all, I know that, but I know when I know I'm ready to act on an idea. This is a Masters Thesis, hopefully Carole agrees to the PhD project.

As we put our learning and intuitions into action in the tricky ecology of human culture - everything about this thesis will begin to change - but because the cause is true, it is sure to be good.

Carole Joskowitz has produced two films: 2007's "Realm of Fantasy" And 2010's "Cactus Psychosis". Both films are available for sale by leaving a note with contact information at any of the social spaces linked in this post. Snippets of the films are available in Youtube and in facebook.

Image of Tim O'Reilly at Web 2.0 Summit, courtesy
Image of xkcd comic by Randall Munroe, courtesy Wikipedia.
Image from facebook was produced via ScreenPrint32
Thanks to Youtube for the embedded Video.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fake 'Yahoo Verification Service', is a Phishing Scam

FYI: Fake Yahoo Email

Whoa! This phishing scam almost got me this morning. Entitled "Yahoo Verification Service" with good spelling, (one typo, no space after a comma) links that go to addresses that look like Yahoo addresses; Yikes!

The thing that saved me from a possible Trojan, Malware or Key Logger was the phrase "..removal of all inactive accounts...". My account has been busier than usual as I build my Twitter Community and facebook Blogger updates.

At "The Webs Dedicated Anti-Phishing Service" (which has been around since 2003), they told me this scam was first reported to them in June 2009. I'm sending them the poison email, as they requested, to update their data base.


Facebook: Game playing Xenophobes stalked by Tricky-Dick snake-oil Salesmen

As an interactive communications tool Youtube is still just a one way device, much like old broadcast media. It's big difference is that users are producing a lot of the content, instead of a New York or Hollywood production colossus - and - it's On-Demand.

But the experience of Youtube is boring compared to the typing and clicking social networks like facebook and Twitter.

Facebook brings in multi-media better than twitter right now, so it's part of the way to that multi-media all-in-one "UberApp" that the world is looking for. In 2006 facebook opened a developers interface to allow open source applications in, and subsequently - because it didn't have a vision of what it wanted to be - began to go off coarse. So the progressive step of allowing users to create new functionality, became facebook s' death knell. It has since become a refuge for neurotic game playing xenophobes stalked by tricky-dick snake-oil salesmen.

Sometimes I enter and heroically try to dig out lost friends, dragging them out with inspiring "off-world" stories. Usually though, I won't touch facebook with a ten foot RSS feed.

It's icky in there, I don't like it.

(This is the 2nd snippet of an article on 'new media' that I am in the process of writing called, "The Interactive Narrative".)


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seesmic buys and Promises an UberApp that Updates 'Fifty Sites at Once'

Today I sent this gmail to a friend I hadn't seen on the Internet in a while. It made me realise how much time I'm spending on pooling, producing, and disseminating my content threads:

Yes I finally got Cool and got a gmail account. It's much better/easier to use than the older ones. We can chat I see. Also I switched all my web presence from hotmail over to gmail.

So you can check my Profile in Google and click trough to:
---> my blogs (9),

But not Twitter:
facebook me is here.

Ya, so, thats me on the web.

Get back to me through your gmail please, so I can have that.


Then I checked my Inbox and saw that the task will be a lot simpler soon.

(Image of Seesmic s' email produced by my "ScreenPrint32" Application)

Soon Seesmic will bring an Application to the internet that unites it's Twitter only functionality with all other social networking platforms and tools such as "email, chat, sms, Blackberry, Android, web, Windows, OSX and much more soon." See the announcement, Youtube Video "We've acquired Get ready to update 50 social networks from Seesmic"

In my words Seesmic is building an UberApp that will allow me to update my publishing activities in several different places, all at the same time if I so choose. Right now I do that in one place only from Twitter through RSS feed to facebook.

GigaOm s' Liz Gannes calls it a "Grand Central Station for social network updates".

Trying to unite all my information using Google Profile hasn't worked as well as I had hoped. I still have to use my three email accounts to dig out comments I've made here and there, check correspondences from family, friends and business, check on blog comment replies. And Twitter is a whole other universe of applications that I have to check separately.

All this maintenance of my blog publishing concern is taking too much time away from writing and research, which is what all this is supposed to be about!

Right now I use Seesmic as a place to catch up on my Twitter time line. With columns labelled 'Time Line', 'Mentions', 'Lists' and many more, I can see - in one place and in real time - what's happening in Twitter with regards to my presence there ( #FilterBlogs, @m_holloway, #m_hollowayDJ, #BBBA, #LeftFilm,).

Hopefully Seesmic s' new functionality will include Youtube which has been left out of the social networking explosion. Seesmic started as a video sharing 'Twitter', but has been de-emphasizing video since the summer (2009) as they realized the 'Youtube' market wasn't growing. (See GigaOm s' NewTeeVee column by Liz Gannes from June 2009) That's when they began focusing on Twitter usability - as such - they have the technology to efficiently parse video content in this new UberApp. I hope Seesmic s' CEO Loic Le Meur puts a lot of thought into the possibility of including a Youtube usability in to this new thing even if it is included at a later date. Unfortunately what still holds the video market back is the Internet s' infrastructure, which is unable to deliver a high enough bit rates to make video sharing as big, and as instant as Twitter - which is essentially short bursts of conversation, observation, information with links. This future vista includes video phones and mobile media yet to be envisioned.

What I 'really, really want' though, is an all-in-one-place where I can check and see if all my different addresses have gotten a 'ping'. and respond to them one at a time or all at once.

Google Wave (Developers Google Video 1:20:12) seems to be far along that road but Seesmic I think, is right there too.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Youtube: Betcha George Orwell Didn't See This Metric Coming!

Youtube remains a TV set 'On Demand' but with a difference. There is a popular myth that surrounds the Youtube user community - that they are "Sticking it to the Man" by posting and watching stuff without permissions. This zeitgeist gives users the idea that stealing (which they are not) = freedom (which it is not).

Betcha George Orwell didn't see that metric coming!

People use P2P file sharing to share TV content and Youtube to post the content online. Users are not breaking copyright law because no one is charging anything. Youtube simply has to pay the producers a percentage of what they make through ad revenue on the site. These amounts are being settled in court and in the market place as we speak write.

Youtube is another revenue stream for producers, one they're going to need as ad revenues are currently imploding. Unless TV gets with the On-Demand thing quickly (which they are), they'll all be bankrupt by summer.

1984 Image courtesy: Slavenka & Obi Blog (no attribution)
YouTube Image courtesy: University of Kentucky - Engineering - Solar Car Team page

(This is a snippet of an article on 'new media' that I am in the process of writing called, "The Interactive Narrative".)


Friday, January 1, 2010

Tonight on Twitter I Created #m_hollowayDJ Disc Jockey

#m_hollowayDJ is a short form for a value added construct I've created in Twitter called, "List: Michael Holloway Disc Jockey". I do it for fun and for the greater good. In that way it's a newspaper, a television network, a blog.

Below is my copyright. Really!

In this Revolution this is really a copyright, like Magellan s' ship in the Pacific, my copyright is as big as the Spanish Empires' Favourite Pirate.

The thing is it's a music site, go to #m_hollowayDJ in Twitter and there's a whole lot of great music and commentary made by me.