Monday, 16 February 2009

All Your Data Are Belong To Us

Google, google, google, google.
The backbone of the information age, creator of new forms of living, together with their associated nouns, verbs.

In the beginning
The first comprehensive search engine to rule the market due to its superior searching capacities. It is 1997 and google is showing you an explosive list of links to choose from, blasting into insignificance the ubiquitous purveyors of categories, billboards, and yet more categories.

Yahoo then tries to hit back, reassure their dominance. We are back in the days when to look up archery you went to 'Leisure' -> 'Sport' -> 'Outdoor Games' -> 'Archery' and selected the link of your choice. Categories, categories, and more categories.

Not for google, with its 100 entries listed out in front of you, easily human-readable for that relevant tidbit of information, or what little might be found.

2009 and the Internet is no longer the domain of futurist technologists and campus dwellers. It is now essential to modern living in the way that railways are to transport and the electric engine is or will be to motorisation. Google has risen to lofty heights, respected and revered by many veterans, and is part of a reality that was 'always there' for younger siblings and co-members of the species now coming of age, becoming men and women.
Children upload their doodles to Google servers, adults address their anxieties and curiosities through search engines. Journeys begin on Google, and then expand and proliferate on resources attained, be they intellectual journals or sound engineering fora. Partnerships are built and projects launched.

The billboards of the information highway are primarily printed at Google. Masses and masses of accumulated data with incalculable market value are being rapidly aligned to advertising revenue and expanded services. Information, advertising, information. Toolbars, apps, and more toolbars all conspiring to give you information, advertising, information. Countless product tie-ins provide you with ever more ways to access data, 'search here', 'find on google'.
Firefox launches its title/search bar. You want to look up Wired magazine? 'Wired', then [Enter] (or CTRL + ENTER to add wings).
So many apps, all of them helping you to find data, lots of data. But what if they expire and die? What if my apps become obsolete? Google will update you.

Google Apps
Google Earth 2009. The joy of automatic updates for all of your Google products. Google updates are like MS Windows Updates - a happy convenience of modern living. Always running, searching, in the background. Google connecting you to new data, new updates, new apps, new information-advertising-information.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Fringe Communities

The power of the internet to bring disparate elements together is not to be underestimated. The space for cultural interchange is something incredible, where elements of the most refined and the most simple cultural forms coincide, fuse, and break off into further tangents. Some of which go on to become defined forms in themselves.

Take C64 remixes, for example. A generation grew up on C64s, Amigas, and Atari STs who have never forgotten those intros, cut animation scenes, and high scores pages where, occasionally, the limited 8bit or 16bit music would stand out as being distinctive, impressive, even innovative. This was particularly the case in long-standing products such as the C64, whose music-making abilities were being fully exploited by the time it disappeared to a new breed of fastly reproducing consoles.

Unlike the Playstation 3, which will most likely never be exploited to its full potential, the C64 underwent an evolution that took it from rudimentary games like Frogger to titles that involved entire production teams, such as Last Ninja 3 and Creatures. The difference between early titles from 1983 and those produced just under a decade later is phenomenal, because they were created on the same platform with no great increase in technical specification, rather than being rushed onto recently dispatched consoles, soon to be replaced.

Those of 'you' who like Last Ninja 3: I cannot recommend highly enough some remixes made by musician, Stefan Poiss. Go out there and find it yourself, and then buy a copy if you like it from the on-line distributor of your choice. are a studio band, and you won't be seeing them at a venue near you.

I will leave 'you' with a reminder of just how people on the fringe can get together and create something ......, just something

open the link yourself