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  • 30 June, 2008

    Update.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 11:59 am permalink

    All moved, but hardly settled. That probably won’t happen until August, anyway. I get the tubez for teh intarrwebz put in on Wednesday, so posting might still be rather light until then.

  • 27 June, 2008

    Aterciopelados.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:00 am permalink

    Here, have a video. This is Aterciopelados, one of Colombian rock’s first and best, and one of my favorite bands, ever. The song is ‘Complemento’, from their latest album, entitled Oye (‘listen’). Enjoy.

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    Filed under: music
  • 26 June, 2008

    Lorenzo Homar on BibliOdissey

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:25 am permalink

    Lorenzo Homar (along with his sometime collaborator, Rafael Tufiño) is one of my favorite artists, ever, and a huge inspiration in my own work. Imagine my delight to see BibliOdissey showcase some of his works from the Homar collection at the Princeton University Library. Shiny! Go check them out, and enjoy!

  • 25 June, 2008

    It’s Tuesday, I’m packing. Have some Stross.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 7:57 am permalink

    Here’s an oldie but a goodie. I’d read this before, but came across it again last night while reading the comments on a BoingBoing post. Charles Stross on the future of history, the future of lifelogging, and the future of privacy. Utterly fascinating stuff.

    EDIT: And by ‘Tuesday’, I mean ‘Wednesday’, of course. Slow down, week! I’m not done with you yet!

  • 23 June, 2008

    The Pirate Bay Goes to War. Give ‘em Hell.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:28 am permalink

    Via Boing Boing: In reaction to the Swedish government’s decision to pass a law that makes it legal for the authorities to spy on phone calls and network connections that ‘leave the country’ –essentially every connection, due to the way their telco system is set up– the Pirate Bay has decided to not only promote but host a suite of crypto tools to help regular internet users like you and me protect our privacy. In addition to securing their own website with SSL, TPB will offer cheaper versions of the VPN services they’ve been offering up until now, and open up access to said services to the international internet community. This, in addition to Google’s announcement that it will be developing tools for consumers to monitor whether their ISP is throttling their connection, seems to herald a future in which regular internet users will have to resort to additional techniques and services in order to keep their net neutral.

    As telcos, governments, and entertainment companies conspire to ‘crack down’ on so-called illegal activities on the internet, push forward anti-net neutrality initiatives, and destroy emerging technologies in the name of safeguarding their intellectual properties, I wonder: Is this the shape of things to come? Will the future of the free internet resemble the file-sharing darknets, as opposed to a free (as in speech) and open communications network? It’s probably too early to tell, but things don’t look good.

    As many have noted in the past, when you criminalize ordinary citizens’ activities, you essentially back people into a corner, and force them to resort to activities that are labeled as illegal in order for them to go about their business with some sort of semblance of privacy. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Shades of Little Brother, indeed. It’s all-too plausible to imagine a world in which children will have to learn how to use technologies such as the TOR router and other privacy-ensuring software in the same way they learn how to use a web browser or an e-mail client. Those that toe the line and remain on the public (and surveilled) internet will suffer from a greatly diminished online experience. The future free internet might be composed of hacked Xboxes running Paranoid Linux, after all.

  • 23 June, 2008

    Administrativa, and Some Pie.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:27 am permalink

    Posting will probably be greatly diminished around here this week, as I prepare to move to a new home over the coming weekend. As of right now, half my possessions (read: books) are in boxes, and the other half (read: computers and printmaking stuff) is in a state of mind-crippling disarray. Madness, I tell you.

    After next week, I’ll be heading off on vacation back home to Puerto Rico, from where I probably will be posting, since there’s nothing better for engendering shadenfreude in my readers than posting from a tropical island.

  • 18 June, 2008

    Wednesday bits.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:18 am permalink

    Here’s a few items of note from around the web:

    The Associated Press works on its corporate bully-fu. They want to extort money from anyone who wants to quote more than five words from their stories, even if the usage is covered under fair use guidelines. Others have expounded on this over the last few days, including PNH, Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi. Once those three get into it, all I can do is issue a hearty “What they said”, and leave it at that.

    Castro’s still tickin’. He’d been MIA for a while (at least in terms of media exposure), but re-surfaced in a silent video that’s been posted on the Beeb.

    Despite initial hopes to the contrary, scientists have yet to find any indication of water in the soil samples collected and processed by the Mars Phoenix Lander. Oh, and that white material that was originally thought to be ice? could be ice, or could be salt. Stay up to date with MarsPhoenix via Twitter.

    In the ‘toldja so’ department, the results of a survey sponsored by British Music Rights state that most young people are willing to pay for music, as long as it’s DRM-free and they can do whatever they want with it, i.e. own their media. Ars has a great writeup on that.

    Here’s a handy countdown for when the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is scheduled to go online. For those of you with an apocalyptical bent, naysayers think that the LHC will generate a black hole that we won’t be able to control, and will end up eating our planet. For those of us who think otherwise, we’re fervently hoping for the CERN team to spot the elusive Higgs boson, or so-called ‘god particle.’

  • 17 June, 2008

    I’ve said it before. . .

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:34 am permalink

    . . . and now Salon’s saying it too: it’s not unthinkable that Barack Obama would choose a Republican as his running mate. If he could pull it off, it could go a long way towards creating a good, wholesome sense of bipartisanship. Improbable, unlikely, and possibly ill-advised? Sure. Especially if it’s not the right Republican.

    Now, I don’t necessarily think Chuck Hagel is the right one (anti-choice? anti-gay? screw that), but I’d be hard-pressed to think of who would be ideal off the top of my head, since I’m not very familiar with the more moderate—hence less headline-grabbing—Republicans out there. Ironically enough, four or five years ago, John McCain would have sprung to mind.

  • 15 June, 2008

    Paula Scher Doesn’t Alter The Public’s Branding Much. Everyone Takes Note.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 12:46 pm permalink

    Hamhawk?

    Over the last few weeks I’ve been seeing the new poster campaign for the Public Theater’s summer productions of Hamlet and Hair, mostly in the subway. Irene Gallo posted an image of the subway ad on The Art Department, and Brand New featured the re-branding (or ‘reinvigorating of the current brand’) of the Public on Friday. Brand New, in turn, pointed me to the Pentagram blog, where the entire scope of the project is chronicled, followed by a retrospective of the posters for productions of years past.

    Scher’s work is more of a refresh of the existing brand, and as such, the changes to the brand are subtle. The logotype has been re-set in Knockout, that beautiful, varied and versatile multi-weight sans-serif grotesque from H&FJ, which is so evocative of the old-time wood type that Scher used as inspiration for her graphic approach. This approach still works very well, despite the many, many knockoffs that this particular work has inspired over the years (including some of my own work back in the early oughts–what was that saying about flattery and imitation?).

    The posters and postcards showcased on the Pentagram blog are also very attractive. They imply a system that takes its inspiration from both the woodblock type, letterpress broadside tradition of American printing and from the strict use of rules and a grid championed by early-to-mid-century modernist European designers (De Stijl, Bauhaus, etc). The use of halftone imagery with solid colors underneath, although starting to get played out now that everyone has been doing it (I’ll be sad to see it go, I like this aesthetic very much. But I digress.), still serves its purpose well: it hearkens back to the wood–type days (thus, it makes a lot of sense to use within the context of the Public’s identity, ubiquitousness be damned), but also connects with modern design trends. The result is a system for design that, as Scher points out, can be applied by any designer, and lends itself to endless variation on the same theme, resulting in very dynamic layouts which all keep the distinctive Public Theater brand front-and-center.

  • 12 June, 2008

    Update: Metallica Makes Good.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 6:37 pm permalink

    It seems that Metallica’s management, Q-Prime, were the ones responsible for requesting that the early reviews of their new album be pulled from various sites. Apparently the members of Metallica were on tour and hadn’t heard about any of this. Upon returning, and getting wind of the situation, they decided to make it right. They’ve since issued a non-apology, and posted the reviews on their own site, as well as linked to the re-published original posts, here, here, and here. Good for them. Maybe Metallica has really learned from their mistakes.

    Additionally, upon reading the reviews in question, it turns out that the write-ups are, by and large, cautiously optimistic about the new album’s progress. Two of the reviews go as far as to say that the new material sounds like a return to ‘…and Justice for All’ form. Impressive, if true.

    I might have to amend my previous plan of action. I may have to download the album when it’s available, but instead of deleting it, I’ll give it a listen. If it’s good, and truly a return to form, I may just have to buy it.

    As an aside, it’s good to see that Metallica has reverted to using their classic logo, as opposed to the grungy logotype that’s been their visual calling card since the disaster that was Load. May the classic logo’s return herald good things to come.