It could be said that housing activists, political street artists and big corporate technology companies are all fluent in the use of different tools to raise media and public attention. No cynicism intended; I’ve been wondering when the seemingly dormant political and social action establishment in San Francisco would emerge to leave its imprint on the ongoing developments concerning the lack of affordable housing in the city, the fallout on some tenants being forced out of their quarters by the current frenzied demand ongoing during the grab for almost any rental property, at almost any price.
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Mission Local reports that an estimated group of 200 people walked to and protested against the conversion of a seven-unit rental apartment building on Guerrero St. that was bought and converted to a private residence, owned by a Google lawyer, Jack Halprin, two years ago. Several signs in the crowd read “Google, don’t be evil. Make Jack Halprin stop evicting teachers,”
Teachers Ask Google Why a Google Lawyer Is Evicting Tenants
I don’t have an idea when or if the protests will continue, grow in numbers or get more media attention. I do know there are many forces for change in San Francisco who have had an important role to play in building the city’s future and have long made a difference in what happens during critical times in the city.
A lot of people have trouble getting their news from a smartphone screen, especially if they’re in a crowd and in a hurry. Others, like me, are not early risers and don’t want to be woken up by caffeine saturated news readers interrupted by loud commercials.
Enter Berlin-based Capsule.fm and their great artificial voice that will not only read you from a choice of selected news sources, but also tells you the battery charge on your iPhone, flatter you, and tell you bad puns. Well, some of them are actually pretty funny. All of this is mixed in with quiet ambient-like music and I have found, is an amusing and great way to get your first dose of the news. This doesn’t have the capabilities of Apple’s Siri; it won’t open web pages and apps or find a location on a map. But its not presently designed to do that – it reads you your morning news, and at that does a great job. Right now it’s just an iOS app, but Capsule.fm says an Android version is on the way.
Capsule.fm says Early Edition uses natural language generation with aggregation and filtering systems and advanced text-to-speech technology. I’ve found the British female voice to be be better than some of the “voice assistant” apps, while those apps recognize your voice and will complete a number of tasks, like Siri. So, when it comes to artificial voices it’s currently quite a mixed bag and you should research before you buy. The Early Edition voice has a way to go with pronunciation and phonetics; you have trouble understanding some words, and sometimes there’s a noticeable latency that seems to result in a stutter, unless they’ve built that in as another amusement factor. “Mark, you look fa-fa-fabulous,” just like Max Headroom. Here we are.
What Early Edition has going for it is personalization, that you can choose your news sources from a pre-selected list, and instead of squinting to read from a smartphone screen, the artificial voice will read to you, while you’re on the go. I think it’s worth a try, and seeing where this now rapidly evolving technology goes next.
Google reportedly plans to spend $500 million promoting its upcoming Moto X smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall). That’s big money, to be sure, but can it help the device—or any device, for that matter—succeed in a crowded…
Muti Randolph takes new media and lighting installation technology to bring visual arts literally into a new dimension. In 2013, interactive art installations are exploding out from 2 dimensional containers and becoming wearable designs or room ambiance or video art experiences.
Step inside Muti Randolph’s interactive light installation Deep Screen at The Creators Project New York Event.
news and ideas from writers around the San Francisco Bay Area this week, curated and edited by Mark Gould
Republished to the new good.is platform from YouTube by Thrash Lab:Video: (Empty America) What San Francisco Would Look Like Without Humans. This is both a very beautiful and a kind of creepy, the good kind of creepy, video (as it is intended) … in the sense that it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up; Imagine the world with no people, that’s what Thrash Lab does to beautiful effect using Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere as their tool set – these skilled digital artisans deleted every human and moving car from all the sequences. This short, the first of a series called Empty America, shows every landmark from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf to Lombard Street to Ghirardelli Square to the Bay Bridge, ‘wiped empty of tourists and traffic.
It’s very worth your while taking a look at Thrash Lab’s growing body of work on YouTube where they are accumulating sizable views and apparently, loyal viewers. Links to their web presence elsewhere are on that page. From what I’ve seen so far, quite the talented young group of creatives, hashtag #dreambigger
From Golden Gate Xpress: SF State artist forges storytelling craft by Sean Reichhold
Rather than simply picking one medium to master, April Martin Chartrand has gone so far as to completely create her own art form altogether.
Her art form called ”fiberalchemy,” is her attempt to find the most personal and accurate way of expressing herself. She uses extreme heat or cold to manipulate the texture of painted fabrics to create hardened, colorful sculptures. Chartrand has been using this technique to make anything from earrings and necklaces to hand fans and wall pieces.
Her journey however, began decades ago with a simple sewing machine. (full story ->)
East Bay Express: Noise Pop 2013 Lineup Announced: Toro Y Moi, Amon Tobin, Rogue Wave, and More
Noise Pop is the music festival for people who hate music festivals, i.e. the all-day, drag-out, beer-guzzling, bro-fest that many of the weekend-long music festivals have become. Noise Pop 2013 will take place over six days, Tuesday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, March 3, 2013, and today organizers announced an initial lineup that includes Berkeley resident Toro Y Moi, San Francisco’s Rogue Wave, and experimental DJ extraordinaire Amon Tobin. (full story ->)
Grant will support a six-station public media science reporting collaborative
Contact: Sevda Eris, 415-553-2835, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Francisco, CA — KQED, public media serving Northern California, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a two-year collaborative multimedia science reporting initiative, QUEST Beyond Local. The grant will support KQED and five other public media organizations in creating content under the theme of “Science of Sustainability” on television, radio and the Web, along with educational assets and community outreach. QUEST Beyond Local is scheduled to launch in January.
“We are pleased to see how QUEST, with its history of being organizationally and technologically innovative, is expanding its science reporting model,” said Valentine Kass, acting deputy division director in NSF’s Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings. “QUEST Beyond Local builds new capacity in local and national media channels to address current science and environmental issues with local authority and national relevance.” (full story ->)
(SFsthetik.com) CYBERFEST is the first and only Russian annual International festival for cybernetic art (which combines living, biological and somatic substances with computational and technical), held annually since 2007.
This year the festival is attended by more than 80 artists and art professionals from 20 countries (Russia, France, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine , Philippines, etc.), and the program includes: — an exhibition (of media objects and media installations); — live performances; — sound and video art programs; — an educational program (with lectures, workshops, master classes); — an Internet conference; — a concert.