Day: May 29, 2003

Depth of Field:

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Andrew Stockdale’s Central London: “My work has a consistent aesthetic vision. My images transform people and their environments into an epic visual that makes a strong graphic statement. Generally, I’m interested in portraying my own slant on reality.

The images featured (here) were taken around Central London during the past month. I’ve found many parts of London to be quite neglected, and this series focuses on some of them. I’ve aimed to visualize the beauty found in rubbish, vandalism and poverty.” neumu

‘Hippies from Hell’:

A documentary by Prix du Genève award winner Ine Poppe about a group of Dutch hackers, techies, artists, writers, and puzzlers known as the “Hippies From Hell” is now available for free online.


These Dutch hackers, as they were referred to initially, are a special group within the international hacker scene, which they played a major role in forming. The film contains rare footage from some Dutch hackers who would not speak to the media, but speak freely here. In the 1980’s they published hacker magazine Hack-Tic and in 1993 they started the first Dutch Internet provider, xs4all.


The documentary also features the rising of the lockpick sport club TOOOL, and takes you along on a trip to various European open air hacker conferences.


The 53 minute documentary can be downloaded for free at http://hippies.waag.org in DIVX format, Quicktime streaming, and downloadable Quicktime video. 2600

Behind the Six Degrees of SARS:

“Researchers are creating mathematical models based upon the ‘six

degrees of separation’ idea
to understand how social interaction

contributes to the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome.” Wired News

This may be related to the idea of the ‘superspreader’ implicated in the pattern of contagion of SARS. While most considerations about the superspreader phenomenon have assumed that superspreaders are more contagious than others (as a consequence of their own immunological characteristics or something about the strain of the virus they carry), models of the ‘small world’ or ‘six degrees’ phenomenon depend on a small number of nodal individuals who mix with large numbers of others and form bridges or short circuits in social connectivity. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this ‘granularity’ of the six degrees of separation in this way in a celebrated New Yorker article in 1999, for example. Perhaps the superspreaders are analogous and should be examined for their connectivity rather than their virulence? On the other hand, instead of watching our hands or our feet, perhaps we should be looking to the stars to understand the epidemiology of SARS.

Who controls the airwaves?

A Common Cause petition drive: “The FCC is considering fundamental changes

to the media ownership regulations that will affect all of us. Despite the

immense impact of the proposed changes, the FCC has held only one formal

public hearing on the issue. While the public has largely been unaware and

uninvolved in the issue, the nation’s largest broadcast companies – which

could reap huge benefits from the elimination of these ownership rules –

have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and political

contributions in Washington.

Join other Americans in telling FCC Chairman Michael Powell to delay the June 2nd vote on media consolidation and oppose relaxing the current ownership rules.”