November 2004 Archives

Materials and Processes weblog

Materials and Processes looks like an interesting not-too-high-traffic weblog focusing on, well, the latest materials and processes. I love that there are sites as focused as this. (via Boing Boing's link to this entry about plants that can detect land mines.)

The current state of computer displays

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Also via Blackbeltjones' links comes a post on Smart Mobs about future flexible computer displays. It links to a long Military & Aerospace Electronics article on the state of displays in the military: try to use off-the-shelf LCDs; cutting these to the required size is cheaper than having custom LCDs made; large organic LED (OLED) displays are a few years off.

Toffler on non-linear change

A good Alvin Toffler quote over at William Gibson's weblog:

DIY Biohacking

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools has a very brief review of three "Bio Hacking Resources": Creative Biotechnology, BiotechHobbyist magazine and the Modern Biology catalogue. Slowly, slowly, the future's coming...

Transmaterial

Transmaterial is a book about (mostly) new materials and techniques, and a flick through the free downloadable PDF version sends you into a new world of science fiction phrases: Biosteel, light-transmitting concrete, pervious concrete, Superblack, corrugated glass, rubber pavements/sidewalks, strawboard, conductive plastic, plasphalt, light-emitting glass, regenerative plastic... It's like a 187 page compilation of all those little "look at this cool new thing" blurbs at the start of Wired, but with a thankfully less sassy and more down-to-earth style. (via Ben Hammersley)

SMS Guerilla Projector

I'm often sceptical about art using technology, having seen scarred by one too many ICA net.art exhibitions in the mid-nineties, but some folk do interesting stuff with electronics. Josh Rubin's ever fascinating Cool Hunting points out a nifty device created by Troika Studio "a collective of designers and artists" (who make it impossible to link to pages of their Flash-based site). Josh: "The SMS Guerilla Projector is a high powered, home made projection device that can be used to project SMS messages on to buildings, signs or any other surface." Like many good things it combines simple, easily-obtainable components into a whole that can do something new and interesting. I can well imagine such devices being used by protestors and also being commercialised as a fun gadget.

George W. Bush, dead at 72

Music critic Greil Marcus has written an obituary of George W. Bush from 2018. Articles and essays like this always read like bad science fiction to me, emphasising aspects that are pertinent now rather than things that would actually be mentioned when looking back from the future. But it could be this is just because I know they're not real, and either way, Marcus's is probably one of the more authorative sounding.

Cities of Tomorrow

City of Tomorrow is a page collecting a load of interesting links, starting with articles and sites about World's Fair type visions of future cities and progressing into stuff about some futuristic architecture and appliances. (via Anne Galloway's links)

Art robots

A while back Rod linked to Artbots, an annual competition where artists create robots. Interesting to see what artists do with the things for a change, rather than marvelling at the latest walking droid from Japanese corporations.

First up in a bunch of links I've been meaning to post: The Guardian had an article about a UN report that looks at the world's potential population over the next 300 years. Obviously, the paper's sub editor's mind was elsewhere when he/she came up with the unrepresentative headline "Population boom set to stabilise at 9bn by 2300":

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