Friday in Santa Fe

02010-06-19 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Letter to the Guardian by David Hockney, regarding this article on Caravaggio.

Letters: Art from the sublime to the ridiculed | The Guardian
The critics say he invented chiaroscuro, or dramatic shading never seen before. A lot is known about Caravaggio’s studios, more than most of his contemporaries. They describe the dark walls and a hole in the ceiling (known because he was sued). A few people have made serious suggestions that optical projections were used, and as there are no known drawings, and no record he ever made one, the evidence is very strong indeed.

No conventional historian has bothered to ask how these paintings were made. They think it is of little interest. It is of major interest to us now. The similarity to today’s Photoshop techniques is fascinating. This seems to me to make him a more interesting artist, not less. It accounts for the new kind of space he opened (like TV close-ups), it accounts for the dark walls and the hole in the ceiling. His bones are neither here nor there because of this – a minor event compared with the implications for our time of his new techniques.

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This is about a sixteenth century painter, mind you. Look at these three paintings presented on wikipedia: The Calling of Saint Matthew and Crucifixion of St. Peter, and Judith Beheading Holofernes. Dark subject matter, but with intense light, unbelievable detail and life.

Wireless Oligopoly Is Smother of Invention | Epicenter |
Imagine if the wireless carriers controlled your wired broadband connection or your television set. You’d have to buy your television from your cable company, with a two-year contract, and when that ended, you’d have to ask them to unlock it so you could take it to another provider.

If the wireless company ran your ISP, you’d have to use a computer they approved, and if you wanted to use a different one, you’d pay more. Want Wi-Fi in your house? That’ll be an extra $30 a month and $150 to buy an approved but functionally limited Wi-Fi device.


Require the nation’s wireless carriers to publish the specs they use on their networks, so that any device maker can make a device that works on any network or all the networks. Then require the carriers to offer service, with published limits, to any customer, using any compliant device, at a fair price. Subscribers would have the right to use more than one device, or at the very least, switch them with minimal effort. Those devices could run whatever software they like, so long as they don’t harm the network.

That should be the requirement for the carriers who are using the public’s spectrum.

AT&T and Sprint and Verizon and T-Mobile may have paid hefty sums to rent the airwaves, but they do not own them.

The carriers will doubtlessly whine to Congress that their networks are too special and too fragile. Meanwhile, they will brag to customers about how strong and robust their cell networks are — touting services like streaming video for the iPhone, Skype on Verizon, and SprintTV on Sprint smartphones.

They can’t have it both ways.
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I don’t know how I feel about agreeing with Wired… :-)

I think cellular service should be a simple data-pipeline, just like internet service is. Let’s do away with separating that data into voice-call, texting and web-service – that is an artificial differentiation anyway as it is ALL digital data. Charge me by the amount of data I consume, the amount of bits I require to make calls, send SMS and browse the web… and let me choose to consume that data on my phone, on my iPad and on my computer. Come on, it’s only a matter of time. We all know that’s the way forward.
Nice little web app for regular browsers and iPad.

Time Zones

On Thursday I was alerted to a new album on iTunes:

I noticed there was already one nice customer review.

Why Keith Richards should take over Tate Modern | Jonathan Jones | Art and design |
Music legends of the 1960s might be welcome in today’s pop music, but contemporary art shuns its old masters – why?


Ingenious Flipper Bridge Melds Left-Side Drivers With Right-Side Drivers | Fast Company
One of the most vexing aspects of traveling between mainland China and Hong Kong is the car travel: People in the former drive on the right side of the road; people in the latter drive on the left (a vestige of the British empire).

So to quell confusion at the border and, more importantly, to keep cars from smashing into each other, the Dutch firm NL Architects proposed a brilliant, simple solution, the Flipper bridge.

Brilliant and beautiful.

Musical Mad Scientist Concocts Bizarre Instruments, Strange Sounds | Underwire |
Music From Sand

“I had some sandbags in the backyard that I used in November during a rainy day. I was moving them to a different spot when I heard the noise of the sand. I thought that maybe I could try a new sound-design technique, so I bought some piezo-film transducers and started to experiment with them.

“The entire track is created only out of tuned sand tones — no additional sounds or waveforms. I emphasized the inner notes of the sand grains and mapped them on a sampler as a series of instruments. The grooves are all played live with various techniques, including taping two piezo films to my fingers.” —Diego Stocco

Interesting and original. With lots of video, and ads.
Note from Canton:

FYI our server will be intermittently sluggish and fast today, maybe for the next few days. I’m in them midst of trying to contain a zombie botnet distributed denial of service attack coming out of indonesia. Has been going on for about a week I think, and started getting nasty last night.

Not sure whether that sounds more like early William Gibson or like Harry Potter…
My new favorite yogurt:

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company
1st Place Winner, 2002 American Cheese Society Cheese Competition

Our yogurt is made from 100% pure pasteurized sheep’s milk and healthy active cultures, nothing else. There are no gums, no stabilizers, and no other artificial thickeners used in our yogurt. Our Maple Yogurt is produced by added 100% percent pure maple syrup.

I love this house in Korea.


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