March 2007 Archives


fluokids, kinda interesting DJ crew in france, seems to be made up of some funloving kids.

However, what I find the most interesting, is their awesome logo:


Made by Arthur Röing, a swedish teenager. He says:

Submission for graphic design contest arranged by fluokids, a french dj crew. I custom made a font by arranging circles and rectangles into different shapes, later evolving to the different letters in the logotype.

Beautiful job man.

Mata ne

Almost ready to go. My flight is at 5pm JST today.

Thank you to all my new and old friends here. I feel as if I have two homes now, truly.

Arrigato, and see you soon!

And to the folks at home... get ready... all things change.



Found The Sartorialist a few months back (via Mike I think?) and am really *really* enjoying his candid snaps of pure style. As the two above are an example of.

Let your environment inspire you. Jump into the flow. Be unconventional, thoroughly. Being present is not enough.

What is code?

A picture is worth a thousand words...

The premise of the linked article is to show how one can create a web browser in "one line of code" using a bunch of stuff that more or less comes with Mac OS X. "One line of code" is meant to infer extreme easiness...

It is far from easy. It is a very complex set of procedures, tying together a whole bunch of "code" that has been written for you and presented in a visual environment. Sort of like Yahoo! Pipes, and Max/MSP.

Indymedia is a spam host

I've been receiving tons of spam blog comments across the networks I maintain all pointing to spam comments hosted on various Indymedia websites.

I have tried to contact them directly but I recently heard that their technical resources are ... technically non existant...

Seems they are incompetent as well. What to expect, it's Indymedia.


Wake up kids.

autoplay off

heh. sorry about that. Karl mentioned it to me the other day and I thought I fixed it. Sometimes forget that every parameter in an object embedded is duplicated (and I turned off autoplay on only one of them).

what am I talking about? The embedded MP3 the other day was playing every time you hit my homepage.

Gomen ne

iCal insecure

iCal insecurity

The above was presented to me as I tried entering the URL of an iCal calendar syndicated from a secure webserver, i.e. https://

It seems to me that calendars (hello? personal?) are one thing that is a no-brainer shoe-in on the list of data one might want to protect via web encryption. Without getting into access control etc etc.

When are they going to rewrite this piece of garbage? And give it a sane API with actual documentation? Fingers crossed for... er? the next cat.

Music is my...

Grab this nice long mix of last year's great tracks. This is the stuff I have been listening to mostly. This is the kind of stuff that gets me moving in tiny sticky basement nightclubs and swanky undergrounds in Tokyo at 4am, etc...

People don't dance no more, (what!) They just stand there like this, (uh huh) They cross their arms and stare you down and drink and moan and diss (that's right!) People don't dance no more (uh huh) They just stand there like this (yeah!) They cross their arms and stare you down and drink and moan and diss (ok!)

No way

Tomorrow at 3pm I am meeting someone who was instrumental in introducing the Shibuya Kei style of music to North America in the 1990's. If it hadn't been for this, I would never have heard of Pizzicato 5 and my journey of discovery of Japanese culture would ... well not have started there. Which it sorta did.

Cornelius, Joi's second cousin, was/is a major figure in Shibuya Kei, and one of my favorite musicians ever.

Tomorrow night, 2 Many DJs, a.k.a. SoulWax are starting a two night stand at Womb in Shibuya. One of my very first comments on Joi's blog, and thus contact with him, and, oddly, seminally, Adam Greenfield, whom I handed a CD with 700megs of mashups to at SxSW that year, was about... 2 Many DJs.

The mind reels, as the story unfolds.

Oh and Saturday, the guy who used to run the record shop which is now occupied by the geek room at Laïka, plays at Yellow. Contexts collapsing galore.


I packed only two pairs of black cords for this trip (because that's all I had been wearing all fall.) Almost two months ago I acquired a pair of cheap tapered camo cargo pants.

Before all this I had worn nothing but jeans for the last five or six years.

I needed to get back into my jeans. Somehow, however, The Gap just didn't bridge it anymore, and Diesel fueled no more desire.

I am wearing a wonderful pair of hand-made, indigo dyed jeans from Okura in Daikanyama. I feel... elated and liberated.

L'habit ne fait pas le moine

It's not the clothes, it's how you wear them.

Style is: adapting to the context.
Fashion is: making that adaptation.

As every river has a source and ends in an estuary, every quality individual manifestation of style (natural selection?) follows the flow of growing adoption, becoming a trend, and finally being incorporated into the prevailing environment / context.

The individual constantly adapts and seeks to maintain his individuality. In this climate of ever more focused observation of this phenomenon, the individual becomes marked as the trendsetter.

The dance is fun to watch.

Oh and it's not about clothes at all. That's the point.
You are either actively engaged with the culture or you are passively engulfed by it. Either is fine, as long as you are aware of your choice. :)

À propos, 2ManyDJ's - Radio SoulWax - Tomorrow's World (2002)

Le Talkie-Walkie

Le Talkie Walkie Keitai
de Serge Gainsbourg

J’avais en ma possession un talkie-walkie
Made in Japan
Il ne m’en reste à présent qu’un grain de folie
Un point c’est tout
J’avais donné le même appareil à celle que j’aimais
On s’appelait pour un oui pour un non
Qu’elle soit dans sa chambre ou bien dans la cour de son lycée
Je l’avais n’importe quand n’importe où

Quand j’entendais sa voix dans le talkie-walkie
J’étais heureux
Jusqu’au jour où elle l’oublia près de son lit
Voici comment
J’étais seul avec moi quand je décidai de l’appeler
J’ai tout de suite compris ma douleur
Je ne souhaite à personne de vivre un moment pareil
En deux mots voilà ce qui s’est passé

J’entendis des soupirs dans le talkie-walkie
Des mots d’amours
Et puis son prénom que murmurait dans la nuit
Un inconnu
De ce jour tous les plombs de mon pauvre compteur ont sauté
Mais je la vois dans mon obscurité
Je vois ses grands yeux beiges ces deux grands yeux couleurs du temps
D’où la neige tombait de temps en temps

J’avais en ma possession un talkie-walkie
Made in Japan
Il ne m’en reste à présent qu’un grain de folie
Un point c’est tout

Winding down, winding up

A week and a half left. I am feeling the way I always do at this point:
Can't wait to get home... but don't want to ever leave.

This visit was both devastating on some levels and elevating on others. I've dug roots in a good amount deeper, and am happy for it. I've made connections that will not only make it even easier for me to come back on a regular basis, but also make me want to even more. (I bet you didn't think that was even possible. ;)

But for now, I tuck in and try to make sure I get to see everyone one last time before I go, do all the work I need to do (launching GVO redesign as soon as I touch the ground in Montreal) and enjoy it all.

ja matta, ne.


Aaron is homesick too

Me too, oh man, me too.
(Today was such a total clusterfuck, I'm crying listing to this.)

Esthetic urban decay by design

Decay Blocks 1

The view above is common in Tokyo: rough, old and weathered giant stone block walls. Images of ninja scrambling along them... er I digress.

Walking back to Shibuya from Harajuku a few weeks back, I noticed this wall:

Decay blocks 2

Obviously, some recent repair work had been done and a section of the wall renewed. However, I wondered why these new blocks were so dirty, and the older ones not? There was no puddle of mud on the road that could have splattered, even if so perfectly avoiding the old wall, onto them.

Upon closer inspection:

decay blocks 3

What is that? Why is there so much crap splattered over all these... oh wait a minute. This isn't dirt splatter; this is half rotten wood! Half rotten wood chips IN the concrete blocks!

Wood chips are mixed into the concrete blocks. Over time, with humidity and rain and temperature changes, the wood expands and contracts and accelerate surface erosion of the concrete blocks, giving them a nice, ancient, weathered rock look and feel, probably within a few months.

How great is that? It's a good thingTM

So out of shape

nike ipod run 2
(sorry about posting these... having fun ;)
And the course I ran, mapped on GMap Pedometer.

run 2 pedometer map
(Funny how mapping a jog like that brings the enormity of Tokyo down to a personal, human scale. If my lungs held out, I could easily run to Shibuya, Shimokitazawa, Naka Meguro, Shirokanedai...)

Warming warning

Hiromi Warming Warning
Hiromy posted this photo comparing the same spot in Niigata one year apart almost to the day.

Last year was unusually much snow; this year, unusually little.
Key word here is "unusual".


Mao Surreal

New friend Verena is in Beijing this week and she posted this picture she took while driving my Tiananmen Square.

I find the image of Mao mesmerizing. Not becase it's Mao (it means nothing to me for I have no direct experience of communism, Chinese or otherwise, except for few misguided marxist acquaintances), but because of the image.

Look at it.

The baby blue to pink fade background.
As gaudy as any knock-off sneaker rolling off factory conveyor belts by the billions.

The grey perfection of the suit.
The shadows crisp and jutting out into this world from that one. Boo! We're comin' to get'ya!

The iconic old-well-fed-chinese-man face.
It screams "I love dumplings! You will too!"

Lookit meeee!

Overall, I prefer Jaiku to Twitter.
Where else can YOU track all MY web output?
(well what I choose to include anyways)

What's the sound of one context collapsing? ;)

no openID

Mike's posted an excellent piece on why he thinks openID is a bad idea.

The problem with OpenID is that it violates one of the longest-runnings stories we tell ourselves about the Internet, from the famous New Yorker cartoon...

I'd give you a more revealing excerpt but I want you to read the whole thing. Please do.


If you ever need the Bangla keyboard mappings and some fonts for Mac OS X, Apple conveniently links to them.

Be prepared though...

bangla keyboard layout installer

It's like being there!!! ;)

Oops, you'll need some fonts with that. Thank you come again.

Why do I need them? Rendering issues.

Alternate use


Not jogging, but a leisurely evening with friends visiting an exhibit and ChinaTown in Yokohama. (Train rides of course not account in distances.)

The iPod frequently "paused" the "workout"--sensing prolonged periods of immobility--hence it's shortness. The trip lasted from 5pm to 10pm.

Typical weekend dilemma for me...

I had planned to spend some time this weekend hacking out the "featured article" functionality for the GlobalVoices redesign. It's the last big piece that needs doing and we have a Thursday EST deadline to show off a final version of the site. I'm not hugely worried about it, I just wanted t get it done.


I was up until 4am last night (instead of going to an event in Shibuya), and I just missed an afternoon at the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival with Paul, because I badly needed to finish some XML API endpoints for the maps Mike is making for us, and just before running off I discovered a huge snafu in the private pinging infrastructure I developed for our new distributed translation network. (just wait till you see this... insanity.)

gvo chinese
(i screwed up the chinese characters a bit due to DB encoding issues. This will bite me in the ass one day...)

But that's all done now. It's quarter to 4. And in about an hour Paul will ping me to head to Yokohama for some Information Design thing and hopefully some dumplings. w00t.


 Brainloop Images Brainloop 01

Brainloop is an interactive performance platform that utilizes a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system which allows a subject to operate devices merely by imagining specific motor commands. These mentally visualized commands may be seen as the rehearsal of a motor act without the overt motor output; a neural synapse occurs but the actual movement is blocked at the corticospinal level. Motor imagery such as "move left hand", "move right hand" or "move feet" become non-muscular communication and control signals that convey messages and commands to the external world. In Brainloop, the subject, Markus Rapp, is able - without physically moving - to investigate urban areas and rural landscapes as he globe-trots around virtual Google Earth.

Needless to say, I want one. Now.

Running man?

Part of the premise of the movie "Running Man" is how the main character gets framed as a murdering police officer by manipulating video evidence.

Now, Photoshopping images and AfterEffects-ing video is already possible but it's still a huge pain to do things convincingly. High priced gear and pros territory.

Poisson image editing is some complex mathematics that will make this kind of stuff easier. For better or worse... ;)

poisson image editing

Poisson 2

Two papers:
Poisson Image Editing [pdf]
Patrick Pérez Michel Gangnet Andrew Blake
Microsoft Research UK

Drag-and-Drop Pasting. [pdf]
Jiaya Jia, Jian Sun, Chi-Keung Tang, and Heung-Yeung Shum, SIGGRAPH 2006.


A general statement:

"When people buy a toaster, they know it's probably not going to blow up when they plug it in. But when they buy a consumer device like the Nike+iPod kit, they have no idea whether the device might enable someone to violate their privacy. We need to change that."

from a very specific article about the fact that the Nike+iPod device broadcasts an unencrypted signal readable in a 60 foot radius. Brilliant. :)

Anyways, I am looking for any signs of "cracks on the smooth edges" of the end-to-end controlled "solution" that is the Nike+iPod offering, that would potentially allow the coupling of GPS data somewhere along the process, preferably during the activity being captured, i.e. running or general out-and-aboot-ness.


another video from that party there there

Just realized who she is.