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January 10, 2010

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to access blocked sites

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Courtesy of Mathew Honan writing in the January 2010 issue of Wired magazine comes the following tutorial.

TechnoDolts™ like moi will please move along, nothing to see here.

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Access Blocked Sites

If your employer nixes non-work-related sites like Gmail, YouTube, and Facebook [maybe even bookofjoe], you could try bypassing the blocks with a public proxy — but those are typically blacklisted, too. Here's how to forge your own detour: Download the PHProxy program from Sourceforge.net. Unzip the file and upload the entire folder's contents to a Web host that can run PHP scripts (GoDaddy and Dreamhost offer plans for less than $10 a month). Enter the host URL into your browser. When the proxy page pops up, type your actual destination into the blank address bar. You're now free — and free to poke away.

January 10, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Not-Apple Calculator — Episode 2: MOMA sells out but another door opens

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When I featured this nice piece of kit (designed by Ippei Matsumoto) in last year's Episode 1 , it was being offered by MOMA's shop for $58.

Not any more.

I had my crack research team get on the case and it only took them about 12 hours collectively to drill down and locate a new source.

From the website: "Reminiscent in look and feel of a first generation keyboard. Click the key and you will enjoy its audio and tactile-friendly character. This calculator can be connected to a computer."

Alas, PC only — no Macs need apply.

Strange, eh?

Bonus: price break, down to $54.

January 10, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grime writing (reverse graffiti) — Paul Curtis explains it all for you

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From the November 23, 2009 Financial Times: "Paul 'Moose' Curtis [above] founded Symbollix in 2003, after his particular brand of 'grime writing' — creating pictures and slogans by selectively cleaning the dirt off walls and pavements — caught the attention of corporate marketing departments."

Here's what he said to the FT's Emma Jacobs about how he came to his business epiphany.

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I came up the idea of grime writing or reverse graffiti 10 years ago, while trying to promote a record that my record label was about to release. There was no marketing money, so I went to a tunnel in Leeds with a friend who was a great graffiti artist, and in seconds made a huge piece – just using an old rag and his fingers to write in the dirt. We had created legal graffiti. No one had ever invested any time in these tunnels and our work shone like chrome.

After that revelation, I carried on writing on walls as a means of self-expression. It was unique at the time. And it began to dawn on me that I could make money out of it. I had worked as a technician on events for the launch of the Xbox and showed it to the people I worked for – they programmed it into the launch a few months later. That’s when my hobby turned into a business. But I don’t refer to my work as reverse graffiti any more because of the negative connotations attached to graffiti. 

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I’ve just completed a marketing campaign for Motorola, the mobile technology company. It was a stencilled picture of a pair of headphones with a cable that ran along the pavement and walls directing people to where their products were.

Quite often, this side of what I do can be very formulaic. I’m given artwork and asked to reproduce it. But clients miss out in such cases. They should allow me to make images that intrigue the public. I work on the premise that people have a very short attention span and three seconds is all you have to get the idea across. So, I enjoyed working on a campaign in April for Puma, the sportswear company, for a music festival it ran in Liverpool and Manchester, because I could do more or less what I wanted.

Earlier this month, I did a big piece with Greenpeace, the environmental group, on the banks of the River Thames. We had limited time as the tide rose quickly and we were chased by the river police after completing our message, “Change the politics – save the climate”.

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It was pretty stormy but bad weather doesn’t bother me. It means there are less people around to get in the way. Sometimes the hardest conditions are not the weather, but finding a wall where I won’t be competing with too much advertising.

I’ve worked for everybody from big sports brands, television and radio stations and drinks companies to the Metropolitan Police (on anti-gun crime) and the Department for Work and Pensions. I’ve never had to advertise myself or my company. I get work through reputation. I’ve got to travel – Spain, the US, Germany, where the police tend to be more relaxed about my work.

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I’m currently talking to Turner Broadcasting in the US about a campaign – though things are moving slowly. American companies are less inclined to guerilla marketing. I very nearly worked for the Discovery Channel recently but even though its extremely thorough legal department couldn’t find anything wrong with what I do, they pulled the job at the last minute.

Environmentalists and street artists criticise me for selling out – I take it on the chin. I realise the irony in promoting consumerism that creates the dirt I write in. But there are benefits in companies paying to clean the streets. The question is where to draw the line. I don’t work for car companies or airlines, but then my competitors do.

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Banksy has a lot to answer for with the whole street art thing – it’s big business now, companies are springing up all over the place to jump in. But there’s plenty of dirt for everyone.

January 10, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What are they?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

January 10, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Best article ever on the Antikythera Mechanism

It's in the current issue (December 2009) of Scientific American, lucidly presented along with wonderful graphics.

The first two paragraphs: "If it had not been for two storms 2,000 years apart in the same area of the Mediterranean, the most important technological artifact from the ancient world could have been lost forever."

"The first storm, in the middle of the 1st century B.C., sank a Roman merchant vessel laden with Greek treasures. The second storm, in A.D. 1900, drove a party of sponge divers to shelter off the tiny island of Antikythera, between Crete and the mainland of Greece. When the storm subsided, the divers tried their luck for sponges in the local waters and chanced on the wreck. Months later the divers returned, with backing from the Greek government. Over nine months they recovered a hoard of beautiful ancient Greek objects—rare bronzes, stunning glassware, amphorae, pottery and jewelry—in one of the first major underwater archaeological excavations in history."

Supposedly only a preview's available free online, along with two videos.

But somehow I made it to a freely available page with the complete article here.

If it doesn't happen for you, don't fret and give up, but instead play around — you might get lucky.

"If your institution has site license access, enter here."

January 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Giant Goliath™ Extra Long Tweezers

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How about two feet (0.6 meters)?

Is that long enough for you?

From the website:

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SPI Giant Goliath Extra Long Tweezers

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The SPI Supplies Giant Goliath Extra Long Tweezers are a whopping two feet (0.6 meters) long! At first, we too thought it was a joke when the first person wrote to us asking about really long tweezers. What we had considered "long" in the past did not come close to the length that was now being demanded. It seems like the most often mentioned reason is to have something that is higher precision that generally avail for pulling very small and delicate samples out of a liquid nitrogen bath. Another reason was to pull something out of a heated chamber without getting too close to the chamber itself. There are probably a large list of reasons why one might require such long tweezers. So while we don't recommend them for scratching one's back (!), we do believe that a certain set of users and laboratory workers will find the arrival of the SPI Giant Goliath tweezers to be a great convenience to them.

Deep serrations on the tips are present to provide still more gripping power to firmly hold the object in the grip of the tweezers.

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Aquarium Applications

Sometimes called "aquarium tweezers", the SPI Giant Goliath tweezers are the preferred method for rearranging items at the bottom of an aquarium tank. Used by aquarium professionals and hobbyists alike, the precision crafted stainless steel will not easily corrode, and offers a contamination-free method for doing maintenance on any aquarium, fresh or salt water, so long as the tweezers are thoroughly washed in fresh water and then dried (such as with a hair dryer) before storing for next use.

Tip width: 4.5mm

Handle width: 20mm.

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Curved or

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Straight.

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$75.

January 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hasta Las Narcices (To The Narcissistic)

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A 2004 installation by Ivan Puig.

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"VW sedan, agua, pigmento, plotter sobre pvc, vaso de vidrio y figurillas escala, medidas variable."

[via Interior design room and Think.BigChief]

January 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Balls of wool headpiece

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You pick the color.

ST18sol

$221.25.

[via What Alice Found]

January 10, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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