Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BBC as echo chamber: a review of "HyperNormalisation"

Adam Curtis is a neoconservative documentary film-maker funded exhaustively by the BBC. "HyperNormalisation" (view here) is his latest product, a sprawling collage of thoughts about contemporary political power. It displays his usual hallmarks: a totalising and reductive view of complexity, a disparaging view of artists, a dismissal of women that is essentially sexist, and an ignorance of philosophical thought, stemming from an inherent anti-intellectualism and self-aggrandizement.

His works are heralded without much criticism. This article will act as partial corrective.
Friday, October 14, 2016

Bootstrap 4 column templates

I am building a new website. Each time I do this, the underlying technologies evolve and I play catch-up.

The big problem has always been supporting the variety of software platforms in use. It's a significant challenge creating a unified experience for users of different web browsers on different operating systems. The recent proliferation of hand-held devices has increased the number of software platforms (Android, iOS), the number of rendering engines, and the variety of screen sizes in use.

It is imperative to use a platform built to unify the common technologies of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. All the messy details should be hidden in the implementation, so that a web designer can focus on their structure and content.

In addition, the principle of responsive design holds that one single code-base should suffice for all viewer implementations.

That is why I am using Bootstrap, and specifically the new version 4 release of this platform. (Though this is still in alpha, I don't want to dedicate time to version 3, knowing the structure is imminently to change.)

Though the internal docs are good, there isn't much third party documentation on Bootstrap 4. I've been experimenting with layout and this article is the result.
Sunday, October 09, 2016

New track on Silent Records

I am proud to say I am a part of the new Silent Records. Founded by Kim Cascone (AKA Heavenly Music Corporation) in 1986, this label went on to become the seminal American ambient label. Well, Kim has rebooted Silent and released two giant compilations.
Thursday, October 06, 2016

How to retrieve photo metadata in Python

You'd think it would be easy to retrieve and even edit photo metadata. After all, we are living in the 21st century. But, no, some things prove more difficult than they should. A search for applications turned up quite a few that would display the metadata but none that would easily edit it.

OK, so there's always the programmatic approach. And for that I turn to Python. Let's see what the state of the art holds for us. (Hint: It's a bumpy ride.)

Sunday, October 02, 2016

A video of light itself

Photography is all about the light. Without light an image cannot be captured. And it is often the quality of the light that makes a photo, in the aesthetic as well as the functional sense.

Now, researchers in Spain and at MIT have managed to image light itself. Which means that we can see light in motion. No, not the movement of other things in light. But the process of light moving.

For example, we can watch a video of a mirror forming a reflection. That's exactly what this video shows. Science-fiction has once again caught up with the world we live in. This is more than a bit mind boggling, so I hope to explain.