Australian Creative.

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Xbox One - ya blew it...

Added on by Tom Cramond.

There have been no shortage of people basing Microsoft's new console  the Xbox One over the past two weeks since its announcement, and I for the most part have defended it. But today's announcement of the restrictions placed on the next generation console are just plain ridiculous. 

Have a look at the infographic below - the 360 has been my console of choice, but I'm seriously unimpressed by its follow up. Disgusting.



Beyond Recognition - The story of a full face transplant

Added on by Tom Cramond.

A great piece from The Verge's Katie Drummond on a extraordinary science of transplanting a human face:

Cheryl’s face was the best match that surgeons had found for Tarleton, but it wasn’t perfect: Tarleton’s body was already producing some key proteins that might fight off the transplanted tissue, and Pomahac estimated that the procedure carried up to a 20 percent chance of failing completely. If it did, surgeons would be forced to remove the transplanted tissue, leaving Tarleton with some variation of the disfigured face she’d had before the procedure.

Points too for the beautifully produced video of the story.


Space based selfies!!

Added on by Tom Cramond.

Seattle company Planetary Resources are trying to raise $1,000,000 in Kickstarter to launch a user controlled orbital satellite, complete with external screen and self facing camera for the ultimate 'selfie'.

You can add your support now and get a picture of your choice displayed and photographed in space for only $25 - freaking cool!

A 3D sculpture made of string and light

Added on by Tom Cramond.

From the Monitor Digital Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico comes 'Lumarca', an immersive 3D sculpture made from the hanging of hundreds (thousands?) of pieces of string and a digital projector:

The Verge has done a nice interview with one of its creators Matt Parker that you can find here. I would love to see technology like this used as part of a performing arts piece - dance especially would suit this especially well.

The One-Person Product

Added on by Tom Cramond.

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but Marco Armet's inside look in to the acquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo is a great read: 

Anyone who knows David can tell, very clearly, that he wrote every word of his announcement post. Not only did Yahoo let him end it like that, but the subhead on their official press release shows that Tumblr and Yahoo are seeing eye-to-eye on quite a lot already. In many ways, this feels more like a merger than an acquisition. This is clearly what David believes is best for his product. On such big decisions, he hasn’t been wrong yet. This time, though, I don’t have any doubts.

Marco was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Tumblr and his unique perspective on the company and it's founder is second to none.

Why 3D Printing Is Overhyped

Added on by Tom Cramond.

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz

Added on by Tom Cramond.

I'm fascinated by the life of Aaron Swartz and the work he was able to complete before in tragic suicide earlier this year. Today The New Yorker launched a new service called 'Strongbox' that allows anyone to provide documents to the newspaper in a completely anonymous and untraceable fashion

In truth it is such a shame that such a service is needed, especially with President Obama's hostility towards whisteblowers and a number of news organisations. Aaron was one of the good guys, a great loss for so many online and off.

"Aaron Swartz was not yet a legend when, almost two years ago, I asked him to build an open-source, anonymous in-box. His achievements were real and varied, but the events that would come to define him to the public were still in his future: his federal criminal indictment; his leadership organizing against the censorious Stop Online Piracy Act; his suicide in a Brooklyn apartment. I knew him as a programmer and an activist, a member of a fairly small tribe with the skills to turn ideas into code—another word for action—and the sensibility to understand instantly what I was looking for: a slightly safer way for journalists and their anonymous sources to communicate."

It's heartening to see modern digital technologies being used to preserve and protect free access to information and accountability. I desperately hope it proves to be a success, if for nothing else than a fitting memorial to an extraordinary human

Preview vs Release

Added on by Tom Cramond.

Following a number of scathing reviews for the intial release of the OUYA Android gaming console, the company has responded in a statement to claiming the console is not yet ready for reviews:

"We will be making Ouya review units available in early to mid-May so that you are able to review the more complete consumer experience and prepare your coverage in time for the June 4th retail launch," a representative said. "To clarify for you--Ouya has sent no review units out to press. Any reviews you have seen online are a result from individuals who received early backer units from supporting our Kickstarter."

Although I can't find exact numbers, the company has begun to ship out thousands of kickstarter edition products to it's many supporters, yet at the same time claim that console is not ready for commercial release. Whilst this may make sense in an abstract sense, I just don't think this forced distinction holds any water in the real world. Developer previews of unfinished hardware and operating systems are commonplace in the gaming world and are necessary for development and testing. By comparison the OUYA is being sent to thousands of paying customers, not to test software but to be used as gaming machines, complete with consoles final hardware.

This move is somewhat understandable as the high profile kickstater campaign has forced the company into this early release of the product - but the question remains, will it do more harm than good? Has the funding model that enabled the creation of the device also created a set of expectations that are next to impossible to deliver on and which may ultimately kill the product?

As we work our way through the new world of crowd sourced funding these issues highlight rather dramatically the potential downsides inherent to the funding medium - particularly in regards to the management of consumer expectations. The OUYA may yet be a success, but it's development thus far can serve as both a source of inspiration and concern for other kickstarter creators.

The development of any creative product takes time, often much more than initially envisaged and when you add in thousands of eager investors in your product these set timeframes have the potential to lead to disaster.