Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jeffrey Smart Passed

One of my favourite - and the world's - Australian artists, Jeffrey Smart has died in Italy aged 91. The Adelaide-born artist, who was known for his precise, stark urban landscapes, trained in Australia and Europe and was living in Italy.

Smart was born and educated in Adelaide where he worked as an Art teacher. After departing for Europe in 1948 he studied in Paris at La Grande Chaumière, and later at the Académie Montmartre under Fernand Léger. He returned to Australia 1951, living in Sydney, and began exhibiting frequently in 1957. 

In 1963, he moved to Italy, and in 1971 after a successful exhibition in London, bought "Posticcia Nuova" near Arezzo in Tuscany where he resided with his partner until his death.

Smart is known for finding the beauty in ordinary -very static - objects, and for his fearless colour palette. Smart is one of Australia's best known artists with his almost iconic and unique imagery, he was heavily influenced by various artists and art forms :: Read the full article »»»»

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Run Skidmark Run!! Google Gets it's Geeks Onto Paedophile Hunt

It's en ease to bag out the behemoth that is Google, outwardly the company looks like a money making machine - without a huge social conscience - Scratch the surface a little however, and your glimmered by small signs of hope. There's a bunch of cool stuff coming out of Google's X-Labs, Project Loony's superneat wifi via balloon power. Google Culture  dictates that the company has a social conscience, keeping up with that ethos is often harder than simply creating the coolest business in the galaxy.

In it's latest effort to set-things-right, Google is doing what it does best, it's creating an image database to help law enforcement control the traffic of offensive images and remove child pornography from the web. Indeed, it's a no-brainer, Google's mission statement outlines the company's intention to 'organize the worlds information' and mapping a world of depravity in order to be rid of it,  something the company is exemplary at.

As well as a clever new algorithm designed to hunt down illegal child pornography, the behemoth has bequeathed tens of millions of dollars to help not-for-profits around the globe keep up the good fight. £1million/$AU1.65 million has been thrown at UK  internet watchdog IWF - Internet Watch Foundation - to help boost it's surveillance, and a further £1.25 million/$AU2 million to setup a fund available for software developers to produce new tools to help fight child pornography. 

Not that we're cynical, but, the last four weeks have seen Google ganged up-on by big voices in the UK, including British MPs, for what many perceive as the company's reluctance to crack down on child internet pornography.

While we'd love to sing Google's praise, we are left wondering why that hadn't done this sooner? Now that Google has announced plans to setup an online database of offensive images, you can expect that the war will escelate quickly. The ethos of the plan is to enable law enforcement agencies, not-for-profits and private companies to detect and remove offensive content more easily :: Read the full article »»»»

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Will Fairfax Paywall Cannibalise it's Printing Press?

The death of print is back on the tips of expert tongues with Fairfax Media announcing it is hoping to replicate the success of its international digital subscription service when it launches a metered paywall in Australia next month. From July 2, visitors to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald websites will have free access to 30 articles each month, any reading after that will cost.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood says the move is part of a restructure which will save the company an additional $60 million by the end of September - this year, ambitiously - Mr Hywood told an investor briefing this morning that the restructure aimed to reduce duplication across the business, with a minimal impact on content and sales.

While Mr Hywood warned of a sharp fall in Fairfax's overall earnings, he said there were no plans to eliminate the print versions of any of the company's mastheads. In march this year Fairfax Killed of it's familiar broadsheets, consigning the format to the history books, with the first tabloid editions of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age rolling off the printing presses on March 4, does a paywall signal the further shrinkage of physical paper as a source of news?

Mr Hywood reiterated that the company had "no plans" to kill of print, however many media analysts believe that his statements only apply to the company's popular weekend print editions :: Read the full article »»»»

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cisco Predicts Internet Measured in Zettabytes

Technology behemoth Cisco has forecast that the need for internet speed will increase at head-spin pace over the next 4 years. The company predicts that by 2017, global internet traffic will be measured in zettabytes - one zettabyte is the seventh power of 1000 or 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 bytes, a sextillion - a trillion gigabytes.

Cisco reckons that by the end of 2015 annual global internet traffic will wiz past the zettabyte threshold. By 2017 the internet will reach nearly 1.5 zettabytes annually. However, more worrying for boffins is the growth in peak-hour internet trafic. Over the past 5 years peak hour traffic increased at a steady 30 per cent a year, last year it grew at 40 per cent and Cisco say that growth is set to triple of the next 5 years.

The research is part of Cisco's Visual Networking Index - VNI - and ongoing initiative by the behemoth that explores the implications of IP growth. Another amazing stat to come out of Cisco's research is the growth of mobile, in 2012 less than 25 per cent of internet traffic originated from mobile devices, they expect mobile to grow to half of all internet traffic by 2012

It's worth noting; in 1986 - pre modern internet - the planets entire data output, television, radio, cable etc, was 0.400 zettabytes. in 2000 we still only consumed 1.2 zettabytes - remember, that's everything, all broadcast technologies - by 2012 the planet will be consuming more than 5 zettabytes of data a year, almost a third of which will be pulled through the internet:: Read the full article »»»»
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