Monthly Archives: March 2009

Twitter Updates for 2009-03-15

  • @Kate_Butler Dan Bridgewood-Hill is….. http://www.myspace.com/dbhguitar – and music editor of Blank now I think! in reply to Kate_Butler #
  • @zimmyis maybe we could take turns Zimmy? If you like. Though maybe not, I can’t promise to get up in time. Hmmm. I’m useless! #
  • is researching Twitter for the top secret Project 11. What are the pros and cons? Contrast with facebook & other networks. #
  • I like it that the Mac I’m using has two mouse buttons! #
  • The afternoon play on radio 4 is excellent today, something about carbon change. So entertainig, and pertinent. #

Advertising Standards Authority

I decided to compain to the ASA the other day. I’d seen an advert for nicotine patches, saying that nicotine was  ‘theraputic’. Made me laugh, and vaguely angry. I do wish I wasn’t addicted to nicotine… maybe addicted is a little strong. Wish I didn’t have a nicotine habit.

Anyway; here’s the response.

Dear Mr Lindley

Re: Your complaint about NiQuitin advertising

Thank you for your recent complaint about a TV ad for this product.

I understand you object to the term ‘therapeutic nicotine’ because Wikipedia says therapeutic means the attempted remediation of a health problem, which you feel does not apply.  We have reviewed the ad but on this occasion, we will not be taking further action.

When assessing complaints about TV ads, we have to consider how viewers are likely to interpret the claims.  In this case we think that viewers are likely to understand that nicotine is highly addictive and is the element within cigarettes that makes giving up smoking very difficult.   While your definition of therapeutic may be correct, we note that it also has the meaning of being “soothing” or “conducive to well-being”.

We have reviewed the ad and note it does not claim to cure nicotine addiction but rather by providing a controlled supply of nicotine, the product is able to calm the symptoms of withdrawal and so allow the person to concentrate on something other than their craving for cigarette.  On this basis, because we think that people are likely to understand that the claims are made in the context of an ad for an anti-smoking product, we don’t think that this ad is likely to harm consumers or mislead them to their detriment.

I am sorry that we are unable to investigate your complaint further, but thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Harms

Complaints Executive

Twitter Updates for 2009-03-08

Data Sonification

I’ve been thinking about Sonification (has a definition on Wikipedia, even if it isn’t a real word) of data for sometime. My first experiment used this blog. A hidden iFrame on the main page opened a page on a web server running off my laptop. These requests were then converted to audio and played out of the laptop’s speaker. I’m interested in the concept of listening to data all together, and in particular web / internet data is especially intriguing. Similarly I’ve recently become inspired by autonomous art works, things that do their own thing without intervention, and even better than that they do something entirely unpredictable.

My research has progressed, and now rather than using a simple PC speaker my software outputs MIDI information. That can then be interpreted by all means of other software, or even hardware synthesisers to actually turn the data into sound. Also I’ve stopped using this blog as the data source, I’ve actually obtained a months worth of web server log data. This has given me about 7 million records to use as my data set. Due to the way the software processes data the amount of time that it would take to “play” is equal to the amount of time that data took to collect. So, the months worth of data I’m using currently would actually take 1 month to listen to. Here’s a few excerpts from my current set up.

Example 1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Example 2

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Example 3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Example 4

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The “rules” that the software adheres to are as follows.

  • MIDI note is determined by an addition of each segment of the clients IP address, which is then divided by 8. The reasoning behind this is that there are 128 possible MIDI notes. The sum of IP address segments has 1024 different possibilities. 1024 / 8 is 128; so this calculation will always provide a valid MIDI note.
  • Length of note is determined by looking at the length of time in between web requests. This means in busy periods the software produces lots and lots of notes, whereas at quiet times (in the middle of the night) very few notes are played.

In time I’d like to further develop the system, exploring using other things as parameters with which to modulate aspects of the synthesis. One idea is to look at the geographical location of the client and then alter the sound accordingly in some way. This could work very well with a multiple speaker set up. Also plugging the system into the live log data would be really exciting.

A further development would introduce a visual element to the software. Illuminating variou screen sections according to IP address processing, like the audio. I haven’t looked into that as yet though..! It would probably mean transferring the MIDI processing code from VB into Processing; no bad thing me thinks.

Baker Tilly Comp

I’m going to pitch some HDR photographs to Chartered Accountants Baker Tilly. The concept is to show Manchester financial architecture, new and old, in stunning HDR.

I visited the site of Baker Tilly’s offices last week to get a feel for the place, it’s around Hardman Square in Manchester. I only managed to take 2 shots before being moved along by a security guard. It was still useful to get some test shots and have a look at the site. These aren’t actually HDR, but are “pseudo-HDR” generated from single RAW files.

Twitter Updates for 2009-03-01

  • c’mon google, sort out Gmail. Twitter is excellent for finding out about things like this…. I actualyl just logged onto gmail, but v slow #
  • i’ve made archive.joesart.org minimal. like it like that. also vimeo is ruling my roost at the mo, youtube seems smelly in comparison #
  • @robdunne what ru on with these days? augmented reality thing sounds intriguing; and what you doing with folly?-if u dont mind me asking! :) #