Saturday, September 30, 2006

Life Extern

After what turned into a long 2nd night in Berlin, the ROBOEXOTICA delegation has settled at Tacheles extern, where Cockbot One is mixing a drink for our currently sole visitor as I write this.
Defunct Gesundheit is decorating the window and Robomoji is showing signs of deterioration.
Alan happily films and projects and Bic-o-mat, the smoking robot is hazardously placed on a full barrel of oil.
What shall I say, Life is good and Cockbot One's daiquiris are delicious.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Drowsy Life

After a short, early, early morning flight, Chris, Stefan and I arrived in Berlin, where we first checked in at Kunsthaus Tacheles, where our basecamp is.
After that we met with Robert who drove all the robots up here - Adrian will follow tonight, Tom Heike who is coming from Munich will be with us tomorrow.

In the afternoon we brought the stuff to Technikmuseum where the show will be tomorrow ...
I still don't know too much about the whole event we'll be part of - but we heard something of cooking with nytrogen on the same floor, something I've wanted to witness (and taste) firsthand for a while anyway.

Fotos: Link

Monday, September 25, 2006

Life getting ready for a Journey

If you were the International Electrotechnical Commission and were celebrating your 100th birthday ...
You'd have a couple cocktailrobots getting ready to join your birthday party!

The Technology Night at Berlin's Technikmuseum on friday 29th, celebrating 100 years IEC, which was founded 1906 by British Lord Kelvin, is a private party, so don't try to sneak in ...
... rather come visit the cocktailrobots and the people travelling with them at 30th or Oct. 1st at Tacheles extern, where they will be "researching" with their friends of nurschrec!.

Today I was instructed how to power up Gesundheit by Fra Ablinger, who will be in a plane to Japan when Gesundheit mixes at Technikmuseum, and together we wrapped it for a safe journey in Robert Martin's hanger, who is bringing his Robomoji.

Update: I don't even want to start describing what a bizarre series of steps I had to undertake to get these two 320KB and 215KB mobile 3gp-video-files into ONE clip WITH sound ... of about 2MB.
It demonstrates the fine arts aspect of cocktailrobotics, showing Fra "adjusting" something on Gesundheit's wooden mechanism with a chisel, adding sculpting to engineering: Link.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Life, Having a Lobby

The Wiener Mietervereinigung saved my day! After several months of exhausting correspondence with the property management company that manages the house I live in, the weight of having to deal with those people has been taken off my shoulders by a cigar-smoking gentleman of the Vienniese Mietervereinung ("tenant association") ... a lobby for people troubled by their landlord.
And I am. It starts with the fact that in the little over three years I live in this apartment, the company I have/had to deal with is the THIRD property management to run business for the same owner here.
And the trouble begins, where the second of them, the one that took over from the management I originally rented from, seemed to have virtually no information on anything, but soon thought they had found out I had to pay more money.

Along with my modest apartment on first (american 2nd) floor I am renting a tiny basement which was in quite a bad shape when I moved in and still has some structural deficiencies and was offered to me for 30,- all inclusive on top of the rent of the apartment.
So I disagreed with the manager who thought he read in my contract I would actually have to pay way more, referring to how I remembered the arrangement should be about what I have and have not to pay, but visiting me at home and kind of telling me the other tenants had to pay for me, he got me to agreeing to paying a fraction of the originally demanded amount.

Now the current management think they found out something new, ignoring the fact that I already pay a certain sum in accordance to an agreement to their predecessor and want to add €€€ on top again ...
And these people have been annoying by not sending me papers I requested to be able to speak with Mietervereinigung in the first place, by replying to my 4 letters and a fax with messages that indicate, they're either morons or not reading my letters or - and by now I have to suspect it's this - they know I don't really have to pay more and want to prevent me from finding out.

So I had a whole lot of paper with me when I showed up at Mietervereinigung and somehow I think it helped that my new guardian was smoking a cigar as he pondered my case (Columbo-effect) ... concluding that after clearing out those mysterious shifts in squaremeters taking place in the house in the end the will of the parties was manifest in the contract as follows: Magnus shall not have to pay an obscene amount of money like was never the deal!

Columbo my new guardian will now be fighting this out with the bad guys for me ...
Ah, those suits are going to regret this!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Life on a Weekend

Thanks to bere, who referred her Euro-travelling friend Matthew from San Diego to me to direct him to WerkzeugH and other places I make look interesting on 23, I saw more of paraflows than I would have otherwise ...
Friday night I took him to the recording of monochrom's Taugshow, which seems to have been well received (and of which I got you a sneak preview here).
On Saturday I met Matthew at metalab, where he witnessed "the birth of civilization" in form of a community voting on the near future of netculture funding in our fine city.
Failed to meet him at the party at night though (from which I left quite early in order to get some sleep before collecting late birthday-gifts from my family on Sunday), where again Sylvia Fassl-Vogler did a great job of interpreting and being a better host than I will ever be.
Yesterday night was spent at WerkzeugH, where the Swedish elections were followed, although it never got too clear how many % exactly the Pirate Party had gotten.
bere must also have done some advertising cocktailrobots to Matthew, as only a little brainwashingTM was necessary to make sure he'll be there cheering us on, when we manage to get some of the local bots to Robogames!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Statistic Life

According to Google Analytics, in the last month:

As many visitor's to this page came from the ISPs British Telecommunications and the local TV- and broadband provider Chello.
The Life has had one more visitor from Brazil than from neighboring Germany.
Most visits come from the United States, followed by Austria.
Google is by far the top referring source.
Interesting network-locations of visitors: Department of Veterans Affairs, National Arts Centre (country unknown), Jesuit Publications, Google, Finnish State Computer Centre, Novartis (Singapore) Pte Ltd. (Not that any of those would top the US Dept. of State)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pirate Life

The Austrian Pirate Party have not qualified for the upcoming parliamentary elections ...

... but they have made 2 of the king's men convert to piratedom tonight at metalab, where the two were trapped after trying to get away with a chest full of data.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sewing Life

CsMFMAATSGOIS is an installation in progress at WerkzeugH as a part of the ongoing paraflows festival.
Visitors are invited to bring their own fabric or materials, so I contributed some of my Netart, which was sewn into the evolving structure by Stefan Nussbaumer.

In case you didn't guess: CsMFMAATSGOIS is short for Coordinated Sewing Machine for Mapping, Analyzing and Transforming social Groupings of interactive Systems.

And here's some video of Stefan sewing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Life Remembering

This quote from a BoingBoing-post from Sept. 11th 2001, quoting a John Perry Barlow's mailing list, somehow feels appropriate, as it's message is still relevant and worth repeating:
"This morning's events are roughly equivalent to the Reichstag fire that provided the social opportunity for the Nazi take-over of Germany. I am *not* suggesting that, like the Nazis, the authoritarian forces in America actually had a direct role in perpetrating this mind-blistering tragedy. (Though their indirect role deserves a much longer discussion.) ...
Remember that the goal of terrorism is to create increasingly paralytic totalitarianism in the government it attacks. Don't give them the satisfaction. Fear nothing. Live free. And, please, let us try to forgive those who have committed these appalling crimes. If we hate them, we will become them.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Caffeinated Life

When I was at the VEKKS yestereve I had to admire their "new" Espresso machine, which is wall-mounted to blend in with the trademark VEKKS-aesthetics.
Click the pictures for enlargement and to browse different angles on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Life before the Big Robot Uprising

We are well aware that individual robot insurgents have already started singling out and devouring the more helpless members of human society: [7], [6], [5], [4], [3], [2], [1].

And from now on robots will even know what wine to choose to wash down their victims - robot-sommelier is able to identify dozens of provisions using infrared spectroscopic technology.
Giving away his role in the robot conspiracy, he identified a reporter's hand as prosciutto and recommended a Chianti Classico to go with it.

While in the near future the application will be limited to combat industrial wine fraud, NEC is thinking about actual end-user applications once they have the cost of the device down a little.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Life, 2 Towers, 2 Airplanes

Watching the BBC docu-drama 9/11 the last minutes in WTC (as I write this) is heartbreaking.
Once for the original footage which is just as shocking as it was when I saw those images live on the very same screen plus added detail of assorted footage which turned up later.
Twice for the reinactments, where you see people being told to stay in the office, return to their office, those individual stories of survival and death. Rescuers dying. Guilty feeling survivors.

Words fail me. Over and out.

Related: 3D-images of 9/11

P.S. Just apropos ... Watching CNN's recent special In The Footsteps of Bin Laden explained to me for the first time (in a non-satirical manner), why President Bush seemed so unimpressed or -surprised when he was told about the attacks while reading to kids: the warnings were there and they were drastic. Not publicly shared though, probably because the threats were still unspecific. But someone briefed president-style would definitely not have been surprised except for the novel method used.

Wild Life

What sad news to wake up to! The seemingly invulnerable Australian Crocodilehunter
Steve Irwin has been stung in the chest by a stingray near Queensland's Great Barrier Reef while filming a documentary.

It comes as a surprise, as the world has watched Irwin tackling life-threatening situations on a frequent basis, always unmoved by danger and enthusiastically chattering in his likable Aussie-accent.

The attack is supposed to have happened as Irwin was swimming above the stingray - the fish reportedly piercing Irwin's chest and possibly his heart with his poisonously barbed tail.

Rest In Peace, Crocodilehunter! And thank you for making nature documentaries watchable again for younger generations.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Communist Life

That's the India I used to know!
From this Boingboing-post on Indian state Kerala banning Microsoft from state-run schools by Xeni Jardin, I learned that the government of India's southern-most state has turned communist again - like it was when I traveled there 1990.
Sweet nostalgia! No single computer to be found in the whole state, back then, and Coca Cola, which has obviously been banned in Kerala again too, wasn't available in all of India (except miraculously in New Delhi - imported from Arab states and sold at stands on the street). I am curious whether the local Indian Cola brand Thumbs Up has survived the introduction of Coke and Pepsi in India ...

P.S. Also back then rickshaw drivers didn't get involved in death-races!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Disease Life

From the Loving Your Enemies Department:
"Mommy, can I get Ebola, pleeaase!" - "Well, let's see - wouldn't you rather get Sleeping Sickness or Black Death instead?"
It's easy to imagine conversations like this taking place at the gift shop at Boston’s Museum of Science, where these stuffed bacteria are offered.

(via mental floss)