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Announcement

Vodule will become more focused on the relation between art and music and technology. We will be shifting our emphasis from emerging technologies to artists and music artists who are exploring the possibilities of creativity and expression with emerging technology.  Our emphasis on the concepts of modularity and volume will remain pivotal in the content that will be featured. It will take a couple of months before we begin our more streamlined mission. More very soon.

Braille Touchscreen Concept Smartphone For The Visually Impaired [Pics]

The Clarity mobile phone concept by designer Mark DiLella has a host of features that aim to help the visually impaired make full use of the device. Its Braille interface is easy to use and able to display over 100 characters. The keyboard with six keys should be familiar to users of the Perkins Brailler, and two additional user-definable keys can provide access to apps, settings or contacts.

Read the complete article and view the entire gallery at psfk.

Ex-Stanford Teacher’s New Startup Brings University-Level Education To All [TCTV]

Using Khan Academy as inspiration, Sebastian Thrun decided to bring his Stanford class on artificial intelligence online. Anyone could sign up for free. And 160,000 people from around the world did. He saw the power of creating interactive lectures and distributing them for free. He left Stanford and launched Udacity, a company focused on bringing free university-level education to the world.

In the interview above, Sebastian Thrun, Co-Founder of Udacity, talks about how he will help students improve their careers, whether or not the goal is to replace traditional universities, how the classes are different from iTunes U style taped lectures, and why some of his Stanford students preferred to watch him online.

Sebastian used to think that becoming a Stanford professor was the pinnacle of achievement for a computer science teacher. Then he discovered Khan Academy was reaching millions of students. Suddenly, his popular lectures drawing upwards of 200 students didn’t seem so impressive.

Read the complete article at TechCrunch.

Pina 3D Is Stunning, Beautiful — and Ultimately Vapid

No matter how you feel about about Pina 3D, the feature-length documentary from Wim Wenders on German choreographer Pina Bausch, one thing is indisputable. This 3D thing basically solves the problem of dance on film.

What problem? Think on it. Bodies are best enjoyed in all dimensions: up close, in the flesh, tempting touch. They don’t like being flattened. And since most dancing on camera is 2D, most dance films lack a vital quality of what made the piece worth filming in the first place.

No, Pina 3D — playing through Thursday at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas and the Metreon — is more alive than any dance flick ever made. It’s close-up and monumental. It’s visually stunning and philosophically consistent. It’s also boring, turgid, and self-indulgent.

The director incorporates a handful of Bausch’s seminal works, splicing them with profiles (in fascinatingly tight focus) of the dancers who performed them as part of Tanztheater Wuppertal, the German troupe Bausch directed until her death in 2009. Wenders, her longtime friend and fellow German, directed Wings of Desire and Buena Vista Social Club, among others. This latest effort scored him an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Documentary.

Read the complete article at SF Weekly

How Social Media Is Ruining Your Mind

If you have the attention span for it, read the accompanying article at Singularity Hub.

Conceptual Tablet

Obviously the video above is enhanced with special effects but such flexible screens do exist (as seen in the video below), so it’ll be interesting to see how close Samsung or anyone else can get to the vision of the flexible tablet in the video above.

The internet is a tyrant’s friend

Power to the people or more control to the state? (Image: News Pictures/MCP/Rex Features)

AS RECENT events in Egypt and Tunisia so aptly demonstrate, technology is a double-edged sword: while pro-democracy protesters used sites like Facebook to organise, their governments used the same sites to suppress dissent.

Judging by the failed Iranian uprising of 2009, social media in particular provides dictators with all the information they need for an effective crackdown. Monitoring a revolutionary movement has never been easier – the secret police just need to collect enough tweets and pokes. Thus, while it’s important to recognise the positive contribution that social media can and does make to popular uprisings, it’s equally important to recognise its shortcomings and vulnerabilities.

Many authoritarian regimes have already established a very active presence online. They are constantly designing new tools and learning new tactics that range from producing suave online propaganda to cultivating their own easily controllable alternatives to services like Facebook or Twitter.

Why should we bother studying how dictators exploit the web? There are two main reasons. First, it may help us get a better grasp on how to promote “internet freedom”, a cause that western governments are championing.

Promoters of internet freedom clearly need to understand what is going on. For example, it used to be that authoritarian regimes could tame the web simply by filtering or blocking “harmful” websites. Anyone who wanted to gain access to them would then need to use proxies and tools to get round censorship.

How things have changed. Now authoritarian governments rely on a rapidly expanding panoply of tools and tactics that range from distributed denial-of-service attacks to make websites temporarily unavailable, to spreading malware that helps them to spy on dissidents remotely. Merely funding censorship circumvention tools as a means of weakening authoritarian control no longer seems sufficient and may actually encourage dictators to replace technological controls with social ones, such as pressuring internet companies to remove political comments from their sites.

Another reason why those of us living in democracies should pay more attention to how dictators control the web is because it is the only way to identify and put pressure on western corporations that make such control possible by selling them the equipment.

Read the complete article at New Scientist.

Designing a Concept

AUGMENTED REALITY w 2.0 from GALERIA 2.0 on Vimeo.

Here’s a video that explores the concept of AR. That’s it. Minimal and to the minimal point. It’s an announcement for an exhibit.

Via Beyond the Beyond

Social Media Articles

Image source: TNW

Tumblr clone. Made in China.
Twistory Puts Your Tweets In Your Calendar, Lets You Export Them For A Fee
How to find love on Facebook
Facebook says it’s considering suing Daily Mail over pedophile story
Amanda Palmer Says Twitter ‘Completely Changed My Career’
Why Facebook Could Dominate the Next Generation of Ecommerce
Facebook Cracks ComScore US Ad Survey Top 10 for First Time
YouTube videos promote self-harm
Uniqlo innovates again, using Facebook Likes to spot top fashion

View more links at Vodule’s Delicious page.

BMW augmented reality

Augmented reality is being implemented by just about every major corporation.  One has to wonder when BMW uses it to instruct its specialized mechanics how to perform maintenance on cars.  This video is more of a gimmick, admittedly.