Links for 10th November 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Doomed Dome: The Future That Never Was

    "Enthusiasts organized an International Dome Symposium, held in March 1980. Buckminster Fuller, then busy assisting in Brasilia, the planned capital city in Brazil that had been hacked out wholesale from the Amazonian jungle, flew in to express his enthusiasm. Fuller (naturally) proposed a structure of multiple geodesic domes, but in any case declared the engineering “not terribly difficult,” and pointed to already existing structures like large airport terminals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Fuller had built the “US Pavilion” at Expo Montreal in 1976 — three-fourths of a sphere consisting of 1900 molded, transparent Plexiglas panels, 200 feet high and 250 feet in diameter, covering 1.1 acres. Winooski’s dome would cover nearly the entire town, 800 times that area. He stressed that the biggest challenge was not keeping the dome up, but holding it down against the force of rising warm air."

    Tagged with: futurismenvironmentarchitectureurbandomeenergyeconomics

  2. Physical Computing » Urban Defender

    "By throwing the ball against a wall, the containing quarter gets owned by the player – this is the main action of the game. While additional interfaces, for example a web-based map or other visualizations are possible, the ball is able to communicate all necessary information by itself. Visual, sonic and haptic feedback are used to create a unique experience. The ball becomes an artifact that embodies the power and strength of the player and encourages him to continue the game, to grow his territory and finally, to own the city."

    Tagged with: urbangaminghapticlocationalaugmented-realitydesign


    "The Naxalite Bandh employs physical systems disruption [which], as a means of warfare, can be applied to any locality that is reliant on modern infrastructure for social and economic activity. The Bandh is simply the application of systems disruption to completely "take down" a locality for a set period of time (measured in days) in order to attain coercive control."

    Tagged with: IndiaNaxaliteBandhsystems-disruptionguerrillapoliticsinsurgencycoercion

  4. How Waterstone’s killed bookselling

    "There seems to be a frantic scramble in the book retail world to rush downmarket in order to compete with the challenges of Amazon, the supermarkets and next the ebook. Publishers have to fight their corner, year after year, against ever more aggressive demands for higher discounts from the chains, but seem at a loss to know how to cope with the underlying problems they face. They fear speaking out about how their books are being sold."

    Tagged with: UKpublishingbooksretaildiscountseconomics

  5. The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown

    "To use the satellite, pirates typically take an ordinary ham radio transmitter, which operates in the 144- to 148-MHZ range, and add a frequency doubler cobbled from coils and a varactor diode. That lets the radio stretch into the lower end of FLTSATCOM's 292- to 317-MHz uplink range. All the gear can be bought near any truck stop for less than $500. Ads on specialized websites offer to perform the conversion for less than $100. Taught the ropes, even rough electricians can make Bolinha-ware."

    Tagged with: technologycommunicationssatellitehackingBrazilelectronicsradioECAWBH

  6. Hacks: A Baltimore Way of Life

    "… hacks tend to be a few dollars cheaper than legitimate cabs. Get in a taxi and the meter starts ticking, heightening the anxiety of not knowing exactly how much your fare will be. This can be even more annoying if you only have a few dollars to spend and are afraid of running out of money. Hacks generally negotiate a flat fee up-front, and the fee is usually low compared to the typical cab fare for a similar trip.

    Yet more say that hacks get a boost in business from the fact that it is often difficult for black people to catch cabs, especially in predominately black neighborhoods. When they flag cabs down, the drivers don't stop; when they call for a taxi, the cab doesn't show up. The hacks interviewed for this story say they won't pick up just anyone, but they do cater to those whom the licensed taxis sometimes drive right by."

    Tagged with: Baltimorehackstaxiundergroundeconomicssociologycommerceregulation

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