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Illustrated history of the world’s worst computer viruses
07.17.2014
07:31 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Computer virus
Bas van de Poel

skulls000.jpg
Skulls by Anthony Burrill
 
The Computer Virus Catalog is an illustrated guide to the worst viruses in computer history.

The project was founded by Amsterdam-based, multi-award-winning writer Bas van de Poel whose fascination with such “evil plots” led to his curating a new art collection of the worst viruses as illustrated by artists around the world.

See the full catalog here.
 

Code Red by Thomas Slater

This refreshing worm exploits a vulnerability in Windows 2000 and NT and initiates a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the White House website

 
cookiem0000.jpg
 

Cookie Monster by Lawrence Slater

Created in the late ‘60s, Cookie Monster is the world’s first computer virus. After infection, Cookie Monster freezes all system activity and demands cookies….You simply unlock your computer again by typing the word ‘cookie’

 
happy99000.jpg
 
	lsd0000.jpg
 

LSD by Clay Hickson

The LSD virus is far out… This DOS virus overwrites all the files in the current directory and then displays a druggy video effect. Next it shows a message from your local dealer: ‘LSD ViRuS 1.0 Coded By Death Dealer 4/29/94 [TeMpEsT -94]’

 
marburg0000.jpg
 

Marburg by HORT

Marburg infects .EXE and .SCR files and draws the all too familiar critical error icon everywhere on your screen.


 
More illustrated viruses, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Avant garde app visualizes Steve Reich’s ‘Piano Phase’
07.16.2014
12:11 pm

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Steve Reich


 
“Piano Phase” (1967) was Steve Reich’s first composition to use phasing in live performance—he had already tried it with taped music. The concept here is that you have two pianos playing the same repetitive lines of music but at very slightly different speeds, which means that over the course of several minutes the two melodies will overlap (almost) perfectly at certain points and then gradually diverge, which creates interesting tonalities. Todd Tarantino explains:
 

The score presents a handful of rotations of a twleve-note figure that is played in twelve variations. In its first presentation the theme begins on the first note; the first variation begins on the second note and ends on the first note; the second variation begins on the third note and ends on the second and so forth until all the rotations of the figure have been played. Alone it would be a simple, quick and relatively dull score. However the process by which the variations proceed is where the interest lies. Reich asks the first piano to begin by playing the theme alone. The second piano joins when the theme is sufficiently established. While one piano keeps the initial tempo, the other speeds up ever so slightly which causes the two to become out-of-sync for a moment before the second pitch of the slowing down piano locks with the first pitch of the steady tempo piano. This process repeats until the two return to unison. It sounds more complicated than it actually is.

 
As Tarantino drily concludes, “It is quite difficult to play.” Yeah—it sure seems like it!

You can see part of the score on Tarantino’s site as well. Indeed, as delightful as the challenge of humans playing may be, the optimal performance of “Piano Phase” would be undertaken by computer, as only a computer can perfectly track the almost imperceptibly slow alterations in phase that are so integral to the work. And that has happened—on Vimeo there is a surprisingly entertaining rendition of the composition performed by an “ER-101 Indexed Quad Sequencer and some other eurorack modules.” (What makes it entertaining is that we can watch the user setting the sequence up.)

Google Creative Labs honcho Alexander Chen has created a fun web app called, appropriately enough, Piano Phase in which you can see the notes being played (by computer) as well as hear them. Appropriately, as if to mirror the inherently cyclical nature of the work, Chen has two differently colored dots trace lines up and down (to represent pitch) around a circle, rather than scrolling endlessly to the right as in a traditional score.

Chen writes:

This site is based on the first section from Steve Reich’s 1967 piece Piano Phase. Two pianists repeat the same twelve note sequence, but one gradually speeds up. Here, the musical patterns are visualized by drawing two lines, one following each pianist.

The sound is performed live in the browser with the Web Audio API, and drawn in HTML5 Canvas.

 
The app does interesting visual things if you pause the music to read the “about” text and also if you click and drag anywhere in the browser. Play around with it, it’s pretty cool.
 

 
Two mesmerizing performances of “Piano Phase” after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Images of LSD, cocaine, meth and other drugs exposed to film
07.16.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Science/Tech

Tags:
LSD
cocaine

Fantasy + Ecstasy
Fantasy + Ecstasy
 
Sarah Schönfeld was working at a Berlin nightclub when she decided to try to find out what the various drugs people were ingesting look like. Much like the apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, perhaps the story of Schönfeld observing an obnoxious MDMA user will someday become one of the formative myths of scientific inquiry… but somehow, I doubt it. And yet it’s awfully apt.

Schönfeld converted her art studio into a lab, and exposed various drug mixtures in liquid form to film negatives and documented the results. The photographs have been collected in a book called All You Can Feel (Kerber Press), which will be available in late August.

The results mostly conform to general predictions—the only thing missing from the LSD visualization are trails. “Fantasy + Ecstasy” looks like a road map of a fucked-up island kingdom, and cocaine supplies a blue bursting-at-the-seams effect. Others are more surprising. Pharmaceutical speed looks like a Mandelbrot pattern, which kinda makes sense. Meanwhile, adrenaline, perversely, has a sluggish feel. And do my eyes deceive me or does the crystal meth photo feature a small chunk of Walter White’s “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in what appears to be a dystopian snow globe?
 
Cocaine
Cocaine
 
Caffeine
Caffeine
 
Crystal Meth
Crystal Meth
 
LSD
LSD
 
Ketamine
Ketamine I
 
Ketamine
Ketamine II
 
Adrenaline
Adrenaline
 
Heroin
Heroin
 
Pharmaceutical Speed
Pharmaceutical Speed
 
via WFMU

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Make your own Marcel Duchamp chess set with a 3D printer
07.07.2014
08:44 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech
Sports

Tags:
Marcel Duchamp
chess

Marcel Duchamp
 
It’s well known that hugely influential French artist Marcel Duchamp, after basically introducing the world to the category of “conceptual art,” abandoned the art world for a new obsession, chess, in his early thirties. He qualified as a chess master by achieving a draw in the Third French Chess Championship in 1925 (for which he designed the poster, below).
 
Marcel Duchamp
 
Duchamp’s wife became so consternated at his obsession with the game that she glued his pieces to his board. He designed a handsome chess set, which, as far as I can tell, has never been mass-produced (meanwhile, editions of Man Ray’s minimalist chess set fetch prices of $200 and up).
 
Duchamp chess set
 
At the MakerBot.Thingiverse website, Scott Kildall and Bryan Cera have generated a 3D-printable version of Duchamp’s chess set, with the witty title “Readymake” (all of Duchamp’s most famous artistic interventions were called “readymades”):
 

Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set is a 3D-printed chess set generated from an archival photograph of Marcel Duchamp’s own custom and hand-carved game. His original physical set no longer exists. We have resurrected the lost artifact by digitally recreating it, and then making the 3D files available for anyone to print.

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s readymade—an ordinary manufactured object that the artist selected and modified for exhibition—the readymake brings the concept of the appropriated object to the realm of the internet, exploring the web’s potential to re-frame information and data, and their reciprocal relationships to matter and ideas. Readymakes transform photographs of objects lost in time into shared 3D digital spaces to provide new forms and meanings.

 
Duchamp chess set
 
Here’s a lovely French-language documentary (with English subtitles) about Duchamp called “Jeu d’échecs” (A Game of Chess) that covers both his extravagantly impressive artistic resume as well as his interest in chess: 
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Citroëns make great hovercrafts
07.07.2014
08:08 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Photoshop
Citroën

Citroën hovercraft
 
When I think of Citroëns, I think of the vaguely-VW-bug-like 2CV model, known in France as the “deux chevaux.” (It looks like this.) But just like Volkswagen, naturally Citroën has all sorts of models in their stable, and a few of the older models are quite sporty, lending themselves perfectly to Swedish artist Jacob Munkhammar‘s Photoshopped experiments in retro-futurism. He took a bunch of handsome photos of Citroëns and turned them into gee-whiz flying automobiles of the most adorable type.

The most poignant nostalgia is for a future that never was or will be, as these amusing photos definitely prove.
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
via Fubiz
 
Thanks Alex Belth!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Descendents of Milo: Make your own Milo with the Milogenerator app!
07.02.2014
07:37 am

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Descendents

Milogenerator
 
Milo Goes to College by the Descendents is surely one of the most accessible and enduring albums to come out of the SoCal punk scene in the early 1980s. I was talking about this album just the other day—my idea was that a punk guy going to college was unusual enough to get your attention in 1982, but the contradiction wouldn’t hold today.
 
Milo Goes to College
 
The cover was a big part of the album’s magical appeal, coming complete with a cartoon mascot that could be endlessly messed with. In effect, “Milo” was the Descendents’ “Boognish” many years before Ween invented him, or perhaps their “Eddie” of Iron Maiden fame. Recognizing that “Milo” had for all intents and purposes become their logo, The Descendents used him again for the cover of their 1996 album Everything Sucks, in which Milo is reading a newspaper with the album title written on it.

We’ve all seen variations of the album cover—Milo as Dwight Schrute from The Office and Milo as Heisenberg from Breaking Bad are two that immediately come to mind. But now you can do it yourself, courtesy of the Milogenerator app on the iTunes store. Created by Marco Mantegazza, it lets you adjust Milo’s hair, eyes, face, and body to come up with dozens of generations.
 
Milogenerator
 
Here are a few examples of the app’s handiwork:
 
Milogenerator
 
Milogenerator
 
Here’s a pretty muddy clip of Descendents playing four songs in the early 1980s, including the last two tracks off Milo Goes to College.
 

 
via Noisey

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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CIA facial recognition software identifies pic of ‘unknown woman’ as Francis Bacon in drag
06.19.2014
08:47 am

Topics:
Art
Queer
Science/Tech

Tags:
Francis Bacon
John Deakin

Francis Bacon?
“Unknown woman, 1930s” (detail)—is this Francis Bacon in drag?
 
In April of this year, the British newspaper The Guardian ran a gallery of photos by John Deakin, a well-known British photographer from the postwar era who was part of the Soho circle of artists and writers centered around the Colony Room, a private drinking club, that included Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and J.P. Donleavy. Deakin worked on and off for Vogue, but his alcoholism and tempestuous personality ruled out sustained employment. Deakin had aspirations to be a painter, like Freud and Bacon, but his most resonant work came as a photographer; he died in near-obscurity in 1972, but his reputation has blossomed since then. The Guardian ran the gallery as a tie-in to a retrospective of Deakin’s work, “John Deakin and the Lure of Soho,” at the Photographers’ Gallery in London that will be on through July 20.
 
John Deakin
“Unknown woman, 1930s”
 
The final picture of the Guardian’s gallery of 12 pictures was titled “Unknown woman, 1930s.” Commenter bullshotcrummond pointed out that a press release had identified the image as “Transvestite, 1950s.” In response, another commenter, congokid, replied, “Or is it Bacon in drag?” At this point, Paul Rousseau, collection manager of the John Deakin Archive, decided to give the image a second look. He quickly determined that congokid’s remark might have merit. “I’d never considered it before, annoyingly,” he said.

As The Guardian reported:
 

Searching through the archive, he was able to establish that the photo was one of a set dated 1945 (making them some of the oldest in the Deakin collection), possibly taken for Lilliput magazine, a publication with a reputation for risque photography. There were 15 images in all, and Rousseau immediately set about establishing who the models might be. “I quickly landed on his closest friends Denis Wirth-Miller and Richard (Dickie) Chopping. Denis was a painter and Dickie was semi-famous for designing the original dustjackets for the James Bond books.”

“Dickie was known to love dragging up; he was dame every year at the RCA when he became a lecturer there in 1962. And there are many references to Bacon’s interest in drag, his wearing of women’s knickers and stockings.”

Using facial recognition software developed by the CIA, Rousseau produced videos which show that the similarity between Deakin’s cross-dressing sitters and these men is, if not conclusive, then certainly startling.

 
The question of the identity of the photograph’s subject touches on issues of taboo and criminality of the era. Before the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which decriminalized homosexuality in the UK, pictures of men in drag were used in prosecutions against gay men. As a results, Deakin’s vague labeling of the photo and the fact that he never published the photo in his lifetime may relate to the important ramifications that distributing it might have incurred. As the Guardian notes, “By never publishing the photos, Deakin may have posthumously undermined his reputation as the nastiest man in Soho.”
 
Francis Bacon
 
The similarity in the facial structure is compelling, to be sure, but there is a picture of a bare-chested Bacon dating from 1952 in the same Guardian gallery in which “Unknown woman, 1930s” appears. In that picture, he looks, to my eye, a good deal younger than the person in the “drag” picture, which Rousseau has dated as 1945.

There is also the question the Guardian brings up, namely that of “cleavage”:
 

While the face is very much like Bacon’s and the mole on the model’s chest closely matches that which can be seen in the famous picture of Bacon holding two sides of meat, it is impossible to ignore the substantial cleavage.”

“Deakin was known to fiddle about with photos using basic overpainting techniques,” says Rousseau. “Or did Bacon learn to manipulate his ‘moobs’ like that from his years in Weimar Berlin?”

 
Francis Bacon
 
Here are four brief videos by YouTube user jerseyrousseau, who is presumably Paul Rousseau, comparing “Unknown Woman, 1930” to various photographs of Bacon.
 

 
More videos after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The Orgasmatron is here at last! Chinese hospitals install hands-free sperm extractors
06.19.2014
06:00 am

Topics:
Science/Tech
Sex

Tags:
China
Orgasmatron


 
The Orgasmatron was a device in Woody Allen’s classic comedy Sleeper. It was a cabinet one (or two) could enter to induce instant orgasm, a necessity in the film’s fictional future were everyone is impotent or frigid, except Italians. And, like videophones and space travel before it, this sci-fi conceit seems to be coming (sorry, I had to) closer and closer to reality as technology marches on! Well, for men, at least.

Via ScienceDump:

Chinese hospitals are introducing a new machine which can extract sperm for donors.

According to China’s Weibo social platform the automatic sperm extractors are being introduced in a Nanjing hospital, capital of Jiangsu province.

The pink, grey and white machine has a massage pipe at the front which apparently can be adjusted according to the height of its user.

Kissless creepers with more money than allure will surely be having this technology installed in their harem of RealDolls by the time I’m done typing this sentence.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Scientific American explains jerking off

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Spurious Correlations between Nicolas Cage movies and swimming pool drownings & other weird data
05.23.2014
08:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Science/Tech

Tags:
Tyler Vigen


 
If you like to impress friends with facts, figures and spurious correlations between food consumption, auto sales and strange deaths, then you may be interested in Tyler Vigen’s site, where this young Harvard Law student posts charts correlating bizarre unrelated data.

Tyler created his website Spurious Correlations “as a fun way to look at correlations and to think about data.”

Empirical research is interesting, and I love to wonder about how variables work together. The charts on this site aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, I hope this project fosters interest in statistics and numerical research.

Amongst some of Tyler’s charts are “Person on ground killed in air transport accident, which correlates with Apple stock price on January 1,” “US crude oil imports from Canada inversely correlates with Deaths caused by inhalation of gastric contents,” and “Divorce rate in Utah correlates with Suicides by explosive material.”

If your brain isn’t cluttered-up with all the other stuff out there on the Internet, then you might want to collect a few of these spurious correlations for future use.
 
66drwncagesprcorr.jpg
 
Number people who drowned by falling into a swimming-pool correlates with number of films Nicolas Cage appeared in.
 
11gerausuisprcorr.jpg
 
German passenger cars sold in the US correlates with Suicides by crashing of motor vehicle.
 
22actwhesprcorr.jpg
 
Total number of Political Action Committees (US) correlates with people who died by falling out of their wheelchair.
 
33creamotosprcorr.jpg
 
Per capita consumption of sour cream (US) correlates with motorcycle riders killed in non collision transport accident.
 
44chebedsprcorr.jpg
 
Per capita consumption of cheese (US) correlates with number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets.
 
55amemurdsprcorr.jpg
 
Age of Miss America correlates with murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects.
 

 
H/T Popbitch

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Dance routine with drones is beautiful and technically impressive
05.22.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Dance
Science/Tech

Tags:
dance
drones


 
As the most recent advancement in push-button warfare, it can be difficult to think of drones as anything more than flying child-murdering combat robots. This Tokyo performance by Japanese dance troupe Eleven Play manages to utilize drone technology for art and beauty, while simultaneously depicting all of its potential insidiousness. 

At first the dancers interact cautiously and experimentally with the drones, then the machines become more active and more threatening. With no control over the increasingly volatile technology, the women flee the stage in fear. In the end, the only ones left dancing are the drones themselves. It’s beautiful and dramatic and there’s a trippy light display and flying robots—what more could you want?
 

 
Via psfk

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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