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Saturday, March 19, 2011

David Ellis's "True Value (paint fukette)" kinetic sound sculpture

David Ellis's "True Value (paint fukette)" kinetic sound sculpture: "

[video link]

I really enjoyed the rhythmic weirdness of David Ellis's 'True Value (Paint Fukette),' recently installed at Joshua Liner Gallery. Roberto Carlos Lange composed the percussive 'score.' David Ellis: PULSE (Thanks, Greg Long!)


Taimane Gardner plays Bach's Toccata on ukulele

Taimane Gardner plays Bach's Toccata on ukulele: "

[Video Link] From her Circus Freak show, Taimane Gardner plays Bach's Toccata on ukulele.

Previously: Taimane plays Eleanor Rigby on ukulele


Reluctant witness refuses to admit he knows what a photocopier is

Reluctant witness refuses to admit he knows what a photocopier is: "In this transcript from an Ohio Supreme Court Case, a Cuyahoga County office worker refuses to answer a simple question: 'has the Recorder's office had photocopying machines?' The worker mainains (for ten pages!) that he doesn't know what a photocopying machine is, and can't say whether his office has one:

Marburger: How about this: Have you ever heard the term 'photocopier' or 'photocopy' used in the Recorder's office by anybody?

Patterson: Photocopy? I'm sure in the time I've been there someone has used the term.

Marburger: And have you ever heard them use it in referencing a particular device or machine within the Recorder's office? By way of example, 'can you photocopy that for me?' That's an example of office parlance.

Patterson: That particular terminology I've not witnessed.

Marburger: What was the context that you've heard the term 'photocopy' used in the Recorder's office?

Patterson: I'm sure it's been used. I didn't say I remembered a specific instance.

Marburger: All right. But you have a general understanding that people have used the term 'photocopy' within the Recorder's office in terms of something that could be done there; is that true?

Patterson: I'm sure it's been used. I don't remember a specific instance or how it was used. I'm sure it's been used.

Marburger: And is it fair to say that it's been used in terms of being able to copy one piece of paper onto another piece of paper using a machine? No? Not sure of that?

Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official

(Thanks, Micah!)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

US military launches Operation Sock Puppet, pays contractor $2.76m to generate phony Facebook, Twitter psyops accounts

[Argh ugh super creepy bad badness. -egg]

US military launches Operation Sock Puppet, pays contractor $2.76m to generate phony Facebook, Twitter psyops accounts: "From the Your Tax Dollars at Work file, news that the US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) has awarded a $2.7 million contract to Ntrepid, a newly-formed Los Angeles-based startup, to create fake online 'personae' for the purpose of manipulating online conversations and spreading pro-American, pro-military propaganda. In other words, our government is building a multi-million-dollar sock puppet army for Twitter and Facebook.

The 'online persona management service' called for in the contract would permit one US serviceman or woman to manage up to 10 separate identities. Good thing this is nothing at all like what the Chinese government does, in attempting to control free speech online. Nothing at all. From The Guardian's article today:

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations 'without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries'.

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: 'The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.'

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to 'address US audiences' with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated Facebook messages, blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom's contract requires for each controller the provision of one 'virtual private server' located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for 'traffic mixing', blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer 'excellent cover and powerful deniability'.

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Read the whole article in the Guardian: 'Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media'