Saturday, 7 August 2010

Eric Schmidt: "Privacy? too dangerous"

At the Techonomy conference in the US, Eric Schmidt, Google's boss, was saying that privacy will soon disappear and will become dangerous. "In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you." he says, " If I look at enough of your messaging and your location and use Artificial Intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go. Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don't have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You've got Facebook photos! People will find it's useful to have devices that remember what you want, because you forgot... But society isn't ready for questions that will be raised as a result of user-generated content."

Food for thought, and those who threaten security are surely finding their ways to locate privacy through a diligent process...

link to a blog

Friday, 6 August 2010

Blackberry Ban In the Arab World

Blackberry phone users are edgy, will the ban in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and now Lebanon, Jordan be effective soon? The ban is about the instant messaging that goes encrypted to RIM (research in motion) the company that makes the handset devices and is located in Canada without any visibility from governments.
We all have seen the big issue of "Security" waived at us as an "encore" for limiting personal arena of freedom. Security this, security that... and what are we left with.
Blackberry was a handy tool.
But fortunately RIM was in negotiation with the UAE to collaborate with the local authority and allow encrypted messages to be unencrypted locally. There might be some hope.
link to BBC article

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Bernard Berenson "The Passionate Sightseer"

Found in a second hand bookstore, "The Passionate Sightseer" written by Bernard Berenson and published in 1960. He was an american jewish connoisseur of art and renaissance period.
In his published diaries from 1947 - 56, he recounts on a trip to Libya, Tripoli, in May 1955. He shows photos of the Theatre at Sabratha with its great mosaic floor, he wrote about Leptis Magna and his awe at the roman ruins.
He says: "Leptis is, all considered, one of the most impressive fields of ruins on the shores of the Mediterranean and can stand the comparison even with Palmyra, the desert port, and with Baalbeck, its gigantic columns and its over-blown floreated decoration."
On the conservation in Libya, he says :" One cannot help wondering what will happen once the Allied control comes to an end. Will the Libyans want to carry on and preserve what may seem to them an intrusion from a hostile world? (...) But I hear too little of what goes on politically in this haven of peace and tranquility and cannot presume to form any judgement."

But our modern times art experts in the Arab World have enough tools to continue exploration and preservation with all western standards. It just needs the will to cherish History and stones

Monday, 2 August 2010

Big Bambu - Installation at the Metropolitan Museum of New York

photo by the Metropolitan Museum of NY

The Metropolitan Museum of New York invited the twin brothers, Doug and Mike Starn for a sculptural colossal installation on the garden roof top.
In an audio interview, they talk about their work:
" We wanted to make a living organism, not really finished, on what it means to be alive, not only on the animal level, but as a city, as a culture, it is always complete but not finished. There are lines and flow of directions while we set it up. But there is no symmetry. We created pathways within just as cities get energy from roads and pathways, we wanted our pathways to feed the installation. It is a lot of fun to walk on the bambu installation, you feel like a kid again. it is incredible with the view of the central park."
An interesting experience, and elevating on many levels: the city, the ground and the interconnections of humans and their surroundings.