Weekending 19062012

Nicolas: A quite academic week with two days as an expert in a design school in Switzerland (Neuchatel) and polishing a research project submitted to a funding body. Being external jury judging student’s work is always intriguing, especially when projects are very diverse. In this case, it ranged from a new generation of mouses to kite-surf devices and mountain bikes parts. Industrial design is fascinating because of the whole range of constraints that have to be taken into consideration: physical, cognitive, social, political, etc. Commenting on the projects, I realize how hard it was to play with all these parameters and , at the same time, create something new and meaningful.

Julian: Quite a busy programming-the-computer-at-night week. Yes. Programming it to make it do things. I have a hunch of an idea for a thing that wouldn’t make my life easier? But would make it more fiddily. Based on an observation: most social network services require that you go to the service to find out what your peoples are up to // have shared // took a photo of // checked-into // &c ad infinitum. What about going to the people first? An Internet of Me & Mine rather than an Internet of Things or an Internet of Services. You know? As if all my friends had a stats card like a 1970s era baseball player. Or something. Like — shouldn’t your people be the point of entry for these things in a very bold, upfront fashion? And you get to pick who you browse rather than seeing *everyone/thing as if you could sift through it all? Maybe you have to pick some small number of true-blue friends — or the algorithm enforces true-blueness by making sure the relationship is two-way. You know? So — ObjectiveC land for me last week/weekend/nights-til-late.

Oh — also? The Marshall Stack speaker project came to a happy point of a milestone with a very good share and a lovely looking thing. Thanks to Simon and Vids for their hard-making-things work. That’s Simon up there. He’s not a grumpy fella, but sometimes I ask him to do a lot. He also had a new little one the other day! Congratulations Simon! Take the rest of the week off. 😉

SuperCollider: A Class at LA Public School

Sunday October 16 16:21

I’m taking a class through the LA chapter of The Public School on the SuperCollider, like..application, I guess it is. It’s more of a programming environment for making and processing sound. Good fun stuff. I really want to invest more time and energy towards the audio project and this seemed like a good way to start on that goal.

Ezra Buchla is teaching it.

SuperCollider is a rather terse programming environment with a kinda curious set up that requires services/servers to actually run the programs you write — or that are interpreted. I’m making assumptions that this was done so as to allow a distributed model of processing when things get hairy or maybe its just a fetish of the network and its possibilities for elastically distributing processing. In any case, what I’m most interested in is being able to real-time process sound and a little less interested in generative sound synthesis.

I never thought (just without even checking) at how rich and sort of — overwhelmingly weedy the SuperCollider API was. I mean — there’s tons there. I wish that some embedded hardware-y stuff could actually consume/interpret it somehow so that I could have really portable sound processing capabilities. What I’d like is a way to do process sound but I don’t want to have to do it on a laptop or something — should be able to do it in something the size of a 1/4″ stereo audio jack or something.

Sunday October 16 16:26

Sunday October 16 14:19

But, to contradict myself, I may in fact be also somewhat interested in generative sound synthesis — making sounds with things, objects and algorithms. It’s on the @2012 list of things to be some kind of music maker of some sort and meeting up with Henry Newton-Dunn (who made BlockJam a precursor and prior art of Siftables/Sifteo by a good 6 or 7 years) at the AIGA Pivot conference a couple of days ago was fortuitous because I remembered that he was a DJ back there in Tokyo. We had some excited conversations about sound and audio and DJ’ng and software to do all that. I feel a collaboration in the near future!

In fact, here’s Henry himself — this is probably when we first met in, like..2005 in Tokyo. Some hepcat spot. Check out that Hi-Fi “Set” in the background!