Wifi detecting Nike sneakers

A Step in the Right Direction is a sneaker based wearable technology project designed by mstrpln in collaboration with Ubiq boutique.

Once the pressure sensitive insole is activated, the unit scans the surrounding area for Wi-Fi signals and displays the result through LEDs.

The three LEDs on the flap enclosure represent the signal strength of any wireless internet signals within a 50 meter area. A blinking LED represents no signal, while a solid LED shows that there is a signal present.

Full Story: A Step in the Right Direction

Seems cool, but unless it tells you if it’s an open network I don’t know how useful they’d actually be.

(via Grinding)

Banksy and Bristol article in the Telegraph

banksy wild wild west

It’s not just Banksy who is getting Bristol noticed at the moment. This year sees the release of new albums by a number of Bristol bands who first came to prominence in the mid-Nineties – Portishead, Tricky and Tricky’s former collaborator Martina Topley Bird. It also looks like being an unusually busy year for Massive Attack, who will also release an album as well as curating the Meltdown festival on London’s Southbank and playing at Glastonbury. Much of the music made in the Nineties by these bands has lasted particularly well. The Bristol creative scene, it would seem, was more than just a passing moment.

Full Story: the Telegraph.

Is your child a tagger?

is my child a tagger

My child? A tagger? It’s more likely than you think!

(via Wooster Collective).

Social network wars – Facebook & class, Myspace & music, and Friendster’s not dead yet

I’ve been meaning to comment on Abe’s comments on my Myspace vs. Friendster post, but now comes along something else interesting:

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace by danah boyd.

This is well done and interesting. I’ve got nothing to argue with here, per se. But what’s interesting to me is that Facebook has only been open to anyone since September. Now that everyone can sign up, will it remain a status-symbol social network? Any my point about control remains. If Facebook gives users more options and Myspace tries to force everyone to use their tools, will people stick around? People choose Myspace over Friendster* because it was less restrictive.

It’s also worth noting that teens under 18 only make up 12% of Myspace users. But some of the same social stratification may apply for older users as well. I signed up for Facebook in September because several friends of mine who were in college around 2005 use Facebook exclusively. People who aren’t in college and don’t know anyone in college are less likely to want to sign up because the networks for them are smaller.

As to Abe’s point about Myspace and music… I think Myspace will continue to be relevant for musicians, actually. It’s one area where Myspace is genuinely useful. I’ve been using it to book acts for esoZone. But before I started book musicians, there was nothing that Myspace offered me in terms of music that I needed to be registered user for, other than updates from the bands and the signal to noise ratio got pretty bad.

*Looks like Friendster might not be dead after all.

Myspace – the next Prodigy?

Abe says, in reference to this:

It’s funny to read the tech types on this stuff cause they just don’t get culture. Sure the Facebook app platform is light years ahead of what MySpace is doing, but it doesn’t exactly help you promote your band or your photo studio or your art does it? I’m actually more optimistic about MySpace’s long term relevance now than I’ve ever been. That doesn’t mean what Facebook is doing isn’t cool and potentially important, it’s just a big fork in the paths these companies are taking.

I can’t help but think though that what Abe sees as Myspace’s strength – promoting your band or photo studio or whatever – is actually its weakness. Myspace is basically a big spam machine. Although I still spend more time on Myspace, as that’s where most of my friends are, I’ve been spending less and less time on it and so has everyone else I know. My Facebook network, meanwhile, is continuing to grow. The thing is, Facebook is designed to actually facilitate communication between users. Myspace is designed to get people to accept spam.

If Myspace continues to wall its gates, it becomes even less useful. Doing even the most basic tasks in Myspace – from sending messages to uploading pictures – is painfully slow and unreliable. A flood of bulletins from bands and businesses and never ceasing friend requests from cam girls have no real value to me. Putting a funny You Tube video or Photobucket pic on a friend’s comments is one of the fun things about Myspace, and if I can’t do that, then what’s the point?

Experiences are the new status symbol

From a Trendcentral newsletter from earlier this month, posted here before I forget about it:

Experiences are the new status symbol and, for many, are becoming more important than products.

We?ve seen a shift from wanting ?things? to wanting ?experiences?. Products can break, go out of style, or can quickly feel obsolete due to the introduction of new and improved versions. The actions and emotions involved with a particular activity, and the stories and memories associated with it, are what people are searching for.

When asked if they had an extra $500 to spend, 75% of trendsetters and 55% of mainstream respondents said they would rather spend it on an experience than a product.

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