Favorite Posts

Greek authorities ban Google Street View camera cars over fears of becoming a 'Big Brother' society

Highlighting a growing fear among Greeks of the threat posed by "creeping" new technologies, Athens's data protection agency has prohibited vehicles manned by Google's Street View drivers from the country.

The all-powerful watchdog said the search engine would have to provide "additional information" and concrete guarantees that the service was not an invasion of personal privacy before expanding the programme to Greece.

"We are not going to allow our country to become a Big Brother society," said one agency official, who asked not to be named.

Additional information would include telling the agency how long it planned to keep images taken by Street View vans and what steps it would take to alert residents of their rights if they were liable to be photographed.

Advance warnings by the drivers of camera-equipped Google cars were inadequate and not enough to fend off fears of intrusion of privacy, the authority said.

In part as a legacy of seven years of harsh military rule, Greece has draconian rules around protecting private data – edicts that for years have made it extremely hard for governments to install state-of-the-art monitoring technologies. The abolition of CCTV cameras – although a relative rarity in Greece compared with the UK and other EU states – was a major demand of protesters when violence erupted in the country last December.

Asked whether the clampdown on Google Street View was an extreme measure – given that it is legal to take photographs in public places across Greece – another watchdog official said: "Photographs are not normally made available globally, and therefore there is no risk of violation of personal data."

The Greek agency also prohibited a rival surveillance service operated by ISP Kapou, a Greek company, saying its images posed a similar threat.

Echoing a widespread view, Yannis Papadopoulos, a Greek leftist who agreed with the watchdog's precautionary stance, said: "Privacy as a concept or even word may not exist in our language but all this snooping is simply Orwellian. We won't let it pass."

Google insisted that protecting privacy was a priority for the street-mapping service it launched in the US two years ago and which is now operational in nine countries.

"Google takes privacy very seriously, and that's why we have put in place a number of features, including the blurring of faces and licence plates, to ensure that Street View will respect local norms when it launches in Greece," the company said.

A "dialogue" with the Hellenic Data Protection authority was ongoing, it said.

"We believe that launching in Greece will offer enormous benefits to both Greek users and the people elsewhere who are interested in taking a virtual tour of some of its many tourists attractions."

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

In terms of gift ideas, this one really stinks (boys, don’t surprise your special ladies with this). But if you’re planning a few keggers this summer, this custom-printed toilet paper is sure to garner some laughs.

Available through Carlberg Design, your toilet paper can now capture everything from funny quotes to your company’s logo (probably not the greatest idea) to pics of your boss (how therapeutic) and even your ex-wife (wow, someone’s bitter).

Or just stick with the tried & true “World’s Crappiest…(you fill in the blank)” version.

Each custom roll of 1-color toilet paper is individually shrink-wrapped and costs a cool $12 if you order 4 or less. If you order more, it’s cheaper, but how many rolls of custom-printed toilet paper does a person really need? You can also mix & match designs.

This isn’t your crappy (sorry) commercial-grade TP either. Designs are printed on 2-ply, facial quality, biodegradable paper.

They even take rush orders. You know, for those crazy times when custom-printed toilet paper is a must.

via Liquid Shirts

---
Related Articles at GadgetGrid:


Thumbnail

Upgrade! 10th Anniversary Celebration: Thursday, May 21, 2009; 8 – 9:30PM

After a humble beginning in a New York bar in 1999, the Upgrade! has blossomed into an international network with over thirty nodes meeting regularly all across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. To celebrate ten years of dialog and debate on issues related to art and technology, Eyebeam and Not An Alternative will host an evening of presentations by Upgrade! and Eyebeam honorary residents Alexander Galloway, Mushon Zer-Aviv, and Savic Rašovic. The presentations will be followed by a reception and a screening of video work from members of the Upgrade! International network.

Alexander Galloway and Mushon Zer-Aviv will present their collaborative project, Kriegspiel, a computer game based on Guy Debord’s Game of War. Inspired by the military theory of Carl von Clausewitz and the European campaigns of Napoleon, Debord’s game is a chess-variant played by two opposing players on a game board of 500 squares arranged in rows of 20 by 25 squares. Galloway and Zer-Aviv will also discuss their plans to make the game open source.

Savic Rašovic (aka Pirun aka Sasha), a regular contributor to Upgrade! Boston, will present his work done in collaboration with Catherine D’Ignazio. Rašovic and D’Ignazio run iKatun, an organization that engages public participation in transforming the meaning and use of public space.

About the Presenters
Eyebeam alum Alexander R. Galloway is an author and programmer. He is a founding member of the software collective RSG and creator of the Carnivore and Kriegspiel projects. The New York Times recently described his work as “conceptually sharp, visually compelling and completely attuned to the political moment.” Galloway is the author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (MIT, 2004), Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (Minnesota, 2006), and a new book cowritten with Eugene Thacker called The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Minnesota, 2007). He teaches at New York University.

Eyebeam honorary resident Mushon Zer-Aviv is a designer, an educator and a media activist from Tel-Aviv, based in NY. His work explores media in public space and the public space in media. In his creative research he focuses on the perception of territory and borders and the way they are shaped through politics, culture, networks and the World Wide Web. He is the co-founder of ShiftSpace.org, an open source layer above any website; Shual.com, a foxy design studio; YouAreNotHere.org, a dislocative tourism agency; Kriegspiel; and the Tel Aviv node of the Upgrade! international network. He teaches new media research at NYU and open source design at Parsons the New School of Design.

Savic Rašovic (Sasha or Pirun) was born in Titograd, Yugoslavia (now Podgorica, Montenegro) and lives and works in Cambridge, MA. Rašovic is an entrepreneur, new media artist, curator, publisher, designer, programmer, political activist, and performer. He is the co-founder with Catherine D’Ignazio of iKatun, an artist-run organization whose mission is to foster public engagement in the politics of information and a member of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things—a troupe that uses research and performance to investigate social and political everyday “tiny things” in order to transform public spaces dominated by corporate and political agendas.

About Upgrade!
Upgrade! is an international network of autonomous nodes located throughout the world that are united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Upgrade! NY is a monthly programming series co-produced by Eyebeam and Not An Alternative. The 2009 curatorial theme explores open source activist and creative practices.

http://www.upgradeny.net

 

Thumbnail

GEV Fall 2002
Teaching Artist: Erika DeVries
Erika DeVries worked with her group of middle school girls to investigate the construction of moving image and self-portraits. The group used iMovie to create 10 individual digital videos representative of the 10 different personalities in the class.

Thumbnail

At Girls Eye View (GEV) Spring 2005, teaching Artist Cat Mazza taught students in the Girls Eye View program about the overlaps between knitting, computers and women’s labor history. There were lessons in hand knitting, how to work a knitting machine, and how to make needlecraft patterns with Photoshop and knitPro. The needlecraft they stitched were of icons of popular culture that were then animated into a social commentary.

Thumbnail

GEV Spring 2006

Teaching Artist: Franziska Lamprecht

Stencil and Street Art Class:
“Positive and Negative Space” will be a forum to test the power and possibilities that can come with a specific shape cut out of a thin sheet of plastic or cardboard – a stencil. In a hands-on atmosphere that stimulates curiosity and encourages experimentation, participants will learn different techniques to create and apply stencils on T-Shirts, bags, their skin, posters, and the street. They will research and learn about the history, influences and current uses of stencils (including street art, fine art, etc.). To extend the experience in the fabrication of stencils, students will have the opportunity to work with our laser cutter.

About the artist:
Franziska Lamprecht is a Brooklyn based artist and part of “eteam”, a two artist collaborative that investigates conceptual possibilities and practical improvements in public spaces and private territories. “eteam” installations and performances have been shown at museums and galleries including PS1(NYC), EYEBEAM (NYC), MUMOK (Vienna), Momenta Art (Brooklyn), New Museum (NYC) and Neues Museum (Weimar). Videos by the eteam have been screened at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Pacific Film Archive, 11th Biennial of Moving Images, Centre pour l'Image Contemporaine, Geneva , Transmediale Berlin, TIDF Taiwan and at the New York Video Festival. They have been awarded a Henry Moore Foundation Project Grant, an EYEBEAM Production Grant and the Marion Ermer Preis 2004. In 2005 they have been selected for the New Commissions Program at Art in General, NY and the Longwood Arts Project Digital Matrix Commissions Program (NY).


---------------------------------------
Teaching Artist: Michelle Nagai

Sound Walk:
The focus is to generate interest in the urban soundscape by having students help build and participate in an on-line, multi-media sound, ecology and culture mapping project, "City in a Soundwalk" (CIAS). We will use CIAS to teach the basic practice of soundwalking and encourage participants to explore a more involved, responsible relationship with their sonic environment. The course will rely on free or low-cost tools for multi-media content creation and collaborative on-line community development.

Week One: Getting to know the CIAS project and how the GEV class can contribute. Learn about and go out on soundwalks. Explore some of the myriad ways of documenting listening experience (i.e. field recording, journaling, Deep Listening, movement, sound improvisation etc). Field work in the neighborhood surrounding Eyebeam.

Week Two: Refining the soundwalk route. Getting specific about what the class will focus on for their contribution to CIAS. Assignment of roles (map maker, programmer, recordist, interviewer etc) and collection of information in the field.

Week Three: Final information

 

About the Artist: Composer and artist Michelle Nagai uses conceptual, physical and sonic elements to create site-specific performances and installations as well as compositions for radio broadcast and CD. These works address listening, perception and the human state in relationship to its setting. Her work has been presented throughout the US, Europe and Canada and has been supported by the American Composers Forum, Harvestworks, the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, Meet the Composer and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is also affiliated with the Brooklyn-based transmission arts collective free103point9.

Active as an educator and sound ecologist, Michelle has facilitated workshops, talks and events for adults, high school and college age students in soundwalking and listening practices, multimedia performance, improvisation and costume design. She is a founding member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE) and holds a teaching certificate in Deep Listening from the Deep Listening Institute. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974 and transplanted to New England in the blizzard of 1978, Michelle Nagai currently makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.

Please stayed tuned for for more information on student projects and presentations in May/June 2006.

 


Here’s a pretty cool project done with the Lego NXT system. It’s a robot that will draw you a picture. Yes, we know it could be done cnc style, but this is much more fun. You load a picture into the software, adjust the levels so the software can create the vector version more easily, then let it rip. Now they need to add face recognition.

The blogger at What I'm Seeing is a prolific photographer of San Francisco's rapid transit system, and thus has fallen afoul of its imaginary no-photos policy, with a threatened arrest:



Before I could get the 1st shot off, Fare Inspector #32 started marching towards me, hands in the air, yelling at me to "STOP TAKING PICTURES!!" So I put away camera, walked towards him and answered his statement with a question. I asked him if he could site me the specific Muni code that prohibited a Translink Card carrying passenger from taking pictures of Muni Personal on Muni Property. He could not. Instead he responded that I "needed his permission" and demanded to see my "credentials" and the pictures on my camera. He added that in fact, if I was unwilling to turn over possession of my camera to him he would seize my camera and have me arrested.

What Is Muni's Photography Policy??

(Thanks, Ted!)




Thumbnail

Girls Eye-View: Project Walkway

March 27 – May 8, 2008

Project Walkway will teach eight female participants from local high school Bayard Rustin Academy for Art and Music, the fundamentals of electronics and wearable technologies. The program will end with a runway show and book launch of Sabine Seymour's Fashionable Technology: The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science and Technology, on May 22. Girls Eye-View: Project Walkway begins March 27 and runs Thursdays through May 8.

This program will be taught by former Eyebeam Resident Norene Leddy with current R+D OpenLab Fellows Ayah Bdeir and Jessica Banks.

Thumbnail

ASA Spring 2002

The Spring 2002 ASA-Program took place at Eyebeam Atelier's new West 21st Street classroom and served 30 NYC public middle and high school students, selected with the assistance of the Manhattan Superintendents Office. The 12-week program focused on the themes of teen identity and the deconstruction of media messages about teens. Students worked in a studio environment; learning different media tools via an instructor and a diverse group of guest speakers from the art and technology fields. The ASA students rotated to work with different students in small teams throughout the semester, with the ultimate goal of finishing a series of small projects for their digital portfolios. Student work was presented at the Eyebeam exhibition space during a family art and technology showcase at the end of the program.

High School Program
Cory Arcangel co-taught along-side Eyebeam's Cat Mazza to teach the last round of ASA HS students the fundamentals of game development and game theory. Final projects were self-directed games created in teams and focused on teen life in NYC.


Middle School Program
Michael Bell-Smith worked with his group of ASA middle school students to create animated self-portraits using programs such as Photoshop and Director. Final projects consisted of 15 individual portraits; reflections of the different personalities in his 12-week course.