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You searched for "Film". Your search returned 110 results.

The culture of the GIF

GIF image files have 8 bit colour for red (R), green (G) and blue (B), i.e. 256 shades each for RGB. Most smartphone cameras currently provide 10 bit colour. So if you convert your photographs to GIF format they will be of lower quality. Apart from that the GIF format provides lossless compression. So GIF … Continue reading

Subliminal messaging

There’s no real evidence that subliminal messaging works. By most accounts, the experiments of the marketing psychologist James M. Vicary in the 1950s were a hoax. The theory was that we pick up words and images presented to us in ways that defy conscious awareness. Audiences in a cinema could be induced to buy a … Continue reading

Too cool for video

The camcorder was the quintessential consumer product of the 1980s. I recall the presence of this compact video recorder at a friend’s wedding. People would glance nervously at the camera when it aimed in their direction. Only later when we played the tape did we notice a curious behaviour. People would flick a hand in … Continue reading

COVID couture

Why cover your nose and mouth with fabric during an epidemic? Apart from any practical advantages, and disadvantages, a face mask is a sign. Whether or not they are effective in blocking viruses, (non-surgical) face masks transmit messages. Before the current crisis I wrote a book on the founder of semiotics Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914). … Continue reading

Pandi noir

Pandemic and panic look a bit the same. A pandemic is a characteristic shared by everyone, in this case a disease or its threat. Panic pertains to Pan, the god of wild nature. To panic is to go wild. According to etymonline.com pan can be taken to mean “all” in both cases – i.e. all … Continue reading

Flightless cars

Who wants a car that drives itself? The Tesla car epitomises the ambition for electric-powered self-drive cars. The tesla.com website explains that the hardware (i.e. sensors, controls, etc) is in place. It will soon be safe enough for a driver to recline in her seat and fall asleep while the car does the rest. “All … Continue reading

Sociable encryption: The secret of the five keys

Will encryption save us? Social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff explains in detail the methods employed by Google and other digital giants to track our clicks, sell our data, and auction targeted advertising slots to monetise our private on-screen experiences. Our online behaviour is the resource. We are the product, not the consumer. Google’s clients are advertisers … Continue reading

The pleasures of the mouth

The soft human voice signifies comfort. Some would say that parental cooing and burbling sends babies to sleep. That affinity with the voice persists into later life. Thanks to telephones and mobile phones, the voice-in-your-ear is ubiquitous in contemporary life — compounding opportunities for the voice to do its work. The soft voice, breath, the … Continue reading

Perspecticide

The concept of defence is not so far from the idea of architecture. Vitruvius made that clear in his Ten Books on Architecture, the last of which is devoted to siege engines and ballistae. Security and defence are amongst the benefits, then and now, that draw people to live together and form cities. Sound the … Continue reading

Bulk data collection and privacy

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that when crossing a busy road he instinctively looked away from oncoming traffic for fear of having his image captured on a dashcam. People are more easily recognised face-on than in profile. That short observation from his book Permanent Record delineates some salient themes in the so-called smart city: risk, … Continue reading

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