Web Bytes Back Over Artist Lawsuit

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Fans of the photographer Jay Maisel who navigate to his Wikipedia page will now find more detail about a legal battle he had with techie Andy Baio than his work and achievement as an artist.

Mr. Maisel sued Mr. Baio for releasing an 8-bit version of his famous photo of Miles Davis on the cover of Kind of Blue. Mr. Baio used the digital copy for his remix of the jazz classic, Kind of Bloop. He settled for $32,000 in damages, but may end up regretting the cost the lawsuit is having on his online reputation. Read More


Art-Techie Andy Baio Sued by Legendary Photographer Jay Maisel


While he spends most his time in Portland, Oregon, artist, writer and developer Andy Baio has had a big impact on the local scene at the intersection of art and technology.

Baio helped to launch the fast growing crowd funding platform Kickstarter, which relies on a mix of web savvy and social media to help independent artist find backing for their projects.

He was also part of the recent 7 on 7 exhibition at the New Museum, an annual show by Rhizome, sponsored this year by AOL, which pairs seven artists with seven technologists. He and partner Michael Bell-Smith created a program to make a giant remix of online remix videos.

Today he wrote about being sued for $150,000 by Jay Maisel. Baio had created Kind of Bloop, a chiptune remix of the Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue. A friend made a 8-bit pixel art version of the album’s legendary cover, a photo shot by Maisel.  Read More


3D-Printed Plastic Bikini–$250 and Supposedly Comfortable

Plastic bikini

Ladies, you can now order a plastic bikini from Shapeways. “It’s solid plastic, but its strength allows it to be printed as thin as .7 mm, and it can make springs that bend and stretch,” the designers say, which is “flexible” and “comfortably wearable,” and waterproof, because it’s made of Shapeways’s Strong & Flexible plastic, also known as selective laser sintered nylon. Hm… looks pinchy. Read More


Abolishing Patents Can Supercharge Innovation; Just Look at Fashion


Reading Fred Wilson’s post this morning about lawsuits filed by Lodsys against app developers over software patents–“the iconic patent troll, taxing innovation and innovators for their own selfish gain”–I was reminded of this TED talk by Johanna Blakley. The thrust is that fashion designs can’t really be patented in the U.S.–the only thing that can’t be copied is the trademarked logo, which is why you see Gucci and Prada logos plastered all over purses and t-shirts. There are plenty of designers who believe they should be able to patent their designs. But the result of the current system, Ms. Blakley says, is that the top designers have to be hyperinnovative to stay ahead of the “fast fashion” houses like H&M. Read More


How Computer Science Solved the Puzzle of the 9/11 Memorial

Sept11 Memorial

One of the more arcane challenges for the foundation creating the 9/11 memorial downtown was how to arrange the names of the more than three thousand victims of the tragedy.

It was complicated enough to fit them all within a taxonomy of their location at the time of the attacks, but grew more complex with hundreds of requests for certain names to be placed adjacent to loved ones.

So the foundation turned to computer science, hoping an algorithm could help them sort the problem. Read More


The Hacker’s High: Friendslist Founder on Staying Focused

“It’s an adrenaline rush, it’s like my drug,” says Friendslist founder and TechStars NY alum Jonathan Wegener, about building new products during all night hackathons. Along with co-founder Benny Wong, Wegener has produced some of the more creative apps of the last six months. “Right now we are trying to stay focused on getting traction for Friendslist and iterating on that product. But I know that I will end up taking a break here or there, it’s addictive creating those little viral hits.” Read More


Why the Business Card Will Never Die

card awesome

Paper. We’re over it. The Observer never brings a business card anywhere. Mostly because we don’t have one (note to self: resend “Where is my business card?” email). Luckily, it’s easy to explain that away.

In the tech scene, at least, it’s better to connect on the spot via Twitter—and gain a follower!—or Read More


The Quotable Milton Glaser


The 81-year old graphic designer Milton Glaser is a legend in contemporary design.

Glaser was co-founder and first design director atNew York magazine, but has also produced award-winning interior design, logos, posters and signage.

Mr. Glaser spoke today at Creative Mornings, the monthly ten-minute breakfast lecture series run by NYC designer Tina Read More


Citi Opens Space Bank in Union Square


Citibank is taking the free lollipops to the next level.

Citibank opened The Bank of the Future in Union Square today, a flagship branch featuring technology from Singapore and Hong Kong that makes simple financial transactinos look  like something out of Minority Report.

Customers can browse banking products at one of six Read More