News

  • Metalife: The Movie

    by Barry Chudakov on June 30th, 2012

    For a century we went to the movies. Now we’re going into them.

    Condition One is an embeddable immersive video player that allows you to experience previously recorded video as though you are there as the video is happening. No longer content with some producer’s notion of plot and character; the notions now are all ours. With an iPad app we become a gadgeted auteur: My Life, the Rockumentary.

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  • Black Hats and White Hats: Interview with an Ethical Hacker

    by Barry Chudakov on September 30th, 2011

    Today on virtually any news site, you have to sneak around the headlines to avoid a story about hacking. Whether the recent phone hacking scandal of News of the World; the New York real estate brokerage, home to hundreds of upscale apartment listings, accused of hacking into a competitor’s computer system and stealing listing information; or Anonymous and V for Vendetta-masked LulzSec, hackers are gaining increased notoriety and profiting handsomely from their ventures.

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  • Tracking, Sniffing & Fingerprinting: The Metalife of Identity

    by Barry Chudakov on December 28th, 2010

    A recent burglary at the home of Washington Post writer and editor Marc Fisher was documented by a Facebook boast.  The burglar took Fisher’s new coat, his son’s iPod, savings bonds, cash and a laptop. Then the burglar opened his son’s laptop computer and posted a photo of himself to the boy’s Facebook page. In the photo, the burglar flashes the stolen cash and is wearing Fisher’s winter coat.

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  • Who’s Watching?

    by Barry Chudakov on November 19th, 2010

    “I like to watch,” says Chance the Gardener in Jerzy Kosiński’s biting 1971 media fable, Being There. Chance cannot read or write (satirically presaging the stereotype of today’s digital natives) but he knows what he likes. When he first rides in a car he observes, “This is just like television, only you can see much further.” We now have many more tools just like TV: our phones, gadgets and apps enable us to see further (and know more about) what anyone else is doing.

    We are all becoming Chance the gardener. We all like to watch—and we are watching each other.

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  • Avatar

    by Barry Chudakov on June 17th, 2010

    As everybody knows, Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash coined the modern sense of the word avatar, from the Sanskrit word avatāra, meaning something similar to incarnation. Before James Cameron’s runaway hit movie, an avatar was considered a three-dimensional model representing you or an alter ego in computer games; or a two-dimensional icon on Internet forums and other communities.

    That was so five minutes ago.

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  • Cyber Bullying

    by Barry Chudakov on May 29th, 2010

    Two dogs are sitting in their master’s office, one next to a desk chair looking up, the other perched on the chair looking down. The dog on the chair has a paw on a keyboard in front of a computer monitor and says knowingly to his canine companion: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

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  • Designer Privacy

    by Barry Chudakov on April 14th, 2010

    How does anyone know who you are? On the surface this may seem like a question too abstract (or obvious) to consider. Yet it is a question government officials are facing every day. In fact, governments around the world are presenting an intriguing new narrative that may come soon to a plastic card or digital device near you. With ID cards, at long last citizenry will have something as important as suffrage—an established identity.

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  • J.D. Salinger & Bin Laden’s Double

    by Barry Chudakov on February 2nd, 2010

    Two stories came together for me recently. Each story is completely separate from the other. In fact, they have little or nothing in common at almost any level. Except one. Each is the story of an accidental Metalife. In this respect, told together these stories are remarkably connected.

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  • Meta Tiger

    by Barry Chudakov on December 7th, 2009

    As Tiger Woods’ recent accident and mounting revelations work their way through the 24/7 spin cycle, it is time to consider this remarkable saga from another level. Tiger Woods is a case study in having a Metalife and the bewildering consequences that stem from it. After the dust and details settle, this story compels a basic question: whose Metalife is it, anyway?

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