Category Archives: pygame

Welcome to your new NSA partner network. Tech art in Berlin.

Whilst walking around the Afterglow art hack day opening in Berlin, my phone buzzed as I had received a text message.  Opening up my phone I saw this:

“Welcome to your new NSA partner network.”

I immediately had a scary thought.  “Had someone hacked into my phone?”

My next thought was “oh, someone is hacking the mobile networks”.  “Damn, I forgot to turn my phone off like I usually do before coming to hacker events”.

My phone didn’t have service to either of the networks it usually connects to, so someone was definitely jamming the phone systems.

This message was a very impressive piece of tech art indeed.  It made me think, and feel something.

We are starting an EU/UK tech online magazine. Want to know when it is released?

Rest your head against the speaker.
Part of the art hack day.

The revolution is over. Welcome to the afterglow.” reads the opening line to the transmedial festival in Berlin.

The transmedial festival brought back Cyber punk type thoughts from the last 15-20 years or so.  Now that the digital revolution is over, and “The future is now“, and that 2020 is just around the corner… what next?

The afterglow.

“What is next” is a question lots of people in tech are always pontificating about, but perhaps not in the context of the time known historically as the information revolution.

Despite all that lofty talk, and a long speech on this topic, the event was a lot of fun.  Especially the art hack day parts.  Lots of people were there interacting with various art works people had made.

Some sort of eletronic alchemy going on here

Art Hack Day as a grassroots event/exhibit format/community for artists whose medium is tech and hackers whose medium is art.”

Over 80 artist hackers were invited to create the exhibit from scratch in 48 hours.  What they came up with was quite often fun and impressive.

Stamps combine to make prints.

Knowing the design brief for these pieces can give you a better appreciation of what went into the thought process.  Here is the brief the creators were given:

As coders we fear the ‘legacy’ system, a piece of old junk we haven’t yet figured out how to throw away. As artists, we’re tempted by prolific outbursts of freshness and novelty; more art of less value. Businesses and government crave more data, more connections, more context. By embracing these impulses without contemplation we perpetuate the technological hype cycle and unintentionally shorten the half-life of our artefacts. Technology has become akin to a natural resource, generating physical and immaterial waste that is appropriated in such diverse contexts as e-garbage dumps, big data businesses and mass surveillance schemes. As such, trash is no longer what is just left behind but is central to our post-digital lives. When digital detritus piles up it decomposes, giving rise to a post-digital afterglow with the potential for new expression and new enterprise. Can we make peace with our excessive data flows and their inevitable obsolescence? Can we find nourishment in waste, overflow and excess? Can the afterglow of perpetual decay illuminate us?

This honey pot exhibit was one of my favourites.  If you look closely you can see a phone in there tempting passers by…

Honey pot.  With actual honey. With phones in the honey.

Below are a selection of short video clips showing some of the other exhibits in motion.

The tower of beer was one of my favourites.  Not just because it had beer cans in it, but because of the great video effect it had when filmed.

The augmented reality of this tablet swinging from a rope was popular.  Point it at the picture of a rubbish bin painted on the wall, and the video will show rubbish flowing out of the wall.

Not only is the Afterglow happening for the digital revolution, but also for the revolution in Berlin.  After the Berlin wall fell, many artists entered the city from around the world.  It is currently undergoing another revolution of sorts, with many tech companies growing from within Berlin, and also moving to Berlin.  However, tech in Berlin has been around for a long time.  From groups like the Chaos Computer Club (europe’s largest association of hackers), to the Z3 (world’s first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer), Berlin has a very old historical involvement with technology.  The other revolution in tech that is going on is citizens fighting back against surveillance of the state and corporations.  So maybe we are not finished with the digital revolution, and perhaps it will cycle, one more time, towards a future.  But which future?

We are starting an EU/UK tech online magazine. Want to know when it is released?

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Serial and pixels for breakfast. Arduino + pygame.

Taking a byte of bits of Serial, along with Green screen with Sam, pygame, and an Arduino hooked up to a light sensor and a motor thing.Coffee too?  Naturally.Where do we begin?  At the end of course.  A video of the result…The arduino… Continue reading

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Reducing the number of concepts. To make teaching easier.

I am Sam.  Sam I am*.  Well at least my middle name is Sam.  So of course, one fun book I’ve always been drawn to is Green Eggs and Ham. The famous beginners book by “Dr. Seuss”.  It contains just 50 different words: a, am, and… Continue reading

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Raspberry pygame

The Arduino adventure took a little pause today… I finally managed to buy a raspberry pi.Things have improved greatly with the software since I messed around with an alpha board 1 year and 7 months ago.  Pygame is even on the desktop!  Pret… Continue reading

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pygame logo colour swatches

Been messing around with some colour swatches for the neu pygame website…colors/colours for pygame logo Continue reading

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Pygame Google Summer of Code, 2012.

Thanks to the students, and mentors donating their time, along with the PSF, and Google, the following pygame related projects are ongoing over the summer.

“Pygame: GUI toolkit” by Sam Bull (sambull), mentored by Mike Fletcher(mcfletch) and with backup mentor Robert Deaton (masquerade). (Proposal | Blog)

“Pygame: Improved Sprite and Scene system” by Sagie Maoz (n0nick), co-mentored by Robert Deaton (masquerade) and Katie Cunningham (kcunning). (Proposal | Blog)

“Easy networking in PyGame” by Szymon Wróblewski (bluex), mentored by Rene Dudfield (illume) and with backup mentor Mike Fletcher (mcfletch). (Proposal | Blog)

Some project updates:

Sagie wrote a tutorial on pygame.sprite.Dirty and pygame.sprite.LayeredDirty, as well as a blog update on his progress.

Szymon wrote a blog post on the networking project:

Sam wrote a post on the “SCG” beta release of the GUI project:

Sam has also written to the mailing list asking for feedback on his work.!topic/pygame-mirror-on-google-groups/AQiDPF_rINo

Sagie has also been getting into some conversations on the mailing list, and in the irc channel about the sprites project.!topic/pygame-mirror-on-google-groups/KhaV8V6o4Js

Sam, Szymon, and Rene started on a little game for pyweek to be used as an experimental sandbox for testing out gsoc project ideas.

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Internet protocol 6, 6, 6.

June 6th, 2012 is ipv6 launch day. You can now go to with version 6 of the internet protocol. Continue reading

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Dynamite Jack: The second prototype, post-post mortem

So about six months after I created “Escape from Anathema Mines” during the Ludum Dare game jam, I created a game called Dynamite in the PyWeek game jam. Theme So the theme of PyWeek #1 was “Power” .. I worked with my brother-in-law Tim on this game, and we spent a fair amount of time [...] Continue reading

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PyGameZine issue0

Today we are very excited to announce the launch of PyGameZine! There is more information about it on the website. Continue reading

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Vintage in Paris

Our Vintage in Paris app has been published on the Nokia app store!The process was pretty simple, since it was a very technically basic but content heavy app.The main difficulty in this app was walking around the streets of Paris taking pictures, and … Continue reading

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beta testing intel appup apps

So, I’ve been going around in circles the last few days with the validation our app on the intel appup store.The support people escalated my request, and it looks like they have fixed a problem with the validation program.  It looks like their aut… Continue reading

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‘Halloween Juggling Pumpkin’ published to the chrome web store… I think.

Well, I clicked the publish button, and it seems the ‘Halloween Juggling Pumpkin’ app has been published to the chrome web store.  I’m quite happy that it is up!Here is a screen shot of the menu screen. Well, that wasn’t too hard to do after all…. Continue reading

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encapsulator app ‘binary validation failed’ no other details.

Just got a rejection notice for my intel appup app, with ‘binary validation failed’.  There were no other details, which seems to be typical for this program.I’ve sent them some messages for more information, so I’m expecting a few days of waiting… Continue reading

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chrome audio sucks

Chrome Audio is worse than firefox, safari, and internet explorer Audio.There are cracks, pops, and sounds cut short.  It seems there’s also not many sounds that can be played at once.Luckily I can use jquery.shitsound and soundmanager2 to prefer … Continue reading

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export scripts for app

So today I’ve been writing a couple of export scripts for my October challenge apps.I set the config in the main html file using html5 data attributes.  Then read that config on app startup.  This seems like a fairly easy way to customise the… Continue reading

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Signed my app with certificate, and submitted for validation again.

So, I managed to sign my app and submit it for validation on the appup store.
It took at bit of messing around, converting certificates, and installing lots of microsoft software, but eventually got my msi signed, and submitted to the store.
That made me happy.  Now I’m off to drink wine!

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Intel appup progress. Got certificate, looking forward to webkit upgrade.

Well, some good news on the intel appup front.I finally managed to get my certificate, so I should be able to now sign my apps to upload.  Unfortunately I used firefox to download the certificate, which means that I need to convert files in orde… Continue reading

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chrome web store

We’ve started to look into distributing our app via the chrome web store.I’ve signed up for a developer account, and started reading the documentation on how to publish apps.  So far it has been easy.  All of their forms have worked, an… Continue reading

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Applied for certificate, thinking about what to do next?

I got an email back from Comodo about the code signing certificate, and now their form works.  Then I had to submit my company certificate, and then have to wait for up to 2 days to get the certificate.I probably should have realised I needed t… Continue reading

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Battling Intel Appup submission

Well, I managed to prepare my app for submission to the intel appup store.I first had to figure out bugs: Sound doesn’t work. Also fonts don’t work. This was very disappointing considering that I’ve been working with a musician on sound effects… Continue reading

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