Inspired in part by the “ugly t-shirt,” a garment dreamed up by William Gibson that would provide invisibility to CCTV surveillance, Niquille thinks of her shirts as “facial recognition dazzle,” referring to a unique brand of camouflage employed by ships in World War I. Pioneered by artist Norman Wilksinson, dazzle camouflage involved covering warships in conflicting geometric patterns to throw off an enemy combatant’s ability to gauge their speed, range, size and heading. “The shirts attempt a similar strategy. They won’t keep your face from being recognized, but they will offer distraction,” he explains. Their real-world efficacy, Niquille says, depends on how baggy the shirt is on the wearer: the tighter the better for giving Facebook’s software something to zero-in on.
* for those playing at home, the idea of the magic sigil tee in Zero History was contributed by Bruce Sterling. It doesn’t get much more #cyberpunkfuturepresent than this ugly tee.
The Coca-Cola Company plans to erect 150 kiosks in 20 countries that will offer water, electricity and Internet connections; they may also sell Coke and other products.
“We’re calling it a downtown in a box,” said Serena Levy, a company spokeswoman.
The announcement was made by Coca-Cola’s chairman, Muhtar Kent, at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting.
Right now, one such kiosk exists, a pilot version in Heidelberg, South Africa. It is a shipping container with solar panels for power, a satellite dish for wireless communication and a Slingshot water distiller designed by Dean Kamen, the Segway inventor.
Setup costs are an issue; for example, the first Slingshots cost more than $100,000 to build, but Mr. Kamen has said that he hopes volume will push the price below $2,000.
Ideally, the Coca-Cola Company said, the kiosks will be run by women. Which products and services the company will charge for is under discussion; they could, for example, store vaccines and offer health education without cost while asking people to pay for water and cellphone charging.
“We’re still working on the business model,” Ms. Levy said.