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Graffiti Bridges Worlds for Cell User 132

babokd wrote with a follow up to a piece we ran about the phenomenon of Grafedia, graffiti with links to the internet. The idea has caught on, and 'a communion of the real world with the Internet' may become more and more common. From the article: "It's all around you -- and not just in the phone lines and cables running under the streets or in the airborne Wi-Fi streams....If you send a text message to an e-mail address scrawled in paint on a subway advertisement or on a sidewalk, for example, you could get some digital pop art on your phone in return. An adhesive arrow on a telephone pole could hold the key to the history of a nearby building."
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Graffiti Bridges Worlds for Cell User

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  • Seen it before (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaseyB ( 1105 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @01:51PM (#12815157)
    This sounds much like the whole "warchalking" phenomenon that was picked up by the media when it became SO popular a couple years ago.

    Not that anyone ever saw real examples of it.

    • I've seen it before too; this morning in fact. I think that's the first time my local newspaper has pre-empted slashdot in getting to an article :)
    • ..or 'toothing', the ultimate geek fantasy.

      "If I get the phone with bluetooth, I will have amazing anonymous sex with beautiful strangers!"

      It makes me wonder though, what zigbee was the protocol, would it it be 'zigging' or 'beeing'?
    • I am pleased to announce a new phenomenon in which users of recent-model camera phones can use publicly-visible markings to initiate a chat with each other about music. It is called Bluemochalkblogcasting.

      Coming soon: The very first Bluemochalkblogcasting manifesto. Say goodbye to traditional media and bow down to Bluemochalkblogcasting!
  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @01:51PM (#12815166)
    "For a Good Time, text 443544"
  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @01:53PM (#12815184) Homepage Journal
    You are on a busy street corner. You are next to a building. Before you towers a light pole.

    $> look building

    You see an email address scrawled on the bricks.

    $>grafitti email address

    You get some nice pop art in return.

    $>look light pole

    You see an adhesive arrow.

    $>look adhesive arrow.

    You find the key to neaby building!

    $>use key on door

    You unlock the door.

  • Smells like someone is trying to bring back viral marketing again. It was a stupid idea the first time.
  • Overblown hoohah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Webs 101 ( 798265 )
    I wrote this two months ago:

    Clickable Graffiti, or Not

    When we first heard of Grafedia, we thought it was an amazing new technology: take a photo of a word with your camera phone and it turns into a clickable link. The truth is more mundane, although you wouldn't guess that from the hype. The word does indicate an e-mail account - e.g. - but the picture-taking is superfluous. All Grafedia really is is a mailserver whose e-mail accounts return files to anyone who e-mails. The "twist" is

  • It said "Graffiti Bridges". Is this another one of those Hollywood summer sequels?
  • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @01:58PM (#12815275) Homepage

    how's this any different
    than scrawling a phone number
    on a bathroom stall?

  • And then... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In other news, Microsoft applies for a patent on graffiti.
  • I think it would be cool to use something similar to this as a virtual tour-guide.
  • "It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."
  • You pay for the redirection service, you're limited to finite message sizes, and the other person has to know that emailing the Grafedia address or texting the number on the coded yellow arrow will result in an auto-reply of some sort?

    How is this better than just scrawling your web address underneath your graffiti?
    • This is a step in the wrong direction.
      This shit is retarded.
      Write a new underweb and incorperate a Global Information System or somthing as underground as graf'in! P34c3 gru
  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:03PM (#12815328) Homepage
    there are 4 types of graffiti?
    1. beautiful art
    2. tags - the equivalent of a dog pissing to mark his territory.
    3. ugly scribblings just for the sheer pleasure of vandalising
    4. text to express a view point or provoque

    Am I the only one feeling that only a minute amount of graffiti fits into the first category?

    • Yes. I do not want my f*cking tax dollars spent removing someone elses idea of art. Let them paint their own walls!

      On the other hand, I have no problem with graffiti artists volunteering to paint a mural on the side of a delapidated community center. That's constructive.

      • OK...

        • You don't want tax dollars spent to remove someone's elses idea of art.
          • You do approve of murals (which are only an idea by
          • someone else).
          • ...rustle...rustle...Where is my damn clue stick?...rustle...rustle...

        • Most graffiti is randomly applied to public spaces without any community involvement. If the people 'in charge' of a space decide to decorate it, great. If I spend time to paint the wall of my building and it gets graffiti for someone elses amusement... that's not cool... just like me graffiting your house would be wicked uncool.
        • The difference is in the authorization. When he talks about someone volunteering to paint an old building, the assumption is that the owner of said building has authorized it. The type he was complaining about is unauthorized.

    • 5. Advertising.
    • Unfortunately, you're probably right. There are artists out there with way too much talent with a spray can who are getting a bad name from the other 99% - often just kids with nothing better to do. But in those few cases, the results are artistically equal to paying somebody a truck of money to paint an 'approved' mural on the side of a building, just cheaper.

      Personally, when I'm stuck waiting for a freight train to pass, looking at the graffiti isn't a bad way to pass the time. It's kind of like an ar
      • Or, at least the good stuff is. Sometimes you just get some jackass no-talent hack (like I would be, if I picked up a can of spray paint) who just scribbles his name on it like he's cool or something. Boo to him for ruining real art.

        I did like this comic that is somewhat related, though (I love his work, though, so maybe it's just me): Bolt City []
      • You're right. Shitty tags notwithstanding, I have seen some exquisitely well-done, even epic pieces done by anonymous artists on the sides of rusty boxcars. Quite to their credit, the freight companies rarely paint them over.

        I think the operators should make the whole freight car painting scene an official part of their business--hold graffiti contests that award publicity to the participants (which is what they want) and prizes to the winners. Legitimize the scene. It wouldn't have to be an expensive

        • I agree that a lot of boxcar graffiti is interesting and well-executed, but the rest of your post ignores certain realities, all of which come to mind because I happen to know a guy who works for a train company (in the gruesome role of on-scene train wreck investigations)...

          1. The rail companies don't paint over them because repainting boxcars is extremely expensive.

          2. Repainting boxcars takes those boxcars out of circulation, which means they're not profitable.

          3. The rail companies have no incentive to
    • Am I the only one feeling that only a minute amount of graffiti fits into the first category?

      The problem isn't that there are a lot of graffiti artists who don't do the beautiful art, rather they either can't because it's too hard (i.e. high traffic) or because they're wimps. I do some graffiti art, what I would class as fitting into section 1 and 4, but most of the time it's too hard to get section 1 art in places that are visible. As a general rule of thumb, if you can see it, then you're at risk. Most
  • by Infernal Device ( 865066 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:04PM (#12815344)
    The campaign to counter all those idiot vandal grafitti advertisers should be titled:

    "Say it. Don't spray it."
  • babokd wrote with a follow up to a piece we ran about the phenomenon of Grafedia, graffiti with links to the internet.
    What new information does this new slashdot article present? Absolutely nothing.
  • I see this as being abused by script kiddies so that your computer can have as good a time asking for Bubba as you can. And with the same "must've caught something bad" results, too. I see this as a merging of real-world and virtual blights on the landscapes of the 21st Century. What am I missing here?
  • by Cyclotron_Boy ( 708254 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:06PM (#12815368) Homepage
    but I don't want to text "goatse" and get any "pop art" while walking around downtown.
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:06PM (#12815375)
    Graffiti is not art, it is vandalism. Anything that encourages it should be outlawed.

    I know that their are possible legitimate uses, but vandalism centric services really should not exist.

    Eye-spam is just as bad as other spam.
    • You're right, graffiti isn't art. It's just a medium. A medium through which some quite astonishing art has been expressed. Nmap is just a network analysis tool, and bittorrent is just an efficient file-streamer. Don't blame the tool.

      Eye-spam is just as bad as other spam.
      So we should outlaw email?
    • let's rephrase this. Graffiti is art. Putting it in illegal places in vandalism. Public graffiti walls are fine to paint on. Oh and U.S. mail trucks...
    • Then who lets you walk around? Who are you to decide what is and what isn't art?
  • If you send a text message to an e-mail address scrawled in paint on a subway advertisement or on a sidewalk, for example, you could get some digital pop art on your phone in return.

    And spam for the rest of your life.
  • Pay for a crappy service that invites people to vandalism and will probably only be used by corporate 'underground' marketing? No thanks.

    Makes me wonder how some things get accepted to slashdot. Then I thought about it and it became crystal clear. If you want a story accepted onto slashdot, you have to buy hookers for the editors.
    • If you want a story accepted onto slashdot, you have to buy hookers for the editors.

      Man, hookers that would fuck them are a lot more time/effort/money than just actually taking the time to verify the story isn't a dup, write up the blurb so that you aren't flamed to hell for not thinking for yourself, and not linking to your own blog for the profit margins. ;-)

    • Makes me wonder how some things get accepted to slashdot.

      It's taken me a while, but I have started to notice which editors post consistently crappy stories with stupid headlines. Looks like you've been here a while: come, post of your dislike of Zonk so we can both be modded down by his unlimited power.

      • Oh, I don't dislike any of them. Just like I don't dislike my mom's ancient moth-eaten chihuahua even though it craps in my shoes whenever I visit. If you are around something pathetic and disgusting long enough, you begin to like it.
  • by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:09PM (#12815421)
    If you send a text message to an e-mail address scrawled in paint on a subway advertisement or on a sidewalk, for example, you could get some digital pop art on your phone in return.

    C'mon, this is soooo last generation. I propose some new forms of "interactive art":

    • Murderesqueism
    • - murder victims left in public places with hyperlinks or other obscure clues left on the body.
    • Popup Exhibitionism
    • - beautiful women with URLS and other monikers tatooed over their abdomen, chest, and derriere, exposed at random times, with no provocation, to strangers.
    • Licensism
    • - the replacement of random car license plates with cleverly crafted URLS or AOL screen names.
    Or, instead of trying to legitimatize vandalism, we can simply use RFID sticks for everything. IMHO, that would be cooler, because you'd have no idea of a sticker contained embedded data until you tried to scan it.
  • Not a follow-up (Score:5, Informative)

    by AEton ( 654737 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:11PM (#12815446)
    This is not a followup and it hasn't caught on.

    This is a textbook example of the kind of marketing I read about in an earlier article. I can't find it now, but the example used was the phrase "suits are in".

    The idea is, you feed this kind of information to dozens of different news sources' fashion, entertainment, life, news departments. Three to five of them will run stories which will read basically the same:

    Catchy lede paragraph
    Information about the product
    Quotes from the manufacturer
    Quotes from an industry group
    Anecdotes from users
    Catchy summation

    This is standard marketing practice and not much more. Once you know the format, you can spot many of these articles. However, I can't find the original source on the "suits are in" marketing expose - does anyone have it?
    • Re:Not a follow-up (Score:2, Informative)

      by mikvo ( 587789 )
      I believe you are referring to this article []
    • Your opinion has been impregnated into you by space aliens! I have a product called "brain wash" that can abort this impregnation immediately! "Our Brain wash is made from free-range pigs, so you don't have to worry about errr non free range stuff... and its bottled in the US!" Republicans love this stuff! Just listen to this high profile congressman... "My crazy alien thoughts and ideas vanished instantly after applying brainWash!" Suzie from Duluth, GA says "I reckon them space critters know we got them w
    • This is not a followup and it hasn't caught on.

      This is a textbook example of the kind of marketing ...

      I agree 100%. This is what I mean with this previous comment [], though it's in the context of activist movements.
  • Graffiti (Score:2, Insightful)

    Graffiti in general. I don't understand it. Whats the appeal of wrecking the apperance of otherwise beautiful communities? Just to say you were there? Do you dipshits realize how UGLY spraypaint and pseudo-old-english looks sprawled across an overpass or on the side of the building? Its bullshit and it needs to stop.
    • Re:Graffiti (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, because overpasses are so incredibly beautiful that writing on them would be a crime.

      Jesus. 99% of cities are fugly, and if it distracts some kids from real crime I'm all for graffiti...
    • Re:Graffiti (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He just said he doesn't understand it. By summarizing that it's bullshit and needs to stop proves that he's right- he doesn't understand it.
  • Nah. Not happening. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:20PM (#12815552) Homepage
    Remember "Warchalking"? "Sousveillance"? This is another one of those one-person "trends" that Tired hypes up to justify their self-image of "cool".

    Texting to an autoresponder - yeah, cool. Would you like spam with that?

  • Frankly, I was underwhelmed. The home-made air conditioner was kinda' interesting, but this just plain wasn't worth posting.

    Man, now that the Mac has gone x86, slashdot has gotten boring...
  • Ah, a new twist on a classic.
  • by g1zmo ( 315166 ) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @02:34PM (#12815720) Homepage
    ...for example, you could get some digital pop art on your phone in return.

    We used to call it viruses, spam, spyware, and adware. Digital Pop Art sounds much friendlier.
  • ...that would link to websites about the products!

    Consumers could scan those bar codes with a handheld device of some kind and be taken effortlessly to the site!

    Why, it would be like a... a... digital _convergence_ between the physical world and the Internet!

    You could give the devices away to Wired subscribers and Radio Shack customers. You'd want them to appeal to the right demographics, so they shouldn't look too industrial or nerdish.

    You could make them look like a cute little cat or something.

    You c
  • Now all we need is a mobile phone adapter for the Cue Cat!

    Unseen urban artist people will stencil bar codes on bridges and railroad cars. Then you'll walk along with your CueCat Mobile and scan the bar code, and your phone will load a fabulous [multimedia advertisement | ameteur pr0n video featuring his estranged ex-girlfriend | virus] authored by the stencil-wielding Pop Artist.

    The future is now!

    • Unseen urban artist people will stencil bar codes on bridges and railroad cars.

      Yeah, but imagine the problems with underspray! Plus, it'd be a bitch if you went through your bridges.
      A much smarter idea is to laser-print stickers, and put them along your regular art, such as the stencils. Then you get the regular art, as well as the digital :)
  • Real world hyperlinks my ass. What would be cooler than just writing a URL or whatever on the wall would be writing a 2 barcode on the wall then having a camera phone which can decode it. Just and it brings you to a related site.

    It wouldn't have to be grafitti either, you could put barcodes like it on buildings/historical/monuments/businesses/etc. Imagine the following scenarios:
    • Restaurant: Clicking brings up their menu, prices, nutritional facts, takeout number, hours of operation.
    • Magazine Article:
  • The last time grafedia was mentioned I got curious as to how quickly a wikipedia article could come to shape. I started this article [].

    Obviously I should have thought a bit more, because no one knew anything and so the text written was little more than lifted from But now I've got another chance to whore out my little article.

    If you know anything about grafedia, how about contributing []?
  • The closest thing I've done to this is put a "captain's log" and email address cards in a bottle in the ocean. The idea was that a finder would update the log (when/where it was found), take an email card, and then throw it back out to sea. Upon using the email address, its course could be charted on a website.

    But I never heard from it again... :-(

    I imagine you have to do these things in bulk to get results. Maybe someday I'll make a hundred of them :-)
  • So if I graffiti my URL someplace prominent, will Google crawl it and increase my PageRank accordingly?
  • Semacode involves a square pattern of dots that you aim a camera phone at; special software in the phone reads the dot pattern and can connect you to a website or whatever. These dot pattern would be very hard to reproduce by hand.

    But there is another system that uses odd circular maze-like graphics, that I imagine might be possible to hand draw if the image processing software were decent. I can't remember the name of this circular system, but the patterns reminded me of the sockets R2D2 was always pluggi

Forty two.