November 11th, 2011
06:09 PM ET

Arabic graffiti artist plans mural for Tunisia

By John D. Sutter, CNN

During the Tunisian revolution early this year, artists did something that would be been rare and forbidden before the change in power:

They tagged the walls of the country with political graffiti.

In the months since the uprising, however, many of the images - some of which showed police beating protesters, caricatures of the fallen President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and tributes to the fruit vendor whose act of self-immolation started the uprising - have been whitewashed. FULL POST

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Filed under: Art • Innovation • Music • Thinkers
Google launches YouTube and Google+ project to connect returning vets
November 11th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

Google launches YouTube and Google+ project to connect returning vets

By John D. Sutter, CNN

In 2010, Dan Savage launched the "It Gets Better Project" to connect gay teens with video messages of support from older gay people. The site now has thousands of video messages and has been credited with saving the lives of LGBT youth who were pondering suicide.

Now Google is launching a similar project for veterans. Called "Vet Connect," the YouTube and Google+ project is a collection of support videos from veterans who speak about their experiences of returning home from war.

The goal, according to a Google spokeswoman, is to have a database of stories for vets to turn to when they come back home from Iraq and Afghanistan. By browsing the videos and G+ profiles, vets may not feel so alone.
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Filed under: Innovation • Tech
How Microsoft Kinect changed technology
November 11th, 2011
09:04 AM ET

How Microsoft Kinect changed technology

By John D. Sutter, CNN

When Microsoft Kinect - the Xbox gaming camera that reads your body motions - came onto the scene about a year ago, there were plenty of signs that body gestures were going to start controlling technological gizmos of all sorts.

After all, the Wii, which debuted in 2006, popularized the idea that technology should be able to sense what your body is doing - without pushing a button. And, if nothing else, the movie "Minority Report" (and the real-world researcher, John Underkoffler, who made that possible) showed us that we'd soon be able to control computers and TVs with the wave of a hand.

In the year since Kinect, sci-fi versions of this no-remote reality have started to become real. Technologists are attaching motion-sensing cameras to all kinds of things - using them to control consumer electronics and contribute to scientific research. And they're tapping into old-school cameras, too, turning simple gadgets like smartphones into body reading machines.
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Filed under: Innovation • Tech