Four short links: 29 November 2010

Rethinking Education, Printing Roads, Outsource Security, and Designing Phones

  1. Building a New Culture of Thinking and Learning (Vimeo) — interesting farewell lecture from a university physicist disillusioned with the state of teaching. He went on to work on skateboarding video games. (via Kevin Marks)
  2. The Road Printer (BLDGBLOG) — a machine that lays cobblestone roads, looking remarkably like a printer as it does so. Not the future, but a whiff of it. (via Brenda Wallace)
  3. Watersheds in Communications Security (Bruce Schneier) — Whit talked about three watersheds in modern communications security. The first was the invention of the radio. [...] The second watershed was shared computing. [...] The third watershed is cloud computing, or whatever you want to call the general trend of outsourcing computation. The punchline: Diffie’s final point is that we’re entering an era of unprecedented surveillance possibilities. It doesn’t matter if people encrypt their communications, or if they encrypt their data in storage. As long as they have to give their data to other people for processing, it will be possible to eavesdrop on. Of course the methods will change, but the result will be an enormous trove of information about everybody.
  4. John’s Phone — a critical look at an elegant approach to mobile phones. it’s not a smart phone, it’s not a dumb phone, it’s the phone equivalent of a snappy dresser who’s great to talk to but who doesn’t do much. Proof, however, that there are many design surprises left in the phone world. The iPhone 4 is not the final coming of the JesusPhone.
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