Kathryn McElroy on IBM’s design approach

The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Prototyping for digital and physical, IBM’s bet on design, and diversity in design.

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In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Kathryn McElroy, design lead on IBM’s Watson team. McElroy will be be speaking at O’Reilly’s inaugural Design Conference in January. In this episode, we talk about prototyping for digital and physical, design and diversity, and what it’s like working at IBM.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

I see the shift from an engineering feature-based product design to a user-centered product design across a 380,000 person company to be the most challenging but most impactful place that I can work. On a day-to-day basis, how this comes through is how we interact with our teams. As designers coming into this ecosystem, a lot of these people haven’t really heard about user-centered design until they come to our design boot camps here in Austin.That’s when we bring all of our product teams together—the business people, the engineers, and the designers—to center around their product and think about it from the user’s point of view. … What’s the most interesting about this is just the fact that it’s at this mind-boggling scale.

Specifically for physical prototyping, I learned mostly self-taught during my MFA program. I had a couple of great classes where we were focused on building electronics, and that was the first time I was introduced to it. I’ve only been doing it for three years, but it’s something you can learn on your own. There’s so many people with guidance out on the Internet and are willing to help you.

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Patrick Wendell on Spark’s roadmap, Spark R API, and deep learning on the horizon

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: A special holiday cross-over of the O'Reilly Data Show Podcast.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come.

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In this special holiday episode of the Radar Podcast, we’re featuring a cross-over of the O’Reilly Data Show Podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or SoundCloud. O’Reilly’s Ben Lorica hosts that podcast, and in this episode, he chats with Apache Spark release manager and Databricks co-founder Patrick Wendell about the roadmap of Spark and where it’s headed, and interesting applications he’s seeing in the growing Spark ecosystem.

Here are some highlights from their chat:

We were really trying to solve research problems, so we were trying to work with the early users of Spark, getting feedback on what issues it had and what types of problems they were trying to solve with Spark, and then use that to influence the roadmap. It was definitely a more informal process, but from the very beginning, we were expressly user driven in the way we thought about building Spark, which is quite different than a lot of other open source projects. … From the beginning, we were focused on empowering other people and building platforms for other developers.

One of the early users was Conviva, a company that does analytics for real-time video distribution. They were a very early user of Spark, they continue to use it today, and a lot of their feedback was incorporated into our roadmap, especially around the types of APIs they wanted to have that would make data processing really simple for them, and of course, performance was a big issue for them very early on because in the business of optimizing real-time video streams, you want to be able to react really quickly when conditions change. … Early on, things like latency and performance were pretty important.

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Joe Biron on IoT platforms

The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: Building systems to get the most from connected devices.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Hardware Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing.

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This episode of the Hardware Podcast features my second discussion with Joe Biron, VP of IoT technology at ThingWorx, a PTC business that offers a platform for rapid deployment of Internet of Things applications.

Discussion points:

  • How IoT platforms provide the functionality that enables advanced capabilities for IoT products
  • The common architecture of properties, services, and events
  • How to future-proof an embedded application
  • Platforms for industrial versus consumer devices
  • The potential for products that can update their own behavior
  • Embracing—or avoiding—smartphone creep, in which functions once performed by specialized hardware are taken over by a phone

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Leah Busque and Dan Teran on the future of work

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: Service networking, employees vs contractors, and turning the world into a luxury hotel.

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In this week’s Radar Podcast episode, O’Reilly’s Mac Slocum delves into the economy with two speakers from our recent Next:Economy conference. First, Slocum talks with Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, about service networking, TaskRabbit’s goals, and issues facing the peer economy. In the second segment, Slocum talks with Dan Teran, co-founder of Managed by Q, about the on-demand economy and the future of work.

Here are a few highlights from Busque:

As a technologist myself, I became really passionate about how we mash up social and location technologies to connect real people, in the real world, to get real things done. I’d say in the last two years, it’s become real time, and that’s really the idea about where service networking was born.

It’s certainly our job to create a platform where demand is generated so that our tasker community, our suppliers, can find work, but I think even more than that, it is about building a platform and tools for our taskers to build out their own businesses.

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Building a scalable platform for streaming updates and analytics

The O’Reilly Data Show podcast: Evan Chan on the early days of Spark+Cassandra, FiloDB, and cloud computing.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Data Show Podcast to explore the opportunities and techniques driving big data and data science.

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In this episode of the O’Reilly Data Show, I sit down with Evan Chan, distinguished engineer at Tuplejump. We talk about the early days of Spark (particularly his contributions to Spark/Cassandra integration), his interesting new open source project (FiloDB), and recent trends in cloud computing.

Bringing Apache Spark & Apache Cassandra together

Datastax credits me with inspiring them to bring Spark into Cassandra … I think they’re very generous about that. I think I was one of the first folks to talk about the possibility of bringing Cassandra and Spark together. The vision that I saw was that Cassandra was really good for real-time updates, but what if we’re able to do more analytical queries on it? Then you could combine, basically, a platform that is really good for real-time updates with analytics.

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Mengmeng Chen on demystifying manufacturing

The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: Making manufacturing accessible.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Hardware Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing.

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In this episode of the Hardware Podcast, we talk with Mengmeng Chen, head of U.S. operations at Seeed Studio.

Discussion points:

  • Chen’s work on—and thoughts about—the Pop-up Factory, a production line that manufactured connected devices on the floor of the Solid 2015 conference
  • Ways to start manufacturing in Shenzhen without a gigantic first order
  • Seeed Studio’s “Open Parts Library,” a standard library of approximately 1,200 parts that can be assembled quickly and inexpensively
  • Differences between the component supply chains in the U.S. and China
  • Seeed’s Wio Link Kickstarter campaign

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