ENTRIES TAGGED "Innovation"

On Dennis Ritchie: A conversation with Brian Kernighan

Brian Kernighan discusses Dennis Ritchie.

I talked on Friday with Brian Kernighan about Dennis Ritchie, who sadly passed away two weeks ago at the age of 70. To a large extent, Ritchie completed what he started.

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Four short links: 26 September 2011

Four short links: 26 September 2011

Design and Engineering Culture, Homemade Love, Code Tools, and Cyberbullying

  1. BERG London Week 328we’re a design company, with a design culture built over 6 years, yet we’re having to cultivate a new engineering culture that sits within it and alongside it, and the two have different crystal grains. It’s good that they do—engineering through a design process can feel harried and for some projects that does not lead to good outcomes. And vice versa. But it throws up all kinds of questions for me: do we really want two domains of engineering and design; what is the common protocol—the common language—of engineering culture, and indeed of our design culture; how do these lattices touch and interact where they meet; how do we go from an unthought process to one chosen deliberately; how is change (the group understanding of, and agreement with a common language) to be brought about, and what will it feel like as it happens. I think more and more businesses will have to explicitly confront the challenge of reconciling design with engineering, novelty with constancy, innovation with repetition. Science is doing something once in a way that others might able to reproduce, however long it takes. Business is doing it the same way a million times, as fast as possible.
  2. Why We Love The Things We Build — psychological research to look at people valuing the things they build. Lots of interesting findings: participants thought others would value their origami creations highly, despite assigning little value to the amateur creations of others and incomplete items were not valued as highly as completed items. (via BoingBoing)
  3. Gut Flora Social Network (New Scientist) — although there’s real science behind it, I think it’s mostly a callous play to get web journalists to say “this social network is a bit shit”. (via Dave Moskowitz)
  4. The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric (danah boyd) — actual research on bullying and cyberbullying, indicating that those involved in cyberbullying don’t think of what they’re involved in as bullying, because that implies power relationships they don’t want to acknowledge. Instead it’s all part of the “drama” of high-school.
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Four short links: 23 September 2011

Four short links: 23 September 2011

Visualizing Populations, Hardware Futures, Radio Different, and Kooky Javascript

  1. How Many Really? — project by BERG and BBC to help make sense of large numbers of people, in the context of your social network. Clever! (via BERG London)
  2. Why the Best Days of Open Hardware Are Yet To Come (Bunnie Huang) — as Moore’s law decelerates, there is a potential for greater standardization of platforms. A provocative picture of life in a world where Moore’s Law is breaking up. A must-read.
  3. Ira Glass on RadioLab — fascinating analysis of a product that’s the result of skilled creators with high standards and a desire to do things differently. Lessons for all who would be different. (via Courtney Johnston)
  4. Scripting Photoshop with Javascript — Javascript is the new BASIC. (via Brett Taylor)
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Putting innovation and tech to work against breast cancer

Putting innovation and tech to work against breast cancer

A new health challenge is taking on breast cancer.

A $100-million challenge will pursue new approaches to fighting breast cancer through data, technology and innovation.

Comment: 1

How Free Software Contributed to the Success of Steve Jobs and Apple

In the great Second Coming, when Jobs returned to Apple 1996, he drove the adoption of the open source BSD as Apple's new operating system. This enabled some of the Mac's most popular features.

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There's no such thing as big data

Even if you have petabyes of data, you still need to know how to ask the right questions to apply it.

Today's big companies are losing to small upstarts simply because those firms ask better questions. To compete, large enterprises need to learn how to harvest the data they have on customers, markets, competitors, and products.

Comments: 23
Google Plus defines an era of disruption at a moment's notice

Google Plus defines an era of disruption at a moment's notice

Google+ ushers in the G+ effect, a phenomenon that's unique to our times.

When an entrant quickly yields considerable power in an existing market, and elicits potential for rapid innovation, this is what Jonathan Reichental calls the "G+ effect."

Comments: 8
Four short links: 18 May 2011

Four short links: 18 May 2011

Future Libraries, Innovation History, Entity Extraction API, and Outside Insight

  1. The Future of the Library (Seth Godin) — We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime. Passionate railing against a straw man. The library profession is diverse, but huge numbers of them are grappling with the new identity of the library in a digital age. This kind of facile outside-in “get with the Internet times” message is almost laughably displaying ignorance of actual librarians, as much as “the book is dead!” displays ignorance of books and literacy. Libraries are already much more than book caves, and already see themselves as navigators to a world of knowledge for people who need that navigation help. They disproportionately serve the under-privileged, they are public spaces, they are brave and constant battlers at the front line of freedom to access information. This kind of patronising “wake up and smell the digital roses!” wank is exactly what gives technologists a bad name in other professions. Go back to your tribes of purple cows, Seth, and leave librarians to get on with helping people find, access, and use information.
  2. An Old Word for a New World (PDF) — paper on how “innovation”, which used to be pejorative, came now to be laudable. (via Evgeny Mozorov)
  3. AlchemyAPI — free (as in beer) entity extraction API. (via Andy Baio)
  4. Referrals by LinkedIn — the thing with social software is that outsiders can have strong visibility into the success of your software, in a way that antisocial software can’t.
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5 reasons why we still don't have invisibility cloaks

5 reasons why we still don't have invisibility cloaks

Despite the rapid rate of IT innovation, many enterprises embrace technology at a glacial pace.

The rate of technology adoption at enterprises limits new innovation that can be introduced by technology providers. Were this not the case, I imagine we may already have pervasive teleportation and invisibility cloaks at our disposal.

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Software patents, prior art, and revelations of the Peer to Patent review

Besides the greater openness that Peer to Patent promotes in
evaluating individual patent applications, it is creating a new
transparency and understanding of the functioning of the patent system
as a whole. Problems with prior art disproportionately affect
software.

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