- California and Bust (Vanity Fair) — Michael Lewis digs into city and state finances, and the news ain’t good.
- Tonido Plug 2 — with only watts a day, you could have your own low-cost compute farm that runs off a car battery and a cheap solar panel.
- William Gibson Interview (The Paris Review) — It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone.
- Zen and the Art of Making (Phil Torrone) — thoughts on the difference between beginners and experts, and why the beginner’s mindset is intoxicating and addictive.
City Finances, Low-Power Computers, Future History, and Learner's Mindset
Tim O'Reilly and Charlie Rose discuss the drivers of new technology: enthusiasts.
The future of technology will be shaped by the passion of enthusiasts — this was a central point in a recent discussion between Tim O’Reilly and Charlie Rose.
Recent moves by Apple and Google could ignite the external accessories space.
While you'll likely interact with your smartphone tomorrow in much the same way you interacted with it today, it's quite possible that your smartphone will interact with the world in a very different way. The next mobile war has already begun.
Access to data and tools is putting scientific exploration into anyone's hands.
How can opening access to scientific data, equipment and lab space spur innovation? BioCurious' Eri Gentry and Ariel Waldman from Spacehack.org share a few ideas.
Maker Faire Detroit will be held July 30 and 31
In our second Detroit Maker Faire we're able to see all kinds of examples of how makers have become resources for the community, contributing in Detroit and the region.
The maker movement's many entry points create a welcoming environment for tech education.
The maker movement offers an appealing invitation to technology for a broad audience that includes both women and men, seniors and children, technologists and artists.
An errand car and a ball-shaped 'bot illustrate Maker Faire's robotic diversity.
In advance of the upcoming Maker Faire Bay Area, here's a look at two vastly different robotics projects: one aims to change the world while the other wants to roll around (and inspire some healthy creativity).
- SideStep — Mac OS X program that automatically routes connections through a secure proxy when you’re on an unsecured wifi network. (via Gina Trapani)
- Junkyard Jumbotron (MIT) — lets you take a bunch of random displays and instantly stitch them together into a large, virtual display, simply by taking a photograph of them. It works with laptops, smartphones, tablets — anything that runs a web browser. It also highlights a new way of connecting a large number of heterogenous devices to each other in the field, on an ad-hoc basis.
- Kinect-Controlled Tesla Coil (YouTube) — “now say: Fools, I’ll Destroy You All!”. (via AdaFruit)
Twitter Numbers, Online News, Emotional Complexity, and Making Described
- Twitter Numbers — growing at half a million accounts a day (how many are spammers, d’ya think?), over 140M tweets sent each day.
- Online vs Newspaper News (Mashable) — The Poynter Institute, a landmark of American journalism research, has determined that as of the end of 2010, more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers — and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers, too. (via Sacha Judd)
- Blue Lacuna: Lessons Learned Writing the World’s Longest Interactive Fiction (PDF) — While I felt Progue was largely a success, the extreme complexity of the character’s code made difficulties with him both intensely difficult to diagnose and repair, and failures all the more mimesis-breaking for an engaged audience. In addition, the subtle text substitutions and altered behaviors provided in many cases too opaque a window into Progue’s interior workings. From informal interviews and published reviews I gathered that players could often not tell which conversation responses might cause Progue to become more submissive, paternal, and so on. In many cases, the change was not noticeable at all, and did not successfully indicate to players that their actions had had an eect on the character. More mechanisms to let the player shape their relationship with Progue more directly might have created a stronger feeling of agency for players, and an increased ability to shape the story more to their liking. Lessons for people designing complex emotional states into their products. (via Zack Urlocker)
- From Head to Hand (Slate) — I was searching for the place where someone, anyone, writes about that epiphany where you see what you have made and it is different from what you had conceived. I was searching for a description of how an object can displace a bit of the world. I was avid. I wanted someone to write a description of Homo faber, the maker of things. I wanted a story of making told without the penumbra of romanticising how hard it is, without nostalgia.