"news from the future" entries

@TED: Best of Day 3

The joke among TEDsters is that, around the third day, it becomes an endurance sport. It's one thing to be in a room listening to spectacular insights for a few hours. It's another to be doing so for half a week. Nonetheless, part of the experience you get from being at events like TED is that feeling of being overwhelmed:…

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@TED: Best of Day 2

It was a day of extremes at TED, ranging from an extended session examining the pervasiveness of evil to an evening celebration of some of the most life-affirming ideas possible. It also ranged from the sober (how to survive a nuclear attack) to the self-referential and self-congratulatory (a brief sit-down with TED's originator, Richard Saul Wurman). Here's a quick rundown…

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Teaching design to businesspeople

The "D" in TED stands for "design," and it's become a truism that design is a crucial element of business success. Ask Apple. But the conventional wisdom still maintains that design is a "soft" art, not worthy of attention by serious businesspeople. It's for the designers, the marketing people. And when top executives insert themselves into the design process,…

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@TED: Best of Day 1

If nothing else, TED is a trip. The veteran conference has gone through many permutations. Under curator Chris Anderson, TED is still full of technology, entertainment, and design, but it has really lived up to the change-the-world rhetoric that was always a bit more under the surface during Richard Saul Wurman's ace stewardship. Al Gore's talk about global warming turned…

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The Dangers of Predicting the Future

The instant-analysis business is a tricky one. None of us have working crystal balls; any attempt to predict the future, even the five-minutes-from-now future, is risky. For example, on January 31, mere hours before Microsoft made its unsolicted $44 billion-plus offer for Yahoo, Forrester Research, my alma matter, posted a research note with the following headline and deck: Microsoft Will…

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The LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen

The coolest thing I saw at our Tools of Change for Publishing Conference last week was the LiveScribe SmartPen. This amazing pen includes a microphone and an optical sensor that synchronizes the audio with any notes you take on special microdot paper using the pen. Touch the appropriate point on your notes to replay the relevant section of the…

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Understanding the undersea cable cuts… (updated: "fifth cable cut")

The Fiber Cuts in the Middle East are getting a lot of attention. The economic damage is real and the geopolitical issues are extremely complex (which is why I edited my earlier post). From an operations perspective these kinds of outages are nothing new, and underscore why having "many eggs in few baskets" is such a problem. I believe we…

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CNN Goes Multitouch

We've been noting more and more signals that multitouch screens are catching on beyond the iPhone and iPod Touch. We've recently seen a hint from Microsoft and a Walt Mossberg overview in the Wall Street Journal. And there's a high-profile one going on right now. CNN is reporting on the unfolding Super Tuesday presidential primary results and on-air personalities are…

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PMOG as a kind of Augmented Reality

Mike Arrington did a good overview post this past weekend entitled Play A Multiplayer Online Game While Surfing The Web about O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures' portfolio company GameLayers, whose first product, a "game" called PMOG, is due out of private beta in a few weeks. In this post, I want to connect what GameLayers is doing to the theme I wrote…

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Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide

I'm jealous. The Prags have just published a book I wish I'd thought of first: Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide. I've been talking quite a bit about augmented reality lately, especially when people ask me about what I think might represent a discontinuity significant enough to represent a paradigm shift of the scale of the PC revolution or Web…

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