- Print Your Own 3D Parts (Wired) — Teenage Engineering, makers of a popular synthesizer known as the OP-1, posted the 3-D design files of various components on digital object repository Shapeways, and is instructing 3-D printer-equipped users to print them out instead of buying them.
- Legacy Media Demanding Surveillance In ISPs — music rights groups including the Recording Industry Association of Japan say they have developed a system capable of automatically detecting unauthorized music uploads before they even hit the Internet. But to do that they need to be able to spy on Internet users’ connections and compare data being transferred with digital fingerprints held in an external database. That can only be achieved with the assistance of Internet service providers who would be asked to integrate the system deeply into their networks. It’s Japan for now …
- Sensors for Industrial Espionage (NPR) — Genscape also places electromagnetic monitors beneath the power lines running into the Cushing tank farms to measure their power usage. This gives them an idea of how much oil is being pumped into and out of Cushing.
"sensor networks" entries
Why general purpose computing will diffuse into our environment.
I’ve put forward my opinion that desktop computing is dead on more than one occasion, and been soundly put in my place as a result almost every time. “Of course desktop computing isn’t dead — look at the analogy you’re drawing between the so called death of the mainframe and the death of the desktop. Mainframes aren’t dead, there are still plenty of them around!”
Well, yes, that’s arguable. But most people, everyday people, don’t know that. It doesn’t matter if the paradigm survives if it’s not culturally acknowledged. Mainframe computing lives on, buried behind the scenes, backstage. As a platform it performs well, in its own niche. No doubt desktop computing is destined to live on, but similarly behind the scenes, and it’s already fading into the background.
The desktop will increasingly belong to niche users. Developers need them, at least for now and for the foreseeable future. But despite the prevalent view in Silicon Valley, the world does not consist of developers. Designers need screen real estate, but buttons and the entire desktop paradigm are a hack; I can foresee the day when the computing designers use will not even vaguely resemble today’s desktop machines.
For the rest of the world? Computing will almost inevitably diffuse out into our environment. Today’s mobile devices are transition devices, artifacts of our stage of technology progress. They too will eventually fade into their own niche. Replacement technologies, or rather user interfaces, like Google’s Project Glass are already on the horizon, and that’s just the beginning.
People never wanted computers; they wanted what computers could do for them. Almost inevitably the amount computers can do for us on their own, behind our backs, is increasing. But to do that, they need data, and to get data they need sensors. So the diffusion of general purpose computing out into our environment is inevitable. Read more…
Open Publishing, Theatre Sensing, Reddit First, and Math Podcasts
- Open Monograph Press — an open source software platform for managing the editorial workflow required to see monographs, edited volumes and, scholarly editions through internal and external review, editing, cataloguing, production, and publication. OMP will operate, as well, as a press website with catalog, distribution, and sales capacities. (via OKFN)
- Sensing Activity in Royal Shakespeare Theatre (NLTK) — sensing activity in the theatre, for graphing. Raw data available. (via Infovore)
- Why Journalists Love Reddit (GigaOM) — “Stories appear on Reddit, then half a day later they’re on Buzzfeed and Gawker, then they’re on the Washington Post, The Guardian and the New York Times. It’s a pretty established pattern.”
- Relatively Prime: The Toolbox — Kickstarted podcasts on mathematics. (via BoingBoing)
Personalized Education, Programming Living Data, The Invisible Economy, and State vs Internet
- Personalization (Chris Lehmann) — We should be careful about how we use that term, and we should be very skeptical of how well computerized programs can really personalize for kids. Most of what I see – especially from curriculum and assessment vendors – involves personalization of pace while still maintaining standardization of content. This.
- Unveiling Quadrigram (Near Future Laboratory) — a Visual Programming Environment to gather, shape and share living data. By living data we mean data that are constantly changing and accumulating. They can come from social network, sensor feeds, human activity, surveys, or any kind of operation that produce digital information.
- Tim O’Reilly at MIT Media Lab (Ethan Zuckerman) — a great recap of a Tim talk. There’s an interesting discussion of the unmeasured value created by peer-to-peer activities (such as those made dead simple by the Internet), which is one of the new areas we’re digging into here at O’Reilly.
- The State vs the Internet (David Eaves) — we’ve all seen many ways in which the Internet is undermining the power of nation states. A session at Foo asked how it was going to end (which would give way first?), and this is an excellent recap. It could be that the corporation is actually the entity best positioned to adapt to the internet age. Small enough to leverage networks, big enough to generate a community that is actually loyal and engaged.
Learning Adventure, Python Data Analysis, Lanyrd Technology, and New Sensor
- Hippocampus Text Adventure — written as an exercise in learning Python, you explore the hippocampus. It’s simple, but I like the idea of educational text adventures. (Well, educational in that you learn about more than the axe-throwing behaviour of the cave-dwelling dwarf)
- Pandas — BSD-licensed Python data analysis library.
- Building Lanyrd — Simon Willison’s talk (with slides) about the technology under Lanyrd and the challenges in building with and deploying it.
- Electronic Skin Monitors Heart, Brain, and Muscles (Discover Magazine blogs) — this is freaking awesome proof-of-concept. Interview with the creator of a skin-mounted sensor, attached like a sticker, is flexible, inductively powered, and much more. This represents a major step forward in possibilities for personal data-gathering. (via Courtney Johnston)
Sensor Trojan, node.js IDE, Quantified Conference, and P2P Streaming
- Proof-of-Concept Android Trojan Captures Spoken Credit-Card Numbers — Soundminer sits in the background and waits for a call to be placed […] the application listens out for the user entering credit card information or a PIN and silently records the information, performing the necessary analysis to turn it from a sound recording into a number. Very clever use of sensors for evil! (via Slashdot)
- Cloud9 IDE — open source IDE for node.js. I’m using it as I learn node.js, and it’s sweet as, bro.
- The Quantified Self Conference — May 28-29 in Mountain View. (via Pete Warden)
- Bram Cohen Demos P2P Streaming — the creator of BitTorrent is winding up to release a streaming protocol that is also P2P. (via Hacker News)
Android, Cellphone Photos, Long-Exposure iPhone Apps, and Open Street Map
- What Android Is (Tim Bray) — a good explanation of the different bits and their relationship.
- Cell Phone Photo Helped in Oil Spill (LA Times) — a lone scientist working from a cell phone photo who saved the day by convincing the government that a cap it considered removing was actually working as designed. (via BoingBoing)
- Penki — iPhone app that lets you paint 3D messages which are revealed in long-exposure photographs. (via Aaron Straup Cope on Delicious)
- I’m Working at Microsoft and We’re Donating Imagery to OpenStreetMap! (Steve Coast) — MSFT hired the creator of OSM and he says Microsoft is donating access to its global orthorectified aerial imagery to help OpenStreetMappers make the map even better than it already is.
How satellites and sensors can assess the health of crops.
Many satellites capture everything from ocean temperatures, to land reflectance at the surface of the Earth, to global chlorophyll production. Here's a look at how that data can reveal the condition of a country's crops.
Data and low-cost sensor networks can spot extreme weather before it hits.
Identifying extreme weather patterns can minimize impact when that weather arrives. But to improve long-range forecasts, we'll need to create environmental sensor networks out of phones, satellites and other technology.
Data Wholesaling, Sensor Networks, Transparent Science, and a Graph Database
- The Open Spending Data that Isn’t (OKFN) — the UK government mandated councils release details of expenditure over 500 pounds in size. Councils have been sending data to a proprietary service and claiming this is releasing it. Everyone needs to realise that government must always wholesale its data (offer bulk downloads), even when it doesn’t retail that data (offer useful visualisation or analysis tools for it).
- SenseAware — sensors for shipping that wirelessly report back where they are, whether there’s light (i.e., has the container been opened), what the temperature is. (via data4all on Twitter)
- Open Science, Open Data, Open Methods (Ben Goldacre) — open data is sometimes no use unless we also have open methods. (via OKFN)
- Sones — cross-platform open source graph database built on Mono.