ENTRIES TAGGED "ubicomp"
Timelines, Hardware Pilgrimage, Ubiquitous Play Computing, Eye-Tracking
- Timeline Setter — ProPublica-released open source tool for building timelines from spreadsheets of event data. See their post for more information. (via Laurel Ruma)
- Return to Shenzhen Part 1 — Nate from SparkFun makes a trip to component capital of the world. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for geeks. a special market that dealt exclusively with bulk cell phones. That’s right, you could buy a pile of cell phones. [...] This market was truly amazing. It was one of most dense I’ve been to, shoulder to shoulder with very little standing room. Every device imaginable was available (checkout the pile of iPads) and people were literally negotiating a spot price minute by minute. The raw phones were sold for cash and then taken to other parts of the market for parts, resale, or recycling.
- Suwappu Toys in Media (BERG London) — a concept video for a toy project. This is not primarily a technology demo, it’s a video exploration of how toys and media might converge through computer vision and augmented video. We’ve used video both as a communication tool and as a material exploration of toys, animation, augmented reality and 3D worlds.
- Predator Eye-Tracking Video (YouTube) — neat technology. The source was released, retracted, reposted to GitHub by a third party, then retracted but rumours are it will be properly released soon.
Culture, Wifi, Emotion, and Piracy
- Making or Breaking Culture — I’d never thought of HR as something that requires courage, but these stories clearly illustrate that if you want to put your people first then you must do so when it would be easier to buckle. (via Richard Hulse on Twitter)
- Lightpainting Wifi Signal Strength in Urban Neighbourhoods (Vimeo) — I’m a junkie for concept videos of exhibitionist information like this. (via Courtney Johnston’s Instapaper Feed)
- What Makes a Great Speech? (Guardian) — my quest to understand how software can be passionate, opinionated, quirky, persuasive, and generally bypass reason and shoot straight for our emotional pattern-matching apparatus means that I end up reading articles like this. (via Courtney Johnston’s Instapaper Feed as well)
- Piracy is the Future of Television (PDF) — paper that plainly lays out just how much better an experience it is to be pirating your TV than watching it.
Programmable Watch, Flying Cars, Shakespeare's Copywrongs, and Publishing Unified
- Programmable Bluetooth Watch — OLED display, bluetooth, vibration, button, timers, and two-way Bluetooth. I’m enchanted by the possibilities of our environment talking to us through such a device. (via Tom Coates on Twitter)
- Flying Cars (XKCD) — a reminder to appreciate the future we live in, and not grizzle too hard that the ones we dreamt of in the 60s haven’t eventuated yet. (Part of my optimism riff)
- Presumed Guilty (James Boyle) — setting to rights a bizarre op-ed by Scott Turow (head of the Authors Guild) which sought to make Shakespeare sound like an argument for copyright law. The argument is so strange it is hard to know where to begin. The problem is not simply that Shakespeare flourished without copyright protection for his work. It is that he made liberal use of the work of others in his own plays in ways that would today almost certainly generate a lawsuit.
- Context First: A Unified Theory of Publishing (Vimeo) — Brian O’Leary’s talk at TOC. (via Liza Daly on Twitter)
Node.JS Cluster, Experience Culture, Robots in Education, and Homebrew Printer
- Nokia Culture Will Out (Adam Greenfield) — Except that, as realized by Nokia, this is precisely what failed to happen. I experienced, in fact, neither a frisson of elegant futurism nor a blasé presentiment of everyday life at midcentury. I was given an NFC phone, and told to tap it against the item I wanted from the vending machine. This is what happened next: the vending machine teeped, and the phone teeped, and six or seven seconds later a notification popped up on its screen. It was an incoming text message, which had been sent by the vending machine at the moment I tapped my phone against it. I had to respond “Y” to this text to complete the transaction. The experience was clumsy and joyless and not in any conceivable way an improvement over pumping coins into the soda machine just the way I did quarters into Defender at the age of twelve.
- NextGen Education and Research Robotics — virtual conference on robotics in education.
- Homemade Arduino Printer (Instructables) — made with an Arduino, two dead CD/DVD drives and a marker pen. Clever hack! (via MindKits on Twitter)
API Economics, Spreadsheet Risks, New York of Things, Pair Programming Fail
- Instapaper’s API — Marco Arment wanted to prevent people building their own front-ends using the API and thus removing his (advertising) revenue source. He could offer a cripped API, but people scrape to work around that. He could tithe the apps people build on top of his API, but that’s hard work to set up and run. His solution: the API only works for paying customers.
- European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group: Horror Stories — horrifying reading. I was surprised by how many companies build Excel into their accounting workflow.
- New York’s Central Nervous System is Growing — another datapoint in the sensor network Internet of Things buildout. The lump, an ultra-low power sensor, will communicate with other white lumps under parked cars all over the island, telling each other when you pulled in, how long you’ve been parked and when you rumble away. Last month, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. announced plans to place these sensors underneath the 30 new parking spots next to Roosevelt Island’s subway and tramway. (via BLDGBLOG)
- Where Pair Programming Fails for Me — I found that in order to pair, I had to act as if I was in a continuous meeting. I had to not just listen to my pair, but appear to be listening; I had to nod in the right places, repeat back what my pair said in active listening fashion. I had to pick the right moment to interject. I tried to model my partner’s mental state in my head so I could see his viewpoint better. While I was doing this, I was trying to see the code that he was writing, and the design that he was trying to make the code fit. If there was a failing test, I was trying to figure out the test and the test framework at the same time.
Tablet Magazines, Ubiquitous Urban Computing, Families and Work, and Twitter Query Language
- My iPad Magazine Stand (Khoi Vinh) — My opinion about iPad-based magazines is that they run counter to how people use tablets today and, unless something changes, will remain at odds with the way people will use tablets as the medium matures. They’re bloated, user-unfriendly and map to a tired pattern of mass media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms without really understanding the platforms at all. (via Shawn Connally)
- Dan Hill Keynote (video) — beautiful and thought-provoking presentation on mining, using, and presenting data in the urban environment.
- The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship Continued (Pete Warden) — “work/life balance” is so trite, but I’ve been fascinated by how people deal with it since I heard Joe Kraus talk at Web 2.0 about what he was doing different at his latest startup. He replied that he was working fewer hours because he had a family, and that it was a difficult line to walk but he felt that he was managing it better because it was his second time around.
- TweeQL — query language for tweets. Query languages encode use scenarios. They limit what can be done easily but those limits also permit optimizations. I note the arrival of new query languages (cf Yahoo! Pipes) for these reasons. (via raffi on Twitter)
Bad Game Mechanics, Under NoSQL Covers, the LAN of Things, and the Smithsonian Commons
- Pwned: Gamification and its Discontents (Slideshare) — hear, hear! Video games are not fun because they’re video games, but if and only they are well-designed. Just adding something from games isn’t a guarantee for fun. (via jameshome on Twitter)
- Redis Under the Hood — explanation of the insides and mechanisms of this popular distributed key-value store. (via tlockney on delicious)
- The LAN of Things (Mike Kuniavsky) — Before we can have an Internet of Things, we will need to have a LAN of things.[...] Most of the utility of a LAN came from its local functionality. Thus, before we can build a useful (from a user perspective) Internet of Things, we need to learn to build useful LANs of Things. [...] I think it’s important to start thinking about what the highly localized uses of sparsely distributed technology can be. What can we do when there are only a couple of things with RFIDs in our house? What totally great service can be built on having two light switches that report their telemetry in the house? What totally valuable information can you tell me if I only wear my motion sensor every once in a while? Love it. (via Matt Jones on Delicious)
- Mike Edson’s Talk at Powerhouse Museum — the Director of Web and New Media Technology at the Smithsonian is smart, articulate, and trying to do something cool with the Smithsonian Commons prototype. (via sebchan on Twitter)
Street Demographics, Hack for Africa, Opportunity Spotting, News or Filters?
- Brien Lane, Melbourne — an alleyway painted with statistics about the area. Urban spaces as screens. Check out the other photos. (via Pete Warden)
- Apps 4 Africa — from US State Department, The challenge is to build the best digital tools to address community challenges in areas ranging from healthcare to education and government transparency to election monitoring. (via Clay Johnson)
- Hopeful Monsters and the Trough of Disillusionment (Berg London) — this was a great Foo talk, lovely to see the ideas written up and circulated widely.
- Tyranny of the Daily 10 Percent (Julie Starr) — do we have a production quality problem, or do we have a filter problem? Intersection of two trends we’ve seen: “news reinvention” and “information overload”. I find myself wanting to spend more time quantifying what we’ve already got that’s good and being clearer about what we think is missing, before thinking about what to replace it with and how to foot the bill.