Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined by Stephen Fry, Simon Singh and Aleks Krotoski to discuss the maths behind 6 degrees of separation and whether there is something special about Kevin Bacon that seems to make him so well connected?
Tagged with “networks” (29)
A Techwise Conversation with Google+ designer Joseph Smarr.
They say you only get one chance at a first impression, but logically speaking, you only get one chance at a second impression too. Google’s earlier forays into social networking haven’t been well received, but Google’s newest is making a very good impression indeed. Analysts, journalists, and the public at large all seem to like Google+. That is, those that can get on—the service is still in an invitation-only mode. The software isn’t perfect—for example, as my guest last week, Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land, pointed out, Google’s +1 button—more or less the equivalent of the Facebook “Like” button—doesn’t sync up with Google+. People are looking for other comparisons to Facebook as well, but surely that misses the point. This isn’t iPhone vs. Android and who has the faster processor or more pixels or a bigger app store. Google and Facebook have very different philosophies. Google wants you to use the whole Web. The more you do, the more you need its search engine and YouTube and Blogger and Picassa and all its other sites and the ads they show you. Facebook, on the other hand, wants you to use, well, Facebook. In short, Google wants to play off its superior knowledge of the world and how you fit into it. Facebook wants to play off its superior knowledge of you, and how everyone else fits into your world. This is the clash we tried to lay out for you in last month’s special report on social networking. That was before even this initial beta release of Google+. Now that we’ve seen the real thing, we have some questions. And who better to answer them than Joseph Smarr? He’s a software engineer at Google who helped design and code Google+. Previously, he was the chief technology officer for Plaxo, which bills itself as the “smart address book.” He joins us by phone from Google’s campus in Mountain View, Calif.
September 27, 2005
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, a Notre Dame University physics professor, explores the relationships of various kinds of complex networks from cells and epidemics, to the World Wide Web, with a bit of ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ in between. In accessible language and with humor, Barabasi explains how seemingly unrelated types of networks, for example corporations, social networks, living organisms, are more similar than previously thought. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi is the author of Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life.
A few weeks ago on Spark, contributor Jonathan Gifford brought us inside the Cognitive Cities Conference in Berlin. One of the key people he met there was Adam Greenfield. Adam is founder and managing director of the urban-systems design practice Urbanscale and he thinks a lot about the future of the networked city, something he’s called urban computing.
This week Jaron Lanier — composer, performer, computer scientist, philosopher and pioneer of virtual reality — gets seriously sceptical about somebody a lot of people think of as a hero: Julian Assange. The Internet, according to Lanier, was influenced in equal degrees by 1960s romanticism and cold war paranoia. If the political world becomes a mirror of the Internet, then the world will be restructured around secretive digital power centres surrounded by a sea of chaotic, underachieving openness. WikiLeaks is such a centre. It’s the world of nerd supremacy.
Vint Cerf takes his title of Internet Evangelist for Google seriously. He is knee-deep in several projects to bring the next versions of the "Internet" into the world, including IPv6 adoption and the creation of a new extraterrestrial Internet, the so-called "InterPlaNetary Internet." At the annual Digital Broadband Migration conference in Boulder, Colo., Vint sat down with Network World’s Julie Bort to discuss the future of IP, home networking, the Interplanetary Internet, cloud computing standards and other topics. (15:19)
Rory Cellan-Jones looks at the social networking sites of the future and asks where the phenomenon is heading. New sites are springing up all the time. The future of social networking could lie in localised sites geared towards specific interests, in limiting your online circle to your closest friends, or in sites that allow users to keep control of their personal information. Finally, Rory returns to the social networking pioneers of the 70s and 80s. How do the hippies and hackers who created the first social networks think their revolution has turned out? Part 3 of 3.
Clay Shirky, adjunct professor at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, discusses his new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Shirky talks about social and economic effects of Internet technologies and interrelated effects of social and technological networks. In this podcast he discusses social production, open source software, Wikipedia, defaults, Facebook, and more.
From IA Summit 2010:
In the next few years, the most successful social media experiences will be the ones that understand how our offline and online worlds connect and interact. But our tools are still crude. The good news is that despite the complexity involved in understanding human relationships, we can study offline and online communication and create design principles to support what we find. In his presentation, Paul Adams speaks about what he has learned from over two years of research into people’s online and offline relationships.
From Are We Alone? Science radio for thinking species.
An ant … can’t … move a rubber tree plant… but the colony can. As a group, ants are an efficient, organized, can-do bunch. And a model for humans trying to manage complex systems.
Find out about the eerie collective intelligence of animals, and how an MIT researcher is hoping to put humans to work collaboratively to solve problems like climate change.
Also … hear how research into flocking behavior helps Hollywood film a herd of stampeding dinosaurs.
- Steve Strogatz – Applied mathematician at Cornell University and author of Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life
- Craig Reynolds – Senior researcher for Sony Computer Entertainment
- Thomas Malone – Director of the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT
- Iain Couzin – Biologist at Princeton University