In this live episode of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” we learn why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is the linguist John McWhorter; Bari Weiss (The New York Times) is the real-time fact-checker.
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In 1990, the federal government invited a group of geologists, linguists, astrophysicists, architects, artists, and writers to the New Mexico desert, to visit the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. They would be there on assignment.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is the nation’s only permanent underground repository for nuclear waste. Radioactive byproducts from nuclear weapons manufacturing and nuclear power plants. WIPP was designed not only to handle a waste stream of various forms of nuclear sludge, but also more mundane things that interacted with radioactive materials, such as tools and gloves.
Aleks Krotoski asks if we are haunted by our technology, or are we haunting it?
So much of our experience of technology can feel a bit like being haunted. It starts like any good ghost story with the just mildly unsettling; things aren’t were you left them or seem to have moved on their own within our devices. Its a creepy feeling that leaves you unsure about what to believe. Our understanding of how much of technology works is so limited that when it starts to behave out of the ordinary we have no explanation. This is when we start to make very peculiar judgement’s; "why did you do that" we plead, as if some hidden force was at work.
For some these feelings of being haunted by our technology can develop into full blown apparitions; keen gamers frequently experience Game transfer Phenomena where they literally see images of their game play in the real world, an involuntary augmented reality. While the hallucinations aren’t necessarily distressing in themselves the experiences can leave individuals questioning their sanity.
The coming internet of things will bring problems of its own; smart locks that mysteriously open by themselves for example as if under the influence of some poltergeist. Aleks herself has had the experience of digital ‘gas lighting’ (a term drawn from an Ingrid Bergman movie of a woman being driven mad by husband) when her partner logged on to their home automation system remotely and started to mess with the lights while Aleks was home alone. As one commentator puts it in a reworking of the old Arthur C. Clarke quote "any sufficiently advanced hacking is indistinguishable from haunting."
And as our devices and appliances increasingly start talking to each other bypassing us altogether who’s to say we, like Nicole Kidman’s character in The Others, haven’t become the ghost in the machine.
The O’Reilly Bots Podcast: Conversational interfaces for the Internet of Things.
In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, I speak with Tom Coates, co-founder of Thington, a service layer for the Internet of Things. Thington provides a conversational, messaging-like interface for controlling devices like lights and thermostats, but it’s also conversational at a deeper level: its very architecture treats the interactions between different devices like a conversation, allowing devices to make announcements to any other device that cares to listen.Coates explains how Thington operates in a way analogous to social media; in fact, he calls it “a Twitter for devices.” Just as people engage with each other in a commons, devices chat with each other in Thington’s messaging commons. He also discusses the value of human-readable output and the challenges involved in writing human-understandable scripts.
Coates’ blog post “The Shape of Things,” an overview of how connected devices will communicate with humans
Google Translate’s interlingua
The O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence conference, June 27-29, 2017, in New York
Tobias Revell, artist, designer, co-founder of Haunted Machines, exploring myth, magic and hauntings in our relationship with technology.
In this first talk of the closing session Making Sense of Technology at Lift16, Tobias Revell looks into our emotional relationship with technology, what we expect of it and how realistic (or not) it is.
From magic to horror, take a journey through the history of technology and humankind!
Recorded on February 12, 2016, in Geneva.
From Velocity Amsterdam 2015: The Physical Web is an approach to unleash the core superpower of the web: interaction on demand. People should be able to walk up to any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car – and not have to download an app first. Everything should be just a tap away.
Why is this important? The number of smart devices is going to explode, and the assumption that each new device will require its own application just isn’t realistic. We need a system that lets anyone interact with any device at any time. The Physical Web isn’t about replacing native apps: it’s about enabling interaction when native apps just aren’t practical.
Why is this open source? The Physical Web must be an open standard that everyone can use. By creating a common web standard that any device can use to offer interaction, a new range of services becomes possible.
How does this change things? Once any smart device can have a web address, the entire overhead of an app seems a bit backward. The Physical Web approach unlocks tiny use cases that would never be practical: - A cat collar would let you call to find the owner - A bus tells you its next stop - Parking meters can pay in the cloud using the phone’s internet connection - Any store, no matter how small, can offer an online experience when you walk in - A ZipCar broadcasts a signup page,…
On this episode we have the great pleasure of sitting down with Google’s Product Lead for the Physical Web, Scott Jenson. We discuss the Internet of Things, how Scott much hates it (the term), and where we think this whole thing is headed.
Nine years ago me and a couple of friends recorded the first episode of In Our Own Time about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
And now it’s time for episode two.
This one’s about the Internet of Things and it features the legendary Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and the estimable Matt Webb.
Huge thanks to Ann Scantlebury for making the audio quality of episode two considerably better than episode one.
Tomorrow I’ll post a bunch of links, updates and apologies to all the people we missed out but, for now, please have a listen. It’s about 40 minutes.
A largely extemporary presentation on the Internet of Things; I got into a theme on the first slide and more or less stayed for for the full 40 minutes so there is new material in here. I also argued, somewhat polemically against over structured approaches to complex issues, mentioning SAP, Sharepoint, Sick Stigma and SAFe along the way. So sensitive soles might want to avoid this on. I want to develop some of this material over future presentation so expect more.
As the Internet is increasingly embedded into our physical world, it’s important to start designing for physical and intentional interactions with interfaces to supplement the passive, data-gathering interactions — designing smart devices that service us in the background, but upon which we also can exert our will.
In this episode, Josh Clark (in an interview) and Tim O’Reilly (in a keynote) both address the importance of designing for contextual awareness and physical interaction. Clark stresses that we’re not facing a challenge of technology, but a challenge of imagination. O’Reilly argues that we’re not paying enough attention to the aspects of people and time in designing the Internet of Things, and that the entire system in which we operate is the user interface — as we design this new world, we must think about user needs first.
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