adrianl / tags / tech

Tagged with “tech” (10)

  1. Sources and Methods #7: Ernesto Ramirez — Sources & Methods

    Show Notes:Quantified Self - wikipediaQuantified Self (Official Site)Ernesto Ramirez (Twitter) Alex’s pick: - Great way to listen to authors talk about new books, new podcasts regularly on a wide variety of subjects.Matt’s pick: The Ice Balloon by Alec Wilkinson6:24 - Alex: Quantified Self is interesting for those who may want to use data for self-improvement.7:35 - Ernesto on QS: The act of collecting information - data - about your individuality, about yourself, whether that’s your health, your activity, your mood, all the things that make up who you are in the world.People have been doing this forever. Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues is just one example. But I think why this has come to the fore recently over the last five or six years is the increasing ease of collection, and an increasing ease of analysis. This is why there is a thing called Quantified Self.10:50 - The technology is really what’s driving this forward - there are more and more technologies that are allowing us to gather information about ourselves that a) we were never able to gather before and b) we’re able to gather it much more easily.11:33 - As these technological changes have come along, there’s been an increasing focus in the individuality of human nature and that - what works for me, may not work for you.13:15 - The Human Genome Project14:51 - What we’ve found is that individual stories actually can inspire lots of other people.17:21 - Rescuetime - an app for time management. Lift - an app for hitting your daily goals.  19:51 - I collect data in the hope that I can use it in the future to help me answer questions I may have. It can help you develop a rich autobiographical narrative as this data is continually collected.25:23 - Ernesto’s recommendations to start QS in your life:Make sure the system you choose to record this data lets you access the data it collectsStart with simple things - simple data visualizations can tell you great stories. Start with scatterplots.Share your observations with others - you’ll come up with new ways to look at this information29:50 - Alex: What I like is that in this data, in these visualizations - there’s always a story embedded in that, as to why things happened the way they did.31:42 - Right now, it’s all about data aggregation, about pulling it all together. But there are a few people working on how to create a subjective context that you need to have to make those more datasets more understood, more useful.33:01 - Basis Watch that tracks exercise and sleeping in particular.34:56 - Different companies take different approaches - Jawbone is trying to create automatic insights into your data that they can push to you in the form of simple correlations. Or Basis, which is more focused on helping you develop a stronger habits.40:10 - Gary Wolf, co-founder of Quantified Self: Ted Talk42:55 - What would be great would be to see a highly interactive computer system with these data systems that humans could work with, to really start to make this very useful.44:18 - What people do most often with this technology is actually use it to share their experiences.46:47 - We hear this all the time: ‘we just want people to donate all their data to us so we could create something interesting.’ What I think is more interesting would be to involve people in the discovery of data itself. Once you have this data, how can you feed back this information to the users who are generating it so it can be more useful?47:58 - We know that the act of data collection in itself is a mechanism to change their behavior. You give someone a pedometer, they’re going to take more steps, it happens time and time again.49:28 - I think that’s what it all comes down to - how can people understand and tell the story of their life? In some cases people want to improve, and sometimes people just want to understand, and some people just want to share what’s going on.

    —Huffduffed by adrianl

  2. Still Life with Emotional Contagion

    A discussion of creation myths, internalized histories, ”production functions”, and the uncomfortable proposition that everything new is samizdat again.

    Aaron Straup Cope is from Montréal but these days you can find him in New York, where he works at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Musuem.

    Before that, he was living in San Francisco and working with Stamen Design. And before that, he was working on Flickr …before it all went to hell in a handbasket. At each of these places, Aaron has left a trail of machine tags and maps in his wake.

    I remember waaaaay back, before any of those young upstarts, when Aaron worked on the Mirror Project at the turn of the century. The fact that the Mirror Project is still up and running after all this time is testament to Aaron’s interest—nay, obsession—with personal archives …although his particular penchant is for the more personal kind, like Parallel Flickr and Privatesquare.

    Aaron has a love and a knowledge of food that is truly awe-inspiring. But that’s not the (only) reason I’ve asked him to speak at dConstruct. He’s speaking at this year’s dConstruct because I don’t see why the Museums and the Web conference should have him all to themselves.

    And if you aren’t yet convinced of his bona fides, you should know that Aaron Straup Cope is one of the Directors of Revolving Technologies at the Spinny Bar Historical Society.

    —Huffduffed by adrianl

  3. Humans Are Only a Self-driving Car’s Way of Making Another Self-driving Car

    Over 10,000 years ago we lived in balance with the network. Since then we’ve tried to control, rule and bend it to our whims. In all that time, we’ve never asked ourselves if we’re building something that controls us?

    Brian Suda is an informatician, which is definitely a real word and not just something he made up once. It is perfectly cromulent.

    Brian lives and works in Reykjavík by way of Edinburgh by way of St. Louis. He’s been living in Iceland long enough that he can correctly pronounce Eyjafjallajökull. That’s quite an impressive party trick …unless the party is in Iceland.

    Brian is a data hound, moving from project to project, always finding interesting ways to expose and represent the data exhaust of our network engine. He built one of the earliest microformats parsers and has written a book on Designing With Data.

    Together with Aitor Garcia, Brian has formed Analog. Their first project involves the production of Kickstarter-funded notebooks beautifully embossed with geographical data.

    At some point, he plans to graph all the world‘s baked goods on a hypercube of bread.

    —Huffduffed by adrianl

  4. Information Doesn’t Want to be Free

    There are three iron laws of information age creativity, freedom and business, woven deep into the fabric of the Internet’s design, the functioning of markets, and the global system of regulation and trade agreements.

    You can’t attain any kind of sustained commercial, creative success without understanding these laws — but more importantly, the future of freedom itself depends on getting them right.

    Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist, blogger and co-editor of Boing Boing.

    He has written a ton of great books. If you haven’t read them, I recommend starting with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and working your way through to his collaboration with Charles Stross, Rapture of the Nerds. Don’t miss out on his fantastic Young Adult novels For The Win, Pirate Cinema, Little Brother and its sequel Homeland. They’re all great.

    Former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founder of the Open Rights Group, Cory is a tireless fighter for freedom, campaigning against censorship, DRM, government surveillance and other plagues of our time.

    Cory delivered the closing keynote at the very first dConstruct and it’s truly fitting that he’s back ten years later when the theme of this year’s dConstruct is “Living With The Network.”

    —Huffduffed by adrianl

  5. The Transformers

    When you think of a city, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely it is the stuff that it is made up of: its streets and buildings, its parks and squares. But what sets a city apart, aside from its architecture, is how all that stuff is put to use. A city’s nightlife, a city’s cuisine, a city’s culture. In other words, what people make of the space they live in when they are at play.

    Play isn’t limited to the ‘soft side’ of urbanism. In fact, it turns out a building isn’t some prefixed structure capable of doing one thing only. Adaptation and reuse continuously transform what a city’s architecture is for, often from the bottom up. In this way, a city’s people shape their homes as well, quite literally.

    What is at work in this process of city transformation, is nothing less than play. In cities, just as in games, people and the space they inhabit shape each other. Thus, in our Western cities, where reuse is overtaking construction of new space, we are all becoming architects.

    In this session Kars looks at how game culture and play shape the urban fabric, how we might design systems that improve people’s capacity to do so, and how you yourself, through play, can transform the city you call home.

    Kars Alfrink is ‘Chief Agent’ of Hubbub, a networked design studio for applied pervasive games. Hubbub works with organizations to create games that take place in public space, engage people physically, and are socially relevant. Amongst other things, these games are used to encourage good citizenship and to facilitate cultural participation.

    Besides this, Kars teaches at the Utrecht School of the Arts, where he mentors students who are pursuing a Master of Arts in Interaction Design or Game Design & Development. He is also the initiator and co organizer of ‘This Happened’ — Utrecht,a series of lectures dedicated to the stories behind interaction design.

    In his spare time, Kars practices a traditional Japanese martial art, and tries to keep up with geek culture.

    —Huffduffed by adrianl

  6. Pocket Scale

    I punch in a keycode and enter the office. Three steps through the door I swipe my travelcard against an old wooden box, which starts spitting out a radio station based on forty million people’s answer to the question ‘What songs would a Joy Division fan like?’ The sexyfuture arrived yesterday, and it colonised my pockets.

    Even on the days you leave your phone at home, you carry enough hacked objects to unlock space and time, provided you find the right door. What should we be thinking about as we bring our products to life? What are we strapping to our keyrings? And what does all of this mean for a scale we’ve been familiar with for centuries?

    Matthew will empty his pockets live at dConstruct to find out, revealing the five things he’s carrying around with him in Brighton and why.

    Writer and editor Matthew Sheret is’s Data Griot, using everything from tweets to radio scripts to tell stories about’s numbers.

    He has worked for the likes of Newspaper Club, 4iP, Thomson Reuters and Dentsu London and in 2008 co-founded We Are Words Pictures, an ad-hoc team of comic book creators who promote the work of up-and-coming creators.

    In his spare time he edits and publishes the anthology Paper Science and plays with Lego.

    —Huffduffed by adrianl