vanderwal / Thomas Vander Wal

A guy who questions most everything with a first impression of, ‘this can’t be right’

There are twenty-one people in vanderwal’s collective.

Huffduffed (222)

  1. By Design 2011-05-18

    We need to ‘pivot’: Joichi Ito, MIT Media Lab, says why. ‘Pivoting’ says Joichi Ito is the skill we all need to acquire. Serendipity is also important. Meet Joichi, the new director of MIT Media Lab. Joichi is recognised as one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the internet. He is chair [formerly CEO] of Creative Commons, sits on the board of Mozilla Foundation, and was an early investor in Twitter and Flickr. Profile: Ilse Crawford, designer with soul Ilse Crawford is a designer sought after worldwide. She runs her own company, studioisle, and holds the rather intriguing post as Head of Department for Man and Wellbeing at the renowned Design Academy, Eindhoven. She has walked an intriguing path from her very early days as a sub-editor at the Architects Journal, followed by the World of Interiors — then catapulted into the job of launching Elle Decoration, in the UK, that went on to change the world of design magazines. She advises many of the world’s big design companies — Ikea and Volvo, for example — and has a list of private clients. Micromansions: The Hutwheels Project. In Trends this week we´re looking at a new push to encourage people to downsize into smaller homes, and an interesting project to reinvent the mobile home as an affordable and sustainable housing form. Listeners’ Letters Here is an audio clip of this week’s Listeners’ Letters. Enjoy. AA Gill on ingredients, restaurants and food culture Adrian Anthony Gill is restaurant reviewer and TV critic for the The Sunday Times in London and a frequent contributor to GQ and Vanity Fair magazines. He also writes for Australian Gourmet Traveller. Frequently controversial, he is a writer of noted and acerbic wit.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  2. MIT Media Lab: Making Connections

    The MIT Media Lab is a place for making connections: connecting peopleand technology, connecting researchers across diverse disciplines, andconnecting the physical and local to the digital and remote. Mostimportantly, though, the Lab is about connecting people to oneanother. Our kickoff panel is centered on what is fresh and exciting at the MediaLab and how the Lab and its projects connect to the world. We’ll tell you what cool stuff is happening under our new director Joi Ito, demo some exciting projects on the boundary between business, open source,and academia, show how we navigate the benefits and challenges along this boundary, introduce you to all the other activities and events we’ll be hosting at SXSW, including our ongoing hacking and demo area,and get you started on the Making Connections Installation, our platform for hooking conference attendees and distant onlookers into our digital-physical games, art, and silliness.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  3. Media Lab Conversations Series: Daniel Suarez | MIT Media Lab

    Daniel Suarez in Conversation with Joi Ito

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 10:00am - 11:30am

    Location:  E14 3rd Floor Atrium, MIT Media Lab

    Speaker:  Daniel Suarez Joi Ito

    Daniel Suarez writes Sci-Fi thrillers focused on technology-driven change. His books, Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx were informed by his nearly two decades as a systems analyst designing mission-critical software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. He is a past speaker at TED Global, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. An avid gamer and technologist, he lives in Los Angeles, California.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  4. A Countdown to Zero

    Episode one of Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    What’s 2 minus 2? The answer is obvious, right? But not if you wore a tunic, no socks and lived in Ancient Greece. For strange as it sounds, ‘nothing’ had to be invented, and then it took thousands of years to catch on.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  5. 1729 — The First Taxicab Number

    Episode five of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    Curious properties sometimes lurk within seemingly undistinguished numbers. 1729 sparked one of maths most famous anecdotes: a young Indian, Srinivasa Ramanujan, lay dying of TB in a London hospital. G.H. Hardy, the leading mathematician in England, visited him there. "I came over in cab number 1729," Hardy told Ramanujan. "That seems a rather dull number to me."

    "Oh, no!" Ramanujan exclaimed. "1729 is the smallest number you can write as the sum of two cubes, in two different ways." Most of us would use a computer to figure out that 1³ 12³ = 9³ 10³ = 1729. Ramanujan did it from his sickbed without blinking.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  6. Chris Maury on Voice-First Design

    In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with designer Chris Maury. Maury is the founder of Conversant Labs, working on projects intended to help improve the lives of the blind. We talk about designing for the blind (as he loses his sight), how chatbots might just make us better listeners, and principles for designing the best conversational UIs.

    Original video:
    Downloaded by

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  7. Material #46: Live From The Plex - Relay FM

    Russell and Yasmine brave the heat at Google I/O to bring you the latest news from the ground. Meanwhile Andy (to ensure no one can take out the entire Material Crew in one go) remains steadfastly at home in air conditioned comfort.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  8. 86: Guttural Thinking Sounds

    The Rebound

    A technology podcast from Apple geeks Dan Moren, John Moltz, and Lex Friedman

    Available wherever fine podcasts are sold.Subscribe via RSS in your podcast app of choice.


    @moltz, and


    Extreme gratitude to Chris Breen for composing our theme music.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  9. The Yammer Roadmap in an Office 365 World… with Pavan Tapadia and Lindsay Matthews from the Yammer Product team | The Yaminade

    There have been a lot of questions recently about the future of Yammer. With further integration of Yammer into the Office 365 platform, and what on the

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

  10. How WordPress Creator Matt Mullenweg Writes - Write With Impact Play in new window | DownloadI was recently in Hong Kong for a tech conference where I had the chance to meet Matt Mullenweg. For those of you who don’t know who Matt is, Matt took a piece of open source blogging software 12 years ago and started modifying it and improving it, and eventually turned it into WordPress, the content management software which powers 24% of all websites on the internet today.

    Matt is the CEO of Automattic, which is the company that manages and offers a range of products and services that are part of the WordPress ecosystem.  Automattic today is valued at over a billion dollars.

    Matt runs a very different company, and that’s something I go into with him in this conversation. For the most part, noone needs to go into an office. Their 400 employees work at home or in shared offices in dozens of countries around the world. Matt hopes to scale that up to 4,000 someday.

    They also rarely use email and instead use an internal blogging platform they created called P2 which they use to communicate.

    In the first half of the conversation we talk a lot about WordPress and Matt’s vision and plans for WordPress, and for his company, Automattic.

    In the second half of our conversation we talk about writing. Matt talks about a bunch of things, like:

    Why writing is one of the most important skills he looks for in the people that he hires

    He talks about the importance of writing to his work as the CEO of a company that is now valued at a billion dollars

    He goes through his own writing process and shares some of the books that have inspired him to become a better writer

    And he explains why he believes that “an ugly blog with incredible content will win over a beautiful blog with crappy content”.

    A couple quick announcements

    The first is the music. This is the first time I’m playing this piece on my podcast.  It’s composed and performed by the Grammy award-winning jazz pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba.  My wife and I met Gonzalo at his studio in Miami Florida last year, where he played this piece for us. I created a video of him playing the piece which you can find on Youtube here.  That link will take you to Youtube where you can watch him perform the piece, which he dedicated to his son, Joao.

    The second thing I wanted to mention is about me. I got a nice little shout out last week from a fellow writer: Justin Bariso, a columnist for, included me as one of the six writers who he says “can make you smart, more productive and make you laugh”. He had some kind things to say about my writing and I was humbled to be one of the writers on his shortlist.

    If you want to check out his article just go to and that’ll take you to his article on

    If you’d like to follow Justin’s writing head over to Twitter where he’s @justinjbariso, or find him on LinkedIn.


    Matt’s blog:

    Open source book on WordPress



    Glenn Leibowitz

    Glenn Leibowitz is the editor of Write With Impact and host of the Write With Impact podcast. Email Glenn at Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennleibowitz, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

    —Huffduffed by vanderwal

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