A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
- "The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to your hands. Seriously! Notice the myriad little tricks your fingers have for manipulating the ingredients and the utensils and all the other objects involved in this enterprise. Then compare your experience to sliding around Pictures Under Glass. Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"
posted by Defenestrator
on Nov 9, 2011 -
When the machines take over, how will people make a living?
Paul Allen: Futurists like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have argued that the world is rapidly approaching a tipping point, where the accelerating pace of smarter and smarter machines will soon outrun all human capabilities. They call this tipping point the singularity, because they believe it is impossible to predict how the human future might unfold after this point. Once these machines exist, Kurzweil and Vinge claim, they'll possess a superhuman intelligence that is so incomprehensible to us that we cannot even rationally guess how our life experiences would be altered. Vinge asks us to ponder the role of humans in a world where machines are as much smarter than us as we are smarter than our pet dogs and cats. Kurzweil, who is a bit more optimistic, envisions a future in which developments in medical nanotechnology will allow us to download a copy of our individual brains into these superhuman machines, leave our bodies behind, and, in a sense, live forever. It's heady stuff. [more inside]
posted by kgasmart
on Oct 26, 2011 -
The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Oct 25, 2011 -
said "No" to Steve Jobs and lived happily ever after. (So far.)
posted by Trurl
on Oct 24, 2011 -
150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA.
"Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired. Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph
. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War. Americans soon saw that a breakthrough
in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 23, 2011 -
To meet this need for high speed data processing, the scientists and technicians of the Eckert-Mauchly division of Remington Rand have created a miracle of electronic development: UNIVAC! [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Oct 7, 2011 -
In February 2011, every teacher in Providence, Rhode Island was pink slipped. Not all 1,926 of them got fired, of course, but with the district facing a $40 million deficit, anything is possible. The district says it needs flexibility, just in case. Every school district in the United States faces its own version of what’s happening in Providence. However, “IMAGINATION: Creating the Future of Education and Work
” is focused not on how we got here but rather how we can move forward from here immediately even as the education system continues to struggle. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Sep 15, 2011 -
Nerdy Day Trips
aims to bring you the best in disused power stations, abandoned nuclear bunkers, lighthouse museums and solar observatories from around the world.
posted by Hartster
on Sep 13, 2011 -
The Animal Architecture Awards have just announced the winners of their 2011 contest. Taking first place is Simone Ferracina’s Theriomorphous Cyborg, a (speculative) augmented reality game inspired by Jacob von Uexküll’s notion of the animal umwelt. Not truly architectural, Theriomorphous Cyborg instead shifts how a human participant relates to space and the landscape. Each level in the free-form game takes the player through different modes that relate to the sensory capacities of various animals.
) [more inside]
posted by infini
on Sep 1, 2011 -
Massive Biometric Project Gives Crores of Indians an ID: Aadhaar faces titanic physical and technical challenges: reaching millions of illiterate Indians who have never seen a computer, persuading them to have their irises scanned, ensuring that their information is accurate, and safeguarding the resulting ocean of data. This is India, after all—a country notorious for corruption and for failing to complete major public projects. And the whole idea horrifies civil libertarians. But if Aadhaar’s organizers pull it off, the initiative could boost the fortunes of India’s poorest citizens and turbocharge the already booming national economy. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Aug 30, 2011 -
A Mexican anti-technology terrorist organization called Individuals Tending to Savagery/Wildness (ITS) has claimed
responsibility for two
on researchers in Mexico.
posted by jeffburdges
on Aug 10, 2011 -
MIT students created water bottle light bulbs
that diffract natural sunlight and provide the equivalent of a 55 watt light bulb out of an empty plastic bottle, water, and a few drops of bleach. They are being installed and used in shanty towns where no natural light gets into the makeshift tin roof homes.
posted by COD
on Aug 3, 2011 -
Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently. To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization. [more inside]
posted by Bangaioh
on Jul 30, 2011 -
It seems that there is increasing frustration
with the current state of email leading some to look for more technical solutions, such as Shortmail - an email client/social networking tool which attempts to redefine what its creators see as a broken relationship with email described on their blog
as a "river of trash." , while others
to turn to less technological solutions
to lessen their email burden. [more inside]
posted by SpaceWarp13
on Jul 13, 2011 -
, founded in 1930
, was the first planetarium in the western hemisphere, and is a US national monument
. Until recently, the planetarium was run with a Zeiss Projector
) that was around 40 years old
. The proposed upgrade was controversial in the 2008 presidential elections
, as $3 million in federal funding was earmarked for the $14 million project. In the end, the high-tech projection system was funded. The result: the world's most advanced planetarium system
, with a 64 megapixel resolution display, provided by 20 individually modified projectors, 42 GPUs
and run with the help of 84 servers. And it can be controlled from an iPad
or X-Box controller
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 12, 2011 -
The Age of Mechanical Reproduction
by Paul Ford.
When it comes to IVF, in-vitro fertilization, nothing is normal. Your world is upside-down. Your doctor compliments your wife on her monkeys. Then, when every dollar and exertion has gone toward a single hour of hope, it begins to snow.
posted by foggy out there now
on Jul 11, 2011 -
Then, coming on six o'clock, Mr. Myhrvold, the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and an inventor with hundreds of patents to his name, came in, wearing chef's whites, and ushered us into dinner. Boy, people eat early around here, I thought. Little did I know I would be eating non-stop for the next three hours. (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Jun 28, 2011 -
Austrian research company IAT21 has presented a new type of aircraft at the Paris Air Show which has the potential to become aviation's first disruptive technology since the jet engine. ... The key to the D-Dalus' extreme maneuverability is the facility to alter the angle of the blades (using servos) to vector the forces, meaning that the thrust can be delivered in your choice of 360 degrees around any of the three axes. Hence D-Dalus can launch vertically, hover perfectly still and move in any direction, and that's just the start of the story.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 23, 2011 -
The New Aesthetic For a while now, I’ve been collecting images and things that seem to approach a new aesthetic of the future, which sounds more portentous than I mean. What I mean is that we’ve got frustrated with the NASA extropianism space-future, the failure of jetpacks, and we need to see the technologies we actually have with a new wonder.
posted by jack_mo
on Jun 17, 2011 -
The past century . . . is rich with examples, both poignant and tragic, of technological possibilities not realized. On 1 September 1939, a decision was . . . taken by our species to spend five trillion dollars and expend ~72 million human lives. This decision was followed in 1947, and repeated at intervals until 1991, to expend an additional ~12 trillion dollars, and perhaps another 1-2 million human lives. . . . In the midst of the first of these costly escapades, on 15 March, 1944, the architect of the German V-2 rocket, Wernher von Braun, was arrested by the Gestapo on charges of high treason for having privately expressed regret, after dinner at a colleague’s home one evening the previous October, that he and his team were not working on a spaceship . . .
From a wide-ranging essay by Mike Darwin on the future that wasn’t
. (Note: Site doesn't seem to display properly in Internet Explorer)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jun 7, 2011 -
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert
- "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview
: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
posted by kliuless
on May 29, 2011 -