Category Archives: technology

Careful About the Exploding Fizz

Microdrones

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Hovering & Echoing

A hovering object that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By constantly recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the levitating sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity. Project Page

 

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The Future Of Insect And Nano Drones

Here’s What The Future Of Insect And Nano Drones Looks Like [VIDEO] Visit the article to see the excellent proprietary video.

The FAA believes there will be around 20,000 drones in the sky by 2017, although some say that figure will be much higher.

I don’t need any more hobbies, but, part of me wants to experiment with hovering cat toys. Still, this urge isn’t even enough to compel me to look for ‘micro drones’ and ‘kitties’ on youtube. Yet.

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Virgin Galactic Shot No. 3

Meanwhile…”NASA-funded R&D engineers are working on plans for future spaceships to enter orbit around Mars using a doughnut shaped, steerable balloon-chute to slow down by flying through the Red Planet’s atmosphere.”

DoughnutSpaceship

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It’s always a people problem

jargon

Gerald M. Weinberg – poly-math with a focus on: systems theory, project management, software development, management consulting, creative writing, and humanism.

The Second Law of Consulting:
No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem

Marvin’s Corollary:
Whatever the client is doing, advise something else.

Body Language Advice:
When you point a finger at someone, notice where the other three fingers are pointed.

The Five-Minute Rule:
Clients always know how to solve their problems, and always tell the solution in the first five minutes.

Gerald Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Amazon

Used copies start at $4.00. It’s a classic. I came to understand right away that Weinberg’s viewpoint resonates with some avenues of practical ancient wisdom. I count Gerald Weinberg as one my ‘main guys’ as far his being a prime influence on my own thinking about systems and group relations in organizations. His most notable work was first published in 1975, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. It’s a cornerstone for any cybernetician.

Chapters Two and Three can stand-alone, and, they should be read by every intellectually precocious ninth grader.

Chapter 2. The Approach
• Organism, Analogy, and Vitalism
• The Scientist and His Categories
• The Main Article of General
Systems Faith
• The Nature of General Systems
Laws
• Varieties of Systems Thinking

Chapter 3. System and Illusion
• A System Is a Way of Looking at
the World
• Absolute and Relative Thinking
• A System Is a Set
• Observers and Observations
• The Principle of Indifference

Jerry turned 80 today. Happy birthday.

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Smile, You’re On Candid Everything

Smile

This came up on my Google+ feed. My first thought was, ‘smile for the cameras.’ All of ‘em

My hot tip of the day is: duckduckgo, the anonymous search engine one might use if privacy is a concern.

nice in person

cartoonist: Chris Slane

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Meh Capture

Internet-then-and-now-infographic

I’d like to see an infographic that measured disillusionment with the various modalities, across the various internet tribes in the first world. I’d like to see the break down by age cohort and by gender. The internet grows, the illegal , or not, snooping grows, the waves of noise (as opposed to signal,) grows.

DilmaR-Brazil

Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil; heroine and advocate for freedom of communication

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off a state visit to Washington next month in a row over allegations of US espionage. BBC

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been accused of intercepting emails and messages from Ms Rousseff, her aides and state oil company, Petrobras.

The allegations were based on documents leaked by fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

President Barack Obama had promised to investigate the incident.

The White House said he had telephoned Ms Rousseff on Monday to discuss the matter.

The allegations of widespread espionage against Brazilian citizens were first published in July by Rio de Janeiro-based journalist Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British Guardian newspaper.

Mr Greenwald alleged that the NSA accessed all internet content that Ms Rousseff had visited online.

The Brazilian president was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Her decision to cancel (or officially, to postpone) the Washington visit will be seized upon by some as an act of petty nationalism.

Some Brazilian business leaders, worried by the precarious economic climate, will question the wisdom of antagonising such an important business ally as the US.

But the political pressure was greater still. There was fury in Brazil, not only at the revelation that the president’s own conversations and communications may have been spied upon by the NSA but that US interests were allegedly involved in blatant economic espionage against major Brazilian interests, including Petrobras.

Dilma Rousseff will have been wary of feelings of ordinary Brazilians had her Washington trip gone ahead. The perception here in Brazil is that the Obama administration has yet to give an adequate response or an apology.

The documents, according to the report, were part of an NSA case study showing how data could be intelligently filtered.

Earlier this month, another report by Mr Greenwald on Globo Television alleged that the NSA had illegally accessed data from Petrobras.

The company is due next month to carry out an important auction for exploration rights of an oil field off the Rio de Janeiro state coast.

Ms Rousseff has said that if the accusations are proven it means the NSA was involved in “industrial espionage”.

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Starry Nights (app)

Starry Night (interactive animation) for iPad and iPhone from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo.

Starry Night app @ iTunes

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Oblong Industries

Gestural Control

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Stefan Gets the Last Word

One of the elements in play on Google+ is vigorous Apple hating. Google and Google fanfolk have replaced Microsoft and its Win nerds to become the ideologically situated antagonists of all things Cupertino. It’s amusing.

What’s curious is how pitched the competition is when looked at as a race between arrogant juggernauts.

I am not very tempted by Android because Chrome is such a laughably incapable browser. For example, for four years users have been requesting Google make it possible to sort bookmarks in Chrome. When the developers accomplished this feature this year, did they provide a way to sort by date? No. Ever tried out Google’s open source support?

Meanwhile, Apple has for almost a decade been working on making their system software across all their platforms user-unfriendly and more opaque.

Etc.. Neck and neck.

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The Jobs of a Lifetime

Steve Jobs & the Mac Plus

So we went to Atari and said, `Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, `No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, `Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’ Steve Jobs

My friend Pilch laid an original Macintosh on me in 1985. He had received the cube-shaped computer as a gift from his employer, Burroughs, taken it out of its box, played around with it, and then, upon giving it to me, pronounced it “a toy.”

I used my freebee Macintosh for seven years. In 1988 I met its designer, Jerry Manock. He was a customer of the high-end seating company I worked at. He tried to convince my boss to junk the office IBM PC. No dice. The only benefit from this episode was that I learned MS-DOS. I could always go home to my computer, the one you could just turn on and get to work/play.

Over the years I went back and forth this way, between the office PC and the home Mac. (Through the nineties I also kept up with Apple’s technology by using the computer center at Middlebury College stocked with up-to-date machines.) I cannot imagine anybody being in this situation and not favoring the easier-to-use Mac computer.

Still, ‘whatever floats your boat’ was my attitude. After returning to Cleveland, I used hand-me-down Macs supplied by mom, Macintosh Plus, LC, LC III; my partner’s PPC 638; a Powerbook 140 given to me by a friend. Finally, in 1998 I bought my first brand new Apple computer, a G3. My first recording was produced on it in 2000-2001. Next, in 2003, came a refurbished Mirrored Drawers dual-boot PPC. It was the platform for my second recording, and my first OSX machine. I used it until I bought my first Macbook in late 2009.

That Macbook died a horrid death last year when I plugged its charger into a shorted house circuit. Yet, I ran out and picked up a MacBook Pro laptop, upon which i am typing this recollection.

Except for the MacBook I slaughtered, and the G3 that I scavenged for drives, all my legacy computers remain in my personal Apple Museum, and, presumably each one of the six could be started up tomorrow.

I will always associate Steve Jobs with Apple Computers rather than with the revolutionary media appliances and vertical industries he helped bring forth. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he, soon enough, saved the company, and, in effect, saved it from itself. Given this personal association, the contemporary 12 core Mac Pro at $5,000, draws the line all the way back to the original Macintosh, with its 128k of memory, and 400k floppy discs.

Yet, revolutionizing computing while sitting won’t be the capstone on his legacy.

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