Tag Archives: Technology

Apple Spy Story is good for electronic arts?

Artist Kyle McDonald installed a program on computers in two New York Apple Store locations that automatically takes a photo every minute. Now his personal computers have been confiscated by the U.S. Secret Service.

McDonald’s project was to capture people’s expressions as they stare at computers, a subject he had first explored in a recording he made of his own computer time over two days using the same program.

“I thought maybe we could see ourselves doing this we would think more about our computers and how we’re using them,” he says.

Over the course of the project, McDonald set up roughly 100 Apple store computers to call his servers every minute. That’s a lot of network traffic, and he learned that Apple monitors traffic in its stores when he received a photo from a Cupertino computer of what appeared to be an Apple technician. The technician had apparently traced the traffic to the site McDonald used to upload the program to Apple Store computers — and installed it himself.

McDonald figured that Apple had decided the program wasn’t a big deal. That was until four Secret Service men in suits woke him up on Thursday morning with a search warrant for computer fraud. McDonald, who has a master’s degree in electronic arts, admits the project might make some people uncomfortable.

via mashable.com

Kyle McDonald’s work is viewable at the eponymous http://kylemcdonald.net/. He’s a promising artist and I want to see what future revisions of his basic themes and techniques will bring. Who’s going to offer him a residency in a startup accelerator?

Advertisements

From Twitter to crying wolf: researchers track public reaction to flu outbreak | smh.com.au

As two Stanford University researchers described their experience watching public reactions in the initial days of the H1N1 flu outbreak, it sounded like one of those nature films in which tiny fish dart back and forth in perfect unison – thousands of individuals behaving as if they were one body.
But what the researchers were watching was in cyberspace, and they were tracking thousands of Twitter-posts pouring into an internet site in response to shifting developments on the flu.
With every twist and turn of the flu reports, the mass of Twitters swung in near perfect unison, the researchers noticed, even though the individual Twitterers had no contact with each other outside the web site.
It was a rare window on the public’s psyche as it reacted to the explosion of information – and uncertainty – on a potentially dangerous outbreak of disease.
The researchers, James Holland Jones, an associate professor of anthropology, and Marcel Salathe, a biologist, devised an online survey to gauge people’s anxiety about the H1N1 flu epidemic in real time.
Posted during the early reporting of the news, the survey generated about 8,000 responses in a matter of days, but promptly dropped off as doomsday predictions did not come to pass – a development that worries Jones.
“Swine flu is still out there and will be back next flu season,” he said. “We’ve dodged the pandemic for now, but I think it’s a very open question whether we have really dodged it. You certainly won’t hear that on the 24-hour news channels.”
As charted by Jones and Salathe, the shifting reactions over H1N1 suggest that as the country becomes more wired, a threat that is perceived as imminent can be amplified in the echo chamber of instant information and lightning-quick social networks.
But like those schools of fish that change direction in a flash, then instantly shift course again, people today may move from indifference to anxiety and back to indifference in the blink of an eye. Continued…

via smh.com.au

i’m fascinated by the schooling fish analogy to crowd behaviour seen on twitter. it redefines what we know of communication and reaction. and i still don’t know how.

TEDxSydney – warmup event for TEDxNewtown?


I have a choice. I can write up the draft intro for our local TED Talks @ Newtown Kids Science Club or I can shower and change before attending the big TEDxSydney in half an hour.Or I can be optimistic and attempt both… probably badly. This is for an audience of primary school children and parents:

Tonight’s TED Talks are going to be about video games. We will have some great games for you to play and we also have some very interesting videos from TED that describe the development of video games and show something about their future evolution.

Dr Michael Harries is going to chair the discussion after the videos. As well as being a parent at the school, Michael is a futurist who knows a lot about computers, robots, artificial intelligence and iphones.
Our world is in a state of rapid change. Sometimes we’re so caught up in today that we can’t see tomorrow coming and we can’t remember our yesterdays.

What was it like when your parents were at school? Way back then, thirty odd years ago, only universities and big companies had computers. A computer took up an entire room and cost a lot of money. Lots of people shared each computer.

By the time your parents went to university, computers were getting smaller. Public computers were becoming popular and some of us even had our own personal computer. Not that we used much of their computational ability. They were largely fancy typewriters. And as well as writing assignments on them, we played games on them. Can you imagine Runescape without pictures? Just writing?

Stage 3 students, you have entered a whole new instance. When you go to high school next year, you will probably have your own computer at home or at school. And it will be connected to the internet. All of the information in the world is going online and you’re being encouraged to wiki or google it.

Stage 2 students, you can expect more. Your teachers will be using electronic whiteboards and you’re looking forward to having your own touch screen device. Soon you won’t be able to open up a book without trying to double click on it. You might laugh, but I’ve tried to eat with my mouse. I was so busy watching something on the screen that whenever I wanted to take a bite of my sandwich I moved my mouse. I started wondering if my mouse was broken because I wasn’t getting any food in my mouth. Duh.

But I’ve saved the best for last. Kindy and Stage 1 students. By the time you go to high school, you won’t be putting your computer in your pocket. You’ll be wearing it all the time. It might look like…. this (my hat) or maybe this (necklace/earrings/glasses). There will no longer be any difference between a computer, a phone, a game, or any other device. You will not be tied to a box, with a screen and a keyboard because you will be able to make one anywhere out of almost anything. Everything can be connected.

If you haven’t all used a Wii yet, then you will tonight. And imagine what is coming next. It’s going to look like Minority Report. It’s going to look like magic. When you go to high school and your teachers tell you to take off your hats because you are inside now. What they will be really saying is, it’s time to turn off your mobile phones, switch off your computers and stop playing games. But that’s ok because by the time you go to high school, your teachers will also have some pretty cool games for your classroom.

Tonight’s TED talk is about video games. We have videos from Brenda Laurel a virtual reality pioneer who has studied games and girls, David Perry who has designed famous games like Enter the Matrix and Patti Maes from MIT who is designing the sixth sense, your future computer. Or your new hat.

Creating Change » Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

We are changing the world for women and technology one woman at a time. The Anita Borg Institute:

  • Offers workshops, publications and information aimed to develop leadership skills
  • Celebrates and highlights the success of women who are changing the face of technology
  • Provides programs that change the way technology is created, learned and taught
  • Creates new communities to change the culture of technology
  • Enables our sponsors to recruit, retain and develop technical women resulting in higher levels of technology innovation and better financial performance

#feminismfail at #cua09 the Connecting Up Australia Conference. I loved the session with Jody Mahoney, the VP for Business Development of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Like Cheryl Kernot in the opening address discussing technology and society at large, Jody had all the facts and figures about women’s participation in technology.

But the thing that I HATE is that Jody was preaching to the converted. The audience at her session was the smallest I’d seen all Day One. 20 women and 1 man. I can add that I think 1 man was present rather than ZERO men because this was a conference about technology and social change. BUT WHY WASN’T THE ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE OF ALL GENDERS? Because this WAS a conference about technology and social change.
This was a support group for women in technology. I loved it. We need it. But for every support group there must be an equally effective group for social change. The onus is not on women to do all the changing. That is what I ardently disagree with the Anita Borg Institute on “We are changing the world for women and technology one woman at a time.”
We should be changing the world for people and technology one person at a time, recognising that women a minority group. I believe that if the workshop had been titled “Minorities and Technology” it would have been packed to the rafters. From now on in fact, I think I am not a feminist. I have become a refugee from the patriarchy. I am a gender role dissenter. I am an authentic ethnic technology minority. 
Let’s have another workshop on the topics covered in the Anita Borg 2009 research paper on“The Prevalence of Gender Stereotyping and Biases”only drop the word gender from the agenda and reflash with emotional decision making and modern neurological cognitive theory.

Posted via web from andragy’s posterous

Technoist is GO!


Michael Harries musings : Technoist has finally shifted from blogger to posterous… with a little help from myself. Michael is finally publicising the intersections of his background in AI and machine learning with his work from large technology companies to small start ups and his interest in user experience and design. From the evolution of the device to the device evolving us.

The interesting graphic is called “Leaky Manifold” from young artist/designer Seth Mabbott. And I really ought to shift from blogger to wordpress as I’ve done for my sports club sites!

Rocketcar Day 11 – #FailWhale




Yesterday was rocketcar day 11. #FailWhale (started at yesterday midnight after a party) made it with seconds to spare and wetpaint. I tied it together with wool on the starting line. We still had lift off and made it 4 or 5m down the track before taking out one of the spectators with a spectacular rocket fart. Now the severely scorched arse of a #failwhale retires to our house.

Technoist is go!


Michael Harries musings : Technoist has finally shifted from blogger to posterous… with a little help from myself. Michael is finally publicising the intersections of his background in AI and machine learning with his work from large technology companies to small start ups and his interest in user experience and design. From the evolution of the device to the device evolving us.

The interesting graphic is called “Leaky Manifold” from young artist/designer Seth Mabbott. And I really ought to shift from blogger to wordpress as I’ve done for my sports club sites!