Friday, January 29. 2010
Emotiv’s brain-reading Epoq gaming headset has been floating around for a while now, but it’s only recently that customers finally received their orders. One such early adopter is Rick Dakan over at Joystiq, who slapped down $299 for an Epoq of his own. Unfortunately, while the theory may be great, the implementation is sadly lacking. From the start, the Epoq is difficult to wear, with sixteen individual head-pads that each need to be separately moistened and slotted into place. Unfortunately Rick found that then trying to don the headset generally popped a few of those pads off; you also have to factor in the removal process, retrieving each pad and carefully stowing it in its box. Once you’re actually wearing the Epoq, it doesn’t get much better. Learning how to use it is frustrating, given there’s no indication of what you’re actually doing wrong when it fails to work (or, conversely, what exactly you did right when it responds), and even the three basic games – including Emotipong, shown below – were difficult to control. You can map the commands from Emotiv’s software to general keyboard and mouse shortcuts, but if you can’t even master the up/down movement of Pong then more advanced system navigation seems unduly ambitious. The conclusion? ”Seldom has the early adopter tax (one I’ve paid often) felt more onerous” says Rick.
Emotiv’s brain-reading Epoq gaming headset has been floating around for a while now, but it’s only recently that customers finally received their orders. One such early adopter is Rick Dakan over at Joystiq, who slapped down $299 for an Epoq of his own. Unfortunately, while the theory may be great, the implementation is sadly lacking.
From the start, the Epoq is difficult to wear, with sixteen individual head-pads that each need to be separately moistened and slotted into place. Unfortunately Rick found that then trying to don the headset generally popped a few of those pads off; you also have to factor in the removal process, retrieving each pad and carefully stowing it in its box.
Once you’re actually wearing the Epoq, it doesn’t get much better. Learning how to use it is frustrating, given there’s no indication of what you’re actually doing wrong when it fails to work (or, conversely, what exactly you did right when it responds), and even the three basic games – including Emotipong, shown below – were difficult to control. You can map the commands from Emotiv’s software to general keyboard and mouse shortcuts, but if you can’t even master the up/down movement of Pong then more advanced system navigation seems unduly ambitious. The conclusion? ”Seldom has the early adopter tax (one I’ve paid often) felt more onerous” says Rick.
Photo via Science Daily, Credit: Frank Wojciechowski Princeton University engineers have come up with a rubber film that harvests kinetic energy. But it's not just another piezoelectric film. The team has been able to combine silicone and naonoribbons of lead zirconate titanate (PZT). PZT is the most efficient of kinetic-energy harvesting materials, converting as much as 80% of mechanical energy into electrical energy. By being the first team to successfully embed it into silicone, the Princeton engineers have opened up a whole slew of possibilities ...Read the full story on TreeHugger
by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil on 01.28.10
Photos: Stephen Messenger
After several days of meetings outlining the various threats posed by the current geopolitical and economic status quo, day four of the World Social Forum was largely dedicated to discussing the necessary solutions. Capitalism and the consumer culture it promotes were again the targets of criticism--and reiterated to be at the center of the looming crises of the 21st century. Climate change, growing disparities between rich and poor, and a laundry-list of social injustices were said to all be 'symptoms' of an unsustainable economic model which needs to be addressed to effect any real change--and a need for radical change in human behavior.
Current Trends Show Limits
Meanwhile, various speakers met to discuss how a new approach to governance could help ease the trends outlined by Ladislaus, with a new economic model based on sustainability. Getting more people involved and concerned for the environment is the key to moving towards a "post-capitalist horizon," said Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Souza.
Every challenge to the current political hegemony will depend on a broad consensus. It is necessary to focus on democracy; A more advanced democracy, participatory democracy, a democracy Community.
Boaventura de Souza addresses an audience at the Forum.
Amit Sengupta of India's People's Health Movement took the urgency of creating more involvement a step further:
It is not enough to defeat capitalism and build a new hegemony. We must also protect humanity from extinction. Perhaps the human species can not survive capitalism. If we want to save the world, people who form the vast majority of the world, should be emancipated and allowed to achieve their minimum aspirations.
Governments Need to Change
The current model of civilization is in crisis. We can no longer patch it. The economic model also shows the phenomenon of exhaustion. And the environmental crisis is exemplified by the current climate change.
Silva was accompanied by Oded Grajew, who founded the first
Former Brazilian Environmental Minister, Marina Silva.
Quality of Life Could Be Sustainable
She referenced the impact of past imperialism--noting that there were 5 million natives in Brazil in 1500, but five centuries later, there are only 700 thousand.
We must change the policy, change the planet and always with an ethical commitment, forging an alliance between the generations. Everything we do now will surely pass on to future generations. We reached the age of limits. We must begin the march towards transformation.
Check out coverage of Day 5 at the World Social Forum tomorrow.
More on the World Social Forum 2010
In a week when we are all learning to say iPad, we might also start practicing 'iGlasses'. Apple's got patents on augmented reality goggles:
Goggles you can put on, indeed.
Il faut battre le fer pendant qu'il est chaud... Pour contribuer à lancer la prochaine rumeur Apple...
Wednesday, January 27. 2010
Les temps changent. Et la notion de « circulation circulaire de l’information », qui était vicieuse dans le discours du sociologue
Cette idée d’inversion de la valeur attachée à cette notion n’est pas de moi. Je l’ai lue quelque part, mais je ne souviens pas où. Je la fais donc circuler sans référence à la source, ce qui rompt un peu, précisément, le flux de circulation circulaire. A me lire ici, on pourrait croire que j’en suis la source, alors que je ne suis qu’un « circulateur » … 
Mais j’ai un autre bon exemple sous la main. Suivez, pas à pas, le processus de circulation circulaire :
Dans cette chaîne, chacun de ceux qui citent renvoie vers tous ceux qui ont cité précédemment. Et le tout suscite, à chaque citation, une « grappe » de commentaires « sur place » de la part du lectorat particulier de chacun des « citateurs ».
Chacun des « citateurs » commente l’information initiale et la « reformate » à destination de son propre lectorat, permettant ainsi d’en accroître la diffusion. Le processus se propage « en grappe » lui-aussi, chaque point de citation étant potentiellement le noeud d’une nouvelle propagation. Le message initial se métamorphose durant le processus (avec probablement des pertes et des gains d’informations au passage : des simplifications ou des enrichissements), mais c’est - en définitive - la diffusion globale du message initial qui est accrue par ce processus « en avalanche »…
Il y a là de quoi réfléchir. C’est vraiment, à mon avis, un nouveau mode de circulation de l’information qui s’illustre ici : une circulation de noeud en noeud, au sein d’un réseau « en grappes ».
Ce modèle n’a que peu de chose à voir avec celui de la circulation de l’information dans les réseaux « traditionnels » des médias (presse écrite, radio, télévision), comme je le suggérais récemment (cette question fait partie de « mon programme de travail sur ce blog »).
Une idée de là où je veux en venir, dans cet article de Alexandre Steyer  et Jean-Benoît Zimmermann  : Influence sociale et diffusion de l’information (15 pages, en .pdf). Résumé :
Quand la blogosphère joue à plein de cette « circulation circulaire » de blog en blog, qui permet la formation d’effets de diffusion « en avalanche », les médias en ligne, dans leur logique de sites « portails de l’information », de « sites de destination », ne sont pas en mesure de le faire. Ils ne sont plus qu’un maillon dans une chaîne, et c’est la chaîne - non plus le média - qui assure la diffusion en ligne. Les journalistes n’ont pas encore pris conscience de cette nouveauté et ne s’y sont pas encore réellement adaptés : s’ils veulent jouer un rôle dans la diffusion de l’information, c’est dans la dimension sociale d’internet que ça se joue, c’est à dire hors de leur site et après la mise en ligne. C’est ce qui me pousse à penser que l’avenir du journalisme en ligne est dans l’immersion dans les réseaux sociaux du net, ce qui est une autre aspect de la question déjà posée précédemment : Les sites d’info doivent-ils migrer sur Facebook et dans les blogs ?
On va en reparler sur ce blog…
Un commentaire très à propos par rapport à la nature même de ce blog de "veille" (celui de fabric | ch). J'aime assez l'idée et l'image d'"avalanche informationnelle", qui serait donc constituée par la masse des "reblogs" et autres "reposts" ou citations.
New light-activated catalyst keeps on working even after the lights go out.
By Corinna Wu
It has long been known that irradiating water with high-intensity ultraviolet light kills bacteria. Some water filters made for campers and hikers, for example, use this technology. Researchers have been working to enhance the method's effectiveness by adding a photocatalyst that gets activated by UV light and generates reactive chemical compounds that break down microbes into carbon dioxide and water.
The new photocatalyst improves on that by using visible, rather than UV, light. Synthesized by Jian-Ku Shang, professor of
"It would be very nice to shift activity of the traditional [photocatalyst] materials, which were only activated by
Shang and his colleagues tested the photocatalyst by placing it in a solution containing a high concentration of E. coli bacteria and then shining a halogen desk lamp on the solution for varying lengths of time. After an hour, the concentration of bacteria dropped from 10 million cells per liter to just one cell per 10,000 liters.
The researchers also tested the photocatalyst's ability to disinfect in the dark. They shined light on the fibers for 10 hours to simulate exposure to daylight and then stored them in the dark for various times. Even after 24 hours, the photocatalyst still killed bacteria. In fact, just a few minutes of illumination was enough to keep the photocatalyst activated for up to that length of time.
"Typically, when you have a photocatalyst, the activity will stop almost instantaneously when the light is switched off," Shang says. "The chemical species you generate will only last a few nanoseconds. This is an intrinsic drawback of a photocatalytic system, since you require light activation essentially all the time."
The palladium nanoparticles boost the photocatalyst's power in two ways. When photons hit the material, they create pairs of
As soon as they grab the electrons, the nanoparticles enter a different chemical state and store the negative charges. "When the light is switched off, that charge gets slowly released, and that slow release is what gives us that
The photocatalyst offers the ability to disinfect at full power during the day and then keep working at night or during power outages. Also, because the disinfection happens quickly, systems could be designed to clean large volumes of water by exposing it to light as the water flows through pipes, Shang says.
by Stowe Boyd
In some recent writings and presentations, I have explored the topic 'Time Is The New Space':
I want to build on one aspect of this topic: to the degree that we rely on real-time streaming as the basis of our work interactions, we will sense that we are sharing time, not documents, or other artifacts. Interaction in real-time forms the context of our interactions, and displaces many prior social objects.
In particular, this means the end of documenting status is reports: moments are what we share, not memos.
The elements of the memo are atomized into a scattershot of micro status updates, which, like macro blogging before it, has thrown away the stucture of beginning, middle and end. We are always at the start, middle, and end. Not everything fits into a 140 character Twitter post, but long form writing won't necessarily look like memos, but a slightly slower stream made up of larger chunks.
In everyday, more prosaic terms, I am betting that the operational documents that flowed, sluggishly, through the interoffice mail of companies in the '90s, and as email attachments in the '00s, will simply not be created in the '10s. Instead, people will simply aggregate others' streams -- both micro and macro -- ordered by time and topic. Or simply remain aware of what folks are doing in an ambient way, sharing time. A fully streamed world, not batched.
by email@example.com (Geoff Manaugh)
Keiichi Matsuda, a student at the Bartlett School of Architecture, produced this fantastic short video in the final year of his M.Arch. It was, he writes, "part of a larger project about the social and architectural consequences of new media and augmented reality."
Now how do we use all that home-jamming ad space for something other than Coke and Tesco? What other subscription-content feeds can be plugged into this vertiginous interface?
Take a look—and you can find more thoughts, and another video, on Matsuda's own blog.
On reste dans l'imaginaire de l'hyper-cuisine, mais le projet est pour un fois bien réalisé, mélangeant esthétique quotidienne ou domestique (teintée de "pop") et "slick" des interfaces. La partie la plus intéressante me parait être le moment de "digression digitale" (réalité augmentée parallèle?) où l'"utilisateur" se laisse absorber par son univers de communication et ses réseaux sociaux. On voit alors vraiment l'émergence de nouveaux territoires médiatisés, hybridés à la réalité ambiante qui elle-même médiatisée. On y voit l'aspect éphémère et hautement variable (multi-tâches?) de ce nouvel espace.
Tuesday, January 26. 2010
Images via AMEE The Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine, or AMEE, is an organization with an audacious goal: to track the energy footprint of everything on earth. It entails an enormous amount of work, from figuring out how to track it to actually aggregating the data. But the project is doing well, and AMEE has just launched a new tool that helps put much of the information gathered into the hands of anyone who wants to know. AMEE Explorer is a search...Read the full story on TreeHugger
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fabric | rblg
fabric | rblg is the survey website of fabric | ch -- studio for architecture, interaction and research. We curate and re-blog articles, researches, exhibitions and projects that we notice during our everyday practice.