14 June 2016

WOVNS ~ Kickin Woven Textiles-on-Demand!

WOVNS is Kickstarting now to allow you to turn digital designs into custom short-run Jacquard-woven fabric!
"WOVNS is a platform that empowers everyone to create their own woven textiles. Unlike digital printing, weaving integrates a design into the very construction of the fabric, yielding a textile rich in both color and texture. WOVNS fabric is perfect for medium-weight apparel such as shorts, dresses, bags, and wraps, as well as home decor including upholstery, pillows, and throws. Or think of your own creative uses."

24 April 2016

En Pointe ~ Custom Surgery & Prosthesis Too!

Very cool to see young Gabi Shull dance again, overcoming knee cancer with novel ankle-as-knee transplant and custom dancing prosthetic! Thanks to John Farrier from Neatorama for spotting this!

23 April 2016

Utrecht Cycling City ~ BicycleDutch on NL's tops!

Mark Wagenbuur finishes up his series of videos on finalist candidates for Cycling City of the Netherlands with this piece on my favorite Dutch city, Utrecht!

16 April 2016

RISE ~ SF Exploring Human-Robot Relations...

Concept-trailer for RISE created by David Karlak...
"In the near future, sentient robots are targeted for elimination after they develop emotional symmetry to humans and a revolutionary war for their survival begins."

Saving Timbuktu's Treasures ~ Heritage Writings

in the WSJournal writes of The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda...
"Mr. Haidara knew that many of the works in the city’s repositories were ancient examples of the reasoned discourse and intellectual inquiry that the jihadists, with their intolerance and rigid views of Islam, wanted to destroy. The manuscripts, he thought, would inevitably become a target. [...] Mr. Haidara recruited his nephew, and they reached out to archivists, secretaries, Timbuktu tour guides and a half-dozen of Mr. Haidara’s relatives. The result was a heist worthy of “Ocean’s Eleven.” They bought metal and wooden trunks at a rate of between 50 and 80 a day, made more containers out of oil barrels and located safe houses around the city and beyond. They organized a small army of packers who worked silently in the dark and arranged for the trunks to be carried by donkey to their hiding places. [...] By the time French troops invaded the north in January 2013, the radicals had managed to destroy only 4,000 of Timbuktu’s nearly 400,000 ancient manuscripts. “If we hadn’t acted,” Mr. Haidara told me later, “I’m almost 100% certain that many, many others would have been burned.”
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-librarian-who-saved-timbuktus-cultural-treasures-from-al-qaeda-1460729998?mod=e2fb

Rethinking the Map ~ Emergent US Megaregions

NYTimes piece by Parag Khanna on A New Map for America spotlights how the lower 48 could be realigned into seven megaregions...
"America is increasingly divided not between red states and blue states, but between connected hubs and disconnected backwaters. [...] Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, in places like Minneapolis and Memphis, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America.  Similar shifts can be found around the world. Despite millenniums of cultivated cultural and linguistic provinces, China is transcending its traditional internal boundaries to become an empire of 26 megacity clusters with populations of up to 100 million each, centered around hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing-Chengdu. Over time these clusters, whose borders fluctuate based on population and economic growth..."
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/opinion/sunday/a-new-map-for-america.html?_r=0

Posting Returns ~ Back to the Open Net...

Anyone paying attention would have seen my Maximizing Progress posting gone AWOL. That's both busyness and over-reliance on the FB walled-garden. It's so easy to fork good links off to one of my dozen or so specialty FB groups (e.g. Vital Cities, Thinkertools, Libertaria, Sci Fab, Vision 2050, plus the classes). Blogging is more work, for now, and so it's gotten pushed down the stack of priorities. But I'm pissed about FB being closed zone and I want a more open alternative. This here isn't perfect -- and still subject to the whims of the big Goo -- but it too needs feeding. So, I'm back.

30 January 2016

MIT Media Ventures ~ Thurs 10a-12n Spring '16

Our MIT Media Ventures ~ Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations class surveys a broad landscape of emerging media technologies interwoven with live- and historic-cases of inter- and entrepreneurship-based on new media ideas, culminating in a term project. The core goal of this Action Lab offering is for students to gain increased understanding of how emergent media and digital innovations translate into commercial reality and transform society.
https://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/15/sp16/15.376/
We survey case examples of both successful and failed businesses and generally grapple with the difficulties of deploying and diffusing products and as a means of exploring a range of business models and opportunities enabled by emerging Media Lab and related innovations. This year we will be especially emphasizing urban innovations, personal data rights, public health, financial service innovations, mobile transactions, and social media generally with special focus on social networks, quantified self and society, and "Big Data" analytics. Join us at first class Thursday morning 10a-12n February 4th, 2016 in Media Lab E14-633.

Creative Places ~ On Urban Hot Spots Spring '16

http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/MAS/sp16/MAS.552/I'm co-teaching Creative Places class this Spring 2016 together with MIT Media Lab colleague Kent Larson and team, starting Wednesday, 3 February at 2pm, as part of our MIT Cities Initiative. We're particularly keen on understanding and enabling innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative vitality in cities. We seek better indices (or rankings or scores) and analyses especially of important but often intangible aspects of the city. Ultimately we aspire to deep understanding of how urban attractiveness can be best achieved through design, zoning, development, and more.  Join us at first class Wed afternoon 2pm February 4th, 2016 in Media Lab E14-633.