31 March 2013

Watching Earth ~ NASA ISS & Shuttle Views...

NASA APOD spotlights lovely Earth at Night timelapse... And see also key Earth features called out...

Ed Boyden ~ MIT Neuroengineer on CNN Ideas

Nice piece by Elizabeth Landau on CNN Ideas spotlighting MIT neuroengineering colleague Ed Boyden...
"The seeds of Boyden's career were planted in childhood. Growing up north of Dallas, he wanted to understand something about humanity and why we are here. He liked math better than science at first: "Math was the way of getting to the inner truth of things," he said. But then he wanted to know how our minds are able to understand math. His thoughts gave way to an idea he now calls the "loop of understanding": Math is how we understand things at a deep level, our minds do math, the brain gives rise to our minds, biology governs our brains, chemistry implements biology, the principles of physics rule over chemistry, and physics run on math. It's a loop from math to math, with all the knowledge in between. "I don't think I came up with that eloquent way to describe it until I actually came to MIT, but yeah, I was very interested in these kinds of things as a young teenager."

30 March 2013

ColaLife ~ Coke Distributes AidPod Health Kits...

WIRED's Tim Maly writes about Clever Packaging: Essential Medicine Rides Coke’s Distribution Into Remote Villages...
"Simon Berry is piggybacking on Coca-Cola’s distribution system to bring life-saving medicine to the places that need it most. You can buy a Coke pretty much anywhere on Earth. Thanks to a vast network of local suppliers, Coca-Cola has almost completely solved distribution, getting its product into every nook and cranny where commerce reaches. There are places in the world where it’s easier to get a Coke than clean water. [...] ColaLife began collaborating with one of Coca-Cola’s African bottler/distributors, and the beverage giant shared advice and information about how its distribution network operates. [...] The result of their efforts so far is the AidPod, a wedge-shaped container that fits between the necks of bottles in a Coca-Cola crate. For the pilot program, they are using the AidPods to distribute an anti-diarrhea kit, called “Kit Yamoyo” (“Kit of Life”). The AidPod’s are a clever packaging solution, born of a very particular design problem. Because the vision was to physically piggyback on Coke’s distribution system, they needed to work with the crates used to move the popular soda to retailers. Initial designs experimented with pouches on the side and tubes that could be slotted in place of a bottle. Neither option would have worked, as both would have meant less space for Coke. Then, genius struck. “My wife said, ‘Why don’t we make use of the unused space?’” says Berry."
Nice!

MemTable ~ Seth Hunter's Group Thinkertool...

Check out Seth Hunter's still-impressive Media Lab Master's thesis from 2009, the MemTable...
"...an interactive touch table that supports co-located group meetings by capturing both digital and physical interactions in its memory. Everyone can be a scribe at the MemTable. The goal of the project is to demonstrate hardware and software design principles that integrate recording, recalling, and reflection during the life cycle of a project in one tabletop system. [...] MemTable poses an important question to HCI designers:  How can the multi-person interactions we design be integrated with our workpractices into systems which have history and memory? What is the social computing space of the future?"

Japan Economy Map ~ Firm Logos Geolocated

In sister map to German Economy Map, here Map Porn spots Japanese firm HQ's via logos placed on map of the home islands...

29 March 2013

28 March 2013

Normal Cycling ~ Wagenbuur Spots NL Rushours

Just a couple nice pieces by Mark Wagenbuur showing normal cycling in the Netherlands. First, in his latest video he spotlights rush hour in Amsterdam... And second, in this older video, he shows Cycling in the rain in Utrecht... Note how unremarkable and civilized this all is.

Thought For Food ~ Innovation Challenge 2013

Thought For Food launches their innovation challenge 2013 which...
"...calls on students from universities around the world to form teams and produce a robust project proposal -- consisting of a business plan and creative pitch -- that presents an unexpected and out-of-the-box solution to the global challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050."

Freedom in the 50 States ~ Mercatus Rankings...

Dan Mitchell of International Liberty spotlights Mercatus Center's Ranking the States for Economic and Personal Freedom...

More How It's Made ~ UD on Everyday Artifacts!

Thanks to UniqueDaily for spotting a whole series of the fantastic How It's Made videos, including a whole bunch on everyday artifacts, starting with Zippers... Carpets... Ballpoint Pens... Mirrors...

Found in a Crowd ~ De-Anonymizing Mobile Data

MIT Media Lab colleagues Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye and Cesar Hidalgo plus collaborators write in their recent Scientific Reports paper Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility about the ease of de-anonymizing mobile data...
"We study fifteen months of human mobility data for one and a half million individuals and find that human mobility traces are highly unique. In fact, in a dataset where the location of an individual is specified hourly, and with a spatial resolution equal to that given by the carrier's antennas, four spatio-temporal points are enough to uniquely identify 95% of the individuals. [...] even coarse datasets provide little anonymity. These findings represent fundamental constraints to an individual's privacy and have important implications for the design of frameworks and institutions dedicated to protect the privacy of individuals."
Several nice pieces have explored the implications of this work, including the BBC's Science and technology reporter Jason Palmer's Mobile location data 'present anonymity risk' and MIT's own Larry Hardesty asking How hard is it to 'de-anonymize' cellphone data?

27 March 2013

IllumiRoom ~ Microsoft's Immersive Gamespace

Interesting to see Microsoft's IllumiRoom futuregaming projectorama in piece by GameDynamo's JC Marx... And here's full demo...

Flying Paper ~ Resilient Creative Kids Make Kites!

Check out latest trailer from upcoming Flying Paper kids and kites documentary by MIT Media Lab alum Nitin Sawhney and colleague Roger Hill premiering at the London Palestine Film Festival on May 7th, 2013...
"While the record-breaking event is what drives the film’s narrative arc, it is the everyday stories of the young kite makers that will touch audiences through their humor and playful spirit. The film seeks to humanize the conflict through a touching cinematic rendering of the fascinating kite culture among children as a form of creative resistance in Gaza."

Shark Food ~ Great Whites Sample SA's Seals!

Photographer Chris McClennan spots shark smorgasbord... And ITM Phantom camera captures these morsels in motion...

26 March 2013

Stop The Cyborgs ~ Neo-Luddite Manifesto...

Neo-Luddite manifesto seeks to Stop The Cyborgs writes BBC in Privacy 'impossible' with Google Glass warn campaigners...
"The warning comes from a group called "Stop the Cyborgs" that wants limits put on when headsets can be used. It has produced posters so premises can warn wearers that the glasses are banned or recording is not permitted. [...] The limits that the Stop The Cyborg campaign wants placed on Google Glass and similar devices would involve a clear way to let people know when they are being recorded. "It's important for society and democracy that people can chat and live without fear that they might end up being published or prosecuted," [...] "We are not anti-technology, we just want people to realise that technology is a powerful cultural force which shapes our society and which we can also shape."

Right to Stay ~ Fighting Kenyan Slum Evictions...

MIT Urban Africa's Ben Bradlow spots The Right to Stay...

24 March 2013

Comet PANSTARRS ~ Chris Cook's Sunset Foto

Lovely foto by Chris Cook of Comet PANSTARRS on NASA APOD...

Steve Jobs ~ Collection of Docu's and Best Of's...

Steve Jobs ~ One Last Thing... BBC's Steve Jobs ~ Billion Dollar Hippy... Bloomberg Game Changers: Steve Jobs... Steve Jobs Building NeXT... NeXT, OpenStep and the return of Steve Jobs to Apple... Steve Jobs 1986 PBS Documentary... Steve Jobs rare footage... Celebrating Steve Jobs ~ a special memorial event...

23 March 2013

Jobs on Life ~ Visionary Entrepreneur Inspires...

Farnam Street spots Steve Jobs: The Most Important Thing... This is part of Silicon Valley Historical Association's Visionary Entrepreneur film...

2045 ~ Envisioning Development of Humanity...

Global Future 2045 initiative -- international social network for social innovation. Here's promo video for last year's congress and broader vision for future... And here's lead impressario Dmitry Itskov...

Us < Universe ~ Mapping Earth Amidst it All ;-)

MapPorn offers Map of Earth's Location in the Observable Universe...

Breathing Lung Transplant ~ IEET on UCLA First!

IEET spots Breathing Lung Transplant At UCLA, First Ever In U.S., Transforms Man’s Life...

Internet Census 2012 ~ Spiegel Spots PC Botnet

Der Spiegel's Christian Stöcker and Judith Horchert write about Mapping the Internet: A Hacker's Secret Internet Census...
"Just how big is the Internet? An anonymous hacker claims to have answered the question via effective but illegal means. The result is a fascinating reflection of online usage around the world."
The resulting report Internet Census 2012: Port scanning /0 using insecure embedded devices by Carna Botnet who, in the end writes...
"I did not want to ask myself for the rest of my life how much fun it could have been or if the infrastructure I imagined in my head would have worked as expected. I saw the chance to really work on an Internet scale, command hundred thousands of devices with a click of my mouse, portscan and map the whole Internet in a way nobody had done before, basically have fun with computers and the Internet in a way very few people ever will. I decided it would be worth my time."
See here animated GIF showing night-to-day pulse of Internet use, colored red-to-blue, not including mobiles...

Hiriko CityCar ~ BBC Spots ML Spinoff Futurecar

BBC What If? spotlights MIT Media Lab spinoff Hiriko CityCar! Get Adobe Flash player

Kalishnikov's Quapter ~ Flying Robot Deathgun...

Quadrotor chopper fires fully-auto machine gun! Skynet is imminent... (And yes, I know, the video is faked with post-fx bought'n'paid for by the Black Ops game goons, but this shit is doable;-)

Faraday's Quapter ~ Flying Cage vs Tesla Coil !-)

LOL! Faraday Cage Quadrotor Chopper vs Tesla Coil!-)

Lego Bridge Launcher ~ DIY Stilzkin EXT3 ;-)

Nice Lego Technic build project, the Stilzkin EXT3 Bridge Launcher!

Beerbot ~ Bartenders Can Be Automated ;-)

18 March 2013

Light Echoes ~ NASA APOD Spots V838 Mon!

Amazing NASA APOD of V838 Mon's Light Echoes...

Bad Seeds ~ AlJaz on People & Power in Pampas

AlJaz spots People & Power politics in the Pampas revealing what filmmakers Glenn Ellis and Guido Bilbao call Bad Seeds...
"For much of the past decade Argentina has seen a commodities-driven export boom, built largely on genetically-modified soy bean crops and the aggressive use of pesticides. Argentina's leaders say it has turned the country's economy around, while others say the consequences are a dramatic surge in cancer rates, birth defects and land theft. People & Power investigates if Argentina's booming soy industry is a disaster in the making."
I'm not sure this is GMO fear-mongering and unscientific sensationalizing of the root-causes of real ailments or something more sinister and deeper. The bullying and fire-starting and land-grabbing I'm afraid is an age-old story in modern guise.

17 March 2013

Sinai Future? ~ AlJaz Explores the Fault Lines...

Very interesting to hear and see AlJaz special Fault Lines report The battle for the Sinai...
"Half a million people live in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip. For decades, they have been governed by a strong security paradigm [...] Now they are back in the international spotlight because of an increase in militant attacks, arms smuggling and human trafficking. When Egyptians took to the streets against Hosni Mubarak’s police state [...] the insurgency here continued long after his ouster [...] Fault Lines explores the roots of Sinai’s ongoing uprising and, as Egypt’s new leaders vow to crack down on militancy and smuggling, the dangers of following an old script. How did the Sinai Peninsula become a crucible for geopolitical tensions?"
At root, it seems to be inequitable development with connected Cairo elites taking and locals languishing, but judge for yourself...

Threatened Lebanon ~ Refugees Upset Balance

NYTimes infographic by Sergio Pecanha, Timothy Wallace, and Derek Watkins show Refugee Influx Threatens Balance in Lebanon...
"Many in Lebanon worry that the influx of up to 400,000 Syrian refugees, who are mostly Sunni, may disrupt the delicate balance in the country. Lebanon fought its own sectarian civil war from 1975 to 1990."

Syria Snapshot ~ Map of Controls Mid-Mar 2013

NYTimes infographic by Liam Stack and Sergio Pecanha attempts Map of the Dispute in Syria...
"It is impossible to determine precisely where the boundaries of control lie in Syria. But an analysis of news reports and videos posted online indicates that rebels are stronger in the north and northeast, while the government holds the center of most of Syria’s largest cities and the west."

AmoeBAND ~ Clever Reinvention of Band-aid!

Bizweek spotlights Band-aid Reinvention!

Ranging Beyond Reserves ~ Elephant Tracked...

NYTimes infographic shows Even on Reserves, Scant Protection for Elephants...
"Like so many of Africa’s wilderness areas, the Buffalo Springs and Samburu reserves in Kenya are too cramped -- smaller than the city of Detroit -- for the majestic inhabitants they are supposed to protect. Every savannah elephant that dwells in these reserves also roams far beyond the invisible boundaries, along the well-worn paths of its ancestors in search of food and water. These routines take elephants through unpatrolled regions that are hunting grounds for poachers. Lately, nowhere is safe: killings are rising inside the reserves."

Jet Beetle ~ Ron Patrick's Streetlegal VW-Mod;-)

Ron Patrick's badass VW-mod streetlegal jet-powered Beetle!

16 March 2013

Co-Creation Hub ~ Venture Center in Lagos...


Excellent to have Bosun Tijani join us for the MIT Africa Innovate conference. Bosun's running the Co-Creation Hub in the Yaba neighborhood of Lagos, Nigeria...
"CcHub delivers a range of programmes that contribute to our mission of accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity in Nigeria. [...] CcHUB is a membership based community of hackers, designers, tech companies, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, academics, investors and everyone interested in technology innovation."
Currently on the 6th floor of their building, they have big ambitions for i-HQ Project which...
"...will leverage the innovation assets within the technology cluster located around Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba in building an ‘innovation city’ -- a hotspot for creative ventures where all key stakeholders (academics, industry and government) find adequate infrastructure, resources and an enabling environment to thrive while collaborating. i-HQ = Silicon Lagoon"

New York Day ~ Samuel Orr's Kickin' Timelapse!

Kottke spots lovely New York Day by Samuel Orr who's Kickstarting full-on New York Year next! Check out New York Year plans...

15 March 2013

Africa Innovate 2013 ~ MIT Action Conference!

Excellent to see our MIT Sloan African Business Club led by Mercy Wakweika & Philip Emeka Obi dialup Africa Innovate 2013 this Saturday March 16, 2013 at MIT Media Lab! Rockstar business speakers including Makhtar Diop, VP Africa of World Bank, Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman of Emerging Markets Telcoms Svc Ltd, Njeri Rionge, Founder/CEO of Ignite Ltd, and Kayode Akinkugbe, Mging Dir/CEO of First Bank Nigeria Plc. And more!

12 March 2013

Boston Rents ~ Visualizing What's Too Damn High

WBUR's Nate Goldman spots new tool by Jeff Kaufman which...
"...allows apartment renters to visualize where Boston’s most and least expensive apartments are. Kaufman’s heat map displays the cost per bedroom relative to each Boston neighborhood. The map indicates the most expensive apartments in Boston tend to hover between Back Bay and Downtown Boston and on into the Seaport District. The region’s least expensive apartments are found near Mattapan, Dorchester and Revere. Areas of Cambridge along the Red Line also display expensive apartment listings, where the booming tech economy is squeezing commercial rents for startups."

Gas Hydrates ~ BBC & USGS on "Burning Ice"

BBC reports Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first...
"Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast, in a world first. Methane hydrates, or clathrates, are a type of frozen "cage" of molecules of methane and water. [...] Vast deposits are thought to exist, rivaling known reserves of traditional fossil fuels."
Here's USGS infopiece showing "burning ice"...

Embarrassing Bodies ~ Living w/ Disfiguration...

Beauty is on the inside and in the eye of the beholder shows Embarrassing Bodies which shares the often painful stories of people afflicted with disfiguring ailments.

09 March 2013

Wealth Inequality ~ US Perception vs Reality...

Interesting propaganda piece on Wealth Inequality in America...

Who Controls World? ~ Glattfelder on Econ Net

James Glattfelder at TEDxZurich answers Who Controls the World?

A Higher Call ~ WWII Chivalry & Enemy Reunion

CNN piece by John Blake on Two enemies discover a 'higher call' in battle spots the amazing WWII story of Franz Stigler and Charles Brown -- one a German fighter pilot who decided not to shoot down the other, an American bomber captain nursing home a battered plane and wounded crew. Their full saga is told in A Higher Call by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander.

07 March 2013

Odyssey Inventor ~ Baer, Father of Video Games

Kottke spots Ralph Baer, The father of video games...

Thor's Helmet ~ NASA Spots Interstellar Bubble!

NASA APOD spots interstellar Thor's Helmet!-) `

Good Riddance ~ When Dictators Die, Rejoice!

The criminally incompetent caudillo Chavez has finally been killed by cancer. He was such a verminous and thieving socialist swine that this is indeed cause for mass celebration. Which scumbag dictator is next? Mugger Mugabe, moron Morales, killer Kim, asshole A'jad, or perhaps one of the American "exceptions" -- Mao's minions, Saud's spawn, or others on the supposedly "right side" of things? As far as I'm concerned, when any and all dictators die, good riddance.

05 March 2013

BrickItUp ~ 3D HouseCraft CAD on Kickstarter!

Our MIT Media Ventures alumnus Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo y Lopez has launched BrickItUp on Kickstarter!
"BrickItUp is an online platform for creation, navigation and sharing of 3D Worlds. As simple as that. It could be defined as an user-generated content sharing platform for 3D environments. Or an online real-time block construction engine. Or a crowdsourcing environment for 3D information. All of them apply. Want to suggest your own definition? We would love to hear it!"

Oculus Rift ~ Gameworthy Zippy VR HUDs...

Oculus Rift are gameworthy zippy VR HUDs...

Mycestro ~ Wearable Index-Finger Mouse/Pad...

Mycestro is finger-mouse PC/AR controller. They're Kickstarting!...
"Mycestro is a 3D mouse that fits on the index finger and allows you to control your computer with hand gestures and mouse functions."

Custom Earscans ~ Lantos Enables Smartbuds...

MIT spinoff Lantos Technologies custom earscans enable smartbuds!

Smarter Objects ~ Heun et al's AR Cleverness...

MIT Media Lab's Valentin Heun, et al, crafting Smarter Objects...

02 March 2013

Art of War ~ History.com on Sun Tzu's Strategies

History Channel spotlight's Sun Tzu's timeless Art of War...

Fog of War ~ Morris' 11 Lessons from McNamara

Here's Errol Morris' Fog of War offering Eleven Lessons from the life of US Defense Secretary Robert S McNamara...
  1. Empathize with your enemy
  2. Rationality will not save us
  3. There's something beyond one's self
  4. Maximize efficiency
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war
  6. Get the data
  7. Belief and seeing are often both wrong
  8. Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning 
  9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil
  10. Never say never
  11. You can't change human nature

Agent Orange ~ War Chemical Keeps on Killing

Horrific CNN photoessay by Hiroko Tanaka showing the Effects of Agent Orange ‘ongoing silently’ in children in Vietnam's...
"...Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Among other things, the Peace Village ward of Tu Du Hospital cares for about 60 children with severe deformities, many of whom were abandoned at birth, Tanaka said. The hospital blames Agent Orange for deformities in this ward. “They just live there,” she said. “They don’t go to school; they can’t leave; they don’t go out.” She also found stillborn babies and fetuses in jars, which are kept for research to find out why the babies were born with abnormalities. The hospital told Tanaka that as children born with deformities skyrocketed, those that didn’t make it were preserved. In the “reference room,” some of the jars were dated back to 2000. According to the Vietnamese Red Cross, babies born near lands heavily sprayed with the herbicide have illnesses and deformities at a higher rate than normal."
Isn't this a war-crime or at least a moral obligation to render aid?

The Gatekeepers ~ Zionist Übermenschen Speak

Those responsible for securing the Zionist lebensraum dream speak... Plus, fascinating interview with filmmaker Dror Moreh... And DN has interview/review...