25 February 2014

Axis360 ~ Cinetics Modular Motion Control Kicks!

MIT alumco Cinetics now Kickstarting their third big product, Axis360!
"Axis360 is a motion control system that rotates and slides a camera. Axis360 is compact and light weight, sets up easily, and is extremely versatile. It moves at a wide range of speeds, fluidly or incrementally, and works with most DSLR, mirrorless, and cinema cameras."

23 February 2014

Safe Intersections ~ NL Junction Design Learnings

Mark Wagenbuur at BicycleDutch builds upon earlier posts to delve into Junction design in the Netherlands this time responding to urgings and interpretations from van Veen, Hembrow, Falbo, and Furth (and serious misunderstandings from Washington, DC and Christchurch, NZ). Bottom-line...
"There is an array of measures from which Dutch road designers can choose what is best for a particular situation. But in busy and older down town areas in larger cities there is often no space for the more elaborate measures with detours and tunnels or overpasses. And although even there we see an increasing number of roundabouts, this type of junction design -- a crossroads with cycle paths around it, most often signalised -- will remain the safest solution for a lot of places in the Netherlands. Since many cities in the world have such signalised junctions, this solution to make cycling safer might work there too."
Plus, here's Falbo's interpretation for US Protected Intersections...

19 February 2014

Ronald McNair ~ StoryCorps on Astronaut Youth;-)

Upworthy's Adam Mordecai shares A Librarian Tried To Have A Genius Little Boy Arrested. The Cops Reacted The Same Way You Would...
"Ronald McNair grew up in Lake City, S.C. He grew up to [go to MIT and] become an astronaut. He was on the Challenger mission, which tragically exploded seconds after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986. This is the actually funny story of how he started his journey in a time of great racial strife, as told by his brother to StoryCorps..."
And here's library renaming news story... SC Hall of Fame show... Finally, The Spirit Lives On tribute video...

18 February 2014

Daredevil Photos ~ Skyscraper Climber Vistas...

Inhabitat spotlights daredevil Russian duo Raskalov Vitaliy and Vadim Makhorov and their photos of the under construction Shanghai Tower, the world's second tallest skyscraper... http://inhabitat.com/two-russian-climbers-scaled-the-worlds-second-tallest-tower-and-captured-these-amazing-photos/ http://inhabitat.com/two-russian-climbers-scaled-the-worlds-second-tallest-tower-and-captured-these-amazing-photos/http://inhabitat.com/two-russian-climbers-scaled-the-worlds-second-tallest-tower-and-captured-these-amazing-photos/

17 February 2014

Termes ~ Termite-Inspired Robot Construction

Michelle Starr at CNet notes Robot construction crew works autonomously, is kind of adorable...
"Termes, the result of a four-year project, is a collective system of autonomous robots that can build complex, three-dimensional structures such as towers, castles, and pyramids without any need for central command or dedicated roles. They can carry bricks, build stairs, climb them to reach higher levels, and add bricks to a structure. "The key inspiration we took from termites is the idea that you can do something really complicated as a group, without a supervisor, and secondly that you can do it without everybody discussing explicitly what's going on, but just by modifying the environment," said principal investigator Radhika Nagpal."

16 February 2014

Ecosystem Engineers ~ Wolves Change Rivers?

MissC at Neatorama spots How Wolves Change Rivers by the folks at Sustainable Man...
"When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix."
Update: Whoops, stop the presses, in NYTimes OpEd piece Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?, Yale Forestry & Enviro Studies Post-Doc Arthur Middleton calls "BS" on this simplistic myth...
"This story -- that wolves fixed a broken Yellowstone by killing and frightening elk -- is one of ecology’s most famous. It’s the classic example of what’s called a “trophic cascade,” and has appeared in textbooks, on National Geographic centerfolds and in this newspaper. Americans may know this story better than any other from ecology, and its grip on our imagination is one of the field’s proudest contributions to wildlife conservation. But there is a problem with the story: It’s not true. [...] When we tell the wolf story, we get the Yellowstone story wrong."
As DailyKos quotes, this is damning...
"Perhaps the greatest risk of this story is a loss of credibility for the scientists and environmental groups who tell it."

Cat Tracking ~ BBC's Secret Life Exploration!

BBC's Secret Life of Cats follows 50 pussies in small British village!

08 February 2014

Scaling Development Ventures ~ MIT Conf 2014!

Our D-Lab, PSC, Media Lab and other MIT colleagues are delighted to host today's Scaling Development Ventures conference! This event weaves together academics, practitioners, and financiers all exploring innovative, collaborative, market-driven strategies for poverty alleviation at scale.  Speakers include Paul Polak, author of The Business Solution to Poverty and Nancy Wimmer, author of Green Energy for a Billion Poor -- How Grameen Shakti Created a Winning Model for Social Business. Panels include explorations of Appropriate Solutions for Real Needs, Partnering for Scale, and MIT Alumni Scaling up Innovation.

03 February 2014

MIT Media Ventures ~ Thurs 10a-12n Spr 2014

Our MIT Media Ventures ~ Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations Action Lab seminar 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 is to gain increased understanding of how emergent media and digital innovations translate into commercial reality and transform society.
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 personal health care, financial service innovations, mobile transactions, and social media generally with special focus on social networks, quantified self and society, and "Big Data" analytics. First class this Thursday morning February 6th, 2014 in Media Lab E14-633.

MIT Imaging & Fab Ventures ~ Tues Spring 2014

Ramesh Raskar and I are teaming up with Doug Hart, Joe Jacobson, and John Werner to run our expanded and enhanced MIT Imaging & Fabrication Ventures seminar Tuesday mornings this Spring 2014! This is an Action Lab class designed to help students conceive of and launch great startups.
We study the landscape of imaging developments, plan and prototype new ventures & products, and brainstorm towards a startup, business unit, non-profit or citizen sector organization. To bring imaging research to the real world, the students will be encouraged to build teams and craft a business plan. We'll be exploring venture opportunities in some of the fastest changing technology domains including all things Imaging -- e.g. cameras, displays, visual computing, analytics and apps -- and Fabrication -- including robotics and automation, rapid prototyping, smart customization, 3DPrinting, DIYkits, peripherals and accessories to mobiles and tablets, fast venturing, crowdfinancing, issues of local and global sourcing and more. Please spread the word to those you think might be interested. First class is next week Tues morning February 11th, 2014 in Media Lab E14-525.