Monday, March 09, 2009



In the "Smart Prosthetics" department we have the Eyeborg, a digital camera embedding into a human eye socket. From the Singularity Hub.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009


TED 2009 Photos

For later use:
Standard Biological Parts

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Friday, February 13, 2009


TED Videos

Just aggregating some TED2009 videos for later use:

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Thursday, February 12, 2009



Following on the theme of bionics, my friend Mandy pointed me to Stelarc, a performance artist who specializes in machine control of the human body. In one case, he connected his arm electronically to the internet and let the web control its movement. He has also had a cell-cultured ear implanted on his arm.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Bionics, or Body Hacking

Human performance augmentation (bionics) was one of the themes at the TED conference last week. I recently listened to a podcast of Tim O'Reilly's eTech2008 keynote speech. He mentioned Quinn Norton and her I Sing the Body Electric talk about body hacking. Brain augmentation is going to be significant over the next few years. Combining these two with ambient computing is a path to the singularity.

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TED Overview

I went to TED last week. See my Flickr set.

I was impressed at how upbeat, optimistic, and energized this conference was. There was general and specific recognition of the current recession, but a general feeling was that innovation and entrepreneurship are the solution. TED was about innovation and entrepreneurship, and thus TED sees itself as leading the country back to better days. These are people of genuine good will, of superior vision, and ample means to make things happen.

I was also struck by some trends across a number of talks. Robotics: surgical robots, artistic robots, military robots, brain science robots, animal robots. In all, I believe there were seven talks that were in whole or in part about robots. This is a trend well worth investigating.

Another trend was human performance. There were several talks about bionics or “smart” prosethics that don’t just bring the disabled back to normal, but give superior abilities to “normal” humans. Bio-engineering is closely related. Not just in growing replacement tissue, but in creating new human tissues that have never existed before. In essence, creating new human DNA for superior performance. Together these two disciplines have tremendous implications for how we will work in the near future.

I have a sense that some of these trends are on a logrithmic growth trajectory. That is the impact seems very small now, but when it takes off, it will engulf us. People and organizations that can hop on to these growth curves ahead of others with have tremendous advantages over their competitors.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


OK, It REALLY begins

Parallel Kingdom is a geo-located mixed-reality warcraft-like game. See the videos.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Social Software Map


Thursday, January 31, 2008


Designing Interactions

Just listened to an iTunesU lecture given by Bill Moggridge, of IDEO, to the Human-Computer Interaction Seminar at Stanford. He talked about his book, Designing Interactions. Three models he talks about are:
  1. "Enthusiast - Professional - Consumer"
  2. "Manipulation - Locomotion - Conversation"
  3. "Feel - Do - Know"

Saturday, January 12, 2008


CES Summary

Here is a quick video overview I made of CES.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Now, just which singularity are we talking about?

Eliezer Yudkowsky gave a great overview of the three competing theories of technological singularity at the 2007 Singularity Summit.


Monday, December 17, 2007


Five Scraps of Paper

Here are five suggestions, made to me by my friends, which I have carried around on slips of paper for a couple of months. I put them here just to remember them.

Now I just need to find time to do something with this list!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Into the Virtual Blue Yonder

My friend, Bob, pointed me to a book I am putting on my reading list:

Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun Is Changing Reality

by Edward Castronova

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


Larry Lessig at TED

I just watched Larry Lessig's TED talk. WOW! Not only was the content of his talk brilliant, his use of historical analogy was stunning, and the presentation slides were pure genius. It was a masterful production. I am going to practice his style in my next presentation.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Don't let the Bozos Grind you Down

Guy Kawasaki, in a talk to O'Reilly's 2007 MySQL Confernece, entitled The Art of Innovation, lists 9 rules of Innovation.
  1. Jump to the next curve.
  2. Don't worry, be crappy.
  3. Churn, baby, churn.
  4. Don't be afraid to polarize people.
  5. Break down the barriers.
  6. “Let a hundred flowers blossom.”
  7. Think digital, act analog.
  8. Never ask people to do what you wouldn't do.
  9. Don't let the bozos grind you down.

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Mapping Life

Juan Enriques in his 13 October SALT talk (summary, mp3) made an interesting comparison between agriculture and energy. It used to be that in agriculture we threw bigger machines (tractors, combines, etc.) and chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers) at the little plant. Then in the 1960's we changed the plant itself -- the green revolution. By changing the plant itself, we solved the food problem we could never solve by throwing more machines and chemical at the plant.

Now consider hydrocarbon fuels (coal, oil). We are currently throwing more machines at them (digging deeper, oil extraction from shale, etc.). But what if we could change the coal itself? Could we make a bacteria that eats coal or oil and excretes natural gas? Just let them loose in a coal mine or oil shale and harvest the natural gas. Or could we genetically engineer the bacteria in the ocean that absorb carbon out of the air to also absorb hydrogen out of the water and produce hydrocarbons for us? We could build power generation plants that run off of air and water and a domesticated bacteria.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Everything is Misc/Links are Enough Video

Dave pointed me to a new video that makes the point of hyperlinking and tagging solves the misc problem.

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Video Mashup at Different Scales

Bruce pointed me to this:

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Storage is our Past, Present, and Future

Jonathan has an interesting piece on the value of past data in the present, and how we need to preserve the present so the future has a rich past upon which to draw. He makes two points.
Future rendering systems will increase the quality of the present data, so we will naturally want to store all of our data for future exploitation.

This will be true not just for the film industry, but for all sectors. For example, the current value to present genealogists of a 17th century parish register of births, marriages, and deaths, far exceeds the value of the register to the priest who recorded the data.

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Seeing Magnetic Lines

National Geographic reports that bird migrate by looking at the earth's magnetic field lines.
Scientists already suspected birds' eyes contain molecules that are thought to sense Earth's magnetic field. In a new study, German researchers found that these molecules are linked to an area of the brain known to process visual information.

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Thinking Second Life into Action

BoingBoing points to Keio University research that allows a person to operate second life, just by thinking about it.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


IWB on Social Robots

Irving has an interesting post on robots in virtual social networks. He sez:

The Huggable is a robotic communication avatar designed for social interactions, education, healthcare and other applications. It is essentially a very cute teddy bear, with a sensitive skin, embedded "intelligence" (i.e., hardware and software), wireless communications and the ability to see, hear, speak, touch and move. But what I find so compelling about The Huggable is that it can operate as an autonomous personal robot and as a semi-autonomous robotic avatar that is part of a human social network, providing a much richer set of interactions to the members of the network than is possible using PCs and similar devices.

There is a lot of activity in intelligent, autonomous, mobile robots for entertainment, education, protection and many other applications. Applications range from helping doctors and nurses perform their duties better (even remotely), to providing assistance to the elderly for improved mobility and strength (e.g., vacuuming, helping in getting out of bed, even companionship). Aging populations around the world are a big driver of personal robot products and applications.

The concept of semi-autonomous robots integrated into a social network is new, at least for me. But once you start thinking about potential applications, many come to mind, in areas as diverse as family communications, healthcare, education and entertainment.

For example, imagine faraway grandparents being able to interact with their young grandchildren who are holding and playing with The Huggable. You can talk, read stories and sing to them. You can (virtually) hug them. You can watch and listen to their reactions as well as sense the way they hold and touch the teddy-bear-like device. Imagine a similar scenario with soldiers stationed around the world, being able to interact with their young children in a far richer, more emotional and satisfying way than a phone conversation. Or imagine the help it could provide children not getting enough nurturing and stimulation from their parents, by enabling family members, professionals or volunteers to get involved in their care.

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Virtual World News

3PointD has two interesting postings. The first discusses the virtual Vietnam War Memorial in Second Life and the second speculates on the Google Earth virtual world.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


Bin Laden Word Cloud

Dave pointed me to a interesting ManyEyes visualization of Bin Laden's recent speech.

I registered and uploaded the Alice in Wonderland. Guess which words are most frequent before clicking. . . here or here.

Here is some population data to play with from the Census Bureau.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Fight for Kisses

Doc pointed me to a very clever Wilkinson advertisement using avatars for actors. I understand that creating advertisements in virtual worlds is much less expensive than hiring a sound stage and actors. Virtuality is beginning to become mainstream. Video courtesy of DailyMotion.

Fight for Kisses
Uploaded by fight-for-kisses

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I just discovered a good short summary of transformation theory by Marcia Daszko and Sheila Sheinberg. Here is a snippet. (scroll down . . .)


Motivation for ChangeBetter, Faster, CheaperFix a problemSurvival,Environment,World Changes, Breakthrough needed
Degree of ChangeIncremental improvementsTransition from old to new; A to BRevolutionary
Necessary ThinkingImproveChange management; strategic planningRadical shifts in mindset/thinking/actions
ActionsManage and control processesDesign the plan; implement the planWhole system change, complete overhaul of mindset, paradigms, culture

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Friday, September 07, 2007


Shift Happens

Thanks to my friend, Mike, for the pointers:

The old one - - -

The new one - - -

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Thursday, September 06, 2007


More Women in the Family Tree

The TierneyLab blog over at the NYTimes has an interesting post about the genetic evidence that there are more women in our individual and collective family trees than men. The sociological explanation is that, in the past, lots of men had no offspring (killed in war, killed hunting, killed fooling around, had bad B.O., etc.), thus the remaining (fewer men) had the job to help the unmatched lonely women have children. So, historically, the reproductive men had more children per person (through multiple partners), than reproductive women had per person. Over the generations, descendants of these men married each other. Thus these men would should up in multiple ancestral lines with different female partners. As a result there are fewer male progenitors than female. Polygamous societies contributed to this phenomenon -- as did victorious armies in raping the widows of the defeated armies.

This phenomenon is also evident in the animal kingdom, such as the seal and big cat polygamous societies.

Post Script: A couple of people have reminded me that in previous generations there was a high death rate in childbirth. This meant that a man could have children by two or three wives over the course of his life, in a serial monogamy fashion.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007


What is a Luddite?

Clay gives us a definitive definition. He has parsed the argument correctly.

He then follows with this insight: The internet's output is data, but its product is freedom

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Virtual Terrorism and Religion

My friend Rob pointed me to this article on virtual terrorism from
"Just as real-life companies such as Toyota test their products in SL, so could terrorists construct virtual representations of targets they wish to attack in order to examine the potential target's vulnerabilities and reaction to attack," Jones says.

And Corinne pointed me to this MSNBC article on virtual missionary work.

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Giving good presentations

The TED blog pointed me to this great Business Week piece on making presentations. In short,
  1. Build Tension
  2. One Theme per Slide
  3. Add Pizazz
  4. Practice
  5. Be Honest
  6. Show Enthusiasm

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Digitize my LPs

I have a whole box of LP records with my favorite music from the 60's and 70's, including one from Bread! My friend Mark let me know about technology that can be used to digitize those LPs, so I can burn them to CD or put them onto my iPod. See this Chicago Tribune article. It is a record player with a USB output connection. Very cool.

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The Virtual World in our Minds

Irving Wladawsky-Berger has a great posting on why humans like virtual worlds. He says:
Maybe the reason I am so excited about the whole subject of Virtual Worlds is that in our own way we are beginning to have tools that let us make real the fruits of our imagination.
Just as word processors plus blogs empower our use of words, and digital cameras plus Flickr empower our use of images, creation tools plus virtual worlds empower our use of imagination.

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Vizualizing the Universe

Here is an amazing visual presentation at the March TED conference by Jonathan Harris. His work is now on line at .

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The NICE Dilbert Blog

Scott Adams waxes eloquent on the power of the compliment.

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David Pogue's NYT iPhone Music Video

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Big Guns on Prediction Markets

Prediction Markets have been around for a long time, starting at the U. of Iowa. The American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution have issued a joint manifesto about Prediction Markets. The All-Star list of authors include at least two Nobel Laureates. They say . . .
We argue that U.S. regulators should lower barriers to the creation and design of prediction markets by creating a safe harbor for certain types of small stakes markets. We believe our proposed change has the potential to stimulate innovation in the design and use of prediction markets throughout the economy, and in the process to provide information that will benefit the private sector and government alike.


Monday, July 02, 2007


Ants in a Virtual World

My friend, Daniel, pointed me to an O'Reilly Radar blog post about an ant simulation in Second Life by Tectonic Nabob. Way cool!

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Saturday, June 30, 2007


New Website a'brewin'

none ready yet . . .


Saturday, June 23, 2007


San Francisco Photos

Here is the Flickr set of photos of my recent trip to San Francisco.


Friday, June 22, 2007


Impact of Exponential Change

I am here at the Supernova Conference where we are discussing what to do with the ubiquitous web. This is difficult because it is hard to understand the impact of exponential change -- Moore's Law being one of the most famous. One of the speakers referred to Ray Kurzweil's 2001 paper entitled, The Law of Accelerating Returns. I know what I will be reading next.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Innovation in the White Spaces

My friend Gwen pointed me to an interesting piece on innovation from EDS. It cites Charlie Feld on the importance of engaging different disciplines, as well as creating an infrastructure that is innovation friendly.

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Takin' it to the (virtual) streets . . .

New World Notes reports on a protest inside Second Life against the government of Venezuala's Huga Chavez.

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JackBe (nimble . . .)

JackBe has a well-designed, well-populated website, and an enterprise Web 2.0 product that has real potential.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The Redistricting Game

My friend Mark pointed me to a political game about redistricting from USC.
By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives - including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site for The Redistricting Game provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.

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Monday, June 18, 2007


Google Page Rank

TEDBlog gives us the formula for Google Page Rank.

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TED Video

Watch an overview of TED 2007.

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Think Cube

The Innovation Weblog points to an interesting new brainstorming product called Think Cube. Here's the hype:
ThinkCube is a complete solution that provides you with all of the tools you need to innovate. It represents the culmination of 10 years of research in creative thinking and synthesizes today's leading creativity tools, techniques, and processes. Whether you use it alone or in a group, ThinkCube trains your brain and lets you exercise your creative muscles.

Our unique ThinkCubation process incorporates many conventional brainstorming techniques and frames innovation in a process that is easy to follow and consistently produces results. ThinkCubation turns the critical but normally passive step of incubation into an active process.

While I doubt this contains ALL the tools I need to innovate, I would like to try it out on one of the tough problems we are having.

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Book Review: Group Genius

The Innovate on Purpose blog has a good review of the book, Group Genius. The review starts:
The path to becoming more innovative often requires debunking a number of myths or commonly held beliefs. For instance, the idea that a lone genius is often responsible for an invention or innovation. In fact, most innovations or inventions spring from the combination of the work of many people. Edison did not create the lightbulb alone, nor did Al Gore invent the internet by himself.

Yet another book based on complexity theory and congruent with Web 2.0.

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Monday, June 11, 2007


Sensor My World

Jonathan's blog points to a nifty little device called a SUN Spot. It is a battery powered, USB connectible, very small programmable computer and sensor pack

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