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Archive for February, 2009

Anxious society

Feb 2009

“My girlfriend didn’t used to have mobile phone and we were quite OK; and now when I text her, when she doesn’t takes back in ten minutes I get completely upset. Because I think something is wrong, because I worry all the time. When I didn’t have the technology to express my worries with, I was much happier…

…Yeah, much calmer! And now, all that stuff just makes me nervous. So, this is just me, now this has become the whole society. The whole society is becoming more nervous because of all these gadgets”

interview with Rob van Kranenburg

Two references – Article and Presentation by Matt Jones

Feb 2009

>> about location-awareness
“Exporting the past into the future or the possibility jelly lives on the hypersurface of the present”

>> The Demon-Haunted World
Talk given at Webstock, February 2009 – slideshow with notes

The street as Platform

Feb 2009

Informational systems are beginning to profoundly change the way our streets work, the way they are used, and the way they feel.
This articles describes the present/future scenario of what is happening in the streets in terms of what we cannot see with the naked eye.

“We can’t see how the street is immersed in a twitching, pulsing cloud of data. This is over and above the well-established electromagnetic radiation, crackles of static, radio waves conveying radio and television broadcasts in digital and analogue forms, police voice traffic. This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and closed, constantly logging impossibly detailed patterns of behaviour. The behaviour of the street.”

Imagine this street scene over the next few years of deployment of a more ubiquitous and pervasive computing. He even doesn’t go into the theme of Spimes and Blojects but it shows how many data is produced and connected.

“So the patterns of data in the streets, the systems that enable and carry them, the quality of those connections, their various levels of openness or privacy, will all affect the way the street feels rather more than street furniture or road signs…

…Holes in data, public and private, may become more relevant than the pothole in the pavement – until you trip over it, at least.”

“There are decisions to be made about raw infrastructure – the equivalent of transport networks and power supply. Should the street be enabled by fibre optic, copper wire, WIMAX, 3G, 802.11x wifi, and so on. How close does that run to the curb? Who will install and operate? How smart should street furniture be? How should it convey itself to the world? Should it expose its seams, to aid understanding and engagement, or withdraw silently into the woodwork, reducing clutter and complexity? What would happen to the flow on the street if the street furniture attracted clusters of people within its halo of connectivity?

Without this infrastructure, the street only half-exists, becoming a residual dead-zone in the city. And yet should areas on the street deliberately be dead-zones, shielded from connectivity in order to provide respite, reflection, quietude? How is that to be managed and conveyed?

“Systems that are focused around a user’s private data, then played back to them with little or no chance of opt-out, are likely to emerge nonetheless. This we can infer from current web-based systems. Spam filling an in-box is debilitating enough without the physical urban environment adding to the problem. Social software systems rarely let you cleanly unsubscribe. Thus the call for secure privatised systems for advertising display, as in the bus stop sketch above, will be strongly made by companies claiming to prevent irrelevant or misleading messages polluting the physical environment.”

How spam will occupy this new spaces and the urban fabric? Will the street be a platform for highly secure data transfer?

(the average user cares little for privacy of much personal data…being more open to taking the social networks in account)

* Frustration of data locked in one system that can’t be transferred to another;
* Systems unaware of other systems, and thus do not enable useful connections to be made (physical or digital);
* Poorly-designed systems which inadvertently convey too much personal information;
* Tracking of patterns of behaviour that are not made evident to the user;
* Systems that convey information poorly;

Open Street:
“all this real-time data should be invaluable to those whose job it is to maintain and develop the street – forming a kind of post-occupancy evaluation for the entire neighbourhood – but if the same data were made open, accessible and approachable (anonymised appropriately) the community that uses the street could end up feeling far more engaged in their environment.”

“If the sensors are made visible, and if the results are made visible, with feedback mechanisms, that’s a different story, at least partly.
…For instance, meters and sensors can often be deployed on the street with little information about their purpose. From now on, it may well be important to make the invisible visible here too, to communicate its function and purpose. Though this might appear counter many trends in contemporary product design (e.g. iPod) – where the goal is often to hide, disguise or remove the seams that indicate how the product works, or is constructed or articulated – actually showing the seams of an object is far more likely to engender trust, engagement and appropriation.”


ColourStops by GreyWorld

Feb 2009


Colourstops (1,2) is a permanent sound installation in two bus shelters, along the Manchester Road in Bradford. The work of art subtly alters the space of the shelter with the sound of a female voice, gently singing the colours of the clothing of the people passing through: a unique song of colour.

Greyworld works on the realm of urban spaces creating most of the time site specific sound installations.

Tower Bridge – Bridge that twitter

Feb 2009

Machines/objects that talk about what they are doing. In this case, is the London Tower Bridge that tells you when is opening and when is closing, what vessel is passing by and which way is going.
The data is already there. It’s taking a device that’s already outputting digital data and piping that output in human-readable form to the web. The idea is how to better inform and distribute that data. The bridges talks in the first person – important note! It doesn’t express any personality,in my opinion but using first person gives somehow a more intimacy relation …”the object should express something of a personality, even if it’s wrapped up in an inanimate object describing itself as “I”.” A mix of usability with poetry. I still think that it could have more storytelling attached.

reference in this article:
Article by Tom Armitage

User comment: ” It would be better if it could sense when there was the most amount of tourists on it, and then open in reverse, dumping them all in the Thames. Can you do this on your computer machine for all of us?”

We’re letting digital representations of machines (the software that converts their data into some form of English string) address digital representations of ourselves. I find that more interesting: we’re no longer necessarily anthropomorphising machines into people, but treating their digital incarnations as readily-understood metaphors. We’ve moved away from anthropomorphising in its strictest sense and towards finding an actual, idea-space representation of machines. That’s… most interesting.

The other thing that happens as more machines enter spaces previously restricted to humans is that the potential for interaction based on overhearing emerges. I used “overheard” very deliberately earlier – to suggest we’re not getting the original message (which, presumably, is in XML or binary or something) but a chinese whisper of it, cast out in public via Twitter. But now imagine if the API is two ways, and telescopes, watching the Twitter timeline can start acting upon the things they overhear. Scheduling software overhearing the Victoria line announcing that it’s broken. My cooker picking up that I’m leaving the office.

(hum….objects all connected…)

Twitter 846 followers

Here another article that talks about the future uses of these objects that talk with you.
I’m really enjoying the comments that appear in this kind of articles and research that I’m doing. Here is another one:
““Turn me off and go to bed, you will be grateful tomorrow”
-my computer, TV, cell phone, or whatever distracts me at night”

5 companies Building the Internet of Things

Feb 2009

building or helping creating infrastructure, system, tools!
TikiTag,Mir:ror,Pachube, Arduino. ZeroG Wireless

Everything will be connected to everything else

Feb 2009

Today I read this amazing paper(from 1999) – still don’t remember from where it came. I would like to make an animation about it. A portrait… Fiction or future reality, here is an excerpt:

” My drier would probably like to chat with my washer, getting warnings about oncoming loads of wash. Of course, it would be regularly in touch with its manufacturer, getting the latest downloads of drying software, and reporting on its own condition. The drier and its designers would be continually looking for new responsibilities in order to maintain their place in my house. I imagine the doorbell ringing, and it’s FedEx with the new clothes ordered by my observant drier, cleverly bought at auction on the net. My closet is jealous, since it feels this is its responsibility, and has ceased talking to the drier. Worse, I discover that, in spite, the closet has donated my clothes to charity.”

Even if it’s related with smart homes of the future, it shows a ridiculous scenario about the internet of things. If machines and objects will start to become smart and intelligent they will start to think and act for us. What will we be doing? What will be left for us to do? :)

Next step: do a similar imaginary scenario in relation with urban objects

Topic of the Day – Privacy

Feb 2009

Quando acabar por aqui a informacao e links todos.
fazer ainda hoje!

Creative Misuse of Technology – Dorkbot

Feb 2009

“A selection of historical and contemporary short videos and live performances featuring inappropriate, inadvisable, and occasionally disastrous creative uses of technology.?
Went to this event today. An hour and half of good laugh and good stuff.

Kelly dobson

Jon Kessler: marcello9000


Feb 2009

Today I went to an event in Tribeca. I saw that was near Canal Street, at Hudson. When I arrive to Canal Street I was a bit lost but I had the idea that was south so I started walking and asked someone. He was very helpful and nice – good interaction. It was good weather and people are always nice in NY, always very open to be helpful.
I started walking south east and thinking that if I had an Iphone I was not going to be lost, even if I like to feel lost. If in the future everyone will have a smart phone and access to google maps
all the time, nobody will be lost. What will happen to this fleeting moments, to this interactions that occur in the city? I’m curious…



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