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November 05 2013

Podcast: the democratization of manufacturing

Manufacturing is hard, but it’s getting easier. In every stage of the manufacturing process–prototyping, small runs, large runs, marketing, fulfillment–cheap tools and service models have become available, dramatically decreasing the amount of capital required to start building something and the expense of revising and improving a product once it’s in production.

In this episode of the Radar podcast, we speak with Chris Anderson, CEO and co-founder of 3D Robotics; Nick Pinkston, a manufacturing expert who’s working to make building things easy for anyone; and Jie Qi, a student at the MIT Media Lab whose recent research has focused on the factories of Shenzhen.

Along the way we talk about the differences between Tesla’s auto plant and its previous incarnation as the NUMMI plant; the differences between on-shoring, re-shoring and near-shoring; and how the innovative energy of Kickstarter and the Maker movement can be brought to underprivileged populations.

Many of these topics will come up at Solid, O’Reilly’s new conference about the intersection of software and the physical world. Solid’s call for proposals open through December 9. We’re planning a series of Solid meet-ups, plant tours, and books about the collision of real and virtual; if you’ve got an idea for something the series should explore, please reach out!

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast through iTunesSoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

November 03 2013

Podcast: the Internet of Things should work like the Internet

At our OSCON conference this summer, Jon Bruner, Renee DiResta and I sat down with Alasdair Allen, a hardware hacker and O’Reilly author; Josh Marinacci, a researcher with Nokia; and Tony Santos, a user experience designer with Mozilla. Our discussion focused on the future of UI/UX design, from the perils of designing from the top down to declining diversity in washing machines to controlling your car from anywhere in the world.

Here are some highlights from our chat:

  • Alasdair’s Ignite talk on the bad design of UX in the Internet of Things: the more widgets and dials and sliders that you add on are delayed design decisions that you’re putting onto the user. (1:55 mark)
  • Looking at startups working in the Internet of Things, design seems to be “pretty far down on the general level of importance.” Much of the innovation is happening on Kickstarter and is driven by hardware hackers, many of whom don’t have design experience — and products are often designed as an end to themselves, as opposed to parts of a connected ecosystem. “We’re not building an Internet of Things, we’re building a series of islands…we should be looking at systems.” (3:23)
  • Top-down approach in the Internet of Things isn’t going to work — large companies are developing proprietary systems of things designed to lock in users. (6:05)
  • Consumer inconvenience is becoming an issue — “We’re creating an experience where I have to buy seven things to track me…not to mention to track my house….at some point there’s going to be a tipping point where people say, ‘that’s enough!’” (8:30)
  • Anti-overload Internet of Things user experience — mini printers and bicycle barometers. “The Internet of Things has to work like the Internet.” (11:07)
  • Is the Internet of Things following suit with the declining diversity we’ve seen in the PC space? Apple has imposed a design quality onto other company’s laptops…in the same vein, will we see a slowly declining diversity in washing machines, for instance? Or have we wrung out all the mechanical improvements that can possibly be made to a washing machine with current technology, opening the door for innovation through software enhancements? (17:30)
  • Tesla’s cars have a restful API; you can monitor and control the car from anywhere — “You can pop the sunroof while you’re doing 90 mph down the motorway, or worse than that, you can pop someone else’s sunroof.” Security holes are an increasing issue in the industrial Internet. (22:42)
  • “The whole point of the Internet of Things — and technology in general — should be to reduce the amount of friction in our lives.” (26:46)
  • Are we heading toward a world of zero devices, where the objects themselves are the interfaces? For the mainstream, it will depend on design and the speed of maturing technology. (30:53)
  • Sometimes the utility of a thing supersedes the poor user experience to become widely adopted — we’re looking at your history, WiFi. (33:19)
  • The speed of technology turnover is vastly increasing — in a 100 years, platforms and services like Kickstarter will be viewed as major drivers of the second industrial revolution. “We’re really going back to the core of innovation — if you offer up an idea, there will be enough people out there who want that idea to build it and make it, and that will cause someone else to have another idea.” (34:08)

Links related to our discussion:

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast through iTunes, SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

August 08 2013

Podcast: ratings, rankings, and the advantage of being born lucky

Outcomes following random exogenous upvotes and downvotes on message board posts. Image via Sean Taylor.Outcomes following random exogenous upvotes and downvotes on message board posts. Image via Sean Taylor.

Researchers randomly upvoted some posts and downvoted others on a popular message board. The upvoted posts became substantially more popular over the long run. Image via Sean Taylor.

Is popularity just a matter of simple luck–of some early advantage compounded by human preference for things that are already popular? A paper published today in Science offers some insight into the way that popularity emerges in online ratings. Lev Muchnik, Sinan Aral, and Sean Taylor were able to set up a randomized experiment on a popular Reddit-like message board in which they gave some posts a one-point upvote on publication and others a one-point downvote. Posts that were “born lucky” ended up with 25% higher scores on average than those without modification.

In our latest podcast, Renee DiResta and I are joined by Sean Taylor, Hilary Mason and John Myles White to talk about Sean’s findings and about ratings, rankings and reviews in general. Bits and pieces that come up in the podcast:


Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast through iTunesSoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

July 26 2013

Podcast: quantum computing with Pete Worden and Bob Lee

Hangar One at Moffett Field, built for the US Navy's early dirigible program.Hangar One at Moffett Field, built for the US Navy's early dirigible program.

Hangar One at Moffett Field, built for the US Navy’s early dirigible program. Photo via Wikipedia.

At Sci Foo Camp a few weeks ago we recorded a conversation with Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, and Bob Lee, CTO of Square. Among our topics on this wide-ranging podcast: quantum computing, which Ames is pursuing in partnership with Google; fraud prevention; and the remarkable Hangar One, built to accommodate dirigible aircraft at Moffett Field (the former Navy base that’s now home to Ames).

On this recording from O’Reilly: Jon Bruner, Jim Stogdill and Renee DiResta. Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast through iTunes, SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

July 20 2013

Where Innovation Lives

I sat down with Jon Bruner in New York City this week to talk about where innovation happens. Concentration still seems to matter, even in a networked world, but concentration of what? Minds, money, markets, or manufacturing know-how?

People we mention in this episode include Brady Forrest, Kipp Bradford and Alistair Croll.

Links for things we mention:

By the way, we clearly aren’t the only ones making comparisons between Silicon Valley and Detroit. Seems to be entering the zeitgeist. However, if you are interested in Detroit as a model for the unraveling of a dominant concentration of innovation, pick up a copy of the classic American Odyssey by Robert Conot or the more recent Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff.

You can subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar podcast through iTunes or SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

July 12 2013

Podcast: George Church on genomics

A few weeks ago some of my colleagues and I recorded a conversation with George Church, a Harvard University geneticist and one of the founders of modern genomics. In the resulting podcast, you’ll hear Church offer his thoughts on the coming transformation of medicine, whether genes should be patentable, and whether the public is prepared to deal with genetic data.

Here’s how Church characterizes the state of genomics:

It’s kind of like ’93 on the Web. In fact, in a certain sense, it’s more sophisticated than electronics because we have inherited three billion years of amazing technology that was just like a spaceship that was parked in our back yard and we’re just reverse-engineering and probably not fully utilizing even the stuff that we’ve discovered so far.

A few other helpful links:

  • CRISPR technology, which might find applications in a handful of sub-fields of bioengineering
  • The Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Association for Molecular Pathology vs. Myriad Genetics, Inc. held that “A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring.”
  • Church founded PersonalGenomes.org to make genomic and health-record data freely available

On this podcast from O’Reilly Media: Tim O’Reilly, Roger Magoulas, Jim Stogdill, Mike Loukides, and Jon Bruner. Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar podcast through iTunes or SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

June 26 2013

Podcast: what makes a scientist?

At Sci Foo Camp last weekend we enjoyed sitting down with several thoughtful scientists and thinkers-about-science to record a few podcast episodes. Here we speak with Tom Daniel, a professor of biology, computer science, and neurobiology at the University of Washington, and Ben Lillie, co-founder of The Story Collider and a Stanford-trained physicist. First topic: what brings people to science, and how we compare to our icons. Along the way, we mention Hans Bethe, Isaac Newton’s epitaph, and John McPhee’s trip across Interstate 80.

We’ll post the rest of the series over the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can find more episodes of our podcast and subscribe on iTunes or SoundCloud.

June 14 2013

Radar podcast: the Internet of Things, PRISM, and defense technology that goes civilian

On this week’s podcast, Jim Stogdill, Roger Magoulas and I talk about things that have been on our minds lately: the NSA’s surveillance programs, what defense contractors will do with their technology as defense budgets dry up, and a Californian who isn’t doing what you think he’s doing with hydroponics.

The odd ad in The Economist that caught Jon's attention, from Dassault Systemes.The odd ad in The Economist that caught Jon's attention, from Dassault Systemes.

The odd ad in The Economist that caught Jon’s attention, from Dassault Systemes. Does this suggest that contractors, contemplating years of American and European austerity, are looking for ways to market defense technologies to the civilian world?

Because we’re friendly Web stewards, we provide links to the more obscure things that we talk about in our podcasts. Here they are.

If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, on SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast RSS feed.

June 05 2013

Radar podcast: anthropology, big data, and the importance of context

Jim Stogdill, Roger Magoulas and I enjoyed a widely discursive discussion last week, available as a podcast above. Roger, fresh from our Fluent conference on JavaScript, opens by talking about the emergence of JS as a heavyweight computing tool and the importance of openness in its growth. A few other links related to our discussion:

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to our podcast series on iTunes or SoundCloud.

April 25 2012

Velocity Podcast Series - Joshua Bixby on The Business of Performance

This is the second podcast in our new Velocity Podcast Series. It is my intention to keep our conversations that we start at the Velocity conference going throughout the year. We will be talking with conference committee members, speakers, companies, and attendees. So check back weekly for a new podcast.

I recently spoke with Joshua Bixby of Strangeloop about measuring and making sense out of increased performance. Josh has presented at Velocity in Europe, Asia, and the US and always has some very interesting insights into the business of performance. Josh talks about Business KPIs, metrics and business benefits of performance optimization and always has plenty of data and graphs. In our conversation we touch on mostly on the business of speed.

Our conversation lasted 00:22:11 and if you want to pinpoint any particular answer, you can find the specific timing below.

  • A little background on Josh and Strangeloop (what is a StrangeLoop?) 00:00:26
  • You've mentioned in your talks that we are in the middle of a couple of revolutions, what are they? 00:03:18
  • When did you see an institutional need for making a business case for Web Performance Optimization? 00:05:21
  • How do you benchmark a company's web properties that are most mobile, enterprise, or Web2 oriented so you are comparing Apples to Apples? 00:07:38
  • How do you rank variable tradeoffs that engineers will inevitably encounter with Time, Cost, Quality, Scope and Performance? 00:11:25
  • What is the most common cause of mobile users not staying on a site, or not purchasing? Is is performance related? 00:12:36
  • Do you have any real-life examples of dramatic improvements companies have achieved through performance optimization? 00:14:54
  • In your experience, what is the most important benefit a company will get through performance improvements? 00:18:56

Velocity 2012: Web Operations & Performance — The smartest minds in web operations and performance are coming together for the Velocity Conference, being held June 25-27 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

July 01 2011

Matti Suuronen’s Futuro at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

In 2007, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam / Netherlands came into possession of the prototype of a quite spectacular piece of architecture: Finnish architect Matti Suuronen’s Futuro: house of the future.

With its distinctive flying saucer like shape Suuronen’s Futuro is an icon of 1960s design. In 1965 Matti Suuronen was commissioined to design a mobile holiday home that could be erected in poorly accessible skiing areas. The Futuro is made from polyester, measures about 3 x 8 meters, and was conceived for serial production. In part due to the oil crisis of 1973 the production was halted prematurely, but there are still a dozens of Futuros spread across the world.

The Futuro is now on display for the first time after its restoration at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen as centerpiece of the exhibition Futuro – Constructing Utopia, which also presents twenty prints and approximately a hundred design objects from the museum’s collection.

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Futuro – Constructing Utopia at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen VernissageTV met up with Jonieke van Es. She is Head of Collections & Research at the museum and tells us more about the history and concept of the Futuro, how the prototype came into possession of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and how it was restored, the Futuro’s relevance as a design icon, and its future use at the museum.

PS: Another Futuro is being restored currently at the University of Canberra.

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June 08 2011

Einführung ins Urheberrecht von Thomas Hoeren als Podcast

Thomas Hoeren, Medienrechtler an der Universität Münster, ist vielen durch sein regelmäßig aktualisiertes Skriptum Internetrecht bekannt. Jetzt gibt es auch eine kompakte und verständliche Einführung ins Urheberrecht als Podcast.

In sieben Folgen, zusammen rund 74 Minuten, geht es um Geschichte und Systematik des Urheberrechts in Deutschland:

Folge 1: Geschichte des Urheberrechts
Folge 2: Was ist geschützt
Folge 3: Wer ist geschützt
Folge 4: Verwertungsrechte
Folge 5: Rechtemanagement
Folge 6: Verwertungsgesellschaften und collective licensing
Folge 7: DRM und Rechtsfolgen bei Urheberrechtsverletzungen

Nur ein Podcast-Feed fehlt noch, hier ist mal einer.

January 24 2011

Afterimages of Life. Władysław Strzemiński and Rights for Art / ms2, Łódź, Poland

Jarosław Lubiak, curator of the exhhibition “Afterimages of life. Władysław Strzemiński and rights for art” at ms2, Łódź, Poland, explains the work of Władysław Strzemiński (1893-1952), one of the most important polish avant-garde artist. Strzemiński was a painter, designer, theoritican and teacher. The theory of Unism, which he created, was an importand contribution to the history of art of 20th century.

Strzemiński wrote many articles and books. His most important publications include: Unism in Painting (1928); Space Composition. Time – Space Rythm and its Calculations (1931) ; Theory of Vision (1958), written together with his wife, Katarzyna Kobro.

The curators invited German artist, Katja Strunz, to create the exhibition space. Thanks to her intervention in the shape of the architecture of the exhibition, we are given a new commentary to the works of Strzemiński.

Afterimages of Life is the first monographic exhibition of the artist in the period of the last 17 years. Its objective is the re-interpretation of Władysław Strzemiński’s works and placing them in the context of contemporary world.

Afterimages of life. Władysław Strzemiński and rights for art / ms2 Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, Poland. Interview and video by Ania Ejsmont.

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Tags: Powidoki życia. Władysław Strzemiński i prawa dla sztuki Unizm w malarstwie Teoria widzenia Kompozycja przestrzeni i obliczenia rytmu czasoprzestrzennego Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi Łódz


April 08 2010

02mydafsoup-01

Fora.tv, a Discussion and Lecture Online Platform, Founded in 2007 - is Charging since March 2010 for Access to New Complete Videostreams

Since March 24th 2010 there is at fora.tv no more a clearly seperating line between scientific information, PR and charging: the newly introduced premium access is nether clearly defined nor transparent in its extensions - what is charged, how long, is there a time line, from where on the videos are free? - etc. - The shift between free access and premium access was done mostly silently - intransparency rules, bad style for the audience, which to a greater part is composed by an international community of netizens, mostly people who tried to support and build up a freely supported network of good information sources, what was btw. also the PR strategy of fora.tv during the last years - fora.tv's way to handle now the financial reward shows a lack of information society conceptions and a new way to organize them by digital supported technologies to gain nevertheless a financial outcome - unfortunately it proves also a lack of honesty which silently menaces by a systematicaly build up intransparency the access to reliable www based qualitiy of information.

[to whome it may concerne - @sigalon02 @sigalon @sigaloninspired ]

oanth - muc - 20100408

March 24 2010

Interview with Designer Yves Béhar / Part 2/2: One Laptop Per Child and other projects

Industrial designer Yves Béhar is know for his engagement in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. For OLPC he designed the XO laptop. In the second part of the interview with Yves Béhar at Baselworld 2010, he gives us an update on the OLPC project and talks about his work, the future of design and the role design can play in making the world a better place, and the projects he is working on at the moment.

Born in Switzerland in 1967. Graduated from Art Center College of Design. Established his design studio, fuseproject in 1999. He brings a humanistic approach to his work with the goal of creating projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future. He also combines technological innovation with design. His major work includes the XO laptop for OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), LEAF LED light for Herman Miller, and “Jawbone” Bluetooth headset for Aliph. His innovative designs have garnered more than 150 awards, and his work is in the permanent collections of museums including the Centre Pompidou, MoMA, the Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich and The Art Institute of Chicago.

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March 23 2010

Interview with Designer Yves Béhar / Part 1/2: Issey Miyake Watch Series VUE

On the occasion of the presentation of Seiko’s Issey Miyake watch series VUE at Baselworld 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, VernissageTV met with the designer of the watch, Yves Béhar.

In the first part of the interview, Yves Béhar talks about the new Issey Miyake watch series called VUE: the basic idea, the materials, and shows us the watch and an animation that visualizes the concept behind VUE.
In the second part of the interview, Yves Béhar talks about his work and his studios in New York and San Francisco, his involvement in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project for which he designed the XO laptop, the future of design and the role design can play in making the world a better place, and the projects he is working on at the moment.

The complete interview is also available on our HD page.

Since 2001, under the direction of ISSEY MIYAKE, Seiko Instruments Inc. has collaborated with designers such as Shunji Yamanaka, Harri Koskinen, Tokujin Yoshioka, Naoto Fukasawa and Ross Lovegrove. This time, Yves Béhar was commissioned to design a new watch series.

Designer Statement by Yves Béhar: “A watch is a Mindset about the idea of time. When considering reading the time of day, my main question is: why do I need to see all twelve numbers when only one is needed? The watch’s unique approach is to present one number appearing only, while the previous hour slowly fades out of view, and the next one fades into view. This magical appearance reminds me of the time just passed, and the future incoming…it says, ‘time is precious, yet always presents us with a surprise ahead. The mindset of the watch is to let the mystery of time be experienced: the watch is a way to feel time’s appearance and disappearance in our lives. By seeing only the current hour, while the last hour representing the past and the next one representing the future subtly fade in and out, we can live a new view of time.”

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November 21 2009

Jetzt live: iRights in der Sendung Trackback von Radio Fritz

Von 18-20 Uhr gibt es heute bei Radio Fritz wieder die Sendung Trackback. In dieser geht es um aktuelle Fragen die das Netz oder die Blogosphäre betreffen. Ich bin heute zu Gast und werde auch etwas zum geforderten Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlage sagen. Dazu geht es um das iRights.info zugespielte und vor wenigen Tagen von uns veröffentlichte Gutachten des wissenschaftlichen Dienstes des Bundestages zum Leistungsschutzrecht. Zu Gast in der Sendung sind auch Rechtsanwalt Thomas Stadler der etwas über Abmahnungen sagt, Constanze Kurz vom Chaos Computer Club, Ben Stiller der über Mashups und Urheberrecht spricht sowie der Blogger K37 der “ein hermetisches Cafe” betreibt. Was immer das auch ist. Eine Beschreibung der Sendung sowie der Podcast der Sendung findet sich auf der Trackback-Website.

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