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January 08 2014

The emergence of the connected city

Photo: Millertime83Photo: Millertime83

If the modern city is a symbol for randomness — even chaos — the city of the near future is shaping up along opposite metaphorical lines. The urban environment is evolving rapidly, and a model is emerging that is more efficient, more functional, more — connected, in a word.

This will affect how we work, commute, and spend our leisure time. It may well influence how we relate to one another, and how we think about the world. Certainly, our lives will be augmented: better public transportation systems, quicker responses from police and fire services, more efficient energy consumption. But there could also be dystopian impacts: dwindling privacy and imperiled personal data. We could even lose some of the ferment that makes large cities such compelling places to live; chaos is stressful, but it can also be stimulating.

It will come as no surprise that converging digital technologies are driving cities toward connectedness. When conjoined, ISM band transmitters, sensors, and smart phone apps form networks that can make cities pretty darn smart — and maybe more hygienic. This latter possibility, at least, is proposed by Samrat Saha of the DCI Marketing Group in Milwaukee. Saha suggests “crowdsourcing” municipal trash pick-up via BLE modules, proximity sensors and custom mobile device apps.

“My idea is a bit tongue in cheek, but I think it shows how we can gain real efficiencies in urban settings by gathering information and relaying it via the Cloud,” Saha says. “First, you deploy sensors in garbage cans. Each can provides a rough estimate of its fill level and communicates that to a BLE 112 Module.”

BLE112_M_RGB_frontBLE112_M_RGB_front

As pedestrians who have downloaded custom “garbage can” apps on their BLE-capable iPhone or Android devices pass by, continues Saha, the information is collected from the module and relayed to a Cloud-hosted service for action — garbage pick-up for brimming cans, in other words. The process will also allow planners to optimize trash can placement, redeploying receptacles from areas where need is minimal to more garbage-rich environs.

“It should also allow greater efficiency in determining pick-up schedules,” said Saha. “For example, in some areas regular scheduled pick-ups may be best. But managers may find it’s also a good idea to put some trash collectors on a roving basis to service cans when they’re full. That could work well for areas where there’s a great deal of traffic and cans fill up quickly but unpredictably — and conversely, in low-traffic areas, where regular pick-up isn’t necessary. Both situations would benefit from rapid-response flexibility.”

Garbage can connectivity has larger implications than just, well, garbage. Brett Goldstein, the former Chief Data and Information Officer for the City of Chicago and a current lecturer at the University of Chicago, says city officials found clear patterns between damaged or missing garbage cans and rat problems.

“We found areas that showed an abnormal increase in missing or broken receptacles started getting rat outbreaks around seven days later,” Goldstein said. “That’s very valuable information. If you have sensors on enough garbage cans, you could get a temporal leading edge, allowing a response before there’s a problem. In urban planning, you want to emphasize prevention, not reaction.”

Such Cloud-based app-centric systems aren’t suited only for trash receptacles, of course. Companies such as Johnson Controls are now marketing apps for smart buildings — the base component for smart cities. (Johnson’s Metasys management system, for example, feeds data to its app-based Paoptix Platform to maximize energy efficiency in buildings.) In short, instrumented cities already are emerging. Smart nodes — including augmented buildings, utilities and public service systems — are establishing connections with one another, like axon-linked neurons.

But Goldstein, who was best known in Chicago for putting tremendous quantities of the city’s data online for public access, emphasizes instrumented cities are still in their infancy, and that their successful development will depend on how well we “parent” them.

“I hesitate to refer to ‘Big Data,’ because I think it’s a terribly overused term,” Goldstein said. “But the fact remains that we can now capture huge amounts of urban data. So, to me, the biggest challenge is transitioning the fields — merging public policy with computer science into functional networks.”

There are other obstacles to the development of the intelligent city, of course. Among them: how do you incentivize enough people to download apps sufficient to achieve a functional connected system? Indeed, the human element could prove the biggest fly in the ointment. We may resist quantifying ourselves to such a degree, even for the sake of our cities.

On the other hand, the connected city exists to serve people, not the other way around, observes Drew Conway, senior advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and founder of the data community support group DataGotham. People ultimately act in their self-interest, and if the connected city brings boons, people will accept and support it. But attention must be paid to unintended consequences, emphasizes Conway.

“I never forget that humanity is behind all those bits of data I consume,” says Conway. “Who does the data serve, after all? Human beings decided why and where to put out those sensors, so data is inherently biased — and I always keep the human element in mind. And ultimately, we have to look at the true impacts of employing that data.”

As an example, continues Conway, “say the data tells you that an illegal conversion has created a fire hazard in a low-income residential building. You move the residents out, thus avoiding potential loss of life. But now you have poor people out on the street with no place to go. There has to be follow-through. When we talk of connections, we must ensure that some of those connections are between city services and social services.”

Like many technocrats, Conway also is concerned about possible threats to individual rights posed by data collected in the name of the commonwealth.

“One of New York’s most popular programs is expanding free public WiFi,” he says. “It’s a great initiative, and it has a lot of support. But what if an agency decided it wanted access to weblog data from high-crime areas? What are the implications for people not involved in any criminal activity? We haven’t done a good job of articulating where the lines should be, and we need to have that debate. Connected cities are the future, but I’d welcome informed skepticism on their development. I don’t think the real issue is the technical limitations — it’s the quid pro quo involved in getting the data and applying it to services. It’s about the trade-offs.”


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October 02 2012

Four short links: 2 October 2012

  1. Print Your Own 3D Parts (Wired) — Teenage Engineering, makers of a popular synthesizer known as the OP-1, posted the 3-D design files of various components on digital object repository Shapeways, and is instructing 3-D printer-equipped users to print them out instead of buying them.
  2. Legacy Media Demanding Surveillance In ISPsmusic rights groups including the Recording Industry Association of Japan say they have developed a system capable of automatically detecting unauthorized music uploads before they even hit the Internet. But to do that they need to be able to spy on Internet users’ connections and compare data being transferred with digital fingerprints held in an external database. That can only be achieved with the assistance of Internet service providers who would be asked to integrate the system deeply into their networks. It’s Japan for now …
  3. Sensors for Industrial Espionage (NPR) — Genscape also places electromagnetic monitors beneath the power lines running into the Cushing tank farms to measure their power usage. This gives them an idea of how much oil is being pumped into and out of Cushing.
  4. TypeScript — Apache2 licensed typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.

December 02 2011

Visualization of the Week: Amazon book recommendations

How does Amazon get its recommendations right? In part, by tapping into a larger network of those with the same interests and similar purchasing habits.

Christopher Warnow has created a network visualization based on this data and written an app that utilizes the Gephi API. The tool takes a link from a book on Amazon and creates the network surrounding it, with up to 100 recommendations associated with the title.

In honor of the "rhizomatic" structure of this visualization, the following video shows the recommendation network around Deleuze and Guattari's Marxist classic "A Thousand Plateaus:"

You can download the tool here, which will allow you to watch visualizations unfold in real time. The tool also lets you zoom in and out, and export a visualization as a PDF.

Found a great visualization? Tell us about it

This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. We're always looking for leads, so please drop a line if there's a visualization you think we should know about.

Moving to Big Data: Free Strata Online Conference — In this free online event, being held Dec. 7, 2011, at 9AM Pacific, we'll look at how big data stacks and analytical approaches are gradually finding their way into organizations as well as the roadblocks that can thwart efforts to become more data driven. (This Strata Online Conference is sponsored by Microsoft.)

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More Visualizations:

August 10 2011

FCC contest stimulates development of apps to help keep ISPs honest

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the winners of its open Internet Challenge.

"The winners of this contest will help ensure continued certainty, innovation and investment" in the broadband sector," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at the awards ceremony. "Shining a light on network management practices will ensure that incentives for entrepreneurs and innovators remain strong. They will help deter improper conduct helping ensure that consumers and the marketplace pick winners and losers online, and that websites or applications aren't improperly blocked or slowed."

The contest received twenty four submissions in total, with three winners. MobiPerf, a mobile network measurement tool that runs on Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile devices, won both the People's Choice Award and best overall Open Internet App. MobiPerf collects anonymous network measurement information directly from mobile phones. MobiPerf was designed by a University of Michigan and Microsoft Research team.

mobperf-apps.jpg


Two apps and teams shared the Open Internet Research Award. ShaperProbe, which was originally called, "DiffProbe," is designed to detect service discrimination by Internet service providers (ISPs). ShaperProbe uses the Measurement Lab (M-Lab) research platform. All of the data collected through ShaperProbe will be publicly accessible, according to Georgia Institute of Technology, which developed the app.

Netalyzer is a Web-based Java app that measures and debugs a network. Notably, the Netalyzer Internet traffic analysis tool has a "Mom Mode," which may make it more accessible to people like, well, my own mother. Netalyzer was built by the International Computer Science Institute (ISCI) at the University of California at Berkeley.

More details about the winners and the teams that built them is available at FCC.gov.

Strata Conference New York 2011, being held Sept. 22-23, covers the latest and best tools and technologies for data science -- from gathering, cleaning, analyzing, and storing data to communicating data intelligence effectively.

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Open Internet questions


It almost goes without saying that this contest carried some baggage at the outset. Last December, the launch of a new contest by the Federal Communications Commission was overshadowed by concerns about what the new FCC open Internet rules could mean for net neutrality, particularly with respect to the mobile space that is of critical interest to many developers. Nonetheless, the FCC open Internet challenge went forward, focused on stimulating the development of apps for network quality of service testing.

Amidst legitmate concerns about the sustainability of apps contests, the outcomes of this Open Internet challenge offers a couple of important data points.

First, the challenge does seem to have stimulated the creation of a new resource for the online community: unlike the other two winners, the MobiPerf app was created for the contest, according to FCC press secretary Neil Grace.

Second, when this challenge launched, collecting more data for better net neutrality was a goal that organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and M-Lab supported. The best answers to questions about filtering or shaping rely "on the public having real knowledge about how our Internet connections are functioning and whether or not ISPs are providing the open Internet that users want," wrote Richard Esguerra.

Now the public has better tools to gather and share that knowledge. Will these apps "shed light" on broadband providers' tactics? As with so many apps, that will depend on whether people *use* them or not. The two winning apps that existed before the contest, Netalyzer and ShaperProbe, have already been used thousands of times, so there's reason to expect more usage. For instance, Netalyzer can be (and was) applied in analyzing widespread search hijacking in the United States. In that context, empowered consumers that can detect and share data about the behavior of their Internet service providers could play a more important role in the broadband services market.

Finally, the FCC has established new ties to the research and development communities at Berkeley, Georgia Tech and other institutions. It connected with the community. Integrating more technical expertise from academia with the regulator's institutional knowledge is an important outcome from the challenge, and not one that is as easily measured as "a new app for that." It's not clear yet whether the outcomes from the Apps for Communities challenge, set to conclude on August 31st, will be as positive.

The expertise and the data collected from these apps might come also in handy if the time ever comes when the regulator has to make a controversial decision about whether a given ISP's service to its users goes beyond "reasonable network management."

Reposted bykrekk krekk

February 24 2011

Four short links: 24 February 2011

  1. Charles -- a debugging proxy that lets a developer view all HTTP and SSL traffic between their machine and the Internet. (via Andy Baio's excellent "How I Indexed The Daily)
  2. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Broadband -- the Blackberry is now the standard measure of traffic, apparently. The outcome is simple - Cisco estimates that global mobile data traffic grew 159% last year and will grow another 131% this year. They contend traffic will increase 26 times versus 2010 levels, a 92% cumulative annual growth rate. I hope the network engineers are ready.
  3. Pattern -- BSD-licensed Python tools for data retrieval (Google + Twitter + Wikipedia API, web spider, HTML DOM parser), text analysis (rule-based shallow parser, WordNet interface, syntactical + semantical n-gram search algorithm, tf-idf + cosine similarity + LSA metrics) and data visualization (graph networks). (via Hacker News)
  4. ODF Plugfest -- when you have open standards, you need interop events like this to ensure that theoretically compatible programs are actually compatible. (via Jono Bacon on Twitter)

January 17 2011

Brunei: Twitter and tourism

Written by Senor Pablo

Soulkonekshen discusses how twitter facilitated the travel of a US-based journalist in Brunei. Local bloggers also participated in the twitter exchange.

May 21 2010

The solutions to our big problems are in the network

Massive issues around the environment, social change, and worldwide economies feel intractable. Where do we even begin?

"Sustainable Network" author Sarah Sorensen sees things differently. She believes solutions to our biggest problems can be found in something many of use every day: the global communications network. In the following interview, Sorensen explains how the network shapes connections and opportunities far beyond technology.

What is a sustainable network?

Sarah SorensenSarah Sorensen: Every network can be a sustainable network because it has the ability to be a sustainable platform for change. Unlike any technology that has come before it, the network is able to permeate all parts of the globe and establish new links and relationships between people, governments and economies.

Every network is also self-sustaining. In the book I call this the "The Sustainable Network Law," which states that: the more broadband that is made available, the faster network innovation occurs, the greater the opportunity is for creating change, and the greater the need is for even more bandwidth.

Is "network" synonymous with "Internet," or are you talking about something larger?

Sarah Sorensen: When I say the "network," I'm talking about the world's global communications infrastructure, which supports connections from all types of computing devices. It:

  • Establishes relationships between people, things, governments and economies.
  • Provides a capacity to build and develop relationships, which perpetuates its growth. The more we use it, the more uses we find for it.
  • Represents the best platform we have for sustainable progress and action.

In a broader context, the network is a part of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, which is the full range of devices and applications that play a role in digital communication. This goes from monitors and cell phones to PCs, storage devices, and all the different applications and hardware that enable the sharing or use of information. It stretches from the smallest home office to the largest global network.

Can you point to examples of the network creating positive change?

Sarah Sorensen: The network can create a lot of connections that create positive change. Kiva.org, which connects micro-lenders with entrepreneurs, is a great example of the network providing resources that can improve the opportunities of an individual, business or community.

Also, look at the role the network plays when disaster and tragedy hit. In Haiti, after the earthquake, within minutes we saw photos and news of the devastation and calls for aid from philanthropic organizations. The network served as the main source of information, providing critical links to family and friends around the world. Of course, this is nothing new. Relief and aid organizations have been using online sites to link people to humanitarian needs for years, but the use of social media to mobilize groups is becoming more sophisticated and effective.

This is the promise and hope of the network. If it can help people band together and get involved, even in small ways, there's the opportunity to ultimately make a big difference or solve big problems.


What should be done to protect and grow the network?

Sarah Sorensen: We need to roll out broadband to as many people as possible. This not only takes real investment in the infrastructure, but also a political environment that recognizes the link between broadband and economic prosperity. Restrictive regulation could hinder the roll out, which is one reason why there is concern about the FCC's potential proposal to reclassify broadband as a Title II service.


How does the network affect individuals?

Sarah Sorensen: The potential is limitless, which is critical since we are facing some of the toughest challenges yet. Collectively, we need to make changes to our consumptive habits, adjust our resource dependencies, and create more sustainable social, economic and political models. On an individual level, we can use the network to be more efficient, reduce waste and get involved.

It will take everyone, so we all must understand it. This is where the book comes in -- it strives to help people recognize the network's role in the world around them, replacing vague notions of 3G, 4G, broadband and malware with a concrete understanding of how the network is relevant to their personal, business and civic lives.

Just look at recent headlines: U.S. lags in high-speed broadband access; Google pulls out of China; Court ruling on the FCC's ability to regulate net neutrality. These highlight the broadband investments, cybersecurity risks, privacy issues, and political and ideology battles taking place right now that will affect the ability of the network to improve our lives in the future.

We need everyone to understand what's at stake and participate in the dialogue to shape the changes we want to see. We are just at the beginning -- we can't even imagine the innovations to come -- and it necessitates a base understanding of the network by all to ensure no one is left behind.

This interview was condensed and edited.

March 26 2010

02mydafsoup-01

Tags: Ada Lovelace - the Ada Lovelace Day, 24th of March - survey on articles via Soup.io in 2009 & 2010


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Pointer - Wegweiser ---------------------------------------------------



AdaLovelacePic.jpg
In occasion of the Ada Lovelace Day, 24th of March (a day to remember and encourage women in IT technologies, female engagement in all kinds of cyber-activism & blogging) I tagged all the articles I could find on my soup in 2009 und 2010 on Ada Lovelace (just click on the name and the postings will appear)

There are a lot of informations about engagements in politics interconnected with the fields of technological developement, human rights, privacy - btw, also about Franziska Heine from CCC - and even comics.


[oanth - muc -20100325]
Reposted bySigalon02 Sigalon02

March 25 2010

Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Women in Technology and Transparency Worldwide

Inspired by Ellen Miller's post on the Sunlight Foundation blog, which profiles the work of women who use technology to promote transparency in the United States, we decided to add to the list by profiling several women from around the world involved in the use of technology to make government more transparent and accountable. The following profiles were written and researched by Renata Avila, the lead of Creative Commons Guatemala, the Director of Primer Palabra, and our researcher for Spanish-language Latin America on the Technology for Transparency Network.

In Mexico, Irma Eréndida Sandoval heads up a laboratory to document corruption and research the best transparency policies. “Laboratorio de Documentación y Análisis de la Corrupción y la Transparencia” at UNAM, the Autonomous National Mexican University, is one of the most prestigious institutions in Latin America.

In Iceland, parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir is promoting the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a proposal to create a global safe haven for investigative journalism in Iceland that would improve freedom of expression and transparency worldwide by protecting watchdog groups and whistleblowers from libel censorship.

It is important not only approve good laws to promote transparency and openness but also protect a free country from becoming less transparent. An activist from Germany, Franziska Heine, initiated the most successful e-petition in German history, aimed to prevent a law which would give the German police the right to create and maintain censorship lists with websites to be blocked by German ISPs. It was signed more than 134,000 times. Franziska is part of the anti-censorship movement and is engaged in several activities and organizations which fight against surveillance, data mining, censorship and other threats to civil rights.

But good laws and proactive citizens are not enough; tools are also important to enable women around the world to take action and promote transparency. Margarita Padilla, an IT engineer and the former director of the magazine Mundo Linux is making a difference. She creates and maintains systems with a social approach and also promotes openness with her website Sin Dominio.

Mercedes de Freitas from Venezuela is the Executive Director of Transparencia Venezuela, the local chapter of Transparency International and is former Ashoka Changemaker Fellow for her work in promoting civic participation to increase government accountability.

These are surely just a few examples of women around the world who are using technology to challenge corruption, improve the performance of institutions, and create better policy to engage citizens and hold public officials accountable. As a recent article by Alexandra Starr notes, both the fields of technology and government have long excluded women from participation despite their impressive track record for approaching both policy and technology with more realism and tact than their male counterparts.

Software companies and parliamentary buildings around the world are still mostly dominated by men, but this is changing quickly thanks to a new generation of women technologists, activists, and politicians. I would be remiss to not highlight the work of our female researchers and research reviewers who, it must be said, have proven themselves to be the hardest working members of our team on the Technology for Transparency Network.

Renata Avila, who wrote the profiles of all of the women above, is a lawyer, human rights activist, the country lead of Creative Commons Guatemala, and the director of Primer Palabra. She has worked with the Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation, Harvard University, the Public Voice, and Women in International Security. Twitter: @avilarenata.

Sopheap Chak is a graduate student of peace studies at the International University of Japan. Meanwhile, she is also running the Cambodian Youth Network for Change, which mobilizes young activists around the country. She was previously advocacy officer of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) where she helped lead the “Black Box Campaign” to fight against police corruption in Cambodia. Twitter: @jusminesophia.

Rebekah Heacock is currently a master's candidate at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where she studies the intersection of ICT and development and edits SIPA’s blog, The Morningside Post. She previously lived and worked in Uganda, where she co-developed and directed a series of conferences on post-conflict development for American and African college students. Twitter: @rebekahredux.

Manuella Maia Ribeiro is a recent graduate of Public Policy Management from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Since 2007 she has been researching how governments can promote transparency, accountability and participation through the use of information and communication technologies. Twitter: @manuellamr.

Namita Singh is a researcher and consultant focused on participatory media. She studied mass media and mass communication at Delhi University and has a Master of Arts in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. Namita will soon begin her Ph.D. research in the UK on the processes and impact of participatory video. Twitter: @namitasingh.

Carrie Yang is a a postgraduate student studying new media at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The focus of her research is on citizen journalism and new media product development. She studied English at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China. Twitter: @Carrie_Young.

Sylwia Presley is a blogger, photographer and activist who is passionate about social media marketing for the non-profit sector and social media for social change. She has organized numerous events including Barcamp Transparency UK last summer in Oxford, which she hopes will be replicated in other European countries this year. Twitter: @presleysylwia.

Aparna Ray is an independent qualitative research consultant by profession who is keenly interested in people, cultures, communities and social media/software. She writes both in English and Bangla, (the latter being her mother-tongue), and covers the Bangla blog world on Global Voices. Twitter: @aparnaray.

Laura Vidal is a Venezuelan studying Science Education in Paris, France. She blogs at Sacando la Lengua about languages, literature and interactions in society, and deeply believes in the uniqueness and importance of every culture, and in the study of them as a mirror to our own.

Do you know other women working in the fields of technology and transparency? Please link to their websites, blogs, and Twitter accounts in the comments section below!

Reposted bySigalon02 Sigalon02

March 24 2010

Ada Lovelace day: Celebrating women in science

The annual event aims to raise the profile of women in science and technology. Rebecca Thomson picks out some of the most important people


Reposted fromsigaloninspired sigaloninspired

July 09 2009

Four short links: 10 July 2009

  1. Ceph -- open source distributed filesystem from UCSC. Ceph is built from the ground up to seamlessly and gracefully scale from gigabytes to petabytes and beyond. Scalability is considered in terms of workload as well as total storage. Ceph is designed to handle workloads in which tens thousands of clients or more simultaneously access the same file, or write to the same directory-usage scenarios that bring typical enterprise storage systems to their knees. (via joshua on delicious)
  2. Daily Internet Activities, 2000-2009 -- Pew Charitable Trust's Internet usage survey. We've finally broken 50% of Americans using the Internet daily. Twitter is almost a rounding error. (via dhowell on Twitter)
  3. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage -- fantastic comic, with end-notes that explain how Babbage and Lovelace's lives and works are reflected in the action of the comic. (via suw on Twitter)
  4. Search User Interfaces -- full text of this book about the different (successful and un-) interfaces to search. (via sebchan on Twitter)

March 24 2009

Ada Lovelace Day ABC

Ada Lovelace Day helps to "make sure that whenever the question Who are the leading women in tech? is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues". I was tempted to talk about Mitchell Baker (Chief Lizard Wrangler at Mozilla) but the Ada Day specifically requested "unsung heroes", so I'm going to give you the ABC of great women you probably don't already know:

The first, actually, you probably do: Allison Randal. She sometimes blogs on O'Reilly Radar, but not as often as we like. Allison succeeded me in four projects, and made me look bad every time! She ran the Perl Foundation better than I did, she ran Perl 6 better than I did, she was a better editor than I was, and you don't need a math degree to figure out how smoothly OSCON ran without me last year .... I admire the way Allison is a humane manager who succeeds in getting forward progress, even out of the most difficult to manage people, yet she'd much rather be coding. She's a linguist, a compiler writer of mad skills, has been the driving force behind Parrot (congrats on 1.0!), and is a deeply sane person in an industry too-often burdened by ego, vanity, and fantasy.

The second is Brenda Wallace. She's also a rock-solid developer, but has taken on much of the social organising of geek events in Wellington, New Zealand. Software folks are great at spotting gaps in code coverage, but they often have a blind spot for gaps in social coverage. Brenda's run geek girl events, SuperHappyDevHouse, Open Days, Hack Days, and more. She's always finding ways to get developers meeting developers. She rallied many troops for New Zealand's fight against bad copyright law. And, as if that wasn't enough, she has more gadgets than anyone else I've met in NZ!

The third is Courtney Johnston. She works for the National Library of New Zealand. I especially appreciate liminal people, those who live at the intersection of worlds. Courtney bridges three: art, libraries, and the web. She can bring the world view, the values, the techniques, and knowledge from one community to the others, enriching them all. She's passionate about the potential for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums to not just survive but thrive in the digital world. And, like Allison and Brenda, Courtney is an amplifier: she is working to share knowledge and build networks that make other people more effective and powerful in what they do.

Lady Ada would be proud.

Tomorrow is Ada Lovelace Day, Celebrating The World's First Computer Programmer

AdaLovelacePic.jpgAda Lovelace, a 19th century British writer who is considered the world's first computer programmer, will be honored by bloggers all over the world tomorrow. In the spirit of providing young women with role models, more than 1500 bloggers participating in the first annual Ada Lovelace Day have pledged to write about a woman or women they admire working in technology on March 24th. You can read about Lovelace on Wikipedia.

Sponsor

The event was organized by UK social software consultant Suw Charman-Anderson using the service Pledgebank. If you'd like to participate as well, or just in case you're interested - we've created a Custom Search Engine of technology blogs written by women to help with this and any other research.

We'll be participating with a post highlighting an inspiring woman in tech tomorrow, but we thought this would also be a good opportunity to share the search engine below, titled Blogs By Women in Tech. It was created using the super simple and very powerful Google Custom Search tool and lets users search just the archives of more than 200 tech blogs written by women. It was seeded by the archived blogroll at Misbehaving.net and has since grown with more people submitting their blogs. I have a link to it saved on my toolbar and use it whenever I can, as a way to make sure to include womens' voices in our news coverage.

Feel free to save and use the search engine yourself. I you'd like to suggest your blog or someone else's for inclusion you can either email links to marshall@readwriteweb.com or volunteer to be a contributor through a link on the site.

So go sign up to participate in Ada Lovelace Day and let's make sure that the next generation of young women know that there is an important place for them in technology.

womencse.jpg

Discuss

Reposted fromjrobelen jrobelen

January 27 2009

Four short links: 26 Jan 2009

Pledges, phone, fake brains, and real brains. All here on your Monday dose of four short links:

  1. Ada Lovelace Day - Suw Charman has kicked off a day of blogging about women in technology in honour of one of the greatest, Ada Lovelace. Of course, you should also feel free to blog about women in technology on days that aren't 24 March.
  2. Get Multitouch Support on Your T-Mobile G1 Today - developer Luke Hutchison added multitouch support to his phone's operating system. It doesn't suddenly make the phone's apps work like an iPhone's but it's a hell of a testament to the utility of an open source operating system.
  3. OCR and Neural Nets in Javascript - jQuery creator, John Resig, analyzes the Greasemonkey script that uses a neural network to solve one site's captchas. As John points out, the site's captchas aren't distorted, but it's nonetheless a sexy hack.
  4. WSJ Recommends Four Books on Irrational Decision Making - the four books are Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Judgement Under Uncertainty, How We Know What Isn't So, and Predictably Irrational. (via Mind Hacks blog)
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