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July 11 2013

Four short links: 11 July 2013

  1. Sifted — 7 minute animation set in a point cloud world, using photogrammetry in film-making. My brilliant cousin Ben wrote the software behind it. See this newspaper article and tv report for more.
  2. Vehicle Tech Out of Sync with Drivers’ DevicesFord Motor Co. has its own system. Apple Inc. is working with one set of automakers to design an interface that works better with its iPhone line. Some of the same car companies and others have joined the Car Connectivity Consortium, which is working with the major Android phone brands to develop a different interface. FFS. “… you are changing your phone every other year, and the top-of-mind apps are continuously changing.” That’s why Chevrolet, Mini and some other automakers are starting to offer screens that mirror apps from a smartphone.
  3. Incentives in Notice and Takedown (PDF) — findings summarised in Blocking and Removing Illegal Child Sexual Content: Analysis from a Technical and Legal Perspective: financial institutions seemed to be relatively successful at removing phishing websites while it took on average 150 times longer to remove child pornography.
  4. OpenCV for Processing (Github) — OpenCV for Processing is based on the official OpenCV Java bindings. Therefore, in addition to a suite of friendly functions for all the basics, you can also do anything that OpenCV can do. And a book from O’Reilly, and it’ll be CC-licensed. All is win. (via Greg Borenstein)

January 17 2013

The software-enabled cars of the near-future (industrial Internet links)

OpenXC (Ford Motor) — Ford has taken a significant step in turning its cars into platforms for innovative developers. OpenXC goes beyond the Ford Developer Program, which opens up audio and navigation features, and lets developers get their hands on drivetrain and auto-body data via the on-board diagnostic port. Once you’ve built the vehicle interface from open-source parts, you can use outside intelligence — code running on an Android device — to analyze vehicle data.

Of course, as outside software gets closer to the drivetrain, security becomes more important. OpenXC is read-only at the moment, and it promises “proper hardware isolation to ensure you can’t ‘brick’ your $20,000 investment in a car.”

Still, there are plenty of sophisticated data-machine tieups that developers could build with read-only access to the drivetrain: think of apps that help drivers get better fuel economy by changing their acceleration or, eventually, apps that optimize battery cycles in electric vehicles.

Drivers with Full Hands Get a Backup: The Car (New York Times) — John Markoff takes a look at automatic driver aides — tools like dynamic cruise control and collision-avoidance warnings that represent something of a middle ground between driverless cars and completely manual vehicles. Some features like these have been around for years, many of them using ultrasonic proximity sensors. But some of these are special, and illustrative of an important element of the industrial Internet: they rely on computer vision like Google’s driverless car. Software is taking over some kinds of machine intelligence that had previously resided in specialized hardware, and it’s creating new kinds of intelligence that hadn’t existed in cars at all.

This is a post in our industrial Internet series, an ongoing exploration of big machines and big data. The series is produced as part of a collaboration between O’Reilly and GE.


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Reposted bySchrammelhammelMrCoffeinmybetterworldkonikonikonikonikoniambassadorofdumbgroeschtlNaitliszpikkumyygittimmoejeschge

July 07 2011

3 Android predictions: In your home, in your clothes, in your car

In advance of his upcoming webcast and the Android Open conference, I asked "Learning Android" author Marko Gargenta to weigh in on Android's future. Below he offers three predictions that focus on Android's expansion beyond mobile devices.

Prediction 1: Android controls the home

Marko GargentaMarko Gargenta: Google painted their vision of Android @ Home at the last Google I/O. I think this has huge potential to make Android the de-facto controller for many other devices, from lights to music players to robots and factory machinery. We are seeing the first stage with numerous home security systems being developed using Android, as well as set-top boxes powered by Android. At the moment, many of these devices simply use Android as a replacement for embedded Linux and they're still just self-contained devices.

In the second stage, manufacturers will start exposing libraries so developers can build custom applications for their devices, effectively turning them into platforms. I predict this will happen later this year as manufacturers realize the power of letting users hack their systems. The latest case study with Microsoft Kinetic should help pave the way.

In the third stage, various devices will be able to interact with one another — my phone can detect my TV and my TV can communicate with my stereo. This will take a bit longer to get to as we still don't have common protocols for this type of communication. We also run the risk of companies developing their own proprietary protocols, such as a Samsung TV only talking to a Samsung phone, etc. Compatibility may require Google stepping in and using the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) as a tool to enforce common protocols.

Android Open, being held October 9-11 in San Francisco, is a big-tent meeting ground for app and game developers, carriers, chip manufacturers, content creators, OEMs, researchers, entrepreneurs, VCs, and business leaders.

Save 20% on registration with the code AN11RAD

Prediction 2: Wearable Android

Marko Gargenta: The form factor for Android boards is getting to be very small and the price of the actual chipset is approaching the $100 point for a full-featured device. This allows for development of wearable Android-powered devices. Some of them will be for fashion purposes, such as watches. Others will be for medical and safety applications. I predict that toward the end of this year we're going to start seeing high-end fashion accessories based on Android. We may not be aware they are Android-powered, and we may not be able to develop for them. At the same time, early medical devices will emerge, initially for non-critical applications. These will likely be closed, purpose-built systems with little opportunity for development or extension.

Prediction 3: Android and networked cars

Android logoMarko Gargenta: This is the next big frontier for Android to seize. The car industry is now at the point where the mobile phone industry was 5-10 years ago. People are going to want more from their car systems as they realize that things like Google Maps beat any stock navigation system. Consumers will want car-based connectivity to the Internet as well as apps.

The first stage of networked car development will involve using Android to build proprietary systems. This is already underway with commercial systems being built for cars without users even knowing the systems are based on Android. The second stage will involve connecting the cars to the Internet. This can be done in a couple of ways: cars can have radios with their own connections to the Internet or a driver's mobile phone can be tapped for online access.

Whatever approach we take, 4G and LTE network developments will help the process quite a bit. Once the cars are connected, manufactures will have the opportunity to open up kits for developers to build purpose-built applications for those systems. It is likely that manufacturers may tightly control what apps are allowed into what vehicles by running their own proprietary app stores with strict policies and quality control. This is simply the nature of the auto industry to self-police itself and focus heavily on testing the software. It is not very likely that we'll be able to simply download car apps from a major app market right away.


May 26 2010


May 25 2010

5805 aa9c 500

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started.


April 30 2010


April 27 2010

VW Modellserien / car series ~1965

December 18 2008

June 11 2008

TERRA 432: Cars, Critters, Culverts PREVIEW

Highways are a major cause of wildlife mortality in the United States, but the use of tunnels as safe thoroughfares for animals mitigates that threat, while increasing safety for motorists as well. Take a scenic tour of Montana's roadways with a wildlife biologist who studies roadkill, a highway engineer, and two young activists in "Cars, Critters, Culverts"!
TERRA 432: Cars, Critters, Culverts

Highways are a major cause of wildlife mortality in the United States, but the use of tunnels as safe thoroughfares for animals mitigates that threat, while increasing safety for motorists as well. Take a scenic tour of Montana's roadways with a wildlife biologist who studies roadkill, a highway engineer, and two young activists in "Cars, Critters, Culverts"!
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