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August 26 2013

Le service client à l'heure de l'internet des objets - Harvard Business Review

Le service client à l’heure de l’internet des objets - Harvard Business Review

Aujourd’hui, un service client innovant demande d’être capable de communiquer sur de multiples plateformes... Demain, il nécessitera aussi d’intégrer l’internet des objets. Pour s’y préparer, estime Duke Chung, il faut dès à présent construire des bases de connaissances plus solides, plus contextualisées, et rendre les #services plus faciles d’accès. Demain, les appareils devront être capables de prédire les problèmes liés à l’utilisation qui est faite d’eux, estime Duke Chung, qui est le cofondateur de (...)

#iot #internetofthings #internetdesobjets

June 07 2012

Four short links: 7 June 2012

  1. Electric Imp -- yet another group working on the necessary middleware for ubiquitous networked devices.
  2. How Big Data Transformed the Dairy Industry (The Atlantic) -- cutting-edge genomics company Illumina has precisely one applied market: animal science. They make a chip that measures 50,000 markers on the cow genome for attributes that control the economically important functions of those animals.
  3. The Curious Case of Internet Privacy (Cory Doctorow) -- I'm with Cory on the perniciousness of privacy-digesting deals between free sites and users, but I'm increasingly becoming convinced that privacy is built into business models and not technology.
  4. Chronoline (Github) -- Javascript to make a horizontal timeline out of a list of events.

May 21 2012

Four short links: 21 May 2012

  1. Objectivist C -- very clever. In Objectivist-C, each program is free to acquire as many resources as it can, without interference from the operating system. (via Tim O'Reilly)
  2. Zynga and Facebook Stock Oddities (The Atlantic) -- signs of robotrading, a reminder that we're surrounded by algorithms and only notice them when they go awry.
  3. The Final ROFLcon and Mobile's Impact on Internet Culture (Andy Baio) -- These days, memes spread faster and wider than ever, with social networks acting as the fuel for mass distribution. But it's possible we may see less mutation and remixing in the near future. As Internet usage shifts from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and tablets, the ability to mutate memes in a meaningful way becomes harder.
  4. Oh Mi Bod -- I was impressed to learn that one can buy vibrators that can be controlled from an iPhone. Insert iBone joke here. (via Cary Gibson)

March 28 2012

Four short links: 28 March 2012

  1. MS Office Exploit In The Wild, Targeting Mac OS X -- This is one of the few times that we have seen a malicious Office file used to deliver Malware on Mac OS X. (via Hacker News)
  2. Please Do Not Take Down The Sality BotNet -- best responsible disclosure ever.
  3. 3Difficult -- I’m an industrial designer at heart, and I’m saddened by what’s happened to my craft. We were once the kings of things, but for a variety of reasons I think we’re in danger of being left behind. [...] Making became the talk of the town, and to some extent it still is. We’re in the first stumbling days of the Internet of Things, and are increasingly seeing the paper thin definition between digital and tangible falling away.
  4. Air Quotes Product (Matt Webb) -- Recently I noted down some places in which traditional products have changed and he goes on to list some critical ways in which networked objects challenge our thinking. I love the little brain/big brain distinction--great to have words for these things at last!

December 09 2011

Four short links: 9 December 2011

  1. Critically Making the Internet of Things (Anne Galloway) -- session notes from a conference, see also part two. Good thoughts, hastily captured. For example, this from Bruce Sterling: RFID + Superglue + Object ≠ IoT and the talk I want to see: “A study of how broken, hacked and malfunctioning digital road signs subvert the physical space of roadways.”
  2. Conquering the CHAOS of Online Community at StackExchange -- StackExchange is doing some thoughtful work analysing conversations and channeling dissent into a healthy construction to guide future productive discussion. "We taught the users that it was alright to disagree, and gave them a set of arguments they could reference without every thread degenerating into a fight."
  3. Little Big Details -- one small detail done right, every day.
  4. Ranking Live Streams of Data (LinkedIn) -- behind the "interesting discussions" report.

December 06 2011

Stickers as sensors

Rather than ask people to integrate bulky or intrusive sensors into their lives, GreenGoose's upcoming system (pre-orders start on Dec. 15; systems ship on Jan. 1) will instead provide small stickers with built-in Internet-connected sensors. Tip a water bottle and the attached GreenGoose sticker logs it through a small base station that plugs into your wireless router. Feed the dog, go for a walk, clean the house — GreenGoose has designs on all of it. No special skills required.

GreenGoose founder Brian Krejcarek calls his company's sensors "elegantly playful." In the following short interview, Krejcarek explains how the GreenGoose stickers will work and how he hopes people will use the data they acquire from their everyday activities.

What will GreenGoose stickers measure?

Brian Krejcarek: Our sensors measure things you do based on how you interact with an object. This interaction correlates to a signature of forces that our sensors try to match against known patterns that represent a specific behavior around the use of the object. When there's a match, then we send a little wireless message from the sensor to the Internet.

For example, you can put a sensor sticker on a medicine bottle or water bottle. There are certain patterns here — tip, dispense, return upright — that the sensors can pick up.

Stickers are great for this because they're simple, flexible and they easily stick to curved things like bottles. Also, existing objects or things around the house can be enabled with sensing capabilities by just sticking on a sticker. We're taking everyday things and making them more fun. We're also lowering barriers to adopting sensors by treating them in a playful way.

We're trying to make it really easy. There's no batteries to recharge or USB cables or software to worry about. The sensors last more than a year, and the range is over 200 feet, so it's completely in the background.

We're finding all kinds of new applications for these sensors. We're going to be launching with sensors that target pets — measuring when you feed your pets or walk the dog, for instance. We've got about 50 or so other sensors in development right now that we will fairly quickly release over time.

GreenGoose sensor system
The GreenGoose sensor/sticker system.

How are you applying gamification?

Brian Krejcarek: We're keeping the gamification side of this really simple to start. It's all about making people smile and sharing a laugh as they do ordinary things throughout their day. No points, levels, or badges, necessarily. We're first going to roll out a simple application ourselves around these pet sensors, but developers will have immediate access to the API and data they generate. We invite those developers to start layering on their own game mechanics. GreenGoose is a platform play.

How do you think people will use the data your sensors gather?

Brian Krejcarek: We hope that the use of the data fits nicely into applications that help people have more fun with everyday things they do. Think families and kids. Toward that end, we've got a bunch of sensors on the way for toys and doing things around the house.

What lies ahead for GreenGoose?

Brian Krejcarek: Plans going forward include launching the previously mentioned sensor kits around pets, releasing an open API to developers, and launching a sensor around physical movement (exercise) as a little card that can slip into your wallet or purse. We affectionately call it a "get-up-off-your-bum" sensor. No calorie tracking, or graphs and charts. More sensors will be released shortly afterward, too.

This interview was edited and condensed.

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October 14 2011

Four short links: 14 October 2011

  1. Theory of Relativity in Words of Four Letters or Less -- this does just what it says, and well too. I like it, as you may too. At the end, you may even know more than you do now.
  2. Effective Set Reconciliation Without Prior Context (PDF) -- paper on using Bloom filters to do set union (deduplication) efficiently. Useful in distributed key-value stores and other big data tools.
  3. Mental Notes -- each card has an insight from psychology research that's useful with web design. Shuffle the deck, peel off a card, get ideas for improving your site. (via Tom Stafford)
  4. The Internet of Things To Come (Mike Kuniavsky) -- Mike lays out the trends and technologies that will lead to an explosion in Internet of Things products. E.g., This abstraction of knowledge into silicon means that rather than starting from basic principles of electronics, designers can focus on what they're trying to create, rather than which capacitor to use or how to tell the signal from the noise. He makes it clear that, right now, we have the rich petrie dish in which great networked objects can be cultured.

September 01 2011

Strata Week: What happens when 200,000 hard drives work together?

Here are a few of the data stories that caught my attention this week.

IBM's record-breaking data storage array

Hard Drive by walknboston, on FlickrIBM Research is building a new data storage array that's almost 10 times larger than anything that's been built before. The data array is comprised of 200,000 hard drives working together, with a storage capacity of 120 petabytes — that's 120 million gigabytes. To give you some idea of the capacity of the new "drive," writes MIT Technology Review, "a 120-petabyte drive could hold 24 billion typical five-megabyte MP3 files or comfortably swallow 60 copies of the biggest backup of the Web, the 150 billion pages that make up the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine."

Data storage at that scale creates a number of challenges, including — no surprise — cooling such a massive system. But other problems include handling failure, backups and indexing. The new storage array will benefit from other research that IBM has been doing to help boost supercomputers' data access. Its General Parallel File System was designed with this massive volume in mind. The GPFS spreads files across multiple disks so that many parts of a file can be read or written at once. This system already demonstrated that it can perform when it set a new scanning speed record last month by indexing 10 billion files in just 43 minutes.

IBM's new 120-petabyte drive was built at the request of an unnamed client that needed a new supercomputer for "detailed simulations of real-world phenomena."

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Infochimps' new Geo API

InfoChimpsThe data marketplace Infochimps released a new Geo API this week, giving developers access to a number of disparate location-related datasets via one API with a unified schema.

According to Infochimps, the API addresses several pain points that those working with geodata face:

  1. Difficulty in integrating several different APIs into one unified app
  2. Lack of ability to display all results when zoomed out to a large radius
  3. Limitation of only being able to use lat/long

To address these issues, Infochimps has created a new simple schema to help make data consistent and unified when drawn from multiple sources. The company has also created a "summarizer" to intelligently cluster and better display data. And finally, it has also enabled the API to handle queries other than just those traditionally associated with geodata, namely latitude and longitude.

As we seek to pull together and analyze all types of data from multiple sources, this move toward a unified schema will become increasingly important.

Hurricane Irene and weather data

The arrival of Hurricane Irene last week reiterated the importance not only of emergency preparedness but of access to real-time data — weather data, transportation data, government data, mobile data, and so on.

New York Times Hurricane Irene tracker
Screenshot from the New York Times' interactive Hurricane Irene tracking map. See the full version.

As Alex Howard noted here on Radar, crisis data is becoming increasingly social:

We've been through hurricanes before. What's different about this one is the unprecedented levels of connectivity that now exist up and down the East Coast. According to the most recent numbers from the Pew Internet and Life Project, for the first time, more than 50% of American adults use social networks. 35% of American adults have smartphones. 78% of American adults are connected to the Internet. When combined, those factors mean that we now see earthquake tweets spread faster than the seismic waves themselves. The growth of an Internet of things is an important evolution. What we're seeing this weekend is the importance of an Internet of people."

Got data news?

Feel free to email me.

Hard drive photo: Hard Drive by walknboston, on Flickr


June 29 2011

Citizen science, civic media and radiation data hint at what's to come

SafecastNatural disasters and wars bring people together in unanticipated ways, as they use the tools and technologies easily at hand to help. From crisis response to situational awareness, free or low cost online tools are empowering citizens to do more than donate money or blood: now they can donate, time, expertise or, increasingly, act as sensors. In the United States, we saw a leading edge of this phenomenon in the Gulf of Mexico, where open source oil spill reporting provided a prototype for data collection via smartphone. In Japan, an analogous effort has grown and matured in the wake of the nuclear disaster that resulted from a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami this spring.

The story of the RDTN project, which has grown into Safecast, a crowdsourced radiation detection network, isn't new, exactly, but it's important.

Radiation monitoring and grassroots mapping in Japan has been going on since April, as Emily Gertz reported at I recently heard more about the Safecast project from Joi Ito at this year's Civic Media conference at the MIT Media Lab, where Ito described his involvement. Ethan Zuckerman blogged Ito's presentation, capturing his thoughts on how the Internet helped cover the Japanese earthquake (Twitter "beat the pants" off the mainstream media on the first day) and the Safecast project's evolution from a Skype chat.

According to Gertz' reporting, Safecast now includes data from a variety of sources, including feeds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Greenpeace, a volunteer crowdsourcing network in Russia, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Radiation data that's put into Safecast is made available for others to use via Pachube, an open-source platform for monitoring sensor data.

Ito said that a lot of radiation data that the Japanese government had indicated would be opened up has not been released, prompting the insight that crises, natural or otherwise, are an excellent opportunity to examine how effective an open government data implementation has been. Initially, the RDTN project entered an environment where there was nearly no radiation data available to the public.

"They were releasing data, it was just not very specific," said Sean Bonner, via Skype Interview. Bonner has served as the communications lead for Safecast since the project began. The Japanese government "would release data for some areas and not for others — or rather they didn't have it," he said. "I don't think they had data they weren't releasing. Our point is that the sensors to detect the data were not in place at all. So we decided to help with that."

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A KickStarter campaign in April raised nearly $37,000 to purchase Geiger counters to gather radiation data. Normally, that might be sufficient to obtain dozens of devices, given costs that range from $100 to nearly $1,000 for a professional-grade unit. The challenge is that if Geiger counters weren't easy to get before the Japanese nuclear meltdown, they became nearly impossible to obtain afterwards.

The Safecast project has also hacked together iGeigie, an iPhone-connected Geiger counter that can detect beta and gamma radiation. "The iGeigie is just a concept product, it's not a focus or a main solution," cautioned Bonner. "So a lot of what we've been doing it trying to help cover more ground with single sensors."

Even if they were in broader circulation, Geiger counters are unlikely to detect radiation in food or water. That's where open source hardware and hackerspaces become more relevant, specifically the Arduino boards that Radar and Make readers know well.

"We have Arduinos in the static devices that we are building and connecting to the web," said Bonner. "We're putting those around and they report data back to us." In other words, the Internet of Things is growing.

The sensors Safecast is deploying will capture alpha, beta and gamma radiation. "It's very important to track all three," said Bonner. "The very sensitive devices we are using are commercially produced. [They are] Inspector Alerts, made by International Medcom. Those use the industry standard 2-inch pancake sensor, which we are using in our other devices as well. We are using the same sensors everywhere. "

Citizen science and open data

Open source software and citizens acting as sensors have steadily been integrated into journalism over the past few years, most dramatically in the videos and pictures uploaded after the 2009 Iran election and during this year's Arab Spring. Citizen science looks like the new frontier. "I think the real value of citizen media will be collecting data," said Rich Jones, founder of OpenWatch, a counter-surveillance project that aims to "police the police." Apps like Open Watch can make "analyzing data a revolutionary act," said Justin Jacoby Smith. The development of Oil Reporter, grassroots mapping, Safecast, social networks, powerful connected smartphones and massive online processing power have put us into new territory. In the context of environmental or man-made disasters, collecting or sharing data can also be a civic act.

Crowdsourcing radiation data on Japan does raise legitimate questions about data quality and reporting, as Safecast's own project leads acknowledge.

"We make it very clear on the site that yes, there could most definitely be inaccuracies in crowd-sourced data," Safecast's Marcelino Alvarez told Public Radio International. "And yes, there could be contamination of a particular Geiger counter so the readings could be off," Alvarez said. "But our hope is that with more centers and more data being reported that those points that are outliers can be eliminated, and that trends can be discerned from the data."

The thinking here is that while some data may be inaccurate or some sensors misconfigured, over time the aggregate will skew toward accuracy. "More data is always better than less data," said Bonner. "Data from several sources is more reliable than from one source, by default. Without commenting on the reliability of any specific source, all the other sources help improve the overall data. Open data helps with that."

Safecast is combining open data collected by citizen science with academic, NGO and open government data, where available, and then making it widely available. It's similar to other projects, where public data and experimental data are percolating.

Citizen science can create information orders of magnitude better than Google Maps, said Brian Boyer, news application developer at the Chicago Tribune, referencing the grassroots mapping work of Jeffrey Warren and others. "It's also fun," Boyer said. "You can get lots of people involved who wouldn't otherwise be involved doing a mapping project."

As news of these experiments spreads, the code and policies used to build them will also move with them. The spread of open source software is now being accompanied by open source hardware and maker culture. That will likely have unexpected effects.

When you can't meet demand for a device like a Geiger counter, people will start building their own, said Ito at the MIT Civic Media conference. He's seeing open hardware design spread globally. While there's an embargo on the export of many technologies, "we argue — and win — that open source software is free speech," said Ito. "Open source hardware is the same." If open source software now plays a fundamental role in new media, as evidenced by the 2011 winners of the Knight News Challenge, open source hardware may be supporting democracy in journalism too, says Ito.

Given Ito's success in anticipating (and funding) other technological changes, that's one prediction to watch.


May 20 2011

With M2M, the machines do all the talking

M2M screenshotThe shift from transporting voice to delivering data has transformed the business of mobile carriers, but there's yet another upheaval on the horizon: machine to machine communications (M2M).

In M2M, devices and sensors communicate with each other or a central server rather than with human beings. Theses device often use an embedded SIM card for communication over the mobile network. Applications include automotive, smartgrid, healthcare and environmental usages.

M2M traffic differs from human-generated voice and data traffic. Mobile carriers are adapting by creating entirely new companies for M2M, such as Telenor's M2M carrier Telenor Connexion, and m2o city, Orange's joint venture with water giant Veolia. I talked to Göran Brandt, head of business development at Telenor Connexion and Rodolphe Fruges, VP of M2M at Orange Business Services about the future of mobile and M2M.

Why did Telenor start Telenor Connexion?

Göran Brandt: Telenor Connexion was founded in 2008. We knew from our experience with running business-critical applications on the normal mobile infrastructure that it was not good enough. A system originally built to serve voice services, mobile office applications, etc. is not ideal for M2M. This could lead to disturbances or downtime due to normal mobile service windows. For example at night, voice customers are expected to be sleeping.

Why did Orange launch a mobile service operator specifically for water metering data?

Rodolphe Fruges: Smart metering for utilities — water, electricity and gas — is a relatively new market where we see key advances in M2M taking place. To address this market, Orange has joined forces with Veolia Eau, a market leader in the water industry, to create m2o city, a joint venture dedicated to smart metering.

To be clear, m2o city is not a "mobile operator." That would require a GSM license. Rather, it is a "service operator" that provides the low-energy radio network that carries water metering data on behalf of local water distribution companies.

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How is the data carried in M2M applications different from human-generated data?

Göran Brandt: In M2M applications the amount of data sent and received is normally small. A meter reading equals only a few hundred bytes of data. M2M devices can cause problems if working incorrectly. If hundreds of thousands or even millions of electricity meters act at exactly the same time (they normally have a very precise built-in clock), that would result in network congestion.

Rodolphe Fruges: The difference is not the data itself but where the data originates, in this case self-contained mobile devices. These devices are generating a huge amount of data with more frequency. With m2o city, utility companies are dealing with 700 times more data than before. This is why service providers like Orange, who have the expertise and technical infrastructure to accommodate these data loads, are vital for these companies.

The data also varies between applications. For water metering, we are typically dealing with a very small data set, a few times a day, at regular hours. For security applications, the device can be silent for months before sending a large data payload, in this case video.

What network management strategies, technologies or processes does M2M rely on?

Göran Brandt: For a normal mobile carrier the customer interface is usually the customer help desk. In M2M you need to let your customers into your technical systems, so they can, in real time, see the status of their SIM card population and answer questions like "What country is a specific SIM card in?" and "Is the SIM card connected to a mobile data network or not?"

Rodolphe Fruges: Creating processes and mechanisms are really essential for smart metering. You have to manage millions of devices with very specialized SIM cards across varying environmental conditions. A phone user can easily call a help desk to report a problem with his or her phone, but the device itself cannot make this call. The challenge on our end is to create automatic mechanisms that can validate whether a device is working or identify the source of any potential problems.

Certain M2M applications, such as streaming security videos, generate a high volume of data comparable to the data streaming occurring on mobile phones, but you can also find M2M alert applications running SMS data levels. What changes is the number of devices that are being managed rather than the volume of data.

A key issue with smart metering is meters situated in hard-to-reach areas, such as basements where it may be rough to get a strong mobile signal. The solution is network intermarries, which is like a meshed radio network that grabs the data from a meter and sends it to a data concentrator. This is exactly the type of network technology you will see deployed with m2o city. It's also applicable in other M2M scenarios, like a connected automobile that is roaming across networks. We constantly adapt to the least cost network when roaming or alert our customer when an event, like a vehicle that might be stolen crossing a border, are triggered on the network.


What are the biggest current M2M applications? What do you see developing in the near future?

Göran Brandt: Automotive (cars and trucks), energy (smart metering) and security (burglar alarms).The automotive industry is a sector where Telenor Connexion has extensive experience. We are working in close collaboration with both car manufacturers and telematics service providers to enable cost-efficient and reliable connectivity solutions to vehicles around the world.

There are massive smart metering deployments currently being planned. The energy sector is moving toward renewable energy sources and the implementation of smart grids. Intelligent meters are going to form the foundation of tomorrow's smart grid infrastructure.

Healthcare monitoring via wireless networks is an emerging application area with huge potential. Tens of millions of patients in Europe alone could potentially benefit from some form of home healthcare monitoring solution, if it had been available. Examples of conditions suitable for remote monitoring are cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, sleep apnea and diabetes.

Are there obstacles preventing M2M applications from become mainstream?

Göran Brandt: Most M2M customers work in a multi-country or even global scenario (basically all countries where they sell their products), and they expect a single solution covering multiple networks in multiple countries. It's a challenge to provide flat pricing in multi-country roaming situations. It's equally challenging to offer M2M customers Service Level Agreements stating exactly what uptime and availability to expect, including roaming networks.

Rodolphe Fruges: The M2M applications are enormous, but it has led to some fragmentation in the market. Verticals such as the automotive industry have been hampered by the number of competitive players trying to outdo one another. A lack of standardization has also been a deterrent impeding newer and more reliable M2M solutions.

Photo: Screenshot from Telenor Connexion website


February 10 2011

Four short links: 10 February 2011

  1. Instapaper's API -- Marco Arment wanted to prevent people building their own front-ends using the API and thus removing his (advertising) revenue source. He could offer a cripped API, but people scrape to work around that. He could tithe the apps people build on top of his API, but that's hard work to set up and run. His solution: the API only works for paying customers.
  2. European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group: Horror Stories -- horrifying reading. I was surprised by how many companies build Excel into their accounting workflow.
  3. New York's Central Nervous System is Growing -- another datapoint in the sensor network Internet of Things buildout. The lump, an ultra-low power sensor, will communicate with other white lumps under parked cars all over the island, telling each other when you pulled in, how long you've been parked and when you rumble away. Last month, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. announced plans to place these sensors underneath the 30 new parking spots next to Roosevelt Island's subway and tramway. (via BLDGBLOG)
  4. Where Pair Programming Fails for Me -- I found that in order to pair, I had to act as if I was in a continuous meeting. I had to not just listen to my pair, but appear to be listening; I had to nod in the right places, repeat back what my pair said in active listening fashion. I had to pick the right moment to interject. I tried to model my partner’s mental state in my head so I could see his viewpoint better. While I was doing this, I was trying to see the code that he was writing, and the design that he was trying to make the code fit. If there was a failing test, I was trying to figure out the test and the test framework at the same time.

October 26 2010

Four short links: 26 October 2010

  1. 12 Months with MongoDB (Worknik) -- every type of retrieval got faster than their old MySQL store, and there are some other benefits too. They note that the admin tools aren't really there for MongoDB, so "there is a blurry hand-off between IT Ops and Engineering." (via Hacker News)
  2. Dawn of a New Day -- Ray Ozzie's farewell note to Microsoft. Clear definition of the challenges to come: At first blush, this world of continuous services and connected devices doesn’t seem very different than today. But those who build, deploy and manage today’s websites understand viscerally that fielding a truly continuous service is incredibly difficult and is only achieved by the most sophisticated high-scale consumer websites. And those who build and deploy application fabrics targeting connected devices understand how challenging it can be to simply & reliably just ‘sync’ or ‘stream’. To achieve these seemingly simple objectives will require dramatic innovation in human interface, hardware, software and services. (via Tim O'Reilly on Twitter)
  3. A Civic Hacktivism Abecedary -- good ideas matched with exquisite quotes and language. My favourite: Kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. (via Francis Irving on Twitter)
  4. UI Guidelines for Mobile and Web Programming -- collection of pointers to official UI guidelines from Nokia, Apple, Microsoft, MeeGo, and more.

October 20 2010

Four short links: 20 October 2010

  1. Pwned: Gamification and its Discontents (Slideshare) -- hear, hear! Video games are not fun because they're video games, but if and only they are well-designed. Just adding something from games isn't a guarantee for fun. (via jameshome on Twitter)
  2. Redis Under the Hood -- explanation of the insides and mechanisms of this popular distributed key-value store. (via tlockney on delicious)
  3. The LAN of Things (Mike Kuniavsky) -- Before we can have an Internet of Things, we will need to have a LAN of things.[...] Most of the utility of a LAN came from its local functionality. Thus, before we can build a useful (from a user perspective) Internet of Things, we need to learn to build useful LANs of Things. [...] I think it's important to start thinking about what the highly localized uses of sparsely distributed technology can be. What can we do when there are only a couple of things with RFIDs in our house? What totally great service can be built on having two light switches that report their telemetry in the house? What totally valuable information can you tell me if I only wear my motion sensor every once in a while? Love it. (via Matt Jones on Delicious)
  4. Mike Edson's Talk at Powerhouse Museum -- the Director of Web and New Media Technology at the Smithsonian is smart, articulate, and trying to do something cool with the Smithsonian Commons prototype. (via sebchan on Twitter)

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