Tag: Organized-Networks

Intimate Technology

New Friends? Let Social Textiles Help You

Although social media helps us connect with more people in a highly efficient way, the act is still far from real human interaction. We share posts, upload photos or post status updates, looking frantically at our screens for likes, shares or comments. A group of students at the MIT Media Lab, named Fluid Interfaces Group, is working on an electronic textile that might help us interact with people based on our social media profiles.

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A Conversation with Kevin Kelly

You have a choice dear reader: spend 3 seconds scanning this blogpost, or spend the full 1:11:28 minutes listening to the interview John Brockman did with technology philosopher and founding editor of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly.

The interview touches upon the nature of technology, big data, surveillance society, money as a medium, techno-literacy and the question whether the universe is analog or digital.

The video is best experienced as radio, or you can read the transcript here.


Let the Drones take care of the Biosphere

Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? The people of conversationdrones.org employ drones to survey wildlife, monitor ecosystems and guard protected areas.

Although there is still a ‘boys with toys’ element to the practice, the idea to employ the technosphere to support the biosphere must be applauded.


The Interspecies Internet

Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them?

Dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, musician Peter Gabriel, internet of things visionary Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet discussed this remarkable developing idea at TED.


What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks

Ever notice how ant colonies so successfully explore and exploit resources in the world … to find food at 4th of July picnics, for example? You may find it annoying. But as an ecologist who studies ants and collective behavior, I think it’s intriguing — especially the fact that it’s all done without any central control.

What’s especially remarkable: the close parallels between ant colonies’ networks and human-engineered ones. One example is “Anternet”, where we, a group of researchers at Stanford, found that the algorithm desert ants use to regulate foraging is like the Traffic Control Protocol (TCP) used to regulate data traffic on the internet. Both ant and human networks use positive feedback: either from acknowledgements that trigger the transmission of the next data packet, or from food-laden returning foragers that trigger the exit of another outgoing forager.

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Free Solar Chargers in the Streets of NY

A new device is appearing in the New York skyline: a free mobile charging station, powered entirely by the sun. At the beginning of this summer, AT&T, the solar technology company Goal Zero and the Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa launched the Street Charge project, with 25 solar mobile charging units spread around the city.

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Guided Growth

Desire Paths

Design by planning vs design by doing. Desire paths are unplanned paths grown by the erosion of its use. They emerge as shortcuts where constructed pathways take a circuitous route. Perhaps one day, all our roads will be desire paths.

Back to the Tribe

Rural Energy: From Kerosine to LED

While for most of us, happy blog readers, access to electricity is taken for granted, things are quite different in developing regions of the world. In India for example, over 65% of the population still lives in rural villages where electricity supply is very limited. If an electricity grid is at all available, it is typically very unstable.

Since electricity is known to be an engine for development, it makes sense to bring electricity to the rural villages of India, however, these rural areas cannot rely on the top down grid-electricity solutions. Local energy generation and concepts for distributed energy networks are more promising.

Marcel van Heist, designer and recent graduate at the Next Nature Lab at  Eindhoven University of Technology went to India with the goal to introduce distributed energy solutions in rural areas. After investigating the established Kerosene based energy models, Marcel came up with an alternative based on solar powered LED lamps built from locally available materials. Here’s how.

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