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Violet's Mirr:or: Internet of Things Via RFID

By Brady Forrest
September 25, 2008

Today at PICNIC, Violet announced that it is releasing a mass-market RFID reader. The Mir:ror will connect to your computer via USB. It will read RFID tags placed near it and can perform actions based on them. I am not sure that the mass-market is ready for an RFID reader, but I think this will one will make headway...

PICNIC Network 2008

By Brady Forrest
September 11, 2008

The week of September 22nd I am going to be flying across the Atlantic for the third PICNIC Network. Ever since i heard about the conference last fall I've wanted to attend. My friends' stories last year focused on the many RFID-enabled art pieces. As discussed in this interview these were developed by Mediamatic, a digital art lab. Last...

Disaster Technology for Myanmar/Burma aid workers

By Jesse Robbins
May 8, 2008

There is an ongoing crisis in Myanmar (Burma) in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis. The ruling military junta is finally allowing humanitarian organizations into the region after denying access for almost a week. The situation is grim, and you can help by donating to organizations like: Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and UNICEF. There has been some incredible discussion on...

roBlocks: Simple Blocks To Make Robots

By Brady Forrest
April 3, 2008

roBlocks are small, computerized cubes that can be combined to make robots. They began as research project at Carnegie Mellon. They look like great fun for fooling around or teaching programming concepts. The catalog page shows about twenty different blocks. Each of those blocks has a single purpose. There are four types of blocks: Sensors (light, sound), Actuators (movement), Operators...

Baseball Simulations

By Brady Forrest
March 31, 2008

How likely are the world records we hold dear? Should they have happened? Should they been set by the people who did them? There's an New York Times Opinion piece written by some researchers who examined Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak to determine how likely it was to happen again. Turns out it's very likely. In the 10, 000...

How Technology Almost Lost the War, but Should Do Better

By Jim Stogdill
March 22, 2008

Technology almost lost the war, but can't we make it better?

Radar Roundup: Brains

By Nat Torkington
March 17, 2008

Today's topic is: our brains, understanding how they work, and living with the consequences of that knowledge. Brain Enhancement: Right or Wrong? (NYT): amazing gray areas we're getting into. Is it okay for a scientist to take brain-enhancing drugs? Compare...

From ETech to Where 2.0: Disaster Tech and Activist Mapping

By Brady Forrest
March 12, 2008

At ETech last week, Ethan Zuckerman spoke about the use of web technologies in repressive regimes. It was great -- one person even told that it was the best session he'd ever seen. I recommend reading Ethan's write-up of his...

@ETech: Matt Webb's Tour of a Fictional Solar System

By Brady Forrest
March 8, 2008

We began ETech with a series of Ignite talks. As usual Matt Webb weaved together beautiful images, kinetic energy and keen insights. Enjoy the talk....

Why I Love Hackers

By Tim O'Reilly
March 7, 2008

TechWeb TV posted a short video from my opening keynote at ETech. Nominally this year's version of my O'Reilly Radar talk, which focuses on emerging trends that we're watching, the talk was wrapped in a larger theme, namely, why I...

Neuroscience and Epistemology at ETech

By Tim O'Reilly
March 7, 2008

At ETech, I had a fascinating conversation with Marie Bjerede, VP and General Manager of Qualcomm's Portland Design Center. She was telling me how the threads we'd brought together at ETech had validated her own thinking and helped her bring...

ETech 2008 Coverage Roundup

By Tim O'Reilly
March 7, 2008

Here's some of the coverage of our Emerging Technology Conference that's come across my desk since I got home and have had a chance to catch up on what people had to say: Lessig Calls on Geeks to Code the...

@ETech: Tuesday Morning Keynotes

By Jimmy Guterman
March 6, 2008

Saul Griffith started the day with a sober, but ultimately hopeful, talk about energy literacy. The subtitle of the talk was "know what you can do, do what you can," and the core of his talk (we'll point to the...

@ETech: Wednesday Morning Keynotes

By Jimmy Guterman
March 5, 2008

Another day, another set of expansive keynotes. John McCarthy, father of LISP, a giant in artificial intelligence, gave a sit-down high-level talk about Elephant 2000, a proposed programming language intended for transaction processing and electronic data interchange. He described Elephant...

@ETech: fire eagle Launches

By Jimmy Guterman
March 5, 2008

Most of the Yahoo news these days is about its possible absorption by Microsoft, but there are still new projects coming out of the company. Right now Tom Coates is onstage at ETech, launching fire eagle, an open location information-brokering...

I Thought You Guys Were Supposed To Be Utopian: The EFF at Etech

By Nat Torkington
March 4, 2008

(A guest blog by Danny O'Brien, the EFF's cultural ambassador) As one of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's outreach folk, I have to concede that our message is not often about cyber-unicorns and crypto-ponies. We're often warning companies and hackers about...

ETech Insider's Guide

By Brady Forrest
March 3, 2008

ETech starts tomorrow. If you're going here are some last minute tips about the schedule, events and logistics. Bring your open-source gadgets! We are going to have sessions on OpenMoko (the OS phone), IPRE (an OS, educational robot), and the...

New Release 2.0 on Next-Generation CRM ... and a New Installment of Our Facebook Application Platform Report

By Jimmy Guterman
February 29, 2008

In this month's Release 2.0, we consider the next generation of customer relationship management (CRM) and the search for an all-in-one-place inbox and address book. We need some sort of universal inbox and address book because it's not just email...

RFID Startups Go After Lucrative Niches

By Brady Forrest
February 27, 2008

CNN Money has a short but interesting article on two companies that have developed high-end systems for niche markets that make use of RFID tags. The first is for a horse-training system: As Heidi Lemack-Beck rides her horse Jazzmine around...

Botanicalls Twitter DIY

By Brady Forrest
February 26, 2008

Botanicalls, the project that lets your plants let you know when they need water (Radar post), has expanded beyond their Asterisk-based voice system. Now you can learn how your plants are doing with a DIY kit that lets them...

Gaming Platforms: Zune, Wii, Nokia, Xbox Live, DS Lite

By Brady Forrest
February 22, 2008

Yesterday the XNA team announced that anyone -- not just large, high-paying game publishers - could produce games for the XBox 360 platform, Windows, and the Zune. Of course you've always been able to produce games for Windows, but...

The Dangers of Predicting the Future

By Jimmy Guterman
February 20, 2008

The instant-analysis business is a tricky one. None of us have working crystal balls; any attempt to predict the future, even the five-minutes-from-now future, is risky. For example, on January 31, mere hours before Microsoft made its unsolicted $44 billion-plus...

BugLabs: OS Hardware For Location Apps

By Brady Forrest
February 15, 2008

BugLabs is an NYC startup that will soon be releasing OS hardware modules (or Bugs). These modules can be combined in almost anyway to create a device to fit the user's needs. The Bug's APIs and specifications are all...

Generate KML With Google Spreadsheets

By Brady Forrest
February 14, 2008

As people geotag more information they need more advanced ways to share it. The way that offers the most control, flexibility and portability is KML, but KML is not easy to work with. (It should be noted that GeoRSS,...

CK-12: Remix and Share Your Own Text Books as FlexBooks

By Brady Forrest
February 12, 2008

CK-12 wants to bring open data to school textbooks under the name of FlexBooks. Through the tools on their site they'll let schools, teachers, parents and students can pull articles from different sources . The books will be available...

Ignite Seattle 5 Talks: Go, Patents, InfoViz

By Brady Forrest
February 11, 2008

Ignite Seattle is less than a week away and there are a bunch of great speakers on deck. Each speaker is going to present their talk in 20 slides with each slide getting 15 seconds on the screen before automatically...

GPS Determines Car's Speed Limit

By Brady Forrest
February 8, 2008

In Japan the new Nissan GT-R is speed-limited by its location. As Motor Trend explains: Japanese GT-Rs are speed-limited for the street: As has been widely reported, unless it's driven on a preapproved racetrack, a stock Japanese-spec GT-R is...

Garmin Nuvifone Videos and Screenshots Make It Look Great

By Brady Forrest
February 6, 2008

Navigadget has found two videos of Garmin's upcoming Nuvifone. They offer lots of hints at the services the iPhone-like device will offer. The scenario video (below) focuses on navigation, photos, web browsing, phone and media. The intro video (above)...

DIY Bullet Time, Calling Business Cards and Build Your Own Laser Cutter

By Brady Forrest
February 6, 2008

Instructables (Disclosure: an OATV investment) held a contest for a laser cutter and announced the winner on Monday. Graffiti Research Lab handily won with a DIY Bullet Time camera system (ala the Matrix). They built the system with 24...

Steamworks: Produce Games on Valve's Platform

By Brady Forrest
January 31, 2008

Valve (creators of Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, and the amazingly awesome Portal) just announced the release of Steamworks, a set of services for game developers. The services include distribution, development and administration for PC games. They can be used ala...

Why ETech is O'Reilly's Most Important Conference

By Tim O'Reilly
January 28, 2008

I begin almost every talk I give with a brief version of my 2002 presentation Watching the Alpha Geeks. Time and again, enthusiasts rather than corporate strategists have showed us the path to the "next big thing." I show pictures...

ETech Early Registration Ends Monday; Schedule Grid Is Live

By Brady Forrest
January 10, 2008

ETech 2008 is just under two months away. We've got a very different program this year as you can see from the tags above. We're exploring a lot of new developments in clean technology, human enhancement, and games. Personally,...

Use InternetSAR To Find Ron Boychuk and Others

By Brady Forrest
December 28, 2007

Ron Boychuk disappeared on October 23, 2007 while flying to Vancouver. His family is still searching for him and his plane to find out what happened. Digital Globe (an imagery company and frequent Where 2.0 participant) has donated imagery...

Nominate Someone for the EFF Pioneer Awards

By Brady Forrest
December 28, 2007

Every year since 1992 the EFF has awarded people who fight for liberty online or create associated technology. These people are known as Pioneers. Past honorees include Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, Craigslist, Anita Borg, and "Librarians Everywhere". The awards...

Amazon Launches SimpleDB: Your Database in the Cloud

By Brady Forrest
December 14, 2007

Amazon has finally announced SImpleDB, a database in the cloud. As they say on the product description page "Amazon SimpleDB is a web service for running queries on structured data in real time." The service is now in closed...

ETech and the Economist

By Nat Torkington
December 14, 2007

I consistently save more items from The Economist to my delicious bookmarks than any other of my RSS feeds. Now I wonder whether they've been saving my delicious bookmarks for their publication :-) Their most recent set of features tackled...

Technology in Wartime Conference at Stanford

By Brady Forrest
December 13, 2007

The state of defense and enforcement technology has become something that the public should pay attention to. So I felt that it was worth sharing this announcement about the Technology in Wartime conference. I'll be there if I happen...

Brain Challenge For iPods

By Brady Forrest
December 6, 2007

Brain Challenge is a new game that's been released for iPods. In the spirit of Nintendo's Brain Age, it has 20 mini-games in 5 categories: Visual, Memory, Logic, Math, and Focus. It will provide feedback via stats and graphs....

Tech's Effect on Iraq

By Brady Forrest
November 28, 2007

Noah Shactman of Wired's Defense blog Danger Room has written a mammoth article entitled How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are Social — Not Electronic. As he writes on his blog: The war was...

CO2Stats: Measuring a Site's Impact

By Brady Forrest
November 26, 2007

CO2Stats is a widget that tracks and calculates the CO2 emissions of a website. The emissions add up with each pageview (the widget below is starting at 0.000198). The widget tracks all pageviews on its installed websites and currently...

ETech CFP Closes at Midnight

By Brady Forrest
September 25, 2007

The CFP for this year's ETech closes tonight at midnight PST. I just checked the numbers; we've had twenty submissions since lunchtime. It's invigorating to see this level of interest. If you have something to share get it in...

ETech: One More Week To Submit

By Brady Forrest
September 17, 2007

The Call For Participation for the 2008 edition of the Emerging Technology Conference (AKA ETech) is being extended by one week. We are going to be expanding the scope of ETech this year. We're going to look beyond the...

Biodiesel @ Burning Man and beyond...

By Jesse Robbins
September 8, 2007

As Brady mentioned last week, Biodiesel use skyrocketed at Burning Man this year by both the organization and individual participants. Groups like the Green Tortoise and the Burn Green Express even partnered with Bently Biofuels to provide on-site refueling for...

Adding Smart Sets to Flickr

By Brady Forrest
September 7, 2007

The Flickr Set Manager will let you automatically create and manage rules-based Flickr photo sets, much like smart playlists in iTunes or smart folders in Outlook. Your smart sets can be determined by tags, recency, interestingness, and random. What...

Green Man: Burning Man's Greening

By Brady Forrest
August 25, 2007

Burning Man is trying to police itself and work on its environmental impact. I had heard that the theme was Green, but I had no idea how seriously they were taking it until I saw a large collection of...

Context Aware Image Re-Sizing

By Brady Forrest
August 24, 2007

If you have a large image that you need to make smaller you can either scale it or crop it. Scaling makes everything smaller and cropping can cut out important content. This jaw-dropping video demonstrates an image re-sizing algorithm...

Revenge by Gadget

By Tim O'Reilly
August 18, 2007

It was interesting to see the Wall Street Journal picking up on a trend we've been watching at Make: magazine, namely the emergence of devices that let people interfere with other people's devices. In an article entitled Revenge by Gadget,...

iPhone Hacking: Step-by-Step

By Brady Forrest
August 17, 2007

I got an iPhone. I love it. There are definitely issues (like the lack of multi-person SMS and search), but overall it is a really great product. I do have to admit that my purchase was in some ways...

More on Crime Spotters

By Brady Forrest
August 17, 2007

Yesterday Stamen Design released a very stylized crime map of Oakland, CA (Radar post). I've since been made aware of some derivative works and other crime maps that I am going to share. If you live in LA (or...

Stamen Releases Oakland Crimespotting

By Brady Forrest
August 16, 2007

Stamen Design has created Oakland Crimespotting, a map interface to explore crimes in Oakland, CA. They have freed data from CrimeWatch and presented it on Virtual Earth tiles in a much more useable format. It's an example of On...


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