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Should Personal Genomics Be Regulated?

By Tim O'Reilly
July 8, 2008

I read recently about the cease and desist letters sent to 23andme and other personal genomics companies selling tests directly to consumers. 23andme has responded, saying that they agree with the ultimate need for regulation, but that harnessing the consumer internet for personal genomics is a really valuable scientific tool. I have to say I find myself doubtful about the...

Daylife's API for the News

By Marc Hedlund
June 24, 2008

Several years ago, my friend Upendra Shardanand tried to get me to join him in starting a company that would remake the way news is created and understood -- overturning the worst, ambulance-chasing tendencies of modern journalism, and building tools to help people track and understand the topics and people that shape their lives. I begged off in order to...

WordSpy as Collective Intelligence

By Tim O'Reilly
June 7, 2008

I've long been a fan of WordSpy, Paul McFedries' site that features definitions and first use of new words and phrases. It's a great trendspotting tool. The words we use give surprising insight into popular consciousness. Many of them, like junk sleep, silent disco, free-range kid, or Blackberry prayer illustrate new social trends, while others like phantom load or quake...

SpongeBob SquarePants Supports O'Reilly Research Finding

By Jimmy Guterman
April 6, 2008

In O'Reilly Radar's recent reseach report, Virtual Worlds: A Business Guide, we contend that virtual worlds will go mainstream. The most powerful data point supporting our argument is that the most active and popular virtual worlds nowadays tend to be those populated by children. The next generation is growing up playing virtual worlds. And now one of the biggest purveyors...

Wattzon.org - How much energy we consume and what to do about it

By Tim O'Reilly
March 20, 2008

Saul Griffith has published a version of his talk at ETech as a website, wattzon.org. Saul's key points: Solving global warming is an engineering problem. We know the connection between greenhouse gases and global warming, and can determine just...

Laptop penetration in Brazil, rising developer count in China

By Tim O'Reilly
March 12, 2008

Interesting email from Paul Kedrosky: You'll find this interesting: The only place I have been where I see as many open laptops in the audience as at O'Reilly conferences is here in Brazil. Really fascinating. In a related note,...

New O'Reilly Radar Report: a Business Guide to Virtual Worlds

By Jimmy Guterman
March 6, 2008

Virtual worlds, particularly Second Life, have generated much excitement -- and much skepticism. In Virtual Worlds: A Business Guide, the newest O'Reilly Radar report, Ben Lorica, Roger Magoulas, and the O'Reilly Radar team get past the hype (and the anti-hype),...

@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...

@TED: Best of Day 4 and a Wrap-Up

By Jimmy Guterman
March 1, 2008

The last day at TED is a combination of exhaustion, anxiety, and wistfulness: exhaustion because we've been neglecting our sleep, anxiety because we remember how much work awaits us after the event is over, and wistfulness because we realize we...

@TED: Best of Day 3

By Jimmy Guterman
March 1, 2008

The joke among TEDsters is that, around the third day, it becomes an endurance sport. It's one thing to be in a room listening to spectacular insights for a few hours. It's another to be doing so for half a...

@TED: Best of Day 2

By Jimmy Guterman
February 29, 2008

It was a day of extremes at TED, ranging from an extended session examining the pervasiveness of evil to an evening celebration of some of the most life-affirming ideas possible. It also ranged from the sober (how to survive a...

Teaching design to businesspeople

By Jimmy Guterman
February 28, 2008

The "D" in TED stands for "design," and it's become a truism that design is a crucial element of business success. Ask Apple. But the conventional wisdom still maintains that design is a "soft" art, not worthy of attention...

@TED: Best of Day 1

By Jimmy Guterman
February 28, 2008

If nothing else, TED is a trip. The veteran conference has gone through many permutations. Under curator Chris Anderson, TED is still full of technology, entertainment, and design, but it has really lived up to the change-the-world rhetoric that was...

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...

Understanding the undersea cable cuts... (updated: "fifth cable cut")

By Jesse Robbins
February 6, 2008

The Fiber Cuts in the Middle East are getting a lot of attention. The economic damage is real and the geopolitical issues are extremely complex (which is why I edited my earlier post). From an operations perspective these kinds of...

CNN Goes Multitouch

By Jimmy Guterman
February 6, 2008

We've been noting more and more signals that multitouch screens are catching on beyond the iPhone and iPod Touch. We've recently seen a hint from Microsoft and a Walt Mossberg overview in the Wall Street Journal. And there's a high-profile...

PMOG as a kind of Augmented Reality

By Tim O'Reilly
February 4, 2008

Mike Arrington did a good overview post this past weekend entitled Play A Multiplayer Online Game While Surfing The Web about O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures' portfolio company GameLayers, whose first product, a "game" called PMOG, is due out of private beta...

Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide

By Tim O'Reilly
February 1, 2008

I'm jealous. The Prags have just published a book I wish I'd thought of first: Augmented Reality: A Practical Guide. I've been talking quite a bit about augmented reality lately, especially when people ask me about what I think...

A rare post about the music industry that isn't completely depressing

By Jimmy Guterman
January 30, 2008

The Qtrax debacle is getting most of the attention this week, with Warner Music's ridiculous CEO compensation close behind, but there is promising news in the music industry worth noting. Late last year, there was much fuss around Radiohead's decision...

More on the Virtual Reality Audio Headset

By Tim O'Reilly
December 31, 2007

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry entitled The Future of Cell Phone Headsets. David Battino wrote a few days to let me know that Peter Drescher, the author of the article that sparked that entry, just published a...

Yahoo! spanked over copyright in China

By Nat Torkington
December 20, 2007

Yahoo! were found guilty of mass copyright infringement by a Chinese court, for offering a search that linked directly to illegal MP3s. Baidu, who were also being sued, did not get spanked. Why? Nominally it's because Baidu was being prosecuted...

iTunes Finally Allows Streaming ... At Least to Grammy Voters

By Jimmy Guterman
December 13, 2007

Despite protestations by the Cupertino Claque to the contrary, Apple Kremlinologists assume that Steve Jobs and Co. have had a music-streaming strategy ready to go, should the competition force it. That hasn't been necessary yet: The various DRM-encumbered music-streaming services...

Multi-touch Raises the Bar

By Tim O'Reilly
December 12, 2007

There's been an awful lot of commentary about Amazon's new Kindle. It's clearly lived up to its name, and ignited a lot of discussion and excitement about the new possibilities of the always-on electronic book. I wanted to add one...

Stories we want to see in 2008

By Nat Torkington
December 11, 2007

We at the Radar put our heads together and came up with this list of headlines we'd like to see in 2008. Verizon Launches Billing System APIs: In an industry first, Verizon (VZ) today released a set of application programming...

Top 10 Stories we WON'T see in 2008

By Nat Torkington
December 11, 2007

While writing up "Stories we want to see in 2008", we came up with a few stories we just know we won't see. Forgive our silliness, but we hope you enjoyed them as much as we did. [10] Valleywag honoured...

Top 6 Stories we WON'T see in 2008

By Nat Torkington
December 11, 2007

While writing up "Stories we want to see in 2008", we came up with a few stories we just know we won't see. Forgive our silliness, but we hope you enjoyed them as much as we did. [10] Valleywag honoured...

Japan Leading the World From PCs to Devices

By Jimmy Guterman
November 6, 2007

If you want some more evidence that the future may revolve more around devices than what we now consider full-blown computers, consider this report from Japan (AP, via Yahoo), which notes that "Overall PC shipments in Japan have fallen for...

Supercomputing challenge at historic conference

By Andy Oram
October 25, 2007

SC07 sounds like the Burning Man of high-performance computing: a silicon-rich environment that attracts ten to twelve thousand attendees each year, exercising equal doses of computing brawn and brain, and vendors of hardware and software vying for space on the huge exhibition floor. Everybody from financial analysts to climate change modelists know they need clusters. Performance gains will come increasingly from parallelism--both at the multicore level and the cluster level--rather than from faster processors. The cluster challenge unites each team of students (no one with a degree can be a team member) with supercomputer vendors to assemble whatever combination of hardware and software can run off of a 30-amp circuit.

Radar's Irony-Meter is Waterlogged

By Marc Hedlund
August 11, 2007

In case you missed this front-page news from February 2nd, here's a refresher: Science Panel Calls Global Warming ‘Unequivocal’ In a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded...

UK Rolls Out Police Headcams

By Tim O'Reilly
July 14, 2007

It's been a while since I've written about the coming surveillance society, but I couldn't let an AP story in today's newspaper about British policemen equipped with helmet cams go by without comment. By providing dramatic footage of victims,...

Changing the Game: Jane MacGonigal and World Without Oi

By Artur Bergman
July 10, 2007

Radar friend Jane McGonigal has been profiled over at Salon in "Play peak oil before you live it". Jane is a regular speaker at our conferences, were she talks about how to bring collaborative intelligence out into the offline world...

Entrepreneurial Program for Research on Mobiles

By Tim O'Reilly
June 17, 2007

Back in mid-2006, I invited Nathan Eagle to an O'Reilly event. He wrote back: Thanks for the invite - but I'll be in Kenya preparing a mobile phone programming curriculum during the fall... Students who take these courses will be...

Energy Harvesting for Wireless Sensors

By Tim O'Reilly
May 30, 2007

The subject of this week's seminar in Dennis Allison's class at Stanford this afternoon (4:15-5:30PM in Gates B01) looks really interesting: Harvesting energy from environmental sources can extend wireless sensor network node lifetime beyond the limits of battery technology. Potential...

RSS for the Genes

By Tim O'Reilly
May 30, 2007

The New York Times had an article yesterday about Google's investment in the personalized genetics company 23andme, founded by Sergey Brin's wife Anne Wojcicki. The best comment came from investor Martin Varsavsky (founder of fon), who said: “What used to...

Synthetic Biology Hits Newsweek

By Tim O'Reilly
May 29, 2007

Via a chain of email forwards starting with Drew Endy (whom we've written about previously on Radar), I saw that there's a nice piece on synthetic biology by Rudy Rucker in Newsweek. Here's the best bit: One big worry is...

NSF Grant for translation of ASL to Speech

By Tim O'Reilly
May 27, 2007

In news on the "one day we'll all be able to talk to each other" (even if we still fail to understand each other!) front, Ross Stapleton-Gray sent in this fascinating note about an NSF grant for translating American Sign...

Seeing more with the blind camera

By Nikolaj Nyholm
May 15, 2007

Berlin-based artist Sascha Pohflepp's Buttons is a camera that takes other peoples' pictures: "It is a camera that will capture a moment at the press of a button. However, unlike a conventional analog or digital camera, this one doesn't have...

Digital Public Space, Take Two

By Tim O'Reilly
May 12, 2007

On a note profoundly related to this morning's post about outdoor advertising, Phil Torrone just pointed me to his Makezine entry on Google's new technology for billboards that track how many people look at them. Phil points out that these...

What Does It Mean For Public Space to Go Digital?

By Tim O'Reilly
May 12, 2007

Over on Genuine VC, David Beisel has written a thought-provoking piece entitled What Does It Mean For Public Space to Go Digital? about the future of advertising in public spaces. Here are some of the tidbits he includes: figures on...


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