Displaying articles for: 02-26-2012 - 03-03-2012
Recently I was reading a book titled Programming Interactivity from O'Reilly books.
This huge book (the PDF I was reading weighed in at over 700 pages) appears to be targeted at the non-technical hobbyist or possibly an artist or designer covering the basics of programming, Arduino Microcontroller environment, Processing (subset of Java and IDE) and openFrameworks. It even has some circuits for the hobbiest building with embedded devices. The main focus is interaction design, looking at how to enable better computer/human interaction from a technical perspective.
The book appears to be the most complete coverage of physical computing techniques and Interaction Programming available anywhere. The book starts out with expert interviews and background related to the interaction between people and computers and the role of design. It then dives right into the basics of programming and some of the software tools and libraries used for hobbyists with embedded systems.
The three main topics covered early in the book are: Processing (java), Arduino (a micro controller), and openFrameworks (a C++ environment). It then shows how to physically interact with people (using knobs, lights and sensors) before providing a great deal of detail about using graphics, sound… and sensors to share information.
For the hobbyist interested in Arduino this book will be a very useful tutorial and reference. It is definitely not something you can just sit down and read, but refer to the parts you need as you need them.
One of the areas where I’ve been getting quite a bit of interest when talking with CIOs is storage solutions. Right now the storage market seem to be fairly hot with quite a number of new players entering the market. These high performance systems are going to require new types of storage controllers, since the existing supporting interface hardware are designed for relatively low spinning disk performance.
With Memristor-based or similar static storage coming on the scene in the foreseeable future, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of the disruption that will be taking place over the coming few years. The information technology impact on power consumption, floor space and volume storage of information that can be accessed at high-speed can’t be overestimated.
Their capabilities can also impact how applications and system interfaces are written, since conventional spinning disk implementations try everything they can to avoid moving the heads within the disk drive, since these are physical movements that perform at a glacial speed compared to the rest of the computing environment. In static memory devices, random I/O has minimal impact. They can access all their information at approximately the same speed, regardless of where it is. The whole concept of tiered storage is brought into question. Static memory devices also consume no power when they are not being accessed.
For businesses who are just starting to get a handle on 'big data' and the big storage that will be required, now is the time to start looking to the future and think about how the business value generation will shift with an order of magnitude more performance and storage capability – and I haven’t even mentioned the impact of storage in the cloud. Effort can be expended now to prepare.
The Smithsonian is using 3D scanners and printers to create “digital surrogate” models, exhibits, and scientific replicas to make more of its objects available to the public, without placing them at risk.
Adam Metallo and Vince Rossi 3D digitization coordinators at the Smithsonian are slowly setting out to begin building a new Smithsonian digital archive. Although the models are not currently available to the public, this should lead to scores of 3D printed exhibits, as well as countless 3D models that could theoretically be used in the museums, in schools throughout the globe.
Photo by: RedEye on Demand/Smithsonian/Studio EIS
It doesn’t come around often, but today is a leap day. There are some interesting traditions and reasons for having the leap day. Some people actually make a plan on what to do to take advantage of this extra day.
It will be interesting to see how the technology community celebrates leap day – beyond Microsoft releasing the Customer Preview of Windows 8.
Technology review asks the question How Young is Too Young to Learn to Code?In the article they talk about a report by Heather Chaplin from KQED about new software that will be aimed squarely at children who have barely learned their colors, much less how to read.
Talk about Digital Natives…
Anyone who has an iPhone and a two year old will probably tell you that touch interfaces are allowing children to spend more time with computers than ever. Although too much screen time in a day has been linked to psychological problems.
The redesigned programming environment is called Scratch, Jr. You can access the development environment and run programs from the web. It is a re-designed version of Scratch, which has been used to teach programming principles to elementary school-age children, that has been simplified. When I looked at the commands it reminded me of a graphical version of a simplified Logo.
I’ve seen some business process modeling tools that could use some of the techniques from this environment
Apps, social media & collaboration tools have created a powerful personal IT experience. In many ways a better one than most people experience at work. How can we leverage this power in the business environment?
Anyone who has looked at the goarmy efforts know that the US army is into virtual worlds. This form of serious gaming is regularly used to develop skills and strengthen understanding. The Army’s latest call for research proposals is looking for ways to develop a “Virtual Laboratory of Aggregate Behavior,” (VLAB). This program proposes the development of a digital domain wherein hundreds or thousands of individuals could be involved in the Army’s “randomized controlled trial experiments”. We’re not talking about AmericasArmy or other typical military simulations here though…
They want a simulation platform that can offer robust testing for behavioral theories. For example, understanding how a community will react during a crisis, or how and why certain groups come together in a situation while others fall into chaos.
There are numerous social projects already underway like the Pentagon’s Minerva program (focused on bridging the cultural divide) and the Army’s Human Terrain System that embedded social scientists into combat units. Most of these are focused on smaller groups though. This research proposal is trying to look at the macro level.
Since some of these efforts deal with commerce issues and the behavior of various types of groups, it seems like the results developed here would be of interest to businesses as well.