Chart: The number of unaccompanied children caught crossing into the United States since October has surged to about 52,000, from 15,700 over the whole of the 2011 fiscal year.
Last week, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) published a study that conducted a large-scale experiment on Facebook. The authors of the study included an industry researcher from Facebook as well as academics at the University of California, San Francisco and Cornell University. The study employed an experimental design that reduced the amount of positive or negative emotional content in 689,000 Facebook users’ news feeds to test whether emotions are contagious. The study has since spawned a substantial controversy about the methods used, extent of its regulation by academic institutions’ review board, the nature of participants’ informed consent, the ethics of the research design itself, and the need for more explicit opt-in procedures.
Lessons from Google I/O.
Above: The Design Sprint from Google Ventures; Material Design (Visuals and Imagery).
I also wrote a recap of Android Wear and designing for wearables here.
Augmented Reality GPS penguins that lead you to the Tokyo aquarium. Forget making phone apps. Japan just won.
I have a mighty need.
It’s cute. Stop.
Social media is hard.
You know how it is: You’re working for an airline’s Twitter account, watching the World Cup match between your home country, the Netherlands, and Mexico, and then you decide to tweet something clever about how the Netherlands narrowly eged out Mexico.
And you almost — almost! — manage to do something pretty clever. The “Departures” sign from the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam plus the “Adios Amigos!” line. But then you add in the little racist picture of the Mexican.
Because, you know, social media is hard.
[The tweet has, of course, been deleted; the apology, I presume, is forthcoming.]
Charlie Stross on the stop/go nature of technological change
Charlie Stross’s keynote speech to the Yet Another Perl Conference is an inspired riff on the weird, gradual-then-sudden nature of technological change. As Charlie points out, almost everything today — including the people — was around 20 years ago, and most of what’s around now will be around in 20 years. But there will be some changes that would shock your boots off. Improbably, he manages to tie this all into perl programming, which, apparently, is the future of smart sidewalks. Charlie’s thoughtfully provided a transcript of his talk, and there’s a video for those who prefer to hear his rather good comic delivery.
So here’s my takeaway list of bullet-points for 2034:
* It’s going to superficially resemble 2014.
* However, every object in the real world is going to be providing a constant stream of metadata about its environment — and I mean every object.
* The frameworks used for channeling this firehose of environment data are going to be insecure and ramshackle, with foundations built on decades-old design errors.
* The commercial internet funding model of 1994 — advertising — is still influential, and its blind-spots underpin the attitude of the internet of things to our privacy and security.
* How physical products are manufactured and distributed may be quite different from 2014. In particular, expect more 3D printing at end-points and less long-range shipment of centrally manufactured products. But in many cases, how we use the products may be the same.
* The continuing trend towards fewer people being employed in manufacturing, and greater automation of service jobs, will continue: our current societal model, whereby we work to earn money with which to buy the goods and services we need may not be sustainable in the face of a continuing squeeze on employment. But since when has consistency or coherency or even humanity been a prerequisite of any human civilization in history? We’ll muddle on, even when an objective observer might look at us and shake her head in despair.
Political tech art projects from designer originally from Venezuela which both narrate, document and empower the unrest in his home country.
This project collects images coming from Venezuela and displays them in real size in a different physical context. These images bridge the geographical gap that separates Venezuela and NYC to pose the question “What if this happened in your country? Would it matter then?”.
Peaceful student protests in Venezuela are met with violence and abuse by military and police forces. I modified a wireless router to create a small and localized darknet called SOS.Venezuela. This platform served as a portable, self-sustaining network that could help activists communicate during an internet blackout. It is meant for reporting crimes, cases of abuse and to document the events taking place.
I shipped the platform to Venezuela to be deployed at several rallies. Once it was running, the images started pouring in. Within 4 days we had collected over 500 images and identified over 40 crimes.
In 2012 there were 21,692 violent deaths in Venezuela. In 2013 that number was 24,763, and this year that number is expected to rise beyond 27,000. That is almost 0.1% of the entire population of the country and one murder every 20 minutes.
The Murder Machine is an experimental infographic depicting the frequency of murders in the country. The machine creates a real-time feed of hypothetical murder reports. It combines pieces taken from real Venezuelan news reports, deconstructs and reassembles them to create new headlines every twenty minutes.
More can be found at Diego’s website here