TED Conference Talks now online
Have been lucky enough in the past to attend TED a couple of times. This inspiring, up-scale, invitiation-only conference on Technology, Entertainment and Design, usually held in California every year, features a glittering roster of speakers and entertainers. TED have just made good on their desire to make some of this material available to a wider audience - placing half-a-dozen terrific talks from the 2006 event online. It's truly marvellous stuff - I particularly liked Sir Ken Robinson's talk on creativity in education "why don't children dance at school as regularly as they do Maths..?" and Al Gore's speech on sustainability (much better in the original than the resulting movie...). The only down-side is that it has made me want to attend the February 2007 event, which is unfortunately now closed for registration...
Point your browser at: http://www.ted.com/tedtalks
The whole web a blog
Flock is the first attempt to write a web browsing programme that is inherently interactive rather than relying on bolt-on elements for the interactive function. It is part of the movement known as Web 2.0 - the next 'version' of the internet. So the potential for collaborative models of web use - Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia - will now be much more far reaching.
The full article by Paul Mason is in the extended entry for the techno geeks out there.
Zygmunt Bauman on open societies @ the LSE
A transcript of the Zygmunt Bauman lecture is now available on the LSE website for anyone who tried but couldn't get in last night.
Specialist blog search launched on Yahoo!
We have recieved a number of enquiries from blog readers around the world asking for directions to equivalent resources in their respective countries. We do, from time to time, do a 'heads-up' entry if we come across new and interesting design related blogs, but going one further, Yahoo! has recently included a specialist search tool that will perform a keyword search of blogs as well as mainstream news articles and display relevant sites in a seperate list. Yahoo! are currently inviting bloggers to submit their site to the Yahoo index to be included in this search.
See this link for blogging submissions
A new blog on the block
There's a new design blog on the block - they like ours, and as it turns out we think theirs is very nice too. The guys at CPH127 are on about the influence of design as a motor for innovation and vice versa. Have a look.
Blogging in riksdagen
The popularity of blogging rises again with a bill introduced to the Swedish Parliment proposing that their webpage should be equiped with a blogging function so citizens are able to comment and improve on information.
Tobias Billström writes: "Blogging in riksdagen.se should be a natural thing" and points first and foremost to matters that are published on the webpage like notes, press releases and questions
Open Welfare: designs on the public good
Hilary Cottam and Charles Leadbeater have co-authored a summary paper in the lead up to a Red pilot project in health later this year. The paper provides an overview of how an Open approach may be applied where traditional models of public service delivery are proving to be increasingly limited. The potential being for utilising broader social creativity to develop low cost, innovative and personalised services with a focus on self-management. The pilot project is due to commence in the Autumn and the Red unit welcomes any interest or comment. Download file
BBC 'Napster' gets the go ahead
The BBC is pioneering new approach to public access rights based on the creative commons licence.
Using the internet, it offers rights holders the opportunity to release audio visual content for viewing, copying and sharing but with some rights reserved, such as commercial exploitation rights.
So, in the case of audio visual material, the public are allowed increased access but the exploitation of the same material in the commercial arena by rights holders is protected.
Via Demos Greenhouse
Gates backs blogs
Blogs are good for business, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has said.
In a speech to an audience of chief executives, Mr Gates said the regularly updated journals, or blogs, could be a good way for firms to tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing.
He said blogs had advantages over other, older ways of communicating such as e-mail and websites.
More than 700 Microsoft employees are already using blogs to keep people up to date with their projects.
Read the full story on BBC news.
Demos - The Greenhouse
Check out the link on this page for Creative Commons information....quite interesting option.
Collecting ideas for mysociety.org
Interesting and seemingly popular idea collecting site run by Westminster Policy 'wonk' Tom Steinberg.
mySociety.org is a charitable project which will identify, support and develop internet based projects that have real world impacts at very low cost per person helped.
Our work splits broadly into two phases. The first phase is to gather ideas, and the second consists of building real projects based on the best ones. Over the next few weeks we will gather ideas, and create a 'long list' of the best. In late November, we will pick two projects as winners. The second phase of the project consists of taking these winning ideas, seeking funding for them and building development teams to deliver them.
mySociety.org will support projects that have three broad attributes:
1 Founded on electronic networks. This includes the internet, mobile and telephone networks, wireless, fax and anything related.
2 Real world impact. The projects must have an impact which is above and beyond helping users to use their computers or mobiles more efficiently. We understand that there is a degree of philosophical ambiguity here (isn't faster browsing a real life impact?), so we've developed the following list of desirable outcomes from projects.
3 Increased social capital, preferably bridging between groups.
Reduced social exclusion
Improved human capital and employment prospects
Decreased occurrence of common social problems
NB Projects are not limited to these outcomes - if you've got something good which doesn't fit in here, please let us know anyway.
Low or zero cost scalability. This is key. We are looking for projects that cost the same (or virtually the same) to run for ten or a million users. This doesn't exclude the possibility of SMS based services, but it does rule out one-on-one tuition or building a site just for your community.
Other Lower Priority Attributes That Would Be Nice
Development Community. The possibility that projects will attract self sustaining development communities.
Low maintenance. Projects that are as reliable as a trusty screwdriver are desirable. Simple tools than can go online and never be thought about again will have an advantage at the early stages of MySociety.org. Again, this isn't a hard and fast rule, just a project reality at this stage.
Things People Already Do, Done Better.
Innovative Public Procurement - DARPA style
DARPA have been working on developing unmanned vehicles for the military for over a decade - and without much success. Now that the Pentagon want a third of their vehicles to operate unmanned by 2015, DARPA have had to search for a radical solution- so they're running a 'Grand Challenge': A million dollars for the fastest unmanned vehicle across a prescribed course between LA and Las Vegas on 13 March 2005.
Initially they expected 50 or so entrants - they've had closer to 200, including some of the leading figures in robotics, who admit they wouldn't usually work on defense contracts. $1 million might sound like a lot of money - but DAPA reckon one entry alone is already worth $25 million in donated time and hardware and nobody has crossed the finish line yet. What's more DARPA will reserve the right to military usage of the technology whilst the teams themselves maintain their IP for non-military applications. And we thought brainstorming was a smart way to get a lot of ideas fast.
Read more in Wired ...
Open to Ideas: Futurelab's website
The Nesta Futurelab has a very good website. Not only does it showcase it's own work on technology and learning it also showcases work from others that is pointing in the same direction. In the research section you can read work in progress papers, findings papers and other resources - such as literature reviews, that might be valuable to others working in the field. The site invites the public to submit unsolicited ideas via an application form providing they are in accordance with the futurelab criteria for submissions.