STUDIO 630

Studio630 is the research blog of Kyle Rogler. This blog posts articles of work in architecture, urban design, technology, culture, and programming that currently influence me. Currently stationed at BNIM Architects.
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Posts tagged "internet"

Marco Annunziata: Welcome to the age of the industrial internet

A Tiny City Built To Be Destroyed By Cyber Terrorists, So Real Cities Know What’s Coming


The U.S. military is ramping up preparation for cyber wars of the future that will be waged over computers instead of traditional combat zones. In this world, some of our best technological advances look more like vulnerabilities. We’ve figured out how to network bank accounts, streetlights and power grids, how to connect real-time transit data to riders anywhere, or medical records in one hospital to doctors across town. Each of these technologies, though, could just as easily invite cyber attack, with particularly grim implications for major cities.

But for all of these high-tech high stakes, the latest training tool to defend urban infrastructure is a decidedly low-budget innovation: It’s a model-train town, built with parts from the local hobby shop, sitting in an office in New Jersey.

The 6-by-8-foot miniature CyberCity has just been built by the SANS Institute, which leads information-security training for military, government, and civilian officials (this is where you go for classes on digital forensics and network penetration testing). For the past few years, SANS has been running NetWars computer simulation training games for the military. Officials, though, wanted a program that would really capture the “kinetic effects” of cyber warfare.

By EMILY BADGER

History of the Internet

"History of the Internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet.
The history is told using the PICOL icons on picol.org

20 Tech Trends That Will Define 2013, Selected By Frog

AUTOMATED INTELLIGENCE AIDS OUR DIGITAL DOPPELGÄNGERS

Executive Technology Director Robert Tuttle, Austin

Monitoring and responding to the ever-increasing volume and complexity of the various feeds, threads, walls, streams, notifications, updates, and requests that permeate our digital lives has long become a full-time job. Current personal, professional, and commercial social-networking services offer relatively crude aggregation and classification interaction models for managing and directing our online personas. In 2013, we’ll be able to find more qualified hired help.

Emerging tools and services will help translate our needs and desires into cloud-based automation. They will proactively work on our behalf, guided by our permission and divining our intent. Existing services such asGoogle’s Prediction API, which offers pattern-matching and trainable machine learning capabilities to developers, and IFTTT, which offers intuitive, user-friendly, and cloud-based rules engine expressed in simple “if this, then that” terms, are representative of the trend toward empowering more automated, if not quite yet artificial, intelligence for our digital alter-egos.

WE REACH THE TABLET TIPPING POINT

Creative Director Mario van der Meulen, Shanghai

Crystal-balling next year’s trends is never far off from what we see now, but nothing happens overnight. One solution that could make its long promised impact in 2013: the dropping price point of tablets. This will start to bring a shift from tablets being mini-computers to their role as the widespread replacement of printed media, from payment receipts to newspapers to textbooks. Lower prices will prompt people to buy numerous tablets, each optimized for different purposes. Lower prices will also make tablets a game-changing device in emerging economies in Africa, South America, and Asia, and will bring new challenges to the interaction model worldwide.

There has been a documented reduction in the media industry’s paper usage because of the adoption of tablets. These devices also use less energy compared to PCs, and could work well with renewable solutions, such as the solar energy grid. These factors, combined with less of a reliance on a physical transportation and distribution model, where combustion engines still rule, will also help push forward tablets as the timely, earth-friendly, and cost-saving alternative to paper.

USSD IS THE FUTURE OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Executive Strategy Director Ravi Chhatpar, Johannesburg

Although the promise of low-cost smartphones has the potential to fundamentally revolutionize emerging markets, the quotidian reality for many people in Africa, India, China, Southeast Asia, and South America is the simple and functional feature phone.

For most consumers in these markets, the sophistication of mobile interaction is defined by the familiarity with which cumbersome Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, or USSD, codes (keypad commands, e.g. *141*12-digit-number#dial) are used for any service outside of voice and SMS (e.g., adding airtime). For mobile innovators, this is arguably the lowest of the lowest common denominators in technology, but it in fact is the most compelling.

Financial institutions are realizing that attempting to replicate a service borne out of unique and aged local conditions is a losing proposition. For several years, Kenya’s M-Pesa has been touted as the seminal example of emerging-market innovation, but the reality is that it was a brilliant example of being at the right place at the right time, at that perfect intersection of hyper-connectivity (mobile) and non-connectivity (infrastructure) in a country that needed a remittance solution more than anything. It does not neatly translate into other scenarios; it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and neither should it be.

Since M-Pesa’s debut, entrepreneurs and institutions have tried to replicate it in many countries over the years and have consistently failed. Real financial services disruption that acknowledges the role of the informal sector, the importance of community, the need for alternative assessments of risk, and the blending of traditional financial product categories is what will define truly meaningful innovation. And all of these will still be delivered through that most simple, basest, crudest of mobile technologies—USSD. In 2013, an aspiring innovator will define success with this approach.

America’s Internet started out as No. 1 in speed. It now ranks 26th, far behind the networks in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Lithuania. Americans pay the sixth highest median price in the modern world for Internet data — 16 times the rates paid by South Koreans, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Just as serious is the problem of coverage: in France, South Korea and other modern countries a superfast Internet is or will soon be available everywhere. In America, AT&T’s fiber optic lines stop short of homes and small businesses, while Verizon plans to end its fiber-optic installation work once it reaches 18 million residences. As of now huge parts of the United States will never get on the information superhighway but will rather slog along on the digital equivalent of a country road. This presents a genuine economic threat to America: the future industries and jobs that require a universal ultra-high-speed network, after all, will most likely be developed somewhere else.
There probably wouldn’t be an Internet — but rather a large assortment of competing proprietary networks, a la America Online and CompuServe in the early days — if vendors were wrapped up in patent litigation.

A Designer Imagines Miniature, Wi-Fi-Enabled Parks On Wheels

Milan native and designer Matteo Cibic imagines giving citizens the option to pay a small sum to have a portable green “trolley” parked near their homes. The trolleys are rolling, miniature parks that would provide other services—like charging stations, benches, and Wi-Fi—to renters. It’s an unusual take on the post-car city, since it enables citizens to make micro-investments in green space, with immediate, visible benefits.

It’s hard to believe, but we will reach peak air bandwidth by 2014. This is largely due to the explosive use of streaming hi-def video and smartphones. More from the guys at ExtraCreditz.

Great list from mega-mix:

  1. THE INTERNET IS OUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

    We don’t have to remember phone numbers or addresses anymore. Instead, we can just hop on our email or Google to look it up. According to a study by Science Magazine, “the Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” and our brains have become reliant on the availability of information.

  2. CHILDREN ARE LEARNING DIFFERENTLY

    Remember all of the history lessons that required you to remember dates, names, and finite details? Kids don’t do that nearly as much as they used to. With online libraries, “rote memorization is no longer a necessary part of education” according to Read Write Web. Educators are beginning to understand that information is now coming at us through a fire hose, quicker and faster than we can digest it, and memorizing facts wastes valuable brain power that could be used to keep up with more important information that can’t be quickly Googled.

  3. WE HARDLY EVER GIVE TASKS OUR FULL ATTENTION

    Have you ever updated your Facebook while listening to music and texting a friend? If so, you’ve experienced the phenomenon of continuous partial attention and its impact on your brain. It remains to be seen if partial attention is a distraction as most believe, or an adaptation of the brain to the constant flow of stimuli.

  4. WE DON’T BOTHER TO REMEMBER

    In a study by Science Magazine, students were asked to type in pieces of trivia, and depending on their group were told that their information would either be erased or saved. The group that was told their data would be saved were less likely to remember. This study indicates that people have lower rates of recall when they can expect to be able to access information in the future.

  5. WE’RE GETTING BETTER AT FINDING INFORMATION

    Although we can’t remember it all, we’re getting better at finding the information we need. It seems that the brainpower previously used to retain facts and information is now being used to remember how to look it up. Professor Betsy Sparrow reports, “We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found.” She indicates that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and may even be “kind of amazing,” as we’re adapting to new technology and becoming highly skilled in remembering where to find things.

  1. DIFFICULT QUESTIONS MAKE US THINK ABOUT COMPUTERS

    When faced with a difficult question, people rarely consider the encyclopedia or history books, but rather, think about computers. It’s a brand new impulse that exists in our brains. For many, this means we don’t have to trek to the library, or, with the ubiquity of smartphones, even go much farther than our own pockets. It’s no longer a big deal to find an old classmate or remember the name of an actor in a movie — all you have to do is Google it.

  2. IQ IS INCREASING OVER TIME

    In the age of MTV and video games, parents and experts worried that the new and flashy technologies would fry our poor brains into oblivion. But the exact opposite has happened: after MTV, after video games, after Twitter, Facebook, and Google, we’re getting smarter. Are we smarter because of technology, or in spite of it? No one’s answered that question yet, but it’s interesting to think about.

  3. OUR CONCENTRATION IS SUFFERING

    In an article for The Atlantic, Nicholas Carr relates his growing difficulty in deep reading. Like so many others, he finds that “deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.” It’s not hard to figure out why. Our time online is often spent scanning headlines and posts and quickly surfing links, never spending much time on any one thing. So of course, when it comes to reading more than a few minutes, or even moments, of information, your mind will often begin to wander.

  4. WE’RE GETTING BETTER AT DETERMINING RELEVANCE

    With so much information, it’s only natural that some of it is junk. After all, we’re no longer in a world bound by printing presses and editors: just about anyone can put information out there and promote the heck out of it. It’s up to us as readers and consumers of information to determine what’s relevant and reliable, and with so much practice, our brains are getting better at this task every day.

  5. WE’RE BECOMING PHYSICALLY ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY

    Even after unplugging, many Internet users feel a craving for the stimulation received from gadgets. The culprit is dopamine, which is delivered as a response to the stimulation — without it, you feel bored. The wife of a heavy technology user notes that her husband is “crotchety until he gets his fix.”After spending time online, your brain wants to get back on for more, making it difficult to concentrate on other tasks and “unplug.”

  1. THE MORE YOU USE THE INTERNET, THE MORE IT LIGHTS UP YOUR BRAIN

    In 2007, UCLA professor Gary Small tested experienced surfers and newbie Internet users, asking them to Google a variety of preselected topics. In his experiment, he monitored brain activity, noting that experienced surfers showed much more activity than novice users, especially in the areas typically devoted to decisions and problem solving. He brought them all back six days later, this time having the newbies spend an hour each day searching online in the period before they came back. In the second test, the novice surfers’ brains looked more like the intermediate Internet users. “Five hours on the Internet and the naive subjects had already rewired their brains,” noted Small, suggesting that over time, Internet use changes neural pathways.

  2. OUR BRAINS CONSTANTLY SEEK OUT INCOMING INFORMATION

    Tests at Stanford indicate that multitaskers, such as heavy Internet users, often tend to overlook older, valuable information, instead choosing to seek out new information. Clifford Nass of Stanford observes, “we’ve got a large and growing group of people who think the slightest hint that something interesting might be going on is like catnip. They can’t ignore it.” Instead of focusing on important tasks, or putting information to good use, we’re distracted by incoming email.

  3. WE’VE BECOME POWER BROWSERS

    Online browsing has created a new form of “reading,” in which users aren’t really reading online, but rather power browsing through sites. Instead of left to right, up to down reading, we seem to scan through titles, bullet points, and information that stands out. Comprehension and attention are certainly at risk here.

  4. ONLINE THINKING PERSISTS EVEN OFFLINE

    When you’re online, you’re frequently attacked by bursts of information, which is highly stimulating and even overwhelming. Too much, and you can become extremely distracted and unfocused. Even after you log off (if you ever do), your brain remains rewired. A lack of focus and fractured thinking can persist, interrupting work, family, and offline time.

  5. CREATIVE THINKING MAY SUFFER

    Some experts believe that memorization is critical to creativity. William Klemm, a neuroscience professor at Texas A&M University insists that “Creativity comes from a mind that knows, and remembers, a lot.” Although creativity seems to have grown with the use of technology, it’s certainly being done in new and different ways. And Klemm’s assertion is certainly true for creative thinking and brainstorming born out of memorized knowledge, which so many of us now store online.

(via notational)

PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet

PROTECT-IP is dangerous bill that is up for discussion in congress today, and it has the power to cripple internet startups and vastly change the open nature of the internet.  PROTECT IP essentially gives the entertainment industry to censor, enforce, and sue any person, company or ISP that allows access to copyrighted material.  With the way that the bill is written this will put people singing an acapella rendition of their favorite pop song in the legal cross hairs of the entertainment industry in the same way that it would for a file sharing site.

Protecting copyrights and piracy are important issues that need to be dealt with, but PROTECT-IP and SOPA will drastically change the was we enjoy and do business on the internet for the negative.

Thanks to Tumblr’s efforts to get people to call congress, I had a great conversation with my local representative Gary Miller’s office.  Take the two minutes it takes to voice your opinion.  Simply fill out your phone number, address and zip code and Tumblr will call your phone connecting you directly to your representative’s office.

Read more about what you can do at AmercianCensorship.org.  From a business perspective read Fred Wilson’s (venture capitalist and Tumblr’s investor) post on the architecture of the internet.

Please reblog this and take action!

via jonathanmoore: