MonthApril 2011

RIP Paul Bingman

Paul Bingman

Regular readers may have noticed a large number of links on this blog attributed to one Paul Bingman. I’m sorry to report that Paul passed away recently. There’s an obituary of him over at Silicon Florist.

He will be missed.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the links that Paul found over the past couple years:

Is Schizophrenia Caused by Retroviruses?

Frankincense: Could it be a cure for cancer?

On How to Write a Gospel Account

Researchers discover that stress isn’t a modern invention

Do blind people hallucinate on LSD?

Why is this anti-gay Leviticus tattoo extra absurd?

Study: women prefer men who already have partners

Interview with Klint on Media, Technology, PR and More

Matt Nagel from the PR firm Shift Communications did an interview with me for the firm’s blog Slice. Here’s me talking about technology and media trends:

In technology, I’ve been covering the consumerization of IT. But I’m also interested in the enterprization of personal life. It’s interesting to see families and groups of friends using “groupware” such as calendar sharing, wikis and Google Docs – or even something like Facebook Events – to coordinate. RIM is offering enterprise security tools to consumer BlackBerry users now. And this new crop of mobile messaging services is inspired by BlackBerry Messenger.

How might consumers take advantage of predictive analytics, mashups, data mining or real-time intelligence? We’re already seeing some of this happening with the “quantified self” movement – stuff like Mint.com, Rescue Time and RunKeeper. Stuff that gives people what they call in business “actionable insights.”

Last year Google released App Inventor, enabling people without programming experience to build Android applications. Adam Greenfield wrote a post about it, and I followed that up with some of my own thoughts about how consumers could start using the same sorts of visual programming and data mashup tools that BPM and business intelligence professionals are using.

In media, I think we’re going to see more evolution and refinement of how we present news and information online. List posts and infographics are often associated with fluff right now, but there’s no reason that serious journalism couldn’t be presented in an easier-to-digest format. If the Watergate scandal were to happen today, perhaps it could be presented as “5 Ways the Nixon Administration Broke the Law” or whatever. You could still tell the story and present all the information without dumbing it down. That said, there still needs to be a way of funding this sort of investigative journalism, as it will still be time-consuming to research and craft important stories. I’m a little cynical about funding models for journalism, but as the cliché goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Pressing the Press: Meet Klint Finley

i09 Interviews the Editors of Coilhouse

Coilhouse editors

Your magazine feels deeply science-fictional to me, though it doesn’t exactly define itself that way, because it showcases real people who are working on the sorts of art and inventions that seem to belong within the realm of fantasy and SF. We tend to think of such creations as imaginary or futuristic, but they’re actually happening all around the planet. You even dig up the oddest artifacts from the distant past! How do you find all these artists, musicians, mad scientists, writers, and fringe people making fantastical things? What do you look for? What pulls them all together as belonging under the Coilhouse masthead?

NL: All sci-fi worlds are really alternative cultures to our own. Sci-fi was always the first place where progressive ideas got tested. It was a “safe” way to introduce such ideas to a larger mainstream audience, and our culture’s slowly but surely catching up. Good sci-fi still exists to question the taboos, inequalities and problems of our culture. Genderbending, magic, atheism, polyamory, alternative family structures – everything that the religious right fears the most also happens to be the stuff of great science fiction. The people who enjoy science fiction and say “this is the world I want to live in” – that’s us, that’s the majority of our readers. That’s why it was important for us to kick off Issue 01 with a piece by Samuel Delany, an excerpt from an upcoming novel about a utopian community for gay black men, and why we continually interview science fiction creators and come back to science fictional themes in the art and fashion we cover. It’s no coincidence that so much of “weird/alternative fashion” is very futuristic, very much inspired by costume design from films like Dune and Blade Runner (which, in turn, were inspired by underground/punk fashion of the time). It’s just another way for all of us to signal to one another: “Let’s see how far we can take our existence here, to remake the world in our image.”

Crime, Cryptohistory, Cthulhu, Culture, & Cyberpunk: Inside Coilhouse Magazine

Coilhouse is offering some free PDF samples from the magazine, as well as selling downloadable PDFs of sold-out back issues.

Video: Neuroscientists Create the Illusion of Having Three Arms

(via Anthropunk)

Patent Filing for Cellular Automata Financial Trading Method and System

The present invention comprises a method using cellular automata to process existing trading data from traders to generate unprecedented output that improves a wide range of future financial trading decisions and alerts for both individual traders and institutions. However, the method and system of the present invention is not a predictive system based on input of market data and it is not algorithmic. Rather, the method and system instead uses cellular automata logic to mimic human trading behavior. Based on the observations of human trading behavior decisions, the present invention generates an output of buy and sells decisions or simply an alert signal. This use of cellular automata as a basis for evaluating trading behavior provides a different basis for generating trading decisions and alerts and forms a new class of financial alerts over the prior art. The method of using cellular automata logic to process financial trading signals is therefore a paradigm shift in the logic behind trading decisions and alerts. It creates a new kind of technical analysis that features cellular automata interacting with human traders and data.

Free Patents Online: Patent Filing for Cellular Automata Financial Trading Method and System

(via Wade)

See also:

Predicting the Future with Twitter

Pi, Plato, and the Language of Nature

The Future of Manufacturing is Local

iPad covers manufacture

Good stuff, but I couldn’t help getting this icky “all those people who have been downsized and laid-off and otherwise had their lives destroyed by the hollowing out of the U.S. economy just just need to shut-up, stop complaining and pull themselves up by their bootstraps” vibe from the article.

“Manufacturing isn’t dead and doesn’t need to be preserved,” she says. “Let’s stop fixating on what’s lost. Let’s see what we have here, what’s doing well, and let’s help those folks do better.” […]

SFMade helps companies assess a product’s “manufacturability,” which sometimes results in an adjustment of (for instance) the design, to make it easier and less costly to manufacture. SFMade will then help companies either connect to existing contract manufacturing resources in the city or establish their own production capacity. Instead of assuming that things like sewing, printing and assembly need to happen overseas, SFMade is working to reconnect local production capacity to big companies (i.e., San Francisco-based Levi’s, exploring the possibility of local sample production). Other large San Francisco-based corporations have initiated relationships with SFMade, like Bank of America (which felt it had lost its footing as a “local” business) and Virgin America (which features local products for sale onboard its aircraft and in their San Francisco terminal). […]

Similar efforts are happening in New York (and indeed, The Times’ City Blog spotlighted the things still made in the city, from lightbulbs to envelopes, in the Made in N.Y.C. series two years ago). Though it launched post-9/11 as a strategy to lift the city back up, Made in N.Y.C. has evolved over time. Sustainability has become a large part of its mission: member companies can post the environmental impacts of their manufacturing processes on the Made in N.Y.C. Web site, with those excelling in greener process and product able to earn a “green apple.” Tying economic growth inextricably to environmental stewardship has so far been a strong strategy.

New York Times: The Future of Manufacturing Is Local

(via Chris)

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