dinsdag 31 juli 2012

TED: Stephen Ritz: A teacher growing green in the South Bronx - Stephen Ritz (2012)

A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery -- and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/MPSdrkhNrNY/stephen_ritz_a_teacher_growing_green_in_the_south_bronx.html

TED: Todd Humphreys: How to fool a GPS - Todd Humphreys (2012)

Todd Humphreys forecasts the near-future of geolocation when millimeter-accurate GPS "dots" will enable you to find pin-point locations, index-search your physical possessions ... or to track people without their knowledge. And the response to the sinister side of this technology may have unintended consequences of its own. (Filmed at TEDxAustin.)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/Ytgg4h99vfk/todd_humphreys_how_to_fool_a_gps.html

maandag 30 juli 2012

Saga: the contextual app that shows us what Google Glasses could do, albeit today

Saga just launched.

What is it?

A new kind of mobile companion. It studies what you do. How you do it. When you do it. Where you do it. Who you do it with. It’s an app that studies your context and builds an intelligent companion.

Yes, it’s iPhone only today, but will come to Android soon.

Here founder Andy Hickl shows me the app and explains to me what it does, and how it’ll protect my privacy.

This app, after you run it for a while, tells you all sorts of stuff about you, and your day coming up.

It competes with a bunch of things. Including Siri, PlaceMe, and others. I’ll give a more full report in about a week.

Speaking of apps that gather your contextual information, like Saga does, we’re writing a book on this new genre of apps and services called “The Age of Context.” Shel Israel, over on Forbes, posted our table of contents. We’d love to know what you think about that. Are we on the right track? If not, what do we need to put in the book or take out?

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/07/31/saga-the-contextual-app-that-shows-us-what-google-glasses-could-do-albeit-today/

TED: Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China - Michael Anti (2012)

Michael Anti (aka Jing Zhao) has been blogging from China for 12 years. Despite the control the central government has over the Internet -- "All the servers are in Beijing" -- he says that hundreds of millions of microbloggers are in fact creating the first national public sphere in the country's history, and shifting the balance of power in unexpected ways.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/uh29XKfLf1s/michael_anti_behind_the_great_firewall_of_china.html

zaterdag 28 juli 2012

TED: Noah Wilson-Rich: Every city needs healthy honey bees - Noah Wilson-Rich (2012)

Bees have been rapidly and mysteriously disappearing from rural areas, with grave implications for agriculture. But bees seem to flourish in urban environments -- and cities need their help, too. Noah Wilson-Rich, founder of Boston's Best Bees Company, argues that urban beekeeping just might play a role in revitalizing both a city and a species. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/ziWgRODU1WI/noah_wilson_rich_every_city_needs_healthy_honey_bees.html

vrijdag 27 juli 2012

TED: Michael Hansmeyer: Building unimaginable shapes - Michael Hansmeyer (2012)

Inspired by cell division, Michael Hansmeyer writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they're buildable -- and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/XezzswLqRvc/michael_hansmeyer_building_unimaginable_shapes.html

woensdag 25 juli 2012

TED: Tracy Chevalier: Finding the story inside the painting - Tracy Chevalier (2012)

When Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: How did the painter meet his model? What would explain that look in her eye? Why is that man … blushing? She shares three stories inspired by portraits, including the one that led to her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/1V0RuZzR2Ps/tracy_chevalier_finding_the_story_inside_the_painting.html

dinsdag 24 juli 2012

TED: Jon Nguyen: Tour the solar system from home - Jon Nguyen (2011)

Want to navigate the solar system without having to buy that expensive spacecraft? Jon Nguyen demos NASAJPL's "Eyes on the Solar System" -- free-to-use software for exploring the planets, moons, asteroids, and spacecraft that rotate around our sun in real-time. (Filmed at TEDxSanDiego.)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/1LpMQozIsGo/jon_nguyen_tour_the_solar_system_from_home.html

TED: Malte Spitz: Your phone company is watching - Malte Spitz (2012)

What kind of data is your cell phone company collecting? Malte Spitz wasn’t too worried when he asked his operator in Germany to share information stored about him. Multiple unanswered requests and a lawsuit later, Spitz received 35,830 lines of code -- a detailed, nearly minute-by-minute account of half a year of his life.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/BmTIDftRA-4/malte_spitz_your_phone_company_is_watching.html

maandag 23 juli 2012

Social Media and the Future: Keynote slides at CIO Summit

This afternoon I am giving a keynote on Social Media and the Future at the Australian CIO Summit in the Gold Coast.

Here are the slides from my presentation. As always, my keynote slides are shared with the proviso that they are designed to accompany my presentation and are NOT intended to be useful on their own. However you might find them of interest.

To provide just a little context on the flow of my keynote:

I begin with the imperative of adapting to accelerating external change, and how organizations are increasingly driven by technologies originated for consumer use, including social media.

After quickly running through a history of consumer social media, I look at the 10 major trends shaping the future of social media, as well as key directions in the social media platform battle.

From that broad external perspective I examine the implications for organizations, including the capabilities required to create success in a world increasingly shaped by social media.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/Zn-eBpnNrP0/social-media-and-the-future-keynote-slides-at-cio-summit.html

TED: James Stavridis: How NATO's Supreme Commander thinks about global security - James Stavridis (2012)

Imagine a global security driven by collaboration -- among agencies, government, the private sector and the public. That's not just the distant hope of open-source fans, it's the vision of James Stavridis, the Supreme Commander of NATO, who shares vivid moments from recent military history to explain why security of the future should be built with bridges rather than walls.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/i_tVE6LWFik/james_stavridis_how_nato_s_supreme_commander_thinks_about_global_security.html

zondag 22 juli 2012

Crowdsourcing Entrepreneurs drinks in Sydney this Friday

Crowds and crowdsourcing are increasingly at the heart of entrepreneurship, represented by the burgeoning crop of crowdsourcing companies, the rise of crowd business models, and the fact that a large proportion of entrepreneurs today draw extensively on crowdsourcing in building their businesses.

Ignacio Rodriguez and Enrique Mena, CEO and COO respectively of Chile-based Spanish-language crowdsourcing platform MeritusPro (which I am an advisor to) will be in Sydney this week, so I thought it would good to organise a crowdsourcing entrepreneurs drinks for any entrepreneurs involved directly or indirectly in the crowdsourcing space, though all are welcome.

BlueChilli has kindly offered their new city space as a venue.

Here are details:

What: Crowdsourcing Entrepreneurs drinks

Where: BlueChilli, Level 2, 50 York Street, Sydney

When: Friday 27 August, 4:30 – 6:00pm (to continue at Silicon Beach drinks across the road for those who wish…)

All welcome – feel free to spread word to the right people. Hope to see you there!

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/L8ybIZDzcU8/crowdsourcing-entrepreneurs-drinks-in-sydney-this-friday.html

TED: Vinay Venkatraman: “Technology crafts” for the digitally underserved - Vinay Venkatraman (2012)

Two-thirds of the world may not have access to the latest smartphone, but local electronic shops are adept at fixing older tech using low-cost parts. Vinay Venkatraman explains his work in "technology crafts," through which a mobile phone, a lunchbox and a flashlight can become a digital projector for a village school, or an alarm clock and a mouse can be melded into a medical device for local triage.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/qlrJQC08T-U/vinay_venkatraman_technology_crafts_for_the_digitally_underserved.html

zaterdag 21 juli 2012

TED: John Graham-Cumming: The greatest machine that never was - John Graham-Cumming (2012)

Computer science began in the 30's ... the 1830's. John Graham-Cumming tells the story of Charles Babbage's mechanical, steam-powered "analytical engine" and how Ada Lovelace, mathematician and daughter of Lord Byron, saw beyond its simple computational abilities to imagine the future of computers. (Recorded at TEDxImperialCollege)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/yPkzjpTcNsM/john_graham_cumming_the_greatest_machine_that_never_was.html

vrijdag 20 juli 2012

TED: Neil Harbisson: I listen to color - Neil Harbisson (2012)

Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color -- and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/XhXePr6-akM/neil_harbisson_i_listen_to_color.html

Global insights into fear of failure, entrepreneurial activity, and gender balance in entrepreneurs

As part of my work in helping global professional services firms build strategies for entrepreneurial markets, I’ve been spending some time with the trove of data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which is the largest study of entrepreneurship around the world.

One of the interesting issues I have been looking at is how varying fear of failure impacts entrepreneurial activity, as shown in the table below.

The countries are listed in order of fear of failure at entrepreneurship, followed by entrepreneurial activity by males and females (% of 18-64 year olds), and then the proportion of entrepreneurial activity that is driven by necessity in not being able to get other employment.

There are clearly many variables across countries in how these data points would relate, and no neat direct correlations, however some interesting perspectives emerge.

Where there is low fear of failure, which includes both developing countries such as Turkey and South Africa as well as USA, entrepreneurial activity tends to be strong, however Northern European nations have fairly low tendencies to entrepreneurship. The strong social support system in these countries seem to cut both ways, in reducing fear of failure but perhaps also not motivating entrepreneurial activities.

China is the standout in terms of entrepreneurial activity, however this is significantly driven by necessity.

Higher levels of fear of failure seem to constrain entrepreneurship in a number of countries, even those where are no alternatives for employment.

Thailand appears to be a country where people are successfully overcoming their fear of failure. Interestingly it is one of only two countries, along with Singapore, where female entrepreneurs outnumber males.

While Koreans seem to be driven by necessity, possibly Australians‘ entrepreneurial activity also involves transcending fears.

The ratio of male/female entrepreneurship not surprisingly appears to be driven significantly by cultural norms, with the biggest disparity in Turkey, France, Japan, and South Korea, however Northern Europe, which leads in female participation in politics and government, does not seem to do well in gender balance in entrepreneurial activities.

What do you think of this data? Are there any surprises or does it match what you would expect?

Perhaps the most interesting question is how can we decrease the fear of failure in national cultures, and would this help to drive higher levels of entrepreneurship?

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/p1ncwWmEAEg/global-insights-into-fear-of-failure-entrepreneurial-activity-and-gender-balance-in-entrepreneurs.html

donderdag 19 juli 2012

TED: Matt Mills: Image recognition that triggers augmented reality - Matt Mills / Tamara Roukaerts (2012)

Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts demonstrate Aurasma, a new augmented reality tool that can seamlessly animate the world as seen through a smartphone. Going beyond previous augmented reality, their "auras" can do everything from making a painting talk to overlaying live news onto a printed newspaper.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/NCX_CEFxDVs/matt_mills_image_recognition_that_triggers_augmented_reality.html

woensdag 18 juli 2012

TED: Baba Shiv: Sometimes it's good to give up the driver's seat - Baba Shiv (2012)

Over the years, research has shown a counterintuitive fact about human nature: That sometimes, having too much choice makes us less happy. This may even be true when it comes to medical treatment. Baba Shiv shares a fascinating study that measures why choice opens the door to doubt, and suggests that ceding control -- especially on life-or-death decisions -- may be the best thing for us.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/HOmp9oh0T-g/baba_shiv_sometimes_it_s_good_to_give_up_the_driver_s_seat.html

dinsdag 17 juli 2012

MegaTrends and the future of professional services – Melbourne and Sydney

Next week I will be giving the first in the First Mover series of seminars for professional services leaders organized by Beaton Research & Consulting.

See here for the seminar series overview or the brochure for full details.

The seminars will be held in Melbourne on 25 July and Sydney on 26 July, with a live webinar option also available.

For quite a few years much of my work was with professional service firms, and while I have spent more time in other sectors recently, I still see the professional services model (in an evolved form) as central to the future of the global economy.

Here is the description of what I will cover:

Megatrends and the future of professional services

The increasing pace of change in business is creating massive challenges and opportunities.
The swift rise of communications technologies, global competition, regulatory pressures and outsourcing are just some of the forces that must be understood and addressed in
any effective business strategy. This seminar will look at:
• The future of professional services
• The Megatrends of the global economy
• The implications of a networked world based on talent and innovation
• The challenges and opportunities of generational change
• The role of leadership in these radical times
• Key action steps professional service firms can take to prosper in a challenging environment

After the event I hope to find the time to write about some of the themes I will cover.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/NoWrEvplo50/megatrends-and-the-future-of-professional-services-melbourne-and-sydney.html

Netsuite: A Sign That SaaS Firms Are Immune From A Slump?

Patrick Walravens of JMP Securities has a report out this morning suggesting that Netsuite, the SaaS providers of enterprise planning and financial tools, is bucking the looming slump in technology spending. This may give a boost to other Web software names, notably Salesforce.com. It could also help industry giants Oracle and SAP show growth from recent acquisitions.

Walravens writes that his sources aren’t seeing any snags along the lines of “higher approval levels, project delays, more scrutiny.” He cites Netsuite’s lack of European exposure as a possible explanation. The company primarily sells to small and medium-size businesses in the U.S. Total euro denominated exposure is under 1%.

Meanwhile Walravens cites that Netsuite is hiring new sales reps aggressively, and in some cases splitting existing sales territories to create room for hires. Walravens saw this in the early days of Salesforce.com‘s ramp up. Walravens is predicting billings growth of 30%, consensus is 28%.

Netsuite already trades at a premium (as measured by price-to-sales) to rivals Salesforce.com and SAP.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/07/17/netsuite-a-sign-that-saas-firms-are-immune-from-a-slump/

TED: Jamie Drummond: How to set goals ... for the world - Jamie Drummond (2012)

In 2000, the UN laid out 8 goals to make the world better by reducing poverty and disease -- with a deadline of 2015. As that deadline approaches, Jamie Drummond of ONE.org runs down the surprising successes of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, and suggests a crowdsourced reboot for the next 15 years.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/25Gbp2KJVPw/jamie_drummond_how_to_set_goals_for_the_world.html

The coming automatic, freaky, contextual world and why we’re writing a book about it

Robert Scoble and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin at Last Night's Dinner in the Dark in San Francisco

First, the short version of today’s news. Shel Israel and I are collaborating on a book, titled, The Age of Context: How it Will Change Your Life and Work.

The long version:

A new world is coming. It’s scary. Freaky. Over the freaky line, if you will. But it is coming. Investors like Ron Conway and Marc Andreessen are investing in it. Companies from Google to startups you’ve never heard of, like Wovyn or Highlight, are building it. With more than a couple of new ones already on the way that you’ll hear about over the next six months.

First, the trends. We’re seeing something new happen because of:

1. Proliferation of always-connected sensors.
2. New kinds of cloud-based databases.
3. New kinds of contextual SDKs.
4. A maturing in social data that nearly everyone is participating in.
5. Wearable computers and sensors like the Nike FuelBand, FitBit, and soon the Google Glasses.

More on these trends later in this post.

This new, automatic world, is already coming. Highlight tells you when people who are using Highlight are nearby. Automatically. Google Now tells you to leave early for your next appointment because traffic is bad. Automatically. PlaceMe checks me into every place I enter. Automatically (including places you might not want others to know about, like churches and strip clubs).

We’ve also seen several other examples that are coming over the next few weeks. A TV guide that shows you stuff to watch. Automatically. Based on who you are. A contextual system that watches Gmail and Google Calendar and tells you stuff that it learns. A photo app that sends photos to each other automatically if you photograph them together. And then there’s the Google Glasses (AKA Project Glass) that will tell you stuff about your world before you knew you needed to know. There is a new toy coming this Christmas that will entertain your kids and change depending on the context they are in (it will know it’s a rainy day, for instance, and will change their behavior accordingly). New kinds of algorithmic customer support is being developed by retailers and even at Rackspace that will answer your questions differently depending on your context (we are developing ways to figure out that you aren’t happy before you even call and yell at us, for instance, Rackspace has hired one of the world’s experts here, Harry Max, but we aren’t the only ones thinking about this). We’ve already talked to automobile companies that are thinking about this in a big way (and even startups like Waze are trying to show you stuff about the road before you get there).

Add to that new kinds of software developer kits coming from major companies like Qualcomm (AKA Gimbal), which will gather this new kind of contextual data together, send it off to cloud servers, where developers can build new kinds of apps that will, in real time, hook up to all sorts of databases about us and the businesses we buy from or work for, and bring us back interesting smart alerts and more.

Our announcement this morning: The Age of Context: How it Will Change Your Life and Work

Anyway, it’s very clear to us that there’s a major new trend underway and, so, today I’m announcing that I’m writing a book together with my pal, and Forbes author, Shel Israel (we wrote a book that kicked off the social age seven years ago, called “Naked Conversations” that is still being used in Universities and as a guide to corporate communicators). His take on the book is up on the Forbes Blog, or will be soon.

We will take on the fears of this new world and explain why users will end up giving over their most private of information. You will store everything you do in life in this system and, to most, that is extremely scary. Yes, these systems can even tell when you are having sex and, worse of all, will know what brands you like and where your favorite gas station is. Way over the freaky line for most people, at least today, this future is coming and coming fast thanks to a new range of sensors and contextual SDKs (software developer kits) that will sit on our smart phones and other devices we’ll wear.

We will also interview dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses about how they are preparing for this age of context. Already we’ve started this process, talking to car manufacturers, wineries, and many startups.

Shel and I are both seeing the same thing from different points of view. For the past few months he’s been working for Forbes, headed around the world to interview business executives. He has access to companies that I don’t, especially since he’s traveled the world after writing books, on the social age, on Twitter and How to Give Presentations (he used to help startups get ready for big demos).

Thanks, too, to our friends Buzz Bruggeman and Andy Ruff who introduced us years ago and told us to write our first book.

The book will be written over the next nine to 12 months, we’re hoping to publish it sometime in the first half of 2013. Right around the time the first Google Glasses come out. Why then? Because that’s when the Contextual Age will be very clear to everyone and businesses will need to figure out what to do because of these shifts. Just today I talked with the founder of Informix (he now runs the Connection Cloud, which is going to connect all of the cloud systems inside enterprises together, to give enterprise developers the tools to build real-time contextual systems that will do for businesses what the Google Glasses will do for consumers).

How will the book be funded?

Right now we don’t quite know how the book will be funded. The book industry is in extreme turmoil and we can’t bankroll it all ourselves. Just a single trip to see, say, what Ford is doing in Detroit, costs thousands of dollars. Double that if we both go. We have some ideas:

1. Get a corporate sponsor to bankroll the book and other media that will spring out of it. That’s happened on other books, like the Day in the Life series of photo books (IKEA and others sponsored those). If you’d like to participate, please get ahold of us at scobleizer@gmail.com.

2. Get a traditional book publisher to give us an advance to give us some funds to produce the book (that’s how we did Naked Conversations). Unfortunately, though, the book industry is less willing to do that at a significant level.

3. Fund it with a cloud-funding site, like Kickstarter (there are several to choose from, Kickstarter is just the most popular).

4. Some hybrid approach, or some approach where we sell access to chapters. There’s lots of innovation to come in the book industry, thanks to lots of people reading books on iPads, Kindles, and other mobile devices.

5. Fund it by doing speaking gigs or developing conferences around the idea. Other authors have done this, by charging $20,000 per speaking gig, which they use to fund book development, or pay off credit cards that get overused while investing time into a book.

There are other ideas, too, and we’re interested in hearing about them, (please write me at scobleizer@gmail.com). It’ll cost about $100,000 to do this book right over the next six to nine months.

So, what’s Rackspace’s role in this?

Rackspace is very excited by this new world. We are already seeing our customers building contextual apps, systems, and infrastructure and we want to help further innovation in this space by providing a set of open source and open cloud technologies that will enable developers to innovate on faster. Open source is a big trend, driving this book, and investors are behind that big time too, see Andreessen Horowitz’ $100 million investment in Github, for instance.

Rackspace is funding my research behind this book (I’m a full-time employee of Rackspace), and, indeed, already am doing interviews like this one with the CEO of CouchBase, the database that Zynga is running on.

Back to the trends

Let’s talk about the trends, introduced earlier.

Proliferation of always-connected sensors.

Your cell phone, alone, has these sensors: Video, Audio, GPS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass, Gravity, Wifi, Bluetooth, and possibly Temperature, and Barometer. All of these sensors can be used to figure out what context you are in. Are you walking, driving, skiing, sitting? These sensors can already know (companies like Alohar are already studying them and sending that data up to the cloud).

New kinds of cloud-based databases.

There are new kinds of cloud-based databases. Take a look at Firebase, for instance. http://www.building43.com/videos/2012/05/07/firebase-syncing-data-between-clients/ has my interview with its founders. This is a real-time system that enables new kinds of applications to be written. Add to that CloudBase, which already runs Zynga and is about to see a major revision that will allow real-time searching. Or, even, other kinds of social databases, like Pearltrees, which lets you organize data into contextual trees (interview with them coming soon).

New kinds of contextual SDKs.

Qualcomm’s Gimbal is only the first. https://www.gimbal.com/ It lets you build new kinds of geofences, interest sensing, and other features that will enable developers to bring this new world to us.

A maturing in social data that nearly everyone is participating in.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and Google+ are all maturing very quickly. Facebook, in particular, has built APIs that enable new kinds of apps. Highlight shows the way here, with it you can see people near you who are already using the app. On its display you can see what Facebook likes and friends you share in common with this person.

Wearable computers and sensors like the Nike FuelBand, FitBit, and soon the Google Glasses.

When you go to the doctor in the future he or she will be able to see your vital statistics like weight, exercise activity, and more, thanks to sensors many of us are already starting to carry around or use. I have a FitBit scale that doesn’t just weigh me, but shows me my BMI (Body Mass Index). Just so I know how obese I am. Soon other sensors and contextual systems will arrive, too. I used one from Empatica, while on stage at the Next Web Conference. It is a galvanic skin response sensor which measures my emotions in real time. Imagine how companies could use this to improve customer support! (I’d love the airlines I use to see my graph as I interact with its employees, for instance).

Add these trends together with major announcements made by Google (who already shipped Google Now and has already previewed the Project Glass at its developer conferences) and the reactions I’ve gotten to posts where hundreds of comments have come in, like this post written last week, and we see there’s a need for a book to help everyone see what’s going on and how to take advantage of the new contextual age.

The role of my blog is going to change

Starting today I’m going to focus my blog here totally into this new project and what I’m seeing in the world over the next nine months. There are plenty of other places to watch me publish other things in my life (I’d recommend subscribing to me on Facebook, which is the best place to follow me since you’ll see my Quora answers, all my posts on Google+, my Soundcloud podcasts, my photos posted in various places, including on Facebook, and all my videos I post on various YouTube channels, and, of course, my blog posts here).

Next steps

We’re already working on the book and Shel will publish early versions of chapters onto Forbes where we can gather feedback about them. When we published Naked Conversations putting our work into the harsh eye of the public dramatically improved the book. People around the world gave us critiques, added new ideas and companies to it, and even grammar corrected our work. That process was totally unfamiliar to the book industry back then (we forced our publisher to accept it, rather unwillingly I might add) but it’s interesting to note how few authors are using that technique seven years later. It’s invaluable and you will definitely be part of every step of this process (which is why we’re announcing that we’re working on this now).

Anyway, read Shel’s post over on Forbes which adds more details about this project and let us know what you think.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo taken of me and Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, by Thomas Hawk. Sergey is wearing the Project Glass prototypes that Google will release to developers sometime in 2013 (Scoble is the 107th purchaser).

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/07/17/the-coming-automatic-freaky-contextual-world-and-why-were-writing-a-book-about-it/

maandag 16 juli 2012

TED: Mina Bissell: Experiments that point to a new understanding of cancer - Mina Bissell (2012)

For decades, researcher Mina Bissell pursued a revolutionary idea -- that a cancer cell doesn't automatically become a tumor, but rather, depends on surrounding cells (its microenvironment) for cues on how to develop. She shares the two key experiments that proved the prevailing wisdom about cancer growth was wrong.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/4QRM350hJxc/mina_bissell_experiments_that_point_to_a_new_understanding_of_cancer.html

zondag 15 juli 2012

TED: Gabriel Barcia-Colombo: Capturing memories in video art - Gabriel Barcia-Colombo (2012)

Using video mapping and projection, artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo captures and shares his memories and friendships. At TED Fellow Talks, he shows his charming, thoughtful work -- which appears to preserve the people in his life in jars, suitcases, blenders ...

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/aRrAhL0nFqg/gabriel_barcia_colombo_capturing_memories_in_video_art.html

vrijdag 13 juli 2012

TED: Jared Ficklin: New ways to see music (with color! and fire!) - Jared Ficklin (2012)

Designer Jared Ficklin creates wild visualizations that let us see music, using color and even fire (a first for the TED stage) to analyze how sound makes us feel. He takes a brief digression to analyze the sound of a skatepark -- and how audio can clue us in to developing creativity.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/LdQs7SOvBDs/jared_ficklin_new_ways_to_see_music_with_color_and_fire.html

donderdag 12 juli 2012

TED: Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future - Marc Goodman (2012)

The world is becoming increasingly open, and that has implications both bright and dangerous. Marc Goodman paints a portrait of a grave future, in which technology's rapid development could allow crime to take a turn for the worse.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/cCLFNaWpdK4/marc_goodman_a_vision_of_crimes_in_the_future.html

How collaboration is transforming the relationship between sell-side and buy-side financial markets

One of the most important dynamics in almost all industries today is how value creation is increasingly shifting to be between organizations rather than within organizations.

Most notably, the nature of client-supplier relationships have dramatically shifted over the years.

This is not new. I have spent considerable time working with the institutional financial services sector, and seen major changes over the years. I recently recalled a White Paper I wrote years ago, How Collaborative Technologies are Transforming Financial Services, in the wake of a Collaboration in Financial Services conference I co-organized and chaired in New York.

Here is an excerpt from the White Paper. The same issues are still playing out today.

At the highest level, there is no question that collaborative technologies will impact the structure of the financial services industry. The implications may take some time to be visible, however the shifts in power and value creation between industry participants are already evident.

One of the most obvious examples is in the relationship between buy-side and sell-side in financial markets. The availability of information and the concentration of analytic capabilities in the buy-side has shifted the balance of power, and made the value proposition of financial market sales activities ever more tenuous.

In considering the future of the bank dealing room, some believe that much of the activity will shift to online trading, requiring far fewer traders and salespeople. However if salespeople can create value collaboratively with their clients, this can significantly change the dynamic at play.

Collaborative trade and portfolio analytics, in which buy-side and sell-side collaborate in how they assess trades, is likely to be a significant aspect of changing relationships. Investment banks increasingly offer tools that allow clients to assess potential trades based on their own assumptions and market perspectives.

Sometimes these allow the salesperson and client to simultaneously view trading strategies while adjusting trade parameters and discussing the implications, making the client decision-making process highly collaborative.

The step beyond this is assessing the trade specifically within the context of the client’s portfolio, including impact on portfolio-wide risk measures. In some instances these calculations can be done on the bank side, requiring the client’s portfolios to be available on the bank’s systems or at a third-party application service provider (ASP).

If banks cannot clearly demonstrate that they can create superior value for their clients in their interactions, clients will not waste their time speaking with salespeople, and the banks’ key relationships will suffer. This illustration of how relationships are changing in financial markets can also be seen in other client relationships, where banks have a choice between becoming commodities or seeking to create value collaboratively with clients.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/lrCyP6VU3X0/how-collaboration-is-transforming-the-relationship-between-sell-side-and-buy-side-financial-markets.html

woensdag 11 juli 2012

Mobile 3.0 arrives: How Qualcom just showed us the future of the cell phone (and why iPhone sucks for this new contextual age)

Google Now screen shot

The world just changed yesterday. You probably didn’t notice. But I guarantee strategists at Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google did.

What happened? Qualcomm shipped a new contextual awareness platform for cell phones.

Yesterday the Mobile 3.0 world arrived. First mobile was the standard old cell phone. You talked into it. The second mobile era was brought to us by the iPhone. You poked at a screen. The third era will bring us a mobile that saves us from clicking on the screen.

We’ve seen lots of precursors. Heck, Google itself, a couple of weeks ago, shipped something called “Google Now” that tells you stuff based on your context. “Hey, Scoble, you better leave for your next appointment because it takes 53 minutes to get there” my new Nexus 7 tablet tells me. You see the actual screen shot above.

But in the future your mobile device, whether it be something you hold in your hand like a smart phone, or wear on your face, like Google Glasses, will know a hell of a lot about you.


Well, Qualcomm just shipped the developer SDK, called Gimbal.

This SDK talks to every sensor in your phone. The compass. The GPS. The accelerometer. The temperature sensor. The altimeter sensor. Heck, we’ve known about sensors in cell phones for a while now. Here’s a New York Times report from May of last year.

But now, thanks to this SDK your smart phone will start to make sense of the data. Developers will have a single data pool on your cell phone to talk with (Qualcomm was very smart about privacy — none of this data leaves your own cell phone unless you give it permission to).

Today I was talking with Roland Ligtenberg, product developer at Qualcomm Labs. While talking with me I realized just what Qualcomm was up to.

See, if you do all this collection and analysis in software there is a battery cost. Remember Highlight? My favorite app of SXSW (and really the year). Did you ignore it? Well, investors aren’t. Ron Conway told me that aside from Pinterest Highlight is his favorite new company. Mine too because it showed me something no one else showed me before (a new kind of context of people who are near me). It actually is a lame app compared to what is coming, thanks to this Qualcomm SDK.

Qualcomm wouldn’t comment, but Roland told me that if you did all this in hardware there would be a lot less battery cost. So, look for this SDK to come to your mobile phone (or other wearable computing devices, like Google Glasses) soon.

Want to see what other use cases are coming? Check out this answer on Quora (actually 28 separate answers from techies) about what the Google Glasses world will bring (really they are talking about contextual and wearable computing, mashing together).

To add onto those answers, these new systems are going to know whether you are walking, running, skiing. Whether you are shopping, working, entertaining yourself (it knows whether you are in church, or in a strip club, or at school, or at work, or driving). Thanks to the wifi and bluetooth radios it can even know you are riding in your wife’s car, not driving. (Only available on Android, because Apple doesn’t let developers talk to the radios).

Which brings me to why Apple sucks.

Apple does NOT give developers access to the Bluetooth and Wifi radios. This is going to really hinder developers in this new contextual world.

Think about why your phone or Google Glasses might want to know you are in the kitchen, vs. sitting on your couch in the living room. The information that should automatically show up on your phone will be radically different. In the kitchen I’m in a food context. I want recipes, or healthy living guides, or I want my device to track just how many Oreo cookies I’m eating “hey, Scoble, you fat dude, this isn’t helping!” Already we’re doing this kind of quantified self stuff with Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band, and other devices. My wife is already tracking everything she eats and does on her cell phone.

Now, in the future our cell phones will know us at a very deep level. Already I’ve told Facebook more than 5,000 things I like. Check out my list. It’s public. On it you’ll see which startups I like. But also that I like Round Table Pizza. Think about that one for a moment.

In the future my cell phone will know I ordered a pizza. Will know when I get in my car. Will know who is in the car with me. And will give me contextual data that will make my life better. For instance, on my todo list I might have put “pick up a hammer at the hardware store.” It will know that Round Table Pizza is near the hardware store. It will know I have an extra 15 minutes. It can use Waze to route me to the hardware store first, tell me to pick up my hammer, and then head to Round Table to pick up that pizza. All while measuring how many steps I took (Nike Fuel points!) and telling me who has crossed my path. Oh, Joseph Smarr, who works at Google, is also at the Round Table? Cool! (He lives in Half Moon Bay too so this could happen at any time).

But when I get back, can my phone understand that I’m now in the dining room, eating? Or the living room, ready to watch a sports show (it knows already what sports I like — think about the next Olympics where it tells me that it has queued up the track and field finals for me to watch automatically)? Only if you don’t have an iPhone because Apple hasn’t given developers access to the wifi and bluetooth radios, so it can’t let developers let you map out your house accurately.

Which gets me to what Facebook and Amazon could do to totally disrupt the smart phone market (both are rumored to be working on hardware). See, you shouldn’t work on hardware if you only can match what Apple has already done. You should work on it if you can totally blow away what Apple has done.

I bet that Amazon and Facebook are building a new kind of contextual device. One that already knows you. Facebook already knows what I read, watch, listen to, and much more thanks to its Open Graph API system. Amazon already knows what I read, watch, and buy, thanks to its commerce system.

Add these two companies to Qualcomm’s new contextual platform and you have a new world.

By the way, Qualcomm is a $95 billion market cap company and is spending $3 billion a year in R&D and its chipsets are probably inside the phone you are currently holding. So, I take what they are doing very seriously.

So seriously that next week Forbes author Shel Israel and I will announce a new project all around contextual computing next week. See ya on Tuesday.

A new age just arrived. Mark yesterday in your calendar and see you on Tuesday.

By the way, for those at Rackspace, this will eventually change everything about our business too. We’re well positioned, thanks to our move to supporting a totally open cloud, which will pay big benefits next year as developers need to build new infrastructure to deal with this contextual age. The cloud is about to turn contextual in a very big way and that’s why we need to keep up with what Amazon, Google, and the other players are doing here and why we should start building support systems for this Qualcomm SDK now. It is that big a deal.

Watch this video to see a taste of what’s coming in the new contextual age.

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/07/11/mobile-3-0-arrives-how-qualcom-just-showed-us-the-future-of-the-cell-phone-and-why-iphone-sucks-for-this-new-contextual-age/

TED: Chris Gerdes: The future race car -- 150mph, and no driver - Chris Gerdes (2012)

Autonomous cars are coming -- and they’re going to drive better than you. Chris Gerdes reveals how he and his team are developing robotic race cars that can drive at 150 mph while avoiding every possible accident. And yet, in studying the brainwaves of professional racing drivers, Gerdes says he has gained a new appreciation for the instincts of professional drivers. (Filmed at TEDxStanford.)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/-1VD2DLhFUo/chris_gerdes_the_future_race_car_150mph_and_no_driver.html

dinsdag 10 juli 2012

Impressive startups! Report from PushStart Australian accelerator Demo Day

Incubators and accelerators are blossoming all over the world, with in Australia the seed accelerator space represented most prominently by StartMate, PushStart, and Melbourne-based AngelCube. I wrote about the Australian accelerator scene when PushStart was launched.

Yeseterday afternoon I went to PushStart’s demo day for their first intake. I was very impressed by the calibre of the startups presenting. I took notes through the presentations of the 8 startups, as below, which hopefully offer a fair representation of the companies and what they said. I expect to see more from this impressive crop of incubators.

AdBay: Cost Per Person Advertising for Digital Billboards

Digital billboards are used extensively in retail spaces such as cafes and shopping centers. However advertisers do not know who is seeing in front of the billboard, so there are no data-based metrics for the value of advertising. AdBay puts a camera on top of advertising signs, capturing demographic data and how long they spend in front of the billboard. On top of that data AdBay have created a marketplace giving CPP (Cost Per Person) that allows advertisers to pay only when an individual of the selected demographic is in front of the billboard.

The industry is $200 million in Australia, $10 bllion globally, however AdBay believes that it can significantly grow that market given the data and accountability it can bring. AdBay did reference the well-known New York-based Immersive Labs as a competitor.

They have made a sale in South Africa, and will be trialling the technology in Sydney CBD later this month. 

The team includes Jimmy McGilchrist, Chris Muir, and Luke Nuttall. They are seeking $800K to move initially into cafes and retail shops.

Bleeply: Twitter for business without the bloggers

The team has come from a background of building digital democracy programs.  They say that social media is not designed for business, it is designed for individuals, so . Bleeply is a simple cross-platform collaboration platform, creating a workflow where tweets from a business account are vetted by others in the team, avoiding gaffes that go straight to the company’s tweet stream.

80% of US businesses use social media, many of them with $10 billion spent, mainly on people. Social media marketing yields 30% conversion of visitors to their landing page. They also sell to digital agencies, both for their use, and for collaborating with their clients on social media activity. 

It is based on a freemium model with metered charging for additional services. They also are looking to create an ecosystem in which other developers can build add-on products. The pitch is that their very simple approach is superior to the competitors that are trying to build a complete and comprehensive solution.

From 150 beta users currently they are aiming to move to a public beta launch in 3 months, and are seeking $350K now for further development and building the sales team.

GimmeQuotes: Local Services Done Right

They are looking to create the common poor customer service experienced by customers of local tradespeople. It is a two-sided marketplace – customers and businesses – but they have focused on getting businesses on board.

They named their prominent competitors ServiceCentral, ServiceSeeking and Quotify. They believe that what needs to be done differently is a better customer experience, and reducing the cost of acquisition. They have built the site to optimize searches for suburb and service e.g. ‘Sydney Locksmith’, and have 80 targeted domains that bring traffic to these word combinations.

The revenue model is pay for success, where businesses pay only if they win a project. This means that the site is focused on lead conversion as well as lead generation, helping businesses to follow up. They are collecting recommendation data at the bidding point, including on non-successful bidders, and are looking to add reviews after services are performed, and use Facebook Connect to identify recommendations from customers’ friends.

The team is brothers Luke and Dallin Howes, bringing in particular SEO skills. They are seeking $500K to grow the business.

MateWire: LastMinute.com for Activities

There is a problem in that people want to learn about possible activities, and businesses who have spare capacity on activities that they are running. MateWire is an app allowing users to indicate their interests, which means they are alerted when relevant activities are posted. The initial target is international travellers, of which 300 million have smartphones.

Businesses pay a monthly fee to list events, and can pay more to be featured.
For marketing they use street teams,  international student societies, travel companies, and paying businesses who want to grow the user base. Every visitor to Ozzie Studycare is promoting the app to Australian international students.

They are looking for $450K for coding and additional marketing activiies.

Surfed.At: a Home for Surfers, Online

As an avid surfer and technologist, Adam Haeger has been astounded by how poorly served the surf market is by online services. In Surfed.At, surfers can search through 5,000 surf sites globally, see full-screen maps of the sites, mark where they have searched, and accumulate scores in a gamification feature.

People are spending 7 minutes on the site, with 15% conversion to sign ups, and 30% return.

For monetization they are looking at advertising, premium features, photo and video hosting, and a second-hand surfboard market. The total surfing market is $13 billion. They believe they can shift to snowboarding, skiing and skating if the surf platform works well.

They are not raising money until they have progressed more.

TinyBeans: Simple, Beautiful Baby Journals for Busy Parent

Co-founder Stephen started by creating a simple app 365Shutters which allows people to upload one photo per day of their child. It received good feedback so the team has built a next-generation product.

TinyBeans is a web/ mobile app that allows people to easily create a record of their children’s lives. in the 7 weeks since their soft launch, they have 1300 users and 13000 photos uploaded. They will add the capture of milestones and measurements of children. They know age, gender, location, measurements, and development, which enables fine-grained targeting. They have a reach of extended families, to which they can recommend products relevant to the children. Premium features can include additional storage for videos, and they can also sell customised products.

They are looking for $500K for product development and marketing. 

Tonight: The social network for what goes on after dark

They suggest that social networks have shifted from sharing the past to sharing the present, and will move to sharing the future, where people are going.

By answering the question ‘What are you doing tonight?’, it enables people to plan their social engagement during the evening. Apple has featured the app. They have had 7,000 downloads in Australia and New Zealand since it was launched 7 weeks ago.

The business model rests on hyper local advertising, influencing the influencers that have been identified, loyalty and rewards, curated ecommerce, and sponsorships.

User acquisition is based on guerilla marketing, experiential advertising, public relations, and independent communities.

WerdSmith: Instagram for Writers

The major social networks for creators are Instagram for photographers, SoundCloud for musicians, and Vimeo for video artists. Werdsmith aims to take that space for writers.

Onthe app writers can write ideas and drafts, share them with friends and get comments, and set word goals, providing a social platform for book and article creation.

The app has over 88,000 downloads. They have grown to 4% premium users (currently single payment of $2.99), who eventually will pay for and get features such as version control, syncing, collaboration and desktop. Publisher Pan Macmillan is trialling the platform, enabling them to find writers, and writers to become more visible to publishers. They also believe that they can become a leading  platform for digital publishing, by being where books are written.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/9PBkyBBxV7o/impressive-startups-report-from-pushstart-australian-accelerator-demo-day.html

TED: Jonathan Eisen: Meet your microbes - Jonathan Eisen (2012)

Our bodies are covered in a sea of microbes -- both the pathogens that make us sick and the "good" microbes, about which we know less, that might be keeping us healthy. At TEDMED, microbiologist Jonathan Eisen shares what we know, including some surprising ways to put those good microbes to work.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/cdb6KWay-tY/jonathan_eisen_meet_your_microbes.html

Silicon Valley Gets Real, Thanks Bravo

Reality television is coming to Silicon Valley and the collective response is: Go back to L.A.!

This morning David Streitfeld of The New York Times did a creative, colorful job chronicling Bravo’s attempt to capture the region’s startup culture. And of course, this being television, or really any medium that actually wants people to take note (everyone wants eyeballs!), the show is an over-the-top view of startup land. This naturally has Silicon Valley’s real denizens horrified as if to say: We’re cooler than manufactured-for-TV cool.

Bravo’s entrepreneurs are good-looking and smooth-talking (they’re British, you see). They work out. They assume they’re weeks from riches even though they can barely describe their startups. They live in a San Francisco house with a pool. There are probably under a dozen such set ups in this city. But no bother, makes for a fantastic pool party scene à la “The Social Network”, the 2010 film about Facebook’s early days.

It is too easy to snicker at the thing, if it weren’t the product of some truth. Silicon Valley is in a froth period. Too many startups with copy-cat ideas are being funded and yes, there are parties. Some of these parties do feature pools, but in the wooded suburbs of the Valley, not chilly (in June, July and August) San Francisco.

At the same time, there are legitimately successful companies emerging from the froth, and many are pioneering entirely new business models (I put Dropbox and Box at the top of this list).

What Bravo’s take on the region will do (because we will watch) is remind us not to get too silly. If too many follow and fund the “quick flip” model, Silicon Valley becomes genuinely uncool and more importantly, unsuccessful. This should be the place of big, audacious dreams, not knock-offs that risk crowding out the good stuff that matters.

I have to point out the odd disconnect in today’s generation of 20-somethings. Popular parent literature either has them sleeping on their parents’ couches with no hope or real desire to get jobs. Or, per “Silicon Valley” they’re raising half a million bucks to launch fitness apps. You’re either a flame-out or a knock-out, it would seem. Does anyone just get a job out of college anymore?

In all seriousness, we do seem to be entering a very entrepreneurial period generally. Perhaps in response to record-high unemployment, especially for young workers, there’s a collective sense that getting a job isn’t something you ask a company to do for you, but rather something you do for yourself. If that’s true, “Silicon Valley” might be a good thing.

In the words of Randi Zuckerberg, sister to Mark and executive producer of Bravo’s new series: ““Inspiring more people to pursue an entrepreneurial American dream can only be a good thing.” That’s true. But no more social network startups, please.


from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/07/10/silicon-valley-gets-real-thanks-bravo/

Singularity Business Models: The link between lean startups and exponential change

Singularity University describes itself as “a vibrant innovation and impact engine that generates leaders and start-up companies with the ability to positively impact the lives of a billion people within a decade”.

Apostle of lean startups Eric Ries recently joined Singularity University as the chair of its Entrepreneurship track.

In this video Ries is interviewed by entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa about the link between startups and the Singularity, asking him about how to students at the university can scale their initiatives.

Ries says that his approach is to make startups scientific. However in a startup there is very little historic data and no reliable way of forecasting. This requires doing experiments and making decisions based on the results.

Harnessing exponential technologies – which is the domain of the Singularity – fits exactly in this space. From small beginnings you need to find what has the potential to grow exponentially.

Some years ago when I was asked to speak at an event on the Singularity, I thought that I would most like to speak about Singularity Business Models. I registered the domain SingularityBusinessModels.com (which we have not yet launched as a website), but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the event.

Crowd Business Models is a central theme for me, both in my speaking and writing and also how we are building the companies in AHT Group.

Since crowds are an extension our capabilities, they enable us to scale our ventures. However more is required for exponential growth. That is part of the next phase of what I will be working on.

Going even further is the domain of Singularity Business Models. There are number of ways we can think about this idea. These are business models that facilitate the Singularity. However they are also business models that will function effectively through the Singularity.

Many of today’s business models will not survive disruptive change. However some of today’s models, and perhaps some more that we are creating, will survive and thrive through extraordinary change.

Let us invent, test, and scale those business models.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/Sm_pzBApJjg/singularity-business-models-the-link-between-lean-startups-and-exponential-change.html

maandag 9 juli 2012

6 mechanisms that will help create the global brain

One of the many reasons humanity is at an inflection point is that the age-old dream of the “global brain” is finally becoming a reality.

I explored the idea in my book Living Networks, and at more length in my piece Autopoiesis and how hyper-connectivity is literally bringing the networks to life.

Today, my work on crowdsourcing is largely focused on the emerging mechanisms that allow us to create better results from mass participation.

Some of the best work being done in the space is at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. A few of their researchers (including founder Thomas Malone) have just written a short paper Programming the Global Brain.

I don’t think “programming” is the best metaphor. I prefer to think about the enabling structures and mechanisms out of which collective intelligence will be created.

However programming can be a useful frame, and in the paper the authors propose six programming metaphors that will facilitate the formation of the global brain:

An idea ecology – The global brain can host a constant ferment of idea generation, mutation, recombination, and selection, analogous to biological evolution. In this context, programming consists of soliciting collections of items and specifying a fitness function for choosing among them. Interesting examples of this include the MATLAB open programming contests (for software) and YouTube (for videos).

A web of dependencies – Many important problems (such as product, process, and policy definition) can be viewed as collaborations, where multiple diverse agents try to solve interdependent pieces of a larger problem. The global brain can detect when conflicts appear between sub-solutions, as well as guide agents towards a globally consistent result. In this context, programming includes defining the task decomposition and specifying ways of managing the interdependencies among sub-problems. Early examples of this include virtual mockups such as the Digital Pre-assembly system Boeing used in the design of the 777 aircraft.

An intellectual supply chain – For some problems, we can view the global brain as a supply chain, where a sequence of tasks and information flows among people and machines can be specified in advance. In this context, programming can be defined in terms already familiar to computer scientists as processes and dataflows. Interesting examples of this idea include the Turkit and Crowdforge systems, which have been applied to such tasks as writing and editing articles.

A collaborative deliberation – The global brain can also be used to enact decision processes where people and software systems select issues to consider, enumerate and critique solution alternatives, and then choose some subset of these solutions. In this context, programming can be viewed as defining the rules for identifying issues and enumerating, critiquing, and selecting solutions.

A radically fluid virtual organization – Sometimes it’s useful to view the global brain as a collection of evanescent virtual organizations, which rapidly coalesce, perform, and disband in light-speed open markets. In this context, programming includes identifying the task requirements and selecting among the organizations that are offering to perform the task. Interesting examples of this idea include odesk.com and elance.com.

A multi-user game – Many tasks can be presented as a multi-user game, where useful outcomes are achieved as a result, sometimes unintentional, of playing the game. In this context, programming consists of specifying the rules and incentives for game play. Interesting examples of this include fold.it and the Google Image Labeller.

The paper then describes the progress we need to make to enable these mechanisms, and concludes by saying:

Our world is faced with both existential threats of unprecedented seriousness (such as the environment) and huge opportunities (such as for scientific and social progress). We believe that our ability to face the threats and opportunities of the coming century will be profoundly affected by how well, and soon, we can master the art of programming our planet’s emerging global brain.


[Hat tip: Arie Goldshlager]

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/mR5YxajYvFM/6-mechanisms-that-will-help-create-the-global-brain.html

Nomura Predicts Rough Patch For Big Software Names

Veteran software analyst Rick Sherlund of Nomura Securities has a report out this morning with a rather gloomy, cautionary take on the enterprise software sector. He cites the slowdown in Europe as the primary cause, and sees signs that troubles there have spread to IT spending in North America and China. A few worrisome trends he is noticing:

-U.S. software companies are “stretching harder” to get their numbers, and in some cases pulling forward deals that would otherwise close next quarter.

-His channel checks in the U.S. suggest IT is a “buyer’s market” where there’s “little interest in doing large deals”.

-Similarly, discounting in enterprise software seems to be picking up.

-This comes after a nice rebound in technology spending last year, which makes for tough comparisons year-over-year.

The good news, per Sherlund, is that valuations have already softened. So while the negative forces aren’t entirely unexpected, it will be the magnitude of weakness that sways stocks one way or another.

Right now he favors software-as-a-service firms, including Salesforce.com and Cornerstone OnDemand, which tend to have less European exposure. He also points out that Microsoft and Oracle are trading near trough levels, and both firms have new product cycles set to debut, which may mean upside for investors despite the macro slow-down.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/07/09/nomura-predicts-rough-patch-for-big-software-names/

TED: Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life - Jane McGonigal (2012)

When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience -- and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/w6UHZ91rt7s/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

vrijdag 6 juli 2012

TED: Usman Riaz and Preston Reed: A young guitarist meets his hero - Preston Reed / Usman Riaz (2012)

Usman Riaz is a 21-year-old whiz at the percussive guitar, a style he learned to play by watching his heroes on YouTube. The TED Fellow plays onstage at TEDGlobal 2012 -- followed by a jawdropping solo from the master of percussive guitar, Preston Reed. And watch these two guitarists take on a very spur-of-the-moment improv.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/_EhDWkIUGy8/usman_riaz_and_preston_reed_a_young_guitarist_meets_his_hero.html

donderdag 5 juli 2012

TED: Cesar Harada: A novel idea for cleaning up oil spills - Cesar Harada (2012)

When TED senior fellow Cesar Harada heard about the devastating effects of the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, he quit his dream job and moved to New Orleans to develop a more efficient way to soak up the oil. He designed a highly maneuverable, flexible boat capable of cleaning large tracts quickly. But rather than turn a profit, he has opted to open-source the design.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/JEJPGlRDVA0/cesar_harada_a_novel_idea_for_cleaning_up_oil_spills.html

woensdag 4 juli 2012

TED: Raghava KK: What’s your 200-year plan? - Raghava KK (2012)

You might have a 5-year plan, but what about a 200-year plan? Artist Raghava KK has set his eyes on an ultra-long-term horizon; at TEDxSummit, he shows how it helps guide today's choices and tomorrow's goals -- and encourages you to make your own 200-year plan too.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/SKGqsk08rj0/raghava_kk_what_s_your_200_year_plan.html

dinsdag 3 juli 2012

Rich insights into the state of social media today

Here is a very good compilation of statistics, perspectives, and news on social media as at the middle of 2012:

A few things in particular that I thought worth noting from these stats, apart from the usual Social Media is BIG and GROWING FAST!

- Facebook has 71% of social network ad revenue. This is of course high, though not compared to its current dominance in social networks.

- Total social media ad spending in the US is targeted to reach $9.8bn by 2016. Of this, $3.1bn will be local, emphasizing the opportunity for local advertising from social media.

- Google account for 44.9% of all US online ad revenues. Fifth placed AOL accounts for just 2.4%, pointing to a very long tail.

- There are 9 companies with over 500,000 circlers in Google+. Brands are seeing G+ as a key element of their social strategies. However there are still no ads on G+.

- YouTube views have dropped 28% since December 2011. YouTube says they are focusing on engagement over views and enforcing their ToS, though this may not be the whole picture.

- By far the biggest increase in Twitter use is by 18-24 year olds. Twitter usage in this age group in the US has risen from 18% in May 2011 to 31% in Feb 2012.

- TV viewing is rapidly becoming social. 51% of US Internet users comment about TV shows on social networks, 49% ‘like’ shows, 45% read cast comments on social networks.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/DRCyMT_Z7F0/rich-insights-into-the-state-of-social-media-today.html

TED: Alanna Shaikh: How I'm preparing to get Alzheimer's - Alanna Shaikh (2012)

When faced with a parent suffering from Alzheimer's, most of us respond with denial ("It won't happen to me") or extreme efforts at prevention. But global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh sees it differently. She's taking three concrete steps to prepare for the moment -- should it arrive -- when she herself gets Alzheimer's disease.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/Cgtv1APx81k/alanna_shaikh_how_i_m_preparing_to_get_alzheimer_s.html

Moving the CIO to the heart of strategy

My recent European speaking tour was divided around equally between deep dives into crowdsourcing and where it is going, and keynotes and workshops for Chief Information Officers on shifts in the business environment and how that will shape the future of the IT function.

A key theme of the CIO workshops was their opportunity and responsibility to move to the center of strategy within their organizations.

My Transformation of Business Framework provides an overview of some of the driving forces and how they are playing out across the business landscape.

Click on the image for full-size pdf

I think it is often useful to consider what the business environment might be in say five years from now, and the characteristics of organizations that will be successful in that world.

Some of the ways we are likely to describe those successful organizations include:

* Flexible

* Responsive

* Extended

* Networked

* Integrated

* Talented

* Scalable

* Open

* Innovative

While there are clearly many facets of organizations that contribute to these characteristics, not least culture and structure, there are strong information components to each of these.

In addition, organizational strategy increasingly depends on changing information flows, including in how they introduce new competition, change industry structure, and often shift the locus of value creation.

It is the responsibility of a CIO is to educate the rest of the executive team and the organization on the implications and possibilities of soaring connectivity, storage, and processing power, whether or not they are initially receptive to those messages.

There is an undoubted opportunity for the CIO to shift to the center of strategic thinking and decision-making. The IT function has historically often been a support function. Hopefully it is now in most cases positioned well beyond that.

The CIO must be at the heart of strategy in any organization that hopes to succeed in the chaotic and complex times ahead.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/EbHNn6LH3I4/moving-the-cio-to-the-heart-of-strategy.html

maandag 2 juli 2012

Scalable Living: changes you can make to be more productive

TED: Boaz Almog “levitates” a superconductor - Boaz Almog (2012)

How can a super-thin, three-inch disk levitate something 70,000 times its own weight? In a riveting, futuristic demonstration, Boaz Almog shows how a phenomenon known as quantum locking allows a superconductor disk to float over a magnetic rail -- completely frictionlessly and with zero energy loss.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/5loPfloC50U/boaz_almog_levitates_a_superconductor.html