Archive for August, 2009
Métro Paris, an iPhone app [see also the FastCompany article] to help us navigate the Paris subway has been beefed up to include heads-up displays that allow you to see pop-up displays of information about the buildings and businesses around you. You turn on the app and it shows you what your camera is seeing (vélos, motos, voitures moving along the street, and buildings) and rectangular squares pop up that tell you what the buildings and businesses are. In addition, you can get a big red arrow (like in SecondLife when you’ve teleported close to your destination but still have to fly to get there) that points you at a nearby Métro station that you can duck into to take the train to your destination. These augmented reality apps [see article on LA Times site] have been rumored to be on the way for quite some time. Apparently the heads-up portion was sneaked (snuck) into the app without Apple pretty much noticing that it was there. Thus the speculation about whether it‘ll be taken down. The photos/videos tell the story – take a look. [SEE VIDEO BELOW vids are in French - the demo is at Place de L’Opéra - I know it well.] (continue reading…)
Well, they haven’t been dormant at all — they’ve been very active — but as you might guess, when you’re workin’ hard you don’t have much time to write in your blog. Or even keep your web site up to date. Mikey Ginguld updates us on Airjaldi.
Airjaldi and the Tibetan Technology Center are headquartered in Dharamsala, India, up in the foothills of the Himalayas. Read all about what’s going on now. They’ve done a lot – including getting noticed by Cisco and starting a Cisco training academy.
In other news, one of the senior high school students who participated in Project Happiness in 2006-2007 just arrived at Emory University (in Atlanta) where he starts class next week. I’ve particularly been in touch with two of the guys who got into the computer and video technologies, both of whom are in college now. These kids are doing well. They really sweated it out over the examinations and college admissions, and it’s good to see how they are progressing. Although it probably seemed like a lot to him when he left India, he arrived in Atlanta with $1,000 in his pocket to start school. Once he starts buying his books for class, that won’t go far…
At a dinner in London four weeks ago I was asked to introduce myself and in the process mention one of the things that I have hope for, related to the Web. Well it was too hard to think about hope, because I was overwhelmed by the little things I face every day that remind me of the fragility of this precious thing that we call the Internet.
- Every day some client or other says “my site is so slow, what’s wrong?”
- Outages (last week we had a router go down and a dozen sites were unavailable for 12 hours)
- Undersea cables
- Satellite communications subject to sunspot and other disruptions
- Routing snarls (YouTube and Pakistan)
- The sheer volume of indecent-to-pornographic spam
- The unreliability of email
- Spoofing and attacks against everyone
- Bandwidth challenges – you just can’t count on getting enough bandwidth when you’re on the road
- Hey, Sky, why doesn’t this program (MS Word, Excel, etc.) work? What key do I press to make this happen?
A friend, Greg Walton, reminded us a few years ago that the severing of just a few undersea cables would cause the Internet to grind to a halt. I’ll research those connections and put up a short article about it, but here’s a preview – a cable connecting the west coast of Africa has been damaged and has caused critical disruptions.
 During Traveling Geeks 2009.
 They said “the Web” but I always talk about the Internet as a whole because the World Wide Web is only a portion of the whole big transport medium. Otherwise you lose the impact of email (which is huge) and Twitter (SMS) and lots of other services that ride the Internet but are only peripherally involved with the Web.
Howard suggests the critical skills are: attention; participation; collaboration; network-savvy and critical consumption (what Howard often calls crap detection).