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  • seandodson 4:43 pm on September 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Interactive newsprint, internet of things, iot, Paul Egglestone   

    New blog post: Can electronic paper save the newspaper? 

    Paper has being going out of fashion for almost as long as I can remember the internet. A lover of digital as I am, I would still regret the loss of paper from my day-to-day life. Not least because I have yet to discover a graphical user interface that encourages you to delve and browse typographic content as well as paper does. In other words, we read differently on paper.

    And yet we all know that print is in trouble because it can’t “compete” with the wealth of access made available by the web and other network technologies. But recently I’ve seen a couple of initiatives that promise – it is no more than that – to breath life into the old medium by somehow bridging the gap between paper and digital.

    The University of Central Lancashire (Uclan) in Preston has been experimenting with the Lancashire Evening News to produce a newspaper (a proper printed one that could be delivered by boys on bikes) that is somehow connected to the internet, through what I believe to be small integrated circuits in the ink itself. I looks like it might work a bit like this gig poster that played music at the South By Southwest Show in Austin, Texas earlier this year.

    Interactive newsprint is just a prototype at the moment, the manufacture of which is being done by Novalia of Cambridge, but it does allow for the paper to play audio and for things like Facebook ‘likes’ to be inputted by touching the the page itself.

    I’m not sure that in the project’s current form “it will send a lifeline … to the news industry” as Paul Egglestone Uclan’s director of journalism says, but it exciting to see paper’s potential (it’s light, portable, doesn’t need a battery) explored in this way. It is especially pleasing to learn that the Uclan scheme has an editorial strategy to accompany it, a network of community reporters being trained to gather news stories of their own and record them in their distinctive Lancashire burrr.

  • seandodson 11:47 am on May 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital, digital culture, festival, , futureeverything, internet of things, ,   

    FutureEverything: festival preview 

    I’m looking forward to FutureEverything, Manchester’s annual foray into everything digital. It kicks of a week on Saturday (May 14) at the Victoria Baths (where I once went to an infamous acid house party) which examines the intersection between contemporary craft and digital hacking. The events last for three days, exploring the overlap between art, digital and music. Steve Reich, Rob Da Bank and Beach House feature on the programme. There’s a full talkothon to go with it. Thursday’s my choice. Paul Bradshaw of Online Journalism Blog and City University will give a talk about how journalists can use open data; Dr Chris Speed’s lecture on the internet of things is luckily on the same day, but Michael Smyth and Ingi Helgason workshop, Interfacing With The City, looks good too.

  • seandodson 7:32 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ambient technology, , internet of things, , , , waag, Wendy wan der Waal   

    Judge this book by its cover 

    Nice to see my good friend Rob Van Kranenburg’s excellent essay, on the Internet of Things, given the design treatment. Here’s the alternative cover by Wendy wan der Waal. We should hire her for a second edition, Rob.

    For graphic design we got the assignment to design ‘The Internet of Things’, a book by Rob van Kranenburg, a writer and researcher.

    The most important was that you gave your opinion about the subject through the design of the book. I found all his theories about ambient technology … very interesting … you can look at the subject in several ways, and that causes confusion. That’s why I started playing with the reading direction. Every direction has a particular color, and at some points it overlaps. In this way it becomes more abstract.

    I created the book in a completely ‘off-PC’ analogue manner, on a photo copier. Using colored sheets for the separate reading directions.

  • seandodson 5:47 pm on October 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , internet of things, ,   

    Are you ready for the internet of things? 

    Thought it might be nice to mention the launch of  Council, spearheaded by my sometime collaborator (and all round top man) Rob Van Kranenberg. He describes as a “thinktank for the Internet of Things”. Rob’s been building a formidable network for this for ages and will officially launch in Brussels on December. According to Rob:

    “The Internet of Things (IOT) is a vision. Yet it is being built today. The stakeholders are known, the debate has yet to start. The European Commission published its action plan for IOT in June of this year. In hundreds of years our real needs have not changed. We want to be loved, feel safe, have fun, be relevant in work and friendship, be able to support our families and somehow play a role – however small – in the larger scheme of things.

    So what will really happen when things, homes and cities become smart? The result will probably be an avalanche of what at first looks like very small steps, small changes.

    Currently IOT applications, demos and infrastructure are rolled out from negative arguments only. For logistics, it is anti-theft. For ehealth it is the lack of human personnel that requires the building of smart houses. From a policy view it is the ensuring of safety, control and surveillance at item level and in public space. For retail it is shelf space management.

    Council thinktank aims to grow into a positively critical counterpart to these negativities in focusing on the quality of interaction and potentialities of IOT for social, communicative and economic (personal fabrication, participatory budgeting, alternative currencies) connectivity between humans and other humans, human and things and human and their surroundings.

    The wrestling with ambient technologies – the noise – is rapidly going out of corporate memory. A new young generation growing up at ease with ‘total’ connectivity, will enter IOT territory as simply another layer, another iteration of something they are comfortable in.

    Therefore the launch of Council will highlight a personal history of locative media & hybrid spaces, by professionals of the i3 (Intelligent Information Interfaces) days, as well as the latest tools and applications, workshops on key issues short keynotes and time for debate and discussion.

    Where: Imal, Brussels
    When: December 4 2009 0930:2200 (public evening from 20:00)
    Workshop 185 (including lunch and dinner)
    Register: here

  • seandodson 1:38 pm on April 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , bookmarks, , g20, g20 climate camp, internet of things, , wikicity   

    Bookmarks for April 06 

    Some quite shocking video footage of police aggression at the Climate Camp, held in Bishopgate in London last week. Admittedly this is taken from the partisan Indymedia network, but, even so, the most telling thing about it is that none of the protesters appear to be throwing punches or stones at the police – even though they are being charged with shields and beaten with batons. Seen from this angle, the attack appears unprovoked.

    + Richard MacManus of the New York Times looks at the latest attempt to map a city using mobile phones. Mentions MIT’s WikiCity ambitious open source mapping project. Nice visualisations of urban data.

    + Music streaming: enjoy it while you can, says the Guardian’s Chris Salmon.

    + Michal Migursk: the end of online monoculture. Excellent critique of “recommender” systems (LastFM, Amazon et al) that help us chart the web.

    + Why Amsterdam is becoming both a greener and a smarter city.

    + Cathy Curtis: How the web made me a better copywriter

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  • seandodson 3:39 pm on January 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , internet of things, , nottingham, radiator festival, , ,   

    Radiator 09: Exploits in the Wireless City 

    I’m bound for Nottingham later this week for the Raditor Festival and Symposium, which will explore notions of the “wireless city” while looking at how the future of public space might be shaped. I’m chairing a panel on the “internet of things” with my friend and collegue Rob Van Kranenburg; as well at the architects Usman Haque and Holger Schnädelbach. It’s on at the Broadway Media Centre, January 15 at 10.15.

    Here’s the offical blurb:

    “Future visions on part of the technology developers are predicting a world where everything from fridge to toothbrush will be computerised, in which not only users are linked to data, but where also the world of physical objects will be networked in a complex system of information exchange. Based on technologies such as RFID (radio frequency identification tags), our environment would turn into a space of “ambient intelligence”, interlinking the physical world with that of data space.

    Exploring this controversial development, the speakers will illustrate the alarming consequences this might have concerning issues of surveillance and privacy. At the same time, alternative concepts of empowerment from the artistic community will be presented.”

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  • seandodson 11:21 am on October 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bricolabs, , internet of things, network cultures, , , , ,   

    The internet of things: a critique of ambient intelligence and the all-seeing network of RFID 

    Delighted to see that my friend Rob van Kranenburg’s pamphlet, on the imminent arrival of the internet of things, has finally been published. I must confess I collaborated with Rob on the text and wrote the forward for him. You can download a PDF here.

    Cities across the world are about to enter the next phase of their development. A near invisible network of radio frequency identification tags (RFID) is being deployed on almost every type of consumer item. These tiny, traceable chips, which can be scanned wirelessly, are being produced in their billions and are capable of being connected to the internet in an instant. This so-called ‘Ambient intelligence’ promises to create a global network of physical objects every bit as pervasive and ubiquitous as the worldwide web itself. Some are already calling this controversial network the ‘internet of things’, describing it as either the ultimate convenience in supply-chain management, or the ultimate tool in our future surveillance.

    This network has the power to reshape our cities and yet it is being built with little public knowledge of consent. Rob van Kranenburg examines what impact RFID, and other systems, will have on our cities and our wider society; while also ruminating on what alternative network technologies could help safeguard our privacyand empower citizens to take power back into their own hands. It is both a timely warning and a call to arms.

    The Internet of Things will be officially launched on Tuesday 28 October 2008 at 17h00 at the Waag Society, Theatrum Anatomicum, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam.

    • To receive a copy of The Internet of Things send an email to books (at) networkcultures.org

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    • edward 1:41 pm on October 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “A near invisible network of radio frequency identification tags (RFID) is being deployed on almost every type of consumer item”

      Hmmm, is it 2002 already? RFID “on almost every type of consumer item” was indeed widely prophesied back then, but it seems that today, RFID has only found significant uptake in a) tracking pallets through big warehouses (a la WalMart), and b) one-off art projects. But maybe I’m wrong…

  • seandodson 2:27 pm on September 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , internet of things, minitel, , , , Rafi HaLadjian, , , , violet   

    Picnic 08: How Rafi Haladjian plans to connect everything the internet 

    Rafi Haladjian, a pioneer of Minitel, the French precursor to the internet, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the Internet of Things, on the second day of Picnic 08, and how his company, Violet, plan to connect everything on the planet – and he means everything – to the internet.

    Violet is about to market a device called the Mir:ror, a wireless RFID reader and a corresponding set of RFID stamps that you can stick to household objects. The idea is that you stick a stamp on something like a bottle of pills, and then use the Mir:ror to record every time you take your medicine. Alternatively, you stick a stamp on your weighing scales, and the Mir:ror connects the results to your computer so you can record your weight over time.

    Haladjian used the analogy of electricity to describe how ubiquitous the next-generation internet is going to be. He said that when electicity was invented the only thing you could use it for was for lighting. The same company that supplied you with the electricity also supplied the light bulbs. He says that the Mir:ror is like the second phase of electricity, when people bought general-purpose electric motors and connected them to non-powered appliances. He says that the phase beyond that is like electricity today, when a myriad of household items are powered without us really thinking about it.

    In the same way, he says, the internet will just be a commodity, like electricity is today. “The internet of things is inescapable,” he said. “It is just going to happen.”

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