Why the internet of things should be designed with efficiency in mind


Richard Hudak:

Augmented reality should not drive us further toward climate change.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

If you imagine 50 billion connected devices all consuming a few milliwatts of power, it adds up. With that in mind, we brought Oleg Logvinov, director, market development at ST Microelectronics and who currently serves on the IEEE Standards Association Corporate Advisory Group, on this week’s podcast to discuss strategies from the silicon up for making the internet of things more energy efficient.

Before Logvinov discusses both technologies and standards for cutting electricity usage and makes the case that even wired devices should consume less, Kevin Tofel and I talk about the previous week’s news including the August lock, the future of Bluetooth as a standard in the connected home, and Qualcomm’s planned buy of CSR. Stay tuned.

And don’t forget about Structure Connect, which kicks off later today in San Francisco.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Rafi Haladjian, CEO of Sen.se.

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Japanese man jailed for 3D-printing revolvers


Richard Hudak:

We’ve been following such stories for a while. It is interesting how different societies take different approaches to this development.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

In what appears to be the first sentence of its kind, a Japanese man has been jailed for two years for the crime of making 3D-printed guns and instructing others about the process.

28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, who worked for the Shonan Institute of Technology, reportedly made several guns and also put a video online showing how he did it. Japan has very strict gun laws, and, following his arrest in May, Imura was sentenced on Monday for producing and possessing two functional firearms.

Imura’s design was known as the ZigZag. Although his defense team reportedly stressed that he designed in a plate to stop the weapons being fired, prosecutors said the plate was easily removed. This is apparently a video of the gun in question:

Cody Wilson, the American libertarian who arguably kicked off the current era of 3D-printed guns with his Liberator model, only incorporated space for one…

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Magic Leap Secures $542M Led By Google For “Lightweight Wearable” Tech That Merges Physical And Digital Worlds


Richard Hudak:

Is Magic Leap prefigured in William Gibson’s “Virtual Light”?

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

It’s rare that a company can stay relatively secretive while raising a huge amount of funding, but Florida’s Magic Leap has managed that. The startup, led by CEO Rony Abovitz, announced today the close of its $542 million Series B, featuring investors led by Google, Inc., and including KPCB, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment.

The list of investors reads like a who’s who of influential companies and individuals across various industries, and Abovitz explained to TechCrunch that the reason for that is that the tech’s potential isn’t limited to any one field, which he says puts its potential market size in the trillions of dollars annually range. That could explain the valuation of Magic Leap, which is north of $1 billion, given that this round is still a minority investment, per Abovitz.

But what is Magic Leap? It’s a question that the startup isn’t answering in detail…

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The government is shamelessly trying to scare Apple and Google from encrypting their phones


Originally posted on BGR:

Did you know that if Apple and Google encrypt the data on your smartphone, then pedophiles, bank robbers and terrorists will be able to wreak havoc upon America without any kinds of reservations? That’s the message that the United States federal government and law enforcement agencies are trying to send to both major tech companies and to the public at large about the dangers of smartphone encryption.

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Mad Genius Creates Ello, the Elegant Anti-Facebook


Richard Hudak:

This is something to watch.

Originally posted on Betabeat:

Paul Budnitz — exhibiting photographer and filmmaker, artist, designer toy maker, bicycle enthusiast. Add: social media magnate?

Paul Budnitz — exhibiting photographer and filmmaker, artist, designer toy maker, bicycle enthusiast. Add: social media magnate? (photo via Paul Budnitz)

Update: Be sure to check out our latest reporting of Ello’s sudden explosion in popularity here.

For tech entrepreneurs and investors, a social network is the great white whale of startups. Successful ones scale hard and fast, generating mountains of precious user data for advertising clients.

Paul Budnitz, an artist and designer toy maker, thinks that kind of marketer exploitation is downright evil, and has organized a supergroup of artists, programmers, and designers to build a safe haven. It’s called Ello, and it’s a social network with a manifesto.

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Augmented Education


I know that I am supposed to like this product because of its advertising—the simulacra of spontaneous discovery and multicultural cast—but I do anyway.

Here is a wonderful example of subordinating the machine to the use of actual “manipulatives” in a potentially one–to–many relationship with children. Here the machine facilitates action and interaction IRL, “in real life.” I love the simplicity of the hardware, a plastic stand, plastic–housed mirror for the front–facing camera, and plastic manipulatives; and the sophistication of the artificially intelligent classroom.

I can only hope that this would be adopted in classrooms that already have iPads in use. I give you Osmo, “play beyond the screen.”

Happy Birthday, BASIC


Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Fifty years ago this month, in 1964, a computer programming language winked to life that changed the course of a generation. While many would point to the rise of Unix and other ubiquitous programming languages in the intervening years as formative points in the history of computing, on May 1, 1964, a computer at Darmouth College ran the first BASIC program, changing the world forever.

Created by Professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz and a team of student programmers, the Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code was supposed to be a simple system for teaching computer literacy and escaping the strange runes associated with early mainframe programming. Gone were commands like “EBCDIC ARRAY E [0:11],” replaced by a simple “HELLO” to begin programming and a delightful “READY” prompt that showed the computer was listening.

atari-basic-graphics-0-screen-dli-not-activated-20130202

BASIC was perfect for beginners. The structure was inherent in the language – each line was numbered…

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The WordPress.com Transparency Report


Richard Hudak:

As I publish several blogs on WordPress, I am happy to see this transparency report from them.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Automattic’s mission is to democratize publishing, and a fully informed citizenry is the foundation of any functioning democracy. Keeping our users and the public fully informed about our policies on responding to government requests has always been important to us — and now, more than ever, candor in this area is vitally important.

In keeping with these principles, we’re pleased to release our first transparency report. This initial report summarizes the number of government information requests, takedown demands, and national security requests that we received during the second half of 2013. In addition to giving our users full transparency about the volume of these requests, we also hope that publicly reporting our data will help hold all parties (including us) accountable.

A few highlights of our report:

Information Requests. For the second half of 2013, approximately 0.0001% of the 48 million sites that we host were subject to a…

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A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider


3D-Printed House

Every day, I think we head closer to the world of cyberpunk, in this case to Neal Stephenson’s grand vision of The Diamond Age.

There’s a lot you can do with a 3D printer. Now add “building a house in a day” to the list.

Make that 10 houses.
The WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. has printed 10 homes in 24 hours out of recycled materials.

via A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider.