Today’s top items in Book News:The U.S. Department of Labor says it is looking into the deaths of two temporary workers in incidents at Amazon warehouses since December 2013. One man was crushed after being caught in a conveyor system at a warehouse in Avenel, N.J., and another died June 1 at a facility in Carlisle, Pa.
Also, Neil Gaiman tells the Wall Street Journal that reading novels can feel like work if you’re a novelist: "You can see the joints. It’s like a professional magician going to a magic show. You may admire the speed with which something’s done, you may admire the variation on the way that you’ve seen it done, you may admire the brilliant new approach, but you are not going to worry that the poor woman is going to get cut in half. But every now again you get lucky and you run into a book that can just put you back in the audience."
Chaim, it turned out, was Chaim Pikarski, an Orthodox Jewish man with a wispy red beard who seemed amused at my attempt to understand his business. He also knew his Hipe speaker would appeal to me, because that insight—knowing what people are searching for on Amazon—is at the core of what he does. He has an entire team of people who read reviews on Amazon, looking for moments when people say, “I wish this speaker were rechargeable.” Pikarski then makes a rechargeable version. Hipe exists, in essence, because enough people think like me. It’s a profitable trick: C&A Marketing does “in the nine figures” in sales every year, Pikarski says, and grows at about 30% annually.
‘DONUT’ consent has a donut-shaped hole in the middle instead of two small holes. This makes life a lot easier because you can plug in all directions. You are not being constrained by just two holes. Even if this outlet is placed in out of sight. You can plug your sockets easily.
Thomas W. Malone, director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, on his study of humanity’s ability to think beyond our own brains: the idea of "collective intelligence".
What does collective intelligence mean? It’s important to realize that intelligence is not just something that happens inside individual brains. It also arises with groups of individuals. In fact, I’d define collective intelligence as groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent. By that definition, of course, collective intelligence has been around for a very long time. Families, companies, countries, and armies: those are all examples of groups of people working together in ways that at least sometimes seem intelligent.
It’s also possible for groups of people to work together in ways that seem pretty stupid, and I think collective stupidity is just as possible as collective intelligence…
What’s new, though, is a new kind of collective intelligence enabled by the Internet. Think of Google, for instance, where millions of people all over the world create web pages, and link those web pages to each other. Then all that knowledge is harvested by the Google technology so that when you type a question in the Google search bar the answers you get often seem amazingly intelligent, at least by some definition of the word “intelligence”….
Our future as a species may depend on our ability to use our global collective intelligence to make choices that are not just smart, but also wise.
The big takeaway is: Snapchat is onto something, and it’s much bigger than sexting. The service is a reaction to the saturation of social networking and the dominant interaction modes on Facebook and Twitter. It’s an immune response, nurtured in the tweaky rebelliousness of teenagedom, to the forces of Big Data, behavioral targeting, and the need to record every stupid little thing in the world. Snapchat might be the defining product of our technophilic, technoanxious age.
—What Is Snapchat? - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic (via courtenaybird)
inFORM: An Interactive Dynamic Shape Display that Physically Renders 3D Content
Five engineers from the tangible media group at MIT’s media lab have developed ‘inFORM’, a dynamic shape display that has the capability to render three-dimensional content physically, so users can interact with tangible digital information.
We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not ‘surf’ and the internet to us is not a ‘place’ or ‘virtual space’. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of. The Web is a process, happening continuously and continuously transforming before our eyes; with us and through us. Technologies appear and then dissolve in the peripheries, websites are built, they bloom and then pass away, but the Web continues, because we are the Web; we, communicating with one another in a way that comes naturally to us, more intense and more efficient than ever before in the history of mankind.
—Piotr Czerski (via elizabitchtaylor)
Using projection and gestures to create interactive relationship with information - video embedded below:
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real word.
“We think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen. This system doesn’t use any special hardware; it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology.”
Using this technology, information can be imported from a document as data, by selecting the necessary parts with your finger.
Researchers from Asia and Europe have developed the world’s lightest and thinnest organic circuits, which in the future could be used in a range of healthcare applications.
Lighter than a feather, these ultrathin film-like organic transistor integrated circuits are being developed by a research group led by Professor Takao Someya and Associate Professor Tsuyoshi Sekitani of the University of Tokyo, who run an Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) program sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), in collaboration with Siegfried Bauer’s group at the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz, Austria.
The circuits are extremely lightweight, flexible, durable and thin, and conform to any surface. They are just 2 microns thick, just 1/5 that of kitchen wrap, and weighing only 3g/m^2, are 30 times lighter than office paper. They also feature a bend radius of 5 microns, meaning they can be scrunched up into a ball, without breaking. Due to these properties the researchers have dubbed them “imperceptible electronics”, which can be placed on any surface and even worn without restricting the users movement.