Visionary

How smart does your bed have to be before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?

Posted in 1990s, Theory, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on November 7th, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Rich Gold, “How smart does your bed have to be, before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?” Ars Electronica, 1994

Can a house built with modern computer technology still be expected to work ten years from now? Do you currently have any ten-year-old computers in your house? Do you expect your children to live in your house? Your children’s children? Your children’s children’s children? Will your smart house still be smart then?

Do you consider living in an intelligent, fully computerized house to be work? Will there be computerized forms you have to regularly fill out to keep it working? Will you have to perform regular maintenance on it? How does this differ from work? Do you take vacations now from your house, say to simple cabins in the woods? Will you take vacations from your smart house to, say suburban houses?

If a smart house decides that it doesn’t like you, can it leave and find another employer?

Cheap Speech and What It Will Do

Posted in 1990s, Visionary on June 27th, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Volokh, Eugene, “Cheap Speech and What It Will Do,” (1995)

A database of, say, all apartments for rent in the city would be much easier to search through than a newspaper classified section: From a public access terminal, the renter could ask for an instant list of all the one bedroom apartments renting for less than $850 per month within three miles of UCLA, perhaps plus apartments that are a bit cheaper but a bit further, or more expensive but closer. The list should be more complete, because the information will be easier and cheaper to post. And the list should be timelier-the information will become available as soon as the landlord posts it, and can be removed as soon as the apartment is rented. Electronic classifieds are better on all counts than paper ones, and newspapers will have to adjust to a huge revenue loss when the paper classifieds stop coming in. The loss of classified revenues, coupled with the cost savings and opportunities for extra profits from electronic distribution, should help push newspaper publishers into going electronic.

JOSS: A Designer’s View of an Experimental On-line Computing System

Posted in 1960s, Hardware, History, Visionary on March 31st, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

J.C. Shaw, “JOSS: A Designer’s View of an Experimental On-line Computing System,” (1964)

The choice of a character set and key positions for any on-line keyboard input device isn’t to be taken lightly, especially if one hopes to encourage senior technical people to use the keyboard in the direct solution of their problems. It is customary for these people to pay others to drive teletypewriters, keypunches, and even typewriters.

Gardens and Zoos

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Robotics, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on March 16th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Matt Jones, Gardens and Zoos, 2012

This is near-future where the things around us start to display behaviour – acquiring motive and agency as they act and react to the context around them according to the software they have inside them, and increasingly the information they get from (and publish back to) the network.

In this near-future, it’s very hard to identify the ‘U’ in UI’ – that is, the User in User-Interface. It’s not so clear anymore what these things are. Tools… or something more.

Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework

Posted in 1960s, Articles, Visionary on November 29th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Doug Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework” (1962)

The Mother of All Demos

Posted in 1960s, History, Interface Design, Videos, Visionary on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Douglas Engelbart, A research center for augmenting human intellect (1968)

From Wikipedia: The Mother of All Demos is a name given retrospectively to Douglas Engelbart’s December 9, 1968, demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC) at the Convention Center in San Francisco, in which a number of experimental technologies that have since become commonplace were presented. The demo featured the first computer mouse the public had ever seen, as well as introducing interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, hypertext and a collaborative real-time editor.

The Demon-Haunted World

Posted in 2000s, Inspirational, Presentations, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Matt Jones, “The Demon-Haunted World” (2009)

Designing for People

Posted in 1950s, Non-Fiction Books, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Henry Dreyfuss, Designing for People (1955)

Shaping Things

Posted in 2000s, Non-Fiction Books, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Bruce Sterling, Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets) (2005)

Why Things Matter

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Julian Bleecker, “Why Things Matter” (2006)

Designing Calm Technology

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, “Designing Calm Technology” (1995)

“That which informs but doesn’t demand our focus or attention.”

The Computer for the 21st Century

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Mark Weiser, “The Computer for the 21st Century” (1991)

Visionary introduction to ubiquitous computing: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Introduces concepts such as Pads, Tabs, and Boards.

A Software Design Manifesto

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Inspirational, Visionary on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Mitch Kapor, “A Software Design Manifesto” (1990)

Personal Computing

Posted in 1970s, Articles, Visionary on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Alan Kay, “Personal Computing” (pdf) (1975)

The Computer as Communication Device

Posted in 1960s, Articles, History, Visionary on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

J.C.R. Licklider and Robert Taylor, “The Computer as Communication Device” (pdf) (1968)

Rethinking what the computer was good for at the dawn of Xerox PARC.

As We May Think

Posted in 1940s, Articles, Visionary on October 2nd, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think” (1945)

Bush’s concept of the Memex.