An important point made by The Economist online: the rise of mobile telephony in developing countries is about to give way to an even more transformative rise in mobile internet access.
What does this mean? In places like India, Brazil, China, etc, a population that has never had access to the web is about to burst on to the scene using cheap, readily available mobile devices, unleashing 1 billion+ new users. This will fully eclipse traditional users in the developed world ushering in a whole new age of the internet.
Questions remain about what language the web will move to, already a topic of discussion with China coming online in general. More importantly, how will low literacy rates change the way the web works? Touch devices and smart interfaces are certainly here to stay.
The New York Times has published a rather lengthy article on the concept of a new developmental stage known as “emerging adulthood.” The hallmarks of this proposed addition to birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood is a constant sense of limitless potential, a meandering attitude towards committing to a particular path towards that potential and a disinterest in setting to work on the “normal” milestones of becoming an adult in our society. Sound familiar? Take a look at your classmates/students.
“If emerging adulthood is so important, why is it even possible to skip it?”
Now, not all twenty-somethings have been placed into the same boat. Not everyone has helicopter parents or access to parental financial backing - or abuses it, if they do. Not everyone is completely adrift upon graduation. But the reality is that there is a new way of becoming an adult taking shape even if it’s not necessarily a hard and fast life-stage. So, when classes start again next week, be sure to take into account the fact that today’s students are not all here as adults. But some of them might just emerge that way by the time their ride through Washington College is through.
“Stories are going to be pinned to a physical location so that in 20 years our children will go to Ocean Beach and their phone will tell them this is the place their parents had their first kiss, and here’s the picture they took afterward, and here’s what their friends had to say,” Cox said.
Nauseau-inducing anecdote aside, Facebook’s new Places functionality is perhaps one of the most compelling examples of augmented reality to date. What makes it so intriguing is the sheer number of users this particular exercise in adding a connected layer to every day life will impact. With 500 million+ Facebook users participating, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to pepper locations with pictures, notes, comments and stories. And because they are Facebook users, the implication is that friends, family and colleagues have created this added layer of information - meaning it’s pretty likely to have value to each user.
With places, what we have is the potential for a really great AR experience that will be flooded with rich content far faster than any other new digital venture has been.
I guarantee you that if someone had given me the technology when I was a child, I would have made something very similar to this with my enormous Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection (except it may have also involved a car wash.)
Gizmodo refers to them as time portals, but they are actually the rephotographic work of Russian artist Sergey Larenkov. Mixing modern day street scenes with their World War II counterparts creates a spooky history lesson by showing the ghosts of a city’s past. A very powerful example of this art form.
Do you know what rephotography is? I didn’t, either but the concept is fantastic and I’m glad there is a term just for it. Rephotography is the process of taking a photo in the exact same location as another photo, but at another time. And now MIT has figured out a way to use computers to display old photos on top of new scenes. So, imagine your digital camera or iPad offering you the option to see fifty years of street views pulled from their databases when querying a specific location. The power of something like this for environmental scientists or historians is immense.
Blogging service, Blogetry, has been completely taken offline - by the FBI. Some 70,000 users were given no notice other than a failed connection as they attempted to log in to their blogs this week. All of this seems to be stemming from a mandated shut down involving Blogetry’s hosting provider, BurstNET. After having been approached by the FBI with claims that Blogetry sites contained al-Quaida communications, BurstNET felt compelled to shut down the entire Blogetry network.
And thus is the way of the modern age - security will trump free exchange of information and a few “bad” apples will definitely spoil the bunch.
Wait - third floor tube station you say? If a simulator counts as a real station then yes. And this one certainly goes for broke. Speakers pump the sounds of trains and other real audio while magazine stands and paper boxes are stocked. Apparently it’s used to train station employees but I think those tracks lead to another dimension. Doctor Who can’t be far off the mark, can it?