Etech > Day 1 > All Sessions

Simple Bridge-Building – Ray Ozzie
Composite applications enabled by RSS, big 4 have put years and lots of money into building tools to build composite app
RSS brings this capability to the script programmer, however the real thing would be to bring the ability to build composite apps up to the user level, the unix command line allows composite apps by using the | command.
Web is largely a set of silos of info, we’ve taken small steps by creating small XML descriptions etc, but where is the clipboard for the web?
He posits “why is the clipboard for the web not simply the clipboard?”
He switches to a fast demo.. they call it “LiveClipboard”
copy and paste using an icon by implementing a clipboard on the clipboard
neat example of taking a calendar event from Eventful to Windows Live calendar, can also use a system tray icon to paste directly into Outlook with no plugins
copy address and credit card info out of the system tray app and paste into a web order page for exmple
RSS feeds – he thinks there will be demand for aggregators outside of the browser or the desktop, copy an RSS feed and go to Bloglines and paste – nice!
adds a liveupdate feature to Facebook to allow it to update automatically from MSN Spaces
pastes friends live location data into Windows Live Contact Map, can also paste the same data into Excel
copy off Flickr and then paste into My Pictures folder in the file system, can also do the same for a Flickr feed and it will allow you to paste the whole feed into a folder, working to keep the folder up to date with the feed too)
He asks the crowd to get involved and to help Microsoft spread this as they cannot do it alone, I don’t really like the idea myself but I think it would make sense for the ‘masses’ as something that is familiar and easily used, I’d like to get a few non-techie views
The Future of Interfaces is Multi-TouchJeff Han
The lights go down and we get a live camera view of a screen displayed, can’t see the actual presenter, should be interesting
Multi hand, multi finger and he proceeds to do ‘Minority Report’ style interactions with it, very very cool.
several cool examples, all Warner TV broadcasts on one ‘page’ which he can manipulate, in and out, spin and interact with individual items
brings up a virtual keyboard which again is totally scalable and movable
it’s a brilliant demo, I do have one concern and that is on finding data easily when so much is on the ‘workspace’, Imagine you have a huge box of physical photos and you throw them on the floor of your bedroom, then rather than just look or browse them you actually want to find one specific one?
Artificial, Artificial Intelligence – What It Is & What It Meands for the webLF Cabrera
We get a rundown the history of The Mechanical Turk which takes a HIT (Human Intelligence Task) and farms it out to humans who do the actual task
The pitch is that there are many things a computer can’t do such as recognise an object in a photo and this service will allow developers to build apps that allow humans to be used to do the bits a computer can’t
High Quality, inexpensive Translation & Transcription –
This is just the tip of the iceberg – don’t worry about scalability etc as they have taken care of that
Who Is The Dick on My SiteDick Hardt
It’s the fast presentation style and it’s fun. the basis is how do you prove you are who you sy you are on the web and how you manage information privacy.
SXIP 2.0 released last night
Firefox extension developed which is nice as it moves the personal homesite down to the PC
Sxore keeps track of sites that you have released data to and you can then choose which ones to allow updates to
The Musical MywareFelix Miller
What is Attention Data? it is all about stuff
MYware is spying on yourself, why would people share data with
Their mission is to tell you what you should be listening to based on the knowledge of the crowd.
We move to a rundown of what actually is and does
They process 8m submissions a day now, well over a billion in 2005
music catalogue is self populating but there is a lot of noise, however after some cleaning there is 8m clean tracks in the database of over 25m tracks
they have the longest long tail
they use collaborative filtering, base layer for recommendations which give user to user similar and artist to artist simliarity
128kbps MP3 – open source player
they allow total user control of their data and are pushing for the total music revolution
Root Markets – Applications for the New Attention EconomySeth Goldstein
RooT – attention exchange
definitions = attention 1.0
is attention about Money or about time, surely it’s both I would have thought
information attracts attention, recieving attention makes you influential
web services enabled the recording and sharing of attention choices in teal time
ppa = promise to pay attention which form attention bonds, like when you promise to watch your sons football game, if you break a bond your reputation will suffer
important to wall street as these bonds can be traded, pooled and securitized, similar to the mortgage market that they turned into a multi billion $ CMO market a place to send your attention data, what makes you you is the launch of the demo we got from Stamen design at ETel in Jan, it’s a fantastic visual design
they support the “user must be allowed to delete all data” mantra, I get the feeling anyone that doesn’t do this now will be shunned
check out
Web3.0Cory Ondrejka
Second Life – The Virtual World – about 2000 CPUs in SF, about 4000 in the world right now
Pain versus creation – as the pain of creativity gets higher participation drops – doh
2/3 residents created something from scratch in 2nd life in the last 7 days
35% of adults spend more time online than at work
2nd Life is not a game – everything is built by the residents
  • 240 distinct items sold
  • 70,000 residents
  • 5 miliion p2p transactions
  • US6.5m in internal money
  • 90,000 hours of use per day
  • 2.5 million lines of code a week
  • 15% user creating complex scripts

someone has written a script that alerts him on his watch when someone visits his land in 2nd Life

median age of users is 36, gender is 50/50 all the top tens are dominated by women

what if virtual worlds are better places to learn and teach?

The Economics of AttentionDavid L Sifry

A 15 minute course in attention economics by the creator of Technorati
What is attention, are there rules to help us guide
(sidenote: the network has been down for me all morning, the power has gone now and battery will go soon and on top of all that there is a really bad hum on the PA system – driving me nuts)
A quick 101 on basic economics – what is the shortage in attention economy, after a long preamble the astonishing answer is that Time is the deficit as in it’s perishable, you can’t hoard it or lose it
Aggregation attention artifiacts – as in the collecition of all the attention points that people have during a day
How do you apply this, incorporate the understanding of TIME and PEOPLE into your product
hyperlinks are votes of attention, people linking are leaving some attention crumbs throughout the web, and helped build Google to where it is
In summary there is really nothing new in this speech, quite a surprise that it needs to be the topic of a talk to this crowd of all crowds and had the feel of a something for the sake of it kind of thing
Attention – The *Real* AphrodisiacLinda Stone
A Q&A session to get a feel for the crowd
continuous partial attention is eveolving and getting refined, is it good or bad, neither, it’s neutral
CPA is to constantly keep an eye out for events around us or coming up without really focusing attention on one thing and to be a live node on the network
If you are all about self expression you will become narcisistic and lonely
email is bad for decision making, is it time to get some guidelines in place for how and when to use the varied technologies to achieve
connect connect connect always on always reachable is rearing a new shift, we need new ways to deal with all this, new ways to discern opportunities.
It’s a very good speech with no slides and too fast to blog, power is about to go too
the new mantra should no longer be “ease of use” but “does it improve quality of life”
Do-It-Yourself ITRod Smith
a rundown of how there is too much data outside an enterprise that they want to make use of, the rise of W2.0, the increase of decent scripting languages etc has led IBM to look at enterprise mashups.
A quick demo of QEDwiki- the setup is small business with stores across the states and wants to find out how weather affects his sales, it’s a pull together of various feeds and presented on a page, not seeing how much they are adding to this yet but I’m sure I’ll get there
It’s a nice enough implementation, drag and drop, splash of AJAX, wysiwyg app building on top of available feeds
Putting the Fun in Functional: Applying Game Design to Mobile ServicesAmy Jo Kim 
Drawing parallel between the mechanics of game rewards and interactions and the social network applications of today, an interesting slant that i found useful.
based on the principles of Collecting, levels, feedback the session ran through how you collect points or items in a game like you would friends in a social network, levels or progress in a game to levels of acceptance in a social network.
Points to note is that when designing a reward structure in a social network you must first look to see what behaviour you are trying to reinforce by doing it, some sites removed ‘TOP TEN’ boards because it wasn’t reinforcing the behaviour they wanted.
So the idea is to define the behaviour you want and then design the reward structure around it, in social network terms the idea of rewarding a ‘who has the most friends’ paradign is dying because people are making friends and connections just to be on the board rather than making really worthwhile social connections for example.
Auditory Interfaces for small screen mobile devicesMichael Jefferson & Spencer Kiser
Really about capabilities that have made their way on to mobiles have been faster than the ability to use them.
  • We are all losing our vision?
  • The Un-tapped properties of sound
  • Applications present and future

The Fermata Project – design a better org tool – ignore the visual interface – learn from the visually impaired – create a calendar from the ground up with no visuals.

They used the blind community to figure out how they do this sort of thing and learn from that

Data as sound – we are all facing the same problem

They played a sound file which was a street corner and the things going on around them, we can listen to 7 +/-2 in our heads, both on foreground and background, so we process a lot of this info already and deduce information from this, i think i see where they are going with this now.

As in you can relate individual pieces of data with a sound, then if you layer them together, we as humans can understand up to 7 pieces of info at a time just by listening, not sure how it builds to a calendar but lets see..

they are going through how they mapped specific sounds to events in a calendar so that they could play back events as expected but the problem is navigation, this is where surround comes into play, they pan the sound across channels to infer a timeline. I think this is cool but it is very hard to get into and understand, perhaps because I am not blind and have ruined my hearing with an iPod?

The blind subjects involved in the project found it aesthetically pleasing and I have to agree it does but at a first pass to me I would find it very hard to use – as per comments above

They also hit something that struck me which is that there is a need for user control rather than just playing back a week at a time..

Their Conclusions:

  • The answer lies in understandng how we make sense of information without technology
  • universal translation can and will benefit everyone
  • experimenting and sharing the information on auditory design will advance UI design

A good question from the crowd is that the blind are said to have increased hearing skills so a system designed with them may not be so good of the non-blind, the answer is not particularly, it’s more a matter of focus

Unconventional Thoughts on AJAX – Tom Snyder

The guy from iNetWord (is it like Writely? – cant check as no web) the only fully featured word app on the web

Microsoft were right to be scared of AJAX as it can do all the things they feared

The problem is you simply can not go out and find an AJAX development team right now

AJAX is not a thing, it’s more like a theory object, it’s a blend of 6 technologies (HTML, CSS, HTTP, JavaScript, DOM, Server), a quick overview of the tech behind it, gonna have to wait for the unconventional bits I guess..

We’re told cross browser coding is a pain – duh! good ref site is

He is telling us that cross browser dev is the worst dev platform in the world, he’s obviously never developed for mobile then!

Now we get to the good news which is …… dont worry about downloading a lump of code, typical AJAX app is 10K lines , 400K bytes which compresses to 100K bytes which in DSL will be 1 second and still only 15 second on dialup, as in not so long and only once as it is cached

more good news, the 10K lines of code app can be parsed in 1/3 second on a small CPU

don’t compromise functionality for size, it wont matter

Challenge: keep it fast and responsive – but most work done in the browser

bad news is that browsers are persnickety (huh) tread lightly

normally you would optimise at the end of the dev process but in AJAX you must optimise at every step

lots of stats on screen now re perf stats, too many to note

How to Write a Zimlet (Enterprise Mashup) – Ross Dargahi

Got to the session late as got introduced to Yahoo! and they showed me a really amozing locative, friend app written in Java of all things and with the sweetest UI I’ve seen for a long time, released this morning, more on that later

I’ve come in to see an ongoing demo, ability to hyperlink text within mail etc and connect it to external datasources, for example a FEDEX tracking number will let you click and get to the tracking page, flight numbers give status, translate between languages on mail messages, actually it’s looking pretty cool.

He’s now moving onto an Asterisk server which allows you to click to call on a number in a mail, contact or whatever.

The tech gets broken down , the main thing is Zimlet definition file, XML template, it’s client side and server side and looks a lot like AJAX architecture, which is not strange given that’s what it uses.

The next session is an in-depth breakdown of the tech, including XML definitions, I’ll try to find a link on the site as can’t blog it!

This is something to have a play with, one of a few examples of making app dev simple(ish) need to see what the ZCS client is like to work with and how well it works with other apps, ways of working

Reading Rooms: The Design of Immersive Social Media Spaces – Maribeth Back 

Not sure what i expected here but we start with some research on how people read, the thesis here is to experiment with the future of reading, have built 11 reading prototypes to study the interaction between reading and future technology.

How might the book change , not just the PDA style book, but they looked at augmented books (hyper, glyphs and more)

Projects run out of PARC

  • Facets. Project lead. Wireless wearables+smart environments distributed interaction system. With Karen Marcelo and CSL wireless group. 2001.

  • AirBook. Project lead. Assistive reading device for force-free interaction with dynamic (RSVP) text. With M. Szymanski of SPL. 2000-2001.

  • XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading. 4000-sq.ft. museum installation, a major collaborative design and research effort by the RED group. 1998-2001.

  • Listen Reader. Project lead, architecture, hardware implementation. Award-winning experimental e-book with paper pages and immersive audio. For the XFR exhibit. 1998 – 2000.

  • Speeder Reader. Project lead, architecture, hardware implementation. Experimental dynamic text reader for the XFR exhibit. 1998 – 2000.

  • WalkIn Comix. Environmental comic book for the XFR exhibit. Project creator and audio design, 1998 – 2000.

  • Kinetic Mandala. Project lead. Audio artificial life in Web3D systems. Built working prototype integrating Java and VRML. 1997 – 1998. With Maureen Stone.

  • Sonic Mandala. Built test bed for exploring audio possibilities in VRML 2.0 and other 3D environments. 1996-97. With Maureen Stone.

  • Audio Aura. Wearable audio augmented reality. Prototype system built on Active Badge technology with 3D design interface, 1996 – 1997. With Beth Mynatt, Roy Want, Ron Frederick.

A dry presentation of the projects above, not seeing the link here so far

To try out the speed reading try out the applet by Trevor Smith here



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: