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Ted Pollari
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Ted Pollari

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This blows my mind – the usage of the term "visualization" in the sense of a "scientific visualization" is barely 25 years old:

"Scientific visualization is a relatively new subfield within the larger area of computer graphics. The term “visualization” was first used in this sense by a National Science Foundation (NSF) panel discussing the application of computer science to problems of data analysis [McCormick et al. 1987]. The panel defined the “domain of visualization” to include the development of general-purpose tools and the study of research problems that arise in the process."

From: Healey, Christopher G., Kellogg S. Booth, and James T. Enns. "High-speed visual estimation using preattentive processing." ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) 3.2 (1996): 107-135.
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http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/03/makerbot-announces-new-desktop-3d-scanner-you-know-to-go-with-your-3d-printer/

I think this is the start of a very interesting and potentially litigious future. 

What happens as our technology outstrips our ideas (and more importantly) our laws about intellectual property rights? What happens when you can simply scan the broken part for your car/dishwasher/jet pack and print new, perfect version in under an hour, at home? 

There are more implications, of course, but I genuinely think that it's capabilities like this that have huge potential for changing the way our physical economy and intellectual property laws work.
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This is pretty exciting news – it has the potential to make electric cars much, much more viable andcharging anything with a battery much more efficient (I believe) and much more quick.

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/science/more-good-news-on-those-carbon-supercapacitors.html
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This feels like it's aimed at a business audience/developed by an MBA, but it's still a decent way to get a quick overview of a bunch of visualization methods (some better than others)  http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html 
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Once again, Design Staff does an excellent job. This short piece is a good, if brief, how-to on how to start a product (software, hardware, whatever) design sprint/project the right way. 


http://www.designstaff.org/articles/product-design-sprint-day-1-understand-2012-10-16.html
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I've stared at this for a good few minutes a couple times and I'm still left feeling sad that good information is sullied by bad visualization. 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=longevity-why-we-die-global-life-expectancy
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I've been thinking about this post: http://daltoncaldwell.com/dear-mark-zuckerberg and a number of other similar pieces questioning the value of building businesses off of someone else's "platform".  

To me, one obvious point that the in all of this is that platforms, to be valuable for anything more than a short while, need to be built to be monetized in such a way as to not conflict with the interests and values of those developing to it.

There are a huge number of examples of this:

1) Phone networks (eventually) became this way – they sold the connection service while others sold handsets/end-point systems, built call centers, pagers, food delivery businesses, etc. etc., – all of which depended on the phone system to build their own value.  

2) Power grids. (self explanatory and much like #1)

3) Computer operating systems (mostly). With a certain number of exceptions, by and large, Apple, Microsoft and others developed robust platforms that many, many people and companies built very good businesses upon.

4) Shipping providers like UPS and FedEx – they have made it possible for small companies to have huge distribution networks.

All of these examples are cases where the "platform" had a clear business case/way of making money that didn't conflict with the products build on/around it.

I think there are some underlying reasons for this and Caldwell gets into it by pointing to the idea of social networks as infrastructure, rather than destinations – and I think he's dead-on...

But there's also another theme that steps just a bit further. I still think there's something to be said for David Isenberg's piece, "The Dawn of the Stupid Network": http://www.isen.com/papers/Dawnstupid.html

It drives a bit at what makes good infrastructure and even though its well over a decade old, it's still worth reading.

Particularly the bits about underspecification and user control. Social networking's promise lies somewhere in some of these ideas, I think.
Mark, On June 13, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., I attended a meeting at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, California. In addition to myself, the meeting was attended by executives at Facebook with the following ...
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Ted Pollari

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This piece makes Google Glass sound almost irresistible... but completely world-changing. 

Inside of a decade (much less, actually, is my bet), most of us will have cameras able to record what we're seeing, sharing experiences at-will – and recording them – and instant, on-demand access to information only hinted at with smartphones. 

Privacy falls a notch or two with this development – but so does access and connectivity.

Are we ready for the consequences? I'm not sure, but I'm excited to try it out (because it's coming regardless)... 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/22/4013406/i-used-google-glass-its-the-future-with-monthly-updates
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I find it interesting that the copyright holders of such a limited fraction of content (and gradually diminishing in value share, at that) can control so much about the way we experience the world – particularly the digital world.

And, now, they may make free-wifi a thing of the past:

Six Strikes May Mean The End of Free WiFi:
http://thebrief.io/news/six-strikes-may-mean-the-end-of-free-wifi
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Hmm. OK. Still wrong that the TOS say they can't use their business connection to provide Internet service for customers.
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This actually makes me very happy: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6385/microsoft-surface-review – I think that we need (at least) three big players in the tablet/mobile market. MSFT seems to have done a really good job of moving (back?) into that space without making a me-too product. If I had the cash, I might well pick up a surface.
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It's not for me, but I'm glad they made a strong product too.
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In contrast, here's a nice bit of interactive visualization, illustrating the Drake Equation: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120821-how-many-alien-worlds-exist
Play with our interactive graphic to work out how many intelligent civilizations there could be in our universe.
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I want to go to there.
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