Archive for People

Must See! 60 Minutes On Man-Machine Meshing

Tonite’s 60 Minutes has a segement called BrainPower which provides stunning examples of brain interfaces peopler are using today which enable them to control computers with thoughts. A preview video is available now – I suspect the entire segment will be there tomorrow. UPDATE: it’s here. The segment mentions something called BrainGate which the FDA has recently approved for clinical trials. Like iLimb that was noted here previously, this is yet another step in the process of people being able to mesh more deeply with machines. There are profound considerations involved in the choice to  not be strictly biological – considerations which are close at hand, not in the far distant future.

Flash forward one year to see how far the technology has evolved.

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Twittering Things

The augmented reality category here exists because meshverse is about the convergence of people, places, things and events. I’ve been talking about the what IBM calls the Internet of Things from the beginning of this blog but I’ve also emphasized the importance of keeping people in the loop so the notion of having things communicating using  the people oriented Twitter struck a resonant chord with me. ReadWriteWeb’s story on The Tweeting House is a real eye-opener. Twitter may play an important role in helping people to stay in the driver’s seat. Some related posts here on the MJ:

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I voted, lots of us voted

Normally, at my polling location you walk in vote and walk out. Today when I arrived 5 minutes before they were supposed to open at 6:00am there were about 50 people in line. The building opened a few minutes late. I waited in line and voted 30 minutes later. The recurring comment was “I’ve never seen this many people here”. This was in a small town at a location where the population isn’t very dense. Nothing like what you see on tv, but an indication that turnout is going to be high. Go Obama!

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Media Matters: The Wright Mesh

Dave Winer hits the nail on the head with his commentary on this YouTube video of a more representative segment of Rev. Wright’s post-911 sermon:

I guess it’s not surprising that the cable news excerpts gave a very misleading impression. (Next time this happens we must do an immediate fact-check.) …  if you compare what Wright said to what they were saying, and why shouldn’t we, I think we’ll find that Wright was a rational and calming alternative to the lunacy that was dominating discourse in the US in the years following 911. And this video was taken mere days after the attacks.The news networks don’t have standing to criticize Wright for his post-911 speech. Let’s dig up some of their oratory from that timeframe and see if we want them involved in our political process in the future.

Give Rev Wright a chance to convince you (Scripting News)

Not being one to just talk, Dave is engaged in actively pursuing a way to provide more balanced media – right on Dave!

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I Am A New Jersey Voter For Obama!

I’ve got an Obama poster in the right margin of the home page of Scripting News. It’ll stay there for the duration as a virtual equivalent of one of those signs people put on their front lawns.

Dave Winer: I’m a California Voter for Obama!

A great idea which I’m borrowing!

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African-American Tech Bloggers

Whether you’re for Obama like me or not, this year is a turning point for black politics. However, cutting to the chase – we need to leverage the web more effectively and that means we need greater participation from the so-called black tech bloggers. I’d already been looking to expand the conversation in part because of Lynne d Johnson’s upcoming Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers? panel at SXSW. However, it’s clear to me that too many political organizers in the black community are not leveraging the web as well as they could because they don’t know people who know the tools. A recent study cited by Information Week shows that the number of black graduates in computer science is below the national average and for engineering and science these numbers drop by nearly half. Statistically black web designers barely exist. We can’t change that overnight but I believe we can have a major impact because there are a large number of marginally connected people who can contribute right away if only they knew how to connect. If you know about black folk with tech oriented blogs please help spread the word.

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Bluetooth Prosthetics: The Bigger Saga Continues

Another oft-mentioned topic here has been the broader implications of a growing human population that is not strictly biological and just how fast this change is coming about. Today comes news(and an amazing video) about how a common, low-cost technology used by many MJ readers is helping to accelerate the change:

Bleill, 30, is one of two Iraq war veterans, both double leg amputees, to use the Bluetooth prosthetics. Computer chips in each leg send signals to motors in the artificial joints so the knees and ankles move in a coordinated fashion.Bleill’s set of prosthetics have Bluetooth receivers strapped to the ankle area. The Bluetooth device on each leg tells the other leg what it’s doing, how it’s moving, whether walking, standing or climbing steps, for example.

“They mimic each other, so for stride length, for amount of force coming up, going uphill, downhill and such, they can vary speed and then to stop them again,” Bleill told CNN from Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Double amputee walks again due to Bluetooth – CNN.com

While it is clearly exciting and wonderful for the folks being helped by advances in prosthetics, it is valuable to recognize that were racing towards a future where the blurring boundries between humans and machines creates unprecedented challenges. Read the rest of this entry »

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