Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Imagine designing - an education system, an organization, a publication process .... As If The Web Existed!!!

I have to give credit to Clay Shirky's recent Keynote presentation for the title of this post.

A less than random walk through the sticky fibres of the web.
  • Transparent government
  • Clay Shirky Keynote - A must Watch.
  • Google developments
  • CIA figures on the speed of mobile uptake
  • How big is the cloud? – great insight on the acceleration of cloud computing by focusing just on storage
  • An app for mesh-networks • New screens
In the last few Friday Thinking assemblages I’ve included posts pointing to an open approach to publications – here’s one level above that – as governments begin the shift to more transparency in the digital environment.
Hamburg’s Transparency Law to open government more than ever
The Beatles played their first concert in Hamburg. Hamburg’s harbour is one of Europe’s largest. Now Hamburg, one of Germany’s 16 federal states, also has one of the world’s best transparency laws. Passed in mid-June, the new law sets a precedent that might resonate in the worldwide open government community.
The new 10-page Hamburg Transparency Law, was passed through the parliament of city-state Hamburg with the support of all political parties. Observers rubbed their eyes since the legal implications are enormous. The law is so much more far-reaching than the most advanced information of freedom laws at national level.
Clay Shirky always has some great insights, such as - Institutions work to presserve the problem to which they are the solution; or Process is the effort to project the solution to yesterday's problem onto the future. Here is a recent and scathing Keynote Talk he gave related to the current dismal situation of the traditional Press. I consider this a "Must Watch" as he has a lot to say that is relevant to any organization including science, and education organizations.
The Guardian Activate Summit: Clay Shirky Keynote
The next few articles all build on the emerging digital environment. What is dramatically important about Google Glasses, is not what they will be initially - it the new 'Wantables' that they will enable. Think about the iPad - Jobs didn't have survey done to see what people wanted. Instead he designed something he felt they 'would' want - he knew they didn't really know what was wantable. The iPhone/iPad created a new platform of wantables - APPs - informational services. We are still in the doorway of the new field.
Google Glasses will create a field 'wantables' related to unprecedented variety of informational visualizations - big data - in order for us to begin to see the structures of social consciousness and incorporate these into the way we live our daily lives.
Google I/O: Google Demos Glasses in Amazing Skydiving Stunt Over San Francisco
Sergey Brin took the stage at the end of the keynote to do a surprise demo of Google's Project Glass. He warned that the demo "could go wrong in about 500 different ways," but then he turned to the screen to reveal his friend JT flying overhead about to jump out of an airplane.
JT was coming in live via Google+ Hangout over the prototype glasses. Brin and JT had a surprisingly natural conversation, with JT up in an airplane and Brin on stage at Moscone.
After riling up the crowd, the skydivers got Moscone in their sights. "Hellooooo, San Francisco!" they shouted as they leaned out of the open door, and then they jumped from the plane. The Hangout video was perfect. As the skydivers plummeted toward the ground, the video streamed in live.
Here’s the YouTube video of this
New analytics – artificial intelligence – what Google has that Apple doesn’t is ‘Big Data’ analytics.
Google’s Artificial Brain Learns to Find Cat Videos
When computer scientists at Google’s mysterious X lab built a neural network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections and let it browse YouTube, it did what many web users might do — it began to look for cats.
The “brain” simulation was exposed to 10 million randomly selected YouTube video thumbnails over the course of three days and, after being presented with a list of 20,000 different items, it began to recognize pictures of cats using a “deep learning” algorithm. This was despite being fed no information on distinguishing features that might help identify one.
Picking up on the most commonly occurring images featured on YouTube, the system achieved 81.7 percent accuracy in detecting human faces, 76.7 percent accuracy when identifying human body parts and 74.8 percent accuracy when identifying cats.
“Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,” the team says in its paper, Building high-level features using large scale unsupervised learning, which it will present at the International Conference on Machine Learning in Edinburgh, 26 June-1 July.
The findings — which could be useful in the development of speech and image recognition software, including translation services — are remarkably similar to the “grandmother cell” theory that says certain human neurons are programmed to identify objects considered significant. The “grandmother” neuron is a hypothetical neuron that activates every time it experiences a significant sound or sight. The concept would explain how we learn to discriminate between and identify objects and words. It is the process of learning through repetition.
“We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,’” Jeff Dean, the Google fellow who led the study, told the New York Times. “It basically invented the concept of a cat.”
The speed at which mobile devices are being taken up as well as the speed of their increasing power – represents part of the phase transition into a digital society/economy/environment. In 2020, I wonder who won’t have a smartphone/tablet/device as at least one of their internet platforms? How cheap will Google Glasses 5 be by then? Certainly the Kindle as it is today (about $89) will be a commodity like a calculator is now.
CIA's View Of Mobile, Internet Use: By The Numbers Here's what the CIA sees as the use of mobile phones completely outpaces use of the Internet. http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/reporting/240000742?cid=InformationWeek-Twitter
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency recently reported some interesting information on mobile phone and Internet usage: There's a huge gap between the number of mobile users and the number of Internet users worldwide.
And the gulf that divides them will only continue to widen. China owns the top spot on both lists, with 859 million mobile phone users and 389 million Internet users. You might notice a difference of about 500 million people between those two numbers. The difference highlights how pervasive mobile technology has become, especially in regions where the wired Internet isn't available.
India has the second-highest number of mobile phone users, with 752 million, but it ranks sixth in Internet use, with 61.34 million. Nearly 700 million people in India use mobile phones but don't use the wired Internet. Why not? They don't have access to computers--their mobile handsets are the only connection available…..
The CIA also calls out some eye-popping stats with respect to growth--for example, Brazil’s mobile-cellular usage has more than tripled in the past 5 years. In Russia, the estimated number of mobile subscribers jumped from fewer than 1 million in 1998 to nearly 240 million by the end of 2010. And in Pakistan, mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed from about 300,000 in 2000 to more than 110 million by the end of 2011--more than 90% of Pakistanis currently have cell phone coverage at home. ….
This is a very good view into the massive growth of cloud computing – the new industrial replacement of the publishing industry’s infrastructure of printing manufacture and distribution. Now that everyone is a publishing producer – clouds become enabling parts of the digital environment.
How big is the cloud?
At any one time, streaming adult videos probably utilize around 30% of the internet’s total bandwidth, which equates to around 6 terabytes of porn being consumed every second. But what about the other 70%? Netflix, YouTube, and other non-adult video sites are huge bandwidth hogs, possibly accounting for as much as 40% of internet traffic. Digital file lockers, such as Rapidshare and Megaupload, account for around 10% of traffic worldwide. Web surfing and email (and spam!) are another 15%. And then there’s cloud computing.
Today, the vast majority of web services and sites are hosted in the cloud. By this I mean that, instead of companies (such as Ziff Davis/ExtremeTech) managing their own hardware, third-party cloud storage and computing services are used. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google are three prominent examples of huge cloud clusters, but there are hundreds of smaller operations that range in size from a whole data center down to a few racks.
The power of the cloud is vested in the fact that it can be coerced and shoehorned into tasks as disparate as a cloud-based supercomputer, to webmail, to simple document storage. On a single cloud cluster, Google can host and serve petabytes of YouTube videos and store all of your email and documents. Of all the facets of the cloud, though, today we’re going to focus on cloud storage….
New types of mesh-networks should be abundant in 2020 as well.
Could You Spare Some Internet Access?
An app called Open Garden lets users share wireless bandwidth, and could reduce network congestion—if carriers don't revolt. Though the idea of having Internet available everywhere is no longer a fantasy, it's not quite reality, either. Many of us carry smart phones everywhere we go, but we don't always have a high-speed data or Wi-Fi connection. And in many places, Internet access can still be hard to find.
Open Garden wants to change this. The San Francisco–based startup recently rolled out a smart-phone app that lets you connect to the Internet by piggybacking on the Web access of other Open Garden app users, using peer-to-peer connections that form a mesh network. The company's hope is that, in addition to making Internet access ubiquitous, Open Garden will become a platform on top of which developers can build new kinds of mobile services…..
Imagine designing - an education system, an organization, a publication process .... As If The Web Existed!!!


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