Rachel Haot, NYC’s chief digital officer talks about how to run a successful hackathon and how it can benefit cities.
This interview with a 14-year-old girl about how she uses her iPhone and social media is almost equal parts fascinating and terrifying. Some choice quotes:
“I’ll wake up in the morning and go on Facebook just … because,” Casey says. “It’s not like I want to or I don’t. I just go on it. I’m,…
New Wireless Electronics Could Heal Wounds and Then Dissolve
Nestled inside a wound, a remote-controlled device perks up and begins releasing bacteria-killing heat, a form of thermal therapy that can fell even the most drug-resistant microbes. After it does its job, the electronic heater dissolves, and its biocompatible ingredients become part of the person it has helped to heal.
Though not quite a reality yet, this scenario isn’t too far off. In addition to dissolvable electronics, scientists have now built a biodegradable remote-controlled, power-harvesting circuit, described May 17 in Advanced Materials, and are already testing absorbable thermal electronics in rodents.
Braden Kowitz on the importance of the details in design:
There’s a curious brain hack at work here. Our minds are deeply tied to emotional states. Being frustrated or happy changes the way we approach problems. I have certainly been in a bad mood, gotten confused by a product, and found myself repeatedly smashing a button to no effect. In my frustration, I try the same thing, justharder. But it doesn’t help me accomplish my goal.
When we’re happy, using an interface feels like play. The world looks like a puzzle, not a battle. So when we get confused, we’re more likely to explore and find other paths to success. There’s a whole book on this topic: Emotional Design by Don Norman. But here’s the important bit: Getting design details right can create positive emotional states that actually make products easier to use.
Karsten Strauss of Forbes reporting on Supercell, the creators of the insanely popular iOS game, Clash of Clans:
Most game studios have an autocratic executive producer green-lighting the work of designers and programmers. Supercell’s developers work in autonomous groups of five to seven people. Each cell comes up with its own game ideas. They run their ideas by Paananen (he can’t remember ever nixing a proposal), then develop those into a game. If the team likes it, the rest of the employees get to play. If they like it, the game gets tested in Canada‘s iTunes App store. If it’s a hit there it will be deemed ready for global release. This staged approach has killed off four games so far, with each dead project a cause for celebration. Employees crack open champagne to toast their failure. “We really want to celebrate maybe not the failure itself but the learning that comes out of the failure,” says Paananen.
I like everything about this, and especially the toasting to (the learning from) failure.
IBM creates liquid-based transistors that can process data like the human brain
For decades, the transistor has been the building block of electronic devices, from computers to smartphones. It has seen little change, but a team of researchers at IBM has given the transistor a major makeover, and it may enable the company to build computers that function more like the way the human brain works. If it pans out, IBM could use the technology to build chips that are highly efficient and use much less electrical power. That could lead to a revolution in mobile devices, which today are bound by short battery lives and electrical inefficiency. The whole process is not unlike the charged electrical fluids sloshing around in our brains. If the brain can do it, an artificially crafted material might be able to do it too.