As the Foxboro Hot Tubs, Green Day has released six singles for download as mp3s. Their first new recorded music (except for their cover of Working Class Hero which is pretty wonderful) since 2004 (sez David).
Bora and about half of my Facebook friends alert us to the Call for a Presidential Debate on Science and Technology.
Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy.
Almost missed in reading through the NYTimes Magazine annual special ideas issue: Zygotic Social Networking or tying genetic testing results to social networking. The idea shared and exploited by Ancestry.com, GeneTree.com and startup 23andMe is that you can connect with people who are like you — at a DNA level of some sort. This takes friend-of-a-friend to a different depth. It also assumes that you will want to make friends or mate with someone a lot like yourself. So much for genetic diversity. Or will our already confusing diversity confound the companies who are building on research that is so new and undeveloped that the answers are only slightly more reliable than say a Chinese horoscope?
Yesterday’s News and Observer featured a nice long column (albeit a skinny one) discussing a conversation that the author, Dan Barkin, had with Fred Stutzman about Facebook usage. Because I had had an earlier coffee with Dan, ibiblio and I also get a mention, an honorable one. The article is a very good one despite that honor ;->
Marcella alerts us to an important conference upcoming in Cape Town this February, Designing Cute Interactive Media. I need to get a paper ready but the deadline is tight — they’re due December 31.
Cuteness is more that attractiveness, which my colleague Sri knows quite a bit about — to the point of reciting a bibliography on attractiveness and the media effect of the same whilst we stood on the steps this afternoon. Where attractiveness is an aesthetic value and perhaps even culturally bound, cuteness may be deeper in our genetic encoding as Lorenz points out. What that says about Japan’s complete embrace of cuteness as kawaisa, I’m not quite sure. But the cultural impact of the Japanese identity and connections to cuteness (kawaii) and innocence is undeniable.
How to generate a paper with some serious consideration of kawaii and interactivity? Suggestions welcomed.
Cuteness has an effective design philosophy that can be used in many areas to make emotionally engaging user interactive systems, as well as evaluate existing systems. Cuteness can also be included as an engineering design framework that can assist designers and engineers when creating engaging interactive systems that motivate the user in a happy, positive manner.
We look at a range of experiences involving the idea of “cuteness” and its related components. From a psychological standpoint, there are cues that are well known that are instilled in us at an instinctual level. An example is the features of babies that bring out a nurturing and adoration response. Measuring these reactions however is less discrete and is more qualitative in nature. From a cultural standpoint, the definition of how cute something is and what it drives the user to do in response is not yet fully explored.
The main goal of this workshop is to provide designers with a better understanding of developing ways to enhance the positive experience and effectiveness of interactive media by utilizing the psychological and culturally developed effects of cuteness. We would also like to explore a range of interactive experiences involving the idea of cuteness and examine the related components. Based on these experiences, the next generation user interfaces can be built to take advantage of the cuteness factor and its unique effects on the experience which can establish and maintain more meaningful relationships with the users and encourage happiness, self confidence, motivate the user to action, and provide overall positive experiences.
The winter is here in Chapel Hill, the first snow flakes fell and melted even before they touched the ground. But more tellingly, no coeds were wearing flipflops. The plastic shoes of summer have given way to Uggs. There has been an Ugg convergence on campus. More Uggs than Crocs. Crocs, the Uggs of summer!
Speaking of Uggs and other ugly mistakes, Mark Zuckerberg of FaceBook has had some ‘splainin’ to do. And though you might not like or agree with his explanation of Beacon and of FaceBook policy, he does step up and own up to the problem that Beacon has created with a blog post this morning Special upside of the post is that Mark has a link for opting OUT of Beacon!
In his Sunday NYTimes column “The People We Have Been Waiting For”, Tom Friedman rejoices in the role of Google and of MIT students in accelerating the work on energy problems and efficiencies. So far so good. Engineers see a problem and work on solutions whilst politicians argue. Each set doing what they are best at ;->
Friedman is especially intrigued by MIT’s Vehicle Design Summit where the “Linux of cars” may be being developed by distributed and social production. What Friedman loves most and what he uses to conclude his column is the VDS tag line “We are the people we have been waiting for.”
Friedman doesn’t quite get the quote right and he doesn’t credit the author of the phrase “We are the people we have been waiting for.” She is the late poet June Jordan. The phrase “we are the ones we have been waiting for” from Poem for South African Women (1980) was picked up by many graduation speakers (I may use it myself) and others including most notably the singers Sweet Honey in the Rock who made the phrase into a song and Alice Walker who took the phrase as title for her most recent collection of essays (2006).
I’ll have to say I was somewhat surprised, yet satisfied, to see June Jordan’s words taken up by MIT students but surprised and unsatisfied that Friedman missed the travels for the phrase entirely.
LiveJournal moves to Moscow:
Six Apart sells LiveJournal to Moscow-based SUP. Will Friendster soon sell to a Sao Paulo firm?
Bob Young Explained:
Roger Martin of the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business explains that makes Bob Young and Red Hat different thinkers and different actors in an excerpt from his “The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking” (Harvard, 2007).
Who Hates Tech?
PC World’s Mark Sullivan writes about The Most Anti-Tech Organizations in America. “These groups line up against tech interests in courtrooms and corridors of power across the country.”