You can look up which sims in Second Life are sharing a server. Avatars can contribute to this project by wearing a device that sends data back.
I know that I've drunk the KoolAid of the brave new age of the Internet and so when I read articles like "Viacom Sues Google Over YouTube Clips" (WSJ .. you likely need a sub), it sends me around the bend. I simply cannot wrap my head around why Viacom or other media companies would not want to participate and share their content in this format.
There are only so many hours in a day and people have to make choices about what they watch. Why, WHY would you not want to make it EASY for people to watch your content in the context of where they spend most of their time - on the computer? It is so easy to take 5-10 (30!) minutes out of what I am working on at the computer to check in on last night's Daily Show. And YouTube aggregates it all in one place. So I don't have to visit a b'zillion sites so that paranoid, ego-centric media companies can have their own branded feature-crippled player.
I just don't get why Viacom doesn't want to participate. Someone needs to tell Viacom that while their content is good, a lot of what it has going for it is simply production values. There is better, more content-rich and engaging stuff on YouTube that isn't theirs. And they risk losing their audience all together is their content isn't alongside.
So I figure, it must be a money thing. I've tried to find the numbers, but I can't. How much does Viacom think they will be losing. And what do they think they are gaining by suing and removing their stuff? Seriously, now is the time to play along. Old-school media companies need to reinvent their business models and their perspective on customer loyalty.
Sean at Craphammer has some links that try to explain Viacom's position .. they're going to launch their own YouTube-esque site. And he includes a link and list of Viacom's networks from Paul's post where Paul calls for a boycott of Viacom. Paul (I love Paul) writes ...
Stupidass Viacom. Go sit in the corner with the RIAA.
At first glance, that statement looks a bit incongruent. Viacom is suing a company, not 16 year-old music lovers like the RIAA. But, YouTube is a community, full of protective members looking to hold together a good thing, a place where they're comfortable and happy. And Viacom doesn't give a shit about them.
I get why they do it. The lawyers come in, blind to the free advertising, and want what YouTube already has. They look at it as if it were a series of x's and o's or 1's and 0's, and think they can offer us the same. Instead, they rush a shit product, and think sueing is a sufficient way to stuff it down our throats.
Maybe my view of what we need is a bit utopian, but I really just want to go to one place for all my video watching needs. Viacom can fuck off.
He then summarizes some comments from Digg about the whole situation. The point that he makes and that I try to make above and that Viacom is totally missing is this:
Stop trying to control the user experience. We've said what we wanted. One source. Our videos. Your videos. Your competitors videos. Don't go make another solution. It won't be as good because you're not part of the community.
Marketers and media companies need to recognize and capitalize on their value to the community. Not what they want their value to be, but what is actually is. This isn't about a pissing match between big companies. It's about pissing on the values of your customers.
Welcome to the brave new world, boys.
Photo credit: Kevin Steele
Ever since I've been coming to TED, I've heard tell of the "TED Moment". It's spoken of in hushed, awed tones. People ask each other "Have you had your TED Moment"? Being from Texas, I found it similar to when my newly-minted Christian friends would ask me, "Have you been saved?" And I'm here to admit that I have had to answer "No" to both questions. Which left me feeling a little frustrated - what was I missing? Which koolaide at the Google Cafe wasn't I drinking?
Well, today I'm proud to announce that although it has taken until Year 3, I have now had my TED Moment.
It happened yesterday, at a lovely lunch hosted by Autodesk where Tom Wujec was giving a talk on Information Visualization. I arrived early at the lunch. I had my backpack (vintage TED 2005) with me, so I dropped it at a table and joined the buffet line. After making my way through the buffet, I headed back to the table where my backpack was. No one was sitting there yet. And I found myself faced with an all-too-familiar dilemma: join another or stay here and start my own.
I looked around and, admittedly, wasn't feeling the vibe from any of the other tables. Plus, any tables that were closer to the front already had the "good side" taken. So, inertia won and I sat down, shoving my backpack under the table.
While digging into my risotto, a woman came into my peripheral vision and asked "Are you saving these seats?" I shook my head, gestured in what I hoped was a welcoming manner, and quickly chewed and swallowed to finally be able to say, "No, please join me."
And then I stared at her chest.
Now, see, that's normal at TED. Perhaps it's a result of TED's information architecture heritage, but the name badges are one of the best things about TED. They have BIG FONTS and minimal information with a focus on your name, and of secondary import are your role, company and city. These name badges hang around our necks (as opposed to being delicately pinned to our lapels) and, as a group, we spend a fair amount of time staring at each others chests.
This woman's badge said "Brenda Laurel".
Brenda Laurel was sitting at my table, and I was about to have lunch with her.
As she sat down, in my usual charming and effusive manner, I sputtered, "You're Brenda Laurel".
She looked a little disarmed; people usually say, "Hello, I'm so and so" rather than stating the other's name; however, she played along. "Yes, and you're Kate. Kate Trrr .."
"TER-go-vak" I dismissed with a wave of my hand. "Yes, but you're Brenda Laurel."
She nodded (and I think she might have glanced around to see if she could make a break to a nearby table). "Yes, yes."
"Purple Moon! " I gasped as if speaking a code that would unlock the elven gate to the Mines of Moira. "You created Purple Moon!"
She smiled and nodded and may have tried to hide behind a lettuce leaf. I continued to wax rhapsodic, "Your ideas about games and gender shaped my fundamental thinking about interaction design and technology. Purple Moon was a model for how games for girls should be. You found what motivates them - collection and collaboration - and demonstrated a new way of thinking in this area. It continues to inform how I design interaction for adults."
I believe it was at this point that Brenda Laurel sighed deeply and resigned herself to the fact that she was sitting beside a slightly rabid but most-likely harmless fan.
She and I exchanged thoughts on why there weren't more women at this particular lunch, on the stage and at TED in general. We talked a bit more about gender and computing; she is smart and charming and generous.
Thankfully (for everyone) we were soon joined by other folks who took some of the pressure off of Brenda, and then eventually Tom's fantastic talk began.
After lunch, we nodded and said goodbye. And shockingly, I haven't stalked her further since then. But I have had my TED Moment. I had lunch with a Maverick/Icon/Genius who inspired me and has informed both my career choice and my continued struggle against the gender disparity in my industries (technology and marketing). And now I, too, can speak in awed and hushed tones. If you haven't had your TED Moment, don't fret, you will. And it will be worth the wait.
Photo Credit: fotografisch.at
"Just by saying double-dactylical I've sent the geek meter all the way to the red." For me, Erin McKean, has been the most charming presentation at TED this year (it's mid-day three and I'm confident this will hold true). As editor in chief of US Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, editor of Verbatium and blogger at Dress a Day, Erin is on a mission to change our concept of the dictionary. Highlights:
Erin's charm and brilliance is in her embracement (is that a word?) of the evolution of language - not just the dominant strains, but all of them. She views her job as a lexicographer to simply capture all the instances of words. Usage and love will be what determines which ones stick around.
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"If we could make new constellations (ones not based on greek myths) what would they be?" Jonathan Harris, creator of We Feel Fine, showed off both it as well as his new project, Universe. We Feel Fine captures emotions expressed via the phrase "I feel ... " on blogs around the world. His visualization techniques as well as the profound intimacy felt after spending time on the site work to close the gaps that isolated human beings feel. We *all* experience the same core set of emotions; we are more alike than different. Universe, an enhancement of Daylife, will offer a "universal" view of someone or something in the news. You'll be able to see the stars, stories, ideas and issues that form constellations around a person or a topic. It's an incredible interface to a massive infospace. It hopefully launches next week.
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Ted Sargent (Canadian!!) is attempting to choreograph the dance of the molecule .. he's coating surfaces with quantum dots that are not perfect, but perfect enough to take advantage of energy from the sun. Its not quite a liquid solar panel .. but one day, it could be. :-) This was a sciency talk .. Ethan Zuckerman explains it much better.
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"I have this picture up on my computer screen, and a woman comes up and asks whether that's a Jackson Pollock painting, but no, it's a picture of penguin shit on rocks." Former Microsoft CTO, Nathan Myhrvold. That's kinda how Myhrvold's whole talk was.
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Oh, this is totally out of order .. but another of the great talks of Thursday was Ngozi Okonju-Iweala. She is the former finance minister of Nigeria and gave an inspiring talk on "the Africa of Opportunity":
"Open for Business" wrapped with an amazing presentation by Larry Lessig - someone I've often heard about but never have the pleasure of seeing in person. It's hard to know if he is more famous for his work on Creative Commons or on changing the way we use Powerpoint. It was copyright that Lessig spoke about at TED. In the 20th century, culture was "read only" ... no tools to remix culture and certainly no encouragement. In the 21st century, the tools and technique are democratized .. there is access. And the remix of culture is a type of literacy, particularly for our kids! It is how they express themselves. And in a democracy such as ours, surely we must have better laws and guidelines vis a vis copyright than those that turn our kids into pirates.
Lessig also showed this ...
Update: the TED island is still streaming so if you have a chance drop in. TED continues thru 1ish PST tomorrow (Sat March 10)!
As part of an effort to bring TED to the global community, TED (with the help of Clear Ink) has created an island. It is still in the "experimental" phase, but the hope is that it will be a gathering place for TEDsters and members of the community.
As part of the "experimental" phase, it is currently open to the public and will be streaming the TED Prize talks tonight. That's like, in an hour! Starting at 5:15 PST/SLT.
They are still working out some of the bugs (e.g. sometimes the streaming is upside down), but, if you' re around, login to Second Life and head over to Allston 99,110,23 (hopefully the slurl will work - search seems a bit funky right now is SL).
Each session at TED generally opens with some kind of titles sequence or interstitial. This session it was a revamped "Web 2.0 - the Machine is Us/ing Us" by Michael Wesch. If you have ever wanted a 2 minute intro to Web 2.0 and the *potential* it holds, this is the video to watch.
"There is a time when panic is the appropriate response" (Eugene Kleiner) John Doerr quoted one of the partners in the firm KPCB. Doerr gave an empassioned talk on the threat of global warming and what we need to do. He cited examples of Wal*Mart's recent green initiatives, policy changes in California, the ability to genetically engineer biofuels and the incredible intiatives by Brazil to make ethanol pumps as ubiquitous as gas pumps. But he fears it is not enough. "Going green is the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century." And it is one we must seize. Not for our sake .. but for our children's. Doerr's passion stems from his commitment to his daughter to "do something" about the problem of carbon emissions and global warming that his generation created. It was an incredible talk -- one not to miss once it becomes available on TED Talks.
"This is not a movie, its real life." Following on Doerr's talk, Robin Chase, founder of ZipCar and her new venture GoLoco, shared with us her vision for a radical culture shift - where shared cars and ride sharing are the norm .. and consumers pay the true cost of our car culture through road and congestion pricing rather than simply gas taxes. Her vision involves a nation-wide (US) wireless mesh network where every vehicle (cars, buses, trucks) enable a wireless mesh network for communication. She also hopes to transform the solitary trip to the grocery store as well as the solitary ride to work into a social event .. part of your day you look forward to.
Four in the morning. Conspiracy? The Giacometti Code? You can't even really describe Rives without seeing Rives. Check out the videos on his site for a taste of what this remarkable poet is capable of.
The next session of TED, entitled Epiphany, had a lot of science in it. Now, I'm a philosophy major, but I can understand *some* science :-)
"What is remarkable in fundamental physics ... that which is beautiful and elegant is more likely to be right than something that is inelegant." Murray Gell-Mann (He discovered the quark! Think about that for a sec. He. Discovered. The. Quark. Whoa.) As I get it .. "nature" doesn't waste time with unnecessary complexity. Laws of nature (or laws of the universe) are a good example. The law of gravity (discovered by Newton) is mathematically described in the same way as the law of electricity (thank you, Coulomb). Ethan Zuckerman has much more detailed notes on this if you're interested. My take-away is that we don't spend enough time in awe of science and mathematics. And I am reassured that even when the rest of the world is chaotic and messy and practically nonsensical, the foundation of the universe is ultimately simple, elegant and beautiful.
Next up was Jonathan Widom. Cell biologist who discovered that there is metadata encoded in our DNA that tells nucleosomes what type of cell to make (e.g. should it make a neuron or a liver cell). At least I think this is what he discovered. I tried really hard on this one .. I sat up, paid attention, I could hear the hamster-wheel turning in my brain and I'm pretty sure I frightened the fellow next to me (Chris has a couple of his pieces on display at TED - check out Cans Seraut on his site. Amazing artist; hilarious guy) with the smoke coming out my ears. But I didn't quite get it. And from a quick scan, most of my fellow bloggers didn't either. If you are a cell biologist or geneticist or similar .. insights are appreciated!!
Jeff Han has created the ultimate touch screen interface. This is a video of it (you have to watch a commercial first .. be patient). But the awesome thing is .. the touch screen wall is HERE. In the simulcast lounge! I hope to play with it tomorrow. And have pics or even a video. Seriously cool.
"Life is nothing more that a series of questions linked together back to back ..." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar is now a motivational speaker; his talk at TED ranged from his experiences as a teen growing up in Harlem at the height of the Civil Rights movement to his formula for success on the Lakers.
Epiphany closed with a set by jazzy, bluesy guitarist Raul Midon. He performed a number of songs both from his debut album State of Mind and a new album that is currently in production. On his site, you can listen to some of his tracks. Such a great voice! He has a song about the impact of technology. Also, his turn of phrase is quite elegant - he likened searching on Google to "rummaging through the century". An excellent way to close out Day 1.
Well, maybe the BEST way to close out Day 1 was with the Grey Goose martinis at the opening night party sponsored by Grey Goose and Wired. But that's a *different* post.
Session 1 just ended and I'm already teary-eyed and giddy and exhausted and fired-up and grateful ... some quotes:
"It is part of our destiny (as a species) to explore the universe" .. Carolyn Porco. WOW! Who talks about the destiny of our species? I love it! It is that kind of vision, that kind of passion that is going to get us out of our obsession with the trivial and onto caring about issues that have much more impact. Carolyn is a planetary scientist, head of imaging for NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn, and incredible speaker. We saw the surface of Titan! We saw an eclipse of the sun by Saturn from the FAR side of the galaxy. Phenomenal!!
"'god' is the answer we give when we don't know the answer. When our vision isn't big enough." Designer, Philippe Starck. He talks about how we have written only half the story of our existence .. how where we came from (when we were bacteria, 4.5 bilion years ago), we couldn't have imagined where we are now .. and what it will subsequently be like 4.5 billion years from now. All with a charming French accent and a disarming sense of humour.
"Instead of asking 'Why is there war' we need to ask 'why is there peace'. Instead of asking 'what have we done wrong' we need to ask 'what have we done RIGHT?'" Steven Pinker. On the phenomena of decreasing violence (not increasing, which is likely counterintuitive to all of us). Pinker wrote How the Mind Works which is apparently an intense and fascinating read.
"When you're in poverty, YIELDS are important. To get out of poverty, TECHNOLOGY is important. To move *away* from poverty, MARKETS are important." Hans Rosling. AND he swallowed a sword while onstage. I saw Hans last year at TED. He's updated the Gapminder software and added in new data sets.
And this doesn't even describe TED U at which I attended 6 incredible sessions with 6 great presentations by fellow attendees.
It is such a privilege to be here.
There are a number of folks blogging TED. Bruno Giussani has listed them on the TED blog; I've listed them below. Some of these guys, Bruno included, do AMAZING notes of each session as it happens! My notes tend to be a little more personal, a lot less detail and occasionally less accurate :-). I encourage you to check them out! Also, someone has set up a Yahoo! Pipes feed of TED bloggers.
Updated with links and a few additional notes, plus links to fellow TED bloggers.