frank's blog

Random Hacks of Kindness

Posted in conference, ideas, innovation, internet by aldorf on August 12, 2011

 

 

What a great idea! (via rhok.org)

Random Hacks of Kindness is a community of innovation focused on developing practical open source solutions to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation challenges. Random Hacks of Kindness was founded in 2009 in partnership between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and the World Bank.

Since then thousands of volunteers have worked on applications that are already making an impact. I’m OK, an SMS service that lets people inform their families of their status, was used on the ground during the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010. The World Bank is piloting CHASM, software for visualizing landslide risk, in the Caribbean. Other apps have received support and interest from governments, NGOs and international organizations around the world.

How it Works

RHoK works by bringing together experts in development and volunteers with a broad set of skills in software development and design. The goal is to produce practical open source solutions to development problems. Events give the community an opportunity to sprint on projects, but the community continues to collaborate around the year.

RHoK Highlights

The RHoK community grew rapidly in 2010, with volunteer-organized events taking place in 26 cities around the globe, over 2000 registrants and resulting in 120 distinct projects worked on.

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“The New Normal” by Peter Hinssen [Video]

Posted in ideas, internet, quality by aldorf on August 10, 2011

The idea behind the New Normal is quite simple: ‘We’re halfway there’. The New Normal is about all things we call ‘digital’, and in the digital revolution we’re probably only halfway there. That means we have as much journey ahead of us as we have behind us.

 

In The New Normal Peter presents how companies may address a society without digital limits. Quite poignantly, Peter points out that organizations are increasingly faced with customers and consumers who no longer tolerate limitations in terms of pricing, timing, patience, depth, privacy, convenience, intelligence. A number of new rules will apply in the New Normal. Consumers will have zero tolerance for digital failure. They will expect to get internet access anytime, anyplace. Internet and connectivity will be just as ubiquitous as electricity. Consumers will demand fulfillment of their information needs instantaneously. The effect on companies will be tremendous. They were just getting used to coping with an 24 hour economy, and now they will have to cope with the ‘experience economy’: customers will demand interaction with providers of services and products on their conditions. They will expect the digital user experience to be easy and interesting. Every interaction with a customer must be viewed as a ‘make or break’ moment for the relationship with the customer. IT departments too will have to adopt a new way of working. They will have to react more flexible to the demands of the business side of the company. IT-departments were used to build big systems, now they will have to create small, flexible structures that can be adapted quickly. They no longer have to build pyramids, they must put up tents instead. In The New Normal, Peter Hinssen looks at the way companies have to adapt their information strategy, their technology strategy, their innovation strategy and the way they are organized internally. This book is an interesting read for any manager who is concerned with the future of his company as it is hit by the digital revolution. (via Peter Hinssen.com)

Digital Rube Goldberg Processor

Posted in Animation, art, film, internet, Media by aldorf on August 4, 2011

 

The Digital Rube Goldberg Processor is the outcome of a workshop The Product collective gave at the HfG Karlsruhe (Design School). The team was invited to give a 4-day Processing workshop for the communication design students there. Since they understand it is impossible to teach programming to beginners just within 4 days, they decided to focus more on the essential topics behind generative and computational design, to provide a grounded starting point for the students.

Jens explains: We first gave a quick introduction to the processing environment, thematically centered around the actual matter of generative design, namely digital data. Given the fact that any stored data is binary code in the end, it is the encoding and decoding algorithms that make digital data meaningful for us. To create an awareness for that, we came up with the idea of the rube-goldberg-processor (wiki). It is an potentially endless line of sub-processors that transform the same dataset from one state into another. Each group of students had a translate-from-to assignment, e.g. from moving image to sound. To make the steps more comprehensible for observers, the transfer was made in an analog way (camera pointing to monitor, microphone in front of speaker…) In the end, this obvoiusly led to an indecipherable outcome, but on the way, the teams had to negotiate basic “protocols” and concerned themselves with several techniques that are used in computational design.

The Product team provided the first step (image to text) as well as the last step, the flickr uploader. The rest was done by the students.

For more teaching by The Product, see the-product.org/category/teaching

The Product a berlin-based spatial and media-related design practice. They conceive design concepts. They create installations. They animate surfaces. They design spaces. They develop objects. And they extensively think about the application and combination of technologies in meaningful ways.

10 Lessons Learned On When To Change Your Game by Jason Goldberg

Posted in inspiration, internet, web by aldorf on August 2, 2011

by Jason Goldberg, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Fab.com (via venturebeat)

 

All of the steps that lay behind our decision to transform Fab were rooted in the lessons learned over seven years in the startup world. Here, based on our experience, are the top 10 reasons to alter course.

  1. If you can’t get traction after one year, switch gears and work on something different. Particularly if you’re building a consumer e-business, you can tell pretty quickly if it’s going to fly or flunk.
  2. Don’t get bogged down in something just because you’ve been doing it. There are plenty of other fish in the entrepreneurial sea. Go catch the one that looks like it’s swimming faster than the turtle you’ve been riding.
  3. Be willing to go in a completely different direction. Remember, YouTube started as a video dating site. No one is going to shoot you for abandoning an idea that didn’t work.
  4. Consider your options well before you’re down to your last dollar. That will give you the time and resources to make a mid-course correction if necessary. It’s better to change when you’ve still got over $1million in the bank like we do.
  5. Do the math at least once a month. You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken.
  6. Don’t get seduced by your own ‘brilliant’ idea. It may have sounded good on paper, but you need to be objective in evaluating the results.
  7. Change courses because you want to, not because you have to. If you’ve done your homework in a timely manner and you see the writing on the wall (see #5), you’ll have time to figure out where to go next.
  8. Get your board on board. They invested in you. They’ll want you to do whatever you’re convinced can give them the greatest return.
  9. Think like an investor. What can you do that has the greatest chance of delivering 10 times the investment you (or they) make in your business?
  10. Ask yourself the following six questions to determine whether to regroup:
  • If we could do anything for the next year, what would it be?
  • What are we most passionate about?
  • What are our customers telling us?
  • What can we (realistically) be the best at?
  • If we were to use our limited resources for anything, what would we spend them on?
  • What will create the most value for our shareholders?

Some people say great entrepreneurs just make it happen. I can tell you from experience with my own companies and in serving as an advisor to other startups: that is rarely true. Good businesses need inspiration as well as perspiration. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. The next time, you might get it right.

Mike Maples: “You Have to Be Willing to Throw it all away” [Video]

Posted in conference, ideas, innovation, internet, web by aldorf on August 2, 2011

Superstar investor about having the courage to dismantle a mediocre business and rebuild it into one that has the potential to hit a homerun. This is a must-watch video for any/every entrepreneur.

Mike Maples at the Founder Showcase from Founder Institute on Vimeo.

Mastering Gamification by G. Zichermann [Video]

Posted in ideas, internet, Media by aldorf on July 27, 2011

Gamification is a hot term these days – but what does it really mean?  At it’s core, Gabe Zichermann explains in the video below from the NY Founder Institute, gamification is simply a way to look at customer loyalty campaigns as not about tangible customer value, but rather about status.

Gabe Zichermann on Mastering Gamification (12/01/10) from Founder Institute on Vimeo.

Time is Money – “Ten in Three” Idea

Posted in architecture, conference, ideas, inspiration, internet by aldorf on July 27, 2011

There are numerous efforts in the non-profit sector to re-think the way people donate, but not many with a method quite so personal as Taylor Conroy’s. Ten In Three is his initiative to persuade groups of friends to contribute USD 10,000 in just three hours, to be put towards the construction of a new school in a disadvantaged area. Amazing and inspiring idea!

Internet Access A Fundamental Human Right According To UN

Posted in internet by aldorf on June 10, 2011

That’s one small step for the UN, one giant leap for the internet. Internet access a fundamental Human Right according to UN rapporteur Frank La Rue. (via Liftlab)

Full Report here.

Random Act of Kindness meets Carrot Mob meets Art Project – Love it

Posted in art, inspiration, internet by aldorf on June 8, 2011

Carrot mobs are one of my favorite inventions in recent years.

Store Buyout is an art project where five artists arrived at Hercules Fancy Grocery in NYC and bought everything. Every item has been repurposed as art and will be sold online and for a limited time at the Store Buyout Gallery in LES. Money from the sales is going towards saving Hercules store. For more details please visit http://www.storebuyout.com. Stay tuned, more art is on its way.

15 Key Facts About Digital Today and 2015 by Neo Lab

Posted in Animation, design, film, internet by aldorf on June 1, 2011

15 Keys Facts About Digital Today and 2015

  • 01) It takes 100 years to have 1 billion fixed lines & only 20 years to reach 5 billion mobile subscriptions
  • 02) More consumers will access the Internet by mobile devices than by desktop or laptop by 2014
  • 03) 2015 forecast of annual global mobile data traffic (75 exabytes) is equal to 19.000 million DVDs
  • 04) Mobile-only Internet population will grow 56-fold up to 788 million by the end of 2015
  • 05) In 2015 mobile devices will exceed the home PC base installed
  • 06) 500 million mobile using mobile health Apps in 2015
  • 07) In 2015 revenue mobile Apps will be an amount near to 40.000 million dollar
  • 08) M2M revenues will grow more than 3,5-fold from 2010 to 2015
  • 09) The TV experience will be more personal and social but less familiar
  • 10) Traffic generated by 20 homes will be greater than the total traffic of Internet in 1995
  • 11) New services in the cloud: “ Your Desktop Wherever You Want”
  • 12) Social Networks revenues will grow more than 4-fold from 2010 to 2015
  • 13) By 2015, it is expected that 500 million people worldwide use their mobiles as metro and bus tickets
  • 14) MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) is expected to reach 20.000 million dollar by 2015
  • 15) It is expected that in 2015 it will exist 2,5 Internet connected devices per inhabitants worldwide

neolabels.com

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