Archive pour la catégorie ‘Miscellanées

People’s internet: the case of Russian forest fires

Vendredi 20 août 2010

Russia is not China and it is not Iran: although the freedom of speech in mass media is restricted and the media itself is rigorously controlled, Russia is officially still a democracy. This means the country cannot block the access to community websites when a problem arises, which means that the citizens will protest or take action when the government fails to.
The past few weeks Russia has experienced a severe heat wave, causing its vast forests to burn. Whole villages were annihilated and Moscow itself disappeared for days behind a heavy smoke curtain. Already in the beginning of the calamities it turned out that the authorities were not capable to protect the forests and the people adequately. So, after the first protests, the people started organizing themselves.
Online communities were created to coordinate volunteer efforts: to extinguish the fires, to help the professional fire fighters and those who have lost their homes. This movement was lead by several bloggers. Thanks to « livejournals« , popular in Russia, many Moscovites, sick of inhaling smoke, went to fight the fires themselves or started collecting money, clothing and equipment. All these efforts were coordinated through blogs, Facebook and Twitter, with detailed reports and maps.
Besides getting the situation under control this citizen initiative also has another, more long term result: proving where and how the government failed. Those responsible will have a hard time avoiding it. fires

Visualisation de données : économies d’énergie

Lundi 10 mai 2010

Je vous parlais récemment des résultats d’une étude sur la santé et la performance au travail dans un format très agréable.

Cette fois-ci, GE ré-édite l’expérience de visualisation de données pour les économies d’énergies.



L’agence Pentagram qui a réalisé ce travail entre un peu plus dans les détails.

Traveling in space? Done it. Traveling in time next.

Mercredi 6 janvier 2010

A while ago I have written about a Web service called Panoramio, allowing you to virtually visit the places on Earth by attaching user photographs to particular coordinates.
Google Streetview is an even more advanced way of virtually walking through places, except that not every place is so well documented as we would like it to be. But it definitely has an enchanting effect when, before traveling to some place you can actually see the building in which you are going to stay, up close, and even « walk » around it.
Now here is an online community, which not only collects photographs and pins them to a particular spot, but actually collects photographs of that place in the past. This is a Russian website called « Old Photographs of Moscow« . It uses a Google map and a community of passionate photo collectors who try to recreate the days bygone of their city. For each place, to which photographs are attached, the user can see them chronologically (« earlier » and « later » photos).
Moscow-photos Now I am waiting for a service, in which you could not only « walk » through a street in an unfamiliar city but actually travel back in the history of that same street. Wouldn’t that be something. For instance, a certain place in old Moscow would look like this:


Signalisation tricolore : Comment mieux patienter

Mardi 1 décembre 2009

Voici un concept original pour vous indiquer le temps restant à patienter au feu rouge. De quoi limiter l’énervement quelques fois… Vous savez quand le feu tarde à passer au vert, surtout quand vous êtes en retard. :-)


via yankodesign

Le fabuleux destin de Google en vidéo

Mercredi 28 octobre 2009

Petite vidéo qui retrace le bel essor de cette entreprise qui commença avec un moteur de recherche, puis des applications web, des applications desktop avec Chrome ; un sytème d’exploitation mobile avec Android et aujourd’hui un logiciel GPS. Mais jusqu’où ils vont aller comme ça…

Interface tactile de machine à café.

Mardi 27 octobre 2009

Attention, risque de queue à la machine à café… Voilà une proposition pour secouer la fourmilière des interfaces de machines à café qui semblent ne pas avoir évoluées depuis 25 ans.


La BeMoved, qui ne serait pas destinée à être commercialisé selon Douwe Egberts

Mémoire collective et communication humaine

Jeudi 22 octobre 2009

Voici une jolie initiative, magnifiquement exécutée avec l’API de twitter, pour raviver la mémoire collective autour de la chute du mur de Berlin.


L’ironie fait qu’aujourd’hui chacun possède son mur (« wall ») sur Facebook pour communiquer avec ses proches et que le souvenir de la chute du mur nous est lui aussi rappelé avec un mur virtuel.
Le statut des murs a donc changé au XIXème siècle. ;-)

Le design d’interaction et d’interface appliqué à l’élevage

Vendredi 28 août 2009

Copier coller | Copy and clone from louis rigaud on Vimeo.

Par louis rigaud

Augmented reality – but for whom?

Mercredi 15 juillet 2009

A Dutch startup Layar is introducing the « world’s first mobile augmented reality browser ». In this video you can see what this browser will do (for Android and HTC phones). Layar’s initiative is a product of collaboration between several partners, known as content providers, among them a real-estate firm, an insurance company and a bank. When you browse your augmented reality you are therefore informed on houses for sale and rent, ATM machines in the neighborhood (of the bank in question) and… well, insurance company offices. In Amsterdam, on an ordinary day, when cycling along a canal on your typically Dutch « grandma bicycle » one of the things you might want to know about the reality around you is indeed the closest place to have a health insurance.
This brings to mind the following question. If this is to be the future model for augmented reality, it will mean that the reality will not only be augmented by information on your surroundings but also by a very substantial amount of advertisement. Does this really make such a browser attractive?
This said, finding a place to live in the small and over-populated city of Amsterdam is a difficult task and an augmented reality browser allowing you to see the available property right along your daily cycling route might just be THE killer application.
Read more (in French): Réalité augmentée, le nouvel eldorado des smartphones, by Fred Cavazza

The curious case of Chinese Republic

Mercredi 3 juin 2009

I do not understand China. Of course, I would have to first go there to try to understand it, but I don’t understand how it can work the way it works based on the information I read about it. I happened to read this  article on Techcruch: Why China Isn’t “The Next Silicon Valley”. It gives a very comprehensible analysis of the current state of technological and commercial development in China, stating that the phases through which the US went gradually (« …the television and media studios build out of the 1950s, the greed of the 1980s, the dot com bubble, the build out of physical and IT infrastructure, current Web 2.0 and CleanTech innovation »), China is now going through at once. Which inevitably forces the Chinese, who are a very adaptable and inventive nation, to find ways of earning money within multiple constraints and develop models that work in that – for us – crazy world. « No one assumes anyone will buy a CD, so they just look for other ways to make money.  » They don’t have the luxury of insisting on the old ways, as big Western studios do. They don’t have the old ways. There every way is new.

But this is not what makes China incomprehensible for me. It is this (also thank to Techcrunch): China shuts down Twitter and Bing in lead up to Tiananmen anniversary. Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Bing are inaccessible as of yesterday. The government chooses to shut them down to avoid access to and spreading of information on politically sensitive matters.

These two notions, one of a wildly flourishing capitalism and the dictatorial communist structure of cutting off the information arteries, what makes China incomprehensible for me. You see, I am from the old paradigm. Roughly half of my life I spent in a communist country and the other half in highly developed democratic European countries. For me cutting off Web access and advanced economical development just do not go together. For me openness equals economical growth and closeness equals economical stagnation, brain drain and suffocation.

Once I had a chance to ask a Chinese colleague this question. She replied that she and the people she knew concentrated on economical development (and their personal one) and ignored the political context. They went about their business and let the government be what it is. I suppose this is the only way to survive – for now – this schizophrenia.