My latest Guardian column, Privacy technology everyone can use would make us all more secure, makes the case for privacy technology as something that anyone can — and should use, discussing the work being done by the charitable Simply Secure foundation that launches today (site is not yet up as of this writing), with the mandate to create usable interfaces to cryptographic tools, and to teach crypto developers how to make their tools accessible to non-technical people.
Hugh sez, “This school in Bangladesh has tunnels for reading and playing and sunny, colorful porches. They can be built by hand by the people of the village (including the kids who will attend). The young designer, Anna Heringer, is a finalist for the Curry Stone Design Prize, given to individuals or groups for design solutions that addresses social justice.”
And for the first time, through the use of a “probabilistic” statistical method, the Science paper establishes a range of uncertainty around its central estimate-9.6 billion Earthlings in 2050, 10.9 billion by…
A pretty good sketch of a transforming future from McKinsey and some thoughts on the management challenges:
It would be easy, though, for organizations and leaders to become frozen by the magnitude of the changes under way or to tackle them on the basis of outdated intuition. Taking the long view may help. In 1930, the great British economist John Maynard Keynes boldly predicted that 100 years on, the standard of living in progressive countries would be four to eight times higher. As it turned out, the upper end of his optimistic expectation turned out to be closer to the truth. Those who understand the depth, breadth, and radical nature of the change and opportunity that’s on the way will be best able to reset their intuitions accordingly, shape this new world, and thrive.
There’s widespread consensus that the best cosplayers at this year’s Dragoncon were the people who dressed up in bodysuits patterned after the notoriously bizarre institutional carpet at the Atlanta Marriott hotel, one of the event’s venues. But when one of the cosplayers offered to supply carpet-camo to other attendees, Couristan Inc (the company that designed the carpet) sent them a legal threat.
A study published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a “downvote” button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters.
Doubleclick co-founder Kevin O’Connor’s new business is a company called Find the Best, and it’s attracted a legal threat from a patent troll called Lumen View, who assert a patent over “multilateral decision making” (it appears they’ve collected some big paydays from various dating and…
Ed writes, “Here’s an ambitious short film I made for the Royal Institution with evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey — it explores the problems in understanding human consciousness particularly in explaining how its seemingly magical qualities arise from the physical matter of the brain.”
Miss Cakehead writes, “A macbre preview of some ‘treats’ which will be sold in Miss Cakehead’s infamous Eat Your Heart Out Halloween pop up cake shop in London - the theme for 2013 being ‘Feed The Beast’. Undoubtably these rum filled chocolate body parts make the world’s most disturbing liqueur chocolates, and there is much much worse to come!”
“A designer must project forward into a potential future to launch an artifact that will, if all goes right, transform a near present or rewrite the future.”—Jamer Hunt, “Prototyping the Social: Temporality and Speculative Futures at the Intersection of Design and Culture” (via shoutsandmumbles)
I’m attending Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this week, and my expectations are hedged by my experiences. Yes, for every Yammer — a company whose value proposition was immediately obvious to me, and who went on to a $1.3B acquisition by Microsoft — there are dozens of would-be world…