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robertogreco : intel   12

Web Design - The First 100 Years
"Today I hope to persuade you that the same thing that happened to aviation is happening with the Internet. Here we are, fifty years into the computer revolution, at what feels like our moment of greatest progress. The outlines of the future are clear, and oh boy is it futuristic.

But we're running into physical and economic barriers that aren't worth crossing.

We're starting to see that putting everything online has real and troubling social costs.

And the devices we use are becoming 'good enough', to the point where we can focus on making them cheaper, more efficient, and accessible to everyone.

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.

Unless we screw it up.

And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people."



"So while Moore's Law still technically holds—the number of transistors on a chip keeps increasing—its spirit is broken. Computers don't necessarily get faster with time. In fact, they're getting slower!

This is because we're moving from desktops to laptops, and from laptops to smartphones. Some people are threatening to move us to wristwatches.
In terms of capability, these devices are a step into the past. Compared to their desktop brethren, they have limited memory, weak processors, and barely adequate storage.

And nobody cares, because the advantages of having a portable, lightweight connected device are so great. And for the purposes of taking pictures, making calls, and surfing the internet, they've crossed the threshold of 'good enough'.

What people want from computers now is better displays, better battery life and above all, a better Internet connection.

Something similar happened with storage, where the growth rate was even faster than Moore's Law. I remember the state-of-the-art 1MB hard drive in our computer room in high school. It cost a thousand dollars.
Here's a photo of a multi-megabyte hard drive from the seventies. I like to think that the guy in the picture didn't have to put on the bunny suit, it was just what he liked to wear.

Modern hard drives are a hundred times smaller, with a hundred times the capacity, and they cost a pittance. Seagate recently released an 8TB consumer hard drive.

But again, we've chosen to go backwards by moving to solid state storage, like you find in smartphones and newer laptops. Flash storage sacrifices capacity for speed, efficiency and durability.

Or else we put our data in 'the cloud', which has vast capacity but is orders of magnitude slower.

These are the victories of good enough. This stuff is fast enough.

Intel could probably build a 20 GHz processor, just like Boeing can make a Mach 3 airliner. But they won't. There's a corrollary to Moore's law, that every time you double the number of transistors, your production costs go up. Every two years, Intel has to build a completely new factory and production line for this stuff. And the industry is turning away from super high performance, because most people don't need it.

The hardware is still improving, but it's improving along other dimensions, ones where we are already up against hard physical limits and can't use the trick of miniaturization that won us all that exponential growth.

Battery life, for example. The limits on energy density are much more severe than on processor speed. And it's really hard to make progress. So far our advances have come from making processors more efficient, not from any breakthrough in battery chemistry.

Another limit that doesn't grow exponentially is our ability to move information. There's no point in having an 8 TB hard drive if you're trying to fill it over an AT&T network. Data constraints hit us on multiple levels. There are limits on how fast cores can talk to memory, how fast the computer can talk to its peripherals, and above all how quickly computers can talk to the Internet. We can store incredible amounts of information, but we can't really move it around.

So the world of the near future is one of power constrained devices in a bandwidth-constrained environment. It's very different from the recent past, where hardware performance went up like clockwork, with more storage and faster CPUs every year.

And as designers, you should be jumping up and down with relief, because hard constraints are the midwife to good design. The past couple of decades have left us with what I call an exponential hangover.

Our industry is in complete denial that the exponential sleigh ride is over. Please, we'll do anything! Optical computing, quantum computers, whatever it takes. We'll switch from silicon to whatever you want. Just don't take our toys away.
But all this exponential growth has given us terrible habits. One of them is to discount the present.

When things are doubling, the only sane place to be is at the cutting edge. By definition, exponential growth means the thing that comes next will be equal in importance to everything that came before. So if you're not working on the next big thing, you're nothing.



A further symptom of our exponential hangover is bloat. As soon as a system shows signs of performance, developers will add enough abstraction to make it borderline unusable. Software forever remains at the limits of what people will put up with. Developers and designers together create overweight systems in hopes that the hardware will catch up in time and cover their mistakes.

We complained for years that browsers couldn't do layout and javascript consistently. As soon as that got fixed, we got busy writing libraries that reimplemented the browser within itself, only slower.

It's 2014, and consider one hot blogging site, Medium. On a late-model computer it takes me ten seconds for a Medium page (which is literally a formatted text file) to load and render. This experience was faster in the sixties.

The web is full of these abuses, extravagant animations and so on, forever a step ahead of the hardware, waiting for it to catch up.

This exponential hangover leads to a feeling of exponential despair.

What's the point of pouring real effort into something that is going to disappear or transform in just a few months? The restless sense of excitement we feel that something new may be around the corner also brings with it a hopelessness about whatever we are working on now, and a dread that we are missing out on the next big thing.

The other part of our exponential hangover is how we build our businesses. The cult of growth denies the idea that you can build anything useful or helpful unless you're prepared to bring it to so-called "Internet scale". There's no point in opening a lemonade stand unless you're prepared to take on PepsiCo.

I always thought that things should go the other way. Once you remove the barriers of distance, there's room for all sorts of crazy niche products to find a little market online. People can eke out a living that would not be possible in the physical world. Venture capital has its place, as a useful way to fund long-shot projects, but not everything fits in that mold.

The cult of growth has led us to a sterile, centralized web. And having burned through all the easy ideas within our industry, we're convinced that it's our manifest destiny to start disrupting everyone else.

I think it's time to ask ourselves a very designy question: "What is the web actually for?"
I will argue that there are three competing visions of the web right now. The one we settle on will determine whether the idiosyncratic, fun Internet of today can survive.



Vision 1: CONNECT KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE, AND CATS.

This is the correct vision.



Vision 2: FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE

This is the prevailing vision in Silicon Valley.



Vision 3: BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN CONSTRUCTION

This is the insane vision. I'm a little embarrassed to talk about it, because it's so stupid. But circumstances compel me.



There's a William Gibson quote that Tim O'Reilly likes to repeat: "the future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet."

O'Reilly takes this to mean that if we surround ourselves with the right people, it can give us a sneak peek at coming attractions.

I like to interpret this quote differently, as a call to action. Rather than waiting passively for technology to change the world, let's see how much we can do with what we already have.

Let's reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they've imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers.

The Web belongs to us all, and those of us in this room are going to spend the rest of our lives working there. So we need to make it our home.

We live in a world now where not millions but billions of people work in rice fields, textile factories, where children grow up in appalling poverty. Of those billions, how many are the greatest minds of our time? How many deserve better than they get? What if instead of dreaming about changing the world with tomorrow's technology, we used today's technology and let the world change us? Why do we need to obsess on artificial intelligence, when we're wasting so much natural intelligence?


When I talk about a hundred years of web design, I mean it as a challenge. There's no law that says that things are guaranteed to keep getting better.

The web we have right now is beautiful. It shatters the tyranny of distance. It opens the libraries of the world to you. It gives you a way to bear witness to people half a world away, in your own words. It is full of cats. We built it by accident, yet already we're taking it for granted. We should fight to keep it! "
technology  web  webdesign  internet  culture  design  history  aviation  airplanes  planes  2014  constraints  growth  singularity  scale  webdev  siliconvalley  technosolutionism  boeing  intel  microsoft  cloud  raykurzweil  elonmusk  williamgibson  inequality  mooreslaw  timoreilly  software  bloat  progress  present  future  manifestdestiny 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
prosthetic knowledge — Intel Compute Stick Announced today - a fully...
"Intel Compute Stick

Announced today - a fully working computer the size of a USB stick which just plugs into an HDMI port of a display:

The Intel® Compute Stick is a new generation compute-on-a-stick device that’s ready-to-go out-of–the-box and offers the performance, quality, and value you expect from Intel. Pre-installed with Windows 8.1* or Linux, get a complete experience on an ultra-small, power-efficient device that is just four inches long, yet packs the power and reliability of a quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor, with built-in wireless connectivity, on-board storage, and a micro SD card slot for additional storage. It’s everything you love about your desktop computer in a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

Computers are cheaper and smaller now - whilst it doesn’t appear to feature any specific graphical card for media capabilities, I’m sure there could be useful applications for tech arts (removing the need of a laptop)

More Here [http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/compute-stick/intel-compute-stick.html ]"

[See also: http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/07/intel-compute-stick/

"Your Chromecast may be able to play Netflix, but can it play Crysis? Intel's HDMI Compute Stick probably can't either, but the tiny device does have enough power to run Windows 8.1 apps on your TV. Intel has rather impressively crammed in a quad-core Atom CPU, 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, along with a USB port, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support and a mini-USB connector for power (HDMI power will come later). "But why?" you might ask. Intel sees it as a low-priced computer or (pricey) media stick, or even a thin-client device for companies. To up the crazy factor, it may eventually launch a much zippier Core M version. The Windows version will run $149, and if that seems a bit much, a 1GB RAM/8GB memory Linux version is priced at $89. Both will arrive in March."]
intel  computers  hotswapping  windows8  computing  2015  thinclients 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview With Genevieve Bell - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
"There's something in it that you recognize as being a kind of truth. The early ideology of the Internet was about radical transparency, free information, and the sense that the consequences of that would be this sort of massive social upheaval. I sometimes think the more-interesting things are the really mundane, banal things that the Internet and digital technologies are now part of: everything from how we balance our checkbooks to how we arrange our romantic lives to how we insure that there's still a paper that gets delivered to our houses every two weeks. I'm fascinated by that piece. And the ways in which the Internet has become not just part of our romantic lives but also our spiritual and religious ones, and clearly it's part of our political landscape."

"We've been in a decade of dematerialization, all the markers of identity. You and I, when we were younger, knew how to talk about ourselves, to ourselves and others, through physical stuff--music, the books on our shelves…"
society  fear  culture  web  internet  dematerialization  haptics  tactility  japan  robots  3dprinting  geography  intel  genevievebell  alexismadrigal  2012  technology 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Think before wiping that whiteboard - FT.com
"A few years ago, Intel, the US technology giant, permitted a couple of social anthropologists to explore its Seattle offices. The two researchers, Dawn Nafus and Ken Anderson, duly started observing the rituals of everyday life in Intel’s corporate “jungle”, in much the same way that anthropologists might study the social life of an Amazonian tribe, say, or a far-flung Indian village.

However, there was a twist; instead of simply looking at how Intel made products, or how the staff related to each other, Nafus and Anderson focused on Intel’s “project rooms” as their “field-site”. More specifically, they watched how different Intel employees and researchers (including other ethnographers) used whiteboards, colourful charts, photographs and graphs to convey company messages, stimulate debate – and “brainstorm” innovative ideas."
via:hrheingold  intel  observation  anthropology  howwework  innovation  whiteboards  postits  post-its  brainstorming  ideas  workspace  permanence  powerpoint  projectbasedlearning  projects  ethnography  2011  workspaces  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Why Microsoft and Intel tried to kill the XO $100 laptop - Times Online
"Nicholas Negroponte had a vision: to build a $100 laptop and give away millions to educate the world’s poorest children. And then the fat-cat multinationals got scared and broke it... "
olpc  microsoft  intel  capitalism  competition  negroponte  linux  laptops  education  technology  economics  business  opensource  mit 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Intel: Human and computer intelligence will merge in 40 years
"Most aspects of our lives, in fact, will be very different as we close in on the year 2050. Computing will be less about launching applications and more about living lives in which computers are inextricably woven into our daily activities."
everyware  future  intelligence  singularity  via:preoccupations  metaverse  ubicomp  virtualworlds  ai  computing  intel 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Negroponte: "We're the World Food Program and they're McDonald's"
"Commoditization has worked great for the PC. Why should the OLPC not make this work in its favor?"
olpc  intel 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Charlie's Diary: Commoditizing our future
"A naive soul with no prior experience of consumer capitalism might ask why, instead of doubling in power, the manufacturers don’t concentrate on cutting prices? But that’s not how the industry worked. Until now."
computers  computing  mooreslaw  technology  eeepc  asus  laptops  olpc  economics  hardware  intel  microsoft  business  trends  gamechanging 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Intel admits tech can be tedious | The Register
"Bell is a "resident anthropologist" at Intel, who has conducted years of research into everyday people's attitudes about technology. Her finding is that people are frequently looking for a respite."
anthropology  mobile  phones  technology  intel  research  society  people  gadgets  communication 
march 2007 by robertogreco

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