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The Future of Cities – Medium
[video (embedded): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOWk5yCMMs ]

"Organic Filmmaking and City Re-Imagining

What does “the future of cities” mean? To much of the developing world, it might be as simple as aspiring to having your own toilet, rather than sharing one with over 100 people. To a family in Detroit, it could mean having non-toxic drinking water. For planners and mayors, it’s about a lot of things — sustainability, economy, inclusivity, and resilience. Most of us can hope we can spend a little less time on our commutes to work and a little more time with our families. For a rich white dude up in a 50th floor penthouse, “the future of cities” might mean zipping around in a flying car while a robot jerks you off and a drone delivers your pizza. For many companies, the future of cities is simply about business and money, presented to us as buzzwords like “smart city” and “the city of tomorrow.”

I started shooting the “The Future of a Cities” as a collaboration with the The Nantucket Project, but it really took shape when hundreds of people around the world responded to a scrappy video I made asking for help.

Folks of all ages, from over 75 countries, volunteered their time, thoughts, work, and footage so that I could expand the scope of the piece and connect with more people in more cities. This strategy saved me time and money, but it also clarified the video’s purpose, which inspired me to put more energy into the project in order to get it right. I was reading Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, Edward Glaeser, etc. and getting excited about their ideas — after seeing what mattered to the people I met in person and watching contributions from those I didn’t, the video gained focus and perspective.

If I hired a production services outfit to help me film Mumbai, it would actually be a point of professional pride for the employees to deliver the Mumbai they think I want to see. If some young filmmakers offer to show me around their city and shoot with me for a day, we’re operating on another level, and a very different portrait of a city emerges. In the first scenario, my local collaborators get paid and I do my best to squeeze as much work out of the time period paid for as possible. In the second, the crew accepts more responsibility but gains ownership, hopefully leaving the experience feeling more empowered.

Architect and former mayor of Curitiba Jaime Lerner famously said “if you want creativity, take a zero off your budget. If you want sustainability, take off two zeros.” It’s been my experience that this sustainability often goes hand-in-hand with humanity, and part of what I love about working with less resources and money is that it forces you to treat people like human beings. Asking someone to work with less support or equipment, or to contribute more time for less money, requires a mutual understanding between two people. If each person can empathize for the other, it’s been my experience that we’ll feel it in the work — both in the process and on screen.

Organic filmmaking requires you to keep your crew small and your footprint light. You start filming with one idea in mind, but the idea changes each day as elements you could never have anticipated inform the bigger picture. You make adjustments and pursue new storylines. You edit a few scenes, see what’s working and what’s not, then write new scenes. Shoot those, cut them in, then go back and write more. Each part of the process talks to the other. The movie teaches itself to be a better movie. Because organic is complicated, it can be tricky to defend and difficult to scale up, but because it’s cheap and low-resource, it’s easier to experiment. Learning about the self-organizing, living cities that I did on this project informed how we made the video. And looking at poorly planned urban projects reminded me of the broken yet prevailing model for making independent film in the U.S., where so many films are bound to fail — often in a way a filmmaker doesn’t recover from — before they even begin.

Jane Jacobs said that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” I’ve worked on videos for companies, for the guy in the penthouse, for nobody in particular, in the developing world, with rich people and poor people, for me, for my friends, and for artists. I’m so thankful for everybody who allowed me to make this film the way we did, and I hope the parallels between filmmaking and city building — where the stakes are so much higher — aren’t lost on anyone trying to make their city a better place. We should all be involved. The most sustainable future is a future that includes us all.

“The Future of Cities” Reading List

(There’s a longer list I discovered recently from Planetizen HERE but these are the ones I got into on this project — I’m excited to read many more)

The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser
Cities for People and Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl
The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life by Jonathan Rose(just came out — incredible)
Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life by Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World by Wade Graham
Connectography: Mapping The Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Low Life and The Other Paris by Luc Sante
A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook
Streetfight: Handbook for the Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change by Mike Lydon & Anthony Garcia
Living In The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic

“The Future of Cities” Select Interviewees:
David Hertz & Sky Source
Vicky Chan & Avoid Obvious Architects
Carlo Ratti: Director, MIT Senseable City Lab Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati
Edward Glaeser: Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University Author of The Triumph of the City
Helle Søholt: Founding Parner & CEO, Gehl Architects
Ricky Burdett: Director, LSE Cities/Urban Age
Lauren Lockwood, Chief Digital Officer, City of Boston
Pablo Viejo: Smart Cities Expert & CTO V&V Innovations, Singapore
Matias Echanove & Urbz, Mumbai
Janette Sadik-Khan: Author, Advisor, & Former NYC DOT Commissioner
Abess Makki: CEO, City Insight
Dr. Parag Khanna: Author of Connectography
Stan Gale: CEO of Gale International, Developer of Songdo IBD
Dr. Jockin Arputham: President, Slum Dwellers International
Morton Kabell: Mayor for Technical & Environmental Affairs, Copenhagen
cities  urban  urbanplanning  urbanism  bikes  biking  cars  singapore  nyc  losangeles  janejacobs  jangehl  edwardglaeser  mumbai  tokyo  regulation  jaimelerner  curitiba  nantucketproject  carloratti  vickchan  davidhertz  hellesøholt  rickyburdett  laurenlockwood  pabloviejo  matiasechanove  urbz  janettesadik-khan  abessmakki  paragkhanna  stangale  jockinarputham  slumdwellersinternational  slums  mortonkabell  urbanization  future  planning  oscarboyson  mikelydon  anthonygarcia  danielbrook  lucsante  remkoolhaas  dayansudjic  rickyburdettsethsolomonow  wadegraham  charlesmontgomery  matthewclaudeljeffspeck  jonathanrose  transportation  publictransit  transit  housing  construction  development  local  small  grassroots  technology  internet  web  online  communications  infrastructure  services  copenhagen  sidewalks  pedestrians  sharing  filmmaking  film  video  taipei  seoul  santiago  aukland  songdo  sydney  london  nairobi  venice  shenzhen  2016  sustainability  environment  population  detroit  making  manufacturing  buildings  economics  commutes  commuting 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The Shut-In Economy — On Demand — Medium
"Katherine van Ekert isn’t a shut-in, exactly, but there are only two things she ever has to run errands for any more: trash bags and saline solution. For those, she must leave her San Francisco apartment and walk two blocks to the drug store, “so woe is my life,” she tells me. (She realizes her dry humor about #firstworldproblems may not translate, and clarifies later: “Honestly, this is all tongue in cheek. We’re not spoiled brats.”) Everything else is done by app. Her husband’s office contracts with Washio. Groceries come from Instacart. “I live on Amazon,” she says, buying everything from curry leaves to a jogging suit for her dog, complete with hoodie.

She’s so partial to these services, in fact, that she’s running one of her own: A veterinarian by trade, she’s a co-founder of VetPronto, which sends an on-call vet to your house. It’s one of a half-dozen on-demand services in the current batch at Y Combinator, the startup factory, including a marijuana delivery app called Meadow (“You laugh, but they’re going to be rich,” she says). She took a look at her current clients — they skew late 20s to late 30s, and work in high-paying jobs: “The kinds of people who use a lot of on demand services and hang out on Yelp a lot ☺”

Basically, people a lot like herself. That’s the common wisdom: the apps are created by the urban young for the needs of urban young. The potential of delivery with a swipe of the finger is exciting for van Ekert, who grew up without such services in Sydney and recently arrived in wired San Francisco. “I’m just milking this city for all it’s worth,” she says. “I was talking to my father on Skype the other day. He asked, ‘Don’t you miss a casual stroll to the shop?’ Everything we do now is time-limited, and you do everything with intention. There’s not time to stroll anywhere.”

Suddenly, for people like van Ekert, the end of chores is here. After hours, you’re free from dirty laundry and dishes. (TaskRabbit’s ad rolls by me on a bus: “Buy yourself time — literally.”)

So here’s the big question. What does she, or you, or any of us do with all this time we’re buying? Binge on Netflix shows? Go for a run? Van Ekert’s answer: “It’s more to dedicate more time to working.”"



"In many ways, social class can be defined by the chores you don’t do. The rich have personal assistants, butlers, cooks, drivers. The middle class largely do their own errands — with the occasional babysitter, pizza boy, maybe a cleaner. The poor do their own chores, and the chores of other people.

Then came on-demand’s disruptive influence. The luxuries usually afforded to one-percenters now stretch to the urban upper-middle class, or so the technology industry cheers. But can you democratize the province of the rich without getting a new class acting, well, entitled? My parents made me put away the dishes not to “outsource” their workload — they could have done it faster. They did it so I wouldn’t turn out to be a brat.

Now an entire generation is not just being served: It’s having to work out what it means when you buy someone to do it for you.

Katy Rogers is a 29-year-old account director at a social startup, and a regular with laundry and grocery apps. But when the Homejoy app maid shows up at her apartment, she feels uncomfortable. The class implications of someone cleaning her toilet are jarring. “I feel like it’s a little bit awkward. I’m thinking, what do these people think of me?” She also wonders about the workers. Rogers wishes the companies were a bit more transparent about the payment structure. (“Some of them say there’s no need to tip. I’m like why? How much are they actually going to earn?”)

While Dungeon & Dragons grabbed his dinner eagerly, Rogers has found herself tinkering with how exactly to interact with her hired help. By the end of our chat, it seemed as if she had almost talked herself out of the whole enterprise.“Maybe that’s something I should just do myself.”

Who cleaned her house growing up? I ask.

“My mom did everything.”

That’s the other side of this, the gender one. The errands being served up by the on-demand economy — cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries, runs to the post office — all were all once, and in many places still are, the jobs of stay-at-home mothers. Even now, when women outnumber men in the formal workplace, they continue to bear the brunt of that invisible domestic work, often for many, many hours a week. So women — those who can afford it, at least — have the most to win from passing that load on to somebody else.

So it’s not a surprise that 60 percent of Alfred’s clients are female. One mother I know told me she has no time to cook while wrangling two kids under two, so she uses EAT24. Uber is an easy way to get out of the house with an infant, another told me, saying the driver helped her strap the baby seat into the black sedan.

The invisible work handed off by some women simply becomes visible — oftentimes for other, less wealthy women. Despite the name, 75 percent of “Alfreds” are women."



"The SherpaVentures report didn’t mention shut-ins. It did, however, point out that grocery delivery has taken off massively in hyper-dense developing countries, where huge income disparities allow upper-middle-class citizens to turn the rest of the workforce into their personal delivery network. In Mexico City, the study noted, 20 percent of grocery orders are made remotely.

As income inequality increases, the shut-in model is tailor-made for the new polarized extremes.

After all, either you’re behind the door, receiving your dinner in the tower. Or you’re like the food delivery guy who, while checking in with the concierge, said, “This is my dream place to live.” He’s the opposite of a shut-in. He’s stuck outside, hustling."
sharingeconomy  economics  labor  laurensmiley  2015  inequality  serfdom  services  serviceindustry  technology  uber  class  work 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The End Of Apps As We Know Them - Inside Intercom
"The experience of our primary mobile screen being a bank of app icons that lead to independent destinations is dying. And that changes what we need to design and build.

How we experience content via connected devices – laptops, phones, tablets, wearables – is undergoing a dramatic change. The idea of an app as an independent destination is becoming less important, and the idea of an app as a publishing tool, with related notifications that contain content and actions, is becoming more important. This will change what we design, and change our product strategy.

NO MORE SCREENS FULL OF APP ICONS

This is such a paradigm shift it requires plenty of explaining. Whilst it may not transpire exactly as I’m about to describe, there is no doubt what we have today — screens of apps — is going to dramatically change. Bear with me as I run through the context.

The idea of having a screen full of icons, representing independent apps, that need to be opened to experience them, is making less and less sense. The idea that these apps sit in the background, pushing content into a central experience, is making more and more sense. That central experience may be something that looks like a notification centre today, or something similar to Google Now, or something entirely new.

The primary design pattern here is cards. Critically it’s not cards as a simple interaction design pattern for an apps content, but as containers for content that can come from any app. This distinction may appear subtle at first glance, but it’s far from it. To understand it, and chart the trajectory, we need to quickly run through two things.

1. Designing systems not destinations

I covered this topic in detail in a previous post, so I’ll quickly summarise here. Most of us building software are no longer designing destinations to drive people to. That was the dominant pattern for a version of the Internet that is disappearing fast. In a world of many different screens and devices, content needs to be broken down into atomic units so that it can work agnostic of the screen size or technology platform. For example, Facebook is not a website or an app. It is an eco-system of objects (people, photos, videos, comments, businesses, brands, etc.) that are aggregated in many different ways through people’s newsfeeds, timelines and pages, and delivered to a range of devices, some of which haven’t even been invented yet. So Facebook is not a set of webpages, or screens in an app. It’s a system of objects, and relationships between them.

2. Recent changes to iOS and Android notifications

Things changed with iOS 8 and Android KitKat. Notifications used to be signposts to go to other places. A notification to tell you to open an app. To open a destination.

But that is changing fast. For a while now, you can take action directly in Android notifications. Sometimes that takes you to that action in the app itself, but sometimes you can do the action directly, meaning that you don’t need to open the app at all.



We’ve moved pretty quickly from notifications as signposts, to containers (cards) that include content, and actions on that content."

[Follow-up post: “It's not the end of apps”
http://blog.intercom.io/its-not-the-end-of-apps/ ]
applications  design  ux  mobile  phones  smarthphones  interface  2015  pauladams  content  interaction  ios  android  services  software  notification  cards 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector | Science | The Guardian
"Hidden in these everyday, mundane interactions are different moral or ethical questions about the future of AI: if a job is affected but not taken over by a robot, how and when does the new system interact with a consumer? Is it ok to turn human social intelligence – managing a difficult customer – into a commodity? Is it ok that a decision lies with a handheld device, while the human is just a mouthpiece?

What does this mean for the second wave robot economy?

Mike Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey from Oxford University have studied the risk of automation in the US economy, concluding that 47 per cent of jobs in the current workforce are at high risk of computerisation. They come to this conclusion by looking for jobs that can’t be automated; the 47 per cent is what’s left over. In their model, there are three bottlenecks that prevent automation:
…occupations that involve complex perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two.


These are bottlenecks which technological advances will find it hard to overcome. The authors predict that the next decade will see steps forward in the algorithms that automate cognitive tasks, including cutting edge techniques like machine learning, artificial intelligence and mobile robotics.

This second wave of the robot economy follows a first wave that automated manufacturing and repetitive manual tasks. So many of the desk jobs that our parents and grandparents would have done, like typing and manual data entry, are now becoming obsolete. And according to Osborne and Frey, some of the jobs that are most at risk of automation, were formerly present in droves at many city offices. This includes the likes of accountants, legal clerks and book keepers - dying breeds, and casualties of the robot economy. But Osborne and Frey think that tasks like navigating complex environments, creative thinking and social influence and persuasion will not be automated as part of these advances.

Some of my colleagues are interested in the second kind of task – creativity. They are working with Osborne and Frey to understand how resistant the creative economy is to automation: how many jobs in the creative economy involve truly creative tasks (if that’s not tautologous). Preliminary results look pretty good for creative occupations. 87 per cent are at low or no risk of automation.

Maybe service occupations where persuasion and influence are important will be saved too. The bus ticket inspector requires exactly the kind of social intelligence that Osborne and Frey argue a machine cannot replicate. But this doesn’t take into account the subtleties I witnessed on the top deck of the 76. It may not be job titles or wages that are most affected by the day-to-day of a robot economy. Automation of parts of a job, or of the context that someone works in, means that jobs not taken by machines are fundamentally changed in other ways. We may become slaves to hardwired decision-making systems.

To avoid this, we need to design human-machine jobs with the humans who will be part of them. I met Carla Brodley, Computer Scientist from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in the US a few months ago. She has applies advanced computing techniques to med­ical imaging, diagnosis and neu­ro­science. Brodley has publicly argued that the most interesting problems for machine learning come from real world uses of these computational techniques. She says the tough bit of her job is knowing when and how to bring the expert - doctor, radiologist, scientist - into the design of the algorithm. But she is avid that the success of her work depends entirely on this kind of user-led computational design. We need to find a Brodley for the bus ticket inspector."

[via: "'The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector' @pesska on why we need user-led computational design."
https://twitter.com/Superflux/status/567745423163789312 ]
automation  robots  2015  design  jessicabland  computationaldesign  technology  london  mikeosborne  carlbenediktfrey  computerization  economics  services  socialintelligence  ai  artificialintelligence 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Library as Infrastructure
"For millennia libraries have acquired resources, organized them, preserved them and made them accessible (or not) to patrons. But the forms of those resources have changed — from scrolls and codices; to LPs and LaserDiscs; to e-books, electronic databases and open data sets. Libraries have had at least to comprehend, if not become a key node within, evolving systems of media production and distribution. Consider the medieval scriptoria where manuscripts were produced; the evolution of the publishing industry and book trade after Gutenberg; the rise of information technology and its webs of wires, protocols and regulations. 1 At every stage, the contexts — spatial, political, economic, cultural — in which libraries function have shifted; so they are continuously reinventing themselves and the means by which they provide those vital information services.

Libraries have also assumed a host of ever-changing social and symbolic functions. They have been expected to symbolize the eminence of a ruler or state, to integrally link “knowledge” and “power” — and, more recently, to serve as “community centers,” “public squares” or “think tanks.” Even those seemingly modern metaphors have deep histories. The ancient Library of Alexandria was a prototypical think tank, 2 and the early Carnegie buildings of the 1880s were community centers with swimming pools and public baths, bowling alleys, billiard rooms, even rifle ranges, as well as book stacks. 3 As the Carnegie funding program expanded internationally — to more than 2,500 libraries worldwide — secretary James Bertram standardized the design in his 1911 pamphlet “Notes on the Erection of Library Buildings,” which offered grantees a choice of six models, believed to be the work of architect Edward Tilton. Notably, they all included a lecture room.

In short, the library has always been a place where informational and social infrastructures intersect within a physical infrastructure that (ideally) supports that program.

Now we are seeing the rise of a new metaphor: the library as “platform” — a buzzy word that refers to a base upon which developers create new applications, technologies and processes. In an influential 2012 article in Library Journal, David Weinberger proposed that we think of libraries as “open platforms” — not only for the creation of software, but also for the development of knowledge and community. 4 Weinberger argued that libraries should open up their entire collections, all their metadata, and any technologies they’ve created, and allow anyone to build new products and services on top of that foundation. The platform model, he wrote, “focuses our attention away from the provisioning of resources to the foment” — the “messy, rich networks of people and ideas” — that “those resources engender.” Thus the ancient Library of Alexandria, part of a larger museum with botanical gardens, laboratories, living quarters and dining halls, was a platform not only for the translation and copying of myriad texts and the compilation of a magnificent collection, but also for the launch of works by Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes and their peers."



"Partly because of their skill in reaching populations that others miss, libraries have recently reported record circulation and visitation, despite severe budget cuts, decreased hours and the threatened closure or sale of “underperforming” branches. 9 Meanwhile the Pew Research Center has released a series of studies about the materials and services Americans want their libraries to provide. Among the findings: 90 percent of respondents say the closure of their local public library would have an impact on their community, and 63 percent describe that impact as “major.”"



"Again, we need to look to the infrastructural ecology — the larger network of public services and knowledge institutions of which each library is a part. How might towns, cities and regions assess what their various public (and private) institutions are uniquely qualified and sufficiently resourced to do, and then deploy those resources most effectively? Should we regard the library as the territory of the civic mind and ask other social services to attend to the civic body? The assignment of social responsibility isn’t so black and white — nor are the boundaries between mind and body, cognition and affect — but libraries do need to collaborate with other institutions to determine how they leverage the resources of the infrastructural ecology to serve their publics, with each institution and organization contributing what it’s best equipped to contribute — and each operating with a clear sense of its mission and obligation."



"Libraries need to stay focused on their long-term cultural goals — which should hold true regardless of what Google decides to do tomorrow — and on their place within the larger infrastructural ecology. They also need to consider how their various infrastructural identities map onto each other, or don’t. Can an institution whose technical and physical infrastructure is governed by the pursuit of innovation also fulfill its obligations as a social infrastructure serving the disenfranchised? What ethics are embodied in the single-minded pursuit of “the latest” technologies, or the equation of learning with entrepreneurialism?

As Zadie Smith argued beautifully in the New York Review of Books, we risk losing the library’s role as a “different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.” Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, offered an equally eloquent plea for the library as a space of exception:
Libraries are not, or at least should not be, engines of productivity. If anything, they should slow people down and seduce them with the unexpected, the irrelevant, the odd and the unexplainable. Productivity is a destructive way to justify the individual’s value in a system that is naturally communal, not an individualistic or entrepreneurial zero-sum game to be won by the most industrious.


Libraries, she argued, “will always be at a disadvantage” to Google and Amazon because they value privacy; they refuse to exploit users’ private data to improve the search experience. Yet libraries’ failure to compete in efficiency is what affords them the opportunity to offer a “different kind of social reality.” I’d venture that there is room for entrepreneurial learning in the library, but there also has to be room for that alternate reality where knowledge needn’t have monetary value, where learning isn’t driven by a profit motive. We can accommodate both spaces for entrepreneurship and spaces of exception, provided the institution has a strong epistemic framing that encompasses both. This means that the library needs to know how to read itself as a social-technical-intellectual infrastructure."



"In libraries like BiblioTech — and the Digital Public Library of America — the collection itself is off-site. Do patrons wonder where, exactly, all those books and periodicals and cloud-based materials live? What’s under, or floating above, the “platform”? Do they think about the algorithms that lead them to particular library materials, and the conduits and protocols through which they access them? Do they consider what it means to supplant bookstacks with server stacks — whose metal racks we can’t kick, lights we can’t adjust, knobs we can’t fiddle with? Do they think about the librarians negotiating access licenses and adding metadata to “digital assets,” or the engineers maintaining the servers? With the increasing recession of these technical infrastructures — and the human labor that supports them — further off-site, behind the interface, deeper inside the black box, how can we understand the ways in which those structures structure our intellect and sociality?

We need to develop — both among library patrons and librarians themselves — new critical capacities to understand the distributed physical, technical and social architectures that scaffold our institutions of knowledge and program our values. And we must consider where those infrastructures intersect — where they should be, and perhaps aren’t, mutually reinforcing one another. When do our social obligations compromise our intellectual aspirations, or vice versa? And when do those social or intellectual aspirations for the library exceed — or fail to fully exploit — the capacities of our architectural and technological infrastructures? Ultimately, we need to ensure that we have a strong epistemological framework — a narrative that explains how the library promotes learning and stewards knowledge — so that everything hangs together, so there’s some institutional coherence. We need to sync the library’s intersecting infrastructures so that they work together to support our shared intellectual and ethical goals."
shannonmattern  2014  libraries  infrastructure  access  accessibility  services  government  civics  librarians  information  ethics  community  makerspaces  privacy  safety  learning  openstudioproject  education  lcproject  zadiesmith  barbarafister  seattle  nyc  pittsburgh  culture  google  neoliberalism  knowledge  diversity  inequality  coworking  brooklyn  nypl  washingtondc  architecture  design  hackerlabs  hackerspaces  annebalsamo  technology  chicago  ncsu  books  mexicocity  mexicodf  davidadjaye  social  socialinfrastructure  ala  intellectualfreedom  freedom  democracy  publicgood  public  lifelonglearning  saltlakecity  marellusturner  partnerships  toyoito  refuge  cities  ericklinenberg  economics  amazon  disparity  mediaproduction  readwrite  melvildewey  df 
december 2014 by robertogreco
A broader tax base, it is thought, will insure... • see things differently
"A broader tax base, it is thought, will insure that wealthy suburbanites pay for essential services needed by the poor. No evidence is available to indicate that this actually happens in large cities.

Poor neighborhoods receiving ”services” which are not tailored to their needs may not be better off when increased resources are allocated to their neighborhood. In large collective consumption units, residents of poor neighborhoods may have even less voice about levels and types of services desired than they do in smaller-sized collective consumption units. Increasing the size of the smallest collective consumption unit to which citizens belong may not help solve problems of redistribution."

[PDF: http://socsci.colorado.edu/~mciverj/Ostrom-PG%26PC.PDF ]
elinorostrom  vincentostrom  economics  resources  colonization  imperialism  universalbasicincome  taxes  services  pverty  cities  urban  urbanism  development  democracy  redistribution  ubi 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Ello | quinn - Ethics of borders
"The tension is around the perceived problems of providing services to people, but the answer there is simple: don't provide services to non-citizens, easily enough done. You already must show ID id obtain services, which is authorized and issued by the state. The state is particularly keen on providing services to as few people as possible. so why not open borders but deny services to non-citizens? It's easy enough to turn away people at hospitals and children from schools, and even sweep up the bodies of the homeless dead, all of whom are likely to even spend what little the have on local products and business before they die or flee. All of these things are in fact done routinely all over the world. The problem is they are also detested as deranged and inhuman by the citizenry of many nations, who would like to take care of children, the sick, and the elderly. So, in order that a government doesn't face the will of its people, those who may need help must be stopped at the border. The question for a nation is simple: if humans are seeking services, is it moral to deny them? The borders make no moral difference to this question. anymore than shutting a door on a request makes the request go away. To only give services to those who then sneak in the window, and call was yourself moral for it, seems insane. If we only want to give service to "our own" we might as well face the dying and pain-ridden hoenstly.

Then there's the foundations of these services and systems of wealth. I'm typing this on an electronic device I took out of a sleeve while wearing clothes all made by people not subject to the services my nation provides, but all this labor is to my and its benefit. I mostly write words, often to criticize my nation -- why on earth am I more eligible for services than the people who make the clothes, electronics, and pick the food that benefits western nations? An accident of birth at best.

(None of this of course applies to migrant labor forces, who both must be imported but given no rights. Hence the industry of illegal immigration, which creates the fully exploitable portion of the labor force every western nation craves.)

When we think about how to better the situations of people from poor nations, we rarely suggest not exploiting them and when we talk about providing services to the poor we never talk of just providing them, where the poor are. In all cases, the governments between people won't let them, as ever, for governments' favorite excuse: their own good.

The obvious problem is that rich states can't provide services to all who need them. This may be the case, which is arguable, but not the subject of this piece. For the sake of argument, let us assume it is. So, how does one choose who to give services to? The accident of location of birth seems an odd criteria, and it is. The real criteria this describes is similarity or genetic relationship to the ruling class, for which location is a reasonably proxy. It's also an obviously amoral criteria: be related to strongmen or apetheir culture, and you may eat and learn and live. Another calculus, a growing one, is extractative: award services to those most likely to generate tax and draftees. But in this phase of history governments are more interest in tax than draftees, and that changes the extractive "in-group" -- fewer soldiers, more elites. Tax is not labor, tax is most likely to come from people who are, on purpose or by accident, the beneficiaries of global slave labor. These are the people governments want in their borders.

Is any of this good? I'd argue no -- it puts extractive lives, be they exploiting labor or destroying the environment -- above all other lives. The extractive class is often just as trapped as everyone else in the situation, in that the majority of them aren't amoral nihilists, only interested in cheap labor and using up the planet as fast as they can, but lack access to political change or even political education."
borders  ethics  geopolitics  2014  quinnnorton  location  genetics  services  labor  exploitation  extraction  extractiveclass  class  society  migration  immigration  rights  illegalimmigration  poverty  wealth  coincidence 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Facebook’s Gateway Drug - NYTimes.com
"Consider the role of “identity services,” the mesh of publicly issued identifications that has traditionally meant things like driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers, but has come to include things like Facebook accounts. In a short essay outlining the vision behind Internet.org, Mr. Zuckerberg says one of its goals is to offer credit and identity infrastructure “that is still nascent in many developing countries.” Such services might be of some help in developing countries. But is Facebook the best entity to provide them?"



"Any emergent social movements concerned with matters of universal and affordable connectivity — as opposed to the corporatism of Silicon Valley — should not take this premise for granted. Nor should they fall for the pseudo-humanitarian rhetoric of rights espoused by technology companies. Whenever Mark Zuckerberg says that “connectivity is a human right,” as he put it in his Internet.org essay, you should think twice before agreeing. There is, after all, little joy in obtaining free access to an empty library, or browsing a bookstore with empty pockets — which is, in effect, what Internet.org offers, while holding out the promise of robust content, if users will pay, a few cents at a time, for the privilege.

In this way, Facebook and Internet.org are following a well-trod path. As the World Bank has demonstrated, when development becomes just a means of making a buck, the losers will always be the people at the bottom. Thus, to Silicon Valley’s question of “Is Internet access a human right?” one could respond by turning the tables: What kind of “Internet,” and what kind of “access”?"
africa  facebook  global  mobile  identity  services  evgenymorozov  2012  markzuckerberg  worldbank  colonialism  internet  online  web  sliconvalley  capitalism 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Episode Nine: Everything In Silos, Forever and Ever, Amen
"Just Good Enough is bullshit. Just Good Enough means that a company doesn't have to produce a useable site that provides easily findable manuals or reference for its product, because Google will index that content eventually. Just Good Enough means I can just about use your site on my phone. Just Good Enough means that the timekeeping software that everyone in the building uses (and has to use - otherwise the entire business screeches to a halt) is only Just Not Irritating Enough to have to deal with. Just Good Enough means that you can whip up a Word document that you can save and then email to me for comment and I can open it up where it's saved in my Temporary Outlook Files and then save it as Your Document - Dan Comments.doc in my Temporary Outlook Files and then email it back to you, where you'll revise it and then send it to a project manager who will then rename it Your Document - Dan Comments - Final Feb 4 2014.doc and then email it back to me for more comments. Or where Google Docs is Just Good Enough to use single sign on so that in theory we can all use it together, but that its text formatting doesn't quite work and not everyone uses it.

It's bullshit. Just Good Enough should be offensive. Just Good Enough is the digital/software equivalent of a bridge that doesn't quite kill anyone most of the time, instead of one that actually does the fucking job. "

[…]

"This is what the threat of the consumerisation of IT is, then, to entrenched divisions and groups. It means that five years ago, the apocryphal story of someone at the BBC being quoted however many tens of thousands of pounds for a Rails server from outsourced IT deciding to, bluntly, fuck it and just stick an AWS instance on their card and expense it was the inevitable sharp end of the wedge: digital, devolved from some sort of priesthood that existed to serve itself, and instead unlocking its potential to the people who have problems that need solving now, and don't particularly care whether something is a solution or not, or has properly gone through procurement (and yes, I realize that this opens you to the possibility of a raft of 'Just Good Enoughs').

But you can't have one without the other. Leadership that reacts to teams reaching for their cards and organically using AWS or Basecamp or whatever because it's Just Good Enough and flies under the procurement radar, or reaching out to Get Stuff Done with small external groups rather than using internal resource by asking: "what's the problem here, and why are our employees choosing to react in this way rather than internally?" and fixing that internal provision of resource are the ones that are going to win. Which is, again, why GDS is building internal capability rather than external.

In a conversation with GDS's Russell Davies about this, the one comment of his that stood out was that none of this was new to those of us who've been working in digital or interactive. There was no stunning insight, no secret sauce, no magic recipe. Just that, from a leadership and organizational point of view, digital was an important concept to align around as a way of achieving their goals: and then, GDS conceived on (again, my external reckoning) with teams constructed around delivery. It was just that the will was there.

So here's the thing. (And this type of wrapping up inevitably feels like a Church of England sermon or Thought for the Day).

Siloed organisations, where digital is "over there", aren't going to succeed. At the very least, they're only going to unlock a fraction of the opportunity that's available to them. At the very worst, they'll find themselves both slowly ("oh, they've only got a few tens of thousands of users") and quickly (Blackberry, Nokia) disrupted. Runkeeper will come and eat their lunch. Netflix will become the next video network. Uber, much as I hate them for being Uber, will come along and work out that hey, digital actually can make your business of cars that move things from one place to another better for the end user. 

They're just not. 

It's just a question of how fast we get there.

My brother, when asked when video games will finally be treated as mainstream culture, used to say: "When enough people die." 

GDS is showing that we don't need people to die for digital to work. We just need leadership that wants it."

[Reference post: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2013/04/the-unit-of-delivery.html ]
danhon  2014  gov.uk  russelldavies  services  digital  organizations  technology  edtech  bbc  basecamp  problemsolving  leadership  management  siloing  culture  it  justgoodenough 
february 2014 by robertogreco
russell davies: a unit of delivery
"When I start telling advertising/marketing people about this stuff the same themes seem to come up. So let's address those:

This is not about a bunch of private sector digital experts parachuting in to save the day. (Although we might sometimes behave like that, which is bad.) I'm not sure of the metaphor but we're somewhere between a catalyst, the tip of the iceberg and in the right place at the right time. We've certainly been very lucky. We are civil servants, most of us long-time civil servants. We are building on years of work from fellow civil servants who haven't had the benefit of our mandate. And we're working with huge numbers of colleagues across government who are as talented, driven and imaginative as we are, they've just been stuck in systems that don't let that flourish. Part of our job is to help shift those systems.

This is not about comms. We're not the new COI. We don't spend money on marketing, even digital marketing. Personally I think GOV.UK will soon be a great example of a new way of thinking about that stuff ('the product is the service is the marketing') but that's a post for another day. When we do use traditional 'agency-type' comms and design skills (which we do ourselves) it's to help the service/product communicate about itself. (That probably doesn't make sense yet, I've still not found a way to explain that properly.)

There is no 'client'. This really messes with agency people's heads. Obviously we're accountable if we screw up, the website falls over, the facts are wrong or the site's unusable. But it's not an agency-type relationship where someone distant and important has to 'approve' everything. This is mostly because our chief responsibility is to our users - they approve our decisions by using or not using the services we offer them. Or by complaining about them, which they sometimes do. Also, because you just can't do Agile with a traditional client-approval methodology. That's going to be a thing agencies are going to have to deal with."



"But, what does this mean for BRANDS!!?

Nothing. Obviously.

Well, maybe a bit. Iain was kind enough, the other day, to point back at a post I wrote about working at W+K [http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/07/7_things_i_lear_1.html ]. I think there's a similar post brewing after a year and a bit of GDS. I have learnt an incredible amount here and I think there are some obvious lessons for agencies and their clients in what we've been up to.

As a tantalising teaser I'd say they are:

1. The Unit of Delivery is The Team

2. The Product Is The Service Is The Marketing

3. Digital is Not Comms, And It's Not IT, It's Your Business

And a bunch of others to be named later.

Anyway. I'll try and come up with something useful."

[See also: https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/2bfa73373a9a ]

[Update 5 Feb 2014: see Dan Hon's remarks on the same: http://tinyletter.com/danhon/letters/episode-nine-everything-in-silos-forever-and-ever-amen ]
gov.uk  wieden+kennedy  russelldavies  2013  marketing  branding  government  agile  digital  business  services  teams  teamwork 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations | Pew Internet Libraries
"Additionally, younger patrons are significantly more likely than older library visitors to use the library as a space to sit and ready, study, or consume media—some 60% of younger library patrons have done that in the past 12 months, compared with 45% of those ages 30 and older. And most younger Americans say that libraries should have completely separate locations or spaces for different services, such as children’s services, computer labs, reading spaces, and meeting rooms: 57% agree that libraries should “definitely” do this.

Along those lines, patrons and librarians in our focus groups often identified teen hangout spaces as especially important to keep separate from the main reading or lounge areas, not only to reduce noise and interruptions for other patrons, but also to give younger patrons a sense of independence and ownership. A library staff member in our online panel wrote:

“Having a separate children’s area or young adults area will cater solely to those groups and make them feel that the library is theirs. They do not have to deal with adults watching them or monitoring what book they pick or what they choose to do—it’s all about them and what they want with no judgment. Children and teens love having their own space so why not give them that at the library?”"
libraries  youth  2013  trends  hangingout  homago  services  pew  pewinternet  ebooks 
june 2013 by robertogreco
gilest.org: In defence of Flickr
"The thing with Flickr (and I say this as a declared Flickr lover) isn't that it is no longer awesome (because it most definitely is), but that it is no longer fashionable.

The web has matured a lot in recent years, to the point where websites have become brands. Brands that can advertise and market themselves, brands that work hard to influence the minds of the younger internet users. The brands want to lure people in with the promise of free stuff and social networks, in return for personal information. Which of course, having grown up with Facebook, many of today's teens and 20-somethings are perfectly happy to give away.

I know I probably sound like a moaning old grandad at this point, but: Flickr has never been like that. It offered a service, in exchange for money. That's a tried and tested way of doing things. It worked very well before the internet came along, and there's no reason why it shouldn't continue to work now.

And what a service it offer…"
gilesturnbull  marissamayer  instagram  yahoo  photography  services  2012  flickr 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Our Unpaid, Extra Shadow Work - NYTimes.com
"Doing things for one another is, in fact, an essential characteristic of a human community. Various mundane jobs were once spread around among us, and performing such small services for one another was even an aspect of civility. Those days are over. The robots are in charge now, pushing a thousand routine tasks onto each of our backs."
fatigue  work  shadowwork  2011  craiglambert  shadowchores  brain  time  urgency  economics  well-being  technology  self-service  serviceeconomy  services  menialtasks  community  interdependence  independence  individualism 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Why San Diegans Are to Blame for the City's Problems - voiceofsandiego.org: Q & As
"There are really two faces or sides to San Diego. There's the San Diego the tourists see. There's a high-tech industry that spawned the new economy by places like UCSD. That's the public face of San Diego at least in terms of the local PR machine, which is very good at getting the San Diego image out.

The reality of San Diego is on the public sector side. I think on the first page we talk about an increasingly grim and visible civic reality, which is dry rot for public services and infrastructure. That's still largely hidden. You get intimations of it like during the 2003 and 2007 fire when you suddenly realize we have very little fire protection.

The problem with San Diego is that the ocean and the sun are both our blessing and our curse. Obviously, it's a wonderful place to live in if you can afford it. But the problem is, is that it induces sort of a sense of complacency that as long as the sun comes up everything is OK."
sandiego  2011  politics  steveerie  jerrysanders  policy  finance  taxes  services  deficit  crisis  finances  california  losangeles  revenue 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Adactio: Journal—Mobilewood
"It became clear from fairly early on that simply focusing on mobile alone would be missing the bigger picture. Instead of being overwhelmed by the ever-increasing range of devices out there, we need to embrace the chaos and accept there will be even more devices—and types of devices—that we can’t even anticipate. We should embrace that. Instead of focusing on whatever this season’s model happens to be, we should be crafting our services in a robust way, striving for universal access tomorrow as well as today.

The first project to launch is a manifesto of sorts. It’s a called to arms. Or rather, it’s a call to be future friendly:

1. Acknowledge and embrace unpredictability.
2. Think and behave in a future-friendly way.
3. Help others do the same."
jeremykeith  mobile  2011  universalaccess  services  web  online  devices  design  unpredictability  future  future-friendly  uncertainty  adaptability 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Self Enhancement, INC.
"We are Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI), a nonprofit organization supporting at-risk urban youth. In 29 years, SEI has grown from a 1-week summer basketball camp to a flourishing agency serving thousands of students each year in the greater Portland, Oregon area, with plans to replicate across the country.

Whereas others see only statistics, we see strong individuals, tomorrow’s business owners and leaders, teachers and citizens. We help our students see themselves and their potential the same way. Then we help them find their strengths, ignite their passion and identify the plan that will move them in the direction of their dream. And we stay with them every step of the way, 24/7, 365 days a year from age eight through 25."
education  schools  services  portland  oregon  youth  partnerships 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Breaking Free From the Iron Cage: Business in the Connected Age : peterme.com
"So, if strategy & planning are manageable, it again begs the question, why are so many experiences so bad? & as you dig further, you realize the problem is with the organization itself. Strategies, plans, & execution are all outputs of organizational behavior. & if your organization is broken, if its values are ill-defined, vision unclear, & goals too restrictive, this will inevitably lead to mindless strategies, ill-considered plans, and sub-par execution.

So you need to address the extremely challenging aspects of organizational dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and all manner of, well, people stuff. And when you do that, you realize most corporations still operate under the mechanistic and bureaucratic practices of the 19th and 20th centuries, born of railroad functions and mass manufacturing. These bureaucratic approaches are inherently dehumanizing, and so these organizations struggle with the key characteristic of delivering great experiences–human engagement."
business  connectivism  learning  values  organizations  petermerholz  tcsnmy  lcproject  bureaucracy  hierarchy  relationships  flow  isolation  play  work  workplace  deschooling  unschooling  autonomy  control  industrialage  generative  services  social  society  change  human  humans  management  administration  leadership  experience  2011  shrequest1 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Localmind - Know what's happening. Now.
"Localmind is a new service that allows you to send questions and receive answers about what is going on—right now—at places you care about."
mobile  phones  location  localmind  iphone  applications  geolocation  geography  local  services  ios 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Beyond the “smart city,” part II: A definition | Urbanscale
"What do we call places where the above things apply? In recognition of the increasing ubiquity, everydayness and unremarkability of the technologies involved, we call them cities."
data  cocities  sustainability  adamgreenfield  smartcities  urbancomputing  definitions  2011  networkedobjects  services  efficiency  mobility  enhancedmobility  transparency  information  access  urban  urbanism  everyware  resources  urbanscale  serendipity  delight  citymagic  socialequity  inclusion  citizenagency  inclusivity  inlcusivity 
march 2011 by robertogreco
mlkshk
"Easily save images from everywhere on the web. The silly ones, the sweet ones, the cool ones, and the gross ones—then share them with your friends and family. Join groups of other people who like the same silly and cool stuff you do and contribute your own.

We're slowly adding people daily, so please put your name on the list and we'll let you know when we have an open spot."
images  sharing  photography  socialsoftware  socialnetworking  mlkshk  services  onlinetoolkit 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Twitshift
"Twitshift is a service that lets you follow yourself on Twitter from a year ago. First things first — Sign in with Twitter to start importing your old Tweets. We’ll store your old posts on our server and repost them to a second account of your choosing on the same day you posted them last year."

[related: http://photojojo.com/timecapsule/
via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2011/02/you-but-a-year-ago.html ]
twitter  twitshift  timeshifting  nostalgia  memory  time  services 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Urban Omnibus » Code for America ["We need to get in there and change the culture and the modes of communication first, and remake City Hall so it acts more like the citizens of the city it serves."]
"Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a non-profit partially inspired by Teach for America that connects city governments and Web 2.0 talent. We caught up with Pahlka to get the backstory on the project, not just to hype the chance to become one of the fellows, but because the program offers profound lessons for how to reimagine how our city governments might work better. In architecture and urbanism, the words developer and designer refer to different professional roles than they do in technology. Nonetheless, perhaps designers of the physical world might benefit from a perspective in which certain networks, systems and spaces are virtual, but no less designed, and no less crucial to service delivery, citizenship and quality of life."
cities  government  citizenship  classideas  innovation  web  web2.0  urban  urbanism  technology  networks  networkedurbanism  systems  systemsthinking  qualityoflife  democracy  services  codeforamerica  collaboration  accessibility  demographics  boston  dc  seattle  boulder  philadelphia  needsassessment  municipalities  citizens  bureaucracy  government2.0  washingtondc 
august 2010 by robertogreco
russell davies: what I meant to say at lift - part one - sharing, physicality, mixtapes and newspapers
"And that made me wonder if that's why people are liking Newspaper Club so much? Are we getting close to some sweet spot where you get the satisfactions of sharing a physical thing but with the convenience of sharing information. Is that what you can get when you add Digital Sharing Technologies to Physical Manifesting Technologies? We're not there yet. We're probably only at Sharing Goods like Sharing Services but even that seems like a step forward. Maybe that's why making your own book feels so right, maybe that's where we need to go next with DataDecs, maybe that's what Shapeways and Ponoko will enable, but I think there's something in this."
russelldavies  clayshirky  newspapers  sharing  music  socialmedia  tangible  technology  papernet  books  behavior  community  culture  post-digital  minimalism  information  mixtapes  ponoko  datadecs  shapeways  digital  satisfaction  services  goods  newspaperclub 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Quo vadis guiri? Get on the bus with mycitytrip!
"Mi amigo Marco nunca coge el autobús, dice que es el medio de transporte menos accesible para alguien que viene de fuera. Y no me extraña. Para utilizar el bus tienes que, además de tener tiempo o ser tu única opción, conocer la ciudad con cierta soltura. Nada ha aprendido el bus del metro con sus planos y sus paradas bien señaladas en los recorridos, en los andenes y en el interior de los vagones.
via:adamgreenfield  buses  travel  staycation  tourism  subways  maps  mapping  online  mycitytrip  cities  urban  information  interaction  urbanism  services  servicedesign  transit  urbancomputing  mobility 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Square
"In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint.

Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily. We’re starting with a limited beta and rolling out to everyone in early 2010."
android  iphone  ipad  payment  processing  creditcards  credit  ecommerce  commerce  glvo  applications  business  mobile  money  design  services  retail  twitter  technology  tools  ios 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Scribes Thriving As Ghostwriters In Mexico City - Sun Sentinel
"People have been coming for years to the public scribes of Santo Domingo Colonnade with the stuff of their lives -- love, disillusionment, longing and commerce.

In times gone by, the scribes brought out sharpened quills and ink to record the sentiments of Mexico City`s timid, illiterate or harried. More recently, they set up their typewriters.

Although the tools have changed, the scribes still reduce the dramas of life to paper with style and compassion for those unable to put their feelings into writing.

Since Spanish Colonial rule in the 1850s, about 25 scribes have been sheltered under a colonnade near Santo Domingo Church.

Hipolito Ortiz, who has practiced the trade for half his 50 years, said business is flourishing but is not what it used to be. The education level has risen in Mexico, meaning many lovers, children or businessmen can write their own missives. In addition, the telephone has opened the possiblility of direct communication."

[via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/readinginpublic/4603776421/ ]

[See also: “The disappearing tribe of India's letter writers”
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-26379747 ]
writing  mexicodf  mexico  history  recordkeeping  transcription  typewriters  writinginpublic  services  communication  memory  literacy  illiteracy  letters  letterwriting  df  mexicocity 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Backupify :: Secure Online Backup and Archiving for Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and Wordpress
"Your company has important data locked up in cloud based applications. Backupify provides daily automatic backups, archiving, and export for all your social media and SaaS data. Take back control of your online data with Backupify."
backup  cloud  data  facebook  flickr  gmail  google  googledocs  del.icio.us  wordpress  picasa  webservice  twitter  lifestream  media  online  services 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many - The Denver Post
"tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks & feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of urban fabric. More than 1/3 of streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday...police helicopters are for sale on Internet...city is dumping firefighting jobs, vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops...parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them w/ signs urging users to pack out litter. Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once per 2 weeks...Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; flower & fertilizer budget is zero. City rec centers, indoor & outdoor pools & handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding...Buses no longer run on evenings/weekends...city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on regional authority that can meet only about 10% of need."
infrastructure  collapse  taxes  peakoil  states  gop  colorado  politics  urban  news  coloradosprings  services  cities 
february 2010 by robertogreco
When The Small Print Is Yours - Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect
"Triple A's decision to monetise/sell/pimp the information provided by customers applying for an insurance quote - creates a short term monetary gain for long term erosion in trust in their brand.

For every service/process - what information do you share as part of the negotiation of whether to use the service? What happens when the organisation selling your data to the highest bidder is a government agency? How long before consumers are able to sign up to a personal data brokerage that manages and provides information to the services you are applying for? One where the BigCorps need to click on the I Agree To These Terms and Conditions checkbox before the data is handed over.

Think small-print reversed."
trust  aaa  autoclub  janchipchase  consumers  termsandconditions  services 
january 2010 by robertogreco
IMLS - News & Events - Press Releases: New Technology Services Draw Record Numbers to Libraries: Government Study Documents Ten Years of Steadily Increasing Public Use
"The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announces the release of a new research brief, Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007. The brief identifies important changes public libraries have made to address patron needs in an increasingly Internet-centric environment and explores service differences in urban and rural communities. A comparison of more than 11 years of Public Library Survey data suggests that service changes in U.S. public libraries are having an impact on visitation and circulation, as record numbers of people now use public libraries nationwide."
trends  libraries  services  publiclibraries  visitation 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The easiest way to print photos on canvas | CanvasPop
"The easiest way to print your photos on canvas.

Print your photos on canvas pro style with CanvasPop. From any source, any resolution or size - and customized to your wishes - your photos and digital images become stunning custom art."
design  photography  art  canvas  flickr  diy  posters  printing  print  enlargement  glvo  house  gifts  decorating  services  prints 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Queen Street Commons
"The Queen Street Commons is organized to serve the common good of its members.
commons  lcproject  coworking  pei  tcsnmy  services  community  business  organizations  institutions 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Products are Worthless
"Social Media and Utilities introduce a much healthier and useful form of marketing, focusing on understanding how and why products and companies are valuable – and then further establishing and building on their situational value, rather than trying to squeeze some artificial attention out of a dead horse."
userexperience  education  design  psychology  innovation  context  brands  marketing  products  services  servicedesign  socialinnovation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: The New Negroponte Switch
"…is the title of a talk I gave at Frontiers of Interaction V in Rome yesterday, primarily about the territory of “the Internet of Things” moving from one of academic and technological investigation to one of commercial design practice, and what that might mean for designers working therein."
mattjones  papernet  schulzeandwebb  design  servces  spimes  brucesterling  nicholasnegroponte  services  physical  thingfrastructure  tangible  intangible  russelldavies  attentionanchors  data  berg  berglondon  post-digital 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Andy Budd::Blogography: Why I Can't Afford Cheap
"Too poor to buy cheap. That simple phase really resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since.

Cheap is quick. Cheap is dirty. Cheap is disposable.

Cheap breaks.

Cheap costs money. It costs money to fix, it costs money to replace.

Cheap seems like a good idea at the time but cheap fails when you most need it.

Cheap is flimsy and unsatisfying.

Cheap is inefficient.

Cheap gets in your way.

Cheap costs you time and it costs you customers.

Cheap always cost you more in the end. That’s why I can’t afford to buy cheap. Can you?"
via:migurski  quality  affordability  money  wisdom  sustainability  time  services  longevity  beausage  business  life  value  shopping  design  price  slow  simplicity  wabi-sabi 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Spotify – A world of music. Instant, simple and free
"Spotify is a new way to enjoy music. Simply download and install, before you know it you’ll be singing along to the genre, artist or song of your choice. With Spotify you are never far away from the song you want.

There are no restrictions in terms of what you can listen to or when. Forget about the hassle of waiting for files to download and fill up your hard drive before you get round to organising them. Spotify is instant, fun and simple.

Because music is social, Spotify allows you to share songs and playlists with friends, and even work together on collaborative playlists, Friday afternoon in the office might never be the same again! We’re music lovers like everyone else.

We want to connect millions of people with their favorite songs by creating a product that people love to use. We respect creativity and believe in fairly compensating artists for their work. We’ve cleared the rights to use the music you’ll listen to in Spotify."

[via: http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2009/01/itunes-and-spotify.html ]
music  online  spotify  radio  mp3  streaming  sweden  onlinetoolkit  free  audio  services  socialmedia  community 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Baumol's cost disease (aka Baumol Effect) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"involves a rise of salaries in jobs that have experienced no increase of labor productivity in response to rising salaries in other jobs which did ...goes against theory in classical economics that wages are always closely tied to labor productivity changes...rise of wages in jobs w/out productivity gains is caused by necessity to compete for employees w/ jobs that did...& hence can naturally pay higher salaries...In range of businesses...car manufacturing & retail, workers are continually more productive due to tech innovations to tools & equipment. In contrast, in some labor-intensive sectors that rely heavily on human interaction or activities...nursing, education, performing arts there is little/no growth in productivity over time...total factor productivity treatment is not available to performing arts sector, because consumable good is labor itself...increases in price of performing arts has been offset by increases in standard of living & entertainment spending by consumers."
productivity  performingarts  work  economics  wages  pay  labor  entertainment  services  manufacturing  via:migurski 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Nike Playmaker
"Take the hassle out of organising football." Smart move here by Nike, providing tools to make play easier.
football  nike  collaboration  groups  googlemaps  services  organization  management  messenging  sms  email  coordination  participatory  participation  play  sports 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Maghound: Like Netflix for Magazine Subscriptions - ReadWriteWeb
"Time Inc. launched its much anticipated magazine meta-subscription service Maghound today. The idea is that for a small fee, starting at three titles for $4.95 a month, you can swap out magazine subscriptions every month. It's like Netflix for magazine subscriptions, but unlike Netflix the selection is awful. We like the idea a lot though and we hope it will improve."
magazines  netflix  subscriptions  services  reading 
september 2008 by robertogreco
OpenDNS | Providing A Safer And Faster Internet
"Changing your DNS servers isn’t very difficult to do, and by using OpenDNS, you’ll get the benefit of an active and constantly-updated anti-phishing tool, regardless of your browser of choice"
opensource  networking  web  internet  dns  opendns  proxy  security  freeware  services 
august 2008 by robertogreco
twitterfeed.com : feed your blog to twitter - post RSS to twitter automatically
"Our server will check your blog's feed at the specified interval and post any new items to your twitter account. You just sit back and relax!"
twitter  rss  feeds  blogging  microblogging  services  aggregator  via:foe 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Inside Craigslist's Increasingly Complicated Battle Against Spammers ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
"Any push system is vulnerable...best response is top distribute, so each person is responsible for own site, pulls content from trusted sources & service. But this distributes internet in way that is uncomfortable for site-based online services. And so t
stephendownes  spam  craigslist  push  internet  services 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Cool Tool: TechShop
"Wouldn't it be great to have a full machine shop at your disposal, with dozens of industrial tools also at your disposal, and all you have to do is contribute to the upkeep? TechShop is just that -- a membership-based fabrication and invention shop."
fabrication  tools  services  lcproject  make  diy 
april 2008 by robertogreco
brightkite.com
"Location-based social networking - Discover who visits your favorite places. See where your friends are and what they're up to, in real time. Meet people around you. Reveal your location, befriend, & chat with people around you.
brightkite  bikes  socialnetworking  notifications  mobile  phones  mobility  location  location-based  locative  awareness  proximity  communication  email  gps  im  services  sms  social  networks  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  geolocation  messaging  webapp  community  iphone  geotagging  twitter  tumblr  hyperlocal 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Brightkite Blog
"location-based social network that enables people to take their online profiles with them into the real-world and make real-world friends. Users can see where their friends are and what they’re up to all while maintaining comprehensive degrees of priva
brightkite  bikes  socialnetworking  notifications  mobile  phones  mobility  location  location-based  locative  awareness  proximity  communication  email  gps  im  services  sms  social  networks  socialsoftware  iphone 
april 2008 by robertogreco
innovation playground Idris Mootee: Service Design and Experience Design: Starbucks Vs Le Pain Quotidien
"traditional distinctions between products & services are beginning to blurr...product was physical & discrete, something obviously demarcated in space and time...has become a node connecting to other both from a data and social perspectives."
business  design  experience  food  retail  service  starbucks  lepainquotidien  usability  strategy  brands  services  slow  slowfood 
march 2008 by robertogreco
the Awesome Highlighter - be nice, highlight
"The Awesome Highlighter lets you highlight text on web pages and then gives you a link to the highlighted page."
highlighter  web2.0  sharing  collaboration  web  onlinetoolkit  bookmarks  bookmarking  browser  blogging  services  webservice  socialbookmarking  annotation  browsers 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Amazon Web Services Blog: Our Most Fulfilling Web Service Yet
"allows merchants to tap in to Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers and our expertise in logistics. Merchants can store their own products to our fulfillment centers and then, using a simple web service interface, fulfill orders for the products."
amazon  shipping  api  services  business  webservice  ecommerce  delivery 
march 2008 by robertogreco
MethodIzaz.com
"Using information provided earlier about their weekly routine, the photographer will arrive on the scene, and unseen, take shots of the subject. The subject will be photographed walking through the streets, going about their daily business. Without posin
photography  services  surveillance  via:kottke 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Matt McAlister » What would happen if the Internet knew where you were?
"Online media today is less about hosting web sites that push out HTML pages every day. It’s real power is derived from treating media as a service or rather about helping data find data. Fire Eagle is a great model of this world."
fireeagle  geotagging  location  maps  yahoo  location-based  locative  services 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Conscious Capitalism
"Eric Ryan and Nathan Shedroff discuss "why a deeper understanding of human nature needs to be central to a 21st century business strategy and how it can challenge people's attitudes toward consumerism."
consumerism  unproduct  consumption  materialism  design  attitudes  society  change  sustainability  capitalism  human  psychology  sociology  green  replacing  recycling  reuse  services  value  markets  marketing  emotions 
february 2008 by robertogreco
How To Manage Your Online Reputation - ReadWriteWeb
"There are already many different ways to monitor your online reputation as it is. Let's see how they stack up."
reputation  online  onlinetoolkit  internet  web  branding  attention  socialnetworks  services  resumes  howto  identity  privacy  profile  socialmedia 
february 2008 by robertogreco
BeamMe.Info: Web to SMS content delivery made simple
"BeamMe.Info is a new sms information service that allows companies to deliver free-to-user, requested information from their websites directly to customers mobile phones."
sms  texting  messaging  mobile  phones  applications  reminders  services  web  online  internet 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Doodle
"Doodle is a Web-based service for finding suitable dates for group events (e.g., an appointment, a conference call, a family reunion, etc.). Doodle is particularly useful to people who do not use a common calendar or groupware system."
via:javierarbona  applications  freeware  generator  projectmanagement  scheduling  management  meetings  community  coordination  collaboration  calendar  webapps  services  planning  productivity  groups  free  time 
february 2008 by robertogreco
TidBITS Networking: Gauging Openness with iPhone as Measure
"And that's the beauty of it. If we actually get open access, open platforms, and open services, then all these possibilities could come to pass - and the reign of "you can have it in black, silver, or red, but you can't do anything else you want with it"
iphone  apple  open  networks  opennetworks  mobile  phones  software  services 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: On Beeping & Being
"Reacting to prevelance of informal practice carrier's introduced service...send one of 4 pre-defined text message for free...Chinese post was pay-on-delivery...sender included short message on outside letter....receiver read message but rejected letter."
innovation  mobile  phones  messaging  sms  calls  beeping  nokia  research  communication  free  ingenuity  services  economics  janchipchase 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The problem with perfect
"I think it's more helpful to focus on texture, on interpersonal interaction, on interesting. Interesting is attainable, and interesting is remarkable. Interesting is fresh every day and interesting leads to word of mouth."
perfection  experience  experiencedesign  design  products  services  texture  interaction  business  glvo 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Cell Phone Carriers - Cell Phone Service and Tower Search
"Consumers can search for the best carrier in their area. And with our graphical tower location search, users can pinpoint nearby tower locations. Even to the exact rooftop with satellite imagery and the help of Google Maps!"
mobile  phones  maps  mapping  reception  services  googlemaps 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Open Source Living
"Welcome to Open Source Living, an archive of the Web's best Open Source software, applications and references for a zero-cost / top quality digital experience."
opensource  aggregator  applications  productivity  ubuntu  Linux  software  windows  mac  online  graphics  audio  video  utilities  webdev  services  PDF  osx  freeware  onlinetoolkit  downloads  free  webdesign 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Inside Apple Stores, a Certain Aura Enchants the Faithful - New York Times
"encourage a lot of purchasing, but also lingering, with dozens of fully functioning computers, iPods, iPhones for visitors to try — for hours on end...policy has given some stores, especially those in urban neighborhoods, the feel of a community center
apple  retail  lcproject  design  interiors  experience  space  community  services  computers  gamechanging 
december 2007 by robertogreco
¿Servicio Útil o Delincuencia Encubierta?
"Originalmente...ilegal[es], estos grupos han sido legalizados en algunas ciudades y trabajan hoy, como Viña del Mar, como acomodadores de autos, gestionando el espacio de aparcamiento en las calles con autorización de las autoridades municipales."
chile  viñadelmar  cars  transportation  services  law  legal  crime 
november 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Mob Rules (part 1 of 5)
"Closing keynote of WebDirections South 2007 - an exploration of the future of mobile communications, now that half of humanity has a mobile phone."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
hyperpeople » Blog Archive » Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)
"ONE: The mob is everywhere. TWO: The mob is faster, smarter and stronger than you are. THREE: Advertising is a form of censorship. FOUR: The mob does not need a business model. FIVE: Make networks happen."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
A New Sheriff in Town? (kottke.org)
"Attributor splits up the world between sites that exhibit extensive copying (more than half of an article, for instance, and just some copying. It shows which sites have linked back to the original source and which have not."
copyright  attribution  writing  content  publishing  services 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Jiglu: Tags that think
"Jiglu is a super-smart engine that pieces your site together, intelligently tagging and linking your web content"
tagging  tags  blogging  blogs  bookmarks  collaboration  datamining  sharing  web2.0  semantics  automation  generator  widgets  webdesign  services  networking  webdev 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Telco 2.0: Nokia’s dilemma: operator friend or foe?
"a mobile phone is an adequate “social presence” device with lots of room to grow; a weak information transfer device, with lots of potential; a fantastic device for capturing personal narrative; but only average at enabling the consumption of persona
socialnetworking  business  nokia  services  mobile  phones  presence  strategy  ovi  telephony  ambientintimacy  storytelling  narrative  social  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  networks  networking  everyware  hardware 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Theories about Google’s acquisition of Jaiku | FactoryCity
"What Google keeps getting closer to with first its acquisition of Dodgeball a year ago and now Jaiku is the socialization of presence. That’s what it’s all about."
apple  business  iphone  future  jaiku  google  mobile  phones  gps  ambientintimacy  social  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  communication  presence  marketing  advertising  socialnetworking  trends  networking  services 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Cool Tool: ScanCafe
"This service will digitize your old slides, negatives and photographic prints at high quality and at a very cheap price. I've been using them to scan my 30-year backlog of photographs and I have been delighted with the results."
kevinkelly  archive  digital  film  photography  services  slides  transfer  imaging 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Why have municipal Wi-Fi networks been such a flop? - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine
"Why municipal wireless networks have been such a flop...Real public infrastructure costs real public money. We already know that, in the real world, if you're not willing to invest in infrastructure, you get what we have: crumbling airports, collapsing b
wireless  utilities  public  us  municipal  cities  money  economics  services  government  policy  politics  broadband  internet 
september 2007 by robertogreco
1-800-GOOG-411
"Google's new 411 service is free, fast and easy to use. Give it a try now and see how simple it is to find and connect with local businesses for free."
mobile  phones  services  search  local  information  free  directory  411 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Grazr, Recent Files
"Grazr.com offers free management of feeds and Reading lists. Registration is fast and easy."
rss  feeds  online  aggregator  onlinetoolkit  browsing  content  socialsoftware  sharing  services 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Ponoko
"Ponoko is the world's first personal manufacturing platform. It's the online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand."
design  manufacturing  ponoko  networking  objects  business  internet  personal  printing  shopping  spimes  technology  platform  industry  glvo  fabrication  crowdsourcing  customization  construction  crafts  creation  entrepreneurship  engineering  diy  services  inventions  make  invention  personalization  socialnetworking  prototype  products  global 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Dial DIR-ECT-IONS
" Dial Directions is a free, new, first of its kind voice-activated service that provides driving directions to all cell phone users. With one quick phone call from your cellphone, you can ask for directions to wherever you want to go - any address, inter
directions  maps  mobile  mapping  geography  services  phones  search  voice 
september 2007 by robertogreco
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