My daily readings 09/10/2009

  • tags: twitter, photos, picture

  • tags: PDF, PPT, document

  • tags: Startup

    • So … I spent more.  The money flowed like beer at a frat party.  We hired people right and left – even though we didn’t have time to orient them and put their talents to good use.  We sponsored events and went to tradeshows – even though our time would have been better spent on making individual sales calls, rather than the distractions of picking out tradeshow booths.  We spent oodles of money and, worse, time commissioning swag and marketing materials and advertising creative – even though we had little revenue coming in.  

      In the end it didn’t help the business.  While speed is important, a startup paradoxically also needs time – time to iterate on product development, time to get the team aligned with the business vision, and time to focus on closing sales.  Startups are like babies – you can’t force babies to grow up faster just by throwing money at them.

    • Be picky.  In the words of Evan Williams, a founder of Blogger and Twitter, startups have to be willing to say no – no to partnerships and unnecessary product features and the wrong employees.  More wasted money and time comes from going in too many directions than from focusing.
    • Now, I realize some of this may sound anti-marketing.  Trust me, it’s not.  I am a big proponent of paying for good marketing – for a business that can afford it.  But first things first. Be ruthlessly stingy on marketing expenditures and every other kind of expenditure in the beginning.  

      The good fiscal habits you practice in the startup phase tend to stay with you as the business grows.  You’re much more likely to remain on a solid financial footing throughout your business’s life cycle.

  • tags: Education, book

  • tags: Education

    • Russell Ackoff, who I took a class from at Wharton twenty plus years ago, says in his book, Turning Learning RIght Side Up, that he has learned more from teaching than anything else. Of course that makes sense. I learn way more blogging, giving talks, and teaching than I do listening to others. When you are required to explain something to others, you have to figure it out yourself first.

      I love the idea of turning students into teachers and I would do that going all the way down to elementary school. But in high school and college, it ought to be a primary way we educate students.

      I am going to dig deeper into the unschooling movement and look at other models, like the Montessori schools, to figure out who is doing this well and why. It’s a bit late for my own kids, who have largely been educated in the traditional school system (albeit a progressive one).

      But if we are going to fund people who are hacking education, I think its best to figure out what is working and what is not. Then we know what to hack and why.

  • tags: no_tag

  • tags: AR, twitter

  • tags: AR

    • While ubiquitous computing remains an unpleasant mouthful of techno-babble to most people who know the term, and everyware is still an essentially unknown idea, the visibility of augmented reality has surged in the last twelve months. In addition to the spate of mobile applications—including Augmented ID, Wikitude, Layar, Nearest Tube, and the still unreleased TwittARound—augmented reality is increasingly visible in popular cross-media experiences. For example, Mattel is releasing new toys in conjunction with the James Cameron film Avatar that invoke online content when users scan them with a Web cam, and LEGO in-store kiosks have used augmented reality. With baseball cards from Topps and Pokemon cards, even the venerable trading-cards experience now includes augmented reality.
  • tags: AR

  • air tagging, spacial computing, mixed reality, optical internet, physical gaming

    tags: AR

  • tags: AR

    • Augmented Reality is in some ways just another version of the web; a web applied, through novel interfaces, in reference to the physical world, instead of floating documents tied only to each other as the web is today.
  • tags: AR

    • Social review service Yelp has snuck the first Augmented Reality (AR) iPhone app specifically for the US into the iTunes App Store. The undisclosed new feature allows iPhone 3Gs owners to shake their phones three times to turn on a view called “the Monocle.” This view uses the phone’s GPS and compass to display markers for restaurants, bars and other nearby businesses on top of the camera’s view.
    • This may be what the future of mobile Augmented Reality looks like: many vendors offering their own in-app AR views, and a handful of AR browsers like Layar, Wikitude and Acrossair aggregating many different published AR views or layers.
  • tags: AR

  • tags: AR

    • It’s not possible today, but the emergence of more powerful, media-centric cellphones is accelerating humanity toward this vision of “augmented reality,” where data from the network overlays your view of the real world. Already, developers are creating augmented reality applications and games for a variety of smartphones, so your phone’s screen shows the real world overlaid with additional information such as the location of subway entrances, the price of houses, or Twitter messages that have been posted nearby. And publishers, moviemakers and toymakers have embraced a version of the technology to enhance their products and advertising campaigns.
    • Tom Caudell, a researcher at aircraft manufacturer Boeing, coined the term “augmented reality” in 1990. He applied the term to a head-mounted digital display that guided workers through assembling electrical wires in aircrafts. The early definition of augmented reality, then, was an intersection between virtual and physical reality, where digital visuals are blended in to the real world to enhance our perceptions.
    • That is, he wants to be able to point a phone at a city it’s completely unfamiliar with, download the surroundings and output information on the fly. He and his peers at UCSB call this idea “Anywhere Augmentation.”

      But we have a long way to go — perhaps several years — before achieving Anywhere Augmentation, Höllerer said. Augmented reality is stifled by limitations in software and hardware, he explained. Cellphones require superb battery life, computational power, cameras and tracking sensors. For software, augmented reality requires a much more sophisticated artificial intelligence and 3-D modeling applications. And above all, this technology must become affordable to consumers. The best possible technology that is available today would nearly cost $100,000 for a solid augmented-reality device, Höllerer said.

    • Brian Selzer, co-founder of Ogmento, a company that creates augmented reality products for games and marketing, recognizes the need for augmented reality to go mobile. He said his company is working on several projects coming in the near future to help market mainstream movies with augmented reality smartphone apps. For example, movie posters will trigger interactive experiences on an iPhone, such as a trailer or even a virtual treasure hunt to promote the film.

      “The smartphone is bringing AR into the masses right now,” Selzer said. “In 2010 every blockbuster movie is going to have a mobile AR campaign tied to it.”

    • The Layar browser (video above) looks at an environment through the phone’s camera, and the app displays houses for sale, popular restaurants and shops, and tourist attractions. The software relies on downloading “layers” of data provided by developers coding for the platform. Thus, while the information appears to display in real time, it’s not truly real-time: The app can’t analyze data it hasn’t downloaded ahead of time.
    • “You know more, you find more, or you see something you haven’t seen before. Some people are even saying that it might be even bigger than the web.”
  • tags: VR, AR

    • One way to address this is to use fancy peripherals—gloves, helmets and so forth—to make immersion in a virtual world seem more realistic. But there is another approach: that taken by VR’s sibling, augmented reality (AR). Rather than trying to create an entirely simulated environment, AR starts with reality itself and then augments it. “In augmented reality you are overlaying digital information on top of the real world,” says Jyri Huopaniemi, director of the Nokia Research Centre in Tampere, Finland. Using a display, such as the screen of a mobile phone, you see a live view of the world around you—but with digital annotations, graphics and other information superimposed upon it.
    • At a historical site, AR could superimpose images showing how buildings used to look. On a busy street, AR could help you choose a restaurant: wave your phone around and read the reviews that pop up. In essence, AR provides a way to blend the wealth of data available online with the physical world—or, as Dr Huopaniemi puts it, to build a bridge between the real and the virtual.
    • But the field has recently been energised by the ability to implement AR using advanced mobile handsets, rather than expensive, specialist equipment. Several AR applications are already available. Wikitude, an AR travel-guide application developed for Google’s Android G1 handset, has already been downloaded by 125,000 people. Layar is a general-purpose AR browser that also runs on Android-powered phones. Nearest Tube, an AR application for Apple’s iPhone 3GS handset, can direct you in London to the nearest Underground station. Nokia’s “mobile augmented reality applications” (MARA) software is being tested by staff at the world’s largest handset-maker, with a public launch imminent.
    • The combination of GPS, tilt sensors and a compass enables a handset to determine where it is, its orientation relative to the ground, and which direction it is being pointed in. The camera allows it to see the world, and the wireless-internet link allows it to retrieve information relating to its surroundings, which is combined with the live view from the camera and displayed on the screen. All this is actually quite simple, says Mr Breuss-Schneeweis. In the case of Wikitude, the AR software works out the longitudes and latitudes of objects in the camera’s field of view so that they can be tagged accordingly, he says.
  • tags: Education

    • It is not up to teachers or school administrators to figure out what
      you should be or do. It’s not up to the State, it’s
      not up to your guidance counselors. It’s not up to your
      parents. What you do with your life ought to be up to you. What you
      learn ought to be up to you.  How you navigate the world and
      create your place in it ought to be your decision. Your life
      belongs to you.  School does its best to disabuse you of this
      notion. Unschooling celebrates it. Unschooling puts the
      responsibility for creating a satisfying life squarely where it
      belongs: in the hands of the one living it.
    • PS presents 50 reasons why schooling is, in every imaginable way, bad
      for us and our society, and then 50 reasons why unschooling, which she
      defines as “learning
      without formal curriculum, timelines, grades or coercion; learning in
      is the natural way
      to learn. She argues that we are indoctrinated from the age of five to
      cede our time, our freedoms, and what we pay attention to, to the will
      of the State, so that we are ‘prepared’ for a work world of wage
      slavery and obedience to authority. We are deliberately not taught
      anything that would allow us to be self-sufficient in society. And in
      the factory environment of the school, where teachers need to ‘manage’
      thirty students or more, ethics and the politics of power is left up,
      from our earliest and most vulnerable years, to the bullies and other
      young damaged psychopaths among our peers, to teach us in their
      grotesquely warped way. As PS explains, it is in every way a prison
    • Many people argue that unschooling will only work for the very
      brightest and most self-disciplined children. On the contrary, I think
      we are all perfectly suited to unschooling until the school system
      begins to beat the love of learning, the ability to self-manage,
      curiosity, imagination and critical thinking out of us. By the time we
      have reached the third grade it becomes much more difficult, and my
      success in unschooling in twelfth grade was, I will agree, due to my
      above-average intelligence and initiative — most of my
      intellectually-crippled peers just couldn’t manage by that time without
      the strictures they’d become accustomed to. They had long ago lost the
      desire to learn, and to think for themselves.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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