Month: August 2010
Google Android began with the greatest of intentions — freedom, openness, and quality software for all. However, freedom always comes with price, and often results in unintended consequences. With Android, one of the most important of those unintended consequences is now becoming clear as Google gets increasingly pragmatic about the smartphone market and less and less tied to its original ideals.
Here’s the dirty little secret about Android: After all the work Apple did to get AT&T to relinquish device control for the iPhone and all the great efforts Google made to get the FCC and the U.S. telecoms to agree to open access rules as part of the 700 MHz auction, Android is taking all of those gains and handing the power back to the telecoms.
Good article from Jason Hiner on how Android is becoming a way for telcos to regain/retain carrier lock-in. Also a lovely illustration of market dynamics and the power of existing business models/market interests.
Worth a read: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=5855#
And finally, it has been the case for nearly 30 years now that women have not chosen to enter computer science and engineering fields, that they have stayed away from programming courses and careers in computer-based industries, and the fact that so few women are a part of the games industry means that the above two issues persist. This inequity falls on the shoulders, I think, of educators and educational institutions who have (with a few exceptions) not been able to turn the tide of so few women participating in the kinds of secondary and higher education that might lead them to career paths as game designers, and here I don’t mean by assuming that that inequality will be made up through the ‘art production’ side of things. We in education need to examine how it is we teach those subjects and who we encourage and at times actively discourage from those related areas, as well as actively promote programs of the kind that we are participating in like the 3G Summit, as at the very least, for a short period of time, it puts girls roles chances are they might not have experience before.
The dearth of women in technology is well documented but still needs to be said, loudly and frequently. The assumption otherwise is that the women must be involved… just somewhere else. After all, haven’t women been gaining in freedom, wealth and power?
It makes the fact that women are not entering the areas of technology, science, engineering, computers and robotics, a source of great interest to me, as these are the areas frequently designated as representing the future.
July 10, 2010
Girls, Gaming, and Gender: An Interview with Game Designer and Researcher Jennifer Jenson (Part One)
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Mindy Faber, the co-organizer of The 3G Summit: The Future of Girls, Gaming and Gender which she described to me as “a visionary 4-day initiative that brings 50 urban teenage girls together with five leading women game designers and scholars for intensive dialogue, inquiry, game-play, and mentorship. It is organized by Open Youth Networks, Interactive Arts and Media and The Institute for Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media at Columbia College.” The designers involved with the event look like a who’s who of women who have been doing cutting edge thinking about gender and games and who have also been demonstrating the potentials for developing alternative models of game and play (including two associated with the University of Southern California):
via Feminist Frequency, via Kathy Cleland – this is a great post and finally! someone is noticing things like the conflation of girl behaviour and novice behaviour in studies. Another fascinating section of this post relates to my recent reading – the debunking of Levitt’s argument that ‘access to abortion post Roe v Wade caused big drop in crime in US’ . Kahane, who did a large international follow up, found no correlation between abortion access and crime rate.
What Kahane found was a significant drop in crime at the same time period in many other countries. Larry Katz, a labor economist, suggests that the proliferation of video games at that time as a low cost activity for youth of criminal potential may be responsible for drop in crime rates.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a great way of making public statements that are at once frank, unorthodox, thought provoking – and a little frightening. This weekend The Wall St. Journal ran an interview with Schmidt that offered tidbits like that on a wide range of topics. One statement in particular, that Schmidt thinks teenagers should be entitled to change their names upon reaching adulthood in order to separate themselves from the Google record of their youthful indiscretions, is something worth stopping to take note of.
It’s revealing that the privacy solution from Google is to ‘change your name’. The obvious question one might ask, is exactly how long this might work for if taken up by a significant proportion of people?
I would expect substantial competitive pressure for search engines to find the match. And indeed to force it to the front of the queue, much like the extremely frustrating google auto-correct option on possible mis-spelling. “Did you mean:”
In any case, read the original article for more info: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_ceo_suggests_you_change_your_name…
Every one of my research projects started the same way: recognizing that the established theory did not explain a certain phenomenon. We had to stay constantly focused on weak signals. Each weak signal was a contradictory phenomenon that was not happening across the board. You could very easily say, “Dismiss it, this is an outlier, so we don’t have to worry about it.” But the outliers and weak signals were the places to find a different way to think about the problem.
A wonderful quote from the recently deceased management thinker C.K. Prahalad, known for ‘the bottom of the pyramid’, and core competencies. I recommend checking out the whole interview at http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00043?pg=all.
Take This Blog and Shove It!
When utopian ideals crash into human nature—sloth triumphs.Illustration by David Plunkert
In the history of the web, last spring may figure as a tipping point. That’s when Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”—a site that grew from 100,000 articles in 2003 to more than 15 million today—began to falter as a social movement. Thousands of volunteer editors, the loyal Wikipedians who actually write, fact-check, and update all those articles, logged off—many for good. For the first time, more contributors appeared to be dropping out than joining up. Activity on the site has remained stagnant, according to a spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind the site, and it’s become “a really serious issue.” So serious, in fact, that this fall Wikipedia will turn to something it has never needed before: recruiters.
Important reality check. Crowd sourcing is fascinating, and cool, but driven by exogenous factors — much, one might think, like open source.
Google Android phones must be popular – they’ve just been targeted with their first Trojan. An SMS Trojan called Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a has already infected a number of mobile devices, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab. Purporting to be a harmless media player application, the Trojan, once installed, actually sends out SMS text messages without the users’ knowledge or consent.
There will be a lot of mobile device management companies thrilled to see this news.
The big questions:
1. How susceptable are SmartPhone (hand held computer) operating systems to this type of attack, or indeed to all the varients that occur on the desktop?
2. How will organizations cope with managing and securing, not just Windows devices, but the menagerie of emerging SmartPhones and tablets.
Embedding is broken, so check out the original at http://isparade.jp/309055
An array of new consumer products ??? including electronics, toys, medical devices and smart-phone apps ??? are designed to be operated by mental power.
This is giving the Emotiv a run for the money… or vice versa.