BuildAR – making Augmented Reality curation easy …


What will you build?

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays information, images, 3D objects, audio and video onto your view of the real world around you.

Create your own mobile AR projects easily with no development required & link your content to the real world!

Steps to making a technology ubiquitous and accessible – grow to simplicity & hide the underlying complexity. BuildAR gets it.

Looking forward to seeing more from @buildAR 

The books business: Great digital expectations | The Economist


TO SEE how profoundly the book business is changing, watch the shelves. Next month IKEA will introduce a new, deeper version of its ubiquitous “BILLY” bookcase. The flat-pack furniture giant is already promoting glass doors for its bookshelves. The firm reckons customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read.

In the first five months of this year sales of consumer e-books in America overtook those from adult hardback books. Just a year earlier hardbacks had been worth more than three times as much as e-books, according to the Association of American Publishers. Amazon now sells more copies of e-books than paper books. The drift to digits will speed up as bookshops close. Borders, once a retail behemoth, is liquidating all of its American stores.

Ongoing sad times for the local bookstore.

Isn’t this part of a larger trend, building ‘cloud’ / or ubiquitous connectivity and information into all of our lives. The same trend impacting IT across the board. Bringing both disruption of our comfortable ways of doing things, and radical new capabilities?

Game Theory


It is possible that Richard Thaler changed his mind about economic theory and went on to challenge what had become a hopelessly dry and out-of-touch discipline because, one day, when a few of his supposedly rational colleagues were over at his house, he noticed that they were unable to stop themselves from gorging on some cashew nuts he’d put out. Then again, it could have been because a friend admitted to Thaler that, although he mowed his own lawn to save $10, he would never agree to cut the lawn next door in return for the same $10 or even more. But the moment that sticks in Thaler’s mind occurred back in the 1970’s, when he and another friend, a computer maven named Jeff Lasky, decided to skip a basketball game in Rochester because of a swirling snowstorm.

Always good to be reminded that we don’t play rationally, despite expectations. Hence the need for frameworks and methodologies to avoid overly rational expectations about behavious by us and others. In other words, to minimize the ‘human factor’ – such as with the use of ‘lean startup’ methodologies in early stage startups.


The end of software transparency?


Fantastic sculpture.

It brings to mind that more and more we are operating on the level of the black-box, of magickal thinking, of objects and processes that ‘just work’ … until they don’t. That computing was once transparent, but is no longer. Consider most of your mobile phone experiences, hopefully fantastic, but when it stops you must find an expert, or replace the broken, now ‘imp free’ device.

In many ways, this is the goal of the ‘consumer’ device.

Living in an age of magic made real is very appealing in many ways, we can ignore the constraints of time and space to communicate with our friends and colleagues all over the world. We live in an age where combinatorial combinations of human capabilities and technologies can solve most any problem, as argued by Matt Ridley in his optimistic TED talk on ideas ‘having sex’ . But, increasingly it feels like we’re losing the ease, much celebrated by earlier generations, of being able to understand the underlying process, of unpacking all the way down to creating that water wheel, etc. Of being able to tune our own car engine, or indeed to fix our TV. Indeed, it seems that we’ve become so very good at using modules, at sub-processes, at, arguably, code/module re-use. And where, ultimately does this leave us? What constrainst are we building into our lack of understanding?

The reality is that this is not a new thing. It has been going on in computing repeatedly as we create a useful abstraction: adders, CPUs, memory, virtual memory, virtual users, virtual machines, and so on. This has now reached a point where powerful computing is easily and cheaply integrated into other activities – this is the main point of Andreessen’s article (also discussed on technoist).  What’s new is that we’re heading to an age where the outcomes from computing are more and more ‘commodity’, packaged, wrapped, and protected from meddling. More and more .. part of the world.

This is not a new process. The reuse of modules for factories, for commodities, for food, for almost everything in the modern economy is created in such a way. Leonard Read had a wonderful essay in 1958 showing that no one person nows how to create ‘even’ a pencil, and that this was a very good thing.

Software is more and more just a component piece for pretty much ‘everything’. We can see this in the move from transparency to packaged objects designed to be opaque. This is the transition for software, for computing, to be absorbed, as never before, into the broader economic process; into factory built objects. Into objects of magick.

Andreessen – Why Software Is Eating the World => Perez – the dynamics of bubbles and golden ages …

This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.

In short, software is eating the world.

More than 10 years after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble, a dozen or so new Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter are sparking controversy in Silicon Valley, due to their rapidly growing private market valuations, and even the occasional successful IPO. With scars from the heyday of Webvan and still fresh in the investor psyche, people are asking, “Isn’t this just a dangerous new bubble?”

I, along with others, have been arguing the other side of the case. (I am co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare, among others. I am also personally an investor in LinkedIn.) We believe that many of the prominent new Internet companies are building real, high-growth, high-margin, highly defensible businesses.

Nicely argued techno-optimistic view on the future for software from Mark Andreessen.

As it happens, I agree with his view that we’re reaching a new plateau of productivity with software. I found it striking that his argument is a point in time illustration of the forecast from “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages” from Carlotta Perez in 2003 about the relatively predictable cycles of adoption and economic shift for major technological innovation and the expectation, as one of her reviewers put it on Amazon that we “are in the last throes of a technological bubble and just preceding the next period of productive improvement and profit from the disruptive technologies in the 1990.”

Check it out

Interesting times for the software ‘game’ …

Adventures in Capitalism: The Lesson of Dropbox: Usage = Value

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 The Lesson of Dropbox: Usage = Value

Word on the street is that Dropbox is about to raise a major round of financing at a $5 billion+ valuation. While some will cry ???Bubble!???, I think there’s a different lesson we can learn: Usage = Value. Let’s face it???Dropbox isn’t the
Posted byChris Yehat11:55 AM

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Usage + ‘Stickiness’ = value
Dropbox is a great example, it’s baked into too many day to day personal processes to be easily displaced.