beta knowledge

Jul 12

Standing as if waiting for signals from another world, these men on the Djibouti shores hope for a faint cellphone signal from neighboring Somalia. (via)

Standing as if waiting for signals from another world, these men on the Djibouti shores hope for a faint cellphone signal from neighboring Somalia. (via)

Jul 10

"some people are beginning to suspect about ‘wearables’ - that if you don’t get it just right, they’re done.

That observation is strengthened by research from Endeavour Partners in the US, which found that one-third of American consumers who have owned a wearable product stopped using it within six months. What’s more, while one in 10 American adults own some form of activity tracker, half of them no longer use it.”

” — Wearables: one-third of consumers abandoning devices

Jul 08

Electric Objects: A Computer Made for Art -

Jun 18

"I am not quite an Uber mensch.

I found this out the other day, when I asked my Uber driver about my passenger rating — the average of the 1-to-5-star grade passengers receive from drivers after every ride, which is shown to drivers before they agree to take a hail.

'You're a 4.8,' he replied. 'I usually don't pick people up if they're a 4 or less.'”

” — Kevin Roose, Uber Anxiety

Jun 14

Education’s war on millennials: Why everyone is failing the “digital generation” -

“Find something to be obsessed with, and then obsess over it. Don’t compete; find what’s uniquely yours. Take your experience of life and connect that with your knowledge of photographic history. Mix it all together, and create an artistic world that we can enter into. […] If you only like shooting cell phone photos, then do that. If your dad works at a construction site that looks cool, use it. If your mum breeds poodles, then put them in your photographs. Use the camera to take what you know that others don’t, what you can access that others can’t, and the people or things you connect with, to construct your own world. […] Be busy. Seek and find a way to do what it is you want to do. Identify what that thing is and do it. Don’t stand around too long having conversations about it. Do it. Refine it. Do it more. Try it a different way. Keep at it until you break through to the next level. Don’t talk or think yourself out of doing it. Put one foot in front of the other and let it happen organically. […] Say yes to almost everything and try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to work hard. Do your pictures – don’t try and do somebody else’s pictures. Don’t get lost inside your head, and don’t worry what camera you’re using” — Ryan McGinley

Jun 13



Jun 12

“The Germans are constructing a fake airfield to decoy Allied bombers, with dummy aircraft made out of wood. On the day it is finished, a RAF bomber swoops down and drops a single bomb on it — a bomb made of wood. The Germans look foolish: having tried to outsmart the Allies, it is they who are outsmarted” — Source

“The use of design as a critical tool to explore design’s potential roles in society and the future has emerged as a trend in HCI and design research, but several questions remain open. How can we explain and teach how criticality can be applied to design? How can we assess, compare and give context to critical designs? How should we understand the relationships among practices that bear affinities to critical design, such as speculative design or critical engineering? We argue that many of these issues would be clarified if the HCI and design research communities had a collection of examples that exemplified not just critical design in general, but also its major genres, styles, historical trends, rhetorics, and other distinctions. As a first step in this direction, we detail our efforts to develop a more systematic vocabulary to talk about critical design. After assembling a small operative corpus from a wider inventory of critical designs, we apply poststructuralist semiotic theory to propose a number of analytic distinctions and concepts that could be used—along with others like them—to more systematically and deliberately construct a canon of exemplars and a more mature conceptual vocabulary for critical design.” —

Analyzing Critical Designs: Categories, Distinctions, and Canons of Exemplars
Gabriele Ferri, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington
Jeffrey Bardzell, Indiana University Bloomington
Shaowen Bardzell, Indiana University Bloomington
Stephanie Louraine, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington