The KidSmart Vocal Smoke Detector relies on the ‘cocktail party effect,’ where a person’s own name or a familiar voice is more easily discernable even against a great deal of background noise. Allowing the user to record their voice onto the device, the KidSmart plays back the recording and a standard warning tone when it detects fire.
February 2005 Archives
Eric Paulos and Tom Jenkins have a new project:
Jetsam is the first in a series of urban probes. Jetsam explores urban public trash, its meaning, patterns, and usage, as it manifests itself in cities. Through this probe we hope to uncover new opportunities for technology to emerge across urban landscapes and further connect with our emotional experiences of living in cities.
One of the things I like about Jetsam is its economy: one single artifact becomes a lens through which to see a network of civic infrastructures, communities, and rhythms.
Security Threats for the 21st century
Richard J. norton, Naval War College
12pm, Tuesday, March 8, 2005
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor Conference Room
The concept of "failing states" was widely studied during the 1990s.
However, recent demographic and security trends suggest that failed
metropolitan areas within otherwise sovereign states may be of
increasing concern and may become of the security threats of the 21st
century. This presentation will discuss the potential for such feral
cities to come into existence, the nature of the threat they may
represent and provide a taxonomy for identifying cities at risk of
RICHARD J. NORTON, is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the
Naval War College. His work on feral cities was cited by the New York
Times magazine as one of the new ideas of 2004.
This event is sponsored by New York University’s Center for Catastrophe
Preparedness and Response, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of
For more information visit http://hurricane.wagner.nyu.edu
Seating is limited. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 998-7526
A couple of weeks ago, I did a webcam talk over lunch with Trebor Scholtz at the Institute for Distributed Creativity called "Teaching for the Wireless Commons." Trebor and I wrote up some resulting notes, and I thought they might be interesting/useful to some of you.
I just finished a workshop paper (a bit like a much longer and more formal blog post) for CHI titled "'Created by everybody': Engaging participation with mobile interfaces.". It's an attempt to think through some ideas I had about how to get people who might not have the determination to fax or write letters - nor who might not be comfortable with computers - involved in the important business of municipal government.
It's written for an academic audience, but I'm hoping others will find it interesting. It's already been accepted to the workshop, but I'd still appreciate comments/suggestions.
Indeed, the high-tech comfort system was confused. The rear temperature sensor of the 2001 Dodge van had gone bad and was sending a signal that the children were freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The loyal van was doggedly trying to warm them up.
Mercedes-Benz had to replace many of its early Comand integrated control systems because of failures, and has since worked to simplify the controls. Stephan Wolfsried, vice president for electronic systems in Germany, told Automotive News last year that the company had eliminated 600 electronic functions in its cars, starting with the 2003 models, to improve quality and make the remaining functions easier to use. Mr. Wolfsried was quoted as saying these were features that "no one really needed and no one knew how to use."
What's interesting is not just the ever-growing litany of problems attributed to glitchy or incompatible auto electronics, but also the fix: just remove the stuff that doesn't work and people don't use. How...intelligent.
Looking over the past entries, I see that I've been talking about cars an awful lot. Part of that, I think, is buying my own. I work in the suburbs now, and face a 40 minute daily commute. So the automotive lifestyle is now of new and pressing importance to me.
I'm also a bit perturbed by the contrast between this entry and the gee-whizness of the one on the mini-mini. Giddyness about hackery is great fun, but in the service of what?