Now that the exhaustively inspirational Pop!Tech 2008 is over, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what’s next, in other words, at the conference's theme for 2009. The organizers’ choice is pretty telling and may be indicative of a larger shift among not only the elite thinkers gathering at Pop!Tech, but also broader public opinion. Succeeding this year’s theme “Scarcity and Abundance” will be “America Reimagined,” a “top-to-bottom look at America’s opportunities, its challenges, and its future” that promises to explore what it means to be a “superpower in the … Read more
I will be attending the Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine this week. For the twelfth year, Pop!Tech will convene a network of 600 remarkable thinkers, doers, leaders, and global change agents in science, technology, social innovation, business, environmentalism, globalization, media, education, and many other fields for a four-day exploration of ideas shaping the future.
This year, the organizers will pay particular attention to the 21st century dynamics between systems based on scarcity and those based on abundance, in areas ranging from digital social networks to biology to peacemaking. Among the speakers are Chris Anderson (Wired, "The Long … Read more
I asked my colleagues in frog design's Shanghai studio about their perspective on the current economic downturn, and here's what they wrote back:
"The US may be the initiator of this round of global economic recession but it may not be the final payer. China's economy is about to suffer as well - and in more ways than one.
And yet, the people who have been around the longest know not to pay too much attention to one-direction comments. They know that the sufferers will always shout much louder than the beneficiaries. They also know that … Read more
I've been all about the future this week, writing about a futuristic cotton-candy maker and conceptual kitchen designs that may one day become common place. And why not? It seems appropriate, what with the stock market riding a roller coaster and a wonky economy on everybody's mind. It's nice to sit back, relax a little, and think of what the far-out future could bring us.
For example, wireless electricity. Anybody who has ever searched for an available outlet to plug something into (which should be just about everybody) knows how beneficial the technology could be. I know … Read more
This week we reviewed two Samsung handsets that span the full range of mobile multimedia. The Highnote is a new music phone for Sprint and the Innov8 is a fancy 8-megapixel camera. In North America, it is available as an unlocked model.
Samsung and Sprint introduced the Highnote at the CTIA Fall 2008 show last month. Also called the SPH-M630, the Highnote is a music phone that replaces the Samsung Upstage and the LG Muziq. It offers all the usual highlights of a Sprint music phone, with an eye-catching slider design and a new menu interface. Call and music performance … Read more
Nat Torkington over at O'Reilly Media suggests that a recession will be very kind to open source as companies seek to lower their IT costs while continuing to service business needs.
I think he's right, and every day I see the proof behind this hypothesis.
For example, I moderated a panel on Thursday with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA needed a system that would allow it to iterate and innovate even if its budget withered, so it couldn't afford to go with a proprietary system that required new licenses for every change in … Read more
Ever dozed off at your desk and woken up only to see a long line of gibberish letters on your text document, thanks to your cheek lying on the keyboard? Working when sleepy is a pain, and this concept product, the i-sleep, seeks to make things a little better.
Here's the idea. When you feel sleepy, just close the laptop and this pillow will automatically inflate using air from the notebook vents. You can then safely take a short nap without worrying about oversleeping because an internal alarm wakes you up after 10 minutes. But based on what we … Read more
The rankings were calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with … Read more
In a great essay for Core 77 ("Stepmothers of Invention: Branding Firms Enter the Industrial Design Fray"), Carl Alviani describes a trend that has been emerging for a while now: Not only do digital agencies like R/GA enter the branding domain, branding, marcom, and advertising firms also round out their services portfolio by adding product design capabilities. Alviani expects that "a lot more branding firms will be hiring product designers over the next few years, just as ID firms hired lots of media and identity specialists a decade back (and continue to do)." John Winsor … Read more