the services economy has barely begun

There are over 2 billion literate, mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, many living on less than $5 a day. Corporations pay people to accomplish millions of simple text-based tasks.txteagle enables these tasks to be completed via text message by ordinary people around the globe.

between harnessing slacker energy and txteagle, we have not even scratched the surface of outsourcing. if you are an anti-outsourcing douchetard, it is time to dig in your heels. you won’t like the future.


wired is back. after years of being lost in the dotcom woods, i had written them off, but their nextfest taught me better today. i will be thinking about the exhibits for a long time: a wonderful departure from the daily stream of bad news out of the religio-political corner. watch my linkstream for more in the coming days. in the meantime, here are some of my favorite exhibits:
Vein Viewer by Luminetxkick-ass kung fujuke_bots
magic planetActroidBrain Ball

an inconvenient truth

went to see the most important film of the year today. very well done, with a data-driven approach to hammer the reality of global warming home. the only nit i have is that the call to action comes too late in the movie (in the last five minutes, and in the credits). also, there was not enough coverage of solutions beyond vague calls to save energy. no advice how to short a basket of detroit companies and buy efficient cars with the proceeds, no talk of emissions trading, no call for new nuclear power plants. instead, we got the advice to pray

still, go see it even if you are familiar with all it’s points. longer playing times matter.


these days i am enjoying headmap. i would give it a SL of 1.5

The space, the social network, thinking tools and the network interface in the same field of view. The boundaries between what is interior and what is exterior intersecting tangibly in front of your eyes.

there are notes in boxes that are empty

every room has an accessible history

every place has emotional attachments you can open and save

you can search for sadness in new york

people within a mile of each other who have never met stop what they are doing and organise spontaneously to help with some task or other.

in a strange town you knock on the door of someone you don’t know and they give you sandwiches.

paths compete to offer themselves to you

life flows into inanimate objects

the trees hum advertising jingles

everything in the world, animate and inanimate, abstract and concrete, has thoughts attached

solar swashbuckling

from the planetary society comes word that cosmos 1, the first private solar sail craft is ready for launch on june 21, 2005. solar sails have some very poetic capabilities:

Ultimate space-manufactured solar sails will allow the possibility of Earth-Mars round trips with durations measured in months rather than years. The same technology may allow visits to the nearer stars at solar-system exit velocities higher than 1,000 km /sec. The one-way travel time to the Sun’s nearest interstellar neighbors (proxima and Alpha Centauri) will be about 1,000 years for such spacecraft. Advances in laser and maser power-beaming technologies may eventually substantially reduce interstellar-voyage durations.

that is a remarkable 0.003c.

immersive projection

blue-c is a new generation immersive projection and 3D video acquisition environment for virtual design and collaboration. It combines simultaneous acquisition of multiple live video streams with advanced 3D projection technology in a CAVE™-like environment, creating the impression of total immersion.
i was wondering recently, after having read virtual reality, whether the VR community had been under a rock for the last 10 years. looks like they have emerged again..
while browsing around, i also found the virtual reality lab. what’s up with those images on their site? looks like someone over there is getting paid to play second life 😉

community currencies

interesting writing over at the feature about community currencies. makes me wonder what their influence on monetary policy will be. they are not as huge as frequent flyer miles yet,

Estimating that the air miles currently in circulation are worth $500 billion, The Economist magazine labeled frequent-flier miles as the second biggest “currency” after the dollar.

, but are only bound to grow. what happens if these alternate currencies overtake the dollar?

jaron lanier vs will wright on various gaming and VR topics

someone asks if the sims 2 promotes consumerism, will responds that it has a detoriation built in. jaron calls monoculture the biggest mistake of the IT industry, mentions that textbook publishers slipped through legislation to make non-book learning materials not part of the requirements, which stifled VR worlds. will mentions that kids make purchasing decisions for educational titles as early as age 7, needs to be taken into account for marketing. jaron is an adviser for linden labs. jaron is really bugged by the narrowness of archetypes in online worlds, mentions vixens. how can the level of education be improved given that most kids have access to “the library of congress” on their desktop? will thinks it is a motivational problem, and richer tests etc could help. jaron, on the other hand, thinks that “touching reality” can increase learning acquisition. will riffs that technology is an extension of the human body, and increasingly, that body is in the computer. jaron: “bits don’t mean anything, they only encode information in context to reality.” thoughts on teledildonics? jaron: where are the women? :) will: i hear this topic a lot, but never has a woman brought it up. will mentions introverted people that were able to express themselves. someone asks for a powerful meme to spread about the value of play for education. jaron: first some dark thoughts. the privatization and stratification of education (fueled by the minority of white people in the us for the first time) will lead to more future shock. he thinks that we can be gentler on the unwashed (who mostly dislike educated people). will: trust kids, they know what is good for them, let them explore.. someone asks about addiction to online games. will mentions a great scene from a book of the 17th century of someones first encounter with someone else reading a book, with the other person completely absorbed. thinks it calls for a social solution, not a technological solution. some games have negative returns to defeat the 12year olds that had infinite time. jaron wants to turn the question around, asserts that the best thing for a kid to become a highly performant mind is to explore things. mentions infinite games. is it addiction if it is productive? is writing a novel an addiction? what about the arts / science gulf? don’t we need a manifesto for arts education? will: the gaming industry has, in his experience, a much more balanced approach. also, he sees more artists crossing over to technology than the other way round.
jaron: the problem with AI is that there is always a need for a human to assess AI performance. the auto correction feature of word is a good example: is it actually a good feature or not? people have to bend over backwards and “learn” what the feature expects to make it work.