“Xerox announced a new silver ink that it’s calling, and apparently is, a breakthrough in printable electronics, a leading edge concept that’s generated a lot of discussion but few actual products to date, largely because of the issues that Xerox’s new technology addresses. In concept, printable electronics is just what it sounds like: using a printer, basically an ink jet, to print electronic circuits. If you can do that reliably, you can print electronic devices for far less than current methods cost. You can also print the devices on a variety of new materials.”—Xerox Claims Printable Electronics Breakthrough - Reviews by PC Magazine
4 New APIs: US Congress, Semantic Search, Fashion Search Engine, Read-Write Mapping
OpenCongress API: OpenCongress brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give users the real story behind each bill. The OpenCongress API also developers to access all this data for their website or application.
The TownMe API includes both read and write geo-related services. The read side has a reverse geocoder which helps translate coordinates into human readable elements or associations. For instance, give the API “37.78093,-122.409415″ and it will return information about the census tract, neighborhood, city, MSA, and state that contains these coordinates
“Our water infrastructure (like the rest of the world) is still largely fixated in the Deakin era, and our operational practices are definitely Sumerian/Babylonian in nature (although admittedly no longer temple-based) and suffer from low efficiency. This does not augur well for the future. It is essential to modernise the water infrastructure so as to improve water efficiency and in general achieve a more sustainable socioeconomic and environmental water-management outcome within the ill-understood constraint of the available water resource.”—
ScienceDaily — If the promise of nanotechnology is to be fulfilled, nanoparticles will have to be able to make something of themselves. An important advance towards this goal has been achieved by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who have found a simple and yet powerfully robust way to induce nanoparticles to assemble themselves into complex arrays.
Trucks, Technology & Twitter: the Atlanta Hybrid Truck Convoy and the Truck2020 TwitStop
On Tuesday, Oct. 27th, a convoy of dozens of hybrid trucks will be rolling through Atlanta on their way to the Hybrid Truck 2009 National Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center. As part of the conference, IBM will also be publishing its new study, Truck2020, which examines the critical role that next generation trucking will play in making cities, supply chains, retail businesses and many aspects of our planet smarter, greener and more innovative.
Speaking of next generations, many kids ( and plenty of grownup kids) love trucks. To feed that passion and promote interest in this emerging high-tech industry, IBM’s Institute for Business Value, which produced the Truck2020 report, is organizing a multimedia collaboration via Twitter for spectators and convoy participants. We’re calling it a “TwitStop.” See details on how people in the Atlanta area can be part of this social media mashup.
SenseCam, a camera you can wear as a pendant to record every moment of your life, will soon be launched by a U.K.-based firm. Originally invented to help jog the memories of people with Alzheimer’s disease, it might one day be used by consumers to create “lifelogs” that archive their entire lives.Worn on a cord around the neck, the camera takes pictures automatically as often as once every 30 seconds. It also uses an accelerometer and light sensors to snap an image when a person enters a new environment, and an infrared sensor to take one when it detects the body heat of a person in front of the wearer. It can fit 30,000 images onto its 1-gigabyte memory.
A few weeks ago I thought about the idea of creating peer groups of cities that band together to share ideas, data, and ultimately analytics to make them smarter individually and collectively. I was inspired by the work IBM is doing in Dubuque, and later by what I saw at the Smarter Cities event in NYC.
Tonight, I started to think about what the connections between these cities might look like and how the collaboration process might evolve. I decided that I should post a draft model and open it up for discussion rather than wait until I had a fully baked, hence this note. (You can register for the site and respond, or email me at email@example.com)
I’ll use the term citiplex to refer to such a community of cities, with similarities in several of the following basic properties:
Population size (similar educational, safety and healthcare issues)
Population density (similar housing and transportation issues)
Climate (energy requirements) o Natural resources (agricultural potential, energy sources…)
Government (easier for culturally similar groups to make a conscious effort to share)
“Once you move your core applications into a cloud-type scenario, all you really have as an interface is a Web browser, which makes access control and password management and identity management incredibly important. You’re not securing pieces or chunks of the network anymore. You’re securing the end user—how they access the network and what they do once they’re on. You’re really entrusting the provider with a lot—make sure that they can provide best practices for access management and identity management.”— Phil Hochmuth, senior analyst at research firm Yankee Group as quoted in Public clouds, private clouds and your security
“New York has been a pioneer among cities in the use of computing firepower to sift through data to improve services. It began in the 1990s with the city’s CompStat system for mapping, identifying and predicting crime. The system, combined with new policing practices, reduced crime rates in New York and was later adopted by Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other cities.
In 2002, the city began its “311” telephone number for answering questions about government services and to report problems down to missing manhole covers. The service receives 50,000 calls a day, and earlier this year began operating on the Web as well. Complaints, response times and resolved problems are tracked and measured to improve performance.
In 2006, the city began an online service, NYC Business Express, to make it easier and faster to start a business. The average time to obtain a building permit, for example, has been cut to 7 days from 40. Such seemingly mundane improvements can add up to big gains in the efficiency of government service systems, experts say, nurturing productivity and growth in local economies. The process, they say, is similar to “lean manufacturing,” a system first mastered by Toyota in which step-by-step changes on the factory floor, made repeatedly, translate into major advances in quality and productivity.”
“For the most part, university students have used rather modest computing systems to support their studies. They are learning to collect and manipulate information on personal computers or what are known as clusters, where computer servers are cabled together to form a larger computer. But even these machines fail to churn through enough data to really challenge and train a young mind meant to ponder the mega-scale problems of tomorrow. “If they imprint on these small systems, that becomes their frame of reference and what they’re always thinking about,” said Jim Spohrer, a director at I.B.M.’s Almaden Research Center. Two years ago, I.B.M. and Google set out to change the mindset at universities by giving students broad access to some of the largest computers on the planet. The companies then outfitted the computers with software that Internet companies use to tackle their toughest data analysis jobs.”—Teaching Students to Sift Mountains of Data - NYTimes.com