Shared posts

24 May 16:51

"The polarization around remote work comes as no surprise" in Work Futures

by Stowe Boyd

How you feel about remote work depends on who you are.

Continue reading on Medium »

24 May 16:52

"HP’s Meg Whitman follows Marissa Mayer’s lead: All Hands On Deck" in Work Futures

by Stowe Boyd

Shutting down remote work isn’t going to fix HP’s problems

Continue reading on Medium »

25 May 14:07

"No surprise: Millennials are like everyone else, only more so" in Work Futures

by Stowe Boyd

Millennials are not the Spock-like technoids most think they are.

Continue reading on Medium »

22 May 18:30

Twitter Favorites: [DenimAndSteel] We biked to work today, but everything we’ve seen in @TransLink’s handling of the Skytrain disruption has been good.

Denim & Steel @DenimAndSteel
We biked to work today, but everything we’ve seen in @TransLink’s handling of the Skytrain disruption has been good.
23 May 00:10

Twitter Favorites: [canuckistani] if you're s designer looking for work, consider distinguishing yourself by *not* having a parallax scrolling portfolio.

Jeff Griffiths @canuckistani
if you're s designer looking for work, consider distinguishing yourself by *not* having a parallax scrolling portfolio.
23 May 23:22

Twitter Favorites: [bmann] Thanks @zillow team, mentors & organizers @LukeVivier @sintaxi @gyaresu for hosting #nodeschool Vancouver - I sort of get callbacks now ;)

Boris Mann @bmann
Thanks @zillow team, mentors & organizers @LukeVivier @sintaxi @gyaresu for hosting #nodeschool Vancouver - I sort of get callbacks now ;)
24 May 21:39

Twitter Favorites: [comoxvalleybuzz] "For the second time in a week I've been walking on 5th street in Courtenay and forced to listen to taped music"

Comox Valley Buzz @comoxvalleybuzz
"For the second time in a week I've been walking on 5th street in Courtenay and forced to listen to taped music"…
25 May 00:32

Twitter Favorites: [sintaxi] Founder/Product fit isn't talked about nearly enough. Its a huge advantage to build a business that aligns with your life goals.

Brock Whitten @sintaxi
Founder/Product fit isn't talked about nearly enough. Its a huge advantage to build a business that aligns with your life goals.
25 May 04:37

Twitter Favorites: [ReneeStephen] The Decline of Vancouver. (Are you reading this, @MayorGregor?)

Renée Stephen @ReneeStephen
The Decline of Vancouver. (Are you reading this, @MayorGregor?)…
25 May 07:22

"Visualizing Instagram: selfies, cities, and protests" - lecture by Manovich in Belgrade, 5/26/2015

by Lev Manovich

Interaction with On Broadway installation currently on view at New York Public Library (NYPL).

Visualizing Instagram: selfies, cities, and protests

Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade
May 26, 2015 - 7pm


The explosive growth of social media and cultural content on the web along with the digitization of historical cultural artifacts opened up exiting new possibilities for the analysis of cultural trends, patterns and histories. Today, thousands of researchers have already published papers analyzing massive cultural datasets in many areas including social networks, urban data, online video, web site design fashion photography, popular 20th century music, 19th century literature, etc. While most of this work is done by researchers in computer science, a number of very interesting projects were also created by data designers, media artists, and humanities scholars. Here are selected examples of this work.

In my lecture I will show a number of projects created in our lab ( since 2008. They include comparison of 2.3 million Instagram images from 13 global cities (, interactive installation exploring Broadway street in NYC using 30 million data points and images (, a web tool for comparison of selfie photos from 5 cities ( and analysis and visualizations of 1 million manga pages and 1 million artworks from the largest network for “user-generated art” ( I will also talk about our current work in progress - analysis of 260 million images shared on Twitter worldwide during 2011-2014.

I will discuss how we combine methods from data science, media art, and design, and how the
use of big cultural data helps us question our existing assumptions about culture. More details about our research

Finally, I will also offer comments about the new emerging "social physics" that uses big data and computation to study the social. Our spontaneous online actions become source of behavioral and cognitive data used for commercial and surveillance purposes - improving results of search engines, customizing recommendations, determining what are the best images to be used in online ads, etc. The science used to focus on nature, with smartest people coming to work in physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology. Today, the social has become the new object of science, with hundreds of thousands of computer scientists, researchers and companies mining and mapping the data about our behaviors. In this way, the humans have become the new "nature" for the sciences. The implications of this grand shift are now beginning to unfold. Will we become the atoms in the "social physics," first dreamed by the founder of sociology Auguste Comte in the middle of 19th century? Will predictive analytics dictate numerous aspects of our lives?

25 May 08:01

We Are Past The "Human Subscription Peak" As Well

by mobilesociety

A couple of days ago I started my analysis of this year's report of the German telecoms regulator (RegTP) with a first post on that we are past "peak telephony". The report also clearly lays out that we are past the "human subscription peak" as well.

10 years ago in 2004 there were 89 million mobile subscriptions in Germany. The peak was seen back in 2011 with 142 million subscriptions. Since then the number of subscriptions have gone up and down a few millions year on year and in 2014, 139 million subscriptions were counted. In other words there is no growth anymore despite the push for mobile devices in addition to smartphones such as a tablets that also have cellular connectivity.

So should we see growth in this area in the future again it will probably come from other areas. Machine to machine for example. In other words the number of SIM cards might from now on be a good indicator of how much and how fast non-human machine communication gains traction.

25 May 06:52

Firefox OS – Soggy matches.

by windsorr

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Ignite initiative has far to go before it catches fire.

  • Mozilla has done a complete about face in ditching its cheap smartphone strategy and deciding instead to focus on an experience that users might actually want.
  • Ex-Mozilla CMO Chris Beard has been running the show since July 2014 and last week saw the launch of a new strategy to tackle the smartphone market.
  • In an e-email sent to staff, Mozilla has launched its new initiative called Ignite that throws away many of the old strategies of Firefox OS and takes the OS in a new direction.
  • The main strategies are:
    • First. Cheap smartphones have not worked for Mozilla and from now on the focus will be on quality rather than cost.
    • Mozilla is aiming to build smartphones that users actually want rather than one that they buy because it’s the cheapest.
    • I think that cheap has failed because none of its partners have ever came close to the mythical $25 price point and by the time devices came to market, Android had already beaten Firefox OS to it.
    • Second. Android app compatibility will be included.
    • Mozilla has not said whether this will be done through emulation (most likely) or through porting, but either method is going to be fraught with problems especially when competing with Android apps on Android devices at the same price point.
    • Mozilla will also have to overcome its lack of an app. store, but given I think that Amazon app store would make a reasonable substitute given its 74% score in RFM app store equivalency tests (see here).
    • Third. The software will always be open source and focused on bringing the web more effectively to the mobile device.
  • Offering the cheapest smartphones and reference designs certainly did not work for Mozilla but I am not sure that this will either.
  • Android is currently shipping over a billion units per year, and against this kind of volume Mozilla is likely to really struggle.
  • This is because at any price point, there is likely to be an Android device available with a better specification thanks to the huge volumes in which the platform ships.
  • This leaves Mozilla with the task of making its user experience so compelling that users won’t mind buying a lower specification of device in order to get access to its user experience.
  • This leads Mozilla straight back to the ecosystem where its 22% score on the Digital Life pie (see here) leaves it with a huge hill to climb.
  • Furthermore, when it has a great Digital Life offering that easy and fun to use, it will then have to convince users to adopt it.
  • This is a very difficult feat and one with which even Microsoft is really struggling despite its $17bn in sales and marketing spending.
  • The new CEO of Mozilla has a marketing background and so I hope that he will have a good idea how to market the proposition but before that he has a huge hill to climb in making the Firefox OS ecosystem appealing.
  • I the best instance, it will be sometime and a lot of investment before Mozilla is close to presenting any kind of threat to the status quo.
  • Hence, Apple and Google will not be losing any sleep over this and the opportunity for Microsoft remains open for now.
  • Microsoft and Google remain my favourite plays in the digital mobile ecosystem.
25 May 11:01

"If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; a week, kill a pig; a month, get married; for life, be..."

“If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; a week, kill a pig; a month, get married; for life, be a gardener.”

- Chinese saying
25 May 11:28

Rethinking Blogs

I’ve decided to go back to writing some things at on Tumblr. There’s a lot embedded here, and of course the community I’ve become part of – who do not seem as eager to switch to Medium as I have been.

The Work Futures publication at Medium has become the place that I have collated materials related to the future of work, especially the materials otherwise lost at

But I will be doing more long form writing here, and much of the short form I was doing at At least until they allow me to point the domain there, and bulk import everything.

Also, as I am using Draft as a writing medium, and I can directly publish from there to Tumblr, some of the annoyance of the new editing experience at Tumblr is minimized.

25 May 01:00

The Web of Alexandria

by Bret Victor

Vannevar Bush's "library of a million volumes, compressed into one end of a desk" may sound quaint to us today. Bush naively assumed that immediate access to a million volumes would require the physical presence of those million volumes. His proposal -- a million volumes in every desk.

25 May 00:00

Hitting a little too close to home

Toby Morris, The Wireless, May 25, 2015

This is why education alone does not repair social and economic inequality. The comments below the cartoon are also worth reading. See also this item, from Buzzfeed. And this.

[Link] [Comment]
25 May 00:00

The OU is closing doors

Unattributed, Times Higher Education, May 25, 2015

According to this letter in the Times Higher Education supplement, the Open University is closing regional offices in places like Leeds, Gateshead, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham. The author writes, "It seems to be odd timing when the political direction is to devolve power to English cities, with the university in an enviable position to take advantage of the possibilities that such devolution could bring." But the model of one central office with a bunch of branch offices isn't the same as decentralized. So what would a proper model look like? Each city and town with its own office, locally managed, with access provided to a variety of institutions, including OU, but also any other institution. Back in the 90s I called this 'the Triad Model' (I did not coin the term, but it fits perfectly).

[Link] [Comment]
25 May 10:01

What’s next for mobile networks?

by Roland Banks


Many of us now have access to hi-speed 4G networks, with mobile operators around the world racing to roll out the latest flavours of the technology. But what comes next, and what will it mean for you and me? So-called fifth-generation or 5G networks are looming ever-closer on the horizon, and besides the technology giving faster speeds (and greater capacity), there are also expected to be billions more smarter, connected devices in future, all relying on networks that don’t yet exist outside of research labs.

Besides the increased speeds we should see, next-gen networks will also have a huge impact on our way of life, and the content and services we can expect to use. The race to develop 5G networks is well and truly on.

5G leads the charge towards next-gen mobile networks

More people than ever before now use the web via their mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and this trend is only going to continue. Telecoms companies are pumping billions into new 5G networks so they can offer customers faster connectivity and better download speeds.

But as it stands today, 4G provides the best mobile data service in the world, but it’s still in its infancy even though it’s now available in dozens of countries. Today, EE leads the European rollout of 4G with a penetration of 36%, with O2 and Vodafone significantly lagging behind. Meanwhile in France, Bouygues (31%) has almost twice the 4G penetration of Orange.

RELATED: 4G networks in the UK – the state of play

Perhaps unsurprisingly, South Korea leads the world in the development and rollout of 4G networks, which currently stands at more than 60% according to Juniper Networks. Japan, Australia, the US and Sweden have approximately 20% penetration, while Canada has around 8%.

Accurate figures however are hard to come by. In June last year, Ofcom estimated that the US had the highest number of LTE subscribers standing at 140 million, followed by Japan with 51.2 million and South Korea at 32.6 million.

LTE Subscribers Worldwide 2014



Meanwhile, 4G speeds typically offer around 150 Mbps, although faster standards such as LTE-A (LTE Advanced) are starting to offer 300 Mbps in some countries. Unfortunately as we all know, it’s virtually unheard of for end users to actually achieve these speeds. Ofcom surveys earlier this year revealed that average speeds were more like 15 – 20 Mbps in the UK although that figure may have improved in recent months.

But as 4G improves and the technology becomes more widespread, mobile Internet speeds of 1 Gbps or more could become a reality in the next 5 years.

What is 5G?

5G is the terminology that refers to the next generation of mobile networks. But at the moment, it’s little more than a concept and set of standards, given that the attainable speeds of 5G networks appear to be constantly in flux.

Apparently, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance has defined 5G network requirements as follows:

  • Data rates of several tens of Mb/s should be supported for tens of thousands of users
  • 1 Gbit/s to be offered, simultaneously to tens of workers on the same office floor
  • Several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections to be supported for massive sensor deployments
  • Spectral efficiency should be significantly enhanced compared to 4G
  • Coverage should be improved
  • Signalling efficiency enhanced

It is becoming obvious that a number of requirements will be driving 5G. Increasing data rates is an obvious one, with a special focus on improving fairness to ensure a good user experience at cell edges. Others are much lower latencies and reduced cost, for deployment certainly – Nokia.

Communications company like Ericsson, Nokia and LG Uplus are already well underway in developing 5G, but there is a considerable amount of research still to be done. But they claim that as well as providing network speeds that are significantly faster than 4G, they will be so fast and robust that no matter how many people are connected, users won’t experience a reduction in speed, connectivity or capability. Sounds almost too good to be true…

How fast?

Nokia 5G Ultra Reliability

SOURCE: Nokia.


At the moment all there is to go on are lab tests and theoretical calculations made by mobile operators and equipment manufacturers. For example, last year Samsung managed to deliver speeds of 1 Gbps using 5G, and speed that makes it possible to download a 1 GigaByte (GB) TV show in less than 10 seconds.

But in practice, the speeds we might see as consumers could be anything from 10 Mbps to hundreds of Mbps…the dream of just being able to click to download content and have it appear almost instantly still seems a long way off.

The Internet of Things (IoT)…?

The Internet of Things

Besides increased network speeds, one of the huge attractions (at least to the operators) of 5G is the increase in network capacity, especially as we move to an era where many of the devices we use every day are becoming increasingly smart, aware and connected.

It has been estimated that more than 80 billion devices will be connected via the Internet of Things by 2020 – everyday objects such as cars, washing machines, coffee makers and everything else that makes up our smart homes. 80 billion sounds like a lot of new devices getting online in just 5 years, so the networks need to be able to handle all this additional load.

Still a long way off…

It is believed by many that 5G in some form will start to roll out by 2020, once all the standards have been finalised and agreed upon, likely for commercial use and trials, with consumers following a few years behind.

But anyone living in London may have cause to be optimistic, as mayor Boris Johnson pledged in his London Infrastructure Plan 2050 that 5G will be available in the UK capital by 2020 – an ambitious target to say the least.

“London is earning a reputation for being the tech capital of Europe and that is why we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access the very best digital connectivity”, said Johnson last year. “Londoners increasingly regard broadband as another utility and I am expecting a wide variety of providers will want to work with me to make this aspiration a reality”.

Finland’s 5G test network

Meanwhile, there has been some noteworthy progress in Finland, as a 5G test network is being built by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Oulu in a joint partnership with partners such as Nokia. The testbed is due to open in the latter half of 2015, providing a testing ground for 5G technologies and applications.

“The idea is to trial different 5G concepts so we can gain the best possible understanding of their performance already before the 5G standard is set”, said Kyösti Rautiola, who is the research team leader at VTT. “But the test network is also an application platform for building new early stage applications and to gain better understanding of the real-world benefits of 5G”.

The test network will eventually evolve into a full scale 5G network as the technologies are developed, and it will later be expanded to cover wider areas of Oulu.

Final words

It seems that 5G is the future for mobile, at least that’s what the networks and equipment manufacturers tell us. In the UK, we are only just getting used to 4G, and it could still be several years before the majority of the popular has sufficient coverage.

Now that 5G is looming, we can expect the next few years to be filled with news of 5G test networks, trials and the eventual rollout. It would be fantastic if this time around, London is one of the first cities in the world to get a proper, fully-functioning 5G consumer network. Roll on 2020…!

25 May 13:00

Statistics PhD ranked as best graduate degree

by Nathan Yau

I usually don't read much into job and degree rankings. The criteria are often arbitrary based simply on data that happens to be available. Or, a bulk of the rankings are based on survey answers where the population is questionable or there is a strong bias towards a specific field. But Fortune got PayScale to rank the top graduate degrees and Statistics PhD came out as the best. So boom. I'll take it.

The pay is similar to other STEM degrees but it's the lower-than-average stress that puts Statistics at number one.

Woo hoo. Statistics doesn't suck.

Maybe this is a good time to revisit my PhD survival guide. [Thanks to my ever so proud wife, Bea]

Tags: PhD, rankings

24 May 00:00

My website in a Dropbox

Dave Winer, Liveblog, May 25, 2015

I'm not sure how this works exactly, but I've long been an aficionado of personal websites for everybody, so this idea - using some node.js code to create your own website on Dropbox - is a natural. Dave Winer writes, "The server is called PagePark. Of all my latest tools, it's my favorite. I love tweaking it, adding little shortcuts. Things that make it work really well for the kind of content I serve." See also.

[Link] [Comment]
24 May 16:23

Inbox by Gmail is soon getting signatures and one-tap deletes

by Rob Attrell

Inbox by Gmail was conceived as a new way to think about email, taking your Gmail inbox and making it as simple as possible. However, because everybody defines simplicity in email differently, there has been lots of discussion since Inbox’s release about it missing critical features.

After a post on Google+ from Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii on May 7th listing the reasons he can’t move his email to Inbox, including marking emails as unread, adding signatures, and quickly deleting emails. The team from Gmail responded Thursday night from the official Inbox by Gmail Google+ account. The comment confirms “We’re working on both Signatures and Delete.  Pin and Snooze are both designed to replace mark as unread.”

This seems to indicate that the team is already hard at work on adding signatures to email, as well as making it easier for users to quickly delete batches of emails. It also tells us that marking email as unread is not a part of current plans, as the team thinks pinning or snoozing emails is more productive for their vision of email.

24 May 15:50

Best Cycling Glasses under $80 – Ryders Thorn Photochromic Sunglasses

by Maggie

Ryders Thorn Photochromic Sunglasses are light sensitive, so in the dark they will remain clear and slowly darken as the sun comes out. They are lightweight, durable and very comfortable – yet do not cost an arm and a leg.

The post Best Cycling Glasses under $80 – Ryders Thorn Photochromic Sunglasses appeared first on Average Joe Cyclist.

24 May 20:55


by Reverend

It’s official, I have resigned my position at University of Mary Washington, and will be going full-time at Reclaim Hosting. It’s almost surreal, and I follow in the footsteps of the great Tim Owens—-whose hard work these last six months has made it all possible. And while I reference the opening sequence of The Prisoner above in honor of #prisoner106, my resignation was neither premature nor acrimonious, and it won’t be immediate. I will be working through September at UMW to ensure a smooth transition. What’s more, one couldn’t have asked for a better situation over the 1o years I’ve been at UMW. I had amazing colleagues in DTLT, a remarkable level of autonomy, and the best faculty and students you could imagine. I think the work I’ve done at UMW speaks for itself, and I leave feeling I was part of a group that truly made the campus a better place to teach and learn. There can be no greater professional satisfaction than that in this line of work.

As to why, it’s pretty simple and I alluded to it in an earlier post. I’ve been longing to explore some of the exciting work Tim and I have been doing with Reclaim Hosting and this is my chance. We’ve been growing Reclaim slowly but surely for almost two years now, and it’s at a point where we can both devote our full attention to what’s next. I’m looking forward to working more closely with Tim on a daily basis because he has been an unbelievable source of inspiration for me these last four years. I would follow him and his edtech work to the ends of the earth. I learn a ton from working alongside him, and I want that to be my full time job. What’s more, I  think we complement each others skills quite well: he’s awesome and I can promote awesome pretty well :)

I’ll be transitioning most of my attention on this blog to exploring the work we’re doing with Reclaim, while at the same time working through what will certainly prove an amicable, but deeply emotional, breakup with UMW (that’s the real reason I need three months to transition :) ). I love that school! It has provided me countless opportunities to explore and experiment as part of my day job since 2005. While I am thrilled with the future prospects Reclaim provides, I will remain forever grateful to everyone at UMW—it’s truly a remarkable community of committed, talented, and generally awesome people. It’s been an honor to serve in your ranks for the last decade.

24 May 16:32

Upcoming talks: #CAG 2015 on geographies of waste

by Raul Pacheco-Vega

I love conferences that happen in my hometown, and I’m lucky that the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) conference this year will take place in Vancouver. I’m here now, and will come back after Edmonton (where I’ll be speaking at IASC 2015, presenting two papers) to do some fieldwork and participate in two panels that I organized with Dr. Kate O’Neill (University of California Berkeley) on the geographies of waste. Kate and I will also be presenting our research on informal e-waste recycling in Mexico, the US and possibly Canada. If you’re at CAG and are interested in my work, send me an email and we can schedule a one-on-one meeting.

I’m very grateful to Dr. Roger Hayter, the chair of the organizing committee for CAG 2015, and a former member of my doctoral dissertation committee, and I’m really excited to see him and many other Canadian geographers this week.

25 May 01:00

Details of the upcoming Photos app emerge days before Google I/O

by Rob Attrell

The rumoured split of Google’s photo backup service from the social networking aspect of Google+ has been discussed by Sundar Pichai, Senior VP at Google, since March of this year. We reported last week that the standalone service and associated app was ready for launch at this week’s Google I/O conference, but hadn’t seen or heard any details about what the service would look like.


However, as is common these days, this kind of information is hard to keep secret in the days leading up to a big announcement.

Android Police has gotten an exclusive look at the new app’s functionality and design, and it looks like a huge upgrade. From automatically tagging and indexing people and objects in photos, to powerful search functionality, this new app appears to be a considerable update from its predecessor.


Another big update to the service is a feature called “Assistant” that will give you more control over albums, and functions like Auto Awesome collages and animation.

The editing suite has also been redesigned to make theming your photos and common adjustments simpler. Basically every aspect of the app has been cleaned up and reconsidered for the modern smartphone user, and looks to be equally interesting to Google+ users and those who prefer other photo sharing services.


In addition to all the new features, the app also leans heavily on Google’s Material Design, and fits well with Google’s other built-in apps on Android. Though these screenshots appear very convincing, Android Police is careful to say that final designs for the app may be slightly different than they appear, but given that Google I/O starts on May 28, it’s likely that this is what we should expect to see at the keynote.

22 May 07:00

Common People

Twenty years ago (May 22nd 1995), Pulp released the single "Common People":

Unfortunately, that version is censored. At 2 mins 30 seconds the lyrics are:

You'll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw
Because there's nothing else to do.

The version on youtube omits "and screw". This song has some great lyrics:

Smoke some fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right
'cos when you're laid in bed at night watching roaches climb the wall
If you call your Dad he could stop it all.

This was a defining song of the Britpop era and I can remember it clearly being part of an Oasis (Manchester) vs Pulp (London) rivalry.

Of course, you haven't made it until William Shatner covers it:

Of that Jarvis said:

In 2011 Jarvis Cocker praised the cover version: "I was very flattered by that because I was a massive Star Trek fan as a kid and so you know, Captain Kirk is singing my song! So that was amazing."


Apparently the subject of song is a lady who might have been named Danae, my wife's name.

There is a documentary about Pulp I haven't seen:

I'm now going to go listen to every Pulp song ever.

24 May 09:33

SPECTRE #007 (at London Film Museum Events)

SPECTRE #007 (at London Film Museum Events)

24 May 10:41

When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen

When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen:

Not sure which is crazier: that birds utilize spectrum frequencies to pass information undetected – or that different species are able to communicate with one another for warning signals. 

24 May 11:01

‘Hobby’ No More

24 May 14:16

Top 5 Xposed modules for Android 5.1 Lollipop

by Rajesh Pandey
Xposed framework is easily one of the best mods to come out from the third-party Android development community. The amount of customisations that the framework and its module offers can only be matched by certain custom ROMs. Continue reading →