Monday, July 01, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N 26) Digg Reader, Quantified Self, Chicago Public Maker Fair, Music Data Miners + More

Developing the Digg Reader replacement for Google Reader (Wired)
McLaughlin saw a blog post in the Fall of 2012 speculating that Google Reader, choked of resources, was shutting down. He sent a teasing note to a friend at Google offering to “take it off their hands.” To his surprise, he got a serious reply. Google, his friend replied, had concluded that it couldn’t sell the name, user data, or code base (which would only run on their servers) and so there was nothing to actually buy.

The following February, McLaughlin, now full-time at Digg, bumped into this same pal at a TED conference. The friend warned him to act fast if he really did want to develop a Reader. “He said ‘I’m not telling you anything, but we’re not going to keep this thing around forever and maybe you want to have something ready by the end of the year.”

But instead of year’s end Google announced plans to shutter Google Reader on July 1. That same night, Digg put up a blog post announcing that it was going to build a replacement. The Internet went crazy.

The idea of Digg building a Reader replacement just resonated. The revamped was already popular, especially in news and developer circles. It had a reputation for scrumptious headlines and kickers, courtesy of editorial director David Weiner, a HuffPo alum. Its tech team, led by CTO Michael Young had already shown serious backend chops, which meant people didn’t doubt its ability to pull off building a reader. The same minimalist sensibility that design director Justin Van Slembrouck had given the front page of Digg would translate well to the new project, and, hell: Its GM Jake Levine might even be able to figure out a way to monetize it in ways Google never had.

I like the idea of selling my 'quantified self' rather than allow just about anyone to come and take it. There will be a market in personal information. You watch. (Wired)
The much-publicized Scanadu Scout, which is slated to ship in the first quarter of 2014, is the result of his last two years of work. The puck-like device is a sleek vital-signs recorder – tracking everything from blood pressure, body temperature and heart rhythm via myriad sensors. The gizmo then beams your vital signs to an app loaded on your phone or tablet, where it’s yours to keep forever. De Brouwer designed the Scanadu Scout to be a DIY doctor’s office, minus the frustration, endless waiting, and lack of empowerment that’s often associated with the health care system.

Wired sat down with De Brouwer in our offices in San Francisco to discuss what it’s been like to delve into the health care space and how the Quantified Self movement will change medicine forever.
Chicago Public library is going all innovative (Press Release)
The Chicago Public Library is opening the CPL Innovation Lab at the Harold Washington Library Center. Already used by a variety of industries from retail to banking to universities, innovation labs offer organizations a place to test new ideas for services, programs and products. The third floor space at the Chicago Public Library will allow CPL to quickly experiment with new ideas and approaches in order to be more customer focused and able to adapt to the community’s changing needs.
The first innovation experiment in the space is the Maker Lab, part of the growing movement of hands-on, collaborative learning environments in which people come together to share knowledge and resources to design, create and build items. CPL is the first large urban library to experiment with a maker space. Made possible with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Maker Lab will be open to the public from July 8 through December 31, 2013. While a number of maker spaces exist in Chicago, this will be the first free maker space open to the public.

Created in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry, the Library’s Maker Lab offers the public an introduction to technology and equipment which are enabling new forms of personal manufacturing and business opportunities. After the six month run, the Library will evaluate the project to determine the fit with the Library’s mission and the ability to bring the project, or elements of it, to a wider audience in the neighborhood branches.
The Lab will offer access to a variety of software such as Trimble Sketchup, Inkscape, Meshlab, Makercam and equipment including three 3D Printers, two laser cutters, as well as a milling machine and vinyl cutter.

In addition to Open Lab hours during which patrons can work with staff members to master new software and create personal projects, a variety of programs and workshops will be offered throughout the seven day schedule of the Maker Lab. Family workshops will be offered every Sunday afternoon to foster invention, creation and exploration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), the focus of this year’s Summer Learning Challenge.
Cengage continue 'constructive discussions' about their financial future (press release):
Cengage Learning continues to be in constructive discussions with its key financial stakeholders about a comprehensive financial restructuring that would strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and position Cengage for longterm growth and success. Although Cengage Learning has substantial cash balances and continues to generate positive cash flow, it has elected to take advantage of grace periods and not make certain debt payments as these discussions continue. Our goal is to undertake a financial restructuring that will put Cengage Learning on a stronger financial footing and allow us to support our strategic growth plans and ongoing digital transformation.
Musicians do data mining (Economist)
It helps that Ms Keating performs alone, which cuts down costs. She has no band, no manager, and no entourage on the payroll. Instead she tends to tour with her son, her husband and a nanny; sometimes there is someone to sell merchandise. But much of her success can be attributed to her skills as a data miner (alongside her cello-playing). By digging through the analytics on her various social networks, she determines where her fans are and what songs they like. A music-sharing site like SoundCloud allows Ms Keating to see which countries yield the most clicks. SoundCloud also lets users leave comments on songs, so musicians can determine fan preferences and perhaps alter their set lists accordingly.

From the twitter;
Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life – review
Does Jane Austen deserve a place on our £10 notes? Mr Darcy - man with a fortune
Jennifer Lopez sparks controversy with show for Turkmenistan president   Jenny from the dictatorship
Russell Brand: what I made of Morning Joe and Question Time

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