Monthly Archives: May 2016

Portrait by Jonathan Worth

An Internet of Things that act like inkjet printers

Cory Doc­torow explains at O’Reil­ly’s OSCON (cov­er­ing open source tools, enter­prise, archi­tec­ture, infra­struc­ture, com­mu­ni­ty and more) in Austin, Texas why the Inter­net of Things that includes DRM may not be the best option.

It may, in fact be the worst.

Cory is a sci­ence fic­tion nov­el­ist, blog­ger and tech­nol­o­gy activist. He is the co-edi­tor of the pop­u­lar weblog Boing Boing, and a con­trib­u­tor to The Guardian, Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, Wired, and many oth­er news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines and web­sites. He is a spe­cial con­sul­tant to the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion, a non-prof­it civ­il lib­er­ties group that defends free­dom in tech­nol­o­gy law, pol­i­cy, stan­dards and treaties. He holds an hon­orary doc­tor­ate in com­put­er sci­ence from the Open Uni­ver­si­ty (UK), where he is a Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor; in 2007, he served as the Ful­bright Chair at the Annen­berg Cen­ter for Pub­lic Diplo­ma­cy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.


Hemingway (logo)

Do your headlines have a Beyoncé-level of engagement?

Like the lead para­graph in a news sto­ry or the­sis in an essay, your head­line is your one true sen­tence: the sin­gle most impor­tant asset for cap­tur­ing atten­tion in the feed.

Hem­ing­way is Sharethrough’s new AI-pow­ered head­line ana­lyz­er, an easy-to-use, pub­licly avail­able tool that puts a wealth of pro­pri­etary data sci­ence and lin­guis­tic analy­sis at your fin­ger­tips for the first time. This new tool is free for any­one look­ing to nav­i­gate the new pres­sures and demands in con­tent mar­ket­ing, help­ing them ana­lyze and quick­ly improve the qual­i­ty of their head­lines, opti­miz­ing for both impres­sion and engage­ment.

Below are the intial results for this arti­cle’s head­line (pre-Bey­on­cé).

Hemingway (actual headline result)

Using this analyser, I was able to push my Head­line Qual­i­ty Score from 62 to 79%. I’m not sure adding Bey­on­cé improved your lev­el of engage­ment after you arrived, but you clicked on the head­line though, did­n’t you? Appar­ent­ly that’s 98% of the prob­lem solved.

How does it work?

The Head­line Qual­i­ty Score is based on a mul­ti­vari­ate lin­guis­tic algo­rithm built on the prin­ci­ples of Behav­ior Mod­el the­o­ry and Sharethrough’s neu­ro­science and adver­tis­ing research. The algo­rithm takes into account more than 300 unique vari­ables, includ­ing EEG data and Nat­ur­al Lan­guage Pro­cess­ing, enabling your native ads to cap­ture atten­tion, increase engage­ment and deliv­er a stronger impres­sion.

Basi­cal­ly, it offers sug­ges­tions to improve click­throughs — but’s it not going to write bet­ter head­lines for you.

Back to work, you Hem­ing­way-wannabe.


The GyroGlove from GyroGear

GyroGlove: Solutions can come from any perspective

GyroGlove is a glove designed to sup­press hand tremors caused by Parkin­son’s dis­ease. Instead of using drugs to coun­ter­act the effect of the dis­ease, which have a finite lifes­pan and some­times sig­nif­i­cant side effects, Joon Faii Ong (a med­ical stu­dent at Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Lon­don) worked with a team of engi­neers, design­ers and medics to cre­ate a glove that would direct­ly sta­bilise the hands of some­one suf­fer­ing from tremors, by using gyro­scopes.

First nom­i­nat­ed as a final­ist in the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, and now on tar­get to launch at the end of 2016.

via and

The "Maschinenmensch" or machine-human (from Fritz Lang's Metropolis)

VR Storytelling as “Audience Experience”

To explore the audience’s expe­ri­ence in VR, Karin Soukup and Alexan­dra Gar­cia part­nered with Stanford’s Media Exper­i­ments, the Nation­al Film Board of Cana­da, and inde­pen­dent film­mak­er Pais­ley Smith.

Using low-res­o­lu­tion “expe­ri­ence pro­to­typ­ing” and exten­sive­ly test­ing three basic sce­nar­ios, they attempt to deter­mine the role of agency in VR sto­ry­telling. In doing so, they con­struct what may be VR’s first for­mal dis­ci­pline — “Audi­ence Expe­ri­ence” (AX).

Their top five take­aways:

  1. Real­i­ty is con­struct­ed (once the audi­ence pokes a hole in real­i­ty, they have already fall­en through it)
  2. Hav­ing a body means being some­body (there is no such thing as a neu­tral observ­er)
  3. Look­ing is doing (for bet­ter or worse, the audi­ence directs their own gaze)
  4. 360° is less than 180° (the more there is to see, the less the audi­ence remem­bers)
  5. 360° is more than full cir­cle (the more com­plete the envi­ron­ment, the more it res­onates)

Their con­clu­sion? VR sto­ry­tellers should be “mata­dors”, mov­ing away from direc­tor towards influ­encer – wav­ing the red cape to show users where to look. To do this effec­tive­ly, we need to know their emo­tion­al, cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal expe­ri­ence: hence the focus on audi­ence expe­ri­ence.