The Programmable City
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The Programmable City
How is the city translated into software and data, and how does software reshape the city?
Curated by Rob Kitchin
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Tech Companies Must Not Set the Agenda if Smart Cities Are To Let People Thrive | Sustainable Cities Collective

Tech Companies Must Not Set the Agenda if Smart Cities Are To Let People Thrive | Sustainable Cities Collective | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Technology companies must not be allowed to set the agenda if smart cities are to let people thrive.

Via Manu Fernandez
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Forecasting Displacement: A Brand New Effort Using Big Data | Brookings

Forecasting Displacement: A Brand New Effort Using Big Data | Brookings | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Beyond finance and meteorology, big data has potential applications for the international development and humanitarian communities. Elizabeth Ferris discusses how big data can contribute to our understanding of how and why people flee from their homes, and the potential of using it to forecast when and where they go.
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The Boom in Urban Data Labs Helps Support Growth in Smart Cities | GovTech

The Boom in Urban Data Labs Helps Support Growth in Smart Cities | GovTech | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In part three of our Digital Communities quarterly report, we look at research organizations and the urban labs they run, which could be more than just platforms for studying urban informatics.
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Digital Money, the end of privacy, and the preconditions of Post-digital resistance | post-digital-research

Digital Money, the end of privacy, and the preconditions of Post-digital resistance | post-digital-research | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

“I don’t want to live in a world that everything I do say is recorded” said whistleblower Edward Snowden in his recent interview with the Guardian, in order to justify his revelations over the extend of the surveillance and data-mining of communication around the world by the National Security Agency (NSA). The exposures about “Prism” a surveillance program that allegedly gives NSA direct access to email and telephone communication both in the United States and abroad, has raised concerns about privacy around the globe, including in some of US’ closest allies, including Germany and France. The fears about communication surveillance is fully justified, but there is seems to be little concern about the fate of the information about our economic data and how they circulate in electronic networks. Networked based economic transactions are founded on the principle of absolute verifiability and supervision, and in this domain the fear of Edward Snowden’ is becoming a reality. E-commerce and e-banking can exist only because everything is recorded, retrievable and verified. The same principles apply also to conventional banking before that, but there is one important difference. The information about electronic transactions is in a format that can be processed by the newly available software technologies in low cost and unprecedented speed giving insights about individual and collective behavior that can be both economically and politically useful. ...

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DataTorrent, A Big Data Platform Built On Hadoop, Can Process A Billion Events Per Second | TechCrunch

DataTorrent, A Big Data Platform Built On Hadoop, Can Process A Billion Events Per Second | TechCrunch | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

DataTorrent made its primary product, DataTorrent RTS, generally available today. The product is built on top of Hadoop 2.0 and allows companies to process massive amounts of big data in real time.

According to Phu Hoang, co-founder of the company, who was one of the first engineers at Yahoo! hired in 1996, the product can process more than a billion data events per second. Prior to a product like DataTorrent, companies would be looking back at what happened, rather than processing it in real time as it happens, and that’s a big change. ....

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Performative Materiality and Theoretical Approaches to Interface by Johanna Drucker | DHQ

Performative Materiality and Theoretical Approaches to Interface by Johanna Drucker | DHQ | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

This article outlines a critical framework for a theory of performative materiality and its potential application to interface design from a humanistic perspective. Discussions of the materiality of digital media have become richer and more complex in the last decade, calling the literal, physical, and networked qualities of digital artifacts and systems to attention. This article extends those discussions by reconnecting them to a longer history of investigations of materiality and the specificity of media in critical theory and aesthetics. In addition, it introduces the concept of performative materiality, the enacted and event-based character of digital activity supported by those literal, physical conditions, and introduces the theoretical concerns that attach to that rubric. Performative materiality is based on the conviction that a system should be understood by what it does, not only how it is structured. As digital humanities matures, it can benefit from a re-engagement with the mainstream principles of critical theory on which a model of performative materiality is based. The article takes these ideas into a more focused look at how we might move towards integrating this model and critical principles into a model of humanistic interface design.

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The Secret History of Hypertext | The Atlantic

The Secret History of Hypertext | The Atlantic | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The conventional history of computing leaves out some key thinkers.


Historians of technology often cite Bush’s essay as the conceptual forerunner of the Web. And hypertext pioneers like Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and Tim Berners-Lee have all acknowledged their debt to Bush’s vision. But for all his lasting influence, Bush was not the first person to imagine something like the Web. ...

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We will be driven by the philosophy that data is an important national resource - Dept of Energy | Greentech Media

We will be driven by the philosophy that data is an important national resource - Dept of Energy | Greentech Media | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In 2007, when Barack Obama was running for president, it cost roughly 44 cents to store a gigabyte of data. This year, as President Obama approaches the second half of his second term, the cost to store a gigabyte of data is dipping below the 5-cent mark.

 

The same trend has played out in wireless streaming, sensors and other power electronics, which have all become very cheap compared to their historical costs. That, in turn, is creating entirely new applications for energy that were only just beginning to become reality when the president entered the White House. ...

 

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Computers and Sociocultural Anthropology | Savage Minds

Recent years have seen the growth of what we might call “alternate universe anthropology.” People with little or no training in anthropology are taking on big sociocultural questions, and they’re doing it with computers. We find PhDs in Electrical Engineering trying to algorithmically define musical genres, computer scientists modeling family ties in social networks, and autodidact software developers designing “content discovery” apps around their own theories of cultural influence and flow. If sociocultural anthropology didn’t already exist, people might reasonably assign the name to this stuff. ...

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Chicago readies the next-generation big data network -- GCN

Chicago readies the next-generation big data network -- GCN | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In July Chicago will mount sensors on light poles, the first stage of a big data collection and analysis system that the city plans to open up to other jurisdictions.
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Unlocking Secrets, if Not Its Own Value: Commercial data spies, Palantir | NY Times

Unlocking Secrets, if Not Its Own Value: Commercial data spies, Palantir | NY Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Palantir Technologies’ intelligence software is gaining fans worldwide, and some investors want to cash in.

 

Founded in 2004, in part with $2 million from the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm, Palantir makes software that has illuminated terror networks and figured out safe driving routes through a war-torn Baghdad. It has also tracked car thieves, helped in disaster recovery and traced salmonella outbreaks. United States attorneys deployed its technology against the hedge fund SAC Capital, which was also an early investor in the company. ....

 

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Hackable Cities: A Toolkit for Re-Imagining Your Neighborhood

Final publication created by Cecilia Tham's studio section of the Strategic Design + Management program at Parsons The New School for Design.

(c) 2014
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Why Can't Americans Find Out What Big Data Knows About Them? | The Atlantic

Why Can't Americans Find Out What Big Data Knows About Them? | The Atlantic | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In a country that prizes the individual's right to privacy, data protections are practically nonexistent.  In the United States, there's not much we can do to find out which aspects of our personal lives are being bought and sold by data brokers. That's not the case in much of the rest of the world, where there are vast data protections, entire agencies devoted to data privacy, and serious enforcement efforts. ...

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Transforming Australian cities through green, smart technologies | CIO

Transforming Australian cities through green, smart technologies | CIO | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The CRC for Low Carbon Living Vision and Pathways 2040 Project held a workshop this week to discuss how Sydney and Melbourne can be transformed through green, smart technologies, and create a vision for what the cities will look like in 2040.
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Cryptologic geographies by @JeremyCrampton | Open Geography

Cryptologic geographies by @JeremyCrampton | Open Geography | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Geographers have been slow to research what I’m calling cryptologic geographies (crypto geographies). What I mean by this are the geographies of hacking, vulnerabilities, exploits, code fail, resilience, and cyberwarfare. An example is Stuxnet, the US/Israeli “worm” that was released to damage Iran’s nuclear capabilities. While Stuxnet targeted a particular kind of operating system, it caused “collateral damage” in other countries as well, especially India and Indonesia (pdf). ...

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Scaling Up Sensor-Based Smart Cities Proves Difficult | GovTech

Scaling Up Sensor-Based Smart Cities Proves Difficult | GovTech | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Can we trust smart cities? In part two of our Digital Communities quarterly report, we look at the hardships in finding a working business model to justify a sensor-based project, as showing they can cut costs and impact a city’s budget can be tough.
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Measuring Governance: What’s the point? | Global Integrity

Measuring Governance: What’s the point? | Global Integrity | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Over the last 10-15 years, the fact that governance – the institutional arrangements and relationships that shape how effectively things get done – plays a central role in shaping countries’ development trajectories has become widely acknowledged (see for instance the World Bank’s World Development Report of 2011). This acknowledgement has developed hand-in-hand with determined efforts to measure various aspects of governance.

 

This emphasis on governance and the efforts made to measure its patterns and understand its dynamics is very welcome. There’s no doubt that governance matters and measuring “governance” and its various dimensions can play a useful role in drawing attention to problems and opportunities, in monitoring compliance with standards, in evaluating efforts to support reform, and in informing decisions about what reforms to implement and how.

 

But in my experience, discussions about governance and its measurement sometimes gloss over a number of key questions (for a similar argument see the early sections of Matt Andrews’ piece on “Governance indicators can make sense”). . ...

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Remaking the city, ‘one site, one app, one click at a time’. Review of @anthonymobile Smart Cities

Remaking the city, ‘one site, one app, one click at a time’. Review of @anthonymobile Smart Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Plus ça change? Remaking the city, ‘one site, one app, one click at a time’. City: Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 226-229. Review of Anthony Townsend's Smart Cities.

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Police, Pedestrians and the Social Ballet of Merging: The Real Challenges for Self-Driving Cars | NY Times

Police, Pedestrians and the Social Ballet of Merging: The Real Challenges for Self-Driving Cars | NY Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
John J. Leonard, a veteran Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticist, thinks that Google is trying to tackle tremendous challenges in its autonomous driving project.
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How open data can help shape the way we analyse electoral behaviour | Guardian

How open data can help shape the way we analyse electoral behaviour | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Election data can help give insights into voting behaviour, but the lack of open data is hampering the analysis researchers can do argues the Open Data Institute and Deloitte
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With the Internet of Things, smart buildings pose big risk | ComputerWorld

With the Internet of Things, smart buildings pose big risk | ComputerWorld | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In an Internet of Things world, smart buildings with Web-enabled technologies for managing heat, lighting, ventilation, elevators and other systems pose a more immediate security risk for enterprises than consumer technologies.
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The promise and risks of big data | Phys.org

The promise and risks of big data | Phys.org | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
To its proponents, big data offers a big promise: insight into complex—and critically important—questions in health care, science, business and more. But its detractors say it poses big risks for individual privacy. Enter Dal's new Institute for Big Data Analytics, poised to explore this challenging ...
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Big data the key to improving urban efficiency | The Age

Big data the key to improving urban efficiency | The Age | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Cities that fail to embrace ''big data'' - and the meteoric rise of smartphones and the internet - to get more out of their existing infrastructure will be left behind, according to one of the world's leading ''smart cities'' advocates.
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Big Bang Data: exploring the phenomenon of the information explosion | CCCB

Big Bang Data: exploring the phenomenon of the information explosion | CCCB | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Art exhibition about big data in Barcelona 9 May – 26 October 2014 | Madrid 25 February – 24 May 2015

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The Anxieties of Big Data by Kate Crawford | The New Inquiry

The Anxieties of Big Data by Kate Crawford | The New Inquiry | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

What does the lived reality of big data feel like?

2014 is the year we learned about Squeaky Dolphin. That’s the Pynchon-worthy code name for a secret program created by British intelligence agency GCHQ to monitor millions of YouTube views and Facebook likes in real time. Of course, this was just one of many en masse data-collection programs exposed in Edward Snowden’s smuggled haul. But the Squeaky Dolphin PowerPoint deck reveals something more specific. It outlines an expansionist program to bring big data together with the more traditional approaches of the social and humanistic sciences: the worlds of small data. GCHQ calls it the Human Science Operations Cell, and it is all about supplementing data analysis with broader sociocultural tools from anthropology, sociology, political science, biology, history, psychology, and economics. ...

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