Songdo, a smart city built from scratch on reclaimed land near Seoul, is often described as the world's first smart city but has it been a success? ... Less than 50% occupancy and 20% commercial take-up of space ...
There is a new New Atlantis rising from the sea. This is a city that, like the seventeenth-century utopia of Bacon’s imagination, is purported to support the future of science, art, and commerce. The forms of experiment and rationality that govern this territory are, however, distant from the enlightened reason and empirical experimentation of Bacon’s envisioned ideal society. This territory will be governed not by a concentrated group of advanced leaders but by a diffuse network of machines. The city is called Songdo ...
As reported by Txchnologist: Decking out infrastructure with wires and sensors is the goal of many future-leaning urban planners and architects who are working to realize the dream of a true smart city. Now, the interconnected hyper-reality of interactive skins on buildings and bridges that signal when they need fixing is moving one step closer to fruition.
Several research groups have developed and patented unique formulas for electrically conductive concrete, which could deice roadways, sense when infrastructure needs repairs or even create cyber-secure buildings. ...
When releasing data, governments should know that format matters almost as much as content. If it is clean, well organized, complete and in a machine-readable format, even a nonprogrammer can make good use of it. A recent post from Craig Thomler, who blogs about eGovernment and Gov 2.0 in Australia, illustrates this point.
Thomler describes taking a basic data set – the expected polling places for the federal election – and transferring the information onto the map, which is more visually appealing and informative than a list of names and locations. The process sounds relatively simple, something anyone could manage after a bit of Googling ...
Digital infrastructure exceeding limits of human control, industry experts warn.
A series of system crashes affecting Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft in the past fortnight has brought warnings that governments, banks and big business are over-reliant on computer networks that have become too complex.
The alarm was sounded by industry experts in the aftermath of a three-hour network shutdown that paralysed the operation of the Nasdaq stock market in New York on Thursday, on what should have been a quiet day of routine share trading on the exchange.
Jaron Lanier, the author and inventor of the concept of virtual reality, warned that digital infrastructure was moving beyond human control. He said: "When you try to achieve great scale with automation and the automation exceeds the boundaries of human oversight, there is going to be failure. That goes for governments, for consumer companies, for Google, or a big insurance company. It is infuriating because it is driven by unreasonable greed. In many cases, the systems that tend to fail, fail because of an attempt to make them run automatically with a minimal amount of human oversight." ....
Riccardo Maria Pulselli from the Ecodynamics Group at the University of Siena has put his fascinating book on urban kinetics online. Click here to view. In it he demonstrates that cities are never in equilibrium, they are always changing, and never still. This is part of the liquid life that now characterizes modernity and it is central and essential to the digital world we have entered. To experience this point of view, read through.
A new center at New York University (NYU) will be among the largest efforts thus far to bring big data to bear on learning about and improving the dynamics of big cities. The university’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) aims to take the pulse of New York City through a wide range of sensors and sift through the resulting torrent of information to improve life in Gotham. Other centers of urban informatics have cropped up in the US and abroad. For example, two programs are under way at MIT, and the University of Chicago is collaborating with the host city on urban renewal and neighborhood stabilization. The port city of Santander, Spain, has been instrumented with thousands of stationary and mobile sensors, and the Live Singapore! program is providing residents of that city-state with real-time transportation visualizations. Still, Steven Koonin, the physicist who is director of CUSP, says the center stands alone in terms of scale. At full strength, it will have a budget of $70 million from a combination of federal, state, and city agency support; industry funding; philanthropic donations; tuition; and NYU investments. From an inaugural class of 25 master’s students this fall, CUSP is committed to grow to 430 master’s and 100 PhD students over a decade.
Citizen science as a way of communicating science and doing public engagement has over the past decade become the focus of considerable hopes and expectations. It can be seen as a win–win situation, where scientists get help from the public and the participants get a public engagement experience that involves them in real and meaningful scientific research. In this paper we present the results of a series of qualitative interviews with scientists who participated in the ‘OPAL’ portfolio of citizen science projects that has been running in England since 2007: What were their experiences of participating in citizen science? We highlight two particular sets of issues that our participants have voiced, methodological/epistemological and ethical issues. While we share the general enthusiasm over citizen science, we hope that the research in this paper opens up more debate over the potential pitfalls of citizen science as seen by the scientists themselves.
There are ten graduate students associated with the Center for Civic Media, half a dozen staff and a terrific set of MIT professors who mentor, coach, advise and lead research. But much of the work that’s most exciting at our lab comes from affiliates, who include visiting scholars from other universities, participants in the Media Lab Director’s fellows program and fellow travelers who work closely with our team.
Two of those Civic affiliates are Sean Bonner and Pieter Franken of Safecast. Safecast is a remarkable project born out of a desire to understand the health and safety implications of the release of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the wake of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Unsatisfied with limited and questionable information about radiation released by the Japanese government, Joi Ito, Peter, Sean and others worked to design, build and deploy GPS-enabled geiger counters which could be used by concerned citizens throughout Japan to monitor alpha, beta and gamma radiation and understand what parts of Japan have been most effected by the Fukushima disaster.
In the Soviet era, Russian science was lavished with money and resources. But post-communism, innovation has slumped. Can a new tech city reverse its fortunes?
Sitting on 400 hectares of the most expensive Russian real estate outside central Moscow, Skolkovo is intended to be one of the biggest tech innovation centres in the world. In 2010, then-president Dmitry Medvedev gave orders to create an innovative centre from scratch – this in a country where all tech parks and scientific centres have been inherited from the Soviet past. “We have money but don’t have our Silicon Valley,” he said on his visit to Silicon Valley, after earlier stressing it was a project “that should become the largest test ground for Russian new economic policy.” ....
The advent of big data is affecting Ford Motor Co. in some significant ways, from how it analyzes its supply chain to the features it puts into its cars.
When most people think about how cars are built, they probably think about assembly lines, manufacturing robots, and batteries of safety and performance simulations on massive supercomputers. But at Ford, big data is having a significant impact on the parts and features of those cars before they’re ever part of a design file. From the cars in stock at the dealership to the performance of the engine in a rainstorm, big data is infiltrating nearly every aspect of the Ford experience and the company itself. ...
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