Tag Archives: use

Pi wirelessly charges your devices at a distance, no mat required

The Pi Charger can handle up to four devices at once

With the news that Apple’s latest iPhones are going to support wireless charging, the tech is back in the spotlight, but it still has its limitations. You still need to find a powered mat or disc to put your phone down on, it’s not easy to charge several devices at once and it’s not easy to use them while they’re being charged. Pi promises mat-free top ups within range of the cone-shaped wireless charging station, and support for juicing up multiple devices at once.

..
Continue Reading Pi wirelessly charges your devices at a distance, no mat required

Category: Mobile Technology

Tags:

Related Articles:

icon_smile1

general design discussion • Re: Studio printer recommendations?

Thanks Andy and iab. Appreciate it. I was going a little crazy reading so much about printers on Sunday :-) I ended up going with this guy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AU … UTF8&psc=1 and I think for anything high res I’ll continue to use kinkos. Their online printing tools are decent and I’ve been doing a lot of posters through them. I don’t want the hassle of a plotter in the studio yet.


sketching • Re: Yo! 2017 sketch a day

250gb wrote:
yo wrote:30 minute sneaker sketch. 1underlay.

Real nice..

Michael Do you ever use french curves etc to get those perfect lines or is it just pure freehand skill?

Cheers

Thank you. They are all freehand. I explore the shapes with the underlay, not caring about my lines (like in the Volvo sketch image). When I put the clean sheet over top I concentrate on hitting the lines correctly, making only small changes to the design. I did use a straight edge for the ground plane.


Carbon dating reveals the earliest written record of the number "zero"

Carbon dating has revealed that the Bakhshali manuscript, which contains the earliest written record of the ...

We take it for granted nowadays, but the concept of “zero” was something that had to be invented. As ancient cultures around the world developed different counting systems, they all came up with their own ways to represent nothing, but the origin of the modern numeral “0″ wasn’t clear. The first written records of “0″ were believed to be roughly a tie between a temple and a manuscript found in India, but now a team from Oxford has used carbon dating to crown the winner. The manuscript appears to be about 500 years older than the temple, representing the first recorded use of the number.

..
Continue Reading Carbon dating reveals the earliest written record of the number “zero”

Category: Science

Tags:

Related Articles:

sketching • Re: iPad Pro + Pencil + Procreate

I tried to use the predictive stroke on the desktop version of sketchbook and found it pretty useless to be honest.
Looks cool in promo videos, but doesn’t offer much value.
If you are sketching loosely by hand you usually want that “handsketched” look. Perfectly straight lines and ellipses totally destroy that.
If you want to render something out very precisely predictive stroke just isn’t accurate enough and changes your original lines quite a lot. It is wicked hard to place that perfect line and ellipse in the EXACT location you want and you end up with a lot of undo and then trying it again. In the end I found the ellipse ruler just the more controlled, precise and ultimately faster option.
I would be happy to hear of someone who found it useful. Maybe he or she can share their use of predictive stroke here and it turns out I was just doing it wrong!


Digital Democracy: Participatory Mapping & Tool-building in the Amazon

IMG_20170914_122630.jpg

This is a liveblog of a talk by Emily Jacobi (@emjacobi) at the MIT Center for Civic Media, written by Erhardt Graeff, Rahul Bhargava, and Alexis Hope. All errors are our own.

 
Digital Democracy (DD) works in solidarity with groups around the world to empower marginalized communities to use technology to defend their rights. This means that they are different from other groups because they are not trying to pursue their own agenda through their work. Their mission is driven by the agenda of their partners.
 
DD was founded almost 10 years after being inspired by research they were doing in Burma. Emily noticed a correlation between internet access and political engagement. She had a realization that new technology was being leveraged to make new kinds of engagement possible, but that it also creates new risks and challenges. They started by doing workshops and trainings that were requested by local partners
Some of DD’s earliest work was with women in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Women in the camps were self-organizing to respond to violence. The organization learned a lot about what it means to be engaged in a long-term partnership, and about not coming in with preconceived notions of a solution.
 
They developed an SMS project that failed, but it led to a call center there that made positive impact. Emilie Reiser (from Civic Media) worked with this community on that project and the work informed a lot of what DD does now.
 
Their approach involves two interlinked components: (1) direct engagement with local partners and (2) building open-source tools that come from the lived experiences of their partners.
 
The core values underlying all their work are:
  • Self-determination & Autonomy

  • Accessibility

  • Collaboration

  • Social & Environmental Justice

 

These values are not just about the inherent injustices faced by the indigenous people they work with, but goes to the core of how people are included in design processes and decision making about their futures. Their accessibility work includes topics such as language, usability, support for offline work, and more.

 

Currently DD is working on longer-term projects in Ecuador and Guyana.

 

Guyana Case Study

See https://www.digital-democracy.org/ourwork/guyana/

 

Wapichana people were guaranteed full-autonomy before independence, but have had to fight for over 5 decades to try to win this independence.  DD has been working for the past 5 years on mapping projects there.

 

They’ve created a hyper-detailed map of their area. This includes everything from where they gather eggs, where rare birds are, churches, homesteads.

 

They right now only have rights to where the villages are. The map helps them document their use of other lands to then try and gain rights to them. The mountains around them have lots of illegal gold mining, which is creating environmental risks that affect them.

IMG_20170914_122818.jpg

Part of the mapping work has involved helping people use drones to take imagery of illegal gold mining. They’ve taken the images to the government, and the government has responded by stopping the illegal mining activities.  In addition, they have been able to use this imagery internally to drive community discussions about why these issues matter to their survival.

They have also been in talks with the government to determine whether they can have their full land rights recognized.

Ecuador Case Study

See http://www.digital-democracy.org/blog/update-from-the-ecuadorian-amazon/

 

In Wuorani territory of eastern Ecuador they are working with native people’s in a national forest. DD has been asked to accompany the Wuorani people to map their entire territory. This involves 12 current communities with the plan to bring in 10 more over the next year.

 

The process starts with paper maps (accessible to all). Some communities will separate men and women for different workshops to ensure that everyone has a voice during the session by minimizing the gender dynamics.

 

IMG_20170914_123212.jpg

 

The hand-drawn maps beautifully illustrate their connection and knowledge of the land.  The process lets them take the information in their heads and share it with government officials making decisions about things like mining rights. Then they go out and collect GPS points they record in paper booklets (for now). They also do media making to capture narratives from across the territory. This project has helped bridge the gap between young people (who are often driven to move to the city for work) and elders, who have a deep knowledge of the area.

 

IMG_20170914_123251.jpg

 

They have “Technicos” that get trained are elected by the community.  They take these walks to take GPS points to produce a formal map based on the collaborative hand-drawn one.

 

Mapeo

See http://www.digital-democracy.org/blog/mapeo-preview/

 

One big gap they find is that in offline environments there are very few tools that work.  The ones that do are very complex to learn (ie. ArcGIS). DD wanted a tool that would remove them from the equation, letting communities manage their own information.

 

A key goal of Mapeo is that all data and visualizations can be locally-owned and managed, the software is easy-to-use, works offline, and is collaborative. They’ve built on top of ID Editor, which is used with OpenStreetMaps (OSM). OSM has been helpful in creating maps of places that do not have them—for example, companies hadn’t mapped Haiti before the earthquake because there wasn’t commercial value in it, and OSM allowed people to build new maps.

 

They’ve changed ID Editor to be culturally appropriate for the Wuorani people. This includes more appropriate defaults, and picking iconography to represent things like nesting grounds, villages, etc. The Wuorani people have also used Mapeo to identify not just specific locations, but also larger areas. For example, designating an area where they won’t hunt again for a while. It’s been useful in helping address self-governance questions.

 

Once they’ve captured the GPS points, they print out a draft and have the community check and edit it in physical form.  Once those edits are done they print out big versions of the map.  They are designing and developing an interactive map that will also integrate stories and blogs about certain areas.

 

Seikopai digital participative mapping from Digital Democracy on Vimeo.

Discussion

  • My family is from Guyana — I can’t believe you’re working there. Why did you choose Guyana?

    • DD got a Knight News grant to work on what has become Mapeo. DD connected to the Guyana groups after they heard about DD’s previous work in Peru. Then they were invited in to collaborate.

  • I worked in an area on the coast and we were doing a tree inventory. This tool could be great for mapping the trees and how they use them.

    • The desktop version of Mapeo works well, but they are working on a mobile version that will work better for ongoing work.

  • Is there a fear that the information could be used by the wrong people?

    • DD has forked off of OSM, so everything is internal. The community can decide what is released to the world and when. Open data is important when discussing players in power. For small actors, opening data creates opportunities for exploitation. DD tries to help their partners are agency over that and navigate it.

  • How long does this take?

    • Sometimes groups really need to make a map. Other times the mapping is a way to build community awareness. With the Wuorani the first few villages took a long time, but now DD just provides tech support and bug fixing.

  • Do you have materials about how to be the sidekick and support well?

    • Right now neither side of DD’s work is ready to easily share. The idea is to have guides and manuals. The idea of being a “sidekick rather than a superhero” is a great way to say it. DD tries to fight the superhero narrative.

  • How do start to talk with our funders about this type of process – maybe building partnerships for 3 years before tools are designed built.

    • Can we do this as a coalition somehow.  Mapeo was funded by the Knight News Challenge, which they’ve managed to stretch for a long time. DD’s partners work with international groups to find funding to support roll-out. We now have a tool that is worthy of investment but a few years ago I would have been lying to make the pitch that we have a project that is ready to go.

  • Is the tool ready for implementation in other places—for instance there is a need for mapping biodiversity in Mexico?

    • If you know how to use GitHub, then yes! But we do not have a lot of the supportive resources put in place that a lot of people need to implement it. It’s also important to note that the tool is oriented toward a community working on it together rather than an individual. Also, it is important to note that the Wuorani people’s map icons are those people’s intellectual property but they are working on generic rainforest icons that anyone can use on their own maps.

  • Is there any effort to adapt Mapeo to coastal communities?

    • We are fortunate that their is a lot of the Amazon and lot of people working on that effort. But I think it’s possible to adapt to those geographies.

  • Would you be interested in bringing in additional drone mapping and machine learning processing to expand the mapping efforts?

    • One of the most valuable aspects of the current mapping process is the human element where everyone has a chance to have a voice in the process. There are some cases where a more rapid response might be warranted to address a specific need, but there is a lot of value in the slower process.

  • Some people think about mapping in terms of the switch from oral traditions to written or visual, and so how do you think about what is lost through the process?

    • The Wuorani was first contacted by Baptist missionaries a few decades ago, which led to disease and social problems. And for them mapping represented something that was imposed on them, telling them where their territory was and what they could or couldn’t do with it. Maps have been used to disempower people for centuries. The Mapeo process offers them an opportunity to claim some of this power back.

Squirrels use ‘chunking’ to organize their nuts

Fox squirrels are a lot more organized than we thought—storing their stashes of nuts by variety, quality, and possibly even by preference.

A new study is the first to show evidence that squirrels arrange their bounty—at least 3,000 to 10,000 nuts a year—using “chunking,” a cognitive strategy in which people and other animals organize spatial, linguistic, numeric, or other information into smaller more manageable collections, such as subfolders on a computer.

“This is the first demonstration of chunking in a scatter-hoarding animal, and also suggests that squirrels use flexible strategies to store food depending on how they acquire food,” says Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the study in Royal Society Open Science.

Presumably, sophisticated caching techniques maximize the squirrels’ ability to remember where they’ve stored their most prized treats while at the same time hiding them from potential pilferers.

“Squirrels may use chunking the same way you put away your groceries,” says senior author Lucia Jacobs, a professor of psychology.

“You might put fruit on one shelf and vegetables on another. Then, when you’re looking for an onion, you only have to look in one place, not every shelf in the kitchen.”

Over a two-year period, the research team tracked the caching patterns of 45 male and female fox squirrels as the reddish gray, bushy-tailed rodents buried almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and walnuts in various wooded locations.

The study used combinations of locations and nut sequences on various groups of fox squirrels.

In one experiment, for example, each of the squirrels were fed 16 nuts, one after another, under two separate conditions: Some were fed at the locale where they had cached the previous nut fed to them while others were fed at one central location, to which they would need to return if they wanted another nut.

Gnawing squirrels are culprits at many crime scenes

Some squirrels were given 16 nuts in rows of four, say, almonds followed by pecans, followed by hazelnuts, and then walnuts, while others received 16 nuts in random order.

Researchers used hand-held GPS navigators to track the squirrels from their starting location to their caching location, then mapped the distribution of nut types and caching locations to detect patterns.

Squirrels who foraged at a single location frequently organized their caches by nut species, returning to, say, the almond area, if that was the type of nut they were gathering, and keeping each category of nut that they buried separate. Meanwhile, the squirrels foraging in multiple locations deliberately avoided caching in areas where they had already buried nuts, rather than organizing nuts by type.

“These observations suggest that when lacking the cognitive anchor of a central food source, fox squirrels utilize a different and perhaps simpler heuristic (problem-solving approach) to simply avoid the areas where they had previously cached,” the authors write.

Source: UC Berkeley

The post Squirrels use ‘chunking’ to organize their nuts appeared first on Futurity.