19 May 2007

Flickrvision 3D

Twittervision and Flickrvision, sites that geographically overlay posts from Twitter and photos from Flickr onto Google Maps.Get ready for another lost weekend, kids, because both are now available in 3D format. David Troy has figured out how to combine Twitter and Flickr with the spinning 3D globe from Google Earth.

Twittervision 3D


Flickrvision 3D


Use the slide bar on the left to zoom in; the text above it shows the latitude and longitude of the source.By the way, if you're a Mac user, you can get the Twittervision/Flickrvision screensaver, for zero productivity all of the time!

12 May 2007

Spiritual Technologies

Craig Warren Smith, a Seattle native, is a former Harvard (Kennedy School) professor, a founder of the global movement to close the Digital Divide, and for 30 years a Buddhist teacher. In the mid-1990s as a consultant to Bill Gates, he led a strategic planning process that helped Microsoft and its founder find the distinct role of philanthropy in its corporate culture.

ABSTRACT Can the next generation of technologies advance the spiritual development of individuals and communities? The speaker, director of the Spiritual Computing Research Group, will argue that several trends – Web 2.0 innovations, neuroscience's interactions with the Dalai Lama, and West's new embrace of premodern wisdom traditions – all combine to bring spiritual principles at the doorstep of the world's technological laboratories. The upshot: today's system architects may be able to measure fuzzy notions like user empowerment. "Tech researchers will get algorithms that show if they are empowering users, addicting them or just delivering ease of use," he says.

Spiritual technologies, he says, could release enormous pent up demand for web services in advanced markets (where 83% of users are "spiritual") and in emerging markets such as India where spirituality is fundamental for survival. Examples: versions of Wikipedia in which wisdom, not mere knowledge, rises to the surface; gaming as spiritual quest; online enhancement of Islamic rituals; locative technologies that use feng shui to create sacred spaces, biofeedback interfaces that bring mindfulness into cancerous organs; technological support for 12 step programs that transform addiction into empowerment.

Read here for more from Craig Warren Smith about the interface between Buddism and technology.