Renaissance in Spain

Posted: June 30th, 2005 | No Comments »

According to Nature Jobs, Spain aims at premier league. After decades of brain drain like in many other european countries, science and research have finally climbed up ithe political agenda the last couple of years. In Renaissance in Spain it is mentioned that the trend is most notable in Catalonia, where a science-friendly regional government wants to turn Barcelona into a Mediterranean science showcase. However with a system still very hard to penetrate the two biggest obstacles in building up its scientific workforce: accommodating scientists from abroad, and offering fellows the hope of future employment. It seems to be very much a latin problem.

CAIF Outputs

Posted: June 27th, 2005 | No Comments »

Different outputs from the Collaborative Artefacts Interactive Furniture (CAIF) workshop in Chateau d’Oex

Nicolas Nova presented CatchBob!:
Picture 5-2

Mauro Cherubini presented ShoutSpace:
Picture 8

Patrick Jermann used our non-pretencious informative art viz of portal usage to talk about group mirroring:
Picture 7

I was in the “3rd Places” group that came up with the idea of “Venting machine”
Picture 4-1
Nicolas Nova blogged about it “Venting machines instead of vending machines

The workshop booklet by Mauro Cherubini
Picture 6-1

SubEthaEdit collaborative notes are online

People met:

  • Edith K. Ackermann, children playgrounds, and playthings
  • Jan Borchers, ubicomp, post-desktop UIs, HCI desgin patterns, (A Pattern Approach to Interaction Design)
  • Birgitta Cappelen, unfoldnings
  • Dana Cho, IDEO‘shuman centered design process (very marketing oriented)
  • Régine Debatty, we make money not art
  • Christophe Guignard, ECAL, digital media and physical space, mobility and working space,
  • Jeffrey Huang, architecture, digital media and information technology at Harvard (and at EPFL in 2006)
    Frédéric Kaplan, autonomous objects for everyday use, learning robots
  • Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Interactive design and children
  • Saadi Lahlou, augmented environments, impacts of environment changes on activity in officies, head of the Laboratory of Design for Cognition at EDF, co-founder of the RUFAE
  • Stefano Mastrogiacomo, information architect
  • Mark Meagher, integration of software into the architectural setting as a means of enhancing collaboration
  • Chris O’Shea, digital artist and interactive designer. He carries an open source research paltform for audio visual performance using tangible interfaces
  • Scott Minneman, mechanical engineering and architecture background. Interdisciplinary design and physicality of everyday design work at Onomy Labs, Inc
  • Thorsten Prante, fresh doctor, context-aware computing, ubicomp, ambiant computing
  • Ibars Roger, design of daily devices having self-reflection experiences of their functions (blog)
  • Peggy Thoeny, social interacction within the public space
  • Kevin Walker, London Knowledg Lab, ambient and ubiquitous learning. He developped a titling table to fly over San Francisco

Mercer Cost-of-Living 2005

Posted: June 24th, 2005 | 2 Comments »

Exchange rate fluctuations have had a significant impact on the Mercer 2005 cost of living rankings. Countries utilizing the euro have experienced a rise in relative cost while locations using US dollars and currencies pegged to the US dollar have dropped.

Japan has the world’s two most expensive cities after Osaka pushed London into third place. Geneva is 6th, Zurich is 7th, Sydney 20th, Barcelona 43rd, and San Francisco 50th. Mas en El Pais: <a href="Barcelona y Madrid se clasifican entre las 50 ciudades más caras del mundo.

The survey methodology targets expatriates habits and is based on City-to-City Index Comparison, Spendable Income Tables, Home Country Housing Norms, Expatriate Accommodation Cost Tables, Education Cost Tables, Business Travel Expense Tables, and Actual Price List More…

The 4th Place

Posted: June 24th, 2005 | No Comments »

During an informal discussion around a raclette at CAIF workshop about the 3rd place (i.e. places other than home (first place) and a central corporate facility (second place)), we thought that public bathrooms/toilets are not a 3rd place, but in fact a 4th place (or the forgotten 3rd place). Nicolas has more on this Fourth Places Concept. Other people have already claimed the 4th place to be churches and spiritual places.

EPFL I&C Research Day

Posted: June 23rd, 2005 | No Comments »

The EPFL I&C Research Day ended up more interesting than last year. CatchBob! and ShoutSpace got a fair share of attention. Interests were shown to both the technical solution and the results from a wide variety of people (higher education, researchers, telecom company, start-up and VC).

3 Days in Chateau d'Oex

Posted: June 23rd, 2005 | No Comments »

Dsc00089 Dsc00098 Dsc00097

Design with Constraints

Posted: June 23rd, 2005 | No Comments »

During the CAIF workshop I (re)discovered a wide range of projects on collaborative artifacts and interactive furnitures. I split the different design works in 3 categories based on constraints:

Art design: Only the designer’s creativity his the constraints
Interactive design: Creative and technological constraints
Interaction design: Creative, technological and user constraints

Static Analysis to Improve Software Reliability

Posted: June 23rd, 2005 | No Comments »

At the EPFL I&C Research day, James R. Larus from Microsoft Research talked the way to build dependable software. Even though the computer have become incredibly more convenient, users are still often frustared, annoyed, and confused. He mentionned that people are still afraid to use computers and that software is the weakest link. Nowadays, Micorsoft uses static analysis to improve the construction of reliable system. They do semantic analysis to find programming language misuses, API usage errors, semantic errors (races, deadlocks), and abstraction-specific errors. He also explained how their KISS system works with concurent systems.

It is interesting to see one way Microsoft uses to lower users frustrations, annoyance, and confusion. Reliability is one thing, trust is another. I am wondering what efforts they also make to increase the trust of users to their systems.

Google Maps For Switzerland

Posted: June 22nd, 2005 | No Comments »

Google Maps now provides world-wide satelite picture. Below the Lake Geneva and Zürich city center, and Delémont

Picture 4 Picture 5-1 Picture 6

Titling Interface

Posted: June 21st, 2005 | No Comments »

Instead of using a pen or a touch sensitive display, there are other possibilities to operate hand-held devices. Tilting Interfaces sense rotation of devices as input method.
 Person Rekimoto Tilt Tiltconcept