Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Posts Tagged ‘trends’

In Form Fate

Posted by cadsmith on March 28, 2011

Testing news includes uTest Express, user experience, threats versus vulnerabilities (PDF), actors, NASA Mars, and radioactivity. Printing has expanded from 3D prototypes to add mobile antennas, computers, insect bots,  and human kidneys. Technology discusses exoskeletons. Trends include a plastic computer processor, Chinese chips, an artificial leaf, biological computers, and nerve cell chips. Beta sites were WorkFlowy. There were 71 recent links.

Book reviews:

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, Gleick, 2011

The book covers how information has been treated in the precursors of the Information Age up to and including Google, Twitter and DNA databases. There is no standard definition, but there is the theory that the title refers to of Claude Shannon, and the overload of too much (TMI). The only irreversible process, and thus of any cost in terms of physical energy such as heat generation according to Landauer and Bennett, is erasure. The text briefly comments on data mining and machine intelligence, but does not dwell on the directions, not does it consider metadata, ontology, semantic web or augmented reality. Some of the author’s previous interests in chaos theory, quantum, entropy and thermodynamics are summarized. It goes more deeply into the abstractions of concepts such as meaning, language, writing, cryptography, paradoxes, numbers, measurement, logic, communication, transmission, computers, networks and genetics along with the major contributions of a host of researchers. There are fifteen chapters and extensive notes and bibliography. Author video.

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Turkle, 2011

There are two parts about the author’s concerns about social intimacy and solitude based on practice and research. People decide how to keep devices busy. Questions about privacy and civil society bear on democracy and sacred spaces. People tend to identify with their machines They are vulnerable to overanthropomorphizing the capabilities of social robots. The companions offer safe havens. Some of them require nurture and others can double for caregivers for self or valued others. They may be an alternative to digital immersion. Online self-presentation has become a constant, in some cases also when in physical proximity like cyborgs, while in others for retreat to rehearsal or confession. There are fourteen chapters. Author site.

Storytelling for User Experience, Quesenbery and Brooks, 2010

There are sixteen chapters which appropriately have anecdotal stories. Business narratives are usually told in either reports or presentations. The latter can be oral, written or multimedia. User experience can be structured as prescriptive, hero, familiar or foreign, framed, layered and contextual interludes. Ingredients include perspective, characters, context, imagery, and language. These are intended to engage the audience in some way. They put a human face on research data. They can describe usability tasks for tests and reviews, and design ideas and requirements. Analysis activities identify fragments which are built into stories and personas. These can be found from listening, questioning, instructing, logs and note-taking. Good research ethics are relevant.


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Posted by cadsmith on December 9, 2009


The web is in New Year prediction mode which seems impressionist at best. To project to the extreme, is it the end of tech? Depends upon which issues are picked. In combination, they do not agree. Conclusions also change depending upon scope: Time-scales, Topics, Decades, or Centuries.

What happens when we reach constraints? Previous stuff becomes efficient. New stuff innovates. There is an attempt to remove barriers. Generations of hardware versions pass. Tech yields more solutions. And becomes a constraint. The learning curve is exponential. It exceeds individual and group capacities. Recursion is probably tangential since it is still weighed down by human context. A course of likelihoods can be plotted through the end of this century, then may be replaced (or annihilated). Reason and expectation are not dependent upon it. Description and prediction are functions of models, without which there is (an end to) illusion. Result is actual. Timeframes may be +/- a decade depending upon resolution scale. Hopes and concerns may be age-dependent. The planet may crash at some point. Scifi would enumerate fears and responses. At what point can we afford to discard tech? Other theories have one equation, mind, machine, algorithm, or type. The observer has identity, it is self that recognizes other by interaction. Perspective is by assignment. One may see position, another momentum. Groups compare notes. Simultaneously, complexity exceeds human capabilities for control. We can pick any element as descriptor and configure relationships to the rest. “All is ___”. Leverage complexity as its own consciousness. Life does. For a while, tech is still about humans, though eventually no longer by them. As usual, shuffle items for varied imaginative experiences. Punctuation is voluntary.

Decades could be labeled mainframe, minicomputers Route 128 microprocessors, PC Internet, 90s Silicon valley web dotcoms, 00s opensource search web2.0 Asia surveillance. 10s digital society socnets avatars realtime video sensors ecommerce semantics education, 20s physical quality energy international security privatization medical, 30s synthetic intelligence human nature DIY materials, 40s emotional freedoms selection of physiological forms, 50s spiritual transformation.

Centuries might have ocean exploration, democracy, science industrialization, 20th quantum physics space exploration internet web, 21st nanotech materials design human essence archives individual recreated from memory civilization choices time solved complex dimensionality unified existences.

Tags track bookmarks, books, software, services, hardware and businesses. Past topics were embedded systems, web2.0, semantic web, and agile. The top 10 personal delicious tags are: security, test, software, web, network, mobile, search, web2.0, social-networks and business. The economy is reportedly growing in Asia and India, solid in Europe and Australia, and recovering in UK and US. Trending terms may be a foreshadow. Realtime features appear for search and analytics. Ecommerce grows, including mobile office/payments/banks in addition to socnets and devices. Video is streaming at higher bandwidth and fibre is competition to home cable. TV’s are 3D. The cloud means business. Games are realistic. Virtualization is an option. Augmented reality is fun. Creativity abounds.

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Posted by cadsmith on November 23, 2009


What is your opinion of this {idea, book, product, system, media, economy, year, decade, culture}? Any recommendations?

As trends 2.010 go, scifi is in hiatus. Party-goers are served irony and ice. Stereotypes trump sensibilities. Eastern projections edge UK, Orwellian that is. Yoda yields to literature and art, but gweilo/gaijin/gringo groundwork needs improvement. Sustainable sites seek alternative to ads.

In the meantime, can record recent changes in how one sees (or hears) along the route to a review. There are more permutations than only prof, PC, and professional society. Lessons learned from the trials of Test Information Space include how the gentle reader can comment and collaborate on CMS and socnets, and plan professional projects.

Can briefly consider Q&A in this context.

How do you write a review? Tweets tend to be punchy. Blogs have more beats per minute. Reports are arranged for defense. Point out:

  • the purpose,
  • how well it was achieved,
  • use cases,
  • tips,
  • constraints,
  • comparative approaches,
  • suggestions for improvement, and
  • constructive conclusions.

How has reading changed? Ebooks can be skimmed rapidly multiple times for gist and memorization. Search is selective. Metadata is maintainable. Notes are navigable. Socnets provide second opinions.

What are types of reviewers? Casual users provide a personal experience, experts extrapolate from datapoints and error bars, researchers rank and emphasize additional efforts, and paid reviewers repeat the party line.

How has consumption changed? May buy something to blog about, evaluate embargos, elect extradition, or bargain-hunt banned brands.

Where do you find good reviews? This is user-specific. List favorite feeds. Ask friends, e.g. Facebook. As always, desire access to original data.

Turns out that the ability to sense something implies that it has already been cognitively categorized so, if in doubt, one can always sleep on it. Otherwise just cast a keyword, e.g. whodunit.

Also see review.

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