What are we “putting down” when we “put it down on paper”: a current of thought, a torrent of emotions, the first incisions of a decision? Flannery O’Connor said that she writes in order to discover what she knows. And as research into writing shows, the act of tracing your thoughts across a page can make you more productive, more emotionally aware, and a less irrational decision maker. advertisement advertisement Here’s why. 1. Writing clears the clutter from your mind Getting Things Done author and TED speaker David Allen emphasizes that your mind is for processing, not for storage. Storage of information, after all, can be outsourced in any number of ways, including writing down your to-do list on a pad of paper. The insight underlying this is that attention is a finite resource, one that gets depleted over the course of a day. So if you’re walking around thinking about what you need to do next–rather than thinking about … [Read more...] about 5 Surprising Ways Writing Makes Your Life Better
If you’ve been hiding from the Internet for the last five years, you can be forgiven for not knowing about the collaborative consumption economy. It’s everywhere. It’s like this: You have stuff. You don’t use it all the time. Others pay to borrow it. Today, you can rent out your rooms on Airbnb, let your car on Getaround.com, or find a bidder for (almost) everything in your life, even your dog, as Rob Baedeker recently proved in Newsweek. The next big thing is probably your bicycle. advertisement advertisement Bicycles have not had an illustrious history (PDF) when it comes to sharing. Amsterdam’s abortive attempt in the 1960s lead to widespread theft and canals filled with the unfortunate white bikes. Other modest programs followed. None with much success. It would take another 45 years for the technology to make bike sharing a practical reality. Spurred by French experiments with 1,500 bikes in Lyon, and now 20,600 bikes in Paris’ own … [Read more...] about Spinlister: Peer-To-Peer Bike Sharing Gets Rolling
Moto Development Group has thrown together a neat prototype device that could possibly be the future of casinos: A multitouch, automatic, cybernetic Blackjack table. Finger-flicking financial fun, perhaps, but also a way to cut down on cheating. advertisement The Blackjack and Texas hold’em-playing gizmo got a public showing recently, where it showed off its circular screen, multiple player positions, and neat gesture controls–but it’s really for the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas next year. These gestures are the key to the table’s powers, and they make the experience much closer to playing on the real thing than do other computer-based games do. For example, when dealing cards, the dealer actually slides his hand across the table as if he were physically flipping you a new card. You also place bets by sliding virtual chips across the surface, and you protect others from seeing your hand while you peek at the card’s corners with a curved hand … [Read more...] about Multitouch Poker: The Future of Casinos?
My first book, Spooked, a hard look at corporate espionage, came out in 2000 and received about 30 reviews in all sorts of publications. There were the usual suspects, like The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and Library Journal, to the less usual–National Post, Electronic Business–to the now defunct (Business 2.0). My second book, Tragic Indifference, shed light on the Ford-Firestone imbroglio, when Firestone tires were blowing apart sending Ford Explorers rolling over at highway speed, leaving a trail of broken bodies in their wake. Published in late 2003, it garnered just seven reviews. advertisement advertisement Now I’m on my third book, Viral Loop, which hit bookstore shelvesSmartMoney magazine, which namedPublishers Weekly and Library Journal have scheduled reviews, but frankly it doesn’t matter. Book reviews don’t sell books anymore. All they do is act as marketing fragments for publishers and authors to spin for … [Read more...] about Death of the Book Review
advertisement advertisement Fareed Zein came to the United States from Sudan in 1981 to pursue a college education in computer science. One of the lucky ones, his family could afford his departure and his education, and he left before civil war rattled his homeland. Zein now spends his time–outside of his day job in oil and gas in Houston, Texas–directing the technology committee of the Sudan Institute for Research and Policy, a non-profit research organization started by his sister, a professor at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. “I believe technology is the equalizer,” Zein tells Fast Company. And so when he started digging around the Internet for ways to support last April’s elections and stumbled across Ushahidi, he immediately got in touch with them. And while Ushahidi now provides the platform and technical support, Zein and his colleagues at the Sudan Institute are running their own show, in a service they call the Sudan Vote Monitor … [Read more...] about Sudan’s First SMS-Powered Voting Monitor Tracks “Violence,” “Intimidation”