15 May 2013
On the Cutting Edge: 3D Printing
I recall the first time I stepped inside an Ikea superstore like it was yesterday. I found myself mesmerized by the sophisticated operation at work. Human sweat was virtually nowhere to be found. Machines with robotic arms from the warehouse rafters to the floor were stacking, arranging and hauling like it was nothing. There was something profound about this sense of effortlessness becoming our future and ever since that moment I’ve been addicted to learning more about what machines could do next. Enter: Additive Manufacturing, or you may know it as 3D Printing.
25 Apr 2013
Stunning Finds From The Time-Lapse Technology Trap
Last month I made a taxing decision. To patch up one of the many holes in my pocket, I cancelled my Netflix account, throwing a wrench in my habitual late night ipad streaming sessions. The night owl in me hasn’t been too thrilled of the decision, but fortunately I found a great way to use Trapit to reel in fresh, fascinating videos at no cost. As my brain steadily powers down for the night, here’s what I’ve been learning in my brand new “Time-Lapse” technology Trap.
When I initially plugged in the keywords “Time-Lapse” I had the epic Planet Earth series in mind. I wanted to see how today’s photographers and filmmakers were toying with the techniques of capturing a delicately slow process in nature and speeding it up for viewers to watch scenery transform at a warp speed pace. Right off the bat, the Trap was digging up gold—I even went on a few Google Street road trips for starters. Picture rugged New Zealand landscapes with tangerine sunsets bleeding away, “polar spirits” dancing amongst the Northern Lights in Norway/Finland/Sweden, and my personal favorite, London artist Toby Lockerbie’s passion to film in the dark.
16 Apr 2013
Trapit Earns Webby Honor For User Experience and Nomination in Lifestyle Category
Our users matter to us and we’ve worked hard to ensure that Trapit provides a great user experience. And it turns out it shows. We are extremely pleased to announce that Trapit for iPad has been selected as an Official Honoree in The 17th Annual Webby Awards in the Best User Experience category.
Just as awesome, our app has also been selected as a Webby Awards Nominee in the Lifestyle category! The best part of this is you can help us to win the People’s Voice Award for this category by casting your vote here.
We are honored and excited. Find out more about the Webby Awards and other Webby nominees and categories in our Webby Awards Trap.
8 Mar 2013
Hope To See You At SXSW Interactive
Although I was an Austin resident for a couple of years I was a poor college student and never had the chance to partake in the sprawling Tech conference that is SXSW Interactive. That will change tomorrow!
I am representing Trapit as part of SXSWi’s new Future 15 Series—a series of shorter solo talks on forward thinking topics. If you’re attending the conference come check out my one lady panel, ”Information Literacy In An Online World.”
My talk is inspired in part by my work building the source library that Trapit runs on; where the training required to get computer literate folks to evaluate Internet sources for quality and authority—one of the core skills in information literacy—was surprisingly extensive, and volunteering at a Job Seekers computer lab at the local public library, where I regularly encountered those on the bottom of the digital divide. Spoiler alert, among other things I’m going to argue that we should expose more students to computer science in high school.
Unsurprisingly I’ve been using Trapit to follow the pre-conference buzz and I’m especially excited to see Ann-Marie Slaughter speak about her Atlantic feature “Why Women Can’t Have it All” (the conversation this piece generated dominated our Feminism Trap for weeks), check out NASA’s Webb Space Telescope (a Texas appropriate scope that’s as big as a tennis court and as tall as a four-story building), and check out new tech in the Trade Show (Mashable suggests spending more time in the Europe and Asia sections).
Check out more of the SXSW buzz in our SXSW Trap.
13 Feb 2013
When Will Information Find Me? The State of the Personalized Web
In time, we will learn whether or not Facebook’s Graph Search will revolutionize the way that we, as individuals, interact with social media and information. But Graph Search’s recent unveiling does provide an opportunity to reflect on the current state of personalization and discovery and an opportunity to consider our aspirations for this technology.
As interesting and as ambitious as Graph Search is, Facebook is still thinking too small. When it comes to true personalization, Graph Search is, in a sense, answering the wrong question by still forcing us to ask questions in the first place.
With the abilities of today’s computers (particularly for Facebook given their scale of operation) and with all of the information about ourselves that we’ve voluntarily put out there for everyone to see, what we should be working towards is enabling relevant information to find me rather than my having to search for it.
23 Feb 2012
Trap of the Day: Digital Textbooks
Having gone to library school, one of the top questions I am asked (inching out the incredulous, “you have to get a masters degree for that?”) is whether or not I think books are “dying.”
I think our object worshipping culture makes that unlikely, but I’m fairly certain that paper books will be a whole lot less common in the coming decade and good riddance—I am no technophobe.
One thing that I do wonder though, as more and more of us make the switch to digital reading, is how this will affect the way we learn. I’m particularly fascinated by the study of haptics and reading. The theory being that humans learn, in part, through touch, and that the physicality of the book affects the way we absorb and retain its contents.
The jury is still out on how touch screen technology will figure into all of this. Which makes Apple’s recent move into the textbook market, and other moves to make textbooks free and widely available in digital formats interesting developments.
Apple recently announced their plans to make K-12 textbooks available on the iPad with a price cap at $14.99 per book (a mere fraction of their current cost) while touting recent studies that show increased literacy test scores among iPad using students.
So while paper books wont go the way of the dinosaurs, I’ll go out on a limb and say that paper textbooks will. Whether this is good for student pocketbooks and bad for their brains remains to be seen.