Scifoo day 1
154 sessions to choose from – hmmm, how do i do that…
Visual Garage – We’ll Fix Your Graphs and Visuals with Felice Frankel. Interesting session. Managed to present and get feedback on the Bop visualisations and had some great (if severe) comments. But that is what was great – an open honest critique of what i presented since the room genuinely wanted to help people do stuff better. Wish there was something like her Image and Meaning workshops in the London area. Had a few conversations post session with Tamara Munzner, an infovis expert at Uni British Columbia in Vancouver. She also recommended looking at prefuse
Listening to the World: Voices from the Blue Deep – Chris Clark – great presentation on the convergence of comp sci, maths and nature. He is using the sensors measuring energy in the mid pacific between Hawaii and USA. The military uses this for obvious tracking purposes. Chris has been given access to the data to track *biological objects* which has led to an understanding that type n whales communicate over hundreds of miles. The males *sing* to attract mates. The vis of the data was pretty cool it showed different energy bands (Hz) on the y axis and time on the x. At the top was lots of shipping data and during a few months in the latter half of the year was a very distinct band of *singing*. The speeded up (25x) audio sounded pretty cool. Group also discussed data logging bird activity over space and time and issues around the NSF funded NEON air quality monitoring project in 11 locations across the US (to granular to generate accurate results…?)
Computable Data/Mathematics – next was a demo by Mathmatica guru Theodore Gray, some really nice demos showing very simple and visual programming, worth a browse through
100 dollar laptop demo – Ted Kaehler – pretty nifty little machine and looks great. Had some excellent software written in smalltalk to encourage a very visual, object oriented approach to programming – again website worth a browse.
Freebase Demo – Danny Hillis – convergence of data: we do not necessarily know how our data will be used. Freebase is a framework and application for hosting and sharing data, and a tool for presenting data across mulitple datasets from one source.
Micro-UAVs – Chris Anderson – making sub 1000 USD autonomous aircraft using model planes and phone / camera / gps units. amazingly cool and done with his 9 year old son… see his posting at the long tail blog (yes he did write the book)
Finally was a silent observer during the howtoons sessions – not sure if this was the jet lag setting in or because my brain could not fire as quick as everyone else in the room – amazing, buy the book when it is out in November and i just hope the howtoons party bags make it onto the internet.