Today at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference, I attended Jane Swarm and John Storm's talk, "Of Necessity and Humanity: What Cuba Can Teach Us About Ourselves and Our Own Technology," a fascinating talk about the technology lessons to be learned from the largely technology-free Special Period in Cuban history, about the hacker culture that inspired, and about what's likely to come of it in the future as technology floods into Cuba.
Tech emerges from Grey Market
Link to my notes
* Resolver: excuse to be illegal to make ends meet
* Buying PC parts out of the back door of a gov't facility, assemble PC, sell
back to gov't
* In Cuba all goods constantly circulate
* Inventar: improvise from limited resources
* Everything is misc and modular
* New means new config of existing parts
* A cinderblock house can be built ina week -- what's what's "new"
* Man wants wood for a raft for Miami, traded laptop -- political freedom for
* Castro says it's a legit response to embargo
* Political act
Link to precis
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]