Ask Slashdot: Is Making Government More Open and Connected a Good Idea?
Nerval's Lobster writes "For quite some time, there's been a theory drifting around that government can be made more open and efficient via the same crowdsourcing and social-networking tools that created such successes out of Facebook, Twitter and Kickstarter. In that spirit, numerous pundits and analysts have advocated the development of 'e-government' or 'government 2.0.' But what if the idea isn't as great as it seems? That's the angle embraced by Evgeny Morozov in a recent essay for The Baffler. Structured as a lengthy takedown of open-source advocate and O'Reilly Media founder Tim O'Reilly, the piece veers off to fire a few torpedoes at the idea of making government more responsive and transparent through technology (the latter being something O'Reilly readily advocates). 'One of the main reasons why governments choose not to offload certain services to the private sector is not because they think they can do a better job at innovation or efficiency,' Morozov writes, 'but because other ...
Space Monkey Founders Show Off Their P2P Storage System, Prepare For Kickstarter Campaign
We've written about Google Ventures-backed Space Monkey before, but last week we actually got to film the peer-to-peer storage service in-action. Co-founder Clint Gordon-Carroll described the technology as "our way of disrupting the cloud" — you store your data on your own Space Monkey device, but it's then encrypted and backed up on other devices across the company's user network. The goal is to give you the advantages of cloud storage (backup, sharing, and accessibility from any device) at faster speeds and lower costs (a basic subscription costs $10 a month and includes a terabyte of storage).
Duo Is A DIY 3D Motion Sensing Controller
The Duo is a 3D motion sensing controller, much like the Leap Motion Controller and the Kinect – but with a DIY twist. Whereas the Leap Motion Controller comes in a small and elegant package, the Duo is meant to be tinkered with. A $20 contribution on their Kickstarter page is enough to nab detailed instructions, a comprehensive list of the off-the-shelf components, and CAD files – enough for hardcore DIYers to jump right in and assemble their very own motion controller. For the less courageous, a $140 contribution will get you a fully assembled Duo, ready for plug and play out of the box. The Duo uses two PlayStation Eye cameras (a webcam for Sony’s PS3 gaming console that is readily available in stores) to detect motion. The demo videos on Duo’s website show that the webcams, coupled with Duo’s motion tracking software, work just a well as the Leap Motion Controller. The minimum operating range seems to be further away than the Leap, although that’s purely based on observation ...
Embedly Now Goes Beyond Embedding With New Products “Extract” & “Display” For Making Sense Of Links & Resizing Images
Embedly, the Y Combinator-backed content embedding service used by Yammer, bit.ly, 37Signals, Storify, Reddit, Kickstarter, SoundCloud, and others, is today extending its platform to include two new products called "Display" and "Extract," now available to anyone after months of beta testing. In addition to "Embed," the company's core technology for embedding videos, photos and other rich media into websites and apps, the three products are helping to transform Embedly from being just an embedding platform into a full toolkit for developers.
Mycestro Is A 3D Mouse For Your Fingertips That You’ll Look Funny Using, But Who Cares?
We all go through phases where we feel like we’ve seen every possible Kickstarter project that we’d ever want and then one like Mycestro comes along and reminds us that this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a 3D mouse that you strap to one of your fingers and it looks like it could become a huge asset for multi-tasking. If you think about how you use your computer, be it a desktop or laptop, you know that your hands move from the keyboard to the trackpad or mouse constantly, over and over again. It’s wasted movement for the most part, especially when you see the possibilities that Mycestro unlocks. The only thing left is for this thing to get funded, because it looks like all of the prototypes work perfectly. Its founder and creator, Nick Mastandrea, has been tinkering on this project for quite a while, having been featured in Engadget a few years ago, but it looks like it’s ready for primetime. You’ll be able to pick one up for a $79 pledge in white, or $99 with your choice ...