Saturday, May 31, 2008

Meets: ACM CHI -- the sequel

Folks,

There's much more to CHI than I remember! There are close to 70 sessions. Even if all session had three papers (and that seems a bit low), that'd be over 200 papers. Yikes! We didn't come close to getting through all the papers at the last meeting.

We'll try again next Thursday, but be more selective. If you plan on coming, pick a few papers you'd like to skim, we'll focus on those. I'd be grateful if you added them as comments to this post in the dgl news blog (accessible off the designgraphics.ncsu.edu site).

See you this Thursday @ 4 @ 2244.

Best,

Ben.

***

Hi folks,

This Thursday @ 4, we'll survey the contents of the recent ACM CHI Conference in Florence. "abs & pics" is my geeky new term for looking over the abstracts and images; a good way of getting the gist of a paper.

CHI stands for Computer-Human Interface, and is the premier event focusing on HCI issues in computer science.

You can find the papers online at the ACM Digital Library. If you're at the university, you may have to go to the university library and look up the "acm digital library" to gain access. If you don't have a university login yet... I guess you'll have to make do with the abstracts, unless you can find copies of interesting papers at the authors' sites.

Best,

Ben.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finds: livescribe

Folks,

Livescribe is a new smart pen startup. The gadget is roughly marker size. It digitizes everything you write, *and* everything anyone said while you wrote. It can play back your writing, stroke by stroke, synchronized with what you were saying/hearing at the time. It uses special marked paper, which livescribe says you will be able to print out yourself shortly. On special "addressed" paper, it will email what it scans to the address -- e.g. if someone writes on a business card, it will email that note to the person who produced the card.

I think this pen has potential as a live interface for visual conferencing (drawings could instantly be sent to the person on the other end of the line), but it seems this gadget doesn't have a wireless interface -- only a usb dock. Hmm -- a potential hack?

Best,

Ben.

Meets: ACM CHI -- "Abs & Pics"

Hi folks,

This Thursday @ 4, we'll survey the contents of the recent ACM CHI Conference in Florence. "abs & pics" is my geeky new term for looking over the abstracts and images; a good way of getting the gist of a paper.

CHI stands for Computer-Human Interface, and is the premier event focusing on HCI issues in computer science.

You can find the papers online at the ACM Digital Library. If you're at the university, you may have to go to the university library and look up the "acm digital library" to gain access. If you don't have a university login yet... I guess you'll have to make do with the abstracts, unless you can find copies of interesting papers at the authors' sites.

Best,

Ben.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finds: MSNBC's news viz tool Spectra

Hey folks,

Forward this from Dave Crist...

Ben.

***

You crank it up, then you add news channels.  They get loaded into the middle of your screen in a 'tornado'/vortex, designated categories are color-coded.

I think it is a little confusing at first, because the vortex of news stories doesn't seem to be able to be accessed randomly.  I was only able to get to a story and read it or follow a link to it by sliding the scroll bar at the bottom or clicking the arrows.








--
Benjamin Watson
Design Graphics Lab
Associate Professor
Dept. Computer Science
North Carolina State University
EBII 2280, 890 Oval Dr, Box 8206
Raleigh, NC 27695-8206
Phone: 919-513-0325
Fax: 919-515-7896
Lab: 919-513-0847
Email: bwatson@ncsu.edu
URL: http://designgraphics.ncsu.edu/

Finds: 5 terapixel interactive Vietnam wall image

A 5 terapixel interactive Vietnam wall is online now. Viewers can zoom in on a single name, and view or see annotations on the wall left by visitors. The site was put together by footnote, a company that specializes in creating online communities around documents of any kinds, including national and historic documents, as well as more personal family documents.

Ben.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finds: dipity and freebase

Dipity is a new site that takes your web feeds and turns them into a visual timeline. It takes rss, pandora, twitter, blogger, youtube, flickr more. Also has an api so you can build your own timelines. Many users are building timelines by hand.

Freebase is an interesting project trying to build a database of everything, in a wiki-like commons. It's all query-able and has an api. A possible source of interesting data.

Best,

Ben.

Finds: twistori.com, firef.ly, summize.com, and more

Hi folks,

Our inaugural "finds" post is going to be longer than others, but I'll try and keep it succinct:
  • twistori visualizes twitter's tweets containing the words "love", "hate", "think" etc. I'm not sure we learn much from it (probably because this collects the thoughts of all tweeters), but it's oddly compelling to see the public, transient thoughts of others scrolling by.
  • summize is a tool for searching tweets; it's used by twistori and others. You can search for tweets in certain geo areas. You can turn the search results into feeds. Nice. The site includes a nice list of apps using summize, including twistori and others such as...
  • twitter spectrum, which visualizes the words that co-occur in tweets with two search terms (e.g. Obama and Clinton). Words that co-occur more with one of the terms are closer to that term in location and color. t spectrum was built by Jeff Clark, whose Neoformix blog covers all sorts of viz, most lately text. His spectra were inspired by Chris Harrison, a grad student at CMU's HCI Institute (who has built a number of interesting visualizations himself). Jeff has also built a news spectrum that uses google news as the source.
  • firef.ly is a toolset that lets visitors currently looking at the same page "see" and chat with one another, through widgets on the page itself. Not sure about this one because it's never worked well for me (maybe my flash blocker?), but sounds cool.
That's it for now! Dave Crist found something cool at MSNBC; I'll ask him to post it.

Best,

Ben.

A small "heads up": finds

Hi folks,

Until now the posts in our DGL News blog (and email list of friends) have been almost completely about our meetings and events.

We're going to broaden things a bit and post short "finds" we run across. There's a lot of cool stuff going on these days in creating meaningful visuals, and we want to note it when we find it, and give you all the chance to check it out and talk about it.

We'll keep the posts themselves short, but please feel free to comment!

(If this small increase in email volume is disturbing; apologies. You can turn it down by going to our email list, clicking on "edit my membership", and choosing not to receive each post as an individual email).

Best,

Ben Watson & the Design Graphics Lab

Monday, May 19, 2008

Parthenon: round two

Hi folks,

We never got to Parthenon last time -- forget why! So let's try again as we restart for the summer. I believe that Dave has scanned the full paper and can make it available electronically. He'll put it on the lab's internal wiki b/c it's copyrighted -- if you don't have access please email him at davecrist@mac.com.

Best,

Ben.

***

Hi folks,

Today we'll discuss Parthenon rendering, a GPU-based method for accelerating global illumination. The full paper isn't online, I'm afraid -- it's a chapter in GPU Gems 2. But you can find some of the content here:

http://www.bee-www.com/parthenon/

... and the full content will be available for our perusal at the meeting.

Best,

Ben.