Jon Udell's Interviews With Innovators
Interviews With Innovators
by Jon Udell
Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and
new media innovator. In his day job with Microsoft, and also here on
ITConversations, he explores a wide range of issues at the
intersection of technology and society. These conversations are
sometimes deeply technical, sometimes broadly social, and frequently both.
They always aim to connect the dots.
Jon Udell speaks with Granicus co-founder Tom Spengler, who explains how his company's streaming media system enables governments to manage the capture and synchronized presentation of video and text, making the proceedings usefully transparent.
On the Tracks4Africa website, travelers pool their data, enrich it with textual and pictorial annotations, and collectively create a GPS map that natives and tourists alike can use and enhance. Jon Udell interviews one of the co-founders of Tracks4Africa, Johann Groenewald, who describes how a community of GPS enthusiasts evolved into -- and still exists in a symbiotic relationship with -- a 21st-century mapping business.
November 2008 marks the tenth anniversary of RFC 2445, the iCalendar specification that governs the exchange of calendar information on the Internet. On this edition of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell invites one of the authors of RFC2445, Derik Stenerson, to reflect on the history of the venerable standard, and to consider new ways it might be applied in our era of personal publishing.
Many of us feel that the Web is ushering in a new era of global consciousness. But Howard Bloom thinks life has been a collective mind from the very beginning. He made the case in his book "Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang To the 21st Century." Host Jon Udell speaks with Bloom who reviews the themes of that book -- group selectionism, complex adaptive systems, collective learning -- and considers what has, and hasn't, changed since the book was published in 2000.
One of the presentations at the DEMO fall 2008 conference was not like the others. Amidst a flock of Web 2.0 startups, Microstaq showed a MEMS (microelectromechanical system) device that controls the flow of coolant in air conditioners. On this edition of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell speaks with, Microstaq's VP of Engineering Mark Luckevich, who explains how silicon-based MEMS valves can improve process efficiency and reduce cost in a wide range of flow control applications.
Jock Gill is an entrepreneur who's thinking broadly and acting decisively to help create a decentralized energy system that makes appropriate use of biomass. In part two of a two-part interview, he and host Jon Udell discuss zero-energy houses, micro combined heat and power, peer-to-peer resource sharing, and the relevance of Thomas Malthus, Benjamin Franklin, and John Nash -- among others -- to our current energy predicament.
Jock Gill is an entrepreneur who's thinking broadly and acting decisively to help create an decentralized energy system that makes appropriate use of biomass. In part one of a two-part interview, he and host Jon Udell discuss alternatives to fossil fuel for residential heating in New England, including wood, wood pellets, and a new approach that uses compressed tablets made from grass.
Information technologies weave their way into every aspect of our personal, professional, and civic lives. There's a growing need for informed public discussion of their public policy implications. Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) is one emerging forum for that conversation. Ed Felten and David Robinson speak with host Jon Udell to explore the goals and activities of the CITP.
For MIT's Project SIMILE, David Huynh built an amazing series of web tools for exploring and organizing structured information. Two months into his new gig at Metaweb, he's done it again. On this edition of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell asks Huynh about his Parallax prototype, which creates a powerful new way for users to click their way through related sets of information in Freebase. In essence, a Wikipedia-like database built on a semantic web foundation.
On this edition of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell speaks with W. David Stephenson, who reflects on how Web 2.0 technologies -- and mindsets -- are transforming the relationship between citizens and governments.