New TED Book: A Haystack Full of Needles

TED Blog

There are some questions an Internet search just isn’t so good at answering: What do I want for dinner tonight? How can I make a career change? Who is my ideal romantic partner? Asking a search engine any of these things will most likely result in a deluge of useless data rather than an excited “aha!” discovery. While we know that the “right” answer is out there, finding it can be like hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Author and venture capitalist Jim Hornthal believes that the Internet can be far more useful when it comes to big questions. In the new TED Book A Haystack Full of Needles: Cutting Through the Clutter of the Online World to Find a Place, Partner, or President, he flips our current thinking on the noisy datasphere and explores groundbreaking approaches that will help searchers find the useful insights buried deep…

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GroupTogether — Exploring the Future of a Society of Devices

The Past and Present Future

My latest paper discussing the GroupTogether system just appeared at the 2012 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology in Cambridge, MA.

GroupTogether video available on YouTube

I’m excited about this work — it really looks hard at what some of the next steps in sensing systems might be, particularly when one starts considering how users can most effectively interact with one another in the context of the rapidly proliferating Society of Devices we are currently witnessing.

I think our paper on the GroupTogether system, in particular, does a really nice job of exploring this with strong theoretical foundations drawn from the sociological literature.

F-formations are small groups of people engaged in a joint activity.

F-formations are the various type of small groups that people form when engaged in a joint activity.

GroupTogether starts by considering the natural small-group behaviors adopted by people who come together to accomplish some joint activity.  These small groups can take a variety of distinctive forms, and…

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