ETech 2007 Day 2 a.m. sessions

h2. Mike Kuniavsky -- The Coming Age of Magic

p. Ubiquitous computing design studio

* "the hidden middle of Moore's Law".  The processing power in the middle is high and the price is at commodity levels.
* eg: 486 was $1000 in 1989, is $0.53 in 2007.
* now that CPU power is cheap enough, can put 486 power, information processing power, into commodity items
* ubicom allows us to embed knowledge into our tools

* the old paradigm of terminal oriented computing does not work for ubiquitous devices 

* animism represetnign at a gut level
* _animism_ means labeling inamimate objects as living, attrobuting characterisints of aniumate objects to inanimate objects (typically humans) and making predictions ore explanations about inanimate objects based on knownled about animate objects (again usually represented y human beings)

* Sony MagicLink, running MagicCap by General Magic, circa 1995.  
Core development principle was to couple portable computer with networked communications.
* levereaged experience with Mac UI, extended desktop metaphor to portable network device metaphor
* used literal desktop metaphor.  stuck closely to the metaphore, like hallways, furniture
* ie "Downtown" as a direction.  tall shiny building as the Internet.

* how does that metaphor allow people to get work done?
* The desktop metaphor does not work for ubiquitous computing.  Sticking a basic unmodified PC into an everyday object will not take off.
Creates an information management problem on top of all the other problems the user is trying to solve.

h3. there must be a better way to deisgning devices for people

p. there must be an existing metaphor for how objects and devices interact with people

p. there's magic.  not the vast majority of magical concepts in each culture, but very specifically enchanted objects.

p. portable network aware information processing appliances
p. not advocating pretending the technology is magic or that the technology works by magic

p. what distinguishes them is the ability to have independent behavious

h3. characteristics of "magical" objects

* everyday
* familiar
* physical
* no screen (no assumption of text output, graphic output)
* Not human.  they have some behavior but we don't expect that to be like us.
* Not superhuman.  ulitmately we're in control, they're not in control of us.
* We don't believe in magic.  Healthy disbelief in magic.

h3. examples of ubicom devices

* orb from ambient devices
* nokia medallion
* various wand devices.  that people are already using the _magic term_ wand to describe these devices
* enchanted rabbit - nabaztag

Ubiquitous computing emergence is the byproduct of market forces and commodity information processing prices.
Easier to go with familiar patterns than to go with new ones.
Enchanted objects ar ethe most familiar of all.
metaphore is powerful, we need to be conscious of its power.

Magic, good magic, does not conceal, cripple or ?? , it explains.

q: can you express the dangerousness of a device to a user in terms of the metaphor
a: not really.  in mythology there isn't that kind of implicit relationship either.  you don't know how powerful something is just by looking at it.

h2. danah boyd -- incantations for muggles

p. what happens when we start to mock the people we're creating for, does that make us "evil"
what are our responsibilities?

p. perhaps we're not the wizards, perhaps we're the muggles?

p. maybe we're trying to model things after the magic of everyday life.

* what are the spells we cast on one another?  
* what are the spells that people through their practices and rituals cast upon us?

"if you build it they will come"  
what is the backside of the technology we're developing?  People
how to segment people to undersand that there are different people who are not like you
not see the world as one big homogeneous group

h3. life stages

p. one way of segmenting people

* identity formation and role-seeking
** you, teens, college students
* integration and coupling
** 20-somethings
* societal contribution
** professional life, marriage...
* reflection and storytelling
** retirement

* that teens look at their parents, peers, see model roles, model
behaviours, see social categories.  Trying to figure out the social
world around them.  That we're defined by the people around us, defined
by civilisation and social interaction.

* that status used to be coupled with getting integrated into the work force, now they are separated

* who am I and how can I contribute?
* that many young people are engaged in jobs but not careers.  Working to make ends meet.
* real drive for coupling around mid-twenties

* strong myth, 1950s idea of how to exist in society (but it was a social construction even in the 1950s)
* gives us a goal to work towards, a cornerstone of what we're doing
* as we get older roles shift
* start to be more concerned about what matters to us, what life is about

* it's a way of getting to the priorities people have

* what do people care about?  Their priorities shift depending on their life stage.

* america is not like silicon valley
* that teens are going to social networking sites to get friends, build status
* move through different technologies because they meet different needs
* linkedin -- no value to a teenager
* note that there's still not many social networking sites dedicated to older generation
* young people want a different kind of validation than older people
* corporations have very different needs than technology dreamers or people.  
* that corporations answer to shareholders, gain more users, grow grow grow
* that teens are ok with ads, they understand that that's how the service is free, but make the ads relevant
* that growth has consequences
* comparison of "My So Called Life" and BtVS.  MSCL had stunning demos but not enough to be kept by ABC as it was getting only one demo and not a wide audience.  WB on the other hand realized they could focus on niche audiences and draw in broader audiences.
* technology companies have taken the ABC model instead of the WB model.
* case study: Facebook.  Used to be right of passage, then FB opened up to high schools.  "Didn't want to be on a site with his younger brother".  FB continues to open up to more and more audiences.
* Expansion has costs: you start to get people angry with you.  One response is lock-in, which in turn has further costs.
* If you tell your users that they're not valuable, they respond: by protesting, by creating fake users, by leaving your service...

* What happens when people and technology come together?
* Example: soldiers in Iraq, etsy creating communities around art they create,
* find other people who are passionate about what they are doing
* started with Stage 3 people but occurring with Stage 4 folks as well
* of course not everything is positive.  what comes out of some user practices is not necessarily good for society
* for better or worse, technology reflects what's going on in the real world and some of it is ugly.
* sites dedicated to people who have died, becoming proof of existence for their peers who continue to interact and respond on places like the decedents myspace page

* social media are people
* social media reflects existing practices and modify these practices

h3. some characteristics of social media

* persistence -- that comment from 1995 can still be found
* searchability -- your future employer can find your frat party hijinks
* replicability -- can't tell the original from the duplicate.  
* invisible audiences -- no sense of who you are talking to when you're online.  don't know the social context of what's going on.

* what does it mean to apply these scales to individual interactions
* offline we had physical walls
* can determine what norms exist within certain boundaries
* way we communicate determined by environment around us
* what happens when it is online, you lose the context
* how do you train a generation to speak to all people all the time
* we are always "in public" but there are different modes of operation depending on the context.
* online the social context is not as well-formed
* can't go into ostrich mode

* eveyrthing we understand about public and private separations is changing due to technology
* young people are taking this and running with it, even if we don't understand all of the implications of the technology we have created

* what does it mean that you have so many audiences, how many can you follow?
* twitter: cognitive overload.  is it really building social relationships?
* will your twitter friends be there when you're in a crisis?
* twitter gives a way to feel you have presence

* what does it mean that we have all of these technologies that create more and more influx of information?

* mobile brings with it location data, presence data.  will radically shift practice.  
* people will figure things out, may not be the healthiest plans
* we through technologyu are shifting and changing the architecture of society and people are figuring out how to work around it for better or worse
* as technologists, do we go into ostrich mode or do we engage with how our architecture changes society
* what happens when magic goes both ways, it is not all positive, it has repercussions on society.  What happens to the star wars kid?  What happesn to the guy fired for blogging?
* What are the consequences and how do you prepare for them?

* how do we make a community that we love to be a part of?

p. second half of morning

h2. Raph Koster 

p. things that work have underlying structure.  They have a grammar. Example: Solar by Miles Davis.  

p. When somthing works, it works at many levels.

p. Things can be desconstructed into smaller things.  Songs are made of smaller songs.  Sentences decompose into SVO, then words, then syllables, then phonemes, then letters.

p. Games are made out of games.

p. games are designed to evoke fun.  Each individual game within a game has to evoke fun, to enterain.

p. Fun as a chemical response.  Fun also arises because of certain characteristics.  You're meeting a challenge, understanding how it is presented, mastering how the model works.

p. Research shows four types of fun:

* hard
* easy
* visceral
* social

p. or:


p. games focus on hard fun, tough problems and making you solve them

p. _Hard fun grammar_: Hard fun is about solving problems
games are about making choices, interactive design.

h3. the magic ingredients

* Territory
** Where you interact should matter
* Preparation
** when you interact should matter, previous interactions should take into account
* Core Mechancic
** how should matter
* Range of challegense
** what 
* Choice of abilities
** With? should matter. What tools you have should matter, should feel different.
* Variable Feedback
** For?  What you are buying for should matter.  There should be feedback
* Bad return on investment
** Few? Sometimes you don't get what you want
* Cost of failure
** Phooey: game needs to tell you that you failed at something.  Fun comes from learning, and failure is important in learning.

h4. How? 

* The core VERB has to be repeatable.  if it isn't something people care to do over and over again people will cease to use it.
* Something that requires _Skill_.  In order to learn you have to _feel_ you are growing more competent.
* Something that can handle _statistical variation_.  What you want is for the game to acknowledge the fact that some tasks are more difficult than others though they seem to be the same.  
* Something that is _competitive_.  You're competing against others, against yourself.  Ratings, metrics, and other people need to see it.

h4. When

* _Everything you did before must matter_.  The system needs to remember what you did before.
* Whatever the opponent last did to you should matter too.   _Never start an interaction with no *context*_.  What else has the user already done?
* The user should be able to prepare for the encounter _in different ways_.  Need to prepare different ways for taking on a challenge.

h4. Where

* The territory and topology should affect the outcome
* doing the same thing in different places should make a difference.  _The same challenge in different locales should be a fresh scenario._

h4. What

* The same verb must be applicable to many different challenges.
* think of a verb as a hammer.  You should present users with lots of kinds of _Nails_.

h4. with

* Users should be able to solve the challenge with their choice of tools.
* And you should reward them with different feedback for it.  The feedback should be tailored to the tools and context even if the task has been performed before.  The path by which users come should be acknowledged.

p. All of the above can be quantified.  You can arrive at a statistical measure, a rating, for every challenge.  You can them some up the difficulty.

h4. For?

* games with only one outcome are ...boring
* variable feedback keeps things lively
* usually the best feedback is a greater challenge presented by the opponent
* sometimes it's a pleasant surprise.
* either way, it has to be highly visible.  Others need to know, it draws and drives participation.
* bottomfeeding is bad for fun.
* low risk activity for high reward is bad for fun.
* you need to drive users to challenges at the edge of ability

h4. phooey

* making a wrong choice has to be a setback.  need to realize you've done a wrong thing.

p. The absence of any of these features makes _any_ form of interaction less fun.

h2. Chad Dickerson -- Hacking Yahoo!

* Hack Day at Yahoo!, extending the formula inside out

h3. hack day rules

* build something in 24 hours, no power points
* present it to everyone in 90 seconds
* no prior review of projects, anything goes
* that's it
* 100s of prototypes built

h3. Why do Open Hack day?

* build more engaged community around YDN
* share the spirit of internal hack days
* create excitement about Yahoo's APIs
* leverage the capabilityes and scale of Yahoo! to deliver uniqely compelling event
* We had been opening Yahoo! APIS, why not open Yahoo itself
* show yahoo on a personal level

h3. hack day cycle of innovation

* yahoo creates new apis
* battle tested APIs exposed to new users
* YDN developers hack on the apis to create new things
* and a bullet that went by too quickly to capture

* made Yahoo! developers available, stayed up all night with the "hackers".

* brought in entertainment, Beck

* open request for invite for only 400 slots, no fee
* simple criterion:
** will you be building something using at least on Yahoo! API
* geographic diversity -- not just the usual Silicon Valley crowd
* rapid fire demos, no prescreen, no powerpoints

* hacking your company's cultural "software"
* invited competitors
* got strong emotional responses from attendees

h3. overclocking your facility's "hardware"

* a lot of amazing talent held within your organization
* they let people camp on the holy grass at Yahoo!  Convincing groundskeepers that sleeping on grass was ok.
* had to make sure environment supported having hacking contest onsite, turning off sprinklers for example

h3. Surprises

* left event really open
* class friday, hack saturday, present hacks saturday evening

h4. prizes

* Blogging in Motion: purse using pedometer and cell phone to upload photo every 100 steps to flickr
* _ybox_ turned old tv into image display
* the puppets, made fun of Yahoo! and Silicon Valley work culture in Beck provided video
* q. to be open you have to be open to people making fun of you and your culture

p. Another beck video [um, potentially nsfw, masturbating puppet video]

h4. feedback

* Yahoo! as Punk Rock (Brooke Maury)
* one of the most difficult aspects was getting the local news to understand what was going on.

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