Saturday, February 14, 2009

David Merrill: Siftables, the toy blocks that think

David Merrill is a grad student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT's Media Lab. He and his fellow students in this group work on new technologies that give us more and better abilities to do things we want to do. His main interest now is the Siftables project, the subject of his TEDTalk, on which he works with Jeevan Kalanithi. In another field of inquiry, Merrill is looking at ways to access digital information in the wider world, when we are away from a traditional computer.

A musician himself, Merril also has a deep interest in new musical interfaces. His Adaptive Music Controller is an instrument that learns its player (rather than the player learning the instrument). And working musicians should check out his AudioPint, a portable case that consolidates instruments, effects and audio processors into a gig-safe rugged housing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bill Gates: How I'm trying to change the world now

Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world's biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them. Watch the video and write a comment on those two questions.