Saviez-vous que certains composants de votre ordinateur (Apple, Acer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett Packard) ont peut-être été fabriqués dans des usines qui ne respectent pas les droits les plus fondamentaux des travailleurs?

Plusieurs ONG et associations se sont regroupées pour lancer une campagne de sensibilisation aux pratiques d’une industrie qui a divisé ses coûts par cinq ces vingt dernières années.

Retour sur “High Tech No Rights” avec Céline Füri de l’association Pain pour le prochain, rencontrée hier par hasard à la gare de Genève.

Sur le site fair-computer.ch, on trouve notamment des rapports très détaillés sur les pratiques des plus grands constructeurs.

Deux rencontres sont organisées pour ceux qui souhaitent approfondir le sujet: le 7 Mars à Genève (en présence notamment d’un représentant de Dell) et le 8 à Lausanne (avec Bonnie Nixon-Gardiner de Hewlett Packard international).

Interview chez Radio Cité

Courriels, blogs et autres wikis, mais aussi les sms ou textos, ont transformé nos modes de communication, ils reconditionnent notre environnement culturel. Avec la géo-localisation, certains parlent d’une progression de la démocratie, d’autres d’une forme élaborée de contrôle social, des applications de la psycho-géographie prétendent redonner le sens dont l’aménagement rationnel prive toujours plus les lieux dans lesquels. Lors de LIFT 07, les effets des nouvelles technologies tant dans les entreprises que dans notre vie quotidienne ont fait l’objet de débats entre les quelques 500 participants.

Retour sur LIFT07 avec Jacques Magnol sur Radio Cité.

Télécharger l’interview en mp3.

Meet a space tourist

Update: Time and Place: Wednesday 28th February 14:00-15:00, CERN Council Chamber

The CERN is organizing a conference with a fascinating speaker: Mark Shuttleworth. The guy’s bio feels like a Scorcese movie:

• started as a developer on Debian (an operating system).

• founded Thawte in 1995 (a company specialised in digital certificates and Internet security), sold it to Verisign for $575 million.

• turned to business incubation and venture capitalism.

• he then formed a non-profit organization dedicated to social innovation.

• on April 2002, he became the second civilian cosmonaut.

• in 2004, he returned to the Linux world by funding the development of a user-friendly distribution of Linux, Ubuntu.

And in 2007, he will give a speech at the CERN about “Open Source Software: The Challenge Ahead”. Worth the trip probably!

LIFT video: Lee Bryant

It’s the Lee day. Here comes Lee Bryant speaking about “Collective Intelligence inside the enterprise”.

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I met Lee at Reboot two years ago (notes here) and have been very interested in his work ever since. Here are my notes about the presentation above:

• human mind is better at processing heterogeneous data, makes better decisions
• let’s feed our minds rather than machines, in theory that should lead to better decisions.
• but as of today, our tools get worse as more people use them. It should be the opposite!
• collective intelligence has boundaries, there is no global collective intelligence, rather a per organization/culture/application intelligence.
• at some point, systems scale so big that there is room for numerous ecosystems (think wikipedia, there are different collectivities inside of it now it’s that big)
• the good thing is that, pertinent information seems to hit us at some point. If you don’t find it, the social filter will always bring it back to you.
• an organization can maximize the return of these social filters by following a few rules (syndicate everything, learn from people behavior – who’s reading what etc… – get the info rather than wait for it, etc…)

LIFT video: Jaewoong Lee

While we are preparing the LIFT videos channel, I am uploading a few presentations to vPod.tv as I watch them. Here is Jaewoong Lee presenting on “Collective Intelligence and Collaborative Creativity”.

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I particularly liked this slide, where Jaewoon nicely summarized the history of media as we know it:

• one to one
• few to one, one to few
• one to mass
• one to mass, mass to one
• mass to mass
• google, the end of the world?

I am a bit mad at myself for having introduced his talk as about “User generated content” while it’s about much more. But that’s the kind of keywords you rely on when on stage speaking a foreign language in front of 500 people. That’s what came to my mind, sorry Jaewoong 😉

The revolution has begun

RFID will soon “look about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.” Hitachi managed to build an RFID tag that is so small it can be fitted in a paper sheet.

Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese electronics maker, recently showed off radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips that are just 0.05 millimeters by 0.05 millimeters and look like bits of powder.

Sci-Tech Today: Hitachi Shows World’s Smallest RFID Chip

Prepare for networked objects, and order Adam Greenfield’s Everyware now to measure how much you life just changed 😉

Urban Seeder

My fascination for Urban Seeder is nothing new. In fact, when I first heard of the project at Reboot, I really felt like it was something special, putting a bit of magic back into the process of socializing via new technologies.

How does the system work? Check Scoble’s interview of Maya Lotan, the founder of this promising service.

As Maya says in the video, Urban Seeder is a new kind of dating website, intended for people who care more about the process than about the end result. This should work really well in my homeland if what they say is true 😉

Gender diversity at conferences

Jason Kottke looks behind the numbers, and concludes that gender diversity doesn’t matter as much to conference organizers as they publicly say it does. Interesting post, where he compared the number of men and women speaking at various conferences. LIFT07 ranks fourth – tied with TED – at 23% (the real figure is more around 25% but you get the idea).

This is a true problem. And to complete Jason’s view, I think the following things should also be considered:

• the number of women who were INVITED
For some reason, we (LIFT) have a lesser success rate in our invitations to women speakers. I emailed at least 10 ladies who were not interested or didn’t have time to show up at the end. With men, I think we only got 4-5 no.

• the number of women who were scheduled and canceled
This year we had two great ladies who initially thought they could make it, and couldn’t come in the end.

• the % of women in the audience
To me that’s almost a bigger deal. People get 80% of the value of a conference outside the rooms, so that should maybe be the main area of focus. This year we tried to make a push here, and I think we succeeded to some extent. I think that if more women show up, more will want to speak in the long term.

• the increase in the % of women
To measure the care organizers put into such a question, it might be interesting to measure the increase in the % of women speakers over the years. For LIFT, we had 13% women last year, 23% this year.

• the idea that inviting women for the sake of inviting women is not a good thing
The same people who push for more ladies at conferences usually warn us to avoid inviting women because they are women. I think quotas are a negative way to solve problems, the solution is elsewhere, and way beyond conferences.

This has always been a question, and it is not a LIFT or a conference issue, but an industry/society problem. That does not mean I can not do something to help make things better, and more reflective of the reality of technology, a world frequented by an equal number of men and women.

Directed by CPU

Lars Von Trier is this Danish film director who seems to always be pushing the envelope, exploring new ways to make movies. And in his case, “new ways” usually means going back to minimalist and old-school techniques, as explained in the Dogme 95 principles (filming must be done on location, on 35mm film, music has to be played live, etc..).

Von Trier’s latest production – called the Boss – takes a radically different direction. Via a process he calls “Automavision”, Von Trier tried to “limit the human influence”, handing some key elements of filming (tilt, pan, zoom) to a computer.

[…] “the technique was that I would frame the picture first and then push a button on the computer. I was not in control – the computer was in control.”

The idea was to make actors lose the sense of comfort that a human being, even hidden behind a camera, gives them. And apparently this resulted in a “refreshing experience”. Is this the other direction technological progress can take in the movie industry? Machines tricking us with crazy visuals on one side, computers as directors on the other?

The Guardian : I’m a control freak – but I was not in control