Change 2004 is On! Join us at Stanford Fri-Sun, November 5th-7th.
to everyone who registered and RSVP'd over the last two weeks. We
now have sufficient commitments to offer you another amazing event
this year. Rather than delaying to 2005, we have rescheduled AC2004
to November 5-7, which will give us adequate time
to provide maximum value to our sponsors, and to ensure a full roster
of distinguished attendees. We had 279 wonderful folks last year,
and have capacity again for 300 this year. We hope to see you
at Stanford this November!
Take a look
at the AC2004 conference
website: We will bring you 36 world-class
speakers over two and a half days, six keynotes, three debates,
a Virtual Worlds demo, and a DVD conference record. Rates are $350
for Early Bird, and $150 for Student registrants. Note that
AC2004 is priced well below other top-quality strategic technology,
business, and humanist futures conferences such as AlwaysOn ($1,795*),
Business 4Site ($1,095*), MIT Emerging Tech ($995*), O'Reilly Emerging
Tech ($1,145*), Telecosm ($1,495*), and Pop!Tech ($1,695*). Our
nonprofit is committed to remaining the low-cost, high value leader
in this very important space.
excellent 10 disc set of ACC2003 DVDs is now available for $99,
tax and shipping included. Speakers include Ray Kurzweil (voice
and PowerPoints), and voice, PowerPoints, and video for Michael
Denton, Ilkka Tuomi, Keith Devlin, Jim Gardner, Bill Dembski, Nick
Bostrom, Greg Papadopoulous, John Koza, William Calvin, Steve Jurvetson,
John Smart, Robert Wright, Jim Crawford, Mark Finnern, Marcos Guillen,
Ben Goertzel, Tim O'Reilly, Christine Peterson, Scott Hunt,
and Ross Mayfield. Also included is Howard
Bloom's special film presentation, "An Infinity of
These are very important, acceleration-aware
ideas, and we seek to promote them to the widest possible audience.
Sets can be ordered from ISAC by phone (VISA, MC, AmEx accepted)
at (650) 396-8220.
prep for AC2004, Tech Tidbits will feature at least three
items weekly, arranged by our three conference themes. Have your
own breaking news to submit? Let us know at mail-at-accelerating.org
Moving Mission, LA Times Magazine, 25 July 2004 (1
page) [Free Registration Required]
[Commentary by John Smart] Twenty five years ago, mechanical
engineer Don Schoendorfer, was in Morocco and saw
woman dragging herself across a hot dirt road using her one functional
arm. "We wanted to do something but we didn't know how."
Three years ago, Don had his inspiration. He subsequently designed
the cheapest known functional wheelchair in existence, based on
a $3 plastic lawn chair and two mountain bike tires, began producing
it in two Chinese factories for $41.37 each, and is now distributing
it free in the poorest areas on the planet. His nonprofit, Free
Wheelchair Mission, has to date distributed 30,000 of the chairs
in 37 countries, including Iraq last year (picture right).
is an inspiring example of what Buckminster Fuller
called technological benevolence: recognizing when certain technologies
have become so mature and affordable that we can now use them to
permanently address some basic world problem using our existing
humanitarian and philanthropic channels, and then extending this
solution to everyone on the planet in a sustainable manner. Schoendorfer's
big hairy audacious goal is to distribute 20 million of these worldwide
by 2010, so they can be shared by the estimated 100 million disabled
and elderly that could use them today. Great job!
of Illinois Study Shows Kids Don't Leave Much Room For Error When
Crossing Street on Bike, Ascribe
Newswire, 19 July 2004 (2 pages)
[Commentary by John Smart] Summary of a study published
in July/August Child
Development. A very creative collaboration between Jodie
Plumert, professor of psychology, and Joseph
Kearney and James Cremer, professors of
computer science at the University of Iowa. Kearney and Cremer designed
an immersive virtual environment where participants actually feel
as if they are biking through a neighborhood. The virtual neighborhood
is projected on three screens at right angles to one another, providing
a wrap-around view and allowing for realistic peripheral vision
and reactions. What they discovered is that ten and twelve year
old's perception of the length of traffic gaps are more unrealistic
than adults. Between 10-12 and adulthood they measurably improve
their visual judgment. Plumert says,"being able to study childhood
safety without putting participants at risk for injury is a major
soon will teens have virtual environments where they can improve
their biking and driving skills? Sites like Simcar.info
(picture right) provide highly realistic simulated Nascar racing,
and are already improving the driving skills and reaction times
of professional racers, by their own testimony. Thanks
to Iveta Brigis for the article.
Jacket Contains Telephony and MP3 Player, InformationWeek,
26 July 2004 (1 page)
by John Smart] An innovative german semiconductor
Technologies AG) and a creative German clothing manufacturer
(Rosner GmbH &
Co.) have created a men's sport jacket with built-in Bluetooth
telephony and an MP3 player. A textile keyboard on the sleeve controls
the electronics. When the wearer places a call, the stereo becomes
a headset and the audio is automatically paused when calls come
in. To wash the jacket, it's necessary to remove the electronics
module from its holder. Unfortunately, the battery supplies power
for only eight hours, and it doesn't appear to be rechargable simply
by hanging the garment up. Ideally the Bluetooth gateway should
allow the wearer to use their cellphone outside the house and their
Bluetooth-equipped landline inside. Orders can be taken August 1st
at http://www.mp3blue.de, for
delivery way out in February 2005. Unfortunately, I'd also expect
the price to be similar to "The Hub", the $600 snowboarding-cellphone-mp3
jacket (pictured here) that Infineon and O'Neill Europe announced
in January (to be sold only in Europe, next month apparently).
developments bring us closer to the wearable computing dream: clothing
that will keep you connected, entertained, and educated, wherever
you are. There's a lot that could be done with a vest, like the
$140 Scott eVest
(now in Version 2.0) another step toward wearable, invisible, and
hassle-free electronics. By distributing small power cells throughout
the clothing, today's garments have the ability to get around the
marginal battery performance of today's mobile electronic devices,
though no commercial product has yet taken advantage of that fact.
the future: Add XM Radio
to this, so that you can have a hundred custom informational and
educational channels available. We could also use jackets that will
sync automatically with proprietary-format audiobook, eBook, and
MPEG-4 content downloaders like Audible.com
Also great would be a detachable PDA. Synchronization should happen
in the closet when you hang up your eClothes. Tall order?
Venture Development Corp.
has forecast the intelligent textiles market at $1 billion in 2007.
I think we are going to need smarter and less expensive versions
of these products before those numbers can materialize. Designers?
Let's do it!
Call for Submissions
is currently requesting submissions for its Accelerating
Times (AT) web-based publication. AT is a "free and
priceless" newsletter, featuring broad coverage and incisive
editorials on scientific, technological, business, and humanist
dialogs in accelerating change. Anyone interested in submitting
original material relevant to the broad study and analysis of accelerating
change may do so via email to mail-at-accelerating.org. Submissions
may take the form of articles, papers, scan hits, questions and
even cartoons (for you illustrators out there). Contributers will
be notified of their acceptance status in a timely fashion, and
accepted work will appear, fully credited, in future issues of Accelerating
Times. Visit http://singularitywatch.com/news.html
for more details.