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Stuff I Find Interesting
Alex Steffen, 28 Nov 08

It's a holiday weekend, so this is a lazy post: I was recently asked what kinds of technological developments I found interesting. Here's the list I sent back.


We're getting close to good models of the land use-transportation-energy-climate emissions interactions, and these are pretty much all saying that land use is at least as important a transportation task as clean energy/new vehicles, if not more important

but wire those cities tightly and ubiquitously and all sorts of mayhem gets possible

including making buildings themselves a lot smarter

infrastructure could get really weird


Not because it's perfect -- far from -- but because it sorta works, and it's really popular, which strikes me as a good leading indicator of the combination of urban proximity and digital precision.

people mentioned transit mapping for iPhones, but iNap is critical
if you don't want to miss your stop
(and I more and more think that divergent innovation's a real thing)

And packstations for your deliveries

dynamic parking metering?


Energy mortgages: someone else puts in the distributed energy equipment, you pay them back (plus interest) from the savings:
Fabio Rosa wiring rural Brazil
Berkeley paying for its citizen's solar
Locavolt/ district energy


Front Design air-sculpting chairs
Talented Swedish designers using motion-capture and fabbing to design chairs in the air.

Bruce Sterling's story Kiosk about cheap fabbers and copyright and revolutions and cultural crazes and everything... well, it used to be available free, and it stuck in my head (though now I can't find it).

Outquisition Technologies
Some parts of the developed world are collapsing slowly, and some of those are going to get hit hard by economic transitions and climate change: what sort of tech would help folks who live there?

Remote sensing to do cool things, like find ghost nets still thrills me
heck, I like all the tech+ farming stuff
Jonathan Harris' whalehunt

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Clickable. Links. ?.

Posted by: C. on 29 Nov 08

this looks like a great article, but can you PLEASE go back and make these links functioning so I don't have to put each of them into my browswer one at a time?

Posted by: christian on 30 Nov 08

Sorry guys, but this one was a quickie. You'll have to cut and paste this time.

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 30 Nov 08

hear of hyperlinks, web friend?

Posted by: The Pied Pipes on 1 Dec 08


so. annoying.

Posted by: iamironman on 1 Dec 08

I invite you to ignore the post if you find it that annoying.

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 1 Dec 08

Here's an easy way to deal with non-linked URLs. On my Mac running Firefox, I simply highlight the non-linked URL, Right-Click, and select "Search Google for [URL appears here]"

The search result brings up the correct URL, I click on it, and bingo.

Posted by: Jim Lange on 3 Dec 08

Dear Jim, as cool and handy as google is, you really shouldn't use it completely in vain as you described. Did you know that one google search uses about the same amount of energy as a regular light bulb does in 24 hours. So if you know where you are going you really should have the time and the energy to directly steer your browser to that destination without any google assistance.

Posted by: Kirsi on 25 Dec 08

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