Stephen E. Arnold: Open Review Breaks the Back of Citation Cabals and Incestuous Science

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Open Review Brings Peer Review to the Scientific Masses

This seems like a step in the right direction for the world of academic publishing. ResearchGate News announces, “Peer Review Isn’t Working—Introducing Open Review.” We know that increasingly, papers based on shoddy research have been making it into journals supposedly policed by rigorous peer-review policies. Now, ResearchGate has launched a countermeasure—Open Review brings the review process to the public. The write up happily tells us:

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Open Review today. It’s designed to help you openly voice feedback and evaluate research that you have read and worked with, bringing more transparency to science and speeding up progress.

“With Open Review you can:

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Apr 7

Jean Lievin: Communities: the institutions of the 21st century? An interview with Rachel Botsman

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Communities: the institutions of the 21st century? An interview with Rachel Botsman

Since her influential book about how collaborative consumption is changing the way we live, Rachel Botsman has been a leading actor in the collaborative economy and stimulated important debates about its future. OuiShare Fest Co-chair Francesca spoke to her about her vision of the collaborative economy movement, her current work and what she will bring to OuiShare Fest this May.

A lot has happened since your book “What’s Mine is Yours”. Did you imagine the collaborative economy would look the way it does today? Where do you see the movement going now?

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Apr 2

Jean Leavins: San Francisco Leads Urban Start-Up Environments

Categories: Innovation
Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Urban Shift in the U.S. Start-Up Economy, in One Chart

San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood; Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Kendall Square; Lower Manhattan: These are the dense, walkable neighborhoods that have become the new hubs of America’s tech scene, as the center of gravity for venture investment and start-up activity shifts from suburbs to urban centers.

This urban shift in America’s venture capital-fueled innovation economy is detailed in my latest report from the Martin Prosperity Institute, released today at The Atlantic’s Start-Up City: Miami event. (The report builds upon and deepens the analysis developed initially in my Start-Up City series here on the site last year).

The chart below, from the new report, shows just how extensive the urban shift in venture capital investment and start-up activity has become. It is based on detailed zip code data provided to us by Dow Jones for the year 2011. The data cover 11 metros and two combined areas, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington-Baltimore. Together, start-ups based in these metros accounted for almost three-quarters of venture capital investment in 2011.

Read full article and see chart.

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Apr 1

Stephen E. Arnold: Open Data Collection with Ushahidi

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Open Data Collection with Ushahidi

March 28, 2014

The crowdsourced data collection platform Ushahidi, now assisting activists worldwide, was first created to facilitate public accountability and social activism during crises in its home nation, Kenya. Not surprisingly, Ushahidi is also the name of the non-profit behind the open-source project. Open-Steps.org interviewed the organization’s director of data projects, Chris Albon, about the platform. The article prefaces the dialogue with a brief explanation:

“In a nutshell, it allows citizens to make reports in a collaborative way, creating crowdsourced interactive maps. With a very intelligent approach, Ushahidi gives citizens the possibility to use the web, their smartphones and even SMS to gather data, which makes this technology accessible almost everywhere and for everyone. Originally created in Kenya to serve as an instrument for social activism and public accountability in crisis situations, the software has proven to be a great companion worldwide in bringing advocacy campaigns to a successful end. The team behind Ushahidi has not only created a world-changing technology but also they share it with others since it is released as Open Source.”

Albon tells us that the core Ushahidi platform is now being used in 159 countries and has been translated into 35 languages, and explains it is being used by groups from small, election-monitoring non-profits to global organizations tracking disaster relief efforts. Journalists also make use of the platform. Albon notes that his group helped build iHub in Nairobi, an “innovation hub” and community workspace designed to facilitate collaboration and community growth. See the article for more on this and Ushahidi’s other projects, Crowdmap, Swiftriver, Ping, and BRCK. The interview wraps up with something to look forward to: the next generation of the Ushahidi core platform, v3, is on its way.

Cynthia Murrell, March 28, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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Mar 28

Jean Lievens: People Share for Convenience and Price – Sustainable Lifestyle is Reason #6

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

People Are Sharing in the Collaborative Economy for Convenience and Price

Below Graphic: Partnered with Vision Critical, Crowd Companies (the association I started for big brands in the collaborative economy) surveyed over 90,000 people to find out why they share goods, services, space, transportation, and money.

A dissection of the largest study in the Collaborative Economy
Over the coming months, we’ll be dissecting some of the key findings from the largest study ever done on the Collaborative Economy, sharing both factual data and insights beyond market observations. When people first think of the sharing economy, a subset of the greater Collaborative Economy, they think of technology-laden hipsters in communes. What we found was quite the opposite – that this sharing behavior is common place behavior across many scenarios. We discovered that people often share for reasons that made pragmatic sense for themselves – not community altruism. If you want to view the entire report (over 28k already have), you may download it by clicking here.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

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Mar 25

Launching a Search [Eyes] and Rescue [Payload] Challenge for [Mini] Drone / UAV Pilots

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Launching a Search and Rescue Challenge for Drone / UAV Pilots

My colleague Timothy Reuter (of AidDroids fame) kindly invited me to co-organize the Drone/UAV Search and Rescue Challenge for the DC Drone User Group. The challenge will take place on May 17th near Marshall in Virginia. The rules for the competition are based on the highly successful Search/Rescue challenge organized by my new colleague Chad with the North Texas Drone User Group. We’ll pretend that a person has gone missing by scattering (over a wide area) various clues such pieces of clothing and personal affects. Competitors will use their UAVs to collect imagery of the area and will have 45 minutes after flying to analyze the imagery for clues.

. . . . . . .

CLick on Image to Enlarge

CLick on Image to Enlarge

I want to try something new with this challenge. While previous competitions have focused exclusively on the use of drones/UAVs for the “Search” component of the challenge, I want to introduce the option of also engaging in the “Rescue” part. How? If UAVs identify a missing person, then why not provide that person with immediate assistance while waiting for the Search and Rescue team to arrive on site? The UAV could drop a small and light-weight first aid kit, or small water bottle, or even a small walkie talkie. Enter my new colleague Euan Ramsay who has been working on a UAV payloader solution for Search and Rescue; see the video demo below. Euan, who is based in Switzerland, has very kindly offered to share several payloader units for our UAV challenge. So I’ll be meeting up with him next month to take the units back to DC for the competition.

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Mar 24

Patrick Meier: Using Social Media to Monitor Local Impacts Invisible to Conventional Intelligence Sources and Methods

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Using Social Media to Predict Economic Activity in Cities

 

Economic indicators in most developing countries are often outdated. A new study suggests that social media may provide useful economic signals when traditional economic data is unavailable. In “Taking Brazil’s Pulse: Tracking Growing Urban Economies from Online Attention” (PDF), the authors accurately predict the GDPs of 45 Brazilian cities by analyzing data from a popular micro-blogging platform (Yahoo Meme). To make these predictions, the authors used the concept of glocality, which notes that “economically successful cities tend to be involved in interactions that are both local and global at the same time.” The results of the study reveals that “a city’s glocality, measured with social media data, effectively signals the city’s economic well-being.”

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Mar 10

Stephen E. Arnold: OpenText Innovates In File Sync And Share

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

OpenText Innovates In File Sync And Share

OpenText announces its new product: OpenText Tempo. The new file sharing collaboration platform is highlighted in the press release, “Social Collaboration Combined With Secure Files Sync and Share: Introducing OpenText Tempo.” OpenText describes Tempo as a project that required teamwork from all over the world.

OpenText Tempo will be able to:

“…provides an engaging user experience that combines the convenience of secure file sync and share with social collaboration and seamless integration to Content Server. It connects people with each other and with their content in a secure, compliant environment that enables open dialogues to take place, extending the value of content through the process of collaboration.”

It is the company’s first EIM application with integration for other products, including Tempo Note, Tempo Social, and Tempo Box. OpenText also says it improves Web site management, web experience management, and portal applications.

It is a commercially secure file sharing and social platform. Will Dropbox and other free services be able to something similar on at an appealing price point?

Whitney Grace, March 01, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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Mar 1

Patrick Meier: Crisis Mapping without GPS Coordinates

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Crisis Mapping without GPS Coordinates

I recently spoke with a UK start-up that is doing away with GPS coordinates even though their company focuses on geographic information and maps. The start-up, What3Words, has divided the globe into 57 trillion squares and given each of these 3-by-3 meter areas a unique three-word code. Goodbye long postal addresses and cryptic GPS coordinates. Hello planet.inches.most. The start-up also offers a service called OneWord, which allows you to customize a one-word name for any square. In addition, the company has expanded to other languages such as Spanish, Swedish and Russian. They’re now working on including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and others by mid-January 2014. Meanwhile, their API lets anyone build new applications that tap their global map of 57 trillion squares.

When I spoke with CEO Chris Sheldrick, he noted that their very first users were emergency response organizations. One group in Australia, for example, is using What3Words as part of their SMS emergency service. “This will let people identify their homes with just three words, ensuring that emergency vehicles can find them as quickly as possible.” Such an approach provides greater accuracy, which is vital in rural areas. “Our ambulances have a terrible time with street addresses, particularly in The Bush.” Moreover, many places in the world have no addresses at all. So What3Words may also be useful for certain ICT4D projects in addition to crisis mapping. The real key to this service is simplicity, i.e., communicating three words over the phone, via SMS/Twitter or email is far easier (and less error prone) than dictating a postal address or a complicated set of GPS coordinates.

Source with Graphics

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Feb 25

Patrick Meier: Using Crowd Computing to Analyze UAV Imagery for Search & Rescue Operations — Starkly Opposite USAF Gorgon Stare in Cost, Utility, & Sensibility

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Using Crowd Computing to Analyze UAV Imagery for Search & Rescue Operations

My brother recently pointed me to this BBC News article on the use of drones for Search & Rescue missions in England’s Lake District, one of my favorite areas of the UK. The picture below is one I took during my most recent visit. In my earlier blog post on the use of UAVs for Search & Rescue operations, I noted that UAV imagery & video footage could be quickly analyzed using a microtasking platform (like MicroMappers, which we used following Typhoon Yolanda). As it turns out, an enterprising team at the University of Central Lancashire has been using microtasking as part of their UAV Search & Rescue exercises in the Lake District.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

Every year, the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team assists hundreds of injured and missing persons in the North of the Lake District. “The average search takes several hours and can require a large team of volunteers to set out in often poor weather conditions.” So the University of Central Lancashire teamed up with the Mountain Rescue Team to demonstrate that UAV technology coupled with crowdsourcing can reduce the time it takes to locate and rescue individuals.

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Feb 17