XX.4 July + August 2013
Page: 6
Digital Citation


CACM Staff

back to top  On Attention to Surroundings

(by Malcolm McCullough November + December 2012 DOI: 10.1145/2377783.2377793)

Fantastic text. I came [to the interactions website] by searching for people who quote the Stanford study on multitasking. The introduction is fantastic as it builds up an argument that attention has some features that do not change over time.


back to top  Refuser (Centered Design)

(by Gilbert Cockton November + December 2012 DOI: 10.1145/2377783.2377786)

The author overlooks the important issue that the "big boys" largely do not appreciate the need for design and the problems that real people have with technology. I admit that we've had a hard time selling UCD but I am not persuaded by the arguments here to abandon it. Perhaps have a look at my article on a similar subject, "User Requirements for the 21st Century," where I take a more pragmatic view of trying to address real users' needs in the development process:

William Hudson

back to top  Creating the World Citizen Parliament

(by Doug Schuler, May + June 2013 DOI: 10.1145/2451856.2451867)

Not wanting to do anything so grandiose as building a (technology for) a world parliament, I have in essence been working on the same problems and facing the seven challenges with a project called COMPANY (

In 2011, working with senior software developers—gratis, although neither the ethical undertaking nor the promise of sweat equity were enough to keep them involved—I established the technical feasibility of COMPANY.

In 2012, turning from the "voluntary, principled" participation model—because the attractions of real paying jobs had lost me my team—I received financial support from the New Zealand government. This partially funded an Intellectual Property Position Review, which the government considered a pre-requisite —as commercial due diligence—to investing in an initial build or beta. The IPPR recommended I do proceed. However, the government offers only partial funding and without a team, either technical or commercial, there has been little to no investor interest.

As things stand at present, I have the tools and schematics for a beta build of something that would fit the sort of use imagined here. If you have any interest in helping, please contact me.

Simon Taylor

back to top  Blog: Enlightenment by lesson, rather than by lecture

(by Tek-Jin Nam;

I think this content will be very helpful for lecturers and professors who teach design courses!!


back to top  Blog: Couch Potato U (Redux)

(by Jonathan Grudin;

My opinion is that you have posed some of the correct questions in this blog post. Journalists who cover business and education have in my reading either not posed any questions or posed only inconsequential questions about MOOCs. I agree with Amelia Abreu that pedagogical questions are important, but your personal reflection on broadcast viewing seems more decisive to me.

The classroom is an archetypal venue, like the theatre or sports field. MOOC developers won't succeed by trying to replicate that venue. They have opportunities, however, to address participant needs that physical-world venues meet, such as awareness of classmates and a sense that the class is a timely event (as opposed to a tired old recording).

Preston Lathrop

back to top  Blog: The end of civilization as we knew it

(by Aaron Marcus;

But Aaron, you paid a lot of money for your MacBook Pro, doesn't that make you feel better about the experience?


back to top  Blog: What designers need to know/do to help transform healthcare

(by Richard Anderson;

Well-stated! Reframing the problem doesn't happen nearly enough. In regard to your points about design research, how might you recommend adding more rigor for it to be appropriate enough? Is it spending more time in research, or focusing on the edge cases?

Lauren Chapman

back to top  Blog Ai Weiwei, names, and memories (the background-foreground playground)

(by Deborah Tatar;

Great post! Leaves a lot to think about! It is interesting to me that in technology our names are treated like variables in programming. You can name your variable whatever you want—it is just used as a reference to get to the "meaning" or actual value. When we die, it is the equivalent of just deleting a user account. Just a bit flip. There are no technological tombstones or virtual ashes to scatter. Our "memories" don't live on with the websites that care about us; they are just cleared. (Well, except for the AARP in your father-in-law's case.)

Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek

Bravo from the author's dad!

Hal Tatar

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