natematias

Recent blog posts by natematias

Cultivating Habits for Social Good With Your Peers: TearFund's New Rhythms App

Can small challenges and peer support help young people grow habits to become socially responsible people? That's the premise of Rhythms, a fascinating web and mobile app launched this May by TearFund, the UK Christian relief and development agency.


Nathan's avatar checks his privilege on Rhythms

The Changing Landscape of Digital Surveillance

Governments are putting in massive work to crack communications. Many companies are working hard to create surveillance tools used by our governments and many others. Many service providers are vulnerable to these issues. What fixes can we make as designers of technology? Morgan Marquis-Boire joined us for lunch at the Center for Civic Media to share some ideas (this post was written with Willow Brugh).

 

Six Emerging Forms of Digital Cooperation

At the Berkman Center here in Boston, Brian Keegan and I co-facilitate a working group on cooperation research (email list here) that meets to discuss recent papers, offer feedback on technology design, and share a broad conversation among reearchers, designers, activists, and mediamakers.

Today, I shared six cooperative technologies that I learned about at the Mozilla Festival in London:

Mozilla Lightbeam

Data Science VM: Set Up Your Server in Four Steps

Data Science VM is a script that automatically launches and configures a data science system on your computer or in the cloud in a half hour or less, across Linux, Windows, and OSX.

In my experience, any new machine for a serious project takes 3-5 days to set up. During my first semester at MIT, I spent weeks installing MediaCloud (it's easier now, I hear). I lost around 3 days each when my laptop was stolen in March of 2012, when my MacBook Pro died just before my thesis deadline, and when I started a summer internship at Microsoft. Setup time is also a major problem during hack days; I've attended too many events where the event ends just as the participants finish setting up their machines.

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