Spotify – The Enlightened Music Data Despot

In the age of ubiquitous cloud computing, the rise of streaming services feels like old news. Of course we love streaming! For consumers, prices are lowers, libraries bigger, and services suddenly bespoke. What could be better?

While services like Facebook have received the brunt-end of public outrage for their use of consumer data, Spotify has managed to stay under-the-radar despite its aggressive data collection practices – which are commonplace across the “app” industry.

How has Spotify managed this? By giving users just enough value for their data in return. Features like custom playlists, API tools, and social/UI features shift public perception of Spotify from a looming corporate data farmer to an enlightened data despot.

Yet upon further inspection, I believe Spotify could be doing more for both its common consumers/users and less-common developers and amateur artists folk like me.

Continue reading Spotify – The Enlightened Music Data Despot

Tailor Gang

This post is a summary of the work and learnings from ITP’s Soft Sensing class.

In addition to making the conductive pompoms seen above, In this class I:

  • Sewed with a purpose for the first time in my life 👨‍🎓
  • Used this new skill to learn how to make “soft” electrical circuits and sensors. ⚡️

Continue reading Tailor Gang

Net Net – Fungus Online

As part of a workshop-style course called ‘The Fungus Among Us’ I have developed a conceptual use for Mycelium networks called Net Net – Fungus Online. Here is the presentation I gave:

Continue reading Net Net – Fungus Online

Two D-10 vs One D-20

The dice theme continues this week with a p5 program that lets you roll a variety of dice and observe the historical distribution of your rolls.

Play with it here (best done on a computer, not mobile).

Inspired by D&D and my general fascination with stats – this is designed as an interactive and informational tool to observe what distributions can be expected. Compare, for example…

Continue reading Two D-10 vs One D-20

Push to cross: power and access [Part 1 of 2]

You likely have seen the push-to-cross buttons scattered across various crosswalks in NYC.

The functionality and effectiveness of these buttons is often challenged, and with good reason. The primary reason is because most of them are not even connected to the system that governs the traffic lights! As originally reported by the New York Times in 2004:

 “…the city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that were in place at the time existed as mechanical placebos.”

Continue reading Push to cross: power and access [Part 1 of 2]

Push to cross: power and access [Part 2 of 2]

continued from part 1 here

While thousands of NYC push-to-cross buttons are inactive, there are ~150 special new push-to-cross buttons. They are called Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APDs), and they look like this:

Unlike the crosswalk buttons of old, the primary purpose of APD’s are to help blind and low-vision pedestrians navigate crosswalks more safely. They also provide a legend to the 3 modes of the crosswalk light (from a visual management perspective, this seems unnecessary if not counter productive).

From the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), APDs are:

“wired to a pedestrian signal and send audible and vibrotactile indications when pedestrians push a button installed at the crosswalk.”

In other words, they vibrate upon touch, and also make the following audible noises:

  1. A command to “Wait” every time the button is pressed when the cross light is red:

Continue reading Push to cross: power and access [Part 2 of 2]