Posts tagged “discovery”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software [] – [Spin in this article is that using computers to manage super-human levels of complex data will have employment consequences.] When five television studios became entangled in a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit against CBS, the cost was immense. As part of the obscure task of “discovery” ­ providing documents relevant to a lawsuit ­ the studios examined six million documents at a cost of more than $2.2 million, much of it to pay for lawyers and paralegals who worked for months. But that was in 1978. Now, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, “e-discovery” software can analyze documents in a fraction of the time and cost. In January, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, CA., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000. Some programs can extract relevant concepts ­ like documents relevant to social protest in the Middle East ­ even in the absence of specific terms, and deduce patterns of behavior that would have eluded lawyers examining millions of documents.
  • [from steve_portigal] PG&E launches huge paper chase for pipeline data [SF Chronicle] – [You think you have a lot of data to process? Obviously their record-keeping incompetence is just now being surfaced and they have taken on a data task that is beyond human scale. We can create systems that we can't manage!] For the past couple of days, forklifts have been carting pallets loaded with 30 boxes each into 3 warehouses outside the 70-year-old Cow Palace arena in Daly City. Friday afternoon, there were still more than 100 pallets stacked outside the warehouses waiting to go in. "There are 100,000 boxes in there, and you can't believe the papers spread everywhere," one PG&E employee said …"There are records in there going back to the 1920s. "We're looking at all kinds of parameters, and our data validation efforts are going on throughout the service area,…We're doing a 24-7 records search involving at least 300 employees and contractors, and we're working to confirm the quality of our data through collecting and validating our gas transmission pipeline records."
  • [from steve_portigal] Hong Kong, 2011 [Flickr] – [My pictures from our recent trip to Hong Kong for the UXHK Conference]
  • [from steve_portigal] Understanding Culture, User Research and Design with Steve Portigal – [Reserve your tickets now for either Toronto event: a lecture on March 8 and a workshop on March 9. The lecture will focus on culture, insights, and design while the workshop will be a hands-on opportunity to practice synthesizing user research data into opportunities and concepts. Hope to see you there!]

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Robonaut 2 to meddle in Super Bowl pregame [CNET] – [Before they throw it into outer space, they'll test this bot first, to see how it does in the challenging atmosphere of a FOX Sports studio. The description of the thing sounds like it could fit any one of a number of the Packers' offensive line!] NASA's experimental humanoid bot took a break from training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week to tape a segment with Fox Sports analyst Howie Long. The 330-pound R2 has a torso with a head, two arms, two dexterous humanlike hands complete with four fingers and one thumb each, and its own Twitter account. When it's not sending tweets or pondering football stats, it's learning skills that eventually will be uploaded to its twin, which is already packed in special casing aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Once inside the ISS' Destiny orbiting laboratory, the robot will be tested by engineers to see how it operates in microgravity and the station's radiation and electromagnetic interference environments.

Trying to find out things we didn’t even know to ask about

Great article about Disney theme parks and the design – prototype – test – iterate – build process for a new ride, Toy Story Mania

“It is much easier and less expensive to do this before the concrete has been poured,” he added. “As rides become more complicated, your ability to tweak in the field gets harder and much more expensive.”

Across the street, in a cold, unmarked garage, Ms. Allen helped to conduct “play tests” on rudimentary versions of the ride. More than 400 people of all ages – all had signed strict nondisclosure agreements – sat on a plywood vehicle set up in front of a projection screen and played various versions of the games. Disney workers studied their reactions and interviewed them afterward.

“We were looking to see if some effects were too scary,” Ms. Allen said, “or if there wasn’t enough laughing happening during certain sequences.”

Among the discoveries: People wanted to be able to compare scores after they were finished playing, while some children had a hard time reaching the cannonlike firing controller, christened by Disney as a “spring action shooter.” Engineers added a computer screen to vehicles to display scores and installed the controls on movable lap bars.

“We were trying to find out things we didn’t even know to ask about,” said Sue Bryan, a senior show producer.


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