Community organisations need community tech Three part series of short articles by Rachel Coldicutt, starting
They’ve been around since the early 2000s but have never gained much prominence since most of them are operated by volunteers and often face policy and lobbying headwinds. However, that kind of community infrastructure remains important as decent Internet becomes an ever more essential part of every day life but is not evenly distributed across neighbourhoods. ‘Welcome to the Mesh, Brother’ is a good article on the topic that shows how they work, but perhaps more importantly how oligopolies—in this case in New York but it’s a common issue elsewhere—still have to be forced into providing quality service in less affluent parts of the city and constantly delay.
A team at the MIT Senseable City Lab mapped a Brazilian favela with handheld 3D-scanners. I’ll be honest, part of why I’m blogging this is that it just looks very cool! Called Favelas 4D, the project uses point cloud data from handheld LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scans in order to study the form of Rocinha, a favela in Rio de Janeiro. The low-income urban settlements have complex structures that are built by their inhabitants over time. […] Fajardo entered Rocinha on foot and captured the data with a handheld LiDAR device that uses a laser pulse to measure distances. Tiny points are mapped to locations in space to create a dataset that reveals the intricate details of a 3D environment.
It’s starting today so perhaps it’s getting a little late for readers to free-up some time to participate but Felipe Schmidt Fonseca, a PhD researcher at Northumbria University, is launching a very interesting online co-design lab which will run all month.
There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this you’ve heard of 3D printing, you might also know what DIY means (Do It Yourself), and what Open Source stands for. But chances are you’re not aware that scientists around the world are collaborating on designing, building, sharing, and of course using a wide variety of quite advanced lab equipment like fluorescence microscopes, incubators, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines for amplifying DNA, and even reagents