15 May

hipDisk, from the CHI 2012 conference.

There are all kinds of non-profits in Austin doing cool things with technology, but the nature of my beat is that there’s never enough time to write about them all. But it’s really nice when the opportunity does present itself as it did this week when we focused on the keynote speaker for an event involving Knowbility. Knowbility is known for putting on events to train developers (and allow them to compete in competitions) related to making the web more accessible to those with disabilities (and that includes many more people than you might imagine).

I spoke with Kel Smith for the column to help explain the concept of accessibility and how it’s changing. It was a great conversation and I hope the column got across some of the main points. It’s far too large an issue for one column, but we did our best to start a conversation.

The column dovetailed with a strange and wonderful conference I got to attend last week called CHI 2012. I’d never heard of it and it won’t even be back in Austin next year (it’ll be in Paris, I believe; I need to start lobbying now for work to send me over). Focused on computer-human interfaces, it actually is a research-heavy event where super-smart people present the mind-blowing stuff they’re working on that could change our lives. It was fun, eye-opening and inspiring. I wrote a wrap-up of some of the highlights, but I missed so much that I only hit the very tip of what was there.

Also a little eye-popping was a new technology used in last weekend’s Austin mayoral campaign. An augmented reality campaign flyer. A different version of the piece also ran in the paper.

And lastly, I wrote in the blog about a video game based on a horrific (but ultimately not so bad) bus accident that happened at UT and went viral as a web video.

That’s about it for this week. I have a CNN article running later this week that I’ll post about soon, but it’s not live yet.

A weird and completely random thing did happen this week. For a few years, I ran a site called People Dancing at Concerts that I probably mentioned here before.

About a year ago, I just stopped updating it. I just didn’t have time to hunt for the videos and do posts anymore. But apparently it lives on in some form because I got an email from WNYC’s “Soundcheck” program about it and ended up talking about the site on the air today. (I come in about 10-15 minutes into the segment after they start taking callers.) It gave me a reason to update the site a bit. The last few weeks, I’ve been repurposing old entries and posting them on Pinterest as well. No idea if I’ll keep it going, but it was nice to get a little traffic surge on a site I’d pretty much given up.

Fun week!