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Nerd Nite #58 - Startup Ecosystems: What Michigan Needs

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 1:03pm

When you hear the word startup, what do you think about? Do you think tech? Retail? Duo Security? Regardless of what you envision, we know one thing for sure: startups are what drive economic growth and development. This talk goes over what Michigan needs to continue growth as a startup ecosystem.

About Leann – Director of Content, Argonomo; Founder, ASHE Media; Host of the Impact Michigan and Generation [I] podcasts. Passionate about entrepreneurship, digital media, and building the Michigan startup ecosystem. Follow him @leann_abad.

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Visions 2018: AT Guys

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 5:17pm

Learn about the latest technology that can improve your quality of life. J.J. Meddaugh discusses accessible mobile phones and tablets including iPhone and Android devices, the latest in computer software, braille displays, portable devices, smart assistants, and what's on the horizon. 

J.J. Meddaugh is an accessibility consultant, trainer, entrepreneur, programmer, and overall tech geek, writer, and enthusiast. Specializing in bettering the lives of the blind and visually impaired through technology, training, and support, J.J. is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. He can be heard each week on the Blind Bargains Qast, a podcast focusing on access technology trends and reviews.

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Visions 2018: Inclusive Design in Public Spaces with Sina Bahram

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 5:16pm

Sina Bahram, President of Prime Access Consulting, talks about his personal journey of being a blind computer scientist, working with museums on inclusive design, and thoughts about the future of technologies such as 3D-printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, especially how they can be used to make the world more accessible.

Sina Bahram is a technologist, researcher, and entrepreneur. His company, Prime Access Consulting, helps museums and other organizations around the world become more inclusive to all audiences, especially those with disabilities.

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Visions 2018: William Robinson

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 5:14pm

Meet Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons Director, William Robinson, III, and hear him talk about his personal journey of hope and technology. As Director of BSBP, Robinson is responsible for the state agency that provides vocational rehabilitation, independent living and employment training services available to Michigan’s 200,000 blind and visually impaired citizens. He oversees operations of BSBP’s Training Center in Kalamazoo, the Braille and Talking Book Library in Lansing, and seven offices located throughout the state that administer a wide range of services including BSBP’s Business Enterprise Program, services for youth and seniors, and deaf blind services. 

Before his appointment with the BSBP, Robinson, a certified public accountant (CPA), served as President and CEO of the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services. Prior to becoming visually impaired as a result of a hunting accident in 2001, Robinson was the chief financial officer of National Linen Service, a division of National Service Industries. Robinson received vision rehabilitation services from the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, GA. 

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Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto with Mission Leader Alan Stern and Co-Author David Grinspoon

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 5:11pm

If you wanted to design and fly a robotic spacecraft on a 9 year voyage, 3 billion miles from Earth, the farthest journey of exploration our species has ever attempted… HOW WOULD YOU DO IT?

Join mission Leader Dr. Alan Stern and co-author Dr. David Grinspoon as they discuss their new book, Chasing New Horizons.

On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than 3 billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond. Nothing like this has occurred in a generation—a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions to Uranus and Neptune—and nothing quite like it is planned to happen ever again. At a time when so many think that our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded in 2015 but made history and captured the world’s imagination.

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How To Break Into The Games Industry

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 3:17pm

Ever wonder how to get started in game development? Drew Davidson shares behind-the-scenes stories from the gaming industry, the educational path required for developers, and how entrepreneurial mindset changes the way one engages with the work.

Drew Davidson is a professor, producer, and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories and transformational experiences across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Founding Editor of ETC Press and its Well Played series and journal. 

This event was produced in partnership with the University of Michigan Art and Gaming Symposium.

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Near Future Tech with Jason Griffey

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 3:52pm

Jason Griffey talks about the complexity and uncharted nature of “near future tech,” and the privacy implications as we enter a time where even our home appliances promise to be connected to the internet. As we move into a world in which the devices we depend on constantly listen in order to help us, what are the privacy concerns? How will we navigate the boundaries between efficiency and privacy, and are the two mutually exclusive? Will Skynet finally happen when AI and robots become part of our daily lives?

Jason Griffey is a librarian, technologist, consultant, writer, and speaker and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University where he studies decentralization, access to information, intellectual property, and more.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to author Tim Harford about his new book Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 2:43pm

Named a best book of 2017 by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial times and Amazon, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us. From the plough to artificial intelligence, from Gillette’s disposable razor to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, bestselling author and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford recounts each invention’s own curious, surprising, and memorable story. 

Invention by invention, Harford reflects on how we got here and where we might go next. He lays bare often unexpected connections: how the bar code undermined family corner stores, and why the gramophone widened inequality. In the process, he introduces characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, and were ruined by them, as he traces the principles that helped explain their transformative effects. The result is a wise and witty book of history, economics, and biography.

Martin's interview with Tim Harford was originally recorded on September 6, 2017.

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Nerd Nite #49 - Living in a Cyberpunk World

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 8:07am

Cyberpunk was everywhere in the 1980s. It started in science fiction, but it influenced fashion, movies, comics, games, advertising, and architecture. After a decade of high-tech, neon-colored, future-looking pop culture, cyberpunk just…went away. Or did it? Could cyberpunk stories still be with us, hiding in plain sight?

About Alex: Alex Kourvo loves books. She writes them, reviews them, edits them, and teaches other people how to write them. She is the author of numerous short stories and the forthcoming “Detroit Next” series of near-future thrillers. She edits books for Fifth Avenue Press and helped start the Emerging Writers Workshop at the Ann Arbor District Library, where she teaches monthly classes for new writers. You can find Alex online at AlexKourvo.com or follow her @AlexKourvo.

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Personal Digital Archiving: Creating a Legacy Plan for Your Digital Life

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 4:14pm

Many of us spend time creating, organizing, and preserving our files. We have tons of digital photos, all of our accounts online, and rarely get paper mail. But what happens to our digital stuff when we die, or in case of emergency? Do your family and friends know what you have and how to access it? Are there things you would rather they NOT access?

Creating a legacy plan for your digital materials is not as daunting as it sounds. By assessing your digital “stuff” and where it is located, participants in this workshop will learn how to create a plan that will guide them through these tough decisions. The first hour of this workshop will review email accounts, social media, multimedia, documents, and online storage and assess multiple data-management strategies for legacy planning. Participants will also have the opportunity to share areas of concern and brainstorm solutions for difficult legacy-planning problems. For participants who bring a laptop or other device, a second hour will be available to get started on creating a short legacy plan.

Participants will complete a values assessment to identify target areas to be included in a legacy plan. They will also learn about creating a legacy plan that will guide them in moving forward on this issue. Additional tools/concepts covered include:

o Multiple strategies for individual legacy planning
o Password-protected files and sharing options
o Google docs/gmail legacy settings
o Facebook & Twitter legacy settings
o Issues of security versus access for personal items

The U-M Library is gathering experts in the preservation of personal digital material from across the country and globe for the 2106 Personal Digital Archiving Conference. In connection with the conference, two free public sessions are also being held at the Ann Arbor District Library.

This session will be led by digital preservation expert Melody Condron from the University of Houston Libraries. Melody is the Resource Management Coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries. She is passionate about helping people manage their digital media and presents on topics including social media, file organization, and personal information management. She recently taught a month long course called Personal Digital Archiving for Librarians for the Library Information and Technology Association (LITA). Her book on PDA, The Digital You, if forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield. She holds a Master of Library Science with a focus in Information Organization from the University of North Texas and a B.A. in Communications from Penn State.