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Yiibu No.1

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Hello, and welcome to the inaugural issue of Twill We soft-launched the newsletter two weeks ago (as
 

Twill by yiibu

February 14 · Issue #1 · View online
A weekly dispatch on our evolving relationship with technology. Topics: Near-future design, autonomous everything, design ethics, machine learning and the human impact of embedding technology into everyday life.

Hello, and welcome to the inaugural issue of Twill
We soft-launched the newsletter two weeks ago (as in…we put the page up and told no one) but the Internet is remarkably good at helping people find things, so best get started then!
PS - We’re a bit top-heavy on studio announcements this week, but don’t expect this to be the case going forward.
PPS - A small number of you may have subscribed through TinyLetter, which we’ve decided not to use so manually migrated you over to Revue. Hope that’s ok. If not, please unsubscribe with our apologies.

What we've been up to
As some of you may have noticed, we recently moved from beautiful but soggy Edinburgh to an equally soggy (and beautiful) Vancouver, Canada. The move monopolised our lives a bit longer than hoped, but come 2016, we’re officially back to work. We’re now quite often in Seattle and San Francisco (including the Mountain View area) and always happy to meet for coffee, a chat or to discuss potential projects. Do drop us a line!
A few upcoming conference announcements!
  • Stephanie will speak at the inaugural ProductTank Melbourne on Tuesday March 8. More than 100 people have already signed up, and there will apparently be drinks and nibblies courtesy of ThoughtWorks Pty. Please RSVP if  interested.
  • Stephanie had been due to speak at Future of Web Design in London this April, but the conference has unfortunately been cancelled. :-( 
  • We can however confirm that she will present a Physical Web workshop at UX Lisbon on Friday May 27. A full workshop outline should be up within the next few weeks (…and we’ll include a link in an upcoming newsletter once it is).
More announcements coming soon. You may also want to check out Luke Wroblewski’s notes from our recent appearance at Google in Mountain View (no slides publicly available just yet).
This week's links and tidbits
01: It appears that Moore’s Law may finally be over
“The industry road map released next month will for the first time lay out an R&D plan that is not centred on Moore’s law…rather than making the chips better and letting the applications follow, it will start with applications…and work downwards to see what chips are needed to support them.”
Should be quite interesting to see what next month’s road map includes. (See here for a nice collection of charts showing the progression of Moore’s Law courtesy of the Economist).
02: On the matter of self-driving cars, the U.S. NTSA ruled this week that it “…will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants.” This is a big deal. Regulators have so far separated autonomous vehicles depending on one of four levels of automation (from function-specific through to full self-driving [PDF]). This framework has in turn informed discussions around liability and behaviour of each class of vehicle. 
While the ruling doesn’t appear to adjust these classes, it does put the onus on Google to build a car that drives itself, but can pass a certification intended for human-driven vehicles. A certification process that often cites human anatomy (hand on wheel, foot on pedal etc.) so will still likely require modification regardless. You can find the full letter here.
03: And now for a bit of mundane theatre: A short conversation between two AIs tasked with setting a coffee date on behalf of two humans. The comments below are equally interesting. Apparently humans (trained Executive Assistants no less!) “intervene when the AI’s confidence level falls below a certain threshold”. (Can’t decide if I feel terribly bad for the humans or if this will free their time to organise more fun stuff…or at the very least, stuff that requires limbs).
04: Algo.Rhythm is a set of drum robots with programmable behavior. Each drum robot records pattern of beats when knocked on, and replays the rhythm by hitting its neighbour robot with a pre-programmed twist.
A thing from the past. A thing from the future.
Each week, we’ll include two interesting artefacts that embody our past and future. Enjoy :-)
The Past: NASA Jet Propulsion Library has released a series of beautiful (old…or made to look that way?) mock-space-travel posters. High resolution copies are available to print!
The Future: In time for Valentine’s Day, Prntr is a far-future technology (and disturbingly plausible speculative design project) that was envisioned by a team of students from MIT and RISD. 
A final note...
Our best wishes for a productive week. 
We’re still working out the kinks but if this is not of interest, feel free to unsubscribe. If you think a friend or colleague would benefit from what we share, please pass this on.
You can also follow yiibu on Twitter (or Bryan and Stephanie individually). You can also visit us on the Web, or drop us a line
Bryan and Steph
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