The SmolPhone

“The SmolPhone project is an action research on the topic of low-tech in the domain of IT systems. Its practical aspects consist in designing a sort of low-tech smartphone offering some services of a classical smartphone with a one-week battery lifetime. The goal is not to optimize a typical smartphone but rather to reconsider the smartphone design space, exploring unusual architectures and evaluating the set of features that should be part of long-lasting smartphones.”

Quoted from: Rautureau, Aloïs, et al. “Quantifying the tiny-Small design of the SmolPhone.” ICT For Sustainability (ICT4S). 2024. Related articles.

No Tech Reader #48: Digital Technology

No Tech Reader #47: Digital Technology

The “smartification of cycling”. [Journal of Urban Technology]. “In cities worldwide, cycling is increasingly upgraded with smart technology and is included in smart cities’ visions and projects. This process has not been problematized in public discourse, as smart innovation is seen as a potential booster of the known benefits of cycling. Drawing on critical literatures on smart cities, smart mobility, and degrowth and using the case studies of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, this article opens up a more critical conversation on the subject, discussing the role of “technosolutionism,” technology push, and pro-innovation bias in the process of “smartification” of cycling.”

Distinction and alternative tech: Exploring the technocritical disposition. [New Media & Society] “How should we understand alternative social media and open-source technologies that seek to challenge the dominance of Big Tech? Are these ethical substitutes for monopolistic platforms and technological infrastructures, or “alternative” in the sense we might talk of alternative forms of culture?”

Things Used to Work in This Country. [The New Atlantis] “Personal technology used to be a machine. Now it’s a bureaucracy.”

“Wherever you get your podcasts” is a radical statement. [Anil Dash] “Podcasting as a technology grew out of the early era of the social web, when the norms of technology creators were that they were expected to create open systems, which interoperated with tools by other creators and even other companies.”

The Loss of Things I Took for Granted. [Slate] “Ten years into my college teaching career, students stopped being able to read effectively.”

Center for Technological Pain. [website] “DIY solutions to health problems caused by digital technologies.”

B C, Before Computers. On Information Technology from Writing to the Age of Digital Data. [Open Book Publishers] “Computer developments rely on a long history of humans creating technologies for increasingly sophisticated methods of manipulating information.”

No Tech Reader #40

  • Out of the wild. [The New Atlantis] “The ideal of nature as it used to be before human intervention is one that Western urbanites created in the late nineteenth century, chiefly as a foil for their own modernity… This vision still permeates much of environmentalism and stands in the way of responsible action toward nature, particularly in the places where we actually live.”
  • Minds on Fire: Cognitive Aspects of Early Firemaking and the Possible Inventors of Firemaking Kits. [Cambridge Archaeological Journal] “We analyse aspects of the two main hunter-gatherer firemaking techniques—the strike-a-light and the manual fire-drill—in terms of causal, social and prospective reasoning.”
  • The Kayak’s Cultural Journey. [Craftsmanship Quarterly] “For millennia, Indigenous peoples across the world have built and used skin boats to fish and hunt, for sport and travel, even for warfare. Now non-Indigenous admirers of the craft are making them, too.”
  • Permacomputing Aesthetics: Potential and Limits of Design Constraints in Computational Culture. [LIMITS 2023] “Permacomputing is a nascent concept and a community of practice oriented around issues of resilience and regenerativity in digital technology. At the heart of permacomputing are design principles that embrace limits and constraints as a positive thing, as well as being creative with available computational resources.”
  • Building and Monitoring a SolarPowered Web Server. [ETH zürich] “In this thesis we focus on building a solar-powered web server. We present existing websites which are fully or partially solar powered, introduce some background about battery state of charge estimation and how to determine the right solar panel and battery size. Reusing components from older projects, we host a static website on an exemplary setup, which is solely solar powered.

No Tech Reader #39

No Tech Reader #31