Accommodationism and universalism in design

As often happens, a couple of postings on other web sites make for an interesting comparison.  The postings concern how disabled or non-standard people have been accommodated in the built environment.

Guerilla apps from IranCubator

An NGO called United for Iran has undertaken a project called IranCubator.  The purpose of IranCubator is the development of apps that provide Iranians with relevant information that they may otherwise find hard to get given government censorship.

IranCubator takes the form of an ongoing contest in which app developers consider suggestions for app designs and implement the ones that they like best.  The effort has resulted in several recent app releases.

Conversational computing and context

Quentin Hardy at the New York Times has written an interesting article introducing conversational computing, that is, the use of speaking software interfaces. 

It probably has not escaped your notice that people interact with software through conversational means more and more often.  Tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have made speaking agents, such as Siri, Cortana, and Echo, central to interactions with their consumer goods.

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