Tag Archives: John Jacob Astor

Crowdfunding the future: Mad science, bad science, and the Tesla Museum

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… funding today’s mad science.

Tesla is my Ohmboy

Tesla’s work was backed by J.P. Morgan and John Jacob Astor (which today would be the equivalent of having Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei in your corner). Both were confident that the man who won the “current wars” (without electrocuting a single elephant) would fulfil his promises of wireless power. Alas, the project fell apart in 1905, when Tesla’s alternating current patent expired and the royalty cheques stopped coming. …

Tags: crowdsourcing John Jacob Astor Kickstarter microtask microwork Nikola Tesla Oatmeal Tesla Thomas Edison Wardenclyffe Wardenclyffe Tower


Crowd Labs Incorporated

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… already been tried out using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

One ingenious Harvard PhD candidate – John Horton – also used Mechanical Turk for several “field tests”, where workers undertook tasks without knowing they were in an experiment. So while people thought they were merely tagging a few photos, they had, in fact, unwittingly contributed to a paper on worker productivity. (For now we’re ignoring the obvious ethical issues regarding disclosure.)

Another group put together an …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd Crowdflower crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work experiments iPhone John Horton Psychology Social sciences workers

, , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Too cool to play: the gamification backlash

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

In high school life was simple (brutal, but simple): popularity equaled coolness. As my math teacher would say, the relationship had both correlation and dependence (for some reason A marks in statistics class failed to improve my social status).

Post-graduation, the world sometimes seems to work in reverse. Take Apple. In 2000, Mac was the hip, underrated indie-kid of …


Facing the future: Will we all work for Mark one day?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

For most people, part of the allure of travel is not just the thrill of adventure, but the telling of the story afterwards. So it was for a friend of mine, when she related a story from her recent trip to New Zealand.

One morning, while she and a few other backpackers were eating breakfast in their hostel, a gray-haired German tourist suddenly burst into the room. “ You …