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Musing on the future
Center for the Future of Museums
Are you familiar with CFM's two occasional series: Monday Musings and Futurist Fridays? The former shares brief thoughts about a current item in the news. The latter presents a short assignment — text or video — providing a glimpse of potential futures. Both suggest questions to help you explore the significance of these stories for your organization and the field as a whole. In the same vein, CFM Council member Angie Kim shares her vision of a "Fourth Sector" future in which for-profit companies prove they can tackle social problems more successfully than the nonprofit sector, this week on the CFM Blog.
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  CompanyWeek Magazine Profiles PLAYTIME, Lauding its Commitment to U.S. Manufacturing

“We saw an opportunity in Colorado that didn’t exist,” says Playtime CEO Mike Evans. “We had to take a leap of faith and create a company that manufactures and supplies the world’s most dynamic play areas. Now we are a piece of Americana.” (More)



The recession made US teenagers less materialistic
Harvard Business Review Blog
The Great Recession partially reversed a decades-long trend among U.S. adolescents toward greater materialism and less concern for others, according to a study led by Heejung Park of UCLA that analyzed surveys from thousands of high-school seniors. For example, results from the 2008–2010 downturn, in comparison with the 2004–2006 period, showed a decline in the importance of owning expensive items such as new cars; meanwhile, the average view of the importance of having "a job that is worthwhile to society" rose.
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  America's Destinations Leading STEM

The US trails many other nations in producing enough STEM talent to fill our innovation-fueled future. PGAV Destinations’ latest research investigates our society to uncover potential sources of this deficit, and offers evidence that America’s destinations may be the best incubators for STEM inspiration and cultivation. MORE

It's not crass to mourn on social media
That we wrestle with death on social media isn't surprising. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are increasingly where we go to process our inner thoughts and feelings about pretty much everything. And yet there is a sense that social media feeds are somehow inappropriate places to talk about death. Should an exception to the share — everything rule be made for something as solemn as mortality? Is it somehow more tasteful, even nobler, to keep grief private?
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MBA programs increasingly incorporate social goals
Nonprofit Quarterly
Students seeking to "do good" have traditionally sought higher education programs in fields such as nonprofit management, social work or public policy and administration. Recently, increasing numbers of these students are turning to business schools and, consequently, business schools are adjusting their curricula to meet the change in demand. It seems the public is becoming increasingly convinced that there is a business solution to poverty.
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  Mount Gallery Photos with Gyford StandOffs

Add the finishing touches to your museum installation with quality decorative mounting hardware from Gyford StandOff Systems®. Browse our new website to discover how our standoffs, wire or rod product lines can work for you. Register for an account to view pricing and shop online!

You can now take photos at MoMA PS1
Remember when you couldn't take pictures at MoMA PS1? You'd try to surreptitiously snag a shot of a great artwork, but the guards would catch you, and they'd chide, "no photos." Well those days are over! The museum has quietly gone and changed its photo policy. The new policy allows visitors to take pictures in the galleries, although there are conditions: only small cameras, and cell phones are OK. ♦ MoMA PS1 joins what appears to be an increasing number of museums loosening restrictions on photography in the galleries.
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Future museums report: 3-D printed artifacts and environmental havens
Museums of the future may be filled with 3-D printed replicas, green walls and sensory surfaces, according to a report by Arup. Arup, the London engineering firm behind Japan's planned Giant Observation Wheel, the world's first algae-powered building and Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge, compiled the report "Museums in the Digital Age" with help from Central Saint Martins' students on the MA Practice for Narrative Environments course.
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It will take a village to keep Wikipedia from failing
Harvard Business Review Blog
Wikipedia is in the mature phase of its development, but there may be some trouble ahead. Its contributor base is shrinking, and the recruitment of new editors has proven difficult at best. These aren't reasons to sound the alarm bells as of yet — in fact, a moderate amount of turnover in an online community can be good thing — but the managers of the crowd-sourced encyclopedia should make a few changes. A good place to start is with more openness to outsiders. ♦ An increasing number of museums are hosting "wiki edit-a-thons" to encourage staff and volunteers to become wiki editors, sharing museum content on this current go-to site for information.
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We need computer sight to make smart homes smart
The smart home won't be built using apps and connected devices. To truly embed computing into our home environment we need better computer vision, projectors and a new understanding of computing. Within the decade every smart home should have an always-on device sending information about who is in a room and where they are in relation to other people and objects in the room. ♦ And perhaps every smart museum, too.
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  Videotel's Industrial Looping Media Players

At Videotel, we provide digital signage solutions for museums with industrial dvd players and industrial media players for looping content. Auto on, auto play, and auto repeats seamlessly without manual interaction. Designed for 24/7 continuous play with a proven lifespan of 4 years without failure.

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Of course gas stations will use facial recognition tech to serve 'relevant' ads
The Atlantic
Say you're at a gas station buying some supplies — bottled water, coffee, maybe some M&Ms — before you head back to your car. And as you're buying your loot, an ad pops up on a screen next to the cash register: It is really relevant to you. Like, really relevant. It could be because of luck, but it could also be because the screen has sensed your age and your gender. ♦ This article includes a brief summary of seven current commercial applications of facial recognition software, from a Jell-O campaign that screens out kids, to Nike's "Free Face" software, that enables you to deform a shoe just by frowning.
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Intel labs
Center for Science and the Imagination
How will people read in the future? What will books look and feel like? How will publishers adjust in the face of technological upheaval? In what new ways will authors engage with their readers? Intel Lab has created "Beyond the Book" — a multimedia book about the future of publishing that was collaboratively written, edited and published in 72 hours with the input of attendees at the Frankfurt Book Fair and around the world.
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Museum Innovations

Robot brings racehorse Phar Lap's body together digitally
The Horse
The body of Phar Lap, one of Australia's most famous racehorses, will be brought together virtually by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Museum Robot at the National Museum of Australia. For many years Phar Lap's body has been housed in pieces at three museums in two countries. On Nov. 4, students from three schools in Willunga, South Australia, had the chance to see the legendary horse's heart, hide and skeleton at the same time while speaking to museum experts about the three exhibits. The students, in their classrooms, will be led by an expert guide from the NMA via the CSIRO's museum robot.
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This group wants to build a museum of science fiction in Washington, D.C.
Recently, a non-profit group in Washington, D.C., started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo with the hopes of building a new science fiction museum. Or at least a preview of one. The group wants to build a 3,000 square foot preview space in Washington to test out their concept with items like old Star Trek props and sci-fi art. Should the preview space prove successful, the plan is to have a fully fleshed out museum in just a few short years. Says the Paleofuturist, "Normally, if a bunch of people with no discernible museum experience were trying to build something like this, I'd be pretty skeptical. But it seems like they're really going about it in the smartest way possible. Building a preview exhibit and proving the concept with a relatively modest amount of money and donated items makes a lot of sense."
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San Francisco Mayor Lee launches nation's 1st Living Innovation Zone
California Newswire
Recently, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, as part of Innovation Month, officially opened the nation's first Living Innovation Zone — an enterprise that links partners with the city to sponsor the installation of innovative exhibit spaces that make science and technology more accessible in public for the public. The first zone, a partnership with the Exploratorium and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, is being launched on Market Street and Yerba Buena Lane.
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Tools for the Future

Device enables friends to send smells around the world
Smells are an important part of our sensory makeup and can arouse visceral reactions when those aromas are linked to positive memories or feelings. The developers of the Ophone believe that this sense is being neglected by today's technology, and have created a way for friends to "text" smells to each other, regardless of where they are in the world. Set to hit the market in 2014, there is currently no exact release date or price for the device, but — if successful — perhaps we might see the technology better integrated into smartphones and the rise a community of odor hackers. ♦ Consider the potential for museum apps to include smells as well as text in their interpretive content!
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read the most in recent months.

    History Museum uses crowdsourcing to pick upcoming exhibit (Crain's Chicago Business)
New museum close to opening its doors (WSVN-TV)
Is corporate philanthropy dead as we know it, or should it be? (The Huffington Post)
Rentals that let you fly the coop (The New York Times)
5 high-tech ways to scare anyone this Halloween (Smithsonian Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Dispatches from the Future of Museums
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