Interesting article in Wired regarding differences in how Asians and Westerners perceive information that is presented to them.
I recall seeing a book in the past called The Geography of Thought which dealt with related differences in perception, as well as belief systems and work practices. While I have not read this book, it is definitely on ‘the list’ as I find this subject fascinating.
I sure hope that this new service works better than their bloated, pointless flash interface. The fact that they are using flash makes one question just how tuned in they really are.
Even the Wired write up on the company reminds me of what would get VC cash in the 90s: “we’re going to make this awesome product that does, er, something, um, everything and people are going to love it…”
I am curious to see what actually materializes “in the fall”.
I predict that this sort of thing (Wired: Hearing Aids for the unimpaired) will get increasingly popular as people run out of cosmetic surgery options in their quest to be (at least superficially) ‘different’ from others (which paradoxically tends to make them gravitate toward some homogeneous ideal).
Perhaps wearable mods are a step along the path to what William Gibson described in Burning Chrome where electronic mods to the human body become commonplace.
It’s always been my contention that the gear you have doesn’t matter, its what you can do with it that does. This article about an award winning professional photographer who uses so called point and shoot cameras for his pictures rather than a ‘big, fast, bulletproof pro SLR’ really makes the point.
I get a certain satisfaction out of his current choice of camera, the Olympus c-8080, the same camera that I have (though the results I get are not in the same league as this guy).
No surprises in this article on Wired. Driving while talking on a mobile phone is unsafe whether you are using a headset or not.
It is my firm belief that accidents caused while someone is talking on a cellphone should be treated as other driving impairments (DUI). Do it more that a few times and you lose your license.
This is a simple but very effective way of helping yourself if you are in a bad state. The jist of the article is to add an entry (or entries) into your mobile phone contacts list under ICE (In Case of Emergency). That way a paramedic or hospital attendant would have a good chance of getting ahold of someone on your behalf if you were incapacitated. Multiple entries could be added for ICE2, ICE3, etc.
I sure hope that this neuron doesn’t work for shoot-em-up video game fans.
It would be interesting to know whether this only works for other live human beings that we observe and not for other virtual activities.
As an Apple Newton user from back in the day I was always amazed at the amount of sniping over the Newton when there was no clear, better alternative at the time. I wasn’t even a big Apple fan, but could recognize that the Newton provided the functionality that I wanted. Granted the much derided handwriting recognition took a bit of ‘training’ for the Newt to become more consistent, but for me that was time well spent. Within a few months, I could take meeting notes directly on the Newt with something close to 100% recognition. The ability to draw on the screen along with the text was handy as techies are famous for their napkin-back design sketches.
Supposedly, one of the cures for the ‘poor’ Newton recognition was to use an add in product called Grafitti. This was met with a great deal of hue and cry as the Apple bashers when on about ‘having to learn a new way of writing’ and ‘it should recognize my handwritting — I shouldn’t have to change’. That was all well and good until the first Palm came out and required the use of Graffiti, then suddenly the (not-from-Apple) Palm product was proclaimed the best thing since fish grew legs. Another popular criticism at the time was the the Newton was ‘the wrong form factor’ and that Palm had it all right. I disagree, and feel a bit vidicated with the release of the Sony Playstation Portable (which has nearly the same form factor as the final Newton) and it being hailed as the ‘perfect size’ for a portable unit. Hell, the Newton even had many of the same capabilities, albeit with a monochrome screen.
Around four years ago, I finally gave up and bought a Palm device (m505) to be able to synch up my growing and changing Outlook calendar and not have to carry around marked up printouts of my calendar. I find Graffiti to be a pain, but have forced myself to bend to its requirements. Then I bought a Tungsten T5 because I very much needed the extra storage and wanted to have some wi-fi capability only to find that some genius at Palm had ‘improved’ the handwriting recognition by changing it. Now I find myself writing ‘L’ when I want an ‘I’ and getting some random character when I try to do the old stroke for a ‘T’. Sigh. I just wish that Palm would come out with a patch to keep the T5 from randomly rebooting, locking up and crashing after synching.
In the end, I think that I am going to start exploring a Symbian OS based device, probably a Nokia smart phone. The most promising device (that I have found in my limited research) is the (as yet unreleased in the USA) Nokia 6682.
Why does everyone who lives around here assume that everybody else lives in a subdivision?
This question comes from people stopping over for Nicola’s birthday party. In spite of clear directions, all of the moms who had not been here before drove past the road we live on and went straight to the sub-division about a quarter of a mile up the road. They then called on their mobile phones complaining that they cannot find our street. Martina patiently explained that they drove past it and they needed to backtrack to find it. Within a few minutes everyone arrived.
I have a theory: there has been so much growth in this area, coupled with everyone wanting to have some Mc Mansion on a postage stamp lot that I’d guess that the majority of the population of this area lives in a sub-division (ergo everyone else does). One of the attendees expressed surprise that we were not among the short timers who moved to the area in the last 2-3 years when it became trendy (I have lived here for 14 years; Mart for about 7).
I also detect a bit of snobbery when you ask someone where they live — rarely do they tell you what city they live in or proximity to some landmark, they tell you what sub-division they live in as if it conveyed their perceived status in the world. Hell, when people ask where I live, I tell them ‘near Kings Island’ and they either know where that is or not.