De omnibus dubitandum
26 Nov 2008
12 Nov 2008
Augmented Reality is coming. The Wikitude application for the G1 phone gives you information on nearby points of interest based on your GPS location and objects identified through your phone’s camera. See a demonstration here:
4 Nov 2008
Yesterday I visited the 8th Mobile Monday event in Amsterdam. I’d been meaning to attend a MoMo much sooner than this but something always came up or it just wasn’t convenient. But this time Bruce Sterling was one of the speakers, and a chance to see one of my childhood SF icons was too great to pass up.
The theme of this edition of MoMo was “How mobile is changing society” and all four speakers addressed this topic in their own way. Yet the similarities between their visions were overwhelming. They all spoke about contextual services, of how your mobile is turning into much more than just a phone and is becoming a device that delivers services to you depending on where you are and what you’re doing.
Bruce Sterling’s talk lived up to the audience’s high expectations, as he literally climbed the pulpit (the venue was a converted church) and preached to his disciples, the ‘mobile sinners’ as he called us. He spoke of the internet of things, about the explosive growth of connectivity and how we’re building our technological future on an unstable, volcanic foundation.
Great stuff for technophiles like me. Yuri van Geest, one of the founders of MoMo, confessed to me that he’s trying to get Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge to come speak at future editions. If he actually manages to get that arranged there’s no way on this earth I’ll be missing out.
29 Oct 2008
A right-wing pundit with a pole up his ass the size of the Eiffel tower is complaining that an Obama presidency would result in the “Europeanization of America.” Which he seems to conclude is a Very Bad Thing.
Yes, it must be bad for America to start looking more like Europe, because Europe is this dreadful part of the world where people have lower standards of living, a lower life expectancy, more crime, and less happiness.
Actually, America’s standards of living are lower. On the December 2008 UN Human Development Index, the USA ranked 15th on standards of living. 11 European countries precede it on the list.
Life expectancy in the USA is a few years shorter than in Europe. On the World Life Expectancy chart the USA ranks 27th. Nineteen European countries are ranked higher.
Crime rates are generally much higher in the USA than in most western European nations, with significantly higher murder and assault rates per capita.
A 2006 study aimed at creating a world map of happiness showed that the top four happiest countries in the world are all in Europe, with 11 European nations ranked in the top 20. The USA ranked 23rd.
Yes, the Europeanization of America would be a bad thing. We wouldn’t want the USA to become civilized, would we?
27 Oct 2008
Kevin Kelly has written an exceedingly interesting essay about the emergence of a global internet intelligence which he calls the One Machine. It’s a long read but definitely worthwhile if you’re at all fascinated by the idea of Gibson-esque emergent AI’s:
This megasupercomputer is the Cloud of all clouds, the largest possible inclusion of communicating chips. It is a vast machine of extraordinary dimensions. It is comprised of quadrillion chips, and consumes 5% of the planet’s electricity. It is not owned by any one corporation or nation (yet), nor is it really governed by humans at all. Several corporations run the larger sub clouds, and one of them, Google, dominates the user interface to the One Machine at the moment.
6 Aug 2008
Adaptive Path and Mozilla Labs collaborated to create a concept video about how web browsing might look in the future. It looks pretty awesome. I’m sure some of the things shown are already possible in some form or another, but the video shows a level of cross-compatibility and mixability that’s still beyond our grasp.
(Via Boing Boing)
31 Jul 2008
Imagine you could create your own website in just a couple of hours. It’ll be a very slick, professional looking website with a fantastic design and full of cool animated features.
You can manage this website through an incredibly easy and intuitive interface, dragging and dropping images, text boxes, navigation items and widgets to exactly where you want them on the site. You can customize almost every aspect of the site, including colors, fonts, layout, and design.
The site will be search engine friendly as well, and to top it all off it’s free.
Can you think of a reason not to use this system? Neither can I.