I've been slacking in that I haven't necessarily done the things I should have been, but busy because I've been doing things and haven't blogged in a while.
So, lots of things going on. I cought up on my blogs last night and this morning. 300+ posts. I won't cover everything in this one post, but I'll get started. Part 1 will be about tech stuff/wierd.
The first thing I'll talk about will be a post from The Bytebaker. He makes some good points about the future of interfaces and I like his talk about smart matter. Go ahead and read the post. Anyway, the post and the video in it got me thinking about computer interfaces. This is what I came up with:
Three things popped out at me from this post. In my view, someone should jump on them or at least discuss them because they seem big.
1) Between 3:05 and 3:15 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a6cNdhOKwi0#t=187s ) there is an interesting interface labelled dashboard. On one side of the current paradigm, you have touch typing and keyboards like the Das Keyboard Ultimate S with no letters ( http://www.daskeyboard.com/model-s-ultimate/ ). In this case, the keyboard is strictly an input device. Then at the other end, you have touch interfaces or mobile devices where you interact in close physical proximity or directly with an output device. The dashboard idea in the video is a hybrid of the two that i think can be very useful. If you just strap a short/wide screen to the top of a keyboard and equip the software with knowledge of the physical layout of the keyboard, you can create a context sensitive physical interface. It also brings to mind the Optimus Maximus keyboard ( http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/ ) which is super cool but perhaps the wrong implementation, in that it is out of reach of the common man. You have the Cool Leaf ( http://mashable.com/2011/04/27/cool-leaf-keyboard/ ) and the Optimus Tactus ( http://gizmodo.com/338553/optimus-tactus-touch-keyboard-should-be-called-optimus-retardus ) but they eliminate the arguably better physical interface of movable keys with their inherent haptic feedback in favor of a united input/output device.
A compromise that would be much less expensive and allow you the freedom to choose your keyboard would be an output device sidekick to the conventional keyboard that docks with or sits behind your keyboard that gives you cues or a context sensitive interface. With interfaces that are well defined, well known, and in common use, this isn't that attractive. But with one-off interfaces, new software, dynamic software that is feature rich, or with training new users, I feel this interface could shine. Also, it would allow you to get information about a command or action before you activate it that help you decide whether to proceed, such as an unread email count for an email button for example.
2) The idea of homework points ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a6cNdhOKwi0#t=268s 4:28) and making a game out of educating our children seems very beneficial. Without knowing specifics, I am sure some work has been done in this direction. The implementation embodied in this section of the video has other strengths as well. The combination of educational gaming, social networking (friends' homework status and potentially competition or collaboration), and new interfaces (pen) could definitely revolutionize out of class education.
3) I kept seeing in the out-of-office sections of this video, touch and voice interfaces. I thought that it might be a bit limiting that only office workers used keyboards. Some mobile devices don't need any more than a touch/voice interface. Other times, for example the newspaper-style device that comes with the hotel room ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a6cNdhOKwi0#t=138s 2:18), you might want to do some work with a little better interface than touching and voice annotating to update a presentation. The problem in this situation with current interfaces is that the interface is a device that sits on a desk. A keyboard is fairly expressive in contrast to voice recognition being based on a dictionary of words that you adhere to or touch, being based on more constrained, designed interface.
Here's an experiment. Imagine your dominant hand(for example) typing on a keyboard. Pick whatever fingers you want and move them to the approximate location on your chosen keyboard layout of the key you want. Keep typing something on your imaginary keyboard using whatever fingers and your imagined layout. Given a way to measure finger motion, it doesn't seem too far out to design a heuristic algorithm to identify what imaginary key you're going for and use that information as input. If you're just getting into the invisible keyboard business, this input method could have the same limitations as voice recognition - i.e. being limited to a dictionary of typed strings that could be based on what you have been known to type on a physical keyboard. However, if you've been practicing, just as in touch typing, you'd get better at hitting your mark and the algorithm would have to rely less on guessing your intent rather than trusting your input. This method could extend to two handed work just as well, but the idea is designed to eliminate the need for a dedicated input device/surface. You could use this walking down the street.
Anyway, I hope someone likes my comment. I think that these things could be successful and only hope that a) it helps technology evolve, and b) I get at least a mention for inspiration if someone builds something based on reading this.
So that's hopefully posted as a comment, though it wasn't showing up for me but it said I had already said that when I tried to repost, so who knows. Next...
Apparently, if you practice enough and have a good sword, you can cut an airsoft bb mid-air.
I saw a Kinect commercial last night which ironically embraces the hacker possibilities even though initially they were not all about letting hackers in. Ladyada offered a bounty in November last year for reverse engineering and MS's reaction was "[we don't like it]". Anyway, you can catch it here. The thing i wanted to share was the song - a cover of Where Is My Mind. So that's a funny story.
Here is an interesting take on bridges.
Sayuncle introduced me to a fleece version of the garment I am so enamored with: the coverall.
Herman Cain's website has a funny idea for a 404 page.
Racism sucks. But still funny.
These stairs may or may not bey pleasurable to walk barefoot.
Star Wars Rap is classic.
Kind of like astronauts falling on the moon.
And here is a marvelous anachronism: a cell carrier ad on a crazy old tv. Thanks to mental floss.
This is beautiful: Time-lapse video from ISS
Apparently Minecraft has lots of new things since last time I played. Which brings me to this.
Here is some really nerdy news - Fedora might do away with the disparate binary directories that have been historically used in the Linux file system hierarchy.
This is very odd.
I aspire to have my living environment as well put together as Eric's.
Here is some good privacy invasion.
Hope you enjoy the links and stuff. Chow. Oh yeah that reminds me. Trixy Stix. Thought maybe it was a joke at first but they have recipes.