Posts tagged technology

Spoiler Alert: Just Give Google Power of Attorney

:: Google, technology

Robert Scoble’s “Google, the freaky line and why Moto X is a game-changer” describes the significance of its always-on voice recognition. Under the heading, “the joy of context”:

Moto X is just one in a string of products and services that will bring radical new functionality to users. Examples? Google Now, Google Glass, and the new Moto X phone that keeps the microphone open full-time. The Xbox One, coming this winter, will have a 3D sensor on it so sensitive it can see how fast your heart is beating just by watching your skin.

These new contextual, sensor-based features are game changers and I’m hearing Google has a raft of other product announcements lined up that will turn on even more freaky features. Why? Because the more Google can get you to communicate with your phone, the more context it can slurp up.

The more sensors it can turn on, or put on you, the more it can learn about your intent and your context. Today your phone doesn’t really know that you’re walking, running, skiing, shopping, driving, or biking, but in the future, Google will know that and will be able to build wild new kinds of systems that can serve you when doing each of those things.

Naturally people have a variety of reactions for different reasons. You may find it yawningly predictable, or alarmingly freaky, or something in between. You might not mind Google slurping your data because you gave consent, but be creeped out by NSA contractors wrapping their lips around it uninvited.

But at bottom what’s the motivation behind this push for “context” and “intent”?

Roger Ebert, not engines

:: technology

I’ve owned a couple TiVos over the years. The first thing I do on setup? Turn off the suggestions.

The HBO series Mind of the Married Man joked about this a decade ago: “My TiVo Thinks I’m Gay”.

Although I love NetFlix I also find their recommendations underwhelming.

About the only film recommendations I ever find valuable are from a friend or someone like Roger Ebert, who sadly just passed away yesterday.

Why? Precisely because the recommendations aren’t limited to what I already like.

Fucking “Suggested Post” (why web apps matter)

:: software, technology

So speaking of AdBlock, sometimes I forget it’s there.

I was using the Facebook app for iPad today. Which I hardly ever do. And I’m getting a lot of this in my feed:

Suggested Post

Suggested Post

And I’m all like:

The fuck was that... the fuck is this?

The fuck was that… the fuck is this?

And I’m clicking “report spam” on each of the little fuckers. Tap, tap, please bugger off. Tap, tap, suck my balls and bugger off. And so on.

Clear interrupts

:: life, nostalgia, technology

For some reason CLI popped into my head the other day.

CLI is the 808x instruction to clear maskable interrupts. If you’re writing a routine to service a hardware interrupt, you do a CLI early in your routine — to prevent another hardware interrupt from causing your routine to be re-entered. Neglecting this invites the most delightful form of bug, the intermittent bug.

Roland MPU-401

Roland MPU–401

We need a prior art database

:: patents, politics, software, technology

Last week I visited Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson had recently funded an additional staff attorney position, the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”.

Considering this after I got home, I had an idea about an additional angle from which to attack this problem.

What if there were a sort of “prior art database”? Where people could submit and find information about first-use or discovery of techniques—whether patented or not?

Domain registrar switch

:: technology

My domain wasn’t working for ~24 hours due to my switching from GoDaddy to Namecheap. Although it’s possible to make that kind of switch with minimal downtime, in my case:

  1. It was an impulse decision on my part. (Finally got some time to reflect on GoDaddy’s support for SOPA. As well as the elephant killing and the tacky “babe marketing”. SOPA was strike three.)

  2. GoDaddy seemed to be dragging their heels releasing transfers.

  3. Namecheap seemed to be struggling with an unexpected number of transfers, inconveniently over the holiday weekend. (In fairness to GoDaddy, maybe their delay was at least partly due to the same reason.)

Fortunately it’s not as if greghendershott.com is a hot destination for millions of fans. Or dozens.

Also, I wanted to mention that I did a couple live chats with Namecheap support and they were very helpful and quick.