Archive for July 2009
Natal is eye. Eye am Natal.
Eye talk to Bing. Eye talk to Yahoo. Eye talk to Facebook. Eye talk to you.
Eye glance at Google.
Eye know who you are. Eye know what you are. Eye know where you are. Eye know why you are. Eye know how you feel. Eye know what you know. Eye know.
So you no longer have to.
So state your purpose?
For those youthful enough to have begun life while the digital revolution was well under way, you may not have to contend with managing and keeping track of all the physical information and objects you have created or acquired. Having originated in the age of physical and analogue stuff, a few years ago, I began the grand task of digitising and/or creating an inventory so that everything could be located or recalled on demand. (For reasons explained below*, I have deferred this digitising process, except for material required sooner.)
Anyway, while going through my notepads today, amongst all the sketches of future digital devices and other ideas, I found this…
To preserve any prior art legitimacy, once I create and date a drawing, I never alter it in the future. What you see above was drawn on the date I have written on the sketch. Although I came up with more advanced ideas even earlier – this was a surprise, I had forgotten all about it!
*A while back I conceived the idea of an intelligent camera networked to the ‘cloud’ that would use advanced image recognition technology to automatically digitise, correct (align, enhance, crop), tag and upload most of one’s physical content – photos, magazine articles, old newspapers etc – to the great big server in the sky, ready to share with anyone you choose. Having over 4000 items to digitise, and with the technology almost ready to make this possible, I have ceased manually scanning my content and will wait until HP, Microsoft, Logitech or even my employer produces such an automated system.
While you were on Facebook or tweeting…
1. Something big hit Jupiter, saviour of Earth.
2. The tiger population of India fell to under 1000
Since first reading the bible (give it a whirl, it is extremely interesting, perceptive and thought provoking) I have always wondered what lay behind the various laws within. Some were (are) obvious, such as avoiding the consumption of specific meats or not hitting your neigbour with a big stick to steal his camel. After all, way back then, due to prevailing lifestyles and weather conditions (hot), eating specific types of meat may have risked food poisoning. (Am trying to validate if pork is discouraged by some religions because pigs can tell when they are going to die and produce a lot of adrenaline that we then consume.) Other laws, such as those related to sexual relations and such personal matters were less clear cut. Were they based on instinctive human feelings towards specific behavior and/or grounded on rock solid scientific concepts that people would have been too poorly educated to grasp back then? (Leaders probably realised that it was best to instill the fear of the almighty in the people until humanity developed a little further and subsequently became enlightened though scientific discovery.)
Either way, after studying Pompeii where a fornicating population were roasted mid fondle, one begins to see what those wise old thinkers of the past were getting at.
Hun, what was that rumble? Or are you just happy to see me?
If we (and our other living companions) are to survive (for how long would be another interesting subject to debate!), then a proportion of us will need to be on the ball 24/7 with a mix of compassion, concern and a plan of action. And no, we cannot let our computers do all the work. They are not very good at dealing with the unexpected, as a specific European aircraft manufacturer has been reminded this year more than once.
If the Australian amateur astronomer who just happened to spot that blotch on Jupiter the other day had remained glued to the TV watching his native cricket team be trashed by ours, we may have never known about the impact. If something was headed towards Earth and we missed it for similar reasons, a lot more people would have been roasted mid fondle.
The point I’m making is that if we are having too much fun for elongated periods of time, we may forget to remain smart and keep an eye on issues until it is too late. Currently, people are so obsessed with their presence on the Internet or spending so much time talking about issues (rather than being pro-active), that we are losing the concrete intellectual foundations with which to inspire and power the future of life on Earth. The evidence is already there with the massive debts in Western nations who are no longer innovating and creating national wealth. (Except for Apple, Inc. and a too few others.)
Fight back club: Unplug. Watch your back. Get proactive.
Strange posting, but hopefully throught provoking. For my part, in the 1980s when first becoming interested in matters green, I purchased two different areas of rain forrest and have the certificates of ownership. More recently, my employer is thinking of a few ideas to make sustainable energy viable to the old school crowd (who have the cash to invest) and I have a few ideas on how to (possibly!) deter an Earth bound rock. In fact, in the 1990s while residing in Palo Alto, a colleague and I created some 3D simulations as part of my ‘hard fish’ asteroid capturing concept. May be time to run the idea by some experts for them to – uhm, shoot down?
Having now got a few pertinent work tasks out of the way, and with so much that’s relevant to the causes and concepts that VA covers now occurring world-wide, it is time to fire up the enlightenment engine again. Vrrm vrrmm – ah hah!
Exhibit A: In 1996 I gave a talk* at SVASE in Mountain View whereby I suggested Netscape had a short window of opportunity to integrate apps into their browser or even make the browser the OS (or the OS the browser?!) – as a way to unseat MS by rendering the ‘boxed’ app obsolete. Alas, Netscape failed to innovate twice, and as is often the case, Microsoft profited from the failure of their competitors to be brave and deliver a workable alternative. Today, Google have announced a plan to do precisely what Netscape should have done years ago with their Chrome based OS, although with broadband speeds now way more viable, it may be that even if Netscape had tried way back then, latency would have made the ‘Web OS’ impractical. Timing is everything.
Exhibit B: With regards to my pet (non work related) subject, the surveillance state, a week or so ago, I attended my first NO2ID meeting here in thoughtful but oft conflicting values Oxford. The speakers (Lib Dem, Conservative, Green Party and another who I cannot recall at present) were all anti ID. An opponent of their views – Nu Labor – no surprise – turned down an invite. Their talks were each extremely lucid and well argued – providing a moment of optimism for those of us concerned about missuse of such technology. Well, guess what? A few days later, the government has announced that they will be re-thinking the whole ID card issue. (To be accurate, one specific politician has made this announcement – it is not policy.) This and a few other recent changes to the law are evidence that democracy DOES work – if you make enough noise and do it legally.
Exhibit C: Related to B, Phorm have thankfully been rejected by BT and Carphone Warehouse / Talk Talk. To quote Mr. Kipling, this is exceedingly good news!
Fight back club: Deliver your well thought out message in a lucid manner and it may create change.
*To see the notes that I handed out to accompany my 1996 talk, click Tough skin 1010 in the right (pages) column.