In the early years of space flight, both Russians and Americans used pencils in space. Unfortunately, pencil lead is made of graphite, a highly conductive material. Snapped graphite leads and particles in zero gravity are hugely problematic, as they will get sucked into the air ventilation or electronic equipment, easily causing shorts or fires in the pure oxygen environment of a capsule.
After the fire in Apollo 1 which killed all the astronauts on board, NASA required a writing instrument that wasn’t a fire hazard. Fisher spent over a million dollars (of his own money) creating a pressurized ball point pen, which NASA bought at $2.95 each. The Russian space program also switched over from pencils shortly after.
40 years later snide morons on the internet still snigger about it, because snide morons on the internet never know what they are talking about.
When these futuristic glasses finally arrive I’m screwed. I just can’t focus on something that’s so close up, it just goes blurry. Is it just me?
Google has finally “unveiled” Project Glass. I say “unveiled” because this isn’t a product that is in beta testing, alpha testing, or even a concept model phase. It’s just a somewhat cool video. I think their description (in the Google+ post, which ensures that 40 or 50 people will see it), shows that they’re starting from a somewhat flawed standpoint:
We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.
A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.
1. I fail to see how wearing this technology on your face means it’s out of the way.
2. There’s some incredible Orwellian doublespeak at work here, e.g., technology that “helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.” As far as I can tell, it doesn’t help you to explore your world at all. It helps Google to explore your world. And this notion of “your” world. What does that even mean? I think Google has flat out given up on the idea of connecting people, and instead, has decided to help them curate their lives, and to play to the collective bloated ego, started replacing “life” with “world.”
And I’m glad that Google Glass will help to put me back in the moment that it took me out of.
3. My favorite bit: “We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input.” In non-jargon, this translates to: we’re deathly afraid of creating yet another product that winds up failing, so just tell us, what is it that you want? We’ll do it, you just have to tell us.
Well, if you’re listening (watching?), Google Glass Team, I’ll tell you what I want. I want you to take this Steve Jobs quote to heart:
People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
(Sidenote: Is anyone else totally creeped out by the thought of a world where Google Glass has caught on and there are just herds of people standing around in the streets blankly staring straight ahead, and from afar, it looks like they’re all looking at each other, but everyone’s focused right in on the foreground, so up close their eyes look almost crossed, because they’re staring at what’s happening on (in?) their Google Glass?)
(Sidenote #2: From a tech standpoint, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is called Google Glass, and not Google Glasses. If the technology should ever make it to market, I’d bet one million fake dollars that Google provides the handse—I mean, eyeglass makers with the “Glass” technology, and then they’re responsible for manufacturing the actual glasses. It’ll give an entirely new meaning to the idea of platform fragmentation.)
Business Insider on January 6, 2011 after OMGPOP’s $10 million Series B:
Business Insider today after OMGPOP was purchased for about $200 million by aforementioned $5.5 billion (now public) company,…
One of the limitations of The New Yorker app for iOS becomes even more apparent while reading on the new iPad’s high resolution retina display.
[Most] of the magazine is like a tiff or jpeg — everything is baked into page and there is nothing you can do with the text
…and it looks awful on the iPad 3 retina display. The conclusion is they should get over their fear of text and do this properly. I agree with that sentiment, though I suspect the whole thing is caused by Adobe’s technical decisions as much as Conde Naste’s philosophical decisions.
I still use TextMate 1.5. It’s simple and it does everything I need, fancy new features be damned :)
I always preferred heavyweight IDE to do most of the stuff. I tried many IDEs for Ruby, even purchased two upgrades for RubyMine, but it never felt right. I wanted to do the same things that IntelliJ can do to Java, all those beautiful hardcore refactorings. But those just don’t exist for Ruby.
I used my IDE to do source control and I didn’t really understand the command line tools. I knew how to invoke Rails generators from the IDE, but I wasn’t really confident doing the same from the command line.
Wow. Josh Topolsky is mad. And that by itself is fine — he’s clearly passionate about technology, which is great. What’s not fine is the fact that he’s way off-base in his rant. So far off-base that I need to respond.
First and foremost, Topolsky has decided to turn my thoughts on the Galaxy Nexus into full on class warfare between Android and iOS. That is, he twists my comparison of attention to detail into an argument about rich vs. poor people.
I mean, he actually tries to do this.
One little problem.
Awesome stuff :) I think Topolsky and The Verge are trying their damnedest to cater to the Android loons that troll the comments. I know there are just as many iOS loons, but go read the comments on Engadget or The Verge. Jesus H Christ, it’s insane the hate that goes on. Anyway, he’s got to pander to those people because they’re after eyeballs and whatnot. I suspect.
Great post by MG Siegler on turning 30. I feel much the same right now — it’s no big deal, but even so, it’s disheartening knowing that I’ve missed so many opportunities already.
I also have similar goals for my 30s, but along with ‘be healthier’ I have: ‘just enjoy the jouney’.
When I turned 30 last week, I thought I would sit down and write some profound post on the matter — or at least try to. But it didn’t happen. The truth is that I just don’t have much to say. Everyone asks me how it feels to enter a new decade, but I really don’t feel any different at all. I…
Oh yeah, I upgraded the disks in the two iMacs I posted about last week. The aluminium iMac has a really interesting design — the glass in front of the screen is held in place by magents. You use suction cups to pull it off (there are proper tools, but I borrowed a friend’s sat-nav thing). Once you’ve done that, it’s a reasonably simple but fiddly job to remove the screen and various cables before you get to the disk. It’s not all that bad. The 24” white iMac was easier still — there’s loads of space in there, and the screen comes out as one giant unit connected by two really easy to access cables (though you need proper star-shaped screw drivers to reach the screws — not a stubby thing with different bits, because it won’t fit in the holes down the side). I snapped a plastic clip that holds the disk in place (I just couldn’t get the thing to unclip), but that was OK — I used some cardboard to pad it out to keep it from moving, and I just need to find the spare part and fix it properly.
The best thing is, once you swapped the disks you can just use TimeMachine or something else (like SuperDuper in my case) and you’re back up and running on the big new disk in less than a couple of hours. It’s as if nothing changed, except now I have 750GB free, which means I can start working with photos and videos again :)