Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Nepotism and corruption

People in power (Members of Parliament, Senior Civil Service, Boards of Companies, etc) should be forced to disclose who they are close friends with and who they meet on official business and significant social events.

The solution to small phone screen size

I want to be able to do everything I do on my laptop on my phone. But the screen's too small and, although this is a more temporary feature, it doesn't have the processing power, memory or storage. Whilst the latter features are getting better all the time, screen size is limited by the size of my pocket.

The solutions to this are either a folding screen (not sure how feasible this is) or video glasses. My preference would be for the latter. I was reading the other day about video glasses that can be seen through, but have a small screen near the eye. The article suggested that this was equivalent to looking at a 42" screen. Sounds good to me.

My video glasses would be part of a bluetooth two-ear headset that allowed the glasses to pivot up onto the head for when you just want to listen to music through your headphones. The phone would still have a screen for normal functions, but would largely live in my pocket.

The question is, how do you control the computer when you can't see your hands (without extensive eye refocusing) and you don't want to carry around a keyboard and mouse?

Mouse function: I think a ball with motion and pressure sensors would do the trick. You rotate the ball in your had and this results in mouse motion on the screen. You squeeze the ball and you get a click.

Keyboard function: Perhaps some motions sensing gloves that would allow you to type in mid-air by showing you your fingers relative to a keyboard on the screen.

Handwriting recognition: The phone would be a palm-sized pad that corresponds to the dimensions of the screen in the glasses. The position sensing of the stylus relative to the pad moves the cursor on the screen. Touching the stylus to the pad is equivalent to a mouse click. Doing the same whilst pressing a button on the pad (or stylus) is equivalent to a left mouse click. Writing on the pad translates to text on the screen.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Is it possible to make every activity constructive?

Perhaps, if we document our observations, thoughts, feelings and, of course, what we are doing. For example, I was reading recently about new ways of using digital cameras. Documenting these findings links them together for other people to find out the same information.

The cameras were:
The Triops
The chopper cam
The crow cam
And some fibre optic camera that allowed you to look through small holes (I've lost the link though!)

An alternative to google's motto

Don't be lazy.

Tags vs folders

Folders provide hierarchy, tags faciliate finding things more easily and having a complete list of items that belong to this tag. How can the two be merged? Nested tags, i.e. tags that are a sub-tag of another tag combined with a dynamic folder that includes all items of the particular tag. Whilst this will result in some items occuring in the folder structure twice, it does not result in duplication as it is generate dynamically from the underlying tab-based database.

This works best with the kind of mouse-over menu that opens the folder beneath when the mouse is hovered over. For example, the site wikipedia.org would be tagged in my bookmarks both as "reading" (i.e. something to do when bored!) and "reference". When I hover over the "reading" tag it displays a list with wikipedia in it, and also when I hover over the "reference" tag. Wikipedia would also be tagged as a "wiki" a sub-tab with my tag "website design" (because I might want examples of wikis as inspiration for my website design). When I hover over "website design" it gives me a list of sub-tags and links in that tag. I then move the mouse over to hover over the sub-tag "wikis" and there again is wikipedia.

Invention first helps the oppressor, then helps the oppressed

The way to fight back against the big brother of the state is the big brother of the people. We must turn the tools of the oppressors against them. We must:

-install CCTV in our homes
-carry cameras to photograph anything we see
-keep copies of all our correspondence

Make ourselves informed
-be aware of who the most powerful people are

Maintain channels of communication
-we must have anonymous means of reporting abuses of power to the rest of the public, both through new media and old

Effects of violence course

How can we prevent kids getting into violent crime? Perhaps the most vunerable kids, or those already exhibiting violent behaviour, could be sent on a course to show them the effects of violence. They could be taken to a morgue to see death first hand; they could be shown photographs and hear stories of the effects; they could meet the parents of those who have died and experience the grief first hand.

Would it work? I don't know, I'm not a psycologist. But I think perhaps it could shock some of those kids out of the path they might otherwise follow.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

The geek shall inherit

The scientists, engineers and programmers of this world and, to an extent, other academics, give me faith in humanity. It is their intelligence, their belief that we can make a better world and a better life, that makes existence in this god-forsaken universe bearable.