Monday, 29 March 2010
Given the nature of many toys (and many computer games), the interactions between toys may tend towards violence. Imagine Action Man vs My Little Pony...
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Twitter = blogging + RSS + word limit + popularity
Facebook = personal web pages + email + popularity (Facebook is also closed, but I don't think protecting people's data is what drove people to Facebook or made it successful.
Google = search + better algorithm + cleaner interface + popularity
Putting content online
- That only you can see – Google Docs/Zoho
- That only your (vetted) friends can see – Facebook
- That only subscribers to you can see – Twitter
- That everyone can see – Personal webpages/Blogs/Youtube/Forums
Access to content via
- Just a normal web page
- An account/reader
As the child ages, the tablet can be switched to different modes. For the toddler, the tablet provides games (e.g. name the object), jigsaws, drawing. The colour be selected from a menu with big "buttons" that the child learns to understand.
For the older child, the tablet can revert to how and adult would use it, with a standard operating system, wifi, browser, learning applications, and games. One toy could last through all stages of development. And it's longevity would justify the cost.
Monday, 22 March 2010
The ultimate solution is probably an always on video camera that records exactly what you see (this may well come for different reasons, once society has evolved to accept the privacy concerns) and records what you eat via object recognition. This is then automatically looked-up against food databases to give accurate nutrition information.
In the absence of this non-existant technology, what are the other options? A tiny accelerometer could be embedded in the jaw to give data on mastication as a proxy for how much you are eating (and talking, and chewing chewing gum, etc); a sensor could be embedded in the stomach to measure something (perhaps pH?); some kind of sensor in the oesophagus?
I think it is worthwhile having an input sensor in addition to a sensor that measures the impact on blood substrates. This way we can measure the impact of particular foods on blood substrates, and therefore determine what to eat.
Monday, 15 March 2010
We need applications (web-based or desktop-based) to automate the extraction of our data from one cloud and then upload it to another. Say, for example, you want to move from Facebook to MySpace. You log into your Facebook account and then run the programme (in another tab of the browser if web-based or from your computer if desk-top based). All your contacts, personal description, hobbies, messages, etc are downloaded and then uploaded to your new MySpace account. It could even automate a message to your Facebook contacts saying "I've gone to MySpace, please join me!". Obviously there is some tweaking to do as the MySpace set-up differs. But much less than starting afresh.
Other examples: downloading all your emails, labels and contacts from your Gmail account; downloading your music preferences from Spotify or Last.fm.
Are there legal restrictions to doing this? Companies could perhaps tap into the open-source community to avoid this. Even if not, the website suffering the automated access would seek the block the access to stop users leaver their service. The applications would need to be continually updated to circumvent the counter-measures.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
- people-monitoring technologies that will infringe privacy and facilitate a totalitarian state;
- weapons (chemical, biological, nuclear, etc) that will cause great harm if in the wrong hands (note: most hands are the wrong hands);
- robots - if they try to take over; and
- virtual reality - if we create a virtual world so responsive to our needs that no-one wants to live in the real world, and civilisation crumbles.
Firstly, online password managers (e.g. Clipperz, LastPass, Passpack) need to go mainstream (e.g. be bought by Microsoft or Google), so that I can trust these services with my bank details (if they weren't secure enough, the big names wouldn't take the reputational risk). And with them, online form autofill services (e.g. LastPass).
Secondly, OpenID or an equivalent needs development and publicity (to get widespread adoption).
Either way round, both concepts are pretty all-encompasing.
Messages can be anonymous, or users can generate an account.
Other users (or the same user) can post follow-on messages to each message.
The site can show all messages to "the wall", but would also provide contextual links to other message recipients e.g. "the Berlin wall" or "the wall in my basement".
Why would people use the site? To express themselves. To hide messages for people. To rant at a nameless bureaucrat or a bad driver. To communicate with a group of people who have not yet organised as a group.