If it weren’t for Pokémon Go, augmented reality might have stayed another forlorn futurist technology the public paid little attention to. Instead, the AR mobile game from developer Niantic Labs, a former Google subsidiary, catapulted the technology to hundreds of millions of smartphone owners around the world. Now a few months after the game’s launch, the first fully capable AR smartphone has started shipping. It’s Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, and under the hood it contains the hardware and software neccesary to use Google’s Tango AR technology.
Google (GOOGL, Tech30) unveiled a new 55-inch digital whiteboard on wheels that is intended to “redefine meetings,” or at least help Google gain footing in the workplace.The product, called Jamboard, lets teams pull up documents and presentations on screen from Google’s suite of productivity tools like Docs and Drive. Likewise, whatever you write or draw on the giant touchscreen can then be backed up online.
Earlier today, I tweeted:
Ok, everyone. The word “glasshole” is neither funny nor useful. Why not try actually talking about the tech and social norms?
— Jason Griffey (@griffey) April 30, 2013
Which seemed to me to be a pretty non-radical point to make. But given the responses I’ve garnered, it looks like a brief expansion of the thought might be worth it on my part. So here’s my take on it:
I find the term dismissive, and moreover, deliberately insulting. “Glasshole” seems to be used as a hand-waving way of not actually discussing the technology behind Glass and instead relying on ad hominem in its place. Full disclosure: I’m fascinated by the possibilities, and given a pair, I’d happily wear Glass around and see where it was useful, how it could enhance or detract from my interactions with information and technology. But I simply do not grok the casual dismissal of them for their appearance or even for the privacy concerns that many have regarding them. It looks to me like the obvious next-step of the ever-more-personal technologies of the last 2 decades, just like it seems pretty obvious that wearable computing is a natural result of Moore’s law when combined with ubiquitous networking.
I am a technological determinist when it comes to the progress of hardware, I fully admit. Technology will continue to get faster, smaller, cheaper, and it will continue to use less and less power to do these things. This results in strange and unusual things, some of which will be wearable things that communicate with us and the world around us in ways that may seem foreign to us here and now. But so did walking down the street talking on the phone at one point in our near-past technological history.
Clay Shirky said in Here Comes Everybody that “Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.” Right now, Glass is technologically interesting. Yes, it will have social implications, but the really interesting bits (the bits that I think are worth talking about) are emergent after the technology is already in place. We didn’t get the Arab Spring without a bit of a perfect storm of technologies that had become commonplace…the cellular phone, SMS, Twitter. Glass is one tiny, tiny step towards truly immersive connectivity. What will that do to society, to interactions, to information? Will we end up with Strange Days or with Rainbows End? Or with the corporatized information future that William Gibson warned us about? I just don’t know. But I’m incredibly uncomfortable seeing a term used that denigrates the user of a technology, especially a brand new technology, when we’ve got no idea how it’s going to turn out to be useful, or not. I’m never going to be ok with insulting another human being as a part of a discussion.
I’ve said it before, but the rise of the cheap sensor, combined with ubiquitous connectivity, is going to do more to change the way we interact with our world than you can imagine.
The coolest thing at Google I/O this year isn’t a cheap tablet or a pair of overpriced glasses or even a killer keyboard. It is, believe it or not, an alarm clock. But not just any alarm clock — this is an alarm clock with potential. What you see above, and demonstrated in the video after the break, is the gadget that was handed out to attendees who went to learn about the Android Accessory Development Kit.
HP announced today that they are going to be Open Sourcing the underlying code for WebOS. I had hoped this would happen, but never actually expected it. This is really, really good news for consumers, I think. From the Press Release:
"HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.
HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:
The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform
HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
Software will be provided as a pure open source project
HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space."
Hat tip to The Verge for breaking this (http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/9/2623943/webos-being-open-sourced-says-hp). They are doing awesome reporting these days.
HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source
HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community.
Sony has dropped the price of it's Reader to $99, and has $50 trade in deal for ANY old eReader you happen to have laying around. $49 for a brand new Sony reader is a pretty great deal if you're looking for a cheap way to get an eInk eReader.
Totally awesome analysis of Scooby Doo teaching kids to be thoughtful and skeptical. Best pull quote:
"The very first rule of Scooby-Doo, the single premise that sits at the heart of their adventures, is that the world is full of grown-ups who lie to kids, and that it's up to those kids to figure out what those lies are and call them on it, even if there are other adults who believe those lies with every fiber of their being. And the way that you win isn't through supernatural powers, or even through fighting. The way that you win is by doing the most dangerous thing that any person being lied to by someone in power can do: You think."
Ask Chris #81: Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism – ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's why every week,
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After a couple of days with my Kindle Fire, I decided to start playing with sideloading apps, and eventually ran into the limitation of not having the Android Market available on the Fire. I was mainly interested in having the dedicated Google apps (Mail, Maps, Docs, Google+). So I started reading, and found a handful of good tutorials:
Google Apps on the Kindle Fire: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1349902
Review Horizon: http://reviewhorizon.com/2011/11/how-to-install-google-android-market-on-kindle-fire/
How to Root the Kindle Fire in One Click: http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-root-amazon-kindle-fire-in-one-click/
And a piece of software that makes part of the process easier, Root Explorer:
It’s a little tricky at times, I had to reinstall the Android SDK a couple of times to get the right pieces in place. But moving through the steps slowly got me to the point where I have a working Kindle Fire with the Android Market installed. I followed the instructions pretty much to the letter, although I did root before the Market installation and then unroot afterwards using SuperOneClick. After unrooting, it’s just like before…but better. Everything seems to work. #patrec
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In the last couple of years, we’ve seen:
*The rise of synthetic recreational drugs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_cannabis)
*The rebellion by the public against the multinational banks that have an overabundance of the wealth of the world (http://occupywallst.org/)
*A pocket computer that can have a conversation with you (http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html)
*The slow decline of the United States as a world power
*The rise of China and India as economic centers of the world
*The second largest company in the world is one that makes computer hardware (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=largest+market+cap)
*A human had his eye replaced with a camera (http://eyeborgblog.com/)
*Military and police are using focused-energy weapons regularly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System)
*We have cars that drive themselves (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html)
*Some people have hardware in their bodies that are vulnerable to being hacked (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/25/us-medtronic-cybersecurity-idUSTRE79O8EP20111025)
We are living the cyberpunk future that William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and others told us about. Some days it feels like we’re minutes away from being in Blade Runner.
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Just a few minutes after I posted about the WSJ’s reporting on the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, Amazon formally announced it via press release. The Amazon page for the service is live (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000739811), and details are pretty clear:
- One book at a time
- One book a month
- “Thousands of books”
- Only available for Kindle hardware, not for software (iOS apps, Android app, etc)
- Available for Amazon Prime members