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I bought a Nintendo DSi. I'm liking it; bigger screen, more features (including web browsing), SD card slot, download play with the DSi shop, and all the features of the old DS Lite except for the Game Boy slot - but that is really the big negative for me, I'm sad that I need to keep a DS Lite hanging around to play my Game Boy games... though if I'd kept all my compatible Nintendo hardware instead of selling most of it recently, I would have had to keep a Game Boy Advance around as well for eReader and such. But I suppose at some point down the road most games will be available as downloads and the need for the DS Lite will abate, which will be cool, but we seem to be quite far off from that.

The quality of the DSi camera seems to be way, way, way better than the iPhone camera - not to mention that it has both inner and outer cameras. It's better in lower lighting, captures real colors better, and it's faster and easier to use, but it may not have as high a resolution; I haven't yet pulled the photos from it. The DSi also records sound, but I haven't yet determined if the mic quality is better on the DSi or the iPhone. I'm a bit disappointed that some of the lectures I recorded yesterday have low gain.

I spent a good part of the Brooklyn Food Conference yesterday recording audio with my iPhone and taking pictures with my DSi. Fun!!

P.S. Raj Patel is my new hero.
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I'm really looking forward to improvements in Maps in iPhoneOS 3.0. Opening up access to Maps via API means that Apple and/or Google can create better native iPhone implementations of things like saved Google maps. I really enjoy making maps with saved locations at maps.google.com, but I think I would enjoy it much more if I could also do this on my iPhone (natively, not through iPhone Safari, that's unusable). I should be able to do much, much more interesting things with Maps on the iPhone; I should be able to track my path with GPS and Core Location, associate photos with locations... and if the alleged magnetometer hardware improvement comes with the next iPhone release, I should have real-time street view that animates and turns with me to show me my heading, and turn-by-turn animated path directions and alerts when I go the wrong way.

I want nothing less than for Maps on iPhone to become an augmented reality app - one that I could even improve by adding my own photos of current locations to street view! It should be a viewscreen that I hold up to the street that matches with the buildings and roads and indicates what direction I need to head to.
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Looks like Apple's most recent update to iLife partly addressed the issue I mentioned here over six weeks ago: http://mikecap.livejournal.com/958798.html

Good deal! Now all they need to do is add the theoretical social networking application I've been designing in my head to the iLife suite...

Also, I don't know how hard it would be to discover rotated faces in iPhoto, but that would be welcome too. I noticed that iPhoto automatically creates little face images in the system every time it searches through photos - it's a standard graphics operation to rotate an image, so why not create an option to let users identify a rotated face in a picture? Then iPhoto can rotate the result in the background, and come up with a suggestion based on the resulting rotated little face image it'll make. Maybe a little "rotate" icon on the right corner of the add unknown face window that lets you orient the square?
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Someday people will learn that greed is not sustainable. The serpent can only eat so much of its own tail before it chokes.

I predict that the DJIA will settle down when it hits about 3500. I suspect it will take nearly another year to get to that point, when the markets all finally bottom out. Some time after Google's stock tanks, I think.

Why 3500? Because that's where it was 15 years ago, after more than a decade of steady growth through the 80s. That's where it was at just as the Internet first came into play - before people started going apeshit with everything, and began to believe that castles could be built on clouds. How could we possibly have created 300% more wealth out of thin air? The DJIA had barely broken 1000 for two decades prior to the 80s, and then we saw real growth with the rise of computing and software and general advancement of technology up to the early 90s. But somehow people went batty along the way and started ignoring things like "profits" and "business models" and suddenly CEOs started making exorbitant salaries, and more and more snake oil salesmen popped up to part fools and their money with made up shit they called "financial instruments", usually aided and abetted by our own government with tailor-made legislation paid for by the finest of lobbyists. And what was the result of all that?

Well we've now witnessed the implosion of finance, real estate, and car companies. Really these events are still ongoing, these prideful bastards haven't fallen all the way yet - all the bailout money in the world won't cushion their impacts either. But the real killer will be when high tech hits the skids again.

Internet bubble 2.0 is on the way. Internet advertising is going to pop it, again. Advertising revenue is just not sustainable on the Internet, because there's no way to make money from it unless you completely control the medium. It worked great for newspapers when they had regional monopolies. It worked great for TV with the network and cable monopolies. And of course the Internet killed both of those monopolies! So the Internet must be the future monopoly, right? Wrong.

Google's doing pretty well with ad revenue because they've got a search monopoly - but how long will that really last? Hint: it's already eroding, because iPhones and user generated content from social networks make Google obsolete. So wait, social networking is the new monopoly? Well, Facebook certainly won't have a monopoly on social networking for any long period of time... remember when MySpace was the monopoly? Ask yourself: is Facebook really worth billions? Was MySpace? No. That's utterly ridiculous, because people always move on to the next site, and the Internet is too big to really control.

Did Google ever advertise itself? Wikipedia? MySpace and Facebook? YouTube? Never. Because viral social networks spread word faster and more effectively than any advertising ever could. And when you actually have a piece of hardware that enables that viral action (iPhone: Google Killer) you're going to see just how ineffective ads actually are in comparison. Someone can write an iPhone app that will change a playing field overnight and render whole industries worth of web sites obsolete. You just can't beat the power of a network of millions and millions of people continuously sending the freshest live audio, video, GPS, and pure data streams. All the dead data in Google's web page index is worthless in comparison.

Maybe people will try to speculate a biotech bubble into existence, but I doubt that will succeed. People are too freaked out by biohacking, and legislation and regulation will continually muddle its development, too much so for it to really boom like the other deregulated industries all did.
mik3cap: (Default)
Why isn't iPhoto's new Faces feature tightly coupled with Address Book? Wouldn't it be great to be able to go to AB and pick from all the zoomed-in faces for an identifying photo? Or have the names auto-complete from your AB while filling them in in iPhoto Faces? That is totally and completely a no brainer. I should be able to just pick a photo for a person in Address Book, center it on the face, and then iPhoto should realize I did that next time I fire it up and try making a new name and face entry just based on that!
mik3cap: (Default)
Why shouldn't I be able to vertically scroll through an image gallery on my iPhone? I can flick left-right to move through them in one dimension, but why not flick up-down to move through the pictures another way?
mik3cap: (Default)
I've been playing with .Net webforms lately... it took long enough, but Microsoft's finally done some things right. All the functionality I used to have to code back in the late 90s is now just a click of a property, visual-style. I was worried that going back to the world of traditional webapp development was going to be a bitchy transition, but this shit is a cakewalk.

I can see though how old school web designers/developers would be frightened off by the prospect of having to code in Visual Studio Land. Working in object-oriented Microsoftthink in C# or VB.Net can't be easy for someone who's never been exposed to that kind of thing, and you really do need to write your own classes and get under the hood to really get the cool stuff done. But I really like that there's a layer of abstraction above that level with the XML-style notation of web controls at the form source level; if you learn that stuff, you could pretty much hand code basic webforms.
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"I don't think the GPL v3 conversation is going to happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my code." - Linus Torvalds

Why does this mean open source can't work? Because ultimately, it's all about egos. Open source relies on force of will and influence to get things done. Essentially, if the project is "popular" or the person driving it is a "rock star" of programming, the project will thrive. If nobody (meaning programmers) gives a shit, the project fails (like, say, a particular driver that is highly demanded by the masses, but the programming community doesn't like the manufacturer).

This doesn't mean that open development of commercial software can't work - obviously it does, and it succeeds because there is a market force driving the development. But when the impetus is no better than rock star-itude, shit don't get done. When the rock star says "I dun wanna" it dies. Essentially what it comes down to is this: programmers are no better than anybody else at figuring out what is "good" for people. They are just as prone to following the herd and following trends as everybody else, and they are equally as short sighted. Without some outside force driving a project to an ultimate end (like a market gap) we have to rely on people making the "right" choices, and people just never seem to make those right choices.
mik3cap: (Default)
Summer 2002 - Department of Justice offices

MS rep: "Look, this case is just bad news for everyone, and all I'm saying is I think we can work out a way to make everyone happy."

DOJ rep: "I don't see what you could possibly offer the U.S. government in exchange for a settlement."

MS rep: "I think that you're thinking what I'm thinking. I think that we have something that you want very badly."

DOJ rep: "And what might that be?"

MS rep: "You want a backdoor into every PC running Windows."

DOJ rep: "It would be a great boon to law enforcement to be able to protect national security in that manner."

MS rep: "We'll just keep that part of the settlement between us though, of course."

DOJ rep: "Of course."

I guess we'll never know the truth.
mik3cap: (Default)
This Cartoforge for Palm OS looks sweet. Makes me wish there were folks nearby to game with...

It also puts me in the mind of wanting to buy a new PDA. I've decided to move away from the integrated phone/PDA model due to disappointing experiences with the Treo (the refurbished model I'm using is now buzzing like a son of a bitch, just like the other one I had - not to mention the Orange Cancer) and instead get a high quality PDA and a high quality phone that can hopefully interact with each other somehow. I have done zero product research at this point, but that's the general plan. All I really want is the ability to keep phone numbers on the PDA, but pass them over to the phone, and maybe even save them on the sim card itself? I dunno. GPS on the PDA would also be awesome functionality. And I think I want to stick with Palm OS instead of moving to Windows.
mik3cap: (Default)
Can anyone recommend good software for receiving podcasts? I'm running Windows XP.

(I don't want to use iTunes)
mik3cap: (Default)
I continue to be on target with my changes in diet. I've never actually strictly regimented myself to a certain number of calories per day; that, combined with this really simple every day exercise program, is working amazingly well. I got a little application for my smartphone that tracks and graphs progress, and all the little dots are lining up nicely.

At this rate, by the end of next month, I will be at a weight I have not seen in about six years. By about the end of the Fall, I'll be where I was when I started college. By Intercon next year, I'll be at high school levels... and, should all continue to go well, I'll be at my target in April of next year. Woo!


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