Archive for the ‘tech’ Category
The soil-tilling food experts happen to be every bit as expressive, and iconoclastic, as their knife-wielding counterparts in the kitchen. These days, many in the culinary world tend to view produce in a black-and-white way: You have either your delightfully lumpy, bumpy farmers’ market treasures, or your scarily uniform corporate Frankenfood. As Mr. Barber said, it’s “heirlooms over here, Monsanto maniacs over there.”
But Monday’s convocation, overseen by the Basque Culinary Center, suggested a third way: Independent breeders are ready to help make our breads and salads richer with deep flavor, bold color and plenty of nutrients. They just need someone to ask them.
What they do may also be seen as an old-school alternative to the spread of genetically modified plants, which have not been shown to be harmful but still frighten and concern many people.
“We’re making crosses within the same species, and we’re doing it the way it’s been done for 300 years,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder from Washington State whose accessibly folksy lecture had the room transfixed. “There’s no forcing here. We put these plants together and we let them mate.”
[Since this ultimately will be driven by business and not love, it cares me a bit. But I'm curious to see where it goes.]
Many reporters have described iBeacons as an indoor GPS solution, which it clearly isn’t if you read the API. Instead of thinking of iBeacons as a localization system, think of it as a proximity system, and design your applications appropriately to create an event or trigger when you enter or leave the range of one.
[There's a lot of spin in the above post or it's poorly written. Thinking about beacons around my home, maybe it could simplify some of the interactions with things. Make my phone beep when walk into the kitchen? Notifications when I walk past stores? Meh or worse. Reminders when I enter my office? Car? Hmmm. Maybe. Creating an easier experience so that a business or doctor can collect information that I specify so that I don't have to fill out a paper form? I'll take that. And as we get better at sharing information using a beacon as a trigger for data sharing seems reasonable. I'm curious to see if Apple has plans for this in their own stores any time soon.]
Yes, let’s. Everything the NSA collects goes over networks. They’re a signal intelligence organization. They analyze signals—which is to say, communications. Phone calls. Email messages. IM messages. Bank transactions. There’s a lot of things that constitute signals. But you know one thing that doesn’t?
Wake up, sheeple!
[I'd recommend bewaring the tinfoil hats of October as well.]
Source: Coyote Tracks
But you probably haven’t seen ANY coverage of what will likely prove to be the most significant new Wi-Fi feature in iOS 7, namely its support for 802.11u and Hotspot 2.0.
While not all of the 200 million Apple devices said to be updated to iOS 7 will support Hotspot 2.0 (older iPhones, iPads and iPods currently do not), it’s certainly some obese number north of 50 or 60 million new Hotspot 2.0-capable mobile devices that have quickly appeared almost overnight. Wow.
What these processors lacked in raw power was more than made up for by they way they were integrated into Apple’s notion of a purposeful, usable mobile device: Enhanced UI responsiveness, reduced power consumption, obeisance to the unique requirements of media and communications.
The expectation was that Apple would either fail, or produce a “competent” (meaning not particularly interesting) iteration of previous A4-5-6 designs. No one expected that the processor would actually work, with all in-house apps running in 64-bit mode from day one.
Source: Monday Note
My pocket psychology take is that we love anachronisms because they’re imperfect. Like humans are imperfect. We form relationships with people who are flawed all the time. Flaws, imperfection, and worse are all part of the human condition. Tools that embody them resonate.
It’s hard to engineer this, though, but it’s worth cherishing when you have it. Don’t be so eager to iron out all the flaws. Maybe those flaws are exactly why people love your product.
[I'd go a step further and say it can't be engineered. Like an antique, the passage of time combined with use (and sometimes abuse) tells a story. Adding a distressed finish is a thin veneer that only says "we like things that tells stories", but has no story of its own. I think trying to engineer imperfection would go the same way. I do think you can measure and engineer some aspects of wear into items, and that can be valuable addition in many cases. But that's not the same as trying to create something that looks but is not authentically old. In case you can't tell, I'm not a fan of "restoration" when it's defined as making something look (and maybe act) as if it were brand new despite it's age. I find the endeavor and skills fascinating. I love when people resurrect something that was otherwise on the verge of not existing. But only from afar, as a testament to the skills of the restorer. I'd much rather have something that is wonderful and new and through use, and love, and time build my own stories into it. There's nothing like it.]
Here’s the deal. As a company, we’re in a bit of a pickle. Because of policies and decisions that made sense in 1995 being clung to as though we were carved in stone, we are now thought of as a company that hasn’t innovated, or really, done a damned thing right since the Xbox, and I have to say, the people saying that aren’t wrong. However, that’s our fault, not the naysayers. Yes, I know, haters gonna hate, but when that many people are saying something’s kinda screwy, you don’t have to slavishly do what they say, but you should allow for the fact they’re at least not completely wrong.
These animations in iOS 7 feel like its designers are showing off their cool new abilities, and we’re just along for the ride. After sitting through all of these, day after day, it’s no longer impressive — it just feels needlessly, artificially slow.
Cut the animation durations in half.
[While I can't speak to this case (since I haven't spent any significant time playing with 7, I agree with his point. Animations are delightful the first time you do something, or when you have something that you don't do all the time and suddenly you become aware of the depth of care a dev put into this quiet corner of the app. But generally, speed is the killer feature, and anything that gets in the way of that that doesn't inform or make some more useable is a problem. It's why the splash screen died.]
During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian’s reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government’s intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. But my experience over WikiLeaks – the thumb drive and the first amendment – had already prepared me for this moment. I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations and the way in which, these days, media organisations could take advantage of the most permissive legal environments. Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that Greenwald lived in Brazil?
The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London. The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.
The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like “when”.
[We have no idea what we've done. We'll find out. After the fact.]
For perspective, all the data humans produce in a year could fit into about four grams of DNA. “There is an opportunity to create storage systems that are a million to a billion times more compact than existing technology and provide a level of longevity that is unheard of today,” Church points out.
[Crazy awesome. Don't tell the NSA...]