Wow. Just… wow. Okay, admittedly Google’s counsel could have done a better job of explaining that internet advertising isn’t really all that different from traditional advertising, just with better and more dynamic targeting, but in all fairness he probably didn’t think he’d need to. My condensed transcript for those of you who don’t have time for videos or Louie Gohmert:
Gohmert: “Isn’t it true that you sell your Gmail users’ data to your corporate customers so they can send ads to them?”
Salgado: “Well no.”
Gohmert: “So couldn’t you therefore sell the same kind of data to the government BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI?”
Salgado: “Wait… what?”
Gohmert: “HuffPo reporters are simpletons.”
Sensenbrenner: “My son is a HuffPo reporter.”
Gohmert: “Oh. Mumble grumble mumble.”
And one direct quote because there is no way I can do it justice:
Salgado: “Sir, I think those are apples and oranges. The disclosure of the identity-”
Gohmert: “Well, I’m not asking for a fruit comparison.”
So the thought occurs: Now that we’re seeing 720p and even 1080p displays on mobile devices, with more and more powerful CPUs and GPUs to drive them, and now that the latest version of Windows straddles the tablet and PC worlds… it’s suddenly not at all inconceivable that I could someday soon have a 7″ device that fits in a cargo pocket and can do literally everything my laptop can do.
Washington state has commissioned a Facebook app to provide another avenue for its residents to register to vote. Officials will soon post the software, developed by local company Microsoft, on the Secretary of State’s page and allow users to like it in order to spread the word. Once it’s ready, residents looking at using it will need to allow Facebook access to their personal info and provide a driver’s license number or state ID number, which the social network will use to put them on the voter rolls….
OMG everyone’s joke Facebook pages will be voting now! It’s the end of democracy as we know it!
Well, it turns out Ubuntu now runs on multi-core Android devices and your handset can grant a full desktop experience when docked with a display and a keyboard. It’s a customized version of Ubuntu that plays nice with Android, the two OS’s sharing data and services while running simultaneously. So, you can still access telephony and texts from the Ubuntu environment while enjoying all the computing capabilities it has to offer, including: Ubuntu TV, virtualization tools for running Windows applications, desktop web browsers, and Ubuntu apps built for ARM. It isn’t clear exactly what hardware you’ll need to run Ubuntu on a handset, but Canonical has said it works on multi-core devices with HDMI and USB connections.
As the owner of a multi-core Android device, this certainly piques my interest, but other than the Oh Cool! factor, being able to connect my phone up to a keyboard and monitor doesn’t really buy me much unless it’s in the form of one of those Atrix-style laptop/docking stations. Which means that this opens up a whole new market for third-party manufacturers to start making generic docking stations that any multi-core Android phone can use.
I don’t know if they necessarily will, but they can. I’m pretty sure a bunch will make a go of it, but I can’t predict how successful they’ll be. I know I would definitely be interested in being able to turn my phone into a netbook running a full-fledged (or close to it) desktop OS which can access the internet from pretty much anywhere.
It’s a funny thing: It used to be that smartphones ran scaled-down mobile OSes because they had tiny displays and nowhere near enough power to run a desktop OS. But now modern smartphones have dual (and soon quad) core processors, and even GPUs, that give them more than enough power to run a desktop OS. They just don’t have the screen real estate to display it (or in most cases, a keyboard to interact with it). With a bit more RAM, they could probably even run Windows 7.
So if you have a phone with netbook-class internals (or better), then why not give it the ability to actually be a netbook when the occasion arises? If my phone yearns to spread out and become a PC every once in a while, then who am I to deny it?
United States Population will be 350-500 million. Currently it’s around 307.
HVAC. Described as hot and cold air “spigots”, as opposed to, say, thermostats.
TV dinners. Sort of. Instead of prepackaged meals, they envision a sort of superdelivery system with pneumatic tubes carrying hot meals to the home and dirty dishes back to the restaurant afterwards.
Instantaneous global transmission of sound, images, and moving pictures. Although the idea of people going to concert halls to listen to instruments being remotely played by musicians elsewhere was probably never going to catch on, even if it were technically feasible, which it probably is.
Air-conditioned bullet trains that don’t run on coal.
Cars will replace all horse-drawn conveyances. Not so sure about them being cheaper than horses or having one-pound motors, though.
Bombers, long-range artillery, and tanks. Not so much fighter planes, and they don’t envision airplanes replacing cars, bullet trains, or ocean liners (which will by superfast hydrofoils that can cross the Atlantic in two days).
Needless to say, they missed a lot of things, as well as not having the how down exactly for the things they got more or less correct, but they couldn’t have even conceptualized technologies like nuclear power/weapons, genetic engineering, GPS, laser technologies (i.e., DVDs, surgical applications, etc), cellphones, computers, MP3 players, the internet, or even videogames. They should have seen space travel coming, though.
The most heartbreakingly wrong prediction has to be their progressive, utopian view of education:
A university education will be free to every man and woman…. Poor students will be given free board, free clothing, and free books if ambitious and actually unable to meet their school and college expenses. Medical inspectors visiting the public schools will furnish poor children free eyeglasses, free dentistry and free medical attention of every kind. The very poor will, when necessary, get free rides to and from school and free lunches between sessions. In vacation time poor children will be taken on trips to various parts of the world….
Sigh. Apparently there are some things that we can’t conceptualize anymore.
2 commentsJanuary 17th, 2012 at 07:22amPosted by Eli
I was very sad to read that Kodak is probably about to file for bankruptcy, although not exactly surprised. After film photography all but died out (Kodak stopped manufacturing film in 2009), they had a hard time competing with all the high-tech heavyweights in the digital space, especially on their own low-cost point-and-shoot turf. Pile a prolonged economic downturn on top of that, and it was just too much.
As someone who grew up with film photography, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of loss. Kodak did more to transform photography from expensive, artisanal, and time-consuming to easy, accessible and popular than any other company, churning out affordable, easy-to-use Brownies and Instamatics (like my own first camera, which I got when I was 8) for pretty much the entire 20th century. Not to mention their massive film business. And the Disc Camera, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
I hate to defend Obama, especially on unemployment where he truly is awful, but this is just silly:
OBAMA [explaining lack of private sector hiring]: Well, I don’t think it’s a matter of me being unable to convince them to hire more people. They’re making decisions based on what they think will be good for their companies. A couple of things have happened. Look, we went through the worst crisis since the Great Depression…..The other thing that happened, though, and this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate….
Fox Nation: “Obama Blames ATMs For High Unemployment.” A June 14 Fox Nation post embedded video of Obama’s comments under the headline, “Obama Blames ATMs for High Unemployment.” [Fox Nation, 6/14/11]
CNN’s Erickson: “Barack Obama Thinks An ATM Ate Your Job.” In a June 15 RedState post titled, “Barack Obama Thinks an ATM Ate Your Job,” CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote:
Yesterday, Barack Obama gave away the game. Without actually using the words, Barack Obama admitted he is completely and utterly ignorant about job creation and economics. In an interview with the Today Show, Barack Obama declared that the unemployment rate remains so high because of ATMS.
Limbaugh: Obama “Cited ATM Machines As A Reason For High Unemployment.” During his June 14 radio program, Rush Limbaugh said:
There’s a new reason for high unemployment as told by Obama. He had that interview with Ann Curry at the Today Show, and basically there’s too much automation out there. He cited ATM machines as a reason for high unemployment. No, no. I kid you not. That’s right! Obama explained to NBC News the reason that companies are not hiring is not because of his policies, it’s because the economy is so automated….
He actually said this.
So Obama says that employment is down because companies aren’t hiring in a down economy and people are being replaced by machines, such as but not limited to ATMs and ticket kiosks – both of which happen to be true – and the right freaks out that “Obama said ATMs are the sole cause of unemployment. What a maroon!”
An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.
That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.
It’s true that I haven’t shot anything on film for at least 15 years, but the end of the Kodachrome era still makes me sad. I still have fond memories of film photography from my younger days, from roughly age 12 (when my sister gave me her old Pentax Spotmatic) up through college (when I took a disastrous photo class with a professor whose aesthetic was the exact opposite of mine). And while digital is more convenient than film in so many ways (easier to process and retouch, ability to change ISO on the fly), it still can’t match it for quality and tonal range.
In case there were any remaining doubt that Julius Genachowski is a completely corrupt dishonest bastard, or that the other two Democratic FCC commissioners are spineless jellyfish, check out their laughable explanation for why they gave wireless service providers free rein to block whatever they like:
Further, we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android. In addition, we anticipate soon seeing the effects on the market of the openness conditions we imposed on mobile providers that operate on upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum, which includes Verizon Wireless, one of the largest mobile wireless carriers in the U.S.
In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to protect the openness of the Internet when accessed through mobile broadband.
You see, it’s okay for the telecoms to block or throttle wireless access, because the openness of the Android operating system will magically cancel out any closedness of the spectrum. Awesome!
I suppose we should be grateful that Genachowski didn’t use the presence of open-source Linux in the wired desktop space to justify a clean sweep.
Speaking on a panel at the event, Schmidt argued that anonymity on the Internet is dangerous. “In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you,” he said.
Schmidt took the stance that governments may eventually put an end to anonymity. “We need a [verified] name service for people,” he said. “Governments will demand it.”
He expanded on his thoughts in a separate interview.
“[I]f you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it’s not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole and I don’t think we want that either.”
This sounds an awful lot like arguing that the police should have everyone’s DNA and fingerprints on file because we’re all potential criminals.
Net neutrality: you want it, we want it, ISPs pretty much hate it. Chilean politicians? Those guys love the stuff! The Board of the Chamber of Deputies voted almost unanimously to pass Bulletin 4915 which, among other things, forces an ISP to:
…ensure access to all types of content, services or applications available on the network and offer a service that does not distinguish content, applications or services, based on the source of it or their property.
Hey, remember when the U.S. was supposedly a thriving, cutting-edge beacon of democracy and Latin America was an economically prostrate backwater of corrupt banana republics? How come we seem to be at least 5-10 years behind them now?
In an interview with London’s Daily Mirror, the notoriously provocative rock star, 52, dismissed using the Web to release his upcoming record, “20Ten.”
“The Internet’s completely over,” Prince told the Mirror. “[It’s] like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”
The “Purple Rain” rocker is putting his money where his mouth is. Rather than use contemporary outlets like iTunes to release his new material, Prince is going an unconventional route: “20Ten” will be released abroad as a free giveaway in certain newspapers around Europe.
The singer has also blasted the intellectual value of the ‘Net.
“All these computers and digital gadgets are no good,” said the singer, who also shut down his official website. “They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”
That’s right, the internet is sooo 2009 – newspapers are the hip new hotness. Also, all the ones and zeroes inside your iPod can leak into your brain and contaminate it with math (says the man who titled his latest album “20Ten”).
I know who I’m not going to be asking for stock tips…
I have long believed that if The Darkness traveled back in time to the 1970s and brought their video for A Thing Called Love with them, they would have been worshiped as gods. But now Alex Varanese has done them one (or four) better, with these brilliant retro product concepts and no-we-totally-didn’t-travel-in-time-why-would-you-think-that-that’s-crazy-talk advertisements for iPods, laptops, cellphones and Gameboys… done 70s style. Awesome!
Don’t get me wrong, I mostly like what I’ve seen of the iPad so far, I just have trouble identifying a reason why I would want one.
I have a PS2, but I got a PSP because I wanted a gaming platform (and media player) I could carry around in a pocket. I have a laptop, but I got a Treo because I wanted internet access I could carry around in a pocket. Then I decided that I really wanted a more format-agnostic media player, but I couldn’t rationalize adding yet another device to my portable ecosystem. So I was tempted by the iPhone, but eventually ended up getting a Touch Pro2 because I wanted a physical keyboard and a high-resolution screen.
I also decided that I wanted a laptop that could fit in the side pocket of my semi-ubiquitous camera bag and go all day on a single battery charge, so I got an Eee 1005HA. That would be the most likely candidate to be replaced by the iPad, but I just can’t figure out why I would want to pay $500 or more to replace it with something that’s roughly the same size and battery life but with fewer capabilities and no keyboard. Maybe if the iPad were running Snow Leopard, but it’s not. It’s running a scaled-up version of the non-multitasking iPhone OS, which gives me the same “Whyyyy?” reaction as when I see stories about netbooks running Android. There’s just something kludgy about putting a mobile phone OS on something with a screen that big.
The only device that the iPad really seriously threatens is the Kindle DX and its plus-size brethren, which are the same size and price, but only do eBooks and some MP3s. But I don’t think all that many people own or are looking to pay $500 for a ginormous eBook reader – they want something pocket or purse-sized, which the iPad is not.
This is not a shortcoming of the iPad itself, which I actually think is pretty cool, and probably the best possible implementation of the iPhone OS in a larger form-factor – it’s a shortcoming of the tablet computing genre as a whole, and the reason why it’s never caught on. It’s not as capable as a netbook (especially now that the next generation has better screens, better HD video capabilities, better battery life and bigger hard drives) and not as portable as an iPhone. It might carve out a niche as a prestige device, or as an eBook Reader/Media Player Plus, or as an art/graphic design tablet, but I just can’t see it catching fire, for the same reason that tablets have never caught fire.
I want to want the iPad, but it just doesn’t make a strong enough case for why I would want to pay $500 (or $830) to carry it around.
2 commentsJanuary 28th, 2010 at 11:41amPosted by Eli
This Wednesday, the cable industry’s head lobbyist gave a speech claiming that Net Neutrality would violate the First Amendment. According to the NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow, cable companies have free speech rights, while Americans (like you) don’t have rights to access or upload content on the Internet.
And Net Neutrality — a rule thatwould protect Internet users from cable and phone efforts to censor you online or to discriminate against your favorite Web sites — would abridge the speech rights of phone and cable companies.
Just repeating his argument shows how silly — and offensive — it is. McSlarrow specifically said that cable companies would “speak” by offering priority-treatment to some Web sites that pay cable companies more, at the expense of other sites that don’t pay them. Really. (It’s amazing what a 2-million-dollar lobbying salary will do to a man’s reason.)
He also said two things that directly contradicted one another (nothing new for phone and cable reps). He said (1) Net Neutrality is unnecessary because cable companies would not affect Internet traffic, let alone block it; and (2) Net Neutrality is “forced speech,” because it forces cable companies to carry speech they would, in fact, otherwise block or affect.
So… in other words, Net Neutrality would infringe on the cable companies’ First Amendment right to suppress speech. Wow.
It’s not exactly news that both parties in this country are far too captive to corporate interests, but here’s yet another data point:
The FCC’s broadband task force is tasked with developing our national broadband policy. This is a project that FCC Commissioner Michael Copps ranks of the highest importance:
And so, because our government is run by corporations and for corporations even when it is controlled by Democrats, a telecom industry shill, Scott Wallstein, was named as economics director of that task force. From a source close to the process, in the extended entry I proivde a thorough background on Wallstein’s industry connections and long history of fighting against American consumers:
[Exhaustive and depressing listing of pro-telecom wankery]
Snark aside, WTF?! Too many Democrats keep letting foxes into the henhouse. How many of our policies have to be dominated by bad-faith industry negotiators before we realize that continuing to give industry a seat at the policy table will never allow us to break away from our corporate kleptocracy? There better be a huge policy pay-off for consumers coming from this, but I am not holding my breath.
The legislative happenings of 2009 have brought the need for publicly financed elections and severe lobbying restrictions much closer to the forefront of my political thinking. I don’t know how much support publicly financed elections might have in Congress, but there are good reasons to think that the situation will get worse before it gets better. The Supreme Court recently heard a case that could strike down the ban on corporate contributions to federal candidates. As a party, we really need to start dumping bipartisanship and adopting a more populist attitude.
Amen on the need for publicly financed elections, but the trick is to get a majority (or supermajority) of incumbents to vote in favor of leveling the playing field for their challengers. The campaign finance panel at Netroots Nation offered some encouragement, in that a lot of congresscritters are sick of spending huge chunks of their time begging for money instead of legislating or talking to their constituents (then again, a lot of them probably consider that a plus).
The public financing orgs like Change Congress and Public Campaign are also working on publicly shaming corporate mercenaries like Ben Nelson (it definitely got under his skin, but I’m not sure how much real impact it has either on him or his voters) and supporting public financing initiatives at the state level.
I think that last approach actually has the most promise, even though it’s a very long-term strategy. I like the idea of building up a bench of progressive pro-public-financing state legislators who will be tomorrow’s senators and representatives, although there’s no guarantee that they won’t get corrupted as soon as they reach the federal level.
But until the money pipeline between corporations and elected officials is counterbalanced, our government is going to make the wrong decisions and hire the wrong people again and again.
The young people laughed when the ATM asked them if they required “some moolah for ya sky rocket”. The machine, in Spitalfields, was one of five Cockney cash dispensers from East London to Barnet that began dispensing “moolah” yesterday morning.
Bank Machine, which runs 2,500 ATMs across the country, was aiming to amuse, but it has grander ambitions too. It hopes to follow the Cockney cash machines with Brummie, Geordie, Scouse and Scots ATMs. It hopes that ATMs will serve to keep these dialects alive in Britain.
John Strachan, 52, an IT worker from Dundee, found the experience troubling. When it offered to serve him in English or Cockney, he suspected a hoax. He selected Cockney.
“Readin’ your bladder of lard”, read the message on the screen. It asked for his “Huckleberry Finn”. Then more bewildering questions: did he wanted to see his balance on the Charlie Sheen? Did he wish to change his Huckleberry Finn or did he simply require sausage and mash, with or without a receipt?
After the concept was explained to him, he was so indignant that he resorted to slang himself: “It’s complete pants,” he said. “Using an ATM is a very sensitive moment.”
[N]ext to the Cockney cash machine in Hackney, Roy Parker, 62, a bona fide Cockney, was working behind the counter of a mini-cab firm. So, what did he think of the ATM outside?
“Real Cockneys don’t have bank accounts or all that palava,” he said. “They put it under the mattress.”
US Patent Number 5,894,079, belonging Colorado’s Larry Proctor, has been struck down. Proctor brought home some yellow beans from a Mexican market and filed for a patent on them in the 1990s, neglecting to tell the USPTO that the beans had been a dietary staple in latinamerica for over a century.
Proctor called them “Enola beans” and began to receive a toll on every Enola bean imported into the US from latinamerica. He used this money to fund a series of defenses to challenges on his patent. Because the patent system continues to enforce challenged patents while the gears of litigation turn, for every year that went by, Proctor found himself richer and better-able to fund his defense, while the people who had grown and eaten the beans for a century got poorer.
While I’m happy to hear that this asshat finally lost his patent, I’d feel a lot better if he were facing some kind of legal sanction for this kind of predatory fraud. Preferably something harsh enough to deter others from doing the same. Forcing him to return all the money he stole and/or throwing him in prison for several years (preferably one with a sizable Latino population) would be a good start.
I sure hope so, ‘cuz it sounds way cool. Basically, it’s an electric car plan where you buy everything but the battery, and there’s an infrastructure with not just charging stations, but switching stations, where you can get a low battery swapped out quickly and completely rather than waiting for it to charge up.
I’m rooting for ’em, but I have no idea if it’s really feasible, especially on a national scale. That’s a lot of charging and switching stations to build, and they don’t even have a car yet.
Doctors and researchers regularly rely on CT scanners to create images of body parts like brains, chests and knees. But an artist-turned-medical-student in Manhattan is using one such machine to peer into the meat and guts of cultural icons like the Big Mac, the Barbie and the iPhone, creating whimsical and occasionally creepy images.
Satre Stuelke, 44, said his aim was to penetrate the metal, plastic or organic interiors of pop objects and foods, asking people to “think about how things are constructed.”
[Nadya] Vessey’s mermaid tail was created by Wellington-based film industry wizards Weta Workshop after the Auckland woman wrote to them two years ago asking if they could make her a prosthetic tail. She was astounded when they agreed.
She lost both legs below the knee from a medical condition when she was a child and told Close Up last night her long-held dream had come true. “A prosthetic is a prosthetic, and your body has to be comfortable with it and you have to mentally make it part of yourself,” she said.
Weta costumer Lee Williams, who worked on the suit between film projects with seven other staff, told Close Up she “wanted [Nadya] to be beautiful and sexy”.
After seeing Ms Vessey test the tail in Kilbirnie pool then frolic in the harbour, Ms Williams was stoked. “It was absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful to watch Nadya swim and to see that dream come true and to be a part of that. I feel quite blessed.”
The suit was made mostly of wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds, and was covered in a digitally printed sock. Mermaid-like scales were painted by hand.
Mr Taylor said not only did the tail have to be functional, it was important it looked realistic. “What became apparent was that she actually physically wanted to look like a mermaid.”
Marvell has the technology and the vision, and if the company gets its way the world will soon be overrun by lilliputian Linux machines. Hiding in wall warts and the like, these guys will begin quietly taking over tasks that we once relegated to servers and desktop machines. To this end, the company has just announced that they’ll be making the SheevaPlug dev kit available. This is the platform that PogoPlug is based on, consisting of a 1.2GHz Kirkwood processor, 512MB flash storage, 512MB DRAM, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and USB 2.0. This bad boy supports many standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions, and the whole thing plugs directly into a standard wall socket, drawing “less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC” while in use. Currently available for $99, the company says that it anticipates a price drop to $49 “in the near future.”
That’s right, a PC that’s integrated into its own power adapter. And it’s almost as powerful as my last PC was. Amazing.
1 commentFebruary 25th, 2009 at 07:10amPosted by Eli
As of 6:31:30PM ET this afternoon it will officially be 1234567890 Unix time, which started at zero and has been counting seconds since the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds. We suggest you put on your best watch or other geek chic and enjoy that one fateful second of sequential bliss — as the story goes, 1234567891, party over, oops, out of time.
Actual 1234567890 party locations can be found here. None in Pittsburgh, alas.
1 commentFebruary 13th, 2009 at 12:38pmPosted by Eli