NPR has been allowed a little bit of an internet-destruction grace period, on account of how slowly people buy new cars.
In addition to the human operators, [Google Street View’s] pattern-recognition bots search the archive for addresses: Google’s computer-vision programs look for house numbers, street signs, even the bespectacled face of Colonel Sanders — in which case the bot will flag the corresponding point on the map with a note that there’s probably a KFC franchise located there.
I’ve long been jealous of the Android’s swipe-typing capabilities (an optional interface where you swipe instead of tap-tap-tapping), and now I’m jealous of Word Flow (which guesses your next word and learns over time — essential for someone like me who’s constantly writing in some arcane inside-joke pidjin).
The iPhone interface still feels like a clunky 80s Mac in some major ways. Why are we still working with a set of identical icons we inherited from the Blackberry, instead of modules that show previews of each app’s important information (currently limited to the calendar icon and red notification badges)? Why is everything so Playskool-rounded? Why is it so satisfying to replace the native calendar, mail, browser, to-do, and notepad apps?
I just bought a new Mac and a new iPhone. If I bought a tablet, it’d be an iPad. I still feel like Apple has the most seamless device system with the best available software. But I want to be lured over to the side with the much cheaper desktops. And I want Apple to fight harder to keep me in their premium-priced world.
I don’t give a shit about syncing iTunes any more, thanks to Spotify. My documents are in the cloud, thanks to Dropbox and Google Apps. Now I just need an interface that actually beats OS X, and enough reason to abandon all my app store purchases. Maybe a cross-platform app store with transferable licenses — Steam for non-gaming apps.
OK this one I’m not buying myself, but holy shit this looks useful. You just slap these stickers on your stuff and it tracks them, alerts you if they get too far or close. There are so many great use cases, like keeping your luggage safe (and getting an alert when it comes around the baggage carousel) or keeping some radar on your kids at the playground.
The stickers are about $10-15 each at different project reward levels. Looks like they plan to sell them for $25 each later.
It still seems less than ideal — the range is just a hundred feet with line-of-sight, the stickers are a little pricey, and the app interface looks hokey. Plus, big problem, the app only knows direction not location, so you’ll be playing hot-and-cold. But now there will be some actual product for others to compete with. And in a few years we’ll all find it economical to just never misplace small important things.
Does the iPhone 5 have to be disposable? There is very little you can do on it that you cannot do on the iPhone 3g, four generations older.
It’s very unfair of me to only show you this one flaw in the excellent micro-essay by Pierce Gleeson on the problem with fetishizing newness in iPhone updates. But I want to point out, as someone who often shoots narrative video with just an iPhone and a GorillaPod, that the iPhone’s camera capabilities have improved dramatically since the GS (the 3G can’t even record video without special apps), such that I can be relatively unembarrassed by production quality when one of my videos gets a quarter-million views. (In fact, with iPhone 5, I may finally be able to use the stupid little front-facing camera and see what the fuck I’m doing as I shoot.)
In addition, the processor is simply able to adequately handle applications that ran too sluggish on earlier phones. The hard drive is large enough to contain many customers’ entire music collections (though I admit this is less important to Spotify/Rdio users). In speed and storage space, a big enough quantitative difference becomes a qualitative difference, as certain tasks become not only possible but painless.
It also handles multitasking, which is essential if a phone is to replace a computer for more than ten minutes.
And of course you ignored the beauty of Siri, which hahaha no I’m kidding, what bet did Jobs lose with Eric Schmidt to release Siri as if she was any goddamn help? Voice control is occasionally useful and will become moreso, but I’ll admit the average user doesn’t get much out of the current capabilities — partly because to activate voice control, first you have to touch the stupid phone.
Pass this around and submit to the subreddit.
In the very near future, your cable box will insult your friend who has dwarfism by recommending that they ask their parents to take them to Toys R’ Us, and your homely-but-nice sister-in-law will be told which razor blade gives a man the smoothest shave.