Apple life technology

iPhone 6

This week the world was introduced to iPhone 6. Last week I had my credit card number compromised which meant I wouldn’t have to stay up all night to order a phone that won’t even ship to me until October. I did, however, get a new card in the mail yesterday and the phone which I have been anxiously holding off through three generations of iPhones (four if you count the 5c) will finally be on it’s way in just another week. The photos I’m going to take are going to be amazing… I can’t wait.

Some might argue that spending so much money on a new Apple device would actually be much better spent on buying Apple stock. The $500USD that was spent on my first ipod (the iPod Photo 40gb) would have been a better investment in Apple stock considering that same $500 would now be worth $12470. While I really loved my iPod, it wasn’t worth $12.5K.

So this time around, I decided to have my cake and eat it too. I invested in the spring and so far I’ve made enough to pay for my iPhone just out of earnings. The tough part is deciding to pull my money out now or to let it ride for the long haul. This little chart, What if I had bought Apple stock instead? would suggest I should let it ride.

Update: it has arrived!


First-Person Hyperlapse Videos

At this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, Microsoft Research presented their First-Person Hyperlapse Videos. These videos are compiled of rendered hybrid frames from shaky head-cam footage turned into amazing time-lapse videos that flow smoothly. The dramatic improvement between the before and after is astounding.

We present a method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyperlapse videos: time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera.

They say they are working hard on making their Hyperlapse algorithm available as a Windows app.



Anatomy of a Spam Message

Some spammer’s poorly written code accidentally posted the entire tree of possible spam messages in one go. I’m posting it here… I’m not sure why, in case someone studying anti-spam filters wants to take a look.

Code after the jump.


Google Wave

Google Wave LogoThe other day a friend and I were talking about the history of messaging mediums and what the next generation of communication tools will look like. Snail mail, the telegraph, the telephone, fax, email, and instant messages have each taken their turn as the communication technology of the day but we wondered what the next iteration of such technology would do and how it would either replace or compliment our existing tools.

I’m happy to say we’re about to find out. I just learned about a brand new tool that is about to change everything. Google Wave is an amazing mash-up of chat, email, blogging, event planning, and document sharing all in one. I was sceptical too, at first, but check this out (at least some of it):

[Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009 – YouTube]

Will it mean the beginning of the end of existing social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? How will it affect usage of collaborative tools like Sharepoint and Basecamp? Well, I’ve always felt that outside of its core search business, Google has faced an uphill battle for user acceptance. I’m still shocked when I find friends refusing to upgrade from whatever ridiculous email provider they’re using to the super efficient and powerful Gmail.

I think that Google Wave’s openness and flexibility will be enough to overcome the tipping point of adoption though because of its inherent backwards compatibility. Twitter users can tweet from Twitter, while Facebook users can update their statuses from Facebook. Meanwhile Google Wave will consolidate everything into the interface of my choice and I can even respond back without reloading my browser.

I have seen the future; it is Google Wave.

games physics psychology technology

Subliminal Sound to “Cure” Video Game Addiction

A Korean venture start-up claims to have developed an audio sequence that can communicate with addicted game players below the conscious level. The company wants game manufacturers to play the embedded subliminal messages when a young user has kept playing after a preset period of time.
From The Korea Times article:

“We incorporated messages into an acoustic sound wave telling gamers to stop playing. The messages are told 10,000 to 20,000 times per second,” Xtive President Yun Yun-hae said.
“Game users can’t recognize the sounds. But their subconscious is aware of them and the chances are high they will quit playing,” the 35-year-old Yun said. “Tests tell us the sounds work.”

Any scholarly evidence I’ve ever read up on has indicated that subliminal messages don’t work, but apparently marketing such messages is big business.

Xtive applied for a domestic patent for the phonogram and is looking to take advantage of the technology in other sectors.
“We can easily change the messages. In this sense, the potential for this technology is exponential,” Yun said.

documentary technology

YouTube – Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us

Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has created a short video (runtime 4:31) that elucidates how the technical side of the Internet is maturing enough to give people greater freedom to create than ever before.

Click play or watch Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us at YouTube.
(In the YouTube description he states that it’s still in draft form).


Gmail Auto Log-out Problem

Three friends of mine are travelling the South Pacific (currently they’re in New Zealand). One of them mentioned to me that he is having trouble accessing gmail from his laptop. I was wondering if anyone has heard about anything like this:

Whenever anyone tries to access their gmail account from our laptop it logs in and then automatically logs out and shuts down that window. I think an add-on has been enabled or disabled to some how to prevent this gmail thing from working.

I think their best bet will be to contact the gmail team and see if they have any suggestions, although my gut tells me it’s a malicious script/virus. What do you think?


Human Computation

This Google sponsored tech talk, human computation, explains how the fact that humans are sometimes smarter than computers can be used to solve some interesting problems and is extremely interesting. I am going to have to check out these tech talks more often.
For more video’s like this one, check out Google’s collection of Tech Talks.

Science technology

M.I.T. Digital Drawing Board

Check out the future of digital drawing in this video of an M.I.T. researcher showing off some of the features in their new digital drawing board.

Update: This looks like a prototype for the Smart Board. At the time I originally posted this the technology was mind blowing.


CBC Podcast Roundup

I’ve subscribed to a few really good podcasts from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that I need to tell the world about:

And if you haven’t already, let me just re-recommend that you subscribe to the TED Conference talks and theThis American Life podcast. These are my two favourite sources of inspiration and entertainment on the web right now.