Karma can be a B****, so Namaste, alright?

Consumer Reports this past week gave the Tesla Model S P85D the best score ever. Said score was 103 out of 100. While this is great for Tesla, it comes at a cost.
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Enhancing the Mac experience: Five apps you need to try

Generally speaking, whenever people write about ways to improve the performance or productivity of your computer, the tips given are about tweaking this or installing that. Today, we’re going to look at the latter, as far as they help the user experience.

Splitting headache

Splitting headache

(Note: this is a screen cap from google. I wish I could buy parts en français)

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Kid-friendly tech: One tablet per child with ‘finger hold’

Fast Company has an interesting little article this morning: “One Laptop per Child is not a Touchscreen Tablet

Why this is a great thing, is not a question easily answered in a few short sentences. And while I could explain why I believe it’s a great thing, I would only be repeating what others have said before me about such devices.

The one feature that really amazes me: the finger hold. Continue reading

Be Instagood not Instabad at Instagram

Since getting my iPhone in October of 2012, I’ve been a semi-regular user of Instagram. I can’t say I have an amazing amount of followers, because I don’t. I’m sitting currently at just over 100. A respectable amount to have I suppose for a non-celebrity, given the tendencies of the average user.

A clear icon for an app filled with unclear photos

A clear icon for an app filled with unclear photos

While many have discussed the virtues and vices of Instagram before me, most of those discussions have been generally negative. There are even two different videos on the net that I know of that openly mock Instagram’s users and the stuff they post. One was by “Youtube Filmmaker” Casey Neistat  and the other, a brilliant parody of Nickleback, produced by CollegeHumor. Continue reading

Cylindrical Meats are pre-cooked

Winter time is a special time for me in ways I cannot explain. While Summer offers a lot great activities to partake in; winter has more than a handful of its own. Despite that, camping is generally not very high on the survey list when you ask people of favourite winter activities.

I enjoy winter camping because it truly challenges the mind, body and soul. As an activity, it pushes us to persevere against the elements. Those very same elements can often change very rapidly as I’ve witnessed. I’ve camped in conditions where putting tents up was hampered by high winds and where snow that fell the day before melted very rapidly the next day.

I’ve learned from those experiences that preparation and know-how are especially key. When the wind comes, grab the shovel and move snow to create a barrier for your tent. When the snow melts, move quickly and keep your hands and knees off the ground: Wet cold is deceiving.

Now, this blog is supposed to be about my thoughts on technology, not random topics. So, where does winter camping come into play here? Very easily. Since its very much a matter of survival as it is a recreational activity, we need to be mindful that both aspects have spawned technologies to make both easier. We often forget the science and technology aspects behind both. A lot of winter gear was made possible by developments in science and technology. Continue reading

Photochop and InDesigning

Small aggravations lead to medium-sized headaches. 

While I am pretty good at knowing how to use these programs, I have found that just the smallest slip and it takes two minutes to fix five seconds of work. This of course, does not mean that I am dissuaded from graphic design, it just means I am coming to accept that to do something good, I have to expect some bad.

I say this, because when it comes to working with these programs, one missed detail in Photoshop will become clearer in InDesign, which will force you back into Photoshop, but not before deleting the placed item in InDesign first, then making the correction, only to discover you didn’t save the file correctly.

What I’ve learned from the process of graphic design for Public Relations work is the following: Continue reading

Information streams, Simulating Dreams

A bit of a reflection as I write my personal dissertation on technology in my life… the lyrics of a particular track came to mind. The lyrics are rather appropriate to (and in some respects, disturbing) how some parts of society work and where we are headed. Ray Kurzweil in his book “The Age of Spiritual Machines” put forth the idea that as we continue down the path that Moore’s Law predicts, we will eventually create computers with more raw processing power than the average brain. We will eventually create computers with more raw processing power than 10 brains; then 100; then 1000; and so on.

The analogy is often drawn between a certain episode in human technological history and current technologies. Years ago it was: “There is more computing power in your desktop computer than all of the control room that NASA used in 1969 to monitor the lunar landing.”

That comparison, like all technology over time, has been upgraded to the following:

“There is more computing power in your iPhone/Android than NASA had during the lunar landing in 1969”

The song that came to mind would be most familiar to lovers of underground electronic dance music – and particularly to lovers of the “Psytrance” subgenre. The song is called “We Interface” by X-Dream. You can hear the song on Youtube here.

Monitoring devices, know where you go
Mass media, total control
Digital delight, desire in megabite
Data overflow, virtual suicide
This information, is disinformation
Truth is hidden, knowledge forbidden
The structures of power, will delegate
To speak is to lie, to lie is to collaborate

Information streams, simulating dreams
Interactive mind-control, systematic overflow

Monitoring devices, know where you go
Public mind, propaganda show
Magnetic sleep, network addiction
Be absorbed, science fiction
It’s pyschological, diabolical
Societies brainwash, hospital
The sun never sets, on cyber-space
Transmit, receive, log on to interface

Now, what should come as astonishing to you, my reader, is that Kurzweil published his book “Age of Spiritual Machines” in 1999. X-dream released their “We Interface”, the title track of their album by the same name, in 2004. The lyrics, pre-date the album. A little bit of conjecture would lead us to believe that she wrote them in 2003, possibly earlier.

Fast forward to 2012, and the connectedness we all share, has made Kurzweil and Ariel Müller (of X-dream) virtual prophets.

Information streams, simulating dreams.