Friday, January 10, 2014

Anyone up for a Field Trip?

Have you gone on a Field Trip lately?  You should, in my opinion.

First of all, I'm talking about the Google app called Field Trip.

It's one of those apps that 's hard to explain.  But once you use it, if you like stuff like this, you'll say, hey, THIS is what we can do when you put all this technology together in a new way.

The comments are decidedly mixed.  But I happen to love it.  I'm using it when I travel for work, when I'm in a new place.  It really works, in my opinion, to help me get a better feel for my surroundings, get a feel for the character of a place.

I can't wait to use it this summer, actually.  Just get on my motorcycle and ride, no particular destination ... and see what I otherwise would have missed all around me.

In Google's words:
"Field Trip is your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you. It can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places."

A review, from All Things D:
"Oh, the Places Your Phone Will Find" by Katherine Boehret

The advertising video:
"Go on a Field Trip today!"

And for the future, what could you do with this app with Google Glass?
"Field Trip on Glass"

Notice more.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How Far Microsoft Has Fallen

Can you believe how far Microsoft has fallen?  Check these videos out:

This first video is a joke.  It is even more staged and phone than the Pawn Stars show itself, if that's possible.  From Tech-Hub:

"Microsoft's latest Scroogled ad: Chromebook's 'a brick'"

The comments after the video NAIL IT!  People are not fooled.  A sample:

Micro$oft keep trying... Bitch. Hehehe.
Wow it seems #Microsoft are getting desperate. I'm seeing more of these #scroogled ads and it's just embarrassing.
Why don't they know Reno is well over 100 MORE miles away from Las Vegas than Hollywood?
I use a Chromebook from TWO YEARS ago - (I'm posting this with it). In two years it has ALWAYS booted up in less than 15 seconds, never had a virus, never  annoyed me with necessary security updates that popped up and prevented me from getting my work done, never forced me to download an update from ORACLE weekly,(Java) that keeps trying to sneak bloatware onto it, and trick me into using Bing.
To the crap ads points:
1. My Chromebook does not have the over priced locked down piece of crap bloat called "Office" - instead it uses "Docs" which beats the snot out of the 1980's software Microsoft loves to push. This does not make it less than a "real" computer - it simply makes it more usable.
2. No computer is worth very much without the web - that's what a computer is today - a portal INTO the web. For most users a computer without the web is about as useful as my 1983 Texas Instruments TI99 4A
3. Google allows you to use continually improving - arguably worlds best software and services - all in exchange for getting to know you so that they can sell ads. They have been one of the only companies that has a pretty stellar record when it comes to the fight for internet freedom - on this issue frankly Microsoft has been a DISGRACE.
Microsoft - I'm so sorry - you cannot buy, sue, and lie yourself out of your own mismanagement and sub par products. You have continually stayed behind the times. You were at one time a power house - today you are a manufacture of a fairly nice video game console - that's all.
Gullible young lady looking to trade a ticket to Hollywood... I know where this is going...

And these older videos are even worse.  Bear in mind, Google appears to be taking these videos down so you might have to search for a new version.

"Googlighting - Office Productivity Wars"
Search for "Googlighting" if this video doesn't work.

"Gmail Man - Your email is your business. Google makes it theirs."
Search for "GMail Man" if this video doesn't work.

Remember when Microsoft had a vision (a PC on every desk) and a purpose, when it was actually innovating?  Well, you might not.  But I'm older than you.   :)   Microsoft is attacking Google in these ads (in an extremely duplicitous fashion) because they don't have a vision and they don't remember that you have to meet actual customer needs to succeed, even if you move to a new paradigm to do it--not just keep doing what you did last year and the year before that and the year before that.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Defense of Men

Did you catch the Weekend Interview in the Wall Street Journal the other day?

"Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues" by Bari Weiss

There are biological differences between men and women, and we ignore them at our own peril.

I agree with her take on many aspects of modern life, and her critique of many in the upper class.  There IS evil in the world, even if many of us don't realize it.
"These people don't think in military ways, so there's this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we're just nice and benevolent to everyone they'll be nice too. They literally don't have any sense of evil or criminality."

Read the rest of the article.  Lots of good thoughts on education, sexuality, masculinity, and feminism.  The solution?  An increased appreciation not just for manliness, essentially, but a great appreciation for natural gender differences.

All in all, an intriguing and interesting article.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quote of the Day: Diogenes on Sunshine (or is it Politics?)

I heard this anecdote recently, about when Alexander the Great came to see the philosopher Diogenes.  When Alexander asked if Diogenes wanted anything, Diogenes is reported to have said:
Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine.
Another, wordier, variation:
I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give.
Some sources:

I love this quote, any variation of it.  Alexander could have probably given Diogenes almost anything, but all Diogenes wanted was for Alexander to not bother him.  Moreover, Diogenes recognized that politicians are not the source of anything.  All that we need from politicians, really, is for them to get the hell out of our way.