In A.I. Apocalypse, Leon Tsarev, the main character, uses a mobile phone that goes back and forth between phone and desktop computer. By merely knocking the phone against a display, it syncs its output to that display device.
In the novel, Leon uses it with a display in his bedroom, a wall-mounted display at the kitchen table, and on his desk at school.
The Ubuntu Edge is very similar in concept. The phone would run the Ubuntu OS, a Linux based operating system, but could be docked to become a complete computer.
The phone is currently being funded via a IndieGogo campaign, and has raised eight million dollars already.
It is described as “Dual-boots into Ubuntu mobile OS and Android; converts into a full desktop PC”.
It’s a pretty piece of hardware too, futuristic and sleek.
This is exactly where I hoped we would have been a few years ago. Now with the advent of applications moving to the cloud and seamless data synchronization with apps like Dropbox, it seems a little less necessary: I can effortlessly move between my work PC and either of two personal PCs, and I can access all my mail, documents, and applications no matter where I am.
But it’s possible that the privacy concerns over the NSA could cause backlash against cloud computing. We might just be better off carrying a secure device with us whereever we go, and avoiding the cloud as much as possible. In that case, the Edge becomes pretty compelling.
Either way, it’ll be fun to see where this goes.
Two months ago I gained access to a MakerBot Replicator 2X, their top of the line 3D printer. Between writing, work, and kids, I haven’t been able to use it regularly, but I’ve spent several large blocks of time with it.
From a review at Boing Boing of the new Galaxy S4:
Purchase and service costs over two years start at $2,069.75 with Sprint–add $100 if you’re not porting your number over–then $2.069.99 at T-Mobile, $2.359.75 at AT&T and potentially 2.599.99 at Verizon.
That’s the only way that really makes sense to share what a phone costs. It’s not the upfront price. It’s what it costs you over the long term. And it really makes clear the different between Sprint and Verizon.
This is beautiful. Watch full-screen at the highest resolution you can.
Google has just rolled out a new feature to enable Google Plus comments to show up as blog comments.
I described this idea just last week in my open social post. And while I’d prefer to see this open and available everywhere, I still think it’s pretty cool.
Downton Abby, the British period drama television show, has a time dilation of approximately 3.1.
|Highclere Castle, location of period drama Downton Abby.
The first two seasons cover the period of time from April, 1912 to sometime in 1918 (assumed to be July 1918), an elapsed time of 6.25 years. But these two seasons encompass two years of our current time, hence time passed on the show 3.12 times faster than it passed in our reality.
This will have some odd effects if the show continues indefinitely. For example, by doing the math, we can see that in 2041, Downton Abby will cover the period of time from 2009 through 2012, overlapping the broadcast start of the series. We can call this the meta-phase of the show, wherein for the next fourteen years, the show will be primarily concerned with the making of the show in previous years.
The real hiccup occurs in 2056, when the show will cover the period from 2056 through 2059. Then it will transform from a period piece to a futuristic speculative fiction series.
|New landing page for
In the case of A.I. Apocalypse, I felt it needed a proper landing page without the distraction of the blogger right hand nav column. You can find it at aiapocalypse.com.
In the case of Indie and Small Press Book Marketing, it really needed it’s own blog, a place where I could have both publishing news as well as more in depth articles on book promotion. You can find it at indiebookmarketing.com.
Please check them out, and let me know if you have any questions or feedback.
|New home for Indie & Small Press Book Marketing|
Wow, somehow I neglected to post my notes from the March Willamette Writer’s talk by William Nolan. Sorry!
|3D portable printer,
big theme at SXSW 2013
I attended SXSW Interactive for the fifth time this year. My first South-by was in 2003, when hot topics that year included wikis, blogging, and augmented social networks, and all the panels took place within the confines of the third and fourth floors.
SXSW has come a long way since this, but it’s still a mind-blowing and fun week, full of networking opportunities, chance encounters, amazing speakers, and new technology.
Here are the highlights of this year:
1. 3D Printing is big. No, huge.
Multiple panels covered the topic every day of the conference. 3D printing isn’t just about devices churning out plastic trinkets. It’s about revolutionizing the world of all manufactured objects, in the same way that the moveable type printing press revolutionized printing, and more recently, ebooks and print-on-demand revolutionized the publishing industry.
|Future of 3D Printing Session|
Current state of the art is single-material composites and metals, but coming within a few years we’ll see multi-material printing as well as embedded circuitry.
Although it wasn’t really discussed, one of the big missing aspects of the 3D talks was the topic of an ecosystem play. In the same way that Apple came to dominate the world of music for years, and then later the appstore ecosystem, and in the way Amazon dominates ebooks, there will be the opportunity for someone to own the object-store ecosystem, which will dwarf every other platform out there.
|3D printed custom
doll from Makie
Some of the things currently being 3D printed include: dolls, clothing, dishes and glasses, plastic items of any design, toys. And in the design labs they are experimenting with: meat, living (and re-attachable) mice limbs, circuitry, and morphable objects.
|A Robot in Your Pocket Session|
- Analogy: Brakes
- Digital: Antilock
- Robot: Crash avoidance
- Analog: thermostat
- Digital: timer thermostat
- Robotic: Nest
- A: Encyclopedia
- D: Google Search
- R: Google Now
|Self-Publishing in the Age of E Session|
- Democratization of Publishing — an all-star panel, including Libby Johnson Mckee (the Amazon Kindle NA director), Guy Kawasaki (APE), Steve Carpenter (creator Grimm TV show), John Densmore (author, Doors’ drummer)
- Self-Publishing in the Age of E
- They had less total talks. Last year I remember that there were 65 different sessions in a single timeslot. On the plus side, things were more centralized, but on the negative side I heard many stories of people who didn’t get into talks they wanted to. There also wasn’t a journalism/publishing/content track, and perhaps that was one of the things to go.
- There were many more foodcarts around, and for once it was relatively easy to get food between sessions.
- Wireless access was better. I had only a single half hour without access, and that was at the Omni hotel.
- Twitter and Foursquare still in heavy use.
- The bar at the Driskill is still the go-to place for networking in the evening.