工艺学 | technology | 기술 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

Critique of A Day Made Of Glass

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Corning’s A Day Made Of Glass video which was made to enthuse investors about the company is a well-produced video which extends the touch multi-touch user experience metaphor that we’ve seen in Apple’s iOS products and extends them throughout the working day.

中国读者 | Chinese readers, you should be able to see a version of the video on Tudou belowHowever, to the untrained eye the video glosses over a lot of technological issues that mean we probably won’t have a day made of glass in the way that Corning envisages it.

  • 1:49 – How can the Grandmother apparently see the kids? Apple patented having camera pixels interspersed in display pixals to do a two-way screen a la George Orwell’s 1984, but how would that kind of of electronics hold up in a kitchen environment. How would the touch interfaces hold up against bleach, kitchen cleaners and ground in dirt?
  • 2:47 – Corning obviously don’t live in a more urban environment, given the amount of chavs and homeless people I wouldn’t be wanting to touch surfaces on the average bus shelter if I could possibly help it. Also do they have glass that can get rid of the smell from drunks who use the shelter as a urinal?
  • 2:53 – This NFC like data transfer that happens between the phone and the bus shelter display. From an information security point-of-view it’s probably not the smartest thing. In the home I can understand it, but with a public service like that I’d be more concerned
  • 3:09 – I’m going to ignore the guy on the video call in the bus shelter because he’s just plain stupid. But then I’ve seen have client-sensitive conversations on a bus and read about imminent lay-offs in the documents of someone sat next to me on a plane – so yes people can be that retarded
  • 4.02 – More of a question, but where is the battery technology going to come from to cope with all this new mobile display technology? The iPhone performs unsatisfactorily with one display, let alone power the flexible display at 4:30. How would the ebook shown at 5:10 be powered? There doesn’t seem to be anything out there to displace lithium-ion batteries yet


艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

MTM-tuned Audi R8 | 闪闪发光的铝

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Over 700 hours went into polishing this Audi R8 to make it gleam a la an early product of the jet age; or, if you are a child of the 70s, its gleaming goodness may remind you of Hajime Sorayama’s amazing air-brushed paintings of robots which graced walls of only the most discerning young boys and hi-fi geeks.
MTM Audi R8
700 hours – these people must have a lot of time on their hands. Oh and it is tuned to 777BHP according to Auto Blog.

工艺学 | technology | 기술 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

Great IT ideas keeping repeating | 思想反复

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Back in the late 1990s, I worked agencyside on PR for a voice-over-IP service called Deltathree, the company was US-listed but founded by some whip-smart and pretty down-to-earth Israeli guys. Israel was the home of VoIP with VocalTec having made the first VoIP desktop client (a la Skype). This was back when internet access was uncommon, most people who had it used V90 protocol dial-up modems from the likes of US Robotics and a privileged few had BT Home Highway which was a screamingly fast 128 kilobits per second service of internet access.

Broadband came along and the peer-to-peer technology that grew alongside it morphed into the technology that underpinned Skype. This time VoIP became part of the mainstream business and personal lives.

Around about the same time that I was promoting VoIP services, serious computing companies like Silicon Graphics (SGI) were building modular computers (like the Origin and Altrix ranges) that you could extend the performance and memory on by adding another brick (kind of like Lego but without the neat product design). Then along came blades which took over enterprise computing, whilst pizza boxes chained together with Beowulf or Hadoop took over a lot of heavy computational work and the brick went away.

Apple stepped into the enterprise server business with the XServe series of computers which were well-engineered and popular in distributed computing applications. However they have since discontinued building these computers, but kept up selling server software. Bob Cringely hypothesised that with the new Thunderbolt connectivity standard that Apple is supporting, the Mac Mini once it has been upgraded may become the new computing ‘brick’. The question is will the Mac Mini be the ‘Skype’ of brick-computing or would the idea go around the block once again?