Posts Tagged: future

Sunday Tidbits: After a bit of a lull – Apple says Game On!, Sharanya, Mie, and Fusion!

A quick round of Sunday tidbits and links for you…

1) T’would appear that Apple is waking up from its rather sleepy mobile photo lull and is declaring game on to the newly minted Microsoft Mobile (entity formerly known as Nokia Device and Services) in two sweeps with the declaration of:

Apple Patent Shows Off Unique Use of OIS for “Super Resolution” Photos

and the defection of a certain Mr. Ari Partinen from the top ranks of the Nokia Camera team

Now it should get interesting. One wonders if a certain Mr. Alakarhu and a certain Ms. Björknäs will stay put at the newly signed building in Espoo? Will Google / Samsung up their mobile camera game or will we have round ___ of the Apple v. Microsoft tech brinkmanship?

2) The ever amazing Sharanya Manivannan has published a short story, “Sweet”, in the debut issue of The Affair and is interviewed in “A Q&A with Sharanya Manivannan on her story ‘Sweet’, published in the inaugural issue of ‘The Affair’

If you aren’t already following Sharanya on Twitter or reading her blog, go do it now.

3) In my searches for good recipes for various Japanese recipes, I have found myself at Cookpad and a bit baffled by the translations that Google gives me. Thus, when I read that Mie is now the North American office / staff member for Cookpad En, I was very excited. Not only for a great position for Mie, but also that means that Mie’s excellent abilities in blogging, cross cultural exchange, and blogging will mean the opening up and un-confusing a great wealth of contemporary Japanese foodways. So EXCITED. Go Mie, Go!

4) 3QuarksDaily asks: When are you Past Your Prime?

5) Charlie Stross has two great blog posts for thinking about technology, now, the future, and the world, read the comments:
a) The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative – A call for the internet protocol to be rebuilt before it is too late:

The trouble is, the success of the internet protocols created a networking monoculture that the NSA themselves came to rely on for their internal infrastructure. The same security holes that the NSA relied on to gain access to your (or Osama bin Laden’s) email allowed gangsters to steal passwords and login credentials and credit card numbers. And ultimately these same baked-in security holes allowed Edward Snowden—who, let us remember, is merely one guy: a talented system administrator and programmer, but no Clark Kent—to rampage through their internal information systems.

b) The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism – Given that the U.S. spent over $4 Trillion on the most recent Iraq War, what is a few fusion reactors at $100 billion a pop?

I’ve got two candidates for such investments: (a) commercial thermonuclear fusion reactors, and (b) colonizing Venus.

Fusion: we are not fifty years away any more. We’re about thirty years and $100Bn away. Or we’re about 8-10 years and $200Bn and a Manhattan Program level of urgency away—it depends on the political and legislative framework. However, building tokamak fusion reactors (like ITER) is never going to be cheap; to get 1Gw of electrical power out implies a 5Gw thermal reactor (and a third of its power is going to go into maintaining the fusion reaction). More realistically, tokamaks will come in 5Gw power output and larger sizes, making them an order of magnitude larger than today’s big-ass 1Gw PWR, AGR, and AP1000 reactors. We’re looking at startup costs of $25-50Bn per reactor, and a requirement for up to 1000 of the suckers if we want to roll it out globally as a major energy source.

So: it’s a project that will plausibly soak up $25-50Tn and take 10-30 years to roll out while needing 30-60 years to break even and start to provide a return on the capital investment. A good way of making the Koch brothers atone for their sins while preserving the illusion of their wealth, right?

Naah, that’s small beer

Go read, people, go read. Then comment.

In Other News…

Local Passion vine flowers blooming...

In other news, the last 13 days:

April 15th – Tax day AND go to Chicago for super cool HERE Maps and Human Automated Driving demo day. Write up on the HERE day coming to a browser near you very soon.

April 17th – Ms. Jen moved away from Seal Beach for good, due to the damp/mold causing too many migraines and sinus headaches. Ms. Jen waves a fond goodbye to her fave little town by the sea with very good night star viewing. Ms. Jen does not wave a fond goodbye to the evil black mold that lived perniciously through out the town.

April 17th – May 17th – Ms. Jen sits on a house in West LA area whose inhabitants have buggered off to Europe for a month.

April 24th – Ms. Jen and this blog both have birthdays.

April 25th – 28th – Nokia Devices and Services finally is subsumed into Redmond’s Borg. Nokia HERE Maps and Nokia gets new CEOs.

April 26th – Real rain, yes – wet water, fell from the sky for a bit in the greater Los Angeles area. Followed by big wind and a nice chill.

Evening of April 28th – Ms. Jen still loves all of you. Ms. Jen does not love the Santa Ana winds that just started and the heat predicted for the next two days.

April 28th and forward – Ms. Jen is available for new career opportunities, esp. one that will include relocating and mobile.

Photo of local passion vine flowers taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia Lumia 1020.

The Window Box

The Window Box

In less that two hours it will be my birthday, and, in less than 24 hours it will be this blog’s 11th birthday.

The last year plus was more than a bit crap, so here is to a much better next year.

Sunday TidBits: Delete, A Class of her Own, Farming, and love letters to Nokia


Sun 09.15.13 – Various and sundry bits from around the internet that are worth your time:
1) She Makes War has a spot on layered vocals-only song & video (above) called “Delete” about one’s life online. After nearly 20 years online, I would like to delete bits of myself.
2) More Intelligent Life on Humaira Bachal’s fight for her own education and then schools for many others in her community of Moach Goth on the edge of Karachi, Pakistan. This is both a tear-jerker and absolutely inspiring story, go read it:

“Humaira was 13 when a crazy idea struck her. “My mother used to get us ready every day, tie two ponytails for us, put 2-kilo schoolbags on our backs and send us off. We would walk for 20 minutes–but on the way not one other child in this settlement would join us. One, they did not have money, and two, nobody considered girls to be anything. Those who didn’t mind sending girls to school couldn’t afford to, because of fees, and the cost of books and uniforms. By then I was in sixth standard [the equivalent of year eight in Britain]. I thought, I’m a big star, I know everything, so I will teach them myself!”
What would become the Dream Model Street School began in 2001, with one blackboard, at home. Humaira taught ten friends of her age, seven of them girls. She started with the alphabet, in Urdu and English, and proceeded to the names of things. She supplied blank pages from her own notebooks, until it got her into trouble with her teachers. Then the friends went round asking people to donate paper, or bought scrap.
Soon, Tahira, who was 11, and three other girls were teaching alongside Humaira. “We were militant about time. Time for study, time for play, time to eat–and time to go out and recruit. We didn’t have the sense to realise we didn’t have space, books, teachers, money. We went around to houses, telling people, ‘We’ve opened a school, send your children, you must send your children!'””

3) Mother Jones’ reports on how Ohio farmer David Brandt is having great success with the old trick of crop rotation with legumes as well as not tilling the soil between crops, sounds dull but it isn’t. The future of our food and topsoil depends on experienced farmers speaking out.
4) Jay Montano says Thank you to Nokia in “Kiitos, Nokia, and Nokia fans. Love, MyNokiaBlog.com“, which is a love letter to the last 6 plus years of Nokia’s mobile history.
5) C. Enrique Ortiz bets that Nokia’s future will be bright because they will be able to focus on the upcoming mobile lifestyle use case in “Betting on Nokia“.
Happy Sunday and may your upcoming week be delightful.

Ben Hammersley: The Internet of People

“1990 will be seen, I will posit, as being the first year of the great revolution that we are living through. It is also the first year of the great confusion for the vast majority of people who are in power today. … The internet is fundamentally different, it thinks in networks, not in hierarchies.” – Ben Hammersley

Open Creative

One of the things that I most admire about photography and the internet is that anyone can get involved with both.
Within 15 years of the invention of photography, cameras, darkrooms and nascent photographers had bloomed everywhere even in small towns in the 1850s. One of the very first places that a woman could own her own business legitimately in the Victorian era was a photography studio, and women did. For the last 150+ years, photography has grown beyond a specialty into a life, creative outlet, as well as snapshot hobby for billions of people worldwide.
The internet has been much the same in the last 18 years, the barrier to creative entry has been relatively low: access to a machine that can access the internet. Many millions -> billions have taught themselves the rudimentary coding skills necessary to maintain a website or blog online and are expressing themselves thereof.
One of the things that I have loved most about Nokia as a company and as a mobile culture is that they have brought mobile camera phones to millions -> billions worldwide, and regardless of my own personal feelings of the recent (mis)alliance between Steve + Stephen, Nokia has pioneered the mobile camera phone space and will most likely be on the forefront for a least a couple more years.
Beyond the great hardware that Nokia has created for camera phones in the last six years, I have been very excited about the development of Qt and the open source development platforms that Nokia has been rolling out since 2008. My greatest hope is that they will continue pursuing this space and my greatest fear, due to Mr. Ballmer’s hate on for all things open, is that they will not.
As humans we are at our best when we are creative and when we share with love. We teach our toddlers and kindergartners to share. Creativity is best served openly, with the transmission of knowledge, mentoring, passion, and the art product freely without restrictions.
If you want to give your art and knowledge away, good. If you want to charge for it, good. If you want to share your source code so others can learn how to code as well, even better. If you want to copyright your material, good. If you want to copyleft it, good. Just create and encourage those around you to do so, be it art, music, photography, code, software, cooking, sewing, knitting, hair coloring, web site creation, writing, blogging, bulding, making, creating, etc. etc. etc.
Regardless, create and share creation.
To that end, my goal for the next six months is to finish my Qt mobile app for photographers, to blog here more often, to photowalk more often, and to get involved in an open source community where I can share my passion and learn from others.
And if at all possible, with all the other travel planned for this spring, I will try to get to EuroPython as I do love the Python community and after all that has gone on the last few bits, I think it is time I participate more fully in the community around my favorite programming language.
What about you?

Mobile in 2015 and Charlie Stross on Apple and the Cloud

If you don’t already read it, I recommend putting Charlie’s Diary in your feed / RSS reader, as Mr. Stross is erudite and can pin any bug through the carapace with wit & speed.
Mr. Stross recently tackled “The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash” wherein he talks about how Mr. Job’s severe control addiction appears to have several strategic as well as personal reasons:

“It’s probably no exaggeration to say that Apple’s draconian security policies are among the tightest of any company operating purely in the private sector, with a focus on secrecy that rivals that of military contractors. But even so, the control freak obsessiveness which Steve Jobs is bringing to bear on the iPad — and the desperate flailing around evident among Apple’s competitors — bears some examination. What’s going on?
I’ve got a theory, and it’s this: Steve Jobs believes he’s gambling Apple’s future — the future of a corporation with a market cap well over US $200Bn — on an all-or-nothing push into a new market.”

For as much as I enjoy owning a good Apple MacBook Pro computer, as the hardware is so very nicely designed and the OS is not Microsoft (this is a theme for me, not MicroSquash, see other blog posts). But the last few years of watching what had been a potentially interesting mobile platform, the iPhone, turning into a closed cult that now involves cops, I must say I am more than turned off.
As my readers know, for my mobile devices I prefer Nokia (such lovely hardware & great camera phones) and Android (such lovely software) and I am eagerly awaiting the Meego linux based mobile platform that Nokia & Intel are currently working on. I am also excited right now for Nokia’s open Maemo and future Meego, as there is plenty of room for a web designer / photographer / developer hybrid, like me, to develop mobile applications in python.
I want great hardware and an open software architecture as well as a whole open ecosystem that welcomes a variety of creative folk to get involved. The future as Mr. Stross envisions where Apple will go in his article makes me sincerely hope that Nokia will make several more iterations of the lovely Booklet with Meego as the linux based OS rather than the current Windows 7, so that I won’t have to be stuck in a distopian Job-sian closed cloud-based future for my work and main machine.
As for mobile devices in 2015, I sincerely hope that there will be a diversity of open architectures & ecosystems that inspire creativity, connection and ease of use rather than another great computer world battle that is Apple v. Google or some other such nonsense.
As for other things I hope for in a mobile ecosystem in 2015:
1) I hope that all devices will come with their own solar battery charging array where the solar cells are on the case of the device so that you can flip it over and it will charge while it is not being used.
2) I hope that I will have a small handheld mobile device that will fit in my pocket or hand and it will have a fold out screen that will when full out will be the size of a sheet of office paper be it 8.5×11″ or A4.
3) I hope that the OS and software that will run the mobile devices of 2015 will not be a closed system, not just in concept & app store but also not in execution. I hope that Palm’s WebOS idea set will be propagated across the mobile landscape so that folks with training in web design & development will be able to code mobile apps and not just C++/Java/Cocoa/Symbian folk.
I hope this because the mobile and telecom worlds have been quite closed due to carrier strangleholds and the high barrier to entry for mobile applications, whereas the web world has had a large flowering of creativity and innovation because the barriers to entry were quite small. If the barriers to creating apps and sites for mobile are low, then in 2015 a 19 year old could create the mobile version of a future Facebook to scratch an itch in his or her community.
4) I hope that carriers will not continue to have such a vise grip on the North American market, but as I suggested in my thesis, that I can buy my mobile device from any number of stores and buy the ‘gas’ / connectivity from any number of other separate operators/carriers.
5) And then I have a ton of hopes for cameras with complete connectivity in 2015, but I won’t go there now… ;o)

I Need a Voice to Blog Wifi Hair Pin

Cute vintage hair pin from DimeStorePretty.com

Photo of a DimeStorePretty.com hair pin purchased on Etsy taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900 on 12.01.09.

If you know me, you know that I really don’t like jewelry at all, but I do like a good sparkly hair pin. Forget a diamond ring, or the necklace, or the diamond tennis bracelet, but give me a few lovely vintage rhinestone hair pins and I am very happy.
All that said, recently, per my usual, I have composed whole paragraphs of wonderful, amazing, world alerting blog posts in my head though I am nowhere near a computer. Once I get to a computer I have completely forgotten what I wanted to write about.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I could talk into my mobile and record my thoughts as I compose them. I could text myself the ideas as I have them. I could email them to this blog. YES, I KNOW.
But it doesn’t happen.
If the business dudes in their suits and BMWs get to wander about like crazy people, gesticulating wildly with their hands, while talking loudly into their bluetooth headsets, can someone please invent a super cute 1940s rhinestone wifi to my blog hair pin so that I can walk around or drive around town talking to myself as it gets transmitted to my blog?
Please?