My pal and collaborator Charlie Stross, a Hugo-winning SF writer, published the text of a lovely little speech he's just given about the nature of the future. From the section labelled "Putting it all together" and onward, it's pure gonzo-Strossian skiffy goodness:
10Tb is an interesting number. That's a megabit for every second in a year – there are roughly 10 million seconds per year. That's enough to store a live DivX video stream – compressed a lot relative to a DVD, but the same overall resolution – of everything I look at for a year, including time I spend sleeping, or in the bathroom. Realistically, with multiplexing, it puts three or four video channels and a sound channel and other telemetry – a heart monitor, say, a running GPS/Galileo location signal, everything I type and every mouse event I send – onto that chip, while I'm awake. All the time. It's a life log; replay it and you've got a journal file for my life. Ten euros a year in 2027, or maybe a thousand euros a year in 2017. (Cheaper if we use those pesky rotating hard disks – it's actually about five thousand euros if we want to do this right now.)
Why would anyone want to do this?
I can think of several reasons. Initially, it'll be edge cases. Police officers on duty: it'd be great to record everything they see, as evidence. Folks with early stage neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimers: with voice tagging and some sophisticated searching, it's a memory prosthesis.
Add optical character recognition on the fly for any text you look at, speech-to-text for anything you say, and it's all indexed and searchable. "What was the title of the book I looked at and wanted to remember last Thursday at 3pm?"
Think of it as google for real life.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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