I’d argue for a focused set of decoupled applications, rather than a new unified platform. iTunes has bloated beyond practicality. The App store doesn’t work well for users or developers. Here’s where I think the future of these applications lies.
Following up (finally) on a tweet-storm from March about music discovery and libraries now.
I miss old school mp3 blogs. Music discovery feels broken now that it’s fragmented across so many services. Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes…
— Sarah K Moir (@smorewithface) March 23, 2015
I used to subscribe to lots of MP3 blogs. I had lots of free time in high school, and listened fervently to the local college radio station (as I’ve mentioned before, in an autobiography through musical devices.) Music discovery is now fragmented across services—SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, the now-defunct Rdio, and even 8tracks)—it’s both harder and easier to find new music. The wizardry of Shazam, too, means getting to find out what song is playing in the bar, store, or on the radio so you can buy it or find it later online.
Security communicators can learn some lessons from national disaster communication. Motherboard interviewed Eli Jacks, chief of the National Weather Service’s Fire and Public Weather Services branch in The National Weather Service Wants You to Be Scared of This Blizzard, and Jacks shared many important elements of their communication strategy.
Several months ago, I saw Dr. Rosalind Picard give a talk on Affective Computing. I took notes and thought a lot about what she said but let my thoughts fester rather than follow up on them. Then last week, I read Emotional Design by Donald A. Norman, which reminded me of Dr. Picard’s work and my initial thoughts about affective computing.
There are two elements to affective computing:
- People interact with technology and devices as though it has a personality (and devices and interfaces without personalities can be distasteful to use).
- Cameras, wearables, and other technology can be used to determine the emotions and affective responses of a person using technology with surprising accuracy.
Websites and applications are personalized by tracking your browsing history, collecting advertising preferences, device usage, and demographic data. Using affective computing, they could soon be personalized by tracking your emotions.
In honor of #NCSAM, here are some tips for keeping your accounts and devices safe on the web.
It’s been awhile. I’ve spent the last four months applying for new jobs, interviewing, getting hired, and moving from the midwest to the bay area. It’s been a long ride (drive, really). I’ve been out here three weeks now, and it still feels strange to call it my new home (new license plates on my car notwithstanding).
I’m a tech writer by trade, as I’ve alluded to/mentioned in the past with my post on Prescriptive Design and the Decline of Manuals, and I’ve so far enjoyed being in an area so tech-focused (though I do worry about the bubble).
Let’s get back into it, shall we?
I’ve recently started sewing again. After learning how in home economics in junior high school, I decided to pick it up again in order to have an offline hobby with more tangible results (like baking, but longer-lasting). Sewing has changed in the last twenty years, and a fabric wholesaler has witnessed the changes in his own warehouse.
Earlier this week I got an email from Google.
One of my principles is to pay for things that I support. I can afford it, and things on the web are relatively cheap. Subscribing to ThinkUp, Pocket Premium, Feedly Pro, each cost about the same as a new pair of shoes, or a nice pair of jeans. To me, that’s a justifiable cost, so I pay it to keep the things I use and love alive.
My birthday was yesterday! To celebrate, I ate an overly large and overly expensive steak and sorely undercooked brussels sprouts. Do yourself a favor and always roast brussels sprouts until they are caramelized and crunchy, then put some reduced apple cider and maple syrup on top. YUM!
Technology, while making the world more accessible than it has been in the past, has a lot of work to do for people with disabilities. A huge example of this is the shortcomings in OCR (optical character recognition) technology. In short, OCR sucks. And when we use it to simplify our lives (make a PDF into something that I can copy-paste into a text file), then when it fails it’s a minor inconvenience, and a silly one at that.
Just one problem. Continue reading
Once upon a time (okay, the first one was in 1871), fish were carted across America in railroad cars. Of course, this was terrible for native fish species, but great for fisherman looking to fish fish that were in demand.
More than a century later, a community around the Putah Creek in California rallied together to restore a creek that had run dry after the watershed was transformed by a dam and opportunistic farmers.