Computer: How far is it to the next good interface?
Aug 10, 2011 GMT
I am a big fan of Star Trek. I do not consider myself a “Trekie”, but I do enjoy the show and thought a lot about what the writers put into it.
For example, on Star Trek the interaction with the computer was not only through the one interface of keyboard and mouse.
If you were walking down the corridor and you had a simple question to ask you would hit your communicator badge and simply say:
“Computer, how far to the next galaxy?”
In which case the... more »
Birthday Ramblings - Teaching Students Of All Ages About Life
Aug 07, 2011 GMT
Tonight is the eve of the anniversary of my sixty-first birthday. It is late at night and some birthday well-wishers on the other side of the world are already sending me birthday greetings.
This has been a hard year for me, with both my mother and father having died within a few months of each other, so tonight I have been going through some of my Orkut and Facebook accounts looking at some of my friends in each.
Many of the people in these “networking sites” I have never met, and some I have... more »
They are at it again...
Jul 18, 2011 GMT
They are at it again. The closed source companies are attacking open source, using similar tactics that they always use.
This time they are using “associations of professionals” (sometimes called "lobbyists") to declare that Open Source is a failure in the software marketplace. They started in Brazil, and are now making the same claims in other countries. They claim that the governments of these countries are “fostering” open source and use statistics to show a lack of “growth” in the “computer industry” due to this "fostering".
The... more »
What about sex?
Jul 17, 2011 GMT
What about Sex?
“What about Sex?” the woman sitting across from me at the dinner table asked. I felt my face start to flush. She was about my age, and fairly attractive. I, of course, am unmarried, and therefore “available”. However, her husband was sitting next to me......
“She is afraid that these young people who are in front of computers the whole day, only communicating by Facebook and the Internet do not have the social contact that people need”, her husband explained. “She wants to know if they have 'significant... more »
"Mom will be here any moment"
Jul 06, 2011 GMT
Over the past forty years I have written a lot about my mother and father, who were called “Mom&Pop(TM)”. They were the perfect examples of the average person who is befuddled by electronic devices and their controls. Their inability to use even the most rudimentary electronic devices has become well known in human interface design circles.
As some people know, Mom died last March, and at that time I wrote about her life and death at length. I expected Pop to die soon after, as they had shared the same bed for 68 years, and I felt that the grief of Mom's passing... more »
Jul 06, 2011 GMT
For reasons that I will never quite understand, people seem to like having their picture taken with me.
Most of the time I do not mind the picture taking, and I enjoy meeting people, I will admit that sometimes it gets a bit tiring. Particularly when the picture-taking process goes like this:
md (talking to someone, but noticing out of the corner of his eye someone fidgeting...): “Do you want to take a picture?”
Other person (OP): “Yes, may I take a picture of you?”
md (turning to person he was talking with): “I am sorry,... more »
FISL 12 - the aftermath
Jul 06, 2011 GMT
I have returned from FISL 12, the largest Free Software event in Brazil.
This year I decided to fly to Florianopolis first, to both do work on Project Cauã and to attend the Sixth Annual Brazilian Homebrew Festival that my friend Michel Grando was organizing. I will not go into the Homebrew festival other than to state it was spectacular and that Michel did a great job setting it up. I ended up not only tasting a wide variety of beers, but coming home with a bottle of a very special beer that the brewer calls “love beer”, which I assume is because the high... more »