1708 Blog August 2017

August 2017

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Wed 8/09/17 9:56am # | tweet this

Random Non-Sequiters

It's weird when you do a Google Search and all the results come back from 2012, 2007, 2010, etc. Since so few people blog any more, Google is becoming useless for a lot of things it used to be useful for. There's just less open web for them to index.

I saw that David Letterman will be doing a Netflix series of like 6 shows. No details yet, but this seems interesting.

There was an article recently that made clear, DC Comics has no idea who is reading their books. that sounds about right.

Read a facinating article about the aging NASA engineers that still guide and operate the Voyager probes. Really interesting read, and something I hadn't really thought about.

Watched a video on a Starship Bridge simulator: Starship Horizons and it looks very cool. It's something I want to try.

The word AI is being used in place of the word Algorithm. They are not the same thing.

Marvel has 2 to 4 movies a year now, depending on how you want to count the 20th Century Fox and Sony stuff. The constant dribble of "movie news" from all these productions is getting tedius. I like watching the movies, but I tire of the hype cycle.

Watching my 2.5 year old try and talk about VR for the first time was really neat.

After Game of Thrones, I'll probably drop HBO. Unrelated, I have no interest in Confederate and it should probably not be made.

Got a Daydream Headset this week. Gear VR is probably better, but Daydream is so much easier to use.

News story this week about Disney leaving Netflix to start it's own streaming channel. Even though there will only be a dozen or so major streaming services, I doubt most people will subscribe to more than a few of them. Further cultural fragmentation ahead.

I did some joking tweets about people from New York City and San Fransisco colonizing and taking over Wyoming. They were jokes, but also a good idea. I mean if 1/10th of each of those two cities moved there, they could remake that state. Some billionaire should push that idea.

Porgs look cool.

I want to hear your



Fri 8/04/17 12:26pm # | tweet this

AR VR and other tech rambling

There's been a lot of potential UX use cases for AR lately. I've seen a lot of AR UI/UX examples lately. Like anything with AR, they'd all more or less work easier just as a smartphone app, and not within a headset.

I saw this airplane example, where you look up in the sky, your phone recognizes the airplane and uses your GPS coordinates to tell you what flight is above you. Do you need ambient info popping up when you look up in the sky at a plane, or would you just look at an app with a top down view of google maps that showed what was over you, if you needed that info?

They are trying hard to come up with uses to make us strap cameras and heads up displays to our heads, but I'm not quite seeing it working yet, at least not with the camera/headset combination.

Everyone is excited about AR technology, but noone has any idea what to do with it, and the big guys don't want to release hardware until they have a mass market appeal killer app revenue stream attached to it.

Also because of the insane success of the iPhone as closed hardware/software, noone wants to release open hardware devices without corporate controlled app stores to make money with on the back end. A lot of this hardware is just too cheap, and likely to be too infrequently upgraded, to sustain a large company on the device sales alone.

I'd love the big guys to come up with a really good use for AR, I really would. But i'm not seeing it yet.

I do believe in VR entertainment. When screen res gets a little bit higher and those get as cheap as a 32" tv, people are going to wear them 2 hours a day. Yeah you read that right, 2 hours a day, not 24.

But that 2 hours is only going to displace current TV consumption, not really create a new category or add to content consumption. There are still only so many hours in a day. So the fact that VR is a reallocation and canibalization of other already existing screen use and not addititive or incremental isn't much of an incentive to the existing major players.

Smartphones literally created more time, by turning lots of unused idle downtime outside the home into productive or entertainment time.

But there's not another large block of time like that left to "unlock".

Even the unrealistic dream of self driving cars, would only reapportion current radio attention to smartphones/VR/Video. It wouldn't really create that much new available content consumption time. Not on the scale of the idle time that smartphones unlocked.

AI could create more time. Intelligent AI that does planning and decision making humans would normally do, would potentially free up some more of people's time. And AI can think faster than a person, thereby effectively creating "more time" from nothing.

AI is going to wipe out a lot of tax paying jobs.

But how do you tax AI? that's going to be the challenge. AI will need infrastructure, police, fire departments, etc. as much as people do. You can take a portion of a worker's hourly salary in taxes, but how will you tax the work done by an AI? You can't tax an AI's hourly work in the same way as a human. Workers can be counted, but what's one AI, a CPU? a program instance? AI is hard to define.

Working thru some of these thoughts, I think I finally understand Google, Apple, Facebook's interest in AR now. I also understand why they decided AR was more important than VR.

VR canabalizes existing screen time from smartphones/tvs/computers. But AR, could let them mediate your view of the real world, as glasses during times you aren't using a screen now, therefore increasing screen time to places and times that you currently don't use your phone or tv.

Suddenly if you are staring at a wide open field of grass, through an AR headset and they can monetize that idle view by showing you an ad for Allegra allergy medicine, just as you sneeze from the freshly cut grass.

We mocked Microsoft Clippy decades ago. But AR is going to be the ultimate form of Clippy's revenge as long as we allow Google et al, to mount cameras on our faces that broadcast everything we experience 24/7.

And we might do it too, our GPS will tell them we are in the grocery store, our glasses will see us reaching for a Pepsi, and our helpful AI Clippy will say "how about a 50 cent off coupon if you buy a Coke instead?"

That's something you'll be able to do with AR. That's additional incremental, profitable screen time in a way that VR, isn't. That's their excitement for AR.

I want to hear your


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