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Entries Tagged as 'spec'

A History of the Future in 100 Objects

February 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Last year, I listened to a programme on Radio 4 called A History of the World in 100 Objects. It took 25 hours, or 1500 minutes.
In the show, the BBC and the British Museum attempted to describe the entire span of human history through 100 objects – from a 2 million year-old Olduvai stone cutting [...]

Tags: adrian · book · future · museum · science · sf · space · spec · tech · writing

iPhone 4: The Last Mobile Phone

July 4th, 2010 · 8 Comments

The iPhone 4 may be the last major advance in mobile phones we’ll ever see. There’ll still be plenty of incremental and useful improvements, but it’s hard to see what kind of attention-grabbing features are left:

The Retina screen, at 326 pixels per inch, approaches the limits of human vision; it’s the end of the line [...]

Tags: apple · future · spec · tech

The Long Decline of Reading

December 28th, 2008 · 55 Comments

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”
- Steve Jobs on eBook readers and the [...]

Tags: book · edu · future · spec · tech · web · writing

Meeting Room Yield Management

May 19th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Six to Start is based in a large building containing dozens of managed and serviced offices. On the way to the shared kitchen at work, I noticed two empty meeting rooms. It occurred to me that, just like an empty seat on a plane, an empty meeting room is lost cash. Sure, there is a [...]

Tags: economics · future · spec · web

Tip of the Tongue

April 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

A phenomenon well-known by psychologists, and pretty much everyone else, is called ‘tip of the tongue’, and it’s described in this American Scientist article:
When we have something to say, we first retrieve the correct words from memory, then execute the steps for producing the word. When these cognitive processes don’t mesh smoothly, conversation stops.
Suppose you [...]

Tags: future · neuro · psych · spec

Puzzle Quest, and the USA alone

December 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Unfortunately I’m going to have to disappoint you – I’m not actually going to write a review of Puzzle Quest here; there are plenty of good ones already out there. The one thing I will say is that the game ended far earlier than I imagined – it comes with a large, scrollable world map, [...]

Tags: games · spec · usa


November 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

The acronym TTS is well known among those who develop call centre software, GPS car navigation devices and software for the blind. It means ‘Text To Speech’, and is more commonly known as voice synthesis, such as the conversion of written text (e.g. ‘Take the first turn on the left into Coronation Street’) into a [...]

Tags: future · spec · tech

The Death of Publishers

July 23rd, 2007 · 49 Comments

Update: Virginie Clayssen has done a wonderful French translation of this post on her weblog teXtes. 
Adrian Buys an eBook Reader
A couple of weeks ago, I idly visited and discovered something incredible – Tiger Direct in the US were selling Sony eReaders for $100, a discount of $250. Thanks to the rampaging power of the [...]

Tags: book · future · spec · tech · web · writing

Arup’s Key Speech

June 24th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the values that companies hold, and how they influence what they do. Many companies have mission statements or tenets or core values; some of them adhere to those values, some ignore them, and some can literally be defined by them. But are they actually helpful, and how do you come [...]

Tags: philosophy · spec

Beating the Hive Mind

March 19th, 2007 · 3 Comments

“What’s this?” I asked, toying with a white cylinder with letters printed across it.
“It’s a cryptex,” explained Eric Harshbarger, one of Mind Candy’s in-house puzzle designers. “Like the one from the Da Vinci Code.”
In The Da Vinci Code, a cryptex is a cylinder with five wheels that can be rotated independently; each wheel has letters [...]

Tags: arg · science · spec