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Entries Tagged as 'tech'

The Public Service Internet

January 14th, 2014 · No Comments

When Google extends its grasp on our personal data by acquiring yet another company, there are three responses you can take:
1. Boycott Google services (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Docs, Android, Chrome, etc.) and hope that if enough people follow, they’ll be forced to change their policies on advertising and retention. This may require [...]

Tags: tech

Why The Circle Won’t Happen

October 10th, 2013 · No Comments

(in which, yes, I discuss the plot of the book)
This week, Nest announced a ‘beautiful’ new smoke alarm that’s more advanced, more connected, more user-friendly, and more expensive than anything else on the market. Naturally, the press jumped on it like a Republican on a closed national monument.
It does a lot — it monitors both smoke [...]

Tags: book · future · tech

How do we make a friendly AI?

October 6th, 2013 · No Comments

How we do avoid creating a superhuman artificial intelligence (AI) that does not end up harming humanity? This is a question of great consequence to AI researchers and thinkers who believe that future AIs will have capabilities and will act in a way completely different and unfathomable to humans, just as our actions may seem [...]

Tags: science · tech

Could health insurers subsidise the iWatch?

October 5th, 2013 · 1 Comment

A major reason why Apple has sold so many iPhones in the US is due to the unusual way phones are subsidised by carriers over there. Very few people buy an iPhone for the full, off-contract $649+ price — instead, they get it for ‘only’ $99 or $199, with the rest of the phone’s cost [...]

Tags: apple · tech

Augmented Reality: Paleofuture in Action

December 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments

This month’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine has an augmented reality feature in which you use a smartphone to ‘bring the cover to life’. It’s far from the first magazine to do it, and it’s hard to miss adverts on the tube or at bus stops that have some variation of ’scan this advert to [...]

Tags: ad · future · tech

Thoughts on consistency in tablet news apps

November 8th, 2011 · 5 Comments

A few months ago, I finally had what I’d been dreaming of for years – digital delivery of every single magazine and newspaper I read. No more stacks of New Yorkers and Economists lingering on tables waiting to be given away (or more likely, recycled); no more hunting for all the bits of subscription forms [...]

Tags: adrian · apple · book · newspaper · tech · writing

We don’t need your permission any more

February 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment

One of the most annoying things in life is asking for permission: permission to build an extension, permission to volunteer at a school, permission to start a business. It’s always irritating to imagine some distant bureaucrat with little interest or understanding of your life in control of your fate.
Almost every sphere of life and work [...]

Tags: future · politics · tech · tv

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

More on the Death of Publishers

October 12th, 2010 · 6 Comments

If book publishers want to see the next decade in any reasonable health, then it’s absolutely imperative that they rethink their pricing strategies and business models right now. Hopefully this example will illustrate why:
I’m a big fan of Iain Banks’ novels; I always buy them in hardback as soon as they come out. It doesn’t [...]

Tags: apple · book · games · tech

The Binding of a Book

August 10th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Like a gamer to Starcraft 2, I can’t help but be attracted to articles about the death of books, and even better, the death of long-form reading. There’s something about the desperate handwringing that pushes almost every intellectual button I have, from impassioned but futile appeals to the past, to lurid depictions of how new [...]

Tags: book · tech