I wish I could get away with charging my clients a fee for every time they say "Minority Report" to me. I’m a commercial artist in L.A., and 90% of commercial art is shutting up and giving the client what they want. That means I spend a lot of time trying to repackage Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future: floating graphical windows with video hovering in them, typography flickering and animating in response to actors’ actions, interfaces appearing and disappearing when fingers reach out to poke them. In short, building a virtual iPad interface, hovering in front of the actor using it. In [...]
CES, now in full swing out in Las Vegas, is a trade show, and as such, occupies a complicated (if totally reasonable) place between "what will people buy each other for Christmas later this year" and "hey, look at the neat thing we can do!" So much of what is displayed there seems openly transitional. Producers of goods just can't hide it when they know they're only halfway onto what's next—and consumers know. (Are you 28 or older? Congratulations, you are older than the compact disc. Bought one recently?) But digging through the oodles of things on display, we can find some inklings of what's to come down [...]
Hot Gadget News, by Joey, My Building's Porter, Who May or May Not Have Formerly Been An "Exotic Dancer"
From time to time, The Awl offers its space to normal, everyday people with a perspective on national issues. Today, we bring this special report on technology from one of my Murray Hill Gramercy-adjacent building's porters, who enjoys golf, tattoos, talking about sports with the doormen and who may or may not have been a "dancer" in his previous career. (As told to Choire Sicha.)
So wait, I talk into your iPhone, and then you post what I say? That is rad. Okay. Right, gadgets. Here we go. Shut up, Donnie! The other morning I was hanging around in the lobby, just passing the time, watching tenants come [...]
What did we learn from this year's CES gadget freakout show? Well… people like phones. And pretty pictures. And that we live in a very strange time: what's recently new is already old and boring, and there's nothing shocking and new to be had. (This is just because we have a short attention span! I mean the iPad is still pretty new! Remember how excited you were?)
So here's three things about the future.
Humans, It Is Urgent That You Stop Whatever It Is That You're Doing And Watch This Video Immediately
There was recently an article posted in this space alerting you to another article about how increased use of computer technology is supposedly be changing your ability to focus. If you were paying attention, which you probably weren't, you may have read that University of California neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley thinks, "We are exposing our brains to an environment and asking them to do things we weren't necessarily evolved to do. We know already there are consequences." Or that Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world's leading brain scientists, agrees, saying, "The technology is rewiring our brains." NEW ALERT: in the unlikely [...]
The Wirecutter is a new website designed to do one thing: to tell you what the best particular product in a category is at any given moment. It is a project of Brian Lam, late of Gizmodo. Do you want to buy a TV? Great: here are the three TVs we endorse right now. Here's what Brian has to say about the site; here's the best way to use it.
What it is not is a "gadget blog." There's really plenty of those, and they're great! They cover every rollout, every product, every bit of rumor and whatnot in the tech world. The rest [...]
Recently I was talking with Paul Graham, of genius startup incubator Y Combinator, for a story, and, while on a tangent, he made a case to the tablet-adverse folks like me. "The tablet, I believe now it's pretty safe to say, is the next model of computer," he said. "I think twenty years from now, kids will say, 'What's a computer?' And we'll say, 'Oh back before you used an iPad or an Android device for browsing the web, you had to use this thing with a keyboard and a big monitor.'" And I was like, really? (People like me, who use computers for text, find this idea [...]
So the first thing you should know about the Apple Tablet is that I just bought a van. It's creepy. Mary HK Choi hadn't even seen a picture yet before she called me "shady." This dashed my hopes of driving to New York and taking her from Maine to Florida, eating things covered in mayonnaise all the way.
The reason I bought the van is that even when I am in the process of wanting to drop out of society, "get back to nature," etc., I can't do it without spending $5K on a fuel-snorting machine. It's what tech dorks do when we look at the world: [...]