Douglas Adams on Innovation

August 14th, 2002

“Some of the most revolutionary new ideas come from spotting something old to leave out, rather than thinking of something new to put in.”

– Douglas Adams

Nannies Keep Cool

August 10th, 2002

mary maryWe’re feeling record-breaking heat in Northern California, and I just learned the perfect tip for the times: to cool down, run cold water over the insides of your wrists. I don’t understand why this works so well, but it seems to cool my whole body within a few seconds.

I learned this from the novel The Nanny Diaries; the protagonist cools off this way. It’s a strangely addictive book; it’s a tragic, funny account of a long-suffering student working for vapid Park Avenue parents who think piles of money can substitute for a Mom and a Dad.
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All Things Considered rips BMW iDrive interface

August 9th, 2002

gramophoneHuman Computer Interaction audio:
atc_bmw_ui_disaster.mp3 – 8 minutes, 19 Mb
Streaming RealAudio version here.

Here’s a scathing review of BMW’s iDrive system, the driver/car interface featured in their newest top-of-the-line automobiles. The press already skewered the arcane iDrive system in dozens of articles, but this one is a classic. You’ll pity the hapless salesman who struggles to make the boneheaded car understand his most basic verbal commands, for a national radio audience.
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Science Friday: The Future of Computing

August 4th, 2002

gramophoneHuman Computer Interaction audio:
totn_future_of_computing.mp3 – 47 minutes, 11 Mb
Streaming RealAudio version here.

This Talk of the Nation segment focuses on innovation in human-computer interaction. Guests include the late Dr. Michael Dertouzos, a pioneer in the humanization of technology and former director of M.I.T.’s Laboratory for Computer Science.

Highlights include Dertouzos’ inspiring plans to free people from the slavery imposed by their own tools. He describes MIT’s Project Oxygen, a $50 million plan to make computers easier to use, and to transparently mold them into people’s living environments.
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Perfect Sideburns

August 2nd, 2002

perfect sideburns!

Add it to my wish list: Perfect Sideburns.

(Is this legal in Texas?)