A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain.
Thousands had travelled from as far afield as Glasgow to take part in the demonstration, ahead of a planned million-strong march in Hyde Park in coming weeks.
Anger over ‘The Innocence of Muslims’, an American-produced film which insults the Prophet Mohammad and demeans Muslims, according to protesters, remains available to watch on the website YouTube, a subsidiary of Google.
Organiser Masoud Alam said: “Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.
“This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.
The group’s next action was a march Mr Alam hoped would be “a million strong” would take place in Hyde Park “in the next few weeks”, he said.
“Until it is banned we will keep protesting,” he added.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
I have seen articles discussing “the end of cash” and there is even a book out called The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers–and the Coming Cashless Society. The author of this book, Wolman “flies to Delhi, where he sees first-hand how cash penalizes the poor more than anyone—and how mobile technologies promise to change that.”
Really? The poor (and not so poor) often use an underground economy with cash that keeps them from having to report income so I’m not sure how mobile technology will be a benefit there. There are many who work under the table for cash, collect food stamps and disability etc. This way, if they go over the limit allowed for income, they keep the cash and their benefits. With mobile technology only, it might be easier to spot this illegal activity. However, while this may be good for society, it doesn’t sound “good” for the poor, if “good” means they have more access to money in general. Once they lose their benefits, they have less. On second thought, maybe this is a benefit of going to a cashless society.
Anyway, I have been thinking about the use of cash while traveling in California for the past few weeks and I realize its benefits more than ever. Twice now, I have been in stores where the credit card machine broke, one for two days, and the owners would only accept cash for purchases. The beach area I am staying now has a sign up, “Cash only” because they either don’t want to deal with credit cards, it’s too expensive or some of their clientele doesn’t have access to a bank account or credit card. While shopping, my credit card wouldn’t work. Why? I am traveling in an unknown area and the card was locked down. When I tried to call on a weekend to get the card re-activated, no one would answer my call. Thank goodness, I have a few bucks on me to get me through until the week starts.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Designers have come up with a jacket that actively gives you a cuddle when someone says they like you on the social network site.
The “Like-A-Hug” jacket inflates when someone clicks on the “Like” button putting a little more reality into virtual reality.
Designed by MIT student Melissa Chow, who said it “allows us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs”.
Hugs can also be sent back to the original sender by squeezing the vest and deflating it.
Hat tip: Jon Bishop
More visions of the future at PJ Lifestyle:
Every once in a while, theres news which reminds us that were living in the age of accelerating change. This is one of those times: A new project has been announced in which scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are hoping to create the first accurate computer simulation of a honey bee brain — and then upload it into an autonomous flying robot.
This is obviously a huge win for science — but it could also save the world. The researchers hope a robotic insect could supplement or replace the shrinking population of honey bees that pollinate essential plant life.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
We’re not talking about football.
Ben Miller of Examiner.com reports that Ubisoft has created a “season pass” for players who are interested in downloadable content. It will be available at a discount. Buying packs separately, according to the piece, is more expensive.
Obviously, this will be good for antsy or frugal gamers.
Something else that’s interesting: one such story will be about “The Tyranny of King Washington.” As quoted in the piece:
As the revolution comes to a close, a new and most unexpected enemy emerges. Driven by the desire to secure the fate of the colonies, the greatest hero of the revolution, George Washington, succumbs to the temptation of infinite power. The new King is born and his reign leaves no one untouched. To return freedom to the land our new hero must dethrone a tyrant he once called friend. Today, Ubisoft announces the Assassin’s Creed III Season Pass offer, granting access to all five upcoming downloadable content packs to gamers owning the original game on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Microsoft’s Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and Windows PC.
Assassin’s Creed III downloadable content will feature “The Tyranny of King Washington,” an all-new single-player campaign told through three episodic content packs that lets gamers experience an alternate history of the events following the American Revolution.
Cool, cheap season pass: Check.
In-game lesson on the nature of limited government and ordered liberty: Check.
This is one game that you shouldn’t miss.
More video games at PJ Lifestyle:
Last month, when Apple announced the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch, their pricing seemed to preclude the long-rumored 7.85″ iPad “Mini” or “Air” or whatever they end up calling it. I even went so far as to ask if Tim Cook had killed the iPad Mini in the crib. And yet the rumors persist, some incredibly detailed.
But let’s take a look at the iOS universe and see if there’s really a place for a smaller tablet. I’ve prepared a chart to show all the devices, excluding the iPad’s optional 3G or LTE feature, because that doesn’t really matter here.
Apple hits every price from $0 to $699 in hundred-dollar increments, with one $50 increment at the 32GB 4th generation iPod Touch. The overlapping prices are what interest us here. A company can offer similar products at the same price, but only if there is enough differentiation between them to make sense to the consumer. Otherwise, the product line is just a huge, jumbled mess — and that isn’t how Apple operates.
The iOS line doesn’t have many price overlaps, but they are instructive. For $199, you can get either a 16GB iPhone 5, or an iPod Touch with the same memory. What’s the difference? The phone gives you, duh, a phone — but it also locks you into an expensive contract. Also, the iPod uses a cheaper (but still “Retina” density) screen, and an older, slower processor. So we have three points of differentiation.
$299 gets you an iPhone 5 with 32GB, or the new 5th generation iPod Touch. Again, same memory on both devices. Same screen on both devices, too. And the same A6 processor. The only differentiation is that one is a phone that comes with an expensive contract.
At $399 is where things get interesting. You can have the 64GB phone, the 64GB iPod, or the 16GB iPad tablet. We have two tiny devices with tons of storage versus a bigger device with comparatively little storage. You get the bigger screen, but you lose memory, the Retina Display, and the new A6 processor.
Where do you squeeze in a smaller iPad?
First off, two assumptions. The iPad Mini/Air/Nano/Whatevs will have the same 1024×768 resolution as the iPad 2. Those pixels would be packed into a smaller space, so the screen would be damn sharp — but not Retina Display sharp. We also have to assume that it would use the same A5 processor and the same 16GB of storage space, so as not to destroy the buying case for the iPad 2. Apple might be tempted to cheap-out and limit the Mini to 8GB, but that’s just not enough memory for a tablet.
At $249, Apple will already sell you the iPad Touch with the old processor. What is there to differentiate between the two devices? Buy the Mini you’d lose half the memory, but you’d gain the bigger-but-not-Retina screen and a faster A5 CPU — is that a good model? It just might be.
The promise of home 3-D printing is that you can construct anything you want from the comfort and convenience of your own living room. For a group whose mission is to 3-D print a working pistol from scratch, however, that promise has been revoked.
Defense Distributed, a collective led by UT-Austin law student Cody Wilson, has raised $20,000 online in a bid to design and develop the world’s first entirely 3-D printed gun, which it calls the Wiki Weapon. If it succeeds, not only will it build its own prototype, it will share the design publicly, so that anyone around the world with a 3-D printer can print his own pistol. It’s sort of the opposite of “Don’t try this at home.”
In a promotional video, Wilson waxes philosophical about the project. “The Defense Distributed goal isn’t really personal armament,” he says. “It’s more the liberation of information. It’s about living in a world where you can just download the file for the thing you want to make in this life. As the printing press revolutionized literacy, 3-D printing is in its moment.”
Turns out the company that leased Defense Distributed its 3-D printer doesn’t see it that way. In a letter to Wilson dated Sept. 26, the legal counsel for Stratasys Inc. informed Wilson that it was cancelling his lease of the company’s uPrint SE printer. “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes,” the company wrote, noting that Wilson lacked a federal license for manufacturing firearms.
More Futurism at PJ Lifestyle:
At the risk of sounding arrogant, most physicians are arrogant. Some are so downright arrogant that they make Obama look humble.
The Wall Street Journal recently had a two-page article from a Dr. Marty Makary (“How to Stop Hospitals from Killing us.”) This self-righteous yellow journalism article went on to regurgitate the Institute of Medicine’s 20 year old review paper claiming that there were 98,000 deaths a year from medical errors. Before I respond to Dr Makary, I need to repeat what I wrote here on PJ and elsewhere a short time ago:
We hear much about the number of deaths from “medical errors.” This narrative began when an Institute of Medicine article stated that medical errors cause up to 98,000 deaths a year in U.S. hospitals. This received huge play in the mainstream media. While any medical error is bad — and sometimes tragic — they do not occur to the extent reported. The original report relied on a study from 1991. Only a small subset (27%) referred to negligent or substandard care. That still leaves the number of medical error deaths at a staggering 27,000, but the remainder of these adverse events were normal complications of medical and surgical care, such as infection and post-surgical bleeding. There we go again with “complications” equaling malpractice.
The other neglected point: how many “complications” were due to care in a teaching institution or training program? This study also failed to consider the quality of outpatient facilities or private medicine.
The problem with yellow journalism is that it is based on a little truth, and then it runs wild with speculation. Dr Makary does just that.
First, he makes the assumption that no other doctor but himself was capable of improving health care outcomes. Thank you Dr Makary. The Institute of Medicine paper is more than 20 years old. He assumes that we physicians have stood still for 20 years. There have been incredible advances in the treatments of cancers, spinal cord injuries and more. Umbilical cord blood stem cell therapies are about to revolutionize medical therapies.There has also been tremendous strides to improve and limit any complications from surgeries, re-admissions and the like. While any complication is a horrible occurrence, it does not happen anywhere near the rate that Dr Makary claims. He should know better than that. He is using 20 year old data — and faulty data at that.
(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc will no longer sell Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle eReaders and tablets, severing its relationship with a major competitor and placing a bet that consumers are more interested in Apple’s iPad and other gadgets.
The world’s largest retailer, which has been trying to catch up to Amazon in online sales, said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy.
Owners of Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for millions of items beyond digital books. This allows Amazon to compete with stores on more lines of merchandise. This spring, Target Corp stopped selling the products.
Amazon has already tested physical stores for other goods. Now, with two large chains no longer selling Kindle, speculation has grown that the dominant online retailer could open its stores where shoppers could try out and buy Kindles.
Amazon “is a little bit of a Trojan horse” when the Kindle is sold in other stores, said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. “They should have made this decision to not carry the Kindle a long time ago.”
More technology on PJ Lifestyle:
Over at Acculturated this week editor Emily Esfahani Smith highlights a disturbing development, the rise of services that help couples choose the gender of their baby. Couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to make sure they have girls (the reverse of what we commonly see in China and India), and are heartbroken when they end up with a boy:
Simpson was inseminated with the slower sperm that same day. Fifteen weeks later, she asked a colleague at the hospital to sneak in an after-hours ultrasound. The results felt like a brick landing on her stomach: another boy.
“I lay in bed and cried for weeks,” said Simpson, now 36, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy. She took a job in the operating room so she would no longer have to work with women who were giving birth to girls.
Even more disturbing is her reaction when she finally did get her baby girl:
“My husband and I stared at our daughter for that first year. She was worth every cent. Better than a new car, or a kitchen reno.”
Aside from the obvious hints at eugenics that can be seen here, what does this say about how we view children? From the high rates of abortions of babies with Down syndrome or other disabilities to choosing the sex of our babies, are we beginning to view our kids as accessories? As “things” meant to bring us happiness? When parents are paying to make sure the baby they have is the one they want, it really is like buying a new car or renovating a kitchen. It’s a purchase. It puts the child on the same level as the little chihuahua Paris Hilton carried around in her purse: a designer object meant to be used as a status symbol or to make the parent feel good.
And where do we go from here? What if we could choose our children’s eye color, hair color, height? Would we? The reason this is disturbing is because it allows parents to play God… to engineer perfect children, and toss out the not-so-perfect ones. Along the way, would we lose our humanity as well?
Science may allow us to create designer babies, but that doesn’t mean we should.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Apple’s Web store went offline early Wednesday morning, only hours before the company is set to kick off a media presentation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. The company is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 5, a device with a larger 4-inch display and a redesigned exterior.
In New York City, Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store has already become a gathering place for media looking to report on the buzz surrounding today’s event. Inside the Fifth Avenue store, it’s business as usual thus far, with no signs yet of any new products potentially going on sale immediately.
Beyond the next iPhone, Apple is believed to be prepared to introduce a number of new products this fall. Perhaps the most anticipated among them, a new 7.85-inch tablet known colloquially as the “iPad mini,” is not expected to debut today. Instead, Apple is rumored to hold another media event in October to expand the iPad lineup.
Price: The iPhone 5 will start at $199 for a model with 16GB of storage and a two-year contract, the same starting price as its predecessor. The price on the iPhone 4S will drop to $99, with a contract. The new phone will be available starting Sept. 21 in the U.S.
Measurements: The new phone is thinner and longer than the iPhone 4S but weighs less. It weighs 112 grams, compared with 140 grams.
Screen: The new iPhone has a 4-inch screen, measured diagonally, compared with 3.5 inches for the 4S. That’s smaller than some of Samsung’s and Motorola MSI +0.78%’s newest Android phones. The screen has 326 pixels per inch, the same as the iPhone 4S, but because it is longer has 1136 by 640 resolution.
Is Apple (AAPL) a sin stock?
That’s the question Gerry Sullivan, portfolio manager of the Vice Fund (VICEX), raised in his interview with Forbes capital market reporter Abram Brown in “Guns, Booze and Gambling: Sinful Stocks for a Recession-Proof Portfolio.”
Brown asked Sullivan if the vice industries-focused fund was considering adding any new sin stocks.
Here’s Sullivan’s response:
I’d consider video games an addiction. Apple products too. We’ve actually gone through and asked, is Apple a vice stock?
So, is it?
I asked tech experts, sin stock specialists, and a Jesuit priest.
What’s a sin stock?
The Vice Fund concentrates on four sectors: alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weapons/defense. Investopedia defines a “sinful stock” as “Stock from companies that are associated with (or are directly involved in) activities that are widely considered to be unethical or immoral.” More broadly, vice industries tend to have higher barriers to entry, may or may not produce products that are harmful or addictive, and could have complex legal and tax issues.
The way investor James Altucher sees it, Apple is a “spice stock,” somewhere between a vice stock and not.
“I would not think of [Apple] as a vice fund, but I certainly use the iPad as an escape, so it depends on how we define vice,” Altucher says in an email. “Although I guess the best thing would be if I just meditated on planes, instead of played Temple Run the entire time.”
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Imagine we were just developing spoken language for the first time. And someone came up with a new word to describe an action, thought, or feeling – like “magnify” or “dreadful.” But in this strange world, the person who came up with the word demanded anyone else who used it to pay him a dollar every time the word was uttered. That would make it pretty difficult for us to negotiate our way to a society that communicated through speech.
That’s the way the patent wars on smartphone and tablet advances are beginning to feel to me.
As a human being, I do not particularly care about Apple’s recent victory in the US version of its patent lawsuit against Samsung for copying its iPhone and iPad’s form and features. Now that Apple is demanding that Samsung pull eight of its products off the shelf, my only personal interest is whether the Samsung products, once banned, will become collectors’ items. Will I one day want to show my grandchild the phone that dared to mimic the iPhone?
But while the details of legalities and impact to share prices and even consumer choice don’t keep me or any of my friends up at night, there is nonetheless something creepy about Apple’s suit. It’s not so much that Apple – the biggest company in the world – has turned into a competitive monster; it’s the territory that Apple’s fighting over. It feels as if the technology innovation wars are no longer over one piece of technology or another, but over us humans.
More on technology from PJ Lifestyle:
More futurism at PJ Lifestyle:
Ready for some mind blowing statistics?
A World Bank report says there are now 6 billion phones in use around the world, and an estimated 70 percent of the world’s poorest people (and who also, not coincidentally, work in agriculture) have access to them. The developing world is now using mobile phones at higher rates than those in developed nations – 96 percent of people in Indonesia and 89 percent of those in Kenya text.
To me, there is perhaps no trend more interesting and yet continuously ignored by the vast majority of western techies than this. The amount of information shared, not via Facebook, Pinterest or on ipads, but using simple SMS messaging is staggering. And the amount of opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to help those in need is enormous.
Related at PJ Lifestyle on technology raising the quality of life:
For most of us, there’s a world of difference between the written word and the spoken word. Where the written word is formal, the spoken word is colloquial; and this as it ought to be–audience matters. Of course, the spoken word isn’t merely word. It’s also facial expression, physical gesticulation, intonation, and apparent emotion. If I want to use sarcasm, it’s indicated by my tone of voice. If I want to playfully tease a friend, my eyes give away the fact that I’m not a mean-hearted jerk. And if I need to ask a subordinate to work on a given task, I can sweetly and gently ask if she wouldn’t mind getting started on her project. Attempts at writing the very same thing out have the annoying habit of coming across as accusatorial, bossy, or otherwise catty.
That’s where emoticons come in. While I certainly do not consider myself an emoticon apologist, I concede that there’s a time and a place.
That time and place? Any time when it would be far preferable to communicate via the spoken word, but when, due to circumstances (including laziness), speaking face to face is not feasible. E-mail communication, web forums, texts, and facebook messages are all examples of less-than-stellar substitutes for speaking in person.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
My fellow ghost story addicts can feed their jones at this cool site called Bxx Haunted. It’s an interactive haunted house with cameras in every room. It’s created by Daniel Knauf, who also created the HBO cult hit Carnivale. Knauf is one of the Hollywood good guys and, entertainment value aside, giving him some eyeballs and support will help him get the funding he needs for more projects like this.
If you prefer, you can also watch Haunted in narrative fashion on YouTube in several segments. Here’s the first. The rest are easy to find, searching Bxx Haunted.
The whole thing is a major ghostly blast. Worth going here.
How should our defense strategy evolve in a world of easily accessible mini-drones, lethal nanobots, and DIY warfare?
You walk into your shower and find a spider.
You are not an arachnologist. You do, however, know that one of the following options is possible: The spider is real and harmless. The spider is real and venomous.
Your next-door neighbor, who dislikes your noisy dog, has turned her personal surveillance spider purchased from “Drones ‘R Us” for $49.95 loose and is monitoring it on her iPhone from her seat at a sports bar downtown. The pictures of you, undressed, are now being relayed on several screens during the break of an NFL game, to the mirth of the entire neighborhood.
Your business competitor has sent his drone assassin spider, which he purchased from a bankrupt military contractor, to take you out. Upon spotting you with its sensors, and before you have any time to weigh your options, the spider shoots an infinitesimal needle into a vein in your left leg and takes a blood sample. As you beat a retreat out of the shower, your blood sample is being run on your competitor’s smartphone for a DNA match. The match is made against a DNA sample of you that is already on file at EVER.com Everything about Everybody, an international DNA database with access available for $179.99.
Once the match is confirmed a matter of seconds, the assassin spider outruns you with incredible speed into your bedroom, pausing only long enough to dart another needle, this time containing a lethal dose of a synthetically produced, undetectable poison, into your bloodstream. Your assassin, who is on a summer vacation in Provence, then withdraws his spider under the crack of your bedroom door and out of the house, and presses its self-destruct button. No trace of the spider or the poison it carried will ever be found by law enforcement authorities.Smaller, Cheaper Weapons & DIY Drones
This is the future. According to some uncertain estimates, insect-sized drones will become operational by 2030. These drones will be able to not only conduct surveillance, but to act on it with lethal effect. Over time, it is likely that miniaturized weapons platforms will evolve to be able to carry not merely the quantum of lethal material needed to execute individuals, but also weapons of mass destruction sufficient to kill thousands. Political scientist James Fearon has even speculated that at some more distant point in time, individuals will be able to carry something akin to a nuclear device in their pockets.
Related futurism and robots at PJ Lifestyle:
NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Stubbornly high U.S. unemployment, a weak housing market combined with a mature business prone to regular programming blackouts has seen more than 400,000 American homes drop their pay-TV service since the start of the year.
DirecTV Group, the No.1 U.S. satellite TV provider, revealed its first ever quarterly customer losses on Thursday, with some 52,000 homes dropping the service in the second quarter. That was more than analysts expected from a company long seen as the best run video provider in the industry.
Also on Thursday, Time Warner Cable Inc, the No.2 cable provider said it lost more subscribers than analysts expected with 169,000 customers leaving the service. While a small per centage of Time Warner Cable company’s 12.3 million total customers, this is a 10th straight quarter of customer losses.
More on TV and technology at PJ Lifestyle:
If you had a time machine, what could you do with it? The possibilities are endless — especially if we assume that if we ever manage to create technology as sophisticated as a time machine, we’ll also have a work-around for language differences and ways to keep from passing on diseases to previous generations. Of course, there would be inevitable dangers. If you made major changes and altered the course of history, you could come back to a future where apes ruled the world or, perhaps worse yet, the French. Obviously, nobody wants that. So, what kind of fun could you have if shooting Hitler or Stalin in the face was out of the question? Well, just imagine….
1) Meeting Jesus: One of the key existential questions that we all grapple with is “Is there a God?”
I believe there is, which is why I’d love to go back in time and meet His Son personally. (This concept also works for non-mainstream Christians if you insert Muhammad, Buddha, Abraham, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, or any other religious founder of your choice.)
Imagine going back to watch Jesus feed the 5000 with loaves and fishes, heal the blind, walk on water, and bring Lazarus back to life. If you wanted a definitive answer to the question of a deity’s existence then you’d have it after that. If there were no miracles, you could go back to your own time and reorder your life accordingly. However, if, as I believe, there is a God and Jesus is His Son, how incredible would it be to see Him in person? To hear His voice speak your name? What else could you possibly do in your life that could match that experience?
One of the big selling points of Microsoft’s Surface tablet is that it will run the full Office suite natively. Ars Technica‘s Peter Bright got to take the beta version out for a test drive and discovered — no pun intended — only the surface functions have been touch-optimized:
And… that’s about it, the full extent of the finger support that Microsoft has added to Office 2013. If it doesn’t sound like much, there’s a good reason for that: it isn’t. For stylus users, the company says that accuracy has been improved, particularly in OneNote, but using the software with fingers is problematic.
“Problematic” might be putting it gently, after reading all of Bright’s article. Now this is only a beta version, but MS has promised that Surface and Office will ship in October. That’s not a very long time to rid three or four major, legacy applications of dozens of menus of touch-unfriendly drop-downs and radio buttons and all the rest.
Worse would be to release it as-is, with a promise to “fix” the problems later. Just ask RIM, which shipped it’s PlayBook without even a simple email app — and never recovered.
Anyway, it all makes sense to me now why Microsoft has pushed Surface as the tablet with a keyboard. I wrote last month right after the big reveal that readers should
look at how Microsoft has introduced its tablet: With a keyboard. They aren’t saying, “We’ve built a great tablet.” They’re saying, “We’ve built a tablet with a great keyboard.” It’s a tablet that’s trying really hard to be a laptop when it grows up.
Turns out, you’re going to need that keyboard — and its built-in laptop-like touchpad — if you really want to take advantage of Office. I concluded then that the Surface is “confusing product from a company which seems confused by what a tablet is supposed to do,” and one month later there doesn’t seem to be any reason to conclude anything different.
Tablets aren’t laptops. People use them differently, even when they’re performing the same tasks as on a mouse-and-keyboard computer. Apple understood this, and re-wrote (and re-imagined) their iWork and iLife suites from the ground up for iOS. Even the iPhone and iPad versions have major differences between them, since the iPad’s big screen opens up whole new possibilities which just won’t work on the iPhone.
But Steve Ballmer wants “Windows everywhere,” dammit, and he’s going to keep pounding square pegs into round holes right up until he blows yet another emerging computing market.
By now, many of us are aware of the Leap Motion, a small, $70 gesture control system that simply plugs into any computer and, apparently, just works. If you’ve seen the gesture interfaces in Minority Report, you know what it does. More importantly, if you’re familiar with the touch modality — and at this point, most of us are — the interface is entirely intuitive. It’s touch, except it happens in the space in front of the screen, so you don’t have to cover your window into your tech with all those unsightly smudges.
To understand how subtly revolutionary Leap will be, watch the video below, shot by the folks at The Verge, where you’ll also find more juicy details on the device’s specs and inner workings.
Unlike a touchscreen interface, with the Leap, there’s no friction. That sounds trivial, but it isn’t. It’s the difference between attempting to conduct a symphony with a wand and attempting to conduct the same symphony by sketching out what the orchestra should do next via chalk on a blackboard.
Plus, Leap operates in three dimensions rather than two. Forget pinch-to-zoom; imagine “push to scroll,” rotating your flattened hand to control the orientation of an object with a full six degrees of freedom, or using both hands at once to control either end of a bezier surface you’re casually sculpting as part of an object you’ll be sending to your 3D printer.
The future looks bright and exciting.
Last week, Google claimed Chrome was the most popular web browser in the world. By some measures that’s true, but one leading research site still places it in the No. 3 spot, behind Internet Explorer and Firefox.
That’s about to change.
Net Applications pegs Chrome‘s market share at 19.08%, less than a percentage point behind Mozilla Firefox, which has 20.06%. However, Chrome’s chunk of the market has increased almost 5% over the past year, while Firefox’s has decreased almost 3%. Both, however, are far behind IE, which has a commanding 54.02% of the market.
If trends continue, Google’s browser will soon claim the second spot in the browser wars. So why did Google say it was the world’s top browser?