100% Geek

Your phone company is watching

Here's an interesting TED talk by Malte Spitz on what kind of data phone companies are collecting.

Malte Spitz wasn't too worried when he asked his operator in Germany to share information stored about him. Multiple unanswered requests and a lawsuit later, Spitz received 35,830 lines of code — a detailed, nearly minute-by-minute account of half a year of his life.

TED Video: Malte Spitz: Your phone company is watching

Stop touching and actually use your hands!

Anyone who knows me should already be familiar with how I feel about touch screens, especially in regards to typing.

Well, Michael Miller has shared an article explaining it far better than I ever have, written by Bret Victor, a professional interface designer.

Here's Michael's post discussing Bret's rant:

Anyone who has tried to type on a touch screen "keyboard" knows this is true.

Touch devices are wonderful but they are only part way there, the device certainly "feels" your touch but what do you feel in return? A sheet of glass. Featureless, numb.

You can't use this device without looking at it carefully to make sure that your fingers are keeping up with the visual metaphor being presented. Eyes and hand must work together carefully and while touch might be less mediated and indirect than, say, using a mouse, it still requires far more cognitive and sensual effort than using a physical device. A physical keyboard for example can be used, in fact it requires that it be used, without you looking at what your fingers are doing.

"Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"

Touch interfaces are not the destination but a way-station. In the future touch devices will become tactile devices.

Article: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

The greatest speech ever made?

This comes from Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film The Great Dictator - over six decades later it still seems unfortunately apt.

The video is 3m 38s long, or alternatively the transcript is available in the full entry.

Youtube Video: The greatest speech ever made

T-Mobile G1 - Google's Android mobile phone

On Thursday, the G1 mobile phone was finally released in the UK, and - ignoring the sensible policy of not getting first-generation devices - I ordered mine as soon as the website was available.

I now have my G1 and have written up my first impressions.

1-Nov-2008 15:30 added photos
16-Nov-2008 22:35 added more details
Last Updated: 25-Oct-2021 added disclaimer

Mount & Blade - A time of war, a game of legend!

This weekend Taleworlds have finally released v1.003 of Mount & Blade, an excellent game based primarily around mounted combat.

The game has been developed in shareware form for many years, it has a large following of fans and numerous graphical and gameplay mods, and earlier this year it was picked up by publishers Paradox Interactive, through whom it is now available to buy online and in shops.

Anyone who paid for a shareware version is entitiled to this full release at no extra cost, and as one of those I decided to write this short review.