I don’t let Clover use my computer for very long, because for some reason e always pushes key combos that do odd things, even from the lock screen. I tried to keep em in a game of Osmos on the tablet, but that doesn’t last every long either, since the soft keys are on the bottom of the screen.

It occurred to me to create a separate account for Clover on the tablet, since that is a feature in Android now. That way e could play around, but without a connected account, and all the network snooping turned off. Clover was delighted! Here are some observations.

First of all, I am amazed by how much detail e picks up from watching us. The new home screen screen didn’t have anything on it, but the bottom row had a bunch of Google apps and the icon to open the app drawer. Clover keep pushing that, and launched apps from that screen. Whenever e made it back to the home, that would be the button e pressed again. This happened about 1 minute into have eir own account.

The second thing, and the inspiration for the title of this post, is when Clover activated the speech feature. It made a sound, which Clover took to be it was talking to em. So e held the tablet up to eir head like a phone, and talked said, “Hello.” It replied with three beeps. Clover proceeded to just talk to it.

That is pretty interesting. I don’t use the speech features in any device, because I am trained to use my hands instead of my voice when I am thinking and computing at the same time. There are already people who use voice technology extensively; of the folks I know who do, none of them use it for lack of access, they just were into it, and adjusted their workflow so. I get the appeal, but my standards are Star Trek high, which means I never picked it up.

Clover, however, will have this little piece of tech that I take for granted, in nearly every device e interacts with. It is only going to get better, and development will speed up as more people use it. Clover will have used it for practically eir whole life. That is fascinating. ^_^

Bidding on time

I have to get this out of my head so I can sleep.

I was thinking of how difficult it is to schedule for something when I have to work around Susan‘s schedule. It has to do with Clover, so now if I have an appointment somewhere, I have to basically check in with Susan’s work.

I wish I could just have it all plugged into a calendar that was figuring out where the most important time should be spent. It would need a lot of parties using the same system. I imagine each person has an agenda, and that agenda has a different amount of sway on other people. So, Susan’s work has lots of sway on her, and I have a bit more (for emergencies). My doctor has a certain amount of sway over me (and we could add context, such as for developing health issues), but only affects Susan in that ey sometimes needs her take work off for my appointments.

Then, Susan’s work and my doctor’s offices layout a weekly schedule, one for work and one for appointment times. The work week will be informed by all the other employees and their considerations. The appointment slots will be informed by all the other patients’ needs. We compare the schedules and it tells Susan and I when my appointment is, and informs all the other parties of what is happening as well (with privacy considered, of course).

I doubt this will be implemented on the scale I laid out, but it is an interesting game theory, and could end up in one of my stories. How cool would it be to have a calendar that told you where you will be, and not waiting for you to tell it? ^_^

Magic wash line

We do a lot of laundry now. At least a load every two days. It trips me out, because I imagine thousands of years where children had one or two pieces of cloth that wrapped around them. It isn’t a huge leap to imagine children in warmer climates just walking around naked all the time.

For us, most of our wash is pee related, as far as Emma’s clothes go. Susan and I could go probably once a week doing a load of laundry, but now we can just combine Emma’s pajamas, onesies, pants, diaper covers, cloth wipes, blankets, sleep sacks, and wraps to our daily shirt or pants.

I’ve moved around a lot, though in the last few years it has slowed down tremendously. Only a couple of places had washing machines. Now, it will likely be a requirement. I’ve always hated going to laundry places, so much so that I had once documented how I would run one that was both clean and interesting.

I fully intend to leverage as much technology as possible to spend time with Emma, and to remain engaged in my own life. So, let’s get on that green energy already. ^_^

TransportationCamp West

TransportationCamp West is happening on March 19-20 in San Francisco. I plan to attend. It is an unconference about “transportation and technology”, two of my favorite things. It’s free, but there is a wait list, now.

Since nearly all of my clients are location-based community organizations, a lot of the things I will build this year have to do with mapping and using data that is useful in a locative context. So, I have a lot of hopes that I will get some leads or meet some interesting people to hack with there.

I am a total n00b at mapping, only understanding the basic ideas behind it. However, I am pretty good at unconferences, so I think that I will be fine; I am do well when asking strangers lots of questions. ^_^

If you are going, ping me somehow. We can meet up sometime over the weekend, or BART over together!

Technology is catching up to the promise

After speaking to Gautham about it, and then reading his post on the Libyan protests, it occurred to me that video technology is really catching up to the promises of citizen journalism.

The disturbing footage of protesters walking into gunfire is unlike anything I have ever seen. As was the footage of the US military helicopter crew shooting and killing people. Even here in the United States, we had footage of Oscar Grant being killed, taking with mobile devices. These kinds of video show the reality of the situation, much more so than, “30 killed and countless wounded”.

More so than the supposed importance of social networks in coordinating protests (in countries where the primary problems are economic issues that are prohibitive to have access to said networks in the first place), the images and feeds we get from people on the ground are really breaking through the sanitized media filter we are used to.

It gives me hope, because so often technology looks like it is just going to be used to track and target us, but when cameras can be made small and cheap, tyranny can’t catch people off guard for long. As a person living the a “first world” country, it is my responsibility to ensure that technology continues to free people. On that note, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Edit: Mike reminded me of Serval, which makes me happy on many levels. Imagine an international org passing out plug server routers that enable mesh communication networks. Oh, and check out Freedom Box.