Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Through the Looking-Glass

Google Glass is finally getting mainstream press now that the dev kit has been released (for a whopping $1500) to select applicants. The press, however, is focused almost solely on the fact that people can record anything they happen to be looking at. Congress replied by issuing a letter to Google addressing privacy concerns of the device. Why? Has everyone lost their minds? Places like theaters, bars, casinos, and whatnot are already starting to ban them out of recording concerns and I think that's absurd.

The concerns about the facial recognition technology also baffle me. People are so ridiculously paranoid of the internet. The irony of this age of information is that all information is provided by the users--we are paranoid of ourselves.

What about the good uses? This would be nothing short of amazing in a scholastic environment. You can record anything you do in class whether it be the lecture, complete with the teacher's slides or board-work, even just how to do a single math proof would be infinitely useful, lab procedures, to recall internet references while working without stopping, et cetera. The potential for abuse is there too, of course, but professors tend to ban any sort of communicative technology during quizzes and tests for obvious reasons anyway. Good luck using a TI in a Calculus exam.

E3 is under way starting today, and I will have more to say when it concludes... So far, I am impressed with what I have seen of the PlayStation 4, which is a stark departure from the philosophies contained within the Xbox One. Nintendo is off in its own aspergers corner. Kids, we are upon a new console war, a real one. One can not honestly tell me that ultimately the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 were not actually all the same system. Sure, they all had their quirks, but it was the same thing repackaged. I remember concerns that the Nintendo 64 was a cartridge system, the PlayStation systems were failing, and the Sega Saturn was just were not flying off the shelves. All of the consoles had a different philosophy and through the market, you saw what worked and what did not. There was a choice to your purchase. Let us see that again and spark those strong debates over who is really doing it right.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Video Games vs Sports

Just read a painfully biased article on a Sports News site that admonished video gamers who did not like watching or talking about professional sports, because we waste more time watching digital orcs battle than a typical sports spectator would spend watching real people battle. Let me set the record straight as a gamer: I hate sports spectating because it is boring and requires no active thought processes to watch. At least you exercise problem-solving while gaming. 

I have nothing against playing sports however. We do not watch orcs slay each other and we are not in some fantasy-world that glorifies violence, but rather we do a series of well-timed inputs that require at least a minimal amount of concentration with an interactive computer video. Playing a video game, playing a sport, drawing, writing, and driving a car on a scenic route are all technically useless activities, but we do them. What I don't do is watch people play sport unless I want to learn the rules or get a feel for what is performed while playing; same with video games.

I guess there are doers and there are watchers, but neither should judge the other.

Also, I have finally cemented myself as a perma-geek. Courtesy of an apprentice, Caroline Phillpot, at Addiction here in Gainesville. Sonic is on the other side, but he needs a touch-up.


Ghosts about. I did finally score a 3DS.