Tech

This video is best viewed in full screen mode in order to see it in HD.

Kandid Fullfrontal Consumption” is a short film that I shot starring my (usually) vegetarian friend, Mr. Where.

I edited the video before I wrote the music.

The process that I used was quite interesting. “How do you go about editing a video with probably a couple hundred edit points all in time to music that doesn’t yet exist?!?”

How the filming came about

You might want to read this after you have seen the short film. There are some spoilers below.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Above is a ~20 minute (absolutely worth every minute) interview with the leading researcher, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, in the study of Toxoplasma & its effects on humans. This is a must see. [click here to read the full text of the interview]

“…this is a protozoan parasite that knows more about the neurobiology of anxiety and fear than 25,000 neuroscientists standing on each other’s shoulders…” – Dr. Robert Sapolsky

Toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gondii) [Toxo] was first observed in 1908. You may have heard of it as the crazy parasite that makes rats attracted to cats.  This, in its own right, is astonishing, interesting, & bizarre. It has also been widely known that pregnant women should stay clear of cat scat & other sources for Toxo as it can adversely affect the development of the fetus.

Dr. Robert Sopalsky at Stanford has taken this link to humans further & has been studying, in detail, how it is affecting humans with some startling observations, but we’ll get to that later.

[click to continue…]

{ 64 comments }

Dopamine

Dopamine

by Tobias on May 31, 2010

I am doing a lot of research on the brain, stress, depression, etc. Many things point back to dopamine.

I have been reading and watching lectures and documents about brain chemistry.  Lately I have been running into many that discuss how dopamine is a key element in happiness, reward, etc. mechanics in the brain.  Seeing charts descriping how dopamine levels in the brain reinforce data got me thinking:

How can I test myself for dopamine levels?

As far as I can tell, the only solution is trepanation. Sadly, I don’t think this is a way to go.

If there is a viable way to accurately and safely test for dopamine levels, then shouldn’t we be actively integrating this into our mental health care system?

If you or someone you know has more information about the research involved in collecting dopamine data on human subjects, please enlighten me.

{ 8 comments }

Post image for User Interaction Distortion

User Interaction Distortion

by Tobias on April 20, 2010

In a previous article, I equated using a physical keyboard in tandem with the touchscreen interface of the iPad as a User Interaction Distortion.

Sine Wave

Let us say that User Interaction is like a waveform.  A nice smooth waveform is a sine wave (pictured left).  Smooth changes from all positions.  A good user interaction should be smooth and flow from all points to the next no matter how basic or advanced they are.

Distortion in the audio world is when the signal becomes altered and more “harsh” from it’s intended sound.  More jagged edges, more randomness, and less commonality between states.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Dear WordPress,

I am using your iPad application right now to update my blog. I am not breaking up with you, but I wanted to let you know that I am keeping my eyes open for something better while I hope you improve.

Back when we were together on the iPhone it was OK. I understood your limitations and I was working with them. I didn’t blame you. I knew that when we wanted quality time together we had to go back to my laptop.

continue the love letter…

{ 1 comment }

I have been making a point to really use the iPad that my father got while I have been visiting the Bay Area. To really understand a new device you have to use it. Not just play with it in the store, look at it on the web, make assumptions based on blog reports or tech details gleamed off the Apple website, but really use the damned thing.  To be absolutely clear, this goes for any new device; sorry iPad, you aren’t special in this department.

I have been surfing the web, poking at applications, writing a bit (as I did in my initial review of the iPad), reading books on it and the real test: Taking it to bed.

It did not call me back in the morning.*

“It is as if typing on a real keyboard has released my mental sphincter so that my mental flatulence is able to throttle the screen.”

iPad + Keyboard

For this follow-up review, I am again using the iPad to write the review with the WordPress iPad native application, but with a key difference: I am typing on the small Apple bluetooth keyboard tethered to it. I just finished tethering it and am testing this use case by writing this review. I can tell you right off the bat that my voice is different than when I was using the on screen keyboard. It is as if typing on a real keyboard has released my mental sphincter so that my mental flatulence is able to throttle the screen.

What I have come to realize is that the iPad is a wonderful Content Consumption Device™. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Ribbed for No Pleasure

iPad: Meh

by Tobias on April 6, 2010

I am writing this blog post on the iPad. (I am also going to try to use it in landscape mode while I try to touch type.)

[NOTE: I have made some edits to the post on my laptop as the WordPress app for the iPad wouldn't let me do everything I needed to. All embedded links have been done on my laptop and some other formatting.  I will try to keep this clear. I was only able to type in content & insert an image.  All other controls were missing.  All modifications will be in italics whenever possible so it is apparent what was done on the iPad verses on my laptop. All hypertext links were done on my laptop and NOT on the iPad. All formating changes, such as bold text are done via WP on my laptop.  Note that WordPress on mobile Safari was not useable enough to do this.]


My general conclusion is “meh”.

As I Type on the iPad

This is me writing this post on the iPad.

The first thing I noticed was that the screen PPI is far lower than the iPhone. [Editor's note: The iPad is 132 ppi and the iPhone is 163 ppi.] I would have expected there to be an increase rather than decrease in that department. The second thing I noticed, because I am a UI nerd, is that once a menu item is activated, clicking the same button does not deactivate it. Some apps have apparently noticed this and fixed it while others have not. A small thing, but definitely a sad oversight on Apple’s part.

It is indeed a nifty device, but nifty doesn’t cut it for this price range. The WiFi model does not include GPS, so have fun getting directions on the go (not to mention there is still no way to save maps locally on the device, neglecting the obvious GPS downloadable apps that would be useless anyway). The lack of a camera is by far the largest problem as I have mentioned before.

My review of the iPad

{ 4 comments }

iPhone Camera icon

iPad: No Camera is a Bad Idea

by Tobias on January 27, 2010

Today Apple announced, with little surprise, a tablet computer called the iPad.  Some nifty things going on, but very little in the “knock me over the head with Wow™” going on.

One thing in particular is lacking: A camera[tech specs]

Now, this at first glance does not seem to be much of a big deal.  The device is straddling the fence of the iPhone and the MacBook lines, both of which have a camera.  The obvious similarity would be with the iTouch which lacks a camera, but I’m willing to bet that many iTouch users will understand my complaint.

iPad: No Camera?

Steve Jobs says iPod touch didn’t get a camera because “it’s a great game machine” -engadget

The iPad will be a wonderful platform for application development.  Take all of the wonders that have come from the iPhone developer community and amp it up ten fold.  e.g., You can now make a device that a doctor carries around from patient to patient and can easily access information, charts, etc. on the fly and with more granularity for drilling down to specifics or complicated interactions.

A camera provides a very useful input source for such applications.  QR Codes, augmented reality, business card scanning, face detection, object detection, and all of the other wonderful things that we haven’t even thought of yet are now all closed off. A very large door for innovation has been closed in our faces before we even went to open it.

Will I need to have a camera dongle if I want to, say, make a Doctor Application™ that allows them to take photo graphs of injuries to be entered into the patient’s file?  The Wine Taster Application™ won’t let you take photos of the label of wine you just drank that blew you away.  Of course the lack of video chat via iChat is a striking feature set that is missing.

The built in camera on my iPhone is an integral part of my experience with the device.  To have taken that integral tool out of the iPad was a very sad mistake that Apple has made.

{ 3 comments }