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Is Technology Making Us All Autistic?

February 9, 2014 by  

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Autism.jpg This ad for  Autism Speaks at a San Francisco bus stop reminded me of an excerpt from an article written by Curt Woodward, senior editor at  Xconomy, about the lack of eye-contact within Google’s top echelon:
During Schmidt’s decade as Google CEO, before co-founder Larry Page took the helm, there was a standing rule for one senior-executive meeting: No computers, no smartphones, and talk to each other face-to-face for one hour per week. It was so hard to resist the pull of the Web, though, that Schmidt had to walk around the meeting room and look for people hiding their phones under the table, dispensing fines to the offenders. “Even one hour per week, you couldn’t have a civilized conversation. So when Larry replaced me, he gave up. And now I sit in the meeting, typing away like everybody else, with no eye contact. So, if you like eye contact, I’m sorry–you lost,” he said to laughs.
Schmidt: Google Glass Critics “Afraid of Change,” Society Will Adapt | Xconomy The lack of eye-contact is pervasive and extends well beyond the Google C-suite. It seems likely that our technologies are encouraging autistic types of behaviors. We…

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TEDxBerkeley Announces Speaker & Performer Line-Up for Feb 8 Event

February 4, 2014 by  

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The fifth annual TEDx Berkeley, which will be held at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Saturday February 8, 2014, will feature 20 inspiring and innovative speakers and performers who will address this year’s theme Rethink, Redefine, Recreate. TEDxBerkeley From education and healthcare to the monumental shifts we are seeing across technology, digital entertainment, sustainability, communications and the environment, the goal of this year’s event is to open up a global conversation around innovative ideas and transformations that happen when we don’t follow the status quo. The speaker and performer line-up for 2014 includes the following thought leaders and visionaries: Kare Anderson: Kare is Say it Better Center founder, an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post, and a translator of neuroscience research which improves how we connect and collaborate. Nikki Borodi: Nikki is a musician, clown, aerial acrobatic, yoga instructor and artist who is in the process of writing a circus rock show to inspire people to manifest their dreams. Vangelis Chaniotakis: Vangelis, who dreams of starting his own circus troupe, has been training on partner acrobatics since 2011 while also dabbling in hand balancing, tumbling,…

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A Look At The Slick Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

February 2, 2014 by  

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Sony debuted the Xperia Z1 Compact at CES in January, noting that the consumer who prefers to have a smaller device does not want fewer features. Could Sony take the experience in their flagship smartphone and pack it into a much smaller package without reducing the functionality? In the marketplace, the relative power of a phone in terms of specifications and capability seems to be dependant on the screen size. The more powerful phones will have the larger screens, while the smaller phones (at a lower price) will not be a match for the larger brethren. It’s not a perfect rule, but in general it holds across a manufacturer’s product range. Let’s put aside the point that a 4.3 inch screen is not a ‘small’ smartphone in the history of the smartphone, because Sony have actually done something I have been looking for in the last few years – a ‘small’ smartphone that has the same specs as the larger handsets. With a 2.2 GHz Quad core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, microSD, and a 4.3 inch TFT IPS screen, the Xperia Z1 Compact is a little bit of a pocket rocket. Sony…

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San Francisco’s Culture War With Corporate Life

February 2, 2014 by  

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The protests over the giant corporate buses that cruise menacingly around San Francisco’s streets is not really about the buses. It’s a culture war: SF culture clashing with corporate culture. The conformity of Silicon Valley’s corporate culture is polar opposite to the non-conformist traditions of San Francisco. The corporate culture demands isolation in guarded enclaves. The tech workers think it’s cool to be company men and women, to only use the company store, to eat company food, to only know each other. - They think it’s cool to be picked up early morning and spend all day at work and get a ride home late evening. - They think it’s cool that their employer mediate 90% of their experiences during their waking hours. - They think it’s cool to live in San Francisco and be strangers in their own neighborhoods. - The company cubicle is now a lot larger than it once was, it is campus-sized. And it picks you up in the morning. Cubicle cults are not cool and SF locals will tell them so — if they know any. - They’ll tell them that they are being manipulated by their employer; an employer that organized with other Silicon…

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San Francisco’s Culture, A Far Cry From Silicon Valley’s Start-Up One!

February 1, 2014 by  

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San Francisco is different from Silicon Valley in very important ways: it has always produced great media content — and the city itself is great content —  starring in movies, photos, books, and songs. It inspires creativity. Silicon Valley produces the tools that enable others to create but it itself is not an inspiring or creative place. Its architecture is plain; it’s workers dress plainly; and its ambitions are plain dull— to make lots of money. Silicon Valley’s visionaries are unable to look beyond the tech specs of mass produced consumer goods; and 99% of its companies come and go, leaving no trace, no history. It has been unable to produce any economist or philosopher to help it understand its place in the world, or understand the global social and political trends that surround it. When the Arab Spring was in full flow Silicon Valley companies thought they were the revolutionaries, that tweets counted for more than feet on the streets; that a Facebook group is how political change is organized. Wasted human capital… Silicon Valley is a large business park attached to two excellent universities, funded by capitalists that live on one road, and who…

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Klipsch Unique Oval In-Ear Headphones & Ear Tips Combine Style With Comfort

January 29, 2014 by  

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Klipsch in-ear headphones utilize patented contour ear gels that are anatomically designed to accurately fit inside the human ear canal. These soft oval silicon tips reduce ear fatigue as well as provide an amazing seal for excellent noise isolation and bass response. Because ear canal measurements vary Klipsch headphones come with different washable ear gel sizes. Their ear canals are oval shaped, not round so they patented the exclusive oval ear tip for the absolute best in style, sound, comfort and fit. The vision behind the buds came before buds - Paul Klipsch was a relentless perfectionist who spearheaded the Hi-Fi movement with the company’s foundation product: the Klipschorn (patented in 1945 and still manufactured today). A true music lover, Paul’s ultimate goal was to reproduce the excitement of a live orchestra performance in his living room. Since then, their products have evolved and they now manufacture and sell tiny headphones as well as massive professional cinema systems….and their renowned in-ear headphones.   They also do headsets which feature a 3-button mic and remote system to give you full music and/or voice control on compatible Apple products while delivering award-winning sound performance. In addition to

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The Jolla Handset & Sailfish OS, A Linux Smartphone With Promise

January 19, 2014 by  

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A few weeks after receiving Jolla’s first handset (called, er, the Jolla), I’ve posted an in-depth review of the Linux powered smartphone over on Forbes.
All of that said, the Jolla handset has me excited. I’ve been following the project for some time, I ordered my device in May 2013 as part of the first wave of orders, and I knew that when it was delivered to me in December I was not getting a finished product… just a Finnish product. The Sailfish OS at the core of Jolla’s vision is delivering a stable environment and handles the mid-range specs of the Jolla handset relatively well.  With another six months or so to iron out the bugs, improve battery life, and polish the user interface the core experience will be ready for the consumer market, as long as the first party apps are updated with the same attention to detail. An unboxed Jolla updates the OS over the air
Jolla is not finished, but what is on offer now is going to be very appealing to the hackers of the smartphone world. It’s a phone that is more for geeks than mainstream…

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Sony XBR-X950B, The Vivid Plasma With Vivid Colors

January 18, 2014 by  

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The battles fought over display IQ, or image quality, are legend. Plasma claimed better blacks. LCD offered vivid colors. But if ever there was a 4K TV panel that impressed observers at CES 2014, it was the Sony Reference Standard, Sony XBR-X950B.
The Sony XBR-X950B offers deep blacks and vivid colors, boosted by what Sony calls X-tended Dynamic Range technology, which it says leads to “unprecedented brightness” and a “truly brilliant picture quality.” We definitely saw the higher peak white and deeper blacks Sony claims its technology delivers. That red dress in the picture above literally jumped off the screen. Available this Spring, the 85-inch XBR-85X950B and 65-inch XBR-65X950B 4K Ultra HD TVs feature full-array local dimming (FALD) LED backlighting, Triluminous quantum-dot illumination technology, HDMI 2.0 with 2160p/60 capabilities, with decoding via the HEVC codec. The Sony XBR-X950B series also offers active 3D technology, Wi-Fi, screen mirroring with NFC OneTouch, and comes equipped with MHL 3.0. Pricing was not announced but is sure to seriously tax your wallet but then again, what price glory?


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