Intuitive Is As Intuitive Does

“The Segway HT is designed to be operated by a wide range of people after receiving Segway orientation — no special skills are required.” — Segway.

Apparently the Segway is not for use by just anyone. President Bush tried to take a spin, and took a spill instead. Click link for bigger pics from Reuters.

Torrez’ Touching Tribute

What was your first experience with a computer?

Being the one who lobbied hardest for a computer, I felt the most responsible. So that summer I set out to show my mom that she had made the right decision. After all, I still needed to break the news to her that she had to buy a disk drive.
She’d be in the kitchen making dinner and I’d call her over. “Look mom! If I type ‘sys 64738’ it will reboot the machine!” Or she’d be paying bills and I’d coax her over to see this program I wrote that would turn the screen red, then black, then flash white, and then reboot. (which was tough to test because not having a disk drive meant I’d have to write the program all over again if it worked correctly.)

I remember those days. Good times.

Marth Stewart wants to upload her soul into your home.

Wired 11.06: Martha Stewart is Editing Your Life (That Includes You,

Is there anything that you think ought to be invented to make all of us happier?
I have a dream – a computer screen that can be anywhere. It would be voice-activated – I’d like to be able to talk to my screen, on my refrigerator or on my wall. I’m busy, I’m always running around, so I want instant on/off. I know it can be done. The homemaker doesn’t want to wait. She wants to make time to do other things. Have you talked to anybody about this? I’ve talked to Steve Jobs, and to Bill Gates’ crew, about a technology for the homemaker, but they’re not interested. So I’m developing my own software, a home organizer. It tells you what kind of curtain you could make and gives you a pattern and the yardage. It gives you proportions with which you can design your room. It also tells you how much water your house used last August – no need to go back to the paper file. I want my utility company, my insurance company, to send me everything via computer. I call it living by synopsis. It’s very simple, but I think it will be very big. I’ve been thinking about this for five years, and we now have an outline for it. I presented it to John Doerr’s guys [at the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers], and they said, well, that’s rather ambitious. It’s not ambitious, it just takes a long time.

Steven Berlin Johnson geeks out with his stereo.

Steven B. Johnson, author of Emergence and former Feed honcho, describes his six-channel sound system in loving detail, and basically invites every thug in New York to come rip off his new Plasma TV.

Unfortunately, it’s very hard to track down true surround disks of music that I actually like — it seems like there are only about 100 SACD disks released thus far, and many of them only have two-channel mixes on them. But this past weekend I managed to get my hands on a six-channel SACD of Beck’s lovely Sea Change, which was already on heavy rotation in my house in its two-channel presentation. Apparently, the mix was done by surround legend Elliot Scheiner, and it’s certainly an aggressive approach. Some surround mixes keep most of the instruments and vocals up front, and just use the rear speakers for ambient noise and reverb, etc. Scheiner’s remix of Sea Change spreads the instruments around you: a clavinet behind your right ear, a bank of strings hovering in the middle of the room, a hammond organ swirling around the entire space. Hearing an album you’ve enjoyed for a while in stereo remixed this boldly is a revelation: you hear all the little details with an astonishing clarity.

Extreme X-box!

Tired of wimpy vibrations coming from your game console? Add the X-Shok to your controllers to give yourself a 20,000 volt jolt every time you get hit in Mortal Combat!

More Woo-Woo, This Time from Bubb Rubb

So we’ve had a dearth of news items these last few days. That’s because everyone at StreetTech labs is obsessed with making their own cool rap songs from a random little flash audimation (?) called The Official Bubb Rubb Soundboard. To appreciate it, you have to see a local Bay Area news clip about a new car mod called a “whister” that makes the exhaust into a really annoying siren. The news clip features Bubb Rubb in his on-camera debut. After seeing that clip Long Island Supra decided to make a DIY flash-based rap-machine with a little 50 Cent in the background. It’s fun for about 3.8 seconds, but mostly just a lesson in why one should never get in front of a local news camera.

2001: Blog, 2003: LLog

According to Defense Dept. funding arm DARPA is pursuing technology that would allow a person to record everything they do — every sight and sound, every contact, every vital sign, and every interaction with another person or computer. DARPA claims the system, called LifeLog, would have nothing to do with recent moves towards data mining for national security, though the uses for that purpose are pretty obvious. Right now though, the system is being designed for those who agree to wear a camera and other sensors, ostensibly as a way for people to better remember their Kodak moments.