The paper talks about things like "repeat" being more intuitive than "for"... I wonder if the authors considered testing languages like Hypertalk or AppleScript that are purposely designed for novice use. It would be interesting to see if they work. However, my gut (very unscientific) tells me that most professionals learn to think in the syntax they adopt, and other factors come into play than this intuitiveness. These might include efficiency (or density) of the language and ease of debugging (the whitespace issue). A test like this does not say much about the usefulness of a language to someone who devotes themselves to it.
It actually appears to me that this is a significant challenge to Google, and any of the rest of us who depend on web analytics. Silk not only renders on the cloud, but fetches content (even whole pages) predictively for the user. In other words, Silk will hit my website even if the user has not "clicked" on my link. How can I (or Google) tell whether the "GET" is predictive or actual? Furthermore, since Silk is doing much of the rendering in the cloud, how can I be sure that my content is actually getting through (ads, for example, could be modified or replaced).
None of this is new, others have been able to do this to varying degrees for years. But the scale is new. Amazon will sell millions of Fire readers, and who is to say that Silk will remain limited to just Fire and its descendants? What if Amazon eventually releases Silk as desktop technology. I actually think Fire is the first trial of a technology that Amazon intends for much wider distribution. Why not? It can already claim great success in bringing significant web properties into the Amazon cloud, promising Silk integration will only strengthen that position. Imagine: your user can get to your website without even using the internet! The whole interaction can be in the Amazon cloud. The net is only used to cover the "last mile" to the browser.
Silk is a major play for Amazon. Possibly bigger than Kindle itself.
From the article: "The reliquary has been declared a treasure trove at an inquest, meaning the proceeds of its sale will be shared between James's family and the landowner." Sounds fair enough.
I am not a Windows user, so I can't comment on Gruman's take on Windows 7, but he seems to be missing a lot about the Mac. Ever since the iPhone and the advent of CocoaTouch, Apple has been migrating touch elements into the desktop Cocoa framework and the laptop trackpad hardware. Today's MacBooks have trackpads that are, essentially, as sensitive as the iPhone. Two-finger scrolling has been joined by other gestures, most recently four-finger strokes to invoke Expose and the like. Application in Cocoa can (and many do) take advantage of two finger "spread" and "squeeze" gestures to zoom in and out, or "twist" gestures to rotate.
Gruman identifies the chicken and egg problem correctly enough, but misses the fact that Apple has a great advantage in the way Cocoa is architected. Many of these features can be implemented by Apple in such a way that Cocoa apps inherit these behaviors "for free." At this point the Mac OS is quite "touchy" and this drives some of the tablet rumors we hear. There is very little to prevent Apple from making the Mac screen itself an input device with gestures that many (if not most) Mac apps would have no trouble interpreting.
The other advantage for Apple in all this is CocoaTouch itself. Apple has a touch interface already widely deployed and is on its third generation of the framework that drives it. The iPhone/iPodTouch has many more users than MS Surface and Apple is learning from every one of them. Just because a casual user of the Mac OS does not get confronted by a host of touch options does not mean the potential is not present, after all, this is the company that ships a five button mouse configured to act like a one button mouse!
Actually, it's been years since I signed my name on any credit card slip. I sign "R U Checking" instead. Literally two years and I have yet to be challenged. I never thought of this as a security move, I just figured I'm trying to learn whether people ever check the sig. In my experience, even when they look at it, they don't see it.
A video of the blind man walking down the corridor accompanies this story at National Public Radio.
"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes