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Comment Another Glass user's persepective (Score 1) 464

In Oregon, it's currently illegal to talk while driving without a hands-free device.

Despite this, when I'm at the front of the line at a red light, waiting to turn left, I see lots of people on the phone, holding it up to their head. I see people on phones driving (usually speeding) through residential streets. I see people staring down at their phone at a red light after it's just turned green and they're still not moving yet. On the highway I see people driving slower than the speed limit and when I pass them - yup, they're on a phone. I see people in grocery store parking lots doing strange things, blasting through crosswalks and stop signs in front of kids instead of stopping (even with kids of their own in the back of their car). Basically, it's really easy to spot people on phones while they're driving because they're driving badly in an obvious way, and there are a lot of them around, despite it being illegal.

OK, so we get everybody a hands-free device and.....well, actually, no. There's a bunch of research that shows that it's the talking that causes the tunnel-vision and slowness, not the fact that you're holding a phone. So hands-free devices don't actually help, even though the law sort of implies that they do.

Personally, I won't talk on a phone while driving, and if I find myself on the phone with someone who is driving, I politely ask them to call back when they're done driving and hang up.

In theory, talking to passengers is OK because they can stop talking when traffic is tricky, but in practice I've missed exits while talking to passengers (I'm sure you have too).

So that's the baseline on my view of phone use while driving, so you understand where I'm coming from.

When I'm driving and have my phone in my pocket, I get emails and texts and the phone beeps and I ignore it.

When I'm driving and have Glass on my head, I get emails and texts and glass beeps and I ignore it.

When I have Glass on my head, it does slightly block my view of the ceiling of my vehicle, but not anything out any window. If the display somehow ended up between my eye and the road, it's transparent, so I can see through it - but it's not in the way, it's up on the ceiling.

I do have a GPS that sits on on the dash. I find the audio reminders to turn to be very useful, and sometimes the map showing the lanes is useful to glance at to figure out which lane I need to be in. The rest of the time, the moving map actually draws my eye to it instead of the road, and the audio is kind of annoying to non-drivers or kids sleeping in the back of the car.

I've used the GPS in Glass while driving - it is *way less distracting* than my on-dash gps - the dings are very clear, the audio directions are great, and the screen *shuts off entirely* while on the straightaway. You can't view texts or emails while in gps mode, at most you can turn on the map again by tilting your head. When you're near a turn, the screen turns back on, you can glance at which lane you need to be in, just like you'd glance at the GPS on the dash, and you make your turn.

Lately I've also seen a rash of drivers trying to make the exit after they've just missed it - they end up on the left shoulder of the exit, narrowly missing the concrete at the diagonal intersection. I'm not sure what's going on with them (I'd guess they're on the phone, too and are panicking about missing the exit), but a GPS to either warn them that the exit is coming up, or allow them to relax and find their way again after the next exit is way less dangerous than making their own new lane, and Glass is the least intrusive best GPS I've ever used.

Comment Re:OpenPandora never lived up to the expectations? (Score 1) 203

I ponied up the money for the 'upgrade' and got my OpenPandora. It's faster (1GHz) and has more RAM that the one I'd originally ordered, and does many things better than my android phone - real hardware controls for games, real keys for typing in a terminal window. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm especially pleased that I can just run Python apps, or C programs without having to write an Android app.

Comment I've seen it post-update. (Score 2) 65

The first thing I did was update the firmware it when I got it on Sunday so that I could see the "OK Go" video. I never saw the "bsod" requesting that you power off and on again until yesterday when I was playing Ghost: Recon for the first time. I just saw it again today, also while playing Ghost:Recon. The exact wording is "An error has occurred. Hold down the POWER button to turn off the power, then turn it on and try again. For help, visit"

I just looked for another update, and there is none.

So the issue still exists with all current patches applied, and seems to show up in Ghost:Recon, at least for me.

Comment Re:ipad is for humans! (Score 1) 617

Kids could use BASIC or Logo running directly on the iPad, except that Apple forbids interpreted languages. No modern touch-aware reimplementation of HyperCard, either. They kicked out a previously approved Commodore 64 emulated retro-game when it was discovered you could get to a BASIC prompt. I'm not sure if this restriction is targeted directly at Adobe Flash, or just indirectly at all apps that might auto-update themselves via the net to change their own behaviour without App-Store approval. It's pretty big collateral damage no matter the reason.

While I also think it's cool that a 13-year old and his friend have published an app, if they had tried to write something like HyperCard, or Google Voice instead of a simple drawing program, Apple would have shut them down.

Comment DS Games, Changing business models (Score 1) 186

The article also mentions that the DS Game - Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars sold poorly, selling only 89,000 copies, way under expectations. This bums me out, since I bought it, bought copies as gifts, and loved it - the DS touch-screen interface is something I find very enjoyable to use. With such low sales, a sequel seems unlikely, in spite of the fact that it received the all-time high score for the DS at metacritic -

I have a strong suspicion that the easy availability of ROMs for the game might have had something to do with the low sales (although objective data is hard to come by). By comparison, an iphone game was 80% unpaid copies, 20% paid -

The "change your business model" idea suggested for music companies is actually happening for games - Dragon Age: Origins now ships essentially crippled, with magic items to boost stats and useful party-member NPCs held back until you register an account and use the "free" code contained in a sealed shrink-wrapped game, or pay extra for it as DLC (downloadable content). This then adds all the server-overload fun of an MMO launch to a single-player game. It also required a tedious install reboot install loop on a console. Argh.

I'm not sure what the answer is long-term, other than everything will eventually be network-enabled only, as that's the only way to ensure payment. Standalone games will wither and die. Bummer. (With various exceptions for things like Dwarf Fortress which are free and take donations.)

In the meantime, Wil Wheaton's advice should be extended beyond just playing games, to include publishing and acquiring games - "Don't be a Dick."

Comment Re:Adobe's Linux sound bitching (Score 1) 815

Linux Weekly News has a nice summary of Linux Audio from the Linux Plumber's Conference:

"The history, status, and future of audio for Linux systems was the topic of two talks--coming at the theme from two different directions--at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). Ardour and JACK developer Paul Davis looked at audio from mostly the professional audio perspective, while PulseAudio developer Lennart Poettering, unsurprisingly, discussed desktop audio. Davis's talk ranged over the full history of Linux audio and gave a look at where he'd like to see things go, while Poettering focused on the changes since last year's conference and "action items" for the coming year."

The slides from the talks are also available as one LWN commenter pointed out -


Defining an Interactive Physical MMO For the iPhone 124

already-living-in-a-virtual-world writes "On his blog, mispeled writes about a new type of game he'd like to see for the iPhone. It's interesting stuff: '... the integration of a true gaming platform with the capabilities of a phone is unique, at least for the quality of the gaming experience offered. For all intents and purposes, the iPhone is a new system. And new systems demand that new gameplay mechanics be explored. For a long time I've been a fan of the MMORPG genre, and the iPhone offers several MMO-type games, especially those in the facebook, social-networking style. However, what I've yet to see is a game that takes advantage of the iPhone's location services, the GPS-like capability of the phone. Tons of applications use it, but no games, as far as I've seen. Why not? Motion sensing is all the rage on the consoles — the Wii popularized it, but now Microsoft and Sony are jumping on the bandwagon. But the iPhone, because it's portable, offers something more. And I want those offerings taken advantage of. I want to play an MMO that knows where I am and links my physical location to a virtual location. I want to create a game that gives the planet Earth a virtual overlay, interactable via a mobile (read: the iPhone) interface.'"

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