In isolating your body but simultaneously trying to simulate your body’s natural state — natural head movements are echoed in the game world, but your actual head is still trapped inside what amounts to an ergonomically considerate box cutting you off from the world — VR puts you in a place where everything reminds you of your body’s limitations. Every time I see some disembodied ping pong paddle waving around in front of me mimicking my real hand movements, every time I see a mech pilot’s legs locked in place in a cockpit I can freely look around, the effect is the same. All I can think about is how, in this virtual world, the only thing that actually exists is me. My body is trapped, but my ego feels immortal, immoveable.
Sunday, January 27th, 2019
Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Dave is liking the word “telepresence”:
On social media we broadcast our presence and thoughts over radio and wire and I likewise consume your projections as they echo back to me. We commune over TCP/IP.
Just wait until he discovers the related neologism coined by Ted Nelson.
Friday, February 16th, 2018
Perhaps when Bush prophesied lightning-quick knowledge retrieval, he didn’t intend for that knowledge to be footnoted with Outbrain adverts. Licklider’s man-computer symbiosis would have been frustrated had it been crop-dusted with notifications. Ted Nelson imagined many wonderfully weird futures for the personal computer, but I don’t think gamifying meditation apps was one of them.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018
In this terrific essay by Marina Benjamin on the scientific and mathematical quest for ever-more dimensions, she offers this lovely insight into the mind-altering effects that the art of Giotto and Uccello must’ve had on their medieval audience:
By consciously exploring geometric principles, these painters gradually learned how to construct images of objects in three-dimensional space. In the process, they reprogrammed European minds to see space in a Euclidean fashion.
In a very literal fashion, perspectival representation was a form of virtual reality that, like today’s VR games, aimed to give viewers the illusion that they had been transported into geometrically coherent and psychologically convincing other worlds.
Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Peter looks into his crystal ball for 2018 and sees computers with eyes, computers with ears, and computers with brains.
Monday, April 10th, 2017
A small black mirror.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
A really nicely put together sci-fi short film.
Friday, June 26th, 2015
Thursday, January 15th, 2015
Sunday, January 11th, 2015
Friday, December 19th, 2014
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
When I was writing about browser-developer relations yesterday, I took this little dig at Safari:
Apple, of course, dodges the issue entirely by having absolutely zero developer relations when it comes to their browser.
A friend of mine who works at Apple took me to task about this on Twitter (not in the public timeline, of course, but by direct message). I was told I was being unfair. After all, wasn’t I aware of Vicki Murley, Safari Technologies Evangelist? I had to admit that I wasn’t.
“What’s her URL?” I asked.
“Of her blog.”
“She doesn’t have one.”
The Safari Technologies Evangelist actually does speak at one conference: WWDC. And the videos from that conference are available online …if you sign on the dotted line.
Now, I’m not saying that being in developer relations for a browser vendor means that you must blog or must go to conferences. But some kind of public visibility is surely desirable, right? Not at Apple.
I remember a couple of years back, meeting the Safari evangelist for the UK. He came down to Brighton to have lunch with me and some of the other Clearlefties. I remember telling him that I could put him touch with the organisers of some mobile-focused conferences because he’d be the perfect speaker.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’m not actually allowed to speak at conferences.”
An evangelist who isn’t allowed to evangelise. That seems kind of crazy to me …and I can only assume that it’s immensely frustrating for them. But in the case of Apple, we tend to just shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh, well. That’s Apple. That’s just the way it is.”
Back when I was soliciting questions for this year’s browser panel at Mobilism, Remy left a little rant that began:
When are we, as a web development community, going to stop giving Apple a free fucking pass? They’re consistently lacking in the open discussion in to improving the gateway to the web: the browser.
And he ended:
Even the mighty PPK who tells entire browser vendors “fuck you”, doesn’t call Apple out, allowing them to slither on. Why is it we continue to allow Apple to get away with it? And can this ever change?
When I next saw Remy, I chuckled and said something along the usual lines of “Hey, isn’t that just the way it is at Apple?” And then Remy told me something that made me rethink my defeatist accepting attitude.
But this, I say, waving around at the room, this feels a little odd. I’m getting the presentation from an Apple announcement event without the event. I’ve already been told that I’ll be going home with an early developer preview release of Mountain Lion. I’ve never been at a meeting like this, and I’ve never heard of Apple seeding writers with an as-yet-unannounced major update to an operating system. Apple is not exactly known for sharing details of as-yet-unannounced products, even if only just one week in advance. Why not hold an event to announce Mountain Lion — or make the announcement on apple.com before talking to us?
That’s when Schiller tells me they’re doing some things differently now.
And that, said Remy, is exactly why now is the time to start pushing back against Apple’s opaque developer relations strategy when it comes to Safari: they’re doing some things differently now.
Apple’s culture of secrecy has served them very, very well for some things—like hardware—but it’s completely at odds with the spirit of the web. That culture clash is most evident with Safari; not just a web browser, but a web browser built on the open-source Webkit platform.
I’m sure that Vicki Murley is great at her job. But her job will remain limited as long as she is hampered by the legacy of Apple’s culture.
That culture of secrecy is not written in stone. It can change. It should change. And the time for that change is now.