The Oculus Rift and Three Kinects

Sat May 17, 2014 by brett

Here is a YouTube video showing a researcher working with an Oculus Rift and Three Microsoft Kinects. Even this simple setup looks amazing!

The Anker T320 Keyboard

Thu May 15, 2014 by brett

I bought an Anker T320 bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPad, mainly because it had such good reviews on Amazon. It’s an amazingly good keyboard! It’s really light - much smaller and lighter than the Apple bluetooth keyboard I was using before. It charges via mini-USB. The keystroke action is excellent. I am very happy with it. Here is my Amazon Affiliate link to the keyboard should you want to buy it: AnkerĀ® T320 Ultrathin (4mm) Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for iOS (iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad 2 / 3 / 4), Windows and Android 3.0 and above OS with Built-in lithium battery / Aluminum Body.

How different will we be?

Wed May 14, 2014 by brett

I read an interesting post yesterday, about how much we change over the course of our lives. Yet, when we look forward at our future, we project forward the same person we are now. We don’t expect ourselves to change much at all.

I find this fascinating. I love thinking that the me will be looking back 10 years from now will be as different as from me now as the me from 10 years ago.

More Notes on Changing Behaviour

Tue May 13, 2014 by brett

I wrote up a post this morning on micro-behaviours, triggers and rewards. Later on I was checking out Hacker News when I stumbled on this post by Alex Coleman, on how to get stuff done. Both posts refer to the same original work by Dr Fogg on micro-behaviours. In my post I emphasize using “triggers” to trigger the new habit, which may be an existing habit or environmental cue. In Alex’s post, he puts a lot of emphasis on setting up a routine or schedule. The time itself becomes the trigger.

Whether you use time, an existing habit, or an environmental cue as the trigger to the micro-behaviour, I think the key is to create that connection between the trigger and the micro-behaviour. This may mean scheduling a reminder at the required time, putting a post-it note above the bathroom mirror, or something similar to remind yourself to do the desired thing at the appropriate moment, until the connection between the trigger and the behaviour is created.

Micro-Behaviors, Triggers and Rewards

Tue May 13, 2014 by brett

I watched this TED talk video on changing behaviour a few days ago, which really inspired me to take a more structured approach to developing a new positive habit. The key points of the video are that in order to affect long-term behavior change, you need to have a trigger - some habit that you already have, or an environmental queue that you can chain the new behavior from. You also need to make the new behavior as easy to do as possible. You want to associate a “micro-behavior” with your trigger - something that can easily become a habit, but that you can later expand to fully incorporate the new habit you are trying to achieve. Finally, you need to reward yourself in some way every time you do the micro-behavior.

Installing CyanogenMod on a Nexus 7

Tue May 6, 2014 by brett

Yesterday I installed CyanogenMod on my 2012 Nexus 7. I decided to do this because I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we will all be using our computing technology in the next few years. I think that we will be carrying around our smart phones and tablets, and using these as our main computing devices - but projecting the screens to the nearest large display. This appeals a lot to me as a developer, but basically I won’t be happy unless I have a Unix prompt.

I’m an Apple fan, and I mostly work on an Apple Air. My phone is an iPhone, and I know that it’ll be a cold day in hell before Apple give me access to the command line and I have a c++ compiler on my phone.

The installation of CyanogenMod went smoothly. It was simply a case of installing an app on the tablet itself, downloading a program to my Apple Air, plugging in my tablet via USB, and away it all went. If this all works out OK, I’m quite keen to get the OnePlus One phone, which has CyanogenMod installed and looks like a beautiful device.

Problems with iPhone 5S and a Virgin SuperHub

Wed Feb 12, 2014 by brett

Ever since I’ve had my iPhone 5S, I’ve had problems with the wifi on my 120 MB Virgin SuperHub. Quite often the phone fails to connect to sites, or the wifi connection drops out. I’ve even tried re-installing iOS to see if it was a corrupt operating system (as the “Genius” at the Genius Bar suggested).

It turns out that going into the wireless settings of the Virgin SuperHub and changing the “Wireless Band” parameter from 2.4GHz to 5GHz, with a channel setting of “Auto Compatability” fixed my problem.

I’m placing this on my blog so it can be found by anyone with similar issues.

iPad to iPhone Tethering Issues

Tue Nov 26, 2013 by brett

The past few days I’ve been bringing in my new WIFI-only iPad and trying to use it tethered to my iPhone 5. It’s been a frustrating experience so far. I’ve found that it works OK when the iPad is first tethered to the iPhone, but shortly thereafter the internet connection seems to drop out on the iPad, even though the iPhone is still reporting it to be connected OK.

The frustrating thing is that my Android device (Nexus 7) works well and stays connected to the internet when tethered to my iPhone.

Finally, in desperation, I did some experimentation today. Previously I was tethered over WIFI. I am now experimenting with turning off WIFI and tethering solely through Bluetooth. I also switched off the screen lock on my iPhone. So far this seems to have solved the disconnection issues I’ve been having.

Mobile Tethering

Fri Nov 22, 2013 by brett

I finally moved my cellular provider from O2 to Three, because Three has an unlimited data + tethering plan. So far it’s been working really well. I brought in my wireless-only Nexus 7 to BNP Paribas’ office today, tethered it to my iPhone, and been able to access my email, notes, and other online services quite well. My Nexus 7 is paired with an Apple Wireless Keyboard, and it actually makes a very usable environment.

The Technological Arms Race and the Middle Class

Wed Oct 23, 2013 by brett

Over the last few days there’s been some rumblings in the blogosphere about whether technology will or won’t destroy the middle class.

There was this piece in the Washington Post by James Bessen arguing that although there might be short-term disruption, there will be plenty of work in the future for the middle class.

This was countered by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones who argues that you can hardly compare the technological changes that have happened in the past, with what is currently happening with regards to computing.

You can look throughout history and see plenty of cases of technology disrupting an industry, and humans scurrying off to find some other economic corner to exploit. The people arguing against structural unemployment are saying that this process can continue indefinitely. My own feeling is that everyone is competing now, whether they like it or not, using technology. The economic spoils will go to the people that recognise that they are in a technological arms race, rather than those who refuse to accept it.