Advice to Youth, by Mark Twain

I can hardly wait for our upcoming daughter to be old enough to appreciate Mark Twain’s Advice to Youth. It’s some of the best advice I’ve read in ages. (I really do want her to read it, along with everything Oscar Wilde ever wrote, for starters…)

Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any, also to strangers, and sometimes to others. If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. That will be sufficient.

Star Trek people talk about Siri

Ars Technica: Siri is iPhone 4S-only today; where will it be tomorrow?

The whole thing’s decent, but for now, skip right down to the bottom of the article and read that section calling out the potential problems:

Michael Okuda also noted that voice input is generally inefficient. “Imagine I’m looking at some photos, and I want to say, ‘Up, up, left, down one, photo number 3362, no, the one on the left.’—that’s much slower than just clicking or tapping,” he said. “Natural language is, I think, going to have some significant limitations.”

We currently interact with our computers and other devices in several different ways: direct and indirect touch, keyboards, mice, styli, voice, and more. I fail to see why people would suddenly interact solely by voice.

So, with Okuda’s photo example in mind, think about editing photos on a tablet, or on a big ol’ touchscreen monitor. You could tap a photo, mess around with it, do the detail work with your nice Wacom tablet, and then say, “Oh, yeah: Siri, enhance the section of this photo with John in it. That’s great. Now, remove Sharon’s redeye, and email it to Bob for review.”

These are Star Trek people, fer cryin’ out loud! Surely Okuda has more imagination than this.

Unplggd reviews the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

When Bigger Isn’t Better: Samsung Galaxy S II Preview | Apartment Therapy Unplggd

First, WTF is up with that name, Samsung?

I find it interesting that Apple’s devices appear to be considered untouchable by so many reviewers. This review might as well read, “Well, it’s ugly, not as good as its 18-month old competitor, and clearly designed and built by chimpanzees, but it’s pretty much better than the rest of the also-rans.”

(Are there really no kick-ass Android phones on the market? What’s the problem, here?)

My two favorite quotes:

It’s still no Retina Display, but Samsung’s Super AMOLED is a category leading display otherwise.

If we were just considering specs on paper and were in the market for an Android based phone, this would be a frontrunner. However, after our short demo with the Samsung Galaxy S II, we weren’t wowed by the ergonomics, and to a lesser extent the material build, finding it best suited for those with larger hands and a blind eye to UI clutter.

Lots of IKEA hacks and ideas

Apartment Therapy’s Unplggd just did a nice roundup of a bunch of IKEA hacks and ideas. And yes, it links to the great IKEA hacking blog, of course.

IKEA Lovin’: The Best Of IKEA Tech Hacking & DIY | Apartment Therapy Unplggd

Welcome to the ultimate guide to IKEA hacking and DIY at Unplggd, with over 100 articles devoted to all things IKEA. Anything and everything about IKEA that’s been highlighted in these pages is carefully cataloged and categorized (sorta) for your pleasure and convenience. Well maybe not *everything – man can only endure search for so long (in this case a couple of hours). We’ve got IKEA hacking, Ikea DIY, and even some normal IKEA pieces that we just found extraordinary.

Tim Bray discusses the news industry

ongoing by Tim Bray · Good News-Biz News

Tim Bray’s latest blog post, discussing TPM, is well worth a read. It also contains a little side note on the current Republican party, who are largely (and, I believe, correctly) considered by the rest of the world as crazy fucking nutjobs:

Possibly the Republicans are right that homosexuality weakens marriage and tax cuts don’t cause deficits and imprisoning a world-leading proportion of your population increases public safety and deregulating the finance industry is good economics and invading large Middle-Eastern nations (then staying) improves America’s security, as does spending more on the military than the rest of the world put together. And maybe the rest of the world is wrong on these things. I doubt it, though.

But I digress.