Juicy Bits

Just great.


Most of my friends know that I’m always working on side projects. And if you don’t know what side project I’m currently working on, that doesn’t mean that I’m taking a break. It just means that I’m being quiet. ;-)

This side project began as an experiment in March, 2009, and over the past 2½ years, it’s become my new full-time job.

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Kinect Hand Detection (via MITCSAIL)

This is a graphical interface inspired by the movie “Minority Report”. It uses the Kinect sensor from Microsoft, and the recently released libfreenect driver for interfacing with the Kinect in linux.

This is just the beginning in using similar sensor technology as used in Microsoft’s Kinect. Obviously, a huge step would be in improving the fidelity of these sensors. As much as improving the fidelity in the iPad’s touchscreen would be a huge step in turning it into more of a creation device rather than a consumption device. Nonetheless, the evolution of this type of technology is exciting.

(via @engadget)

More Kinect applications on Second Story’s Studio Blog.

But look at the two companies today. Jobs is still running Apple despite cancer and a liver transplant while Gates has moved on to saving the world at the Gates Foundation. Microsoft is worth $240 billion, a tiny drop from 12 years ago, with the shares now around $27 (down from $29). Nothing gained in more than a decade. Apple shares, on the other hand, have gone from $7.25 to almost $240, Apple’s market cap has risen more than 33X from $6 billion to $220 billion. And Cupertino’s cash hoard today is almost exactly the same as Microsoft’s at around $40 billion.

I remember someone telling me to buy Apple stocks when it was down at $12. Ugh. Coulda, woulda, shouda….

Microsoft's Courier

A couple of cool videos in this Engadget post got me really excited about Microsoft’s upcoming Courier. The video also calls it the “infinite journal.” I have dozens of moleskines I wish I had instant access to and I wish they were searchable thus allowing me to thread similar ideas and thoughts from the past to the present. This “infinite journal” device could be the one to do that. Now, if the upcoming iPad also had stylus input at a high resolution, than I’d say it’s game over. The iPad would be the device of choice for both media creation & collaboration as well as media  consumption.

The Courier seems like a great visual collaborative tool. Which is ironic, really, considering Apple should have been on the forefront of mobile collaboration tools. We’ll have to wait and see what the new iPad-specific iWork suite of apps will do.

But then… a couple of concerns came up:

  1. From the video is seems I need to improve my penmanship. My handwriting has just turned to crap. Not that it was great before. But still, I wonder if the Courier will be smart enough to recognize my inconsistent handwriting. Why can’t there be an on-screen keyboard with this where one screen is, er, the screen and the other a small virtual keyboard?
  2. I’m really concerned about the encouragement of just “copying” from the web. As the voice-over states: “Just clip and drag it into your presentation.” If there aren’t any attribution to the inspiration, what’s to stop someone from simply using that very material?