Settlement 2 Tone Backpack

Like this simple Herschel pack design with exposed zippers, leather zipper pulls, single front pocket with key clip, and fully lined with internal media pocket.

Like this simple Herschel pack design with exposed zippers, leather zipper pulls, single front pocket with key clip, and fully lined with internal media pocket.

How ‘Minority Report’ trapped us in a world of bad interfaces

“There are better ways to handle spatial ideas,” writes commercial artist Christian Brown, “ways which are more in line with the way our bodies are built. Human hands and fingers are good at feeling texture and detail, and good at gripping things—neither of which touch interfaces take advantage of. The real future of interfaces will take advantage of our natural abilities to tell the difference between textures, to use our hands to do things without looking at them—they’ll involve haptic feedback and interfaces that don’t even exist, so your phone shows you information you might want without you even needing to unlock and interact with it. But these ideas are elegant, understated, and impossible to understand when shown on camera.” […]

“Like porn, techno interfaces are more focused on what looks good than what feels good. And like porn, it’s pretty hard to get people to stop buying.”


We Learn … 10% of what we read 20% of what we hear 30% of what we see 50% of what we see and hear 70% of what we discuss 80% of what we experience 95% of what we teach others.
William glasser

Starting last spring I made changes with my web/data host which necessitated changing this site and many others over to a server. I’ve finally finished that transition but expect there to be some perma-link problems for the near far future (I know it’s bad form). Apologies for any mess. I also took the opportunity to move to WordPress and update the design; more on that later.

Your Next Smartphone Could Respond to Your Voice, Even When It’s Asleep

A new feature in Qualcomm’s chips will let you wake your phone with a voice command so it can do your bidding.

A new feature unveiled this week by mobile chip maker Qualcomm could soon make this a reality. Called Snapdragon Voice Activation, it will wake up gadgets that include the company’s Snapdragon 800 processors—intended for things like high-end smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs—from standby or airplane mode once you’ve uttered a special voice command that phonemakers like HTC and Samsung can determine. The feature then starts up the phone’s own voice-recognition software, such as Android’s Google Now voice search.

Such “persistent listening” technology may pick up steam as growing hordes of smartphone owners become acquainted with voice-activated search and virtual personal assistants like Google Now and Siri, and as Qualcomm and others begin adding it to chips.

Via MIT Technology Review.


Sunrise is aiming to make the calendar experience better – for Google Calendar users. It works well, is fast and attractive, I like the app., but it’s reliance on Facebook and Google Cal for data make it useless for me (you can’t use the app without logging into Facebook).

Police can look through a password-less phone without a warrant, says Ontario court

Ontario’s highest court has signalled that the right of police officers to look through someone’s phone depends on whether there’s a password. From the National Post:

The Court of Appeal for Ontario says it’s all right for police to have a cursory look through the phone upon arrest if it’s not password protected, but if it is, investigators should get a search warrant.

The court’s ruling comes in the case of a man who appealed his robbery conviction, arguing that police breached his charter rights by looking through his phone after his arrest.

The court says if the phone had been password protected or otherwise locked to anyone other than its owner, “it would not have been appropriate” to look through the phone without a search warrant.

Note to potential criminals in Ontario: password protect your phone.

MIT Students Debate the Value of iPads in the Classroom

Justin Reich’s ideas with regards to technology in the classroom largely mirror my own, particularly so when referring to elementary school. This is not to say that the education system is fine as is or that the classroom as a place of learning is optimal (or in some cases even desirable), but parachuting technology into the classroom with hope of curing all perceived problems is a flawed strategy at best.

While I’m against the idea of having iPads in the classroom, I’m not opposed to using them outside the classroom. Great teaching is done with groups and collaboration, but reinforcement of material could be greatly improved with interactivity, social aspects and new technology. These are all areas where I think the iPad could be beneficial to learning.


First of all, I feel this focus on tech in the classroom is taking us the wrong direction. We need good teachers, not bells-and-whistles technology. Tech alone doesn’t help if there isn’t solid curriculum to go along with it.

I worry that this kind of article frames the debates on education the wrong way. People think the more tech in schools, the better, here tech meaning computers, etc. People like tech in schools because they seem a good stand-in or proxy for improvement in education: it’s easily quantifiable, and it makes news; we spend x dollars to put y computers (iPads, etc.) in these schools! What people should be asking rather than how much new technology we put in schools is: how are they actually going to improve the curriculum?


There is no reason that students need iPads to supplement their educational experience. iPads are only productive for providing supplementary material to already motivated students who will actually use the iPads productively. I am a strong believer that to spark and interest and confidence in learning, the most essential thing is the inter-personal relationships between teacher and student. With an iPad, these relationships slowly become less personal and learning becomes less individualized. Fundamentally important parts of the classroom experience — i.e. constant communication with other students/teacher, and taking notes with a paper/pencil — are lost.

Read: MIT Students Debate the Value of iPads in the Classroom