R2-D2 excels in areas where humans are deficient: deep computation, endurance in extreme conditions, and selfless consciousness. R2-D2 is a computer that compensates for human deficiencies – it shines where humans fail. C-3PO is the personification of the selfish human – cloying, rules-bound, and despotic. (Don’t forget, C-3PO let Ewoks worship him!) C-3PO is a factotum for human vanity – it engenders the worst human characteristics.
I think the commentary on Threepio is a tad harsh… a mixture of both may be the way to go.
I think GIF animations are more widely used now than twenty years ago, when they were one of the few ways to serve motion files the web. While the latter day animations are often fun, they can chew up download or airtime allocations, on account of their size.
So what to do? Online image hosting service Imgur may have a solution by way of Project GIFV, an application that converts GIF animations to video files. The reduction in file size certainly looks promising, a raw GIF animation at fifty megabytes becomes a video GIFV file of some four megabytes.
The cornerstone of Project GIFV is a platform-wide upgrade to automatically convert uploaded GIF files on the fly into the MP4 video format. The converted MP4s are significantly smaller than their equivalent GIFs, which allows them to load at lightning-fast speeds with better quality. By lowering bandwidth consumption, the change also optimizes Imgur for users on mobile. Rejoice!
Mind you, four megabytes still seems sizeable for a GIF animation, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
The arrival of what is effectively a smartphone you wear on your wrist, in watch style, caused a splash a month or so ago, but how about the codex rotundus, a circle shaped book, about nine centimetres across, that almost looks like it could be worn as a watch, as wearable technology.
And dating from the late fifteenth century, on top of that. How old hat does this make that smartwatch look then?
Are we perhaps not mature enough as a people to be using certain of the technologies we have developed – many of which were intended to make life easier – that, through misapplication, could bring about our annihilation? It is a question that is troubling a growing number of scientists and eminent thinkers:
“We’re getting these more and more powerful technologies that we can use to have more and more wide-ranging impacts on the world and ourselves, and our level of wisdom seems to be growing more slowly. It’s a bit like a child who’s getting their hands on a loaded pistol – they should be playing with rattles or toy soldiers,” Bostrom tells me when we meet in his sunlit office at the FHI, surrounded by yet more whiteboards. “As a species, we’re giving ourselves access to technologies that should really have a higher maturity level. We don’t have an option – we’re going to get these technologies. So we just have to mature more rapidly.”
A little over one hundred years ago people were listening to recorded music on phonograph cylinders. Disc records were also around, and for a time the two formats competed with each other, before records eventually won out.
When I checked the headlines last Monday morning, an article about Ello, a social networking alternative to Facebook, caught my eye. The Vermont based startup behind Ello felt that “none of the social networks are fun anymore.” This sounded promising.
Ello is wtf. Ello is not crypto. Ello reminds me of the old days. Ello is kinda queer. Ello is features coming soon. Ello is a silo. Ello is not brogramming. Ello is not the same silo as the other silo. Ello is not the cloud. Ello is mobile-last. Ello is sort of an accident. Ello is “do you have any invites to Ello?” Ello is pretty and manospaced. Ello is an ouroboros. Ello is your new avi.
How on Earth do I score an invite, I wondered? After all, I don’t want noise, I want signal, I want a silo that is not the same as the other silo. Just as I was about to clock off for the day, I happened upon some of Andy Baio’s thoughts on the social network that promised to make social networks fun once more. Posted on Ello, no less:
The Ello founders are positioning it as an alternative to other social networks – they won’t sell your data or show you ads. “You are not the product.” If they were independently-funded and run as some sort of co-op, bootstrapped until profitable, maybe that’s plausible. Hard, but possible. But VCs don’t give money out of goodwill, and taking VC funding – even seed funding – creates outside pressures that shape the inevitable direction of a company.
Does accepting some Venture Capital funding mean that it’s over – in terms of being a “fun” social network at least – or is it too soon, way too soon, to decide?