Category Archives: technology

Yes Siri

It’s here and it works. Despite a notable bug that means you have to disable/restart to get it to work, I’ve found it to be genuinely useful and usable. So far, I’ve used it to calculate areas, find facts, send emails, setup a reminder and do pretty similar things to those I use wolfram alpha for. Voice command curve-fitting could be very tedious though 🙂

No coincidence of course as Siri uses alpha at the backend for much of the “personal assistant” knowledge finding tasks I’ve described. There’s some cool tricks described here at The morse code feature is particularly geeky/nerdy and I’m looking forward to trying it out with my colleague and ham radio enthusiast, John Ronan, on Monday. Continue reading


In early 2006, myself and my girlfriend of 1 year (now nearly 7 years) watched Steve Jobs Stanford commencement address on youtube. I remember showing it to her as I’d found it to be a deeply moving speech. It was often said of Steve Jobs that he knew what we wanted to buy before we knew it ourselves. Well, here, he knew what most of us want to say but are too afraid to acknowledge. Several years later those simple words resonate louder but the courage to follow the road less traveled is something few of us really have. But life is short and nobody ever did anything truly worthwhile or satisfying without commitment, dedication and stubborn desire.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011

You can’t keep good tech down

Whenever I hear someone over the age of 30 explaining how some new technology or techno-craze is “useless/ pointless/ stupid/ timewasting/ boring/ foolish” etc. I make a mental note to look up that technology and learn more about it. I’m over 30 myself so I’m accepting a degree of techno-fogeydom has creeped into my outlook. I even dismissed twitter as a distracting waste of time. It _is_ distracting but that isn’t the point.

Twitter fulfills a social need. We’re wired for verbal communication and twitter provides us with a convenient way of filling that need that is different in its brevity and reach from other mechanisms. Few enough people connect to those they don’t know personally on facebook but twitter behavior is different. In many ways this is liberating and innovative. By keeping tweets to short bursts of 140 characters we accept a convention that limits our ability to abuse network trust with long and indulgent messages. That’s what blogs are for. When I look at my friends twitter usage and compare it with my own it’s clear that many of us use it to break dunbar’s number. Our casual twitter relationships greatly outstrip the 150 person friend limit that’s more obvious on facebook. Twitter is nothing less than a social revolution. A quick ideas mart… One that, according to Nielsen ratings, subscribers spend a rapidly increasing amount of time using. Continue reading