Tim Huckaby can’t sit still. During his hour-long presentation on the future of user interfaces at the recent 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), he leapt from demo to demo, his enthusiasm contagious, and his constant movement making it difficult for anyone in the audience with a camera to capture him in stasis.
Huckaby has good reason to be excited. The way this software expert sees it, we’re on the verge of a science-fiction-like future where doctors manipulate molecules in three-dimensional (3-D) space, augmented music players tune into your thoughts, and retailers deliver coupons in real time based on the focus of your gaze across store shelves.
Imagine a world in retail where my wife has opted in at Nordrom’s, or Macy’s, or something like that to be tracked through the store… We can see what you’re looking at, and we can push a coupon to you. ‘Hey, Kelly, you were in the Seattle Nordstrom’s, and you looked at these cute shoes, but your didn’t buy them. Now you’re in the Las Vegas Nordstrom’s. You’re looking at the exact same shoes. How about 40 percent off if you buy them right now?’ That’s the beauty of retail.
Huckaby is founder and chairman of California-based InterKnowlogy, as well as the current chief executive officer of Actus Interactive Software. Both companies focus on user interface (UI) development, and Huckaby’s belief in the coming rapid evolution of the UI field is based on decades of work in emerging technology.
Batman, James Bond, teenage vampires and a team of superheroes helped propel domestic movie ticket sales in 2012 to a projected all-time high of $10.8 billion, reversing a slump that saw attendance drop to a 16-year low last year.
Box-office receipts are likely to be up 6% compared with last year, as is attendance, which is on track to hit 1.36 billion, according to Hollywood.com. That’s much-needed good news for the film business, though this year’s attendance figure is far from record-breaking — in 2002, 1.6 billion showed up at the box office.
Meanwhile, ticket sales from abroad continued to significantly boost bottom lines in Hollywood, because 15 of the year’s top 20 pictures grossed more abroad than they did in the U.S. and Canada. For instance, 81% of the total $875 million in receipts for the 3-D animated film “Ice Age: Continental Drift” came from overseas.
NEW YORK (AP) — The teenage actor who plays the half in the hit CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men” says in a video posted online by a Christian church that the show is “filth” and that viewers shouldn’t watch it.
That show is the absolute worst and he is right that people shouldn’t watch it. But it’s too bad that this has to be a Christian thing, as if hating the show and everything it stands for means one is prudish.
Think outside the ballot box and tell me who would make an excellent write-in PotUS. I don’t mean “serve the nation better than Obama” excellent. I mean “right or wrong, I really want to watch his/her speeches” excellent. I don’t care if they’re US citizens, or alive, or even fictitious. Screw qualifications in a nation that has heard of Sarah Palin. And don’t forget a running mate who balances out the ticket.
Clint Eastwood PotUS, Empty Chair VP
Ozzy Osbourne PotUS, Snooki VP
Mike Tyson PotUS, Fred Savage VP
George Carlin PotUS, Dave Chappelle VP
What are your ideas? Surely you can come up with better ideas than mine, since you’ll probably be rested by the time you read this. Vote in the comments as often as you want. The electoral college will probably ignore them anyway.
Gene Dolgoff remembers looking around his hometown of Manhattan as a child and thinking “I have to record and play back this experience.” Dolgoff thinks he’s found a way with 3-D Vision, a converter that instantly transforms any 2-D video content — from TV to video games — into 3-D using algorithms that present stereoscopic image pairs and give the illusion of depth.
Now, the man who has always seen the world through 3-D glasses wants to bring his vision into commonplace content. Dolgoff’s Fundable project for 3-D Vision has reached half of its $10,000 goal in only four days.
The 3-D experience was previously only available in blockbuster movies or among the few people who invested in 3-D televisions. Dolgoff says the high cost of making 3-D content through graphic artists or special cameras has been the biggest barrier to it going mainstream, which he believes 3-D Vision has the potential to do. The first generation of 3-D Vision will require glasses, but Dolgoff has a prototype in development that works without glasses, which he’s been demoing for visitors to his Long Island, NY lab.
“Gamers have been really interested. After they play their games in 3-D on our system, they tell me ‘I can’t go back to playing this in 2-D,’” says Dolgoff.
Dolgoff is best known for inventing the LCD projector and inspiring the holodeck in “Star Trek”.
Today a dream is coming true for me. I’m in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a crew of artists and we’re scanning the artwork here, we’re sharing them, and we’re hacking on them.
You can follow along here on the MakerBot blog, the MakerBot Twitter, follow the #MET3D hashtag and the newest things on Thingiverse.
I was an art teacher in Seattle Public Schools and with my students I could only get them to a museum once a year. Together we would get on a bus, go get a tour of a museum and go back to school.
It was great to go to a museum, but it was limited. I had a wish then that I could bring the museum into the classroom. Little did I know that 6 years later, I would be in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with some of the best artists and designers in the world scanning art and sharing it on Thingiverse for the world to download and make. We’re taking it even farther than that though. I don’t think I imagined that the work could be changed, mashed-up, hacked, and remade. It is truly a brilliant and wonderful future we live in where you can go into a museum that allows photography, take lots of pictures and then use 123D Catch to turn it into a model and share it on Thingiverse.
The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.
He said he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanising the web.
“There’s a lot to be lost,” he said. “For example, all the information in apps - that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”
Brin argued he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if Facebook had been there first. This is because search engines require an open Web, and too many rules not only close it down, but they “stifle innovation,” Brin said.
In a nutshell, PLS is a kind of savings account that pools some of the interest from all depositors and pays out a big lottery prize every month or so. It combines the thrill of the lottery with the safety of a savings account. It’s sometimes called a “no-lose lottery,” since a depositor is automatically entered into the lottery but can’t lose the original money she deposits.
And while PLS might play well in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia, there’s a group of researchers who feel that PLS is very badly needed right here in the U.S.
Peter Tufano is a Harvard Business School professor who specializes in consumer finance. He recently helped conduct a survey in several countries, including the U.S., which asked people if they could come up with $2,000 in 30 days if they had to. It turns out that nearly half of Americans couldn’t - “which means,” Tufano says in the podcast, “that they stand only one emergency or crisis away from really quite dire circumstances. This isn’t picked up in the national economic statistics.”
What if there was a way to win a big jackpot without having to risk losing anything at all? (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
The facts are simple. Americans have a low savings rate; and Americans love to play the lottery. Last year, we spent more than $58 billion on lottery tickets, or roughly $200 per person. As entertainment goes, the lottery is pretty cheap - a dollar and a dream and all that. But as an investment, it offers a dreadful return. States typically withhold about 40 percent of the ticket money from the prize pool for overhead costs and, often, education funds. That’s a far worse return than casino gambling or horse race betting. Which is why the lottery is sometimes called “a tax on stupid people.”
That’s why people like Tufano and University of Maryland economist Melissa Kearney are interested in bringing PLS plans to the U.S. (Here’s their paper on the topic, well worth a read.) PLS accounts have been successful in other parts of the world for years. In the podcast, you’ll hear from Tufano and Kearney, as well as from the folks who started a successful PLS program in South Africa - and the folks who got that program shut down.
Fifteen years ago ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ premiered on the WB to a somewhat skeptical response. A mid-season teen soap on a fledgling network? Based on a campy film that wasn’t even old enough to attain cult classic status? And who outside of Pixar had heard of Joss Whedon? Little did we know that in creating Sunnydale, Joss had built the first little metropolis in the vast empire now known as the Whedonverse. I was 15 when ‘Buffy’ premiered and, as idiotic as it may sound, it changed my life. I had never before (or since) interacted with a TV show on such a deeply personal level. My high school and college years followed lock-step with Xander’s, Willow’s and Buffy’s and though our experiences weren’t exactly the same, their jokes became mine, their joy was mine and, most of all, their pain was mine. I realize that might sound heavy and melodramatic for an often-times silly show, but the heart wants what the heart wants. So here, here is my clumsy love letter to the seven years I spent watching the show. This is for my high school friend who used to bring me a VHS tape of every episode so I could watch it at home when I wasn’t allowed any TV. (She cried when she handed me a certain tape mid-way through Season 2.) This is for my college roommates who indulgently watched with me every Tuesday. This is for my ‘grown-up’ friends who join me in re-watching the DVDs. This is for the strangers I meet who light up at a casual reference. And this is for my dad who called me the first time Tara and Willow kissed. This is for them and for me and for you and for Joss and for Jane and for Marti and for Doug and for the Davids. So, in no particular order and in honor of the 15th Anniversary, here are the 115 Reasons Why We Love ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer.’ Thank you for the things that were perfect and for the things that weren’t. We loved it all.
I loved it too.