Thursday, October 9, 2008


Just rebuilding my Dell XPS 1330 laptop for the 3rd time running. I'm a victim of a certain NVidia chipset fault resulting in overheating in the GPU. Dell has released a BIOS update that helpfully addresses the issue by running your system fan the whole time: I'm sure I could have come up with that one myself.

Having dealt with system recovery under Windows extensively, the experience under Vista is decidedly pleasant. There's nothing quite like being able to bring up a command prompt and backup all your files to an external USB drive even after Windows stops being able to boot, without requiring you create a boot disk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Frankenstein's voice

I've been working my way through a number of telephone voice recognition systems this morning, paying some bills. I can see these systems growing uncontrollably, getting patched by different voice artists, inserting parts of phrases as the system expands. It is eerie listening to the Sydney train system, where announcements are made up of sentence fragments stitched together by computer software.

I can see such a system getting to the size where it can no longer be re-recorded using a single speaker's voice as a consequence of our failure to handle natural language generation in software. Either because it is too hard to justify the expense, or the amount of recorded dialog exceeds the ability of any one person to record in a reasonable time. The consequence leaves companies to speak with a Frankenstein's collage of different voices, no one voice having authority over all others. There are parallels between this and the way businesses are becoming fractured, vitalized and spread globally.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Up and coming

Most blogs tell you what they've written. I tell you what I'm going to write:
  • You're Not Thin-king - why thin computing is silicon road kill
  • All Your IT Are Belong To Who? - who all these gadgets are really designed for, and how to get them to pay attention to you
  • The New Flesh - why the porn industry isn't at the forefront of IT technology anymore; and who is replacing them
Comments, queries, criticism welcome.

IT Futurology

Ask yourself this – what will information technology look like in the next 10 years? Not 25 years, not 100, but the near future. There are two schools of thought: you’ll either predict the predictable (new releases of Microsoft Windows, Linux still not achieving the mainstream) or attempt to guess the unknowable (the singularity, ubiquitous computing). Make a list. Check it twice.

And then, gently, tenderly, after considering what it really means, cross off every item that achieves buzz word compliance.
What is left? This is IT Futurology.