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Wall-sized displays, gesture recognition, and seamless information convergence: it’s the stuff that Interface Designer dreams are made of. It’s also a vision found in The Minority Report. So how did Tom Cruise get such a nice set up? It turns out that Microsoft Research, MIT, and several design shops had a say in the interface designs found in the film.
Wired News: This Is No Two-Bit Music Player: “Part handheld danceteria, part art, the creation squeezes an album’s worth of Perich’s original electronic dance music onto a tiny, 8-KB microchip. The electronics and battery are housed inside a clear, plastic CD case, along with volume, power and track-skip controls. Perich, who is also a graduate student at New York University, hand-programmed each track. Listeners can plug headphones directly into the side of the case and get their groove on — no iPod or CD player needed.”
Ainu language – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “Ainu is a moribund language, and has been endangered for at least the past few decades. Most of the 150,000 self-proclaimed ethnic Ainu in Japan (many additional Ainu are not aware of their origins or are secretive for fear of discrimination) speak only Japanese. In the town of Nibutani (part of Biratori, Hokkaido) where many of the remaining native speakers live, there are 100 speakers, out of which only 15 used the language every day in the late 1980s. The number of speakers today (by whatever definition one may use) is not known with any certainty. In all of Hokkaido, it is estimated that there are perhaps 1000 native speakers, almost all older than 30. Among Ainu speakers (broadly defined), second-language learners presently outnumber native ones.”
“The key element in Navajo is the verb and is notoriously complex. Some noun meanings are provided by verbs, as in Hoozdo ‘Phoenix, Arizona’ (lit., ‘the place is hot’) and ch’é’étiin ‘doorway’ (lit., ‘something has a path horizontally out’). Many complex nouns are derived from nominalized verbs as well, as in ná’oolkiłí ‘clock’ (lit., ‘one that is moved slowly in a circle’) and chidí naa’na’í bee’eldǫǫhtsoh bikáá’ dah naaznilígíí ‘army tank’ (lit., ‘a car that they sit up on top of that crawls around with a big thing with which an explosion is made’).”
Rules of Acquisition – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines, intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by the ultra-capitalist Ferengi. The first rule was made by Gint, the first Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance. He numbered the first rule #162 in order to create demand for the other 161 unwritten rules. Gint never intended these rules to be rules as such, but rather as guidelines or suggestions.”
Scientific American: Controlling Hurricanes: “But must these fearful forces of nature be forever beyond our control? My research colleagues and I think not. Our team is investigating how we might learn to nudge hurricanes onto more benign paths or otherwise defuse them. Although this bold goal probably lies decades in the future, we think our results show that it is not too early to study the possibilities.”
PodcastChapterTool – Voxmedia Wiki: “Apple’s chapter system adds an entire new dimension to podcasts. For the first time, true podcast ecommerce, or pCommerce for short, is possible. Chapters add the ability to embed links and graphics displayed in sync with the podcast. Now podcasters can discuss a product or website, place a graphic representation for it on the screen and simultaneously provide a hyperlink that, when clicked, would give the podcaster credit for that clickthrough and tie in to existing e-commerce systems. Additionally all new types of podcasts are now possible: Artwork podcasts that actually show the artwork they are discussing, story-based podcasts that use the chapter art as illustrations, soundseeing tours that show pictures of what the tour guide is discussing and more.”