Skip to content

Who are you wearing? …Okay, what version?

Who are you wearing? …Okay, what version? published on 2 Comments on Who are you wearing? …Okay, what version?

“Hey,” I thought a week or two ago as I typed the write-up for this cartoon about wearable technology, “that last line would make a pretty good cartoon on its own.” And now here we are. Enjoy the Oscars tonight.

I’m wearing a Fitbit Flex myself. My quantified self turns out to walk roughly half as much as Alex does, which has tempted me to secretly buy one of those paint can shakers, keep it in a closet at NOW, and duct tape my Flex to it for 20 minutes a day.

(On re-reading, “duct tape my Flex to it” sounds kinda filthy. And painful. And permanent.)

By the way, since I mentioned the Flex, the good folks at iFixit did a teardown of one, in case you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside it. (They put the “tear” in teardown, using a hacksaw and what appears to be the dentist’s drill from Marathon Man.)

One last thing: if you’re discerning enough to know about the good folks at Adafruit Industries, then the version below is for you. (It’s also for them, because their customer service is freaking awesome.)

Disgruntled actor: Gracious, shmacious. I'm damned if I'm going to applaud when I've been beaten for best actor by an Xtranormal character.


Text-to-(acceptance)-speech published on 1 Comment on Text-to-(acceptance)-speech

(Originally posted to ReadWriteWeb)

The official Oscar nominations are out, and there’s a movie up for best picture that has a lot to say about social media and the online communications revolution sweeping the world.

The Social Network? Hell, no. I’m talking about The King’s Speech.

Set mostly in the years leading up to the Second World War, The King’s Speech deals with the extraordinary relationship between speech therapist Lionel Logue and Albert, Duke of York. Albert has a persistent stammer, an affliction that might have gone largely unremarked in past generations. But this is the era of radio, and when he ascends (a little relucantly) to the throne as King George VI, he must deliver an address to a nation suffering from grave fear and doubt.

(Spoiler alert: If you have some knowledge of history, you are probably assuming his address was at least good enough to avoid demoralizing the nation and forcing Britain’s capitulation to the Nazis. And you are correct. Also, you were probably a little surprised by the ending of Inglorious Basterds.)

This is the story of a friendship that crosses some very deep divides of class and colonialism. But it’s also a story of entrenched institutions confronting the transformational changes brought about thanks to technological innovation. And it’s a story of the changing relationship between the public and those in power, who have had a long time to become used to deciding when, where and how any communication will take place between them.

That’s a timely theme for anyone watching the past day’s events unfold in Tunisia and Egypt – or, for the matter, the past decade’s events in much of the rest of the world.