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Amazon’s Fire Phone is incredibly smart…and what it means for the future of smartphones

By on Aug 25, 2014 in Tech Takes | 0 comments

The announcement of the Amazon Fire Phone is one of the most interesting technology news I’ve come across in recent times. While the jury is out on whether it will be a commercial success or not (UPDATE: recent estimates suggest it could be as low as 35,000), the features that the phone comes with got me thinking about the technical advancements that have made it possible. The caveat here is much of what follows is speculation – but I do have a background in research projects in speech recognition and computer vision related user experience research. I’m going to dive into why Fire Phone’s features are an exciting advance in computing, what it means for the future of phones in terms of end-user experience, and a killer feature I think many other pundits are missing out. Fire Phone’s 3D User Interface I did my final year research project on using eye...

The Official Computer Bowl Trivia Book

By on Jun 23, 2014 in On A Whim | 1 comment

Stumbled upon this excellent resource for tech quizzers called The Official Computer Bowl Trivia book through Paul Ford on Twitter. Bear in mind this was released in 1996 so some parts of it may be outdated. Can’t wait for the next Code Wars I conduct with questions inspired from here!

The Lego Movie / The Grand Budapest Hotel

By on Mar 9, 2014 in Reviews | 2 comments

The Lego Movie   I admit that I was sceptical going in to watch The Lego Movie whether it would be actually good, or a merchandising ploy to turn toys into a movie gone too far – like the 2012 critical flop Battleship. I tend to dislike animated films in general because I often find them simplistic in terms of themes, with changeable “characters” (toys, cars, sea life) made with an eye towards the merchandising rights. Given that context, The Lego Movie was a pleasant surprise. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller use their tried technique of making smart contemporary pop culture references from their previous effort 21 Jump Street and tell it through charming, retro-style animation afforded by using Lego characters. I was very impressed by how smartly the casting was done to pick up actors who are big in Internet pop cultures: Chris Pratt from Parks and...

Anoushka Shankar’s “Traces of You” India tour

By on Dec 15, 2013 in Reviews | 1 comment

Anoushka Shankar’s “Traces of You” India tour