Archive for the ‘Off-Topic’ Category

Long Break with Statues

A long break between posts… Again, my current life needed attention which had to be drawn from my pursuit of a better one. But as I still don’t have any regular readers, the impact is minimal ūüôā

By way of a return, and a test of posting and uploading images from my iPhone, I was pondering the question: what is the purpose of public statuary?

The one below is outside Hunter College at 68th & Lex (in Manhattan, as am I). I was passing by and it caught my eye and made me wonder why it’s there.

New York is full of statues. Some of them are monumental in purpose,¬†commemorating¬†some person or event. Others are turf markers, letting you know you’re in the garment district or outside someone’s corporate headquarters.

But then there are all the ones that seem to be put in place to fill a hole or as part of the architecture, mostly non-representational.

Some of them, no doubt, are eventually given meaning by their location — such is the case with this example, I suspect. After a few weeks of classes, the weird hedron below probably becomes an associative symbol. It represents Hunter College because that’s its sole context for the students.

But before that happens, or if it never does, what are these things trying to communicate? What thoughts or emotions does the artist hope to evoke in the viewer?

This isn’t a rant, just a musing.

After several minutes of viewing at various angles, the only response it genuinely brought forth in me was: “neat”. I like it just for what it is, the angles, the balance. Neat is enough.

Besides, lots of cool stuff came about because someone somewhere thought something was neat, if not useful, and kept playing with it until it became something cool.

(Aside to the WordPress folks, I love the iPhone app, but it needs the ability to insert links, and to include photos within the post rather than at the bottom…)

[EDIT: added links, spell checked…]

OT: No-Brainer iPhone Upgrades

Yes, yes, 3G is a wonderful thing.¬† GPS will be handy.¬† But if you really want to improve the iPhone‘s usefulness as a part of my everyday life, there are a few tweaks needed on the software.¬† Here (in no particular order) are a few things I’m hoping to see, either¬†in the new release from Apple or from the first round of 3rd party development.

Cut, copy¬†& paste – Long bemoaned by every person on the planet.¬† It makes me wonder if the folks at Apple actually used the device in daily life before the thing was finalized.¬† Ok, finding the perfect gesturesfor text selection and subsequent commands is a challenge.¬† But y’all are geniuses.¬† Work it out.¬† And when you get around to implementing a clipboard, make it work from every app.¬† I should be able to copy a contact from my phone list and paste their details into the body of an email (or attach them as a vCard).¬†

Sync notes to desktop – Seriously?¬† This one’s not even a technical challenge.

Better OFFLINE experience – I’ve always thought of Cupertino as a magical place, and apparently part of the magic is that no one is ever cut off from cell service.¬† In other places, though (especially places where people ride subways) users spend a significant amount of time without signal, and it’s often that very time which they most want to make better use of!¬† So, why does Safari insist on getting rid of a webpage that I was looking at 10 seconds before?¬† Why are emails I’ve already opened not still available to me later, even when they were merely text?¬† I have tons of empty memory, so that’s not it…¬† Anyway, I expect off-line web readers, e-book readers,¬†and other such tools will be very popular items in the first wave of third-party developers.¬† That being the case, would someone create a general off-line reader that allows easy syncing of websites and documents (e-book, pdf, etc) with my main computer and the ability to acquire new documents directly to the phone from the web while on the go?¬† kthxbai.

Tighter calendar / contact integration РHey Apple, guess what.  When I make a new appointment, the location is frequently someplace I already have in my contacts list.  How about letting me choose it from there?  Feel free to generalize this idea to allow cross-referencing of all the basic data types to/from all the apps.

iPhone specific social & blogging sites – This isn’t Apple’s doing, but with the beauty of the iPhone-specific FaceBook, I now want equally functional iPhone versions of other sites I use often — like¬†WordPress!¬† (UDPATE: WP is working on it!)

QR code functionality – Recognize and act on QR codes, at least for URL’s.¬† I’m sure a 3rd party app will hit for this, but it may take a while.¬† Hope it integrates directly with the camera software.

Video recordingAlready available for jailbroken phones.¬† The hardware is there, the codecs are there, other phones have been doing this for ages… why didn’t Apple include it from day one?

Switch between email accounts as sender¬†– Am I the only person who has more than one account, and sometimes wants to reply from one to an email received by another?¬† Super minor, as I can forward to the other account.¬† You know what, Apple?¬† You give me clipboard functionality, I’ll give you a pass on this one.

There are more, of course, ever more features we greedy¬†users want;¬†and the web is bursting with wish lists that are probably better considered than this one.¬† The thing is, the iPhone was/is such a great design that big, obvious misses like cut & paste are that much more frustrating — and when such deficiencies interrupt your workflow several times every day it becomes downright maddening.¬† So we’re all hoping that the new generation fixes these problems which Apple has known about since day two.

Please?