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Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing" 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the magic's-gone dept.
curtwoodward writes "Stop drooling over that new iPhone. Put away the fancy tablet. Because the real hardcore nerds find that stuff 'boring' and 'mind-numbing,' says Mary Lou Jepsen, head of the display division at secretive R&D lab Google X. At MIT's EmTech conference, Jepsen said the next generation of 'moonshot' tech is much more exciting and interesting. That includes Google X projects like the driverless car, Project Loon, a stratospheric balloon-based wireless network, and Google Glass."
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Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing"

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  • Reener (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You had me until Google Glass. Until talking to yourself without a cell phone to your ear is socially acceptable, it's a niche gadget.

    • Re: Reener (Score:3, Interesting)

      by andy_spoo (2653245)
      It's when you see someone stroking the side of it (to go through menus etc.) that makes the wearer look real creepy, especially if they're concentrating on the screen and haven't noticed there's a child standing in the front.
    • by TheLink (130905)

      Things like Google Glass actually have potential for significant human augmentation:
      http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3478821&cid=42956909 [slashdot.org]

      Computers can do many savant-like tasks quite well.
      Add wireless tech plus suitable infra and you have savants with virtual telepathic and telekinetic powers*.

      * only in supported locations, YMMV ;).

    • Re:Reener (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dr Max (1696200) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:17AM (#45099375)
      As much as i think google glass is just an old concept re-done (poorly in my opinion) by a new company with a lot of fans. I don't think the article is commenting about what is socially popular (that would be smartphones and tablets), more about what are cool gadgets to the tech elite and the future. Personally I agree, as i don't give a flying fuck that your smartphone has a slightly larger screen, and a 10% cpu power increase so all of your apps can load a bit quicker; Robots that can drive any where in the world, on their own, are much cooler (as with most robots/AI, heads up displays that aren't complete crap, wearable flexible tech, brain wave monitoring, solar powered drones that can loiter at 50 000 feet for 7 years, the list goes on).
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        TFA's young author and the rest of you kids should read the journal I posted last Saturday, What a wondrous thing I have in my pocket! [slashdot.org]

        • by Dr Max (1696200)
          When i started high school i saved all my money for a year and bought one of the first pocket pcs, about 15 years ago now. The pocket pc lacked a LOT of polish, but it did the majority of the wondrous things that my current smart phone does, and since then i've been witnessing minor improvement after minor improvement. Sure the smartphone is wondrous compared to a slide rule but, a slide rule is wondrous compared to an abacus, and imagine what your great grandfather would of thought of TV. I'm glad you like
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Well, slide rules have been around for 500 years. As to my grandparents, they would have been wowed by radio, let alone TV. They would have been in their early 20s when broadcasting started.

            I remember my grandma telling me how cool it was when she saw her first airplane fly over when she was eight, she was born 3 months before the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk. From being amazed at an airplane and radio to seeing a man walk on the moon on TV.

            To me, the most wondrous thing I own is inside my eyeball

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              McCoy would be in awe of a modern hospital.

              I think his reaction to a kidney transplant in ST IV: The Search for Greenpeace belies that. Sure, we've got telemedicine and a plethora of MRI's and some other gadgets, but there's still a long way to go. One trick is that medical research generally has to work pretty well to go forward. Certainly moreso than the 'throw shit at the wall' approach to tech that has given us a dozen iterations of tablets (finally getting a working paradigm now?) and atrocities like Google Glass and that Samsung 'smart' watch.

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                I think his reaction to a kidney transplant in ST IV: The Search for Greenpeace belies that.

                The 1966 McCoy, not the 1986 McCoy. And even there the 1982 McCoy couldn't cure Kirk's age-related presbyopia without eyedrops that soften aging lenses, but Dr. Yeh cured mine in 2006 with surgery (that the 1986 McCoy would have called "barbaric" despite the fact that it was painless).

        • by Dr Max (1696200)
          small step* for mankind. damn it.
    • "Until talking to yourself without a cell phone to your ear is socially acceptable"

      Until? Have you been outside in the past ten years?

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        "Until talking to yourself without a cell phone to your ear is socially acceptable"

        Until? Have you been outside in the past ten years?

        Slashdot user posting as AC... Yours was a rhetorical question, wasn't it?

    • Head of google R&D says iPhone sucks, google glass is the best. News at 11
  • This just in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aaron5367 (1049126) <Aaron5367@gmail.com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:39AM (#45098649) Homepage
    Another manager says their product is really exciting and interesting and everything else boring.
    • She's right about everyone else, but Google Glass is also boring [oculusvr.com].

      • She had me until Driverless Car. I desire deeply to travel in one of those with my mind in a state of numbness.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Having to drive interferes with your ability to play with your iPhone and tablet. So hurry up already Google!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's ok, download Dessert Bus for your phone

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          I desire to make a phone call, have it arrive within 10 minutes clean, take me to my destination and then allow me to forget it ever existed (screw parking), until I make the next call and wait 10 minutes (careful timing of making the call and walking to the pick up point could get that down to seconds).

          As for google glass, yeah I want some privacy invasive freak jamming adds into my eyeballs in accompaniment with maximum volume screaming "BUY THIS", all at random intervals, trust Google when they jump i

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Must be some competition with a cheaper, more acceptable networked cam tech on the way without the NSA aspect.
      Time to hype the future and remind people of the global brand power.
      'boring' and 'mind-numbing' seems to point to people not been full immersed in the daily use of the product and helping the revenue stream.
      Boring means they are still using other products?
      Mind-numbing means only the expected trendies who signed their digital habits away years ago are users?
      Capturing the bottom 90% of the market
    • I am not so cynical. I think that is good that people are working on the next level of devices. Wearable computing will be very big, even if it may not be in the form of google glass.
    • Re:This just in (Score:4, Informative)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday October 11, 2013 @10:06AM (#45100977)

      Another manager says their product is really exciting and interesting

      I would agree with you however MLJ is the same woman who designed the display on the OLPC [laptop.org] which was quite remarkable at the time. It utilized 200dpi color while maintaining readability in direct sunlight while not being a crippling drain on the battery. Although google may pay her to hype up "Google X" , she is quite talented and innovative. It would be wise to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  • Truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:49AM (#45098673)
    I looked at cnet.com a couple weeks ago and the whole site, almost every image on every story, was just a column of rectangle slabs, "mobile," "mobile," "mobile," and nothing else. All minor variations on the same thing. I'm sick of it.
    • by polyp2000 (444682)

      Yes , I know what you mean. Im almost due for an upgrade on my smartphone (s3) and having looked at whats currently out there nothing excites me. Truth be told i use about 3 different "apps" daily and very occasionally play a game - but only if im very bored i cannot stand touchscreens for gaming.

      Im considering just keeping the phone and switching to a sim-only tariff when my contract ends.

      N

    • by swb (14022)

      Mobile = growth, growth = money, money = marketing.

  • by romit_icarus (613431) on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:58AM (#45098703) Journal
    It looks like she might have overlooked the glaringly obvious fact that the entire reason why Google X and her job position exist is because of "mind numbing" technologies that serve as ad serving platforms that get in revenue for Google. Ask her to get driverless cars, balloons and a headpiece to start generating income!
    • by timeOday (582209) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:22AM (#45098803)
      Automated cars will be a big source of revenue for google. The cars will be in constant communication with google's datacenters to provide mapping data - not just GPS street coordinates, but detailed imagery and geometry from lidar captured previously by the Street View cars - plus road conditions gleaned in real time from tens of thousands of cars (down to the level of street light timing a few intersections ahead on your path). Google may or may not produce any cars themselves, but all the automakers will license their data streams. How many other companies have gathered street-level lidar and imagery on practically every street in the world and have the datacenters to process and serve it globally in real-time?
      • Automated cars will be a big source of revenue for google. The cars will be in constant communication with google's datacenters to provide mapping data - not just GPS street coordinates, but detailed imagery and geometry from lidar captured previously by the Street View cars - plus road conditions gleaned in real time from tens of thousands of cars (down to the level of street light timing a few intersections ahead on your path). Google may or may not produce any cars themselves, but all the automakers will license their data streams. How many other companies have gathered street-level lidar and imagery on practically every street in the world and have the datacenters to process and serve it globally in real-time?

        I agree with you that automated cars are likely to be a source of revenue but there a huge slip between the cup and the lip, and the fact is that while these are good bets the surety that they will be profitable and financially sustainable is definitely not guaranteed!

        • Autonomous solar power airships are a much better idea. Navigation would be easier and you end a lot of other driving problems on the way.

        • by JazzLad (935151)

          sustainable is definitely not guaranteed!

          Google has no problems terminating a service. If I was less lazy, I would have provided links, but frankly you (not you specifically) don't belong on /. if you can't think of a couple off the top of your head.

      • by epyT-R (613989) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:40AM (#45098873)

        Oh goody. I can't wait to purchase one of these things. It's got all the tracking and remote control the wannabe KGB types running this country would want, google selling my location and destination information to all interested private parties, and it participates in the privacy rapage of anyone it happens to drive by.

        • by timeOday (582209) on Friday October 11, 2013 @02:16AM (#45098991)
          For better and/or worse, collecting and aggregating data is becoming so easy (or practically unavoidable) that I doubt there will be much difference in privacy between manual and automated cars (i.e. if there is any, it will only be by virtue of regulation). Already today, at this moment, most drivers are tracked by the cellphones they carry in their pockets, simply by virtue of associating with the nearest cell tower so incoming calls can be routed to them, and this creates a record of where you go and how fast you are going.
          • by epyT-R (613989)

            Granted, but the current situation is under my control. The former is not.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            As of October 2013, it is still legal to turn off you cell phone when driving.

            Encouraged, even.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by MonkeyDancer (797523)

        Driverless cars will not do very well in the winter. I live in an area where we can get snow 6 to 7 months out of the year. Snow on the car image sensors will make the car blind. Ice on the road will be nearly impossible for the car to distinguish. I wish I could be more optimistic but driverless cars will be as useful as google glass appears to be.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)
          Car automation will have a lot of utility to a lot of people long before it is able to handle the worst winter conditions. But sooner or later an automated car with radar, IR, and visible light sensors ought to be able to see better than a person who only has visible light. (People may get IR heads-up-displays and so forth, but those sensors will be usable by AI drivers, too...)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Gavagai80 (1275204)
          Humans will never be able to drive in the winter, because the windshield will be covered in snow so you can't see out. I'm not seeing how this problem is any harder for a machine, especially since you already rely on mechanical wipers to solve it for you.
          • Humans will never be able to drive in the winter, because the windshield will be covered in snow so you can't see out. I'm not seeing how this problem is any harder for a machine, especially since you already rely on mechanical wipers to solve it for you.

            It's not the snow on the car that is the biggest problem. It's the snow on the road that obscures lane markings, signs, and road edges. Buried curbs can be detected using snow-penetrating radar, but non-raised features like painted-on markings are a difficult problem.

        • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOspaM.hotmail.com> on Friday October 11, 2013 @02:22AM (#45099009) Journal

          Driverless cars will not do very well in the winter.

          They'll drive better than people in the winter.

          Snow on the car image sensors will make the car blind.

          That's possible, but I suspect Google engineers would be able to rig up some sort of wiper system... Sarcasm aside, they'll be able to use far better snow clearing systems than we can now, with spinning lenses, lasers etc that would be impossible to implement with human drivers.

          Ice on the road will be nearly impossible for the car to distinguish.

          Road ice is clearly visible using infrared thermometry, but not in visible light. The car will see it more clearly than you will.

          I wish I could be more optimistic but driverless cars will be as useful as google glass appears to be.

          Both of these things are taking their first tottering steps down what looks like a very long path. They are enabling technologies that will change as our society works out how we want to use them.

          • by polyp2000 (444682)
            That's possible, but I suspect Google engineers would be able to rig up some sort of wiper system... Sarcasm aside, they'll be able to use far better snow clearing systems than we can now, with spinning lenses,"frikkin laser beams" etc that would be impossible to implement with human drivers. fixed that for you ;)
          • by cellocgw (617879)

            Not to mention a small overlooked story from one of the business magazines this week: top-end car manufacturers, from Acura to Mercedes to Cadillac, are already pouring as many sensors & automatic safety control systems into their cars as they can. Arguing that consumers won't buy automatic cars is therefore claiming that these manufacturers don't know their target audience, a highly unlikely situation.

        • by DrXym (126579)
          Every single day I come across scenarios which would be intractible for a driverless car. Crossroads where the lights are out, blocked off lanes, trash or other debris in the road, narrow roads with parked cars, pedestrians striding out into the road, or looking as though they might but who are actually waiting for a bus, lack of road markings, accidents etc.

          I don't consider a fully self driving is even remotely capable of coping with real life conditions. It's more likely that vehicles will gain advanced

          • by timeOday (582209)
            Some of the intractable problems you list sound very doable to me, others less so. But I wanted to point out that every single thing you listed as likely that vehicles will gain in the future, are features they already have - not even on research vehicles, but on production cars from mainstream manufacturers as of 2-5 years ago.
            • by DrXym (126579)
              I say intractible because it's very easy to conjure urban situations which would seriously confuse a computer such that it would "give up" and would be compelled to return control to a human. And yes I'm aware some driver assist modes exist, and that's exactly what I anticipate to be where development to be for the forseeable future. Some of them may even offer full self-drive in controlled conditions (e.g. a motorway when there is no adverse weather or other problems).

              But they still need a driver, one wh

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Snow on the car image sensors will make the car blind.

          Frost on my windshield will make me blind, so I wait until it defrosts to take off just as an autonomous car will.

          Ice on the road will be nearly impossible for the car to distinguish.

          Pretty damned hard for a human to distinguish, too. But the car will have the advantage of being able to see in wavelengths that make the ice and snow completely transparent.

          I wish I could be more optimistic but driverless cars will be as useful as google glass appears to b

      • An the in-car navigation can serve up some sponsored search results, too. They could even make arrangements with radio stations to perform advert substitution - the station sends the time and duration of adverts to google, and when listening the car radio can transparently dub them over with new adverts custom-targetted at the car occupents. As those adverts are targetted, they'd be worth a lot more than untargetted broadcasts.

      • So does that mean we'll know ahead of time where the traffic jams are, and can avoid them?

        Sign me up ... I don't care if they have to beam ads into my brain. Sign me up!

    • It looks like she might have overlooked the glaringly obvious fact that the entire reason why Google X and her job position exist is because of "mind numbing" technologies that serve as ad serving platforms that get in revenue for Google. Ask her to get driverless cars, balloons and a headpiece to start generating income!

      She didn't say anything that would indicated that she overlooked what you mention. She stated her opinion about how cool the new technologies her group is working on, are compared to the in

  • by lxs (131946) on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:59AM (#45098707)

    Are they cloning Sergei Brin?

  • by doctor woot (2779597) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:00AM (#45098709)

    I'm sure glad, as a nerd, that Ms. Jepsen took the time to inform me there are projects in the works that I can get really excited about without actually telling me what they are, just after making condescending remarks aimed at consumer electronics and just before extolling the genius of Google's new cell phone that holds itself up to your face. Because I am a nerd these things really appeal to me. Thank you Ms. Jepsen and Mr. Woodward, you guys are really nerds like me.

    • It MIGHT be easy to get excited about them.......if they ever released them for purchase by the public. I could see myself dropping a grand on Google glass.......
      • Google glass is perfectly fine. But if her case is that consumer electronics get boring quickly, there's not much separating Google Glass from what's on the market currently.

      • Google glass is possibly the worst version of a heads up display i have seen. I love the idea of a hud but i wouldn't buy glass if it was $50. Give me a proper set of glasses that fold, with 2 screens for 3d, display in the middle of each eye for better augmented reality/comfort and clear and see through (we have this technology), oh and if you can squeeze it in, some kind of 'leap motion' like control input, so you can touch/gesture control the virtual image.
        • Yeah, I know, I was thinking of all that when I wrote it, but the sad thing is, I would STILL buy it, mainly because of the network effect of having other people write apps at the same time.
  • Useful = boring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fruitbane (454488) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:06AM (#45098733) Homepage

    She seems to be telling us that when technology finally becomes useful enough to be mainstream, it's boring. OK, fine, I can accept that, somewhat. But the point of developing something new and "exciting" is so that someday it will be mundane and boring. And when Google spends all their time on the new, that makes more room for others to innovate with the "old".

  • She has a point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Camembert (2891457) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:08AM (#45098745)
    She has a point that it may be boring for intelligent engineers to work on yet another new, incrementally better iteration of a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Many consumerss, me included are not that in awe anymore of a somewhat better new generation of iphone, galaxy, ipad, thin laptop etc. They were very good before and are now a bit better. Hence her research might be interesting, but I am not sure that Google Glass will be the answer. Now I am not as cynical as many on /. - I think that moving towards near-invisible wearable computing is a very exciting next step and I am curious what she and companies like Apple will eventually come up with.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      A farm analogy: They have the sheep using the devices but the more lucrative critters have escaped to the forests. Something about the NSA truck pulling up one too many times.
  • by Dahamma (304068) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:20AM (#45098799)

    A laptop is a TOOL. A cellphone is a TOOL. When you need them to be the entertainment in themselves you have issues.

    “I interviewed a month ago a recent college graduate from Stanford—a mechanical engineering degree. She was already on her third cellphone or laptop and bored out of her mind,” Jepsen said. “She graduated in 2010. I think it gets depressing. It was so exciting three years ago.”

    Three years ago your cellphone and laptop were "exciting", but now they are "boring"? If you are talking about building them - maybe. But using them? If the form factor of your computers and communication devices are boring you "out of your mind", maybe that's your problem more than the devices'.

    • Yes they are useful tools and at the same time it is good that these people are working on a fundamentally next level kind of tool.
    • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:49AM (#45098907)

      A laptop is a TOOL. A cellphone is a TOOL.

      Pop quiz, Mary Lou Jepsen is .........

      • by adolf (21054)

        Pop quiz, Mary Lou Jepsen is .........

        a record-breaking American runner of African descent whose gender has been in dispute in the past?

    • Indeed, total case of WTF did I just read? She has a mechanical engineering degree and she's fucking BORED because waaaaah, I don't have any shiny new toys!

      So your gadgets aren't exciting anymore? Here's an idea ... you have a degree in mechanical fucking engineering, go be creative, MAKE something exciting!

      Oh, what's that? You have no imagination because you're just a shallow, entitled bitch who skimmed through an entire education that was paid for by her rich parents? Yeah, that's what I thought.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is she related to Carly Rae?

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:30AM (#45098829)

    Yeah, tablets and apps are not as impressive as people think. That said, google has given birth to some absolute duds.

  • by mveloso (325617) on Friday October 11, 2013 @01:44AM (#45098885)

    All that other stuff is bullshit. Once you combine teledildonics with direct brain stimulation, it's game over man.

  • What utter bull sack! I'll have you know I hand craft the kerning of my fonts with painstaking attention to detail, and sculpt those myriad of pixel perfect displays and animations a single frame at a time. When it all comes together right in some yuppie's eye, IT IS Exhilarating!

    The only thing more exciting than building those big, beautiful, almost intuitive, displays is making the tools one uses to make them:
    A P fucking I's!!!

    Why, I once met a guy who helped standardize IEEE 1364...
    That's Verilog to you philistines.
    He was a veritable volcano of vivacity whose smile beamed with the brilliance of a billion bacon breakfasts.

    The further down you go the more excited the turtles are!

  • Until you get us gravity-defying skateboards, I am not impressed.  Now, get back to work, troll some more.
  • What's Missing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Friday October 11, 2013 @02:31AM (#45099041)

    Visicalc was invented in 1979.

    It was written by two hard-working geniuses who busted ass for months and months to get it to work. Visicalc changed the world.

    The reason they were able to write this software is because the Apple II had the tools to do so. If you had an Apple II, you had everything you needed to develop new software for it. Same goes for the PC.

    Mobile phones and tablets have no such tools. They are locked, proprietary devices forbidden to developers. They use locked, proprietary programming languages, obscure, flabby and inconsistent APIs and cannot communicate with anything but the "cloud."

    They also suck ass as computing platforms. Their operating systems are shit packed on top of shit, and their hardware is flimsy plastic shit to go with it.

    Mobile phones and tablets are fiddly little distraction machines that function as brightly colored noisy little pets. They are nothing more than over-engineered tamogatchis. They are useless for real work, especially compared to open platforms like the PC. At best, they are a good place to store phone numbers. They also give teenage girls a way to drain their parents' wallets by sending nonsense to each other 24 hours a day for $1500 a megabyte.

    The "post-PC world" is a marketing slogan designed to get you back on the upgrade treadmill and wanting the next version of the device you bought last month.

    The difference is mobile devices cannot replace or even occasionally substitute for the PC, because there is no mobile device software that even remotely compares to the world-changing technology the PC made possible.

    What was the last "visicalc-level" software title developed from scratch? I'm going to say the last of them debuted in the mid 1990s. With the exception of FOSS, there hasn't been shit developed for any platform since. It's like the fucking software industry was unplugged in the late 90s. (Gee, I wonder why?)

    The worst part is, anyone in their teens or early 20s right now is so distracted by Unity and HTML5 and Haskell and all the other flavors of proprietary dumbfuckery that they will never learn why things work on a computer.

    And that's a fucking shame.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      While I agree with you that developing for phones could me made more accessible, you can't say that they are *forbidden* to developers. I can't speak about iOS, but developing for Android isn't that hard once you know where to get the tools, even on Linux. You do need to have some programming experience beforehand though, because it can seem daunting at first.

      Developing for the two major mobile platforms does not involve proprietary programming languages (there exist open-source implementations of Java and

    • Re:What's Missing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by minniger (32861) on Friday October 11, 2013 @09:49AM (#45100809)

      Heh.

      The everlasting rant of one generation of tech to the n+1 generation. I'm with you buddy. But I suspect we could hit the usenet archive and find something very similar to this, but from 1986. And then again in 1995 and again in 2002.

      99% of people probably can't open the hood of their car without some help. Heck, it's been several years since I have.

      I don't think we're seeing the end of the hard core nerds that make things work. We're seeing the expansion of the pool of people who are building things. Not all care about low level stuff. But they can build some really nice high level stuff, stuff that us low level guys will never bother with.

    • by Pope (17780)

      Laffo, Nice rant, grandpa.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      Visicalc was invented in 1979.

      It was written by two hard-working geniuses who busted ass for months and months to get it to work. Visicalc changed the world.

      The biggest difference between then and now is that users now demand software that is much more featured and sophisticated. One or two guys could write software that changed the world in 1979 because back then software was so much more simple.

      The reason they were able to write this software is because the Apple II had the tools to do so. If you had an Apple II, you had everything you needed to develop new software for it.

      I consider this a very sad state of affairs for iOS and Android. I'll consider them "grown up" when you can write first class software for them using the devices themselves.

      Same goes for the PC.

      This is both true and not true... Windows does not ship by default with the development tools ne

  • Tablets and smartphones stopped being exciting 3-4 years ago. Now they are reliable, established tech with minor improvements every year.

    Every major technology goes through the same cycle; they start off as innovative, exciting and new (and scary to some), then they gradually improve and become reliable and established. Once your mother has startet using them, they are most definitely no longer exciting.

    Luckily we live in an age where there's always another exciting new thing around the corner.

  • I don't want electronics in my car... but I'm ok with increased gas mileage.

    I don't want a computer to control my car... but I'm ok with Cruise Control.

    I don't want a ticket when I text & drive.. but I'm gonna sue that MF who hit me while text'in.

    I don't want to complain.. but I've got nothing better to do.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      you don't need "electronics" for increased gas mileage; you don't need a computer to implement cruise control

  • While I'm certainly one of those people that find it "mind-numbing" that someone would want to use tiny screens, tiny fiddly on-tiny-screen change-mode-every-3-keycaresses (can't make myself call *that* key-"stroke"s), wasting an entire hand holding the device, barely-past-modem-era-connections, modem-era-connection-reliability, etc.. in the first place, when large-screen laptops with decent keyboards and 100Mbit/s to the home and office are readily available, it can also be said that the only thing to be g

  • I just want my phone, tablet, and i5 desktop to act as a cluster and share cycles and memory. This seems easier than most of Google's moonshots.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    These are all really old ideas waiting for technology to make them possible, i.e. driverless cars and 'wearable' computers. Whether they're ever going to be practical or useful is another matter. The 'computer embedded in glasses' concept is something I've seen people working on 10 years ago, but even then I wondered, "who in their right mind would want to wear glasses unless they absolutely had to?"

    I have to wear glasses - I can't drive, read, or carry out a host of other daily tasks without them. I've gro

    • by ledow (319597)

      I'm a glasses-wearer. I need them all day, every day, have done since I was 7 and the teachers realised I'd just memorised the words of all the school hymns rather than try to squint at the OHP projected words on the wall during assembly.

      Fragility was a problem for me as a kid. Once I stopped getting into fights in the playground and playing rugby in PE, the number of times I've broken them is minimal. If I did those things now, I'd buy proper prescription sports goggles. Instead I buy glass lenses with

    • by doom (14564)

      Is this where you want to keep your 'wearable device'?

      It doesn't much appeal to me, no, but then I'm not exactly the target market for any of this stuff. It is clear to me though, that the ergonomics of the hand-helds that everyone is so excited about really suck: I see people on the train holding their phones up in front of their face, bracing their hand with their other hand, just so they can keep their heads upright for awhile.

      On the other hand, I already hate the fact that I'm out riding a bicycl

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Friday October 11, 2013 @05:35AM (#45099619)

    Instead of working on mind-numbing and boring smartphones and pads, I'll work for balloon-based wireless transponders for those mind-numbing and boring gadgets.
    Hurray!

  • And with the new release of Google Opiate, your mind can be numbed like it never has before.
  • Piss off, honey. I am the only real hardcore nerd here. If I like it, it's cool.

    And all meetings start when I get there and are over when I leave.
  • Should say "real hardcore nerds who coincidentally also have access to tons of capital." Not many are so lucky. It doesn't strip them of hardcore nerd status.
  • by bugi (8479)

    Does that mean Pixel Qi dead?

    I've been looking forward for years for their displays to go mainstream.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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