Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beauty is morality, morality beauty; that is all ye know in America, and all ye need to know.

The paper is about SenseCam, which is a device that takes pictures every so often (hey, sounds familiar).  The study was basically a bunch of surveys, asking people "if I had a device that were taking one picture every minute or something, would you be okay with that?  what if it were to help my Alzheimer's?  what if it recorded audio?  would you like me to ask your permission first, or just let you ask to delete it later?" etc.

Good stuff to know, if you're designing a life-logging camera.  Not super interesting overall.  But I came across this cool zinger:

"Despite some basic similarities in the history and ideals of beauty across many Western countries, Americans have typically been alone in tying beauty tightly to good moral character. In other nations, being overweight or unattractive is not a positive feature, but it is also not a sign of moral weakness.  The American striving to be attractive faces the fear of social disgrace and moral failure, whereas other Westerners in the same situation can focus on being attractive without a “personal demon to exorcise”."

Damn!  On second thought, yeah, that bias DOES exist.  On third thought, it's surprising that it's only in America.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A nice metaphor hit me on the way home from work today.

"I want System Monitor/top/Task Manager for the brain."
(If it could End a Process, all the better.)

Incidentally, I heard about iRhythm recently.  A heart monitor that looks like a band-aid, that you wear on your heart.  Unfortunately, looking at their site, it looks like it's a prescription device.  So I searched for "apple heart rate monitor" and came up with this article about a patent application?  Interesting.  Oh, looks like someone already made it.  That whole Nike+ shebang.  Hmm... I wonder if that can be worn (and can collect data) for long periods of time.  Anyone tried it?