Sunday, June 03, 2007

Multitouch: The Future for Physical Computing?

It's probably a little too late to be talking about this, it's already yesterday's news and I'm sure lots of people have already seen the video below. But it's an attractive topic to think about, multi-touch surface computing!

Apple rolled it out first with their iPhone, which is due for release very soon. And now Microsoft reveals its cards, and it looks like it's getting to be an interesting game! The video is polished, of course, and I'm sure it's still buggy and probably will still be by the time it gets released; which they say is as early as late 2007!

Frankly, I'm more enthusiastic about the iPhone. I've also been following up Apple's news for a while, and I honestly believe if they played their cards right in this coming stage, Microsoft might be in for a nice surprise... According to this, Apple's share value is increasing as they continue to gain a bigger market share. Honestly, with the new Intel architecture and their new upcoming OS which is said to be revolutionary, I for one would rather buy a Mac than a PC for my next new computer.

But of course with the most recent advancements, including this new multi-touch physical computing technology; people would also be very demanding, to the point of greed! Therefore, I really hope Apple plays its cards right and I hope they have a lot of good plans for the upcoming phase; because this will definitely mean a lot! Power shift, maybe? Or just wishful thinking??

No aolbonics, and that means "u"!

A couple of days ago I went into the ##java channel on Freenode IRC to ask about something in Java. It was my first visit to this channel, and so normally as my experience with IRC over the years has taught me, I read the channel's topic/subject. That was when I noticed the note in this article's title: No aolbonics, and that means "u"! I didn't need a dictionary lookup to tell me what they meant with "aolbonics", as their example made it obvious: the "u", "r", "ur", etc... Internet slang.

As a law abiding citizen and as someone who needed their help, I did my best to follow this rule; and for the most part it was no trouble since I'm already used to reading and writing correct English, with the exception of casual IM and IRC conversations. The conversation went nicely and they were of great help, then it was getting pretty late (I prefer the term early since I believe the sun was already up or about to be :-P) and I was very tired so I was thanking them politely before I excuse myself out of the room.

That was when it happened... I slipped and said: "thx for ur help :-).. see you all later ;-)". It was a very small slip, but their sharp programmer eyes wouldn't miss it :-/. Things suddenly broke off in a comment about the use of said "aolbonics" and we had a little discussion about this. To say the truth, I think they're right, they do have a good point! It starts off in IM, but before you know it people are sending such stuff in official emails and even writing them in exams!!

That's why I think it's important that we stop using such slang every once in a while and write real English. What's even worse is the weird new mix between English letters and Arabic pronunciation, producing a wholly new, weird alternate alphabet for Arabic, consisting of English letters mixed with numbers to compensate for those Arabic letters that don't exist in English. It sure comes in handy when you need to say something in Arabic but don't have the time or typing speed to switch to Arabic letters; but it's still weird and highly deformed!

Conclusion: I've already started focusing to eliminate the use of both aolbonics and English-alphabet Arabic from my daily usage. I encourage everyone else to do the same, at least for a day every week or a week every month. If you speak both languages, keep the two languages separate. And beware of creeping language mutations. Also, if you're an Arabic language speaker, try to occasionally read or listen to something in the original Arabic language, not your local dialect. Speaking or writing would be even better of course. You won't believe the mistakes and mutations I see people do in the original/formal Arabic language that indicate a very severe case of mutation and lack (or loss!) of correct language.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thousander Club: Exam Weeks Update

Development Hours:

  • This week: 0/40
  • Total: 81/1000

Reading Hours:
  • This week: 18/40
  • Total: 87/1000

These are the hours I managed to get between exams, as somewhat of a breather to get myself out of the study cycle. This is the exact length of the Dark Tower 3 - The Wastelands audio book, which is the only thing I read between exams. I decided not to count the studying hours themselves after all...

Not that they were that many anyway :-P