One of the coolest innovations I have seen in recent times is Swiftkey Flow. This is a keyboard input method that is geared towards touchscreen devices, where the user enters text by sliding a finger across the letters of the word to be input. With a little help from predictive technology, this method is simple, accurate, fast and intuitive.
On a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, you can enable this on the “Samsung Keyboard” through the “Settings” menu. If you’ve also setup one-handed operations (the keyboard moves over closer to one side) you could be typing long letters or blog posts with just your thumb and your brain for hours.
Compared to other forms of input such as voice, what makes this so compelling is how easy and seamless it is to handle errors. With dictation, there are bound to be mistakes unless you continually keep looking at the screen to see what gets typed (which you wouldn’t want to be doing if you were talking). With the onscreen keyboard, it is completely intuitive to pay attention to the words you have input, and switch back to conventional typing temporarily when there are errors. It doesn’t hurt that Swiftkey normally figures out the right words to enter without the user having to try too hard, so errors are much less frequent. (This normally happens when you hesitate while spelling out the word.)
A few nights ago, I had a rather strange dream. It had something to do with reservations. Reservations for something.
Anyway, reservations worked on a first-come-first-serve basis, and involved pasta. (It might be more appropriate to call it a pasta-basedorganism.) Here’s how it worked: you would take a single piece of pasta and wait until a couple of tentacles slid out of one end. (This would happen periodically — two tentacles/feelers would slide out and then slide back in.) When this happened, you would quickly catch hold of the tentacles and tie them together in a knot, which would prevent them from sliding back in. And voila! You had a reservation.
Welcome, year 2013 — the future was here hours ago, and you missed it.…
Life is like a computer; sometimes it just needs a reboot. That is the reason why people welcome the new year with such gusto — it’s time to abandon old beliefs and anxieties, and start afresh with a clean slate. Everyone needs a reboot eventually, so this isn’t something to worry about unless the need becomes too frequent. If you find yourself beginning each day with a sense of relief that the previous one is over, then I would gently suggest that you re-install your operating system software instead. Go with Gentoo this time; it’s easier to patch.
I am going to invent a new language. Every sentence in this language will be composed of a sequence of numbers, and each number — or word — will be a cultural reference, a reference to a quotation, event, activity or just about anything that took place in the history of our world at some point in space and time. Each sentence in this language will carry an immense amount of information within a few, short, simple words.
Eventually, advances in technology will make knowledge ubiquitous, thereby condensing sentences into something as simple as a representation of a sequence of vectors in space-time.
I now have a new blog called technoYak. Does that name sound vaguely familiar…?
For a long time now, I have wanted to maintain a separate blog for all things technical, especially the ideas I work with professionally, such as software and system design. This was motivated by a slight unease whenever I wanted to post an interesting idea to this blog — but couldn’t because I figured it wouldn’t make sense to the lowest common denominator of the audience. A new blog with a much more narrow focus seemed to be the right answer. That and a pinch of “seriousness”.
So why haven’t I done this before? To tell you the truth, I’ve been stuck in this vicious circle of inaction. Here’s how the thought-process works:
I just had this great idea! I think I should blog it.
Oooh! You know what, it would be great if I could have a nice serious blog about these ideas that I can talk about with authority, instead of mixing it up with all this random stuff that is unrelated.
Yeah, and it would be even cooler if I could do this on my own blogging platform (the one I’ve been meaning to release version 0.1 of for the last three years). Let’s do that first!
There’s this whole bunch of features I want to put into this code. It would be nice to have some kind of note-taking software to keep track of all of this stuff. Let me check if there’s awesome new software in the Gentoo repository for note-taking.
Nope, I guess not. I wish I could use something like OneNote on GNU/Linux…or perhaps I should invest in a really large whiteboard for my apartment? Will I find that online at Amazon.com?
[*] Maybe that’s not what I need. Maybe — just maybe — what I really need is a new laptop to do all this new cool stuff. *drool* Yes, that’s it…if I had a new laptop, all of these annoyances would go away.
Sigh. Let’s put this discussion on hold while I take care of all this work stuff. *several weeks pass*
I just had this great idea! I think I should blog it.
* If you’re struggling to find the logical leap to Step 6, I’m afraid I can’t help you there.
Today, I found out that City Market (the general store on Bellevue Avenue in Capitol Hill) closes at two o’clock in the morning and re-opens at six. I also discovered that the Starbucks on Summit Ave and E Olive Way actually closes at eleven o’clock in the night — not midnight as suggested by their official website.
I guess I should be thankful for the 24-hour-open Subway store down Denny Mountain.
When you come to think of it, time doesn’t flow very smoothly — it gushes out in fits and spurts like a leaking pipe that you try to keep under control even as you call the plumber with your free hand. It’s been a while — a long while — since my last post. Heck, it was so annoying to see the same front-page everyday that I stopped visiting my own website beyond a point.
I guess I have excuses. Many things have changed since November last year, and yet, life is the same as before. Most changes in life are like re-arrangements of pieces on a chess board. You move some here, you move some there, but overall things remain in balance except for the occasional loss of a piece. It’s only towards the end of the game that things become exciting, but ironically, that’s the time when you have the least control over the board. Life is God playing chess with you; I suppose He likes to win.
The New Year came and went with a small burst of hope (purely my imagination, I am sure) that ebbed quickly and receded into oblivion. But February was a month of many changes, with January frantically getting ready for it. I have seldom seen a month packed with so many punches, but the punches were superficial, almost playful to an extent. There was a wedding to navigate through, a vacation to deal with, castles to look at, a workplace to be moved, an apartment to get out of , an apartment to move into and impossible things to be taken care of at impossible schedules.
But the truth is, life isn’t a game of chess — you shouldn’t stop to think after every move, you just power through, no matter what. Never stop, never give up, just keep going. Just keep going, that’s all…