Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Magic Map

Engadget. Sharp guys, them. Also Fred Armisen from SNL. Very funny.
I won't spend the ages it would take to find, but there was a scene from the Primaries when Anderson Cooper was still getting the hang of a new widget at CNN that would let them interact with virtual graphs. He looked ridiculous. They do love their toys, that CNN.

A good follow up to the Magic Mirror from yesterday, no?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting in Touch

You'll have a review of the G1 very shortly. I've been using it nonstop since I picked it up a couple nights ago.

Until then, here is a video to feed your need for technology and interface design. I'll just say now that I want one.

Interactive Mirror from Alpay Kasal on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Here

And I'm blogging from it.

Countdown: Ste. E?

They got the address wrong. They tried to deliver it today, and they had
the address wrong.

They tried to deliver it to my house at Ste. E. This it a house. There
are no Suites.

They never have this problem when they try to deliver my monthly bill.
Funny. But not really funny. I'm not chuckling.

I can't wait till tomorrow. I'm going to pick it up tonight.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

UPDATE: Countdown



I've heard rumors that some G1 packages are showing up to us pre-orders early. So I check the comments on Engadget to see how we find out if ours is coming before the expected arrival date. Sho'nuff, UPS says mine will show up TOMORROW!

Couldn't be more stoked.


2 days.

I'm excited for the feature-packed handset and platform, but the G1
doesn't have everything. All the reviews say the GPS is so lousy, it may
as well not be there.

And while it may be unnecessary, I want the my handset to be sensor
laden, with features like this phone.


True, I don't NEED an altimeter, barometer, laser pointer, FM radio,
thermometer and magnetic compass, by why not? Each of those devices have
been shrunk to the size of a pea or smaller, and are probably $10 to
include, so why not put them in?

And when is the world of cell-phone enthusiasts going to get somebody to
build the hot-rod of mobile devices? When do we get our own Ben Heck
like the console gaming people have, or a Mr. Jalopy like the garage
tinkerers have? Why are cell phones so hard?

I want somebody to make a modular platform that allows the end user to
roll-their-own cell-phone. Think "Little Bits", only designed to come
together into a handset.

I'm sure this is little better than gibberish to most of you. But
believe me, it's a good idea, for everybody involved. Even a good
business idea. Maybe that's how I'll make my fortune.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


3 days.

I found out that we'll be doing a lot of the scheduling for work via Google Calender. THAT is built in to Android. Neat.

That is all.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I dreamt last night that I was fabulously wealthy. I lived in a
mansion. I had all kinds of STUFF, which was cool and dissappointing. I
had a...for lack of a better term, a sports tank, and a little one
person racecar, and...just stuff. Man, I hope I don't have thatmuch
stuff ever.
We played a game that involved rockets and being ejected from the
rockets at high altitude. It was fun and highly dangerous.
There was more, it was pretty extensive. But I don't remember it all
now. Too bad. There were a few money making ideas in there.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Friday, October 17, 2008


5 days.

I'm capturing video for the Morning Market Call, the daily
financialwebcast from the Graduate Finance Association. I keep thinking
how it'll be great to have essentially a fully connected computer around
all the time. Even when I'm capturing video at a workstation, I can
still do whatever I need to on the G1.

I bought a 500GB external hard drive last night. It's amazing how much
memory declines in price annually. I heard it's %40, every year. I
backed up everything on my home computer and wiped it clean, reinstalled
Windows, the latest version of Office, and MS Expression. It's a
creative suite that Microsoft is pushing these days. Thank goodness for
the company story, all that software would have set me back quite a bit
if I hadn't been working on the MS campus when I bought them.

Samsung recently released a 16GB memory card that will work perfectly
with the G1. My hope is that soon, I'll be able to do whatever I want,
whenever I want to, thanks to all the tech crammed into that phone and
the cleanup I've been doing on my home PC.

As an aside, I really enjoy Microsoft's new ads. They're some of the
first from them that I think are actually effective.

There are still plenty of things I'd like to have, though. A nice
scanner, for instance. I'd like to get my camera fixed, or better yet,
get a DSLR. And have you seen the new MacBooks? I've worked with both
Windows and Mac machines, and at this point, while they are different,
I'm not sure I have a clear preference. They each have their strengths.
The reason I'd want a Mac is for video editing. Nothing compares to
Final Cut, plain and simple. I've been using Final Cut and Avid
variously for almost two years now, and Final Cut is simply superior. A
tech savy person could sit down with Final Cut, and in ten minutes, they
would know %80 to %90 of what they need to know to work with it. I took
a class on how to use Avid, have used it for many projects, and it still
borders on unusable. It's so ridiculously criptic, it's as though there
was no consideration put into the end user experience.

Really, though, what does any of this matter? I'll come up with
something more meaningful and/or entertaining in future posts. My
apologies for this one.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Six days, and rumors that it may come early.

The first reviews are out, and pretty consistent with each other. It's a first generation device, and it shows, but it's still pretty great. That's what they say.

Also rumors that the G2 (yes, we're already talking about the next one) will run on a HTC Touch-like handset.

I'm excited.


"I thought you said he didn't eat much."

"Well, I guess I could clarify. He doesn't eat often."

The other night, dp made a enough curry to feed a family of octuplets.
It was the first thing I'd eaten that day, at about eight o'clock. It
was very spicy, and I had two heaping platefuls. Thanks, Dave.

Rob posed so you could get a sense of scale.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Seven days.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Copy Right

xkcd is sometimes really funny. It is also sometimes over my head. But I really like this one. Straightforward, and so very true.

There are things wrong with the state of copyright law today. Technology has changed some of the fundamental ways media and creativity are created and shared. It has outpaced the law, and now the laws mean very different things than they did. Many of the assumptions copyright laws are based on no longer hold true.

Ask Larry Lessig. He has some very interesting things to say on the topic.

The laws are antagonistic to the empowered user, and the user is circumstantially inclined to become a criminal. They are pushed that direction by media rights holders who hold to antiquated practices, demanding that consumers do the same.

Just ask Cory Doctorow. He knows.

My personal philosophy is this: When science and technology advance such to empower the holder, we are obliged to deal with the facts. We can't wish ourselves back, we can't say "I wish we'd never invented the H-Bomb" or, "If only we'd never done any research into cloning" or, in this case, "If only the people couldn't copy music and video". Guess what? They can. And when somebody artificially cripples that ability, people will be upset. I am.

I bought In His Own Voice: Ronald Reagan's Radio Addresses over the summer. I made the mistake of buying and downloading from iTunes, and the files are "protected". I bought it with the express purpose of listening while I was jogging. Then, after purchasing, I realized that I wouldn't be able to listen to it away from my computer because I didn't' have an iPod. I had an MP3 player, but not an iPod.

I bought it. I should be able to listen to it whenever I want, on whatever I want, for whatever reason. But I can't. They cut it off at the knees so I can't run with it.

Needless to say, I'm very glad the G1 will come with a direct link to the DRM-free Amazon store.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This and That

This is the only phone I want more than the G1. Too bad it doesn't really exist.

I think This is fascinating and could drive the future of technology. It reminds me of This. My roommate Dan asked if they ever turn into anything big and special. "Ya, have you ever seen lawnmower man?" That would have been an hysterical joke if he'd ever seen the movie.

Inside jokes aren't so fun when you're the only one on the inside.

The Charted Path

I hate school. I always have. I imagine I always will.

If a person aims to earn a secondary degree (something that is tremendously encouraged in college) they will likely spend a third of their lifetime in school. They'll spend a third of their lifespan figuring out and preparing for their life. Does that strike anybody else as absolutely ludicrous? Couldn't that person just start doing whatever it is they hope to learn about? Even if they're more interested in the esoteric aspects of the discipline, that's great. They'll understand it better if they've gotten their hands dirty with real-life fundamentals first.

I'm retaking a class right now. I failed it the first go through, didn't complete the final project. I got burned out jumping through hoops like an Afghan Hound. Thing is, I know the material. The teacher asks me questions in class. It's not because he wants to make sure I remember from last time I took the class. It's because he's aware I'll know the answer independent of the class.

Grades are necessarily a distraction from actual learning.

I hate bureaucracy. It's a poor excuse to not trust or care about a person or group. Most institutions are a necessary evil because people don't care enough about each other. An imperfect solution for an imperfect creature.

Schools supposedly increase achievement. I think that's only true some (not even most) of the time. They help some, but hold others back. A person may have otherwise thought, grown, created, and achieved in any number of original ways. At school, they do things the prescribed method, or they're a failure. "You did it wrong". Different is wrong. The predominant methods of education are a product of the Industrial age. It's a factory to produce factory workers. Conform, consent, comply, produce, repeat.

I'm too angry about it all to think clearly on the matter. I've tried to be logical, but really this is a reaction to my just hating school. I hate it.

All that being said, I'm not dropping out any time soon, though the thought will continue to nag me till I graduate. The only reason I'm still here is societal and familial expectation. Of my own ambition, I don't care about the degree. Just the highest hoop to jump through so I can get a certificate saying I'm a heck'uva'good hoop-jumper.

I have more to say on the subject, but I'll leave you with this video from TED on how conventional school systems stifle creativity and problem solving.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Morning Market Call

Mentioned I got a(nother) job. In addition to BYU Weekly.

A couple guys from the Graduate Finance Association in the Marriott School walked into the Brimhall yesterday. They met with one of the professors and asked for some help with a project they were starting. They want to do a daily morning webcast about finance and the markets. They know finance. They don't know webcasting.

So they were directed to me.

I'll be setting up, filming, directing, editing, and posting a short finance newscast every weekday morning starting Monday.

It should be interesting. They've given me free reign on what I want to do technically and creatively. These guys just want to practice talking finance in plain terms. They've hired me to make them look good.

They say they're going for the "RocketBoom" model several times, though I'm not sure that's entirely accurate.

If you have any suggestions, let me know. I've been brainstorming how to bootstrap this to make it look great, so we can apply for real funding.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I think I may have just gotten another job. More to come soon.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Turns out I'm just posting interesting links and videos. Probably should have compiled them into one post, but I didn't realize I would just keep posting.

Regardless, I love robots. Enjoy.

Monkey Waiters in Japan

There is an ad at the beginning. I assure you it is worth the wait.

When I am wealthy and insane, DO NOT DOUBT that I will get a monkey like this.

Sad Market

This is interesting. I want to laugh, but then feel bad. Whatever it is, it's compelling, or could be if they run with it. I think it remains tasteful at the same time, too. To the founder of this blog, I say, Good idea.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Oh, you'd like to try out my new phone? I don't have it yet (it'll show up on the 22nd) but you can still give it a test drive.

Just click here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Taken Space

A girl I work with just commented on how much "Volume" my hair has. I
laughed audibly. She almost said it with jealousy in her voice.

I'm not somebody who strives for volume. I don't even use anything in my
hair. It was funny.

-Sent from Austin's phone.