Archive for March, 2008
I had a peculiar experience today looking for a particular garment in a folded stack. The shirt I was wanted was floral, but much of my attention was occupied with stuff that’s on my mind, and somehow the “seeking” part of my brain decided that it was looking for a white shirt. I went through the pile twice on autopilot before the lack of success woke me up enough to [a] notice that [b] I hadn’t found the shirt, and [c] that’s because I was looking for a white shirt when the “mission accomplished” message would only be activated by finding a print one.
Once I looked for the floral, it only took a moment to find it.
I was struck by the process, though. It’s interesting on so many levels: the auto-search, the potential for confusing search goals, the role of attention and inattention in defining, tracking, and tallying goals.
How often in life do we not find what we’re looking for because what we’re looking for isn’t actually what we’re looking for?
From an event invitation received today: “the Israeli Silicon Wadi”.
In an attempt to curb vandalism, the Finnish Road Administration has implemented a system along Highway 1 which requires restroom visitors to text “Open” (in Finnish, of course) in order to let themselves in. [via Engadget]
If the FRA plans to send arriving foreigners text messages with the words they’ll need upon landing at Vantaa Airport or at the port, it might work. If they don’t, well, there may be even more of a mess to deal with than before.
“Commuters plug in because they don’t want to be where they are,” says Alex Halavais, an assistant professor at Quinnipiac University who studies the usability of mobile devices. “iPods create a sphere of isolation.” [Earth to Rocker: Reality Calling, Wired, Mar 2008 pg 50]
I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement. Some of the findings Lucia Predolin of Buongiorno presented at the Mobile World Congress panel tend to corroborate the Halavais opinion. And Apple’s iPods are so much less expensive than the other kind.
I’ll have consult with a fluent friend to plan my order in advance next time. Or take a few lessons. How humiliating.
Phone charging stations are fairly new in the United States.
Seen in Los Angeles International Airport:
Free phone charging station, provided by Samsung. Note the added advertisement for the high-end Blackjack device. BYOC (Bring Your Own Charger).
Seen in SEA-TAC International Airport:
This one demands payment. I like ChargeCarte’s expansion into this market, though. It works well with a company providing luggage cart rentals (although I resent having to pay for a luggage cart, and preferentially choose to fly into airports where they are provided free). Also note that the ChargeCarte station doesn’t require that you have your own charger with you; you can look for a charge plug that fits your device. (What was said here about lack of standardization in the mobile industry still applies.)
Here’s a charging station designed to include little lockers, so that you can leave the phone while you go do something else. Provided as a freebie (tokens distributed at the booth desk) at Mobile World Congress last month.
Seen in Barcelona: