Weekend tech reading: How Minority Report has led to bad interfaces

By on March 3, 2013, 3:11 PM

How 'Minority Report' trapped us in a world of bad interfaces I wish I could get away with charging my clients a fee for every time they say "Minority Report" to me. I’m a commercial artist in L.A., and 90% of commercial art is shutting up and giving the client what they want. That means I spend a lot of time trying to repackage Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future: floating graphical windows with video hovering in them, typography flickering and animating in response to actors’ actions, interfaces appearing and disappearing when fingers reach out to poke them. The Awl

Apple award cut with new trial for some Samsung products Apple's $1.05 billion victory against Samsung in a patent-infringement case was cut about 45 percent by a judge who ordered a new trial on damages for some Samsung products after finding the jury erred. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, yesterday reduced the jury’s damages award by $450.5 million. The jury based its award for 14 Samsung products on an incorrect legal theory, Koh ruled, saying the companies should consider appealing her ruling before any trial begins. Bloomberg

Why teens are tiring of Facebook To understand where teens like to spend their virtual time nowadays, just watch them on their smartphones. Their world revolves around Instagram, the application adults mistook for an elevated photography service, and other apps decidedly less old-fashioned than Mark Zuckerberg's social network. And therein lies one of Facebook's biggest challenges:...Facebook has become a social network that's often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom or release they crave. CNET

From dream to disaster: the story of Aliens: Colonial Marines On December 11, 2006, Sega announced that they had snagged the rights to the much-beloved sci-fi franchise Aliens. Eager to get people excited, Sega quickly announced that they had two big games in the works: a role-playing game and a first-person shooter. In the coming years, one would be cancelled. And the other probably should have been. Aliens: Colonial Marines, the shooter released earlier this month for PC and consoles, has been almost unanimously declared a bad game. Kotaku

Saving private gamer The debate over violent video games has re-emerged over the past few months, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. This is due largely to prominent conservatives arguing that the moral corruption of the games is a danger to society. These arguments are generally countered on the grounds that video games constitute protected speech, that studies indicating that games increase aggression are inconclusive at best, or that blaming games is a distraction from more relevant issues like gun control. The American Prospect

Futurism Cory Arcangel was making a drawing, but he wasn’t holding a pen. In a small, high-ceilinged studio in Industry City, a warehouse-lined wedge of Brooklyn between New York Harbor and the Gowanus Expressway, he was sitting at the keyboard of a Macintosh computer. Arcangel had bought an old printer on eBay -- a pen plotter manufactured in 1983, when he was five -- and hacked together the code for it. As he typed, a mechanical arm across the room whirred around a piece of paper, making linked acute angles, in black ink. The New Yorker

Enraged by abusive lawsuits, anonymous troll slayers fight back When a couple (we'll call them the Smiths) received a letter from their ISP -- one saying they were being threatened with a copyright lawsuit -- they were scared. The middle-aged immigrant couple moved to the United States from Eastern Europe more than a decade ago. Both have advanced degrees, but they knew very little about the US legal system. They denied (and still do deny) the plaintiff's accusation that they downloaded a pornographic film on BitTorrent... Ars Technica

Evernote security notice: service-wide password reset Evernote's Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service. As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset. Please read below for details and instructions. In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. Evernote

Goodbye Groupon: Andrew Mason's dance with the devil In the wake of Andrew Mason's firing as CEO of Groupon, there's been a lot of negativity towards the young entrepreneur. In part it's because Mason was always a character, someone who largely refused to take things seriously, and who preferred to defuse tension with humor, as he did in his hilarious resignation letter yesterday. This was charming at first, then increasingly less so as Groupon's financial health, business practices and accounting came into question. The Verge

German book retailers team up against Amazon with new eReader German book retailers have teamed up with Deutsche Telekom to produce their own eReader to challenge the dominance of Amazon.com in the growing market for digital books. Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel and Club Bertelsmann will start selling the 'Tolino' eReader from March 7, with over 300,000 books available for download, to compete with Amazon's Kindle and Apple's tablets, the companies said in a joint statement on Friday. Reuters

Microsoft: We can update Office-by-subscription every 90 days Microsoft may upgrade Office 2013 as often as four times a year, the company's top Office executive said this week, a massive change from decades of more measured development.The faster release pace for Office has been repeatedly touted by Microsoft as one of the benefits to customers who switch from the traditional "perpetual" licensing model...to the Office 365 software-by-subscription plans introduced this year. Computerworld

YAJ0: Yet another Java zero-day Through our Malware Protection Cloud (MPC), we detected a brand new Java zero-day vulnerability that was used to attack multiple customers. Specifically, we observed successful exploitation against browsers that have Java v1.6 Update 41 and Java v1.7 Update 15 installed. Not like other popular Java vulnerabilities in which security manager can be disabled easily, this vulnerability leads to arbitrary memory read and write in JVM process. FireEye

Nickels, dimes, and quarters The video game industry is just that. An industry. Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you please… or to refrain from spending that money. Those companies that put these products out? They’re for profit businesses. They exist to produce, market, and ship great games ultimately for one purpose. First, for money, then, for acclaim. Cliff Bleszinski

Open and shut Tim Wu, writing for The New Yorker “News Desk”, has done us all a grand favor by penning a sort of grand unified theory on how the “open beats closed” axiom can be true in the face of Apple’s decade-long success: “Does a Company Like Apple Need a Genius Like Steve Jobs?” Wu’s conclusion: yes, Apple is falling back to earth sans Jobs, and the normalcy of open beating closed will return any moment now. Let’s consider his argument. Daring Fireball

Seagate to cease production of 7200rpm mobile hard drives this year Seagate Technology, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hard disk drives, plans to cease production of mobile hard drives with 7200rpm spindle speed late this year as the mainstream market demand will shift to different products, such as solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs). The company will continue to offer 5400rpm HDDs for value notebooks. X-bit labs




User Comments: 14

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yRaz yRaz said:

The only thing that stands out to me is Seagate saying they will stop production of 7200 rpm drives. I don't really understand that move. Something I see all the time is people running 100-200gb ssd for their os and games then 1tb or more disk drive for storage. Still don't understand this move.....

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting read!!

Reading the first few comments from - [link] , reminded me of Seamus Harper. Data port in his neck, allowed him to directly connect to any mainframe. The ironic thing about this article and the data port of Seamus Harper, was the fact that while directly connected to Andromeda, Harper was using virtual touch screens for internal investigations.

The only thing that stands out to me is Seagate saying they will stop production of 7200 rpm drives.
That was specifically mobile hard drives (2.5 inch) that was mentioned.

yRaz yRaz said:

The only thing that stands out to me is Seagate saying they will stop production of 7200 rpm drives.
That was specifically mobile hard drives (2.5 inch) that was mentioned.

that's an important bit of information I missed....

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I enjoyed Facebook for a long time and reconnected with many old friends, but the constant changes made it difficult to continue to enjoy it. Zuckerberg and Co. should have known: don't fix it if it ain't broke!

Cota Cota said:

The reason we have bad interfaces is because most of the people are imbeciles, my collage programming teacher likes Windows 8 because its easier, yet I like the free time when he does his "better" wasted clicks.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The only thing that stands out to me is Seagate saying they will stop production of 7200 rpm drives.
That was specifically mobile hard drives (2.5 inch) that was mentioned.

that's an important bit of information I missed....

No, I'm still confused by this move, I like faster hard drives, When I bought a new one for a friends ps3 (it was taking ages to load Grand Tursimo) I don't give a toss what its power consumption is or heat generation, hell I don't even care what noise it made as the fan in the ps3 will be louder anyway, I just wanted a no holds barred fast HDD, I ended up going for a WD Black 2.5 which is 7200rpm and it literally halved game load times, if fact in GT5 it was even faster.

Now all Seagate have done here is forced me to go to WD for any of my hard drive needs.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Glad Wu wrote that article, Apple is doing it's best to copy SGI in it's downward spiral into oblivion, and just like SGI, no one really cares because frankly I loathed SGI for making me spend $35k on a computer that was really no faster then my best dual slot 1 ASUS MB with 2 P3 700Mhz, and an Evans&Sutherland 3000.. ( anyone remember those ). I won't ever buy an Apple product but I'm sure allot of people would not be sad to see Apple return to it's 90's level of floundering when it will actually have to start designing new products and charging reasonable prices. Or maybe not..

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Interesting article on the Aliens: Colonial Marines mess. Looks like plenty of places to point the blame finger. And makes you wonder how many other games in development are going through these gyrations and will come out a complete mess.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No, I'm still confused by this move
Makes perfect sense to me, they are ceasing production of a weaker sales component. The 5400 RPM give greater durability than 7200 for data storage and for those that need speed the Seagate Momentus (Hybrid) is the way to go if a true SSD is not an option. It's the non-hybrid 7200 RPM drives that they are ceasing production. Hybrid drives will continue to have 7200RPM platters speeds, so you get the best of both worlds while maintaining the option of durability with 5400RPM data storage for external portables.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

The only thing that stands out to me is Seagate saying they will stop production of 7200 rpm drives.
That was specifically mobile hard drives (2.5 inch) that was mentioned.

that's an important bit of information I missed....

No, I'm still confused by this move, I like faster hard drives, When I bought a new one for a friends ps3 (it was taking ages to load Grand Tursimo) I don't give a toss what its power consumption is or heat generation, hell I don't even care what noise it made as the fan in the ps3 will be louder anyway, I just wanted a no holds barred fast HDD, I ended up going for a WD Black 2.5 which is 7200rpm and it literally halved game load times, if fact in GT5 it was even faster.

Now all Seagate have done here is forced me to go to WD for any of my hard drive needs.

7200RPM mobile drives are generally small. Might as well go SSD. GB/$ is much lower sure but IO/$ is much higher...

My laptop blows away desktop in disk perf. SATA 3 SSD (lappy) vs SATA 2 SSD (desktop). It's great!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

No, I'm still confused by this move
Makes perfect sense to me, they are ceasing production of a weaker sales component. The 5400 RPM give greater durability than 7200 for data storage and for those that need speed the Seagate Momentus (Hybrid) is the way to go if a true SSD is not an option. It's the non-hybrid 7200 RPM drives that they are ceasing production. Hybrid drives will continue to have 7200RPM platters speeds, so you get the best of both worlds while maintaining the option of durability with 5400RPM data storage for external portables.

But they imply the new Hybrids will have 5,400 rpm? I also read a fair few review's of these hybrid drives and they're not really that great, or at least, if they only have 8GB of flash memory on them they're not. Still, if I'm copying a 40GB file from one of these hybrids to another hybrid, its pretty slow and if they're slowing them down more then surely two 7,200 rpm drives (WD Black as an example) would be faster for moving data around?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

No, I'm still confused by this move, I like faster hard drives, When I bought a new one for a friends ps3 (it was taking ages to load Grand Tursimo) I don't give a toss what its power consumption is or heat generation, hell I don't even care what noise it made as the fan in the ps3 will be louder anyway, I just wanted a no holds barred fast HDD, I ended up going for a WD Black 2.5 which is 7200rpm and it literally halved game load times, if fact in GT5 it was even faster.

Now all Seagate have done here is forced me to go to WD for any of my hard drive needs.

7200RPM mobile drives are generally small. Might as well go SSD. GB/$ is much lower sure but IO/$ is much higher...

My laptop blows away desktop in disk perf. SATA 3 SSD (lappy) vs SATA 2 SSD (desktop). It's great!

Well yeah, an SSD will blow away any HDD in performance, but I can pickup a WD Black for under £60 for 750GB, I don't think they even make a 750GB SSD in a 2.5 inch form factor? but we'll take the next closest, 512GB SSD is £480, so I'm spending eight times more money and getting less storage space? true, it is much faster space, but what happens if I have 500GB of stuff already?

SSD's will also be a waste in game consoles, tried and tested this one with a PS3 slim which came with a 120GB drive I think it was? anyway, it was a 5,400rpm Hitachi drive, we replaced it with a 320GB WD Black (7,200rpm), it halved load times in quite a few games which is quite an achievement to be honest. My friend had a spare SSD at the time and curiosity got the better of us and we stuck in an SSD to try as well, it made the smallest increase over the 7,200rpm drive, wasn't really worth the extra £100+.

SSD's are not the answer to everything (yet) and I feel Seagate are stupid not to contend in this area, then again, I didn't know Seagate made half decent 2.5 inch drives until this article...

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Well yeah, an SSD will blow away any HDD in performance, but I can pickup a WD Black for under £60 for 750GB, I don't think they even make a 750GB SSD in a 2.5 inch form factor? but we'll take the next closest, 512GB SSD is £480, so I'm spending eight times more money and getting less storage space? true, it is much faster space, but what happens if I have 500GB of stuff already?

Don't know where you are going but £480 is MUCH higher than what I can get a 512GB SSD for. We're paying about £330 for enthusiast level drives and we get rorted in Australia on imports.

Over 512GB, yes that is a problem... for price and model availability.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But they imply the new Hybrids will have 5,400 rpm?
Thats not how I interpreted the review. The comparison between the 5400 and the 7200 was independent of hybrids. Dropping 7200RPM will open the door to placing better focus on other things such as hybrids. That suggest the development of hybrids were not a factor in dropping 7200RPM drives.

I also read a fair few review's of these hybrid drives and they're not really that great, or at least, if they only have 8GB of flash memory on them they're not.
Yes when compared to the capabilities of SSD's, a hybrid would not have great reviews. This is in no way a bad comparison to HDD's.

Bottom line is this:

  • If you want an HDD get an HDD.
  • If you want an SSD get an SSD.
  • If you want something in-between get a hybrid.
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