The Transforming-The_World Edition Monday, July 11, 2016

This Blind Apple Engineer Is Transforming The Tech World At Only 22, by Katie Dupere, Mashable

At that job fair in 2015, Castor's passion for accessibility and Apple was evident. She was soon hired as an intern focusing on VoiceOver accessibility.

As her internship came to a close, Castor's skills as an engineer and advocate for tech accessibility were too commanding to let go. She was hired full-time as an engineer on the accessibility design and quality team — a group of people Castor describes as "passionate" and "dedicated."

"I'm directly impacting the lives of the blind community," she says of her work. "It's incredible."

Giving Instructions

The Quest For The Next Human-Computer Interface, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

Better interfaces don’t just have to work, technically, though. They also have to delight users. This was arguably one of the iPhone’s greatest triumphs; the fact that the device—sleek, original, and frankly gorgeous—made people want to interact with it. That made the iPhone feel intuitive, although an engaging interface is arguably more important than an intuitive one. There’s an entire research community devoted to gesture-based interfaces, for instance, when the use of gestures this way isn’t really intuitive. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, Cummings, the Duke roboticist, told me. Humans are accustomed to gesturing as a way of emphasizing something, but with the exception of people who use their hands for speaking sign language, “How much do we actually do by gestures?” she says. “And then it actually increases your mental workload because you have to remember what all the different signals mean. We get led by bright, shiny objects down some rabbit holes.”


Focus Matrix To-do App Helps Prioritize 'Urgent' And 'Important' Tasks, by James A. Martin, CIO

The idea behind the [Dwight D. Eisenhower's] matrix is to prioritize your action items to be more efficient and focused, and then assign them to one of four categories: "Important/Urgent," "Important/Not Urgent," "Not Important/Urgent," and "Not Important/Not Urgent."

If this strategy intrigues you, you should download the new iOS and Mac app, Focus Matrix. The freemium software makes it easy to add to-do items to one of the four quadrants; view to-dos at a glance in quadrant- or list-view; add due dates and tags; review reports of completed tasks; and more.

HoudahGeo 5 Review: Now Every DSLR Photo Can Include Geotags, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

While you can assign a location in OS X Photos, HoudahGeo offers a more comprehensive slate of features targeted at seasoned shutterbugs, but easy enough for novices to use.


Motivation Is Overvalued. Environment Often Matters More., by James Clear

It can be tempting to blame failure on a lack of willpower or a scarcity of talent, and to attribute success to hard work, effort, and grit.

To be sure, those things matter. What is interesting, however, is that if you examine how human behavior has been shaped over time, you discover that motivation (and even talent) is often overvalued. In many cases, the environment matters more.


What Learning Algorithms Can Predict That Our Physics Theories Might Not, by Andrew Downing, The Firstest Principle

People often describe information physics or digital physics by saying it is something about the entropy of black holes, or the idea that we might be living in a computer simulation. While there’s a lot of important research along those lines, I think it’s even more important to understand why those ideas are worth studying in the first place. So instead, I’m going to start with the following idea:

If it is possible to put ourselves inside computer simulations, it might be possible to put ourselves in a situation where we cannot use existing physics theories to predict what we’ll perceive happening to us, but where we can use machine learning algorithms to do so.

A Unified Time Travel Theory For Star Trek, by Neoteotihuacan, Medium

So, what’s a fan or a Trek writer to do? Well…there are two approaches. Approach number 1 is to just give up and violate continuity by ignoring whatever isn’t relevant to your current Trek context or head canon. This is the easiest, perhaps. Doctor Who would certainly approve. So would J.J. Abrams.

However, I choose approach number 2, which is to figure out a way to create a functional Unified Theory Of Time Travel For The Star Trek Multiverse. And, by Q, I think I’ve done it (along with some help from Christopher L. Bennett). Follow along with me for a moment…

Bottom of the Page

I was reminded of the "Hot Dog Stand" theme today. If you don't know what that is, you should be thankful that your eyes have not been damaged.

And while you are in a thankful mood, you should also be thankful that Apple's iTunes 'won out' eventually, and spared us all from the nightmare that is Windows Media Player and all its skins.


Thanks for reading.