May 20th, 2011

Semiformalishmaybe

Future Perfect

It's amazing how many advances we're making with wiring things into the human nervous system. Recently, a (formerly?) disabled man was given the ability to walk again thanks to spinal implants; the treatment happening at the same centre treating Gabrielle Giffords. It's sad that great advances in bioengineering don't receive much press, because they're just as exciting. Perhaps these kinds of advances make people nervous.

I now hopefully (paperwork is still underway) have an apartment in the PHL suburb of Haverford. The apartment's very nice; it is a return to living-in-a-larger-building, and the rent is higher than I'd like, but there are hardwood floors, there's adequate room, it's in a nice area, I was able to do a shorter-commitment lease, and they're pet-friendly. Now I just need to get a job.

Last night I went to a graduation party for someone I consider to be a cousin, not by blood or marriage but by long family ties; as I understand it, when my mother was pregnant with me in Dallas Texas so many years ago, she met two other women in the maternity unit. Ever since, the three families have seen each other about once a year (often more). They're family-by-choice/convention. I wouldn't be surprised if the family-bloodlines relation has often been non-isomorphic throughout history.

I was recently surprised to read that Amazon now sells more electronic books (Kindle) than paper ones. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised; not long ago I got a Kindle and it's become such a regular part of my life that I'd feel a tangible loss were it to disappear, yet it's also not a flashy device. My mother got one slightly before I did and it quietly became an important part of her life too. I think it's a mark of success of a technology when devices built around it slide invisibly and helpfully into a life. It's exciting when technologies change the way we relate to information.

  • Current Music
    Decemberists - Oh Valencia
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Semiformalishmaybe

Robotic Car Parade

I think I've found my next regular hangout (Milkboy Coffee). It's about a 10 minute walk from my new apartment, and feels like Victoria's Midnight Cafe (a place I liked in Columbus) bred with a Crazy Mocha. The food is decent, they have a reasonably broad menu, the decor is offbeat, and there are plenty of seating arrangements. They regularly hold shows here, which could be good or bad.

Although my renting a car is a rarity, I think it might be nice to have an Android specific app to mind all aspects of parking and keeping parking meters fed. This entails:

  • Letting people note that a place is a reasonable place to park
  • If they park there, use position info to memorise their current position, allowing them to enter more info (in case they park in a multi-floor parking garage)
  • Letting them enter how much time is left on the meter. Do something reasonable with warning them a few times when the time to pay more or leave draws near.
  • Optionally log and summarise one's parking
Maybe others have already done this kind of thing, but if not I think it might make a good first sophisticated Android app.