Back on the horse

Minecraft    Its been about two months, maybe three. I became (and still am) obsessed with Minecraft. I've been playing it, reading about it and franticly watching YouTube 'Let's Play' shows about it.    Side note; check out the Hermitcraft channel for some amazing builds.    But now after months of ignoring my Twitter and Goole Plus feed, months of swiping and deleting all my email newsletters its time to get back on that horse, the bleeding edge, the future.        But not if its anything like that......   

One to Two bed conversion

Another great example of a minimalist apartment, taking the one “big" space and breaking it down to exactly fit the needs of the individuals. This space meets their needs while limiting their ability to consume in excess and it looks pretty cool!

What News?


I’ve been reading about the obsession with email newsletters recently and its got me thinking again about my love / hate relationship with RSS. Despite my attempts to tame my feeds I am almost always a day behind (or about 300 feed items). Increasingly I’ve been frustrated by the amount of duplication (inspite of the Yahoo Pipes tailoring) and reading through the pile feels more like a chore every day.

The plan now is to cut right back and try to de-duplicate as much as possible. I’ve signed up for the following daily newsletters:

The Verge
LifeHacker Fast Company

and just the one weekly, newsletter. I’m also trying out some Podcasts:

CNET, Tomorrow Daily
BBC Click
TechCrunch, Crunch Week
The Guardian, Tech Weekly
The Vergecast
BBC Trending
The Economist

The idea is that the most noteworthy stuff will percolate to the top. I’ve also been very please to see the adoption of G+ coming along nicely, particularly for tech news I’m finding that I often hear about things there first. I’m hopeful that this method will allow me to keep up without becoming overloaded. I’ve got a day job to do after all!

I've been thinking about auto forwarding these to Instapaper and using this to manage all my reading, but I'm not sure about that yet.

PS: I’ve been experimenting with both a link blog and I have put together my own weekly newsletter with

Solar Power Advances

Over the last week there have been a couple of interesting developments in the advancements in solar panels. 
see through 

Firstly a team at Michigan State University have developed solar panels which are nearly invisible, thus opening up the possibility of windows made of solar panels.

Secondly a method has been developed which may bring us close to the magic 50% conversion efficiency. 

Its a shame this has been marred by reports of bird deaths in the desert....

My Top 10 Google Glass Wish list Requests

I’ve been using Google Glass for a few months now and am really getting on well with it. Of course it has its limitations and there is room for improvement, in fact below I’ve outlined ten of my top ‘wish list’ items from the Glass Community Wishlist.

1) Bring Video Call back to Glass
When Glass originally hit the market a feature that appealed to me was the ability to join Hangouts and have a video chat with Glass. This feature has since been removed as it was ‘unreliable’. As an example, this would have been great just the other day when, in a meeting at work, someone who joined via phone was unable to see the whiteboard we’d been working on. A Hangout with Glass would have given him a much better idea of what was going on. In the end we used Hangouts over the phone instead.

2) Sync with Contacts already on my phone
I raised a similar ‘wish’ myself. Google already knows who my contacts are, in fact as I use an Android phone, it knows who my ‘favourite’ contacts are, why can’t it automatically sync these to Glass?

3) Battery Indicator on "Ok Glass" screen
Very little that needs expanding here really, it’d be great to have a battery indicator on the main display.

4) Bring back "OK, Glass remind me" option
Again, a great function that seems to have been removed. Although this does work brilliantly for me with “Take a note" and Evernote.

5) Stream Music from iPhone (or any phone) and Bluetooth a2dp client profile on Glass, aka use Glass as stereo Bluetooth headphones
I realise this is technically two items but they are very closely linked. I’d like to be able to make better use of the bone conduction speaker (or stereo headphones) to playback any content from my phone, podcasts for example.

6) Screencast to ChromeCast
This would be awesome for demo’s…. and not much else, still it’d be great!

7) MyGlass App Keyboard This strikes me as a bit of an oversight, not just for the reasons in the original post, but for any text input requirements. The voice dictation is ok at best and even if it was perfect, it wouldn’t always be appropriate to use it. A keyboard input option would be great.

8) OK Glass, Where am I? and then show map of current location
If I had to pick one standout feature it would be the excellent use of navigation on Glass. This is a brilliant feature, well implemented. This would take it a step further. I’m often in an area I sort of know but need to just check a map to be sure where I’m heading, this would stop me having to reach for my phone, that is the basis of Glass after all.

9) Google+ Notifications
One thing I really can not understand it is the lack of G+ integration with Glass. Twitter has better notification integration. This needs to get better.

10) Head Movement navigation
OK, maybe not head movement detection (you’d look a little crazy) but some way to navigate cards without having to use the touchpad would be great, maybe with the Myo or Nod?

One final extra....

11) OK, Whats New
I appreciate this would take some significant work but a recap of what you’d missed since you’d taken of Glass would be an excellent additional feature. Sometimes I take of Glass for a meeting or a particular conversation, particularly if I know it might make the other person feel uncomfortable. In this case, having a quick summary of what I’d missed would be very useful.

I’m sure there are plenty of others, but these are my current top picks to improve Glass from its current iteration.