11.30.2008

better living through excessive complexity

If my parents had been given a pamphlet called say ... "Geekiness and your child: recognize the signs and know the risks", they might have caught an early warning of the impending telephone dismantling, book-worming, and eventual all night hacking that would take up the bulk of my youth.

"Does your child show any of the following warning markers?
  • An insatiable desire to know how things work.
  • An appreciation for British comedy.
  • An affinity for puzzles, codes, or ciphers.
  • The ability to mock the stupidity of others at a multisyllabic level.
  • A tendency to over complicate everything.
If you answered yes to more than two of these signs you may want to have another kid if you're hoping for grandchildren ..."

Among the many geek attributes that I've harbored since I was young is that last one, a tendency to favor the complicated solution simply because I find it more interesting. You'll see this one a lot amongst the geek enabled out there, usually manifest in some explanation of why said geek is building/doing/learning something they could easily have avoided with the reasoning that going the complicated route is just "more fun". With that in mind, here's an update on last weeks I'm-a-whiner-and-I-really-hate-adverts motif that fairly reeks of geek and unnecessary complexity.

I realize I'm not the first to dream this up, but with mobile tech being what it is I don't think I'm out of line to suggest that it ought to be available by now. What I want are pop-up blockers for real life. A head mounted display (those things that used to be called "VR goggles") with a camera and some modern mobile computing essentials like internet connectivity (even though it is pretty much crap here), an accelerometer, and GPS along with some basic software could take care of this quite handily.

I want to be able to see an ad I don't like and tag it as crap, have that image added to an online database of similar junk that can be updated live to other users, and then have it replaced by something pleasant like a nature scene or some famous art.


Or y'know ... porn. Whatever.

If this seems far fetched have a look at what people are already doing with this tech they call augmented reality. There are already open source libraries available to do this kind of real time image processing. At this point none of what I'm suggesting is science fiction.

Of course it could be annoying if someone tagged say the logo of my corporate masters, I could have a hard time logging on to my desktop at work. Or even worse if someone hacked their way into your "replacement art" collection and dropped a link to youtube in there associated with the tag for say, the image of a taxi cab. Next thing you know you're getting rickroll'd as you try to make your next meeting.
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