How could Facebook be less time consuming?

Let’s admit it, all social media is a big waste of time and productivity. You tend to open it when you are bored, have nothing else to do or simply look for an escape, but it the long run it becomes a habit that consumes so much of your precious time. Even further, it creates addiction and in some cases it makes you lose the connection with the real world, pay less attention to your loved ones and even worse cause accidents when used at improper times.

Facebook, the biggest social media network is no different when it comes to being a ‘time wasting’ machine. I knew people, millennials in general, that couldn’t start their day without reading all the time, scrolling down until the last post they could remember from their previous evening. I won’t make here the argument of how people stare of their phones in public spaces without paying attention to the people that pass by or to what happens around them. I guess that all of us are aware of this, are we?

What I’ve learned over many years in the work field and in personal life also, criticizing without trying to be constructive or without proposing a possible solution helps no one. So here is my attempt on proposing a solution.

Solution 1: Timeline Filters

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are interested in several topics like business, money management, sports and arts (music for example). In this scenarios over time you’ve liked several pages providing news, stories, articles, pictures, videos, online shops, etc. for each and every topic you are interested in.

You are drinking your coffee in the morning and you open Facebook on your phone. You want to read something along your coffee so you chose one of the first articles that come on your time line. Stop. Why did you do that? Why the first and not an useful or meaningful article?

I’ll tell you why. Just because you can’t filter them and you settle only with what Facebook pushes up to you first.

So Facebook, why not releasing some nice Filters to the time line (let’s say TABs) configurable for wider areas of interest that would present all the latest posts specific to that particular topic. You don’t actually need to automatically configure them. Each responsible user could create his own and add what he likes in a specific Filter/TAB of his time line.

Solution 2: News groups

Same scenario as above, but instead of applying various filters to your timeline to select from a drop down right menu a group of news feeds (pretty much configured by you as Facebook group) containing all the relevant latest posts for a specific topic.

How cool would it be for these customized groups to be shareable?

I could enumerate multiple advantages of the approaches from above. However I’ll let you imagine how they would work and how they could help you, maybe you’ll come this way with even a better idea.

Instead, I will express one of my bold opinion which actually made me think of the above. Facebook is a waste of time – at least 90% of it. Why I’m still using the app is because I enjoy reading new articles published by pages I started to trust over time. I’m not interested in what my friends are doing, where they travel neither, and for sure I’m not amused by the fart my neighbor puppy cat just made. I prefer to read ideas some old other new – and that makes me feel better about the time I’m wasting staring at my phone.

Second, Facebook why are you trying to make the mistakes Television made in the past? Why I am saying this? If I start to watch an online video I’m expecting to see the video not the add you consider to publish it to me in the middle of the nice video. Sorry to say this, but this is the approach Television had and we all run of it and escaped online. Don’t make the same mistake they did, if you still want to keep your users across several years. And Yes, YouTube is a lot better video service than you are. Look at them, they prompt you with the add in the beginning you get to chose if you watch it or skip it and guess what?, you continue to use their platform instead of closing it and moving to another site or another activity.

As a conclusion I can say that my general impression about Facebook is that they try to still my time. So I spend less and less on this particular social media, close the browser tab of it, disabled mobile phone notifications pushed by it, etc. Who knows, maybe if it implements a similar solution as the ones described above, I could start again using it more often but for a useful purpose like reading articles from the topics I’m interested in, by keeping me up to date with the latest news in the fields I like, by feeling that I’m not a dumb idiot staring at my phone but instead I get informed out of it. So Facebook please don’t treat us as a Tabloid TV network, treat us as intelligent readers and media consumers and we might chose you more often.

 

The future of printing

Got this idea a couple of weeks back, doing manual work trying to assemble something I haven’t researched it! Well, I’ve researched a bit, but that does not count because I can’t prove it or bring some good theoretical arguments to it.

It’s more like a feeling, a simple idea:

The future will be a lot about rearranging atoms!

Imagine you’ll be able to buy only a small box, so small it will fit in your pocket, go home with it, power up you special ‘printer’ and get all those atoms rearranged based on a model you’ll be able to download from internet. Even further, if the ‘printer’ has a shredder too, you’ll be able to reuse the atoms from different useless things, recycle them and rearrange them into something else, you definitely need now.

Maybe this sounds a loot like science fiction, but, the more you look into it the more you’ll see how practical it would be.

Off-course, it will require very accurate maps of, well, atoms within an object. You wouldn’t like to obtain a cloud of useless gas, perhaps toxic too, instead of the so needed object. That map will have to contain a lot of data, perhaps more than we’re used to store right now – but that constantly improves, isn’t it?

It will also require compressing the space between the atoms, or who knows, maybe just rearranging them in a more convenient pattern for shipping. Maybe one day, we’ll simply be able to create minuscule neutron stars and get all the ‘big bang’ figured out.

Would love to read more on this topic, but, as per know – the internet is great for ‘surface’ information, an expert’s opinion is still rather difficult to find.

Disclaimer: For sure someone thought of this already. That does not prove anything, I haven’t read the idea somewhere, so it makes it my Utopian idea too. Would rather like to see someone else has the same ideas, that would actually mean we have more in common than we know.

Wisdom vs Dreams

How much you can stand for? Wisdom comes from experience, but be careful, as wiser you’ll get, as closer to death your heart will be. Greatest wisdom, is the closest step to insanity I would say.

More bad experiences, systematically empty your heart and all the empty spaces filled with aches, pain and regrets might be… Step by step, wisdom will teach you to stop listening to your heart. You will hear it’s echo less and less, until, at one point fading it’s sound beating you’ll stop waiting for wonders, you’ll forget how to dream.

Only few men mange to keep their heart healthy and be wise at the same time. we call them dreamers and their imagination, we consider it insane…

 

Disclaimer: Not even I am sure of what I meant to say, but still, Do you agree with me?

New keyboard design

As an IT professional, I spend 8 to 12 hours a day, sometimes even more, in front of my two 24 inches monitors and my Rapoo mouse and keyboard. I got so used to this setup that I could use it with my eyes closed if needed.

Even though I never watch my keyboard while I’m typing, even though I use so many shortcut keys that in most windows I don’t even need the mouse anymore I started to think if the interaction with the keyboard couldn’t  be more natural, more portable or even more efficient. Having this is mind, here is what I propose. (This is just a design exercise, it could be put in practice by a team of engineers with different particular skills – however I do not have all of them together yet)

Inspired by the Kinect for Xbox functions and knowing that projections can easily be made on different surfaces – was thinking to combine the 2 in a small device that would simply project the keyboard onto a flat surface. Here is how I imagine it:

Keypad1

It could be integrated in the monitor, or in the laptop case, eliminating the need to use a keyboard or mouse. The projection could be made either on the desk or on a special surface, but instead of providing a keyboard with individual keys, it would be more similar with a mobile phone keyboard.

How would this work?

I’m sure the Kinect inspired device – which I’m calling Projector, could be calibrated to know the position of any of my fingers. Based on where I tap them – it will know which keyboard I’ve wanted to press and would ensure the text editing for me.

Also, the Projector – would project on a flat surface (could be curbed too, that’s less important) the keys delimitation with white / yellow / red /blue / phosphorescent color enabling the user to know where the position of each key is.

Section 1:

Contains main keys – as a regular keyboard. Supposing that the Projector knows the position of each finger and its movement – typing can be made.

Section 2:

  • Show current application on the screen in a box with its name, by swiping left or right you could navigate through the different applications you are currently running
  • Show current tab in the same way as above and enable you to change between the browser tabs in the same way

Section 3:

Since holograms are not easy to be projected yet, this is only an imaginary delimitated space for now. For further usage – it could integrate projections of 3d objects that could be twisted on each and any part of them

Currently – using only an imaginary space above Section 3, by moving the fingers in the air you could:

  • Swipe between different opened applications
  • Size a specific window using (Thumb and Index fingers), rotate it or move its place on the displays
  • Drag and drop using Thumb, Index and Middle fingers

Section 4 – Mouse function

  • Index finger – ensures the mouse
  • Thumb finger – ensures the left click
  • Middle finger – ensure the right click
  • Index finger and Middle finger pressed together – ensure the scroll
  • Getting Thumb, Index and Middle fingers together will ensure drag and drop (close all fingers together select and move, expanding fingers – paste)
  • Closing all fingers in the fist and using Thumb and Index to select text, and copy/paste the selection in a different place

Section 5 – Y axes above section 4

  • Mouse representation in biplane coordinates but using the Y axe (by moving the Index finger in the air you move the pointer of the mouse on your screen)
  • By contracting Thumb Finger and Middle finger – same functions as above (left click and right click) will be ensured.
  • By bringing Thumb, Index and Middle fingers together – drag and drop will be realized as described above
  • By closing all fingers in the fist and using Thumb and Index select, copy, paste of text could be realized

Special setup function:

  • Establish the dimension of the projection of the flat surface (could be enlarged or made smaller as the zoom on a photo is made)
  • Establish the dimensions of other work spaces

 

I don’t think I’m proposing something too new. This concepts have been adapted for mobile phones or touch screens, I’m only trying to imagine using them in a different way. Might require deep investigations of each functions in order to make it easy to work with and most important as functional as possible.

Could be integrated with voice command, if OS for the laptop starts to support that too.

Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments.

PS: Searching for an image to represent the projection of a keyboard, I saw that the base function I’ve imagined is already built on a device: Images of products I didn’t know about this when I wrote the post. Still, the functions I’ve imagined go a bit further that what the built devices can do for now. Don’t you agree?

The image was created on:

https://www.tinkercad.com/

How much does your life weigh?

How much does your life weigh?

Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel them?
Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things, the things on shelves and in drawers, the knickknacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up.
Then you start adding the larger stuff: clothes; tabletop appliances; lamps; linens; your TV.
The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now and you go bigger: your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two-bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack.
This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake, moving is living.
Now, I’m going to set that backpack on fire.
What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginko and let the photos burn.
In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it?
Now, this is going to be a little difficult. So stay with me.

You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people.
Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office. Then you move in the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents. And finally, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack.
Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to light it on fire.
Feel the weight of the bag. Make no mistake, your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders? All those negotiations and arguments and secrets and compromises.
You don’t need to carry all that weight. Why don’t you set that bag down?
Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime. Star-crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals.

The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks.

The speach from ‘Up in the air

Viscol versus When the going gets tough the tough get going …

A fost o iarna frumoasa, cum am mai zis de alfel, pentru multi in schimb a fost grea, urata, prea friguroasa si dificila.

Acum, ca tot ne bate primavara la usa, vreau sa va arat cateva poze care sustin ideea negativista ca iarna a fost grea, dar care pe mine ma fac sa ma gandesc ca iarna care tocmai a trecut chiar a fost frumoasa.

VISCOL:

Drumul : E 85 , Trip: Suceava – Bucuresti, intr-o “frumoasa” zi de duminca 14 februarie 2010.

Indragostiti? …. poate data va face sa va ganditi la asta … Parerea mea … pe un astfel de drum chiar nu e cazul 🙂

La o ora dupa ce am trecut prin Buzau s-a inchis drumul de tot, iar distanta Buzau – Bucuresti am parcurs-o numai cu 30-50 km/h.

Si asta ma face sa ma gandesc la o melodie foarte frumoasa :