austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

He's got such a supple wrist

So Apple added some sensors in new PowerBooks to detect signs of imminent physical crashes, the intent being to let hard drives secure themselves and the like. That's not outstanding or unique, but it does let programs access the current-attitude data and thus sense how the computer's moving. This has been used already to provide cute but perfectly useless applications like windows that lean so they stay level as the computer rotates.

It seems to me speculations on future applications of this quirk are missing the obvious. Software that can detect how a computer is being pushed, pulled, or nudged means we might finally have a digital pinball game that actually feels like it's based on pinball. Nothing will compare to prancing about a real table, of course, but with a laptop where nudging the sides actually does something proportional to the ball -- it may not be perfect, but it might be quite satisfying. I miss Rudy, of Funhouse, and wouldn't mind having him back virtually. What do you think, sirs?

Since it's a light day I'll finish off with some abuse of my scanner, showing Subcommander T'Pol, posing here as Wonder Twin Jana, discovering her power to become a Dr Seuss character. It's from one of the Superfriends comic book reprints, originally Superfriends issue #12, June/July 1978. It teaches the valuable lesson: if you shapeshift into something when you don't know what it is, you risk being laughed at by an odd teen in red tights and a yellow cape. Be warned.

Trivia: The Trustees of Queen College met on 25 March 1807 to re-open the long-closed school, starting the modern history of Rutgers University. Source: Rutgers: A Bicentennial History, Richard P McCormack.

Currently Reading: The Quest for Longitude, Edited by William J H Andrews.


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