Pokémon Go and Reality

I am currently in the land of the Free. We’ve flown 14 hours to have a holiday in Washington DC and New York City with the family. It is amazing… I’ve never been in this part of the US before and it is everything popular media promised us it would be. Washington DC has amazing museums and beautiful rolling green grass. The national monuments are exactly as they appear on TV and it really is awe inspiring to be sitting in the shadow of the Washington memorial.

Or checking out Times Square.

Something has vaguely pulled at me however. It is this slight unease about the racial tension jn this country. I know that it is totally a thing everywhere, but here you can almost feel it.

For example this blog and the one it links to about the new popular game Pokemon Go. (no we have NOT been playing it… We have been actually sightseeing, also I have a Windows Phone. Go sign this if you do too)

It describes the very definition of a cultural hegemony , where the very colour of your skin precludes you from enjoying a game… One that takes you into the real world… With other people!

I have been struggling with this all week. On the one hand we have to be cautious travellers, we are visitors in a country not our own… We don’t want something horrible to happen to us, or our children. We have warned them of the bad people who may snatch them away. Of course we’ve been generic but you can see how parents in our situation might grip tighter when passing an African American instead of a white American. Which is ridiculous because statistically there is no proof. The inherent racism in that act makes me feel sick… And I feel powerless to do something more about it.

Microsoft #hololens – a non-review

So this happened (image above obviously)

I went to what seemed like a fairly exciting, if fairly normal She# event yesterday… and then three lightning talks later Rocky Heckman the business development manager from the Hololens team came up. The excitement was actually palpable!

This was the super secret hush hush first ever demo of the Hololens in Aotearoa… and what a crowd it was to!

I got the selfie (well actually it was a stock standard photo) but there wasn’t quite time for me to give it a go. The Galaxy Explorer app that Rocky showed was amazing, you can walk around the Earth and zoom in and out, and explore the Milky Way and all while not walking into things (unlike Google Cardboard, Occulus Rift etc) because the Hololens still lets you see the actual world around you.

What I think I want though, is an implantable Hololens… imagine this, it’s embedded in your eyeball, you see someone, and it comes up with the last 5 touchpoints, you’d be one of those awesome ‘people’ persons, all with a bit of tech!


#IStandWithAhmed and *that* clock

Certain parts of the internet has been buzzing today because someone called ProudGamer8 tweeted at Richard Dawkins about Ahmed Mohamed and Dawkins is resolutely standing his ground.

In case you’ve missed it all, Ahmed is a 14 year old kid who was arrested for possessing what looked like dodgy electronics. He took it to school, and people over-reacted and he was arrested for bringing a ‘bomb’ to school.

[Update: the other argument is that he was arrested for deliberately ‘faking’ a hoax. I.e. waste of police time etc which is an interesting point too, youtube link here thanks @soleeternaltat for the heads up]

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