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February 19, 2007

Interactive Kiosks

To be honest I can't remember running into any interactive kiosks besides the UMD one in Solon Campus Center. It is actually kind of exciting to run into one, because you don't see them very often. It's something new to explore. I think interactive kiosks are nice because they eliminate the paper waste of maps and other information that is included in the kiosk. They have the ability to show all kinds of different information using motion graphics and sound, so they can be really interesting and fun. One disadvantage though is that they are (or can be) rather large and immobile, which can pose a problem in some spaces. They can also take a massive amount of time to create and get running. I guess maybe the biggest disadvantage is that they are breakable and in that case you would confused people.

February 4, 2007

Second Life

I'm not a huge fan of second life. I think it's cool that we have the technology to create it, but I don't think it is something that is really that valuable. Just as with any other video game, maybe it's okay in moderation, but inevitably people will get totally sucked into it and start spending hours upon hours of time in this fantasy world. We already have several virtual modes of communication that do just fine for recreational and business use; there is no need for a whole new virtual world. It just brings up awkward questions like, if you kiss someone in Second Life are you cheating on your real life partner? These things shouldn't even be an issue. Maybe some people think it's useful for things like IBM's annual meeting. Maybe it saved them some money (travel, hotels...etc) but I don't really think there is an equal substitute for personal human communication. Maybe if IBM had an actual annual meeting, some people may have gotten to talk and come up brilliant new ideas. Instead, they probably just logged in to Second Life, listened to the meeting, said to someone, "Hey this is cool!" and then logged off and went back to work.