Things 87: Hacked Kinect, Technology vs Poverty, Robot Kid

Now that the Xbox Kinect is out, people are playing with it (a $3,000 prize was offered for the first person to provide an open source driver, and it’s gone crazy from there) and doing a lot of cool stuff. Here’s my favourite so far (stick with it to 42′ when crazy stuff starts happening):

Can technology end poverty? An article by Kentaro Toyama, a man with years of experience in the field, points out that:

“Technology—no matter how well designed—is only a magnifier of human intent and capacity. It is not a substitute.”

Since people in developed nations already have a great deal of intent and capacity, we tend to overestimate the absolute benefit of technology and get overexcited about the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, which ultimately fails to deliver on its promise. Well worth a read.

In relation to the above article, over on BoingBoing, commenter dragonfrog observes:

A quote from Bruce Schneier I think is applicable here:

“If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems, and you don’t understand the technology.”

If you leave out the word “security” I think it remains just as valid.”

15 years ago I was playing Tomb Raider (the 21st game I ever completed, according to my records. Current count: 103. More on that later). Years later, I read one of Jollyjack’s observational-comedy-style ‘How To Play’ comics on DeviantArt, and while all his observations strike home, one thing in particular was unexpected:

This was something I did frequently, without really knowing why, and some of the comments said the same.

The question is, why do people playing Tomb Raider (and no other game that I’m aware of) feel driven to do this?

If I was a parent and I could make this kind of thing come about, I definitely would:

Tim Link
The above image is the first one I posted to a new Tumblr I’ve created to queue up images to draw every day, Now Draw This. My attempts then appear on Sleep or Draw. As mentioned in Things 84, I’m mainly saying this here to reinforce my perceived obligation to stick to the schedule, which seems to be working so far.