Forgotten Ideas: Twitter, Jun-Jul 2007

Cameras, Toilets, and LEGO UX

Here's an idea that came to me while waiting for a train to Genova. I was standing on a platform, across a pair of tracks a man was taking a picture of something in my direction. I was in the picture, the camera seemed to be pointed at me.

I thought to yell my email address across the tracks asking him to send me a copy of the picture … Then I thought my cell phone or camera could do that for me. It could be beaming my contact info. Then I had a better idea.

What if his camera, as it was taking the picture, also broadcast the bits to every other camera in range. My camera, sitting in my napsack would detect a picture being broadcast, and would capture it.

Wouldn't this change tourism in a nice way? Now the pictures we bring home would include pictures of ourselves. Instead of bringing home just pictures that radiate from me…

A place to report potholes, abandoned cars, and other city issues.

On this page, some nerd explains how to get backwards compatibility for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6, the old web browser included in Windows). Stuff like this is really hacky and unfortunately common in the early web. It’s terrible that we have to solve annoying puzzles like this often when programming.

I guess the main reason why is that “the web” was originally designed for documents and not “webapps”. I’ve often attributed the lack of rapid support in browsers for seemingly common use-cases to slow bureaucracy or maybe an out-of-touch standards group, but maybe it was always careful and conscious decision-making to keep the web a collection of boring documents for as long as possible. This is a good thing in their minds and I kind of agree.

I think the World Wide Web Consortium, et al. wanted a non-HTML browser to fulfill the internet’s application needs but nothing ever really took off. We have JavaScript frameworks like React and Vue but these are really, really bad compromises in my opinion. Poor performance, poor accessibility, and poor developer experience. Maybe WebAssembly will finally address this problem but it is too early to tell.

I’m not sure what this is. I think is not it tho

Bonus (post-2007):

BTW I recently discovered this documentary and it is quite good. Basically the untold story of the iPhone 15 years before the iPhone.