Shower Pause Game

In the shower I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if I could pause the shower and have it stay the same temperature?* And if while I had it paused—to shampoo my hair or shave or whatever—I could see a holding tank which showed the gallons I was NOT sending down the drain?"

I was picturing a tank in the shower wall with a clear side and an increasing scale of little green leaf icons, something like in the Prius or Nest consumption interfaces. I bet it would actually motivate me to use less water.

Then I realized, actually, I wouldn't need to see a real tank to be motivated. I'd just need a display which represented the water I wasn't using while the shower was paused. These silly little games are truly silly, but they also truly work.

I won't be surprised to find increasing amounts of conservation gamification built into appliances, house fixtures, and tools as the years go by. If it can make mundane things a bit more fun and save resources in the process why on Earth wouldn't we?

 

*I know this functionality exists, sometimes in quite inexpensive showerheads, but alas, ours does not have it.

A conversation 14 years long

Have we met?

I asked that question here on this site in September of 1998 in a post one month before MetaGrrrl.com would turn into what we would later call a blog.

I say I’ve never met Karawynn, Jamie, Carl and Justin. What the fuck does that mean?

I sit next to someone on the bus, I shake hands with a co-worker’s client who I’ll never see again, I chat with the bank teller and somehow these are people I’ve met?

My body doesn’t encompass me.
I don’t have to breathe the same air to be in the same place as you.

Have we met?

What a different world we live in now. We’ve been through radical changes in politics, technology, and cultural norms. Our days have transformed as the non-present world becomes present through these magic devices in our pockets. I live in a different city. Have a completely new career. Am in another relationship.

What hasn’t changed? Many of those people that some folks used to say I’d never met are still a part of my daily life.

So here’s my question for them, and for you, what has made these “virtual” connections so strong?

How has the way we built the web and the mobile internet and our tech-centric cities strengthened and weakened those chains since that year, 1998, when it seemed like maybe this world wide web thing might be sticking around?

 

http://embed-script.branch.com/production/embed.m.js
A conversation 14 years long

‘Domestic Servants in Elizabethan England’ rises again

OMG academic libraries are so frickin’ excellent. I’m back at UCSC’s McHenry Library 25 years later updating & expanding my senior thesis.

Why is Google Books good for scholars/writers? Because books don’t have complete indexes. Combing a 750 pager for keywords by hand is slow.

Disconnects between user uses and designer visions?

I have been using @googledocs for business but flaky behavior today & scary stuff I’m hearing re: worse to come has me backing up to desktop

From what I can figure out we’re losing “work with your docs anywhere, in your browser” to gain “here’s a shoebox you can get to anywhere”.

This is a bad trade.

People reporting files just showing a download link, instead of opening for editing. I’ve just seen flakiness.

Appears so far as a really rough & ham-handed transition to some larger product we may not actually want.

I’m not super worried about losing data, but wanted to at least back up my sales/income/expense/consignment worksheets.

Near as I can tell they think we want Dropbox, when we actually just want to not have to launch Excel/Word.

I still mostly trust them with my data, just really annoyed at the forced workflow change & new proprietariness.

Google seems to have a terrible blind spot about those who aren’t constant doc/chat sharers in their work life (viz: g+ design)

Is my work environment about to break?

Why is a company known for doing something cutting edge with cars using the name "Drive" for a non-driving related product? @Google #irksome

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A few days later and I'm noticing files I use all the time are now misbehaving. Time to save local copies of everything and perhaps to switch back to desktop apps.

Super frustrating for this to be turning into more than just a marketing bafflement.

 

Oh and, despite being "techie", it took me four days to realize that they're referring to hard drives or disk drives. Here they'd finally gotten me to switch over to thinking about the thing I work with rather than an old technology physical container and they go and revert their language. Sigh.