Is Pokemon Go real?

The interesting question came up because Pokego differentiates itself from most other games because it is

  1. So visible: You can see people out there playing it. You see them walking about and running around. You see them on their phones and you see their phone screens and you see them flicking their fingers.
  2. Pseudo Augmented Reality (AR): There is a whole debate about whether Pokego is proper AR (much less VR), but one definite interesting thing about the game is that option of using the phone camera to find, display and catch the Pokemons. It makes it look as if the Pokemon is actually out there in front of you. A cool trick.
  3. So mobile: The players have got to move around, they got to move to different places on the map by walking, driving, taking public transport etc. It feels like the Pokemons are actually at particular locations. But are they really? Or are they just anywhere on the virtual map, on a virtual screen, no more really on location than they are actually on a real physical map.

So this begs the question of is the game real, are the Pokemons real, are they really there at locations around the world?

Or could you simply spoof (falsify your phone location) around and just as “physically” be there?

Frankly the answer is that it is no more real than any game out there. It is no more unreal than any console or PC game. You move your wii controller and the racket swings, you move your mouse a few inches and your gun raises, you press a button and you walk forward in game. Simply put the GPS-enabled location of your phone acts as one of the controllers of this game. The code calculates your movements in metres, tracks your location against the server map, calculates how far you walked and awards you points. The difference here is that you walk one metre in reality, you move one same metre in game. 1:1. No shortcut keyboard  button to amplify movements.

It would be a cool philosophical question: if someone made a fake map of the world, with fake things on it, what changes?

Is Pokemon Go real?

Duo

https://duo.google.com 

The newest app released by Google. Day 1: lots of fuss by people who weren’t aware that Duo, at the current iteration is mobile-only, single device-only, mobile number-based, single person call-only.

Undoubtedly it is quite a bizarre app to be releasing in 2016, when most apps have loaded on tons of features, logins, web+mobile platforms, etc etc. It is really pared down to the simplest form possible on a mobile device. That must have been a really tough call to make, all the way to the top. When all the features and engineers and servers and resources are available to you, and you choose to take it out of the app, that’s quite a move.

I think Google is perhaps targeting a different audience – “the next billion users”. Duo isn’t just simple, it’s specific. It seems to fit really well into the developing countries market. These users have their main identity tied to their phone number. That’s their business line, that’s their contact point, that’s their identity. People remember other people’s phone number. They have poor 2G, 3G networks. They have a single weak mobile phone, not iphones and S7s. They don’t have main email or google addresses – that’s not how they share identity. They don’t have multiple phones, tablets. They don’t multitask in front of the laptop daily – they are laborers or farm workers or village folk. I am generalizing here, but it seems like Duo could really reach this audience instead of solving video problems for first world countries that already have Hangouts, Skype and Facetime. By having this new generation grow up (internet wise) on Duo, Google could have a potential move here. But of course this audience is also deeply into WhatsApp and other lightweight number-based IM platforms.

Who knows? Let’s see if it catches on.

Duo

hk typhoon nida

A work trip to HK, where we encountered a surprise typhoon warning upon landing. My first typhoon, and it really disrupted the meetings schedule.

Cool to see how organized the city was at dealing with their seasonal weather. Shops and businesses close down, schools close, public transport close, harbor closes, the stock exchange closes, the HK observatory updates everyone hourly, everyone seems to know how the weather will likely be in a few hours time. It didn’t seem to hit as bad. 400 trees down, 50-145km/h winds, minor flooding somewhere, alot of cancelled flights, a mess at the airport. Generally not as bad as it mainly hit from 2am to 10am, and you just sleep through most of it unless you’re out for some ungodly reason.

hk typhoon nida

Nextcloud

NextcloudNew medal unlocked: managed to log into Nextcloud (Owncloud).

After two days of repeated wrangling with the installation and NFS share, I finally got the past the access permissions error that kept being thrown up.

Perhaps another blog post to come on detailed working config.

Still yet to get a LetsEncrypt cert and public URL.

Nextcloud

Discovery

https://youtu.be/vj-cK_KfjsI

University was a time of opportunity, potential, discovery, learning, and doing. We lose that. We lose it in the midst of budgets, schedules, waiting, dependencies, work hours, manpower and differing focuses.

We become separated in little bounded worlds, with excuses and misalignments and each individual selfish directions, bound in a family we cannot escape from. But why?

The Space Shuttles were named Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour. Except for Columbia, the rest are named after explorer ships, mostly of HMS though. Exploration, discovery and progress, these are the properties that must drive the human species forward, not beleaguered politicking and administrative tape.

Discovery