Monday, June 27, 2011

Mezzanine: Hyped Up Electronic Whiteboard

Tell me if this presentation means anything to you. They make a big deal of moving images between screens, which is of course the most stupidly derivative thing imaginable.

They say "optimized for big data sets and real time" as if this means something. Because if it means something to end users then I haven't the foggiest clue what it is.

Just like I don't have the foggiest clue what a "spatial environment operating system" is supposed to mean. My money's on it just being an empty meaningless marketroid-invented buzzword.

As far as I can tell, this is an electronic whiteboard. Of course, XEROX PARC has been playing with those things for at least a decade under the rubric of Ubiquitous Computing.

But no, this can't be an electronic whiteboard because it's supposed to be "revolutionary" and "the future of computing". Garbage!

As near as I can tell, this is totally useless hyped up prestige crap aimed at idiots with too much money to spend. So-called "executives" seeking expensive status symbols.

Just like the multi-touch was a status symbol for hoteliers.

8 comments:

Mathnerd314 said...

(point-by-point)
'They make a big deal of moving images between screens,'
They're selecting, dragging, zooming, rotating... going through all the standard mouse operations. Except they're using a pointer, not a mouse, and multiple pointers are interacting at the same time.
'which is of course the most stupidly derivative thing imaginable.'
It's not new, but it's relatively unusual. Most systems assume that only one cursor can exist. What in particular did you think this was derivative of?
'They say "optimized for big data sets and real time" as if this means something.'
The only place I could find this is in the g-speak video, "The platform is optimized for massive data sets and time-critical work." In context, as an advertisement for the g-speak platform, it makes sense: when the video was made, the only companies that would buy Oblong's stuff were large companies that had lots of money (implying a massive data set) and that needed the increased usability enough to pay whatever outrageous sum Oblong demanded (implying time-critical work). It's basically reassurance that Oblong designed the platform for use by those companies.
'Because if it means something to end users then I haven't the foggiest clue what it is.'
It isn't intended for end users... it's intended for the head of IT to show to the CEO when he asks for funding.
'Just like I don't have the foggiest clue what a "spatial environment operating system" is supposed to mean'
It means that the operating system is aware of where every screen and input device is physically situated, so that pointing to something on a screen is interpreted correctly.
'My money's on it just being an empty meaningless marketroid-invented buzzword'
Send bitcoins here if you feel your money is misplaced: 1PDppeqiqufRWNpmBnNxsCmpoRQnVVFSmx
'As far as I can tell, this is an electronic whiteboard.'
It's an electronic whiteboard, plus a software stack designed for remote conferencing. Anybody anywhere is able to join, edit the whiteboard, talk and see the other participants, submit information, etc. etc. It's evolutionary, not revolutionary, but it's further along than any of the competition. It's notable because it's Oblong's first standardized product, and that medium-sized corporations as opposed to large-sized corporations might be able to afford it.
'Of course, XEROX PARC has been playing with those things for at least a decade under the rubric of Ubiquitous Computing.'
True, but existing electronic whiteboards have clunkier modes of interaction: they either require direct contact with the surface or function independently. There's no equivalent to the pointer that Mezzanine uses. And they don't come with as nice or as powerful a software stack.
'But no, this can't be an electronic whiteboard because it's supposed to be "revolutionary" and "the future of computing".'
Oblong the company, with all of its technologies, is "revolutionary" and "the future of computing". Mezzanine is an evolutionary upgrade to existing electronic whiteboards / conferencing solutions, built using some of Oblong's revolutionary technologies.
'Garbage! As near as I can tell, this is totally useless hyped up prestige crap aimed at idiots with too much money to spend.'
Probably; people can make do with existing solutions. But if the choice is there between quality and price, sometimes quality will win...
'So-called "executives" seeking expensive status symbols.'
Better usability is hard to quantify, particularly since Oblong doesn't publish price quotes.
'Just like the multi-touch was a status symbol for hoteliers.'
A separate issue for a new post.

Richard Kulisz said...

> What in particular did you think this was derivative of?

Everything. I understand you're incapable of creativity or originality but people who are capable of it are capable of measuring it. This scores a 0.1 on a 10 point scale of creativity. The idea of moving images between screens is stupidly obvious.

The fact you made a big deal of the difference between a pointer and a mouse is a dead giveaway. There is no difference so even noticing it, let alone talking about it, is making too much of a deal about it.


Now I know why blogger filtered your comment out as spam. You're a marketroid for the company, aren't you? It's nice to hear confirmed every single thing I accused. This is crap. It isn't revolutionary in the slightest. The company making this is building useless derivative crap while hyping itself up. Everything it says is market driven buzzwords. As an OS designer, I am particularly offended by their description of mere spatial awareness as some kind of fundamentally new and different kind of OS. Which is exactly what they're implying by "spatial environment OS" rather than "spatial environment software".

Usability, like quality, are all quantifiable. What confuses you is the fact YOU are incapable of quantifying them. Because it requires creativity in order to do so. Creativity and logic together make up judgement so both of them are necessary but creativity is the faculty that's hard to come by. You don't have it so you're incapable of judging quality or usability differences.

Since I do possess creativity, I can tell that this expensive crapware has at best very, very marginal usability and quality improvements. A 0.1 out of 10 like I already said.

Mathnerd314 said...

> What in particular did you think this was derivative of?
> Everything.
Congratulations on not answering the question.

> I understand you're incapable of creativity or originality
You're right. I felt so depressed with this sudden realization. :-( (bounce-back yay :-))

> but people who are capable of it are capable of measuring it. This scores a 0.1 on a 10 point scale of creativity. The idea of moving images between screens is stupidly obvious.
I was talking about the idea and implementation of the pointer, not about moving images.

> The fact you made a big deal of the difference between a pointer and a mouse is a dead giveaway. There is no difference so even noticing it, let alone talking about it, is making too much of a deal about it.
A mouse moves around in a square. The pointer can move in a sphere. They use completely different technologies for detecting motion. How is there no difference?


> Now I know why blogger filtered your comment out as spam.
My account name got released in a databasse of "compromised accounts", so personally I'd guess that's the reason why it got filtered. But there's no conclusive method of determination.

> You're a marketroid for the company, aren't you?
Nope, no affiliation, other than that if I suddenly inherited a large sum of money I'd want to buy their products. (along with those of many other companies and individuals, of course)

> It's nice to hear confirmed every single thing I accused.
I wouldn't say everything.

> This is crap.
To say it is crap requires proving that it has flaws in its design or in its functionality; I haven't seen that yet.

> It isn't revolutionary in the slightest.
Nothing I saw said Mezzanine was revolutionary; where did you get that idea?

> The company making this is building useless derivative crap while hyping itself up.
Useless to you, maybe. Not to the rest of the world.
Derivative of what...? Oh right, of everything. But you yourself said that universal properties are meaningless.
Hype is implicit in anything by the press, so I don't really see what you're complaining about there.

> Everything it says is market driven buzzwords.
You seem to be speaking in buzzwords too, so again I don't really see what you're complaining about there.

> As an OS designer, I am particularly offended by their description of mere spatial awareness as some kind of fundamentally new and different kind of OS. Which is exactly what they're implying by "spatial environment OS" rather than "spatial environment software".
Oops, my fault for believing you had read the article. They never used the term "spatial environment OS"; that was something you inserted. They used the term "spatial operating environment", which is essentially "spatial environment software" (plus hardware designed for use with that software)

> Usability, like quality, are all quantifiable. What confuse/s you is the fact YOU are incapable of quantifying them. Because it requires creativity in order to do so. Creativity and logic together make up judgement so both of them are necessary but creativity is the faculty that's hard to come by. You don't have it so you're incapable of judging quality or usability differences.

Usability has been quantified by various people for decades. No creativity is needed, just research.

> Since I do possess creativity, I can tell that this expensive crapware has at best very, very marginal usability and quality improvements. A 0.1 out of 10 like I already said.
"Since I possess omniscience, I can tell that you are wrong." Particularly, not as you already said, since the first .1 out of 10 was on creativity, and this is on the separate issue of improvement.

Richard Kulisz said...

> I was talking about the idea and implementation of the pointer, not about moving images.

Yes of course, because the idea is so earth-shatteringly revolutionary. It's not like there haven't been pointers for decades. The blackboard pointer is so revolutionary in the 21st century that it's worth noting. It's worth ooing about. It's worth talking about it.

And of course, implementation is a fit subject for any proper designer. It's certainly not something to be relegated to engineers.

> How is there no difference?

Someone who calls himself a "user experience designer" needs to have this explained to him? You pretentious moronic fucker.

You are a pathetic and despicable excuse for a designer. You have no creativity in you and considering the job you hold notionally REQUIRES creativity, you ought to be fired, blacklisted and sued for misrepresentation.

Richard Kulisz said...

I don't countenance lying and since you lie gleefully with everything that you are, everything you pretend to be, your whole fucking life, I don't countenance your existence.

Mathnerd314 said...

> It's not like there haven't been pointers for decades.

There haven't been electronic, interactive pointers.

> implementation is a fit subject for any proper designer. It's certainly not something to be relegated to engineers.

No idea where this came from.

> Someone who calls himself a "user experience designer" needs to have this explained to him?

I don't call myself a "user experience designer."

> You pretentious moronic fucker.

I might be a moronic fucker, but I don't think I'm pretentious.

> You are a pathetic and despicable excuse for a designer.

Definitely. I don't intend to be a designer anytime soon. :-)

> You have no creativity in you

As agreed before

> and considering the job you hold notionally REQUIRES creativity, you ought to be fired, blacklisted and sued for misrepresentation.

I don't have a job, so this sounds difficult...

> I don't countenance lying

Good, neither do I. Although I do accept half-truths.

> You lie gleefully with everything that you are

I'm a guy typing away on his laptop; where is the lying? Unless you mean I'm lying down? (which I am)

> everything you pretend to be

I guess I'm pretending to be intelligent? You've stumped me.

> your whole fucking life

all 18 years of it

> I don't countenance your existence.

I think you've said before that you dislike 99.9% of humanity, so not that surprising. Does this mean you're going to delete all my comments, disconnect my internet, and come after me with a machete? (or an axe, I don't really care)

Richard Kulisz said...

Then either don't use terms you don't know the meanings of, or don't steal other people's blogs.

Mathnerd314 said...

> Then don't use terms you don't know the meanings of.

The only way I know of to determine that you don't know the meaning of a term is to use it and wait for someone to correct you. Do you have a better method?