I. It suddenly occurs to me that hovercraft, GPS and the kind of mediated fly-by-wire systems that let military pilots fly nearly unflyable aircraft right to the edge of the envelope might be a perfect match. A problem with most hovercraft is they're borderline unstable in the horizontal plane and difficult to control, but these days we can fake stability. Bet the .mil has been doing it for years already.
II. Watching Onion News Empire last night (hilarious!), I was once again struck by what a kludge the user interface for video switchers is: a whacking huge panel, covered in buttons and sliders. These days it's just a control surface, the buttons are all freely assignable, but why are they physical buttons at all? A great big touchscreen would do as well, with one or two mouse-derived external controls. The operator would just drag icons (thumbnails?) onto a timeline -- or several timelines -- perhaps interspersed with icons for specialized transitions, and just have a big Next Event button and perhaps a set of fader bars as physical controls. Giant touchscreens are already out there; the IS department where I work has a couple of Windows 8 machines talking to 48" touchscreens. Physical switches wear out; a sheet of glass, not so much.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago