off on a tangent

By Philip Trauring | Articles from the blog 'off on a tangent' by Philip Trauring

Three delayed keyboards (or four future keyboards) - off on a tangent

Anyone who has been involved with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, and particularly those who have backed hardware products, know …

Who watches the watchmen? Apple vs. The FBI - off on a tangent

The confrontation between the FBI and Apple over decrypting an Apple iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists, who …

A keyboard with swappable switches - off on a tangent

It started out with a post to Reddit that linked to a series of photos on Imgur of a new keyboard the user had ordered from the Chinese e-commerce …

E-mail security stinks, and that makes hackers (and the NSA) happy - off on a tangent

<b>The Better Mousetrap</b><p>Making the perfect e-mail client seems like the build-a-better-mousetrap challenge of our day. Every year or so it seems there’s …

Another font evolves in the digital realm - off on a tangent

Recently, I’ve been reading about T.E. Lawrence (also known as John Hume Ross, T.E. Shaw, and thanks to Hollywood – Lawrence of Arabia). In my …

Hand-wiring a keyboard - off on a tangent

As part of an effort to teach myself hardware design, I’ve wanted to hand-build a keyboard. I ordered a top and bottom plate from Ortholinear …

Arduino

The evolution and commercialization of the ErgoDox keyboard - off on a tangent

I mentioned the ErgoDox keyboard in my article A few interesting keyboards nearly in existence…. Strictly speaking, the ErgoDox was already in …

Arduino

How many keys are there on a keyboard? - off on a tangent

Longtime readers of this blog might have noticed my interest in computer keyboards. Most people today just use the keyboard that comes on their …

MacBook

From bibles to web sites, the century-long trek of one font - off on a tangent

I appreciate a good font, and I certainly appreciate good typography. Reading badly laid out books can be painful (although my threshold is much …

Typography

Time for some Pi - off on a tangent

The Raspberry Pi is a single-board credit-card-sized computer introduced in 2012. The computer was designed for use in teaching computer science to a …

Raspberry Pi

Privacy in the age of technology - off on a tangent

The recent kerfuffle over Uber and Lyft employees being able to track the locations that individual customers get picked up and dropped off at …

Net Neutrality

What if Apple made watch movements instead of watches? - off on a tangent

I’ve written what features I think future all-in-one wearables will have, took a second look at that on the eve of the Apple Watch launch, and had …

Watches

What was not said about the Apple Watch - off on a tangent

So the keynote just ended. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were about as expected. Other than the obvious screen resolution and battery differences, it seems …

On the brink of an Apple wearable - off on a tangent

Back in April I wrote a post titled One Wearable to Rule Them All? Not likely. predicting where I thought the wearable market was heading. My basic …

Uber meets Pretty Woman - off on a tangent

Robert Altman’s The Player, a 1992 crime drama that at the same time skewers Hollywood as an industry (the main character is a Hollywood producer), …

The rise of hardware startups – thank you crowdfunding - off on a tangent

I’ve worked in both hardware and software companies over the years, and both are interesting and challenging, but there there is something special …

How not to upgrade software - off on a tangent

<b>Update 6 Jan 2016: A year and a half after this post was written, Daring Fireball is reporting that Circus Ponies, the company discussed in this</b> …

Crowdfunding hardware and Sous Vide cooking - off on a tangent

This is not a post about cooking. This is a post about crowdfunding and how it is changing how many products are coming to the market. I touched on …

What differentiates a business messaging app? - off on a tangent

Messaging has become a hot area of late (for a look at the history of messaging over the past few decades, see my earlier post). While the $19B sale …

One Wearable to Rule Them All? Not likely. - off on a tangent

This is actually one of the first articles I planned on writing when I started this blog, but I felt I needed to fill in some background first. While …

How I would re-design the Kinesis Advantage keyboard - off on a tangent

I’m a fan of the Kinesis Advantage keyboard, but it’s definitely long-in-the-tooth these days. The keyboard’s basic design reaches back over twenty …

Samsung looking to Israeli tech to compete with Apple's iBeacon - off on a tangent

A couple of months ago I tweeted about an Israeli startup named ShopCloud that was showing off some fairly amazing retail technology:<p>Israeli startup …

A few interesting keyboards, nearly in existence... - off on a tangent

My last post, Why haven’t there been any keyboard innovations in decades?, got some interesting responses.<p>A couple of people said I was ignoring much …

Why haven't there been any keyboard innovations in decades? - off on a tangent

This might seem surprising coming from someone whose first job was for a speech recognition company more than 20 years ago, and whose current company …

IsraCoin, the new Israeli national cryptocurrency - off on a tangent

This month a new phase in cryptocurrencies began, with the introduction of a series of national cryptocurrencies, including Auroracoin (Iceland), …

Who do you trust with your identity? - off on a tangent

This is the second in a series of articles, which started with The long goodbye to passwords. You might want to read that first, if you haven’t …

Replacing the battery in my iPhone (10 minutes + 1 month) - off on a tangent

I use an iPhone 4s as my main phone. While Apple still sells this model, as someone who has been using it for over two years, it has certainly …

UX Note – Changing the admin of a WhatsApp group - off on a tangent

WhatsApp has been in the news a lot for obvious reasons, and it has been praised for its focus and simplicity. Sometimes, however, simplicity is a …

Are cell phone photos the 110/disc/APS photos of our day? - off on a tangent

I’ve heard it said that the best camera is the one you have with you. Sure, any picture is better than no picture, but with cell phones today many …