Tag Archives: amazon

Video: Masacotes vs PBD Stars

Manuel (of the opposing team) recorded all their Volleyball matches using a little Geek Pro. They use them to analyze their matches, correct their mistakes, improve on their technique… or to make fun of each other. He sent me the video of last Thursday’s Championship match which was right around one hour long.

Because nobody wants to watch a one hour long video of mediocre amateur volleyball, I thought it’d be a good idea to edit out the significant dead time. But that’s a lot of tedious work, even for me.

Enter: Amazon Mechanical Turk: “The Artificial Artificial Intelligence”.

Cleverly named after the 18th century fake chess playing machine; which I thought was a well known story but turns out I only know about it because of my odd childhood reading habits; Mechanical Turk is a service that allows you to set up jobs for someone else to do. It’s a great way for those who earn in US Dollars or Euros (but not British pounds!) to get people in China or India or some other low income country to do their menial tasks.

In any case, I uploaded the video to Dropbox and set up a gig, offering $5 to whoever does it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 10.41.37 PM
Boom! It’s done.

For your enjoyment, the full edited match:

Why I bought a Kindle

I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I have an iPad, so why did I buy a Kindle?

Amazon would like you to believe it’s all about the screen. Truth be told, I’ve been reading about E-ink since the mid nineties, fascinated by the prospect of a screen that uses almost no power and looks like a printed page. It took many years until I saw one live and I loved it. And it took another few years until I owned one (this Kindle). But no, reading in direct sunlight is not a huge selling point for an ultra-white Mexican who’s respectful of the Sun’s ultraviolet rays.

I actually really like the iPad’s LCD screen for reading. My eyes don’t get tired, and it’s great to be in bed at night, in total darkness, reading on the perfectly illuminated screen – brightness turned all the way down. Battery life is more than fine as well: I never read for more than 11 hours straight at a time without access to a power outlet. I’ve read several books on my iPad and I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Then Amazon released 3 new Kindles:

  1. Kindle Fire: Ultra-cheap media-viewing subsidized tablet ($200)
  2. Kindle Keyboard (a.k.a Kindle 3): ($99)
  3. Kindle Touch: E-ink with a touch screen ($99)
  4. Kindle: E-ink, no keyboard ($79)

I always thought that the keyboard on the Kindle was stupid. It takes up a third of the device’s space for something you only use once a month for a minute! On the other hand, the new Kindle’s lack of keyboard and touchscreen make it unbearably painful to type, whenever it is you need to. So why would anyone buy the Kindle when for $20 more you can buy a Kindle with a touchscreen keyboard?

And why would Marcos spend money on a dedicated reading device that limits you to a single store for buying books?

This is why:

New cheapo Kindle on top of iPad 2. As classy as a pocket billboard.
  • iPad 2: 21.28 oz
  • Kindle Fire: 14.6 oz
  • Kindle keyboard: 8.5 oz
  • Kindle touch: 7.5 oz
  • Kindle: 5.98 oz

When you are holding something up for hours, every ounce counts. This new Kindle is tiny, super light, and at $80 well not impulse buy territory. And I can still pick up in whatever page I was at on my iPad when in total darkness, or on my iPhone when I have a few minutes to read and I’m away from the larger toys.