Handwriting Recognition

In a story on this week’s On The Media, the guest pointed out that Apple’s Newton was a flop due to its poor handwriting recognition. It would have been easy enough to let the point pass, but it got me thinking. With all of the energy put into handwriting recognition over the various generations of products — from the Newton, to Palm OS with its “graffiti”, to the Microsoft tablet PC — today’s premier hand-held devices don’t even bother. Instead of a stylus, we use touchscreens and on-screen keyboards or miniaturized keys. Has handwriting recognition ever become a significant or valued feature in consumer electronics? Perhaps it was just not a worthy idea in the first place.

It's easier than you think

Michael Ruhlman:

Real cooking is hard and difficult so here are the nifty shortcuts and tips to make all that hard stuff quickly and easily. It’s the wrong message to broadcast…

Amen to that. For all the good that they do, it gives me heartburn when America’s Test Kitchen emphasizes “quick”, “easy” and “simplified” in their episode titles. Then again, perhaps it’s a case of sale psychology. That power drill, or those shoes, are a lot more interesting if they’re 50% off, no?

One way to win an argument

I proposed that we call our field simply molecular gastronomy, but Nicholas thought that “molecular” would too narrowly identify it with chemistry and suggested “molecular and physical gastronomy” instead. We started out calling it by this name, but after a while it seemed too cumbersome. Because the analysis of the structure and behavior of molecules obviously involves a certain amount of physics, after Nicholas’s death in 1998 I decided to revert to the shorter form in announcing our workshops…

Hervé This, Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor