Saturday, July 27, 2013

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle

I don't think Aristotle had Asian parents

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Car Link In rush hour traffic, cars can link onto each other when both front and back cars agree. This can easily save hundreds of hours of doing nothing in traffic. Outside of rush hour, it will give ten seconds of warning before detaching again.
  2. Forecast Platform Platform to make predictions on any topic. Everyone's predictions are saved permanently and the most accurate forecasters are featured.
  3. Eye Tracking Input Use eye-tracking software to simulate both mouse and keyboard. Right-blink for click and left-blink to bring up keyboard. Use a Swype-like keyboard for faster keyboard entry. Useful for handicapped folks.
  4. Sundial Watch Watch that simulates a sundial. Has a portable lightsource attached.
  5. Mobile-Controlled Home doors, windows, lights and stairs can all be controlled from your mobile device
  6. Price Per Hour Fun Enter in activity or object and calculate the best bang for your buck. Parameters could be personalized.
  7. Vocalize Takes in a book and turns it into audio. Voice and pacing can be adjusted. For those that prefer to listen over read
  8. Lecture Attender Programmable voice recorder you can stick in lecture halls. Turns on and record remotely. Send voice data back to your computer. Speech-to-text software automatically transcribes into lecture notes. Never attend another lecture!
  9. Destination Randomizer Takes all reachable destinations on the map and gives you a random destination to travel to
  10. Activity Alert Set mobile alerts on whether your accounts have been accessed. Be notified where your Google accounts been opened and what actions have been taken in the last hour.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Government Kickstarter The government lists a bunch of public projects - e.g. transit, roads - and crowdsources some of the funding
  2. Life Restart takes your career info and geolocates all your friends and acquaintances - suggests places where you could restart your life with minimal hassle
  3. Charitable Experiences fundraiser where you pay double the usual cost for something fun (e.g. horseback riding) and you take a less fortunate person with you
  4. Pressurized Toilets Rather than waste all that water for toilet flushing, have a pressurized system like on airplanes.
  5. Internet Diagnostics Devices that connects to your modem and router and alerts you via text message (SMS) if Internet is broken.
  6. Outdoor In Ceilings and walls that detect the weather outside and reflect it inside. Clouds that hover above you and rain dripping along the wall.
  7. Trick Explainer Take a video of a magic trick. App analyzes each component and explains how the trick is done.
  8. What will kill me here? Geolocates and analyzes crime stats, accident stats and mortality stats and tell you what to be careful of.
  9. What laws affect me? Type in what you want to do. After geolocation and crawling of local laws, the app will present you a list of rules you should be wary of
  10. Invisible Capture Measures and analyzes all the different invisible waves around you

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Stave off Starvation Locates the nearest food bank, events with free food, shelter and so forth.
  2. Career Brancher Fill in your current skills and find similar careers. Good for people that are laid off or just need a change in scenery.
  3. Smile a Day User-submitted content that makes you smile. Detects what you found amusing and presents similar content in the future.
  4. Safely Home Charts out crimes in your vicinity. Gives you the safest walking route home, even if it's longer
  5. Google Expert If a person isn't able to find the answer they're looking for, they can request an expert. Google will parse the query and send it to relevant experts.
  6. Out-of-Office Social Media Need a break from blogs/Twitter/Facebook but don't want people worrying? This app will leave an "out-of-office" status on all your outlets and automatically respond to people asking when you'll be back
  7. Mass-Clone Creates many similar profiles of yourself on social media, attempts to friend your current friend-list and randomly generates random updates in order to prevent accurate profiling on yourself.
  8. Personality Mapper Enter in how someone acts/reacts and see what type of personality they are. Choose from Meyers-Briggs, DISC or some other personality test. Gives you a sense of how to work with a person
  9. Conflict Mediation Practice Virtual reality environment where you can simulate conflicts with zero repercussions. Practice your conflict mediation and problem solving in high-stress situations
  10. Limit breaker Put in all your trackable routines. It will graph your deadlifts, lap times, meditation durations and so on. It will show you your current limit and congratulate you whenever you surpass it to set a new limit.

Monday, July 15, 2013

- 10 ideas: after weekend edition -

Otherwise known as "come up with as many ideas as possible while half asleep". Time to get back on track.

  1. Notepad Keychain When my notepad got stuck onto my key ring, I thought it would be convenient to have a portable notepad (and utensil) I'd never lose. Hook a notepad and a small pen onto your key ring.
  2. Fuel Tank for Humans A suitcase containing daily nutrients that can hook into you intravenously. For those too busy to stop to eat.
  3. Airlift Express Stuck in traffic? Pay this helicopter company to airlift you to your destination.
  4. Meditation Bubble Sound-proof, air-permeable bubble with a lid. When you enter the bubble, you can change the bubble from opaque to transparent or vice versa. Meditation timer optional.
  5. U.N. Subsidized Relocation Give a generous relocation fee to businesses in developed country to move to less developed countries. The goal is to kickstart economies across the world and get closer to global parity.
  6. Real-Life Portal Turrets They do detect movement. They have laser sight. They speak out in creepy voices. The only thing they don't do is shoot live ammo, because that's probably illegal. Shoot water instead. Or catsup.
  7. Global Treasure Hunt a multinational company (e.g. Google) sets up a global treasure hunt as a marketing campaign. The first clue starts at their headquarters, and people have to solve subsequent clues to get to the next destination. Since flights are expensive, an online forum can be used to organize global treasure-hunting teams.
  8. Laser War Laser Quest with smarter armor detection system and more sophisticated weaponry. Light-rifles, light-machine guns, light-grenades. Armor that gives you a health bar. Damage dependant on where you got hit. Health bar regenerates at a slow rate. You're out when you hit 0% health.
  9. Humane Mouse Trap Ramps on all side lead to the cheese in the middle. Cheese gives way to the pit trap below. Pit trap is in the shape of a slippery vial so cannot crawl out. Release rodent outside, or flush down the toilet.
  10. Foldable Courts When practising tennis, batting or so on, you end up with a lot of balls on one side. If the side of the field could be lifted, you could send the balls back to yourself.
  11. News-Sensitive Globe A regular spinning globe that can detect trending topics around the world. Big news will create bright, large ripples whereas smaller news are literally just a blip.
  12. Charging Desk With wireless charging becoming more popular, lose all the power cords and let your desk wirelessly fill up your smartphone and laptop. Functional and stylish.

Friday, July 12, 2013

- 10 ideas: double edition -

Even though research shows that missing a single day doesn't hurt in forming a new habit, it still weighs on my mind. So new challenge today: twice the ideas in half the time.

  1. Biosphere Supermarket Create a micro-climate where you can grow non-native fruits and veggies, then sell these fresh produce at a marked up price. Fresh durian, please!
  2. Crowd-Sourced Investigators traditional newspaper is dying. The biggest value - in my eyes - is the investigative piece. Crowd-source an investigative piece. Investigators' names are hidden until the report is out; a successful investigation gives an investigator creds. Depending on how much funds a piece earns, you can demand an investigator(s) with a certain level of creds
  3. Disposal Tubes Tubes for trash, recycling and compost run through every house in a neighbourhood. Where gravity fails, a wind tunnel suctions the refuse into the treatment plant. Filters to prevent people or pets being sucked in. Saves truck fuel and garbage bags.
  4. Give Me This Now! Demand any purchasable item from anywhere in the world. Pay for transportation cost plus a courier fee. Transportation cost may be high if flights are involved, but guaranteed to take less than 24 hours.
  5. Dream Prompter Measures once you exited REM sleep and nudges you awake. Provides a tablet interface for you to write and draw everything you can remember.
  6. Hygiene 101 Not every parent teaches their kids hygienes. They should include best practices for hygiene in school.
  7. How [adjective] is this [noun]? Use Mechnical Turk to rate movies, shows and books on humour, sadness, steaminess, gruesomeness and so forth. Compile statistics and throw a pretty interface over it.
  8. How do I care for this? Take a snapshot of an animal or plant. Get the living needs of that animal or plant. Directions to the closest animal shelter also included if animal.
  9. Neighbourhood Help Along the lines of Neighbourhood Watch, you could label your house as a mechanic, chef or so on if you're willing to provide your services for passing neighbours. Good way to find out and meet the ones close to you.
  10. mStethoscope a stethoscope that plugs into your mobile device. Sound data goes into the mobile app and offers diagnostics.
  11. Packet Analyzer Wireshark can show you every packet going in and out, but there are so many packets and it's not easy for an average person to understand. Packet Analyzer will take that data, filter out noise and categorize the rest so you can see if there's any suspicious activity.
  12. @Me Crawls through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all other social networks to find out any mention of you. Egotism in one neat package.
  13. One Password KeyPass stores all your passwords for you so you don't have to remember. Very secure, but not convenient. One Password hooks into the browser and logs you into any site when you enter your master password. This way, you can use random passwords for each site but only have to remember one. The solution to password reuse.
  14. Cloud VM One major issue I have with Chromebook is that I can't play League of Legends on there. That problem would be solved if the browser can run a Windows virtual machine. The gaming example is actually an edge-case to how amazing a browser-based virtual machine would be.
  15. Globalize Expands your company across the world. Well-connected and well-learnt about different policies. Knows the right people to bribe in other countries.
  16. Free Food Test Kit with the epidemic of fake foods in Mainland China, the government should hand out free food test kits and get citizens to report the sketchy vendors.
  17. Animal Identifier by sound, tracks or pictures. "By sound" would work like Shazam. Tracks and pictures could be done through Google's gigantic neural net.
  18. Speech Sharpener Perform a speech in front of your webcam. Get automated feedback on vocal variety, posture and so on. You can also review the video of your speech. Paid version will give you real feedback from professional speakers.
  19. Outfit Completer Post a piece of clothing and see what matches it. Can sort by price or style. Can also post just your measurements for suggestions on what to wear. Good for the fashionably handicapped like myself.
  20. Sky Alert Geolocates you and gives you a 24-hour advance alert if something awesome will happen in the night sky (e.g. meteorites, eclipses).

That took a little over an hour - phew!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

- 10 ideas: politics edition -

Besides education, I feel like politics is another big system that could use some fixing. I feel like the general Canadian should have more ability to see and influence what happens in the country.

  1. Proportional Representation Definitely not a new idea. In our current winner-take-all system, many people feel like their vote is wasted and end up doing things like strategic voting - voting for the lesser of two evils just to keep someone they dislike out.
  2. Glass Votes Every vote on every bylaw is recorded in a publicly accessible database. You could search and filter by subject, politician, year. You can be choose to be notified on upcoming votes that interest you, or interesting votes that has just happened, or how your councillor voted.
  3. Simple Law laws rephrased into a common and easy-to-understand way. If any accuracy is lost from translating from legalese, put in footnotes to explain further. Also add in real-life examples on how this law affects you. For instance, everyone can agree to "Stopping Online Piracy" - but at what cost?
  4. Say and Do crawls transcripts of speeches and debates to sum up a politician's public positions. Crawls through votes of various laws to sum up a politician's true positions. The difference between tatemae and honne. This could also be tracked on a party-level, but you would be more effective calling out specific persons.
  5. Vote Subreddit Automatic listing of all upcoming laws/bylaws, preferably translated through Simple Law (above). Local councillor contact info is autogenerated with geolocation. People can upvote the ones that interest them, and comment on what they think. Then with the contact info, they can immediately contact their councillor on what they think.
  6. Mandatory Debate During every election cycle, install mandatory debates moderated by an organization with the public's interest in mind (e.g. EFF). This way we can hear what they have to say on hard questions that matter.
  7. Who To Contact Enter an issue you have and this service will give you the contact info you need, along with a templated letter for your issue.
  8. Demand Answer Open a petition and get people to sign it. If 25% of the voting population has signed it, the government must give a non-trivial answer. The ombudsman can decide whether the petition has been sufficiently answered. Similar to what the States have right now, except they don't have the ability to refute the answer given.
  9. Money Trail Graphs how a politician made their money (in terms of jobs and donations) and how they're spending their money (in terms of laws and expenses). As a senior executive once told us, don't believe what people say - track how they're spending their money to really see what's important to them.
  10. Conflict-of-Interest Alert track what organizations a politician has been part of and what laws they pass. For instance, sound off the alert when an oil-friendly politician gets a job at an oil firm.