Martin Porcheron

Researcher at the University of Nottingham

My blog

iOS 11 Smart Invert: Telling Safari not to invert images

Written by Martin Porcheron on Monday November 20, 2017

Here marks the first foray into non-opninion 'blogging' since the relaunch. iOS 11 includes 'Smart Invert' that will invert most of the screen across the operating system, but allow images and videos to remain unaltered (that's the 'smart' bit). By default, Safari will invert all images on a website when Smart Invert is enabled, which is a bizarre design decision.

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The challenge with AI: humans have biases

Written by Martin Porcheron on Thursday November 9, 2017

Recently, another attempt at creating some sort of "generalish AI" (that isn't really AI at all) that was meant to be able to understand society has ended badly. This time it was Google, who built a tool that was one big large sentiment analysis tool, which scraped the web and gave a positive/negative score to different phrases based on what it found. Unsurprisingly, phrases such as "I'm a homosexual" came out negative, and there was outrage as bloggers around the world accused Google of some act of neglect in building a homophobic algorithm or some other truly evil sin. The reality, however, is that it is humans are not some uniform dogooder collective. They're a bunch of opinionated and offensive windbags.

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When we use our phone in the pub with friends

Written by Martin Porcheron on Sunday October 29, 2017

In 2016, I wrote and presented a paper at the CSCW conference on the use of mobile phones in conversation while in a pub. The paper was the culmination of my first piece of research I planned and led myself, and so too was my first foray into paper writing as a lead author. This work was important to me, as it forms the bedrock of my PhD thesis. Namely, it shows how people use a mobile device in conversation as a routine practice — they still do talk with their friends as they do it, and they often bring the device use into the ongoing conversation. Here is a summary of the work, but if you'd rather read the full paper, you can fetch the PDF from this link to the ACM Digital Library.

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A product's design speaks for itself

Written by Martin Porcheron on Wednesday October 25, 2017

So, this post marks my first foray into opinion, and err, blogging. I think the blogging craze is just about dead, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon and be merry on my own.

I think many people will agree that design communicates. A good book cover will connect with people, and reveal the tone of the book well and a good event poster will attract the intended crowd, and so on. And this now brings me to the recent design directions of Apple and Dropbox. 

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New beginnings

Written by Martin Porcheron on Tuesday October 24, 2017

There comes a time when every website needs an overhaul, and to be honest, my website passed that some time ago. There are many reasons to overhaul a website, but perhaps the most important one is to shift away from old software and onto a more reliable modern platform.

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