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Quickies — MIT's Intelligent Sticky Notes

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the smarter-than-your-average-sticky dept.

Communications 124

Iddo Genuth writes to mention that MIT researchers have made their first pass at bringing the common yellow post-it note into the digital age. Using a combination of artificial intelligence, RFID, and ink recognition, the team hopes to make the digital version as ubiquitous as possible. "The Quickie application not only allows users to browse their notes, but also lets users search for specific information or keywords. Using a freely available commonsense knowledge engine and computational AI techniques, the software processes the written text and determines the relevant context of the notes, categorizing them appropriately. "The system uses its understanding of the user's intentions, content, and the context of the notes to provide the user with reminders, alerts, messages, and just-in-time information" - said the inventors. Additionally, each Quickie carries a unique RFID tag, so that it can be easily located around the house or office. Therefore, users can be sure never to lose a bookmarked book or any other object marked with a Quickie."

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as ubiquitous as possible (1, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#23280904)

as ubiquitous as possible
Ubiquitous means omnipresent.
English, mon frer, do you speak it?
If you make an intelligent sticky note that's so unique, it's one-of-a-kind, and you put it on Nigel Tufnel's [youtube.com] amp, and he cranks it up to 11, will /. editors suddenly become competent?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23280930)

"as possible" doesn't mean "to the greatest degree that makes sense", doofus.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23280952)

It's like saying that 1 is as close to unity as possible.
All they need to say is that they want to make the gadget ubiquitous.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282472)

Uh, like this [youtube.com] ubiquitous?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (2, Funny)

roscivs (923777) | more than 5 years ago | (#23280954)

Ubiquitous means omnipresent.
Ummm... "the team hopes to make the digital version as omnipresent as possible." Parses perfectly well to me. What's your damage, Heather?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281168)

If you're omnipresent, what more need be said?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (2, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281230)

"Get lost?"

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23280974)

That's what he meant.

English, mon frer, do you understand it?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (0, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281184)

It's like saying 'ATM machine'.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281880)

As opposed to 'ATM mode'.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

scrwvwls (881589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281208)

Français, mon frère , do you speak it? And aren't there degrees of ubiquity? I dunno....

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281580)

No, and no.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23284064)

I think all readers successfully managed to interpret the phrase "as ubiquitous as possible" as meaning approximately "as widespread as possible". Basically the editor is saying that this new digital post-it could one day be found everywhere, much like is the case with current paper post-its.

What exactly is your point, apart from attempting to display pedantry in English and ignorance in French?

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281314)

I'm sorry, mon frère, but if you're going to complain about perfectly good English, you shouldn't use bad French in order to do so.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281426)

Pour quoi? It's said to be like wiping your ass with silk

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (1)

YukiCuss (960733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282238)

This is bad silk.

Re:as ubiquitous as possible (2, Insightful)

75th Trombone (581309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282546)

I wish you would stop regularly alternating between decently insightful posts and off-topic tediopedantic flamebait so I could decide whether to leave you on my Friends list or not. :P

We have quickies in my office (5, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23280918)

Apparently they're holding them over at the Human Resources department. I asked the receptionist for a Quickie and she had me sent there.

Re:We have quickies in my office (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23280960)

I had the same experience and in the end it cost me $50,000 in legal fees. This technology is way too expensive to ever take off.

Re:We have quickies in my office (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281310)

I had the same experience and in the end
Wow, I guess they'll do anything where you work.

Re:We have quickies in my office (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281770)

That's because you used a digital pen as suggested in TFA, when you really should use a cigar.

Re:We have quickies in my office (1)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282792)

Trust me, it could have been much worse. Try asking an undercover cop if you can buy a quickie from her!

Re:We have quickies in my office (1)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281598)

At least you didn't have to go down to the legal department. Apparently that's where they keep the Bloh Jaabs (tm).

Re:We have quickies in my office (1)

DiEx-15 (959602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282170)

Thanks for the heads up! I'll be sure not to ask for them now!

Sometimes simplicity... (4, Insightful)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 5 years ago | (#23280980)

is best. I have to write my sticky on a touch-sensitive pad which will then need to be transferred to the PC, undergo handwriting recognition and AI to try to ascertain what the heck I meant which will then try to organize that information.

Or, I can continue using my sticky notes and organizing them on my cube wall (a much larger surface and higher resolution then my 19 inch monitor), freely moving them from one place to another, changing meaning through organization without having to worry about manipulating them on a computer.

Forgive me but I believe this is a tool in search of a problem that does not exist.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281038)

Or to put it in simpler terms...

"if it ain't broke..."

This does seem to be a prime example of over-engineering and tackling a problem that either doesn't exist or can be fixed via much simpler means, i.e. training the "user" to be better organised. It reminds me of NASA spending millions developing a pen that would work in space, while the Russians just used pencils....

I'd rather they spent the money they used researching this to develop glues that have the same properties as that used on post-it notes, but don't lose their stickiness over time, combine that with a reusable form of paper and you have yourself a winner.

Then again, I suppose you could just use small, magnetic whiteboards to achieve a similar result....hmmm...perhaps I should take a trip to the patent office...

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (5, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281072)

Please stop repeating that myth. Snopes [snopes.com] says you're wrong.

For those too lazy to read the link: Fisher spent their own money on the development, and the results were far better than pencils. Pencil leads break off and create an electrical and fire hazard, not to mention making dust. These are real problems in free fall that aren't present on the ground. Sorry, but your intuition of what works well on the ground will not translate in any meaningful way to free fall.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281192)

Unfortunately I don't have the time to check out every single "fact" people tell me, particularly the common ones (like this) that get reiterated all the time. I apologise for spreading FUD and I stand corrected (Although my main point remains the same), however I AM only human.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281220)

Unfortunately I don't have the time to check out every single "fact" people tell me, particularly the common ones (like this) that get reiterated all the time. I apologise for spreading FUD and I stand corrected (Although my main point remains the same), however I AM only human.
Perhaps you should write the facts a Quickie so that it can do the research for you :D

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281438)

Unfortunately I don't have the time to check out every single "fact" people tell me
Of course not, none of us do. The question is, why do we repeat them back anyway? :-/

--Ted

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281520)

I've actually thought about this before. When you're growing up, as a young, naive kid, you tend to just believe what adults tell you. Then you get a little wiser and realise that not ALL adults actually know what they're talking about (and some just love to tell you complete lies for the fun of it, or to make you look stupid), so you typically start to question what most people tell you, but certain people (such as your parents or teachers) tend to keep a level of respect where you continually believe what they tell you.
I had an old biology teacher who admitted to frequently abusing this trust, telling his pupils random, completely made-up facts purely for his own amusement because he knew they trusted him - after all, he was a teacher, but I digress.

After years of these people essentially telling you everything you know, you question very little of it (And for good reason, you're relying on them to teach you most of what you'll take into your adult life). But what if they teach you something wrong? You have no way of knowing for sure, but chances are you wont question it either because they've gained that level of respect from you.

Furthermore, even when you're a lot older, you still tend to believe the things you were taught as a kid, even though if someone told you it now, you'd be a lot more skeptical (well, for most people here at least, there are still plenty of gullible people out there).

I believe this is what happened here, because I distinctly remember people telling that story about NASA and their million-dollar-pens ever since I was very young and thus I didn't question it up until this day. I even remember several different primary school teachers and a couple of secondary school teachers reiterating it word for word.

Perhaps it's how the human brain develops and works. On a basic level, when you get a "fact" to process, when you're younger you go through some simple steps - Understand it if possible, remember it. But then someone slips you a bad "fact" and you then learn to add a new thing to do - Understand it, Question it, remember it. But what about all the "facts" you've learned previously? You've already processed them, you've already remembered them and as we all know we can't just loop through every memory we have and question them for their reliability, they just get...remembered as being fact, rather than questioned facts.

I'm sort of rambling here, it's 2am and I've been awake all day (I know this barely counts as mid-afternoon for most hardcore geeks, but I'm a working boy), plus I'm by no means a biologist or anything remotely similar, but I'd be interested to know if any studies on this have ever been made.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283196)

I agree, actually, it's very interesting. This characteristic of human development is also one of the reasons there is such hot debate about religious indoctrination of children in schools. If you view religion as a vaccine against eternal damnation, you want children to hear about religion as much and as early as possible. If you think it's a bunch of bullocks, you absolutely don't want your children exposed to it until they're old enough to question it. Keep in mind how long it takes most children to learn not to trust teachers or authority figures.

There is some pretty interesting research out there about this, but I don't have any links with me at the moment. Nova (a TV series on PBS) did a few specials (Ape Genius, etc.) that also did a great job covering it. If you look into it, you'll see some incredible experiments that show that children are actually much more gullible and blindly follow what's taught to them than other primates. It's also quite likely that this has significantly benefited our society.

I'm too tired to dig through references right now, but I hope you look into it.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281726)

Because it makes sense.

Like all urban legends, there's just enough truth to make you say 'wow, that makes sense' and ignore the silly/foolish bits.

In that particular myth, it does seem like the sort of thing NASA would do - an engineer creates a problem which is waaay overengineered and the Russians, not bothering with any of that silliness, just uses the simple solution

The fact that it's not what actually happened is irrelevant (to most people) - it could have happened, so why not believe it?

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281748)

Huh. I'm going to have to completely disagree with you. There's nothing about that story that "seems" true or reasonable. In fact I'd argue otherwise, that an organization with the ability to put ships in space would be unlikely to make such a frivolous investment.

Perhaps the reason urban legends "seem" true is because they justify a person's preconceived prejudices, opinions or conclusions.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Wavebreak (1256876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282420)

Which is exactly what the gp meant, as I understood it. You say 'wow, that makes sense' not because it does, but because it fits some preconceived notion of truth and thus doesn't get examined further. And obviously, this makes sense to me because it fits a preconceived notion of truth I have. There's almost certainly a lot more to it. One major factor, as explained by another post somewhere else in this thread, is likely the fact that these things often get told to you by people you trust.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282800)

Actually it's closer to reality than you make it out to be. I don't know if you read the article, but the inventor of the space pen really did pour his heart into its development, and he did it with the space program in mind. There are, of course, legitimate needs for such a pen. The only difference is that he spent thousands, not billions, on its development, and, once he developed them, he promptly gave pens to NASA for free.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283452)

Uh, no. The entire point of the myth is that a simple and inexpensive solution worked as good or better, which the pencil does not.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283016)

If you want a fairly comprehensive answer to muc of that, I can recommend "How we know what isn't so" by Thomas Gilovich. (Doesn't answer why we communicate about these things at all - I have only some partial answers to that, and they're still long...)

Eivind.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Kwiik (655591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283312)

maybe instead of bitching back and forth you guys should stop being retards and notice the real issues

it's not that people aren't spending time developing better pens that work in space
and it's not that we should have better glue for better post it notes

the problem is that nerds at MIT are treating simple things from every day life as if they are "problems" that need to be "solved".

The real PROBLEM is not that we need to upgrade post it notes, it's what post it notes solve: we need a way to remember things on the fly, and to have notes to remember things at in convenient places

so the only way to SOLVE this problem other than post it notes, is not to give post it notes an upgrade
it's to look at the problem and ask for the new solution
IF there is a better solution - given the past N years updating in technology
and MAYBE THERE ISN'T - I like my post it notes thank you!

But here's my idea: digital ink able to project itself anywhere, managed by a holographic array, as if we lived in a holodeck out of star trek

Not possible yet? ok. Well, if you think of a better solution from now until then, I'd be happy to see it replace post it notes, but it sure as hell isn't going to be increasing the price of post it notes by inserting chips in them, no matter how small and cheap they get

In the mean time, I'm going to go patent that idea, because one day it might be possible, and then you guys will get pissed off at me for being one of the people who develop something that seems so simple to us, but much earlier on when it was in fact a vision of what may be the only right way

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23284426)

"Unfortunately I don't have the time to check out every single "fact" people tell me, particularly the common ones (like this) that get reiterated all the time."

But you DO have an obligation not to spread these things unless you have checked them out, idiot.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

zanaxagoras (1116047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281586)

Please stop repeating that myth. Snopes [snopes.com] says you're wrong.
Ah, the pixels wasted in the name of pointless pedantry...

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281076)

from Snopes - "NASA never asked Paul C. Fisher to produce a pen. When the astronauts began to fly, like the Russians, they used pencils, but the leads sometimes broke and became a hazard by floating in the [capsule's] atmosphere where there was no gravity. They could float into an eye or nose or cause a short in an electrical device. In addition, both the lead and the wood of the pencil could burn rapidly in the pure oxygen atmosphere. Paul Fisher realized the astronauts needed a safer and more dependable writing instrument, so in July 1965 he developed the pressurized ball pen, with its ink enclosed in a sealed, pressurized ink cartridge. Fisher sent the first samples to Dr. Robert Gilruth, Director of the Houston Space Center. The pens were all metal except for the ink, which had a flash point above 200C. The sample Space Pens were thoroughly tested by NASA. They passed all the tests and have been used ever since on all manned space flights, American and Russian. All research and development costs were paid by Paul Fisher. No development costs have ever been charged to the government."

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281084)

Stop using that story! NASA never spent millions developing a space pen, and the Russians never used pencils. NASA might be stupid, but not that stupid, and the Russians are cheap enough to do something that stupid. Break the tip and your screwed. Not to mention wood and graphite catch fire. Both space agencies were happy to use grease pencils for quite a while. The Space Pen that is use now was developed independently by a independent inventor/businessman. Only after making that did NASA end up using some of the pens.

Wow... Such Inanity.. (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282208)

You should get some sorta award here :)

The Russians (And the US) did, indeed, use pencils.

And NASA did, indeed, commission the creation of the pen.

Re:Wow... Such Inanity.. (1)

YukiCuss (960733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282288)

[citation needed]

Re:Wow... Such Inanity.. (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23284434)

Read the fricken snopes article linked above.

Does your mother still feed you off the teat or do you help yourself when you're hungry?

Exactly.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Dada Vinci (1222822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282520)

"if it ain't broke..."

To summarize the change they made in a form Slashdot would understand:

s/st/qu

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (3, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281048)

They really are missing the point. The point of a stickie note is to put information where there was none previously. I don't need the bottom edge of my monitor for anything, but it's really handy for reminding me about the tasks I need to do before I leave. Putting it on the monitor (physically or through this software) takes up space that I do need for something else, meaning I'd only look at them when I thought I'd need the reminder...which means that I wouldn't need it.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281138)

Plus, you wouldn't want to waste an RFID-based memory circuit to disable the faulty little motion sensor in the toilet stall that causes the toilet to flush every time you are on the throne. :)

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281140)

Of course I didn't read TFA, but I agree with your opinion -- a useful 'tool' of this kind is one that can be determinably integrated into workflow. So, having to wonder "why didn't that note get indexed?" or "what do I have to do to get this system to behave in a way that doesn't interrupt me with irrelevant inadequacies" is actually COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE and the hallmark of a sort of "ANTI-TOOL".

Post-its are useful to people because they're dumb and predictable.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (2, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281154)

I'm pretty sure its development was for the sake of progress rather than the replacement of an already loved product. Remember this is MIT that developed it, not some commercial entity. I'm pretty sure that the main reason for its conception was another baby step towards creating a system that assists humans with their means of communication, which may seem trivial, but it is a crucial step towards modernizing the way humans interact with machines. FTA:"The scientists say Quickies can be used to seamlessly blend the old-fashioned and modernized ways of communication". I'm sure the next step is to have the system analyze the code that the programmer is developing, and based on the comments and general coding habits, lay out the skeleton of the program (or perform some other vital function, like warn the coder of a possible logic error with his objective).

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

ioshhdflwuegfh (1067182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283040)

"The scientists say Quickies can be used to seamlessly blend the old-fashioned and modernized ways of communication". I'm sure the next step is to have the system analyze the code that the programmer is developing, and based on the comments and general coding habits, lay out the skeleton of the program (or perform some other vital function, like warn the coder of a possible logic error with his objective).
That's quite alright, and the next step I envisage is that, based on the comments of the program, the system not only warns about possible logic errors, but in fact fixes them. They could develop a language for communication with the computer in which one would only describe objectives and goals, and then the system would translate that into some low-level language, understandable for machine but hard for humans to use it for direct communication with machines.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (2, Funny)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281160)

To make them true to life, the digital ones have a setting which is customizable that dictates how long the notes can stay stuck the screen before their 'glue' wears off. A spin-off game is also planned to allow you to practice your basketball skills by throwing the old Quickies into the Recycle Bin.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281400)

> Or, I can continue using my sticky notes and organizing them on my cube wall

You'll need to use sellotape/blu tack if you want them to stay on for more than 10 minutes, or when someone walks past, generating a slight breeze.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (2, Interesting)

Jartan (219704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281444)

Did you even RTFA?

1) You write your note on the same kind of pad you'd buy in your local office supplies store (it just happens to sit on top of some sort of pressure scanner)
2) The cheap ass pad of post-it notes has cheap ass RFID's on them so it's a pretty simple step to make the computer know exactly where they are on your wall whenever you want it to.

Where in that whole process did you have to do something you wouldn't of normally done? Do you need to move around your post-it note pad constantly or something?

Of course for you the same thing could be achieved by pointing an appropriate camera at your wall but not everyone uses post-it notes the same.

The RFID thing is obviously brilliant if you've ever lost an important post-it note. The only downfall is the possible security/privacy concerns of digitizing such information(passwords on post it notes for instance).

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281976)

I was going to question the logic of needing to find an original post-it note, when there is a digital copy.. but I actually imagined a legitimate use. The only thing the RFID would be useful for is for labeling documents that you might misplace.. but I would think there might be a more professional way to label than a post-it, not to mention that it might detach... RFID folders maybe...

We could have used RFID document storage boxes at the last joint I worked at.. accounting had all the boxes numbered but there was no rhyme or reason to the off site storage of them, just hunting through hundreds of boxes until you found the right number.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282024)

yeah, that's just someone who's never learned how to create an index for anything. If your solution for archiving files is to lace them with a thousand rfid tags, you're going way too far. it's not hard to log an index of where you've put things. rfid doesn't scale as well as people think. it's great for inventory when you're holding one item or one container at a time. you can't walk into a room of ten thousand items and do anything with rfid.

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (2, Insightful)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282656)

"wouldn't of"

Aaaaarrrghhh! One doesn't even have to be a junior high school graduate to be annoyed by this misuse of the language. Or is being ignorant about language "cool" now, similar to the way that ignorance of math is "cool" for those that can't program computers?

Re:Sometimes simplicity... (1)

Yaldabaoth (649550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282768)

The AI would also have to do basic spatial recognition to categorize my sticky notes, as well as assess their colour-coded difficulty.

Come back when you can recognize a pair, MIT.

Passwords (3, Funny)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281008)

So instead of keeping your passwords under the keyboard they'll be on the screen?

Re:Passwords (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282508)

Yeah but as a security measure, copy/paste from the sticky note is disabled in Vista, so it's OK. :)

Didn't Jens Alfke already solve this problem? (2, Informative)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281018)

Mac OS Stickies [wikipedia.org]

Clippy Quickie (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281040)

>> The system uses its understanding of the user's intentions, content, and the context of the notes to provide the user with reminders, alerts, messages, and just-in-time information

"It looks like you're trying to: Post a Quickie."

"Would you like a Quickie?"

I've seen this before (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281044)

There's one that involves an optical pen that works with specially marked paper printed with a very fine pattern that it uses to get fine enough resolution for handwriting. The pen stores a number of notes and lets you upload them to your computer or transfer them to your PDA.

That solution works better because the paper (the consumable part) is just ordinary paper printed with the micro-pattern. I suspect that you could in principle print it on a color printer.

The trick is to make the notes compatible with the search and data management tools you already have. I don't see a new stickies program, however cool, being better than something that you could sync to your PDA/Phone/what have you.

Re:I've seen this before (1)

KnowledgeEngine (1225122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281062)

Would you look at that. They are using a common sense version of me (knowledgeengine) to power it too. Now I am wondering why I haven't had any quickies in so long.

Re:I've seen this before (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283008)

I actually use these at work. They're annoying. My pen's flaky anyway (sometimes doesn't vibrate), but the worst thing is the time it takes. You've got to do every document seperately, so that if you've got a customer with 4 or 5 invoices, you've got to sit down for 10 minutes filling them out one by one. Before you could just get the customer to sign them all then sort out paperwork on your own.

I guess if you were using them for personal notes this wouldn't be a problem, though them being a little flaky would. The paper's also an order of magnitude more expensive than standard paper too, though again that probably wouldn't be much of a problem for personal use since you're unlikely to use a huge amount.

Not Sticky Enough (1)

solweil (1168955) | more than 5 years ago | (#23281064)

I am all for the legitimate, open, and personal use of RFID tags, but the limited stickiness of post-it notes does not fit with the long-term usefulness of the app. It would make more sense for personal RFID tags to be in the form of fobs with magnets or velcro.

I was going to post "That's so stupid"... (4, Interesting)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281162)

but everyone seems to have beaten me to it.

So how about instead of bitching I try to come up with some constructive criticism. How about the opposite, a little sticky-note printer that will spit out whatever is highlighted on your current screen and apply a little glue to the back side on the way out, ready for immediate deployment.

The form-factor should be such that it can fit into a hard-drive slot on your PC--and it can slide open like a CDROM for refilling consumables.

It should work both vertically and horizontally.

There, run with it and make your $millions.

Re:I was going to post "That's so stupid"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282994)

This is brilliant!

I've got to have one! Where did you say I could buy it?

Oh... right... darn.

It almost exists already (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283624)

The only problem is you need a roll of pressure adhesive backed notes because, amazingly, a glue dispenser is just incredibly hard to miniaturise and make reliable.

Look at Dymo labelling machines. They are almost there, just so close. They spit out a label in just over a second. Imagine a yellow version with a weak glue that does exactly what you suggest.

I do wonder if Dymo have already thought of this and it is impeded in some way by patents.

Is this really a problem? (2, Insightful)

sdkmvx (1283388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281206)

I may be old-fashioned, but I see no need to use more than the assortment of paper I have on my desk for notes.

Paper costs ~$40 for 20 pounds; and I can pick it up, put it in my pocket, and take it to the grocery store. And if I drop it, its not damaged. An equivalent computerized system costs ~$300 (PDA) and does not respond well to being dropped. I would also have to remember to check my to do list. A note on a desk/keyboard/table/whatever is much more likely to be seen.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282674)

But if you're using paper you're killing trees, and that's bad.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

ioshhdflwuegfh (1067182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283086)

I may be old-fashioned, but I see no need to use more than the assortment of paper I have on my desk for notes.

Paper costs ~$40 for 20 pounds; and I can pick it up, put it in my pocket, and take it to the grocery store. And if I drop it, its not damaged. An equivalent computerized system costs ~$300 (PDA) and does not respond well to being dropped. I would also have to remember to check my to do list. A note on a desk/keyboard/table/whatever is much more likely to be seen.
You are not old-fashioned, you are just the modern man who knows ubiquity of gravity which is after all the ultimate measure of all things in this world, no? Plus, instead you to have to remind yourself to check todo list of the reminder you made of what to do, they could devise AI post-its with a little hammer, and when the time comes, DANG!

Macintosh Post-it Notes (SNL) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281262)

Prior artwork for this idea from Apple/Saturday Night Live:
http://www.flamingmailbox.com/maccomedy/movies/postitnote.html

MIT (4, Informative)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281304)

People at MIT are notoriously good at creating buzz around the concepts, demos, protypes and inventions that they come up with, especially at the Media Lab. Unfortunately, like everything that happens in academia, the signal to noise ratio is what it is and most of it has no future, sometimes for blatant reasons that one doesn't need to be a very sharp V.C. to figure out. Unfortunately that creates the impression that they are really a bunch of clowns that come up with useless stuff on a regular basis.

Re:MIT (1)

lindoran (1190189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281396)

Clowns with PHd's ... theres a sight. Somebody call the Ringling Brothers!

Re:MIT (1)

aleone (1255960) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281404)

Like?:

Lego Mindstorms - MIT Media Lab
Artificial Skin - Ioannis Yannas SM '59
Fax Machine - Shintaro Asano SM '61
Inertial guidance system - Charles Stark Draper '26
Doppler radar - Bernard Gordon '48
Voice recognition technology - Ray Kurzweil '70
Rockman amplifier - Tom Scholz '69
Bose stereo - Professor Amar Bose '51
Spreadsheets - Daniel Bricklin '73 ...to name a few.

To quote wikipedia:

In electronics, magnetic core memory, radar, single electron transistors, and inertial guidance controls were invented or substantially developed by MIT researchers. Harold Eugene Edgerton was a pioneer in high speed photography. Claude E. Shannon developed much of modern information theory and discovered the application of Boolean logic to digital circuit design theory.
The GNU project and free software movement originated at MIT

In the domain of computer science, MIT faculty and researchers made fundamental contributions to cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer languages, machine learning, robotics, and public-key cryptography. Richard Stallman founded the GNU Project while at the AI lab (now CSAIL). Professors Hal Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman wrote the popular Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs textbook and co-founded the Free Software Foundation with Stallman. Tim Berners-Lee established the W3C at MIT in 1994. David D. Clark made fundamental contributions in developing the Internet. Popular technologies like X Window System, Kerberos, Zephyr, and Hesiod were created for Project Athena in the 1980s. MIT was one of the original collaborators in the development of the Multics operating system, a highly secure predecessor of UNIX.

MIT physicists have been instrumental in describing subatomic and quantum phenomena like elementary particles, electroweak force, Bose-Einstein condensates, superconductivity, fractional quantum Hall effect, and asymptotic freedom as well as cosmological phenomena like cosmic inflation.

MIT chemists have discovered number syntheses like metathesis, stereoselective oxidation reactions, synthetic self-replicating molecules, and CFC-ozone reactions. Penicillin and Vitamin A were also first synthesized at MIT.

MIT biologists have been recognized for their discoveries and advances in RNA, protein synthesis, apoptosis, gene splicing and introns, antibody diversity, reverse transcriptase, oncogenes, phage resistance, and neurophysiology. MIT researchers discovered the genetic bases for Lou Gehrig's disease and Huntington's disease. Eric Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project.

Uh.....I'd say the above are some pretty important inventions and scientific breakthroughs.

Re:MIT (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281642)

I didn't mean that the MIT didn't have brilliant academics and important contributions to their fields with scientific discoveries and seminal publications.

I was just pointing out that the Media Lab, which has hardly anything to do with all this, has this tradition of hyping klunky prototypes of improbable gadgets and making broad statements about what the future will be. I remember how for they had announced for years in the late 90s, the advent of computerized doorknobs with an IP address.

I notice also that your examples of contributions to computer technology are a bit weak. The Lego Mindstorms is a toy with a mixed success and not a noticeable contribution to the everyday use of robotics. Multics was a failure in itself and in the underlying concept (a centralized architecture providing commoditized computing power). X Window is a complete failure in its underlying concept of centralized applications relying on display/input "servers" with a very fine grained interaction protocol. The concept of centralized apps with remote display/input is only now being realized under a radically different architecure (browser/ajax/flash/silverlight).

Stallman was never capable of delivering the OS he had planned, something that a 20-year old undergrad student finally did in a dorm room in Finland.

SICP is a museum piece that people outside of MIT have read mostly out of curiosity and snobbery. I am myself of a formal semantics / FP background and a huge fan of Scheme but I cannot say that the peculiarity of teaching undergrad programming in scheme is a raging trend accross the campuses in the nation.

Re:MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281842)

the advent of computerized doorknobs with an IP address.
We have those, they're called Vista.

Re:MIT (1)

zanaxagoras (1116047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281644)

Lego Mindstorms - MIT Media Lab Artificial Skin - Ioannis Yannas SM '59 Fax Machine - Shintaro Asano SM '61 Inertial guidance system - Charles Stark Draper '26 Doppler radar - Bernard Gordon '48 Voice recognition technology - Ray Kurzweil '70 Rockman amplifier - Tom Scholz '69 Bose stereo - Professor Amar Bose '51 Spreadsheets - Daniel Bricklin '73 ...to name a few.

Uh.....I'd say the above are some pretty important inventions and scientific breakthroughs.
The fact that they could be encapsulated in the context of a single /. post (and that IS a relatively complete list) is evidence that the successful output is in fact rather modest, considering the vastness of the list of far-more-significant achievements accomplished *outside* MIT. IOW, nice bit of attempted auto-back-patting, but it ended up cripplin' ya in the end.

Re:MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283694)

Fax Machine - Shintaro Asano SM '61
Fax machines are a 19th century invention, dating back to 1843 [wikipedia.org] . Clearly some guy from MIT did not invent it over a century later.

Re:MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281412)

You don't have to be in academia to have a high signal-to-noise ratio. Anywhere where people are in the idea business, some ideas are good, some are flops, and some won't work until their time has come.

The major difference was that in a business idea environment ideas that have no obvious immediate hope of profit tend to get shelved. In academia it's called "pure research". Although ever since institutions started building up patent portfolios, it's been debatable as to whether this distinction can still hold true.

Re:MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282026)

I second that.

MIT Moron Lab (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282548)

...is almost universally eye-roll-inducing or rant inducing by most MIT grads. I met one Media Lab student whose thesis was about a stuffed animal that would move/make noises when someone you knew entered their office, and if you entered yours, it'd make other people's stuffed animals move and make noises. So instead of seeing your coworker's buddy icon go from idle to active, you have to remember that your monkey going "eeeeep" means Bob is back, and "ack" means Jane is back. Annoying, distracting, hard to associate, and not able to scale very well.

Yeah. Fucking stuffed monkeys [mit.edu] got her a masters degree. From MIT. Hear that sound? Its the sound of people wiping their asses with MIT diplomas and flushing them down the toilet.

fri57 psot! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281324)

Off the play area Trying to dissec7 our ability to people already; I'm Thouse... pathetic. users. This is of HIV and other BSD's acclaimed

My wife likes the idea - A LOT ! (3, Funny)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281330)


My birthday is coming up soon, so I asked her for a Quickie.

You should have seen her response !

Re:My wife likes the idea - A LOT ! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281336)

You should have seen her response !
Pix pls

Re:My wife likes the idea - A LOT ! (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281372)

Did her response look like this? [youtube.com]

Re:My wife likes the idea - A LOT ! (1)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281506)


That's a good one :) But it's more along these lines [youtube.com] (Safe For Work, or home, or for browsing via your laptop at the airport)

Re:My wife likes the idea - A LOT ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23281440)

Did it make your notes sticky?

I guess I'm showing my age... (1)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281350)

When I was a kid a Quickie was something completely different, and they were readily available at BU, you'd get laughed out of the room and no one would believe you if you said you were going to get one at MIT.

re: (2, Funny)

Rage Maxis (24353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23281522)

I remember this when it was called the Newton

Wait a minute... (2, Insightful)

clichescreenname (1220316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282020)

... since when do MIT students get quickies?

Or any sex, for that matter?

Stickies- no. Time Travel - Yes! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282086)

Bringing Post-it notes to the digital age? I hear that someday it will also be possible to create your own optical storage disks at home and be able to watch television program and download using a thing called the "internet". I think the article really refers to MIT inventing a time machine and using it to travel to the mysterious mystical year of 1996! Or at least that's what you would get from reading the summary.

      As almost everyone knows, "digital Post-it notes" have been a common application since Mac System 7.5 or so, so that part of the summary is very misleading. If you RTFA, the real new development is the features used to manage them. That seems rather uninteresting, since if you care that much about the information, there are plenty of other ways to store and manage them that are better than "managed Stickies'.

            Brett

sticky notes demise (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282270)

I want the sticky note to die, instead of being planted further into the digital age. Five years ago they banned me from having real sticky notes at work because it ended up a mess -- speaks to my lack of organizational skills and obviously the sticky note didn't help. The sticky note is handy but cannot be organized properly in most contexts. Instead of individual squares of paper, just type a number of text lines in a text file, one for each item, label the file important.txt on your desktop and encrypt it if need be. The sticky note's time has passed. It's an item that should stay only in the real tangible world.

Disappointed again. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282432)

My excitement at the words "quickie" and "sticky" used together waned with the reading of the Summary and TFA. Damn you /., damn you to hell.

SNL Parody - Mac Post it Notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282944)

http://www.flamingmailbox.com/maccomedy/movies/postitnote.html

Contextless notes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283242)

Many of stickies in front of my desk have no context, I already know the context, most of the note is stuff only I would understand. I guess the AI would fail miserably to classify ?

not innovative (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283448)

This was done already more than a decade ago at Xerox. It's probably one of the first ubiquitous computing applications and it's something that essentially started ubiquitous computing. It also doesn't work well.

The "MIT Lecture Browser" (keyword spotting in autio-visual data) that was also mentioned as being supposedly "innovative", has also been done many times before; it's just audio-visual keyword spotting. Putting lectures into an audio-visual keyword spotting system is about as innovative as putting your milk in the refrigerator.

Just In Time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283974)

Excellent, now I can put one on my bed headboard to avoid those.. awkward moments during quickies.

"How do you spell that beautiful name of yours, baby?"
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