Link Drop Tech Edition

I’ve decided to test out the idea of doing two different Link Drops. One that is less about technology and one that is just about all about technology. Yesterday I wrote about why I found each of the links worth mentioning, today is the tech version presented as an aggregate.

ENGADGET: Microsoft’s Kinect navigates the universe thanks to Windows SDK
Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope — a collaboration with NASA that explores high-resolution photos and 3D renders of the cosmos — was already pretty cool, but Redmond upped the ante to incredible with the addition of a Kinect depth camera at MIX 11. Using a piece of software created with the company’s upcoming Kinect SDK for Windows, Microsoft gave us a virtual tour of Earth and the surrounding stars, guided by a deep-voiced narrator holding the whole world in his hands.

TECHCRUNCH: iPhone 4 About To Be Flickr’s Top Camera. Point & Shoots? Pretty Much The Opposite.
While Android has overtaken the iPhone in terms of market share, none of their individual phone models are doing particularly well from a photo-taking perspective. It’s hard to say why this is — lack of a good Flickr Android app, or just because there are so many different model? But with the iPhone 5 now not likely launching until the fall, the iPhone 4 will have plenty of time to sit on the crown and expand upon it. Flickr, meanwhile, will have plenty of time to contemplate what they missed out on in the mobile photo revolution happening on their own charts. And the point & shoots will have plenty of time to bleed.

GIGAOM: Is France Plotting to Kill the Free Internet?
Next month Sarkozy plans to bring politicians from around the G8 — the economic forum that France founded in the 1970s which includes the U.S., Japan, Russia, Germany, the U.K., Canada and Italy (and, of course, France itself) — and get them in the same room as some of the technology industry’s most powerful figures. Names on the guest list include Eric Schmidt of Google, Jack Ma of Alibaba, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. They’ll be talking about the future of the Internet, and items up for discussion include copyright, piracy, privacy, security and the cloud.

PETA PIXEL: Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Instantly Beams Your Photos to Mobile Devices
Eye-Fi announced their new Mobile X2 memory card today, which allows you to instantly transfer photos taken with your camera to mobile devices running iOS or Android. With the card in your camera and their special app on your device, a direct Wi-Fi connection will be established allowing you to shoot straight to your device.

ENGADGET: Students use Wii Balance Board for kids’ physical therapy system
Nintendo’s kid-tested, researcher-approved Wii Balance Board has struck at the heart of the medical supply industry yet again — this time, the Bluetooth-connected scale is being used to help physically challenged children at Shriners Hospital in Houston. Seniors at Rice University hand-machined a set of force-sensitive parallel bars and programmed a monster-shooting game called Equilibrium to get kids excited about improving their walking gait, where they can play and score points with each proper step they take.

Articulated Arm Tablet Holder: If iPad and Luxo, Jr. Had a Baby
This love-child of Luxo and iPad is one of the more unique – and potentially useful – tablet contraptions I’ve seen so far. The stand conveniently mounts to any desktop and provides you with a handy articulating arm for using your tablet with one hand.

LOST AT E MINOR: Fake blood dispensed when gamer dies in Counter-strike
Riley Harmon, take a bow. His electronic sculpture dispenses fake blood whenever a gamer dies in the popular online first-person shooting game, Counter-Strike. So players will, perhaps, get a sense of realism mixed in with their decidedly unreal gaming life.

NIEMANLAB: More data on The Daily: What’s prime time for iPad use? And which stories get tweeted the most?
The blue line you see above shows the timing of tweets generated within The Daily’s iPad app, tied to hours of the day. So the x-axis starts, on the left, at midnight, the middle is noon, and the right side goes up to midnight the next day. (The time zone here is set to Eastern time, which is where The Daily’s based and where the largest chunk of its users are likely to be.)The green line, in contrast, shows the timing of all tweets to thedaily.com that aren’t generated from within The Daily’s iPad app. So that would include anyone using the Twitter web interface, a mobile Twitter app, or a desktop app like TweetDeck. (Both lines show the share of each group’s tweets happening at that hour — not the raw totals.)

POPWUPING: Fuuvi Pick USB Mini Digital Camera
A fun spycam sized digital toy. The Fuuvi Pick is a 2 megapixel colourful digital camera that shoots both still images and movies, and recharges directly through your computers usb port. The images are recorded to a MicroSD card (not included).

PERCEPTUALEDGE: Teradata, David McCandless, and yet another detour for analytics
Too many of his visualizations display information in ways that hide much that’s relevant and essential, leaving little of value for the viewer to see. McCandless rarely chooses forms of display that our eyes and brains can perceive with ease and precision. He selects what will appeal superficially to the viewer (lots of circles, swirls, and vibrant colors), not what will most effectively express what’s essential and meaningful. His displays rarely draw viewers into the data in a thoughtful way, but entertain in a way that delivers a simple message, which is often anemic when compared to the richer, subtler, and more complex stories that live in the data.

Recent Link Drop Themes from my Google Reader

For quite a while I’ve stopped doing Link Drops for a number of reasons. The biggest was that I was able to find more interesting stuff using Google Reader and sharing it there. However I’m testing the idea of publishing stuff back on Design Notes that piqued my interest. Here’s a couple themes (for whatever reason) that caught my attention. FYI: I purposely left out all my iPad and app stuff—maybe I drop that in another post.

Tools For Outside

Kelly Reemsten

I simply like the elements that make up this image. Strong proportions, bight orange and a sharp tool make this kind of cool. The artist that made it is Kelly Reemsten.

Portland Timbers’ New Mascot Is A Health And Safety Nightmare

I laughed at both the headline and the title of this post. “The Portland Timbers rolled out their mascot/gimmick, Timber Joey (a fine example of why some European football fans can’t quite take the MLS seriously if ever there was one) during the club’s maiden MLS home game against Chicago Fire t’other day…” If you click on the image you’ll see a video of him in action.

Worx JawSaw

I have no need for one of these, but it would be kind of a statement to put one on the living room wall.

Graphs

First quarter PC forecast: Windows down 2%, Mac+iPad up 250%

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this graph is so telling in terms of Mac+iPad forcasted growth. What is surprising is that it looks like a lot of the growth might be on new uses for a computer that had not been invented before.

In Defense of Pie Charts

Got to love the title of a study called “In Defense of Pie Charts” while displaying the results with something other than a pie chart.

The city in real-time

Nice visualization of time, distance and speed.

Black and White

A STACK OF BOOKS

I really like the play on words of the book and its physical space. The typography is quite smart too.

LEAVING YOUR MARK

Maybe rubber stamps never became a lost art, though I think we’ll be seeing more of this kind of stuff as a reaction to all the hand drawn stuff that was a reaction to all the computer stuff out there.

One Way, Lower East Side

It’s type, it’s a sign and it’s huge, plus it isn’t completely precise with the lines yet certainly make a point.

Living

Matthias Heiderich: Snow Blind

A really nice set of images that are somewhat abstracted in the simplicity of the shapes.

Photo: Dean Kaufman; Dwell

I wonder if the photographer took the image through the window of the room of if there’s any windows at all…

Today’s archidose #489

Who wouldn’t like a building that is wrapped in type?

Inside that is Outside

Residents take an outdoor bath amongst tsunami devastation in Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture, April 14, 2011. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

An image of people trying to survive in their environment.

(Source: bigfatpaper)

I have no idea if this image is real or staged, either way it’s pretty compelling.

Hole in Plane Leads to Emergency Landing, Twitpic Shows Details [PHOTOS]

Typically a person settling in before a flight is ignoring the safety instructions. This set of images shows a person documenting what happened when their airplane had a rip in through the top of the roof. Scary stuff.

NY Grid

Really like the grit of this map.

How to Make a Census Map

Interesting post both for the process of making the map and what the map info displays.

New York City (by Endless Forms Most Beautiful)

A small slice of the grid in 3D.

Roadmaps should have a strategy to cannibalize your own product

Five screen command center for the World Cup

The Anti-Blockbuster Way: Disrupt Your Business Rituals Before Someone Else Does
Yet paradoxically, there’s no better time than in the midst of routine to disrupt business as usual by coming up with an apparently wild idea that thumbs its nose at every entrenched wisdom your company holds dear. Along the way, you might stumble across a random slogan that transforms your industry’s future.
—Martin Lindstrom

Considering what is now going on with Live TV I thought this quote was pretty relevant. While the article The Anti-Blockbuster Way: Disrupt Your Business Rituals Before Someone Else Does from Fast Company doesn’t talk about how someone was the first to turn the iPad into a fully functioning TV, themes of challenging long established systems are talked about. I also liken this article to one of my points that I made almost a year ago at the How to Build Great Products: Insights conference. Point number 2. Roadmaps should have a strategy to cannibalize your own product. You can never rest on success, business and individuals need to always push forward in challenging the common view. If you don’t someone else will.

Video’s of Cablevision’s Optimum iPad App from People Describing their Experience

Yesterday I posted a number of headlines and quotes about Cablevision’s Optimum iPad App. Today I thought it would be interesting to post videos that people recorded of their experience with the app. The images in the articles are ok but to see people actually interacting is something that I’m finding cool on multiple levels. Just so there isn’t any confusion I’m copy + pasting some of the text from my previous post: One of the best things about being a designer is designing experiences that have never been considered before. It doesn’t get much better than pushing what can be done on an iPad. While at Behavior I had the opportunity to be part of something pretty exciting. I can’t really say much about Cablevision’s iPad app or the design process though I’m really happy to read people’s initial reactions to it.

Headlines about Cablevision’s iPad App Release

Optimum for iPad

Optimum for iPad

One of the best things about being a designer is designing experiences that have never been considered before. It doesn’t get much better than pushing what can be done on an iPad. While at Behavior I had the opportunity to be part of something pretty exciting. I can’t really say much about Cablevision’s iPad app or the design process though I’m really happy to read people’s initial reactions to it. Below are some of my favorite headlines and excerpts.

UPDATE: Here’s an additional post with videos of people actually using the app: http://designnotes.info/?p=5005

Consumer Reports: Cablevision’s Optimum iPad app offers smooth streaming, despite legal challenges
It provides a smooth, crisp viewing experience and an intuitive user interface.

Cable Spotlight: Cablevision’s iPad App is an Improvement
Cablevision ‘s new “Optimum for iPad” application is an improvement over other earlier efforts in that it allows Cablevision’s customers to view all the channels they can access on TV through their cable subscriptions on their iPads—albeit only in their homes. That’s better than some offerings that do not feature all of the channels and content a subscriber already has paid for.

Multichannel: Cablevision: 50,000 iPad App Downloads In Five Days
Cablevision Systems said its free iPad app, which lets subscribers watch up to 300 live TV channels and access more than 2,200 video-on-demand titles, has been downloaded more than 50,000 times since its April 2 release. The Optimum App for iPad has been the most popular iPad app in Apple’s iTunes App Store’s Entertainment category from Sunday through Wednesday afternoon — followed by Netflix’s streaming app at No. 2 — and is the 10th most popular free iPad app overall.

NYT: Tug of War Between Cable Companies and Channels Comes to the iPad
Meanwhile, Cablevision entered the fray on Saturday, releasing its own iPad app that carries all TV channels the same way a customer’s cable box does. By Sunday afternoon it was ranked No. 1 among all apps in the entertainment section of Apple’s iPad app store.

GIGAOM: Cablevision’s iPad App: 300 Live Channels, 2,000 VOD Titles
The Cablevision app takes an even bolder step: While Time Warner Cable’s iPad offering only launched with 32 cable networks, Cablevision is making 300 cable channels available for live streaming, and extending the app to also include movies and TV shows from its video-on-demand offering. At launch, that will include more than 2,000 VOD titles, with more being added as the cable provider encodes them for IP distribution. Cablevision’s iPad app also includes advanced search functionality that lets users search programming based on genre, cast members, time of day and favorite channels. Like mobile apps from Comcast, Dish Network and DirecTV, subscribers can also schedule and erase DVR recordings directly from their mobile device.

Engadget: Cablevision Optimum for iPad app now available, streams hundreds of TV channels plus VOD
The new Cablevision iPad app is out, taking on broadcasters (Fox, Discovery, Viacom) attacking Time Warner’s live TV streaming TWCable TV app by offering subscribers the same channels as their iO TV package and video on demand. The Optimum for iPad app also includes the ability to set up DVR recordings, delete recorded shows and browse TV listings, although it doesn’t act as a direct remote for the cable box. The last time Fox and Cablevision squared off subscribers couldn’t watch their shows on Hulu or two games of the World Series which, along with a long battle over network DVRs, suggests the cable company is prepared to dig its heels in deep on this issue. Multichannel News points out subscribers need at least one cable box to make use of the new app and the TOS states it can only be used within the customer’s residence.

Gizmodo: Optimum App for iPad is iO Digital Cable In Your Bathroom
The free app is poised to take on Time Warner’s TWCable TV app and Dish Network’s Sling-powered Remote Access app, which were both released in the last couple of months boating similar functionality.

paidContent: Cablevision Launches Optimum for iPad: 300 Channels And VOD
Time Warner Cable tossed a pebblein the water compared to the iPad app launched today by Cablevision. Optimum Live TV for iPad offers the cable operator’s digital subscribers streaming access to approximately 300 live cable channels and roughly 2,000 VOD options at no extra charge. The company insists the streaming option, which requires WiFi but not internet access, is covered by existing contracts that allow it to transmit to screens within the home. It also says it meets advertising standards.

Mac Rumors: Cablevision One-Ups Time Warner Cable With New TV iPad App
While Time Warner Cable has been working to add channels to its live TV app for the iPad in the face of opposition from several content providers including Viacom, Discovery, and Fox, Cablevision has gone all in with the release of its new Optimum for iPad application offering the cable company’s subscribers full access to their television packages.

BGR: Optimum iPad app hands-on
We knew that Cablevision was involved in creating an iPad app that enables the viewing of TV content, but we didn’t know that the app would offer iPad owners a better experience than FIOS’ and Time Warner Cable’s offerings. Cablevision’s Optimum app lets you, from behind your own network at home, view your entire channel lineup directly from up to two iPads simultaneously, complete with program guide information, access to the company’s more than 2,000 VOD offerings with the rest coming this summer, while also letting you record and control your DVR directly from the app. After entering my Optimum account username and password, I was immediately able to access every Optimum channel that I subscribe to from my iPad, and after some quick buffering, video looked absolutely great.

Zatz Not Funny: Cablevision Opens The (iPad) Firehose
Leave it to Cablevision… True to form, they’ve thrown caution to the wind and have launched the full fledged STB replacement iPad app we’ve been waiting for.

I4U News: CableVision Optimum TV App for the iPad is what Consumers want Watching TV anywhere in your house on an iPad is what consumers want. Cablevision, a cable tv service, delivered a free app for the iPad that does just that. The iPad app delivers the full cable television experience to the Apple Tablet, and allows the iPad to function as a television. Like all additional outlets, it is free to existing Optimum cable television customers.

Consumer Reports: Cablevision launches its own iPad streaming-cable app
Network objections to Time-Warner’s cable-streaming iPad app didn’t deter another big provider, Cablevision, from launching a similar app over the weekend. Meantime, Time-Warner added a number of new channels (including the Independent Film Channel, G4, and CSPAN) to replace those removed last week after their owners objected to their inclusion on the cable provider’s streaming service.

The Street: Cablevision Channels Its Own Netflix
And in an attempt to preempt any legal disputes, Cablevision said in its press release that it “has the right to distribute programming over its cable system to iPads configured in this way under its existing distribution agreements with programming providers.” Cablevision declined to comment on whether there has been any reaction from any media companies. Cablevision did say that the Optimum App is the top download in the entertainment category in the Apple App Store and is the ninth most popular download overall.

ZDNet: Cablevision’s Optimum iPad app offers hundreds of live TV channels to subscribers — but for how long?
While the Optimum app includes some of the features that other apps from pay TV providers offer — video on demand options, the ability to program DVR recordings right from your iPad — the fact that it will deliver close to 300 live channels is the most notable. Up to three iPads per household can be used to watch Optimum, though only two can be used simultaneously at any time.

WSJ: Cablevision Unveils iPad Software
Likewise, Cablevision’s app can only be used within its customers’ homes, but it takes a bolder approach by offering customers access to all the channels they can access on TV through their pay-TV subscription on their iPad, including broadcast networks and features like video-on-demand and digital video recording. This approach seems likely to generate further controversy in the media industry as it struggles to adapt its business models to the rise of online video, mobile devices and other digital technologies that have met with enthusiasm from consumers.

ADWEEK: Programmers Silent as Cablevision Launches iPad App
Cablevision has a history of prevailing over programmers in copyright scraps. After a consortium of networks sued to block the operator’s network-DVR rollout, a higher court found Cablevision well within its rights to offer the remote-storage service. Thus far, the Cablevision app is earning positive reviews from subscribers who’ve downloaded the app. Of the 252 users who have weighed in on iTunes, 173 (69 percent) have given the service a five-star rating. Only 45 respondents (18 percent) gave the app a single star.

The Motely Fool: Will You Watch iPad TV?
Cablevision amusingly pitched its app as offering conveniences that set-top boxes can’t match, including the flexibility of watching television in uncommon areas. The bathroom, for example. Can you imagine the ad pitching this feature? “Honey, I’ll be back in 20. Modern Family is coming on.” So much for gathering everyone around the TV.

Techland – TIME: Cablevision Launches iPad App Offering 300 Channels of Live TV
Suddenly, Time Warner Cable’s 32-channel iPad app seems much less controversial. Cablevision has launched a new iPad app called Optimum Live TV, which provides subscribers streaming access to around 300 live channels, with an additional 2000 VoD options available. Subscribers can register three separate iPads to each account, with two available for use simultaneously.

WSJ: Cable Companies Seek To Improve Customer Relations With IPad App
A group of high-ranking cable television executives met with Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Steve Jobs in Silicon Valley last April to discuss how to make more movies and TV shows available on Apple’s newly launched iPad tablet device. Those discussions eventually led to the live cable TV apps launched in recent weeks by Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), which could transform how consumers watch TV in their homes but have raised objections from programmers.

Looking back at March in Photos

Empire State Building tonight from the apartment
Empire State Building tonight from the apartment

After the rain on Broome st #walkingtoworktoday
After the rain on Broome st #walkingtoworktoday

#walkingtoworktoday through Washington Square Park
#walkingtoworktoday through Washington Square Park

nice to see how fast this is finally going up
nice to see how fast this is finally going up

KATSU Graffiti poster outside a phone booth near 25th st. #walkingtoworktoday
KATSU Graffiti poster outside a phone booth near 25th st. #walkingtoworktoday

I didn't want to deal with the rain so I took the Q #walkingtoworktoday
I didn’t want to deal with the rain so I took the Q #walkingtoworktoday

Friday night in Soho at Gesture Theory
Friday night in Soho at Gesture Theory

first ice coffee of the spring FTW #walkingtoworktoday
first ice coffee of the spring FTW #walkingtoworktoday

I'm always happy when @roycyang sends me pics of things he's bought for team GT
I’m always happy when @roycyang sends me pics of things he’s bought for team GT

from above I can see loud people coming out of Penn Station #walkingtoworktoday
from above I can see loud people coming out of Penn Station #walkingtoworktoday

Tulips & ice outside a bodega on Thompson st #walkingtoworktoday
Tulips & ice outside a bodega on Thompson st #walkingtoworktoday

current desktop situation as I watch #tosstheprojector #sxsw
current desktop situation as I watch #tosstheprojector #sxsw

a new pier opened up with beach volleyball courts
a new pier opened up with beach volleyball courts

just received the die cut @gesturetheory stickers
just received the die cut @gesturetheory stickers

12ozprophet phone booth #walkingtoworktoday
12ozprophet phone booth #walkingtoworktoday

Early morning coffee outside on Thompson St #walkingtoworktoday
Early morning coffee outside on Thompson St #walkingtoworktoday

slightly old school pharmacy symbol #walkingtoworktoday
slightly old school pharmacy symbol #walkingtoworktoday

Village Chess Shop Mural #walkingtoworktoday
Village Chess Shop Mural #walkingtoworktoday

El Cels in Neon Green & Pink on Mercer St #walkingtoworktodayEl Cels in Neon Green & Pink on Mercer St #walkingtoworktoday

Five Weeks In With Gesture Theory

whiteboard at Gesture Theory Launch

Gesture Theory Launch 02

Gesture Theory Launch 01

Last Friday was one of those days that I’ll remember for a very long time if for no other reason than it took ten years to make happen. Roy & I celebrated Gesture Theory with close friends and colleagues Friday night. Being here has changed my life in a huge way. Growing something every day is fulfilling, challenging myself is motivating, working with clients that care is great, and building products is inspiring. So five weeks in for me, we decided to do something about it and had a small gathering. There’s a lot of different road maps that Roy and I are considering as we grow but it was nice to step back for a moment to take it all in. Now it’s time to get back to work…

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension Release Notes—Navigate Through Posts Without the Back Button

Original Craigslist
01_original_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension
We updated the blue to be less harsh
02_new_enhanced_blue_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension Dropdown
Setting instructions about Hotkeys and ability to turn off past link display
03_new_enhanced_dropdown_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension Listing Page
Created a header that displays the number unclicked results
04_new_enhanced_listingpage_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension Detail Page
A viewer can now click on the next button to advance to the following result, they can also use the arrow hotkey to advance to the next page, pressing the H hotkey takes the person back to the results listing page
05_new_enhanced_detail_page_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension Past Links Display
Past clicked on links are shown in gray to create better contrast with those links unclicked
06_new_enhanced_pastlinks_page_craigslist

Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension
Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension

For Gesture Theory’s latest Chrome Extension release, we (Roy and I) wanted to take a look at the experience of a person going through Craigslist. For better or worse people are used to how things look and how they interact with the site. However we took a bit of time to think of how we could enhance things while still making people comfortable with what they’re used to. As we went through different use cases the biggest issue that we came across was how someone actually went from detail to detail screen after a listings page. Currently if someone was looking for an apartment, they would select the area and see a 100 results per page. Once someone clicked on a link from the results there was no way to advance the search aside from pressing the back button. It’s a time consuming process.

We asked ourselves what could we design and implement that would save the person time going from listing to listing. We ended up creating a simple Next and Previous button for the listing page that is highly visible and clickable. We also felt that we could make that experience better so we included hotkeys. If someone uses the right pointing arrow key it advances the screen, left facing arrow goes to the previous page, and the H hotkey takes the person back to the original listing screen. We added a subtle header that displays the number of results viewed and tweaked the blue link color slightly to make it less harsh.

Just like our Silence of the Celebs Chrome Extension, we’re looking for feedback on how to improve things. Inside the Chrome Web Store it does mention that the extension can access “your data on all websites & your browsing history”. While that is technically true we do not have any hooks that are pulling that information and we haven’t put anything inside the code that will let us personally know what you’ve been looking at. You can try out the Craigslist Sherpa Chrome Extension at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ihkbmkjobnnellcikmcgdoligjdnjmpd

Silence of the Celebs on Mashable

Chrome Extension Blocks Celebrities From Your Browser

Just a quick update about Silence of the Celebs that Gesture Theory (Roy & I) released last week. So far we’ve had 377 people use it, rated pretty high in the apps store and has been picked up by a number of sites including Mashable. There’s been a couple cool things that we’ve observed since releasing it. The comments that people have been adding to the original Mashable tweet have been fun to read and the number of people that have shared the post mirrors the number of users. We’ve had some great feedback on other sites to add, some of those will be included in the next release. To download the Chrome Extension, just visit https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/aiieldihphpjggpihpgggmmkjgigjnpd#.

This Friday we will be releasing a different Chrome Extension that makes Craigslist a lot more valuable for browsing—stay tuned…

Communication Lines in an Emergency


March 11, 2011
People line up to use public telephones at the Shibuya station in Tokyo following the earthquake.
Yomiuri / Reuters

Waking up to the unbelievable images from Japan Thursday morning, I was at a loss as how to relate. The images streaming both from the internet and on tv were of things I’ve never seen before. Objects hundreds if not thousands of pounds were being tossed around in water over towns where water shouldn’t have been. As I was going through images online, the photo above taken in Tokyo struck me for a different reason. People were lining up for public telephones because mobile devices weren’t working (my assumption). What made me think was that line could easily have been in NYC as somewhere else. I wondered when technology that we take for granted fails, what will emerge to keep us connected? If an emergency happened and cell phone towers were down, where would my family go to check for updates? My guess, as scary as it would seem is Facebook. That idea doesn’t make me happy but if they’re not following my tweets or any of my blogs that would be an obvious place to look first. Of course if I could actually get online I could try calling them via Skype, but who knows what kind of bandwidth would be available. Hopefully I’ll never have to worry about it, but it does give me pause.

Turning Off Celebs from News Sites

Silence of the Celebs Off
Silence of the Celebs Off

Silence of the Celebs On
Silence of the Celebs On

Gesture Theory who happens to be Roy C Yang and I are trying to spend 60% of our time on client work while spending 40% on developing products. It’s about balancing collaborations and working in our own startup environment. For the first month it has been 200% client work though last Friday we did a quick sprint to see what we could build and release live in a couple hours.

Silence of the Celebs is a Chrome Extension that allows a user to remove headlines of celebs from CNN, HuffPo and TMZ. A person can add their own people and remove the default list that we’ve provided. There’s a lot more that we’re building into this (like the ability to remove headlines from any site), but for about eight hours of work we’re happy.

One thing to note is that the Chrome Store says that we can see people’s browsing history. While that might be technically true we haven’t put anything in to the extension to actually do this. You can download it at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/aiieldihphpjggpihpgggmmkjgigjnpd. If there’s anything you think we can do to improve on it, please let me know.

Who Sucks the Most, Vote with Your Gum (ATT vs Verizon) Poster

great real time data/poster: who sucks more-vote w. gum, ATT vs Verizon

Walking Madison this morning near 32nd & 6 ave, I came across an idea for a poster that I’ve never seen before. Positioned in a high traffic area for pedestrians going both to Penn Station in one direction, and K Town in the other, the poster makes it pretty simple for someone to show their displeasure of either ATT or Verizon. In terms of a poster concept I can’t recall coming across something like this before but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

UPDATE: This was the poster 4 days after the above image was taken.

Looking at What Nocused Could Mean

listening to @debbiemillman before #walkingtoworktoday at #creativemorning

This morning I trekked off to DUMBO to listen to Debbie Millman talk at Creative Mornings. It was an invaluable talk for those that have not heard her speak in person before. During one of the points in her “10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college”, she spoke about how people’s behavior changes. I think the context had something to do with buying a car. All of a sudden after they made the purchase they saw the same car everywhere, whereas before they didn’t see it at all. She threw out the words noticed and focused very quickly to describe it. I could have sworn that I heard her combine the two words at one point to make the new word “nocused”. I’ll have to watch the video when it is released to hear if that was indeed what she said or something I just imagined. Either way I think I’m going to use the word. I like the idea of being able to create those type of experiences that help people notice & focus on what they feel is important.

Some of the Biggest QR Code that I’ve Seen (Wooster & Grand St)

QR CODE Picasso

QR CODE Picasso Close Up

Huge QR Code

Banksy at Grand & Wooster St. at ten15am

Walking down Grand St in the rain this morning after getting coffee from Le Pain Quotidien I noticed the biggest QR code that I’ve come across. It was placed on the same wall that had a rat from Banksy a couple years ago on Wooster St. I scanned the code to get a link to http://www.discoverthemaster.com/launch/.

Designing for the Browser of Today

Browser grids

Gesture Theory on the iPad

Gesture Theory Web

Gesture Theory Mobile

Having spent most of 2010 designing with the interactions of an iPad in mind, I chose to design Gesture Theory’s site with the iPad browser in mind first, desktop browser second and change the context of the site’s use for a mobile browser. Thinking about the iPad first meant killing hover states, killing scrolling (just a personal preference), emphasizing swiping (right to left), killing the home screen (kept it for mobile) and trying to make it lightweight as possible. Something has worked—we have less than a 3% bounce rate. Once the design was ready for the iPad it was a pretty easy configure it to the desktop browser. Right now things work just on tap, we’re trying to get it to swipe but haven’t been happy with the jerky results so far.

For mobile we kept the same content but wanted to change the context. Realistically there shouldn’t be that may times when someone needs to visit Gesture Theory on their iPhone. However if they did, we felt it was because they were going to visit our office in Soho. We made the contact information first with our address and an easy tap to google maps to see where they are in relationship to us. There’s been a lot said about what is and isn’t mobile. For our site we really didn’t feel that the iPad was mobile compared to an iPhone. For a different project that might not be the case. The likelyhood that someone would be walking down the street with an iPad trying to find us is probably not going to happen—with an iPhone (or other smart phone) that’s why they would be using it. Depends on the context. The other thing that we did is we combined a couple of the About sections together. It made sense to scroll on the iPhone compared to swiping. When we do our next iteration of the desktop browser we’ll take a look at what we did on the iPhone.

Aside from the different formats we also had to consider landscape and portrait orientations. For the mobile browser we spent a lot of time with the design to make sure it was flexible in both widths. Things flex to fit in the different formats (at least that’s what we’ve seen so far in testing), for the iPad we kept it the same for now and desktop browsers don’t change. However for those that have a smaller screen we’ve bounced the nav to the top so people don’t miss anything below their fold.

Again all these considerations were based on context. Three months from now the context could change which won’t be much of a problem as we’ve set up a flexible system that can evolve quickly. Just type http://gesturetheory.com into your browser to see how it configures to your device.

A Couple Great Resources Talking About How to Be a Designer

Within the last day I’ve come across a couple great resources that could potentially help any designer today. What’s different from the usual design hereoics that I read is that each of the three designer’s presents their observations in a manner that is unique to their situation. They’re giving responses based on experience as opposed to what they think people will want to hear. The first is a deck from a friend based in Seattle. His deck “My Top 10 Design Business Failures” shows what his learned from. Invaluable experience to pass along. The second is a post from Co Design where they talk to Rebekah Cox who was the first employee of Quora and how she set up product design. The third is a podcast from 5BY5 talking with Mike Monteiro. If you can get past the first set of questions it’s incredibly helpful commentary about his experiences both as part of a studio and saying what he wants to say on Twitter.

Quora on Designing an Organization That Designs Better Products

To start, you really have to understand what design means, and in the context of a web product, it can mean a lot of things.

For Quora, it means designing for whys (the product) and taking the most straightforward route possible for the hows (the interactions).

Whys are questions like:

-Why does a feature need to exist?
-Why does a user want/need to take some action?
-Why can’t they use some other, similar feature?

The hows are then driven by the answers to the whys—after all, why a user must enter a flow dictates how they progress through it.

EPISODE #43: MIKE MONTEIRO

This Does This Now…

this does this now

It’s been a while since I’ve come across a podcast as good as Spark or Planet Money, but I have—it only took a year of recordings before I read someone mentioning it on Twitter. What I’m talking about is TUMMELVISION, the episode that I tweeted about was #52. The above quote came from the discussion three quater’s through the discussion. There’s was a lot of quotable stuff, “this does this now” seemed like a great way to break in my new MUJI notebook. While #52 was the only one I’ve heard so far, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed with the next one I listen to.

Design Notes Turned Six Last Week & I Forgot to Notice

DesignNotes Blog

I was having dinner with a friend from London last week who observed and mentioned to me that I seemed a lot happier. It was hard to argue with the statement because it was (and still is) true. A lot of it had to do with the fact that there’s Gesture Theory. While I want to give it a bit more time before I do a post about how Gesture Theory came to be and what it entailed, I realized on Sunday that I had missed the six year anniversary of this blog. Last year when Design Notes turned five I was pretty happy just to have been able to hit the milestone. This year was just the logical continuation of it. It’s been the consistent timeline that has followed all the up’s and down’s of me being a designer, it’s allowed me to test out theories, experiment, understand online publishing, understand how people spread digital communication, read analytics, see past other blogger’s hype, evolve and file stuff for future reference.

I still don’t have any master plan for Design Notes. It doesn’t need to. I’ve never felt the need to have a publishing schedule and I never blog ahead of time to post things at a certain hour. It’s just not my style of sharing what I want to mention. If I compare how I blogged a couple years ago to now, I post/reblog less about other people’s cool stuff on the net because http://www.google.com/reader/shared/michaelsurtees does a much more efficient job than me copy + pasting stuff. If I have something to share immediately I use Twitter. Flickr still is where I leave my photos. The rest of the sites I use out there tend to be aggregates of those sites. I don’t need to ask for donations to keep this site going and the ad’s that are on my site are here more so because I like what they offer than monetary gain (not much btw).

With Gesture Theory I can get back to what I love. It allows me to work with those that share the same drive, curiosity and need to make things. It also allows me to start talking about ideas that I’m noticing, experiencing and want to push on Design Notes. There’s a couple more sites that I’m planning to launch in a more defined vertical, but for now Design Notes will continue to be anything that I think should be noted.

REVIEW COPY: Le Cool–A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Le Cool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona

Last September I was introduced to the publishing concept of Le Cool from Andrew Losowsky who showed me a number of books based on different cities. I really liked thumbing through them because each was uniquely designed for each city. While I only spent a couple minutes looking through each I really appreciated the design of each. Recently I was contacted by Le Cool’s PR wondering if I would be interested in taking a closer look at their revised Barcelona guide. While I probably won’t be visiting Barcelona anytime soon I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at it.

Speaking of books, just received Le Cool's Guide to Barcelona

What I remembered when I was looking through some of the other city books with Andrew is that I thought they were worth having even if someone wasn’t planning a trip there. There were as many stories as things “to do”. The structure of the book goes something like this—each chapter is broken into chunks of hours, starting at 6am and ending at 5.30am the following day. Each of those clusters of hours is in context, typically there’s some eating, seeing stuff and things to buy along with a couple miscellaneous things. Each layout is designed differently which really suits this format, once again it implies context that isn’t easy to template.

While that makes up the majority of the book, there’s a couple other sections worth mentioning. There’s a directory of all the places mentioned. comparing the visual experience and the barebones directory that’s used for quick reference is helpful. A person can take in the experience vs the places they’ve wanted to take note of. The other part of the book which was probably my favorite was the hand drawn maps that display where everything is.

Whenever I read a book these days I try to wonder how the books content would transfer to my iPhone and iPad. Because the book is designed specifically for a small format I wonder how a designer might change the format. If I was in the city how would my iPhone transfer those stories and tips. Overall I think it could be a pretty great experience plus would give the person using the book on their iPhone to share their own stories. I’ll be keeping my eyes to see if they start evolving the format in this evolving mobile world.

BOOK INFO
Title: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona
Designed by Folch Studio and edited by Kati Krause
Publisher: Le Cool

Icon to Open and Close a Drawer

Triangles and arrows are pretty familiar visual elements in terms of showing an action. A triangle pointing downwards often denotes more items are viewable once pressed, a solid triangle pointing right depending on the context could be a play button or jumping to a new page. What I haven’t seen that often is an icon displaying an action of opening and closing of a drawer. A drawer is a nice way to keep a person on the same page while allowing new information to be presented. Pressing once pushes the old information to the bottom so newer stuff can be displayed. The icon pressed again closes the drawer. While I was looking at the portfolio site of Mad Margaret I instantly knew what the double arrow inside a circle meant. Typically a pressed state will show the opposite of the unpressed state, but with this icon is simplifies things. Whether something is closed or open, pressing it shows exactly what will happen. The thing is, I’m not sure if I’ve seen those elements used together to let someone know of a drawer. Maybe it’s a pretty common convention that I never noticed before. Either way it’s been a while that I’ve seen some common icons mashed together to display a motion that I’ll be using the next time the opportunity presents itself.

Social Aggregation via Images

I’ve never really found a need for me to use Instagram because I’ve been using Flickr for quite a few years. If I want people to know about a particular image I just tweet it. Last night Instagram did something really fascinating—it streamed and aggregated photos from the Grammy’s. There’s something about an event where people can shoot images at the same time from slightly different angeles and locations to give a much fuller 360 perspective. It’s only a matter of time before this type of social aggregation becomes common. Taking this one step further I came across a post from Russel Davies talking about his experiment with a second screen in which he talks about tweets streaming in while he’s watching television. Those tweets could easily be swapped for images.

Selby vs NYT T MAG

Selby vs NYT T MAG

The Selby takes photo series of people’s personal spaces, typically from people that are known for having a style that is hard to replicate. I can only imagine the traffic that the site brings when a new series is published. The NYT T mag is one of those things that has tried to keep up considering it started print publication. Checking back on the Selby I noticed that there was a series of the photos commissioned from NYT T Magazine.

I was curious to see how the photos matched up site vs site. Each site pulls a different context. The Selby let’s the photos speak for themselves in this case 84 photographs. Contrast that with NYT T mag that displayed 12 images along with corresponding text. Which one is better? They both have advantages, the Selby shows all the images fit to publish while NYT gives a concise story. While they’re both online and hence competing with each other, I don’t really see it that way. The Selby is going to push people that might otherwise not visit NYT T mag and vice versa.

What this does suggest is that if someone is a content creator, it’s not enough to just let those that commission the images to be the sole distributor. Each individual needs to have the ability to display their images when needed. This doesn’t mean publishing stuff before the publication release it, but if I look at other photography sites like Terry Richardson’s Diary, he’ll show the images he shot after they’ve been released. It keeps the cycle going as opposed to the standard print model.

♫ Giving Madlib’s Beat Konducta Around The World a listen

I’ve been using the music app ex.fm quite a bit to find new music. At some point I’ll have to do a post about the entire experience, but for now I’ll share that it’s a great way to make a playlist and stream it to an iPhone or iPad. There isn’t hundreds of thousands of users so the quality choice of music is pretty good. I’ll bounce from user to user to see what they’ve qued up in a random matter to discover stuff. Case in point, I found Madlib – Beat Konducta Around The World. I went to the source which was Stones Throw and bought the entire list of tracks. (FYI, there’s a bug in Stones Throw cart in Chrome, it won’t take the expiry date for credit cards) I’ve only been listening to it for a couple hours but has the potential to be on my year end list of music. The song that I was introduced to was L.A. California. I liked it a lot but since I’m in NYC I thought I’d share this one:

Madlib – New York (U.S.)

and here’s the track for for LA. California YouTube style:

Hey Twitter, thanks for finding @GestureTheory space within a day

Gesture Theory build
Roy opening one of the boxes that had a desk in it..

Gesture Theory build
Desks are built and tested for location placement. The boxes in front of the desks were our chairs.

Gesture Theory build
trying to decide if this was where we wanted things to be located.

Gesture Theory Office Space Completed
We decided that something was off with the original placement, so we turned them around. Everything is built and we’ve been loving the setup.

It’s amazing how fast things can happen. Last Friday was my final day at Behavior and I was starting Gesture Theory on Monday. Gesture Theory had been renting space temporarily since January but we found out last week that it was going to be pretty short term. It was unfortunate but I threw out the question on Twitter last Thursday if anyone knew of available space. Within minutes Jared Caponi let me know of something. We checked it out the Friday and found ourselves Monday, my first full day at Ikea buying stuff and building in what would be our new location.

Now that everything is built I thought I’d throw out another mention of how my connections through Twitter provided an opportunity that I don’t think I could have found anywhere else. We would have found space eventually, a couple friends offered to help us out but the ability to have someone that knows me just through links I share and photos that I post is quite amazing. It also says something about the city I call home that within a day I can turn around having no space into have great space. If things go well we’ll be having a launch party in the new space—stay tuned.

Special Edition of #walkingtoworktoday: Heading to Gesture Theory in Soho

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This morning was my first day heading back to Soho now that I’m at Gesture Theory. In the upcoming days I’ll be documenting some of the things that got me to this point, the office setup, some of the things we’re up to and other miscellanoues stuff that comes with opening a firm in NYC. For now, here’s what my route looked today.

Thank You @Behaviordesign, I’m Grateful for the Opportunity You Gave Me

Up close with the letter B #walkingtoworktoday

Sitting in the large conference room with Chris and Jeff a couple weeks ago, I gave them the news that I was stepping down from Behavior. I don’t think they were completely surprised as it was kind of unusual for me to ask to meet them both pretty early in the morning. I mentioned it was kind of bittersweet to be leaving. I had the opportunity to work on what I would consider a dream iPad app project (that’s in it’s final stages before being released), but I also had the opportunity to start working with a business partner that I worked closely with at the startup Daylife to begin Gesture Theory. Working on an awesome project vs having the chance to do something that I’ve worked my entire life to get to.

To the credit of Chris, Jeff and everyone else at Behavior, they’ve been incredibly supportive of my move and have made my final weeks really nice. I’m sad that I’m leaving but the opportunity that I have in front of me was impossible to ignore. Of any design studio in NYC, Behavior was my top choice. If things had turned out differently and I had been working somewhere else, and the opportunity to work at Behavior had opened up to me, I would have taken that shot to work with them. I never felt the other way around. There was never a place that I wanted to go to. When I did accept the offer to work at Behavior a year ago, I knew it was probably going to be the last studio I worked at. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that to be honest. However I did know what ever happened next I was going to be prepared after working with really smart people.

I think I learned of Behavior during my first year working in NYC going through someone’s delicious links of studios. It immediately stood as place that was smart, understood design and did great work. Over time I came across the blog Graphpaper. I didn’t know who was behind it at the time but found the writing to be pretty smart. Later on some guy named askrom started following me on Twitter. Over time we’d go back and forth talking about design over on Twitter and eventually had lunch. Once we met face to face, askrom turned out to be none other than ChrisFahey. All the dots connected, he was the guy behind Graphpaper and was a partner at Behavior. I really didn’t know that at the time. We stayed in touch as people usually do after they meet up online. I’d bump into him at talks from time to time and we’d say hi.

A year later I went to a talk at SVA about the site redesign of NPR that my friend Callie Neylan was a part of. Afterwards there was a dinner that Callie invited me to, and out of a total fluke I sat beside Chris. We had an awesome convo during dinner. I think the next morning I checked out the Behavior site and noticed that they we looking to hire people. I dm’d Chris, he set up a couple meetings and I eventually found myself at the place I had wanted to work at for a pretty long time.

Probably the most difficult thing for me over the past year was not writing much about what I was doing on this blog. Even when I would dive deep into a topic it was hard to mention it because those ideas were going into proposals and for stuff that had not been released yet. When I was at Daylife I could talk about releases because already public. I don’t think I’ve even showed one thing publicly that I’ve had the opportunity to work on yet at Behavior. That will change when the app is released, but for the time being you’ll have to trust me that I’ve become a very different designer from a year ago in both knowledge and understanding of design thanks to the people that have shared their knowledge with me. For those designer’s out there that in the future find themselves trying to decide whether they should work at Behavior or a competitor, I couldn’t recommend them enough. They gave me an opportunity that I won’t forget and will try to encourage the same attitude at my firm.

Geo has a ways to go, or at least with Twitter

Quick observation—last night I tweeted from the same chair in a restaurant on St Marks last night within minutes of each other. Strange thing is that the pin shifted, or at least it looks like I did. One mention of location had in Noho and the other in the East Village. I’m not sure if it was my iPhone, Twitter or Google maps that shifted things. I’ve noticed this in the past that when I Tweet with location on, it’s almost never where I am. I hope something changes that makes this more accurate because it’s hard to use it when it’s faulty.

A Memorable & Focused Header

QUOTE FROM FOSTER HUNTINGTON: Consumed by my new life, time goes by fast here. It feels like just last week I moved into my apartment and started my job. I am already anticipating spring around the corner. These nine photos remind of how much my life has changed in the last two and a half years. Try taking a photo, drawing or writing some thoughts down in the same place each season. I bet you will be surprised by the positive unindtended consequences.

I look at a lot of blogs when I have an extra minute. Most of the time it’s through Google Reader—I’m not a fan of how it displays things. But speed trumps anything I’ve come across so far. Because most of the posts I see have some of the core elements of a blog stripped away like a title header I don’t see them that often. Last weekend I had an interesting request about possibly helping fix a header because Blogger has a bug in their uploading tool. The blog that was having the issue was A Restless Transplant. I was just working away on my own stuff and could use a break so I agreed to help. I’m not a developer but I’ve been using WordPress and Blogger long enough that I didn’t think it would be much of an issue. Plus I was curious to see how my troubleshooting skills have improved.

As I was emailing back and forth with Foster who publishes the blog, he asked me a question that any person that has a blog—how did you come across my site? I ask the same thing. For the most part because I do go through a lot of blogs it’s a bit harder to remember. However I was pretty certain I remembered where I came across this one. I have no idea what the date was but I’m pretty sure I found the blog from a tweet of Marisa Zupan-Ciccone, who had it RT’d from someone else I follow. I’m going to guess that RT came from someone she works with. One of the reasons I can remember all this was because of the header of the blog. It was quite a bit different from anything I’ve seen before. I tend to remember stuff like that. Plus because the image changes over time it becomes much more interesting because it is constantly evolving consistently. I mentioned to Foster that he should def. keep that header idea going. It’s a great example of making the content stand out.

His latest blog post talks about each of the images he’s used in the past titled Changing Seasons: White in New York.

Thinking about Lightweight

typing away from home

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be lightweight. I’ve also been considering how I can challenge my own assumptions, not just through statistical data or hunches but through a third combination that is a healthy balance of the two. Part of this reflection is because I’ve moved where I sit down with my MacBook Pro—actually I’ve changed my MacBook Pro along with where I plug it in. I’m leaving Behavior for something that has been ten years in the making. I still have a couple weeks left working on my dream project but that phase is wrapping up. I’m now working 24/7 at Gesture Theory. I’ll talk more about that in a week or so… I’ve also evolved where I do my thinking at home. I gave myself a better place to sit and to stare out the window when I feel like it. While this post isn’t about talking about that move, it has me thinking about what is lightweight. This time last year, if someone had asked me if I would be willing to give up my MacBook Pro for an Air, I would have laughed at them. Yet today as I stare out the window watching the snow as I’m typing away on my awesome MacBook Air. The thing is faster than anything I’ve ever used. Programs open instantly. The number of things that I can do in less than a minute is kind of obscene. With the MacBook Pro that I use (less than a year old), it takes longer to open one program than it does for me to check my RSS feeds, tweets and email.

Now that things are set I have the luxury of looking back at the process that got me to here. While I could make something happen with bad hardware, using my Air is an easy reminder to me that something powerful doesn’t have to be heavy nor what people consider what is standard. While carrying around my Air, iPad and GF1 in a blizzard looking for office space I became observant of something that I never felt that I had to worry about my MacBook Pro. With a simple slip I could easily crush a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment. The files will always be backed up so that’s not the issue, the gear is insured so that’s not an issue—but I still don’t want to destroy something that is preventable. Now I’m considering some sort of bag that has a hard shell. Ironically now that I have something incredibly lightweight I’m now considering options to make it heavy. Slightly ironic. For now I’m just trying to be careful with it.

Now that time isn’t a factor my shift in thinking becomes a lot more about planning. I’m figuring out how to make everything click now that most of the layers of resistance I’ve been working through have been chipped away. It’s an awesome responsibility to realize this. I get to set the speed. Now I have to keep my eyes open to the things I know I don’t know.

My New Flickr Strategy for Taking Images

taking a photo used to be easy

I almost remember a time when taking a photo was an easy thing. Then along came Flickr and all of a sudden I could publish and share stuff around the world. Then came along the iPhone and I could take pictures any time and send them instantly to Flickr. Then along came Twitter and I had the chance to share those instant images that were uploaded on Flickr. Then came along the iPad so all of a sudden I could take high res. images with a better digital camera and push them to Flickr and Twitter. Now I don’t totally trust Yahoo with Flickr which wrecks the flow a bit. I still use Flickr but my work flow is now based on the fact that Flickr as I know it today won’t be the same as tomorrow. Nothing lasts forever, espically with digital. Now I manually drop my image in Dropbox > Photos > Monthly Folder, from there I’ll upload to Flickr via Dropbox. It’s a bit of a pain but spending a day backing up all my Flickr images wasn’t exactly fun either.

One thing that I noticed via a shared public photos Dropbox folder is that there’s an RSS feed attached to it. I’ve subscribed to it through Google Reader to see what happens. Not much yet apparently as things look a bit broken. However I think there’s a ton of potential going on here. If that folder is my place to drop photo files and have the ability to grab and push them out, all of a sudden I can create a pretty meaningful experience. All I have to design it. In theory I could do the same thing with Flickr but who knows where my images will be tomorrow. Uncertainty isn’t something I want to risk with my images.

This doomsday scenario could be a couple years off, and using Dropbox as a publishing tool isn’t a great workflow yet, but it’s worth planning for.

Current apps on the home screen of my iPad

current apps on the home screen of my iPad #before12amafter6pm

After reading the post Yet another list of iPad apps (what I use) I figured I’d take a survey of what is on the home screen of my iPad. I haven’t stopped to take a look for quite some time though the apps that I highlight do change often depending of what I’m doing with my iPad. Typically the apps that aren’t in a folder are one’s that I use quite often while the apps in folders are more tied to a subjective category that changes often. It should be noted that they’re not all apps but bookmarks to sites as well.

STAND ALONE
· iA Writer*
· WeatherBug
· Google Docs
· FlickStackr*
· Calendar
· Kindle*

BOTTOM BAR
· Settings
· Safari
· Mail
· TuneIn Radio*
· River of News*
· Twitter

MEDIA
· Twitter Times
· Film on Player
· The Economist
· Vevo
· Reeder
· PBS
· NPR
· NYT
· theScore
· IMDb
· Netflix
· Zino
· GoodReader

PHOTOGRAPHY
· Galleries
· Photos
· Flickr

UTILITIES
· App Store
· Minimal Folio
· Keynote
· LiveView
· Dropbox*
· Air Display
· SeamlessWeb
· Calendar
· Maps
· WordPress
· MethodCards
· Basecamp
· Contacts

MUSIC
· Pandora
· Discovery
· NPR Music
· Vevo HD
· Time Turner
· Soundwalk
· Aweditorium
· Scanner911
· Radio
· iPod
· iTunes
· StarkMix

READING
· Pulse News
· Flipboard
· Reeder

* Favorite apps

I Wish There Was Search in the Support Section of My iPhone

For the past couple of years I’ve had a really poor experience with earbuds. I’ve gone through a couple sets of AIAIAI’s and Sennheiser’s. That’s four sets of ear buds that stopped working because the jack and wires connected to it disconnected. Not only has that been expensive but it’s also been a time waster getting new one’s. My latest ear buds are from v–moda. The sound is great though I wished the controller on the remote forwarded the music as opposed to being sound controls. Last night before I updated my iOS software my ear buds kept tripping up Voice Control.

Voice Control in theory is a great idea but not when I’m just trying to listen to music. I figured it would be simple enough to go into Settings on my iPhone and disable it. I couldn’t find it—that was the moment when it would have been so much easier to find a lot of stuff buried in Settings if there was a Search function. I’d be able to ignore Apple’s taxonomy and just find stuff that I’m wanting to change. I ended up searching online and couldn’t find much except for community forms that basically suggested that Voice Control is good and it’s my fault that the function is tripping up. Not a lot of help. After reading that I was wondering if I have to return another pair of ear buds that I really don’t want to.

I never was able to find Voice Control with my limited browsing of each section of Settings. I did update my iOS which hasn’t tripped up Voice Control since. I hope that’s the end of it but it would be great in a future update if a Search feature was set up in Settings considering how things are getting dumped in there.

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