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October 2007 Archives

October 1, 2007

Digital Life 2007

I just went to Digital Life on Saturday. There are some cool new products, and "wait until they come up with the next model" products. Btw, if you are going to buy and M-Audio product, you could receive 20% of all their products if you buy through Amazon.com using this discount code: MAUDIO20 by October 5th.


I really don't understand the appeal to these digital frames, and it just isn't environmentally sensitive to the use of power. I wasn't to impressed with the resolution and color of these photos. I would stick to print photographs.



I also wasn't impressed with the Nokia knock-off of the iPhone. The N95 is still bulky, but has a 5 megapixel camera and free GPS. But don't most phones have free GPS. I think I'm going to hold on to my Blackberry Pearl for another year. And the o/s interface wasn't impressive either.




Microsoft has a new mobile phone, which has a touch interface, but it's not as smooth as the iPhone. The os might appease PC users though. One model is quite bulky, but it is still lighter than the Nokia.


This camera seemed to impress everyone. The size of it is similar to a mobile phone, but it takes digital video, takes 12 megapixel photos, and plays mp3's with a 3 hour battery. If only they could stick mobile capabilities. Manufactured by Panasonic. Uses interchangeable SD cards, and works on both MAC/PC os systems for a reasonable $328.


The new SIMS game looks a bit like Second Life (3D graphics):

This is called Headplay, and it's basically a visor that you wear that plays movies from a compact flash card. Pretty pricey, $500. It is more immersive than most players, but the quality of the movie looks less stellar than iPod quality. Difficulty with focus features. It's funny when people where this, it looks like they look up. Not sure about audio, if you have to wear that separately.




I was really excited about playing Ms. Pacman, but became quickly disenchanted playing this game on an iPod. Maybe I'm old school, and used to a joystick controller, but I couldn't get into this game. The circular sensor gives this game an awkward feel. Even up, down, right, left arrows would have given a lot more satisfying experience. Maybe it's better on a mobile phone, like Nokia.



I was pretty impressed with the hardware design of "Xyber Technologies Fan-less Cooling System." The electrical components are embedded in a gigantic heat sink, and there are metal tubes to carry the heat away from hotter chips. The only thing is, will users get used to leaving their computer or stereo systems on, using more energy? The rep did say they left all four demos on since Thursday to prove their point. I can imagine several ways of carrying heat away from high-powered LED lights.



Novint Falcon is a 3D console joystick. The x and z-axis movement was pretty impressive. Slightly uncomfortable, but Nick really liked it. Maybe it's a girl/boy difference.


WowWee robot moves pretty smoothly, and the controls are just as smooth. Was going to take video of it, but I ran out memory. I could see how kids could get engaged with technology playing with this bot.

October 3, 2007

Blackberry Fans, Behold...

My friend Andrew Famiano just sent me this link... option for a faster phone (that's what we've been waiting for—speculation that this will have a 600MHz processor, just like one of the second generation of PCs. Hope it comes out before next September when my contract for the Blackberry Pearl ends.

post from BoyGenius blog

October 6, 2007

Need a parking space in New York?

Well, reserve online. This system is like the Zip car, but for parking spaces instead of cars. Found the ad for this on the subway. Not sure if it's mobile-compatible. The video demonstration is helpful, and be aware of fee for oversized vehicles, which I don't think in included in the initial search results. The subway ad promotes theater parking, $10 for up to 10 hours, so maybe look for parking in midtown around 42nd street.

Here's the link: http://weparknewyork.com



For more photos, check out my Flickr account.

Touch screens and credit card machines implemented in New York taxis

Touch screens and credit card machines implemented in New York cabs. This system allows you to see your route, watch the news, and pay the fare with your credit card with pre-calculated options for tip (nice option for people who have to write this expense as a tax-deduction instead of collecting receipts).







For more photos, click here.

October 7, 2007

Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York Exhibition

The Municipal Art Soviet of New York
457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street
September 25, 2007 - January 5, 2008

October 8, 2007

Idea 2007 Conference in New York

Even though the Idea 2007 conference was sponsored by The Information Architecture Institute, the speakers were really diverse, ranging from artists/designers to developers/engineers, and public agencies, such as hospitals and New York City's non-emergency number, 311. A lot of the speakers were ITP alums or teaching at ITP. I'm working on a wiki with my extensive notes, and will publish the link here (TK TK TK). Missed some really good presentations, but for the entire list, please visit http://ideaconference.org/program.html.

Here were some of the speakers:

Rachel Abrams (who currently teaches a mapping class at ITP) - I just caught the end of her presentation on taxis.

Frank Lantz, area/code (also teaches at ITP)

Brad Paley, Information Esthetics

Hasan Elahi, artist (he was a guest speaker at one of ITP's Friday seminars)
He's working on a pretty cool project titled Tracking Transcience (will have more of the backstory in my notes.

Chenda Frutcher, The City of New York's 311 line, (alum of ITP)
Couldn't take photos of her presentation, sorry (will have a section of her presentation in my notes). I enjoyed her presentation because she works and designs around real-world problems.

Fernanda Viegas & Martin Wattenberg, Many Eyes, open source data visualization site

David Rose, Ambient Devices, founder of the Ambient Orb

Mike Kuniavsky, Founder of ThingM and Co-founder of Adaptive Path
RFID Wine Rack

Jake Barton, Local Projects (teaches thesis at ITP)

October 12, 2007

Blade Runner at Ziegfeld

Digitally mastered and playing at the theater. This movie was one of my favorite science fiction films. This theater is super cool. Each stall of the bathroom has it's own sink (Ladies' room). I am tempted to see "Enchanted," the 3D and live action version of Snow White. Okay, maybe not, I just watched the previews.

Theater is packed, if you like complete silence, watch it on a weekday. Pretty awesome in the theater. They probably had to fix this movie to renew their copyright.

October 19, 2007

Mayor Bloomberg, Donald and Ivanka Trump et. al.

Selling hot dogs for charity (not sure what charity). Couldn't really find the line to buy a hot dog, but if you want to go, they're on the corner of 6th Avenue and 48th Street, right in front of the Fox Building. Other celebrities include Gene Simmons, Tito Ortiz, Lennox Lewis, and Vincent Pastore (Sal from The Sopranos).

All photo taken by Andrew Famiano with his iPhone.



October 21, 2007

Rooftop at The Met

Before it gets cold (October 28th was the date they listed on their site), check out the scene on the rooftop at The Met. They have a bar, and some art that make you wonder how they were transported to the rooftop.


They are also having an amazing exhibition on tapestries, Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor In some of the pieces, you can see the process of sketch paintings to these enormous tapestries. This exhibition ends on January 6, 2008.





Ingo Maurer

Attention, all ITPers, you must see this exhibit if you like electronics, lighting, and/or physical computing. Ingo Maurer uses some new materials that have been exhibited at the Material Connexion. Two of my favorite pieces are his uses of conductive film to create an LED light table/bench and flexible circuit board to create light patterns on wall paper.


If you like designing or using solderless breadboards, go to this exhibit, it'll give you many ideas on how to layout your electronic components. If you like industrial design, go to this exhibit to be inspired by his use of materials and play with physics (specifically the tornado piece that has a magnet) and optical illusions (love the hologram light bulbs).

The printed and digital materials about this exhibit doesn't even convey the fraction of this experience. If you like magic, go to this exhibit.



October 24, 2007


WOW! $1.5B for 10% ownership of Facebook, which will make Facebook worth $15 billion. Google and Microsoft battling for 10% ownership. Who will win?

Anyway, I just added the Google News app. It's pretty cool. You can either choose from a set of topics or enter your own keywords. We'll see how often it refreshes. I had an issue with the "Yahoo & Google Hot Trends" app. It didn't seem to refresh often enough or those people are still the current trend. I'm going to note that Yahoo posts "National Boss Day" and Google posts "deborah kerr." I'll check tomorrow. Del.icio.us and Flickr apps pose these same issues.

Oops, just checked and the Yahoo & Google Hot Trends app is current. Deborah Kerr died. She was in The King and I, great movie.


October 28, 2007

Close To Midnight

I went to the screening of Close to Midnight, a movie that Rob Ryan from ITP produced. There were a lot of good shots, the story was based on actual events, and the music was pretty cool. The theater was pretty packed. Congrats Rob!

For more info, click here.



Hand Dryer

I tried this new hand dryer in the women's restroom at the AMC theaters on 42nd street. The sign read that this was economical (didn't use that much heat) and hygienic (and I'm guessing that you don't have to press the button to turn it on, clearly for people with OCD, but then what do they do when they touch the door handle?)


Willa Cather & Richard Wright

In East Village, close to the West 4th St. stop, I discovered where Willa Cather and Richard Wright wrote their books. The sign reads:

Willa Cather, author of My Antonia, wrote her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, here in 1912. Richard Wright, author of Native Son, wrote his autobiography, Black Boy here in 1945.


Crazy stunts in Washington Square Park

Last year, a performer was turning 40 years old that day was involved in a crazy Evel Kenievel-like stunt. He rode his skateboard and gained momentum to jump over 25 trash barrels (mid-air), and landed on his skateboard. I wish I had my camera back then. Hopefully, I can catch a repeat performance this year.

In the meantime, there were a set of brothers (a guy and his two twin brothers) are performing some fun stunts and comedy routine in Washington Square. They had the most successful act in collecting money, they had almost everyone involved and engaged. They would reward people who offered bigger donations and created a competitive atmosphere rewarding the donors by giving props to their countries (aimed at tourists). Well this year, this guy ran over and jumped over five people and aimed through his brother's arms.






In the spirit of Halloween...


Visit Economy Candy in Lower East Side. One of the oldest candy store, they carry a variety of candies, including salted licorice (located behind the counter). I got hooked on salted licorice when Tom Igoe introduced them to us at the "ITP Arduino Surface Mount Soldering Party." They also sell giant PEZ candies for $18.00 and really cute sophisticated designs of Hello Kitty and My Melody Pez holders (they have clear heads). I was surprised to see old cigarette packaged bubble gum and Lemonheads.

108 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

Creative Time Installation

Only in New York...


My friends, Cliff and Ziggy called me up early this afternoon to tell me to go to this installation. They wouldn't tell me anymore details but that it's on the corner of Delancey and Essex, in Lower East Side... 117 Delancey

So Cliff and Ziggy met me, and decided to go through this installation a second time. First of all, it looked like part of the regular market scene, but there's a line that you have to wait to sign a release before getting a ticket to go in.

Found out from what of the staff members that it took 10 people in three weeks to set it up, and that everything after the Chinese restaurant is fake.

Tomorrow is the last day. Cliff and Ziggy advise to see it early before there are crowds of people.

Mike Nelson
A Psychic Vacuum



Apple's Leopard Operating System

I would wait to buy Leopard. Apparently they released it on Friday, and they didn't have tech support on Saturday.

According to Nick:


Glad I didn't buy it and install it. Nick has to reinstall all of his programs again, and reconfigure his Ruby on Rails. Almost a 2 day process. I think they need to realize that people's time is worth $$$. Wow, I'm becoming disenchanted in with Apple.

Last December I went to the Apple store because I had Apple Care, and I distinctly remember the woman standing next to me who brought her laptop in to get if fixed. She admitted to the "Apple Geniuses" that she might have spilled some coffee on it, and ten minutes later, the Apple Genius voided her Apple Care. Her computer was less than a year old, and she purchased Apple Care at the time of her purchase (learned from her experience to wait to buy Apple Care after the first year). Then the Apple Genius proceeded to go on with a story about how another guy brought his computer in, and they found a whole Dorito chip in the keypad, which I didn't think was helping his situation with this woman. Then she took out her iPod Shuffle, and asked him to look at it. And he started to ask these questions like "do you use a case when you exercise with this?" because if your sweat affects this Shuffle , he has to void the warranty on that as well. And she said "yes," but he mentioned there were rust marks. I could tell this lady was getting really irate.

I haven't bought any Apple products since DVD Studio Pro 4 came out. I had DVD Studio Pro 2, and there was a file that was consistently working until 4.0 came out, and then all of a sudden when I wanted to burn it, that file had an error. When I tested that file on someone who had DVD Studio Pro 4, it worked. I thought it was a sneaky way to force people to buy the new version. Anyway, I think Apple has grown so big that they're starting to neglect their customers.

Poor Nick, he's starting to bang his computer.

Scrabulous on Facebook

Yay! They finally updated my Scrabulous stats on Facebook.

I've been consistently playing this game online for 2 months, and I haven't gotten tired of it. I have multiple one-on-one games open with many different friends. At first, I lost a lot of games, but now I'm starting to understand some strategies of the game, like certain letters command more points or certain tiles will double your points, etc. At one point, they weren't updating my stats and points because I wanted my wins to reflect, so I wrote to Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, the game designers, and they apologized because it was some kind of server issue. I would like to explore other games on Facebook, such as chess and poker, but this game really sucks you in.


My advice is never play a copy editor or column editor for money.

Projected ads in Union Square subway station

October 29, 2007

Looking for a dry cleaners in New York City?

I was in search of a new dry cleaner because several places were going to charge me $16.00 to just dry clean my coat. I found this site on Citysearch, and just tried Flat Rate Cleaners about a week ago, and they are legit. Everything you want to dryclean is $4.99, except for leather and comforters. But that includes coats, long coats, sweaters, etc. (more details on their site). Shirts laundered just $2.99 for ladies and I think it's cheaper for men. You can specify how much starch (options for light, medium, and heavy). It really does take 24 hours, doesn't matter how many items you submit, and they pick it up and deliver free of charge. They picked my bag up later than I thought, but my items were delivered on Saturday. I was skeptical too, but now I'm going to use them. They were recently on Daily Candy and Daily News.

I had 2 long sweaters, 3 long/heavy coats, 3 blazers, 1 pair of pants dry cleaned, and 2 shirts laundered and pressed for $45.90. CHEAP!!!

About October 2007

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in October 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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