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November 2013 Archives

November 2, 2013

"Princess of China" by Rihanna and Coldplay

I just found this clip of "Princess of China," which was released in 2012. The video has a very cinematic with martial arts and manga-like style that packs a lot of visual detail in just over 3 minutes:

I found this about the composition (referenced by Wikipedia: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_of_China]). I removed the footnotes, but if you navigate to the page, there are rollovers and bidirectional links. I had no idea there was a sample of Sigur Rós, which is pretty cool.

"Princess of China" draws influence from the music genres of Chinese music, electropop, and R&B. The song starts with a sample of Sigur Rós' "Takk...", which is also featured throughout the song. As noted by Amy Sciarretto of Popcrush, it features a "moody" and heavy synth throughout the duration of the song. The song also prominently features both Martin's and Rihanna's falsetto register, which was praised by multiple critics. Gil Kaufman of MTV News noted that both of the vocalists falsetto's matched each other perfectly, and that Martin's falsetto complimented Rihanna's higher register. Judah Joseph of The Huffington Post gave an explanation of the song's composition as part of his review, writing "The best way to describe the composition behind 'Princess of China' is to compare it to an old-school Zelda Gameboy game's sound effects – but in the best way. The song is epic, Asia-influenced, and it exemplifies the adventurous vibe that comes from an alternative-hip-hop combination." According to the sheet music published on Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is written in the time signature of common time, and is composed in the key of A minor with a tempo of 84 beats per minute. The song follows a basic sequence of Am7–C–Dm/F–G6 as its chord progression.

I like how Rihanna describes her look as a "gangsta goth geisha." Other visual references by Wikipedia:

Rihanna wearing two different costumes and golden nail guards as she performs a choreography with her arms in front of a background with colorful effects. It contains visual references to various Chinese wuxia films, including Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Zhang Yimou's Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower.

I would also add the book and movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.

More on the synopsis:

The video portrays Chris Martin and Rihanna as lovers with a complicated story. Rihanna is seen imitating a multi-armed goddess in the clip. In one of the scenes Martin and Rihanna are seen kneeling in a desert, with their foreheads touching each other, as they bemoan the loss of their love. The scene then proceeds to be violent as they engage in a sword-fight. The video closes on scenes of Chris Martin seated on a throne watching Rihanna dance with a red coloured drape surrounded by many female dancers kneeling down and men beating the drums. In the video, Rihanna's hair was pinned up with chopsticks and she described her look in the video as "gangsta goth geisha".

I also found this photo of a carved Buddha statue in Leshan, China (Sichuan Province). If you like spicy food, this is the province to discover it.

Photo by McKay Savage on this site [http://www.chinatravelca.com/places/leshan/]

November 3, 2013

Breakthrough Conference 2013

Just attended this conference Tuesday, October 22, 2013. It was like the Academy Awards with celebrity scientists form JPL and various academic and private institutions covering a variety of topics.

Download Summary of Panelists; Download my notes (typed on my iPad, so excuse typos)


Some notes:

Jet Propulsion Lab

-They are using Rover to collect samples from Mount Sharp on Mars
-They are also analyzing the terrain in layers, taking samples of deposit layers (e.g. clay layers)
-They are retroactively analyzing the terrain and found commonalities such as an ancient river bed and an old super volcano
-designing Rover to be a "roving laboratory" and created a Skycrane (would need to be able to transport 40 tons for a human habitat versus the current capacity of 4-5 tons)
-Next mission is called "2020" [http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mars2020/]



Oculus Rift (he wasn't able to be on the panel, but he created a VR system using Kickstarter that is being used to help people with post traumatic stress disorder using virtual-reality therapy:


Fabrication/Maker Startups

There were some other panelists substituted and covered "fabrication/makers/tinkering" and creating new economies for hardware design and process, and how to overcome larger competitors:
- Jim Newton, founder of TechShop in Silicon Valley [http://www.techshop.ws/founders.html]
- Sanjay [http://www.boostedboards.com/] - they were funded by Paul Graham's y-combinator
- Mike Este [http://otherfab.com/blog/other-machine-co/] - this company began as an education company (they have lowered their age barriers from 18yo to 8yo — kids can learn to solder). Initially they were tasked to improve high school shop classes because students did not have the skills to understand manufacturing, etc.
• Focus is on either 3D fabrication or 2D milling.


Autonomous Drivers

Highway Autopilot (semi-autonomous cars via General Motors) - this system is being integrated in "Cruise Control" features of cars:

Vijay Kumar (miniature robotic helicopters controlled by remote control that can lift heavy objects for construction or be used to sweep the environment after a disaster):


Nanotechnology and Small Sensors

Michael Goldfarb created mechanical exoskeletons to help people who have spinal cord damage:

Robotic touch that can detect texture better than humans using a special algorithm (looping and collecting data on different textures) and machine learning (for prosthetics):

Dr. Anita Goel - Biosym
Dr. Goel's product was a hand-held device that harnesses real-time processing and is a mobile DNA/RNA diagnostic system (comparable to a PCR machine). I think they are working on a system that detects HIV for developing countries because most of these tests take 6 weeks to see results, and by that time, people have migrated to other locations.

Addendum: Jason Wilde @nature referenced that this device might be parallel to the Star Trek Tricorder, and Mark Henry mentioned that perhaps the root comes from "triage" [(in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties]. Yes, there are a bunch of Star Trek geeks here in science. For those, who don't know what a Tricorder is, I found one on this site using google images:

credit and contest: http://www.themarysue.com/star-trek-tricorder-contest/

Paul Bunje - Ocean Health X Prize, UCLA center for climate change solution;
worked with policy makers, carbon emissions impact on oceans -- specifically
acidification by using sensors. Collect actionable data in order to make
decisions. They want to award a winner to create a pH sensor for the ocean (cheap and accurate)

What was not apart of the conference, but still amazing – growing and printing organs:


Peter Diamandis, X Prize

- some ideas include being able to order a dress online from Bangladesh, and your closet prints the dress by next morning
- innovations in oil clean-up
-Singularity University [http://singularityu.org/]; [http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100915/full/467266a.html]
- Xprize focused on finding asteroids (because they are rich in water – 20%) for space vehicles
- he mentioned something about Optogenetics and Cortical implants (during the Q&A session)
- mining platinum elements when an asteroid hits the Earth [http://www.economist.com/node/21553419]
- check out the screenshot from Kevin Werbach's Gamification course at UPenn on investment yields from competitions like Xprize, Innocentive and Darpa Grand Challenges [Coursera/Upenn]:

More information on Peter Diamandis here: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/news/10-innovators-who-changed-the-world-in-2013#slide-1

November 5, 2013

Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. Collaboration

Talks about coordination problem. Solve by using "Institutional Response."

November 6, 2013


I just found this website, where ITP just announced for calls of wearable tech demos on November 20, 2013 at Huge [45 Main St. Brooklyn, NY]. They are also going to stream the event here:



What is really cool about this site is that you can view other videos related to design. Huge is a successful design agency, and you can get an idea about its culture.

Colorscale Table in hex

Ok, I had some extra time this weekend because I was so mesmerized by Google's redesign (btw, the video is pretty cool):

At one point, they had 41 shades of blue. So I assumed that they must be doing a lot of research with colors (impressed with their gmail apps and responsive design sites), and probably thought about red/green/blue color-blindness, so I decided to document all the colors in hex (2nd tab), and omnigraffle's grayscale (I suspect that the nytimes uses a lot of the same shades here), and worked out grayscale shades from Google, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Omnigraffle (3rd tab).

If you want more colors, check out the 1st tab, or the site url. Or just duplicate this spreadsheet, and create one for whatever project you are working on.

Once you save this spreadsheet in your own google drive, you are free to pass it on, edit it, duplicate it (think Creative Commons). You can even export it as a .pdf or .xls file. If you don't know how to export, feel free to ping me at [anne.hong.itp@gmail.com].

I am also tracking to see how many people are interested in two blog posts (and not "tracking" in a creepy way).

November 8, 2013

Some Information Visualization url

Notable urls in italics.

Edward Tufte
http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters (Napoleon's march) :: Shows the size of the French Army in the 1812 War against Russia)

ibm: Many Eyes by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg
user generated content where people upload their data and choose what time of visualization they want to see the data in:

Hans Rosling, Gapminder

Casey Reas & Ben Fry, Processing
Java (loads a little slower, but many libraries)
http://benfry.com/humansvschimps/ Cover of Nature

Amanda Cox (nytimes)

I love this:


UX Audit Template for Heuristic Analysis

Hello everyone,

Yes, I am having a blast with Google Drive, and came up with this template for Heuristic Analysis. There are several tabs, and they all have references and citations.


Please modify it as if it were a Creative Commons document. Also, I have also exported it as an Open Office document, Download file">here. Please use it freely.


November 13, 2013

Edtech Meetup

September 25, 2013, New York @ Microsoft

Here are my notes, but they look a bit cryptic, sorry (also typed with my thumbs on my iphone)... Basically, there are a lot of opportunities to create Edtech apps nationally and internationally. See photos below for more information.


Eric Goldberg
Schoolsearchnyc app (demographic and test)

Conversation - parents as stakeholders
- when should kids be able to interact/view screens
- learning through technology
- what are the skills to learning

- outcomes (there are fairs -- candy) eg edmoto; technology is not here yet

- parents in low income areas
- providing parents actionable and access to this information (eg parents may not have Internet access so they sent txt messages)
- access to hybrid learning models w/positive outcomes (only 1 program out there)
- individualized learning - tech pushing students at their own pace
- teachers are not familiar with these technologies juxtaposes how parents think their kids are learning

Kinvolved - providing information to families

I wish I had this when I was a kid:
-ten marks (keeps kids engaged in the summer); alerts to parents kids deficiencies
- push for apps to appeal to girls and STEM
- class dojo
- springboard collaborative
- mobile makes information more salient (SMS reminders to follow through the steps of enrolling in college)
- smart board technology (children can manipulate objects) -- allows students to be more engaged, allow children to move and engage in all senses (sensory interaction)
- parents would like information about test results and absentees
- parents have difficulty with interacting with teacher (bridging that divide)
- kids are spending 8, 10 hours on mobile device, should parents control access/duration of these devices
- parents should limit technology to kids even though they want to be bill gates, Steve jobs
- scripted app
- how do parents teach kids to use technology responsibly
- parents logging in and monitoring their kids (lots of usage by parents)

- facilitating relation between parents and school, administrators

- low-income students (Bill Deblasio), $13k a student
- teachers need more professional development
- challenges: parents work 2 or 3 jobs, there are language barriers
- navigation of resources, parents don't know about resources, prepToPrep
-family engagement will have a direct positive effect, direct impact regardless of socioeconomic -- how do we meet/connect parents (eg language)
- schools can be intimidating for parents with language or time availability, make that initial conversation available, make apps that allow parents to be more involved with schools
- 2 parent teacher conferences and 2 report cards
-partnership- parent, student, teacher
-community learning centers
-bring schools to parents not the other way around (bring parents to schools) more apps
-blog -- getting smart
-the DOE asks parents to fill survey at the end of the year; why can't parents give feedback throughout year (EASY TO MAKE); nothing is actionable until the end of the year
(Eg parents can tell teachers, "I am not sure if my gets get this.")

- experiment in Los Angeles, Spanish families; "no news is good news" ; they didn't know what a "D" meant - when they explained to parents, they were engaged and took away privileged for kids -- saw results on FB - students messaging about Peter
- parents thought they were not invited to schools (power dynamic was misunderstood)
- more math apps for girls (tenmarks), daughter didn't want to see video with male teachers
- airess (parent portal) - login issues, teacher making calls 5x a week is time consuming
-advice to talk to 100 parents before designing apps
- empirical questions / what works (engrade), teacher sends SMS to students
- parent logins levels out to 25%
- teacher speaks from her own experience - teacher preparation program - teachers are failing student observations, teacher doesn't know what is out there
-parents don't know what kids are suppose to know (requirements and standards - what is a third grader suppose to know)
-no consistencies, more events, more meetups to see what is out there
-amplify is building parent teacher portal
-success academy
- teachers need to ask parents what they need (community eg taxes)

- FB (on its way out)
- twitter (prof network community)
- how do students connect to financial aid
-how do low income students connect to people in university
-Malcolm Gladwell wrote something about Twitter -loose ties
- cyber bullying, teachers can cover some ground rules, teachers need to ownership not parents
-creating lifelong learners


Power my learning needs c# developers
Eye openers and mind openers (ADD), vision exercises, eye-yoga, no adults left behind
Knewton is looking for content makers
Hispanic market looking co-founder
VentureCow - digital interactive book, testers 10-18
New classrooms, envision partners
Startup - Ed(dot)co
EdText-child pedagogy-learning (sign up)
Edlab (teachers program)
October 1st, New Orleans Ed?
Challenge - eyezone


Kidzstop - autism
Golden seeds - women entrepreneurs
Education scrimmage
Startup weekend




Edtech Titans Meetup

October 15, 2013, New York @ Microsoft

Here are my notes, but they look a bit cryptic, sorry (also typed with my thumbs on my iphone)... Basically, there are a lot of opportunities to create Edtech apps nationally and internationally. See photos below for more information.

Edtech titans

Models - blending models of learning (both digital and home school)

Middle school is done really poorly because students struggle with their identity and teachers want to be high school teachers

Healthcare in India (hub and spokes model) - they train people to diagnose heart disease (spoke); they bring in the patients to the hub (specialists); high quality outcome of heart surgery > should think about this structure for k-12 school ; what course is online education solving, the hub or spoke?

Edify > provide loans/micro-finance for schools to provide computer labs and hardware; rates depend on performance

3 billion from poverty will move to middle class:: more appetite for people to deliver private education; eg provide education for $5/month for audience that can afford $2/month

What is the most over hyped trend this year (looking back @2013?
- tablets
- one-to-one learning
- hype around adaptive learning
(Lot of potential) for k12
- Moocs for higher Ed

Advice for EdTech startups (question comes from startup founder for k-12 curriculum)
-don't worry about revenue; just get 1 million users
- product / services generating data for schools; listing students not performing well
- badges rewarding informal learning

Do you see changes in procurement systems for k12 and higher Ed teachers?
- no disruptive business models happen in k12 schools bc there is no system; change procurement laws do not change

Student learning
-are supplemental products doom for failure if they are not integrated into the classroom?
-- user experience for teachers is where doom comes in; too much burden on the teacher if systems don't talk and the teacher has to manage tech systems
--solve teacher problem; open system; teachers don't have multiple logins; think of bundling devices (tablet, web app)

How to improve efficacy?
- services play with the special Ed space
- get research based; focus on particular research that is proven
- presence learning (SF startup) focused on reading specialization; and following requirements for each state (good; received another round of funding)

Who are the most interesting players?
Students, mayoral, parent, charter schools
-- **charter schools pushing
-parents not driving change
-google/amazon change price dynamics
- education superhighway (lookup)
- overseas
-google/FB push by making Internet accessible globally
- *where change should happen (great opportunity) > community colleges at the local level and partner with employers
- k12 now rate their teachers performance which influence teachers' pay


- knewton needs math teachers; create worksheets
- online degrees startup looking for developers
- inyourclass startup needs investment
- math startup seeking developers and project managers (indie Gogo?)
- frank@intrinsicstrategy.com for book about geeks
- Pearson looking for .net developers
- sesame workshop in India
- exchanges.com (math/phd) looking for a marketer
- lev Kay? Startup that assess skills--assessment design
- brazil education looking for partners
-edlab hiring a lot of people (from teachers college), name is Kate?
-screencasting app (b-casting?)




November 15, 2013

Webtrends Slideshare urls

Webtrends is an analytics company providing many tools. Many enterprises use it and it is competitive with Google Analytics and Adobe's Omniture. They also offer AB and MV testing.

Driving Actionable Data
by Jeff Seacrist, VP Product Strategy

Multi-Channel Measurement : Removing the blind spots
by Steve Earl, Director of Product Strategy

Measurement Strategies and KPIs: Best Practice
by Conrad Bennett, VP EMEA Technical Services

Turbocharge Your Email Marketing

EU Privacy
by Conrad Bennett, VP EMEA Technical Services

Multi-Channel Optimization
by Marc Thomas, Solutions Engineering Director

Contextual Personalization: Impact the User Experience
by Tom Waterfall, Director of Optimization Services

How to Cultivate an Optimization Program
by Hugh Kimber, UK Sales Director

How to Test Your Website for Cultural, Language and Behavioral Differences
by Peter Daly, Head of Website Effectiveness; Axa Insurance

Expert Workshop: Analytics
by Samuel Williams, Principle Consultant

Expert Workshop: Streams
by Marc Thomas, Solutions Engineering Director

Measuring Your Mobile Channel
by Paul Lawbaugh, Program Manager

Creating a Culture of Analytics
by @KellyMcClean @NBardram

Integrations Through Webtrends API
by Paul Lawbaugh, Program Manager

Global Technology Trends Changing Marketing
by Kyle Lacy, Senior Manager of Content Marketing

Measuring Social: Fact or Fiction?
by Ryan Holey, EMEA Partner Manager; Hootsuite

Pulling Together Cross-Channel Marketing Pieces Via Advanced Attribution
by Casey K. Carey, Chief Marketing Officer; Adometry

Re-marketing: Cart Abandonment and Beyond
by Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations; Silverpop

Testing & Analytics for the Relationship Era: Build Your Plan & Generate Results
by Kim Barlow, Senior Strategic Consultant - Responsys

November 17, 2013

Post-it Notes are essential for Agile/Lean UX Methodology

In the last couple of years, I have been involved with "agile" and tried creating a Post-it note art project. The process is definitely not systematic enough to document yet. The first photo shows around 3 months. The second one shows a years' worth of multiple projects. I tried experimenting with different color pens, different color Post-it notes, and even different sizes. In addtion, my monitor, laptop, iPad and iPhone is littered with beards of Post-it notes, lol. They are essential, however, I am going to try Muji notes next.






November 19, 2013

Plone 3.0 and Thomas Deneuville

My colleague, Thomas Deneuville, portfolio, just introduced me to Plone Products [http://plone.org/products], an open source library of features and products. He is also founder of this site and mobile apps: www.icareifyoulisten.com

This calendar looks kind of cool [http://plone.org/products/solgema.fullcalendar]:
Look below the screenshot for a list of categories (stolen from the right rail).

He just redesigned Hunter College's new website: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/it, which I am sure had many tough requirements, kudos! Below is the screenshot:


Plone Notes:
• Auth and User Management
• Basic content types
• Buildout
• Commerce
• Communication
• Calendars/Events
• Code Examples
• Database integration & external storage
• Development tools
• Documentation management
• Educational
• Fields and widgets
• Geospatial
• Internationalization
• Import/Export
• Layout and presentation
• Media
• Migration scripts
• Miscellaneous
• Polls/Surveys
• Portlets
• Project management
• Statistics & reporting
• Services
• Theming tools
• Themes
• Versioning, Staging and Deployment
• Weblogs Workflow

November 24, 2013

Synapse Lighting by Gomez Paz

While in Soho this week during lunch, I happen to find this lighting module that can be pieced together to customize a specific size or width.


Here are some examples of varying the number of lights pieced together:
[Photo Credit: dezeen.com]

Here is an example of the lighting in context with the environment:
[Photo Credit: dezeen.com]

Great Product Design by Muji & Sephora

Great designs by Muji an Sephora. One of my favorite stores is the Muji store.

If you love stationary, pens, erasers and assorted office supplies -- this is the store for you. I would describe Muji as an "Adult version of Hello Kitty," except instead of everything pink, everything is clear, simple and minimalist. One of my favorite items is their plastic business card case, which I thought was durable and you can put it in your back pocket without it flattening when you sit (see last screenshot of this post). My latest acquisition are these scissors:
Price: ~$7

You can read there book by Jasper Morris, Naoto Fukasawa, Kenya Hara


I typically do not shop at Sephora, but I found this retractable lip brush. I have owned many lip brushes -- ones that belong on the other tip of a lip liner (lost the cap) or a 2-piece version. This lip brush is a 1-piece that when pulled apart, the lip brush extends to a longer brush, and exposes the brush. When closed, everything is contained. The industrial designer even thought of the little cap protecting the brush from dust/remnants from your purse.
Price: $10


Muji Business Card Case

Ziegfeld Theatre

Credit: Emily's Last Word

One of my favorite theaters in NYC is Ziegfeld Theatre. If you don't want any hassles waiting in line, finding a seat, or have a pleasant lavatory experience (each stall in the bathroom has a sink) -- then this is the theater to watch your movie in. Last night, I watched the new Suzanne Collins' sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire starring Jennifer Lawrence. I was able to walk right to this theater 12 minutes before the show started, purchase tickets in two minutes, and find a seat with plenty of time to get popcorn or go to the restroom. Also Rosa, the attendant, introduced the movie and the duration of the movie and trailers. So if you can't watch this movie, you still have time to leave and get a refund on your movie tickets.

The theater is enormous:

In addition, there are historical plaques describing the detail of the theater. I found this one, which reads:

Story of This Wood

Carbon 14-Isotope dating shows this wood has been buried in a peat bog near Cambridge, England since 2120 BC. Rising sea levels flooded the forest and prevailing winds toppled the trees. The forest was replaced by an open sedge fen. Waterlogging the tree and enveloping it in a thick bed of organic peat.

After 4100 years, the bog waters have hardened the wood and changed its color from a natural oaken tone to the rich charcoal hues you see. Although other trees have been found in the same area, none has proven to be as large or well preserved as this one.

Supplied by David R. Webb Co., A division of Walter Reade Organization



Btw, Jennifer Lawrence is one of my favorite actresses. I was thinking if anyone would be cast as WonderWoman, she could play her. I really like this clip of her at the Academy Awards:

This version of Hunger Games has elements of Blade Runner and The Matrix. Costumes and special effects were amazing, and used appropriately.

A shout out to Jena Malone. I met her when she was 8yo, working on a grad student film for a candidate at the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. I remembered how talented and mature she was at that age. She later starred in Donny Darko.

I thought the elevator banks were shot in NYC, but I was wrong -- in Atlanta Marriott Marquis.


Found this excerpt, describing these series of books:

The book was released on September 1, 2009, and was later released in Kindle and audiobook format. The book had an initial print run of 350,000 copies. Advance reading copies were available at BookExpo America in New York City, and were sent out to some booksellers, and offered as prizes in Scholastic's "How Would You Survive" writing contest in May 2009. Major themes include survival, government control, rebellion and interdependence versus independence.

November 28, 2013

Conductive ink in the form of a rollerball pen

This is a fun way to learn electronics using conductive ink (silver) by creating paper circuit boards and paper switches. There is a video URL with a demo of the product:

About November 2013

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in November 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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