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May 28, 2007

Test: upload photo to blog from mobile phone

This image is of a jacket created by Ames laboratory research on metamaterials. It alters the path of light so it appears that you are seeing right through the jacket.

May 31, 2007

Found Post Office Art in NY

The quality of this image is not bad for a mobile phone.

June 1, 2007

Delta Airlines New Ad Campaign

Ha! How about BETTER SERVICE and ON-TIME FLIGHTS and NOT OVERBOOKING TICKETS?

June 7, 2007

Sodoku Cube

If you like sodoku and Rubik's then you should get this toy. The object of this game is to get 1 through 9 on each side of the cube.

June 9, 2007

Vintage Auto Show... Downtown

Of old Police cars including the original BatMobile.

Boxing Match at Madison Square Garden today

I keep seeing people take photos, fans posing like they're fighting Miguel Cotto. Lots of ambient buzz around this venue. Ever since I watched Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, I was alway interested in a boxing match at Madison Square Garden (historical). Anyway, as CNN reports "Miguel Cotto retained his WBA welterweight championship with an 11th-round stoppage of Zab Judah." What does welterweight mean?

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July 13, 2007

Target ads in NY subways have sound interactivity

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So on 49th St. station going downtownI saw this ad for a rap CD (Ludacris, Jay-Z, et. al.) and there is a headphone jack where you can plug in to listen. It's strategically placed on the photo of the CD player. I didn't plug in yet.

July 18, 2007

Fire in Midtown

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There was a steam pipe explosion.

September 15, 2007

Helvetica

Only in New York will sell every seat to the movie Helvetica. There was an ITP "designers" reunion at 8:20 pm last night. The movie was great in exhibiting pro-Helvetica and anti-Helvetica sentiments. Liked how the movie presented the historical and cultural contexts of helvetica and graphic design in general. Super designers from the older and current generations gave their two cents. In the end, the director, Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones made a special appearance. The director was down-to-earth and honest. He admitted that he was approached to direct a movie on the font Times New Roman. I really liked the movie, and would probably watch it again to see David Carson, who will make a special appearance today. I was a big fan of his work in Ray Gun magazine.

If you go, do pick up an "I hate Helvetica" or "I love Helvetica" pin.

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Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones
Photo Credit: Lia Bulaong

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Jane and Tim in this photo, among other ITPers that went, Pollie, Dmitri, Dan, Ahn (Mang), and Lia. It was really great to see them.


Very USEFUL signage!!!

Well, it's about time. I was looking for the 2 train at the 14th street station and came across these signs via the L. A copy of D.C.'s wonderful subway system, these signs tell you when the train will arrive and in what direction. This is really useful because when you're standing around waiting for a device, be it an elevator or train, 3 seconds can sometimes feel like 3 minutes. I really hate elevators that don't indicate what floor they're on, which is useful information of whether I should stand and wait or just use the stairs. I remember Tom's first pComp assignment (2005), and our group (Matthew Burton and Cory Forsyth, both very cerebral) proposed to improve the subway system. Ahhh, brings back memories of passing surveys around to subway riders at the Union Square station.

Only saw these on the "L" train.

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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 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 28, 2007

Projected ads in Union Square subway station

January 11, 2009

Palm Pre and the Future of Palm

Thought these were interesting about the Palm Pre in an article that sums it up again iPhone and G1 on [a href="http://i.gizmodo.com/5126870/in-a-nutshell-palm-pre-vs-iphone-vs-g1?skyline=true&s=x" target="_blank">Gizmodo [Read full article here].

These will be interesting to follow...

Development platform: The Pre's "Web OS" sure sounds nice—all developers need to know is JavaScript, HTML and CSS? Sounds good in theory, but building a mobile app will never be as easy as cranking out a new theme for your Tumblr. Palm's stressing ease of development, though, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against Apple's solid, familiar-to-devs OS X-based SDK and Android's fully open source approach. Advantage: Pre? If it's straight-up JavaScript, that's a lot of programmers ready to go. Note: we had iPhone here before, but we've switched with a qualification. Developer community still goes to iPhone for volume.

and

Multitasking: One of the beefiest of our beefs with the iPhone SDK is its insistence on Apps running one at a time. The G1's notifications drawer was definitely a step in the right direction, but the Pre's interface is the first smartphone OS that was built with multitasking as a core design element. Resembling the Xbox's old Blades, or a less-jarring OS X Expose even, the Pre's "Cards" interface always places you in the context of every app running for fast switching, and notifications from other apps don't pull you away completely from the task at hand. Multitasking is hugely important on a phone, and it's a good sign that Palm recognizes. Advantage: Pre

Wondering if Palm Pre will make a comeback. Overall, Gizmodo really liked the interface and gave it an honest review. But how does Palm's relationship with Sprint work out? I know a lot of people who are on the Sprint network, who are moving to AT&T because they needed a smart phone ages ago. Most of these people are moving because one of their immediate family members transferred to AT&T awhile back, and now their move to AT&T will save them money (because mobile-to-mobile is included on AT&T). This will be an interesting battle for Palm.

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone and Mac HD

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Just got the SlingBox for Christmas, and we're pretty excited about it since we researched a whole year between Apple TV, SlingBox, and one that the NY Times wrote about, but I can't find that article now. They're all about $250-$350, but the biggest factor for us was the HD aspect. Streaming has been pretty good on Slingbox (we tested when Nick visited Jerseyville and Singapore). Also access to our recorded shows on TiVo is pretty sweet. They even have a Dashboard widget (the screenshot above). We heard that they were going to come out with an iPhone app before we bought it, so now we know for sure because they just announced it at MacWorld Expo 2009 on TÚAW.

Just in time because lately, since the national analog to digital conversion for TV, my stairmaster no longer plays TV. This poses a timing problem and a programming problem. I'm not sure if it's because our super is lazy (which I highly doubt), but I think some of the treadmills are obsolete. I've been listening to Stitcher on my iPhone, an app mimicking radio news, but it's not enough. Especially because my Sunday routines is to do 45 minutes while watching Frontline and Meet The Press. My friends suggest This American Life and various podcasts and RSS, but I need something more visual when I work out. And I would be able to watch any show anytime, uninterrupted (fast forward through ads). The Slingbox App is very much anticipated.

January 24, 2009

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

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A slide from Adam Greenfield's Presentation

Adam Greenfield, who taught at ITP, and wrote the book titled Everyware also spoke at Dot Dot Dot, and now head of design direction at Nokia. He researches many ubiquitous computing systems. I can't cover everything he spoke about, but if you want to see some of his presentation slides, visit my Flickr set. Here are some of the highlights that you can look up or read about in his new book The City Is Here For You To Use:

UNStudio with Arup Engineering: Galleria West, Apgujeongdong in S. Korea

u-Cheonggyecheong: Instead of cleaning the stream, they wrapped it in media.

Tom Armitage, Making Bridges Talk: What if the London Bridge could Twitter?

u-City New Songdo: totally networked, and can track everything down to tagging soda bottles with RFID tags that can automatically credit your account even if you throw it in trash. Every action is recorded and mediated. This project is still a work-in-progress.

Massive simultaneity: The 1K Project

MITsenseable city lab/New York Talk Exchange (NYTE)

Mosaic of Singapore mall: A photo that shows a lady moving through a mall physically, but this mosaic also shows a layer of secondary information--who is on the other end of her mobile phone. We should think about cyberspace (Being on phone is like being in cyberspace) when we think about designing the physical space.

Stamen Design: Oakland Crimespotting
Think about constraints in analysis (e.g. Taxonomy of police department is already a constraint (e.g. categorizing rape).

iPhone/Flickr: Geotagging/Search urbanism, browse urbanism, make urban API. If we check the weather before we go out, we are conditioned to that networked information, hence Adam calls this a "network overlay." Contemplate how this "overlay" reflects every decision we make (i.e. real-time info).

I've also added Adam Greenfield's blog to my RSS Feeds and Google Reader.

October 6, 2009

Flash and Cocoa

Even though I use CS4 with my clients, I still have CS3 on my own laptop because Adobe took away my favorite feature from Photoshop, and put it in Bridge, which makes my computer run very, very slow.

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Yesterday, I had the most frustrating experience with Flash, and then I found this link:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/

In a nutshell, Eric Socolofsky summarizes what is supported and not supported (found on ITP list)

Supported:

MultiTouch
Screen Orientation
Saving images to Photo Library
Accelerometer
Geo-location
Cut / Copy / Paste


Not Supported:
Embedded HTML content (via webkit in Adobe AIR).
RTMPE
Dynamically loading SWFs that contain ActionScript
PixelBender Filters
Microphone Access
Video Camera Access

T-Pain iPhone App

Found this app via the Daily Intel's blogpost about Gossip Girl last week. In a nutshell, this app is like a karaoke machine and recording studio. Inspired after seeing a tiny, blond girl perform a Snoop Dog track at a karaoke bar, I decided to buy/try this app.

Also, the buying and downloading experience is cohesive (meaning, I'm not ported to another site to buy a track, and it's downloaded into my iTunes account). This app is self-contained, which allows a more engaging experience. Love that you have options for real time auto-tune, and it truly works better with the mic. After trying this app, I could really see its viral potential.

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Last, bought the "I'm on a Boat Track" and it seems like the instrumental is louder where the profanities are. If you are a fan of SNL, Smule is hosting a contest:
http://iamtpain.smule.com/contest

Laverne and Shirley Nostalgia

After seeing my friend and colleague Matt Chmiel at the ITP 30th Anniversary, I couldn't get this song out of my head. Then I found the lyrics on this site Lyrics on Demand. Who knows? I might just by the ringtone there ;)

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Sclemeel (Chmiel), schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated. We're gonna do it!

Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.

Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

October 12, 2009

Yelp does Augmented Reality on the iPhone...

It's called Monocle. It's a work-in-progress, but pretty cool.

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Can't wait to see what "big" games people create with this feature.

September 10, 2010

Convert your iPod Nano to a watch...

I found these two sites that referenced 3rd party vendors selling watchbands for the new iPod Nano. The advantages of using this as a watch: rechargeable and you can listen to your music. It would be nice if this device could make and take calls...

Read more about it here:
http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/10/ilovehandles-turns-nano-ipods-into-oversized-watches/

http://www.countycomm.com/applewatch.htm

November 5, 2010

Tufte Conference...

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Edward Tufte speak. I highly recommend anyone who is a designer, developer, business/product manager, education, information services, and/or IT to go his event. It is a one day course that costs $400, and you receive all 4 books.

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/

--
He opens with this animation:

InfoViz that displays all these bits of information: past, future, present (in white), visual music interface, pure information/content.
--

Please feel free to download my notes, but you will need his books as a reference. Please excuse any grammatical errors since I was typing on my iPad:
Download file

Also, below the fold of his site http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/, there are a list of links to discussion topics:

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November 21, 2012

Medical apps and how users use them...

Great article on medical apps, which may not be related to science, but reveal insight to two different sets of audience for potential persona creation. For example, Dr. Alvin Rajkomar does not come from a traditional life science background, but he was a programmer/physicist.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/science/redefining-medicine-with-apps-and…

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Notes

APPS
Medcalc - clinical note application
Evernote - notes app used as a "second brain"
Epocrates - drug dosages and interactions
QXcalculate - create risk profiles for his patients
Electronic health record (iPad) - compares this experience to manually writing notes; writing by hand on a Samsung mini-tablet

Electronic stethoscope - amplifies heart sounds while canceling out ambient noise

Problems with digital records - formulaic approach that does not translate to main goal (how patients fare)

Tablet computers are given or reimbursed to medical trainees (eg residents at Univ of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford)

Research published in "Archives of Internal Medicine" found increased and improved efficiency among residents.

UCSF Medical physicians use iPads and mobile computers (the big kind on wheels)

-research: social and psychological complexities of patients

Love the reference to Vladimir Horowitz for classical music connoisseurs - can keep eyes on patient while typing.

January 12, 2013

"Ten Reasons to Teach Our Children Music" by Alla Aranovskaya (St. Petersburg String Quartet)

By Alla Aranovskaya (St. Petersburg String Quartet); The quartet's performance of "The Following."

A girl is singing “Jingle Bells” out of tune. She clearly does not have a musical ear! And there’s no room for a piano. Grandma lives too far and can’t take the boy “to the music” (a Russian idiom). Moreover, the child simply has no time and is fully scheduled with French classes, Spanish classes, swimming classes, ballet, gymnastics, yoga, chess club, math tutoring…

There’s no way to add music lessons to these children’s schedules!
But there are good reasons to overcome all those obstacles and still teach children music. These reasons should be made clear to today's parents!

1. To play music is to follow tradition. All aristocrats, Russian as well as European, were taught music. To play music is glossy, shiny, and chic. The study of music builds one’s character, stimulates the intelligence, and stirs the soul. Music is the apotheosis of civilization.

Duke Ellington started to play the piano because girls always gather around a guy who plays music. And how about a girl who plays Scott Joplin’s ragtime music?
Attention, parents of brides!

2. Music exercises develop willpower and discipline: one must practice the instrument constantly and regularly—in winter and summer, on weekdays and holidays—almost with the same persistence with which champions train in the gym and at the rink. But, in contrast to sports heroes, piano playing won’t lead to a broken neck or leg, or even a hand.

Attention, strict parents! Music builds character without risk of injury. How great that it’s possible!

3. While making music, children develop mathematical abilities. They think spatially while fingering the right keys. They manipulate abstract musical figures that represent sounds. They memorize musical texts. And they learn that a piece of music is similar to a mathematical theorem in that you cannot subtract anything from it or add anything to it.

It is not a coincidence that Albert Einstein played the violin, and that professors of physics and mathematics at Oxford University comprise 70% of the members of the University music club.

Attention, parents of future mathematicians and engineers! To make music is more pleasant than to solve difficult science problems under the supervision of a tutoring stick.

4. Music and language are twin brothers. They were born one after the other: first, the elder—music, and then, the younger—verbal speech. And they continue to live together in our brains.

Phrases and sentences, commas and periods, question and exclamation points, exist in both music and speech.

People who play and sing also speak and write better, they memorize foreign words more easily, and they learn grammar more quickly. Many famous writers were also music lovers, including Stendhal, Turgenev, Pasternak, Leo Tolstoy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Romain Rolland, all of whom spoke more than one foreign language; and all of these writers recommended the study of music to future polyglots.
Attention, wise parents of future journalists and translators! In the beginning was the Word, but before that was the Sound.

5. Music is structural and hierarchical: major works are divided into smaller parts, which in their turn are divided into smaller themes and fragments consisting of tiny phrases and motifs. Spontaneous understanding of musical hierarchy facilitates understanding computers, which are entirely hierarchical and structured as well.

Psychologists have proved that young musicians who studied with the famous Shinichi Suzuki, even if they were not very successful in developing a musical ear and memory, nevertheless easily surpassed their peers in development of structural thinking.

Attention, pragmatic parents of future IT engineers, systems administrators, and programmers! Music leads straight to the top of computer science careers, and that’s why the Microsoft Corporation prefers workers with musical backgrounds.

6. Music lessons develop social and communication skills. After years of study, a child will become acquainted with the gallant and friendly Mozart, the energetic and athletic Prokofiev, the sophisticated and philosophical Bach, and other very different musical personalities. While playing, a child has to portray these composers and bring to the audience their character, style, emotions, voice, and gestures.

Such children are only one step away from the talent of manager! That’s because for a musician, perhaps the most important skill is to understand people and to use this understanding to manage them.

Attention, ambitious parents of future founders of business empires! Music goes from heart to heart, and the most powerful weapon of a top manager is the disarming smile of a “good guy.”

7. Musicians are tenderhearted and courageous at the same time. According to psychologists, male musicians are as sensual as women, and female musicians are as firm in spirit as men. Music softens manners, but to succeed in music, one must be brave.

Attention, sagacious parents who expect help and support in old age! Children who are involved in music are both sympathetic and patient, and will therefore be more willing to care for their elderly parents when the time comes.

8. Music lessons teach children to turn upon a signal immediately. Musicians are less afraid of that terrible word, “deadline.” In a music school, you can’t postpone an audition or a concert to the next day or week. A musician, like an actor on a stage, learns to be ready, no matter what. A child with such experience won’t fail an important test, won’t fumble an employment interview, and won’t delay preparing an important report.

Attention, anxious parents! Music lessons in childhood mean responsibility and artistry in life.

9. Music classes bring up small “Caesars” who can do many things at once. Music teaches children to navigate in multiple concurrent processes; for example, a sight-reading pianist remembers the past, looks to the future, and controls the present, all at the same time.

Music flows at its own pace, and a sight-reading person can’t be interrupted; he can’t relax or take a break. Similarly, the air-traffic controller, computer operator, or stock broker watches multiple screens, listens to many commands, and communicates via multiple phones simultaneously. Music teaches children to think and live in several directions.

Attention, overworked and tired parents! It will be easier for a child-musician to run on multiple life paths and come in first than it is for you.

10. And finally, music is the best way to succeed in life. Why? See paragraphs 1-9.

No wonder that the musical past is shared by many celebrities:
The first story that Agatha Christie wrote was about why it is difficult to play the piano onstage.

In contrast, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice loves most of all to play in public in her dazzling concert dress.

Bill Clinton is sure that if he had never played saxophone, he would never have become president.

Take a look at successful people in any professional field and ask them whether they were engaged in music as a child, even if it was not for long and without much enthusiasm. Of course they were. And we have given you ten good reasons to follow their inspirational example.

If that’s not enough, perhaps our little closing poem will inspire you to offer your children a musical education:

“You make me work so hard,” he said,
“You’re stuffing music in my head.”
“It’s good for you,” his mom replied.
“I hate to practice!” the young boy cried.
The years went by; the young boy played.
His pastimes changed; the piano stayed.
He went along with mother’s plan,
Until that boy became a man:
A man with music in his heart,
Who learned to love a living art.
~ Lilian Duval

January 27, 2013

Mobile Apps Review

Unblock Me
I saw this teenager play this engaging game of blocks on the N-train bound for Queens. I had to ask her what she was playing, and found out it was a game titled "Unblock Me." Let me say that this game was really addicting. I played a few rounds, requesting help, but then started over again. The objective of the game is clear a horizontal path so that the red block can exit the screen.

After I completed the 22nd round, there was still very cool interstitial promo that appeared from Red Envelope.
unblockme_0_web.jpg

Then at the 42nd round, I received another interstitial promo. At this moment, I decided to play until round 66 to see if I can see another promo. I was also feeling pretty comfortable with the game, and trying to master each puzzle round in less than a minute. When I came to round 66, there was no interstitial promo, so I kept playing several rounds until 106th, and still there wasn't any interstitial promo. Then I scanned through my screenshots, and discovered I played for approximately 70 minutes.
unblockme_web.jpg

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Poshmark
The second app I found was on Facebook, and it is titled Poshmark. Basically, it is an app where people can sell their trendy couture fashion, but it has an Instagram and eBay/Craigslist flair, but is a much nicer experience. The other great thing is that there are curated "parties." I posted a couple of items, and today, I received an invite to a party tomorrow night via the app. Very cool. Also, prices are much cheaper than Gilt. And most of the items are one-of-a-kind since they are second-hand.

I am adding that at one of the parties, I read a comment about the insecure financial transactions. I am wondering if they something secure, such as wepay.com or paypal.com.

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Zeebox
A not so nice experience. From a recommendation from a friend, I tried this app. I had problems with login, similar to the NBC Olympics app. In the NBC Olympics app, I tried to watch the opening ceremonies, and then when they asked for my cable provider, I deleted and gave it a 1-star rating because this should be free. For example, if I owned a tv, I would be able to watch the ceremonies on one of the free channels. However, asking for information about my cable provider is none of their business.

At first, I saw the Colbert and The Daily Show Network, which prompted me to sign into Facebook. But I could not access any shows and didn't know what this app was about. I then tried signing in by selecting Time Warner, and the same thing happened. So, I am going to delete this and give it a 1-star rating because I couldn't get through login/registration (very annoying). It is unfortunate because I really like Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show, but I can always access their content directly through the web — much bigger screen too!

Colbertnation.com
Thedailyshow.com

I am surprised that Apple approved this app.

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May 17, 2016

Good to see you Duane Holmes!

It was a great but brief reunion at Columbus Circle. Several years back I would take the "A" train to Varick Street, and listen to this talented musician. His music engaged little kids.
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These photos were taken in 2014, (view playlist)

And here we are in 2016
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EVENT
Duane is playing in a jazz band that experiments with fashion and supports a mental health organization June 4, 2016, 419 W. 150th Street, on St. Nicholas.

If you're interested in learning more about the event, please contact him:
347.290.9977
duane_holmes@rocketmail.com
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington

Links


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Music


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