technology Archives

September 15, 2007

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.




Jimmy Wales will be ITP next Saturday, 9/22

As part of OneWebDay, Matthew Burton is coordinating a Q&A session with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Dan Phiffer will be presenting ShiftSpace and Fred Benenson will be presenting Free Culture NYU on Creative Commons.

721 Broadway, New York


On the subject of wikis, under Tom Igoe's recommendation, I tried wikidot, kind of like the wiki version of Blogger. You can customize and make your own wiki without learning how to code.

September 30, 2007

Mauna Kea Observatories


This was one of my favorite sites in Hawaii. We almost missed it. We only wish we could've stayed to see the stars. It looks a bit futuristic and science fiction-like. If you go up, take a 45 minute break to get acclimated to the climate and pressure. This is suppose to be one of the tallest mountains in the world if you include sea level, 14,000 feet high. This is as close to the clouds as you can get without the window seat in an airplane.







For more photos, click here.

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 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:



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 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. 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

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?)


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

November 2, 2007

Google Reader, Google Trends and Google News

In this new age, of "stickiness" (read about this term in Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point) is more important than clicks, I celebrate these apps.

Love these new apps. I never got into blog aggregators, but I really like Google Reader. The interface looks similar to the gmail interface so it's really easy to scan through relevant articles. There's an auto-feature that after you click on an entry, the entry drops so you can read more of the summary, then it'll mark it as read. If you want to read the rest of the article, there's a link that will open the article up as a separate tab. The one thing that's fabulous is that you can share feeds. I haven't tried that yet, but I hope it's less cumbersome than opening up my gmail account, searching for an email address, copying and pasting into the form box, and sending the article. Hopefully Google Reader addresses these issues. It's like for:anne tags in, but this is for rss feeds/subscriptions/articles (?) Oh well, sharing is great, and if there's away not to clog my email, even better.


Also a plus, there are NO ADS, YAY!!! We'll see how long that lasts, but I hope it stays this way because ads are extremely distracting when you want to READ, my $0.02.

Love these apps in Facebook, Google Trends and Google News. Google News is fabulous because you can personalize news feeds by keywords.

Like the content of Google Trends, however it doesn't update/refresh automatically when I login to my profile page. I would probably read it more if it did.

-- is pretty brilliant. It shortens the long url and gives you a short one with their domain name in it. This tool is becoming more and more helpful, as URLs get longer and longer. This is more helpful when sending email to people who are confused when they copy and paste text-wrapped links.

November 3, 2007

Yahoo! Mash

Can Yahoo! compete with Facebook? I'm not sure if their site offers any novel uses for "networking." Here's the article. If you want an invite, go to this link. I'm not networked out, since I just joined Doostang (a combination of FB, LinkedIn, Monster), but I don't want to join if it's going to be an exact replica of Facebook, which seems like what Sean P. Aune is saying. I'll pass for now.

So far, I really like Doostang. I'm reading more of the discussions. So far some interesting topics are "how to obtain a venture capital technology job" and "seeking your opinion for two job offers." The jobs offered on Doostang are targeted for business people, but they're higher-skilled jobs as oppose to Monster, such as "buyer for some major retail store" or senior analyst positions, all requiring MBA's. Some of these jobs require you to be in some kind of group, which requires you to add 20 friends to your network, which seems to be a bit of a paradox (since the community felt the small world network). Anyway, I have yet to explore this site.

The NYTimes just added...

A blog aggregator to their tech section on their site. I wonder how many clicks their getting, if any. I'm not sure if I'll use this tool yet, since I'm subscribed to newsletters and using Google Reader, which pretty much does the same thing, except I get all my tech and business, design and art news from the NY Times, Los Angeles Times and other blogs. Second, would I add my subscription to BlogRunner? Probably not, since most of the stories in tech and business from the NY Times overlap. I don't need a third subscription to overlap. LESS IS MORE. There are a lot of blog aggregators out there, but maybe they're trying to tap into the market of business execs that don't know if blog aggregators exist. My take on that, is that you're late, and you should focus your energies on retail on a slower market.

Really enjoyed reading the comments on this story from the ReadWriteWeb site. I agree with the first commenter (point taken), the second one goes on a superfluous rant and at the very end, plugs his blog (blah blah blah).

November 6, 2007


Aside from Mash, Yahoo created Kickstart, which is kind of a little bit like Facebook and LinkedIn. I filled out my profile, but now what? How do I interact with others?

November 18, 2007

Pay phone

Aside from the subways, I'm assuming this is probably one of the last pay phones in this city, since almost everyone has a mobile phone. In subways, there is little cellphone reception, so I can see the need for it I guess.


Ad technology in physical spaces

On my way to the 4 train on Lexington and 42nd Street, I walked through Helmsley tunnel, and saw these ads. Interesting how they piece together four parts, and it's run on some pulley system. Didn't see it run though (weekend?) but it may not be animate anyway.





December 2, 2007

Pillow Talk and Suspicious Reviews

It's THAT difficult to find pillows, believe it or not...

Just recently, I had to shop for pillows, so I bought four from Macy's that were branded Ralph Lauren. I must say these pillows were awful. Every morning I would wake up, and all four were on the floor. I was going to return them, but couldn't find the receipt because I probably threw it away, intending to keep these pillows.

I visited Macy's web site to search for information on their return policy. Low and behold, they have a fabulous one. All you have to do is go to their store, and they scan your credit card and your item to find the transaction. So you, don't need a receipt. The downside of shopping in-store is that they don't have the variety that you see on the web or customer reviews, although when I was reading the reviews, all the products seem to be positive, even for the styrofoam-like pillows from RL, which seem suspect. They were also having a promotion that if you write a review, you win a $1000 gift card:


First there was spin in the news, and now there is spin in reviews
So I decided to login and write a review. First of all, it seems that ANYONE can login or sign up to write a review. The problem is that people who didn't buy a product can review it anyway, which to me seems like, either the brands can hire people to write positive reviews about their own products, or people who want to win that $1000 gift card are trying to increase their chances of winning it. The difference in Amazon reviews is that you can only review a book after you purchase it. Of course there are some authors out there that promote themselves by buying their own book and writing a positive review about themselves under a different screen name. I tried cross-referencing products from Macy's,, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens-N-Things, and Costco to Amazon's reviews, but this was extremely difficult because some of the brands sell the same product under different names and change the product just slightly to appease their retailers (e.g. thread count, fill power, "ecodown," feathers, etc.) Some manufacturers trademark their process or design, so you don't even know what they're really selling (e.g. confusing illustrations) or what the product is named at say Macy's versus Linens N Things (e.g. "The Hotel Collection" or "Hotel Down Pillow"), which look similar except for the label on the bottom right corner and the price. Case in point: Kaboodle (a shopping community where people recommend and discover new things), and although I was able to find some pillows, most recommendations seem to be about self-promotion (e.g. Designer recommends their designed pillows) and targeted at the youth market, where sleep is less important.

Early on, I had Googled "nytimes, pillow, review," and wasn't able to find any articles, but when I changed my search from "nytimes, pillow, recommendations," I was lucky enough to find this review by the New York Times (2004). Ms. Joyce Cohen wrote about the same frustrations in shopping for a pillow that I had. I ended up going with because of the owner's knowledge that was stated in the review and that's what Ms. Cohen ended up going with. I will later post if Ms. Cohen's review is current. I checked every link mentioned in her review, and most are current except for this site, (acronym for International Down and Feather Bureau, but is now a parked site).

I was also convinced with DownFactory because their designs were used in a couple of Olympics and because they've been in business since in 1932.

Okay, I just received two pillows, and was kind of worried about them, when I saw it arrive in a small box.

Luckily, they have a warranty that when a pillow is squeezed, it can only be reduced to 20% of their former size.

So far, they are comfy.

December 12, 2007

Flavia Sparacino, Founding Principal, Sensing Places

I saw a lecture by Ms Sparacino at the Center for Architecture. Her presentation, ‘Interactive Media Environments & Architectural Machines’ uses sensors and camera-tracking to make physical spaces interactive.




She worked with a lot of famous architects, and was responsible for creating the technology infamous in the scene from Minority Report. More about her work on my design conferences wiki/notes and my Flick'r account.

December 15, 2007

Funniest Flash site I've seen in a long time


PETA does a spoof on the Olsen twins. On the PETA site, they are the Trollsen twins, Hairy-Kate and Trashley, yikes! You can dress them in fur outfits, persuade someone not to wear fur (by sending them a prewritten email), watch a reappropriated video of Full House on the Tanner Family Crisis, buy t-shirts, and download free banners. Interesting that they are targeting the youth market. I wonder what happens if they do stop wearing fur, who will they go after next? Now all they need is a Facebook app.


January 2, 2008

Virgin America Geekiness


I just flew on Virgin America, and was pretty impressed with their cool technology. They have a new media system catered to the youth and the hipsters.

1. There safety video is an amusing animation, which is slightly sarcastic in humor, fun to watch, even twice (JFK<>LAX).virginamerica01.jpg

2. While some airlines have customizable screens, what is really refreshing is that you're not limited to the conventional channels like CNN, which is also offered. You can watch some indie shows, like Current TV, clips from Boing Boing or cable shows Dexter and The Tudors.

3. Another option is to buy a movie. You have a choice from the new releases, indie and foreign films. I didn't see a lot of people use this feature because they were either watching a movie on their laptops or iPods. The people sitting next to me brought their own portable DVD player and headphone jack splitter.

4. Not that I'm a parent or anything, but if you are, and you're worried about your kids watching violent or explicitly sexual content (e.g. while watching Top Model, VH1 broadcasted some lengthy ads that may be sexually explicit, Rock of Love), you can control that here.

5. You can order food with your credit card. While some airlines encourage their passengers to bring exact change or have their passengers wait while the flight attendants find change, Virgin America has a system where you can order food and pay with your credit card. This is such a convenience. The other nice thing about this display is that you can watch continue to watch your show, while you select your food. I would say to order early because when I tried to order potato chips during the latter half of the flight, they were all out (dynamic/real-time tracking). I watched a lot of people use this feature.


6. This system records what shows and songs you listen to, so let's say if you dozed, and wanted to continue watching the shows, you can easily find them here.

7. Interesting controller. One side has the controllers, similar to a remote, just in case people are timid with the touch screen interface. The side of the controller has a magnetic scanner for your credit card, and the back is a full key pad to facilitate chatting between seats, and browsing the internet (not yet working). The keypad feels slightly awkward to type on because of it's elongated shape, and you have to hold down the blue button while simultaneously typing the symbol (I wasn't used to this because my BlackBerry shift button stays put).




8. Another cool feature is the chat between seats. At first, I really didn't understand why anyone would use this because one of the journalist on Current TV boast about meeting that cute dude in aisle 8. And actually the journalist tried several times getting people to chat with her. When I tried the chat room, and I was the only one there. On the flight back, I happen to bump into a friend of mine who was sitting in a different row, and we chatted for awhile. I don't think there is a way of chatting while simultaneously watching a show, but anyway it's a novel feature.

9. I'm not sure if this is a feature yet (multi-player), but it would've been cool to be able to play a game with my friend. I tried playing the clown game three times, but then had to reboot it 3x as well (at least they use Linux). The only thing that I thought was awkward about the game controller is the way you have to press the red button to "start" and the green button to "escape." Other than that, it looks pretty slick.


10. Last but not least, Virgin America promoting cool brands like Google, and Method soap (found in the bathroom). Also, their design of icons have that "web 2.0" aesthetic.


For more larger resolution pix, checkout my Flickr site later. Btw, you can only check in one bag, any additional bags cost $10, which is still relatively cheap, even for an oversized weirdly-shape package.

January 7, 2008

Bowling Interface


No more tracking scores with paper, this interface keeps track of all the scores of all players and shows a 3-dimensional replay with even a humorous graphic if you knock all the pins down.




Facebook and New Hampshire Debates


I was pretty impressed with how progressive ABC network was with their broadcast of the New Hampshire Debates. In an effort to get the youth involved, they integrated Facebook into their program. At first, I thought it was because Microsoft owned NBC that they were involved with Facebook, but I don't think they own ABC. Nevertheless, I watched both parties address issues. My only criticism was that the moderators should have asked the same questions to all candidates of both parties, even though their intention was to bring up questions that posed weaknesses to each of the parties. Anyway, it was interesting to watch the Facebook polls on television, a convergence with traditional media with the web.



For some reason, I thought Ron Paul presented the strongest arguments, and I thought Mitt Romney appeared superficial. I agreed with Bill Richardson's strong stance on Pakistan, and second Hillary Clinton's views on foreign policy. In any case, my vote will probably go to the candidate who best addresses the national health care issue, and issues that affect aging Baby Boomers. That's because my mom is paying ~$800.00 per month for insurance, which seems pretty excessive.

January 23, 2008



When I was in San Francisco, I just wanted to do the offbeat and non-conventional tourist activities like visit the fortune cookie factory, the Exploratorium, and Audium (found in Fodor's under off-beat activities).

Audium is a theatre of sound-sculptured space.

I'm going to attempt to describe this experience. You walk into this space and take a seat with 40 other people. And the light dims to complete darkness, and Stan Shaff, who is the composer, plays random sounds of various objects and environment, and electronic sounds that scatter throughout the space through 136 speakers. It reminds me of when you're laying on the beach, and you can hear the sounds of the surroundings around you (i.e. kids playing, conversations, crashing waves, the water guy selling water, etc.)

Anyway, it was a one of a kind experience, and I would recommend it to anyone. Also after, check out the Stan's setup. They look analog with a lot of knobs, which is pretty cool for any electronics guru or techie. Also, after the performance, there's a Q&A session with Stan.

1616 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Friday and Saturday, starts at 8:30pm
BUT get there at 8:00pm (there's free coffee in the lounge so you can chat with your friends), they don't take anyone who's late.
Admission: $15

Compositions and Performace by Stan Shaff
Equipment Design by Doug McEachern

February 12, 2008

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, India, Part I

I recently went to Kshitij, a 3-day conference that is organized by students. Program is similar to ITP, but heavier on the engineering side. Here are some student projects:

Braille Keyboard

Networked Vending Machine

Agriculture Device

Wireless Military Bot

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, India, Part II

Robotix is a popular competition among IIT Kharagpur students. There are 390 entries, and over the course of three days, the 390 are eliminated to 32, then 2, and then 1. Most of the competitors stay up overnight tweaking their bots.

This parking structure is converted to an all-night bot lab.

Students tweak their bots on this practice route.

HP sponsors the preliminaries.

The finals...

The terrain (e.g. water, sand) is revealed on the same day of competition. The bots are timed on 2 laps with a 15 second pit stop in between the laps.


February 26, 2008

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, India, Part III

Also at Kshitij, Nick Sears exhibited UltraOrb, which was his thesis project:




Globe4D exhibited was this globe where you can move through a fourth dimension, time. Makes learning about climate change engaging.





Pyromania is a really amazing Israeli dancing team that uses fire in their acts.




Jimmy Wales (one of the most influential people) of Wikipedia introduced the Wikia.



Magician Jason Latimer performed some unique tricks using laser technology.





Astrophysicist, Professor and Author of The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss. Interesting theories that challenge some of Einstein's theories.



Dr. Eric Drexler, an expert in the field of nanotechnology, encourage the use of sensors and computing in materials (i.e. roads that are composed of solar panels).



Robogarage exhibited robots that move almost as smooth as humans.



March 2, 2008

IXDA Conference in Savannah, GA

I attended this conference because of Bill Buxton and Sigi Moeslinger, and was amazed with their presentations. I was also impressed with Malcolm McCullough, who teaches at the University of Michigan, and spoke of his research with culture and ubiquitous computing.

I also enjoyed a presentation on "fieldwork and sketching" from a Ph.D. candidate, who interned at Intel, Matt Jones who founded Dopplr, Regine DeBatty from "We Make Money Not Art," Alan Cooper ("An Insurgency of Quality") as well as another one of his rep who talked about his processes in design, and Dan Brown, who lectured on Concept Models. I hope to put my notes, but it might take a long time to transcribe. In the meantime, please check out my flickr photos.


Design and the Elastic Mind, MoMA



This was a phenomenal exhibition. I'm going to it a third time, and even bought the catalog, which is beautifully designed by Irma Boom (if you like typography, check out the cover and title page).

Lots of ITP alumni and adjunct faculty, and a lot of current information visualization designers like Brad Paley, Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and Jason Wishnow.

Lisa Strausfeld and James N. Sears, NY Times cover
Dimitri Tyler, Hypothetical Drawings
Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv's pcomp project: Atlas Gloves
Christian Schmidt (ITP adjunct faculty) and Lisa Strausfeld's OLPC's operating system, "Sugar"

Probably more ITPers' works that are not mentioned here.

Artists/Designers (left to right): Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and James N. Sears

March 21, 2008

Group Culture and Large Organizations

Paul Graham boiled it down to an analogy with food and explanation of the economies of scale:

An obstacle downstream propagates upstream. If you're not allowed to implement new ideas, you stop having them. And vice versa: when you can do whatever you want, you have more ideas about what to do. So working for yourself makes your brain more powerful in the same way a low-restriction exhaust system makes an engine more powerful.
Mediocre hires hurt you twice: they get less done, but they also make you big, because you need more of them to solve a given problem.

In other words, work at a smaller company or your own start up. To read the whole blog post, click here.


His post about "How To Do Philosophy" is funny, as it reminds me of some people who fit the stereotype. Bracket Manager

Yesterday, a friend of mine invited me to join a pool for March Madness. I've never heard of March Madness, let alone ever watched a basketball game, so I decided to check this event out.


To begin with, CBS's Bracket Manager allows you to feel confident in making your decisions. When you mouse over each school, there is a call-out box that gives you odds and a little blurb-summary about the team (e.g. all team members are freshmen or the team has a new coach). And you just pick for each region, until you get down to 4, then 2, then 1.


So when I logged in to my fb account, CBS already asked if I wanted to add their app. The primary profile page (i.e. first image below) lists the top 5 favorite and despised teams. Fortunately, you can see how many fans, but the flip-side is that 3 out of the 6 schools are on both lists: favorite and despised. They are named by the team and not school, but the brackets are by state, not team, so you do have to click on the link, which takes you to the school/team's page. Each team/school has their own page (i.e. second image below), which lists all team members, stats, scoreboard, schedule, trash talk, etc. Unfortunately I wasn't able to brag about my brackets because of technological difficulties (maybe a broken link between CBS brackets with fb account?)

This page updates dynamically to tell you which schools played, which schools won, and even a photo of some plays.

I found out that Barack Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship on this page.

If you're involved in a pool, you can see dynamic updates as to who is in the lead, the estimated best score, etc.


How has this changed my behavior? Well, I spent about a half an hour trying to transfer my brackets from my account in CBS to my fb account. Then I was simultaneously watching two or three games at a time, and refreshing my brackets and standings page. I've been looking up how I could HAVE increased my odds (Vegas bets--this is too late, of course because these brackets closed at noon Thursday).

And LAST, more importantly, I am engaged. This photo is just...

April 7, 2008

The Best Cirque Du Soleil Show...

I've seen so far is . One of Nick's clients recommended this show, and it is fantastic. I've seen Mystère, which was impressive, but KÀ is probably the best I've seen so far. The stage rotates, so the dancers look like they are climbing a wall while dancing at the same time. The set design, and tech is amazing (which took approximately 2 years to develop), but what makes KÀ better that some of the other shows is the story. It kind of has a manga look, and it's a story about a brother and sister who are separated. This is the newest of the Cirque Du Soleil shows, and is playing at the MGM Grand. I also recommend getting the documentary, which isn't sol on Amazon. It's about the making and production of this show.

This will probably be the next one I see. I hear it's in water. Btw, we saw poker pros Daniel Negreanu (@ Bellagio) and Phil Ivy (@ The Mirage).


I would skip the Mirage (since they're renovating), and stay at the Flamingo. If you get a gold card, you can bypass the long registration line (probably about a 20-minute wait) and get a free upgrade to their spacious suite on the highest floor, which had a view (approximately ~600 square feet).


We paid $150 for this room, and it came with a king-size bed, and a queen-sized sofa bed. The redesign reminds me of the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, where you would have a unique experience. For instance, the neon pink lighting in the bathroom. There's even a television embedded in the bathroom mirror, so if you want to take a bath while watching your favorite movie, you can do so here.



There were two flat screen televisions (rarely used) and an empty refrigerator for cake or BYOB (for college students on spring break). Prior to staying here, we stayed at the Mirage, and incurred a $40 charge just for opening and closing the fridge 5 times, and we didn't drink anything. We just used it to store our cake. Anyway, I really like how their rooms are catered for the youth, and how they thought very hard about who would stay there. I can visualize a bachelor party or spring break, f-u-n!

April 8, 2008

Vending machine for recharging cell phones

For $3.00, you can charge your phone for 30 minutes. Found this kiosk/vending machine at the airport in Vegas. I've seen free chargers at LAX advertised by Samsung or Sony. Owned by the company renting out luggage carts.


New Airport Security via Pneumatics

So eager to not wait in line, we were escorted to the non-traditional security line. The way this machine works is that it blows air at you, and explosive debris/residue is also blown off. Never seen this before, but it's at the Las Vegas airport.




Interactive Musical Installation in 34th Street

At 34th Street where the N train runs, there is an interactive musical installation (green). If you wave your hands over certain parts, it plays music.


May 30, 2008

Awesome Adobe Upgrades -- Fantastic Deal!

I originally bought the student versions of Creative Suite 1, Flash MX and Dreamweaver MX in 2004, and haven't upgraded since because of it's hefty cost of $1799.00. But recently a friend told me about an upgrade that is affordable ~$500.00. I was a bit skeptical because since 2004, Adobe merged with Macromedia, and back in 2004, there was a caveat: you can NOT upgrade student versions. When I called Adobe, there was absolutely no hassle, and they didn't care if I had Macromedia software, they were able to upgrade my student version of Creative Suite 1 (skipped version 2) to a professional 3 (non-student version) for only $599.00. With tax and shipping, the total cost is $655.62. If you want to only upgrade to Web Premium, you can, and I think it's a bit cheaper.


This promotion is to deter people from downloading software from net. Anyway you can do it online or you can call.

Great Long Distance Deal on Skype

Unlimited World Plan, which is only $9.95 a month. If you sign up before June 1, they knock off 20 or 30 percent, so it's really like $5 or $6 a month. You get a Skype Out number, which is local, and you can call it from your cell or land line. You can also save 6 numbers in speed dial mode or press 2 for the other option to call even long distance in the US. I just set one up for my mom, who frequently calls Korea and Canada, and she was pretty surprised at how good the reception was, which is another plus when you call from your land line versus the mobile phone.

June 17, 2008

Annoying Microsoft Ad in Google Reader

Need I say more?



Does it have to be on every excerpt? Actually, you can avoid this if you subscribe to feeds not related to technology.

June 30, 2008

Nice video on Paper Prototyping

I've always been a big fan of starting with paper.

Although it's hard to tell what the content is, it gives you a good sense of timing of a user interacting with a site. Amit Pitaru demonstrated and assigned paper prototyping when we had to design clocks for people with low-vision or blindness. This was mine my design.

This site shows sketches of very popular sites like Twitter.

July 11, 2008

Hidden Restrictions to Skype World Plan

On an earlier post, I made accolades about Skype's World subscription. I retract them, and have recently unsubscribed to Skype because they weren't salient about these restrictions, and the slow response email communication is a turn-off. I was locked out of my World subscription, and there were restrictions on "purchases and redeeming vouchers." Even trying to email them was so confusing. You have to choose specific links in order for them to route your emails to the correct department. This is the canned email I received.

a) The country you have dialed is not included in your subscription.

Please sign in to the “My Account” section of our website and select Manage underneath the box showing your subscription name at the top centre of the page: , you can find the list of destination (s) included in your subscription.

b) The number you have dialed is not covered by your subscription, such as a mobile phone number or a non-geographic number.

The subscription covers calls to landlines in selected destinations. However, mobile phone numbers are only included in certain countries. For more details, please go to:

c) You have exceeded the Fair Usage limit of xxxxx minutes included in your subscription.

Please be aware that your calls apply to our fair usage policy. For more information about this policy, please view the following page:

In addition, please note that you have the possibility to see a detailed list of the calls you have made and their exact costs:

If you have any questions or concerns on the calls listed on your call history, please provide us with the exact date, time and destination of the call(s), and we will assist you further.

I checked my account, and certainly did not exceed 10,000 minutes, but I think why should Skype advertise "unlimited" when they should say 10,000 minutes? Is that why they restricted my account? So I respond to Marilyn's email, but received a response from Alec. I had one more question, but since then Alec hasn't responded. Maybe he's on vacation. This is where I start to relive my frustrating eBay/PayPal experiences. Even Amazon (online), calls you back.

Needless to say, the lag in communication is a bit of a turn off. I just don't have the time or energy to sort this all out, so I ended up canceling my subscription. Besides a few of my foreign friends said it is cheaper to buy a calling card in Chinatown, which is probably what I'm going to do.

On another note, I sold my Skype phone, but for a separate reason. Skype works on wireless networks, but everyone in New York locks down they're wireless. Skype suggests using Boingo, which I tried for one month, but it only refers to places that I know have free wireless. And most of those places are loud (like Think cafe in Greenwich Village), so it's very difficult to hear your party on the other line. I tried using this Skype phone and Boingo in India, and it didn't work. It was better to just pay the additional $60 to your cell carrier. I'm sure Android phone or v4 of the iPhone will probably make the Skype phone obsolete.

July 26, 2008

Hasbro Sues Scrabulous


So last year, I added Scrabulous, and have been playing this game with all my friends. I've been following the stories about Hasbro. Awhile back, they were in negotiations to settle. The makers of Scrabulous are brothers from Kolkata, India, and they net $300,000 a year, and could be worth between $3-10 million (NY Times). I read in another article that the two brothers from Kolkata wanted to sell Scrabulous to Hasbro for $10 million, which Hasbro refused.

Personally, I've never played Scrabble before the Scrabulous app. I think the reason why Scrabulous is so popular is because it's the perfect social game, and it solves the issue of timing. After one or two months after adding this popular app, I noticed people playing the board game at cafes and hotel lobbies. Scrabulous revived Scrabble.

Anyway Hasbro hired EA to launch a Scrabble Facebook app, which only had fewer than 10,000 players whereas Scrabulous has 2.3 million players (Slashdot). So since they failed at their Facebook app, they are now going to sue the makers of Scrabulous.

It's going to be interesting to see who wins this trademark case, since Scrabble has been for 70 years (Wikipedia). I remembered awhile back reading about trademark, and you know when studios "digitally master" a movie every 25 years, like Excorcist , Bladerunner, and many Disney movies? They do that to renew their rights on intellectual property. But when they digitally remaster those movies, they new copy is an exact copy.

I think that Hasbro would be smart to hire the Kolkata brothers to translate all their board games to digital media (like Google buying YouTube, or Yahoo buying Flickr or This suit will probably piss a lot of Scrabulous players off, and I'm not sure that will be good press for Hasbro.

July 27, 2008



So after a 2 years of perusing, I've finally become a Yelper. I used to use Citysearch frequently before, but one time I reviewed a restaurant, and it was rejected (and it was a good review too). I think I was trying to upload photo several times, then finally I just gave up.

In a recent trip to Miami, I was looking for a restaurant that served good ceviche, so I checked on Yelp, and found The River Oyster Bar, which met and exceeded my expectations. Instead of blogging about food, I just review them on Yelp. Also, I've been looking for recommendations on hair stylists and acupuncture, and found some very helpful tips (e.g. they don't charge tax if you pay cash, and so forth).

Just recently, a fellow Yelper invited me to an event to meet other New York Yelpers in Red Hook.

How to avoid ads on Google Reader?

Just use the Safari browser when you scan through Google Reader. These examples come from screenshots of the same article in Google Reader. The Firefox version has an Adobe ad.

Firefox displays ads...

Safari doesn't...

Need I say more?

There is an actual Firefox Add-On called Adblocker Plus, but I was able to correctly set my office computer (because my co-worker Angelos helped me), yet I was not able to properly set this app on my laptop. It's great because it rids all ad banners, and I don't have to worry about losing auto-fill. There's also an app that blocks Flash Ad/animations, but I haven't tried it yet. There were a lot of positive reviews for it.


July 29, 2008

Scrabulous doesn't work...



August 5, 2008

Can Wordscraper Successfully Replace Scrabulous?

So after the Scrabulous app was taken down. I tried the Scrabble app from EA on Facebook, and found that it crashed within the first page. I waited 5 minutes, then refreshed, and still nothing, which is shocking, since it was designed by EA (the makers of Playstation games. Their graphics are amazing, yet they weren't able to successfully create a working game on Facebook.

I couldn't get past this page:

So then I tried downloading the app again. This time, I paid attention to the 1.2 star rating out of 5. Still nothing. I am skeptical of the ~88,000 active users.

So then I received an invitation to play Word Scraper, which appears to have the same interactions/experience as Scrabble, but the players can customize their boards, so it doesn't look like a Scrabble board. However, it takes some time to getting used to playing with circular tiles, and now the double and triple-point tiles have to be learned again. Perhaps the two brothers from India can beat Hasbro. ;D



New Tagging Feature on Amazon...

A couple of ITPers showed me this new tagging feature on Amazon (I'm not sure if it's new or if I'm just late), but I will probably investigate a little further for Hypershelf and Smart Shelf (thesis and collaborative projects), which use tagging. I just bought this book about Processing (Casey Reas and Ben Fry) authored by Dan Shiffman, a professor at ITP.


This book is suppose to be for beginners. Link to Amazon.

August 22, 2008

Game Designer Goes to Space

I just read about a game designer, Richard Garriott who will fly to the space station in October as a private tourist via NASA. While there, he will be conducting protein-crystallization experiments for some pharmaceutical companies. It will cost $350,000 to send emails from space to Earth.

Recently, my sister just got me a subscription to The Economist. I've grown to really like their Science section, which is almost like science journals except, not as technical. Some of the more interesting articles that I've read about and bookmarked in Delicious are about science research and citations, salmon farms, neuroeconomics, etc. There are broad subjects ranging from nutrition to different alternatives to designing photovoltaic cells.

August 23, 2008

Switching back to the old Facebook design...


After stumbling through the new design interface for two weeks, I finally lost patience, and switched back to the old design (maybe it was too much for me to adopt new designs of both Facebook and Delicious at the same time). Over the two-and-a-half-weeks, I noticed that my visits to Facebook were diminishing, but maybe that's a good thing. Actually, if it weren't for Facebook, I wouldn't have planned to meet my friend for a reunion. The last time we saw each other was May 2007, so Facebook does have some utility in my life.

It is different because the new design has a wider palette, however I couldn't find my favorite new apps, or figure out how to post on someone's wall. When you change your template, it automatically changes the template for all your friends' pages that you visit. But recently, I was trying to figure out how to write on someone's wall, and wasn't even sure if the message was posted. And they've managed to stick one more ad on the right side (2 ads total).

When I reverted back to the old design, there was a warning that I would probably loose all my new friends that were added to my network while using the new design, but I don't think I lost them because their messages on my wall were still posted.

It may look better, but I liked the old interface better because I could navigate through my ritual of checking messages, keeping up with games, poking and posting messages. Maybe this new design is suited to new users. The new one sort of reminds me of FriendFeed and a little bit of Twitter sans the neat boxes.

November 22, 2008

Google New Themes and Personalization

I'm loving these new Google themes for personalizing your email interface. You can choose from a variety, kind of like what you can do with Twitter and MySpace pages without having to code. I chose the artsy-sketch theme. The art switches randomly from a giraffe to a tall ice-cream cone... Very cute. It's also useful if you have multiple Gmail addresses to distinguish from opened on several browsers.


Speaking of personalization, I thought this was neat: Personalize the Flip Cam. The Flip Cam is a compact video camcorder that can take HD as well. It's compact, and around $220, and easy to upload. They give you the specs, and you can upload your design, which will be printed on your camcorder. Once you design the template, you can upload it onto Cafepress site, and if your design sells, you earn $10 per camcorder. They have a whole section of bestsellers and top designers, which are other options than using they're Pattern Generator.


I forgot to mention that a couple of the themes change according to weather information.

Getting back into the groove of pcomp

My friend Tim McNerney is working on a cool Bike-Sharing Program and NYU that he had proposed. So far, we've gotten three pcomp things (1. magnetic card stripe reader; 2. solenoid-electric lock, and 3. Xport, which is an ethernet connection) to work separately with the Arduino, but now we are trying to merge everything together. The pcomp experience is slowly coming back to me, which is much like being an auto mechanic when troubleshooting.

Now we have to hack the Arduino code to get the solenoid to release when it reads the N number of an NYU ID card. Fun stuff. Figured out on Tom's site that you can use this breakout board (RJ-45) for the Xport instead of this sold out breakout board, which is $2.00 more expensive. Or, you can get this shield for $15.00.




November 27, 2008

Wired Store, NYC

Located on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

I saw this on my way home. Wired Magazine, and displays and demos tech and sustainable gadgets, and is open temporarily until the end of this year. If you wanted to see Pleo (responsive toy/robotic/dinosaur), you can demo it there. I saw this portable printer by Polaroid, the size of a compact camera, that prints business card-sized photos taken with a cellphone.


December 5, 2008

Nick Sears Orb Video on TED just released Nick Sear's 2007 presentation on the Orb. Since it's premiere, he has been working on version 2, which is probably 200% more complex than the first one. There are more LED lights, 80-pin chips, and SD cards. Every component is surface-mounted, and takes place on both sides of the circuit board.

This is the Eagle/CAD drawing of the circuit board:

This is the printed circuit board with the electronics soldered on:

This is when it's illuminated:

It is heading to Singapore for Siggraph 2008. For more information on Nick Sears, visit Art Magnitude site.

December 12, 2008

Dynamic Footnotes

Saw these callouts in a BusinessWeek article. Thought they were cool in providing a second layer of information. I thought it was counterintuitive that you had to click on the i-icon to close the box. It took me about a couple of minutes to figure it out. Also, there should be a way to turn of the highlighted information for people who like to read clean copy (i.e. Yellow is such a striking color). I can see this used in Wikipedia.



Here is another image of the Orb projecting Jonathan Cousins' thesis project, data visualization. Orb v2.2 has more resolution. Jonathan Cousin is an alumni of ITP, and has great info visualization projects. I especially loved his CIA World Factbook visualization of the Middle East that he did for Lisa Strausfeld's course, who is partner at Pentagram, and designed the OS system for Sugar for Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC program (One Laptop Per Child).


December 16, 2008

Print is Not Dead, Yet...


So I was contemplating on designing a print version of my portfolio, and just happened to check-out my friend, Pete's new book. He designed it through Blurb, which is affiliated to Flickr. You download Blurb's BookSmart software, and there are a dozen of templates of styles and sizes to choose from. This is great if you don't want to shop for the holidays. I spent Saturday evening creating 3x50 page photo books, and ordered them online.


It is slightly slower than InDesign, however there are many advantages like the templates, and when an image's resolution is questionable, a warning icon appears. I'm not sure if the software automatically converts RGB to CMYK, but who cares? The prints are reasonably priced. You can choose a softcover or a couple of options for hardcovers. For another $3.00, you can print on Premium Paper, which I would recommend (of course, I only saw this option after ordering the first two).


Afterwards, if you do plan on selling your book, you can set the cost of your book, whether you want to sell the printed version on Premium Paper, and to opt for an online-preview for your readers. Within a couple of hours, your book will appear within the first 5 results of a Google Search. Btw, the preview is limited to the first 15 pages, so don't think that your other 35 pages are missing.

Estimate $10-20 for shipping depending on if it's a rush. And as always, check your work (copy and photos) twice.

T-Shirt Design


Among the numerous DIY sites popping on the World Wide Web, I tried Custom Ink ( For promotional purposes, I tried uploading a graphic of a circuit board for a t-shirt design, but because it was really detailed, it was over 10mb. No worries, they sent me to another page, and I was able to get the file to them. Online or on the phone, the customer service was excellent. I was helped by Sarah Blair, who called me when there were some issues with the process. She explained the output of digital print versus screen-print, and assured me that if I didn't like the quality, I would be able to obtain a refund. You lose a lot of detail with the traditional screen-print, and a graphic designer would have to retrace some of the lines. She was good about calling me with print issues (e.g. ink colors and colored t-shirts). Specifically, on digital-preview, the graphic looked like it could be printed on a navy t-shirt, but she called to tell me it wasn't recommended.

To make a long story sort, details do show up. The photo was taken with my iPhone, sorry. You can choose from a variety of t-shirt brands (i.e. Hanes or American Apparel for that hipster). I'm really happy with the results.

Jonathan Cousins' cute little nerd is modeling and Orb shirt.

December 27, 2008

Photography Links

I really like this forum. People are knowledgeable and friendly...


As a big fan of Annie Leibovitz work, I really like these covers:

This is the photo of a cover that Annie Liebowitz shot for Vanity Fair (talk about lighting forced to look painterly):

This is the video of the making of the shot above (I can watch this a million times). Takes awhile to load the video:

What is remarkable about this is lighting different skin colors so they look true, and also she puts another spin to it, look how the red background is consistently red in every photo of the series: (actually click on the next link):

(slide show-- this link automatically refreshed is for you):


Saw these link bounce around ITP mailing list (was it Matthew Burton who sent it out?)


Photo DIY tricks (I subscribe to the newsletters):


Just found this...


My ex-co-worker, Andrew Famiano found this site for me. Beautiful site and beautiful photography:


i love this...

December 31, 2008

Wikipedia needs your help...

When I was visiting Wikipedia, I came across this page, Jimmy Wales' letter requesting donations. I felt compelled at 3:30am to give.

Anyway, what's even cooler is the "Contribution history" page, which you can see a list in real-time. Most people are anonymous, but I like reading the comments from different languages and see different currencies, which show how Wikipedia has an impact globally.


Contribution History Page

January 10, 2009

Keeping Design Simple...


I found this story about Microsoft's Surface already having an error on Gizmodo [As Seen at CES: Microsoft Surface Fail]. Check out the comments on that article, they're pretty amusing. Aside from the "error," what I really don't understand is why they don't keep their design simple? It's tiresome to see excess visual stimuli whether its using Surface, or opening Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows PC platform to see a lot of popups (e.g. I spent 2 hours trying to simplify my mom's web browser until finally I was fed up, and downloaded Firefox, and told her to only double-click that icon). In this case, the "Fallout 3" DVD screenshot coupled with "Games for Windows" ad and discretionary warning for inappropriate content in the background (of the photo above). Or maybe their designer was targeting gamers?

And lately in the NY Subway system, Microsoft has posted these "I'm a PC" ads/ad campaign (On the 6 line), which all the models look like artists that use Apple products (except for the pre-adolescent gamer), but it was fun reading them anyway.

p.s. I didn't tag this blog post "design."

Disney Venturing into Gaming...

So that's two articles that I've read where Disney is venturing into gaming. The first was an article from the Wall Street Journal [Disney Could Raise Its Game With EA] about Disney and EA. Second, at CES, Disney launched "Disney Star Guitarist" that competes with Sony's Guitar Hero published by Gizmodo [Disney Star Guitarist: Guitar Hero, But With Real Guitars]. Often I wondered, why I would play Guitar Hero because I wouldn't gain musical skills if I spent all those hours, but with Disney Star Guitarist, gamers can learn how to play real music.

This idea reminds me of a prototype that Cory Forsyth worked on 2 years ago. He designed a tangible guitar interface using infrared in our Introduction to Physical Computing at ITP taught by Tom Igoe. It was pretty cool, and even cooler that it worked.

Last, I recently saw a job post for a major company hiring 60 UX/UI designers in Los Angeles. I'm wondering if that's Disney.

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="" 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.


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


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

Always finding treasures on Flickr...

I found out so many and learned how to do so many things on Flickr. It is truly one of the most successful social software. So far, one of my photos have been published in foreign newsletters, domestic music videos, Art Forum magazine (Print edition) and BBC (digital edition). I learned how to take a screenshot of my iPhone app, and meet great photographers and artists, who tell me about new interesting exhibitions or advise me on camera purchases.

Please credit Lia Bulaong.

Just recently, on Lia Bulaong's page, I found the above photo with a lot of people commenting about this newspaper/newsletter on select internet writings from techno-artists-designers, such as "Michael Beirut, Matt Jones, Michal Migurski and the Mars Phoenix probe" (Lia Bulaong). Lia also included a link where you can order this paper, which is pretty cool. It's published by Ben Terrett and Russell Davies of Really Interesting Group. I just ordered one. You can read more about their project here.

Lia is definitely a cool hunter.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part I


I went in with the mind set of not taking notes for all four speakers, which is why I just brought my iPhone and no tablet.

But at the end of Rachel Abram's talk, and in the middle of Soo-in Yang's talk, I decided to not be lazy, and start taking notes. I've seen Rachel speak at an IDEA event in 2007 and an AIGA/Apple event last year [a link to my notes last year]. She spoke about how her many diciplines have added to her interaction design, and showed some of her research of the taxi system. Soo-in Yang is an architect who created this physical interactive sculpture that reacts to information about air quality via mobile phones. It was a public art piece in South Korea (look at photos below). He also collaborated with Rob Faludi and Terence Arjo on another project.


Last, was this music composer, Phil Kline, who started Unsilent Night, an event that happens on Christmas Eve, and started with a couple of people in NYC, but has grown to thousands in many other cities. You can see his video on YouTube.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

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.

Lightwave '09, Part I

I'm in Dublin, Ireland to document some work at the Lightwave Exhibition in the Science Gallery at Trinity College. This exhibition is trying to bridge science and art. Already, there a couple of ITPers showing their works: James N. Sears, Nurit Bar-Shai, and Lori Napolean.

Nick is showing his second design of The Orb, which now plays videos and Processing apps, and still images. Right now, Jonathan Cousin's data visualization is currently on The Orb.

Nurit Bar-Shai collaborated with other artists and MIT to show live video feeds of cellular interactions and the Northern Lights, of course separately.

Lori Napoleon created an interactive sculpture called "Scintillator." The sculpture is composed of tetrahedral shapes, and changes color when you touch it.

Later, I will try to post photos on Flickr. Feel free to ping me if I forget.

January 31, 2009

Lightwave '09, Part III

Lêbonê Project: Lighting Africa with Off-Grid Energy
In partnership with Harvard University/Lêbonê Solutions, Professor David Edwards, Huga Van Vuuren, Ralph Borland & Richard Kirk

They can produce electricity from soil, using microbial fuel cell technology. Overnight, they were able to produce at least 5V.

This project would complement the Kennedy Violich Portable Light Project (more info here).

February 18, 2009

Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey and Steven Johnson at NYPL next Thursday...

I am so lucky that I got tickets for this event. I have probably seen Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons) talk twice before. Steven Johnson spoke in Red Burn's class at ITP in 2005, and co-founded the community site []. Also, he is coming out with a new book titled The Invention of Air. Just from the title, I can see how it's relevant to Lessig and Fairey. Here is the video of him talking about his new book. I've also been a big fan of Shepard Fairey's works since Obey. All three will be at this event, hosted by NYPL, and co-sponsored by Wired magazine.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Shepard Fairey (known for the popular Hope posters depicting Barack Obama and Obey). Apparently Fairey is being sued by AP Reuters for referencing a photo he used for the Hope poster. Read the article from Wired magazine.

Photo Credit: Boing Boing

Milton Glaser writes his point of view on this matter in Boing Boing. Milton Glaser designed the Bob Dylan album cover, and was popular for his "I ♥ NY" identity.

What I think is interesting is all these remixes of Fairey's works. You can see people using Fairey's style and aesthetic for the Hope poster on their Facebook profile, but instead of Obama, it's them. Here is an article from Wired magazine of fans of the movie Dark Knight using Fairey's style on a photo Heath Ledger's Joker.


If you like Shepard Fairey's works from Obey. You may like Robbie Canal as well. He did a lot of posters of political figures.

March 5, 2009

Brilliant video of Clay Shirky's suggestions on New Business Models

Having worked in the publishing industry for a couple of years, I can't say enough how "On Point" Clay is about businesses having to think through new business models to survive. He mentions useful suggestions/examples and provides solutions to problems that I saw first-hand in these environments (e.g. The Guardian does it right, Fail-Forward-Fast model). Adaptation/Iteration/Group Action seem to be some relevant points. It's great that they covered filtering as well because I'm starting to get more of my news and more relevant links through Twitter.

The original link here []

Another good article on Micropayments/Journalism/Freakonomics here []

March 6, 2009

‘GE Plugin for’

Found this on Twitter from @matthewburton. Permalink is It makes me reconsider Flash applications. Lot of potential for games.

April 4, 2009

Simultaneously Beautiful and Scary...


Photo Credit: Extreme Ice Survey

I just watched this documentary on NOVA that was pretty effective in convincing me that our source of water is endanger. This group EIS, Extreme Ice Survey is surveying and documenting how fast ice is melting in Greenland, Alaska, the Alps, etc. which is our source of drinkable water. EIS plants cameras to document the ice and glacial activites. They build these shells for cameras that I think operate using power generated from solar panels to power these cameras for one year. The photography is amazing and beautiful, but the video is scary.

Visit this link, and click on "Videos" to see time-lapsed documentation.

April 19, 2009

Arduino now has 3.3V

My friend and colleague Tim McNerney pointed this out to me the other day. I just bought the Arduino Duemilanove, and now you don't have to worry about toggling the jumper, and it has 3.3 and 5 Volts. With the other Arduino, I always had to scour around for a 3.3 voltage regulator, but now I won't have to with Arduino Duemilanove.

There's also a cool print of Italy on the back of it. I think it is approximately $30-$35 still.

The image cuts off, so click here to see it on my Flickr. Or feel free to drag this image to your desktop:

April 29, 2009


So I've been on Twitter a lot lately. Early morning, there was an unfortunate accident with our plant, "Lucky Paws" (Real name of plant is "Panda plant," more info about species, click here). We tried to salvage all the leaves to clone them. I took a pic with my iPhone and uploaded it to Twitpic, and one of my Twitter friends (@hungry_traveler) wanted links to documentation of our process. I was inspired by @hungry_traveler to start documentation on Flickr, here.

I plan on documenting, and re-potting the leaves as soon as they grow roots. Then we will probably give them away via Twitter or Flickr, and hopefully they document their process and send us links because we certainly won't be able to keep all 23 Panda plants in our tiny New York apartment. I hope this works. I'm crossing my fingers.


Story of Lucky Paws on Flickr is at, the same link above.

June 19, 2009

Catching up on all videos... Clay Shirky on TED

Clay teaches at ITP and talks about social media, specifically about Twitter:

June 21, 2009

Ignite Videos are up, here are some of them...

till parsing through all these videos, but if you want to watch more videos, visit IgniteNYC on YouTube, click here:

Matthew Burton's Presentation "Hacking with Spooks: How to Code For the CIA From Your Basement"

Perry Chen's site Kickstarter (pretty awesome site)

Luke Dubois' "A More Perfect Union"

Baratunde Thurston's "...I Learned From Being @the_swine_flu"

Andy Maskin's "Bring On The Dancing Horses"

Rachel Sklar's "How I Learned to Love Giving Away My Money Online"

Kevin Slavin's "Dollhouse Earth"

September 27, 2009

Delicious Search over Google Search

Upon recommendation from a friend, I'm using "Delicious Search" over "Google Search" more and more because the results have been filtered. So far, I've been able to find more relevant search results when searching for scripts, software or creative procedure) (tech and creative fields). I still use Google Search for more general searches.


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.


Yesterday, I had the most frustrating experience with Flash, and then I found this link:

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


Screen Orientation
Saving images to Photo Library
Cut / Copy / Paste

Not Supported:
Embedded HTML content (via webkit in Adobe AIR).
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.


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:

Need a job?

Google Home Job is hiring. If you want to make more money in less hours, this maybe the perfect job for you. I think it's legit, but maybe it's not? If it's not, I hope Google sues them. If it is, here is the link:

October 12, 2009

Yelp does Augmented Reality on the iPhone...

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


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

November 7, 2009

Phenomenal Robotic Arm (and experiments with phantom limbs)


So quite awhile back when I went to Wired Nextfest, I saw a robotic arm with 33 pneumatic pumps. I thought it was amazing because it could pick an object as fragile as an egg, but I couldn't visualize how this could be translated to helping amputees.

But recently on a 60 Minutes program, DARPA is funding this amazing project. You can control the arm connected to sensors with your foot. In this clip, you can see a user pick up a bottle of soda, open it, and drink from it. Also in the last portion of the clip, this company experiments with brain waves by connecting sensors to the limb (not sure, but could be related to phantom limbs). Anyway, I was blown away by this technology. If you have any insight, and ping me links to other scientific research (address is posted in the footer--Thx).

Watch CBS News Videos Online

You can read more about this story, here.

November 28, 2009

Esquire's Augmented Reality Issue (December 2009)


In an effort to push publishing forward, Esquire magazine experiments with augmented reality. Last year, it was eInk, this year, AR. Now, I'm just going to guess that the creators used Adobe Air and/or Flash for this? Or do they use Open GL. In any case, the quest to push the digital realm of 3D to our physical spaces is hot right now. Other uses of AR is Yelp's "Monocle" feature of the iPhone app. Esquire's and Yelp's foray into AR is still premature, but nevertheless, it's definitely worth the experience (Esquire: $3.95/Yelp: free). I can really see AR in gaming or educational applications, but as Esquire demonstrates, AR can be used for advertisements as well (see Lexus AR - reappropriating infrared tech). There were some fullscreen issues with this ad (see photo below-looks like non-HD footage on HD screen). Any HD consumer of media would think this was a mistake rather than intentional.

If you are strapped for cash, just check out my screenshots, but the relevant ones are embedded in this blog post.

To begin with, Barbarian and Psyop worked on the tech and design of the AR for Esquire. You download the software onto your computer, and hold up the magazine's semicode to a web cam. I really enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.'s monologue and the fashion bit. I phased out on Jillian (maybe because of her story didn't interest me), except for the last part, which she says, visit her past midnight, and she'll tell you another joke. I am definitely going to try it after midnight to see if her content varies. You can change the direction of semicode to activate different 3D video clips.

The scattered letters for Robert Downey Jr.'s would appeal to any student of typography. The illustrations for the fashion exhibition (not really a slide show, more animation) were definitely really cool. All in all, the AR experience was beautiful and hip.

The slide show exhibiting "jr's" work was probably the most frustrating experience. Partially because jr's photographs are so compelling, but navigating through the media was très difficile. I spent a good 20 minutes flipping directions of semi-code, since the slide show player was too speedy. The photography looked better on my screen than the magazine, but navigating through print pages was definitely more convenient.

Last, was a jazz sample from an artist. An experience you can't get from print. But aside from the great music, it was a pretty flat experience. Maybe AR will help save the cost of print for publishers, but readers will pay with their time. Consider this: Would you want to download a piece of software to access to experience another dimension of your magazine? Would you do this for every magazine you have? Is this AR experience immersive enough to repeat weekly or monthly?

In any case, I was narcissistic enough to get a cool profile photo out of this experience ;)

Full-screen warning by Esquire and app confirmation.

Lexus Ad

Fashion Animation/Exhibition

Slide show of jr's compelling photography.

Music AR experience.

December 25, 2009

I <3 reading comments by donors for Wikipedia...

Here are some good ones:


Feds monetary policies create financial disasters; Great example of a pyromaniac working for the fire department.

Charles Hampton

Thank you for being a light to the world. I have every confidence that Wikipedia will help lead us out of the dark ages.

Albert Morton [this guy donated $100]

I never thought about Wikipedia needing money. OK! I'm on board now.

Karl Jay Garcia

If I could only have ONE website, it would be wikipedia

Adam Burton [he donated 2 Canadian dollars]

I dont have much this year....but thank you for letting me use this wonderful source of knowledge,

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

December 26, 2009

PixelQi screen versus Kindle and Toshiba

Michael Ang referred this screen to me. It's pretty amazing. It is low-power, has without-backlit option (reading screen in sunlight is easy), and color option. Pretty amazing technology. If you do a search on the Engadget site, you will see some posts about a demo in Google Android tablets at CES. A netbook using this screen is going to cost ~$100, amazing!

January 2, 2010

Internet Archaeology

This is a seed to an interesting project.

I remembered growing up through junior high and high school, history was so mundane. I felt like I was reading irrelevant content, which sounds so sacrilegious. I do remember some blitzes here and there, and I was interested in McCarthyism, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Thurgood Marshall, and Brown vs. Board of Education, but everything else is a bit of a blur (and I took AP History, lol).

Anyway, later on through travel and practicing design, I grew to love history. Last year, when I visited Ireland, I borrowed a couple of travel books that explained the whole history of Ireland within a chapter or two. And about 10 years ago, I took a class on the history of graphic design (taught by Carl Heinz), and we had to read The History of Graphic Design. I didn't buy the book because it costed $80 at the time. Instead, I borrowed it from a friend. I believe with the exception of a couple of chapters, I read that whole textbook, and was fascinated how history was perceived by creatives. Anyway, I recently checked the price online, and I snatched one for around $3.00. I really can't believe my luck. In retrospect, I think history should have been taught with this book first, or any history relating to the arts. Cultural and art events that relate to the era (e.g. Bauhaus movement in relation to the war), or Paul Rand's controversy (with this magazine cover for Direction) can be of interest because of the artifacts produced in that era.

Anyway, Amazon is offering a Kindle version (sigh), which I highly don't recommend because there are lush visuals to accompany the text. It almost costs the same amount for the hardback version.

For more about Paul Rand, this article was recommended by Nick Sears and Jonathan Cousins (who have stronger "developer" skills) -- a good read for the geeks out there.

February 1, 2010

Hallmark and technology...

Just saw two projects that I thought were really interesting with Hallmark. The first is a printed book with a recorder (google: Hallmark recordable book), so the small device captures you reading a story to your kids. Below, if you click on the link, you can watch a video of how this works. I find this a very engaging experience.


The second is a voice-recognition stuffed animal. I remembered while I was attending ITP, several students experimented with this type of interaction. There are several types of interactions that are described here:

August 26, 2010

Time Magazine's 50 Best Websites of 2010

Click here to read about them.

Here is the condensed list:
50 Best Websites (Time Magazine, 2010):

1. Vimeo
2. Movieclips
3. Grooveshark
4. MOG
5. Labuat []

1. Sports-Reference []
2. Rotoworld
3. Yardbarker
4. Total Pro Sports []
5. Citizen Sports []

1. Design Mom []
2. Serious Eats []
3. Babble []
4. Etsy
5. Sesame Street

1. Guardian
2. The Onion
3. The Daily Beast []
4. National Geographic
5. WikiLeaks []

1. Mint
2. Wikiinvest []
3. StockMapper
4. Springpad [] -- to do list
5. Wakerupper [] -- schedule telephone reminders

1. Groupon
2. Gilt Groupe
3. Rent the Runway []
4. Stay []
5. SeatGuru []

1. Keas
2. Mayo Clinic
3. Walk Jog Run []
4. Exercise TV []
5. Fit by Fun []

1. Gowalla
2. Foodspotting []
3. Linkedin
4. StockTwits []
5. Tumblr

1. Kongregate
2. Cactus Squid []
3. Pogo []
4. Newgrounds []

1. Livemocha (languages online)
2. Chegg []
3. MIT OpenCourseWare []
4. Read Print []
5. TED

These sites peaked my interest:
MIT OpenCourseWare []
Read Print []
StockMapper []
WikiLeaks []
Wikiinvest []

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:

September 27, 2010

ePubs and iPads

This sounds fairly inane, but I just figured out how to add ePubs on my iPad. Actually, a friend told me because it wasn't obvious.

You can add ePubs to your library through iTunes. On your iPad, open the iBooks app, and you will see your ePubs there.

Look for your "Book" tab, and drop the epubs in your library as you would drop your mp3 files. Also, iTunes won't accept ".lit" files.

As for PDF files, My friend told me that PDF's work in iTunes, but I tried, and it didn't work. I like to user the GoodReader app. GoodReader won't accept ePubs files. You can make multiple bookmarks. While you can't take notes on digital post-it notes or highlight (like the iBook, see fig.1), you can organize your content into folders (e.g. readForWork, entertainment, tech, see fig.2). There are several controls at the toolbar (fig.3), including "crop," manage bookmarks (you can create multiple bookmarks and name them too, fig.4), search, etc.

How to transfer PDF files to GoodReader
Sometimes you might want to read a report, but not carry your laptop with you. If your report isn't a pdf, just click on "Print." Below is a btn labeled "Save as PDF," which will prompt you to name your pdf and save it to your computer locally. Then open the GoodReader app, and click on the wireless icon (#1 in fig.5), which will prompt a screen giving you an IP-address (#2 in fig.5). Now on your laptop, click command+K simultaneously, and enter the IP-address from your app to the from box labeled "Server Address" and click "Connect." You will see your iPad as a drive. Just transfer your files to your iPad, and Voila.






October 2, 2010

My iTunes Experience

I am seriously disappointed with the way iTunes Support handles problems. It reminds me of the way eBay/PayPal handled problems, where the user fills out a email form, and you get a response in 48 hours. Sometimes the email responses are written in a form letter, and are unclear, therefore, I have to log back unto iTunes Support, and fill out another email form.... which is tedious. I ended up killing my accounts on eBay and PayPal, and that was back in the 90's.

I somewhat understand these cost-cutting issues because of our economy. However, there are more current ways to address these customer support. I like the way Amazon and Overstock deal with troubleshooting some of these problems. Both of these sites handle pure online transactions, and I have been a longstanding customer with both (at least 9 years).

Amazon takes the user to a page and allows the user to enter their telephone number into a form box. This is such a nice feature:

Overstock offers chat help. I've only had to use this option once. It made such a difference with customer support:

In any case, I have relegated to uninstall iTunes on my work computer and not buy iTunes cards because of this experience, which is sad. Are there any other iPad book/music stores out there? Or maybe that is what the Android tablet will offer (supposedly coming out in November).

October 14, 2010

Linkedin Improvement

Thought this module was cool, which offers an infographic/stats on the number of visits or appearances in search. I think this is probably the one reason why I keep visiting their site.


October 26, 2010

More tablets news...

JooJoo, Samsung and HP are going to launch tablets. JooJoo and Samsung will run Android, and HP's Slate will run Windows. The difference is that Slate is supposedly comparable to the MacBook Air in tablet format.

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.

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, there are a list of links to discussion topics:


March 16, 2011

Data Visualization Event at The New York Academy of Sciences

Mark Hansen, a professor at the D|MA in UCLA will be presenting The New York Academy of Sciences on May 19, 2011. For more information, please visit this link.

August 23, 2011

Google Analytics - Beta Features

Checking out Google Analytics new features that give you stats about your web page and viewers. I find the In-Page Analytics useful, maybe the next major feature would offer A/B testing. A screen of your site is displayed with the percentage of users clicking in areas. If you mouse over some buttons there are more stats, some relating to dollar amounts, in my case is non-applicable. In any case, it is worth checking out.


Another feature that is nice is that you can add an annotation to anywhere in the timeline/graph of your page views.

September 8, 2011

Most Innovative and Beautiful Websites by ITP (2011)

These sites are not in any particular order, and fresh off of the Interactive Telecommunications Program Alumni list. (examples of html5 sites) (more demos)
-- (like the pagination on the side) (job site) (no ad banners, only in-house promotions) (flash site) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (nice flexible layout)
Funniest site that break rules:

September 16, 2011

Maker Faire 2011 is happening this weekend

Maker Faire 2011 is happening this weekend at the New York Hall of Science:

Here are all the ITP projects:
Minu Bae '11 Smartymote
Marco Cosio '10 Bus Roots
Alvin Chang '12 Swim Rehab

Michael Martinez-Campos '11 Swim Rehab

Christine Doempke '12 Swim Rehab
Nelson Ramon '12 In the wind

Michell Cardona '12 In the wind
Matt Parker ‘09 Lumarca
Tom Igoe ’97 Making Things Talk (and Listen)
Gabriela Gutierrez ’12 Miniature Motorized Mechanical Circus
Sofy Yuditskaya ’11 Projected Realities

Tamar Ziv ’11 Projected Realities
Gabriella Levine ’11 Protei
Gabriella Levine ’11 ByteLight
John Schimmel ‘06 RAMPS - Wheelchair DJ

Wlodek Koss ’06 RAMPS - Wheelchair DJ
Benedetta Piantella ‘08 Open Source Development Platforms

Justin Downs ‘08 Open Source Development Platforms
Matt Richardson ’13 Enough Already: Silencing Celebs with Arduino
Jennifer Shannon ’12 MIRD: Meditative Ionizing-Radiation Detector
Mustafa Bagdatli ‘10 Tangible Lights
Emily Webster ‘12 Tangible Lights

Genevieve Hoffman ‘12 Tangible Lights

Joshua Goldberg ’01 Gon KiRin

Cassandra Marshall ‘05 Gon KiRin
Catarina Mota ‘00 FabriCulture

John Dimatos ‘09 MakerBot Industries, Community Business Development
Paul Rothman ’10 littleBits
Jaymes Dec ‘08 Choreograph a Well-Armed Militia!
Yury Gitman ‘02 Pulse Sensor: Heart-Rate Beats Per Minute for Arduino
Sean McIntyre ‘13 Choscillator
Jonah Brucker-Cohen ‘00 Scrapyard Challenge Workshops

Katherine Moriwaki ‘01 Scrapyard Challenge Workshops

ITP Cafe Schedule

10:30 AM Cardboard Construction Chi Ka ‘11
12:00 PM Sensing with Arduino Tom Igoe ’97 & Julio Terra ‘11
1:30 PM Intro to Processing Jer Thorp (Adjunct)
3:00 PM Soft Circuits Catarina Mota ‘00
4:30 PM Intro to Kinect Hacking Greg Borenstein ‘11

10:30 AM Screen Printing Emily Webster ‘12
12:00 PM Biofeedback Julio Terra ’11 & Mustafa Bagdatli ‘10
1:30 PM Posters in Processing Rune Madsen ‘11
3:00 PM Organic Circuits Patricia Adler ‘11
4:30 PM Wind Power Michaela Cardona ‘12 & Nelson Ramon ‘12

November 18, 2011

Interesting Use of Semicodes

Recommended by Michael Voelker via Juan-Carlos Sobrino.

December 8, 2011

Very cool projection technology...

brought to you by Nokia and deadmau5:

March 14, 2012

Pi Day, 3.14.15

For those math-philes, pi-pies:

Funny media version of Snow White's tale

March 21, 2012

Interesting iphone app game that incorporates fitness...

Found this blog post about an interesting game about zombies, which it incorporates fitness such as running. It was a successful kickstarter project. For me, I think this might be the adult version of Angry Birds. They also sell merchandise too.

Read more about it here.

April 3, 2012

Warby Parker's April Fool's Day Joke

And website:


Warby Parker sells affordable and stylish eyeglasses. For each pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker donates a pair.

April 4, 2012

Robotics emulating hand shake

Realistic hand shake communicates grip force, body temperature and touch:

Amazing programmable and autonomous helicopters...

Swarm at TED:

DARPA projects on TED

Another amazing video on DARPA projects including brain waves controlling robotics, nanotechnology, and hummingbird drones:

Data Visualization urls to check out...

1. Amanda Cox works for the nytimes, and does many visualizations for them. I believe there are some videos on this page []

2. Edward Tufte, the king of information visualization (JC has his books, and he also speaks at conferences). According to his website, he is having one on the 29th of this month. Usually, he only speaks twice a year []. Check out his videos, search BBC News video, and there are many links that you can check out. This url is the most famous visualization that he is known for about Napoleon’s March [], and he explains it in his book.

3. (this is the site where you can upload your own data, and choose the visualization. The New York Times used to use them, but have since evolved. You might have to check with the person who gave you data, if you can use it publicly. You don’t need programming skills, you can use this website. There was another site called Swivel that did similar things like offer data visualization tools, but they have since closed down.

4. Nytimes urls:

5. Here are some really good examples of data visualizations:

6. Stamen and Gapminder are some companies to check out. I believe Hans Rosling is connected with Gapminder.

7. A little more technical, but definitely worth checking out this library, D3 (

More Data Visualization notes...

Information Visualization…

* Indicates that these are interactive graphics

1. Area Charts []
1a.* Focus and Context [ - works in Chrome only]

2. Stacked Area Charts [], [e.g.], [e.g.]*, [e.g.], [e.g.]
2a. Steamgraphs []
2b. Stacked Bars []
2c. Stacked Columns []

3.* Index Charts []

4. Bar and Column Charts [], [e.g.]*
4a. Grouped Charts []
4b. Small Multiples Bar Chart [], [e.g.]

5. Scatterplots []
5a. Matrix of Scatterplots (Anderson's Flowers) [,]
5b.* Brush and link []

6. Pie and Donut Charts []
Relative comparison: how do the parts make up the whole?
6a. Sunbursts/Adjacency Chart [], [e.g.]
6b. PolarClock []
6c. Icicles []

7. Dendograms (tree layouts) [
7a. Node-Link Trees/Tree layouts []
7b. Indented Trees []
7c. Circle Packing []
7d. Tree Maps []
7e. Voronoi []
7f. Jigsaw []

8.. Line and Step Charts []
8a.* Cardinal Spline [], monotone, basis, linear, step-before, step-after
8b. Catmull-Rom spline
8c. B-spline
8d. Bubbles []

9. Sparklines []
9a.* Flair-inspired from MPRnews []

10. Bullet Charts [], [e.g.], horizontal/vertical []

11.* Bubble Charts [], []
9a. Dorling Cartogram []

12. Horizon Graphs [], [e.g.]

13. Candlestick Charts [], [e.g.]

14. Rose/Coxcomb Diagram []

15. Timetable []

16. Stemplots (distribution of data and alternative to histograms) []

17.* Parallel Coordinates (multivariate) []

18.* Pan and Zoom []

19.* Pointing []

20.* Eyes (from Processing) []

21.* Force-Directed Graph []

22. Fusion charts:

23.* Draggable, zoomable chart:

April 11, 2012

Writing and Speaking by Paul Graham

I really enjoyed reading this essay by Paul Graham, and was happy to read that famous people feel uncomfortable with public speaking...

I'm not a very good speaker. I say "um" a lot. Sometimes I have to pause when I lose my train of thought. I wish I were a better speaker. But I don't wish I were a better speaker like I wish I were a better writer. What I really want is to have good ideas, and that's a much bigger part of being a good writer than being a good speaker... {read more}

April 12, 2012

Music therapy by Oliver Sacks

Such a great video:

May 7, 2012

Interactive projection - dog park

There is an interactive dog park projection at the Columbus Circle subway station closer to the Hearst entrance/corridor. I thought this was clever because I think they are targeting audience from my neighborhood, which is pet-friendly (i.e. many dog owners and dogs). Also, it is nice to see a "green park" in the concrete tunnels of the subway. The interactive installation is sponsored by Beneful. I should check to see if Beneful is sold at Whole Foods in the Columbus Circle mall.

You can choose a dog, and throw tennis balls in the interactive field, and the dogs will fetch the ball. I think there are approximately 3 projectors/screens. I was curious to see many people interacting with this installation during rush hour (see photos below - taken over a couple of days around May 2, 2012).

Interactive installations sponsored by Beneful.

Dogs wait for you to play fetch.






September 15, 2012

Book Depository and Gilt

Found about this site via an online class I am taking. Book Depository is an online store that ships worldwide for FREE. There are some advantages and disadvantages in comparing this site to Amazon (e.g. great for purchases under $24.99 though some books are marked at the retail price, unlike Amazon).

In any case, I really like this feature that displays the most recent purchases from all around the world. You can see the dynamic version here.


It is interesting to see the different book titles spanning from gastroenterology to games to romance, which are plotted across different continents. I saw at one point a couple of purchases of the same title in the UK and in Australia, and not sure if this tool was working, or if they were in an online book club or online class. As simple as the interface is, I think this is a great tool for discovery.

Another site employing a similar technique is gilt (see live version here).


September 22, 2012

Raspberry Pi

I saw several FB posts re Raspberry Pi, which is a small Linux processor ($25 or $35) that has a 700 MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM ethernet port, usb ports (depending on which model you get), an audio/analog video outputs, and SD card slot. The goal of the project to get people engaged in programming. You can write programs in Scratch or Python. For more information, please visit their FAQ page.

I found this video on how to set up the pi:

Ponnuki shows how to use your Kindle (e-ink) as a display here.

October 10, 2012

Occupy Data Hackathon

I briefly went to a hackathon (statisticians and various programmers attended). The event was hosted by The Graduate Center at City University of New York.


Amazing ideas about gathering data and visualizing the sets. A lot of the programming was way over my head because there were permissions, firewall, and various privacy rules to using Twitter APIs. I did take notes. Nevertheless, these people were hardcore about the data that they were collecting, and were aggregating tweets and filtering through mongo to create some visualizations displayed in the urls below:

Kind of thought this timeline was interesting:

Networked map using Gephi []:

This site aggregates tweets to pull in photos or display activity in maps with timeline:

Github url to mosaicOccupy:

A mosaic of aggregated images found in tweets (~10k). The size of the image denotes the frequency of how many times the image was retweeted:

Some tools mentioned (open source) map:
Qgis -

If you want to play with qgis, you get use some of these shape files for mapping (free of NYC):


There was some mention of using R, but I didn't see any examples.

October 17, 2012

Shark-tracking site

Found this site on the ITP list. The purpose of this site is to raise awareness of the dwindling population of sharks, which you can track. There are separate tabs that open up that show the most recent sharks, and you can see where they have been as well. Below are screenshots, or you can visit the site here:




I can almost see this site as an iPad app. Enjoy :D

October 21, 2012

Bonnie John's presentation of UX Cognitive Modeling Methods

October 27, 2012

Surface tablet

I was lucky to attend the Surface event at Pier 57 via ITP. Update posted below.

Despite the reviews, I wanted to see and interact with this product and software. The one thing I really think is notable is how the software responds to the hardware. There is an accelerometer in the keyboard cover and one in the tablet, so based on the interaction of the keyboard cover, the software in the interface responds. For instance, if the keyboard is connected to the tablet, and you are trying to type in the address bar; as soon as I click on a key, the web browser form and "pinned" items (global bookmarks) are automatically prompted. In contrast, if the keyboard is folded under to support the tablet as a stand, then as a soon as the user taps on the screen, the digital keyboard slides up (see photos). These are subtle details that mesh hardware and software and keep the user flows continuous.




Strangely enough, I really liked the UI, and even better than some of the other operating systems out there. There are similar components and patterns, but the interface is so different. I could tell Microsoft invested a lot of their budget to UI design because the feel of it is so different from some of their desktop applications (compared to using Office software on a mac or IE browsers on a PC). The flow and feedback were strangely meditative (more explained below). There are a lot of little details that were carefully crafted to add up to this experience I am talking about.

Here are my notes not in any particular order (please refer to this set of photos):

• Seamless integration between hardware and software making ixd's intuitive

• Thoughtful design considerations to keys in keyboard (i.e. if the user's finger is perpendicular to the key, the device recognizes that the user wants to click on a button versus if the user's fingers are angled on a particular key, the device interprets that as a separate interaction)

• Careful considerations regarding implementing a touchpad and the placement of the touchpad is closer to the space bar (reminding me of those eraser nubs in IBM laptops). A colleague of mine asked whether the touchpad in the cover was gratuitous to the ixd of the touchscreen. I thought it was a fair question, and this colleague of mine worked at IDEO. The response given is that the touchpad offers "precision." The designer/developer explained the experience of writing and editing an email on a mobile screen was a disjointed experience and flow: user types, user makes a mistake, user interrupts her train of thought to touch the screen and place the cursor, user edits email, user continues to write email. With a touchpad, the user can quickly navigate to the cursor area, and edit the email without fussing with where the cursor is before or after the edit, saving valuable seconds and less grief. The surface team member framed it in the context of testing the product quickly at the airport. I wanted to know what his participant's occupation was... I only assumed that their target users are male business executives, which brings me to my next point.

• Careful consideration to gender dynamics. I decided to try to type some terms or addresses, but had trouble typing. I felt that the individual keys were wide and made for fingers that were wider than my own (probably male hands). And the keys were raised a little higher than expected. When I typed, I was mistyping, or some of the keys were sticky or weren't sticky enough. A staff member noticed that I was having trouble, and swapped the cover. There are two versions (e.g. one designed for people used to typing on flat surfaces, and one for people interested in receiving tactile feedback). I guess the beauty is the modularity of these keypads, though with the second keypad, keys were sticking or not registering with the tablet. I was told to re-seat the keyboard. I think this could probably be fixed digitally.

• Global navigation appears on the right and over a scrolling content interface, which was kind of peculiar to me at first. I was having trouble trying to swipe in the global navigation. To me it seemed buggy because at times it appeared, and at times it disappeared. Then a staff member alerted me that I had to swipe from the beveled area, so basically the black frame around the screen is touch-sensitive. All four sides can prompt up a chrome emerging from the side you are swiping. This was not intuitive or apparent at first because I had to unlearn some of these metaphors learned from ipad behavior. One thing that kind of bothered me that an app developer can incorporate 1 or all sides of the chrome. So if you are in an app, would you have to swipe all four sides to see if a chrome appears? This may not be a problem if the user frequents this app.

• Search panel slides from right. The one thing I think looks odd is the back button placed on the left side, even though the modules is sliding from the right. I see why they did that (global behavior in all the other apps), but I think this ok for users of android interfaces. There is back button on many android devices. Having used iOS interfaces, I can see where my opinion is probably an edge-case.

• Search panel, is so easy. There are filters at the top: apps, settings, files, store, etc. Then everything below the rule are results. There is no advanced search. Within apps, there is a contextual search (at least I can say that for 1 of the apps, though I can't confirm b/c I thought I took a photo of it). Let's say you search for "cookie," the search results might display "settings" and "Martha Stewart," and if you tap on "Martha Stewart," the result will lead you to a cookie recipe in an issue of "Martha Stewart." I think it is almost similar to ios global search, but I don't think there are filters above the results.

• Because the search panel features Bing search, will google users be annoyed if they have to take an extra step to open up chrome or link to google search? I did not check to see if there were google apps on this device. I did see amazon and kindle apps.

• Careful consideration to ad placement. I opened up Bing Finance, and I really couldn't believe my eyes. As I was scrolling through the different sections of articles, an ad appeared at the very end. No ads littered through the content, just at the very end. And every 5 seconds or so, it is animated with a different ad. I think this works because, the user can't really ignore the ad, since the global nav and search panels are in the right chrome. What a nice solution to an annoying problem of scattered ads littering content in web sites. I am not sure if the ad used is of IAB standards. When I clicked on the ad, it opened a full screen ad in modal view, then it stops there. No you can't click on it, and it will not displace you to the "Citibank" website. You just close it.

• Love, love, love the progress dots that animate in different patterns over search form box (catch a glimpse of it in IMG_6874). Maybe it's because it doesn't look like a spinning hour glass, spinning beach ball, or just a solid bar. It almost looks like an animation of a river current, which is why waiting doesn't seem urgent.

• Messaging is more subtle. Usually error messages are flashy... Just the text "No internet connection detected." I emphasize the use of period because it looks like a statement. Some of the typical error messages feel like they are yelling at you (see this brief video).

• Love, love, love that the cursor is more visible. There is a circle attached to the bottom of the cursor (see IMG_6913).

• Like the idea of pinned, though I think it will take some time to learn the color schemes of brands, apps, and icons.

• Multiple ways to prop the tablet, via cover, without cover, cover folded under the tablet, tablet with kickstand AND no cover, etc. Many options were considered. Power usage was a consideration, so if you had 20% power left, you could remove the cover so it doesn't drain your battery.

• I think it might be too late for this, but the power port and keyboard-cover port are so similar in shape and size, and differ by just one lead. I almost short-circuited it by plugging in the power adapter into the keyboard-port of the tablet. Maybe the magnet functionality of the keyboard port acts like an additional switch and safety precaution (similar to a reed switch).

• There is balance of browse and search. Obviously browsing through content is easy and continuous horizontal scrolling (in comparison to ios paginated menus). Everything is so visual, even the filters are visual (they appear in a carousel). See "Pinned" example.

• One thing that I didn't play around with but the staff member mentioned is a global share tool. You can share within an app to a different app. For example, I am in the Martha Stewart app, and I want to share this cookie recipe, I would click on the global nav, click share, and I think post it to, let's say a recipes app(?) Not sure, but if this is possible, I think it's cool.

• In the global nav, there is a way to link to other devices (Kinect? XBox?)

• For publishers, they won't take a cut if you have your own purchasing system. If you use their store, it's the typical 70/30.

• Forgot to check if there was a camera for video conferencing, but specs say there is/are.

• This was probably my favorite app. You can choose a type of liquor or a branded liquor, and find special recipes. I believe there are 350 drink recipes in this app. Just imagine propping this tablet on your bar table, and making this drink.

Here is a demo of it:

Was it worth the wait? I think so. Before I attended the demo, I was really skeptical of the product because of my past experiences with other Microsoft software, albeit web app, Xbox, etc. I think if the interface design was a half measure, people would discount the product. In this day and age, users just don't have the patience to test a product out, especially if the cost is competitive with current existing products (i.e. ios, android).

Would I use the this tablet? Currently, I am married to ios because I've bought a lot of apps that wouldn't be transferable. However, I can see my sister, who is a small business owner and PC user migrate to this product. Currently, she has an ipad1, but does not own any apps, but a lot of music. Music is find to leave to your iphone, however, and since she uses only free apps, I could see her experiment with a Surface tablet. As for my mom, she had such terrible experiences with the Windows desktop interfaces and internet explorer, that I got her the iPad3, and now she can't part without it. And my mom can't even understand the chrome interface at all (too complex!) I think if Microsoft can offer as many apps as ios, then I think there will be hope. Also, if Microsoft can offer a lot of partnerships with third party designer/developers, I think users from other operating systems could migrate. For instance, current styluses for iOS are awkward to use because users can't rest their hands comfortably on the tablet. But, I recently saw this "Active Stylus" by Perceptive Pixel that allows users to rest their hands comfortably on the surface tablet. Not that I am knocking Google Goggles, but for me, I would like more conventional products. Maybe the surface keyboard connection could be used to design and develop really nice speakers. Last, XBox and Kinect really has a huge cut in gaming. Will they incorporate games into Surface? Will that drive their business?

FWIW, my rankings for holidays gifts are: (1) mobile ios, (2) surface products, (3) android (tablet). Though I wouldn't mind an android for myself to hack things.


Update (November 4, 2012):

I just found out from a colleague, Thomas Feliciano, who went to see the Surface tablets in the Times Square pop-up shop. He said that the current tablets, Surface RT will not run legacy apps, however Microsoft will release the Surface Pro in Q1 of 2013, which will be able to run legacy applications as well as new apps from store. I believe he said you would be able to side load Windows 7/8 (potential for a USB). It will be for users who want the power of a laptop. It will also come with a stylus (that hopefully allows people to rest their hands on the screen).

October 31, 2012

Microsoft to incorporate Data Vis and Machine Learning

Great article about how data viz features will become integrated with Excel (e.g. Analyze millions of tweets), and Outlook will incorporate machine learning. There are ~850 Ph.D.'s and 400 mathematicians/statisticians working on "55 areas of computing, including algorithm theory, cryptography and computational biology."

Read the nytimes article.

Seth Godin and Fred Wilson on education

Some of his philosophies parallel ITP's curriculum. We also learned the Arduino there. I am learning Python so I can try to hack a raspberry pi... Wish me luck.


Fred Wilson on MOOCs (just a warning that this video is ~1 hr):

Nice article about MOOCs from the Nytimes:

Found this article about George Lucas donating $4 billion (sale of Lucasfilms to Disney) to education (Edutopia):

Harvard on "Active Learning" methodologies:

November 2, 2012

The future in texture...

I just read this article in the Nytimes. Steve Jobs promoted "skeuomorphic designs," use of textures on mobile devices, but the company may be removing these textures from their designs — “Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures." While I am in favor of flat surfaces and a good use of typography, I wonder if this aesthetic appeals to mainstream users or just designers?

"He [Steve Jobs] did the same with many other virtual doodads that mimic the appearance and behavior of real-world things, like wooden shelves for organizing newspapers and the page-flipping motion of a book, according to people who worked with him but declined to be named to avoid Apple’s ire."

Anyone in the 3D field will know how important texture is. Watch "Cloud Atlas" (by Lana and Andy Wachowski, directors of "The Matrix" series). The film creates a scene based in the science fiction city of Neo-Seoul, where the character Hae-Joo Chang saves Sonmi-451 and takes her to his drab gray safe haven. He uses a remote to transform the room into a luxury apartment with a view (e.g. flipping the tiles of the gray floor to red carpet, and transforming the walls into a beautiful skyline window view or cherry blossom wall paper).

Image Credit: Animation World Network

Here is a clip of the effects produced (but they don't show that room):

I really hope that Apple can keep Steve Jobs' vision. The company already changed the screen size of the iphone5 despite Steve Jobs' wish, which changes the aspect ratio, and will make it harder to develop apps. I went to a presentation late last year with product managers from Gilt, Hearst, and Buzz Feed Media. They repeated that because there was one aspect ratio, it was easy to develop and test apps on iOS versus Android (frameworks and multiple devices fragment screen size resolutions).

Now the news is that iPad is getting an early update. Interesting changes afoot...

November 6, 2012

Surface store in Times Square, New York

I just found out from a colleague, Thomas Feliciano, who went to see the Surface tablets in the Times Square pop-up shop. He said that the current tablets, Surface RT will not run legacy apps, however Microsoft will release the Surface Pro in Q1 of 2013, which will be able to run legacy applications as well as new apps from store. I believe he said you would be able to side load Windows 7/8 (potential for a USB). It will be for users who want the power of a laptop. It will also come with a stylus (that hopefully allows people to rest their hands on the screen).
Outside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Inside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Related: Surface RT tablet

Adding this article I found today about Microsoft adding HTML5 and javascript in Windows 8:

November 7, 2012


These quotes from Marc Andreessen inspired me to take on programming after several failed attempts to learn code:

"The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories," Andreessen says. "People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do."
In two words, "study STEM" (science, technology, engineering and math), he says. In liberal arts, only the best of the best will make top dollar. A person will have to be good enough that his book is a best seller or her song goes global, or he'll have to be smart enough to apply philosophy to corporate strategic thinking.

This quote just re-iterates my design minifesto. I should have included artists/writers/musicians and other creatives as well, but this was a 1-week assignment in 2003 (who knew what I now know).

Since May 2012, I've been taking classes in several MOOC's (Massive Open Online Course) via Coursera, Edx, Udacity, and Codeacademy. I think having taken Fortran in my undergraduate studies in engineering left a scar for learning programming. However, this year, I took a different approach by applying Malcolm Gladwell's principle of the 10,000 hours rule to my studies -- immersing myself in programming lectures. I am more determined to learn how to code. I am currently enrolled in a couple of Python classes, and whilst completing the assignments, I hadn't see a connection or relevance to my current day job... Until yesterday! A co-worker had to run some scripts in Python. Now that I can put what I learned to use, I am more motivated to learn Python.

I found this infographic on National Geographic relating to the 10,000 rule, which might inspire you:
Credit: Courtesy of Zintro

If you want to read a great article about MOOC's, check out this one published in the Nytimes. They even spell out the finer details between the MOOC's. Btw, Kerrissa Lynch, recommended this article to me.

Next week will mark the end of "Learn to Program." Wish me luck on my final ;)

November 9, 2012

Coolest Microsoft PR project...

Not sure if this video is real or fake (actors/actresses vs. citizens), but this is so awesome (they are promoting Surface):

November 10, 2012

Great presentation from Donald Norman, Interaction South America 2012

Donald Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things presents this comprehensive overview of interaction/experience design, which cover his 6 design principles as well as visceral, behavior, and reflective states of the user:

Aside from that, he is coming out with a new book that will possibly cover projected designs of the future from now until year 2037. Here are some of my notes:

• Example of Windows mobile phone interface
• Apple volume button in earbud cord (I had no idea until watching this presentation there was a middle button)
• Brain interaction (reminds me of phantom limbs) - DARPA (this video covers research in this area)
• DIY markets (INMO: I am bracing myself for this revolution, as I hope it changes mass production, not proliferate more unnecessary products for our environment's sake)
• BMW iDrive
• Future of subscriptions
• Interesting analysis on who are Google's customers? And what are their products?
Google customers: Advertising agencies
Google's products: Us
• Great attention to accessibility (displaying text on slides when signing wasn't appropriate)
If you are interested in more ixd/hci principles, check out Jakob Nielsen:

Using 3D printers in regenerative medicine

A colleague of mine, Thomas Deneuville told me about this breakthrough research in using 3D printers to create tissue templates for creating organs in regenerative medicine (was published in Nature Materials).

Dr. Anthony Atala talks about "Growing organs" by printing, knitting, weaving cellular structures (and in some cases printing directly onto the organ during surgical procedures). These videos overlap, but the first one is dated 2009, and the second one is dated 2011:

In this video, they can scan and directly print these cell lines to the organ (screenshot of a frame in this video, and video just below it):


Last, I believe this research was published this July in Nature Biotechnology. The researchers at Caltech and Harvard were able to print and grow these artificial jellyfish, called "Medusoid," that they hope to use to create heart muscle or “to clean up oil spills in a similar manner to the way a jellyfish filters out its food.”

Check out this video of these flagellating Medusoids:

November 11, 2012

New type of browsing...

Found about this via Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. Check out this browser from Ishac and Marco and Jay Melican at CIID (formerly from IVREA, found out from Tom Igoe):

Flaps from Ishac Bertran on Vimeo.

More information here:

November 15, 2012

Strolling down memory lane... Sasu bracelets and ITP

I was strolling down memory lane looking for a particular document in my email, and I was happy to find a project that I worked on for my Toy Design class at ITP. I wrote this article for BusinessWeek on my design process for these toy bracelets. Here is the BusinessWeek slideshow that accompanied the article. In a summary, these bracelets allow kids to covertly communicate with one another using light patterns (more info).


They were also featured in this book by CFDA: American Fashion Accessories by Candy Pratts Price, Jessica Glasscock and Art Tavee, and in Material Connexion's Interactive Youths Exhibition curated by Benjamin Rosenthal in 2007.

Good times, good times, indeed.

November 18, 2012

Interesting Navigation and Site Design

Found this great education startup on linkedin via an ITP connection.

All section pages are pieced together in a continuous flow. There is a persistent nav that vanishes and appears in the top of the sections. Blog is placed last because I imagine that this is dynamic, and adding posts will not disrupt the navigation between other sections.

Taking some screenshots, just in case they revert to something more traditional:



November 20, 2012

Found this channel on YouTube: How It's Made

I am fascinated with process, and have always been as a kid. I remember just watching these types of segments on Sesame Street as a 6-year old. Right off the bat, I must have watched at least 3 videos in a row. I am always amazed at who invents these processes, and how many iterations they go through.

After watching this video, I re-read Malcolm Gladwell's "The Ketchup Conundrum" found also in his book, What the Dog Saw. Now, I understand why Heinz 57 is protective of their recipe.

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.




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.

December 1, 2012

Folding Hybrid PlaneCar - Terrafugia

Got a folding bike? Then you might be interested in this folding planeCar or carPlane:

Google Ngram Viewer

N-gram is defined as "contiguous sequence of n items from a given sequence of text or speech... can be phonemes, syllables, letters, words or base pairs" in Wikipedia.

GoogleBooks n-gram application will display "the annual popularity of any published word or phrase over the last several centuries." (nytimes)

I searched 4 composers: Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Tchaikovsky. Below the graph, you will see links of search results broken down to different eras.

Mousing over the data points, there seemed to be a spike for these composers in 1946:

Case-sensitive names display different results (which kind of makes sense because the data is from books, not other media):



You can use "+" to combine case-sensitive terms (in this case I combined "dna+DNA, cancer+Cancer, gene+Gene."




December 8, 2012

Landfill Harmonic

Fantastic video of people re-appropriating trash to make recycled instruments in Paraguay. This video says it all:

The recycled orchestra is an orchestra that performs with instruments made out of trash... People realize that we shouldn't throw away trash carelessly... Well, we shouldn't throw away people either.

December 13, 2012

The Future of Interaction Design by Microsoft

I just found this url recently in an email that was posted just a year ago. I find it funny, that even after a year, this video seems pretty futuristic. Nice typographical interfaces too, information design, user flow, augmented reality, audio interface, etc.:

December 15, 2012

Great post by Arik Hesseldahl on Andy Rooney's bookshelf

I’m certain Rooney never read that email, and though I can’t prove it, I’m betting his producer did. Because two months later, Rooney closed the April 22, 2007 edition of 60 Minutes with a segment that included a few of his favorite books (Link goes to the video, which is not embeddable). They were: three dictionaries; a heavily used edition of Modern English Usage by Henry Watson Fowler. Walter Lippman’s A Preface To Morals; four leather-bound volumes by Charles Darwin; and the fifth edition of The Modern Researcher by Jacques Barzum and Henry Graff, also heavily used.

Here is Andy Rooney's segment on books (can't open the video, but maybe that is because of my browser):


I, too, have been fascinated with what is on people's shelves. I was so interested that I tried to translate this fascination into a physical object, a shelf connected to an RFID reader:

This initial prototype did function the basics (with the help of ITPers: Kazuhiro Nozaki, Josh Cheng, Max Weng, James Sears). However, there were some issues to be resolved like finding an RFID reader that had anti-collision properties (and was small enough and affordable). This investigation led to my thesis project, Hypershelf.

December 16, 2012

Pcomp Platforms

So there is a discussion on the ITP list regarding pcomp platforms (i.e. pcomp aka physical computing). Here are the platforms, which are pretty cool:

• Arduino (; also there are wearable versions)
• Raspberry Pi (; If you know Python, this might be a fun toy to hack around with)
• Leap Motion (
• Kinect (hacking Kinect with a mac:
• LittleBits (, This is the pcomp version of Legos)
• Twine (

Some videos below:


Leap Motion:

Raspberry Pi:


Kinect (puppet hack):

Little Bits (2 videos):

2012 ITP Winter Show, Day 1

ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU has a show twice a year. It always amazes me how creative and ambitious students are... They complete digital and physical prototypes using sensors, screen/optic/camera -- technology within a span of a semester, often working in groups, and some work individually. Nevertheless, they finish their projects on time. I was only able to attend one of the days, and could not cover all the projects. I highly recommend going. Below is the address and some of the projects I was able to engage with.

721 Broadway, 4th Floor
Tisch Building (Take the N/R to 8th street)
Sunday, December 16th, 2-6pm
Monday, December 17th, 4-8pm

List of projects:


These aren't in any particular order...

Sonified Data (Text is analyzed and assigned notes, which is played by the app that Hannah Davis created -- music is pretty soothing, sounds like Radiohead)

American Rubs []
This project analyzes the ethnic-neighborhood data taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is then used to create flavors of dry rubs for meats. I really got a kick out of this, and even tasted a couple of these spices... I particularly liked NYC, which is spicy, and Manhattan. Brooklyn kind of had a patchouli essence, which reminded me of uber hipsters.

Puppet and Performing Objects
Apparently, this was an entire class that explored interactive puppetry. Some puppets were high tech, like robotic, and some were low tech, like shadow puppetry. All in all, very cool.

Voodoo Bear []
This project was really funny. You enter your Twitter information and interact with the voodoo bear by pinching or poking it. The bear reacts with audio output and a tweet.

Bashtray []
It is an ashtray, but you put out your cigarette on the candidate you don't like.

So You Say []
This is a low-tech visualization that displays feedback for projects in the ITP show mapped geographically and demographically (age is represented in color of string).

The Buddhist arcade game []
I came by twice, but both times there were a ton of people playing this game (sigh). Hopefully, it makes it to an arcade so I can test my meditative abilities (been practicing lately with Deepak's 21-day meditation challenge).

The Collective DJ []
Ok, I am going to try to explain this, but it may be better to see it in person or watch the above video url. Your friend places her hand on one of those hand-cutouts. You place your hand on one of those hand-cutouts. Then you and your friend touch each other, and it plays a beat. If you touch your friends hand again, the beat switches off. Basically, humans are conductive switches. I can totally see this in a children's museum or a club/party. Very fun.

Random Story Generator
I came by a couple of times, and once again this spot was crowded so I couldn't get information about it. It intrigued me because it looked like a ouija board. Here are a couple of photos, which look like they play with a narrative story line. If you find out, please contact me with the details. I will give you credit.

Fly Guardian []
This is funny. Every time your fly is down, this device sends you a message-warning to your mobile device.

Water Cooler TV []
You can embed messages within a moment of the television show, so when others watch the same show, those messages will be displayed.

Octojam []
This is an instrument in the form of an octopus. As you pull the limbs of the octopus, a sound or beat is played.

Lego Builder []
Using gestures, you can construct buildings out of legos -- augmented reality.

Hamlet Simulator []
This is a pretty cool project. You select from several filter-ranges, which abridge a version of Hamlet according to the filters the user selects.

FreezeFrames []
This app captures your reaction after you watch a youtube video. I caught the tail end of the video where some kids knock down a shelf... I look surprised.

Bouncy Irises []
Bouncy Irises is sort of an innovative digital version of plinko. When the digital particles triggers a physical gear below (by pressing a button), the gears open up.



Cat Car []
This project makes me want to own a cat and this harness. You put this harness on a cat, and this harness has a wireless sensor talking to the the steering wheel, and lasers. Depending on where you want to drive your cat, it points lasers, so that your cat follows the lasers. The video is so funny because Sam Brenner tested this device on a couple of cats. He is going to document this online, and I will post his url here when he does. If he sold this on Kickstarter, I would consider getting this for my sister and her cat.

Laser Cat []
A robotic arduino car that follows laser beams, similar to that of a cat.

ITP Pcomp Mid-term FINAL from Max Ma on Vimeo.

December 22, 2012

More on Regenerative Medicine...

This is phenomenal. There is a lab in London, where researchers are repair body parts. Please note that the photos are a little graphic in this link by CNN.

Child stent that will expand as the child grows. Credit: (Seamus Murphy/VII); CNN, 14th slide

January 5, 2013

Literally, my new favorite site for now...

Wish they launched this site before cutting NASA funding:

I really think that some of the failures are more profound than the successes (rockets URL). Either way it is a win-win situation. Thanks NASA and more importantly thanks WTFNASA for highlighting relevant technologies, and making NASA cool again.

Btw, when my dad worked for NASA years ago, and I was a kid. I used to go to his fishing tackle box and break all these cells, not knowing what they were but just attracted to the feel and fragile-ness of this material. I never understood what he worked on, but thought space exploration was really boring. Recently my mother told me he researched solar cell technology there. Had I known that, I don't think I would have gone into his tackle box, but then again, I was 5 at the time.

Thank you, Matthew Evanusa for the referral to this blog.

January 6, 2013

Great video about the possibilities of creative code [using open source software]

One of the professors that teaches in my program, Dan Shiffman and others, talk about the endless possibilities of using creative code, such as Processing (Java), Cinder (C++) and OpenFrameworks that interact with devices such as Kinect.

If interested in Dan Shiffman's new book, click on the links below. His book was a Kickstarter project, documentation here.

I don't know why but I love reading Amazon reviews...

One night, my friends and colleagues and I were talking about several joke-products, which I will not even reference here. But this discussion spurred other products, such as the banana slicer. So my friend, Thomas Deneuville, sends this to me:


Below are some images products that I think are funny. I guess I am a semi-geek because this is what I do for entertainment, read funny reviews, lol.

Okay, this is before a lot of people's time, unless they are bringing Knight Rider and or Baywatch back. I guess this is where all the hours of watching television media really pays off:

Now, what I want to know is why the banana slicer has close to ~1,600 reviews averaged 4.5 star-ratings, yet a used version is listed as $0.01 + $3.99 for shipping:

Now I am assuming that the product managers were probably so happy with their profits and these reviews, that they decided to create a strawberry slicer. Now, I want a version for plantains because the banana flavor is a little too strong for me. Does the strawberry version have a special latch that can remove the stems before slicing?

And there was some discussion that these reviews might be fake, but who cares? I hope those do get paid for providing me free entertainment.

January 8, 2013

Kickstarter stats and best projects of 2012


Ever thought of being a VC or Angel Investor, but couldn't afford to invest or commit? Well, Kickstarter is the platform for you to become an investor on some very cool projects. A group of friends that periodically invest in some interesting projects end up in my feed, which end up becoming a social way to invest. It is empowering and fun!


This comes out to $606.76 per minute.

Just like an annual report (but more interactive and engaging), Kickstarter publishes some stats and some projects for the public, [Just click here to visit]. But I will summarize some of the numbers below. All art belongs to Kickstarter, but I had to modify the screens so they fit in my blog.

Interesting list of categories and how much they made as a group. I believe games win at ~$83 million:

Here is a stat for those in music:

Here are a couple of music projects look pretty interesting (a movement to bring classical or new classical music back):

Now for funny projects that I have to revisit:



Other projects for me to revisit:


Design/Environmental Design/Architecture/Urban Planning

Design/Graphic Design/Urban Planning/Legal (offering "public domain" fonts)

A former colleague of mine, Britta Riley at NYU/ITP grad program founded this project:
Design/Environment/Interior Design/Nutrition/Education


Even Stanford University is teaching Kickstarter for college credit:

And Kickstarter is parodied by major publications like The New Yorker:
The caption reads: "Thanks to Kickstarter, we're buidling a tunnel." Click here to view original.

More funny links: [The Daily Show]

The Onion:,28655/

IFC (Portlandia):


Funny or Die [Rated PG-13]:

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 21, 2013

Very cool startup in charity

Just found this url on the ITP list. This is a great idea. In short, donate your items, sell, and receive a tax receipt.

Also, check out Housingworks and Angel Thrift Shop if in NYC, or Housingworks digital space.


Having trouble holding onto stuff you don't need?

"Do you have a closet full of clothes just taking up valuable real estate that are so old you can't even remember where you got them?"

Maybe this post can help you from one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy. I love this competition on designing "Small," "Little," "Tiny," and the most challenging "Teeny-tiny" spaces:

Referencing Doria Fan and Hilary Spencer for introduction to "Apartment Therapy."

January 25, 2013

Funny video to motherhood/parenthood

This week I attended the WE Festival, and among many topics besides business was work/life balance.

This is hilarious. I wonder what the demographic for people who drive, purchase, rent, lease, own a fiat. I thought I have seen mostly men driving fiats (i.e. designers, architects, etc. -- but this is from my own personal observation from 5 years ago, when I lived in "Car Culture City -- LA). by January 7, 2013, this video received 2 million views [].

Google Finance does it again...

Is it me, or did I just notice this new module regarding trends on Google Finance?! Amazing, yet again! From an IA/UX point of view, their display of information is so simple and comprehensible (which one would imagine is an easy task to take on, but not so at all!) I love the wealth of information in just 6 screens.





Thought this graph was interesting because it reveals a lot of activity with Halliburton, though I don't know if traders are buying or selling.

I've always reviewed this graph, since I took an Investools tutorial with TD Ameritrade:


Of course the interactive graphic of equity prices are useful, but I am only blogging about these newer features or older features that I just noticed. Enjoy!

January 26, 2013

This is very clever... A professional resume

Someone created a profile/resume in the form of a product in the template style of, lol.


Being curious as to how much this product/service costs ($999,999 was crossed out), I clicked on to "add to cart" and a contact module pops up:

This is hilarious too:

And he even embedded an ad (the creepy ones that follow you around from site to site but it is the most current-state-of-the-art-ad-technology), which is placed right next to "Most Relevant Professional Experience" subhead:

So, I clicked on that ad, and received an email, so this guy got me to QA his site [very clever]:

Thanks to Randy Quan for this reference.

Free UX ebook resource...

One of my co-workers, Glynn Phillips (btw, an awesome front-end-developer with a keen sense of ux) shared this resource with me:


Amazon lockers

Great design solution for shipping. Lately, I am having to send stuff to my mom's work, though she is semi-retired. She recently told me that the company is not happy with being the mailroom, understandable (though her office has her own personal equipment).

This is fantastic solution. Amazon has a list of lockers that you can mail your parcel/products/gifts too. I can almost see creating a surprise with a scavenger element with a bunch of $3.00 gifts. Maybe if this project is successful, they can help reorganize the post offices.



Thanks to Loida Valentin for the reference.

Love this commercial, do I dare say it?

By Microsoft, Internet Explorer. But they got the generation wrong... I think they meant GenX, not Y.

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.

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.

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 or


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!

I am surprised that Apple approved this app.


January 29, 2013

Wikipedia is AWESOME...

Awhile back, I was fortunate enough to travel to Calcutta, India. I was a photographer at Kshitij in IIT Kharagpur, India. IIT is the acronym for Indian Institute of Technology. They are the Asian version of MIT. In fact, I remembered watching a video about a graduate saying that this school was harder to get into than even some of the ivy leagues [source: 60 Minutes].

When I visited, there were robotics competitions and many innovative projects there. I was fortunate to see Jimmy Wales speak. I have always been an advocate of Wikipedia, since I wanted a set of Britannica Encyclopedia, but couldn't really afford it.

In any case, I found these two videos.

Did you ever wonder what happened to OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)? OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte, who is also the founder of MIT Media Lab. Lisa Strausfeld, one of my professors for Information Visualization at ITP, worked on the o/s Sugar. This video documents children in Peru using Wikipedia on OLPC.

Children in Peru write their own history on Wikipedia

International contributors from Wikipedia talk about their experiences and contributions.

Meet some of the awesome people who make Wikipedia

If you are an expert, volunteer!

January 30, 2013

Ben Horowitz of a16z just invested in Rap Genius

a16z is cool venture capital company that invests in 150 portfolio companies. They had invested in a couple of my favorite sites, such as Pinterest, Quirky and Fab also invested in this site as well). But the latest site, Rap Genius, is what I am interested in. I am interested in two folds, partly for the feature of annotations, and relations to law studies (statute and case law):

Check out this Yale University Press published book, The Anthology of Rap. I just bought a copy myself for an awesome project.

I picked up this book at the NYPL Live event when I was fortunate enough to see Def Jam present this book. I even had it autographed... Woot! Woot! If you like Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, read this book. Check out some of the cover albums and screenshots of videos:

Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label
by Def Jam, Bill Adler, Dan Charnas and Rick Rubin (Oct 11, 2011)

One of my favorite rap artists is Eminem, check him out on VEVO:

This video is cute, Eminem is going back to high school:

Check out this cool song by Taylor Swift reappropriate Eminem's "Lose Yourself:"

If you like a jazzier rap, check out: Kendrick Lamar - Poetic Justice (Live on SNL). This looks pretty interesting, anything with Saturday Night Live (SNL) is awesome, also on VEVO:

February 8, 2013

Google Drive and Revision History


Since 2005 when I purchased Microsoft Word for my MAC, my software was stolen when I mailed it to NYC. I was naive at the time, so I didn't insure my mail. In any case, I had purchased the CD for $199, and tried getting my license key and that version of software to no avail.

Fast forward to 2013. I had to create a UX Audit template, and miraculously was able to do everything on Google Drive, formerly Google Docs. My favorite feature is the Revision History, which came in handy when I had accidentally ported the wrong spreadsheet into a different file. In any case, I was able to undo several steps.

February 16, 2013

Belated Valentine's Day: Google Doodle

Happy Belated Valentine's Day everyone!

In honor of technology, I just wanted to highlight Google Doodle's 2013 Valentine's Theme interactive piece honoring George Ferris' Birthday. For more about George Ferris, skip to the bottom of the post for references about his works and his process.


If you click on the heart-shaped button, a couple of lovers appear and the animation of the ferris wheels run, and then a storyboard is displayed of the lovers.


In this case, an octopus courts a duck, but what is funny about this series of images is that it references the movie, Say Anything. John Cusack's character holds a boombox, and plays Peter Gabriel's song In Your Eyes:


Here is the url so you can experience the interactive piece. Google's art team covers the design process:

The 9 additional stories, which reference popular culture:









More about George Ferris here. The second url covers a bit of science education:,_Jr.


This is 2012 Valentine's Day Google Doodle (Tony Bennett):

Here are the list of the Top Ten Google Doodles of 2012:

February 27, 2013

UX Resource: Yahoo! Design Pattern Library

Lately, I have found this url very helpful for UX/Interaction Design. If you navigate to this url [], in the right rail at the top, you will see a vertical accordion that expands to reveal categorized patterns. See image below, which is what I pasted together as an index. It is laid out in a 1-column layout.


March 11, 2013

Really cool HTML5 website, but WEAR headphones

This HTML5 site incorporates scripts for changing the background. The animation of cat heads seem to be in sync with the beats of the music. Please wear headphones or view in conference room.

Bring In The Cats

Open up Firebug to see the code animate.





This was a recommendation by colleague and Web Producer, Edwina Hay.

[Great Design]: Artsy

Over the weekend, I visited The Armory Show, and found some new artists to follow. The Armory Show features most galleries here in New York City as well as ones abroad. Currently, I found an artist Alyson Shotz of Berlin (beautiful works in innovative mediums — i.e. string, pins and paper, or Mirror Plexiglass). The two pieces are not on the website, but ones I would have purchased if I had funds. I did also post my photos on Facebook of other artists I am following. So if you are interested, ping me/friend me or I can post photos on Picassa.


I found this site:

Here are a couple of UI/UX stuff followed by screenshots (the ones italicized are displayed below):
Filters (Color, Price, Scale, A-Z)
• A-Z Directory []
• Browse
• Search
Follow/Share Tools
• Show More Text
• About (takes full screen) with urls to the right []

Color Wheel and Scrubber interfaces for Price/Scale:

Great use of Autofill and Feedback for Sharing and Following:


Download ZIP File with screenshots (reduced width from 1666 pt/px to 800).

July 9, 2013

Future of tangible augmented reality

More of his projects:

Space Top allows people to interact with their digital desktop in 2D and 3D

WYCIWYW - What You Click Is What You Wear

ZeroN - Uses magnetic levitation to control a physical object

Beyond - Collapsible device into 3D space

September 8, 2013

My First Hackathon

Yesterday, I participated in my first hackathon at General Assembly hosted by Glamour Magazine and CFDA (one of my pieces from ITP is in this book):

Dressed to Code: Glamour's Fashion Hackathon

It was pretty fun, and the time went by very quickly. I wanted to meet new people and see what apps were floating around in fashion. I worked on an app called ShopBook, which allowed users to store size information, calendar of special occasions and a "Mood Mosaic" to replace entering a text field of favorite colors and styles (also this information would keep users' current trends up to date since fashion changes every season). There is more information here:

Our group:
Lisa Koscielski
Anne Hong
Richard Kuo
Sahat Yalkabov

Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

API Partners:
• Facebook []
• SendGrid []
• Aviary []
• Gilt []
• Tumblr []
• 72 Lux []
• Foursquare []
• Glamour Dressed Blog []

Deena Varshavskaya, Founder & CEO, Wanelo
Heather Marie, Founder, 72Lux
Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer
Rus Yusupov, Co-founder & Creative Director, Vine
Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

September 24, 2013

Projection Mapping by The Creators Project

October 10, 2013

Disney and Apple adding "tactile rendering" to Touch Surfaces

Disney created an algorithm that creates tactile feedback on tablets by using vibration using Xbox's Kinect, which I would imagine would parallel Google Glass.

Here is the rest of the article:

Here are two patent sketches on tablet tactile feedback from Apple:

With context to an interface in a car:

October 14, 2013

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are going to contribute their time and resources to, a non-profit organization that will encourage people to learn how to code. They even have from the The Black Eyed Peas advocating to participate.

Anyone between the ages of six and 80 can get involved. Educators who organize Hour of Code events will receive 10GB of complimentary Dropbox storage, and a school in every US state will be gifted a class set of laptops for their participation.

Read more:

October 15, 2013

New take on Gamification

Here is a new take on gamification by MTV and Intel. Users sign up and complete social tasks using to get a chance to win tickets to concerts (public or clandestine). The first concert is Arcade Fire in Los Angeles using Instagram. Other social media outlets include Pinterest, Vine, Shazam etc.

Below are screenshots. If you visit the site, they have some cool javascript ixd patterns:


October 17, 2013

A Network of Balloons Providing Internet Access

Google has launched a project called Loon, in which they create a network of balloons powered by solar panels and controlled using wind technology to provide Internet access (40th parallel south). I wish the success for this project, and the design is ingenious.

The technology:

It is project like these that make me wish I were a scientist :D


Promotional video:

October 26, 2013

castAR glasses: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Pretty cool VR/AR glasses by Technical Illusions. They just launched a Kickstarter campaign:

I think the starter kit might be cheaper than GoogleGlass. Like Microsoft's Kinect, you probably won't be able to wear these glasses outside, but who would want to split their attention between the virtual world and reality?

Here is another video on the overview of the system and people's reactions at both MakerFaires (NYC, SF):

Found this other video on this site on a demo of how doctors would be able to use this system for MRI's (not fully developed or ready-to-launch mode):

More information here about how immersive this system is compared to other systems:

Obviously, castAR isn’t precisely in competition with the likes of Google or other wearable devices for your face. Neither are they quite as immersive as the Oculus Rift (thought they say you’ll be less prone to motion sickness with castAR).

October 29, 2013

User Testing Resources from the ITP list

I have not been involved in User Testing and the User Testing Process for about a year. I did find this interesting discussions on my alumni mailing list:

This may be of use: Erika Hall's Just Enough Research.

An excerpt is available here:

• Measuring Usability (
• FiveSecondTest (
• Chalkmark (
• Feedback Army (
• Loop11 (
• UserTesting (
• UserZoom (
• WhatUserDo (
• TryMyUI (
• Morae (

Ways to quantify your research:
1. Time on task
2. Success rates
3. Error rates

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" []


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 []
- Sanjay [] - they were funded by Paul Graham's y-combinator
- Mike Este [] - 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:

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 []; []
- 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 []
- 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:

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 [].

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 (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) 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?)
- for book about geeks
- Pearson looking for .net developers
- sesame workshop in India
- (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 19, 2013

Plone 3.0 and Thomas Deneuville

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

This calendar looks kind of cool []:
Look below the screenshot for a list of categories (stolen from the right rail).

He just redesigned Hunter College's new website:, 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

December 5, 2013

[For Designers]: Very cool icon font

Brian Hochhalter just showed me this url:

Check out the download and slider button at the top. You can download the font, and check out the spinning icons. Since it is a font, the icons are scalable. Very cool animated ones, see screenshots below.



To install this font, download the font (extension is .ttf). Open up finder, while clicking on Option key > click the Go (menu dropdown), which will display "Library" -- for Mountain Lion (otherwise you might have to access your Library folder using Terminal). Drop the font into your font folder.

Where was this site a couple of years ago, when I had to create my own icons in Adobe Illustrator, and worry about the scale and concept of each icon? (Sigh), now you have it :)

I believe you can take this font, and modify them using some open source software (exports true type - .vfb or .vfbak), but I have not researched this yet.

December 11, 2013

TED: The promise of research with stem cells

I just found this video which was dated Jun 2012. Susan Solomon, the founder of New York Stem Cell Foundation, speaks about the innovative technology of stem cell research, drug discovery process, statistics of drug discovery and disease-modeling in tissue, use of hardware (automated robot to print thousands of stem cell lines), use of software (to produce avatars to test side effects of drugs on organs). Skip to 13:28-13:40 to see this technology...

December 26, 2013

Circuit Scribe: Conductive Ink and STEM

Pretty cool project on Kickstarter:

December 29, 2013

Khan Academy

Just found this great video on Kahn Academy.

Sometimes the founder, Salman Khan, will study up to 5 textbooks before he creates a video:

Here is a segment on Khan Academy's data driven analysis by former Google Executive, Eric Schmidt:

July 21, 2014

What a Top Design Firm Reads...

TOP 5 (sorted by ranking)

1. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
2. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
3. Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula
4. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works by Ash Maurya
5. Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier

1. A List Apart
2. But Does it Float
3. Colossal
5. Springwise

Magazine (digital)
1. Fast Company
2. The Verge
3. Wired
4. Core77

1. Harvard Business Review
2. The New Yorker
3. The Economist
4. MIT Technology Review
5. Lapham's Quarterly

1. Radiolab
2. 99% Invisible
3. This American Life
4. The Moth
5. HBR Ideacast

1. Seth Godin
2. Creative Applications
3. Daring Fireball
4. David Walsh
5. The Healthcare Blog

RSS feeds
1. Ars Technica
2. Asymco
3. Boing Boing
4. Daring Fireball
5. Lifehacker

Complete list (sorted alphabetically)


Reference (sorted by Title)

101 Design Methods by Vijay Kumar
A Designer’s Research Manual by Jennifer Visocky O’Grady
A Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson
Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking by Jon Kolko
Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle
Analysis and Interpretation of Ethnographic Data by LeCompte
Artificial Intelligence for Games by Ian Millington & John Funge
Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
By Design: Why There are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan
Card Sorting by Donna Spencer
Co Design by Liz Sanders
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
Computers as Theater by Brenda Laurel
Conditional Design: Workbook by Andrew Blauvelt
Contextual Design by Hugh Beyer & Karen Holtzblatt
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the Worldby Tony Wagner
Creative Code: Aesthetics + Computation by John Maeda
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary by Dan Hill
Design Anthropology by Allison Clarke
Design for Care: Innovating Healthcare Experience by Peter Jones
Design Research by Brenda Laurel
Design Research Now by Ralf More
Design Research Through Practice by Ilpo Koskinen
Designing and Conducting by Margaret LeCompte
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Yougme Moon
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup by Bill Aulet
Doing Anthropology by Patricia L. Sunderland
Educational Psychology by Anita Woolfolk
Emergence: The Connected Lived of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson
Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte
Essential Ethnographic Methods by Jean J. Schensul
Ethnography of New Bikers by John Schouten & James McAlexander
Ethnography: Principles in Practice by Martyn Hammersley & Paul Atkinson
Exposing the Magic of Design by Jon Kolko
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Form+Code in Design, Art and Architecture by Casey Reas & Chandler McWilliams
frog in field by frog
Future Shock by Alvin Toffler
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Characterby Paul Tough
How To Do Things with Videogames by Ian Bogost
How to hack your Body Language by Design Staff
Human Centered Design by IDEO
I Read Where I Am: Exploring New Information Cultures by Andrew Blauvelt
Initiating Ethnographic Research by Stephen L. Schensul
Interactive Visualization: Insight through Inquiry by Bill Ferster & Ben Shneiderman
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Walker Evans & James Agee
Logic and Design by Krome Barratt
Making Sense of Making Sense by Rick E. Robinson
Managing your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei
Maximizing Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career by Jocelyn K. Glei
Mental Models by Indi Young
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Burton G. Malkiel & Charles Wheelan
Neubau Welt by Stefan Gandl
Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula
Nudges: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler
Observing the User Experience by Mike Kuniavsky
On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction by Brian Boyd
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City by Robin Nagle
Popular Lies About Graphic Design by Craig Ward
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century by Alvin Toffler
Predictive Analysis: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel
Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff
Redesigning Leadership(Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) by John Maeda
Remote Research by Nate Bol & Tony Tulathimutte
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals by Katie Salen Tekinbas & Eric Zimmerman
Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works by Ash Maurya
Service Design: From Insight to Implementation by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie & Ben Reason
Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers’ Lives by Peter Semmelhack
Specialized Ethnographic Methods by Jean J. Schensul & Margaret D. LeCompte
Story: Style, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
Storytelling for User Experience by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks
Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gillbert
Ten Types of Innovations: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs by Larry Keeley
The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson
The Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care by Eric Topol
The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown
The Elements of Typographic Style: 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert Bringhurst
The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventured and Misadventures in the Tropics by William R. Easterly
The Endless City by LSE & Deutsche Bank
The Ethnographic Interview by James P. Spradley
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku
The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy by Yanis Varoufakis
The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide: How to use your listening, thinking and drawing skills to make meaning by Brandy Agerback
The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha’s Way of Mindfulness by Nyanaponika Thera
The Hero and the Outline: Building Extraordinary Brand Through the Power of Archetypes by Margaret Mark & Carol Pearson
The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge by Doc Searls
The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz
The Japanese Mafia: Yakuza, Law, and the State by Peter B. E. Hill
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business by Eric Ries
The Modernist by Robert Klanten
The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems by Christian Madsbjerg & Mikkel B. Rasmussen
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman
The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What it Means for Business and Society by Eric D. Beinhocker
The Persona Lifecycle by John Pruitt
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
The Social Labs Revolution by Zaid Hassan
The Social Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems by William D. Eggers
The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel Lieberman
The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley & Jonathan Littman
The Third Teacher by OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture & Bruce Mau Design
The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler
The Tipping Point: by Malcolm Gladwell
The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte
Things I have learned in my life so far by Stefan Sagmeister
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Thoughtless Acts?: Observations on Intuitive Design by Jane Fulton Suri & IDEO
Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy From Products to Consumers by Niraj Dawar
Topoholic: Material Types in Design by Viction Workshop
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser
Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture by Erez Aiden & Jean-Baptiste Michel
Universal Methods of Design by Bruce Hanington
Visual Anthropology by John Collier
Visual Interventions by Sarah Pink
Walden: (Or Life in the Woods) by Henry David Thoreau
What to Do With A Human Factor by Rick Robinson
Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill
Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes by Robert M. Emerson
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

Fiction (sorted by title)

Accelerando (Singularity) by Charles Stross
S by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst
The Circle by Dave Eggers
The Complete Poems by Walt Whitman

Reference (sorted by author)

Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Agerback, Brandy. The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide: How to use your listening, thinking and drawing skills to make meaning
Aiden, Erez & Michel, Jean-Baptiste. Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture
Aulet, Bill. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
Barratt, Krome. Logic and Design
Beinhocker, Eric D. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What it Means for Business and Society
Beyer, Hugh & Holtzblatt, Karen. Contextual Design
Blauvelt, Andrew. Conditional Design: Workbook
Blauvelt, Andrew. I Read Where I Am: Exploring New Information Cultures
Bogost, Ian. Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing
Bogost, Ian. How To Do Things with Videogames
Bolt, Nate & Tulathimutte, Tony. Remote Research
Boyd, Brian. On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction
Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style: 20th Anniversary Edition
Brown, Brene. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brown, Sunni. The Doodle Revolution
Buley, Leah. The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide
Caplan, Ralph. By Design: Why There are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons
Clarke, Allison. Design Anthropology
Collier, John. Visual Anthropology
Csikszentmihalyi , Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Dawar, Niraj. Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy From Products to Consumers
Design Staff. How to hack your Body Language
Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Duarte, Nancy. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business
Easterly, William R. The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventured and Misadventures in the Tropics
Eggers, William D. The Social Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems
Emerson, Robert M. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
Evans, Walker & Agee, James. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Ferster, Bill & Shneiderman, Ben. Interactive Visualization: Insight through Inquiry
Friedman, George. The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century
frog. frog in field
Fulton Suri, Jane & IDEO. Thoughtless Acts?: Observations on Intuitive Design
Gandl, Stefan. Neubau Welt
Geertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures
Gillbert, Dan. Stumbling on Happiness
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point
Glaeser, Edward L. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Glei, Jocelyn K. Maximizing Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career
Glei, Jocelyn K. Managing your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
Gothelf, Jeff & Seiden, Josh. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
Gula, Robert J. Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies
Hammersley, Martyn & Atkinson, Paul. Ethnography: Principles in Practice
Hanington, Bruce. Universal Methods of Design
Hassan, Zaid. The Social Labs Revolution
Hill, Dan. Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary
Hill, Peter B. E. The Japanese Mafia: Yakuza, Law, and the State
IDEO. Human Centered Design
Johnson, Steven. Emergence: The Connected Lived of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
Jones, Peter. Design for Care: Innovating Healthcare Experience
Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking Fast and Slow
Kaku, Michio. Physics of the Future
Kaku, Michio. The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Min
Keeley, Larry. Ten Types of Innovations: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
Kelley, Tom & Littman, Jonathan. The Ten Faces of Innovation
Klanten, Robert. The Modernist
Kolko, Jon. Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking
Kolko, Jon. Exposing the Magic of Design
Koskinen, Ilpo. Design Research Through Practice
Kumar, Vijay. 101 Design Methods
Kuniavsky, Mike. Observing the User Experience
Lanier, Jaron. Who Owns the Future
Laurel, Brenda. Computers as Theater
Laurel, Brenda. Design Research
LeCompte, Margaret. Designing and Conducting
LeCompte, Margaret. Analysis and Interpretation of Ethnographic Data
LeFever, Lee. The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easier to Understand
Levinson, Marc. The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the Economy Bigger
Lieberman, Daniel. The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
LSE & Deutsche Bank. The Endless City
Madsbjerg, Christian & Rasmussen, Mikkel B. The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems
Maeda, John. Creative Code: Aesthetics + Computation
Maeda, John. Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
Malkiel, Burton G. & Wheelan, Charles. Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
Mark, Margaret & Pearson, Carol. The Hero and the Outline: Building Extraordinary Brand Through the Power of Archetypes
Maurya, Ash. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works
McKee, Robert. Story: Style, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Millington, Ian & Funge, John. Artificial Intelligence for Games
Montgomery, Charles. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Moon, Yougme. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
More, Ralf. Design Research Now
Nagle, Robin. Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City
O’Grady, Jennifer Visocky. A Designer’s Research Manual
Osterwalder, Alexander & Pigneur, Yves. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture & Bruce Mau Design The Third Teacher
Peterson, Christopher. A Primer in Positive Psychology
Pink, Sarah. Visual Interventions
Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
Polaine, Andy & Løvlie, Lavrans & Reason, Ben. Service Design: From Insight to Implementation
Pruitt, John. The Persona Lifecycle
Quesenbery, Whitney & Brooks, Kevin. Storytelling for User Experience
Reas, Casey & McWilliams, Chandler. Form+Code in Design, Art and Architecture
Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business
Roam, Dan. Back of the Napkin
Robinson, Rick E. Making Sense of Making Sense
Robinson, Rick. What to Do With A Human Factor
Rushkoff, Douglas. Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
Sagmeister, Stefan. Things I have learned in my life so far
Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In
Sanders, Liz. Co Design
Schensul, Jean J. & LeCompte, Margaret D. Specialized Ethnographic Methods
Schensul, Jean J. Essential Ethnographic Methods
Schensul, Stephen L. Initiating Ethnographic Research
Schouten, John & MCAlexander, James: Ethnography of New Bikers
Searls, Doc. The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge
Semmelhack, Peter M. Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers’ Lives
Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization
Shavit, Ari. My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization
Siegel, Eric. Predictive Analysis: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die
Silver, Nate. The Signal and the Noise
Spencer, Donna. Card Sorting
Spradley, James P. The Ethnographic Interview
Sunderland, Patricia L. Doing Anthropology
Tekinbas, Katie Salen & Zimmerman, Eric. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
Thaler, Richard H. Nudges: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Thera, Nyanaponika. The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha’s Way of Mindfulness
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden: (Or Life in the Woods)
Toffler, Alvin. Future Shock
Toffler, Alvin. Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century
Toffler, Alvin. The Third Wave
Topol, Eric. The Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care
Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
Tufte, Edward R. Envisioning Information
Tufte, Edward R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Underhill, Paco. Why We Buy
Varoufakis, Yanis. The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy
Viction Workshop. Topoholic: Material Types in Design
Wagner, Tony. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
Ward, Craig. Popular Lies About Graphic Design
Woolfolk, Anita. Educational Psychology
Young, Indi. Mental Models

Fiction (sorted by author)

Abrams, J.J. & Dorst, Doug. S
Eggers, Dave The Circle
Stross, Charles. Accelerando (Singularity)
Whitman, Walt The Complete Poems

More authors (also read by frogs):

Aurel, Marc
Benjamin, Walter
McLuhan, Marshal
Minsky, Marvin
Norman, Donald
Rams, Dieter
Smil, Vaclav
Smith, Adam
Tufte, Edward R.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig


1x– Photography community
A List Apart – a magazine on design, development and content on the web
A.V. Club – entertainment & culture, published by the Onion
Aeon Magazine – idea and culture magazine that publishes essays and documentary films
Archiproducts – architecture and design resource
Ars Technica – PC-focused community
At Edge – community of creatives
Awwwards – web design award
Baumai – visual inspiration
Benedict Evans – photographer
Brainpickings – weekly digest by Maria Popova
But Does it Float – visual conversation blog
Colossal – art, design visual inspirations
CSS Tricks – web development tips and tricks
Design Bivouac – design
Design Licks – website inspiration
Designboom – architecture and design
Diabetes Mine – directed at people with diabetes
FFFFound! – image bookmarking for inspiration
* Font Awesome– Github repo for a bootstrapped font
*Fontello – font icon generator
Friends of Type– daily inspirations on type
Fubiz – contemporary creative culture
GMUNK – inspirations from the film and visual effects world Infographics – visualizations used in Good articles
Health Populi – health and technology consulting
Human Resources – daily design inspirations
io9– future, science & science fiction
It’s Nice That – Creativity in the art and design world
Lifehacker – life hacks and software related
Logoed – logo inspiration
Madriz – A Madrid-based cultural magazine on the city
Medgadget – medical technology news
Medscape – news for care physicians
Mobile Health News – news, events and research on mobile health
NOTCOT – collection of random inspiration
Philip Bloom – AV news and reviews
Poptech – community for technologists and creatives
Rock Health – company website that funds health care start-ups
Science – from non-profit group AAAS
Sidebar – daily posts on web design
Site Inspire – showcasing web design and interactive design
Sitepoint – web development and design
Slashdot – technology-related news (Linux and open-source related)
Springwise – collection of entrepreneurial ideas
Strategy and Business – business and innovation
Strategy& - company website of Booz & Co
The Dieline – packaging design inspirations
The Favorite Website Awards – web awards for web design
The Information – startup magazine
The Locals – fashion from Copenhagen
The Wirecutter – gadget list and occasional blog post
The World’s Best Ever – Brooklyn-based art, culture & entertainment website
This is Paper – design section
Typcut – visual inspirations
Typecast – typography tips and tricks
Typewolf – typography inspiration
Typographica – review of typefaces and type books
Typophile - type–related forum
Vice – magazine on contemporary and controversial topics
What Games Are – game design related tips and tricks

MAGAZINES (digital)

Apartamento – interior design
Boing Boing – weird, wonderful and wicked
CNET – CBS Interactive’s technology news channel
Core77 – industrial design magazine
Dazed & Confused Magazine – youth fashion and culture
Endgadget – a magazine that focuses on gadgets and consumer electronics
Fast Company – business and innovation from the tech world
FastCo Create – creativity + Culture + Commerce
FastCo Design – business + Innovation + Design
Forbes – business and financial news
Gizmondo – design and technology
Longreads: by The Atlantic
Make: DIY / maker movement
New York Times – daily newspaper
PSFK – advertising, design and retail
Smashing Magazine – web development and design
Spiegel Online – German news magazine
Techcrunch – technology news
The Guardian – daily newspaper
The Huffington Post – online news portal
The Verge – tech, science, art and culture
Wired – future trends in technology


Believer Magazine – Monthly publications on authors and books
Bench – created by Matt Lenz
COLORS Magazine - photography–centric magazine on social issues
Dwell – Lifestyle magazine
Elephant – Art & Visual Culture Magazine
Elle Magazine – Fashion
Kinfolk – Balanced, intentionally lifestyle magazine
Maker Magazine – bi-annual publication
Purple Fashion Magazine – fashion related magazine from France
Scientific American Mind – cognitive science related publication by Scientific American
SUP-Mag – music magazine
The Gentlewoman Magazine – woman-oriented magazine from England


Berg Cloud Blog – company blogs
Brian Lovin – product manager at Buffer
Creative Applications – collection of projects, tools and platforms around art, media and technology
Daring Fireball – John Gruber’s Blog
David Walsh – web developer at Mozilla
Design Milk – interior design and architecture
Gessato Blog – Italian perspective on art, architecture and design
Hacker News – by Y-Combinator

[EVENT/IXDA]: A Day in the Life of a UX Designer

IXDA: Interaction Design Association

Ever wonder what UX designers do day to day? From user research at Starbucks and client meetings, to wire-framing with Axure and usability testing, the responsibilities of UX designers are ever changing.

Join IxDA and General Assembly at the Apple store in SoHo as we host a panel of talented designers to unlock the box of what exactly a career in User Experience Design entails and how you can get your foot in the door!

Discussion Topics Include:

Beyond Wire-framing: Top 10 skills every UX designer needs to have
Owning Your Role: How to collaborate with graphic designers, developers, and product managers
Don't Make Me Think: How to continuously keep the user top of mind
Breaking Down Doors: How to kick-off your career in UX Design

Apple Store SoHo
103 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

Thursday, July 24th
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

To Register: Visit the Apple Store Soho website, scroll down to the "Upcoming Store Events and Workshops" section to Thursday the 24th, find the event "A Day in the Life of a UX Designer" and click on the "Reserve" button. You have to keep hitting "next" until you click find the date.


Chris Pallé Executive Director of User Experience,
Wisdom & Craft, Inc.

With over 18 years of strategic, creative, and analytical User Experience-related practice, Chris Pallé has served in a variety of institutions ranging from small boutiques and startups to the enterprise such as Merck, McGraw-Hill, EMC, Merrill Lynch, CBS, TribalDDB, and GeometryGlobal – he gets the Bootstrappers and The Powers the Be.

Chris is the founder of Wisdom + Craft which is a UX agency that has a focus on serving organizations with social causes. They’re a for-profit company – for the profit of many.

Chris’ ideation techniques drive collaboration and alignment between cross-functional teams to extract, explore and uncover innovative solutions to his clients’ toughest Customer Experience problems. In addition to his UX work, Chris has taught and lectured on UX best practices, Strategic Design and Social Media to various audience levels including and graduate students at NYU.

Mona Patel CEO,
UXHires and Motivate Design

Mona combines positivity, timeless wisdom, sharp design thinking and a little bit of magic glitter with her 15 years of experience in design and research to help you see around corners and realize a kind of success you didn’t necessarily expect. She started Motivate Design in 2009 to create a place where clients could get what they want, rather than what an agency needs to sell. She teaches design research and strategy at Parsons The New School for Design and balances her hypersonic speed by being a certified yoga instructor. She holds a M.S. in Marketing Communications from Boston University and a B.S. in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University. You can catch Mona on LinkedIn or Twitter and say “hello” to the Motivate Design team at @Motivate_Design.

Abby Covert Independent Information Architect

Abby Covert is an information architect in New York City. She has a proven track record in managing user-centric practices in a variety of creative environments. In 2009, she started on a journey to help create a user-experience planning practice for Draftfcb Chicago, a global integrated advertising agency. During her time as Director of Strategic Planning in User Experience she was able to instill into the organization a user-focused directive and process across channels including mobile, social and eCommerce. Her clients included among others Nike, IHOP, Sharpie, JELL-O, Prismacolor, Expo Markers, Valspar, KMART, Taco Bell, KFC, State Farm and The United States Postal Service. For her efforts she was listed on the Direct Marketing Associations list of 30 under 30 in 2011.

Tina Israni Co-founder,

Tina Israni is an entrepreneur and UX Designer as well as Co-Founder of, a men's accessories ecommerce company focused on subscription, retail and wholesale. With 5 years of experience in Financial services, Tina is both versatile and creative. She is passionate about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone.

General Assembly transforms thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in technology, business, and design. Join us for an engaging conversation with a panel of talented UX designers as they talk about their day-to-day work lives, explain what a career in user experience design entails, and give tips for getting your foot in the door

Product Management/UX Video

So a couple of years ago, I went to an interview, and one of the hiring managers asked me what was the KPI of a product. I had no idea, and needless to say after the interview I looked it up. Now there are 2 acronyms, KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and OKR (Objectives and Key Results by Google). Over the past, I worked with some Product Managers who knew about this, and some who knew about this but didn't really label it. My colleague once took a class at General Assembly with Hong Qu, who used to work at Google. He taught a class at GA titled Data-Driven UX Design. My colleague raved about it, but I don't know if this class is still available. He also passed out a deck... maybe it's on SlideShare

If you can't find it, I found this video. I watched about 15 minutes, and could actually understand it:

August 22, 2014

NYPL LIVE: Bryan Stevenson & Sister Helen Prejean

When I was a kid, my parents, as most Asian parents, tried to push me to be a doctor or lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor more than a lawyer, but I was also interested in art. Then I watch Inherit the Wind, and really wanted to be a lawyer. Read more about the film here on Wikipedia []. After I graduated, I went abroad to teach, then decided to apply for law school. You have to take the LSATs, which was fun, but before dropping over $100k, I got my paralegal certificate (3 or 6-month overview of Constitutional Law/Statute Law, etc.), and worked at two law firms, and may I say the experience was far from being "an Erin Brockovich." Julia Roberts played her in the film []. My experience was paper pushing, coding, and politics. I am glad I have the experience because I can create my own provisional patents, and edit contract templates. If I were to go back in time, I think I would have been an Intellectual Property paralegal/attorney. I like to draw and read about technology. Anyway, I am glad that there are people like Bryan Stevenson and Sister Helen Prejean, advocates for the poor and incarcerated.

Yes, I am a fan of the film, Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Read more about the movie on Wikipedia []. NYPL Live is hosting a discussion with these two authors.

Does our criminal justice system lack mercy? Could the U.S. legal system exact justice if it abolished capital punishment, or eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing? These questions are at the heart of Bryan Stevenson’s new book, Just Mercy, which explores these issues and chronicles his career as founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Joining him at LIVE is Sister Helen Prejean, from The Ministry Against the Death Penalty and author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.

BRYAN STEVENSON is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's a professor of law at New York University Law School and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) [], an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional (too cool). He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued six times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees.​ His book is entitled Just Mercy.

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN is the public face of the Ministry Against the Death Penalty. She spends most of her time giving speaking engagements across the USA and internationally, teaching people about the realities of the death penalty and encouraging people to educate themselves on the issue. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate, and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Sister Helen has served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and is a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. Presently, she serves as the Honorary Chairperson of Moratorium Campaign, a group gathering signatures for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.

Cited from NYPL LIVE website:

August 23, 2014

[Edtech]: STEMteachersNYC: Standards-Based Grading

I have gone to one STEMteachersNYC event on [], and open-source Java based code for artists and designers. First off, STEM is an acronym for (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I was pretty impressed with the teachers in this group. I worked with two high school teachers, who were teaching Processing, Arduino inputs (software-to-hardware and hardware-to-software interaction), scary that some kids are learning this in 10th grade, when I learned this program in my mid-thirties. Within 20-40 minutes, my group created a simulation of a decaying leaf over 365 days, including day and night. That was one of the issues I had in graduate school. Artists and designers were creating beautiful art, but not using the program to simulate science. I saw some projects simulating Visual Calculus techniques that simulated a presentation from a Caltech Professor, Mamikon Mnatsakanian [New Horizons in Geometry(Dolciani Mathematical Expositions) Hardcover – January 18, 2013 by Tom Apostol (Author), Mamikon Mnatsakanian (Author)]. I also saw cool applications of teachers teaching Trigonometry, sine and cosine by creating the application, and editing the program. Processing is the new Mathematica (this software was $100k at one time).

I am attending this event on assessment. I have been interested in retention. Why can I remember almost every colleagues' thesis or class projects in graduate school, but on a MOOC, I need to review content. In both physical classes and digital classes, assessment was very important, but very different. Since approximately 70k-100k can take one Coursera class, students are often graded by their peers using specific examples of rubrics. Anyway, there are 30 spots:

More about this event and how to join the group below:

• Elizabeth Dowdell (Urban Assembly Maker Academy, Manhattan)
• Steven Carpenter (Avenues: The World School, Manhattan)

DESCRIPTION: Standards-Based Grading (SBG) begins with standards that teachers author/choose/revise and that they apply in their classrooms. Rather than a top-down directive, these standards are a helpful tool that teachers use to make required work and acceptable performance levels transparent. Instead of receiving a traditional letter or number grade on an assessment, SBG allows teachers to provide students with feedback on their mastery of a set of specific skills and content knowledge. With SBG, conversations become more focused on learning itself rather than report card grades. SBG can also be used to help meet the demands of Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and Danielson’s Framework (especially component 3d).

In this workshop, we will share our experiences developing and implementing Standards-Based Grading systems in our classrooms. During the first part of the workshop we will present specific examples and resources from our classrooms, along with discussions regarding why and how we made the shift to SBG and some of the challenges and rewards we experienced. During the second part of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work in groups to experience the process of developing/choosing standards and to discuss how those standards impact instruction and grading.

Elizabeth teaches physics and Steve teaches physics, engineering, physical science, and computer programming. In addition to using SBG in their own classrooms, both Elizabeth and Steve have experience implementing SBG with interdisciplinary teams. Thus the focus of the workshop will be on a variety of disciplines, and the strategies and tools considered will be useful to any teacher, irrespective of subject.
Receipts and Certificates documenting participation are available.

STEM (Science-Tech-Engineering-Math) teachers, including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science physical science, and general science teachers
Teachers of any subject interested in making their evaluation of student work more meaningful and transparent as well as in developing explicit standards and connecting them with grading.

Students interested in becoming teachers or engaged in preparing to be teachers.
ACCELERATED MOTION APPARATUS AND WHITEBOARDS. There is a simultaneous workshop at Teachers College on “Accelerated Motion Lab Make-n-Take & Intro to Modeling.” If you wish to do so, you can order whiteboards (6 for $20) and/or one or more of the accelerated motion apparatus setups for $10 each (or 8 for $64) at . The whiteboards and apparatus will be available for pickup in room 414, down the hall from the SBG workshop at 1 pm.

CAPACITY: limited to 30 participants.
ORGANIZER: Fernand Brunschwig, Math, Sci. & Tech. Dept., Columbia Teachers College
To join STEMteachersNYC, fill out survey:

By the way, I met with Fernand Brunschwig, founder of this program, and author of a college physics text book. You can google him, or check out his books on scribd [].

June 1, 2015

Google I/O: Expeditions

This was one of my favorite experiences. I went on a scuba expedition using a cardboard viewer to learn about coral in multiple locations: Australia, Philippines, and Hawaii. To learn more, please visit:

Here's a video:

February 16, 2016

Google re-engineered a piano's 88 keys to play just one note

May 17, 2016

STEAM Event in NYC

I was lucky to get tickets from NYU to a STEAM event at a public school in Brooklyn.

I gravitated away from the new technologies like Arduino and LittleBits, and found this booth. I was able to experience some of these tools that people used in early 19th and 20th Century. It was a like a tangible museum.

This device reminds me of Google Cardboard:

This is what I see in the viewer:

Here's a microscope:

Here's what someone joked as a Ouija board.

But it looks like a mini-printing press or type-plate. It reminds me of a Letterpress class I took at Art Center:

See in context:

They use these tools for teaching. If interested, here's more information:
The Museum of Interesting Things
Denny Daniel


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