Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Mr. Zero Punctuation

Mr. Zero Punctuation

I was a little late in catching onto Mr. Zero Punctuation [Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw], an English video game reviewer for The Escapist magazine. A few scant months back, a co-worker of mine played Croshaw’s review of The Orange Box for me (knowing that I was a huge fan of the game) – and I found myself really not only bowled over by the quality of the review itself, but in the funny and unique presentation. Obviously, the guy gets his moniker from his verbal delivery… he snarkilytalksreallyfastandgetsinalotinaveryshortamountoftime – but the accompanying minimalist / information graphics-style animations are so simple, subversive, and friggin’ fast that you NEED to be paying very close attention to be getting all the jokes, cross-references, jabs, and barbs.

Hell, I’m even not the world’s biggest gamer (in fact, I remain blissfully unaware of most of the games he reviews), but whatever… I could watch this guy review breakfast cereal.

Check him out either via The Escapist or his blog.

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Take A Seat – Chair Follows You

The Take-A-Seat concept by Jelte van Geest is about chairs that follow you wherever you go. For instance if you’re in a library and you are a member of that library. You hold your membership-card in front of the chair and from then on you have a seat that follows you around. (via fresh creation)

3D Hologram for realz!

I think the Star Wars Hologram communicator is close to becoming reality. If you want me information about this technology go to the researcher’s website.

Content Aware Image Resizing = Awesome!

Now imagine having this in Photoshop!

UPDATE: Adobe Hires Co-Inventer of Image Resizer Technology
ANOTHER UPDATE: Some Patrick Swieskowski builds his own prototype of this scaling technology that you can try with your own picures.

Nokia’s “Where’s the Phone” Research

 Chongqing

“A lot of rich qualitative user research loses its soul by the time it’s been squeezed into conference and journal submission formats and in addition, work involving concept generation tends to remain confidential. So what you see here scratches the surface, nothing more.”

And that quote is about right, but do not think that it’s not very interesting. There are a lot of  odd tidbits that are worth knowing. They traveled to 11 cities, interviewed over a thousand people and have the pictures to prove it. If you have any interest in how hand held devices, any hand held device, may change in the future, these presentations may give you a little head start.

I enjoyed the blog format of their travels coupled with the PDF files that explain what they found. I guess the questionnaires must have been an exercise in information design by themselves, how do you ask a guy from Kampala about the interface design issues he’s been having? The writer posts some interesting thoughts from the cities, like this one, ‘ “What happens when everything is transformed into ‘experience’ shopping? And the experience shops are clustered in close proximity? Is it possible to experience, well, ‘experience fatigue’?” Some of them sound like he’s a bit jet lagged, some are relevant musings from a good scholar. It’s a blog, dammit.

Link 

Elvis May Be Dead But He’s Still Prettier Than Celine

I remember the scene in Forest Gump where Forest meets the President of the USA. He shakes hands, moves around the room and has his picture taken. It was probably one of the most technically difficult shots in the film. American Idol have done that, live, in 3D, in front of an audience, BETTER. I looked at this film twice and I’m still very impressed. It’s a tech masterpiece.
Now that’s entertainment.

 Thanks to Robyn for this awesome find. 

Joost TV Beta Tester Says:

Joost

I got my invitation for Joost yesterday. I would have played right there and then, but had to bring my work laptop home because the software doesn’t run on anything less than the latest Intel macs. No biggie. Installation was painless, I have a user name and the thing looks awesome for streaming TV. Just like regular TV to be honest. Content will come with time but there’s a few hundred hours viewing.

Searching is fast and over picture. It is truly on demand. It may take a few seconds to get the stream started but nothing like wading through 5 minutes of ads. The ads are targeted and fairly discreet (that’ll change!) The interface isn’t awful (the controller needs a little help) and a click on the picture kills all the onscreen controls. Slick. I really, really like it. I want to love it.
One problem. The stuttering. To be honest I am on a wireless network which may account for some of the lag but I’m ahead of the curve for bandwidth and if I’m suffering (enough not to bother watching) this service may not get mainstream acceptance.It basically relies on a lot of people watching TV all the time and some dedicated bandwidth (700kb/s download, 300kb/s upload I think).

Maybe no one was watching TV with me?

This, or something like this, is the what TV is now. Interactive, niche, high quality content , on demand.

ps. is it just me or every rugby lover out there: everytime I see the name Joost I think of the Springbok scrum-half, Joost van der Westhuizen.

[UPDATE] I’ve played with it a few more times and the skipping has definitely reduced. The resolution sometimes suffers but it’s not bad. A lack of content is a problem. I’m bored already.


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