July 2005

OpenTech 2005 Afterthoughts

Me at OpenTech

Danny O’Brian’s presentation on fame and the internet was fantastic and funny. It touched many interesting aspects of fame, privacy and relationship grooming. I would have liked to hear more on micro fame and maybe exploring the advantages of internet extended persona. As a side note I loved his use of quicksilver as substitute for PowerPoint.

Ted Nelson’s presentation was both a highlight and a bit of a let down. He has been a hero of mine since I saw BBC’s Hyperland in the early 90s but here there were two problems in his presentation. He did not show a compelling user experience for his translit project which made it very difficult to grasp and frankly he sounded biter about the web.

Paul Mutton Social network graphs were super cool. Sebastien Noel from Space Hijackers presented their next project MMS Charles Clarke a project to track Charles Clark the british interior ministers every move through a network of volunteers with camera phones.

There was a session about starting some kind of UK based Electronic Frontier Foundation to fight for digital rights. This is seems rather odd to me as the industry lobby now operate on a european level. Even a european organization seems strange as the battle ground is increasingly global and with things like the mickey mouse copyright extension act starting it’s life in Europe and then the Americans harmonizing on a European decisions I think one global organization with local chapters makes much more sense. I think EFF is the bast placed to step up to the plate.

Open Tech 2005

I'm off to London and Open Tech 2005. There seems to be lots of interesting speakers but not enough time alloted to them.

Fold n' Drop

Christian pointed me to this uber cool folding window interface metaphor, so simple one can't help to wonder why nobody implemented it yet. In a way it does similar stuff to Apple's expose but whereas expose is good when you don't know where your target window is located this folding window interface is ideally suited to when the target screen is right under your current one.

Managing for Creativity

The Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on managing creativity viewed through the practices of SAS Institute

...SAS recognizes that 95% of its assets drive out the front gate every evening. Leaders consider it their job to bring them back the next morning...

...In the creative economy, time is precious. And as much as creative people like to feel challenged, they don’t want to have to surmount unnecessary obstacles. The former situation inspires greatness; the latter, migraines—hardly an ideal condition for creative thought. So SAS takes great pains to eliminate hassles for workers wherever and whenever it can, both off and on the job...

...Creativity can’t be shoehorned between the hours of nine and five. The Muses don’t always show up on time for appointments...

Well worth the read if your company lives on creativity and which company does not these days.

Groking Quicksilver

Although I have used and loved Quicksilver for quite some time it’s only these last days that I have really groked it. I got the revelation when looking at a video of a quicksilver and backpack integration. When Tiger came out there was some speculation if quicksilver would survive spotlight, someone wrote that spotlight is about nouns whereas quicksilver is about verbs. Spotlight just returns things whereas quicksilver allows you to do things with things. So even though I used the verb part of quicksilver it was always like a foreigner that didn’t quite master the grammar. Now finally I get it.

So if you are a mac user and you have not given Quicksilver a real chance. I highly recommend that you spend some time exploring it. 43folders has a good starting point. just remember that a little like photoshop, quicksilver is one of those programs you can only really feel the full value once you grok it ;-).


Xavier just showed me Yubnub a kind of command line for the web, It allows you to do all kinds of searches and commands from a single field.

Of course the first thing i needed to do was to find a way to integrate it into the moucho excelente OS X App Quicksilver

AJAX Dangers

AJAX is the hot new web framework that makes web application act more dynamic and responsive. Essentially what it does is allow a web page to update portions of itself by communicating and parsing little xml snippets back and forth with a webserver. Gmail is a good example of an AJAX application.

Although a lot of web application would benefit, there is also potential to make some serious mistakes using AJAX

45 min 43 seconds

Ira Flatow interviews Tom Friedman

One of my favorite radio host Ira Flatow of science friday interviews Tom Friedman, one of my favorite columnists. They talk all kinds of topics surrounding Friedman's book "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century".