Amazon released their iPhone app, Amazon Mobile, and it includes a feature called Amazon Remembers where you can take a photo of any item in the real world, and it is uploaded to Amazon where they match the item in your photo with items from Amazon or their affiliates, and then let you know once they do. The “amazing” part of this is the use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program to analyze and offer suggestions for the photos.
I fully expect some interestingness to come out of this.
Someone favorited this photo this evening thouroughly making my day, a full 18 months after I took the photo. I’m happy that I got to see it again and did fully laugh out loud (LOL)
Great Stamps from the Royal Mail. The British Design Classics collection come out in early 2009.
The NY Times Magazine this weekend is a special issue focusing on Screens. This fall issue is usually reserved for news from and about Hollywood and about movies and filmaking. This years issue involves all types of screen, mostly digital and the special concerns that come along with the proliferation of screens.Three good stories linked below and there are more NY Times Magazine Screens Issue
Kevin Kelly writes Becoming Screen Literate
Everywhere we look, we see screens. The other day I watched clips from a movie as I pumped gas into my car. The other night I saw a movie on the backseat of a plane. We will watch anywhere. Screens playing video pop up in the most unexpected places — like A.T.M. machines and supermarket checkout lines and tiny phones; some movie fans watch entire films in between calls. These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures, as brief as three minutes, while cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers, who are rapidly filling up those screens. We are headed toward screen ubiquity.
Current Mad Men discuss all these screens, marketing, advertising and cross media communication. The last line of the quote below is the big takeaway.
Bastholm: Trevor Edwards, Nike’s main marketing guy, had a great quote. He said, “Nike’s not in the business of keeping media companies alive, we’re in the business of connecting with consumers.” That sums up digital pretty nicely.
Rasmussen: Clients are not saying, “Make us ads” or “Make us Web sites,” they’re saying, “Create interaction between our brand and our customers.” That’s our job now.
Clive Thompson writes in, If You Liked This, You’re Sure to Love That , the story behind the Netflix price and recommendation engines. Psychological hunches modeled with mathematics.
THE “NAPOLEON DYNAMITE” problem is driving Len Bertoni crazy. Bertoni is a 51-year-old “semiretired” computer scientist who lives an hour outside Pittsburgh. In the spring of 2007, his sister-in-law e-mailed him an intriguing bit of news: Netflix, the Web-based DVD-rental company, was holding a contest to try to improve Cinematch, its “recommendation engine.” The prize: $1 million.
Ted Booth, head of Interaction Design at Smart Design spoke earlier this evening at the AIGA Design Remixed series. He spoke a bit about Smart’s approach to running an inter-disciplinary design practice and the role of the ‘hybrid’ in their studio. The ‘hybrid’ spans across disciplines (Smart Design has: Industrial Design, Engineering, Interaction Design, Communication Design, Insight & Strategy and Prototyping) and seems to help drive innovation by having their hands in many pies.I usually consider myself a generalist or hybrid, for better or worse. Of the several projects shown two stuck with me until this morning.
HP Q Control
Conceived out of an initiative to consolidate the many different physical navigation elements across their wide offerings of devices. The Q part is the little back button which dangles off the bottom left which serves as a “get me out of here” safety net for users. It also seems that it creates a crutch for less rigorous interaction design on the screens and functions being controlled by the Q control. Not having ever used one, i can’t really say.
Augmented Reality Prototypes
In the prototyping of consumer electronics they often mock up user interfaces in Flash and then build rough physical prototypes that control the interactions on screen. While janky, it can be effective but it still doesn’t look pretty. Booth briefly described a methodology they are using on a new project, where physical interactions such as pressing buttons is done on a block of foam covered in green screen paper and the video of the new devices and on screen activity keyed in. I think it would make for a compelling visual and easily help sell their ideas.
No images or video so here’s a clip from the Girl skateboards video Yeah Right where the skaters ride invisible skateboards
hugeurl.com makes URLs huge. It’s like Cory Arcangel’s Total Asshole Compression which increases file size, but for URLs.
Above a picture of the sky and stars submitted to the astronomy.net group on flickr. Astrometry.net will analyze the photo and return the below interesting information about the sky you have photographed. Seriously amazing pattern matching.
Hello, this is the blind astrometry solver. Your results are:
(RA, Dec) center:(56.7751, 24.1559) degrees
(RA, Dec) center (H:M:S, D:M:S):(03:47:6.024, +24:09:21.240)
Orientation:95.02 deg E of N
Pixel scale:1.96 arcsec/pixel
Field size :2.12 x 1.41 degrees
Your field contains:
The star Celaeno (16Tau)
The star Electra (17Tau)
The star 18Tau
The star Taygeta (19Tau)
The star Sterope I (21Tau)
The star Merope (23Tau)
The star ηTau
The star Atlas (27Tau)
The star Pleione (28Tau)
NGC 1432 / Maia nebula
NGC 1435 / Merope nebula
If you would like to have other images solved, please submit them to the astrometry group.
Astrometry.net describes their project like this:
If you have astronomical imaging of the sky with celestial coordinates you do not know—or do not trust—then Astrometry.net is for you. Input an image and we’ll give you back astrometric calibration meta-data, plus lists of known objects falling inside the field of view.
The intersection of photography, data and crowdsourcing, with either the photography or the data or both will be an interesting space to watch.
The mechanics of digital gaming – from overarching narrative to technical execution – are about managing player point-of-view within the environment of the game. But as video games map ever more closely to the built world, this point-of-view needs to be managed externally, as well. We must examine how gaming can be used to impact the world beyond the screen, both economically and intellectually.
I printed my portrait on various maps. Then I started to orientate the maps following the lines on my face. On my arm I carried a satellite recorder (GPS) drawing the path that I walked.
Artist Antti Laitinen Walk the Line Project