11.29.08

Link of the moment : Webware – Google revamps Street View interface

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10108117-2.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Webware

Street View's split screen, when it's working.Street View’s split screen, when it’s working.

(Credit: Google)

| Posted in Technology, UI | 1 Comment »
11.25.08

Visualization of the moment : Visual Guide to Financial Crisis

Mint.com and  Wallstats collaborated on creating this visual guide to the Financial Crisis visualization.  It’s amazing whenever you find expertly done visualizations came from most random and unexpected sources.  Mint.com is a personal finance management program that I’m scared to give my financial information to.

Who doesn’t like pretty flow charts? Have I mentioned I love oversimplified explanation of complicated problems? Actually this one is not that simplified. I love that HGTV shows like ‘Flip that house’ are part of the problem.

via: Flowing Data Blog

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

11.22.08

Product Lust: Incipio’s New Case

People keep telling me I need a case for my iPhone. I probably should but I haven’t. And the second one is showing some cracks AGAIN.  So the question is should I get this? And no, I don’t put my phone into  rear jean pockets.

Found on GeekSugar

The Incipio Feather iPhone Case ($20) might make me give up my current Incipio Sleeve, since this outer case is one of the first that’s not only super thin, but also says it’s super strong and light.

The ultrastrong polymer is the good-lookin’ Superman here, and so thin that it can be used with most docks.

Plus! Looks like it would slide right into a rear jean pocket.

| Posted in General | No Comments »
11.21.08

Tool Box : Balsamiq — post by Perfect Tuna

I tried out this tool after reading Samantha LeVan’s post.  It’s super fast and all the alignment just happens. $79 is totally worth the money.  I plan to write my own review post on the tool soon.

I’m always looking for new ways to sketch and wireframe my GUI ideas, searching for something quicker than hand drawing and less refined than Visio and Illustrator. My rule for the perfect tool is that it has to be super fast to learn and quick to produce results.

Googling wireframing tools, I came across Balsamiq’s website. What captured my attention was the fun appearance of the GUI and the statement that “life’s too short for bad software”. That’s a pretty bold statement to make so I had to try this tool out immediately. Super psyched that I could run it on both my work PC and my home Mac, I installed it and had it running within minutes.

I fell in love with this software immediately.

Why Balsamic Mockups is fantastic:

  1. It doesn’t require much learning time. Drag-and-drop interactions are intuitive and consistent.
  2. Work feels fun. I felt like I was sketching ideas and playing, rather than feeling like tasks are tedious and repetitive. The grunt work is done for me.
  3. The primary GUI widgets are included. Containers for both web and software applications are included.
  4. The elements are sketchy. In this I mean my wireframes really do look malleable and editable. It is clear that at this stage, a project can be critiqued and changed easily. This is sometimes hard to communicate with more refined wireframes and mockups. The focus is on the layout, not the visual design.
  5. Having all the widgets in front of me helped drive me to some creative solutions my first try. Interaction methods I hadn’t considered were sitting right in front of my eyes inspiring innovative solutions.

I believe my biggest reason for supporting Balsamiq’s software is that it feels like a tool designed for users. As a usability analyst, I am a firm believer that software must be designed based on research and this tool feels like a company invested in user research. I see this in the little details – the notebook background that gives a sense of drawing in a sketch pad and the awareness of the common GUI elements that designers are looking for.

Of course, there’s always the one big block to many designers looking for a new application – cost. This one’s really reasonable, just $79. There’s no excuse not to try it as the demo is free. I honestly believe you’ll be hooked if you just try it once.

Posted bySamantha LeVan

| Posted in Tool, UI | No Comments »
11.21.08

Tool Box: Webware – Feed Rinse

This Webware coverage of  Feed Rinse caught my ever searching eyes for the best tools to improve my digital life. Google Reader is a huge part of my digital life and tools that will make it even more useful are at the top of my list.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Feed Rinse is a super simple and user-friendly way to tweak RSS feeds before subscribing to them in your favorite reader tool.

With it you can pick which authors or keywords you want to exclude, giving you complete control over what ends up filling your feed reader. For example, on Webware’s RSS feed you could very quickly choose to only get posts about Google (which is possible on our main site using tags), or a handful of keywords at the same time.

11.21.08

Some Practical Advice For Getting Profitable

Ted Rheingold at Dogster has a great post up titled 10 Tips for Building a Profitable Business.  My favorite is #4: Spend at least 50% of your time selling.

Many technology companies assume if they built great product it will sell itself yet that almost never happens. Usually we’ve found that incorrect assumption is a rationalization of people who love building product, but secretly loathe the business side of running a business. Such a strategy is a great way to lose a lot of money. So constantly ask yourself, are we spending 50% of our time selling? I bet you’ll always realize you’re focusing too much on the product and not enough on finding customers that want it. (Of course the inverse is true. If you love selling you need to make sure you spend at least 50% of your time building product or your sales effort will be for naught.)

In most companies, too few people sell too little of the time.  If you are a member of the senior executive team of a company that is trying to become profitable, are you spending 50% of your time selling and generating revenue?  If not, why not?  And, if you have a board of directors, are your board members selling also?

Published by  Published by xFruits

Original source : http://www.feld.com/blog/archives/2008/11/some_pra…

11.19.08

Oblong – Seeing Is Believing

Shared by Alex

HCI matters!

At Foundry Group, we’ve been talking about human computer interaction (HCI) as one of our key investment themes.  Our premise behind HCI is that the way humans interact with computers is going to change radically over the next 20 years.  If you roll forward to 2028 and look back to today, the idea of being tethered to a computer via a mouse and keyboard is going to be a "quaint" as using the punch card or a cassette tape as a primary data storage medium.

Rather than try to explain Oblong, take a look (it’ll take three minutes – it’s worth it, I promise.)

We invested in Oblong a year ago although, as I wrote in my post on their site titled Science Fact, my interaction with the people involved in the company dates back to 1984.  John Underkoffler, the original mind behind all of this, also writes about how Oblong came to be.

Oblong’s products are real and shipping today – take a look at the commercial overview and well as the description of the various layers of g-speak.

Now this is innovation with a capital I.

Published by  Published by xFruits

Original source : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/FeldThoughts/~3/M9r…

11.14.08

T. Moser : BREMEN TABLE

Shared by Moah

stunning. totally going on my wish list. 😛

Published by  Published by xFruits

Original source : http://thomasmoser.com/image.php?file_id=9587…

11.14.08

Meet NYC's Most Expensive Apartment: $65 Million

Shared by Moah

wow, the things filthy rich people do. Pay 65M dollars and you don’t even get a yard or your own building.

mostexpensiveaptfloorplan.jpgAre you freaking kidding us?

The New York Observer: A 78th-floor penthouse at the Time Warner Center came on today for $65 million, which works out to a bewildering $7,831 per square foot.

A bigger problem is that the monthly maintenance fees are $13,361 and the monthly taxes are $16,332, which means it costs an extra $356,316 per year to live there. On the bright side, the master bedroom suite happens to have an office, his-and-hers dressing rooms, his-and-hers bathrooms, and a gym, too. Then the condo has a 41-foot-long living room with floor-to-ceiling windows; a red lacquered corner library/office (not the first red lacquered library in town); a dining room with a view of the Hudson River; a chef’s kitchen (“and pantry with full laundry center”); a screening room; and four other bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms.

Records suggest the apartment was sold for less than $30 million two years ago.

Looks like the Time Warner real estate is a better bet than its’ stock.

Here’s what happened to the past most expensive pads in town:

When an $80 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West came off the market late last month, it left a depressingly big hole in New York’s super-luxury apartment market. (As it happens, an 18th-floor duplex in the building is being quietly offered for $75 million, while Courtney Sale Ross’ sprawl at 740 Park is asking “over $60 million,” but neither are official listings, so they don’t quite count.) Not that anyone actually keeps track of such things (actually, of course they do), but a relatively unthrilling penthouse at The Mark was, thanks to its $60 million tag, briefly the most expensive apartment on the market in New York. That just changed.

Illustration from Brown Harris Stevens via The New York Observer.

Published by  Published by xFruits

Original source : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinside…

11.13.08

Google Earth’s ancient Roman holiday

Google Earth's new layer of ancient Rome offers virtual tourists the chance to explore an ancient city at its peak.

(Credit: Google)

Google Earth is extending its satellite perspective to paint a picture of what the ancient city of Rome looked like nearly two millennia ago.

While satellites weren’t around to give us a bird’s eye view of the city in 320 A.D., Google’s “Ancient Rome 3-D” offers a 3D simulation of the ancient city at the height of its power. The new layer for the tool allows virtual time-traveling tourists to fly around the city and zoom in to explore ancient structures as they likely looked at the time, including the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Circus Maximus. Pop-up windows offer historical information.

The project, which was unveiled Wednesday, is the first ancient city to be incorporated into Google Earth and was developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Virginia.

The computer graphics are based on the Plastico di Roma Antica, a plaster model that was created by Italian architect Italo Gismondi and finished three years before his death in 1974. (The model can be viewed at the city’s Museo della Civilta Romana.)

The digitization project began in 1997 and took 10 years to complete. It then took 15 people the better part of a year to transfer the project to the Web.

And apparently, they got it right.

“What fascinates me most about this project is the accuracy of the details of the three-dimensional models,” Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s mayor, wrote in a blog posting on Google’s site. “It’s such a great experience to be able to admire the monuments, streets and buildings of Ancient Rome with a virtual camera that lets you go inside and see all the architectural details.”

While the public’s interest in ancient Rome has exploded due in large part to movies like Gladiator and TV shows like HBO’s Rome, Google is promoting the new layer as an educational tool and has invited teachers to submit innovative lesson plans that incorporate the new feature.

In other Google globetrotting, the company recently announced that after recent launches in France, Spain, and Italy, Google’s Street View is now available in six countries. Also, Street View cameras have been spotted in New Zealand.

Published by  Published by xFruits

Original source : http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/webware/~3/45132356…