there are 17 posts from October 2006

October 31, 2006

jot to google

Congrats to Jot!  I had the pleasure of seeing Ken Norton last week where we did our second annual talk to the product management class at Haas; I’m really happy for him.  He’s had one hell of a year.

October 23, 2006

all hail the obvious

Haven’t seen the book, but I have to applaud the title:  Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design.

October 20, 2006

and there was much rejoicing

After a not-so-brief hiatus, Davenetics is back!  There are very few folks I’d let into my email inbox on a daily basis; Dave Pell is one of them.

October 19, 2006

will he or won't he

David Brooks, behind the paywall at the Times:  Run, Barack, Run.  “The next Democratic nominee should either be Barack Obama or should have the stature that would come from defeating Barack Obama.” 

My latest Obama experience:  while I’m in the dentist’s chair this morning with the (pseudo-relaxing) TV on to distract me from the drill, Obama’s on the Today show with Katie Meredith.  They’re talking about something completely impenetrable for someone who’s high on both nitrous and novocaine, but the dentist’s assistant turns from the sight of me slobbering through the dam to the television and says “Ohhhh, I looooove him!” in a voice that’s just this shy of a squeal.

October 18, 2006

brilliantly obvious

Put a datacenter on your roof.  Or in a parking garage.  Or in your backyard.  Or on a battlefield.  Jonathan Schwartz on Project Blackbox:  “The biggest thing we could build would ultimately be the biggest thing we could transport around the world - which turned out to be a standardized shipping container. Why? Because the world’s transportation infrastructure has been optimized for doing exactly this - moving packets containers on rails, roads and at sea.”

October 16, 2006

maeda's simplicity

Currently reading: John Maeda’s The Laws of Simplicity. I really like the “SHE” mnemonic:  shrink, hide, embody.  “Hiding complexity through ingenious mechanical doors or tiny display screens is an overt form of deception.”

October 13, 2006

user generated advertising

Yahoo + Jumpcut = user generated advertising.  From Y! Search blog:  “We’re working with Frito-Lay to invite people to create their own Doritos commercials - and the winning ad will be aired during the next Super Bowl.”  It’s not entirely mob-ruled, though – Frito-Lay and its agency will be picking the five finalists, which means that if you’re going to compete it might make sense to spend some time thinking about Doritos’ current brand and what they’re trying to get out of this contest other than buzz.

October 13, 2006

because it's the perfect how-to video

From Walt:  “Diet Coke and Mentos is the ‘Hello, world’ of YouTube.”

October 12, 2006

two stupid usability things

Two quick software usability things I have to get off my chest.  (I blog so I stop bothering the people who sit near me with my inane ramblings.)

  1. I use Windows at 1024x768, and run most of my apps fully maximized.  It drives me absolutely batty that I can’t move my mouse cursor all the way to the edge of the screen to grab the scrollbar in my browser, my email client, the document I’m working on.  Instead I have to target the scrollbar by going to the edge and then backing up a few pixels.  This seems very braindead – when apps are maximized, app borders should shrink to 0 pixels to allow for appropriate Fitts’ behavior.

  2. There must be a name for the behavior of moving your mouse pointer to the action you’ll do next once the page loads.  If there’s not a name for it, someone needs to name it, and it needs to be something more clever than what I call it now, which is “that thing you do with your mouse based on muscle memory while you wait for the page to load.”

October 11, 2006

tom and shiny happy tv lady

There’s something wonderful about Tom Coates and shiny happy Internet TV lady connecting the way they did.  Ahhh, big companies.

October 11, 2006

gawker media

I just was given a webcam, but I really don’t know what to do with it, other than have video chats with people that I’d rather just talk to on the phone, and post my lonelygirl15 video responses to gootube.  (I kid because I love.)  What I really want, though, is a Windows version of the Gawker app, the one that makes cool time lapse movies.  Now that would be engaging media.

October 08, 2006

customer hostile programming, again

Another fall Sunday, another afternoon spent shaking my fist at the geniuses at the NFL.  This time it was the Eagles / Cowboys game being shut out by the Niners / Raiders.  Customer hostile programming continues.

October 04, 2006

netflix visualization

I’m not that interested in downloading the 700mb dataset that is the source data for the Netflix Prize, so here’s a lazyweb request.  I’m not smart enough to figure out a better prediction algorithm, but I am very interested in visualizing aggregate “movie mood” data over time from the Netflix community.  Are people “happier” about the movies they rate on the weekends? What do Monday patterns look like? What about holidays – do ratings go up from Thanksgiving to New Years?  Are there seasonal trends?  Does rating value correlate with major news stories?  (See also:  MoodViews.)

October 02, 2006

netflix data

Netflix is making its data set of 100 million movie ratings available (along with a $1mm prize), with the hope that someone will develop a better recommendation algorithm.  Hastings:  “If we knew how to do it, we’d have already done it.”

October 02, 2006

file under holy shit

File under Holy Shit. Colliding With Death at 37,000 Feet, and Living.  “Without warning, I felt a terrific jolt and heard a loud bang, followed by an eerie silence, save for the hum of the engines.”

October 01, 2006


Trans-sensing:  Seeing Music from CCA student Wen-Hua Hu won ID’s best of category in the student design review.  “I started with an empirical method of translating the 88 notes of a piano into 88 graphic symbols, with the length of each graphic’s line correlating to pitch and the symbol on top of the line relating to sharpness or softness.”

October 01, 2006

hornik on hack day.

David Hornik has a wrap up of Yahoo Hack Day.  “The fact that Yahoo embraced engineers from startups and design shops throughout the ecosystem is indicative of the sort of coopetition that is going on around the web these days.”