Category filter: Tech

Stamped First Thoughts

Yesterday Stamped was released into the App Store, and these are my first thoughts. A refreshingly simple interface and a new take on social aggregation of good things. Doesn’t look like Stamped can or will do anything wrong. That kind of makes sense though since unlike Yelp they have no intention of showcasing any bad or even mediocre reviews.

To stamp something in the language of the creators means you whole heartedly believe that said restaurant book or movie deserves five out of five stars. This reminds me of the the recently released Nosh app. which I posted about here. Both have some weird post Google employee, still somehow connected to Google syndrome going on. The interesting part to me is this common thread between the two, focusing much more heavily on the transaction of positive feedback or ratings than negative ones. This is a drastic shift in the general internet mode of overtly bashing anything that exists. It’s obvious that searching a smaller database of information created by friends or other trustworthy sources than to scour a massive site like Yelp for anything, but misleading argumentative comments. I hope most people like and trust their friends and if you do there are probably those of them you value their opinions more in certain areas. An example would be my friend Kyle is a great cook so if he recommends the new book from Mario Batali I know it has to be good, but I also just like Kyle so if he says the new Bon Iver album is good I will probably want to check that out too. A lot more at least than if Candace69 from South Beach says she thought it was okay.

I can’t wait for Stamped to get more populated with users and stamps and I think we can anticipate reviews and web based feedback to become increasingly more positive as smaller communities are created.

Visualizing Bach’s Cello Suite

I love the amazing simplicity in this Visualizing the First Predlude From Bach’s Cello Suites by Alexander Chen. The even more overwhelming part is the project he created it for. is in some manner of speaking a web app. programmed entirely using an HTML5 Canvas, with Javascript an SoundManager. The visualization of music acts as a minimalist 2D composer.

(via The Fox Is Black »)


In just under 10 days a marathon will take place. Not in any one location, but in any location. Using geolocation software and run tracking apps people for the first time will be able to run together as one and compete with out ever knowing or seeing each other.

At first when I heard about Xperiathon, I thought it was just another example of technology allowing people to become exceedingly disassociated. Then I realized in this case it is better to look at it through a different lens. Without Xperiathon all these people would otherwise be unable or unwilling to participate in a marathon. Utilizing a web platform to change how we engage or participate in an activity or event gives us the opportunity to create new experiences.

Lookwork Launches

Lookwork, because Ben Pieratt is a genius and starting one revolutionary web app (svpply) isn’t enough. Lookwork is part feed reader, and part searchable stream of inspiration. Similarly to svpply you can filter your stream to find something more specific and even follow other folks to keep tabs on what they are looking at.

Part of why Ben Pieratt’s work in web applications sets a gold standard is due to the fact that he understands a complicated or rich UI should never take away from a user’s ability to complete the their goals. I think everyone designing for the web can and should take some notes from Ben on interface design, and also the problems his apps solve.


Think you or your business need a mobile website? If you answered yes, or even maybe Google has just launched a new site you need to check out. Gomo, which is short for Go Mobile is a resource to help people understand the benefits and steps necessary to create a mobile site. Even though the content and advice feels targeted to small consumer websites looking to design a simple companion for lower bandwidth. Gomo’s info is astute and relevant to an extremely wide range of projects and people. Once you have run through all their content and feel you are ready to take the plunge they wil even help you connect with a mobile web developer.

Productivity Future Vision

Looking into the future is often a daunting task and in this case an arduous one. Trying to assume what the fate of mobile and computing technology will for device function, user experience, and interface design is in my opinion impossible. The affect new technological capabilities coupled with our growing dependance on an augmented lifestyle is unforeseeable. Here Microsoft’s Office Labs begun to explore this realm through the lens of “productivity”, which I find to be a slightly loaded word in the arena of a technology built almost entirely for entertainment. This exploration itself has been getting some bad press around the web (mainly in user experience circles) for, what in my opinion can be boiled down to one thing. They didn’t take enough risks. This point is most certainly valid. The argument has been made that to define the future one must step outside the conventions and expectations of what should come next in order to create something new and better suited to it’s time and place. I disagree with this on the premise that as people we benefit from incremental change allowing us to both learn and adapt alongside a the changes and shifts in technology, whether it being the release of a new iOS or the debut of the first ever hover scooter.

Doxie Go

Doxie is preordering their new scanner the Doxie Go now. A fresh mobile approach to scanning the go can scan directly to your computer, iPhone, iPad, post directly to Flickr, or even into Dropbox. The future of scanning is here!


Finally a thermostat, which in addition to not being completely hideous can and will save on energy and in turn money. Tony Fadell formerly in charge of the iPod and then iPhone platforms at Apple has gone out on his own and begun to define a neglected space. Household consumer electronics are normally defined by the entertainment devices and controls we use, but going forward each element of a household from the thermostat, like Nest to the hot water heater to the lighting controls, should and will integrate a higher level of interaction and energy efficiency. Nest is not the first, but based on it’s amazing combination of technology and aesthetics I would have to say that it will change the game. I just pre-ordered mine!

(via swissmiss »)

SWYP by Artefact

Why can’t more designers have on outlook and approach like Artefact? Their new printer concept called SWYP, which stands for See What You Print is a completely revolutionary idea in the printing and computing space. We rarely see the modern and most user friendly technologies manifested in home and office printing products, and the SWYP begins to fill that chasm. You should also check out the video on vimeo of the printer in action.

“The ideas of radical simplicity also extend to the box itself. We focused on the utilitarian aspects of the printer: opening the lid for scanning, easy access to the paper tray and easy access to ink cartridges. We made every effort to strip it down to the essentials and resisted the temptation to add extraneous details. In the process we believe we achieve a beauty that only simplicity can deliver.”

(via Minimalissimo »)

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Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

“Your Time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

Ready Steady Bang

Theres a new minimalist game app. in town. Ready Steady Bang is a simple cowboy shootout game for the iPhone that has a really awesome user interface. This little promotional video for the game is really funny and tad morbid.

(via Public School »)

How I Give Presentations With the iPad

Self proclaimed “writer who draws” Austin Kleon has made this fun little illustration to demonstrate how he uses his iPad in place of a laptop when giving presentations.

Tomahawk Hair Dryer

I can’t say that I use a hair dryer very frequently let alone ever, but I am aware of the overwhelming lack of design in most household electronics and appliances. These designs by Jean Baptiste Fastrez incorporate beautifully hewn wood handles, melded with simple cords and futuristic blowers. The project is called Tomahawk. The name derived from the hatchets carried by Native American tribes, applies to the design as well as the element of craft that goes into creating a wood handle.

(via NOTCOT »)

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Plic Ploc Wiz

There seems to be a multitude of awesome iPad apps sprouting up all over these days. Not that this is an original observation by any means, but I think many of these are helping to redefine that categorization of something as an app as well as what it can and should do. Plic Ploc Wiz is a wonderful example because it steps outside of the predictable user interface and creates a blank canvas sort of workspace for you to create unique little works of art with a selected toolkit. Granted PPW is marketed for children. I am definitely going to shamelessly download it regardless.

(via NOTCOT »)

FontBook on iPad

FontBook recently released their amazing new iPad app, which looks like the single best type related resource ever. You can easily search and view by either foundry, designer, year or class and look through amazing type specimen sheets. Clicking through to purchase is also flawlessly integrated for those of you looking to expand your type library.

(via SpiekerBlog »)

Motiv Makes the Times

My friend Russ Maschmeyer, who many of you may know by the name Strange Native made the New York Times today in the personal tech section. The project they covered was one he created over the past year as a student in SVA’s Interaction Design MFA. Russ created an application called Motiv, which uses the Xbox Kinect hardware to track motion and allow users to create music out of ether. Russ would probably disagree and say people would be creating music out of his hard work and sweat. Congrats Russ!

You can check out the whole Times article here.

Urbanflow Helsinki

To think about and begin to design a true modern city we need to understand the uses and implications of current technologies on the landscape. This amazing video is a summation of a project by Nordkapp called Urbanflow, which has laid the groundwork for what the future city will look like and how we will interact with it. Not so much the physical landscape, but more the digital landscape. How data will be visualized, created, manipulated, interacted with and then used to develop and benefit the city and it’s infrastructure.

(via ArchDaily »)

The President’s Budget for 2012

Even though Obama’s term in the White House has been rocky at times how can we not commend someone for taking our countries government into the new millennium. Obama has made it a keep point of focus to integrate new technologies and web tools into the everyday operations of many departments in the government. We may not be at the point where the department of defense tweets every time they launch an apache missile with the target geo-tagged.

We have seen a massive improvement in the level of transparency surrounding government decision making, and it may not yet be a completely collaborative process, but we are moving towards a new type of democracy. Government information is now being offered up directly from the source as opposed to being cobbled together by some media outlet or put forth in the cryptic tongue of a press release.

To explore the interactive 2012 budget head over to the White House website. See where you money is going.


Nosh seems like a nice fresh view both on social and food related apps. It’s downloading as I type this and I am super excited to see what it can do. The app was created by a new startup called Firespotter Labs, which is funded by Google Ventures and has a seriously stacked list of staffers.

(via iso50 »)

Leica Lenses

Anybody who knows even the smallest bit about cameras or photography knows that Leica is at the top of the game. That is mainly due to the fact that their optics are second to none. This video detailing the process for me just confirms what I already kind of knew. Leica is serious about their product. Putting it through thorough testing at every stage, assembled, and hand finished by specialists is just another testament to the level of excellence their product exudes.

(via idsgn »)