Archive for December 2006
Anybody have a SlingBox I can commandeer via IP? Just moved into a new place and no TV for a week.
is extremely happy that Newsvine just made Time Magazine’s Top Ten Web Sites of 2006…
Non-technical female is not getting it.
is trying to explain Twitter to non-technical female.

An Animated Look at Why E-Mail Is Broken

The interactive animation below accurately describes the state of my e-mail situation, in this, my 13th year with the medium:

Over the last couple of years, I’ve gone from someone who returns 99% of e-mails — and relatively quickly — to someone who routinely takes days, weeks, and sometimes even months to return certain mails, recently resorting to instant deletion just to avoid the buildup.

I’ve tried to figure out how to best express the dynamics of the situation in words, but an animated illustration seemed to get the point across much better, so this weekend, I whipped out Flash for the first time in about a year. The end result is kind of soothing actually… turn spam off, slide the top to “Fast”, and slide the bottom to “Manageable”. Now that’s e-mail nirvana… something I’ll never achieve.

Thanks also to professional mathlete Tom Laramee of for helping me even out the slider effect with an exponential decay equation.

Ok, I still don’t get it. I must be an OLD MAN. OLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD MAN I tell ya!
This has got to be the noisiest web app ever invented. The input is excellent though… who will be the first to use it in an actually-useful way?

Inquisitor: Spotlight for the web

A nice little tool which transforms Safari's search box into a live search box.

What's In Al Gore's Bookmarks Bar?

I have this really peculiar habit of always examining what is in the Bookmarks Bar of people’s browsers. I do it when I’m looking at someone’s computer screen, when someone sends me a screenshot which includes their browser, and even on TV when I see a browser somewhere in the frame. You can tell a lot about someone by what they’ve decided to drag in there.

So tonight, I was watching Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” on DVD and about halfway through the movie, they cut to a scene of Gore typing on his Powerbook. For a split second they showed his web browser and I hit pause and snapped this picture:

I’m not sure exactly what URL that is, but it appears to be one of the results from this Google Images search.

I don’t know why I think this is worth posting about, but it just seemed weird to me. You can tell by the rest of his Bookmarks Bar (not shown) that he hasn’t customized much else, but he apparently felt the need to have photos of him on the web one click away at all times.

So what’s in your Bookmarks Bar? Post screenshots in the comments using a standard IMG tag…

UPDATE: Thanks to Mike West’s further investigative work, we also now know that Gore is apparently using Gwen Cassidy’s account! … and possibly her laptop as well.

How Pregnancy Happens

Thanks to D.L. Byron for sending this to me. I normally hate it when people send me web cartoons, but this one is pretty damn funny.

The Ocean in 185 Lines of Javascript:

Mesmerizing. Try tweaking some of the variables in the “sea” section of the code.

“"Design had been a vertical stripe in the chain of events in a product’s delivery; at Apple, it became a long horizontal stripe, where design is part of every conversation.””
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away:

A great essay about how toxic everyday distractions can be.

Humanity's deep future:

A group of researchers at the Future of Humanity Institute talk about where our race may be going and how artificial intelligence could save or kill us all.

Steve Jobs speaks about the future at the International Design Conference in 1983:

31 years later, it’s safe to say this is one of the most prescient speeches about technology ever delivered. Jobs covers wireless networking, tablets, Google StreetView, Siri, and the App Store (among other things) many years before their proliferation. A fantastic listen.

How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.


A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

A collection of over 250 Steve Jobs videos in biographical order

Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.