I was inspired by an American woman in Los Angeles, so eager to shop and buy X-Box to her children, that while hoarding Thanks Giving “Owner is crazy” sale period, decided to spray other customers, and prevent them form reaching to her precious box.
I hoped the X prefix was enough to tell her she should stay away from this particular kind of box, but I guess she wanted her kid’s dreams to come true, or perhaps her dreams - while finally getting some sleep while they kill zombies, or more accurately: zombie themselves to death.
So the invention is an old take on a deodorant - a repeller deo, smelling bad to force people away. One can use it against a creepy office courtship, get seats in a tube, or perhaps on an airplane (if one is less than 400 pounds).
Or just buy a PS3 or Wii.
Exactly 4 years ago, I wanted to create a personalized book for my kids, that will have a tailored story with their pictures instead of stock ones, as an insert in few key places.
I was inspired by personalized books that had the person name as a title, and wanted to take this further. This is also why I remember it was 4 years ago, I had a newborn then, a thing that tends to constantly remind you of ones existence, especially near ones birthday.
I even wrote a short story that fits that visual vision, took some demo pictures, and contacted an animating friend to create some drawings to match. Than approached the main barrier: the kid’s picture was than supposed to be “easily” integrated into the physical book: how one can “grab” a general picture, and insert into the book, so it will look nice, sustain page flipping and not wear and tear, looks awesome, and myriad of other issues.
I designed and played with few options, made a prototype birthday card with one technique, checked for patents by others, and experimented for a while.
But as the animator friend was busy, and me busy with the newborn, I let this baby slip away. And probably good that I did.
As today, I found an new iPad app, that actually makes this much easier. You grab the picture from the device camera, “insert” it digitally in key places, even use animations, and voila! Easy Peasy. I’m not sure but it may be that an ex-colleague’s partner is behind that.
So who said technology cannot change things. It does.
Well not to the degree that the mentioned newborn changes my life, but that’s another story.
In technology, and especially consumer electronics: user experience, with variants on user interface, usability, Man-Machine-Interface, and many other names - is kind of a dark art, or perhaps a secret sauce (diversion: doesn’t the sauce implies the steak itself is rubbish?also, what intelligence agency trains the sauce agents? Those are few of my own questions).
Amongst many of the best practices, I’ve ran into apple’s HIG:
Balance any request for input by users with what you offer users in return.
I find this simple guidance very social, just and inspiring; not only for design, but also for any form of HHI (Human to Human interaction, perhaps a new (tm)).
One example, is “Why ask a lot of information if you are going to provide no value (or much less value) in return?”.
I have this issue with many of the UK bureaucratic form-oriented administrations.
Only recently NHS asked me to fill a form with many details, they already have in the computer just in front of the guy asking it. This form is than handed to X-Ray operator who filed it in his folder without giving it even the briefest glance, for yet someone else to retyped that information to the X-Ray lab computers, that used to be separate, but now are integrated with the main system records, so they have all those same details anyhow. This is even less than no value - it’s actually a negative value on the NHS employees waste of time and energy, me as customer, other waiting customers, and finally, me and all others again as tax payers.
The opposite is when you are going to provide a lot of value, make sure you balance your asks. A simple example for that, is authenticating users to their bank account. Users are more likely to accept being interrogated in such circumstances for their password, e-mail, date of birth, maiden name, or the name of their first dog (what about people that like hamsters or armadillos?).
A derived natural outcome, is the hand-in-hand approach - ask little and give little; and if there is interest ask more and give some more, and so on. This is better than asking upfront too much and scare the user, or give too much to an uninterested user.
I say, lure the fish (sorry the user, but he may be a bad poker player).
This is an ideas, innovation, and invention blog - isn’t it the right time to invent something?
Often one wants to alter the pace of audio media, without distorting the pitch. Common use cases, are that you have some recorded material you want to listen to, on your PC, or on your iPod or smartphone, or other devices and either:
Some media players have controls that allow that, but their granularity is not very good. Even those that have good pacing (e.g. VLC for windows, for some reason Mac version does not) distort the audio so its pitch is higher for fast pace.
The invention is to alter the audio pace, maintaining the speaker authenticity of voice, to stay natural. Simple signal processing tend to make the distortion, but for human voice, whose characteristics are more predictable and narrower than generic sounds, a solution may be easier to implement. First solutions can do it in software, and than benefit from HW audio processing.
Usage scenario may include enjoying audiobooks, rewriting lectures, and later even making smooth audio transitions to fit video playback, so you can actually fast forward a movie while seeing it, understanding all, and the sound will be mostly natural.
Harry potter Octologoy (last book has 2 movies) in one cross atlantic flight?
<Continues Part I>
+++ Me: “You are probably right on that account. Mind if I ask, if you have any issues with relationships with animals?”
- Her: “Erm, that is not an issue for me. I really do not need to know about it. It’s your own business, Mr. Fridman”
+++ Me: “And what do you think about immigration in UK, racism or child abuse? ‘Sara’?”
- Her: “<Puzzled yet again> I really don’t understand the question, sir. I really have to go.”
+++ Me: “<Slowly> So, what did you call in the first place?”
- Her: <Mumble>
+++ Me: “You do know I never bought anything with ‘Lie and co.’, the coupon offer is bogus anyhow, and what the heck is ‘Exterior Modeling for my Inner House’ anyway?”
- Her: “I will not bother you again, Mr. Fridman”.
+++ Me: “Thank You, Sara! Have a nice day.”
</Mission Accomplished >
Not my finest hours, I know. And she is not to blame, for the most part.
But extreme circumstances demand extreme measures.
With love to all my friends that have to cold call customers, I wish you less insane conversations with more balanced customers.
<14:00, Baby and Wife are Sleeping, I’m Working, Phone Ringing>
- Her: “Hello, I’m <Heavy Indian Accent> ‘Sara’, calling from ‘Certain Lie’ (Credit to Satire TV Program) limited, following up your purchase from last year <Never Heard of Them>, you have just won 250 GBP coupon <If you buy goods worth 2,500,000 GBP that is>. Can you please confirm your name is <Pause> Mr. Fridman, and your address is ‘Whatever’?”
+++ Me: “Hello, Hmmm, ‘Sara’. How lovely of you to call!”
- Her: “<Astonishment> Sorry, I beg your pardon?”
+++ Me: “I’m really sorry, but I shall promptly be back with you. May I kindly ask you to wait just a wee bit, while I finish shagging my goat…”
- Her: “<Confused.com> Finish What?”
+++ Me: “Never mind. We both finished what we had to do. 250 GBP you say? I’m very excited and interested!”
- Her: “Oh Yes! <Regaining her breath> This is a special offer to our selected loyal customers <So nowadays buying 0 times accredit you to become loyal?>”.
+++ Me: “So just bare with me for a second. As always on 14:14 and 14 seconds, I just need to catch the falling baby, those eastern europeans from above floor are throwing down. Be right back!” <My baby woke up and cried, taking the phone near her room so she can hear a bit, smashing the window with the phone as well, puzzling my awaking wife in the process>
- Her: “<Patiently waiting, a sell is a sell> Mr. Fridman?”
+++ Me: “In the nick of time, yet again. Sorry for those disturbances today. So untypical <Just said few minutes ago it happens every day, but who listens>”
- Her: “I can call another time if it is more convenient to you <Try again: NEVER!>”.
<To Be Continued>
Good lesson for everybody. Playgrounds are primarily built for kids. Let’s be safe out there.
Unlike Facebook, Google+ allows you to edit posts.
So when you share something and forget a link, the traditional E-Mail sequence (1) E-Mail without attachment (2) “You forgot the attachment!” (3) Sorry + Attach, can be modernized / socialized and keep the correspondence clean :
This is one of the nice things Google Wave RIP used to have. Anyone said History support for Google+ posts?
As always, there is another handy option: POST THE DAMN LINK YOU PROMISED TO BEGIN WITH!
So many apps, so little time. What can I do? Another App of course. Everyone has an application, and I must stand to my software architect heritage and have one.
The idea is to have an App which is basically you… A form of aggregated CV. It will have pictures, links, contacts, bio, patents, hobbies, whatever - packaged as an app.
What’s the usage? Nothing. Fun. Time wasting. Isn’t it what most apps do anyhow?
But pushing it (slightly), for IP (Idea People), their asset is their own ideas. They are the product. Goes along with an old sales pitch “sell yourself, than sell the product / service you offer”, but in this case the pitches collide to one.
So should you go to the App Store and download the new App Fridy now? Please don’t. It doesn’t exist. Will it? There is already an app for that…
My daughter recently graduated her “Jump & Dance” sessions. It is a lovely way to support youngsters in their natural journey to explore their bodies, capabilities, movement, and rhythm.
As during the session, parents are outside (to strengthen independence), I had the time to think why “Jumping” needs to be taught at all. Brainstorming with another parent, we have speculated two reasons:
On the latter, Brian B shared an article, indicating playgrounds are destroying society. To the extent of the extreme de-risking done in such environments, I couldn’t agree more. Health & Safety rules, once ally to help industry employees in work environments, have creep to areas overpowering common sense. Moshe C further added a followap (follow up, sorry), where Giganta, his child dream slide, can no longer be played with by kids: too risky. See also Gever Tulley TED lecture or book, on risks your kids should practice intentionally.
Mud & Dirt, Trees & Bushes, Berries & Loquats, Failures & Conquers: friction with mother nature. Makes your skin tough, and your inner self at ease. I say: Go away, Teflon people! At the minimum, go and make some good pans.
So that was the foundation for this week new kids training, inspired also from Eng. practice of recursion: Playing to climb to a tree house, on top of a tree, which is itself inside a house.
Perhaps a better idea, maybe we just let our kids play outside for a while. Or enrol them to scouts.