Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Not following conventions

Here is an e-card from planet pulse that could easily tick off users. The flash new year greeting has a loading bar that looks like a conventional progress bar but only thing it goes right to the end and then jumps back to start all over again.

I shut down the browser thinking it was faulty scripting done in flash and I'm sure many users would do the same because it very much breaks the convention we are used to on the web. Think about all the hard work that would be such a waste, just because you chose the wrong load bar animation.

See the card here to see how intuitively it drives people away http://www.planet-pulse.com/php/flash/ecard.html

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

World Usability Day

Today is World Usability day. To check whats happening in your town, check the google maps mashup at http://worldusabilityday.org

HAPPY WORLD USABILITY DAY! :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What people think Web 2.0 is all about

This is an alarming insight on what people on the street actually think about a technology that would very much be a highlight of the web in the coming years.
"Web 2.0? Web 2.0? I have heard that before. I think I have heard that somewhere. I think it costs money. I am not interested if it costs." -Tracy Tame, a 59-year-old building inspector from Shoreline.

"As far as I understand, it is for hospitals and universities. It is not for the public use." -Chris Cox, a 35-year-old information technology consultant from Magnolia.

"An idealized version of the Web." -Nancy Morgan, a 56-year-old communications specialist from Vashon Island.

"I've heard the name kicked around, I just don't know what it means."-Steve Norman, a 35-year-old bike messenger from Queen Anne.

"The next generation of Web technologies, whatever that means. I think it is more interactive." -Steve Hitchcock, a 25-year-old business development manager from Queen Anne.

"I have no idea. A new generation of the Web?"-Diana Lynn, a 40-year-old public health researcher from Bothell.

Extracted from http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/venture/archives/108240.asp

Unique design idea

I was recently at Mid-Valley to meet a client and came across an uniquely designed wash area. If you notice the picture there are no individual bowls under the taps. Water flows down onto a granite slab tilted at around 45 degrees downwards to stop it from flowing onto the unwanted side. How well does it work? Well, not that bad, but I did have a few specks of water on my light blue shirt after I washed up. Maybe not the best working model, but a great idea making use of good ol' gravity!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Lerun Ultimax

I bought myself a Lerun mountain-bike last week :) Just decided it's time to get my legs a lil exercise and my body could do with some sweating. It's got 18 speed Shimano gears with adjustable rear suspension. See the adjoining picture to ogle this beauty (mine is fire red and black though). Some bikes in the Lerun shop cost close to US$1300. This one came around US$120. Currently I am using this to take a quick spin around the neighborhood and also to run a quick errand for my wife :)

More details here http://www.lerun.com.my/product-mtb26a-6.html

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Google Co-op

Google Co-op lets you customize your own search engine which will crawl websites which are based on a single theme. If you are looking for information on eg. politics or astronomy or weather, you can build a search engine that crawls only relevant websites related to these topics. A great way to reduce clutter during searching and get more accurate results.

I experimented with a technology/internet/gadgets-gizmos/web 2.0 search engine called 'DotpiLe' ;), crawling 72 most relevant websites on these topics.

I have deliberately omitted del.icio.us because it lists a lot of bookmarks in the results, leading to duplication. It's an open end search engine though, and anybody can contribute.

You can try it out firsthand here http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=006978851294483185095%3Aphrttmmskjk

More on google co-op here http://www.google.com/coop

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Neat Fonts - Neat Interface, free to download

This is a really neat free font website.

http://neatfonts.com

What I really like about this website is the way its arranged, preventing page reloads. From first looks, it looks like a judicious mix of good old HTML(frames) and Ajax in action(note the browse categories option). The font face display using good ol' "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." is an added bonus to take a sneak preview before downloading your favorite font. What's so special about this sentence? It covers all the alphabets in the English language.

Why DELL is so American


This is a screen shot I snapped of the Dell Malaysia website. Note the verbiage on top of the dropdown list for Desktops. I am sure they could have made that sound a lil better :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

FireFox 2 released

After providing sneak previews in the form of builds RC2 and RC3, finally FireFox 2 is released. Some of the features I'm personally liking is the built in Spell Checker, Session Restore and Live Bookmarks. It's the right time for non-FireFox users to make the switch, for starts you will find it any day faster than IE7 ;)

Download FireFox here
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

More on FireFox features here
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/features.html

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yahoo Time Capsule

One of my photographs got included in the Yahoo Timecapsule :)

http://timecapsule.yahoo.com/capsule.php?i=25785&t=love&l=en

Yahoo Timecapsule is an online digital anthropology project running for 30 days. From October 10 until November 8, Yahoo! users worldwide can contribute photos, writings, videos, audio – even drawings – to this electronic anthropology project. You’ll have your handiwork presented to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, projected and freezed forever as a snapshot of how the web looked in 2006.

Don't miss your chance to be a part of Internet History. More on the Yahoo Timecapsule project here
http://timecapsule.yahoo.com/capsul...785&t=love&l=en

Monday, October 02, 2006

Artic Monkeys - A case study in Buzz Marketing

A nice article on how a lil known band from Sheffield promoted their music and won themselves a record deal with London Indie label Domino Records. Artic Monkeys gained instant notoreity by placing 10-20 of their tracks for popularity on social networking website myspace.com. Powered by user generated hype copies of their music were downloaded frantically, so much so that when they realesed their single 'I bet you look good on the dance floor' it debuted #1 on the British charts.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-11/28/content_498444.htm

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Google Logos

If you ask me what's so special about the logo you see here? It's significant for me as I got married the day the 2006 football world cup started in Germany :)

Apart from that, its one of those nice lil things that you see on the google homepage from time to time, whenever something special comes up. It's amazing to see how much detail they can gather in such a small area.

More Google Holiday logos since 1999 here http://www.google.com/holidaylogos.html

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers/ Winners

Paul Scrivens article is a must read if you want to know where the future of the web is headed for the next x years.

http://wisdump.com/web/top-10-web-20-losers
http://wisdump.com/web/top-10-web-20-winners

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Best ever freeware utilities

All that you would ever need in one lifetime!
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm

Moo - Free 10 minicards for Flickr Pro users

Yes, you heard that right. Online printing service Moo is giving away 10 mini business cards adorned with your choicest photography absolutely free. These thick glossy cards are long and narrow, about half the size of regular cards. I just ordered mine sometime back.

It's up for grabs for the first 10,000 Flickr Pro users, so don't miss the boat.
http://www.moo.com

Monday, September 25, 2006

Notemesh - Collaborate to Graduate

A wiki like effort to make students sample each others notes and collaborate to keep the knowledge assimilated within classrooms accessible to all students. There has to be a time when everything that's on the net will be Web 2.0. I only happen to see more and more of it everyday!

http://www.notemesh.com

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Flickr Pro

I just upgraded to a flickr Pro account as I've been uploading too many photos lately I guess. It costs a lil more than $2 a month. $24.95 a year. Not bad considering you have a central repository of all your photography online, just incase your hard drive crashes.

Best things, you finally get a flickr URL of your choice, instead of the system generated mixture of '@, digits and alphas'.

Do check out some of my recent photography. You should find a lot of green there, some edible ones too :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1pixelworth
http://www.flickr.com/people/1pixelworth

Friday, September 22, 2006

Shopper Psychology

Look closely at the image. A single pack of a famous brand of milk retails at RM2.69. The 'Twin Pack Special' retails at RM5.89. Most shoppers would assume that the twin pack would cost less, considering the manufacturer is inducing the customer to buy more by offering a small rebate. Do your math and you will be surprised!

I took this shot during my last trip to the hypermarket. Another strategy adopted by one of the hypermarkets here is; all their product's are priced at a x.49 or x.99. The classic 'price illusion' trick. People still fall for it. It adds a good RM10-20 to your final total. Guess who is laughing all the way to the bank...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Global Fire Power

The who's who on the battleground.
http://www.globalfirepower.com/index.asp

You can also do a comparison here
http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries_comparison.asp

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Blufr

Nice interactive way to increase your trivia bank. The tag line of this website reads "Bruising your ego one bluff at a time."

Go ahead trivia freaks, indulge! http://www.blufr.com

Sunday, September 10, 2006

66 Optical Illusions

This should keep you occupied for the next hour or so...
http://www.michaelbach.de/ot

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Using Gmail to have unlimited gmail ID's

More here
http://21st.blogspot.com/2006/09/use-gmail-generate-unlimited-e-mail.html

Toshiba Satellite M100 with Intel Core Duo

I am using this neat looking laptop right now, thanks to my employers. Earlier I was using my wife's Acer Aspire 3000. Things I like about this beauty; pretty sturdy for its size, doesn't heat up too much/too fast, long battery life - 2 and a half hrs+, fast loading time even though I have close to a dozen items on startup, the harmom-kardon surrond sound speakers, built in wireless lan capability, firewire port, bluetooth enabled, peacock blue top ;)

Things I dislike; the extra sensitive touchpad and the somewhat glossy screen! More reasons to love it; the extreme geek value that a TOSHIBA commands :)

More here
http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/notebooks/0,39050488,39098023p,00.htm

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Google Image Labeler

Google's latest project to tag images interactively to fine tune search results for it's image search. Call this an experiment in distributed computing or folksonomy, it surely is very innovative and interesting. Click the link to know more about it.

http://images.google.com/imagelabeler

How comprehensive is google maps?

I tried tracking a visitor on my blog from Spain and what I found was scary. See adjoining screeshots. The 1st screenshot is your unzoomed version, and the 2nd one is zoomed 15 times to your friendly neighborhood... block/street name/home?

Monday, August 28, 2006

KLM - why they prefer calling it so.
What does KLM stand for? Look what I found at the bottom of an email I received.

"Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (also known as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) is registered in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, with registered number 33014286 ".

Quintessentially Dutch I would say...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Are you colorblind?
Take the Shinobu Ishihara test for color blindness.

http://www.toledo-bend.com/colorblind/Ishihara.html

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A4 papercutter
Some phenomenol work with your regular size A4 paper by danish artist Peter Callesen. I personally like the framed A4 paper cuts. There is one which is titled 'Holding onto myself'

http://www.oncotton.co.uk/peter/index/index2.html

Friday, August 04, 2006

Essentials for any computer
With the escalating threat of viruses, adware, spyware, malware , trojans and other malicious code looming large, its always better to follow the old adage 'prevention is better than cure'. Here are a few free tools that you can download and install to secure your pc.

Spybot Search & Destroy
Weeds out spyware, malware, the works. The mother of all spyware busters.
http://www.spybot.com/

Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal
Watches/Cleans registry, spyware and tracks/quarantines malicious code.
http://www.lavasoft.com/software/adaware/

Kaspersky/AVG Antivirus
Your regular antivirus gaurd. Better than McAffee or Nortons for a simple reason that virus writers test their virus on both these before they release it.
http://www.kaspersky.com/trials?chapter=186685140
http://free.grisoft.com/doc/2/lng/us/tpl/v5

Zonealarm Free
Personal firewall your mom would recommend.
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp

Kaspersky Antivirus 6.0 is free for a month after which you need to register/buy. AVG is free. Kaspersky labs also has a free antivirus program to protect your smart phones. You can download that at http://www.kaspersky.com/trials?chapter=171229147

All these tools properly configured and used should keep your pc healthy. More still, it doesnt cost you anything!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sayangi Kuala Lumpur
I just moved into KL with my wife on the 19th of July and we are still settling in. My company was kind enough to allow me a transfer, so I still continue working with pinstorm. The weather in KL has been overcast the last few days and it has rained quite a bit, except for today which saw a lil sun earlier during the day. Another significant change is I would be doing business development and moving out from a creative profile. Having hung up my creative boots would no way mean I would stop watching UI and Usability Design issues closely. One more reason not to rename this blog you might say!

Just settling in a bit, with lots of new things keeping me occupied. Should be more active on my blog a month from now...

 
people have been suckered so far!