Tag Archives: cool

I would like to tell you everything.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are my favorites among the founding conspirators… They’ve always seemed the most “real” for me, the most human.

Jefferson in particular has always been something of a personal hero. A genius, surely, but flawed. Just listing his accomplishments would take much time, not to mention his flaws, mistakes, and personal disappointments.

People who know me can attest to the fact that I really would like to tell you everything. (perhaps “warn” would be more accurate)

But for a bunch of things, you could usefully start with Maira Kalman’s wonderfully illustrated and written piece ,“Time Wastes Too Fast” in the column she does for the New York Times, “And the Pursuit of Happiness”.


Little robots restore my faith in humanity


Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Kacie Kinzer makes little robots, and sets them off on little adventures, crossing the street by themselves, and relying on the kindness of strangers. Interestingly, this works out: strangers help the little robots, and try to protect them from danger. This warms my usually cold, cynical heart.

Via Bruce Schneier (who notes that the little bots might have fared less well in Boston…)

Serious Interestingness

Barcinski & Jeanjean are an interactive design duo based in Amsterdam. Their main site/portfolio has one of the coolest user interfaces I’ve ever seen. (I really gotta get me some 3-D glasses)

They created a very cool visualization of photos on flickr having high “interestingness“.
It’s interesting, so don’t even look if you are facing any deadlines.
(note: both of these take some time to load, but it’s worth the wait.)

Cool UI: “Shake & Share”

Doing things securely is obviously a good thing. But it rarely adds anything amusing to the thing itself.

Well, as “security” user-interfaces go, the “Shake & Share” feature on the ZeptoPad iPhone app is a rare thing. ZeptoPad lets you draw, even mind-map, on the iPhone. It has a good UI, and an amusing slightly retro, “MacOS Classic” look. And it has cut-and-paste.

“Yes, yes, all very cool. What’s so interesting about an ‘Etch-o-Sketch 2.0’ app”?

Well, it does file sharing, in obvious and easy ways, largely by importing and exporting photos. But the really cool bit, is sharing files with another ZeptoPad user. You hold the two units together in your hand, and shake them back and forth. ZeptoPad uses the accelerometers to generate a shared secret, and transfers the selected file.

And that is very cool.

A YouTube video shows the app in action, with a Shake & Share demo at the end.

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Orwell Blogs

Caught this on NPR the other day. A very cool idea:

Previously unpublished George Orwell diaries are being released online as a daily blog. The first entry, from Aug. 9, 1938, will appear online Saturday, exactly 70 years after Orwell wrote it. The diaries shed light on European history and Orwell’s life.

NPR has the show available online

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