Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Web - Dubai Demo Camp

Today's the big day, and I can't stop looking at my watch.
For some reason, time is passing too slowly and I feel it is never going to hit 7.30 pm.

Yes, I am excited about DemoCamp Dubai! - Just like anyone who lives in DXB and is a web-junkie would be (It is a mico-SF brought to our doorstep).

This is certainly one of the best initiative/event happening in Dubai. For once, "switched on" developers and entrepreneurs are gathering to showcase their latest work to "switched on" attendees - thanks to "switched on" organizers (I can't but stress on the "switched on" side of things because this is an adjective I rarely use to describe people/places/things in the region).

I personally can't wait to attend the presentations - some projects seem to be very promising. I also am very excited to meet with this crowd, share ideas and thoughts and have interesting "techie" conversations.

Today being the first event, it will hopefully be a success, leading to many more in the future.
Details will follow, post-presentations.

In the meantime, you can check the DemoCamp website for more - Or follow @DemoCampdubai on Twitter for live updates.

Note: This is yet another reason for me to love Twitter even more than I already do - I don't think I would've had the chance to meet @DrBaher , or any of the well hidden talented Dubai tech-people otherwise.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Web - Color chart

Color Chart (reinventing color - 1950 to today) is a MOMA exhibition - going on until the 12th of May.

"This exhibition takes as its point of departure the commercial color chart, an item that openly declares the status of color as mass-produced and standardized."

For those who can't make it to NY, have a look at the site - A very nice experience and beautiful navigation system.


Via Chris Glass

Google - Spring!

First day of spring, Google style :) - A couple of days late (blame it on Easter break, and the families visiting)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thoughts - Happy 1st bday!

Today is this blog's first birthday!
One year of non-sense and fun - and hopefully, some kind of entertainment for the readers (who I thank for their constant support) :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random - Made me smile

Note: I can't remember where I got these from, so I can't link back to the source. Please leave a comment/link if you do!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Random - Puppy love, Mahalo style

I'm being a good girl and doing what @JasonCalacanis asked the bloggers to do!
Get an extra dose of puppy cuteness here - and make sure to leave a comment :)

Jason (if you ever get to read this), what are their names?

Web - Do the test

A very nicely done awareness campaign by the Transport for London.
Check it out here.

Note: Tweeted by @Juliaroy. Have a look at her blog!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Web - Mc attack!

An Atari/Space Invaders revival, brought to you by Mc Donald's in Germany.
Sticky and fun.

Have a go at shooting burgers here.

Twitter - 101

I've noticed on the blog's stats that a lot of visitors (mainly the ones logging on from Lebanon) end up clicking on the "Follow me on Twitter" link - But I have yet to see any of the Lebanese fellows register and use the service on a regular basis (as opposed to the UAE, the site is not banned there).

I did a quick country/city search on Twitter to have a better grasp of the situation - The results are kind of disastrous: Lebanon= 41 users, Beirut= 15 users (most of them haven't updated their tweets in months).

Having said that, I felt it was a good opportunity to introduce/give more details about one of my favorite sites:

1- A very comprehensive/cool video explaining Twitter "in plain English" (which was pointed out by the Scoble man himself)

2- A couple of very useful tutorials, posted by @Thomas on his blog:
. Twitter 101
. Twitter tips and tricks

Hopefully, this will be inspiring enough :)

Twitter - 2000

I *proudly* passed the 2000 tweets bar - not that anyone cares.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

SL - On the go

Second Life is coming to your mobile phone!

"Vollee is offering mobile access to Second Life world as an open beta free of charge. All you have to do is pre-register here and if you have a supported handset we will contact you shortly with instructions to get your mobile client. Initial roll-out will be this coming May in the US with more to follow based on pre-registration requests."

More details are available on the FAQ section of the site.

I personally can't wait to test the service - although I doubt it will support the UAE network anytime soon.

Information design - 6pli

6pli viluazises your del.icio.us tags and bookmarks in very funky/attractive diagrams.

There are three ways of viewing the data:

1- Elastic net 3D
It shows tags and bookmarks in a 3-dimensional view. Tags are in rectangles and bookmarks are circles. A list of bookmarks show up on the right when you click on a tag.

2- Elastic net 2D
It is the same principle as the 3-D; the difference is that it is a projection of the 3-D view onto a flat plane.

3- Circle 2D
It arranges tags and bookmarks into their del.icio.us bundles. Each circle is divided homogeneously and the radius of the circle can me manually modified.

The site is still in demo version. You can send an email request to set-up an account or browse through the list of registered users to have a closer look.

Check it out here.

Via Flowing Data.

Twitter - <3

A marriage proposal on Twitter! - quite original :)

Thank you @DrBaher for tweeting about it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

SL - Tasteless encounter

No comment - except that SL fashion police should feature this avatar on their *amusing* blog.

Seriously, who runs around Berkman wearing bright turquoise Speedos?

Twitter - Quiet time

Here's another very nicely designed *error/notification* page!
Note the heart preceding "the Twitter team".

Yes, my Twitter love keeps growing day by day.

Google - Achievement #2

I know, it's childish/silly - but the fact that a Googler spent 2 minutes 46 seconds on this blog made me giggle.

Google - Bell logo

Reporting a couple of days late on the Alexander Graham Bell Google logo...
What would he think of the evolution of his invention?

web 2.0 - What is anything?

"Anything is a - fill in the blank - [collaborative magazine] that lets its contributors freely add/edit any image or text to it, as often as they wish. In each of its 64 main pages, there is an area allocated for 1 image (left side) and 1 body of text (right side). Upon registration, each contributor is asked to choose whether they wish to upload image or text, and they are permanently assigned a random page (shared with another contributor)."

The "show me anything" feature randomly combines any of the currently available images and text to create a 'new' page.

As DrBaher describes it, "this is the definition of "Random Fun"" :) - Love it!

Discover Anything here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Random - What's your debut album?

I was organizing my bookmarks yesterday and hit this link that was shared by "someone" (whose identity will not be disclosed but will definitely recognize himself if he ever makes it to this blog - haha) sometime back.

Made me smile, had to share.
So... Ever wondered what your first album would be if you had a band?
Here's a quick/fun way to find out:

Step 1:
Go to Wikipedia (special) , then click on "random article"
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

Step 2:
Check out random quotations.
The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

Step 3:
Go to Flickr and click on "explore the last seven days".
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here's my *very successful* debut album:

I highly recommend wasting 3 minutes of your precious time on this little exercise - the results might be surprisingly good!

Note: If you end up being curious, I would love it if you could leave a comment and share the results :)

My album cover credits go to Kerry Pringle - who happens to be an excellent photographer.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Twitter - Twittermeter

"Twitter meter let's you query an index of all the words that have been sent to Twitter's public timeline (since 11/6/2007) and plot the number of times that word was used over time".

You can search for one word, or many at once.
Each day is represented on the graph by a dot which displays the date and the number of times the word(s) you searched for was mentioned.

I find it to be a very interesting tool that can be used to compare brands/products/topics' popularity on Twitter (for example, Wikia VS Mahalo or Nike VS Adidas).

I wish there were an option to export the results as a high-res Jpeg or an excel sheet, for research/documentation purposes. Hopefully this feature will be available someday - Mr developer, can you please add it to your todo list? :)

Have a look at Twittermeter here.

Via @DrBaher

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mobile - Nokia Conversations

The Social Communications team at Nokia launched a YouTube channel devoted to "personal" communication with its users, in an attempt to bridge the gap between the corporate and the consumers.

The purpose? As described by the team: "We'll be posting as many videos on Nokia stories, products, services, and people as we can get our hands on or produce ourselves".

So far, hands-on video clips explaining the finer points of the Nokia 6210 Navigator and 6220 Classic have been uploaded - with more to follow.

Stay tuned here.

Via Pocket picks.

Twitter - 404!

This is possibly the best/cutest/sexiest Error page I've seen on the net. I love the graphics, they're just great.

Then again, Twitter is great, so I wouldn't expect anything less than that from them.

Web - The sheep market

The sheep market is a collection of 10000 sheep created by workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Each worker was paid $.02 to draw a sheep facing left.

For 20$, you can buy a selection of hand drawn sheep - (a block of stamps that comes with a certificate of authenticity in a collectable package).

Own a sheep here.

Web - Amazon Mechanical Turk

I am still not getting over the fact that it is only today that I "discovered" Amazon Mechanical Turk. Totally unacceptable!

As described on the website:
"Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate "artificial artificial intelligence" directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications.

For software developers, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service solves the problem of building applications that until now have not worked well because they lack human intelligence. Humans are much more effective than computers at solving some types of problems, like finding specific objects in pictures, evaluating beauty, or translating text. The Amazon Mechanical Turk web service gives developers a programmable interface to a network of humans to solve these kinds of problems and incorporate this human intelligence into their applications."

In a nutshell, developers and businesses can submit requests for tasks (referred as HITs - Human Intelligence Tasks) to be completed by a pool of skilled/talented people who are paid for completing the required tasks.

I find it to be a very interesting concept.
Read more about it here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Information Design - NYTE

NYTE (New York Talk Exchange) "illustrates the global exchange of information in real time by visualizing volumes of long distance telephone and IP (Internet Protocol) data flowing between New York and cities around the world".

The work featured consists of three different data interpretations:

Globe encounters visualizes in real time the volumes of Internet data flowing between New York & other cities around the world. The size of the glow on a particular city location corresponds to the relative amount of IP traffic.

Pulse of the planet illustrates the volume of international calls between New York City & 255 countries over the 24 hours in a day. Areas of the world receiving & making fewer phone calls shrink while areas experiencing a greater amount of voice call activity expand.

The world inside NY shows how different neighborhoods reach out to the rest of the world via the AT&T telephone network. The widths of the color bars represent the proportion of world regions in contact with each neighborhood.

The projects (accomplished with the support of the now extinct Yahoo Design Innovation Team) will be exhibited at the MOMA *sigh*, starting the 24th of February until the 12th of May.

The site is well worth a visit (for more details) - it's a brilliant idea.

SL - Catching up

I downloaded the updated version of Windlight a couple of days back and went for a chilled spin on SL - The quality of the graphics/rendering is much better; I felt a clear improvement in the overall experience.

I hung out with Jade (my RL friend who got himself a brand new *super-slick* avatar) for a little while, checked out the villa he rented and caught up with his stories on the patio.

I should probably get one of these funky places myself.

Note: He promised that next time I visit, there will be a Diet Coke dispenser in the kitchen.

Design - Nostalgia

I came across this chart showing the evolution of the Nintendo characters on Ffffound and had to share it.

I have a feeling all the web designers out there will look at it with a smile and remember the days when pixel icons/graphics were THE big thing - until the slick Aqua renderings became trendy.

The only detail missing is the inclusion of some kind of a timeline/dates - just for reference.

Buzz - Peek-a-boo!

With all the hype built around the new A380, it's worth having a sneak preview of the cockpit, in a 360 degree view rendering - Exciting!

Have a look here at the latest flying technology - in all its glory.

Mobile - Ikea kiosk

The Ikea store in Seattle installed an interactive kiosk that allows customers to access coupons and information on their weekly specials through text messages or by scanning barcodes with their mobile phone.

Brilliant idea and great 1-2-1 initiative - Customers will receive regular updates on the latest news and sales when they leave the store.

Via Ohgizmo

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Web 2.0 - Blog post Life cycle

I came across this great article on Wired sometime back, but never had the chance to share it - I was reminded of its existence while browsing on Suffian's *very* neat blog.

Everything you always wanted to know about the life cycle of a blog post is explained in a crisp interactive presentation :)
Have a closer look here.

I wish there were a printable version of it, I wouldn't mind having it as an A3 poster. Enjoy!

Random - Vday, Lowe style

The agency's valentine message - that was sent to our clients and friends :)
Cute, don't you think?

Other variations - for fun:
Peace & Lowe
Lowe is in the air
Lowe is all around

Google - Valentine's logo

Happy be-lated Valentine's day everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Web - Simplify your work

McCann SF & Firstborn launched a site to promote the new version of Microsoft Office for Mac.
Simple, straight to the point, with very nice animations and illustrations.
Check it out here.

Random - Magic number #20

2000 visitors on my blog might not seem like a big number compared to others, but I find it very exciting.

And what is much more exciting than the number itself, is the fact that the visitor #2000 is someone from ... Twitter! - I'm happy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Information Design - Web Trend map 2008

The Japanese agency IA is back with a vengeance, releasing the 2008 beta version of their -now *very famous* - web trend map.

In their own words: "This time we’ve taken almost 300 of the most influential and successful websites and pinned them down to the greater Tokyo-area train map".

It is definitely as interesting if not richer than the one published in 2007, but I wonder why the list is missing Wikia, Seesmic and Qik - will drop them a note about it.

Order your A0 poster here :)

Twitter - Tweet stats

I came across Tweetstats by accident - while reading @warzabidul's blog
- and I love it.

The site (made by "Damon aka (dacort)") gives any user a visual (graphs) representation of their Twitter activities, featuring stats for: general timeline, hourly tweets, direct replies and interface used - Plain brilliant.

I would love to see a widget I can embed in my blog - and why not a Facebook app?

Check out your Twitter stats here :)

Note: As you can see, I've been pretty busy Twittering in Jan, hence the few posts on the blog ;)

Google - Lego logo!

The Lego brick turns 50 today and this is - by far - the best Google logo re-design I've seen in a long time :)

Just for fun, check out some *real* Google Lego logos here

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Web 2.0 - Wikia Search launched

Wikia Search launched on the 7th of January - I know, we're the 13th.
I always have good excuses: I was too busy testing/enjoying/loving search, so
I delayed reporting about the hottest/most awaited for launch of 2008.

The net.. The blogoshpere.. The universe.. They were all on fire. Literally. Press releases, interviews, posts, debates. Some loved it and others hated it.

Detractors built their case mainly on the fact that the results were not accurate, and that it was too soon to launch the Alpha version of Search (omitting one little detail: Alpha comes before Beta, and doesn't mean anything but "very early stage of development").

The social networking component (you can customize a profile page and add friends once you sign up) was also very widely criticized: does the world need another Facebook?

In my *humble* opinion, they failed to see the big picture: this open source human powered search engine IS the next big thing.

Of course, it will take time to be perfect, and Jimmy Wales gave a clear warning about the matter (yes, at this stage, the search results are bad); Wikipedia was not built in one day.

I see it having mainly two types of users: the ones who search and the ones who influence the search results. Just like the Wikipedia model, the active community will be very protective of its inputs, which will lead to high quality search results.

As far as the social networking part of the site is concerned, I totally see its benefit if it is linked to search in some way, shape or form.

Most of the features are not launched/implemented yet, so it is definitely too early for the "web authorities" to judge. Sit back, relax and wait for it to grow to its full potential.

Hail to the Wikia team and for the great job they've done :)

Check out Wikia search, register and add me a as a friend!
(Look for Stephanie T.)

Note: read more about the launch here

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Google - HNY 2008

Happy New Year everybody!