Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random - Magic number #5

I'm a bit late on this one as well (40 visitors past the magic number...), but I'm not going to break the tradition!

The visitor #500 is from the states, Pennsylvania to be more specific, and spent 11 seconds reading ;)

The traffic has been going up lately, and I find it very exciting - mega boost for my tiny-blogger-ego!

SL - No comment! (bis)

Here are a couple of my weird/cute encounters while roaming around in SL...
An alien (or is it a flying spider?), and Snoopy playing the violin on some busy shopping street - I love the Woodstock detail :)

Google - 9 years and counting!

Google celebrated their 9th year in the business on the 27th :)
Happy Birthday!

These tweaked logos really make me happy. I always wish they would have them more often :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Random - Mr Tengu

Here's the latest really-cool-but-useless gadget coming straight from Japan - as expected, I love it, and I would definitely buy one if I knew where to find it :)

Mr Tengu is a little USB device that changes faces and depicts your mood depending on what type of music you're playing on your computer.

Read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buzz - Google VS Microsoft

This was kind of expected, let's see who wins (if anyone does) the final battle:

"Facebook has suddenly become the hottest property on the Internet, with Microsoft and Google slugging it out over the purchase of just a small stake in the social-networking site amid a much larger battle for dominance in online advertising.

In recent weeks, Microsoft approached Facebook with a proposal to invest $300 million to $500 million for a 5% stake in the startup firm, a move that could value all of Facebook at $10 billion or higher, people familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal. But these people say that Google is also angling for a Facebook stake."

Read the full article here.

Web 2.0 - Visuals of the world

Visuals of the world is a really cool project: visitors are asked to submit a 300x700px image to contribute to a continuous vertical banner in order to build the longest visual website in the world!

"Scroll through yards of inspirational images. Share and contribute, see what you can do. Add a personal link to your submission or just engage anonymous".

As I write, the banner is 27183.69 cm long :)
Love it!

Upload your visual contribution here.

PS: I might work on something - I'll post it if I do ;)

Web 2.0 - I, You, She, He

The blogosphere is all hyped about the I, You, She, He project, an application that uses live questions from Yahoo! Answers to generate an overall impression of people's raw feelings.

Which got me to finding out that there is a Design innovation team at Yahoo, that comes up with really interesting applications/visual interpretations of specific topics.

There's no possible interaction with the applications yet, but you can view quicktime movies about each of them - they're really funky! :)

Check them out here.

ID - Visual data of the ME conflicts

The Middle-Eastern conflict/political scene is definitely one of the topics I will NEVER get into - way too complicated to handle, too sensitive to even discuss.

Nevertheless, since today is *supposedly* an important election day in Lebanon, I thought I'd post a couple of interesting links.

I came across these visual representations of the conflicts history in the ME a while back. Most of them surfaced last year, but they're still worth seeing.

Take a look:

> The Middle-East Buddy list:
A chart of the region's players to understand "who likes whom, who can't stand each other, and who's not sure".
Click here.

> Animated Middle-East history:
"A 90 second animated map illustrating who has conquered the Middle East over the past 5,000 years, including the Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Greeks, Persians, Europeans etc..."
Click here.

> Strife and power in the new ME:
"Interesting infographics attempting to describe the underlying issues in the current mideast conflict".
Click here.

PS: Topic closed. I will consider these as examples of information architecture.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Web 2.0 - Twitter directory

I "forgot" to mention that a non-official Twitter directory has finally seen the light (kind of a while back actually), and it works pretty well :).

It allows you to search for Twitter members by name or keyword. The results show the Twitterer's name, bio, avatar and webpage link.

Start searching here.

Google - Book search

I stumbled upon Google Book search by mistake a couple of hours ago and I've been glued to it since.

In a nutshell:
"Search the full text of books to find ones that interest you. Clicking on a book result, you'll be able to see everything from a few short excerpts to the entire book, depending on a few different factors. Each book includes an 'About this book' page with basic bibliographic data like title, author, publication date, length and subject. For every book, you'll see links directing you to bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it. If we've determined that a book is out of copyright, or the publisher or rightsholder has given us permission, you'll be able to page through the entire book from start to finish, as many times as you like."

*sigh* ... It's brilliant.
Overdose on literature here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thoughts - Glamorama V2

I felt I needed a change, so I gave my blog a facelift - and you have no idea how frustrating it is to be stuck with a template and not being able to move things around as you want.

I'm pretty happy with the result, I think it has a bit more character that the previous one - although I quite liked my Labbit.

I still have to finalize a couple of tweaks here and there, but that will have to wait until I can put a real HTML guru on the case :) - that would be tomorrow morning; I could only cover the basics of the exercise, but I know quite a bit of people who would be impressed with whatever little coding I managed to do.

What do you think? Which layout wins? V1 or V2? :)

Web - One Web Day

Yesterday was the One Web Day (apologies for not being able to blog about it earlier):
It is "one day a year when we all - everyone around the physical globe - can celebrate the Web and what it means to us as individuals, organizations, and communities".

The mission of OneWebDay is to,"create, maintain, advance and promote a global day to celebrate online life."

I think it's great. And I'll be ready for next September :)
Celebrate here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thoughts - My iPod feature

That's it, I'm revolting against my incapacity of bringing my ideas to life, and failing to reach the right people hahaha :)

So here's another one of my random thoughts/ideas, that will never see the light.
I'm pretty sure that someone already thought of it, but not in my micro-circle, so I'm claiming ownership for it and sharing it with the world (maybe not the world, but my readers at least).

A feature I would like to see added on iPods/iTunes is "lyrics".
Yes, you heard me, lyrics.

I would like to have the option to instantly download the lyrics of any song on my ipod, through iTunes: It shouldn't be that complicated to tie-up with a content provider such as or any other site that list quality lyrics.

I should also have the option to activate the lyrics reader, and see the lyrics scrolling on my screen instead (or under) the "time" bar (or whatever the scroller that shows how many minutes are left before the song ends is called).

I'm sure this little addition will make a lot of people happy (Ezzat is one of them).

What do you say? Is anyone connected with some big shot at Apple? - I even designed the interface for fun, but am not posting it.

Let's see the power of web 2.0/social networking in action.

PS: You can extend the proposition to the Asian markets and turn your iPod into a mini Karaoke machine (they're big in Japan): hook it to your TV screen, and you're up for a wild night. Imagine having a limited edition of white Apple microphones designed...

OK...Enough... I know what you're thinking. :)

Random - More ice cream for sad people

"Dr. Whippy is a machine that proffers soft scoop ice cream according to the perceived unhappiness level of the customer.

Employing voice stress analysis of the user’s answers to specific questions, varying degrees of unhappiness are measured and the counteractive quantity of ice cream is dispensed: The more unhappy you are, the more ice cream you need".

Hahaha :)

Via We make money not art.

Web 2.0 - Oskope visual search

Oskope is a new platform that lets you search for products in a visual way. So far the service allows you to search Amazon, flickr, Ebay and Youtube.

The interface is nicely done, and you can organize your "visual" search result in 5 different ways.
Really neat, and fun to play with :).

Have a look here!

Web - Techcrunch40 (two in one)

Techcrunch40 Conference 2007 was exactly where I wanted to be a couple of days back.
But of course, it is not really easy to just pick up and fly to the US - It's not like SF is the place next door, unfortunately.

This year's format was simple: "Forty of the hottest new startups from around the world will announce and demo their products over a two day period", competing to win a $50,000 cash award to move their businesses forward.

The lucky winner is Mint: "Mint is a powerful, easy and secure web-based solution for managing your finances. And it’s free. You register anonymously using any valid email address, and then add the log-in information for the online bank, credit union and credit card accounts you want to consolidate in Mint.

Your account information is updated each night. Mint automatically categorizes all your purchases, showing you how much you spend on gas, groceries, parking, rent, restaurants, DVD rentals and more, with amazing precision. An advanced alerting system highlights any unusual activity, low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills so you’re in constant contact with your money – effortlessly".

Great concept, I think, but I obviously won't be able to test it.

Read more about the showcased projects here, and check out Mint here.

Mobile - H&M innovates

My digital life reported a couple of days back that H&M came up with a new strategy to boost their sales and create alternative shopping experiences.

H&M launched a new campaign in Europe using semacodes (the same concept as the QR codes). These are embedded in their print ads, as well as billboards, allowing shoppers to buy clothes using their cameraphones (the item is charged to the user's phone bill, but I'm wondering about the delivery logistics - there are no details about that).

Great initiative - an example that will probably be picked up by other brands soon.

More details here.

SL - BT hits Second Life

Ideas that I think of and that never see the light seem to be my life story.
Maybe I should just shut down my brain for a while, or turn tables around and actually start doing something about them.

While I was roaming in the office telling everyone how cool it would be to have a system in SL where residents could send sms from in-world to the real world (and was getting weird looks in return), BT was actually bringing the platform to life - another Google 411 frustration.

On the 14th of September, Cnet reported that "BT is developing services that could allow users of virtual worlds to call or text out to their colleagues and friends in the real world".

Should I just throw myself out the window or move on? Well, the only consolation I get out of all this, is the fact that I might not be so stupid after all (massaging my ego to avoid depression).

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Google - Gadget ads!

I'm afraid I'll get to a point where I won't be able to keep up with the cool Google stuff - too many innovations, too little time :/

This makes it a the top of the list (followed by google reader and google web history): "Gadget ads enable advertisers and agencies to engage audiences on the Internet's largest ad network with a rich and interactive new ad format. Think of gadget ads as mini versions of your website in any AdSense ad size".

There is so much potential here! I'm pretty sure this is going to be a big hit - specially for interactive agencies who are always frustrated when it comes to designing banners; This solves pretty much all creative issues ;).

My brain is all over the place... Too many exciting ideas are popping up!

Read more about the gadget ads here.

Thoughts - Post #100

No worries, I'm not actually keeping track of my posts as well ;) - tracking visitors is a full time job by itself haha.

Thank you Dr Joey for leaving such a nice comment ("odd", in my dictionary, is a compliment). I'm glad you like the blog, and hope it made you smile.

I thought you'd like to know you're visitor #412, which is really close to 400 - and it certainly deserves to be highlighted as well!

Good luck in your quest ;)

Web 2.0 - Weeworld

Yet another social networking meets avatars site :)
Is there an end to all of this?

"WeeWorld is a social network built for fun where you can meet and interact with WeeMees, invite friends, send messages, play games and create your own online cartoon page. What's a WeeMee? It's a cartoon that looks just like you."

I registered, and created my WeeMee (cute,no?), but haven't had the chance to dig deep enough into it.. I'm not sure about the UI, but it's too early to judge ;) - Will let you know if anything comes up.

You can always create your avatar and use it to personalize your IM or Skype :) - It's a fun 10 minutes to waste.

Get your own WeeMee here.

SL - No comment!

Lolo Ferrari in SL???!!
Totally random... but made me laugh...

Thoughts - Magic number #4

We've hit another milestone: 400 visitors!! :)

#400 (who spend 1 minute 6 seconds reading) is from Dubai. And not in media city. I wonder who that is..

I've been enjoying going through the list of visitors, and the nationalities/places/referrals are getting more and more diverse (Japan, Spain, US, France, Martinique etc...), which makes me really happy.

Thank you for reading, and keep the visits rolling! ;)

Thoughts - Thank you!

I've been slacking on blogging for the past two days (it happens once in a while, haven't you noticed?), but that doesn't mean I've stopped browsing :)

I wanted to thank Robbie and FK for thinking that the web trends map is a good post, and for adding it on their blog.

And I would also like to thank Robbie for taking the time to translate his post in English, I was finally able to understand what he was saying - I can't speak a word of Italian, so it really doesn't help ;)

Have a look at FK's great telco advertising blog here and at Robijoule's blog here :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

SL - My kind of house!

I think I kind of found my dream house while roaming around SL: Beautiful slick architecture, large windows, hard wood floors, fireplace, chilled pool and of course, a big garden.

It's only missing a private beach ;)

The downside is that it is not for sale, it can only be rented.
And I'm not sure of the area, it's a bit too quiet.

I've been looking to buy a property/land/island on SL, but I'm not set on where yet.
Jade, any ideas?? ;)

Google - Roald Dahl's birthday

I was very happy to see the Google logo today, as we haven't seen these fun designs in a long time.

What made me even happier was the fact that it is related to Roald Dahl; I wasn't excited to learn that it is his birthday as much as I was rembering how much of a great writer he is.

Needless to say I used to spend hours as a kid reading his books: Charlie and the chocolate factory, James and the giant peach, Matilda etc...

Mega-smile! :)

Learn more about Dahl here.
visit his official website here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Google - Genius tie-up with BMW

It was only natural for car manufacturers to go down that route, but BMW wins the race, and by far!

So it's now official: "BMW is now the first auto manufacturer to offer Google local search straight from the in-dash nav system. You can look for Yellow Pages-type information like names and addresses of restaurants, hotels -- locate service stations, banks, supermarkets, cinemas and Apple genius bars -- and all of it right from your car."

It only works in Germany so far, but I'm pretty sure it will be a common feature in all cars really soon - Thumbs up, it's brilliant.

Read the full article here.

Web - Web trend map 2007

The Japanese agency IA has released the 2007 version of the web trends:
"The 200 most successful websites on the web, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. The original raster (the Tokyo metro map) has been substantially modified to fit the needs of an Internet Trend Map."

It just made me happy to see all my favorite sites gathered in one big funky map that makes sense (I'm such a web junky).

Have a closer look at the map here.
(the screen saver is really cool, but it's only available for Mac users)

Buzz - Audi R8 launch in Dubai

We went to the launch event of the Audi R8 last wednesday which was held at Madinat Jumeirah. I have to say that I was very much impressed by the organization and the way the evening progressed (Thank you Tarek).

The R8 is a beauty of course.

But what was much more exciting for any hard-core Audi fan (like Ezz and myself), was the fact that they brought on stage the first race car ever made, the Le Mans car, and Michele Mouton's Audi Quattro!!!

While everybody gathered around the R8 after dinner, we were glued to the Quattro, taking picture after picture (bless the digital cameras).
Quite an adrenaline rush ;) !

Read more about Michele Mouton here.
Check out all the Audi pics here.

Random - Stark with Fossil

Philippe Stark has been tying up with Fossil for quite a bit of time now, coming up with amazing slick/innovative watches (I'm the proud owner of the first one that was ever designed - thank you Ezz, I will never forget what you had to go through to find it ;) ).

The latest one that caught my eye is the O-ring Digi (it comes in different colors, but the white one is my favorite): "this digital style displays the time in a unique fashion. In a ring shaped display, the hours are displayed as numbers while the minutes are displayed in segments. As time goes by, the segments build making a complete ring every hour."

You can buy it online for 110$

And while you're at it, have a look at Stark's latest work here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Web 2.0 - Twitterrific

Twitterrific is a fun little application that lets you both read and publish tweets to the community website.

It updates regularly a little window on your desktop (very neatly designed and not distracting at all), so you don't have to keep going back to a browser window to check on the updates.

It is (unfortunately for the PC users) only available for Mac users.

Download it here.

Random - Footloose

Footloose is every woman's dream come true :)

Marte Den Hollander designed a shoe with a high heel, that can be changed into a shoe with a low heel - which means the end of carrying an extra pair of shoe in your bag when you go clubbing ;) !!

The mechanism has been patented in 2006, but there is still no sign of an actual shoe being produced - which is something I don't understand given the fact that they would sell like crazy if they look good...

Get teased here.

Web 2.0 - Stylehive

Stylehive is a global social shopping community, dedicated to discovering and sharing the most exciting products, the stores that sell them, and the people that find them.

You don't have to join the hive to enjoy it.
I've browsed quite a bit, and I liked what I saw so far. I registered as well to start bookmarking my favorite things, but I haven't had the chance to dig into it properly yet.

Will keep you posted, as usual ;)

Check it out here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mobile - Nokia's MOSH

Mosh is Nokia’s "new" (at least for me) user-generated content for mobile devices - you can upload and get free ringtones, videos, images, applications and games for pretty much any device when you register (so it's not just for Nokia users, which makes it very sexy/powerful).

The marketing team also did some quick thinking and came up with a fun Google ad, taking advantage of the fact that iPhone early adopters are upset about the price drops - to drive traffic to the site.

Check it out here.

Buzz - HumanLocator

Human Locator
is an interactive visual system developed by Freeset and designed expressly for advertising. Drawing on cutting edge computer visualization techniques to track full body movement in real time, it allows consumers to actively participate in and interact with advertising. At the same time the system provides advertisers with measurable viewer data."

I love it! I wish I could have one of these toys at home!

Check out all the funky possibilities here.

Buzz - HP & Gitex

It's that time of the year again where the marketing war of IT companies is declared... Gitex!

What we know for sure is that HP goes all the way every year to surprise the visitors and take over the city in some way, shape or form.

After hitting us with the orange campaign a year back and branding all the speed radars (which created quite a buzz and controversy), they are going red in 2007 (and hanging 3D 6x4meters PSG Hands holding the HP logo in key spots).

I'm not sure about the rationale behind the stunt, but it looks cool :)

Ezz, we want pictures of the stand!
Boud, any insights on Cisco?? ;)

SL - Week-end!

Akasha has a new pair of Ray-Bans, and has been tanning most of the week-end in Cuba (at the La Maria island specifically, one of the nicest places I've seen in SL - beautiful details) ;)

I also visited the Sistine chapel on the Vassar campus, and I'm very impressed by the reproduction work that was done. Great experience, highly recommended!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Web - Convert Tube

This really great service/tool allows you to convert and download an online video by simply providing the URL.

Any file can be converted to an mpg, mov, 3gp (mobile), flv (flash), mp3 or mp4.

So far, it only works with YouTube videos (although it is not stated anywhere on the site), and that's probably where the name/identity come from.

Bookmark it now - and start saving some serious space on your hard drive ;)