Posted in : Inspiration

Things that inspire me for further reflection

Therapy by Software

How to ping a url ?

$ ./ping_url

That’s how my cure started.

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Movie review : 127 hours

Technology as a life recorder

127 hours

127 hours

Waouh, I love that movie. Super intense. The movie is excellent on so many levels. For me the morale I retained is that true independence is tough. You can try to live as independently as you want but in the end you will always need and miss the help of others. We are humans living among humans.

Social media?

The story is a true story about Aron Ralston who got stuck in an accident in the middle of a canyon. He knew no one was looking for him because he didn’t notify anyone of where he was going. The story is set in 2003. In other words, when the “social media” were not as popular as today. Do you think it would be different today? I mean, if this would happen today, would he notify people of where he was going on his facebook for example or, maybe check into Places or something like that?

Smartphones?

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Movie review: The Adjustment Bureau

Screenwriters, you need to find other problems than just "losing touch with s.o" or "not knowing" for your stories because technology is already solving this.

The Adjustment Bureau

I watched this movie this morning: The Adjustment Bureau. I had no idea what it was about but I just assumed from the poster that it was a regular action movie. That’s what I was in the mood for: action movie. I hadn’t watched the trailer or read the reviews or summaries to benefit from a potential pleasant surprise effect. I suggest you do the same for that movie, don’t read or watch anything about it, just watch it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Now about the movie (beware some possible spoilers following).

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Book review: The myths of innovation by Scott Berkun

The myths of innovation

The myths of innovation - Scott Berkun, O'reilly

So I read this book “The myths of innovation” by Scott Berkun a few weeks ago, and I’m going to review it now to see what I learned from it.

As the title suggests, the book aims at clearing all the myths we usually believe in when it comes to innovation. The book is not a history book, so it doesn’t tell the story of innovations one by one to detail how they happened. It’s rather like a long blog article, with anecdotes about some innovations and interesting insights about what innovations imply, and how they happen realistically.

Context and influence

What I retained from the book is that innovations depend a lot on the context of a period, the innovator’s network and personality, historians, journalists… Continue reading

Hej Stockholm !

Sweden’s sky and sun = the origin of Sweden’s flag

So I went to Stockholm for 5 days. I wanted to go there since last year, and recently I realized nothing was stopping me. So I went.

This time I learned from last experience in Cologne and played it old fashioned 20th century style: I bought a travel guide. Also since last time Gmaps upgraded with the offline mode, so I took the opportunity to test it in real life conditions and pre-cached the Stockholm map before leaving. To complete my serious preparation, I also stored a lot of information in the form of pdfs, notes, etc. in my phone to avoid carrying any form of paper (…other than the guide and …passport). Finally, there was nothing particularly technological about my holidays (20th century style) but I’d like to highlight these discoveries: the nobel prize, museums in Stockholm and the “lagom” principle that very much inspired me.

 ***

But first, let’s debrief about how I improved the logistics of my holidays by mentally accepting that there is no such thing as a global knowledge resource available from anywhere and anytime.

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Trip to Cologne: using the Internet on holidays

The real point of the Internet is to explore the unknown anytime and everywhere

Ich liebe Köln!

I went on holidays to Cologne a few weeks ago. It was great and I realized how dependent we have become on the Internet and how it’s becoming a necessity, even during holidays.

A few years ago we would have planned the trip searching what exactly to see and do there before leaving. Today, we go on holiday in the mindset that we can search for what to do and see once we are there because we count on the Internet to guide us. We rely on the Internet because we are used to have it at home, in the pocket, everywhere. The Internet avoids us the planning and allows us to live more spontaneously in a “decide as you go” mode. When I say the Internet here, I refer to mobile Internet on the smartphone, the most convenient use on holidays. Also I mainly refer to Google’s services and I’m going to describe in this post how very useful and pleasant these were for us during the holidays. Using the mobile Internet abroad made me realize the real point of the Internet: explore the unknown.

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Biomimicry and Fishes

I am so glad I have discovered Biomimicry. I watched a series of 4 documentaries on French tv about it and found it really fascinating. Biomimicry is a field of science that studies the design of natural systems such as caudal fins, the way some insects float on water, etc. to build self sufficient and very efficient systems for human societies. For example, biomimicry can be applied to architecture to build buildings that regulate their energy alone depending on the weather and seasons. I extracted this video from one of the documentary to illustrate how biomimicry also applies to everyday objects :
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HAL 9000

I finally watched “2001 A space odyssey”. I have tried to watch it 3 times already but never got passed the first 30mn because the beginning is really slow. I wanted to watch it to finally meet HAL for real after hearing about him in all my readings. I enjoyed the movie, there are some interesting ideas there, and I retained some amusing quotes :
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The Honey UI

I recently started the new ritual of putting honey in my tea. I haven’t tasted honey since maybe 5 years and in my head I remember it coming in a jar. But ever since I saw my brother’s honey coming in a tube, I wanted the same. So I bought that one. I bought that honey UI :

Why? Because it’s fun. I like products that have been thought for the user. Depending on the experience, you – as a user – want, your main concern might be to pour the honey precisely in your cup or on your toast, or you might just want the honey no matter if you need a spoon or your bare hands to have it. Here, UI could be a simple plastic container. In my case, I could have gone with the traditional jar, but I mainly wanted to test the experience of the tube because it’s original and I am curious.

With the tube UI, I finally don’t have sticky hands and honey all over the place. The honey just goes where it’s supposed to go, it’s super precise and efficient, I am not tempted to eat it all from the jar. But what I like the most with this UI is that every time I pour honey in my cup or on my bread, it reminds me of the ketchup experience and it makes me smile to pour ketchup in my cup. Also, it reminds me of the glue tube we used for arts and crafts when we were kids, sweet memory. Finally, the tube is designed in a way that it doesn’t reduce the product to any liquid, it’s honey not astronaut food.

On the web it’s the same 1. think optimization 2. think experience 3. compose. There can’t be good experience without optimization. Without optimization (functional, efficient and quality product) anything else is just packaging, marketing, make-up, not good.

Tron Legacy : I’m a user, I’ll improvise

I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer, what do they look like?
Ships?
Motorcycles?
Were the circuits like freeways?
I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see and then, one day, I got in.
I’m a user.

–Kevin Flynn, Tron Legacy

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