So I now have the habit of looking for the things I need on the web. Whether I need a recipe or a tutorial, the Internet is my friend and helps me well to find what I need. However, recently I wanted to get some more information about the painter René Magritte whose paintings really attracted my attention but strangely the Internet didn’t help as I hoped.
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.
Ever since I watched the movie “Message in a bottle”, I have been wondering if there was an equivalent on the web of sending a message in a bottle. I find the experience special. Is it sending a message randomly to any email address? Is it leaving an anonymous comment somewhere? Is it posting an anonymous message on a website dedicated to send messages in a bottle? Is it tweeting with no followers or facebooking without any friends? What is it? Is it possible to design a system to send a message in a bottle on the web? I couldn’t figure it out. Then, I analyzed what type of communication was the act of sending a message in a bottle.
Tonight I was invited to a very good friend’s birthday dinner at a restaurant. My friend organized the event via texts. It was organized at the very last minute this morning for tonight. It was ok because we set the date 2 weeks ago already when we had dinner together with other friends. So I booked my evening for her even if no one knew the plan. She sent a group text asking for availabilities this morning and I instantly replied ok since we already agreed. I was glad we would spend the same nice evening eating asian food as we did two weeks earlier. So I assumed.
This post is about the experience of writing letters on paper and the experience of writing emails. There is something special about handwritten letters and I wonder if that specialness can translate to emails maybe. Continue reading →
Today I wrote a handwritten letter.
I know, big deal.
It reminded me of the middle ages and the romantic letters. But it reminded me also of the times when I needed to write handwritten letters to apply for internships, it was recommended because it was perceived more “authentic”. And I remember the lectures we had about how it was illegal for companies to analyse your handwriting to detect some personality disorder. It was not so long ago, maybe 5 or 7 years ago. Now, who would write a handwritten letter? I still write a lot, but I will never use handwriting to communicate anymore. Actually I’m pretty sure my friends don’t even know my handwriting. But today I needed to write a urgent administrative letter and I don’t have a printer at home, so I couldn’t write a modern digitized letter. Well, not a problem, with a pen and paper it’s easy, or not…
So tonight I went to the ballet again. I love that too much. Out of an online sharing habit, I invited my brothers knowing perfectly that they are absolutely not ballet persons. Well, too bad for them. The experience was special because this time I didn’t go to the traditional theater, rather I went to the movie theater. The ballet was retransmitted live from the “Opéra National de Paris” in the cinema. I went to see what this worthed.What would be the difference between seeing a retransmitted ballet and a live Opera ballet ?
Google just released an incredibly fast new instant search engine, it was so fast I kept typing on the enter key not realizing the results were already there. Here is the consequent chat I had with my brother about it (he was eating fries at midnight) :
me : pfff crazy !!!!!
brother : i will take google’s slimming pill in 2025
me : yea but it won’t remove your existing fat
brother : sure it will
me : but google doesn’t know about the past
brother : not yet
soon you’ll be able to search in your memory
me : yea that would be nice
we’ll be able to set the search speed as well
maybe for some people it’s too fast
brother : yea i’d like a query that takes 3mn to let me make some tea
me : lol
like tele-transportation or the train
i’m sure some would still prefer the train
brother : yea to have a little nap
would be nice to have a 15mn nap according to the difficulty of the question
me : yea it means that we’re sure to get the right answer, instead of always searching very fast without finding anything
brother : yeah
me : you have the choice between a 20mn search that will output you the answer you’ve been looking for forever or a 10ms query that gives you the wrong answer
brother :and it can take years before it delivers an answer if it’s too complicated
me : lol
brother : then it notifies you by mail when it found it
me : exactly
enabled by gtalk.
More seriously I will be glad to use instant search essentially to type my query directly in the browser’s address bar, otherwise it’s still a fancy feature. For the moment seeing the results even before I finish typing my query is a little disappointing when the results are not satisfying.
Also now I want the same for google search images.
Of course you did, it’s so fun! The first time my brother sent me the link, I just stopped at the end and I didn’t get it. Uuh. I was just frustrated at the end to see the two choices and I didn’t even bother to click because I was not used at all to click in videos… The second time I saw the video I finally clicked and oh my, it lead me to that page:
I love the concept. Once you chose what to do at the end of the video, you arrive on a page where you have to type in the word that completes the sentence “a hunter ….. a bear” which is then played in the player.
I didn’t click “Shoot the bear” in the video, I wanted to see the hunter hunted by the bear or maybe I was just afraid of willingly killing a bear, kind of morally compromised, google was watching. Here are the words I typed in a nice and then dangerously criminal way:
And only “annoys” triggered a 404…!! So cool. I guess they did a little UX research before and found out the most typed words.
The experience was fun and engaging but hum, I don’t need tippex, I have my screen and ctrl+z that’s enough :p This is actually interesting that they advertise something being made useless by technology in such an impressive technological way…
The user interface blog of a tech poet. I like to write about ui, technology and life, observing the world changing under the spell of technology. I'm interested in making technology helpful and friendly. Hi =) More ...