Yearly Archives: 2011

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 :
Continue reading

Ad driven content

Tonight I went to a social event organized via group texts . I don’t like those events because of last time, but this time I went because I knew at least one person and I set myself on “socialize” mode to meet new people. In general, I never know how to present myself. It’s complicated and I am quite reluctant to talk about my activity in detail, because “computer engineering” sounds a bit mechanical and almost hostile to most people. I haven’t found how to introduce the human dimension yet in my description. And I hate wasting time trying to explain how much it’s interesting when I already get the look “oh, computing….” I still have to think about that, but I always end up saying “I build websites”.

Building ad driven websites

Fortunately, tonight I was glad and surprised to meet someone for who computing is not an alien activity. I was able to talk naturally about the web and science fiction – nice. I discovered an activity of the web I was not fully aware of : building ad driven websites.

Continue reading

Personal presence : Because it’s impossible to not like

Tonight I met old college friends at a wine bar.
How we encountered? Simple. “The Internet”, more exactly Facebook, because that’s the only available platform, because nobody has the email address of nobody. It was weird because with online interactions, when someone asks you, “hey do you want to meet?”, you are not really thrilled, or you ask yourself if you would be thrilled, and you hesitate indefinitely. Then, when you don’t see any objection, you finally say “ok, sure!”, and then it becomes real, beware, you have to say yes and meet for REAL. Big deal. But it doesn’t become real until you make sure “so are we really meeting tomorrow?”, “sure, yes”. Let’s go.
Continue reading

The Simpsons – Technology at School

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

I created this video from the S21E02 simpsons episode (Bart gets Z) that highlights the use of technology at school by kids. I struggled to put it online but I think it’s worth sharing, it’s hilarious and actually relevant. The hipster teacher is so funny. Here are some crazy quotes :

Ok. Teach us. Use only the knowledge you have in your own head.

But why talk when I could just text ?!!!

Homework: 20mn of twittering

The school is a glorified hamster wheel run by incompetent bureaucrats who can get you to a test, but you will FAIL the test of LIFE ! ! ! ! !

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 :
Continue reading

A message in a bottle : Hello world

Message in a bottleEver 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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading