A shocking form of retail… therapy surely?

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

A smart wristband, that is linked to a wearer’s bank accounts, can be programmed to dispense an electric shock if they spend too much money at a time.

When the user goes on a shopping rampage, as they near the threshold, they’ll receive a notification on their phone. If they pass this threshold, Interact IoT will send a ping to their wristband, and the account owner will receive an electric shock.

My question, does it zap someone before they are about to spend over their limit, or after they already have?

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Read once, write always, should software developers read novels?

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

Could reading the novels of Virginia Woolf hone the skills of a software developer?

It may help, possibly:

But if anything can be treated as a plug-in, it’s learning how to code. It took me 18 months to become proficient as a developer. This isn’t to pretend software development is easy – those were long months, and I never touched the heights of my truly gifted peers. But in my experience, programming lends itself to concentrated self-study in a way that, say, “To the Lighthouse” or “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction” do not. To learn how to write code, you need a few good books. To enter the mind of an artist, you need a human guide.

How about the works of Jane Austen? I’m reading Mansfield Park at the moment… it makes me feel as if I am parsing code at times.

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No advances in vacuum cleaner technology since 1910

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016

Well this is disappointing, it seems latter day vacuum cleaners are no more effective than their counterparts, that date from the early years of the twentieth century.

“A vacuum cleaner from 1910 would clean the rug just as well as a modern vacuum cleaner from today,” says Tom Gasko, one of America’s foremost vacuum cleaner historians and the curator at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum at Tacony Manufacturing in St. James, Missouri.

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What do you call augmented reality overload? Hyper-Reality

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

If you think information overload is a problem now, trying to keep up with the latest on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and what not, you ought to sample some Hyper-Reality. This isn’t augmented reality, this is overwhelming reality.

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Now you can block out the boss with selective hearing ear buds

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

Ear buds that block out only selected noise sources, such as nearby phone conversations, or the sound of the air conditioner, may well be a boon for those working in open plan office environments. Or anyone in any other sort of situation, who just wants to be able to concentrate a little more, for that matter.

The first setting I tried was Office Normal. Right away, my environment changed. I could still hear voices next to me, but I was surprised by how much it cut out the TV noise, air conditioning and chatter further down the row.

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Let your smart shoes lead the way in an unknown city

Friday, 20 May, 2016

What a great way to find your way around a new, unknown city. Smart shoes will guide your movements through the streets, by vibrating when it is time to make a left or right turn.

I’ve never seen this neighborhood before, yet without so much as a glimpse at a map, I know exactly where to go and how to get there. The smart shoes on my feet know where I am headed, and vibrate when I must turn left or right. It is liberating. No more consulting a guidebook or my phone, no more asking strangers for directions. I simply enjoy the city.

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Are web design agencies going the way of the dodo?

Thursday, 19 May, 2016

Between applications that allow people to effectively create their own web presence, and bigger companies taking the web design function in-house, rather than out-sourcing the work anymore, it could be argued that the web design agency has had its day. We shall see.

Then there’s the phenomenon that’s putting the squeeze on agencies at the lower end: the so-called commoditisation of web design. Platforms like Squarespace have made good design widely available and affordable, meaning small companies with simple needs can now build their own sites. Agencies that have so far relied on this kind of business and don’t find ways to innovate will begin to see a downturn.

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Needy design patterns and popup boxes, let the backlash begin

Wednesday, 18 May, 2016

Those popup boxes, the ones I was talking about the other week, that usually prompt you to sign-up for a newsletter, and appear as you are trying to read the content of a webpage, look to have an official designation, they are instances of needy design patterns.

Or at least that’s how the Nielsen Norman Group, a California based computer user interface and user experience consulting firm, that was co-founded by Jakob Nielsen, refers to them. The aim of these so-called needy patterns is a desperate bid to increase user engagement, but the result, as far as this user is concerned anyway, is often anger.

The goal is to catch users before they abandon the site, to show them something they may have missed, or to provide one final appeal to capture their attention. And, according to the logic of exit popups, who cares if this appeal doesn’t work and users are annoyed? There’s nothing to lose, because they’re leaving anyway, right?

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Wedding photos by my drone, the art director

Wednesday, 18 May, 2016

There are good wedding photos, then there are wedding photos that are just a tad too… art directed. These images, taken by Tahiti based photographer Helene Havard, with the help of a drone, of recent nuptials that took place in French Polynesia, are clearly art directed, but without making the subjects look like they are part of a tableau, or something.

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Unreal projections in the real world

Friday, 13 May, 2016

Photos of mock, or model, or drill, objects and situations, that once existed, might do at some point in the future, or are much closer at hand than we realise. Human like robots, for instance, are but one case in point.

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