November 2008

Playing Word Games in Blog Comments

by Andy Polaine on November 23, 2008

in General


I just noticed a whole series of word-association and other games going on in the comments of Fail Blog posts. I have no idea if this is a new phenomenon, but I haven’t seen it before. Nor is it clear if any of these people know each other from elsewhere, but there is a whole little community gameplay scene that appears to spontaneously twist and turn.

I always find it fascinating how people will bend almost any activity towards play and communication. Blog comments are of course already set up for communication, but it’s the ability to have them nested on Fail Blog that seems to create a the boundaries for the playfulness.

Is this something new or have I just been in a cave or something? Anyone know of other examples of this happening?


Google SearchWiki

by Andy Polaine on November 21, 2008

in General

Google have just launched an additional service called SearchWiki for those with a Google account. Basically you get to add notes to search results or move around search rankings. Google will remember them when you search again and you are logged into your account. That is, you won’t see them if you’re not logged in and your changes make no difference to what others see, unless they ask to see what notes other people have made.

It’s an interesting development for search because it will not only mean you can use notes to remember things for later, but also improve Google’s ranking and searching ability. I feel sure that the notes or amount of notes or something similar will eventually feed into Google’s own algorithms. So, not only will people be complaining that Google is making us dumber, but also that we’re making Google smarter.

You can also have a look at how SearchWiki works.


The Designer’s Review of Books Launches

November 21, 2008

If you haven’t already heard from me about it, I launched The Designer’s Review of Books at the end of last week. I’ve been so busy reviewing and promoting it, I forgot to promote it on my own blog. Duh. It seems like it has struck somewhat of a chord, which I’m really pleased about. […]

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G-Speak – Back to VR Gloves Again?

November 17, 2008

g-speak overview from john underkoffler on Vimeo. It’s the gloves again. Part of me wants to believe G-Speak is really is a fantastic “spatial operating environment”. The mouse and keyboard are awkward, clunky and out-dated with plenty of problems and it’s time for a change. G-Speak is about freeing ourselves from those shackles, about working […]

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I Don’t Know What This Is, But I Like It

November 14, 2008

If anyone knows what this is all about, please leave a comment and let me know. In the meantime, enjoy the surreal interface. [UPDATE: Apparently it’s the design portfolio of dutch flash designer Coen Grift – nothing like the ‘coffee’ in Holland to inspire some weirdness. The Dutch inspired us to make Antirom because of […]

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Sprint’s Now Machine Data Overload

November 12, 2008

In keeping with the seemingly American obsession that more data one has the better (especially on TV), Sprint have launched a viral campaign called the Now Machine Widget. Kottke says, “I don’t know what this is or how it works or why Sprint is involved, but man is it fun to just let the data […]

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Code Beneath the Surface

November 11, 2008

This developer from Infusion is showing off some of his modifications to Microsoft’s Surface at I Live To Code. The table has several cameras underneath instead of just one, so that he can affect the ripples and other interactions on the surface without touching it. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the demo is the […]

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Troika – Digital by Design & Interview

November 11, 2008

Troika have a new book out called Digital by Design: Crafting Technology for Products and Environments. It is a wide-ranging survey of works that use new and emerging digital technologies, often crossed with physical interactions and products that blur the boundaries between art and design. They have managed to collect together work from a fantastic […]

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The Rules of Currency

November 10, 2008

Image: J0nB0n Stephen Sniderman’s excellent 1999 essay, Unwritten Rules, in The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology talks about the tacit agreement of unwritten (and impossible) rules required for any kind of play or game. He uses currency as an analogy – we all know the piece of paper is inherently worthless but […]

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Random is Good – Biscuit Tin

November 10, 2008

The good folks over over at magneticNorth have just made another typically mN piece called Biscuit Tin (that’s ‘Cookie Tin’ to you American folk). It’s a Flickr viewer, except the interface randomly selects from your Filckr photostream. It’s like getting out the biscuit tin full of old photos, emptying them over the floor and being […]

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