April 2009

New magneticNorth web site

by Andy Polaine on April 30, 2009

in General

mn_scribble_interface.jpg

Great to see magneticNorth’s new website live. Brendan gave me a sneak peek of it yesterday and I love it.

The navigation is very playful and intuitive. Actually it is intuitive because it is playful. You basically scribble a doodle and this makes a mask into which a piece from their portfolio opens. You can then click on that item to view more info about the work or simply make another scribble to look at a new piece. The navigation across the top is a history that you can move back and forth through or reset.

What is nice about the whole thing is that you just don’t have worry about doing anything ‘right’. You can scribble any shape and you can scribble over the top of other scribbles and everything automagically sorts itself out.

Go and have a play yourself and tell me what you think.

[UPDATE: Quite some debate started about this, which I’m very happy to be part of. I wrote a long response, which is almost a post in itself, but decided to leave it in the comments.]

Chrome Experiments

by Andy Polaine on April 30, 2009

in General

ball_droppings.jpg

Josh Nimoy has made a version of his (unpleasantly named) Ball Droppings piece for Google’s Chrome Experiments site. Simple and addictive, you basically draw lines and adjust the dropping rate to set the balls in bouncy, musical motion. The Javascript version doesn’t work in Safari (sigh), but Firefox on the Mac does the job.

The whole Chrome Experiments site is worth poking around – there are some nice interactive toys there. Casey Reas’ Twitch is a fun set of little challenges that move from browser window to browser window:

Twitch.png

Christoph Résigné’s Amiga Workbench Emulator is ridiculous, but very well done too.

Browser Ball is a ball that you can throw around different browser windows. Its author, Mark Mahoney asks, “If I tell you it’s less lame than it sounds, will you give it a shot?” It is, indeed, less lame than it sounds and strangely compelling (though it send my CPU crazy).

There are plenty more of these little experiments with the technology. It will be great to see if Google Chrome is actually any good once it comes to the Mac (I haven’t tried it in BootCamp yet), but many of these experiments work in other browsers.

Exploring these ideas will, no doubt, lead to some interesting applications, but they’re fun in their own right too, so take them in that spirit. The comments say it all:

By Bill the non computer geek on April 01, 2009
Saw the demo. So just what does this do? I see a ball bouncing to different windows……so?

By sam on April 29, 2009
you shouldnt be here

(Thanks to Rachel for the heads up).

The Carbon Footprint of Spam

April 21, 2009

(Photo credit: net_efekt) My brother, Matt, just mailed me this report on the Carbon Footprint of Spam. It makes pretty shocking reading and made me re-think Iain’s idea for paid e-mail (just don’t make it like Stansted airport). Here are the main findings from the study: An estimated worldwide total of 62 trillion spam emails […]

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Tonematrix

April 19, 2009

Inspired by the Tenori-On, Andre Michelle put together Tonematrix. Each square creates a wave force that spreads across the grid (I don’t think that affects the sound though). It reminds me quite a bit of a piece Andy Allenson made at Antirom years ago that was a multi-user grid sequencer. The smart thing about it […]

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IDEO Play with VR

April 17, 2009

Regular readers will know I’m pretty cynical about VR and I’ve never been much of a fan of the CAVE system. The last time I used one at iCinema I was treated to an interface that looked like it was designed in 1989 and a headache from the glasses. The above video is from IDEO’s […]

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WiiSpray

April 7, 2009

WiiSpray Teaser from Martin Lihs on Vimeo. WiiSpray is Wiimote hack and piece of work by Martin Lihs – a student of my ex-colleagues over at the media faculty at the Bauhaus. I like the addition of stencil usage – it takes it beyond the obvious paint program idea and you can also collaborate with […]

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Baker Tweet. Another hot pun from Poke.

April 3, 2009

The good chaps and chapettes at Poke love a pun, but they love a hot bun even more. So they have created Baker Tweet, a simple way for bakers to tell the world that something is fresh out of the oven. It’s a mix of Arduino components that hooks into a Django CMS system. The […]

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