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this is really great... design eye for the usability guy

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Yes, this squarely labels me a web geek, but this is easily one of the best summaries of good design I've seen in awhile. It is a humorous remake of usability aficionado Jakob Nielsen's own website

( Permalink... | 5/25/2004 01:00:00 AM PST | 0 comments )


Another installment of interesting stuff posted elsewhere...

An office in a bucket... or a outdoor rave party in a tub, or a wintertime enclosure for your hottub? I want one.

( Permalink... | 5/24/2004 12:35:00 PM PST | 0 comments )

What is Premium?

I have noticed a trend lately... everything, everywhere is now "premium". I remember premium gasoline, fancy restauraunts and a small handful of premium foods (fresh french bread for example) from my youth, but that's about it.

Today, I drink premium juices (7$/half gallon vs 1$ for the frozen concentrate), choose from a variety of premium breads (3$ for a ciabatta from a local bakery vs 50 cents for the grocery-brand white spongy crap), surf the web on a premier connection while watching a variety of television that shares in it's luxury. I can enjoy premium local beer and make my own on occasion with ingredients bought from a local homebrew shop which specializes in premium ingredients. If that's not all, I share the road with a plethora of premium cars ($$$) on my way to see the cups from the coffehouses (where customers daily order their "personalized" double white chocolate mocha with space in the top of the cup to add additional cream, just to make sure they are different from the person behind them in line who wears the same clothes from banana republic, drives a Jetta of the same color to the same job where they fight to climb a ladder that never ends....) overflowing out of garbage cans near the cities premium apartment complexes.

Is the idea of premium products a fad or has it been around forever. To be clear, premium is really a middle-tier of products. The products that really are the best are a whole different ball game in most cases. A shop like Starbucks exudes the appearance of a premium product, when there are clearly better local establishments that have better products. Sure, it's consistent, but so is wonder bread. Sure it's good, but so are many cheaper things in life like the bleacher seats at the ball game, where the people around you are more intersting than the game itself.

I guess, the fact is, that it works. I keep myself thinking I'm special with premium foods and juices, while somebody else forks out 1,000$/year for their daily latte. Maybe I just need to hop on the bandwagon and laugh my way to the bank too.

Maybe I was just sheltered from this premium world by my parents and by the east coast suburbs, but I don't think that's the real story.
( Permalink... | 5/21/2004 01:46:00 AM PST | 0 comments )


Grossest apartment ever.

Week in Pictures. I don't really like MSNBC, but this has always been an interesting collection of images.

Virtual tour of the new Seattle library. I haven't tried it since I'll be seeing it in person this weekend. I did get to see a beautiful collection of images documenting the building's construction by John Stamets of the University of Washington. All I know is that the critics love it!

Robots Kick Ass.

Uglified celebrities are funny.

( Permalink... | 5/21/2004 12:24:00 AM PST | 212 comments )

Supersized disturbance

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A couple of months ago I was mocked by my roomate for ordering a burger king kid's meal. I wasn't terribly hungry and it really is plenty of food. He was like, yeah whatever, the junior whopper meal is not much more $ and a lot more food. My retort was, seriously dude, i bet the happy meal has over 700 calories already, why do I need more? Sad thing is I was right. Across from the bathroom, I weighed the meal out on the nutrition facts chart. one small coke, one small fries and a cheeseburger is infact just over 700 calories.

Yep, I saw the new movie, Super size me, this weekend. Yes it brings to light the disturbing reality that fast food is bad for you. Yes, you should have been able to figgure that out on your own.

But the worst part of all: A girl speaks to Jared, the famous weight-loss subway eater. What does she say? "I can't afford the diet that helped Jared succeed." Jared being the nice guy he is, tells her that society is mean and that it's really hard to lose weight.... No, he doesn't tell her that a healthy diet can help her lose weight without subway, nah, he just keeps her feeling miserable.

And now, you ask, how does this relate to technology?

Our Destiny? Fat people floating around on segway's
( Permalink... | 5/20/2004 01:10:00 AM PST | 0 comments )

why is this so exciting.

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Every tech blog is ranting and raving about this super-minimalist flashlight.

Lame Flashlight

I don't understand why? It's just a couple of LED's encased in plastic. You have to hold it, and it doesn't even have a wrist strap. Try a Zipka flashlight instead. It can't be much more than double the size, but it features a retractable head strap, great battery life and overwhelmingly good design.

Cool Flashlight
( Permalink... | 5/20/2004 01:03:00 AM PST | 0 comments )

Car-powered Keg cooler!

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This is the best college research project ever; a "keg wrap" that uses thermoelectric properties to cool a whole keg. (Let's ignore the obvious problems with a car-powered keg cooler. It has legitimate uses, like camping trips.)

I'm sure someone is going to have fun "beta testing" this one. I wonder if they got 20k grant money for materials or for beer?
( Permalink... | 5/14/2004 10:58:00 AM PST | 0 comments )

Catching up with 20'th century technology.

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I just did it, I sucked up the time to get a PDA configured in sync with my outlook calendar, tasks, contacts. I figure it's worth a shot, since the last real PDA kick I had was in college, and the stupid devices really are designed for the businessword.

The thing is, I didn't feel like spending money on one since I have an excellent track record of breaking the darn things. I've broken 2 Palm Pilots and one REX PDA. So what have I done? I am using the highest of high tech, the old standby Palm III.

Sexy like only a late 90's grey box is capable

I upgraded the OS to 3.3, installed the latest hotsync software off the web and I installed the old chapura outlook sync software, got a 3.1.? update for Outlook 2003 off the web, and I'm set.

And I'll tell you why i've gone so low tech...

1. It just works. I know how it works, I already know they stupid "graffiti" language.
2. It has almost no value. I break it again in another freak sledding accident, and no harm done. I'm sure it is worth less than 30$ on ebay. [correction, 10$. I could have even gotten over 1,000 docking cradles for 499$.]
3. It is LESS functional. Huh? How is that an asset?

I want something to keep track of tasks, meetings and contacts. A fancy pda/mp3/tv/telephone/video gaming console/... will only add distrations that I don't need. If a meeting is important, I intentionally don't bring my laptop so I don't go off and surf the web (or update my blog).

so, for me, 1997 tech will be juuuuust fine.
( Permalink... | 5/13/2004 01:08:00 PM PST | 0 comments )

The beauty of nothingness

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Space looks pretty empty when I look up at night. Sure, there are a bunch of stars and all, but you should take another look at what hubble sees.

It looks like art at these zoom levels. It's unbeliavable that there's stuff out there of this complexity, and we were unaware of it till we had the tools to peer so far into space.

P.S. I wonder if the colors portrayed in these pictures is natural color or if it extends beyond the realm of visible light?
( Permalink... | 5/12/2004 01:32:00 AM PST | 0 comments )
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