Posts tagged “iphone”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Repair or Replace a busted iPhone? [NYTimes.com] – “I reached for my phone. I dropped it and it smashed on the concrete floor.” Hoping to find an economical fix, he decided to try his hand at replacing the shattered screen. He purchased parts, first from eBay, then from a local repair shop, and got to work.After polishing his method on the phones of a few willing friends, it wasn’t long before he had improved enough to charge for his services. Mr. McElroy began offering to replace shattered screens, and eventually expanded his menu to include broken SIM card trays, cracked covers, water damage and more mysterious glitches, like unresponsive buttons. “There’s rarely a phone I can’t fix,” said Mr. McElroy, who estimates he’s worked on a thousand iPhones since June. “There was once a guy whose phone was thrown out of a 10-story window. The entire thing was split in half, but the motherboard was fine.” The worst phones aren’t the ones dropped from great heights, Mr. McElroy said. They’re the ones that are dropped in the toilet.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The multitouch backlash begins? – CNET's explains "Another unique feature of the Backflip is the trackpad, which Moto calls Backtrack, located on the back of the display (when the phone is open)." And from Motorola's full-page newspaper ad today "Its new BACKTRACK navigation tool on the rear of the phone lets you intuitively navigate, scroll and select, all without ever having to fumble with the screen." Fumble with the screen? Indeed.
  • Different theater configurations led to different post-production "mixes" for Avatar – [Hollywood Reporter] – More than 100 different delivery versions of "Avatar" were created for the Dec. 18 day-and-date release in 102 countries. DLP digital cinema and non-DLP digital cinema required separate versions. In total, there were 18 different versions of "Avatar" created for the domestic market, plus an additional 92 for international markets, which were released in 47 languages. The international versions included more than 52 subtitled and 18 dubbed versions on film, 58 subtitled and 36 dubbed versions in digital 3D, nine subtitled and eight dubbed versions in digital 2D, and 23 subtitled and 15 dubbed versions for Imax. To optimize the experience for different screens sizes, Cameron made the decision to complete the movie in three aspect ratios: Scope (2:39:1), flat (1:85:1) and Imax (1:43:1).<br />
    (via Kottke)

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Klaus Kaasgaard: Why Designers Sometimes Make Me Cringe [interactions magazine] – [A response to Dan Formosa's piece about marketing research] There is no doubt that Formosa has been exposed to a lot of bad market research in his career. So have I. But I have also been exposed to a lot of bad design research, whether dealing with qualitative data or quantitative data. I cringe at both. And while we should point out when the emperor has no clothes in our daily work situations, it is not the bad research that defines a discipline. I have been exposed to both good market research and good design research as well and, more important, some of the most compelling and impactful research combined different research techniques for a more comprehensive and insightful outcome. That, I suppose, leads me to my conclusion.
  • How many Kindles have really been sold? (And other interesting tidbits about ebooks) [Mobile Opportunity] – Some interesting numbers about the size and dynamics of the market: sales, usage, platforms, content. One highlight is the preferred device used to read ebooks
    -PC: 47%
    -Kindle: 32% (and rising in later waves of the survey)
    -iPhone: 11%
    -iPod Touch: 10%
    -Other smartphones (including Blackberry) 9%
    -Netbooks 9%
    -Sony Reader 8%
    -Barnes & Noble Nook 8%
  • Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy [SF Chronicle] – Altruism is the whole idea behind the new charity, called the Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy. It's the brainchild of Courtney Martin, a South of Market writer who dreamed up the idea four years ago in New York and has handed out a stack of her own $100 bills every year to select good-deed doers who agree to dream up unusual ways to use the dough. Jeremy Mende took a stack of cash to Union Square and offered pairs of strangers $1 apiece if they would have one-on-one conversations with each other. Then he videotaped the conversations and made a home movie. The strangers talked to each other about sex, fireworks, banana slugs, gin, orgasms and Marlon Brando. Some of the conversations were worth a lot more than $1. The best idea seemed to come from Martin's own mother. She used her $100 to buy 400 quarters and scatter them on a grammar school playground.
  • R.J. Cutler: What I Learned From Anna Wintour [HuffPo] – Some principles of management from the director of The September Issue. We watched the film this week and highly recommend it. I thought about work as well; the film offers up lots of provocation around collaboration, artistic vision, managing teams of people, power, prototyping, and more.
    (via Kottke)

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Skirting the Glut of iPhone Apps [NYTimes.com] – The average iPhone or iPod Touch owner uses 5 to 10 apps regularly. This despite the surfeit of available apps: some 140,000 and counting. [The iPad] doesn’t mean that people will change their habits. Actually, it may just make them feel a tad more overwhelmed. The next generation of gadget users might prove different, but for now it is clear that people prefer fewer choices, and that they gravitate consistently toward the same small number of things that they like. For every zealous owner whose iPhone is loaded with little-known programs that predict asteroid fly-bys, there are many more who seldom venture outside the predictable. Most say they’re too busy, too lazy or just plain flummoxed by the choices. “I think I’m supposed to want more of them than I have,” said Julie Graham, a psychotherapist in San Francisco. “There’s this sense that I’m missing out on something I didn’t know I needed.”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Don Norman on Ethnography and Innovation – Some great commentary on Norman's piece (discussed here as well) including the very exciting revelation that Edison did something very much like ethnography!
  • General Motors – The Lab – It’s a pilot program for GM, an interactive design research community in the making. Here you can get to know the designers, check out some of their projects, and help them get to know you. Like a consumer feedback event without the one-way glass.

    We work on ideas that will influence our future vehicles. We want to share our ideas, inventions and pre-production vehicle designs. We want to build the right cars and trucks for your future. We want your opinion.

  • Iceberg Digital Book Reader for the iPhone – Digital books as content, as hardware, as a platform, as an OS, as an app? Interesting to see a range of approaches appearing. Iceberg use the iTunes store to sell the books, which seems like a brilliant strategy, leveraging a storefront/distribution platform that already exists.
  • Steal These Books – From Wikipedia page about book theft, a set of articles that describe what books get stolen from bookstores (independent, chain, and campus) and libraries.
  • Archaeology’s Hoaxes, Fakes, and Strange Sites – A large set of links to articles about fake archeological-type stuff (discoveries, artifacts, and the like). How and why.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Stereotyping people by favorite authors – In our Reading Ahead research, we heard about how people were both exploring and communicating identity through their choices of reading material. Identity is a complex internal and external mechanism, where we (explicitly or implicitly) project outwards to imagine how we might appear to others…an internal act that feels or draws from the external. So the existence of lists like this, while tongue-in-cheek, validate that this process is real.
    (via @kottke)
  • Scott Baldwin on the fine art of listening – Try changing how you listen. Try to capture the message (listen with your ears, mind, eyes and heart). Make eye contact, use an open posture and be attentive to body language, volume, tone and pace. Look deeper than just the meaning of the words and try to understand the reason, feelings or intent beyond the words. Be empathetic, objective and analytical.
  • An iPhone app for ethnography – Really? I haven't tried it but I am not encouraged by the description. What we're looking for doesn't always fit into predetermined categories (indeed, how are you to be innovative if the type of data you are gathering is already classifiable?) and there's a danger in conflating data with insights (or as the blogger here writes "outcomes"). Raw data is overwhelming and takes time and skill to process, if you want to find out anything new. Now, we spend a lot of our time just wrangling (copying, renaming, organizing, sharing, etc.) all sorts of data, so I'm up for tools that can help with that; but I think it's easy to go overboard and create tools for uninteresting – or unreliable – research results
  • Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection – Not an SNL parody ad from 1997, it's a real product line for 2010 (via @CarlAlviani)

Steve contributes to Deconstructing Product Design book


Deconstructing Product Design: Exploring the Form, Function, Usability, Sustainability, and Commercial Success of 100 Amazing Products is a recently published book by William Lidwell and Gerry Manacsa. The book is essentially a crowdsourced-and-curated critique of some notable products. I was thrilled to be included among an esteemed set of contributors including friends and peers like Jon Kolko, Dan Saffer, Rob Tannen, and Trevor van Gorp.

The book steps through the 100 products (including such items as Bratz Doll, Kryptonite-4 Bicycle Lock, and Vicks Forehead Thermometer) and describes the product, while including commentary from a number of contributors.

For example, here is the iPhone page, with callouts (each of which are described on a facing page), and commentary along the bottom by me and Rob Tannen.

Here’s a mostly readable version of my commentary

I also comment on other products, including Moneymaker Pump and Pot-in-Pot Cooler.

Check out reviews at Core77 and Designing for humans and buy the book at Amazon.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Online and on iPhone, authors read 10 pages of their latest work – Aiming to introduce readers to authors they aren't yet familiar with, zehnSeiten (German for ten pages) promotes writers through videos that feature them reading ten pages from their latest novel.

    Available both online and as an iPhone app, the videos are simple, fixed-camera affairs. No dramatic introductions or filmed scenes, just black and white recordings of authors sitting at a table and reading from their work. By eliminating frills, the focus is on the author and production time and costs are kept to a minimum.

  • A Story Before Bed – asynchronous distant storytime – As Jason Kottke explains "A Story Before Bed allows you to record yourself reading a bedtime story to a faraway child…maybe you're away from home on business or a grandparent who lives in another state or just working late. When storytime rolls around, the child sees the book onscreen plus a video of you reading it to them. Slick."
  • Michael Turner on authors, digital, content, and meaning – (highly edited excerpt) – The problem with seeing "digital tools" as "problems" lies in the writer's inability to see the computer and the Internet less as tools than as a medium — the analogy being that the Internet is to the palette what the computer is to the canvas. If an author identifies his or herself as a "good old-fashioned storyteller", someone of bad manners and singular genius, a romantic, a lovable eccentric whose hat is always a little bit too big for their head, then the best way to convey that fantasy — and the book it squirted from — is to complain about "digital tools."

    Some authors have taken to [publisher requests to use digital to promote] better than others…using their books as a device by which to cast shade, create depth, movement, hopefully leading them to new places, new ways of making meaning.
    (via kottke)

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Electric Literature Magazine Offers Fiction in New Media – The founders of Electric Literature, a new quarterly literary magazine, seek nothing less than to revitalize the short story in the age of the short attention span. To do so, they allow readers to enjoy the magazine any way they like: on paper, Kindle, e-book, iPhone and, starting next month, as an audiobook. YouTube videos feature collaborations among their writers and visual artists and musicians. Starting next month, Rick Moody will tweet a story over three days.
  • French Government Offers Free Newspapers to Young Readers – Under “My Free Newspaper,” 18- to 24-year-olds will be offered a free, yearlong subscription to a newspaper of their choice.

    “Winning back young readers is essential for the financial survival of the press, and for its civic dimension,” the culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, said.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Seen Reading – a "literary voyeruism blog" set mostly (I believe) in Toronto – What is Seen Reading?

    1. I see you reading.
    2. I remember what page you’re on in the book.
    3. I head to the bookstore, and make a note of the text.
    4. I let my imagination rip.
    5. Readers become celebrities.
    6. People get giddy and buy more books.

    Why do you do this?
    Readers are cool. Authors work hard. Publishers take chances. And you all deserve to be seen!

    (Thanks Suzanne Long!)

  • Choose What You Read NY – Choose What You Read NY is a non profit organization that offers free books to New Yorkers, encouraging its residents to read more, giving them an alternative to the free papers that get tossed out and even the digi-trash that crowds our time. In doing so, we help to recycle used books that would have unfortunately been thrown away.

    You will find us near major subway stations on the first Tuesday of each month.The idea is that once someone is finished with a book, they either drop it off in one of our conveniently located drop boxes or back to us at a station. Unlike a library, there will be no due dates, penalties, fees or registrations. We only ask that you return it once you are done so that the same book can be enjoyed by another commuter.

  • What was the last book, magazine and newspaper you read on the subway? – 6000 people respond and the New York Times posts the results
  • How and what people read on the New York City subways – Plenty of detailed examples of people, their books, and their travels: "Reading on the subway is a New York ritual, for the masters of the intricately folded newspaper, as well as for teenage girls thumbing through magazines, aspiring actors memorizing lines, office workers devouring self-help inspiration, immigrants newly minted — or not — taking comfort in paragraphs in a familiar tongue. These days, among the tattered covers may be the occasional Kindle, but since most trains are still devoid of Internet access and cellphone reception, the subway ride remains a rare low-tech interlude in a city of inveterate multitasking workaholics. And so, we read.

    There are those whose commutes are carefully timed to the length of a Talk of the Town section of The New Yorker, those who methodically page their way through the classics, and those who always carry a second trash novel in case they unexpectedly make it to the end of the first on a glacial F train."

    (thanks Avi and Anne)

  • Lego grabs ahold of customers with both hands – From 2006, great Wired piece about Lego's approach to involving ardent fans/customers in developing future products.
  • Noting:books – the simple yet dynamic way to track your reading, from the dates you start and finish a book, to your thoughts along the way.
  • CourseSmart brings textbooks to the iPhone in PDF; major readability challenges ensue – “It’s not the first place to go to read your textbook,” Mr. Lyman said of the iPhone app. But he said that it could be helpful if “you’re standing outside of the classroom, the quiz is in 10 minutes, and you want to go back to that end-of-chapter summary that helped you understand the material.”
  • Nice profile of Lego’s business culture and the tension between growth and losing track of their legacy – But the story of Lego’s renaissance — and its current expansion into new segments like virtual reality and video games — isn’t just a toy story. It’s also a reminder of how even the best brands can lose their luster but bounce back with a change in strategy and occasionally painful adaptation.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Paul Graham on the "social norm" problem with the Segway – This is a point I made in my interactions column "Some Different Approaches To Making Stuff" – Kamen is the genius who got it wrong, because he focused only on technology and not on culture and behavior.

    "The Segway hasn't delivered on its initial promise, to put it mildly. There are several reasons why, but one is that people don't want to be seen riding them. Someone riding a Segway looks like a dork.

    My friend Trevor Blackwell built his own Segway, which we called the Segwell. He also built a one-wheeled version, the Eunicycle, which looks exactly like a regular unicycle till you realize the rider isn't pedaling. He has ridden them both to downtown Mountain View to get coffee. When he rides the Eunicycle, people smile at him. But when he rides the Segwell, they shout abuse from their cars: "Too lazy to walk, ya fuckin homo?"

    Why do Segways provoke this reaction? The reason you look like a dork riding a Segway is that you look smug. You don't seem to be working hard enough."

  • Like Nike+ for happiness, iPhone app is data collection for PhD thesis – "At repeated periods throughout the day you'll be pinged by your iPhone either by email or by SMS, and prompted to answer a short one-minute survey. This one asks how happy you are, what you're doing (yes, "making love" is an option, though hopefully it's an activity you'd prioritize over doing some science) whether you exercised recently, whether you're alone, who you're talking to and what you're thinking about." Essentially a "beeper study" but somehow a more viral story ("iPhone"!) than normal.
  • 'True Blood' Beverage – "Inspired by HBO's hugely successful vampire drama series, True Blood, Omni Consumer Products struck a deal with the network's licensing division to releasing 'Tru Blood' the actual beverage..a drinkable product inspired by a beverage meant to taste like blood so that fake vampires from a pay-cable TV show can survive without having to resort to feasting on humans."

Object Love, Object Lust, and Indifference

z-at-sunset

I took my last ride in my 1977 Datsun 280Z today. I’ve sold the car, and the new owner is picking it up tonight.

On this last drive, I patted the dashboard and said something like, “Sorry I have to sell you.” Which made me think about how some objects in my life are things I have relationships with, and some are just things.

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have to give up a pet, or a baby, when I feel sad about just seeing my car go.

I really don’t want to own it anymore-it just doesn’t serve my daily needs-but on a deeper, emotional level, I have a warm feeling towards it, and something significant is going on around giving it up.

This feeling about my Z is totally different from the way I felt when I got an iPhone, which was nonetheless strong as well. I woke up early the morning the contract with my old provider expired and drove right to the Apple store. This was like a consumer electronics booty call. Object lust.

But now my phone is just a thing I use. I feel more emotion about my Swiss Army knife.

And I never felt a thing for my computer, even though I probably spend more time with it than anything–inanimate or animate–in my life.

What’s up with that?

Actually, I’ve got some pretty good ideas about why all of this is the way it is, but I’d rather hear your comments about things you

  • love
  • lust after
  • hate
  • feel indifferent about

Telecommunication and etiquette norms

Like the digital equivalent of an IZOD gator, email programs insert small branded tags in the “.signature” portion of the message.

Free webmail services like hotmail, yahoo, and MSN have their ads

_________________________________________________________________
Express yourself with MSN Messenger 6.0 — download now!
http://www.msnmessenger-download.com/tracking/reach_general

and

——————————————————————————–
Don’t pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.

While in recent years we’ve got the device specific sigs. The first one I really noticed was

Sent from my Blackberry

and of course the superest of coolest

Sent from my iPhone

These little tags (and think of the tags on Levi’s jeans or skin tags, more than folksonomies) advertise the product (as with the Yahoo et. al examples) but they also tell you something about the person. I’ve got one of these. Beyond that, the message might be I’m cool enough to have an iPhone, or I’m lucky enough to work someplace where they buy me a Blackberry.

levis-pocket.jpg

But they also tell you something else. I wrote this message in some situation you can’t possibly (and probably shouldn’t) imagine, when I had a few seconds to kill er um spend responding to you, away from a full keyboard where I could hit my expansive wpm and correct the embarrassing typos. Just like when we call someone on their cell phone, we may not know where we’re reaching them and therefore how the interaction will proceed, when we get an email from a mobile device, we can’t assume the normal context of use (computer, full screen, full keyboard, some time committed to the act).

And so I was tickled to get an email over the weekend that included this customized .signature

Apologies for brevity and any blunders in spelling; this was sent from my iPhone.

Nicely done. I don’t know how to change the iPhone signature, and I realized upon seeing this version that I’d just always assumed that my correspondents would know how to interpret the default. But I’m probably expecting way more empathy that anyone has time for.

iPhone – More than Talk!

p1000302.JPG

Cisco and Apple were in a dispute over the ownership of the iPhone name. There was news that a deal fell through right around the time of the announcement. One might assume this is Cisco raising the stakes a bit, trying to push Apple to make it all go away. Because this is certainly confusing the issue.

Series

About Steve