LCD Reflex Skin

LCD electronic skin
These new skins can be cut and placed on any device. Most people, I imagine, will put them on a phone. But couldn’t you see it being on your door and changing color when it is locked? Or how about on your iPod and change when you put on different songs? How about on your clothes and change the color to match your mood?

Who knows exactly how they will be applied in the future, but I think I probably want one…or at least want to see it in person. In the meantime, there are a couple videos of it HERE.

Data Visualization

data cloud

As a researcher and professional working with accessibility, special needs, education, usability and interaction design, I am constantly searching for better ways to present information. Especially complex and dynamic information.

Web 2.0 has introduced cloud sourced information that defies traditional representations (graphs and pie charts). We as an industry of information technology specialists need to find ways to present interactive information in an understandable, interesting and fun way.

I have written about ManyEyes before as a great idea (in thought, while maybe not implementation) of how to ask society at large how they wish to be presented with this information, hopefully to find a way that works across cultures in way finding and understanding of information.

As I get ready to leave for UPA 2009 Conference in Portland, I am following and connecting with my colleagues who are already there or on their way. This is easily done through Twitter and its myriad of applications. Squidoo List of Twitter Apps.

Over the last couple of years, I have seen several implementations that collect social feeds, but this UPA2009 Twitter Feed’s animation styles are really interesting.

I took that and created a search based on My Tweets

I highly recommend going to The Man in Blue’s VisibleTweets Site and try creating one for yourself.

Apple WWDC 2009 Highlights

wwdc storefront

There were not too many surprises at for the announcements today at the opening of WWDC 2009. The release date continues to be the same for the iPhone 3.0 update and there newest iPhone. There are some Snow Leopard announcements and some hardware changes for the year. This is a list of the essentials.

iPhone 3.0 is free for iPhone owners, naturally. $9.95 for iPod touch owners. Available worldwide June 17, the day often cited and the most likely release date for the new iPhone.

The key improvements for the 3.0 software have been heard before (additional blog entries on iPhone 3.0 Software updates):

  • Cut, copy & paste
  • Landscape and landscape keyboard to Mail, Notes and Messages
  • In app purchases (e.g. magazine subscriptions)Peer to peer connectivity (for games, mostly)
  • Accessories (glucose level readers best example)
  • Maps. Embed Google Map services into your app. Turn by turn directions
  • Push notifications. ESPN score alerts. Instant messages. Numbers (like how many messages are backed up).
  • Sounds.

iPhone 3GS announced today. 2 to 3.6 times faster. Not everything is as fast. Average two times faster. Built in 7.2 Mbps HSDPA. Amazing features (most of which we’ve heard in the rumors previously):

  • Built-in camera. 3 megapixel, not 3.2 as expected. Autofocus, whitebalance, exposure, tap to focus. Low light sensitivity better. Automacro as well, as close as 10 cm away.
  • Also captures video. New switch that says still or video. 30 frames per second. autofocus etc.
  • Edit from the iPhone.
  • Can share (AT&T doesn’t yet)
  • Voice control. Hold down the home button. Commands you can use are scrolling by. Call contact. What’s playing now. Play more songs like this (makes Genius playlist on the fly.)
  • Built-in digital compass.
  • Accessibility features.
  • Support for Nike +
  • Hardware encryption (for the IT guys). Makes for instantaneous remote wipe.
  • Improved battery life. Up to 9 hours surfing with wifi, 30 hours of audio, 12 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk.
  • Fastest, most powerful iPhone yet

This new iPhone is coming July 19. There is a $99 iPhone, available now. There are new MacBook Pros. And there are lots of things for the developers to learn about iPhone 3.0 and Mac OS X. But there is no Steve Jobs. He seems to be out of the picture (at least until July 19th).

Prices for new iPhone:

  • 16 GB $199
  • 32 GB $299
  • In addition, keeping the iPhone 3G on the market for $99 for 8 GB

That 8GB price starts today.

For more details, see:


Flash Catalyst Video Tour

All these new tools coming out of Adobe Labs! It is making it easier and easier for designers and developers to communicate easily with each other. My hope is that it will lead to better collaboration which brings better products for humans.

More information can be found on the Adobe Site (added since the video that used to be embedded was not working for some viewers)

This was the introduction Demo given by Kevin Lynch at Web 2.0 Expo 2009.

Funny Tech Support Questions

So you think you’re computer-illiterate? Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton —

1. Compaq is considering changing the command “Press Any Key” to “Press Return Key” because of the flood of calls asking where the “Any” key is.

2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

3. Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old diskettes. After trouble- shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.

4. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

5. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the “send” key.

7. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

8. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was “bad and an invalid”. The tech explained that the computer’s “bad command” and “invalid” responses shouldn’t be taken personally.

9. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn’t get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, “I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens.” The “foot pedal” turned out to be the computer’s mouse.

10. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked “What power switch?”

11. True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:

Caller: “Hello, is this Tech Support?”
Tech: “Yes, it is. How may I help you?”
Caller: “The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?”
Tech: “I’m sorry, but did you say a cup holder?”
Caller: “Yes, it’s attached to the front of my computer.”
Tech: “Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, It’s because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?”
Caller: “It came with my computer, I don’t know anything about a promotional. It just has ’24X’ on it.”

At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn’t stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off.