An Anti-Traction, Mobility Denial Material

New Scientist describes a patent for a “riot slimer.” Riot police or troops would wear a back pack with three cylinders – one containing compressed air, another filled with plain water and a third containing a supply of very dry, finely ground, polyacrylamide powder. A nozzle, resembling a shower head, would blasts two separate jets, […]

.NET on OS X?

Can someone confirm this rumor I heard last night: Microsoft is porting the .NET runtime framework to Mac OS X. [Note: Currently just a rumor!] If this is true it’s a pretty big deal. With Apple currently offering dual-boot software to run Windows XP on Mac hardware, and the likelihood that they will offer virtualization […]

Refreshing Authenticity

Meanwhile, in looking to see if Umair had posted on the dumbest move this week™, I saw he pointed to this. What a riot! Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard, who was in the running to be the new Fed chairman, issues a parody video set to “Every Breath You Take,” poking fun at Ben […]

Disintermediation Denial

Dumbest move this week™. Microsoft and The New York Times unveiled software on Friday that would allow readers to download an electronic version of the newspaper and view it on a portable device. With Microsoft’s new Windows Vista software, to be available in January, virtually any newspaper, magazine or book can be formatted into an […]

Neil Young Gets It

Neil Young has a new album, Living With War and he is working the digital network to best effect. “Living With War will stream on beginning Fri, Apr. 28th. The album will be available at digital retailers beginning May 2nd. CDs will be available in stores early May.” Listen to the whole album free. […]

Secret Doors

Tilting stairs, rotating bookcases, disappearing wall stashes. Fully installed starting at $10,000 and DIY kits starting at $1,500. Creative Home Engineering is a registered contracting company that adds value to homes by integrating silent, automated hidden passageways. A Hardy Boys fantasy come true.

Fun While Flying

Chris Pirillo mimes the airplane safety instructions. Hilarious. [via Scripting News]

From The Mailbag

The life of a consultant…. Notio: Were you out of town this weekend? A: Well…. that’s a pretty good story, actually. After waiting for a half hour to be picked up at the Asheville, NC airport for a Fri-Sun retreat I started to have anxiety about standing outside the wrong airport. Nope, that wasn’t the […]

Subtle Changes Over Time

Photohistory of the Netflix mailer, from 1999 to the present. 2000: Customers are asked to peel off a sticker to reveal Netflix’s return address. The design is eventually deemed too complex. A well-captioned tour through iterative product design – what is the most convenient, cost-effective, earth-friendly, practical DVD mailer? (Remember that you want to send […]

April 24 New Yorker

Just a mention that the current issue of the New Yorker has a number of great articles around the theme of “Journeys.” Especially fantastic is Anthony Lane’s European Journal contribution on low-cost air travel. It’s literally littered with witty asides that resonate with anyone who gets on a plane more than once a year. I […]

Stuff You Don’t Have Time To Read Either

* The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (book, wiki, free pdf). * Collaborative Thesaurus Tagging the Wikipedia Way (abstract, pdf, author’s blog). * Integral Communication (review, master’s thesis pdf). They all look great. Wish I had time to read them. Maybe next year.

Kunstler Interview

Continuing the video theme, The Orion Online posts a five-part video interview with James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency. Each video segment is six or eight minutes long. If you want a summary of the book, Rolling Stone excerpted it just before publication.

Regulating Sliced Bread

I am tired of buying pre-sliced loaves of bread that have an odd number of slices. WTF? What do you do with one slice of bread? Is this some sort of industry handout for the songbirds or something? There oughta be a law.

Quality of Life

I read an alumni profile recently of someone who graduated in 1950, and is quoted as saying, “I worked there from sophomore year through senior year. The work paid much of my way through college.” He worked as a waiter at the college-owned restaurant. I wonder if you could pay your way through college today, […]

N-Dimensional Web 2.0

Many people are trying to define “Web 2.0” – what it is, what it means, how to build Web 2.0 apps, what makes a company a Web 2.0 company, etc. All of those efforts fall short, because Web 2.0 is n-dimensional. Web 2.0 is “reflecting more complex multivariable situations.1” Today I learned of a new […]

Slices Through The Banal

Brilliant culture hacking: The Bureau of Workplace Interruptions. We harness interruptive technology to expose the secret possibilities of the workday. As a time-stealing agency, the Bureau of Workplace Interruptions works directly with employees to invisibly insert intimate exchange into the flow of the workday. Our promise is to create interruptions that challenge the needs of […]

Ambient Advertising

Elegant in-bathroom advertising. What can one say? It’s probably just the beginning. via Wealth Bondage.

Photoshop Compiler Conversion

Being a software engineer working on Photoshop doesn’t sound like a lot of fun these days. I’d say they have a good long 9- to 12-month slog in front of them. And at the end of it, who knows what they’ll have. It’s a complete re-write of a very large desktop app. Good luck y’all. […]

Expectation Hacks

Classic software development conversation at the 37signals Campfire: File upload limits were discussed and a simple solution was figured out… Ryan: what are we trying to avoid with a limit? won’t a gigantic file just time out anyway? Jason: thats’ the problem. “Why didn’t my file transfer work?” “What happened to the file I uploaded” […]

Required Competencies

I was invited to collaborate on a bid for an organizational learning consulting project, filling in for a staff leave of absence. In reviewing the job description I was interested in the competencies they required: * External Awareness * Professional Confidence * Working Across Boundaries * Organizational Awareness * Achievement Orientation * Focus on c/Customer […]