Bjork’s Biophilia

July 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Bjork’s much anticipated new album Biophilia is out today.

Björk-Cosmogony

Biophilia is going to be released as a regular music album, but also as an iPhone/iPad app. Biophilia, the free app, is a multimedia framework, created by Bjork in collaboration with other artists, scientists, programmers and designers, that will hold each song – sold separately. Each in-app song will explore the relationship between music and physical phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic.

biophilia 1  biophilia 3

In the meanwhile you can preview, for free, the first two singles:

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It’s all about me

June 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

OK, we all know that Facebook is the shrine of narcissism and self-reference. And the apps that I am going to present are a tribute to the “cult of me”. But they are so well done that they are practically irresistible.

Deutsche Post’s Social Memories creates a booklet filled with infographics based on the public info on your Facebook profile. While the digital version of the booklet is free, you need to pay 19 € for the bound version in glossy paper.

social memories overviewsocial memories status vs response

Intel’s Museum of Me, on the other hand, is a virtual exhibition of, well, you. Again using data from your public info it creates 3D gallery views of your photos, friends, words most used on your status updates, etc.

museum of me wordsmuseum of me likes

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Create stunning word cloud infographs

April 2, 2011 § 4 Comments

Sometimes everybody is in on the secret, and somehow you are left out. That’s the case with me and wordle. So, if there’s anyone else in this world who hasn’t heard about wordle yet (which I doubt), this is what it does: it is a web app that creates beautiful word clouds from any text or URL you submit. It allows you to change fonts, colors and layout. It basically allows you to create stunning infographs based on word occurance to use in an essay, presentation or website and blog post. Try wordle-ing articles, novels, song lyrics, letters, ads or whatever else comes to mind.

It is very addictive; I’ve just spent the last half an hour wordle-ing the lyrics of some of my old favorites. Can you guess what they are? (Highlight the text to view the artists and songs)

This Mess We're In

Highlight: PJ Harvey “The Mess We’re In”

MapsUnder The Bridge

Highlight: Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”,  Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Under The Bridge”

See more word clouds after the jump « Read the rest of this entry »

Read it elsewhere

April 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some bad news, but mostly good news and a positive vibe:

  • Where do the young and educated want to live? (infograph) – GOOD.IS
  • Tragic irony: Japanese tsunami survivors sheltered in a nuclear power plant – boingboing
  • In the mean time, it’s a new, carefree dawn for the wildlife at Chernobyl (audio) – gruenrekorder via boing boing
  • TweetWhen is a web app that tells you when your tweets get the most retweets (we do on fridays around 5pm) – TweetWhen
  • Kinda creepy: Google to launch app that scans a face and then finds the person’s google profile (including their contact details) – mashable
  • Honest, down-to-earth, inspiring advice: “how to steal like an artist (9 other things that nobody told me)” – austin kleon via drawn
  • Now I feel old. An exhibition to celebrate South Park’s 15th birthday – lost at E minor

South Park Art

Take a snapshot of your face everyday

March 22, 2011 § 5 Comments

Do you recognize this man?

He’s quite the internet celebrity, but for those of you who live under a stone here come the introductions. He’s Noah Kalina, a photographer who decided in 2000 to document his aging process by taking a snapshot of his face every single day. In his website you can see up-to-date photos and in the video above you see the oh-so-slight changes in his face from 200 to 2006.

Does that make you feel creative envy? Worry no more, now there’s an iPhone app for that too. Everyday reminds you to take your photo every single day. And the perks? A grid that aligns your face’s position, and, even cooler than that, a movie generator, that creates a stop animation compilation of all of your photos. Will your video reach Noah’s 18771987 views on YouTube? Probably not. It will still be cool, though!

via Kottke

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Read it elsewhere

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Beatles, Social Media and more Japan aid:

  • For mixtape nostalgics: Stereolizer is the app that turns your iPad into an 80’s cassette player – wired
  • Etsy users find themselves exposed to world as a result of the new privacy policy – boingboing
  • Taking a stand on the McCartney – Lennon feud – Though Catalog
  • In other Beatles news Apple files to trademark the old Beatles Apple Logo – patently apple
  • Fear of missing out in the social media – caterina.net via swissmiss
  • Isn’t that a surprise: poor countries have more digital piracy – boingboing
  • Happy people stick together in Twitter (so do the miserable also) – mashable
  • The history of web browser (infograph) – bit rebels
  • More designers come to the aid of Japan – this is colosal & imprint

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Read it elsewhere

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

The longest list yet:

  • Did you accidentally wash your USB stick with your laundry? Well, everybody else has too – Gizmodo
  • Nearly half of Americans uses Facebook, only 7% use Twitter – mashable
  • Will it catch on? Free, augmented reality iPhone app – alltop
  • The long-awaited Oscars infographs – mashable
  • Design and order online a little black dress (described also as Fembot meets John Galliano) – fastcodesign
  • 1 million workers. 90 million iPhones. 17 suicides. Who’s to Blame? – wired
  • The best films-within-films – shortlist
  • Meet the 26-year-old who bypassed publishing companies and made millions by selling her books directly on kindle – business insider
  • Meanwhile, somebody else is writing a book and posting it page by page on lamp posts in NYC – nymag
  • Algorithmic columns – boingboing

algorithmic columns

In literature / hidden haikus I have found / unexpectedly

February 22, 2011 § 5 Comments

Haiku finder is a simple yet impressive little web app that discovers hidden haiku patterns in any text you paste into its search box. I discovered it on BuzzFeed and I was soon copy-pasting a great part of Project Gutenberg on that clever little page. Here are some of my finds (granted, most of them are translations in english, but still):

Kafka’s Metamorphosis:

“Gregor!” shouted his
sister, glowering at him
and shaking her fist.

Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment:

Something was happening
to him entirely new,
sudden and unknown

Checkov’s Uncle Vanya:

I can still feel his
voice vibrating in the air;
it caresses me.

Shakespeare’s Alls Well That Ends Well:

The web of our life
is of a mingled yarn, good
and ill together.

Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

If your feelings are
still what they were last April,
tell me so at once

Dickens’ Great Expectations:

“You ridiculous
boy,” said Estella, “will you
never take warning?”

cummings’ The Enormous Room:

It was a fine place,
a large city to be sure.
But always changing.

What’s impressive is how well these little haikus really summarize the whole essence of the works they were inconspicuously hiding in. What else is impressive is how haikus seem inherent in the rhythm of some authors’ writing: Austen and e.e.cummings yield up large numbers of haikus. Other authors have scarce or no haikus at all.

I’ll now go and search for haikus in the new iTunes terms and conditions.

I know the music you would like to hear

February 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

How would you feel if I tell you that your face can reveal your taste for music?

Automatic DJ, created by Ben Gleitzman, is a music selection program that recognises your face, finds your Facebook profile and plays the music you would like to hear. The process is easy: you take a picture of your face, then it is run through the Facebook API to find your FB profile and, from your FB profile to music taste through the Hunch API.

Well, automatic DJ raises again all these issues concerning Facebook’s privacy settings, but it would be fun to try it, though.

via Design TAXI

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Insomnia? Probably your computer screen’s fault

February 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

You’ve been in front of your computer until the wee hours. When you do get to bed, exhausted, you find yourself unable to sleep. I know I can relate to this, especially since lately I keep blogging at night. This kind of insomnia might be due to the blue light emitted by computer screens (and all other screens: laptops, iPads, TV sets, etc). The human organism understands blue light as daylight, which disrupts the usual hormonal mechanisms that regulate our sleep.

According to the Washington Post “humans evolved to respond to darkness by producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. But our light-sensitive pineal gland near the center of the brain responds to blue light by suppressing melatonin, causing us to wake up. When we see too much blue light in the late evening, it delays or disrupts the melatonin rush”.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a remedy.

f.lux is a free, downloadable software solution (for Windows, OS X and Linux), that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. So basically your computer screen mimics natural light.f.luxI ‘ve just installed it, and the light is indeed warmer. Whether I’ll sleep as a baby tonight, I’ll let you know.

boingboing via book of joe via Washington Post

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Hours as colors

February 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

This is one of the coolest ideas ever: The colour clock is an online clock and a downloadable screen saver (for Mac users only) that represents time as a hexadecimal color.

The colour clock: 20:08:06

Let me explain. Do you know your RGBs?

Standing for Red Green Blue, RGB is the color model that combines these three colors to create all the rest. In the web, all colors are represented in hexadecimal RGB codes, ie sets of three numbers (value of red, value of green, value of blue). What else is represented as a set of three numbers? Time (value of hours, value of minutes, value of seconds). What if we combined the two codes? Quite obvious now that I mention it, but quite ingenious for the person who thought of it first. Respect.

The Colour Clock: 18:56:02The colour clock: 19:10:33The colour clock: 19:48:53

This clock is magnificent both conceptually and aesthetically. Perfection.

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Are you up for a qwiki?

January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

There much discussion around the web today about the launch of qwiki on Monday. Qwiki is a (over-hyped) new way of presenting information gathered from online sources. The user submits a keyword and qwiki quickly assembles a multimedia presentation on the topic, sourcing content from Wikipedia, fotopedia, youtube and Google search.

qwiki

Amongst increasing criticism on the declining quality Google Search and of people yearning for new paradigms of how to experience information online, qwiki aims to find much more than a niche market. With the backing up of Facebook co-founder (of The Social Network fame) Eduardo Saverin, qwiki has strong supporters and passionate critics.

I am all for emphasizing human experience, and exploring new formats – actually this is a one-way street for the future of the world wide web. Wheareas qwiki creates this kind of unique experience, this particular qualia that is, that will make it irresistible to users, that remains to be seen. For the time being, I have to admit that the text-to-speech effect is more hilarious than alienating (especially when dealing with non-english words, like here)

One thing you can’t accuse qwiki of is self-reference, since the term “qwiki” shows no results!


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