Somebody totally had to make this video...
This is so awesome. One of the things that drives me nuts at longboard shops is how hard it is to compare relative board lengths. The comparison is made trickier as it's not just the size of the deck it's also the wheelbase options (how far apart the axels are set).
Interesting as well that true comparisons (ie ones that genuinely help the riding customer) are basically impossible at longboard shops as their ecommerce systems are designed to manage their stock, not the sum total of what available on the market.
Wow, sure I love Jason as much as the next guy but this really really resonated...
Do I want to make things better? All the time. But do I want to maximize "betterness"? No thanks.
I don't mind leaving some water in the cloth, some drips in the glass, some money on the table. I like knowing there's headroom. And once in a while it's a fun challenge to chip away at that headroom. But that's not for maximization's sake - it's for curiosity's sake. "Can we do it?" is a lot more interesting to me than "we must do it because that's what you're supposed to do."
Having fun, exploring ideas, creating, solving, building great things for you and your customers, being proud of your work, challenging yourself, learning, growing, building a self-sustaining company on your own schedule, adding something useful to the world, and working with great people - that's what this is all about. Not maximization of a metric.
Way ahead of his time...
We require a LARGE quantity of money and the services of a team of mega-hackers to write the software for this system. Most of the hardware devices are, even as you read this, available as off-the-shelf items, just waiting to be plugged into each other so they can put an end to "THE RECORD BUSINESS" as we now know it.
From A proposal for a system to replace ordinary record merchandising copyright 1983 by Frank Zappa
So I did a 45-mile charity run in October and I've been meaning to post a thank you note to Shorter Rochford Cycles ever since.
I bought a bike a while back; got the cheapest thing that fit my size from a local (father/daughter) cycle shop in Finchley. It never really worked that well, even from new the brakes weren't very clever and after three trips back to the store for a tune-up the derailleur still clicked and dragged and required constant fiddling.
Basically, I was raising money for charity and didn't feel I could splash out on a fancy bike or specialist equipment. but the more I trained, the more it became apparent that I was going to break my neck in a long muddy downhill on a Cambridgeshire byway but I tweaked and patched and even hit the recycling centre to find insulation foam and jubilee clips to improve the handlebar grips.
So as race day approached I finally bit the bullet and got the bike serviced at my local cycle shop (it's a family-run shop--a different one as the first one went out of business). Well in a nutshell what a difference. They tweaked, and tuned and put puncture-proof road tyres on and a new chain and cleaned and lubed everything and the damn thing ran better then when it was new.
I'm not exaggerating, the guys at Shorter Rochford left me with a machine that performed better than new by a considerable margin. Seriously.
So what I wanted to say was simply thanks guys:-)
Just walked past an optician in Soho with a poster for Michel Henau glasses in the window. Love these mashups of 60s and 70s French celebs with Japanese names (Deneuve = Namaste? not sure how that works but I smiled).
Can you name the faces? My best guess is: Bardot; Coluche; Fernandel (Tati?); Deneuve; Belmondo
So I've been playing with the D700 monochrome setting. Took a while to work out the problem I was having with importing Black & White images into Aperture.
The problem was I was working with RAW files which the camera helpfully doesn't modify in monochrome mode. The way the thing is set up is that the raw colour data is stored in the .NEF file, then the import mechanism allows the setting of filtration values (red filter etc) and print toning values (sepia, etc) which is great of course. But if you set the camera to save tiff only or save as RAW plus jpeg you get the feel of the preview image saved in a high res jpeg which is what I was after:-)
So last year I was able to post Fred's letters from the trenches. This year I thought I'd remember Aunt Polly. She had four boys: Eddie; Frederick; Richard and Artie.
Ed and his brother Fred enlisted at the start of the war in 1914. Eddie was vapourised by artillery fire in Delville Wood on the 9th of September 1916. Polly had prints of his portrait in uniform made, dedicated them "He died that we may live" and sent them to family and (I can only imagine) friends.
Fred was wounded but I'm not sure of the details. He is marked as eligible for the SWB List which means he would have been discharged with a "services rendered" pin. Richard, Polly's third boy, then enlisted on 26 July 1917:
I guess the point of this ramble is just to imaging how Polly must have felt with her eldest disappearing eleven months before, her next injured and now a third boy signing up? I can't begin to imagine how that must have hurt.
So today I spend my two minutes thinking about her.
I've always thought it would be wonderful to do a doctorate. Spend a few years deep-diving into an intractable or obscure problem... Well this just came in the mail this morning:
Come work with us on the user experience of shape-changing and tangible user interfaces!
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen (DIKU) invites applications for 1-2 fully funded PhD Scholarships in user experience and shape-changing interfaces.
Deadline for applications are November 15th 2012.
The study is part of the GHOST project (generic, highly-organic shape-changing interfaces), a collaboration between University of Copenhagen, University of Bristol, University of Lancaster, and University of Eindhoven. GHOSTs are display surfaces made of malleable materials that can change into and retain arbitrary shapes so as to display output from the system or afford new actions. At the same time, GHOSTs allow users to deform, touch, or otherwise manipulate the shape of their display surface to provide input to the system. The project will design, develop, and evaluate GHOST prototypes. We combine disciplines focusing on (a) the hardware and software for shape change, using combinations of shape actuators and smart materials; (b) the industrial and interaction design for such interfaces, in particular how to make them physically appealing, useful, and usable; and © the user experience of interacting with GHOSTs, quantifying and modeling users' performance with and affect towards the interface.
More details at http://www.diku.dk/english/about/vacancies/phd-human-computer-interaction/ or get them by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Best regards / mvh. Kasper
Kasper Hornbæk, Professor mso, PhD
Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen
Njalsgade 128, build. 24, 5th floor, DK-2300 Copenhagen, Denmark
e-mail: email@example.com, www: kasperhornbaek.dk, skype: kasperhornbaek
phn: +45 35321425, fax: +45 35321401, mbl: +45 30957883
I'm still trying to work out which bit caught my eye, was it the chance to work in Denmark? The witty acronym of the parent project or the promise and excitement of haptic and shape-changing interfaces?
It got me thinking, the word 'interface' presumably describes the area between the system's 'face' and the user's 'face' the area where the two 'faces' connect and collide. Using the acronym GHOST to describe these is kinda fun as it gives the interface its own identity, albeit one in permanent limbo. In HCI terms we used to talk about systems and actors, the GHOST is an entity beyond these, part of the system but behaviourally distinct. Not an actor as such, but in a perfect world so interdependent with the actor it's as if it was one itself.
Does this challenge the whole concept of the GHOST project? The more I work with people and services, the more I find that to succeed in generating user adoption of the service we need to spend our attention outside of the interface itself; through it, pulling it apart and re-allocating it across devices and channels. In internet terms we went from 'destination' experiences to 'services' built into device experiences. Will a similar thing happen to the interface?
Either way this investigation is going to be one interesting journey:-)
Oh, and the professor in charge is called Kasper?
I'm finding it hard to raise funds for the Prince's Trust and part of it is that Americans see the "Prince" in the title and assume the money goes to the Queen... Here's the story of Craig, a young person whose life went downhill from almost day one. The trust is all about teaching a man to fish so here's his story
At seven-years-old Craig Earley, from Nottingham, lost his dad in a devastating road accident. By his teens he was regularly taking drugs. At 16, he left school with no qualifications and a few years later he found himself in prison. Craig, determined to get back on track, turned to the Prince's Trust and their Enterprise Programme.
His three year sentence gave him time to reflect on what he wanted from life. After his release Craig met his future wife. Things were nearly back on track when Craig was involved in a serious car accident that left him wheelchair-bound for a year. After numerous operations, his leg could not be saved, and it was amputated below the knee.
Craig was not yet ready to give up, and after the birth of his son a year later, he approached The Prince's Trust about their Enterprise programme. After lots of hard work and willpower, Craig opened Happy Daze, a shop selling ethnic and alternative goods such as clothing, accessories, jewellery and gifts.
Craig is completely up to date with all his loan repayments and is thrilled to be finally doing something he enjoys.
You can see the video and read the whole story on the Trust's website
Making this stuff happen costs money.
Lots of money.
I'm riding tomorrow. Please, please, please sponsor me now and support the work of this great trust