Monday, November 13, 2006

Air guitar t-shirt

...complete with sensors.

More info at

Monday, October 16, 2006

Signs The World Has Gone Mad

mag (october 2006)

Friday, August 11, 2006

the simple things

chivas on the rocks and some aural delights. what more could a man want? this is the way to spend an evening.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Elvetaor btutnos and the cgontiive prcoses ivonveld

Intially a comment to my brothers blog post at, which he urged me to post in its own right.

Lift doors. So true. They both look very similar and can take a while to cognitively process which one does which. What would be the best way to represent 'open' and 'close' for the doors? Using english would be obvious, but limited to english reading people. So depends on surrounding circumstances and boundaries for the task. Nothing is black and white. Everything is grey.

I think the reason why you, and i, and i would hedge my bets that it would be the same with the majority of people (whether they are aware of it or not), would struggle with this (ie. take a few seconds to process and determine the desired button) is:

1. Because the two buttons consist of the same symbols (generally two arrows and a line from memory). Just did a quick google for 'elevator buttons' - i chose 'elevator' as opposed to 'lift' as i thought it would produce more meaningful results - ps. i love side tracks and deeper notes as this is how my (and i believe your) mind works. lol. Anyway, one page listed this, 'No one can recognize the standard open-door icon quickly enough to prevent the door from shutting in the face of a would-be passenger.' Which supports the theory proposed.

2. That ones mind needs to cognitively process several symbols in an indepth way - ie. Viewing two sets of buttons closely related - causing potential anxiety of some sort to ascertain the difference, and often under a time pressure to 'hold' aka 'open' the lift door for someone to enter. Ascertaining the meaning of the sequential order they are in, i feel may be linked to the concept of the paragraph composed of jumbled letters - which can easily be read by most humans. Technically, they could both be read as the same symbol (meaning) - as both are familiar symbols. I believe the thought process behind ascertaining the meaning of the elevator button symbol is that one looks at the two arrows on the one button, determines which way they are facing, and then consciously (and i think this may be where the major time lag occurs) matches this with the word 'open' or 'close' which i believe would generally be the keywords someone would be wanting as an action from the button press.

My initial recommendation from top of head - which would at least, i feel be an improvement - would be to use the words 'open' and 'close' as well as the symbols - which would give english readers the 'instant' recognition of the keyword action they desire - as well as catering for non-english reading people through the use of the current symbol. Whether one could design a better symbol is the next step - and something i would like to think about more.

It is interesting to consider the likely thought process that went behind the design of these button. As when one has drawn it on paper and looks at them together it appears like a clear straight-forward way to design them (Envisaged mental thought process of designer: yep, that makes sense and appears to be the most relatively simple way to design them). However, this does not include the situational factors - that i feel soooo many people and businesses fail to recognise or be aware of - and that can play a CRUCIAL role in the success of things. Based on, i believe, the fact that humans love things to be simple to use - and can turn off or give up if they are not. User interface design is so my passion if you cannot tell. I feel it is just common sense, but hey, people skilled at communication would likely consider their skill to be common-sense ...perhaps. What do you think Nathaniel? It is interesting, as i mention your full name, you would have had certain emotions and thoughts running through your head. And this is the kind of thing that you and i are quite acutely aware of. Are others? Anyone? Anyone? haha, coz i know you will 'get this' too. I decided to put 'get this' in quotes to highlight it more, as some people may not have understood what this means. 'understood this' may have actually been the best words to use, however that would nullify the need for the last couple sentences of insights. lol, anyway, i digress - and i do not apologize for that - nor think that you would expect an apology.

I would love to produce a set of standards for elevator control panels - ranging from labelling of floors (ie. under ground floor labelling) to the actual design for the 'open' and 'close' buttons. Hey, i may do this, just for something to do. :) Side note: have you ever thought about how a 4 storey building generally only goes up to level 3 on the elevator control panel?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


A popular word to get wickered (vandalised on wikipedia).

Cheese: "This one gets vandalized regularly. One anonymous IP said that cheese was made out of the ‘pubic hair of migratory elephants.'"

Today's Woman


Source: Big W catalogue, page 5, SA (Sales ends Wed 9 August)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blogger gets sacked!

Thought i'd blog about a blog story.
"A 33-year-old British secretary has launched a test case before a French employment tribunal after being sacked for writing a blog about her day-to-day life in Paris."


scuttlebutt \SKUHT-l-buht\, noun:
1. A drinking fountain on a ship.
2. A cask on a ship that contains the day's supply of drinking water.
3. Gossip; rumor. Word of the Day

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Computers should be instant

Computers should be instant.

As a human being, when i want to pick up a pen i pick up a pen, there is no delay or anything which hinders the process between the thought and the action (or nothing that is relatively noticeable).

When i open up a program on my PC however (Microsoft Word for example), it takes a certain amount of time to completely open up. The albeit small number of seconds it takes to do so is frustrating - because as a human being i have expectations, set from the physical world and laws of nature, that it should be instant.

I feel this lack of instantaneous-ness may actually cause stress for some people. Personally i know i like to work fast and do many things simultaneously. A few seconds of waiting time not only can be frustrating but also stops the quick flow of actions i desire to do - thus culminating in an even greater feeling of frustration.

I wonder if there is or will be a psychological name for this.

Am looking forward to the future, when by current technological rates of advancement, computers should be ultra fast. Lets just hope that software memory intensiveness does not advance at the same rate.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Transmogrify \trans-MOG-ruh-fy\, transitive verb:
To change into a different shape or to transform, often with bizarre or humorous effect.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mosquito ringtone

Enterprising teenagers have hijacked a high-pitched electronic blip which adults cannot hear and turned it into a stealth ringtone.

Can you hear the 17-kilohertz mosquito ringtone?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Does your computer know that daylight saving will be extended an extra week?

Due to the Commonwealth Games, daylight saving has been extended another week (in most States).

Microsoft have a patch available for download at


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Making a billion just isn't what it used to be.

Quote of the week:

"Making a billion just isn't what it used to be."

Forbes magazine associate editor Luisa Kroll following the announcement of the mag's annual rich list, which had Bill Gates, with a US$50 billion (AUD$68.5 billion) fortune, in first place for the 12th consecutive year.

(Source: The Australian, Tuesday 14 March 2006)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

13CRAP (13 2727)

Companies have been known to pay substantial amounts of money for specific 13-numbers (eg. 13TAXI). The auction reserve price alone on some of these numbers was as high as AUD$40,000 (

These 13-numbers seem like a great idea. However, with mobiles (smartphones in particular) increasingly incorporating full QWERTY keyboards (in my humble opinion the way of the future), the characters often no longer match up with the numbers, hence voiding the usefulness of the 13-number altogether.

Print media is fine as the respective numbers can also be shown, but from a pure recall perspective, if QWERTY keyboards continue to increase in mobile devices the lifespan of the 13-number will be severely reduced.

Just my two bobs.

PS. How good is the i-mate K-JAM.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Pope gets an iPod

And the age old discussion...

Music phones to slice into iPod growth

I'm very happy with my new music player software for my Windows Mobile smartphone (more user-friendly than current Windows Media Player software for smartphone). And with memory cards getting bigger all the time (currently can get the smaller miniSD 2GB card for around AUD$100) i personally would prefer to just carry around the one device that does it all: MP3 player, video player, camera, games, phone, web browser, satellite radio, tv, weather and many more great applications.

The next smartphone on my shopping list is the i-mate K-JAM with full QWERTY keyboard amongst other things.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

zucchini pancakes

The Side Effect

"Practice texting 'zucchini pancakes' over and over again. This combination of letters has been shown to quickly help the thumb to develop a side effect. Strength, dexterity and devastating speed are all hallmarks of a well-developed side effect."