The Liberated Press
A voice for the underdog.
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Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
Rememble Helps You Remember Everything by Alan Henry

Rememble - LogoRememble is designed to help you organize your life by adding notes, images, audio, video, e-mails, blog entries, and more to your "membeline." It also lets you view all of your added items on a timeline that will help you remember both what you did and what you need to do. You can even import images from Flickr and posts from Twitter. The app is one part organizational tool, one part digital scrapbook.

Rememble - MembleLine

Some people will likely use Rememble in order to simply aggregate all of their photos and media, and that's fine. As you add items, called "membles" to your "membleline," you can see the items, make comments on them, and find out when they were added. Because you can add items from your cell phone and via e-mail, the service is designed to allow you to instantly add memories and events so you can come back to them later.

Rememble - Video

Rememble's designers wanted to create a service that was less a dumping ground for videos, blog posts, and photos, and more of an organized timeline that can help you create a digital "autobiography" that you can review at any time. Go back to photos of an old friend and you can find out the last time you viewed them, and you can make comments about what you did and where you were. Granted, it'll require using the service frequently to get the "digital scrapbook" feeling that the designers were going for, but Rememble accounts are free, allowing you to upload 90 membles per month, including 30 videos. The service is still in beta, and when it goes public you'll be able to upgrade your account and add more media.

Rememble - Profile

Rememble has a social networking aspect as well. You can make friends with other users, share your membles, and keep track of the membles they add. If your friends don't use Rememble, you can invite them, or generate mini-membles that you can add to outside blogs and sites, like MySpace or Facebook profiles.

Rememble is a new service with a broad mission, and it has the tools to help you do whatever you want with it. You can make it a mini blogging platform and organizational tool, or you can use it as storage for all of your photos and video. You can use Rememble to scrapbook or catalog the things you do--something a bit more tangible and interactive than a blog. Right now there are just under 1,500 people using the service, so the community is very small, but as it grows, I can see people using this both as a way to organize themselves and a way to reach out to others.



Friday, September 28th, 2007
Down syndrome dangers
A new prenatal policy is the worst kind of social engineering | Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni (right) with Brycen Witwer (center) and his mom (left

Every year we look forward to Doug volunteering at family retreats that we hold for disabled children and their moms and dads. He is young and athletic, a senior in college, handsome, articulate, and intelligent. The kids love him (and so do a few girl volunteers). When he first began volunteering, we assigned Doug to a little boy with Down syndrome. The two hit it off wonderfully. This energetic young man possessed a knack for relating to the boy; from that year onward, he always asked to be assigned to children with Down syndrome and their parents.

Recently Doug said, "Joni, when I get married, I hope that my wife and I will have a child with Down syndrome." I was startled, but chalked it up to youthful idealism. Since then, I have come to see that Doug meant what he said. He observed a special joy in children and adults with Down syndrome, as well as a godliness that strengthened his faith. He could also tell these children blessed the lives of the moms and dads to whom he administered over the years.

I thought of Doug earlier this year when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists began recommending broader prenatal testing for Down syndrome among younger pregnant women. Up until this year, they recommended that only older women who were pregnant be tested. But now, all mothers-to-be are routinely tested. The results? Over 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis choose to have an abortion.

This breaks my heart. And it translates into a strange future for the kids Doug loves. It's going to be a lonely world for them—they will have far fewer friends with Down syndrome in the future. There are 5,500 children born with Down syndrome each year; they incur from mild to moderate mental retardation. These young people will now have fewer community programs, as well as reduced funds for medical research.

This is why there are growing numbers of parents crisscrossing the continent speaking to the blessings—even advantages—of raising a Down syndrome child. These parents are sharing their stories and explaining how a Down syndrome child can bless his siblings and draw a family closer together. They say that young women who are considering abortion don't understand, nor do they realize the benefits a Down syndrome baby brings to a family. Unfortunately, the only counsel these women are receiving from their obstetrician is often a brochure.

I am deeply concerned about this trend. Abortion is now used as a "disability prevention measure." The effort to eliminate Down syndrome translates into the worst kind of social engineering: the annihilation of an entire group of people who are precious. Our alternative: Accept the love and the God-blessed joys of raising a child—a life—that God has given. Jesus says, "Bless the little children, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Even children with Down syndrome.

A person with Down syndrome may never understand how to keep up with the Joneses or how to get over his head in debt. He or she may never be clever enough to sneak behind his spouse's back and look for an illicit affair (yes, men and women with Down syndrome do marry, and some of those marriages are honest-to-goodness models to neighbors and friends). They won't be cunning enough to know how to cheat, weave lies, or how to stab a friend in the back. People with Down syndrome may not have driver's licenses, but then again, neither do I—and I get around quite well for a quadriplegic.

That new ruling by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a sad reflection of the growing premise in our society that a person is "better off dead than disabled." Human beings are no longer being treated as people, but as things that can be dispensed with, altered, aborted, or euthanized. The medically fragile—whether the elderly, the unborn, or the children Doug serves—are left exposed and vulnerable in a society that has lost its moral bearings, its heart.

—Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center

Related: The world's smallest baby: A healthy 10oz baby is born 15 weeks "prematurely"


Thursday, August 9th, 2007
Challenges to world class software design by Russell Wilson
Every job has its challenges. As a programmer, I spent long hours fixing bugs and finding workarounds. As an engineering executive, I dealt with resources, schedules, and politics. And as an entrepreneur, I struggled to find customers and generate revenue.

But designing software is tough. I’m not talking about the creative work – that’s our passion and we love it. I’m referring to the “tax” we pay for doing what we love.

So what makes up this tax? What challenges am I referring to?

1) Everyone thinks they are designers

Developers, product managers, sales, and even customers, can’t resist their own needs to create or invent by suggesting ways to change an interface or add capabilities – “let’s just add a drop-down to the top…”. Either in the form of “design on the spot” during a product meeting or customer visit, or a developer going ahead and “fixing the problem” without waiting for input from design, it happens often, and reflects perceptions and lack of understanding of the design role and expertise. It can also reflect poor adherence to process, or lack thereof, and a need for cross-department executive sponsorship and continued support. (I am not suggesting that no one can give input to the design process; many of our best designs are the result of collaborative efforts with product management and sales.)

2) Design is a nice to have

I’m always perplexed by this one, but many bottom-line executives still perceive good design as a nice to have. No, not at Apple or Intuit (I see more design-related job postings from Intuit than any other company – it makes me wonder if they just want to interview everyone they can, or if Intuit has a Wonka factory somewhere full of designers dressed like ump lumpas, all building accounting applications). Apple and others have helped to move this forward, but I still run into the skeptical eye from time to time. Another manifestation of this is when a new product or concept is attempted and the strategy is to “get something working, find some buyers, and then make it better.”

3) Who makes the final decision?

Biltmore Estate is a remarkable architectural achievement, and is commonly considered the result of a single vision where the overall design was driven and conceived by one person. Frederick Brooks states that “conceptual integrity” is the single most important factor in the development of successful software applications. But often, with software design, there are many stakeholders, business and marketing agendas, and the need to create something as soon as possible. The nature of software design and development within high-tech companies doesn’t seem to lend itself to the purity or grandeur of a project like the Biltmore where the “genius” is given free reign to produce a work of art. It’s difficult to find the right balance between art and business in software design, and this is evident in the careful politicking among the design executive and various stakeholders to decide what gets built and what doesn’t.

4) The difficulty in justifying designs to critics

True, the best justification comes from users, and you can get that (to some degree) from usability testing -- assuming you have the time and resources to conduct formative testing. But what about colors? What about visual treatments that are more subjective? What do you do when the product manager says “I hate that blue -- why do we have to use that blue?” (I recently emailed a color wheel to a large group of employees at our company - that was a big mistake.) There are many cases where I wish I could just say “just do it that way, trust me!” My boss suggested that I respond with a standard “thank you for your input” for things such as this.

Well, those are some key ones, but I’m sure I’ve missed several. I invite anyone who reads this to submit their own design challenges. This is a work in progress and I intend to update it with the best ways to address these challenges.


Saturday, June 23rd, 2007
Developers: Apple's Protection Of iPhone Info Limits Features
SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)- 06-21-2007 03:29:00 PM -As it has done with its computers, Apple Inc. ( AAPL) is counting on a wide variety of interesting features developed by outsiders to demonstrate its iPhone cellphone's capabilities.

However, because of the company's hesitance to share necessary details about the phone, developers outside Apple now working on iPhone programs say they really have only been able to create glorified "skins," or scaled-down versions of existing Web sites for the phone to access.

Just what this means for Apple remains to be seen after the iPhone goes on sale June 29. For instance, early buyers could experience a letdown and reviewers may highlight this aspect, potentially spoiling some of the word-of- mouth buzz Apple's counting on to sell the device.

To be sure, the iPhone will contain a lot of gee-whiz features, which have been developed by Apple and loaded onto the phone. The company's ads highlight many of them, such as the ability to search for a particular business in the area, find a map with its location and dial it up on the phone.

There will be no shortage of features developed by outsiders as well, who in just eight days have already created scores of iPhone applications.

But when iPhone owners look to expand beyond the device's built-in capabilities, they'll find some features that will surely pale by comparison.

Typical of what they'll encounter is the work of Keith Hunniford, a software developer in Denver.

So far, and for a variety of reasons outside his control, all he's really been able to do is offer an iPhone-compatible version of an Internet-based shopping list maker that he's already created.

Hunniford, like other developers interviewed for this report, says as a result, iPhone owners should temper their expectations for what exactly they'll be able to do with the device, outside the few Apple-built features included with the phone.

"Mine and a lot of other things I look at are really just mini-Web sites within a Web site," Hunniford said. "The difference really is how much effort someone's put in to make things look 'Mac-ish.'"

To be sure, developers are falling over themselves to create iPhone features, which is certainly good news for Apple. The computer maker has touted the iPhone's Internet connection and computing abilities as an advantage over other high-end phones.

Apple is counting on a wide collection of interesting programs from outside developers to prove its point, and keep those spending up to $600 for the device satisfied with their purchase.

Apple has good reason to think this way. It has applied this practice in the past to its line of computers. There are now thousands of so-called "widgets" that are rich in complexity and have helped keep Mac fans happy with their purchases.

Shot In The Dark

Yet, so far it's a different story for the iPhone. Developers interviewed over the past few days say the problem is primarily that there's no way of really knowing if their programs will work. So what developers create is, in essence, a shot in the dark. In these instances, simpler is safer, they say.

Meanwhile, Apple has frustrated developers by not offering much help to ensure their programs will actually work on an iPhone, developers say.

For instance, Apple's not providing anyone with an actual phone in order to test their features. Developers that want to give their work a dry run on an iPhone are turning instead to Web sites that Apple fans have created to try and simulate an iPhone in operation.

"Developing for the iPhone is kind of just guessing; we're hoping it all works," said Steven Schopp, a 27-year-old software developer emerging as an early leader of the iPhone developer community.

"People are trying to keep safe, not go too far, not be too experimental now," he said.

He has, on his own, created a Web page where developers have been uploading their applications. It's been visited 100,000 times so far.

When asked about the developers' sentiment, an Apple spokeswoman referred to a statement the company issued a week ago in which it said outside developers will be allowed to create and distribute iPhone features.

"Developers and users alike are going to be very surprised and pleased at how great these applications look and work on iPhone," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, is quoted as saying in the press release.

Despite the hurdles, developers are moving forward.

One of the most ambitious of the new iPhone features to come from developers outside Apple is called iPling, a social network feature.

But there's a reason it stands above the rest. According to its creators, iPling, has been built in conjunction with Apple's developer team, which explains why it's more complex than most.

More representative of what iPhone owners will experience are features like PhoneDango, an application especially designed to look up movie listings on the Fandango Web site, and iDigg, which provides a similar connection to the Web site Digg, a news aggregator.

There's also iNews, which searches news available from the Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Google Inc. (GOOG) Internet search engines; OneTrip, another shopping list feature; iBookmark, a bookmarking feature; and a shrunken-down version of the online game WordBreaker.

Of course, the situation may change and developers will indeed make more complex tasks for the iPhone, especially after they get their hands on the phone and learn its secrets. But for now that won't be the case.

"I believe we will see much more advanced iPhone apps being released soon," said Schopp. "Since the platform has only been released a week ago, the advanced applications are probably still in development."

-By Ben Charny, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-8230;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
06-21-07 1529ET
Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Related: What's App? New Web Ways to Connect
Related: Web 2.0 Startup of the Day: iPling social network for iPhone
Related: iPhone’s missing killer app: social networking


Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
The Soul In the Machine

History will look upon the last twenty years as a watershed in the evolution of music. Of the three basic musical elements - pitch, rhythm and timbre - the first two have been exhaustively explored. Classical European Music has investigated complexities in pitch (which includes harmonic structure) to a very deep degree and the merger of Classical with African Music added complexity to the 2nd element (rhythm). The explosive proliferation of digital technology in the last 20 years finally allows great numbers of musicians the means to explore the 3rd element (timbre) in great depth, giving all of us access to the realm beyond the boundaries set by acoustic timbres.


The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics
Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him
In the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up,
And don't give in
You may just be OK

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say.
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him
In the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye


Thursday, May 17th, 2007
Ascension Day
Today is Ascension Day - a day that is often neglected. Coming 40 days after Easter, it marks the occasion when the risen Christ ascended to the Father in glory.

W. H. Griffith Thomas writes in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: "The ascension is not only a great fact of the New Testament, but a great factor in the life of Christ and Christians, and no complete view of Jesus Christ is possible unless the ascension and its consequences are included."

Thomas then summarizes what the ascension means to believers. It speaks of an accomplished redemption (Heb. 8:1), the Savior's high-priestly work (Heb. 4:14), His lordship over the church (Eph. 1:22), His intercession for us with His heavenly Father (1 Tim. 2:5), the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:33), the Lord’s presence with us today (Matt. 28:20), and the expectation of His return to this earth (1 Thess. 4:16).

Think of it! Jesus not only died, but He rose from the grave, went back to the Father, and is interceding for us right now. And He is coming again.

May this Ascension Day be a time for special rejoicing and thanksgiving to God. -Richard De Haan



Thursday, April 19th, 2007
The Cognitive Liberty Curriculum Project
Brief Description of the Course
Questions concerning freedom and coercion have played a fundamental role in the development of our society; the rapid flow of technological advances that we are experiencing often overtakes society?s ability to consider their implications in depth. Freedom and personal identity are being challenged on numerous fronts, and it is crucial that these issues be explored in a time when one?s perception of self identity may be bought, sold and manipulated in numerous ways. Cognitive Liberty may be defined as ?the right of each individual to think independently, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought,? and is the basis of the rights conferred by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?s Bill of Rights. The course engages students in an engaging investigation of the ethics and implications of current social trends and practices affecting freedom of thought and mental autonomy, and covers topics including philosophy, technology, law, drugs, media, surveillance and academic freedom.

Feedback Form  (Word Format)
Help for Students Interested in Teaching this Course (Word Format)
Course Flyer (Word Format)
Flyer for advertising course to prospective students.

Places This Course has been Taught
Announcements/Course News



Friday, April 13th, 2007
radial document visualization

a new data visualization method for representing document content by a radial space filling layout technique. "docuburst" aims to provide a more intuitive abstraction than those developed through statistical techniques.
the root node is shown as a circle. all other nodes are assigned to a sector of an annulus with angular width which is part of the parent node’s width, depending on the amount of word occurrences. highly coloured nodes have many occurrences, while almost transparent nodes have few occurrences.
see also: document icons & affective color bar & graphical text similarity.
[link: (PDF) & (PDF)]

Collins, Christopher. DocuBurst: Document Content Visualization Using Language Structure. Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, Poster Session. Baltimore (2006).



Monday, March 19th, 2007
Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us


Saturday, March 10th, 2007
The Main Street Electrical Parade


Monday, March 5th, 2007
The Privileged Planet

There is an opinion, common among scientists and intellectuals, that our Earthly existence is not only rather ordinary, but in fact, insignificant and purposeless. The late astronomer Carl Sagan typifies this view in his book "Pale Blue Dot":

Because of the reflection of sunlight the Earth seems to be sittingin a beam of light, as if there were some special significance to this small world. But it’s just an accident of geometry and optics]

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

But perhaps this melancholy assumption, despite its heroic pretense, is mistaken. Perhaps the unprecedented scientific knowledge acquired in the last century, enabled by equally unprecedented technological achievements, should, when properly interpreted, contribute to a deeper appreciation of our place in the cosmos...


Sunday, March 4th, 2007
Ecstasy Rising

One of Peter Jennings' last journalistic endeavors before succumbing to lung cancer, this landmark news report finally publicly exposed the long trail of junk science that led to MDMA's demonization and criminalization. This is a must-see video for anybody even slightly curious about MDMA or the drug war, containing interviews with the legendary pharmacologist Alexander Shulgin (who is credited with the rediscovery of MDMA), Michael Clegg (who named the drug 'ecstasy' and brought it to the masses), Rick Doblin (the head of MAPS, the group spearheading current research into MDMA's use in therapy), Alan Leshner (former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse) and many more interesting and important figures in the history of MDMA.

Copyright status: © 2004, ABC News. Originally broadcast on 4/1/04. This usage is believed to be "fair use." What is fair use? What makes this fair use?


Sunday, December 17th, 2006
Time Magazine's Person of the Year: You
NEW YORK (AP) - Congratulations! You are the Time magazine "Person of the Year."
The annual honor for 2006 went to each and every one of us, as Time cited the shift from institutions to individuals - citizens of the new digital democracy, as the magazine put it. The winners this year were anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web.

"If you choose an individual, you have to justify how that person affected millions of people," said Richard Stengel, who took over as Time's managing editor earlier this year. "But if you choose millions of people, you don't have to justify it to anyone."

The magazine did cite 26 "People Who Mattered," from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il to Pope Benedict XVI to the troika of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

And Stengel said if the magazine had decided to go with an individual, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the likely choice. "It just felt to me a little off selecting him," Stengel said.

The 2006 "Person of the Year" package hits newsstands Monday. The cover shows a white keyboard with a mirror for a computer screen where buyers can see their reflection.

It was not the first time the magazine went away from naming an actual person for its "Person of the Year." In 1966, the 25-and-under generation was cited; in 1975, American women were named; and in 1982, the computer was chosen.

"I always love it when it's a person - and it is a person, not a computer or something like that," Stengel said. "We just felt there wasn't a single person who embodied this phenomenon."

Last year's winners were Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono, who were cited for their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health.



Monday, October 23rd, 2006
The Innovators - Nicholas Reville of The Participatory Culture Foundation
The Technology Evangelist team recently had a chance to sit down with Nicholas Reville from the Participatory Culture Foundation, creators of Democracy Player. In the first of this three part series we get the basics behind the Democracy Platform and how it got started.

See the full power of Democracy Player. Subscribe to our high-quality, high-resolution torrent feed by clicking the button below. Sound complicated? Democracy makes it simple and what better way to kick off your Democracy Player use than a video about the Democracy Player itself? Click away and find out...

Democracy: Internet TV

Below you'll find a low-resolution Flash version of the interview, in case you're just looking for a quick Nicholas fix.

Love Democracy? Hate it? Have a better platform? Lets keep the comments rolling in!
Full transcript after the jump...
Comment on this post

Book of the Month: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
Gadget of the Month: Skype Certified USB VOIP Internet IP Phone
Web Site of the Month: Google Trends



Thursday, October 19th, 2006
the before & after of a beauty queen

Please watch this video. It is a depiction of how beauty is crafted for print. It's made as part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Below are the before/after images (tx to BoingBoing).

I will never forget the first time that i did a magazine shoot. It was for a glossy girls magazine and they dyed, curled, teased, plucked, shoved, stretched, and pinned me into a perfect static place. And then they airbrushed me to normalcy cuz i refused to cut off my raver neckless and my hair was purple. (Business mag shoots have always been a bit more civil.) During a bathroom break, i wandered the halls and found a Playboy shoot where i saw how unhappy the model was trying to sit perfectly still as wind was blown on her to keep her nipples perky. The plastic face looked perfect but her eyes showed how miserable she was.

This video depicts that process in the most compelling way i've ever seen. I'm not saying makeup is bad, but i think that it's critical to understand what we're modeling ourselves after. Girl power is a crafted narrative meant to make us consume. The images of perfection we're sold are a fabrication. Most of us know this at some level, but do we really get it?

I realize i don't own the copyright on this commercial but i think that it is too culturally important to stay locked down. Please watch it.

The Upravlator...
While we haven't quite managed to whip ourselves and others into quite as much of a frenzy as the Optimus series has previously garnered, the Upravlator still is looking pretty hot, and now we know exactly how it's looking thanks to an exclusive pic of the device we just got in our inbox. Like we said yesterday, it's a 12-button device, with a top-left button that switches context for the rest of the buttons. We've gotta admit we're a fan of this color swatch idea pictured above, and we're guessing there should be plenty more fun uses for the unit once some developers get ahold of the SDK. Of course, there's still no word on price or availability, that would be way too easy, but we have to say this little thing is shaping up quite nicely. Be sure to peep a couple more functions after the break. (continued...)


The only printer you'll ever need

toast printer

If the medium is the message, I'm not exactly sure what you'll be conveying by custom-printing your toast. Time for breakfast, perhaps? In any case, the Zuse toaster allows you to burn custom images into your toast. While it could conceivably be used for, say, a pancake house to print their logo as a fun twist, I prefer to think about the possible communication uses. Text messaging is so early 2000's; I want to see toast messaging. Imagine being broken up with via toast. Or writing directions on a piece of toast, then eating said toast once you arrive at your destination. Perhaps an office where all the memos are printed on toast. It would make the workplace, dare I say, a more delicious place to be. Sound unrealistic? Well, they called Galileo a fool when he said the earth revolves around the sun, and look how that turned out. Think about it. — Adam Frucci



Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
The Design of Everyday Things

The 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer & Cognitive Science is awarded to Donald Norman for the development of the field of user-centered design, which utilizes our understanding of how people think to develop technologies designed to be easily usable.

Donald Norman believes that everyday things need not wreak havoc in our lives. Instead, he likes things that make us smile, things that we can use gracefully the very first time. His goal is to make the interplay between science and application extremely productive, with machines designed so well we do not think about them as machines.

After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1957, Norman went to the University of Pennsylvania hoping to study computers. At that time the university lacked computer courses, so Norman continued his studies in electrical engineering, earning an M.S. in 1959. He shifted his focus from engineering to psychology and earned his Ph.D. in 1962. "I decided that if I couldn't study computers, I would study the human brain—the other computational device," Norman says. (continued...)

Related: The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman


Monday, October 9th, 2006
If your computer had an ego...


Friday, October 6th, 2006
Moving on...

The evening was long, my guesses were true
You saw me see you
That something you said, the timing was right
The pleasure was mine

The time and the place, the look on your face
Sincerest of eyes

If you're ready or not, the state of our hearts
There's no time to take

When we started both brokenhearted
Not believing
It could begin and end in one evening

We were caught by the light
Held on to the day till it became ours
The minutes went by, the cab is outside
There's no time to take

When we parted, moving on
And believing it could begin and end in one evening

When we started both brokenhearted
Not believing it could begin and end in one evening
When we parted, moving on
And believing it could begin and end in one evening


Monday, October 2nd, 2006
Your story matters


Saturday, September 30th, 2006
I want a broken heart

I've got faith in the bank and money in my heart
I've got a calloused place where your ring used to be, my love
I've traded naked and unashamed
for a better place to hide
for a righteous mask, a suit of fig leaves and lies

I thought the cattle on a thousand hills
was not enough to pay my bills
and I fell in love with those who proved me wrong
and now I want a broken heart
now there's a great pad lock
on the place where I was free
and I'm feeling bad from swallowing that key
now I work real hard but I mostly call in sick
of a broken back from the ground fighting back at me

I cannot look you in the eye
so I check the knots on my disguise
'cause I fell in love with fashion in the dark
and now I want a broken heart

I've got alibis for every crime
a substitute to do my time
'cause Your heart breaks enough on both our parts
so now I want a broken heart
now I want a broken heart
now I want a broken heart

There can be miracles, when you believe...

iTunes: When you believe by Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston


Thursday, September 28th, 2006
If the world's population were reduced to 100, it would look something like this...

Tanaka Auto Door
autodoor.jpgCleanliness, efficiency, compactness, cool-factor... for a variety of reasons, automatic doors have become a standard feature of Japanese shops. While the typical sliding star-trek style design has proven itself, the tanaka auto door aims to improve upon a good concept. This new design entails strips equipped with infrared sensors that open to the approximate shape of the person or object passing through, minimizing entry of dust, pollen, and bugs while keeping precious air-conditioning in. The technology for the new design seems to be in it's infancy, but Japan has proven once again that it's a least 10 years ahead of everyone else. -JM



Monday, September 25th, 2006
Roger Olson's Book on Arminian Theology
083082841901_scmzzzzzzz_ My former teacher and occasional Think Tanker Roger E. Olson has published a new book with InterVarsity Press: Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities.  I think it's a helpful contribution that takes a unique approach to the long-standing debates between Arminians and Calvinists.  Instead of a presenting a systematic account of what Arminians believe or issuing a refutation of certain Calvinist beliefs, Olson adopts a "myth-busting" strategy which utilizes historical sources to challenge misconceptions that regularly crop up in debates between adherents on both sides.  The result is that the book seems to be less about defending Arminianism as the correct option than it is about establishing a clear and coherent description of what Arminians actually believe.  That in and of itself is an important contribution if you value theological clarity.  I also found Olson's call for evangelicals to engage in irenic and charitable dialogue in the midst of theological differences timely and helpful.

John Drury has been working through the book and the various myths that Olson discusses here (just keep scrolling).  Scot McKnight is also starting a series on the book on his blog.



Thursday, September 21st, 2006
Happy 10th Birthday to Wallpaper*

Wallpaper turns the big 1-0. I may only be 23, but i do remember them from back in the day. I also love that together with Phaidon they’ve finally released some vibrant pocket sized travel guides, and will definitely pick some up for the next adventure. So just a quick shout out to them - they’ve been inspiring and influencing my love of all things gorgeously ingenious for a whole decade now.

Related: The Lifecycle of Design: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The First Annual YouTube Video Awards
Welcome to the First Annual YouTube Video Awards! The YouTube Video Awards is meant to showcase Videos throughout YouTube showing its talent. The YouTube Awards is a compulation of videos from the show itself, the presenters and the performances. When all these are edited together it will make a unique awards show! Over the next couple of weeks, the people of YouTube can send requests for Nominee's. To send requests click here. You can also go to the Timeline page to view the timeline of events occuring and how you can get involved in the Awards! You can apply to become a presenter here and if you have a band you can apply to perform in the awards here!

Click here to see nominees for each category

Related: The YouTube Underground Contest


Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
Love fool

iTunes: Love Foolosophy by Jamiroquai


Thursday, September 14th, 2006
"Four Eyed Monsters": From Podcasts to Theaters by Barbara Gibson

Buice and Crumley on subwayStart a little romance but rule out conversation. Communicate only through videos, art, emails, written notes. Then share the experience with the world in a narrative film and video podcasts under the banner of “Four Eyed Monsters.”

“Four Eyed Monsters” — a labor of love for Susan Buice and her boyfriend, Arin Crumley — screens Thursdays in September in six cities nationwide, thanks in large part to video podcasts that Buice and Crumley created to help people discover their film. Posted on their website, iTunes, MySpace, and YouTube, the podcasts found a spot on Apple’s daily top 100 podcasts and have generated enough word of mouth to get the film into 18 festivals worldwide and screenings in six cities. (continued...)

Subscribe to the “Four Eyed Monsters Video Podcast” on iTunes. “Four Eyed Monsters” screens Thursdays in September in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle. For show times and advance tickets, visit

I can't make you love me

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, dont patronize - dont patronize me

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you dont feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't


Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
London Design Festival

Posting this as a reminder to anyone who's in or near enough London to attend the festivities, i know i wish teleportation was not simply a thing of the future. And if you are going to be there, end up there, get dragged there, show off designs there - take some pics! Share some stories! and feel free to make me jealous. London Design Festival.


New PFF Study on Global Media Regulation by Adam Thierer

A reoccurring theme of many of my posts on this blog is the very real danger of policymakers—both here and abroad—attempting to extend traditional media content controls to new media outlets and technologies. My PFF colleague Patrick Ross has just released an excellent new report entitled “Do’s and Dont’s for Global Media Regulation: Empowering Expression, Consumers and Innovation,” which summarizes some of the most serious threats to new media that are developing in Europe, Australia and Canada.

Patrick’s new study builds on two other important papers he authored on Europe’s dreadful “Television without Frontiers” initiative, which Patrick has appropriately labeled “Content Regulation without Frontiers.” Patrick’s alternative vision focuses on achieving legal symmetry between old and new media by deregulating down instead of regulating up. He also warns policymakers about the dangers of continuing to distinguish between different types of content delivery or platforms, and to be careful not to discourage migration of content from one type of platform or device to another.

Anyway, read the whole study for more details.

Related: The Games Bureaucrats Play


Monday, September 11th, 2006
The Liberated Press on MySpace
Where you will find grassroots publicity for independent artists & other unique talent:


Thursday, September 7th, 2006
Social interaction gets more interactive

Related: Philips illuminates IFA 2006 with production-ready Lumalive textile garments


Tuesday, September 5th, 2006
All the Wild Horses

All the wild horses
All the wild horses
Tethered with tears in their eyes
May no man's touch ever tame
May no man's reigns ever chain you
And may no man's weight ever defrayed your soul
And as for the clouds
Just let them roll
Roll away
Roll away
As for the clouds
Just let them roll
Roll away
Roll away


Wednesday, August 30th, 2006
Interactive Architecture

Interactive Architecture is an illustration of the concept that digital projections can interact with the surfaces upon which they are projected. G.R.L. is proud to introduce Agent Watson; specializing in British ninja tactics and particle systems. Click here to view photos on Flickr.

Source code (.fla) for a href=”WINDOW” _fcksavedurl="”WINDOW”" _fcksavedurl="”WINDOW”" _fcksavedurl="”WINDOW”" _fcksavedurl="”WINDOW”" can be downloaded here.

Source code (CodeWarrior / C++) for Generative Graffiti can be downloaded here.
(Built with Open Frameworks)

For more information on how to digitally project in the city view the PROJECTION BOMBING tutorial on

Audio by Ruff Squad.

Related: Eyebeam OpenLab


Sunday, August 27th, 2006

There is a 19th century folktale about a man who went about town slandering the town's wise man. One day, he went to the wise man's home and asked for forgiveness. The wise man, realizing that this man had not internalized the gravity of his transgressions, told him that he would forgive him on one condition: that he go home, take a feather pillow from his house, cut it up, and scatter the feathers to the wind. After he had done so, he should then return to the wise man's house.

Though puzzled by this strange request, the man was happy to be let off with so easy a penance. He quickly cut up the pillow, scattered the feathers, and returned to the house.

"Am I now forgiven?" he asked.

"Just one more thing," the wise man said. "Go now and gather up all the feathers."

"But that's impossible. The wind has already scattered them."

"Precisely," he answered. "And though you may truly wish to correct the evil you have done, it is as impossible to repair the damage done by your words as it is to recover the feathers. Your words are out there in the marketplace, spreading hate, even as we speak."

How interesting it is that we, as human beings, so quick to believe the bad that others say about someone; so accepting of the "news" contained in print and television tabloids, and so ready to assume the worst regarding another's actions, actually allow ourselves to believe that the evil "we" spread about someone won't really matter. Incredible that we can't seem to immediately and resolutely accept the fact that the gossip we speak can - and often does - significant damage to that person. (continued...)


Thursday, August 24th, 2006
True colors
Media Transparency is the concept of determining how and why information is conveyed through various means.

This is a specific case of the topic, Transparency (humanities). As used in the humanities, it implies openness and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning used in the physical sciences: a “transparent” object is one that can be seen through.

In communication studies, Media is transparent when:

  • there are many, often competing, sources of information
  • much is known about the method of information delivery
  • the funding of media production is publicly available

Aspects of transparent media include open source documentation, open meetings, financial disclosure statements, the freedom of information legislation, budgetary review, audit, peer review, etc.

Some organisations and networks insist that not only the ordinary information of interest to the community is made freely available, but that all (or nearly all) meta-levels of organising and decision-making are themselves also published. This is known as radical transparency. These organizations include: Wikipedia, the GNU/Linux community, and Indymedia.

Media Transparency may also refer to the nonprofit organization of the same name devoted to providing information on right-wing funding, especially as it relates to United States media.

iTunes: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper


Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
Reformers unite
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of the society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. Reformists' ideas are often grounded in liberalism. It is distinguished from more radical social movements such as revolutionary movements or transformational movements. Reactionary movements, which can arise against any of these, attempt to put things back the way they were before whatever successes of the new movement(s), or prevent any such successes in the first place.

Related: Volunteerism and the Commons
Related: Stanford Social Innovation: Socially Redeeming Web 2.0?


Monday, August 21st, 2006
Oldthink vs. Newthink::Spelling Out the Media Shift by Mark Glaser
Reflections photo.jpgThe media world is going through a time of wrenching change brought on by new technology, the rise of the Internet and folks getting fed up with the corporate mass media losing touch with their reality. How can a mega-chain of newspapers, a TV broadcast conglomerate, or a cookie-cutter radio system interpret what’s going on in your neighborhood? And in the world of entertainment, the big companies are more concerned with prosecuting file-traders than helping create easy digital avenues for customers to get what they want when they want it.

But the media shift isn’t just about small vs. big. It’s also about a new way of thinking, or perhaps bringing back an old way of thinking that’s been lost in the era of big media mergers and the bottom-line focus on profits over serving people. The democratization of media is about letting a billion flowers bloom, and turning the power of news analysis, commentary, punditry and spoofery over to the people, now that they have the cheap technology of blogs, digital video cameras and broadband Internet access.

And with this change comes a lot of trial and error, experiments that really cut through the hype and those that fall short. Sometimes these new intiatives are just old ideas dressed up in new media clothes. So I’ve decided to try to spell out how the media is shifting, both in mindset and in practical, real world ways. (continued...)

Related: Digital Diversity
Related: Your Own Views of the Media Shift
Related: YouTube as a vehicle for showcasing technology

Ensure Fair Wages and Just Working Conditions in the Fields!
"I will be swift to bear witness ... against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3:5)

Farm workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's sandwiches earn 40 to 50 cents for every 32-pound bucket of tomatoes they pick, a rate that has not risen significantly in nearly 30 years. Workers who toil from dawn to dusk without the right to overtime pay or any benefits must pick two tons of tomatoes to earn $50 in one day. Worse yet, modern-day slavery has reemerged in Florida's fields; since 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice has prosecuted five slavery rings, freeing more than 1,000 workers. As a major buyer of Florida tomatoes, McDonald's high-volume, low-cost purchasing practices place downward pressure on farm worker wages, putting corporate profits before human dignity.

Why Steve Jobs should buy YouTube
Last week, I speculated as to why Rupert Murdoch would have a difficult time acquiring YouTube. I also suggested that, with a rumored asking price of $1 billion, NBC Universal was the most likely contender to buy YouTube. But my thoughts were based mostly on reasons having to do with financial/capital structural issues. With this piece, allow me add some additional perspective on the matter… but this time, from a more strategic point of view. In my view, the company that would benefit most from the prospect of buying and owning YouTube is Steve Jobs’ Apple Computer. (continued...)

Related: YouTube Hunting Music Videos
Related: New media as a phenomenon for grassroots music marketing
Related: Alternative music discovery methods for directing music sales & traffic
Related: Copyright concerns can be solved with interface, creative commons & iLife integration
Related: YouTube is a Friend, Not a Foe
iTunes: Here It Goes Again by OK Go


Sunday, August 20th, 2006
the alabaster box

"Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner." Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."  "Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."  "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven. The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins? Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." -Luke 7:36-50

iTunes: The Woman With the Alabaster Box by Paul Hillier, Pro Arte Singers & Theatre of Voices
Related: The Alabaster Box Magazine

Beauty for Ashes

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you've done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I've been set free
I've been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

iTunes: Beauty for Ashes by Crystal Lewis
Related: The Brooklyn Tabernacle's 4th Annual Music Conference


Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
Media lesson #2: People need inspiration

iTunes: Evanescence


Sunday, August 13th, 2006
puesta del sol

iTunes: Sunset by Nitin Sawhney

"On The Record: A Conversation with...David Byrne" by A.D. Amorosi
When David Byrne isn’t busy making eclectic records like his recent Look Into The Eyeball or running an eclectic label like Luaka Bop, the ex-Talking Head creates eclectic art, photography and texts. His daft 1986 film True Stories and his mock-motivational 1999 book Your Action World: Winners Are Losers With A New Attitude position Byrne as an ironic inspirationalist, a preacher with a loose collar whose irreverence lies directly beneath the surface. (Sex, religion and babies—or the intertwining of such—have always played a big part in his lyrics.) Byrne was immediately drawn to the Valencia Biennial—a Spanish city’s art center and curatorial program—and its offer for artists to dedicate themselves to the topic “The Passions: Vices And Virtues.” Byrne responded by creating (in tandem with the design staff of literary journal McSweeney’s) a small, leather-bound, Bible-like tome called The New Sins/Los Nuevos Pecados. Containing misguided words of wisdom deriding all that is “good,” The New Sins—complete with fold-out medical charts and disjointed photos—is easily the most fever-pitched bit of tongue-babbling Byrne has pulled off in some time.

MAGNET caught up with Byrne via e-mail during his tour supporting Eyeball. (continued...)

iTunes: Magnet
iTunes: Gemma Hayes

Upon the release of Magnet's remake of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" with Gemma Hayes, frontman Even Johansen took time to discuss the remake and the music video.


Saturday, August 12th, 2006
"The Streets" gone fem - Lily Allen
lilyallen.jpgOver the weekend I got turned on to the young pop wonder that is Lily Allen, whose Smile reached #1 in the UK pop charts last week.

As an aside, Ray LaMontagne, Snow Patrol, Gnarls Barkley and Muse are all in UK Top 40. I can barely turn on a radio here, and the stuff that I like on the US charts hit the UK charts months earlier. Case in point of popular US music being a sad state of affairs: Paris Hilton at #34. (For the curious, a good list of country-by-country chart comparisons can be found at AllofMP3.)

So, Lily Allen. She's this pop-ska 21-year-old cutie pie from London, and is another one of the wonder creatures who has used MySpace to launch her career. Her music is good if you're in the mood for giggling, dancing, or giggling and dancing simultaneously. Check out her site here, or go to Lily's MySpace for more info.

Lily Allen - Knock 'em Out
Lily Allen - Alfie
Lily Allen - Smile

Related iTunes: The Streets
iTunes: Smile - EP by Lily Allen