Monday, June 30, 2008

Simon Says

"Simon's a computer, Simon has a brain, you either do what Simon says or else go down the drain." That was Simon, the addictive stupidly simple toy thay every child had to have. I remember having one and I loved it. Check out the cool digital version I've added to the right nav, with many thanks to Paul Neave.

Watch out, it's a Tie Fighter!

ICT Graphics Lab at USC has announced the creation of a low-cost volumetric 3-D display. Ex-squeeze me I hear ou say! Essentially they're able to creat 3D static images similar to that seen in Star Wars (R2D2's message to Leia, the schematics of the Death Star).

It all works using rotating mirrors, DLP Projections, and some top end super geek maths that calculates "the correct axial perspective needed for a 360-degree image construct by linear perspective to an observer's positioning. I said it was super geek maths!

Various companies have been trying to create a viable 3-D technology for years, but it has proved to be a constant difficulty. The main road blocks have been: small viewing areas and high costs. With the USC technology renders individual projections at different heights on the rotating mirror and traces each projected beam back to the display area to find the correct position of the viewer. This allows simultaneous viewing from multiple angles/distances. The system also updates itself in real time (at 200Hz).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Twitter from Mars

Last Thursday (19th June) Nasa announced the discovery of Water Ice on Mars.

Seriously, Water Ice!

Next to actually encountering an alien, this stuff is the Holy Grail of space exploration. This is pretty much the biggest news they've had since Neil Armstrong uttered those famous words. So how do you let the world know about this historic event?


Honestly, NASA announced to the world that water-based ice had been discovered on another planet Via this tweet:

NASA are using Twitter to feed constant information about the Mars Phoenix Rover to over 20,000 followers!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cool USB Keys

I may have missed the 70's but I still see myself as having grown up with Star Wars, and I love these!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dance Matt, dance

Imagine travelling the world. Imagine visiting new cities, seeing breathtaking landscapes and meeting the diverse cultures of the globe. If you could do all this, and become part of the kaleidoscope of humanity, what would you bring to them? What would you teach them?

A funny dance seems as good as anything else!

Matt visited 42 countries in 14 months, and in each of them he danced.

Visit Matt's own site or the section of the Stride Gum (his sponsors) site all about him.

Soft Link - Levi's 501 Viral

Check out Richie's Levi's 501 post - great stuff!


Wordle is a nifty little site which turns a paragraph of text into a word cloud. Take a blog post you have written and run it through Wordle as a cool way to figure out the social tags you should use for your piece.

This is the wordle for this email:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

World of World of Warcraft. Seriously?

Play a game, where you are someone playing a game. I really wasn't sure at first if this was real - I Stumbled on it and had no point of reference. Thankfully it didn't take long, while there are definitely an aweful lot of idiots out there, I hope no one is this stupid.

"The garphics are amazing, they're revolutionary", says one gamer interviewed in this clip, "I mean, when you're staring at the computer screen, you believe that you're in a dimmly lit basment staring at a computer screen.With each keystroke you're just like oh my god, that sounds exactly like the keystrokes that I know from my own personal experience of hitting keys".

A fantastic bit of work by the guys at The Onion.

'My own personal experience of hitting keys'! Genius!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do The Test

Hopefully you caught the dothetest ad for Transport for London when it was doing trhe viral rounds. If not, check it now – brilliant, brilliant work. Created by WCRS, the video resulted in over 5 million views online in the space of one month.

Now I’m also happy to say, it’s won a Gold Lion at last week’s Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I bet they wish it didn't go viral!

Last week Coldplay's new album went straight to No 1with sales in excess of 300,000 copies. This is some achievment in just three days, but on top of that they also sold out a string of concerts and had huge iTunes coverage. In short, things were going fairly swimmingly.

Swimmingly didn't last long though. Just as suddenly as Viva La Vida soared, the band were hit with potentially crashing news. A small band called the Creaky Boards has launched a plagiarism suit against the band for their title track,which the boards claim has elements stolen from a track of theirs entitled 'The Songs I Didn't Write'.

Andrew Hoepfner, the Creaky Boards' singer and songwriter, has posted a video on YouTube, comparing the two tracks, which do have very similar sounds. Unfortunately the claims made by Hoepfner, that Chris Martin attended a Creaky Boards concert in New York last year have been completely refuited the band's spokesman Murray Chalmers.

"First, on the night in October when the band say Chris Martin was watching them, he was actually working at the Air Studio in London, and we can prove that. Second, even if he had been at the gig, "Viva la Vida" was written and demoed seven months before the night in question, so it couldn't possibly have been copied." . "We were flattered when we thought we saw Chris Martin in the crowd," said Mr Hoepfner. "He seemed pretty into it... Maybe TOO into it?"

Unfortunately Hoepfner's clip rapidly went viral and has already attracted nearly 430,000 views!, and although Coldplay have said they will not persue legal action against the Boards, this bad press could potentially cause serious damage to the bands reputation.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Neighbourhood Rock Gods

If you caught my GH4 post you'll already know how much I love filthy 80's rock. The guitar is awesome. Unfortunately it's only ever you and one mate. Sure there's Rock Band but I've never really felt the draw. This has changed!

Two important things have completely changed my mind about Rock Band - 1. I found out you can use the GH guitars (awesome!), and 2. this:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Google Fashion

It seems Google are poised to take over the..... fashion world?

Well perhaps not, but oogle FashionSatya Paul an Indian fashion designer has created this original Google saree. Trademark issues I hear you call! Well to avoid any trademark issue with Google Satya has just put an O there instead of G.

Clever dude.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Top of Mobile Search

Google currently holds 68 percent of web search share in the US and 87 percent in the UK. This isn't really news though - everyone knows the dominance of Google. What is surprising, imho, is that Google has already firmly grabbed the reins of the Mobile Search game, already holding 61 percent of mobile search (Nielsen Mobile from InformationWeek).

It really does beg the question, is there anything they can't be top of the game at?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Digital Visualisation

I was recently asked if i could lend a hand to a report by analysing the data flow involved. It wasn't a task I particularly wanted to do (sorry Roisin) but promises were made and so forth. The analysis wasn't difficult but I found myself slightly stumped as to how I should best represent the information as a graphic. All I could think of was an early post of my own on social network visualisation, and an article by Faris and Noah written for Contagious.

Neither fitted the bill, but with a little research I found this
reference piece by Sarah Perez. This is a great list to keep to hand, and demonstrates the vast number of methods out there to visualise digital information. Excellent stuff!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Peer2Peer Money Lending?

You're a modern, digitally integrated student; your phone is web enabled, you regularly use three or four social networks, and you understand terms like Twitter, Plurk, Poke and Tag. Unfortunately times are hard and you need a loan. Who do you go to? Your bank? A building society?

Of course not! In this day in age you turn to..... a social network?

As strange as it sounds, this is what the modern student will do. Sites like and Lending Club, offer students a low-interest way to get student loans through peer to peer communities.

Certainly this take social networking to a new level. These sites are exactly what social networking was created for, but was as yet unrealised. The social networking platform is finally being used as it was meant to be: to connect people in need. It’s not just a way to communicate, get viral, and spread content.

Having said all this, and while I commend both companies for attempting to break the mould, I think both will end up in failure. Financial institutions won't let the business go, and surely some computer smart college student will find a way to cheat the system!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mobile Instant Messaging

The last two phones I've had have featured MIM (Mobile Instant Messaging) software as part of their standard set up. Unfortunately this is not a feature supported by my network but it did always intrigue me as to how well such a service would work. Both phones were/are 3G phones so I didn't doubt that the speed could be quite fast but I was always weary about the cross platform communication between the phone software and the internet based IM network.

I was reminded of MIM over the weekend when I read a review of the new 3G iPhone, which will feature a new app called loopt. Essentially this is a mobile social networking tool with messaging and location built in. With a renewed interest in MIM I did a little digging and came up with two very interesting things:

1) A recent report by the Gartner group indicated that mobile instant messaging (MIM) is poised for massive global growth and could eventually replace SMS as the primary peer to peer tool of choice on mobile.

2) This fantastic video by Paul Barrett of One Degree

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nokia India produce another crazy ad

I'm a Nokia fan - I always have been. I remember my first Nokia brick over ten years ago. When it comes to their advertising however, sometimes I just don't know what to make of them. This is pretty crazy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Disarming Britain

I StumbledUpon this earlier and was totally blown away (pardon the pun). This is an extremely striking and thought provoking concept. It's the full length promotional film from Channel 4 to promote their 'Disarming Britain' series which begins on 30th June.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Facebook No Longer The Second Largest Social Network

Since Facebook opened its doors to non-college members it has seen huge growth, this April however was perhaps the biggest milestone: Facebook officially passed MySpace in terms of unique monthly worldwide visitors. Data released by ComScore shows that each network is attracting around 115 million people each month.

Smart LDA

Websites for alcoholic beverages must generally confirm age before allowing entry to the site. Depending on the country of origin this could be as simple as asking are you of legal drinking age, or (as is the case in Ireland and the UK) they ask for your date of birth. For the site designers and developers this can often be a pain - people generally don't want to fill in forms or give their details.

Two really good examples of making this as easy as possible is and Heineken Draught Keg

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Twitter for Dummies

I previously posted about What Social Media Is and if you liked that I definitely think you should check out Three Minds' Twitter for Dummies

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Facebook Gangsta

I saw this over on Paul's Blog and I had to share it with you. Funny stuff!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Golf goes Orbital

Volkswagen Golf have just launched a new ad. The ad is fun. Cutting and editing are excellent. The shining light from the ad, however, isn't the video. It's the soundtrack. The track is made up from the sounds recorded in and around the Golf during the shoot. It was composed and produced by Paul Hartnoll (Orbital). Awesome stuff.

Monday, June 9, 2008

User Generated Jacket

Last August My Morning Jacket played Lollapalooza in Chicago. As part of the gig they asked everyone to record the concert on their cameras, cellphones etc. and submit it as part of a UGC version of the event. They promised everything that was submitted would be used.

This is what UGC should be!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Check out this really smart ad from Vodafone. Funny, funny stuff that's definitely worth a 5min break.

Friday, June 6, 2008

You Pay for a Post Like That

Ireland has seen the passing of a landmark judgement in the Social Networking world. Under the 1951 Post Office Amendment Act, a 27 year old man has been fined €3000 for a post he put on a 16 year old girls social network profile. Described as "outrageous" by the Judge, the mans post was not detailed but is believed to have attacked the girls sexual habits.

The case, a first of it's kind, has solidified the reach of the 1951 Act as a governance over materials communicated by any telecommunication channels. The outcome comes amidst a continued growing concern about bullying on Social Network sites.

In Ireland at least, it would seem we all now need to watch what we say online. IMHO this is nothing but a good thing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Last Sunday (June 1st) saw the launch of the new Honda Accord. Although the story of the car is itself a good one (a complete redesign from the ground up incorporating Honda’s various racing technologies in a family saloon), the campaign behind it's launch is far more interesting.

Based on the concept of ‘Difficult Is Worth Doing’, Honda set about to perform a formation skydive live during an ad break. While in free fall, the 19 Skydivers wwould then sequentially spell out the letters H, O, N, D ,A.

“We are hoping to give people insight, to let people in, to a certain degree, with what is happening,” said the Honda account director at W&K London, Jonathan Tapper. “With previous ads such as Cog and Choir we have been open about how we made them because the story behind the production is often as interesting as the commercial itself.” “By giving people understanding about the ad before it launches, not after, it gives substance and authenticity to what Honda is saying,” Tapper said.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How to build a cheap multitouch pad

Unfortunately not everyone has the $10,000 needed to buy a Microsoft Surface. So for everyone else, here's the cheap way:

Ok, so it looks like something thrown together on Bluepeter considering it's all sticky back plastic and pieces of paper, but it does show just how low-tech multitouch hardware really is. Presumably the finger-tracking software is a little more complicated.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Pale Blue Dot

What happens when you cross Carl Sagan, David Fu and Mogwai?

It's the Pale Blue Dot; an incredible piece of film work, capturing the beauty and brutality of our small world. It's a deep and ethereal soundtrack to where we've come from and our relentless drive to move forward. It's a solemn, thought provoking dialogue about our place in the greater universe.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tall Ships Sail In

A lazy Sunday post - the first of the Tall Ships sails into Dublin