4D Things

Last week I went to my first 4d movie (Hunger Games) where my seat shook and the wind blew on me. I’m not usually into action movies of any kind and it definitely engaged me more. I do have to say I was disappointed that the 3D visual effects (no glasses required) weren’t very good because that would have really added the right stuff for me but all in all it was a good unique experience and a terrific glimpse into the future of entertainment.

Above you’ll see a video of the first “4d” printed dress. We’re barely starting to see 3d printing hitting the mainstream and we’re already moving on to 4d. And I love it!

share save 171 16 4D Things

App: 20 Days in the Life of a Stranger

I’m intrigued by this upcoming iPhone app:

Basically you get paired with a stranger and you each get updates on what the other person is doing and where at any given time of day. You don’t actually have to do anything; you’re not posting your own updates, it’s all automatically done by your phone. And yet it’s supposed to basically be anonymous.

“We’re trying to provide just enough to the recipient of your life to allow someone to imagine it without providing actual information–it’s something in between information and imagination.” source

I’m so intrigued by this blurred line we have between public and private lives these days. I’m not sure that the app is something I’d want to use but I’d be curious to at least check it out and see how it works.

share save 171 16 App: 20 Days in the Life of a Stranger

Ms. Pac-man High Scores

DSC02478 Ms. Pac man High Scores

I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m pretty good at Ms. Pacman. In fact, it’s my personal goal every time I play the game to get the high score on the machine. The score varies a lot from machine to machine. There are sit-down and stand-up machines, slow and fast machines and other variations and each one is a little bit different. Plus most venues turn their machines off regularly, which re-sets the high score, so it’s not as though it just keeps climbing and climbing. But usually the high score is somewhere between 110,000 and 160,000. I also try to get 100,000 on the first “man” of my games but that doesn’t always happen. I usually won’t leave a venue ’til I do hit the high score though icon smile Ms. Pac man High Scores

fishermans wharf 12 Ms. Pac man High Scores

IMG 0856 e1374561265634 Ms. Pac man High Scores

DSC 5492 1024x687 Ms. Pac man High Scores

share save 171 16 Ms. Pac man High Scores

The Wonder of Camera Obscura

giant camera The Wonder of Camera Obscura

Yesterday I mentioned that I did some touristy things in San Francisco recently when friends were visiting like checking out Sutro Ruins. This historic spot is located next the to also-historic Cliff House restaurant, behind which you can find Camera Obscura. I had seen the outside of this thing many times over the years but never gone in until this visit. It’s this amazing strange creation that is totally worth the $3 it costs to check it out.

What is Camera Obscura?

camera obscura description The Wonder of Camera Obscura

The truth is that I have a lot of trouble really defining what this thing is even though I’ve not only been to it but read about it online. Basically the best I can explain it is that it is a large camera that you can actually walk inside of and then look into the mirrors and lenses. The effect is that you can see close-up detailed images of a 360 degree of everything that is happening outside of the building by looking onto this plated table. The invention has a long history but is most often considered a Leonardo DaVinci design. This particular Camera Obscura was installed here in the 1940s. Learn more.

outside camera obscura The Wonder of Camera Obscura

In both photos below you’re looking at an image of the ocean outside in real time as I’m looking at it from inside of The Giant Camera:

ocean in camera obscura lens The Wonder of Camera Obscura

ocean outside camera obscura The Wonder of Camera Obscura

share save 171 16 The Wonder of Camera Obscura

CyberMonday Shopping Help: Choosing a Tablet

I don’t plan on doing any CyberMonday shopping today myself but a lot of people will be and I know that getting a tablet is on top of many people’s lists. Here’s a helpful visual of which one may be the right one for you:

how to choose the right tablet for you 50940a2b7099d w587 CyberMonday Shopping Help: Choosing a Tablet

I think that the flowchart show here is decent but what I really like is the six boxes at the bottom that summarize the pros and cons of the different options with an emphasis on the positive things about each one.

Personally I’m a Mac girl and would go with an iPad if I were going to get a tablet but I do think that there are some interesting competitors in the market. Do you have a tablet? Which one?

share save 171 16 CyberMonday Shopping Help: Choosing a Tablet

4 Years Later I’m Glad I Switched to Mac … Maybe I Should Switch to iPhone Now

mac 300x300 4 Years Later Im Glad I Switched to Mac ... Maybe I Should Switch to iPhone Now

I’ve been looking back at some of the writing that I did in years past and I came across a series of liveblogging posts that I did when attending Macworld 2008. I had long been a PC person and was just about to become a Mac girl. I quickly gave up my old PCs and got both a Mac laptop and desktop. I’m still using those tools that I bought four years ago and I really haven’t had any problems with my Macs.

Excerpt About Macs

Here’s an excerpt from my pre-event post for that liveblogging series:

“My final reason for holding out on the PC was that the guy who helps me with all of my computer problems knows how to fix almost any PC issue but isn’t familiar with Macs. My brother’s response to this argument was, “you don’t need tech help with Macs because they don’t break”. A week later, I found myself in a bind when my relatively-new PC decided to start burning up on me for no obvious reason. Long story short, I had to quickly buy a new computer. My stubborn self went with a cheap PC that was pre-loaded with Vista. I’ve had nothing but problems ever since and they finally pushed me over the edge. I can’t think of a good reason NOT to switch to Mac.”

I Haven’t Really Had Tech Problems

I have to say that this has proven to be true. I ALWAYS had problems on my PCs … issues with viruses and random weird problems that I didn’t understand and needed other people to help me with. I’d take my PCs into places like the Best Buy tech center all of the time. I haven’t had to take either of my Macs in for help once. I’ve had no problems with viruses. I haven’t had any major issues with updates.

I will say that I’m running into a weird problem these days with Word … my toolbars constantly keep disappearing and I don’t know why. But it’s an old version of Word for Mac and it’s the only real strange issue I’ve had so I’m rolling with it and not complaining too much.

I Admit I Used Cheap PCs

I always used HP computers and other inexpensive brands of computers. I think that might be a contributing reason as to why I had so very many problems with my PCs that I haven’t had with my more expensive Mac. I do wonder if getting a pricier branded PC might have made a difference. I wouldn’t have known what to buy, though.

I Like the Lack of Mac Options

The fact that I wouldn’t have known which expensive PC to buy leads right into this point. There aren’t dozens of different Macs to choose from. They’re all basically the same. And I liked that. Choice is great but sometimes too much choice is overwhelming, especially when you’re buying an item that you don’t know a lot about. I like that Mac offers a good product with limited decisions required to make the purchase.

So Maybe I Should Finally Get an iPhone

I’m going through a different transition these days, trying to decide if I should switch from my HP Smartphone to an iPhone. I held out against getting a smartphone for a super long time. I don’t use my phone much. I’m usually not far from a laptop. And I like tiny little phones. But recently I decided to get my first smartphone. I chose the HP Veery because it super small. It offers basic functionality but nothing special. I wouldn’t ever spend a lot of time on it but it allows me to check email and look up directions as needed, which is nice.

I know from using my iPod and using other people’s iPhones that I like the iPhone. I like how it works. I like it for some of the same reasons I like my Macs. What I don’t like is that it’s so much bigger than my little HP Veer so it doesn’t fit in my small pockets. I don’t really like talking on iPhones either but I’m sure I could get used to it. If I’m going to bother paying for data every month then maybe it would make more sense to upgrade to an iPhone with the greater functionality. So tough to decide … But it helps to know taht four years ago I was hesitating about going with Mac and I’ve only been glad that I did.

Are you a Mac or a PC person? Why?

share save 171 16 4 Years Later Im Glad I Switched to Mac ... Maybe I Should Switch to iPhone Now

Amazed by Image Searching

I’ve been playing around with Google’s “search by image” option and have to say that I’m just totally amazed by it. I’m not talking about the basic search within images where you enter text and find related images. I’m talking specifically about how you can upload an image into the search box and then genius Google finds where else that picture is on the web as well as many other visually similar images.

While I’m impressed with how quickly it finds the image everywhere it is located online (a nice tool for seeing if anyone’s using your copyrighted images, by the way), I’m especially awed and in love with the tool that shows you visually similar images. It’s just so strikingly beautiful!

For example, I was doing some research into crochet sculpture artist Anna Krystyna Casey so I uploaded this photo of her one of her crochet art pieces:

crochet art sculpture Amazed by Image Searching

And the image search produced (in part):

Screen shot 2012 02 19 at 6.57.52 PM Amazed by Image Searching

Then I decided to input my own artwork from the other day:

artwork redone Amazed by Image Searching

And it came up with:

blue images Amazed by Image Searching

Then I wondered what would happen if I chose a photo of a person instead of just colors. So I picked a photo of myself:

crochet ring style Amazed by Image Searching

And it thought I looked like, among others, these three:

photo 300x145 Amazed by Image Searching

It’s just a fun tool to play with!

share save 171 16 Amazed by Image Searching

10 Tips for Buying a Laptop Stand

44ec7bac1c598 01 264x300 10 Tips for Buying a Laptop Stand

A laptop stand is one of the best laptop accessories for people who use their laptops on a frequent basis. The following ten tips will help you out with this purchase:

  1. Choose whether you want a lap-based stand or a stand-up stand. Will you be sitting or standing when using this stand? A lap-based stand can also sit on a desk. A stand-up stand may be adjustable so that you can sit at it as well. Think about what will work best for you.
  2. Find a stand with adjustable height. If you’re getting a stand that you can use while standing up then it should be adjustable to your height. This will also allow you to shrink the stand for easier storage when not in use.
  3. Find a lightweight stand. If you’ll be using a stand that sits on your lap then make sure that it isn’t too heavy for regular use.
  4. Look for other ergonomic features. You’ll be more comfortable and healthier if you do. A wrist rest is one of the most important ergonomic features.
  5. Get a stand with wheels. This makes it so much simpler to move it around the house. You’ll be glad you added them.
  6. Make sure that the stand has enough surface area. If you’ll be adding an extra keyboard, mouse or other laptop accessories then make sure there’s enough room for them on the stand.
  7. Look for a style that suits you. There are so many different stands out there that you don’t have to sacrifice style when you buy one. Get one that’s cute!
  8. Set a budget. Laptop stands range in price from below $25 to several hundred dollars. Set a budget to narrow down your options.
  9. Get a bulk package with other laptop accessories. Sometimes this allows you to get a reduced price on everything that you need. For example, you might get a laptop sleeve, an extra laptop battery and your laptop stand at the same time.
  10. Add an ipod dock. The newest laptop stands are coming with built-in ipod docks. Nice perk!
share save 171 16 10 Tips for Buying a Laptop Stand

Smile for Free Ice Cream: Smart High-Tech Vending

I’m adoring this new high-tech vending machine technology that’s been launched by a company called Unilever. It uses advanced facial recognition technology to offer free ice cream to happy people (or at least people who are willing to fake a big smile in order to get their ice cream). It’s quirky and unusual and different and I love the idea.

The vending machine is designed to recognize smiles on the faces of people in front of them. It also recognizes age and gender but all that the consumer really cares about is that the machine can see how happy they are at the prospect of getting free ice cream. If your smile is big enough, the machine gives you the ice cream that you’re seeking.

What’s so smart about this? It caters to several different things that are appealing to consumers including advanced new technology, free stuff and happiness. Studies have shown that smiling even when you aren’t happy can increase happiness. One would assume that getting free ice cream also increases happiness. A company that can so easily increase consumer happiness is clearly doing a great job of selling itself.

Unilever’s marketing slogan for this product is “Share Happy”. It taps into the power of social media advertising by allowing you to share your winning smile via the company’s Facebook page. Although social media marketing is relatively new, it’s already becoming a must for businesses so companies like this one that do something creative to start setting their Facebook advertising apart from others immediately are definitely on the cusp of innovation.

The video here in the post shows the Share Happy ice cream machine in action. However, the commercial for the machine is actually way cooler and can be seen here.

via Springwise

share save 171 16 Smile for Free Ice Cream: Smart High Tech Vending

Could Smart Clothing Cure Depression?

mood ring 300x203 Could Smart Clothing Cure Depression?

We've come a long way from mood rings!

I read an interesting article earlier this month about so-called Smart Clothing. This is clothing that would be able to determine what your mood is and then improve your mood by responding to you. It’s still in prototype form and is debuting in museums while it’s being worked on but the basic idea is this:

  • Moods are programmed into your clothing based on responses to what’s happening in your body. For example, an increased heart rate may be one sign that you are getting anxious.
  • The clothing is pre-programmed to respond to these moods. Responses may include a text message, image or video that displays on a sleeve or an audio recording of the voice of a loved one.
  • Your clothing is set to read your mood throughout the day and to respond with the pre-programmed responses. For example, if your clothing believes that you are feeling anxious, it may provide an audio tone that you’ve recorded of a calming affirmation.
One application that I can see for this clothing would be in dealing with depression. Depression is worsened through loneliness, a sense of isolation and the problem of being stuck inside of your own head too much. Audio and visual cues to get out of your head, stay present in the moment and even receive love from others whose voices you’ve recorded may all aid in reducing depression as well as anxiety.
Of course, I don’t think the clothing would cure depression since it’s such a complicated thing. And there are many kinks to be worked out ranging from how well the clothing can actually read your biological cues and determine your mood to which types of programmed responses may actually be effective for helping you with your mood problems. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting concept that combines fashion, health and technology into one and could be improved on for future use.

Smart clothing original article

share save 171 16 Could Smart Clothing Cure Depression?