_archive for the ‘Emerging Technologies’ category

Safari 4 Beta

02/24/09 :: by Patrick

For those of you who are Apple fans and like to use Safari (I’m still a FireFox man, thank YOU very much), you can download the public beta of Safari 4. Ajaxian has a nice write up of the improvements to the engine. Can you say CSS effects?

Overflowing

10/13/08 :: by pwang

I suspect a lot of developers will be using this. It is really the best programming faq site I’ve seen, a mix between blog, wiki, forum, and digg.

Stack Overflow

We saw it coming

09/24/08 :: by pwang

new logo

In case you’ve been under a rock this week, the new Adobe CS4 was announced. CS3 didn’t seem too long ago, but the new Creative Suite is suppose to be shiny and awesome. I just find it interesting that this awesome image-resizing technology we posted about months ago will now come with the new PhotoShop. I can barely begin to imagine what people will do with this technology. Oh, and I put their new logo up there just for kicks, courtesy of BrandNew.

Revisualizing Data

09/18/08 :: by pwang

When it comes to unique infographics, Ben Fry practically wrote the book. I think a lot of his work is practical enough to be integrated into large sites and enrich functionality. Even though his work is done in Processing, recreating it in Flash or Javascript is getting easier.

Here are some samples.

roads

zipcodes

(for this one, you’ll need the Java web applet)

For more go to his site.

Chrome, Anyone?

09/04/08 :: by pwang

The headlines for this week will probably have “Google Chrome” somewhere. Google’s new browser, love it or hate it, is definitely going to change things. Initial likes? The comic, of course, which goes beyond a good marketing/advertising move to something more educational and fun, so you can read it to get caught up with the technical specs on Chrome. I read it and got amped up before installing the app itself. It’s very blue, and there’s no menu bar. Otherwise, it felt like any other, non-IE browser (although the interface at times felt very IE, especially the nav bar). A standout is the new start page, which shows thumbnails of visited sites and used search engines, something I thought smart and useful.

So after using it (not heavily, mind you) for two days, no crashes. Nothing broke. Facebook and all my other web apps worked; even my own site looked right. I’m not keeping my fingers crossed because the app is beta and has bugs. Is it faster? In terms of JavaScript, John Resig says, not really. There is a new task manager-esque feature as well, so windows can be dealt on an individual basis: no more one bad site bringing down an entire browser session. Maybe. I haven’t done anything too crazy to notice a difference, yet. Neither is the new browser a messiah in saving memory, using about 100mb total for keeping open a few web applications, the same as Safari for Windows does. The bottom line: a transparent browser that just (mostly and for me) works, but nothing more than that, yet. The comic was cooler.

But after all this, one question. Why ‘Chrome’ and that logo?

What is Fez

08/06/08 :: by pwang

It’s a game. A really cool one:

I don’t know the specifics. Like what platform it’s on, or when it’s coming out, or who made it Kokoromi. The gaming industry’s been bland for a long time. I’m glad things like this and the wii can help more of us appreciate the visually different, rather than just things with high production value. Another current (anti)trend in games is low budget. During one session of a gaming class while in my major at UCLA DMA I sat in just to hear Jenova Chen from USC Interactive talk about his work, notably Flow.

With games getting smaller and easier to make for individual creators just as quickly as they are becoming more complex in the commercial industry, I wonder if someday we can all make our own ‘games’ and tailor them to our needs and dreams.

Jumpchart

08/04/08 :: by Patrick

Jeffrey Zeldman said it best, “Wireframing AJAX is a bitch.”

Quite frankly, I would boil that down a bit further and simply say wireframing is a bitch. That was until recently, when I began playing around with a sweet-as-saccharin web app called Jumpchart. Imagine the irony as you use a slick web app stuffed to the gills with Ajax functionality to create blissfully simple wireframes!

I’ve created an account for myself, and needless to say I have been impressed. I don’t think it’s necessarily going to replace whatever methods you are currently using (you are wireframing, aren’t you?), but it’s pretty darn handy to be able to export to XHTML and CSS files once your done. I particular like Jumpchart because I can immediately work in HTML, where I feel most comfortable, and create things that visually make sense to me right off the bat. Considering I can barely recall how to make use of a pen or pencil, this is a major advantage to me.

Enough blather - go watch the demos, or better yet, mess about with it and tell me what you think.

Dynamic Information

07/31/08 :: by pwang

If facebook had only made a movie like this one, my previous post would have been much easier to write. While a great design is suppose to be transparent, my confusion with the redesign of the simplest website (next to our own) delicious.com (bah, the old url was cooler) makes me feel today’s user has no patience to figure everything out on their own. I definitely see the value in editing screen captures and animating layouts to show the features of a site. The time spent seems to be a good trade for increased usability. Too bad delicious didn’t make this video the most accessible thing on the site. As a sidenote, Flickr video may become an interesting platform for pecha-kucha-like content.

If you want more snazziness than simplicity, check out the videos from Good magazine. This one I particularly like. The music is well integrated, and the animations illustrate the rather exhausted information in a refreshing way.

I’m not suggesting this is the future of distributing information. I’d still prefer a wiki. But if it’s something that you want to share with many folks, then why not make it a fun and exciting experience as well.

Chronotopic Anamorphosis

07/01/08 :: by brocksteady


Chronotopic Anamorphosis from Marginalia Project on Vimeo.

This got my synapses firing this morning.

The experiment was made within the context of Marginalia Project where you can find more info, including source code.

Cognitive Surplus

05/02/08 :: by brocksteady

Here’s a thought-provoking argument made by Clay Shirky about the idea of “cognitive surplus” and the ways we spend (or waste) it. via PSFK.