Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spinning Woman: Left or Right Brained?

I was listening to someone say today that there's this cool new visual test that will tell you if you're a left or right-brained thinker.

Herald Sun Story
(read this first)

So, I took the above test and low-and-behold it tells me I'm a right-brained thinker, which didn't really jive with the descriptions they give. I definitely share more in common with the left-side.

As a natural skeptic, I found it preposterous that a "test" could tell you something like this.

So, I found a more scientific explanation and of course it's muddier than some "simple minds" would have you think:

Science Line Explanation

And lastly, I still can't see the spinning woman go counter-clockwise. So, I used this to help me:

The Answer

Ah, much better!

What brain side are you?

Monday, January 28, 2008


Another side of the debate, from the other side of the pond.

I Hate Macs
"I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Right of Way

Minor fender bender last night. Thought I'd draw out the scene with Skitch and see what the Towform jury thinks. (Cars anonymized to eliminate bias.)

Three-way stop at a slightly goofy intersection. Just after 6pm, mostly dark and slightly rainy. Cars are represented by the numbered dots (ignore the satellite image cars).

  • Car 1 and Car 2 reach the intersection and stop at the same time. (Car 1 may have been slightly first, but it's negligible and a virtual tie.) Both are signaling left turns.

  • Car 3 is approaching the intersection but has not yet arrived. They are signaling for a right turn. (I don't recall if the signal was on or not, but will assume yes for this exercise.)

  • Cars 1 & 2 are at a standstill for about 3 seconds. Car 1 slowly edges into intersection. Car 2 remains at the stop sign. Car 3 arrives at about this time.

  • Car 1 completes their left turn, and has a small accident with Car 3. Point of impact is approximately the black dot in the image.

  • Corner of the rear passenger-side bumper of Car 1 is scratched, while the front driver-side corner of Car 3 is dented.

  • Drivers exit to exchange pleasantries. Car 1 says "Three way stop, I was there first, my right of way." Car 3 says "Doesn't matter. I was taking a right, you were taking a left. Right trumps left."

    Who would be the at-fault party?
  • Saturday, January 26, 2008

    The Internet was Formerly Retarded

    Found this great article about how truly AWFUL the internet used to look WAAAAAAAY back in 1996. Some great screenshots using the WayBack Machine.

    "...many of the best preserved ones were created by fast food and soft drink corporations because they were some of the earliest adapters of the internet. They viewed the medium as a chance for inexpensive advertising and invested dozens upon dozens of dollars into it. The results are tremendously humiliating."

    "Additionally, very few web designers had even the most rudimentary of aesthetic sensibilities, and nearly half of them were clinically retarded."

    Friday, January 25, 2008

    iMovie is a dangerous thing

    So I grabbed some footage and photos from a fishing trip to Mexico that had been sitting on my hard drive for a few years, fired up iMovie for the first time and 2 hours later here's what I did. Forgive the pacing and camera work. It was all done with my Fuji Finepix 3000.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Feedback on the iPhone Interface

    Edward Tufte is reknowned for his books and articles on interface meets design meets data presentation. (search his site for the article PowerPoint and businesses)

    Anyways, he just put up a posting on what the iPhone does right, and a few things he thinks could have been done better.

    (make sure to check out the video link in the article for an actual demo)

    And speaking of interface, with the new moveable home page icons, here's my latest first page setup:

    After going through several iterations, I've finally moved my frequently used icons to the upper-right hand corner. This provides quick access for my right-hand thumb.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Macworld Prediction

    Thought of this yesterday afternoon and wanted to get it "on the record" before the keynote. I have no insider information and have not seen this specific prediction elsewhere; it's just a personal guess based on the "There's Something In The Air" slogan and connecting a few existing dots.

    -A MacBook (and/or the rumored subnotebook) with a built-in HSDPA modem for high speed data access on the AT&T network. It would leverage Apple's existing carrier relationships, give them a new slice of coveted subscription revenue, and simplify the usually clunky process of activating and configuring an aircard.

    We'll see what develops soon enough. Feel free to mock or praise me in the comments.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    All That Glitters

    31 Minutes!

    Glitz-Free Globes
    The first Golden Globe of the night went to Cate Blanchett for her supporting role in "I'm Not There" and that pretty much said it all about the awards ceremony Sunday that was wiped out by the Hollywood writers strike.

    Because Blanchett wasn't there. Neither was anyone present to accept the best drama award for "Atonement," the final award of the 31-minute, news conference-style fiasco that raced through 25 winners so fast, it was as if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just wanted to get it over with.

    Saturday, January 12, 2008

    Holy Grail In Action

    We've talked about the Google drag-to-reroute feature before, but it blew me away to see how well it worked in practice.

    My wife was on the 5 South headed to a baby shower in Costa Mesa. She texts me and says "Something's on fire. Billowing black smoke, traffic on the 5."

    I hit SigAlert.com:

    Uh oh, lanes closed. Plus...

    Big accident, and that's the fire. Google Maps w/traffic:

    And after one simple drag and drop:

    "10E to 710S to 5S will get you around it."

    Done in literally 90 seconds. What a difference 4 years makes.

    PS: The authors of Towform do not condone texting while driving. Use a bluetooth headset.

    User Determined Computing

    Interesting thoughts on a soon to be released Accenture study (rightfully) claiming that most users home computer systems and programs make them better workers and more productive than the ones at the office.

    User Determined Computing
    Today, home technology has outpaced enterprise technology, leaving employees frustrated by the inadequacy of the technology they use at work. As a result, employees are demanding more because of their ever-increasing familiarity and comfort level with technology. It’s an emerging phenomenon Accenture has called “user-determined computing.”
    I also like the dig the blogger takes at Accenture's website towards the end.
    I wasn't hugely impressed with Accenture's own website, which didn't comply with the most basic standards of Web 2.0. For one thing, it's Flash-based, with no options for a quicker loading, HTML version. And the Flash doesn't load quickly. Secondly, a pop-up window greets you on your immediate arrival requesting your participation in a survey. Not a good start.
    (via SvN)

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    Change the World

    Bits and pieces of this have already been told, but an interesting "for dummies" overview of how game changing the iPhone really is.

    The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Fwd: Dash

    Testing posts via email (by way of forwarding) from our correspondent
    "live" at CES.

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: derteufel
    Date: Jan 9, 2008 1:36 PM
    Subject: Dash
    To: Jake of All Trades

    Just got a demo of the Dash Express. Looks very cool, though I'm now
    more excited about the community saved searches feature than I am
    about the traffic.

    Sunday, January 06, 2008

    Programming Crash Course

    The code portions of this Daily WTF blog tend to be a little over my head, but I find some of the anecdotes on dealing with people and users to be hilarious. Case in point:

    Could You Explain Programming Please

    Friday, January 04, 2008


    Most clever little online game I've played in a long time.


    via Webware

    Most Evil Game Ever

    Mario Knockoff is the Most Evil Game Ever

    I can't even try to expand on the title. Just watch.

    My favorite is the stuff that happens at the level 3 flag (towards the end of the third video).

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    New iPhone Firmware 1.1.3

    Since the majority of us have iPhones, I thought I'd post.


    What I like:
    • Google Maps drop pin
    • Multiple recipient SMS
    • And moving around home page and dock icons (you can even create multiple home pages)

    And yes, Google has finally returned the cell phone tower triangulation technology that last powered AT&T's friend finder. Why they just got around to it now, I'll never know.

    Wednesday, January 02, 2008

    Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep

    Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep

    In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

    A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery's first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.

    Siegel said that orexin A is unique in that it only had an impact on sleepy monkeys, not alert ones, and that it is "specific in reversing the effects of sleepiness" without other impacts on the brain.

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    New Lost Experience ARG

    Oceanic Air is Back...


    And on a related note, the trailer for Season 4 is being shown in theaters and online: