February 25, 2005

Now that's a panty raid...

from the local sheriff's blotter:

At approximately 7:45 PM on 2/8 a Commercial Burglary occurred in a store at the Vallco Fashion Mall when an unknown suspect entered the store and took about 250 panties from the display table. The store manager estimated the loss to be approximately $3000.

* * *

I guess someone really didn't want to do laundry...

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February 23, 2005

Visualizing thesaurus entries as a spectrum

We were searching for just the right word to use in a preso the other day--how you describe the process of integrating a foreign team into the corporate culture? I started at "indoctrinated" and then worked backward to a more buzzword-compliant term ("Office Space", anyone?).

What if your handy-dandy thesaurus (thesauri?) displayed choices as a spectrum?

Of course, on what criteria would you build the scale? Most offensive to least offensive? Most high-falutin' (no, that is not a town in Iraq) to most down-to-earth?

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February 11, 2005

Compared to What

One thing that all the Web map providers miss is that lots of people have a great spatial sense when it comes to their own neighborhood, but lose it when they go on vacation.

So if you've lived all your life in San Francisco, you know that walking from Fisherman's Wharf to Chinatown is a bit of a trek, but isn't a bad walk, and kind of nice in a way. But if you're in Chicago on business, you don't know if you can walk from the Wrigley Building to Navy Pier. Those damn tall buildings make you lose spatial perspective (although I guess the hills do the same for tourists to SF).

Wurman got it right with his US Atlas (1990). By dividing the country into equal-sized grids, and presenting major cities at the same scale, you could just flip between pages and compare Dallas to Baltimore, and compare both to somewhere you know well, like LA.

It wouldn't be too hard to do this on the Web--just another IFRAME or something, right? Or just plunk the gifs down onto the page:

Yahoo Map of Sunnyvale, CA at 1.5mi scaleYahoo Map of San Francisco, CA at 1.5mi scaleYahoo Map of Vancouver, BC at 1.5mi scaleYahoo Map of Montreal, QC at 1.5mi scaleYahoo Map of Frankfurt, Germany at 1.5mi scale

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February 10, 2005


Google Maps

Is it just me or do these Google Maps look like udon noodles strewn upon Silicon Valley? The look grows on you, though. Rather pretty.

The way they do the behind-the-scenes refresh of map data (SOAP calls like in Gmail?) is way cool though. Google raises the bar for all the rest of us HTML UI designers.

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Primedia's putting About.com up for sale. Rumor is that the bids (from Google, AOL, NY Times, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves) are coming in around the $300M to 500M range.

This seems like a totally Good Thing. I wonder what the chatter on the internal Guide boards is right now.

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February 09, 2005

My new PDA...if I ever win the Lotto

At $1999 a pop, the OQO pocket WinXP computer is a bit more than a refurb Palm Pilot. But this thing sure is cool.

Image of OQO pocket XP computer

Looks like a cross between a 1980's Sony Walkman and a TiBook.

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February 03, 2005

It's gettin' crowded with Segways

So I've been seeing a lot of Segways on De Anza Blvd in Cupertino these days. It's probably because of the record balmy weather we've been having (71 degrees! Take that, New England!).

Given that my Segway sitings have all been around the intersection of De Anza and Hwy 280, a block from the Apple main campus, I'd wager that the rise in AAPL has allowed some iPod engineers to go buy new toys. Good for them, I say.

For the past year, I've seen just one Segwayer--the blonde I was calling "the Apple Segway Chick". Fashionably dressed in her pink pea coat and bike helmet, she'd zip along the sidewalk while the rest of us lackeys would be stuck in traffic, burning up fossil fuels. But now there's a whole bunch of people streaming along.

What, is this Google or something?

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