Category Archives


Also turning 30 this month

I’m happy to say that I’ve only spent 20 days in a world without the Mac.  It’s really come to define my day to day life as a platform and a phenomenon and I’m not sure where I’d be professionally or creatively without it.  And that’s not just fanatic gushing – the Mac was how I taught myself to be who I am in my career today.

Check out Apple’s entire Thirty Years of Mac feature for more on what others think of the little computer that could do so much.

Watch: “Do Digital Natives Exist?”

I can’t tell you the number of times that faculty (or my mother) have told me that they just don’t understand computers in the way that I do because they didn’t have them around for their entire lives.  I certainly understand the sentiment, but it really falls apart on closer inspection.  The first computer that I used (an Apple IIe) bears very little resemblance to the iPad mini I use to browse the web for videos like this one.  Those that are considered “digital natives” are forced to adapt just as much as those born before computers existed.  And they also need training and support on tools that they are unfamiliar with, just like anyone else.  So you can imagine my moment of “right on-ness” with this latest Idea Channel transmission.  What do you think?

Let’s fast-track this one, shall we?

I was prepared to roll my eyes at another airline “innovation” but I can actually get behind Morph from seymourpowell.  Imagine being able to upgrade your seat without the stupid divisions between front and back of the plane.  Or just to have reclining functions without encroaching on or being encroached upon by – other passengers.  I’d imagine the use of no foam also cuts down on the environmental impact of manufacturing all of those seats and prevents them from wearing out as quickly, to boot.  If only the seats could also roll forward and backward…

Fully charged

Honestly, I don’t think io9 was excited enough about the supercapacitor – found by accident – profiled in this video.  Holy crud, this could change so much so quickly if it all pans out!

Slash the trash

Wired today has presented some design concepts from a Masters thesis project by newly minted creative person, Aaron Mickelson.  The goal of the project, entitled The Disappearing Package, is to reduce consumer waste from exorbitant amounts of packaging on our day to day items.  For example:


There are more interesting concepts over at Wired so check them out.  While not perfect (as pointed out viciously by a few commenters) the intention is noble and the ideas are certainly novel.  It does, though, remind me at least a little of this Portlandia sketch:

Both food for thought and food for rats…

Wake Up Waggle and Other Oddities


“Multi-Touch Gestures” by Gabriele Meldaikyte

“Artist Gabriele Meldaikyte’s ‘Multi-Touch Gestures‘ series remakes the actions through which we interact with our smartphones. Meldaikyte turned five actions, flicking, pinching, tapping, swiping, and scrolling, into lo-fi, non-digital devices made of paper, plastic, and wood that mimic those gestures.”

This quote is from a Hyperallergic article talking about a research project called “Curious Rituals” which aims to catalogue the odd things we do with our bodies that have become an everyday part of life with technology.  From the “on the phone aimless amble” to the “iPad photographer” two handed point-and-shoot (one I’m now promoting via Mobile Media Pilot), our odd dances while interacting with devices have become ingrained in the daily experience to the point of becoming overlooked.  ”Curious Rituals” and “Multi-Touch Gestures” aim to tease these behaviors out, look at them from all angles and preserve them for the future.

(via my personal blog)

The Mini is a Big Deal

The Media Commons Mobile Media Pilot is now entering into its seventh semester and we have been collecting a lot of great feedback from faculty who have participated and students who have completed their assignments. What has been echoed over and over again is that, while the majority likes working with the iPod touch for its ease of use, light weight and all-in-one shoot-to-publish utility, its small screen and short battery life would be improved upon.

“If only there were some device that cost nearly the same amount of money but offered more visual real estate and juice while still affording the same usability,” we thought. And then Apple’s iPad Mini came along.

While the Mini is a step down in size from the original iPad, it doesn’t lose any of the functionality of the larger device. And, when compared to the iPod touch, it actually becomes quite a step up. So we got a 10-pack and decided to do a pilot within a pilot and roll them out as part of the Mobile Media program this Spring.

iPad Minis

To keep them safe, each iPad has been covered with an i-Blason ArmorBox, which should also prove helpful for video reflections with its built in, landscape-format kickstand. The armored iPads are then packed into a Case Logic netbook shoulder bag which provides room for extra production notes and other odds and ends as well as providing a home for the Lightning cable, power adapter and MC contact card.

Five of these robust little kits will be traveling with one section of Dr. Mary Beth Pinto’s Marketing 344 at Behrend as the students do consumer research in the Erie area. (The other section of the class will be getting iPod touch devices, allowing direct comparison of experiences when we follow up at the end of the semester.) The remaining five will be journeying across the Atlantic as students in the Education Abroad program at New Kensington explore Ireland and complete video assignments that document their trips.

I’m particularly keen on finding out how students like working with the larger form factor – it’s still lightweight, but will it be too big to easily shoot video? And will the expanded iMovie interface on the iPad allow students to create richer videos? It’s going to be an interesting chapter in the Mobile Media Pilot, so stay tuned!

I can’t even…

Head on over to The Verge right now where they are mercilessly making fun of Qualcomm’s keynote presentation at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.  Or just skip to the highlights below to see the most insane presentation I’ve ever encountered.

I can’t even fathom being trapped in that presentation hall for this trainwreck.