Rael Dornfest

Slide into 2006…

I was just chatting with Jeff Veen of Adaptive Path and Measure Map fame. He pointed out that the measure mappers have quietly left a wee New Year's gift for those who want to slide more easily into 2006. The Measure Map Date Slider is a nifty flash component for meandering time. And they've made a version of this available…

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w00t! on Gmail Mobile

Our Blackberry Hacks author Dave Mabe dropped me a line mentioning the appearance of Gmail Mobile just before the holidays. While I'm only now pointing at his writeup, I've been using Gmail Mobile from my Blackberry for the past two weeks to keep in touch with friends and family (I use Gmail only for my personal correspondence). While hitting a…

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All's quiet on the tag front

As you may have noticed, the O'Reilly Radar's tag cloud (there's a summary version in the right-hand sidebar on the front page as well as a full cloud view) reflects tag usage on two axes: popularity (sheer number of times applied to posts) as size and recency (when last was the tag applied to a post) as colour density….

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Market, market, on the wall

The Economist ran an article on technology prediction markets, including the Yahoo! Research / O'Reilly Tech Buzz Game just before the holidays The most important thing about the Tech Buzz Game, says [Wharton School economist] Mr Wolfers, may be that people are actually playing it, because it is so well designed. Encouraging employees to use prediction markets has always…

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Pull the Plug on Tech Distractions

U.S. News & World Report groks Life Hacking, featuring some suggestions by our friend Danny O’Brien. While I don’t necessarily agree with the analog tilt of the piece–the focus being too much on pulling the electronic plug and eliminating tech as distraction rather than attenuation of information in whatever form it takes in your life–it’s obviously great to see attention…

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eval( '(' + YahooWebServices + ')' );

Our friend Jeff McManus over at the Yahoo! Developer Network clued us in to Y! Web Services now being available in a delicious new flavor: JSON–JavaScript Object Notation. Say bye-bye to XML parsing and the need for (very much) intermediary code when building Web 2.0 or single-page applications using Y!'s services and data. Simply fetch a wodge of JSON representing…

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Herb Simon on Attention

Tim passed me this great Herb Simon quote he wandered across on Wikipedia that perfectly sums up the "Attention Economy" theme of this year's ETech. "What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of…

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WiFi helping people help other people to WiFi

Along the same lines as Marc's WiFi w00t! post a few days ago, WiFi helped me help Nat to WiFi–across international borders, no less. I just received a text message from Nat in London asking if I knew where the Apple Store is in London: free WiFi is teh sux0r in London. I'd just a few minutes earlier managed to…

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re: sensible email messages

Plowing through proposals for and discussions around ETech 2006, and with our focus in this upcoming edition on affordances and attenuation, I've been thinking a great deal about email of late. To that end, I've kept meaning to point to Merlin Mann's excellent contribution to the usabilty of email, "Writing sensible email messages". His missive was brought to mind this…

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Netflix's take on "s**t happens"

You know, sometimes mail (of the snail variety) does indeed go missing. S**t happens. And such s**t must happen regularly to Netflix. Being very much a virtual being, it doesn't happen to me all that often. So when one of my recent rentals never made its way to Netflix, I gritted my teeth and clicked the "Report a problem" button,…

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