Category Archives: geeky

yuri suzuki and oscar diaz: rec & play


‘rec & play’ is a collaborative project between yuri suzuki and oscar diaz. both designers, who
met at the RCA, started tinkering a while ago with the intention to create an object that would
combine drawing and sound.

the ‘rec’ pen, draws and records sound on a line. it contains a special ferromagnetic ink, made
with the same component used to make old cassette tapes, a recording head and a microphone.
the ink is applied to the paper and at the same time the recording head can record the sound
captured by the microphone situated on the top part of the pen.

the ‘play’ pen retrieves the sound and plays it back.  it contains a red head and a speaker.
when the red tape head is moved along the line the previously recorded sound can be heard.

to reference and indicate each pen function, the pens uses the color code from old cassette recorders.
the ‘rec’ pen is red, and the ‘play’ pen, black. both pens are connected to a circuit board and a power
supply to feed the electronic components.

the project, is part of ‘sound interjection’ an exhibition featuring an extensive selection of yuri suzuki’s
work, which will be presented for the first time at the kk outlet in london from september 3rd, 2010.

original post here

Concept Idea for Special Edition iPhone Air

I was reading an article on how apple is designing an iPhone with fewer holes by combining the headset jack and the microphone hole. The advantages of having less holes on the iPhone is obvious: less dust and less water seepage. But then i was thinking why not go all the way and make an air tight water proof iPhone.

  • Remove all headset and microphone holes and use only bluetooth for audio.
  • Remove speaker grilles so no speaker on the iPhone. It can vibrate to indicate incoming call and LED light but will not ring. Instead have the bluetooth headset come with a built in small speaker to beeps.
  • Connector for syncing can be replace with wifi and 3G syncing.
  • Charging can be by conductive charging like the Palm Pre Stone. Similar to how electric toothbrush charges
  • Buttons can be redesigned to be external physical buttons pressing on membrane button underneath. Thus the internal device is completely sealed off.
  • Have 2 specially designed bluetooth headset. One that is not waterproof, is smaller and more executive looking with a tiny speaker that emits beeps to indicate incoming calls and another bigger stereo waterproof headset for exercise and even swimming use.
  • The Touch Dock for charging can also come with speaker and mic for conference calls on the desk.

Technologically there is nothing above that is not doable. Is a matter of putting it all into a package. May not be for everyone, thus a Special Edition iPhone Air for those willing to pay a premium for it.

Would you like a phone like this?

my iPhone4 review

Weakness

  • It’s use as a phone for answering and making calls is at most 70% reliable. But this is not restricted to just iPhone4 and i would give the same rating to the other iphones as well. I have encountered times where the phone ring and i just cannot slide to answer, the phone ring and go straight to missed calls and low signal problems. I dont have drop calls that much except may be inside the elevator. Am not sure if any of the issues are related to me jailbreaking the phone. I can live with this issue because voice calls are not that important and frequent for me. SMS and apps (data connection) is what is more important to me in a smartphone now. So if you are very dependent on voice calls and need it to be 99% reliable, you will be frustrated with the iPhone.
  • Other minor annoyances are like the lack of a button for taking photo, no widget home screen like android where i can have instant access to weather, large clock and notifications. The notifications can be annoying if you have a lot of it and it can definitely be improved. Bluetooth audio do sometimes get choppy but usually a reboot of the device solves the problem. I have also read and experienced only once, difficulty switching back to music audio after answering a phone call on bluetooth audio. But that shows how infrequent i have voice calls.

Attention to Details

The reason i still love the iphone as compared to other phones like Android is Apple’s attention to details. I have not used any Android phones yet although i have an Android 1.5 7″ tablet that is using the same phone OS. Small attention to details make a lot of difference in the overall feel of the experience. It is fluid and intuitive. An example is the bounce when you hit the end of a list, the accelerated spin when you flip the spin wheel faster and the simplicity of the OS does takes away some hassle especially memory management. Many criticizes Apple for not putting in true multi-tasking. But if you have tried Android’s memory manager or previous Windows Phone with memory issues or even Symbiam, you will appreciate how you dont have to bother with any of it on the iPhone. As mine is jailbroken, i do have a memory monitor on my status bar and i can see when the iphone automatically clears the memory and closes open apps but it does not affect the use of the phone much simply because there is no true multitasking in the first place.

I have thought of and considered switching to other phones to validate if i am really stuck on iphone. I still hold a blackberry simply because it is the cheapest way to roam. Nevertheless i think the iPhone is a convenient all in one, connected PDA to me. Camera, phone, SMS, internet, social and gaming platform. It is not perfect and i have not tried a single smartphone that doesnt hang on me or require reboot occasionally. But so far i must say i am patient with its flaws and loving its strength just like i would my boyfriend.

MultiClutch and Safari

Not sure how many of my readers are using Macbooks but here is a workaround for those who love their touchpad as much as i do. There is a program called multiclutch that allows you to configure extra gestures for different programs. The one i used most is cmd+w to close a tab or window when i do a rotate left and cmd+t to open a new tab when i rotate right.

Recently i found that it is no more working. Not sure why but it only happened after i moved my OS to my new SSD drive. Any case i was lucky to find from google that the reason is multiclutch does not work with 64bit application like safari. So the work around is to open Safari in 32bit.  This can be done by the Get Info box below.

So far i dont see any negatives to working in 32bit and i love having my gestures back in safari.

SSD enclosure for Macbook Pro

Just ordered the OptiBay from MCE website. Should deliver to me in the next few days i hope.  Planning to get 128GB SSD for the bay to replace my DVD drive.  The kit comes with an external DVD casing so that i can still use my DVD via USB.

This will allow me to have 500GB of HD data and a 128GB SSD for the OS at minimal cost.  I have heard reviews that this is the optimal configuration giving best performance and data capacity.  Cant wait.  But am a little nervious having to operate on the MBP.

Aurora from space

From NASA website

Aurora Australis Observed From the International Space Station

Among the views of Earth afforded astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), surely one of the most spectacular is of the aurora. These ever-shifting displays of colored ribbons, curtains, rays, and spots are most visible near the North (aurora borealis) and South (aurora australis) Poles as charged particles streaming from the Sun (the solar wind) interact with Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in collisions with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. The atoms are excited by these collisions, and typically emit photons as a means of returning to their original energy state. The photons form the aurora that we see. The most commonly observed color of aurora is green, caused by photons (light) emitted by excited oxygen atoms at wavelengths centered at 0.558 micrometers, or millionths of a meter. Visible light is reflected from healthy (green) plant leaves at approximately the same wavelength. Red aurora are generated by light emitted at a longer wavelength (0.630 micrometers), and other colors such as blue and purple are also sometimes observed.

While aurora are generally only visible close to the poles, severe magnetic storms impacting the Earth’s magnetic field can shift them towards the equator. This striking aurora image was taken during a geomagnetic storm that was most likely caused by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on May 24, 2010. The ISS was located over the Southern Indian Ocean at an altitude of 350 km, with the astronaut observer most likely looking towards Antarctica (not visible) and the South Pole. The aurora has a sinuous ribbon shape that separates into discrete spots near the lower right corner of the image. While the dominant coloration of the aurora is green, there are faint suggestions of red photon emission as well (light fuscia tones at image center left). Dense cloud cover is dimly visible below the aurora. The curvature of the Earth’s horizon, or limb, is clearly visible as is the faint blue line of the upper atmosphere directly above at image top center. Several stars appear as bright pinpoints against the blackness of space at image top right.