Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thank you notes I

Las Meniñas / Arnolfini Wedding style for Alex Lloyd, NYC May 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

B1llboard: old yet compelling hack

As Facebook likes to point out, the amount of data we share online is growing exponentially.

This of course means that there is plenty of opportunity to aggregate and present social data in value-added ways. Start-ups like ShoutFlow, Summify and Tripbirds hope to capitalize on this trend. But perhaps the simplest, most effective way to do this is to stack rank your friends' Facebook likes and present it back so you don't miss anything fun or worthwhile. Lev Steshenko of Campusfood and I indulged in this type of feature-plugging during the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon back in May.

We prototyped B1llboard, a service that aggregates your friends' top Facebook likes and sends you a personal, weekly billboard via email. The beauty of B1llboard is its lack of interface (a part from the "Sign up with Facebook" button to grant us permissions which prompted a friend to send me the following screenshot:)

B1llboard determines what the top music, TV shows, movies, video games etc. are in your social graph and sends you an email looking something like this: 

Please click on the albums/video games/TV shows etc. and buy them. We monetize via affiliate links (or rather would like to since setting up product links is still painful even if services like Viglink are trying to change that). 

The hack seems even more interesting now that Facebook opened up the app privacy floodgates and publishes all your activity to the ticker. Top apps based on usage and most popular check-ins would be great natural extensions - someone should continue this hack:)

Here's the 40sec live demo:

Personal favorites from Disrupt: (all somewhat artsy:)

& thanks to Michael Yap from the Design Guild for late night layout magic!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Punkin (from NYC Resistor's Halloween/Pumpkin hack)

Meet the Punkin co-crafted w. @huertanix at NYC Resistor's Hackoween event last weekend (one pun too many!). One-size-fits-all Punk helmet with elliptical openings on the side (pumpkins are flexible). Carve it out well and your hair won't get soggy.

Check out David demoing at MakerBot's Halloween party (starts at 2:07)

Another headgear experiment of mine here.

Doubles as a lampshade

Sunday, February 20, 2011

#Musichackday NYC: et al.

Last weekend Nick Ursa and I participated in Musichackday at General Assembly. I'm a big fan of hackdays on specific verticals and have blogged about this one before so it was fun to finally participate. We used the Foursquare, Hunch and Spotify APIs to create so that venue owners (+ stores & bars etc.) can stop playing crappy music and play music their customers actually want to listen to.

We thought the name "Youzakk" was kind of funny since the app basically creates your muzak. It generates a playlist (from Spotify) based on the musical preferences (from Hunch) of your Foursquare check-ins. Yet another reason to check-in!

Check out our live demo below (3:30- 6:00):

(Oh, btw in theory this only works for NYC-venues for the time being and sorry if performance isn't always great - that's what a 24h time limit and pinging 3 APIs gets you).

Some fun blog coverage from Ben Gleitzman at Hunch (kudos to him for showing us around the grooveshark API and of course for his awesome and somewhat similar hack - Automatic DJ - which I'm keen to test at my next cookingforlooking event:) and from Kim at PSFK. We generally had the same favorite hacks - go here for the full list of demos
Also fun that Scobleizer, Fred Wilson and Dens tweeted about it.

Btw, if someone at Boxee is reading this - please could you build a similar hack so we don't have to watch sports in bars anymore -

UPDATE: nice coverage from Hunch here and here

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tw1tleaks - Opinions you won't find on Twitter

Now that the world's interest in Wikileaks has subsided perhaps we can move on to @tw1tleaks?:)

Woah someone is trying to say something about what's going on in Egypt:

Tw1tleaks is a hack that let's you tweet anonymously. Imagine you have something you really want said but don't dare say yourself. Have tw1tleaks say it for you. It's dead simple -

0. Follow @tw1tleaks
1. Be patient and @tw1tleaks will follow you back
2. Send a private direct message to @tw1tleaks with whatever it is you don't want to tweet yourself
3. @tw1tleaks will tweet it for you so that anyone (including you) can RT it. (your DM will be deleted)

Oops - looks like someone had an odd experience at the twitter developer conference. That's kind of funny I think I'll retweet that

Voilà- hope this adds some nuance to electronic communication. Enjoy.
Thanks @starkness for inviting tw1tleaks to Stanford!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Halloween costume round-up (last minute fixes only)

First the Kale helmet: the ultimate, last minute, low-cost costume (somewhat themeless but hey it's in season). All you need is a well-stocked grocer - if not just use another vegetable, preferrably one that doesn't wilt.

Other costumes with shortish half-life include the Office space costume and the balloon costume I once tried for a "Dot"-themed party. However, these quickly come undone as you can see below. (All you need is tape, string and a bunch of balloons. I recommended postponing assembly till you're right outside your destination.)

My friend Chris has been more elaborate dressing up as white noise (in a cardboard frame on grey pants?), notice though how people have been plucking away at his friend's Office space costume.

Cardboard in general gets you far: The Yemen package outfit below is pretty bold given recent events but so low effort and effective that it merits attention. 

In the realm of the freakish - check out the cardboard deer on the F train below. Elaborate but again not hard to make: duct tape, glue, stapler?  

Re the versatility of cardboard - see this twitterbot - and my own dionysian mask for Simon Goldin's MFA graduation: 

Headgear in general is ultra-low effort: Card crown and necklace-cape for casino theme party (deck of cards, tape, paper clips, rubber bands).

Below a bird's-nest-in-your-hair outfit for a "do whatever you want with your hair" -theme party: (google image search, color printer, cardboard, glue, eggs, hair pins. Empty the eggs though with a needle to spare people the temptation...:)

Last, speaking of animals - the antithesis of a last minute fix - this doggy showed up at the Halloween dog parade in Tompkins Sq. Park. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Never-ending notepad

Notepads * 5 = ∞ Notepad

(use ink with short half-life)