Chainsaw Hand and Toaster and Santa for Some Reason


Mark this point in history. Yesterday was the first time in my life I had ever used a Wacom tablet for sketching.

People say it takes about three weeks of concerted effort to get used to using a tablet. By the looks of things, I pretty much perfected my technique right out of the gates.

Separated at Birth


Behold: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and the new Photoshop Logo.

I gotta hand it to Adobe. They really knocked this one out of the park. I mean, look at that gloss. It just screams OS X Aqua circa 2000.

Yes, yes. The logo is old news, but it’s newly interesting now that you can host this ass of an icon on your iPhone.

“Here, I made you a better poster.”


God dammit, I miss San Francisco more than I thought I would.

From Analog Interactions to Tangible Bits

I spent a great deal of time this past summer turning the idea of “analog interactions” over in my head, carving and sanding and refining it through a series of essays.

It largely started in my post Analog Interactions, where I discussed my recent forays into Arduino and my increasing interest in historic, richly tactile interactions. Following that, in Scope I offered a brief summation of my obsessive excursions to the Musée Mecanique (caution, the link is LOUD) in San Francisco, studying their incredible collection of turn-of-the-century penny arcade machines.

Most recently, last week Adaptive Path published my blog post regarding my vision for the future of computing, as an embedded series of tangible, tactile interactions that reimagine the input and output devices we traditionally use to interact with computers. Off The Desktop and Into The World is thus my latest effort to describe a world of computing that naturally integrates with our rich human tradition as physical, feeling beings that exist in a physical, richly sensual world.

In pursuing my capstone project this year I’m continuing with this line of inquiry, but within a more specific context. As I move to introduce a level of academic rigor to my interest in these analog interactions, I believe Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms is going to be a key on-ramp into the conversation.

UPDATE: Holy shit. Did I read this paper in a dream or something? The parallels are uncanny. For instance:

As an example, they described two cold steel benches located in different cities. When a person sits on one of these benches, a corresponding position on the other bench warms, and a bi-directional sound channel is opened. At the other location, after feeling the bench for “body heat,” another person can decide to make contact by sitting near the warmth.

What Ishii describes here is effectively a networked version of the Hot Seat:


From The Archives

While paging through my journals of yesteryear, trying to find a particular passage, I came across this gem from July 22, 2003:


  • A lamprey swallowing a bicycle
  • “Barry’s Floss and Park”
  • A floral-patterned laundry bag, filled with laundry, tied around someone’s ankle

A bad taste in your mouth.

Mint Sells to Intuit for $170 Million

Why is this such a great deal for Intuit? Fast Company explains:

“Mint’s apparently not begun to investigate the data-mining opportunities present in the recorded info on those 1.4 million users–a data set that’s got intrinsic value in its own right.”

Wow, that’s pretty bold-faced. To be fair, as a user of I appreciated the fact that they had not begun to investigate the data-mining opportunities present in their users’ accounts.

So, the way I see it is this. Intuit paid $170 million for Mint. A lot of the value of Mint comes from its 1.4 million registered users. If you’re like me and you have a “thing” for Mint but not so much for Intuit, you would want to see Mint get the better end of the bargain here. There’s probably no better way to make sure this happens than to delete your account on Mint.

That way, Intuit will have paid a heck of a lot more money for a dwindling user base, so it will be as though Mint got paid more for delivering less! It’s like selling your house, and then hiring someone to break all the windows before the new owner moves in. You got paid more for something that’s now worth less! You win!

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you’re presented with this confidence-inspiring response when you delete your account. Cabel got it, and I got it as well:


Happy deleting!

UPDATE: Here’s Peter Merholz’ take on the acquisition: User Experience = $5 Million per Employee

UPDATE 2: Don’t miss Jason Fried’s glowing take, affectionately titled The Next Generation Bends Over

Human-Poultry Interaction and Internet Pajamas

You can’t make this shit up.

In this paper, we present novel systems supporting remote interactions between humans and also between humans and animals. We developed interfaces which supports non-verbal modes of communication. We introduce the Poultry.Internet system, a remote multi-modal human-pet interaction system. This system allows humans to remotely touch their pet using a system interconnected through the Internet.

We also present the Internet Pajama, a wearable suit which allows parents to interact with their child. The aim of the system is to allow parents to hug their child while they are not at home.

Poultry.Internet and Internet Pajama: novel systems for remote haptic interaction

Quoth Heidegger

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who engage in hermeneutical phenomenology, those who engage in phenomenological hermeneutics, and those who get beat up after philosophy class for being good at math.

Pro Tip

If there is a top secret document that you absolutely do not want me to see, this is probably the best way to hide it:

  1. Write it into a blog post.
  2. Publish it online.
  3. Send me an email telling me that I absolutely must read it.

If secrecy is of paramount concern, I would recommend you Digg it as well.

Multitask This

Ironic that this article at, which cites a study that reveals multitasking may harm one’s ability to filter out distractions, is interspersed with five headlines and hyperlinks to irrelevant articles on