Imagination, thinking outside of the Cube

Posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 7:39 am

I recently came across a very interesting set of videos that really struck a chord in my mind. In short, a glossy black cube was sent to some of the world's top designers, architects, and academics, including Dieter Rams, Stefan Sagmeister, and Massimo Iosa Ghini. In a series of short videos, the fundamental ideologies of simplicity, form, and function are discussed to dissect the essence of the cube.

More after the jump...

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Posted In: Design & Code, General Stuff

Huge energy saving potential for Subway systems

Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 10:44 am

NYC Subway - MTAOver 3 years ago, I blogged about the MTA going green, and ways they can improve the entire transportation system. The very last bullet-point of the latter blog post identified "Kinetic Energy Generators" as a way to capture the wasted energy through turnslides. published an article yesterday about Vycon, a company that plans to integrate a system to capture the kinetic energy of moving trains. The potential energy that can be captured and reused when a train is decelerating is about 4 megawatts, which is approximately the amount of energy required to get a train moving. New York City is one the largest consumers of energy in the world. Implementing these types of systems would drastically affect energy costs and energy waste.

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Posted In: Green & Environment, Transportation

30 Day Challenge ideas needed!

Posted on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 7:51 pm

You're probably very familiar with this new "30 Day Challenge" trend that's been going on lately. After watching the mini TED talk by Matt Cutts, I decided that it's time that I joined in on the fun! However... I don't know what to do, so I need your suggestions.

Things I am doing well in...

  1. Not a caffeine addict – I don't drink soda or coffee often.
  2. Rarely watch TV.
  3. Keep meals relatively healthy – junk food a couple of times a month.
  4. Always research and read interesting things (but no action).
  5. I work out semi-regularly by playing handball, jogging, etc.

Things I am not doing so well in...

  1. Practicing necessary coding and web design techniques, etc.
  2. Learning a new language (Spanish, etc).
  3. Working on personal projects that've been on hold for years.
  4. Writing tutorials for this blog.
  5. Photography.
Fire away, people! Comments section is open for  business!

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Posted In: Productivity

Google+ an immediate threat to Facebook?

Posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 2:16 am

Facebook & Google Plus
While I do love the visual transition that Google is making with its apps, including Google+, I think that Facebook's UI is near perfect. It has come a long way with negative feedback after every update, but the fact is that it works. Facebook has an iconic look and feel that people have come to expect, while Google is building theirs out out from scratch, pretty late in the game.

I came across an article on TechCrunch, written by MySpace Co-Founder, Tom Anderson, regarding Facebook's strategy, the new Skype partnership, and so forth. Read: Why Mark Zuckerberg’s First Public Response To Google+ Is The Right One. He points out may positives about what Facebook has going for itself.

The new "Circles" approach of organizing friends is something Google+ users will have to learn/get used to. We are generally good with adapting new methods, but there has to be an obvious "return" value. Why should we put effort into your new product when Facebook already works well?

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Posted In: On the Web

Apple + Gaming beyond iOS devices

Posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Game Console Logos + Apple
Apple touts its iPod Touch as "the most popular game player in the world," but today, some are wondering if Apple would ever consider going beyond. Back in 1995, Apple and Bandai jointly released the "Pippin" console in Japan, and quickly drowned in the competition from PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Sega Saturn. This was during the dark ages of Apple, before Steve Jobs made his comeback in 1997 and turned the company around.

16 years later, we have a completely different Apple. The new Apple has since dominated markets, moved industries, and achieved things no one else has. If Apple went ahead and decided to challenge the big 3 (Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony) in the game console wars, would it even stand a chance? Let's take a look...

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Posted In: Technology

WordPress Custom Post Type & Taxonomy Generators

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

WordPress LogoThe launch of WordPress 3.0 skyrocketed the amount of tutorials available for creating Custom Post Types and Taxonomies. Anyone that has worked on highly-customized WordPress themes is familiar with the tedious process. Rest assured, the repetitiveness has been eased thanks to Themergency, a growing resource for WordPress plugins, tutorials and more.

View the Custom Post Type & Taxonomy generators!

Enormous credit must also be handed to Brad Williams, the creator of the Custom Post Type UI plugin, which has been around for quite some time. This plugin automatically takes care of the code without you having to copy and paste generated data into the functions.php file.

Happy theming!

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Posted In: Design & Code, Tips & Tutorials

101 Do’s and Don’ts of Life

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 4:12 am

There are some things in life that you just do, and don't do. I have been writing this list since September 2008. I have learned many things, met many people, and experienced things that I will carry with me to the grave. Tomorrow is my 23rd birthday, and I feel I have just barely touched the tip of the iceberg of life.

I would like to say thank you to those that have helped me compile this list, whether you know it or not. This endeavor has always kept me on my feet, thinking, and observing the world around me. It is my hope for this list to inspire people anywhere in the world, just as I have been influenced by those around me.

Continue reading for the list that's been in the works for nearly 3 years:

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Posted In: General Stuff, Productivity

Apple’s iCloud will be the next Facebook

Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 5:29 am

Apple iCloud and Facebook
What the heck? Why? How? — Questions that are probably running through your head after reading the title. Carry on reading if this prediction somehow interests/angers/enlightens you. If not, well, your loss!

Apple's advantage in the cloud game is that so many Mac and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch owners already use the core applications that iCloud will seamlessly integrate into, such as iPhoto, iTunes, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and so forth. The keynote explained that, because of the seamless integration, people won't have to learn anything – it'll just work. Maintaining total synchronization will require no effort. No web apps to log into, no new interfaces, buttons, etc.

Facebook has achieved a comparable level of integration, but in its own sense. It has become a truly integral part of people's lives, as well as for the Internet itself. Facebook can never "fail" unless it was deliberately shut down. Too many people have too much already invested into it to just switch to another platform. Sharing photos, event planning, communication, entertainment, promotions, and gossip is apparently a winning formula. More after the jump...

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Posted In: On the Web

Nintendo, do we need another console that half-delivers its promise?

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 3:17 am

Nintendo Wii U - Console and Controller
I'll start off by saying that I have been a huge Nintendo fan for as long as I can remember. I like innovation, new ideas, companies trying new things, but I am also a realist. These things need to be fool proof, need to work properly, and most importantly, they need to DELIVER! This applies to any company out there, trying to sell any product. While the Nintendo Wii has been immensely popular with the general public due to its "mass playability," but the same feeling hasn't been shared by all of the game developers.

Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku stated the following about how the Wii fell behind on their promise:

"Wii games were never as interactive as that initial trailer promised—we never jumped behind sofas. The console ended up with a heavy casual game focus, and there was poor third party support—both of which Nintendo hopes to rectify with the Wii U."

The challenge Nintendo still faces with the Wii U

A Wii-owning friend of mine stated the following regarding Super Mario Galaxy:

"You shake the remote to spin. In a few levels you move by tilting the remote. That's it."

I couldn't have summed up my thoughts any better about the state of Nintendo's "motion" approach to gaming. Nintendo themselves never attempted anything TRULY UNIQUE with their games, and neither did developers. In result, the Wii has lost support from some major developers throughout the years. Continue reading for more thoughts...

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Posted In: In the News, Technology

WWDC 2011 thoughts and reactions

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 12:09 am

Apply iOS 5Today, Apple played a lot of catch up with iOS 5. Features were unveiled that people have been wishing for since the iPhone's incarnation in 2007. For instance, how long have we been whining for a Notifications revamp? Over-The-Air updates and synching? An improved lock-screen?

Mac OS X LionI am happy about the direction Mac OS X is taking. Mission Control is one of my favorite features because I am already huge a fan of Expose, and making application windows with Expose and Spaces on crack puts a smile on my face. One other game changer is Resume/Auto Save in combination with Versions. With this trio, you technically never have to save or worry about going back to where you left off. Versions allows you to get a taste of Time Machine, meaning that you can access to previous versions of your document since you started working on it, just in case you made a booboo and need to revert.

Apple iCloudBack when Apple bought the $1bn dollar datacenter in North Carolina, speculations of the grand agenda began. Everyone knew that it was obviously going to be cloud-based, such as a huge revamp to MobileMe, but now we know exactly what Apple has been planning, and oh boy is it huge!

iCloud, combined with all of the developer APIs that will be offered, certainly gives Google and Amazon a run for their money. Yes, Amazon has a concrete set of cloud-based offerings, but most of them are in a completely separate class, such as S3 (simple storage service) for application developers of all levels. We don't currently have a master list of all the APIs developers will be able to utilize with iCloud just yet, but, as Apple said deliberately that they're taking this very seriously, we are sure to find out its limits very soon. More after the jump...

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Posted In: In the News, Technology