Facelift for mint.com

data.mint.com

The updated look at mint.com is nice, if a little heavy handed in their endorsement of Apple. The real story here, is that they have opened up their data to passerby on the web. Now you can try to make your own insights like the ones found here: Mint Opens Up Its Data: See How Spending Is Truly Trending. It’s a nice step, but access to the data seems quite restricted to me. I’d really like to see an API released, allowing people to come up with their own visualizations of the data. I’m sure that’s its own can of privacy worms tho…

How do your spending habits compare? I’m definitely under the median (unsurprisingly) http://data.mint.com/region/us/massachusetts/boston

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Designspiration

Check out designspiration.net; it’s the new ffffound, except you can filter on specific tags like architecture, logo, type, and so on. You can also filter on color, which is really cool. Catch it now before it starts getting filled up with porn!

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Prototypes for discoverable services in public space

urbanode.net

I can’t get enough of these ‘futurecasts’. Possible scenarios where designers/technologists think out loud about the potential impact digital devices can have. These guys, VURB, come at it from an urban planning perspective. I’m excited to live in this potential future, are you?

The Urbanode project, a research partnership with Digitale Pioneers, begins the process of creating public system software by wrapping the controls for lighting control systems, such as those found in theaters and nightclubs, in a javascript programming framework. Currently, a prototype of this system is deployed for testing and development in the Melkweg, one of the premiere venues for live music in Amsterdam.

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Bigshot

Check out this ingenious idea that tricks kids into learning! Originally developed at Columbia University’s Computer Vision Lab. Even the social version has the premise of learning (geography at least) baked right in there. Looks like they don’t have support from a major manufacturer yet, here’s hoping!.

The Camera For Education
Bigshot is an educational camera for kids and adults alike.
Learn the science. Build the camera. Capture your world.

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Visualizing Friendships (facebook)

Another crazy data visualization using R.

After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

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Read Write Web’s top 10 developments in the Internet of Things for the year

Top 10 Internet of Things Developments of 2010

Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for when everyday ordinary objects are connected to the Internet via microchips. The technologies include sensors, RFID and smartphone standards like NFC. The use cases are still evolving, but over 2010 we saw large organizations like HP and IBM build out impressive platforms for the Internet of Things. We also saw companies as diverse as Nike and Pachube enjoying success with consumer applications based on these technologies.

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A Breath of Life

This is an expedition involving the artificial study of plant life. Ten propagated flowers from a living plant. Each flower has a ‘death state’, until human interaction triggers its ‘life state’ and just for a brief moment, you may recapture the flowers in full bloom. When the viewer blows into the specimen jars, each flower begins a shape change.

Materials – Flexinol (shape changing wire), recycled electronic components, specimen jars.

A Breath of Life by Fraser Ross 2010 from FRASER ROSS on Vimeo.

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Nexus S

google.com/nexus
Official Google Blog
Techcrunch Review

Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature a 4” Contour Display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC (near field communication) hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags. NFC is a fast, versatile short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Although the screen doesn’t seem to be quite as nice as the new iPhone’s, looks like there are a significant amount of improvements here. (esp. over my ancient G1!) I really like the inclusion of NFC capabilities even tho there really aren’t any places to use it yet. I also like the advanced noise cancellation software, and that it’s a “clean” install of Android.

It’s also bundled with a 16gb internal flash memory, but oddly there is no way to expand that amount. Supposedly available later this month… I may finally be forced to upgrade!

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Best of the Digital Decade

http://www.oneclub.org/digitaldecade

The One Club invited top digital creatives to cull the best interactive work from from the past decade of One Show Interactive winners. Over 75 pieces were nominated, judges voted for their favorites, and the top ten pieces were determined. The following pieces charted the course of the Digital Decade (2000-2010) with work that was visually striking and highly interactive. From the revolutionary whimsy of Subservient Chicken and Uniqlock to projects like eco:Drive, Nike Plus and Chalkbot that wedded the real and interactive worlds, these pieces showed us what digital could be. The responsible agencies, clients and creatives are to be congratulated for pushing technological and creative boundaries and making this the decade that digital came into its own.

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Retro Game as Music Video

WHO’S THAT BROOOWN!

This is on the lighter side, but well worth waiting for it to load up! Looks like War Unicorn teamed up with Das Racist to create and produce this great video game for a hip hop single. It’s probably nsfw (depending on where you work), but it’s a great idea, well executed, and fits their target audience perfectly.

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