Monday, January 30, 2006

David Pogue on Design

I love to read David Pogue. He writes and keeps a blog on the New York Times site. He also publishes a series of books called the Missing Manual. One more reason to live him, he's a Mac guy.

His most recent post was a response to critics of his last review of the Motorola RAZR and the Samsung Blade.

His final sentence really hits at the heart of a lot of the challenges of modern technology.

In phones, as in people, looks are important — in getting your attention. But for a happy long-term relationship, it's the software design that counts.

If you can't figure out how to use it, all the power and features on your new tech toy are worthless. To me this is the challenge of technology. Making it easy to use. There is a monstrously large business opportunity in this area.

Some say the iPod succeeds because of it's good looks. Some add because of it's ease of use. Other players have these. The iPod works because it's easy from end to end. The iTunes Music Store, the sync up and the use. None of their competitors seem to have executed the whole package from end to end.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Social IQ testing

So, MJ tells me tonight that they have new Iq tests for social IQ. Apparently those with higher social IQ's make better doctors than pute intellectual geek types.

All I know, is I 'd flunk.

You think I'm joking, don't you.

Now, stop that.

A LOT of bikes

I'm watching a PBS travel show that is in China this week. Apparently 33% of the bikes in the world are in China. There are 8 million bikes in Beijing alone. Do you think the Chinese know something about making bikes?

The most recent edition of Bicycling magazine did a piece on the best bicycling cities. They limited themselves to the Us of course, but I have to think you can really get around well on a bike in Beijing. Eight million riders couldn't be wrong . . . right?

An unrelated tidbit. We always hear how the Asian diet is so much better than ours. That we Westerners choke on all of the fat we imbibe. Well when this traveler goes to market what does she pick-up? Deep-fried dough. Kind of looked like an elephant ear. Go figure.

Great Design: What is Design?

We are working on our worflows in my business and I found this piece on design via It pretty well summarizes the challenge we're facing at Audible Business, and all of us for that matter are facing, in designing solutions.

Here's an excerpt for you lazy folks.

"When you're designing something, you often have a lot of conflicting constraints.
In fact, that's a key part of design: resolving all of these conflicting goals."

""So," you think, "simplicity, is that it?" No! I wish it was that easy!"

"Design is something you only have to pay for once for your product. It's a part of the fixed costs in the equation, not the variable costs. But it adds value to every unit sold. That's what Thomas C. Gale, the famous Chrysler automobile designer who retired in 2001, meant when he said that "Good design adds value faster than it adds cost.""

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Male dancers drawn to the athleticism of the art

Here's a piece on men and dance from Grand Rapid Press.

Male dancers drawn to the athleticism of the art

Since I know you probably won't go there, here's an exerpt:

"We need to dispel the stereotype," said Laura Berman, associate artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet Company and director of its school. "Dance is not for pansies or the weak of heart."

The athletic challenge is the biggest attraction for boys, several dance instructors say.

"Once guys get into (ballet), nine times out of 10 they are hooked, because it's a lot more difficult and requires a real discipline that they seem to like," Baum said.

"It's more difficult than any sport I've ever played," said Faucher, who was a three-sport athlete in high school and earned a college scholarship in baseball. "It demands more balance and muscularity."

That's what 10-year-old Nick Rivas is seeking when he rushes from football practice at Holland's Woodside Elementary School to get instruction at Turning Pointe. He sees what he learns in dance as a way to improve his performance in sports.

"It's hard work; my muscles get sore. But I think I will stay with it pretty long. I like doing it," Rivas said.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Free Monk TV episode on iTunes Music Store

Apple is offering a free download of a Monk episode "Mr. Monk and Other Detective". Jason Alexander is in this episode and quite funny I might ad. You will need iTunes to get it of course, but that's free, too.

I downloaded it yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it while riding my bike, on the stationary trainer, and laughing out loud. I think I could get hooked on this watching what you want to, when you want to thing.

If Apple's goal in givng away this episode is to get buzz. It's obviously working on me.

Writing Struggles

This one goes out to someone I know and love who has struggled with writing. I thought of you when I read this. Not sure it helps, but I thought of you.

"I think all good writing is a struggle. To write as well as you feel you can has to be a struggle, almost by definition, because you could always improve."

- Jane Asher

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On our freedom

I was talking with a friend today about beer at church sponsored events. I in my great wisdom pointed out that it's not prohibited to drink or allow drinking at a church event. Later I remembered there are some other tests you should peform to evaluate what your doing. I heard these from Arnold Fruchtenbaum Here are the questions to consider.

1. Is it a weight? Is it something that will hinder? Hebrews 12:1

2. Is it a habit? Will it enslave? I Corinthians 6:12

3. Is it a stumbling block? Especially in relationship to the saved. I Corinthians 8:1-13

4. Is it winsome? Especially in relationship to the unsaved. I Corinthians 10:32 , Collosians 4:5

5. Does it display God effectively? I Corinthians 10:31

Friday, January 06, 2006

Chemical Brothers video

Thanks to Sean for the link to a cool video by the Chemical Brothers, whoever they are. I thought they had rounded up all of the chemical guys already. May part of their sentence was to produce music.

As Sean already pointed out the first 15 seconds are so are not representative of the balance of the video. Take a walk during the Jazzercisers until he gets to the park and you'll enjoy the rest of it.

Snow riding without a lift ticket, snowcat or helicopter

Not sure why someone didn't think of it sooner,. They've been doing it on surfboards for a while now. Snowkiting.
Here's a NYT piece on it.

I imagine you could get in a heck of a lot of trouble really quick if the wind and terrain conspire against you. Trees, cravasses, cliffs. power lines. Oh my!

On the plus side, you prbably don't get cold like you do at a traditional hill because you never have to chill in the chair.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Beleive it or not, I've got photographical evidence that I road the DALMAC 2005. This is a shot of Max and I. I'm in the yellow. If you care, to you can see more pictures here. Thanks to Bob Barrie for inviting me to rid ethe DALMAC, and for taking these pictures.

The bummer about doing a tour like this is that it's so hard to take the pictures that do this justice. Four days of fresh air and sunshine, with near perfect temperatures. You have to experience it.

Crossing the Mighty Mac on a bike was special but not nearly as fun as the rest of the ride. It was downright chilly up on the bridge with all that wind blowing over all that cool lake water. Plus you have to ride in a massive group at a relatively slow pace. The wide open spaces, far from the maddening crowds were the best part of the tour.

It's these dark, wet, icy, cold days of winter that make me savor the 4 warm summer days od DALMAC, or even a warm summer training ride for that matter. I may be crazy but a 95 degree day on a bike (it wasn't 95 on DALMAC, only 75) is better than 33 degree day stuck inside. Riding indoor has it's benefits . . . watching football, or a movie, listening to tunes . . . but nothing beats being out on the road miles away from anywhere.

I invite you to join me and 1,500 of my closest friends on DALMAC 2006. You can get all of the details here. Registration opens around the end of January.