background preloader

An Ex-Pixar Designer Creates Astounding Kids' Book On iPad

E-books are already a fraught subject for many readers, writers, publishers and designers, but children's e-books are even more so. Is it rotting their minds? Is it as good as good ol' paper? Is it too interactive for their own good? Obviously there are no practical answers to such questions, but at least one children's e-book/app/thingie (what do we call these things, again?) is doing it very, very right. Every page has some delightful, hidden feature embedded into it. Part of why the book works so well is its top-shelf creative pedigree: author William Joyce is also an accomplished illustrator and animator who's published New Yorker covers, won a bunch of Emmys, created character designs for some of Pixar's first animated classics, and worked on many others for Dreamworks and Disney. Designing interactive interfaces for kids is no mean feat, and the Moonbot team really made some great choices with "Morris Lessmore." [Buy "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Related:  Data visualization & Big Data

Tablet PC How Data is Making Rio de Janeiro a Smarter City - TNW Latin America Do you plan to attend 2014 FIFA World Cup or 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro? If so, the city is already getting ready to welcome you. Here is how Rio is using technology and data management to get smarter. Manage information to avoid tragedies In April 2010, the State of Rio de Janeiro was hit by a natural disaster, when floods and mudslides killed over 200 people and made 15,000 homeless. Rio Operations Center, the city’s control room Although its initial focus was floods, the scope of Rio Operations Center expanded considerably. The Center is part of the Smarter Cities initiative that IBM has been promoting since 2007. The Center itself is a paradise for data geeks: the amount of information displayed on its 300 screens is impressive, starting with the images streamed from 200 traffic cameras (soon to be 400). Sharing data with the public through Twitter and apps Although the amount of data that is made publicly available is still fairly limited, this could soon change.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Tablet Review The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Tablet doesn't stand on its own. But when paired with its matching keyboard dock, the Transformer morphs into a tablet that strikes an admirable balance between productivity and entertainment. At $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model (or $499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model, prices as of May 6, 2011), the Transformer is the least expensive Android 3.0 tablet to date; and the smaller-capacity version bests Apple's iPad 2 by $100. None of this is to say that the Transformer's implementation is perfect. The hardware has some rough spots, and so do the Android OS and the $149 Mobile Docking Station option. Transformer's Hardware: Design Wins and Flubs In its design, the Transformer shares some characteristics with other current tablets. Like many of today's tablets--the superslim Apple iPad 2 being the notable exception--the Transformer measures 0.5 inch tall. What I found most disappointing about the Transformer was its physical build. Transformer's Software, Customized

IT consumerization: Nightmare or golden opportunity? Unsure about embracing IT consumerization at your company? The truth is, it’s not so easy to integrate mobile devices into enterprise environments. Smartphones and tablets weren’t designed for business users, and that can mean big headaches for IT — not the least of which is data vulnerability. So why bother? Let’s start with the indie jewelry designer vs. Urban Outfitters story that went viral on Twitter. The thing is, effective participation in social media requires a lot of listening. Mobile consumer devices make it much easier to stay connected to social networks. Is that a good use of company time? You may not be able to control what people say about your brand on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., but you — and your employees — can participate in the conversation early and often. Create a core competency around participating on social networks. It’s true that the effort to embrace consumer smartphones and tablets in the enterprise workplace comes with IT challenges.

Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt » Steve Jobs, Thank You for Contributing to My indePendence With the rest of the technologically innovative world, I am saddened by the passing, today, of Steve Jobs due to pancreatic cancer. Damn cancer. I have written many posts on how the iPad changed my life in a relatively short time; on how the iPad gave me an affordable, acceptable and cool communication device and how that has further opened the world and opportunities to me. But one intended post I didn’t write – partly because I didn’t know how to express my sentiments and partly because I thought I still had time – was a thank you to Steve Jobs for his innovative vision and to the Apple Development Team for turning his vision into reality. Steve, your iPad gave me something that no other device has: a way to communicate with those who are not familiar with my unique accent Glenda-ish. I cannot find the words to express how grateful I am for that; something which others may brush off as insignificant, but, for me, is a life changer and hugely contributes to my independence.

Visualizing Jane Austen “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” That’s the famous opening line of one of the best-loved novels in English literature, Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” The novel has been read, reprinted, analyzed and dramatized aplenty. On his Data Mining blog, Hurst has posted a number of visualizations of Austen’s novels. In the visualizations below, we can see the position and the frequency of mentions of the character Mr. This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. More Visualizations: 20 Creative iPad Apps For Web Developers And Designers Now that the iPad has been released, web developers and designers alike want to know which apps are worthy of their fingerprints. To help make the search a bit easier, I’ve compiled a collection of 20 creative iPad apps that should prove quite useful for web designers, graphic designers and anyone with a creative mind. We’ll take a look at applications that will help you get your sketch on, interact with your sites, check stats, brainstorm and even a game or two. Adobe Ideas Adobe Ideas is your digital sketchbook, letting you capture and explore ideas anywhere you go. Analytics HD The premier app for Google Analytics, Analytics App, now debuts on the iPad as Analytics HD. iThoughtsHD (mindmapping) iThoughtsHD is a mind mapping tool for the iPad. Freeform Freeform is a simple vector drawing tool for sketching quick doodles, creating fun drawings or designing simple diagrams and illustrations. The Font Game Things for iPad Things is a beautifully focused and amazingly intuitive task manager.

How dance music travels A new visualization by travel writer Osman Khan charts the “Evolution of Western Dance Music,” tracing music through time and space from Africa and the Caribbean through the development of the Blues, Jazz, Funk, Disco, and, well, you know the story. Screenshot of “The Evolution of Western Dance Music” visualization. Click here for the interactive version. Khan recognizes the spread of music is open to debate — in terms of how you define genre and influence, for example. The data marketplace Infochimps (where I found the link to Khan’s visualization) asks an interesting question: How would a visualization about the spread of music based on something like Infochimps’ Million Song dataset — a dataset about sound and recording metadata — differ from a visualization, like Khan’s, based on stories? This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. More Visualizations:

NPR for iPad The Future Of Service Is Data Before I lose you, let me inspire you. Ami Dar, executive director of, painted this vision for me about a year ago: A homeless shelter in Topeka, Kansas, desperately needs haircuts for its clients; a barber down the street would gladly give free haircuts. Unfortunately, neither knows the other exists. There are millions of good intentions floating around the world and an equal number of needs. In the information age we live in, data makes the world go round. Data has the same potential for service. Ushahidi (the Swahili word for “testimony” or “witness”) is a nonprofit technology company that has developed an online crisis-mapping tool. What about the supply side of data for service? is the world’s first microvolunteering network and is a great example of how data can create more relevant and impactful service opportunities for individuals. You actually can do something right now to contribute to the supply side of data for service.

5 Free Twitter Clients For The iPad From the official Twitter app to the broader social networking client apps, if you’re an avid Twitter and iPad user, you will no doubt want to download more than one Twitter client for iPad, because each of the ones reviewed below offer something a little unique that you may find useful to how you interact with Twitter. With the new multitasking features of the iOS 4 for the iPad, there’s little reason not to have a folder of several Twitter apps to choose from. Some client apps are great for extended Twitter browsing while others are more useful for quick tweeting and checking in on the latest updates. Twitter While there are over a dozen Twitter clients in the App Store, this Twitter (iTunes Store Link) app is sort of the official one, produced by Twitter. Website downloads in the application are fast, and the user interface is very intuitive. TwitBird NibiruTech’s TwitBird (iTunes Store Link) is a full featured Twitter client with a linear interface. TwitterBook HootSuite for Twitter

Payment Data Is More Valuable Than Payment Fees We are in the midst of a great revolution in the payments space: anyone with a phone can now accept credit cards; online-to-offline commerce is allowing online payment for offline purchase and significant friction is being removed from the consumer purchase experience thanks to mobile. All of this innovation (read: competition), combined with government intervention, means that payment fees are falling, threatening revenue streams for incumbents and startups alike in the payments space. But a broader opportunity exists: using the data of payments to build a more valuable, more defensible business model, one not dependent on fees. The result will revolutionize offline commerce and online advertising. Today: It’s All About Fees, and They’re Heading Towards Zero Payment companies make money by charging fees to “process” a payment from buyer to seller. Competition between payment companies is only one leg of inevitable downward pricing pressure. Image via stevendepolo

Lose It! for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store