Archive for September, 2009

A ritual

This was at the loose end of a chain-browsing session. I find it slightly hypnotic: a series of careful movements concealed by halo of mechanical mystery. The sound is worth listening to as well.

Shoot video wherever your fingers are

Apple launched the iPod nano with video camera today. It’s obviously all over the place, from DF to the WSJ along with Jobs standing vertical again. Copy that. I’m not a gadget review kind of person, but this time I am really puzzled by a detail that I haven’t seen discussed yet: what are the camera and mike doing on the lower-left corner of the device? Out of four corners Apple seem to have chosen the least suitable one from a usability standpoint. It is most likely due to internal layout constraints, as camera modules are still the hardest space hogs along with connectors to sort out in such small devices. It is interesting though that a company constantly striving for perfection and almost always unwilling to compromise on their industrial design, found that solution to be acceptable for the new iPod nano: to have a firm grab your fingers will either be on the screen or on the camera; any other position will be pretty awkward for what I can see so far.

So simple yet so right

It may not affect your sleep patterns, nor make you more productive, but it definitively helps straighten-up things a little. It’s an app, for Mac and PC, to adapt the colour temperature of your screen to the time of the day and the type of lighting around your desk. I like how, despite the intrinsic coolness of the idea, the authors felt like collecting research snippets on the detrimental effects of wrong lighting to make it even more convincing.

Seven healthy males were exposed to the light sources of different colour temperatures (3000 K, 5000 K and 6700 K) for 6.5 h before sleep. The horizontal illuminance level was kept at 1000 lux. Subjects slept on a bed in near darkness (<10 lux) after extinguishing the light, and polysomnograms recorded the sleep parameters. In the early phase of the sleep period, the amount of stage-4 sleep (S4-sleep) was significantly attenuated under the higher color temperature of 6700 K compared with the lower color temperature of 3000 K. Present findings suggest that light sources with higher color temperatures may affect sleep quality in a view that S4-sleep period is important for sleep quality.

Type It Quick (iTunes Link)

OK good – though it could be bettter. Now I want a Markdown soft keyboard for my iPhone. Gruber pensaci tu.