UP and down, UP and down…..

…. Or how to make your UP band work when cycling.

Sometime things are just too easy to think of…. or we tend to search for complicated answers to really simple questions. Like “how do I make my UP band record also my cycling automatically”

And then there are smart people who do a bit of lifehacking, like Gabe Mac. He’s been clever enough to think of something terribly simple. As people wear their UP bands on their arms the bands easily record every step you take, but not your cycling efforts. Users have to record them manually as activities in the UP app. Which is OK, but clearly not brilliant.

So here comes Gabe Mac and says… why don’t you wear your UP band on your ankle when you ride your bike?

Off you go, your cycling efforts are counted. Perfect.

Simple, isn’t it?

Kudos to the man and thanks to Chadburn Blomquist who originally shared Gabe Mac’s blog post.

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Sometimes help comes from rather unexpected sources…

Or.. how how to survive August  until #Reeder for iPad & Mac sans Google Reader will be available.

Tweet saying that Reeder for iPad 2 arrives in August 13

A couple of confessions first:

  • I’m a news junkie, have always been, am and will be.
  • I like RSS, works perfectly for me.
  • Soon after I got addicted to started working with RSS and tried naked Google Reader I discovered Reeder and love[d] it since then. Until, well; Google killed Reader and as Reeder relied on Reader.
  • I miss the steady news flow from my favorite sources, handily delivered to me as a stream [yes, I know #Twitter and #Facebook deliver a similar experience, but hey…]

So, as I checked mail earlier this week I stumbled across this announcement from Hootsuite about new apps:

20130808 hootsuite Syndicator announcement

So I installed the Syndicator app in Hootsuite, imported the XML-file with all of my [old] Google Reader RSS streams and off we went…:

20130808 hootsuite syndicator

Neat. Handy. At least until Reeder is back, alive [again] and kicking. You hear me @reederapp?

Vision Videos

I’ve seen a fair share of vision videos, some of the earliest ones documented here:

Picture of some old vision videos on VHS tapes

I lately came across a very nice and good new vision video called “The Vision Of The Future”. Funny enough it is a vision video on, well, vision. 

Screenshot from The Vision Of The Future Video

Google’s Project Glass is a good step in the right direction, but what we see here is much more advanced.  And of course it’s more mid- and long-term focused. It takes augmented reality plus a whole bunch of other things to the next level.

Is it scary [as the article on TechCrunch suggests]? Up to you. One thing’s for sure though – it’s entertaining. Now go and click on the image, sit back and enjoy.

Marketing is about creativity

There’s not much to add to that actually.

I love this story and Adam’s blog post reminded me that I had it on the back burner for a while  already. 
As you might be aware the brand regulations for the Olympic games in London are more than strict and they are enforced even more strictly. Which I kind of understand as the companies which partner with the organization dished out insanely huge amounts of money.

And then… along comes Beats by Dr. Dre, a hugely successful maker of head phones. And they do some really creative marketing; simply sending head phones to Olympic athletes. The cans are customized with the national colors, flag patterns or simply to match the official dresses.

Of course the athletes do wear the cans at all possible occasions; I think I spotted Usain Bolt last night shortly before the 200 m finals wearing his pair. On TV; broadcasted… well, world-wide.
This is how Bolt’s cans look:
Customized beats by dr. Dre

Cost: negligible
Effect: priceless [yes, I think there’s an official sponsor using this word… *G*]

Ain’t that great?

China’s Sun Yang wearing Beats cans too, perfectly matching the official outfit of the Chinese Olympic team:

Sun Yang wearing customized Beats by Dr. Dre head phones

Here’s the article where I read first about the story.

Happy birthday Landsat!

….A couple of Yottabytes of data and 40 years later…

Landsat’s been operating for 40 years now and has collected quite some geospatial data during this time.
I stumbled across this article on #Engadget and really liked it.

Go and have a look at the video, quite interesting, even though the title is somewhat misleading.
What I like most is the fact that Landsat decided to make all of its data available to everybody back in December 2008. Which changed the landscape for geospatial data quite much [quote from the video “we could use the data we could afford, not the data we needed”] and opened new possibilities for “stuff” like Google Earth.
Nice and well ahead of all of the good #opendata discussions.

Rock me Amadeus [or rather HipMunk me] !

Yes, that was a song by the infamous Austrian singer Falco, back in the days.

But that’s not where I wanted to take you to, but once again I fell for a catchy headline [sorry..]

I intended to rant about the extremely poor user interface tool users of corporate travel booking solutions are stuck with today *. At least a large corporations, where you’re stuck with a white labeled solution from Amadeus. [claim “948 million billable travel transactions in 2011” – guys, trust me, if there were other choices.. your numbers would look really, really, really bad].
The user inteface feels as if it had been migrated straight from an IBM 3270 terminal emulation at a time where nobody had heard about “usability”. Horror.

So why? Because I read about Hipmunk’s new product “Business Class” yesterday. Oh, how nice and cool could it be… a user interface which doesn’t s***, nicely done, usabable, neat features like integration of Tripadvisor, inclusion of traveller’s outlook calendars, an approval workflow etc.
It would be heaven for a usability specialist to do some A/B testing of these two solutions, even for me it feels like some 20 years of difference.

So I did a bit of research. And stumbled over the fact that Amadeus and Hipmunk announced a cooperation back in June [Hipmunk to license parts of Amadeus tools “Meta Pricer, Amadeus Master Pricer, and Amadeus Web Services solutions”].

There goes my rant.
No need anymore, but maybe I can turn it into something positive:
But please, please, please dear Amadeus – would you make your user interface look, feel and work like Hipmunk?
I’m sure this could be negotiated with the Hipmunk folks. And your users would [sort of] love you all of a sudden.

* Why do I know that at all? Well, the lean production guy I am I’m still booking travel myself [apparantly one of the few people who do so here. Oh well]

2. IMK Forum – [m]ein Rückblick

Su lud mich verdankenswerterweise ans IMK Forum der HTW Chur ein.

Hier ein paar Gedanken zu dem Abend.

Note to self…..

Ich sollte realistischer sein. Meeting bis 17:30 geplant und dann meinen, ich sei “so um 18:15 Uhr” in Chur – nope. Jä nu, gemäss normalerweise gut unterrichteter Quelle kann ich mir Wilddueck’s Keynote bald online ansehen.

Die Studis können das! [Chapeau!]

Meine sehr positive Erfahrung von der TEDxZurich 2010, bei der wir Stage Design, Audio & Video-Aufnahme, Regie und Post-Production der Videos an die Studenten der ZHdK outgesourced hatten wurde am IMK Forum bestätigt. Das Team handelte den Anlass mit Bravour. HDZimmermann und ich waren uns beim Apéro absolut einig, dass solch praktische Aufgaben den Studenten enorm wertvolle Erfahrungen geben.

Fettnäpfchen sind zum reinhüpfen da

Da sassen wir also gemütlich nach dem Forum beim Meet&Greet mit Wilddueck und ich konterte die Frage “Was bringt Sie denn nach Chur?” meines Tischnachbarn nach meiner Antwort gekonnt mit “Und selbst?”. Joah, jetzt weiss ich, dass Ruedi Müller den Fachbereich Medien und Kommunikation an der HTW leitet.

Meet&Greet war dann wohl doch eher Meet&AndächtigZuhören

Dueck ist nicht nur auf der Bühne, sondern auch in einer kleinen Runde enorm spannend und unterhaltsam.  So richtig zu Wort kam in der Runde im Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten eigentlich nur… er. Aber wir waren ja auch wegen ihm da. Und wissen jetzt, dass sein Sohn [IQ 145] klüger ist als er [IQ 110]. Und der ex-Lehrer seines Sohnes, ääähm, hüstel, hüstel.

So ganz unrecht hat der Dueck mit seinen Theorien wohl nicht

Etwas unorthodox [wirr würde ich jetzt mal nicht sagen wollen] erschienen mir seine Ideen und Ausführungen zu den verschiedenen Menschentypen schon. Etwas rumsurfen und absolvieren eines kleinen Tests ergab aber ein höchst erstaunliches Resultat: eine wunderschöne theoretische Aufbereitung und Bestätigung dessen, was mir mein Bauchgefühl eh schon lange sagte… ich bin ein Troubleshooter. Genau, stimmt.

Endlich wieder mal ein Buch, das mich weiterbringt!

Sogar mit Widmung. O-Ton Dueck: “damit Sie endlich mal Karriere machen”. I’ll do my best.

Cover des Buchs "Direkt Karriere" von Gunter DueckSignatur von Gunter Dueck