Friday Fun: Special Saturday Edition

Someone had their finger on the Fast Forward button on the time machine Friday. I know I wasn’t alone since I was in the elevator with three other colleagues that had a full day as well. So this is a Friday Fun written on Saturday and most of you will see this on Monday. 

Designing for the iPad
This post from Derek Powazek offers some insight and learnings from their iPad app development. It is interesting to see how others are not only designing but their evaluation of the how to interact with the iPad. For a more intense design debate this post gets way deeper. /via Swissmiss


Apple files for Travel Patent
Some blogs reported on a new patent application that Apple has filed that provides an outline for an application for use on a “portable electronic device” that would incorporate a number of hotel services like check-in, check-out, room service, room controls, etc directly into the application. These patent applications may discourage developers and vendors like Intelity that are already offering similar services. It may also force larger companies to look at their own custom solutions and evaluate if patents should be submitted to protect their IP. I find it interesting that, according to The Register, the applications were filed late last year and their interest in engaging larger organizations.  /via ReadWriteWeb & Gizmodo & The Register

Yahoo use Flickr for Travel Planning
I think there is something really valuable with the research produced by Yahoo. Their researchers used the photos on Flickr and the times the pictures were taken and build a travel plan for some locations. Really interesting to see [pdf] how existing data can be re-purposed for a new use. /via All Things D & WSJ

RFID and Conferences
Use of RFID chips is becoming more pervasive and there are still plenty of people that question the security of the technology but at a recent Hacker conference the attendees badges were embedded with an RFID chip and the attendees were encouraged to hack them. The future may indeed include badges or mobile devices that can help users keep track of their new contacts, seminar attendance and much more. /via Gizmodo

Tron is Coming Soon
I admit I’m really excited for the Tron remake. I have some fond memories seeing the original with my cousin when I was around eight years old. This bike is a custom bike originally build in the 1930’s. I’m also a huge fan of art deco but this is a beautiful bike. End of line. /via Gizmodo & Knucklebusters



Space Invader Couch
 I wasn’t kidding last week when I said you could find a just about anything to do with Space Invaders. /via Gizmodo

Friday Fun: Easy Distractions

This week I'm wrapping up one opportunity and about to start down a new path. Rather than unload a bunch of techie news I thought it would be fun to travel back in time and remember the mid 2000's. You do know that Internet time is like ten times faster than dog years, right? I'll revisit a couple of old posts from 2006 with a fresh update on the strange but fascinating obsession by some to keep Space Invaders going. 


The True Origin of Tetris
The illustration available here was available as a Threadless t-shirt, but I thought it was pretty funny. I suspect someone with a cease and desist letter asked the shirt to be removed, but you can still enjoy the picture. /via Gizmodo


The True Origin of Tetris – Lego Style
Why stop at an illustration when you can get 3D with Legos. It amazes me how quickly people can take a simple concept and morph that into any number of creative interpretations. /via Gizmodo

Oh, you want to play Space Invaders
We have you covered there too. Sure you can find a flash version, that easy, but the real trick is building the game in HTML.Thats neat, but you say you can't play that on your iPad since you need the keyboard and you haven't bought one yet. No problem, you can get the table top version(iTunes) of the game for your iPad. /via Swissmiss & Gizmodo

From 2006…
Here is an excerpt from an old Friday Fun blog post from a few years back since were on the topic of Space Invaders.

If you know someone that actually thinks the graphics from the old Atari 2600 is gaming at its finest then you can wrap up the Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii in wrapping paper with Space Invaders graphics on the paper. Luis, back in the old days we used to play games on a console with fake wood paneling. Oh, and those are switches and they really did work…most of the time.

I love wrapping paper as much as the next guy, which is not much at all, but if I had to get some it looks cool. In a follow-up Friday Fun blog post there were some other fun items that made the cut. 

Remember the Space Invaders wrapping paper? Who knew there was a whole cottage industry around the classic game? I’m always on the lookout for some great cufflinks…just kidding. I’m looking for some new coasters for the office. Perhaps I should bust out a jean jacket from the high school days and add some buttons. Ahh, the perfect birthday gift for my non-gamer wife! I can’t read Japanese but I’m sure Bob will want eAdvantage and e-Events ready soon enough, but until then I’ll dream about this alarm clock. I was thinking though, our master bedroom could really use something…unique. Since I mentioned the fresh kicks from Converse there must be some shoes out there and sure enough here they are! Of course you can find t-shirts and tape. All because the game is now 25 years old, all things old are new again.

The Internet is awesome and weird at the same time. If you can dream it up someone, somewhere has made a product with Space Invaders. It is scary to think that people might actually buy this stuff. I suppose that nostalgia breeds demand for junk that never would have sold back in the 80's. To each their own.


Friday Fun: Zoom Zoom

Perhaps you thought I was going for some sort of Mazda reference but you'd be wrong. The zoom reference is related to Google's decision to get higher resolution detail when you zoom in on Google Maps. Google isn't the only one that does this sort of thing so below you'll find some other services that provide greater detail.

Google Maps at 45 Degrees
Google recently added some flyovers for select cities around the world. Here is a link to Venice, Italy. The fun doesn't stop there, once you find a spot you wish to explore you can see the same location from different angles. To change the angle of view you need to move the "N" box in the upper left corner of the map to a different position on the compass. /via Read Write Web

Bing Can Zoom Too
Truth be told Bing has had this feature for a long time and was one of the standout features of Bing Maps. In fact I mentioned in a Friday Fun post in November 2006. Here is a link to Hanauma Bay on the island of O'ahu in Hawaii. 

Apple Like Mapping
You know by now that there is a great map service on the iPhone which uses Google Maps. There were reports this week that Apple bought a company that created a web based 3-D mapping service Poly9. Their corporate site is down, but you can see some of their capabilities via their product page. Last year Apple also bought a company called Placebase that has a different mapping service. So changes are surely coming to how Apple uses maps.

In-N-Out Burger Secret Revealed
I don't have a skin in the game when it comes to In-N-Out Burger. It seems like every left coaster I come across swears they can't find a decent burger unless they get it from In-N-Out. There are much better burgers out there but I digress. Some NYC chef claims to have figured out the secret to the making the burger tasty. If this is so top secret then why is a chef talking about it rather than some jilted ex-burger flipper? /via Consumerist

Monitor Arm an Ergonomic Wonder
When I saw this recent post from Gizmodo I immediate thought about my ghetto rigged monitor stand. My solution was inspired by @richclayton who used reams of paper to raise the height of his monitor. I use paper trays but I could easily be convinced to use this monitor arm from Humanscale. Now if only they had a matching arm so I could park my laptop right next to it. /via Gizmodo

I don't have anything super cool but felt obligated to supply something Mazda related. A bit dated, but it's Mazda.

Friday Fun: Short Week Comes to an End

Short work weeks just make the remaining days in the week that much more intense don't they?  Looking ahead to the weekend involves indoor soccer, serving breakfast to our neighbors and hopefully some quality time by the pool. 

iPhone 4 Bumpers
Apple sells their iPhone 4 bumper ($29) which by all accounts is a nice but other creative geniuses have found some alternatives. You can go the cheap route (FREE) and make it yourself using a wristband. The DIY set loves the simplicity in this approach. At the other end of the spectrum is the Vapor 4 ($80-$100) which is engineered specifically for the iPhone and the antenna issues. Something for everyone. 

Fun in Advertising
We all know targeting in advertising is not new but now that Apple is rolling out iAds the targeting capabilities of the platform are interesting. Apple will leverage location and iTunes purchase habits among other data points to help connect advertisers with potential customers. If you prefer to limit the targeting capabilities you can direct your OS4 capable device to to opt out. /via TUAW

Bounce App for Notations
Don't you wish there were a really easy way to just scribble notes all over a webpage and provide feedback rather than having to take a screenshot and save out images. Bounce is a web based application is similar to Notable that was mentioned a previous post. But rather than get down and dirty with the code this is a pretty simple way to add notations over a screenshot and share with others directly in the browser. /via Swiss-Miss

Google Wants to Travel
News dropped on July 1st that Google will acquire ITA Software for $700 million. There is quite a bit of speculation as some industry types try to figure out what will happen in the coming months. The deal still has to be evaluated by the FTC but is certainly going to shake things up in online travel.

PB&J in a can? 
I have seen the burger in a can and unappealing as that was the Candwich sounds equally as bad if not worse. This idea popped up as the SEC is suing Travis L. Wright for taking investors money and redistributing the money for other ventures. Hopefully this will not be coming to a store near you. /via Gizmodo

Vino Vending in PA
Pennsylvania is testing out vending machines that will serve up the fruit of the vine. The fun doesn't stop there. In order to purchase the wine you must blow into a Breathalyzer. You don't want drunk people buying more wine right? I just imagine some dude in a suit looking ridiculous as he has to blow into this giant contraption. The end is nigh.

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo
You may have come across the story of the Best Buy employee that posted an animated video that mimics a customer/employee exchange where the customer is dead set on an iPhone 4. The clip is humorous and a bit crass but despite not mentioning Best Buy the employee was suspended then reinstated only for the employee to consider other options after the kerfuffle. What would have happened if Best Buy just left it alone? /via Gizmodo