Category: User Interfaces

A use for those Digital Displays

This, I like:

Patrick McKenzie found a post from Panic (Mac software company) where they used a digital frame to display stats on their product launch.

He’s created his own (with code you can use) to show stats for his Bingo Card website.

I think I want one!

New Input Devices on the horizon?

Chris Harrison (a PhD student at CMU) is working on a new input method.  Scratching.

Yes, scratching.

Johnny Chung Lee (from the Wii remote fame) posted an article with some videos.  The technique looks rather interesting.  You can scratch and tap on a surface, and use it to control your computer, PDA, etc.

The full article is here (including a video of the scratch method).

Scratch Input and Low-Cost Multi-spectral material sensor


Here is another user interface.  It uses a space and time method to keep track of what you were doing.  The video explains it better than I can.


Chrome and silent updates

I was wondering how Chrome handled it’s updates.  Turns out, Google pushes them down silently.  You get no notifications that your browser has been updated, it just happens.

Normally, I’d say this is a good thing.  I mean, from a user interface viewpoint, I shouldn’t need to control the updates, nor should I need to be notified.  The software should "just work", which includes seamless updates.  Google claims they will provide release notes at some point, so those of use who want to see what was changed can do so.  That’s assuming that Google doesn’t hide those updates. :)

There is some controversy over the latest security updates though.  Google pushed down an update, but won’t say what they updated, and they’ve sorta hidden the changes in the open-source code too.

For more on the "security fixes" issue, I suggest you read the full article at CNet.

There is a topic on the Joel on Software board (in the Business of Software) about Chrome.  Actually, there are several, but I’ve only linked one here.  It’s got some neat reviews, and some insights too.  Worth reading.  Thoughts on Chrome.

Learn something new every day! GMail

Color me silly, but I just notice this in GMail.

  1. Open GMail in your favorite browser.
  2. Click the Settings link (Top right)
  3. Click the Labs link (far right in the orange bar)
  4. These are "beta" type features you can enable if you want.  Some are kinda neat (random signature lines, customer keyboards shortcuts) and some are silly (play Snakes in GMail).
  5. Enable or Disable any you want, and your done!

I often use the Better GMail 2 plug-in, but since I’ve been using Chrome, I don’t have any plug-ins.  But I don’t really miss  Better GMail 2 right now.  Guess I didn’t rely on it much. :)

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