Showing posts from April, 2011

Adorable Geeky Wedding Proposal: Super Mario Living Room (video)

Nothing warms the heart like a geeky little wedding proposal. And this one has it all:

Geek boy and geek girlSuper Mario painted living roomInteractivityGeek love (Spoiler: she says yes ;)

(Source: Geekosystem)

Ad Face-off: Which is Better? Marvel's Little Thor or VW's Little Vader? (video)

So if you remember my favourite ad from this year's superbowl featured a little Darth Vader trying out his powers around the house on everything but the kitchen sink. And in the end, his Dad started the VW as he was using the force, leaving little Darth thinking he did indeed have powers. It's such a great ad, I think I've watched it (and the outtakes) a few dozen times in the past 4 months.

Well, Marvel has re-adapted the ad to promote Thor, which hits theatres on May 6. And this version is so cute, I'm not sure which one is my favourite. I do love Little Darth's jump back when the car starts, but the ending of the Thor one is so awesome (plus I can't stop singing "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit" when I watch it ;).

You decide. Take a look and let me know which you prefer by leaving a comment.

First up, a reminder of the VW Little Vader ad:

And now, the Marvel Thor ad:

So, which one do you like better?

Cloud Computing Explained - in English! (Infographic & Video)

Have you ever been in a situation where someone asked, "What's cloud computing?" and you were at a loss for words that a neophyte regular person could understand?

Infographic breaks it all down I found this really great infographic from Wikibon Blog that explain the 3 types of clouds and provides examples of their usage across different types of businesses. It gives real-world examples of private, public and hybrid clouds and uses a simple cloud/plane analogy to demonstrate the relative size of networks, with raindrops representing company size (in terms of employees).

It's a fantastic resource. I'd suggest clicking through to the full-size image and then saving it for future reference. Mine hangs in my office for quick tutorials access.

The only thing I find it doesn't answer is the security question. It would have been great to further the plane analogy with some sort of air traffic control to demonstrate the security of putting data (or planes) in the…

.WWF "Green" File Format Won't Reduce Your Printing (But E-Ink Could)

World Wildlife Fund sent a newsletter out earlier this week for Earth Day which encouraged people to reduce printing by adopting a new file format: .WWF

It would seem that the "Think before you print" campaign and the increasing digitization of the workplace have not realised the elusive "paperless office" we've been hearing about since computers entered our lives.
How does it work?Much like a standard Adobe .PDF file, .WWF is intended to be used to save and view electronic versions of documents. Unlike the PDF, WWF cannot be printed. It can be viewed using most PDF readers, and created using a WWF plug-in available on the Save as WWF website.
Print less but create morePart of the "selling feature" is that WWF can handle immeasurable amounts of pages. I guess they figure that volume will be the key driver to reducing the tendency to print. I'm not sure I see the correlation; it's still a file format for "printing" docs, so each doc w…

EggBot: The Geekiest Way to Decorate Your Eggs

Your kids want to decorate Easter Eggs. And when they leave the kitchen a dyed mess, with permanent stain on their fingers, you think: Calgon, take me away "There has to be a geekier, easier way of doing this."

And you're right. Of course, there is.

Introducing: Eggbot.

The DIY robot that decorates your eggs. Oh, it's not a pipe dream. It's a full-on DIY project with instructions, support and — hell yeah — a $195 kit you can buy to make it at home. Oh, and it's open-source.

Eggbot is officially the best way to add some Geek to your Easter. See it in action:

(Source: Me. Searching "easter geek" on Google. Cause that's what I do.)

Take a Hike in the Urban Jungle (video)

We're big fans of hiking and are fortunate enough to live in a city that has a lot of greenspace and trails. I even keep a supply of bird seed and a geocaching kit in the back of the car in case we decide to go on a whim.

But if you're not one to venture into the woods, you can explore your city in the same fashion. It's a nice, green way to spend a lazy afternoon.

This great little video shows what kind of discoveries you might make during an Urban Ramble. It reminds me of the Family Circus cartoons where Billy rambles all over his neighbourhood (pictured)

(Source: Do The Green Thing)

Earth Day Activities in Ottawa Make This a Really Good Friday (video)


Concidentally, this year, Earth Day and Good Friday fall on the same day. Today! That means we're already pretty ahead of the game in terms of reducing consumption today, since many stores and businesses will be closed... :)

If you're trying to find something to do with the kids in honour of Earth Day and you're in Ottawa, the Museum of Nature has free admission. They are also hosting a special Earth Day Kids' Concert and Award show from 1:30-2:30, recognizing local children who have won Earth Day contests.

They also have lots of great exhibits promoting the importance of taking care of Mother Nature. It's a great excuse for us to take hubby to the museum, since he hasn't been there since the renovation.

And if today you've got other plans, this Saturday and Sunday, you can check out the Ottawa ECO Expo at the RA Centre on Riverside for lots of great green ideas.

The EPA site also has a great global map showing Earth Day activities around the world. A grea…

Kewl Video Alert: Slow Motion Skydiving

I had one of those days: my phone was acting up, the barista overfilled my coffee and I got burned when it spilled all over my hand, I had endless meetings and the elevator was out in my building so every time I went back to my desk, I had to walk up 5 flights of stairs... but this. Two little minutes and my stress is gone.

I have a fear of falling, so the idea of skydiving doesn't appeal to me at all. But this video makes it look like the absolute most peaceful activity ever. It's a brilliant spot for the Melbourne Skydive Centre.


Experience Human Flight from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

(Source: Gizmodo)

An App That Doesn't Try to Hide Its Dark Side: Creepy

Here's another "warning app" following in the footsteps of Please Rob Me, which scoured the web for geolocated tweets in which people indicated that they were not home, and aggregated them into a single page. It was meant as a social security exercise to bring people's attention to the privacy and security risks of broadcasting their whereabouts, especially when they are away from home.

Creepy grabs freely available geolocation information on photos posted in popular social networks and photo sharing sites and maps them to indicate where they were taken. According to the website,
By using this software, you accept that its intention is to raise awareness and to be used as an educational tool. Using creepy for any illegal or unethical purposes is strictly forbidden and the developer assumes no liability. My legalese-to-English translator translated that as "we're doing this to prove a point, and we acknowledge that it's dangerous. It is. Don't use it…

The Next Apple Craze: iBag (video)

Ok Apple iThing lovers. This one's for you.

The iBag. 10,000 songs. In your head. Nuf sed.

Ok, ok, maybe this one's for me. (Team Droid!)

From the UK comedy show That Mitchell and Webb Look.

(Source: @nellleo)

The Value and Power of Twitter (video)

Those of us on the thin edge of the wedge should constantly remind ourselves that only about 10% of the population is on Twitter. As we early adopters start to get bored with technology, we often write it off and move onto the next thing way before it even has a chance to hit critical mass.

So let's remind ourselves to breathe and be patient when a luddite someone asks whether Twitter is just people posting about their breakfasts (Note: this type of skeptical comment is usually accompanied by eye rolling.)

And while you breathe, show them this. Yes, it might be a Twitter marketing piece, but it's still accurate and hey, it's got some big names in it talking about how and why they use Twitter. (Of course, that may or may not help your cause) It will also give you time to remember your excitement about the how useful Twitter is for your work, your learning, and yes, your socializing, which you can then share with your audience.

Here are some more posts I wrote that could he…

Most realistic FPS* game ever (video)

*first person shooter for you non-gamers - To tell the truth, I am a non-gamer. But I'm a geek so I know what a MMORPG and FPS are. ;P

This video by Seeco Films is probably the most realistic 3-D first person shooter game I have ever seen. And I am very happy that these don't exist because I hate to clean.

(Source: Zaxy)

Best. Lip Dub. Ever. by UBC (video)

Demonstrating that Canadians indeed are the kewlest, UBC students put together probably the best recruitment videolip dub I've ever seen. I graduated a long time ago but for 9 minutes seriously considered enrolling at UBC while watching this.

What I loved was that I could not anticipate a single scene. Whenever I thought it was slowing down suddenly they would do something completely surprising. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so all I'm gonna say is: omg the pool. There. Now you have to wonder WTF that means until you get there.

Check it out and then if you've seen anything comparable, leave a link in comments!

(Source: One Cool Thing A Day)

The Incident at Tower 37: A Short Film with a Big Message (video)

You know what you get when you combine a Pixar alum with some green thinking? An awesome short film with a great message.

Written and directed by Chris Perry, this flick runs 10 minutes. And it's worth it. Such great visuals! For more great shorts, check out Bit Films.


(Source: Kim Sherrell)

Teaching Kids Math Is Beautiful and All Around You (video)

The next time your kids tell you how much they hate math and don't want to do their homework, take a second and show them this. It's probably the most mesmerizing 3 minute video I've seen. Of course, I'm an information architect so anything about process, logic and order thrills me. (Doesn't take much, eh? ;)

Can you imagine how engaged a student might be if our schools used these types of videos as teaching tools, to show the relevance of quadratic equations or parabolas to the universe around us? I might have been able to better understand those abstract concepts.

Take a look and let me know what you think. Would you consider scouring YouTube for some teaching tools to engage your kids in math? Have you?

(Source: @mjmclean)

Extreme Marketing: Would you wrap your HOUSE with an ad?

Yeah, that's right. I said house.

Adzookie the mobile ad company is looking for free publicity by doing something crazy offering to wrap your house in advertising. And in return, they'll pay your mortgage. For a year.

And if you own a a website, they'll give you $1000 in credit to advertise on smartphones, and will put ads on your site when viewed via a smartphone.

Would you have the guts to tick off your neighbours do it? How hungry are you for that mortgage payment?

And another question: Is there any possible city where the bylaws would allow this?

Find out more: Adzookie Paint My House.

(Source: The Next Web and @mattdipaola)

Before You Answer That Fun Online Questionnaire, Read This

If you spend any time online at all, you've certainly seen folks posting answers to fun questionnaires on their blogs or Facebook pages. You know the ones, "25 Things About Me (You May Not Know)" or some such thing that basically gets you to post fun! facts! about! YOU! It's all simple and easy: you share all these fantastic little secrets with your friends, and then they do the same, and so on.

Some of these questionnaires even provide the questions for you, like:
What is your mother's maiden name?Where were you born?What was the name of the street where you grew up?What was your first pet's name?What high school did you attend?What's your oldest child's middle name? Fun for one and all, right?

Think about those questions for a second. Ring any bells? Those are the exact. same. questions. used for password recovery on many protected websites. Kind of makes you wonder who came up with these questionnaires in the first place? Maybe identity thieves?


Linux Turns 20 (They grow up so fast)

It's the 20th Anniversary of Linux and the Linux Foundation is celebrating. Some background Linux is the brainchild of Linus Torvalds, who was then just a Finnish CompSci student. He came up with his idea and shared it with the world via a simple online post:
I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things). His little project went on to power Wall Street, eBay and Google, along with your phone, tv, and other devices. The kewlest part (other than the whole "it's free" thing) is the 4 tenets: Linux users are permitted the freedom to use it, change it, share the software, and share their changes.
Celebrate! Visit the Linux Foundation website to…

Star Wars Spoofs of Windows 7 "My Idea" Ads (video)

You know those obnoxious ads from Microsoft where real people take the credit for creating Windows 7? You know the ones: where people think of issues they need solved by their OS and then take credit for Microsoft's hard work? I never liked those (although I did always get a kick how the often already good looking "ordinary people" were played attractive actors in the re-enactment portions).

Anyway. annoying as they are, someone thought it would be a great idea to spoof those ads, using Star Wars themes. And you know what? They're right. These short clips are tons of fun, from Darth describing the Death Star as a "pimped out pace ball" to the Storm Trooper providing sign language interpretation for Chewbacca.


(Source: Gizmodo)

Dell Announces Eco-Friendly Mushroom Packaging for Servers

We geeks love our gadgets, but there is definitely way too much packaging involved, no one can argue with that.

So this an interesting piece of tech news: Dell is moving to sustainable packaging for its servers. And not just any sustainable packaging, but mushroom-based. They actually grow it (insert grow-op joke here -- hey, I do live in the suburbs and those things are everywhere ;)

Dell announced:
we're proud that Dell is the first technology company to start pilot shipments. The initial pilot shipments will be for the PowerEdge R710 server in the Multipack packaging configuration. Four systems fit in one box which dramatically reduce packaging material. The process is really neat, as described in this GreenBiz article: [The manufacturer] creates plastic molds, fills them with agricultural waste and adds mycelia, mushroom roots, which grown around and digest the waste. Once the material has grown into the shape, it's heat treated to stop the growth, and the packaging…

Jousting. On. Segways. You're welcome.

Apparently the Washington Lottery thinks that if geeks won the lottery, they would joust. On Segways. And my question is: How did they KNOW?!

So here you go. And you're welcome.

(BTW if the video doesn't work for you, it's also on YouTube)

(Source: Engadget)

Now This is How You Use Billions of R&D Dollars (video)

So if you had a little time on your hands and access to multibillion dollars' worth of R&D in the form of the DaVinci surgical robot, what would you do? Well, if you're a PhD student Johns Hopkins University Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) {takes a breath}, you'd play Operation! Check out the fun little video below to see it in action (and marvel at the acting chops of PhD students).

(Aside: Can we just stop for a second to reflect on the marketing brilliance of this little video? Can you say "how to go viral"? When I first saw it, the video had 9,000 views. Something tells me that will go up significantly when the interwebs get a hold of it...)

(Source: Engadget)

Mesmerizing Rube Goldberg Xylphone (video)

K, I don`t often do 2 posts in one day but this is too incredible to pass up.

And you. Must. Watch.
Totally worth it.
I promise.

(Disclaimer: this is a Docomo ad but don't hold that against it. It's stunningly done.)

(Source: One Cool Thing A Day)

Chem Class Was Never This Fun (video)

So when I was in high school, chem class was one of my worst marks. I tried and I tried but the concepts of chem (and physics) were completely beyond me. As a good little nerd geek, I did extra work, got help from my teacher and yet, couldn't muster anything above a 68. Definitely not my forte.

And we had one of those chem teachers. He truly could have been a handsome man if he'd taken off the coke bottle glasses, beige sweater vest and (I kid you not) pocket protector. In fact, he was handsome enough for us to have created a whole alter-ego for him. We'd tell each other all sorts of stories: "That man barefoot waterskis in his spare time. He has to." (Now before you say it, I actually did listen in class. See note about extra work above ;)

But this. This might have made the difference. If chem class had been fun and visual, I might have actually been able to understand it. Ok, that will never happen. But you can still check out the video and have fun with chemis…

The Ultimate OCD Site: Things Organized Neatly

In my current work life, I do social media and eCommunications, but I'm also an Information Architect. I like logic, process and order (so much so, that I had nature's fractal flower, the dahlia, tattooed onto my arm). And that's why I absolutely adore Things Organized Neatly (aka @thngsorgnzdntly on Twitter).

This site is a compilation of photos, each showcasing some random items organized in an orderly fashion. For those of us who like organization, the site is something to aspire to. If only my house could be so organized...

Here's a typical image:

I came across the site via a tweet by @userfocus who asked: "Where information architects go for excitement?". You betcha :)

Show Your Android Pride: T-shirts for the Droid Lover

Owners of Android devices are just as adamant about their Droid love as Apple fanboys are about their iThings. So what better way to express that feverish adoration than with a funky tshirt? Well I came across a Gizmodo article about a great Android t-shirt and did a little digging around the web to see what else I could find. Here are the fruits of my labours...

First up the t-shirt referenced in the Gizmodo article. I love the sense of humour of the folks over at iSteamAndy. From a King Kong Android to a Galileo-inspired technical drawing, their Droid shirts are wonderfully geeky and imaginative.

Here are a few other shirts from some other sources around the web:

Android Fan Store

The T-Shirt Review
And my fave (although it's sold out :( the Evolution to Android:

Crowdsourced Demos Go Head-to-Head on Google Demo Slam (video)

Ever wonder if you're getting the most out of those free Google products, but no idea where to look? The help files aren't always the easiest to navigate, and really all you want is a simple, short video to help you along. And there are just. too. many. on YouTube. So where do you go?

Google Demo Slam, that's where!

According to the site, Demo Slam is:
[a] stage where charisma, creativity, and maybe even a dash of courage can finally make demos gotta-show-your-friends awesome. Anyone can slam. Even our CFO Patrick made one... So choose your tech and get the people who would never watch a tech demo (ironically the people who need them most) to finally discover this coolness. Brilliantly, Google is crowdsourcing tech support and training videos for the masses, but because of the spin, the videos end up being many times more interesting than the usual tech support fodder.

The Slam part comes by pitting videos against each other in a head-to-head competition for Demo awesomenes…

Geek Art: These Are Not The Droids You Are Looking For...

So it turns out that there are lots of riffs on the infamous Star Wars line, "These are not the droids you are looking for". And they're all kinds of awesome.

What tipped me off was the following couple of pics I saw on @uberdorkgirlie's Tumblr:

So then I googled images for "droids you are looking for" and you know what? This is quite the meme. Here are a few other gems:

The Droids We're Googling For by Stephan on Flickr
If you want to see more great pics, check out the Google search for "droids you are looking for" and enjoy! :)